‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #12 Entries Part 1) @HowellWave @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 1)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #12.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 1) by John Howell. And Entry 2) My own contribution.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

bryce-barker-cIcX_aO9LPo-unsplash

This one-line contribution by John Howell.

“Hey, Harry. Did you mess with the doomsday clock again?”

John Howell can be reached here …

Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

 Twitter:

Author Blog Fiction Favorites:

 

My Contribution …

bryce-barker-cIcX_aO9LPo-unsplash

 

Intervention

By

Suzanne Burke

Melody sat bolt upright. A memory still hovered from her dream. She’d heard her father’s voice, “Promise me that you’ll nurture your dreams, sweetheart. They’ll wither and die without nurturing. Not many folks get a second shot at it.”

She should be excited, after all, today was the big day. She’d been promoted and was undertaking a more prominent role in the company. This is what all the long hard hours of afternoon shift had earned her. So why the hell did she feel like she’d betrayed that promise she’d made. She tried ignoring the part of herself that still clung to the more youthful visions of her future.

Melody dressed, grimacing as she slipped on the uncomfortable new heels. She hurried out into the bustle of late morning. Her normally punctual bus arrived five minutes late.

***

Melody glanced as always at the ornate clock that graced the entrance to Central Station. Seven minutes to twelve. I’ve still got four minutes to make the eleven fifty-three! She hurried over to the elevator to find it was out of order. “It’s the day for it.” She made a dash for the stairs. The train was already on the platform and she saw the familiar people who normally joined her in the first carriage.

Melody hurried down the stairs, caught the edge of her right heel on the next step, lurched forward as it snapped, and groaned at the pain in her ankle. She cried out as she began to fall.

A strong arm wrapped around her from behind and pulled her back to safety. “Steady now, it’s okay! I’ve gotcha.”

Melody leaned back and took a shaky breath. “Thank you so much!” She tried to stand but her ankle gave out from under her. “I … um, I think I may have sprained my ankle.”

“Let’s get you down to the platform and seated. I’ll carry you down. I mean if that’s okay?”

She felt a little foolish but nodded, “Thanks again! I’ve seen you in my carriage for months now, and I don’t even know your name. Mine’s Melody.”

“Elliot.”

“I’m sorry that you’re missing the train because of my clumsiness.” She said as the train doors closed and the 11.53 left the station.

“I’ve been looking for a way to start a conversation with you for ages. This is not quite what I had in mind, though.” He looked at her now puffy ankle. “That’s swelling fast. It’s gonna need strapping, but I don’t think it’s broken.”

“Would you be kind enough to help me back upstairs? I’ll grab a cab and take myself off to the hospital.”

“Let me help get you there in one piece, and maybe we could talk a little more while you’re waiting in the E.R.”

“Don’t you need to be somewhere, Elliot?”

“Nowhere important.”

Her rescuer carried her back up the steep stairs.

Melody’s eyes as always were drawn to the clock. It still read seven minutes till midday. “I’ve never known it to stop before.”

“Ah, well. It hardly matters now. Let’s get you to the E.R.”

***

The ankle was x-rayed and strapped. Nothing was broken. They were about to leave when a pale-faced doctor came rushing through to the E.R. He raised a hand for silence. “Ladies and Gentlemen, can I have your attention? We have an emergency unfolding and it’s going to get crazy busy in here. You’ll be moved to a smaller waiting area if your need isn’t urgent. Thank you for your cooperation.”

“All staff prepare for an influx of ambulances. We’ll move gurneys into this waiting area and set up a larger triage.”

One of the nurses touched his arm, “What’s happened, Karl?”

“There’s been a level crossing accident. Signals failed and a commuter train and a freight train collided. The first carriage of the commuter has taken the brunt of the collision. Heavy loss of life. Multiple injuries coming in, eta fifteen minutes.”

“What train? Please, tell me?” Melody asked in a strained voice.

“It was the Eleven fifty-three to Helensvale out of Central station.”

Elliot and Melody gasped with the shock of it. Melody managed a whisper, “Oh, dear Lord. We were meant to be in that first carriage.”

Elliot put his arm around her shaking shoulders, in a voice thickened by tears he spoke. “No, Melody. I don’t think we were meant to be there at all.”

“All those poor people! Can we go to the hospital chapel, Elliot? I need to pray.”

“So do I.”

***

 Later that afternoon Elliot helped her settle on the big sofa in her apartment.

Melody sat wracked by tears which stilled finally as she and Elliot drew strength from each other.

She glanced over at the image of her father that graced the wall. “My father told me once that not many people get a second shot in life.”

“Your father’s a wise man.” Elliot spoke softly.

They each rang their loved ones, then sat together throughout the long night, watching on as a new day dawned. They gave a prayer of thanks to be witnessing it and prayed again for the families of the victims and the survivors. Trusting that the answers to their questions would come when their souls, hearts, and minds were ready to hear them.

~~~~~~

Thanks so much for joining me here today. I look forward to seeing your comments.

I may be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

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By Email.

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: “Brazos Wind” A Western Short Read by Jan Sikes @JanSikes3 #RRBC #RWISA #IARTG #WritingCommunity

Hello and welcome to my Book Review of “Brazos Wind” a Western Short Story by Jan Sikes.

COVER BRAZOS WIND BY JAN SIKES

Meet the Author:

JAN SIKES BIO

Jan Sikes is an award-winning Texas author who has been called a wordsmith by her peers. She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. You simply can’t make this stuff up. It all happened. She chose to create fictitious characters to tell the story through, and they bring the intricately woven tale to life in an entertaining way. She released a series of music CDs to accompany the four biographical fiction books and then published a book of poetry and art to complete the story circle.

And now that the story is told, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published many short stories with a series of novels waiting in the wings. She is a member of Authors Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (RRBC), the RAVE WRITER’S INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHOR (RWISA), sits on the RWISA Executive Council and hosts a monthly RAVE WAVES blog talk radio show, ASPIRE TO INSPIRE.

COVER BRAZOS WIND BY JAN SIKES

Blurb:

War-torn drifter, Jack McClean is left with nothing but bad memories, scars, and a restless soul. When he stumbles upon a burning homestead, and an unconscious woman, beside the Clear Fork of the Brazos River, he stops to render aid. Grieving widow, Savannah Logan, sees no reason to live, and only wants to join her husband and children in their graves. But, Jack refuses to let her die. In saving her, he might somehow find redemption for himself and hope for a new tomorrow. Is it possible that both Jack and Savannah can find a new destiny in the changeable flow of the Brazos wind?

***

MY REVIEW. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A powerful and emotive story.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve read a Western, and such a delight to find one of this quality to reintroduce me to the genre.

Author Jan Sikes has a marvelous way of inviting the reader into the hearts and minds of her characters. She lays the soul of the characters bare and takes us into their pain and what could well be their salvation.

This author’s knowledge of and love for Texas shines through in this beautifully exposed short read.

Jack McClean’s and Savannah Logan’s characters evolve over the course of this short. The trauma of their backgrounds allows us a glimpse into the pain and suffering both have witnessed. We are given insight into the reasons for the choices they make, and it garners our understanding.

Kudos to this talented author for using every word to further enhance a great story.

********

BRAZOS WIND on AMAZON.COM

CONTACT JAN SIKES:

All books are available at http://www.jansikes.com

Amazon

On Twitter

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Thanks so much for stopping by, I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #11 Entries Part 6) By Miriam Hurdle @mhurdle112 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 6)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #11.

Today I’m featuring the final contribution for week #11 by Miriam Hurdle

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

adrian-mato-6kaPKnqwaYw-unsplash

Destination

By

Miriam Hurdle

“What do you think about St. Andrews Church?” Joshua and Melissa were at the café reviewed their notes. He had a Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino and Melissa had a Cinnamon Dolce Latte.

“I like the layout of the sanctuary. The stage is five steps higher than the audience, but it’s not too far from the first pew. I like the alter and the apse behind it.” Melissa took a sip of her latte, recalled the details of the church layout.

“The location is just right with access to major freeways.”

“We need to write different directions to get there because we have families and friends from all over the state. And we also need the direction to get to our homes from the airport.”

“Yes, I’ll write the directions. Have you agreed that you’ll create the website? You’re the techie.”

“No problem. I picked the template of the website and the color scheme already.” Melissa took another sip of the latte.

“I trust you on that. I’ll admire it when it’s done.”

“I need you to help in making a list of the hotels in town with different price ranges, a list of the restaurants, some entertainments, and places to visit while they’re in town.”

“That part is simple. I’ll have them in just a few clicks. Some tourist sites have plenty of recommendations.” Joshua entered a few notes on his phone.

“I created a spreadsheet of the timeline. Once we decide on the church and reception locations, I’ll plug in the details. We have visited several churches. What other ones do we consider?”

“What do you think about the Lutheran Church?”

“I liked it, but the sanctuary has dark walls on all sides. The church doesn’t have the best lighting for photography.”

“You’re a better one to have any say on that from a photographer’s point of view. What other churches do we want to consider?”

“The Presbyterian Church has a modern look.”

“Yes, there are plenty of parking spaces, and the structure is on the same level as the church.”

“But it’s too far from the Reception Hall at the Gulf Course. I’m afraid some people may get lost. I know we can give the direction from the church to the Reception Hall.”

“Your concern is valid. Let’s keep talking.”

“I can’t believe it’s been seven years since we met.”

“Time flies when you have fun as people say. I’m so happy that we have fun together.”

“You were so cute when we first met.” Sparks filled Melissa’s eyes.

“How so? What did I do?”

“Well, that’s it. You did nothing. You just stared at me for the longest time until I said ‘hi’ and you startled.”

“I did? I don’t remember that.”

“You offered to buy me a drink. I said ‘I don’t drink’.”

“Now I remember. Then I said I’d buy you anything to drink.”

“It was our first day there at the resort on the mountain. I arrived in the morning and you got there in the afternoon.”

“Yes, I took the gondola lift to get up there.”

“So did I! I wanted to have time to look around before the hiking trip the next day.”

“How did you like the view going up?”

“The aerial view of the water fall from the gondola took my breath away. It was like magic.”

“It was impressive and exhilarating. I had seen nothing like that. It’s not the same as seeing it from the airplane. It’s seeing it in the air yet, it’s close enough to see the rushing bubbles.”

“I’m writing our story to post on the wedding website… That’s it! I want a destination wedding.” Melissa almost jumped up.

“At the resort on the mountain top?”

“Yeah, I want people to experience the magic.”

“I know, people always want to know how and where the couple met.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Contact Miriam here …

Author Links and Contacts

Amazon Links

Amazon UK Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07K1S47W9 

Amazon.com Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K1S47W9 

Contact Links

Website: https://theshowersofblessings.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhurdle112

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miriam.hurdle.1

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by! This is the final entry for week #11.

The new image prompt for week #12 is now live.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #11 Entry Part 5) @MaeClair1 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 5)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #11.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Mae Clair.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

adrian-mato-6kaPKnqwaYw-unsplash

Mrs. Conway

By

Mae Clair


Jarrod Hamilton was not a rich man but considered himself a talented one. For the last eight years he’d made a living teaching the upper crust ladies of Victorian London the finer arts of painting with oils. During that time, he’d often had to bite his tongue rather than offer advice­. On other occasions, he fawned over inferior work all the while cringing at the substandard quality his students produced. But catering to delicate egos paid the bills and helped him maintain his lifestyle, mediocre as it was.

Perhaps that was why Mrs. Conway so surprised him. Unlike the other ladies who breezed in each Wednesday, chattering like magpies, Millicent Conway arrived early and alone. A quiet woman widowed for over a year—if gossip was to be believed—she rarely engaged with others. Of the near dozen students in his class, she was the only one with a dram of talent. He’d observed the growth of her painting for weeks, maintaining his silence on her progress. Now, with the final brushstrokes applied, he could no longer contain his thoughts.

“Very striking, Mrs. Conway.” Jason stood with his hands behind his back as he looked over her shoulder. “The assignment was to paint a representation of self. I’m curious why you chose a waterfall.”

Millicent set her brush aside with a graceful movement, as dainty and refined as a delicate bird. “Your praise is most kind, sir.” She seemed reluctant to say more.

Undaunted, he peered closer. “A more cynical man than I might guess the waterfall is not the subject of your painting.”

She blinked, wide-eyed and curious. “Pardon?”

“I suspect the true focus is the tree in the foreground. Desolate and barren while the waterfall feeds a valley rich with life.” He eyed her sharply, prying beneath the buttoned-up layers of her personality. “The tree is Isolated and alone.”

Her spine stiffened. She fingered her collar. “How observant of you. Sometimes people are much the same.”

“Only by choice.”

She looked away.

“Do you know what I see, Mrs. Conway? Despite the fact the tree doesn’t embrace the vibrance of the valley, its roots are deep. Steadfast. A strong force in the face of adversity.”

She relaxed, her smile wan. “Ah, but you don’t see beneath the surface, Mr. Hamilton. Sometimes there is a reason for that distance. The exterior is gilt and flash, while the inside has been poisoned with disease.”

His gut clenched. The chatter of his other students created a buzz like the constant drone of honeybees in the background. He wanted to swat them away. “Disease?”

She wiped her hands on a rag. “It destroys from the inside out. You can’t see the damage until it is too late, and there is nothing to be done.”

“Like a cancer?”

“Precisely.”

Bile burned the back of his throat. “Then there is no hope?”

She squeezed his hand, her fingers cold. “There is always hope. Especially when those who suffer have made peace and no longer feel the need to be part of the valley. They have their own verdant dell waiting, guarded by loved ones who have passed.” Warmth touched her eyes. “The tree must bend. Break at last.”

His throat grew tight. He nodded toward the painting. “What will become of this?”

“It matters not to me.”

“May I have it?”

She appeared surprised. “Of course, but I fail to understand why you would want it.”

How could he tell her? Finally, after years of teaching petticoats, dowagers, and debutantes, someone in his class had spoken clearly through canvas and oil. It may not have mattered to her, but even as disease shortened her life, she’d found a way to instill meaning in his work.

It made him believe he could find his own waterfall and valley.

At the very least, she’d taught him how to be a tree.

~~~~~~

Mae Clair can be reached here …

Twitter:

Amazon Author Page:

Mystery, Suspense & Urban Legends | BookBub | Newsletter Sign-Up

Website & Blog | Goodreads

~~~~~~~

Thank you so much for stopping by. Tomorrow I’ll feature the final post for WEEK #11 by Miriam Hurdle. The image prompt for #Week #12 is now live.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #11 Entries Part 4) @Chelepie & @gmplano #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 4)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #11.

Today I’m featuring contributions from Michele Jones and Gwen Plano

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

This Contribution by Michele Jones.

adrian-mato-6kaPKnqwaYw-unsplash

Mike ran ahead of Carl toward the sound of rushing water. He’d always been faster and would be there first. As he darted through the trees, he saw it. The waterfall.

Mike stared at it as it fell from the rock above. Rumors about its existence had been around for centuries, but he didn’t believe them—brushed them off as a myth. But ahead of him, the water flowed, no gushed, from the rocks above. How could this be? What was happening? Who did this? The valley had always been dry. Hell, the entire region barely saw any rain.

He moved closer. The sound of the water roaring in his ears. He didn’t know much, but he knew a water source was needed for a waterfall, but no rivers or oceans were within miles of here. Something wasn’t right. Mike spun around looking for any possible reason for the falls. There wasn’t one and he didn’t believe in magic.

Mike pulled out his phone took several pictures. No one would believe him. This would be his proof. He moved even closer. The mist at the bottom splashed up from the basin and reflected the sunlight in its droplets. Lily would love this. He tried calling but had no signal. Strange. He’d had signal here before. Must be the waterfall messing with it.

He wanted to leave, but the water looked so inviting. Even though the falls splashed up, the pool remained still. No ripples, No splashes. He needed to be the one to change that. He pulled off his shirt, tugged off his jeans, dropped his phone, and dove into the pool.

After he surfaced, he heard it. A voice. He shook his head. His imagination must be playing tricks on him. He heard it again. A woman’s voice. Humming the most beautiful melody he’d ever heard. She must be behind the cascade. Mike swam closer. The humming got louder, but he couldn’t see her.

Something told him he shouldn’t go any closer. But he had to see her. That voice. It was so beautiful. He knew she wanted him. Confused, he treaded water trying to decide. Before going on, he heard his brother screaming and saw him flailing his arms.

Mike shook his head and swam to the edge of the basin, climbing out.

“What the hell are ya doin’? Do you have a death wish?” Carl ran up and yanked him from the basin.

“Aw, I was just cooling off. There’s no reason to be so—”

“Don’t you remember anything about the waterfall? It’s cursed. Now you’re cursed. And so am I. I can’t believe you did this to me.”

“I didn’t do anything. And we’re not cursed.”

“So, you didn’t hear the lady singing? You weren’t swimming to the sound of her voice?”

“Yeah, I heard her. So what. Nothing’s gonna happen.”

“Fool. The lady kills. I can’t believe you don’t remember that.”

“I remember. I just don’t believe it. Watch me.”

Before Carl could grab him, Mike dove in and swam to the cascade. He’d prove everyone wrong. There was absolutely nothing to worry about. He could hear that woman’s voice again. It grew stronger, more inviting. He could also hear Carl screaming at him to come back.

Mike swam behind the cascade. Just as he thought. There was nothing there. He climbed out of the basin and looked for her. He saw no one. Just an old timer myth. As he turned to go back to his brother, she was there. But the waterfall was gone. The ravine—gone.

“You should have listened to your brother. Now you’re mine. For eternity.”

######

Michele can be reached here …

 Twitter

URL: http://www.michelejones.com
Email: icoachgirls@gmail.com
Whois: http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/70.90.235.33 (IP: 70.90.235.33)

***

This Contribution by Gwen Plano

When I saw the photo, I imagined flying above the falls and mountains high. I felt the moist breeze and soared in the silence of the trees. My haiku…

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

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By Email.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #11 Entries Part 3) by Daniel Watkins & @KIngallsAuthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

“Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #11.

Today I’m featuring contributions from Daniel Watkins and Karen Ingalls.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

This entry Contributed by … Daniel Watkins.

adrian-mato-6kaPKnqwaYw-unsplash

Falling

By

Daniel Watkins

“Dear Yuan,

I can still see you standing at the edge of the falls tiny and wilful above the roar. I couldn’t bear it. I mean the relentless boom so infinite then it haunts me now, after all these years.

I don’t believe you knew I was down there and that I saw you. No, I was watching. And you know it was not for me to call out. Anyway, my voice could never have competed against the sound and the distance.

And how could I have followed? The drop between us defined two worlds. And the time, now, just adds to the hopelessness of it all. I’m as helpless now as I was then. But I can write, can’t I?

Well, there’s the asymmetry. I’ve kept you in my sight, my mind all this time, though I’m lost to you in the landscape like I’m in a Song Dynasty painting. You have to be bothered to squint out the figure in the mountains. Your mind was always too busy and elsewhere for all that nonsense.

Yours is a people-less landscape and mine a portrait in a locket and we don’t represent each other at all, really. Not at all. And that amuses me. Maybe that’s the only reason I’m writing this to you. My letter will lie on your desk by some window out over the bay and you’ll be looking at the boats heading out, wishing you were there not in some dull room with a letter flipping on your desk in the breeze like some dying fish on a rock.

Yuan? What do you see up there? What were you looking for? I used to glance to where I thought you were staring but I didn’t see anything. I didn’t see me, that’s for sure…

Would you ever reply? You must be a little shaken? Surprised I found your address after all these years? Do you know now where your mind was turned?

It’s coming to that time in our lives where we should know what it was we sought, if only because time was going to run out; we all knew the narrative would end and the back cover was waiting for us. Did you find out? Can you write just one letter to me? Please?

I can see you there that time, just before you crossed to the other side of the river. Write to me. Tell me what you saw.

M.”

***

This Contribution by Karen Ingalls.

Fiction in A Flash week 11 entry by Karen Ingalls

Karen may be contacted here …

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

~~~~~~~

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

 

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ #Week 11 Entries Part 2) @harmony_kent and @dlfinnauthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 2)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #11.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 3)  by Harmony Kent and 4) by D. L. Finn.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

adrian-mato-6kaPKnqwaYw-unsplash

This HAIBUN contributed by D.L. Finn

The river roars over the precipice. Its cry is heard for miles as it travels its painful path down the jagged granite. The clear sapphire essence turns cloudy and white. There is nothing to cling to as it’s thrust into the unknown.

The great fall of tears
Rapidly release the pain
In the pool’s peace.

D.L. Finn can be found here …

 

***

This Contribution by Harmony Kent

 

adrian-mato-6kaPKnqwaYw-unsplash

In the Wild

By

Harmony Kent

Exhausted, Teri stared at the burnt and broken tree while cold spray from the violent waterfall settled onto her exposed skin. With a raised and tired arm, she used her fingers to wipe sweat from her forehead and thought back over all the horrific miles she’d endured.

Her once-pristine Converse now lay in tatters around her cut and swollen feet. The trainers had never been meant for rugged mountain and forest trekking. One of the laces had snapped—too short to tie. On the other shoe, the sole flapped uselessly every time she took a step.

Her legs stung and itched, covered from ankle to mid-thigh in various bug bites and scratches from foliage unforgiving of her trespass. Mud and dirt and the damp green residue of the assorted local fauna stained the hem of her shorts. Her tee-shirt more resembled a soaked dish rag than an item of fashion. Meanwhile, her bra now served as a sling for her broken left arm.

Though it couldn’t possibly help her out of this dire situation, Teri revisited the events that had dumped her into the voracious, man-eating wilderness in the first place. Okay, so maybe she had been driving too fast. But, hey … over-the-top karma, anyone? Sure, she was fairly confident that she’d killed the deer in the road. But hadn’t crashing into the giant sequoia and banging herself up been repayment enough? Karma, it seemed, had other ideas. The little Nissan Micra had bounced off the tree and then rolled. Right off the edge of a cliff. More trees had broken the fall. Had kept her alive for this torture. And she’d even escaped the wreck before it burst into flames.

After assessing her injuries, Teri had made a sling of her bra and then done a funny crawling shamble on one arm and two knees to the pool at the base of the waterfall. Refreshed from the long drink of the chilly nectar, Teri studied the deep valley in which she’d landed. Sheer cliff walls surrounded her. Too steep to climb in her current condition, her only option was to walk down the valley and follow the stream.

The stream grew up and became a river, which must lead to civilisation soon, right? Before long, the terrain had forced her to forge a path far away from the rocky walls of the river canyon. And not long after that, tired, in pain, and disoriented from the knock to the head she’d taken, Teri had gotten lost.

A fresh pang of regret rolled sickeningly in her stomach—all that money burned. She reckoned the raid on the bank had netted her about a million. Now it was all gone. Nothing but ash and smoke mingled with the stench of burnt rubber, upholstery, and hot metal.

Again, Teri stared at the burnt and broken tree while cold spray from the violent waterfall settled onto her exposed skin. With a raised and tired arm, she used her fingers to wipe sweat from her forehead and thought back over all the horrific miles she’d endured.

At the base of the broken trunk lay the wreck of her Micra. After everything she’d endured, Teri had come full circle. Right back to where she’d started.

Exhausted, Teri slumped onto a moss-covered rock and wept. Far, far above, the mournful wail of police sirens scared the birds from the trees.

Copyright ©Harmony Kent 2020

CONTACT HARMONY HERE …

Website: https://harmonykent.co.uk and Story Empire (Co-authored)

Harmony’s Amazon Author Page: author.to/HarmonysBooks

Twitter: @harmony_kent

LinkedIn: Harmony

Goodreads: Author Page

***

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #12 NEW Image Prompt. @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity.

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!”  Week #12 Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Please put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at My email address. by DEADLINE: 4pm EDT on Thursday, August 13th. Subject: Fiction in a Flash Challenge. If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be much appreciated.

I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here beginning on Friday, August 14th.

Here is the week #12 Image Prompt.

bryce-barker-cIcX_aO9LPo-unsplash

Thanks to Bryce Barker for sharing their FREE IMAGE on Unsplash.

I hope the image inspires you! Come and join in the fun.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

 

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #11 entries Part 1) @HowellWave and @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 1)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #11.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 1) by John Howell. And Entry 2) My own contribution.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

adrian-mato-6kaPKnqwaYw-unsplash

John Howells one line entry.

“Helen, do I hear the shower still running?”

John Howell can be reached here …

Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

 Twitter:

Author Blog Fiction Favorites:

My Contribution …

adrian-mato-6kaPKnqwaYw-unsplash

“Another Mountain to Climb”

By

Suzanne Burke

Mitchell McCallister hoisted himself up onto the rock platform and reached down to assist his companion. He looked across as his friend gazed around and slowly turned back to him, “Mitch, this place is perfect. So, this is where you disappear when we can’t reach you?”

“Uh-huh, yes this is the place. My dad brought me out here for the first time when I was fifteen. It was around a year after my mom had passed and I was acting out the pain and turning on everyone around me. He said this place would help me regain my center of gravity, he said it would save my sanity … If I let it.”

“You’re probably the sanest person I know. So, why now, I mean what is it that you need to regain your center on?”

Mitch took a deep cleansing breath as he answered. “I have a question to ask and a decision to make based on the answer to that question.”

“Care to share?”

Mitch laughed, “Yeah, that’s why you’re here.”

“Is there alcohol in that backpack? This feels like one of your thoughtful let’s talk over a whiskey moments.”

Mitch nodded his head, “You lay out the groundsheet, and I’ll grab the whiskey.  Then, let’s just sit awhile and take in all of this.” He swept his arm wide.

They sat and sipped on the 12-year-old malt and allowed the thunderous noise from the waterfall to momentarily drown out their other senses. Until the scent of the pine that surrounded them reawakened their sense of smell, and their eyes looked beyond the mist and took in the splendor of the blue sky and the rugged rockface.

Mitch broke the silence. “Everything makes more sense here, you know. I mean every action is interconnected with the well-being of the whole. The only scars on this landscape are the ones our own species slashed across its surface.”

His friend nodded in understanding and held out the paper cup for a top-up of whiskey.

Mitch obliged and poured himself another good belt as well. “There’s a shallow cave we’ll shelter under tonight. The kindling and logs I left last time will be dry now and I have a rock firepit. I can’t wait for you to see the stars with no other light source to impede your view. Let’s finish this drink and then get the camp set up.”

***

Mitch sat gazing into the warming fire and turned to his friend. “I guess now is as good a time as any. Can I ask you a question?”

“Fire away.”

“Will you marry me.”

“Jesus! That’s some question, Mitch!”

“You really didn’t see this coming? Hell, David, and here I was thinking I’d been so obvious.” He tried to laugh again and failed.

David reached over and touched his arm, “I thought it was all just wishful thinking on my part.”

“Oh, thank God. Any chance this means you’re in love with me too?”

David mimicked back to him. “‘and here I was thinking I’d been so obvious.’”

“You will marry me?”

“I’d be honored.”

They kissed and Mitch gently stroked his new fiance’s face. “Now, I need you to know something upfront. My next decision is based solely on you being on board with it 100%. I will walk away from it and never look back if you aren’t comfortable with it.”

“I’m listening.”

“The F.B.I has asked me to Quantico. Seems they want me to take my training and my degree and head up a new task force. They had me study fifteen files over the past week, each file belonged to an FBI member, all field agents. I was asked to provide a detailed profile for each of them based purely on their responses to crime scenes.”

“Looking for what?”

“Statistical anomalies.”

“Any conclusions?”

“Uh-huh, and then some. See none of these men and women hold degrees in Forensic Science. They’re not profilers, but, in every instance, their case files reveal a high degree of success at identifying stand out traits of their perpetrator.”

“So, they’re intensely logical?”

“Sure, it’s partly that, but I believe they are all empaths.”

“The bureau concur?”

“Yup. They want me to train them, to hone their innate skill, and to help them learn to retain sufficient distance from the case so as not to incur damage to their own psyche. They believe this squad will ultimately save lives, and it’s hoped that it will significantly reduce the number of cold cases.”

“So, why the hesitation? God, this is your dream job!”

“I know it. But, I’d be asking you to leave everything you have here behind. You’ve your own career to think about.”

“Being an accountant isn’t going to save lives. I can work anywhere. You have to do this, Mitch.”

“So long as you’re going to be climbing that huge mountain with me.”

“You know I will. I’d be proud to take that journey with you.” He gave Mitch’s hand a squeeze. “So, let’s make the memory of tonight and tomorrow perfect. Do you have marshmallows in that backpack?”

“I love you.”

“Ditto. Now about those marshmallows?”

~~~~~~

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Later today I’ll be featuring entries Part 2) by Harmony Kent and D.L.Finn.

 

“Fiction In A Flash Challenge” Week #11 NEW Image Prompt. @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity.

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!”  Week #11 Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Please put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at My email address. by DEADLINE: 4pm EDT on Thursday, August 6th. Subject: Fiction in a Flash Challenge. If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be much appreciated.

I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here beginning on Friday, August 7th.

Here is the week #11 Image Prompt.

adrian-mato-6kaPKnqwaYw-unsplash

Thanks to Adrian Mato for sharing their FREE IMAGE on Unsplash.

Photo by Adrian Mato on Unsplash

I hope the image inspires you! Come and join in the fun.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.