‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #15 Entry Part 5) by D.L.Finn @dlfinnauthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 5)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #15.

Today I’m featuring a contribution from D. L. Finn.

 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 prompt:

lost-places-3035877_1920

This contribution by D.L.Finn

The Day the Ground Moved

By

D.L.Finn

It jolted me from a deep sleep. Belongings were tossed around like feathers in a windstorm. My wedding picture crashed into the back of my head, but I had no time to worry about the bump as my bed moved toward the dresser that was lodged on its side. My black cat, Sissy, dug her claws into my leg, and I could hear the dog howl from his bed.

“It’s okay, Max!”

It was unlikely he heard me over the growl of the shifting landscape and shattering glass. I pulled myself to the side of the bed as Sissy edged up to my chest.

“It’s the earthquake they said would come, Sissy.”

Hanging on to the cat, I slipped on the leather mules my wife of 35 years had given me last Christmas. I lost Nancy three months later to breast cancer right before everything changed. I pushed down my pain, grabbed our wedding picture, and attempted to run. I found the floor was like a carnival funhouse. I could barely keep upright. My stomach flipped as a powerful wave surged through the house. I grabbed the closet door frame.

“Hang on, Sissy.” She buried her head in my neck. “I should get the go bag in case…”

Tightly gripping the wood structure with one hand, I snatched the bag from the closet, tucked the picture in it, and slung it over my shoulder. Sissy’s claws deepened, cutting into my skin, but I barely felt it as I navigated the dark hall to the creaking steps. The rising sun was peeking through the broken front window, and the neighbor’s car alarm was blaring.

I clung to the shaking railing and made my way down the wooden stairs. Halfway the wall cracked open with a loud pop.

“Crap.” I quickened my pace. “Max! Here, boy!”

The sweet German Shepherd slowly walked to me with his tail between his legs. I grabbed his collar.

“It’s safer outside.” I tried the front door. It wouldn’t open until I used all my weight against it. We burst onto the porch and raced out into the morning dawn. I stood on my front lawn as the brick fireplace crumbled to the ground with a dusty thump on the side of the house.

“Is this ever going to stop?”

As if on cue, the grumble gave way to silence.

A weak cry for help came from across the street. The houses’ two levels were now one.

“I’m coming, Bert!”

The young couple who had just moved in last month stood pale and bloodied by their car.

“Bert and Kathy need help,” I yelled to them and set Sissy down, who immediately hid under my car.

“There’s nothing we can do. We need to get to a safety zone.” The husband replied. They got into their car and left.

I shook my head in disbelief; I knew there was no place to go. In the distance, I saw smoke and rubble as far as my old eyes could see. I rushed over the uneven street. Just then, I heard a screech and saw the young couple’s car fall. It was half in and half out of a large hole. The husband pulled the wife out, and they raced around the corner. Gone.

“Adam, can you hear me?”

“Yes, Bert, I’m coming.”

Thankfully, he was in a pocket by the front door, and I could lift the debris with a crowbar. Bert’s wife, who had been Nancy’s best friend, was crushed under a beam. She didn’t make it. We buried Kathy under her favorite maple tree. I understood his pain.

Bert took over that young couple’s house, and all that was left of our once beautiful area was two old men trying to survive each day. We lived in a world where no help would arrive. Our leader challenged the new directive, and as a cruel example, they detonated our earthquake fault. Later we found a renegade radio channel and learned part of our state was in the ocean.

It was a war no one had wanted. Luckily, Bert and I had a healthy supply of food, water, and weapons. When the time came, I would defend our old ways against the new directive. I knew Nancy would be proud of my stand, but I couldn’t wait to be with her again—when that time came.

~~~

D.L.Finn can be reached here …

Blog site:

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:

On TWITTER:

On FACEBOOK:

Thanks so much for stopping by! I look forward to reading your comments.I’ll be featuring further entries as they are received. 😊

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge Week#15 Entry Part 4) by Mark Bierman @mbiermanauthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 4)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #15.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Mark Bierman.

 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.

lost-places-3035877_1920

This Contribution by Mark Bierman.

“Grandma, are you sure you want to go up there? They’re in bad shape, and your hip.”

“Oh, pish posh,” Rosemary waved dismissively. “Should have done this years ago and those were built when quality counted.”

“That was seventy-seven years ago. This place has been abandoned for—”

“Twenty years, other than some vandalism, the bones are solid.”

“Maybe, but yours aren’t. Please, just let me have a look. The third floorboard from the back wall of the closet, right?”

Rosemary patted Emily’s hand. “I need to do this myself, with a bit of help from you.”

Emily wiped a tear and hugged her grandmother. “I understand. You were eight and you’ve waited this long. It was your only hope. All these years . . . ” Her grief soaked the purple shawl.

“Shh . . . I’ve made my peace. This must be done before I see him again. I pray God will allow it in Heaven. Father has the other half, that’s why they never found it on him.”

Rosemary’s eyes stung but she must show restraint, be the brave girl that her father had said she was just before he left for the Great War. “Let’s continue, shall we?”

“Yes, I’m sorry.” Emily broke her embrace and took the tissue from Rosemary.

“But you must let me check each tread before you step on it and let me guide you. Those are my rules, I’m sorry. I love you too much to lose you.”

Rosemary nodded. “Agreed.”

They moved ahead, arm in arm, with Emily sweeping away the debris with her foot to clear a path. At the base of the stairs, she tested the railing and was satisfied.

“You see, built to last. The stairs will be the same, though the third step might creak. I learned to avoid that one when I’d sneak downstairs after bedtime to grab an extra cookie.” She pointed to the room they’d just left. “My parents would be sitting in their chairs, Mother with her nose in a book, while Father would be asleep. I never got caught, but sometimes I think Mother knew.” Rosemary smiled.

The stairs proved to be every bit as resilient as promised, but every tread protested the disturbance.

The hideous orange and white floral-patterned linoleum flooring installed by the last tenants had chunks missing and revealed the hardwood underneath. Decay wasn’t always bad.

Emily gingerly walked her grandmother across the tripping hazard to the first room on the left. Time had left only a thick layer of dust, cobwebs, and a musty smell in the barren room.

“Hmmm . . . used to be a lot bigger,” Rosemary said. She blamed her watering eyes on the dust and mold. “I loved this room, but after Father was gone, well, we had to move.”

She sighed deeply and shuffled towards the tiny closet. Emily’s hand went to grab her arm, but she brushed it off. “I’m good for now, but I’ll need you to help me kneel.”

The old woman reached the closet and Emily helped her to her knees.

Rosemary struggled to remove the floorboard and Emily offered to help.

“No! I must do this!” Her face softened and her tears splattered into the floor dust. “I’m sorry, dear, I didn’t mean to snap. This arthritis is making it hard. Did they nail it down?”

After what seemed an eternity, the board yielded, and was hoisted with a collectively  held breath. Would it still be there?

Emily handed over the flashlight. The small beam illuminated only cobwebs and dirt. Rosemary dug frantically to clear them, and the light reflected off a silver object lying in between the floor joists.

Rosemary picked up the necklace with shaky hands. Emily gasped, for there it was, the legendary object that she’d heard about since early childhood.

A heart, with one half missing, the other half perhaps lay on a faraway battlefield.

Rosemary clutched the jewelry to her heart, and then wept loudly. Emily rushed to her side and tried to console her grandmother through her own tears.

It took several moments to recover, and Rosemary showed her the inscription in the heart. Because of the shape and the missing piece, it read, ALW TOGE . . . Always Together.

“Oh Grandma, is that true? Do you really believe that?”

“Yes, Emily, all of my life I knew he was there, and soon I will get to see him again and this heart will be whole.”

~~~

Mark can be reached here …

Twitter

Blog Mark Bierman Adventures in Writing

Amazon.com

***

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. I’ll be posting further entries as they are received.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #15 Entry Part 3) By Harmony Kent @harmony_kent #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 3)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #15.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Harmony Kent.

 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.

lost-places-3035877_1920

The Mad House

BY

Harmony Kent

 

Emily does not like this house. Doesn’t matter how cheap it is. Rick, however, adores it. ‘C’mon, Em. It’s got serious potential.’

‘For a broken back,’ she mutters with her back turned.

‘Mmm. What was that?’

She faces Rick and lies, ‘I said, it’ll be nice to bring it back … see this old place restored to it’s former glory.’

‘Yeah.’ Rick grins and gives her a quick hug.

Emily’s happy that she’s made him happy. These last few months have been tough. Still, this place gives her the creeps. It feels oppressive. The house oozes hate.

Subdued, Emily traipses after Rick toward the filthy, broken door that leads into the hallway. Absently, she trails her fingers along the wood.

‘Ouch!’ She sucks the bloody finger into her mouth. Wide-eyed, she stares from the door to her husband. ‘The damn thing just bit me.’

Rick shakes his head, and a sad smile tugs at his lips and eyes like they can’t decide whether to go up or down. ‘Oh, honey. Let’s not start all that again.’

Emily hangs her head, and her stomach rolls sickeningly. No, let’s not do ‘all that’ again. The asylum wasn’t a fun place, and she’ll do anything not to return. Even this old building is better than that house of horrors. But she never made it up. It wasn’t all ‘in her imagination’. Fed up, frightened of looking crazy, and wanting to make it up to her husband, Emily holds it all in.

When she fails to speak, Rick pulls her in for another hug. Like that’ll fix everything. She holds in a sigh, but her tension transmits to him through her muscles. With a frown, he pulls away and promises, ‘We’ll get there.’

Emily nods and forces a smile for her husband’s benefit.

He strides into the hallway. Emily takes a step after him and then stops dead. The broken glass rimming the two lower frames in the door look like fangs. And the top two resemble eyes—empty and black and menacing. She shakes her head and strides past determinedly. It’s just a door. Simply four damaged square panes.

Rick’s gone upstairs. She wishes he hadn’t. The thought of stepping foot on those old risers leaves her weak and trembling, and it seems hard to breathe.

A creak and draft from behind give her a split-second’s warning. The door to the lounge swings shut. Impossible. An old chair had propped it open. Emily’s heart hammers so hard she’s sure it’s about to break her ribs. Its frantic bid for escape echoes her own misgivings. Why can nobody understand that she sees things? No matter what the doctors tell her, it’s all real. It is.

She spins around with her arms raised in front of her face. Sure enough, the door’s closed tight. The chair is nowhere in sight. The discarded box-drawer that had lain against the hinged-edge now lies by her feet on the dusty floor. Emily skitters away. Misgivings forgotten for the moment, she dashes up the stairs. ‘Rick? … Rick? Where are you?’

Thick silence surrounds her, more like the sinister wrapping of a hungry spider than the protective cocoon of a butterfly. Emily shudders. She dashes from room to room but can’t find him anywhere. Panicked, she flies back down the stairs and runs throughout the ground floor. No Rick. Terrified, she even checks the basement. Nothing. Her breathing comes in gasps and heaves, and her vision blurs. She bursts out of the front door.

Rick stands outside, holding up the keys to the house and wearing a huge smile. His smile falters and then recovers. He jingles the keys. ‘Welcome home, honey!’

What? They were just viewing to see if they would buy it. Where’s the agent? How have they bought this place already? She blinks and copies Rick’s enthusiastic smile. ‘Um, remind me what day it is, sweetie.’

Rick chuckles. ‘It’s Monday, of course.’

They’d viewed the house on a Saturday. ‘Er, do you have the papers?’

‘Sure.’ Rick holds out the contract. Emily snatches it and looks at the date: three months have passed. The house has had her for twelve weeks. Rick frowns and studies Emily. ‘You okay, hon?’

She nods and smiles. She knows what she has to do. ‘I’m looking forward to gutting this place.’

‘It doesn’t need that much work. And they just released you. Remember, baby steps.’

His words make no sense. All she sees is utter devastation. Illusion? Delusion? Or premonition?

© 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. I’ll be posting further entries as they are received.

 

 

 

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #15 NEW Image Prompt. Join in the fun! #IARTG #ASMSG @pursoot #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!”  Week #15 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, September 3rd. 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.

UPDATE: The response to the prompts has been just wonderful. As a result, I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here AS I RECEIVE THEM. Rather than posting all of them only over a few days.  Thanks to everyone for the amazing support.

Here is the week #15 Image Prompt.

lost-places-3035877_1920

FREE Image by Peter H from Pixabay

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 #14 Entry Part 9) by Michele Jones @chelepie #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 9)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #14. Today I’m featuring a contribution from Michele Jones.
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.

concert-2566002_1280

This Contribution by Michele Jones.

Linda walked into the local store—to chat with Carrie and confirm plans for later.

“Hey Carrie, still done at five? Dinner and shopping remember?”

“Yes, I’ll be ready to go at five.”

“Great.” Linda walked to the chip aisle. After staring at the shelves, she decided on Red Hot Chips. On the way to the counter, she grabbed a bottle of water and a sour cream doughnut.

She was third in line, behind an elderly man and a hot looking guy. The elderly man didn’t have enough cash and was trying to decide what to put back. He looked as though he needed what he had, she had to help.

“Look mister, you have to put something back. I can’t wait all day. If you knew you didn’t have the money, you shouldn’t have grabbed so much stuff.” She crossed her arms. “Well…”

Linda couldn’t believe how she treated that man. Cassie would never behave like that. What a jerk. She stepped in front of the hot guy and asked, “How much does he need?”

“He’s two dollars and sixty-five cents short.”

Linda threw a five on the counter. “Here. Keep the change in case anyone else needs it.” Unbelievable. She placed her items on the counter and headed for the door.

The old man stopped her. “Thank you.”

“I’m sorry she behaved like that. I’ve had that happen to me too, and there’s no call for that.”

A tear formed in the corner of his eye. He thanked her again and left the store with his small bag of groceries.

Before Linda got out the door Carrie came running up. “I saw what happened. Val was out of line. I’ll make sure our boss knows what happened. See you at five.”

Linda looked over her shoulder and saw the people around the cash register, especially the hot guy. Oh well, she’d probably never see him again anyway. No need to worry about what he thought.

Linda pulled in a few minutes early. Only a couple more minutes and Cassie would be done. She looked at her watch as Cassie ran out the door.

“Change of plans. We’re going to the 315 Ocean’s concert.”

“Seriously. Don’t mess with me. You know I tried to get tickets and they were sold out.”

“Well, we’re going.” She waved the tickets. “Now drive. Oh, I also have a parking pass. We got primo parking too.”

“How—”

“Don’t worry about it, just drive.”

Linda smiled and floored it. They got to the arena and parked. Primo parking for sure. Once inside the ticket taker showed them to a private suite.

“A private suite? How did you get these tickets?”

“Oh, I forgot to tell you, we got backstage passes too.”

“Cassie—”

“Just enjoy the concert.”

The concert had everyone on their feet. Ray McQuaid, the lead singer, really put on a show. Once he started singing Home Sweet Home the crowd went wild. The only thing that would make this concert any better would be performing her favorite song, My Demons.

Ray raised the mic after finishing and took a bow. Wow, he was hot.

“I’d like to acknowledge a special person. Someone that took the time to help a man in need. Linda Kiner.”

Linda’s mouth dropped. “Is he talking about me?”

“Yep.”

“But how?”

“He was the hot guy in line behind the man you gave the money to.”

“That’s—”

“He asked me about you after you left, and I told him about you. He left and came back with the tickets, and passes. You really made an impression on him.”

She couldn’t believe it. An impression. On Ray McQuaid. She didn’t even know it was him. Wow. Today was her lucky day. One small act of kindness. This is something she wouldn’t forget.

A familiar chord. Her favorite song, My Demons. He played her favorite song. After he finished, he thrust him arm in the air. Bowed and left the stage. And she had backstage passes. Her lucky day indeed.

***

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)

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 #14 Entry Part 8) by Joan Hall @JoanHallWrites #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 8)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #14.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Joan Hall.

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.

concert-2566002_1280

This Contribution from  Joan Hall:

Dylan walked onto the darkened stage. As the lights came up and a machine began emitting fog, thousands of fans started to scream. He was in his element. He’d dreamed of this life since he was four years old when his parents gave him a karaoke machine for Christmas.

He took the microphone as the band began to play. This was the final stop on his Unwind Tour, so named for his latest album. All in all, it had been a success. Sold out crowds every night. Standing ovations. The album was his biggest one to date, having sold over a million copies. What more could a rock star wish for?

Peace. Quiet. Relaxation.

No time for that in his world.

But I’m tired. Tired of touring. Tired of the screaming fans. Tired of… this lifestyle.

Dylan finished the concert. Went backstage with his band members. A month off. No touring. No rehearsing. No sessions in the recording studio. Everyone talked of their vacation plans. The drummer had booked a trip to Tahiti. The lead guitarist planned a vacation in Europe with his family. The bass player, Dave, was catching the next flight to the Virgin Islands.

Nice but he had no interest in visiting any of those places.

“What about you, Dylan? Going anywhere special?” The keyboardist asked.

He shrugged. “Not sure.”

“Are you kidding?” Dave said. “He’ll hole up in the studio or at his house writing music. We’d better enjoy the next few weeks. It’ll be a while before we get any time off again.

Had he become so predictable? Dylan had heard of workaholics. People who slaved their lives away while climbing to the top of the corporate ladder. Never having time for anyone or anything else.

Was his life as bad? Dave’s words had touched a nerve. He had planned to spend his time off writing new songs.

You need to unwind. You’re on a fast track to burnout.

But where would he go? Exotic locations held no appeal for him. But there was one place…

There he would find peace and quiet. He could relax.

“Dylan? You never told us what you planned to do,” Dave said.

“Going to a place where I can unwind. I’m going home.”

~~~~

Joan Hall can be reached here …

BookBub Author Page

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Author Page

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

Facebook Page

 

I may be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by! I’ll be sharing each contribution as I receive it. I look forward to seeing your comments.

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #14 Entries Part 7) by Mae Clair @MaeClair1 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 7)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #12.

Today I’m featuring the 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.

concert-2566002_1280

Flashback

By

Mae Clair

Clay Rocket downed a double shot of Scotch. Stupid name, Rocket.

He remembered when he’d been Clay Clodfelter, but Clodfelter had no star power. His managers had stripped him of his Pennsylvania Dutch surname, packaging music with his looks and a shiny stage name when he was only twenty-three. He thought he’d landed in Utopia, long days of plowing fields in Adamsville behind him.

His parents had fretted over his contract, but Mary couldn’t have been more excited. She’d baked him a cake, a simple confection of airy white layers with peppermint icing. They’d toasted with champagne and talked about their future long into the night. He’d wanted to make it permanent, proposing marriage despite the lack of a ring, but she’d insisted he establish himself.

His gut twisted.

He guzzled another shot, the alcohol burning his throat, pumping his courage. Even after thirty-four years, he knew her number. Couldn’t forget the familiar seven digits etched in his memory, though they hadn’t spoken since his screw-up at The Plaza.

He picked up the phone, fingers like ice. Huffing out a breath, he paced to the wall of windows overlooking New York City’s skyline. The sleek lines of his penthouse gleamed in the night-blackened glass, overlayed by strings of lights from towering hotels and bridges ablaze with traffic. Before he could lose his nerve, he punched out Mary’s number.

“Hello?” The voice on the line was young, childish.

“Uh…” His tongue felt thick. “Is Mary there?”

“Grandma.” The boy gave no warning, just left Clay hanging while he shouted into the background.

A shuffle of footsteps.

“Hello.” Her voice.

He struggled to swallow the char in his throat. “Mary?”

“Who is this?”

“I…it’s…” He lost the power of speech, forced his cumbersome tongue to move. “It’s Clay.”

“Clay?”

“Clay Clodfelter.”

“You mean Clay Rocket.”

He sank into a chair. “How are you?”

He wondered what she looked like now. If her hair was still glossy and dark, her figure trim, eyes like shaded pools at twilight.

“Why are you calling me?” Her voice was cool, not frost or ice, but frigid enough to take him down a peg. “Now, after all this time.”

He swallowed, wished he had another Scotch. “Do you know what day it is?”

Silence.

“Mary?”

“I have no clue.”

Was she lying? “It’s the anniversary of the day we met. All those years ago. You were carrying a basket of peaches from the general store. I tripped and sent them tumbling.”

He expected her to laugh at the memory. Him fumbling and apologetic, her forgiving and accommodating. Such innocence before the world grew jaded.

“I’d forgotten.” No change in her tone.

He inhaled through his nose. Knew he was getting nowhere. “That girl at the Plaza…she meant nothing.”

“And you don’t see how that made it worse?” A long pause. “Your first major concert. First success, and you abandoned me.”

His gut tightened. He’d been such an ass. “I’m sorry.”

A burst of static came over the line. He imagined her shifting, pacing as she digested his decades-too-late apology.

“I could never hold a candle to the girls who tempted your fidelity.” Her voice was thready. “You proved that as soon as you had success. It’s why I left.”

He considered the empty glass in his hand, the crystal as barren as his heart. He needed something to fill it. Ease the sting, if even only temporarily. “Are you married?”

“Happily.” Warmth now. “I have three children and seven grandchildren. My husband and I are nearing our twenty-eighth wedding anniversary.”

All the things she couldn’t have with him.

He glanced to the framed photographs on the wall. Image after image of his successes on the stage, hand thrust in the air, microphone high, fans clamoring to embrace their idol.

“I’m happy for you.” He didn’t know what else to say. When she didn’t answer he cleared his throat, apologized for disrupting her evening, then made noise about needing to call his manager. Mary bade him well before leaving him listening to a dial tone.

He’d always thought happiness came with fame, but he’d left any chance behind with his one-night stand at The Plaza hotel all those years ago. Strange, how it had taken him decades to realize what he’d lost.

Clay slumped onto the couch. He poured himself another Scotch and toasted his success.

Tomorrow, when he wasn’t drunk, maybe he’d mean it.

***

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. I’ll be featuring other posts as they are received.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #14 Entries Part 2) By Harmony Kent @harmony-kent #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 2)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #14.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 2)  by Harmony Kent.

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.

concert-2566002_1280

Alienated

 

John wanted success. Acceptance.

But he’d woken with a headache and mental block.

Now everyone sat laughing at him, and not because of his wit. He was the joke.

Trying to bury the sudden stage fright that had him standing there mute as a mushroom, he picked on the weird skinny guy at the back.

Big mistake.

John’s headache intensified. Smoke and fiery light swirled beneath crushing downward pressure.

A UFO dropped from the sky. In a voice not his own, John cried, ‘Humans, bow to your masters!’

Suddenly, he realised last night had been no dream. He’d been alienated.

 

 

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. I’ll be posting further entries as they are received.

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #14 Entries Part 1) John Howell @HowellWave and Suzanne Burke @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 #14.

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.

concert-2566002_1280

Entry 1) This one-line contribution by John Howell.

“Okay cue the volcano, comet, black hole, the hydrogen bomb, and ignite in four….”

John Howell can be reached here …

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

 Twitter:

Author Blog Fiction Favorites:

***

Entry 2) My Own Contribution.

concert-2566002_1280

Appearances.

By

Suzanne Burke

“Do we have everything we need?”

“I’m certain of it. But you do understand that there’s no going back if we do this?”

“I understand completely. Just do it. It’s time.”

***

L.A.P.D headquarters. October 7th.

The man walked in and greeted the familiar desk sergeant with a smile. “Hey, Marty. How you doin’?”

Marty stood and extended his hand, “How the hell are you, lieutenant?”

“It been a while now since I’ve been a lieutenant, buddy.”

“So, what brings you down here?”

“I need to see Captain Farmer about a client of mine. Can do?”

“I’ll give him a call.”

***

Fifteen minutes later Tommy Leonetti was ushered into his old boss’s office.

Greetings were exchanged and the captain arranged for coffee. He sat and nodded toward his friend. “So, who’s the client, and what are you concerned about?”

“Tiffany Ames. I’ve been her personal bodyguard for over a year now. She’s missed three interviews this week, and I can’t raise her on her cell phone. I can’t contact her husband either. His P.A says he’s gone to his New York studios to begin work on his next album. He left late Friday night.”

“She seems way too classy to be married to that ego-driven superstar Kennedy Ames. So, how long since anyone has seen her?”

“I showed her up to their city penthouse at around 8.30 p.m. Friday. I arrived at 8.00 a.m. the next morning. The security desk advised me that they’d been told by her husband that Tiffany had a bad migraine and wouldn’t be going out for a few days. So, I headed home and waited for a phone call. It didn’t come. I started checking around. Old habits die hard.” He laughed.

“The migraine thing, was it a common occurrence?”

“First I’d heard of it. Nobody at the apartment complex has seen her since Friday night. That’s going on four days now. There’s no CCTV footage showing her exiting the building after I dropped her home.”

“Funny how CCTV footage can magically disappear if you got enough money.”

“My gut instincts are screaming on this one, buddy. It feels bad. I need you guys to take a damned good look at that penthouse.”

“If I can’t reach the husband, I’ll need a warrant. I’ll get on that now. I miss those damned instincts of yours.”

***

Penthouse Apartment:

Captain Harvey Farmer knocked hard on the door and waited. He turned to the head of building security. “You have the warrant. Unlock the door.”

The team spread out.

Captain Farmer sniffed at the air. “This room stinks of bleach.”

He stood back and slowly surveyed the room. Everything matched, all the colors were either soft greens or blues. The red rug in front of the coffee table looked out of place. He lifted one corner of it with gloved hands, the stench of bleach flooded his nostrils. “I need samples bagged and tagged. Someone’s attempted to clean the scene.” He reached down with the tweezers. The corner of the coffee table had blood and strands of blonde hair clinging to it. “No prizes for guessing whose DNA is gonna be all over this.  I want this scene nailed tight. This gets out, we’ll have paparazzi coming at us like sharks in a feeding frenzy.”

***

Eight Days Later:

Tommy Leonetti sat nursing a whiskey and flicked on the television.  The breaking news caught his attention. The CNN reporter failed to hide her excitement.

“In a shocking twist to the recent disappearance of Tiffany Ames, the following images are now flooding social media. Viewer discretion is advised. These images may be confronting.”

The screen filled with photographs of Tiffany Ames all of them showing clear evidence of a severe beating.

“Images of other females in the same condition have also been leaked. We have unconfirmed reports that Rock Superstar Kennedy Ames has been taken in for questioning in relation to his wife’s disappearance, and for the alleged violence perpetrated on several other women who have now come forward. More news as it comes to hand.”

Tommy reached for his phone and punched in the number.

***

One year later:

The long court case ended. Kennedy Ames was charged with aggravated assault against seven women. He was sentenced to ten years. In the absence of Tiffany Ames’s body, the jury had no choice but to hand down the not guilty verdict on the suspected homicide.

He’d do hard time in prison. His fellow inmates would make sure of it. His reputation was in tatters and his career was over.

***

Tommy Leonetti climbed from the seaplane and walked to the edge of the lake.

He heard her singing as she dangled her feet in the water.

“It’s been a very long year, my darling.”

Tiffany Ames stood and ran into his arms. “We did it, Tommy! Oh, God, we did it. He’s ruined!”

“Can we lay your kid foster sister to rest now?”

“Finally. Every woman that monster ever mistreated will sleep better now. I know I will … but later.” She kissed him. “Much later.”

***

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.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

 

 

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week#14 NEW Image Prompt. Join in the fun! @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!”  Week #14 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,  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.

UPDATE: The response to the prompts has been just wonderful. As a result, I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here AS I RECEIVE THEM. Rather than posting all of them only over a few days.  Thanks to everyone for the amazing support.

Here is the week #14 Image Prompt.

concert-2566002_1280
FREE Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

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.