‘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.

On Facebook

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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.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

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.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

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By Email.

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.

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‘Fiction in A Flash Challenge’ Week #10 Entries Part 3) @KIngallsAuthor @JanSikes3 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 3)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #10.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 4)  by Karen Ingalls and 5) by Jan Sikes.

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.

Flash image free PIER

This contribution by Karen Ingalls

CARIBOU LAKE

Every 4th of July, our family spent a week at Caribou Lake in Minnesota. I remember running down the old wooden pier and jumping into the water. Swimming in the safe water, our cabin nestled among the pine and aspen trees, and the long days.

By the time, I was fourteen I was an accomplished swimmer so my parents did not worry about me. My sister, Joan, who was one-year younger hated the water and never learned how to swim.

“Come on in, Joan. The water is great.” Watching her shake her head, with her arms folded across her chest, I’d yell, “You are a scaredy-cat.”

She would just stick her tongue out and holler back, “I’m going to tell Mom that you called me a name.”

“I don’t care. When you tell Mom that makes you a tattle-tale.” I laughed at her childishness and called her sissy, namby-pamby, and chicken making clucking sounds. I watched her run up to the cabin slamming the door behind her.

I swam further out into the lake enjoying the warm water that July day. With each stroke, I thought of how different Joan and I are. She is a red-head and I am a brunette. She is short and I am tall. She is a little plump and I am skinny. She is scared of spiders and other such critters. She struggles with math which I find to be easy.

Lost in my thoughts I did not realize how far I had swum nor the large, gray clouds now blocking the once bright sunshine. I turned back towards shore and the old wooden dock and began to swim. All too soon, my arms and legs felt heavy and weak. I shivered from the now chilly water. My heart was pounding and my chest hurt with each breath.

“Oh, God. I’m not going to make it back. I’m going to drown.” Those were my thoughts as I frantically searched the distant shoreline and surrounding water for help, but I saw no one. My cries for help went unanswered. I rolled onto my back, closed my eyes, relaxed my tired body, and hoped I would float to safety

“Rebecca, you are strong. Do not give up.” I heard these words but did not know where they came from. I looked up into the clouds where a shaft of light had broken through the clouds.

. “We are here to help you.”

I saw two angels swoop down through that shaft of light and surround my tired body with golden light. Soon I felt stronger, my legs and arms were no longer weak, and I could breathe normally. I swam toward the old dock and in what seemed only a few minutes my hands reached up to the rickety old ladder. I climbed up and stood looking around to say thank you to the angels, but they were not there.

The gray clouds were now dark and thick and thunder rumbled in the distance. I ran up the hill to our cabin shivering from cold, exhaustion, and elation.

As soon as I entered the cabin, Mother asked me if I had called Joan some names. I looked at my sister and saw her differently. I realized how my words hurt her. “I am sorry, Joan. You are not any of the things I called you.”

The next day while we were eating our breakfast, Joan said, “I wish I liked the water, but it scares me. I’m afraid I will drown.”

“I understand. The thought of drowning is scary, but I will always be by your side to help you.”

She agreed to let me teach her how to swim. We soon became swimming buddies, enjoying the water together.

We also became closer and our differences were less important.

The angels saved me for a reason and I learned a powerful lesson: live my life with kindness.

Karen may be contacted here …

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

~~~

5) This contribution from Jan Sikes.

Flash image free PIER

AN EMPTY PROMISE

 

Emily poured a fresh cup of coffee and strolled to the end of the rickety wooden dock for the hundredth time. Where was he?

She sipped the hot coffee and stared across the tranquil lake, searching intently for any sign of a boat.

A twinge of guilt crawled up her spine. Leaving a note was a piss-poor way of saying goodbye. But the thought of a confrontation and one more fight with Malcolm was more than she could handle. When he’d left for work that morning, she’d packed her suitcase, left her keys, checkbook and a note by the door.

It hadn’t been hard to walk away from a twenty-year marriage. In fact, it had been one of the easiest things she’d ever done.

She’d skipped and twirled like a giddy school girl when she’d arrived at Levi’s cabin, where she’d visited many times over the past few months.

Lying in the circle of his strong, tanned arms, Emily found her center. He made her feel like a beautiful goddess, and when they made love, the earth tilted on its axis.

She sighed deeply and tugged her soft sweater closer. Despite the warmth it provided, she shivered.

“Where are you, Levi?” She paced the length of the dock. He should have been here hours ago.

She checked her cell phone for the umpteenth time.

Malcolm would be home by now. How would he react to the note?  She could picture him sinking into his favorite chair and dropping his head in his hands. Well, she’d set them both free, and he should thank her.

“Levi will be here,” she said to no one. “He just got hung up somewhere.”

She thought about the first time she saw him. Desire stronger than anything she’d ever felt swept the length of her body, leaving her knees weak and the sweet spot between her legs moist.

It had been a girl’s night out. The crowded club was the perfect backdrop for Levi to saunter onto the stage and serenade the ladies.

He was a gorgeous specimen of a man. Long legs, tapered waist, bulging biceps, and the most striking blue eyes she’d ever seen. And when a lock of his wavy brown hair fell over those mystifying eyes, women swooned.

She wanted him.

That had been three months ago.

Now she’d walked away from her stable life. The home she’d built with Malcolm meant nothing anymore. She’d traded it all to be with this tanned god who made her feel alive.

The sun began to drop below the horizon, and she turned back toward the cabin.

“Surely, he’ll be here soon,” she told the birds. “He promised.”

Minutes ticked by, turning into hours.

Emily wrapped a soft blanket around her shoulders and lay on the sofa. Her eyes took in every detail of the love nest where she’d spent many blissful hours.

A lump of dread formed in the pit of her stomach.

Something had happened.

Maybe he’d gotten cold feet. Or, perhaps he’d met someone else younger, prettier and richer.

Emily thought back over every conversation, searching for a clue.

She tried for the thousandth time to call him. It went straight to voice mail.

What to do now? She couldn’t go back home to Malcolm.

Bitter bile rose in her throat. What a fool she’d been to believe she’d found true love.

While her life crumbled around her, she squared her shoulders and walked the length of the dock one last time.

A plunge into the icy waters would end it all.

Her cell phone buzzed, and she grabbed it.

Sorry.

The text lit up the screen.

That was all she got? What a piece of shit! She sprinted down the dock, grabbed her suitcase, and tossed it in the car.

She stared hard at the cabin. A can of gasoline on one corner of the porch caught her eye. Without hesitation, she doused the dried wood, lit a match, and drove away.

Never again would she believe an empty promise.

~~~~~~~~

CONTACT JAN SIKES:

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

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Thanks so much for stopping by.  The Week #11 Image Prompt is now up.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

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‘Fiction in A Flash Challenge’ Week #10 Entries Part 2. @MaeClair1 and @gmplano #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 2)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #10.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 3) by Gwen Plano and Entry 4) 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.

Flash image free PIER

This contribution by Gwen Plano

As I looked at the photo, I imagined dancing on the pier with a lover and then returning at a much later date alone. The image carries sadness for me and the movement of time. I tried to capture those sentiments in my poem. 

Flash Fiction week 10 poem by GWEN PLANO

Flash Fiction week 10 poem by GWEN PLANO WORDS

Gwen may be contacted … here

Reflections on Life … Blog.

Author Page: Gwen Plano on Amazon

On Twitter.

Gwen Plano on Facebook.

***

 

This Contribution from Mae Clair

Flash image free PIER

Down Deep

“Don’t do it,” Jake said. “We’re tourists, and they say it has no bottom.”

Sampson eyed the life preserver before looking to the lake. It seemed like a straight shot. Grab the ring and jump off the end of the pier. Everyone knew the water was deep—all the pamphlets he’d studied said as much—but how bad could it be with the preserver to keep him afloat? He wasn’t a novice. He’d been in rough waters before, and the lake was placid. A little cloudy, but he’d take milky over a rough current any day. Jake, on the other hand, was predictably cautious. More scholar than adventurer. They might be twins, but his brother lacked a sense of adventure.

Sampson fingered the preserver, feeling small imperfections like tiny scars, cut into the surface. How many others had given it a try and failed?

Squaring his shoulders, he shot Jake a sideways glance. “Scared?” Bravado was a familiar friend.

“Sensible.”

Sixteen-year-olds didn’t need more than one-word answers.  Even so, Sampson considered it prudent to eye the lake a second time. He swept a hand through his long hair, proud of the shoulder-length locks that connected him to the biblical strongman. And like that Sampson of old, he had faith he could prevail.

Would prevail.

It was time to prove himself to his parents. His mother, the senator, and his father, a high-profile lawyer who hobnobbed with the jet set. Jake never felt the need. Why should he? Already two years ahead in college, he was the golden child, the favored son. Sampson had little more going for him than gut instinct.

Right now, that intuition told him he could make a name for himself by diving into the lake. Screw it all and take a chance. His name would go down in history as the person who discovered what scientists, conspiracy theorists, and countless tourists had failed to prove.

With a backward glance for Jake, he grabbed the life preserver, bolted to the end of the pier, then jackknifed into the water. It parted on impact, leaving the scarred white ring bobbing on the surface. He forced himself deeper into the cloudy depths, pressure building in his ears, his lungs tightening with each downward thrust of his legs. Icy cold and impossible dark enfolded him. There was no up, no down, his sense of direction obliterated within a few frantic heartbeats.

He’d wanted to prove himself the hero but sensed he’d embraced something fatal. He’d never be able to propel to the surface before cold and gloom sucked the breath from his lungs.

Freaking stupid, a hundred times over.

But then as despair slithered closer, something moved below him. A sinuous shadow that flowed through the water with a flick of its mammoth tail. He barely had time to register the movement before it sent him rocketing toward the surface.

Sampson emerged, spitting water.. He clung to the preserver, limp and exhausted, his heart railroading like a locomotive. How had a simple dive left him so depleted? Insight whispered numerous swimmers and explorers had felt the same draining pull before. He wasn’t the first. Wouldn’t be the last.

A slow smile stretched his lips. Raising a hand, he waved to Jake who raced to the end of the pier, eager to haul him back to dry land.

Sampson no longer cared about proving himself to his famous parents or his Brainiac brother. He’d found far more than he’d searched for—not the fame and fanfare of a celebrity, but the quiet wonder of someone who’d been shown a treasure that deserved to remain a mystery—now, forever, and always.

The Lochness Monster.

***

Mae 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. Later today I’ll be featuring Part 3 of this week’s entries, contributions by Karen Ingalls and Jan Sikes.