Friday Fictioneers for 8/21/2020 (One Last Time)

Many thanks to Rochelle @ Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for pointing me to another photo-inspired Friday Fictioneers. The weekly challenge she presents is to write a story based on the photo prompt, provided today by Ted Strutz.

My task is to write a complete story in 100 words or less.

Photo by Ted Strutz ©

Title: One Last Time
Genre: Fiction (Southern Gothic)
Word count: 100

***

Abject fear hit me when I saw his house, familiar feelings founded on my childhood nightmares with an abusive father and an enabling mother.

I love South Carolina’s low country but have few good memories, a good place with fine people. But not him.

I walked the three steps to front door. A gunshot stunned me. I ducked, looked around, then carefully opened the door.

He put the WWII .45 on the table and said, “Safety’s broke. I ain’t goin’ to no death house.”

“Well, Dad, you cannot live here. And you damn sure ain’t livin’ with me. Now pack!”

***


Look both ways for the life you’ve lived.
Mind the gap like a bad dream.

Click for link.

dVerse prose: A Time

Thanks to Merril (from New Jersey) for hosting this dVerse bar challenge: Prosery Monday: A Time, to which I am responding on Tuesday. Merril says to write prose of less then 145 words in response to this line from the poem “A Time” by Allison Adelle Hodge Coke.

“when it is over said and done

it was a time

and there was never enough of it.”


Genre: flash memoir
Word count: 143
Title: L’esprit de l’escalier

***

Last Fall, I wrote a poem about watching my father drink coffee and smoke when I was a young child. Our father-son relationship improved slightly later in life.

I’d received good reaction to the piece, so I considered its potential for submission. I requested further feedback from a critique group (mostly fiction writers). I was aware of the potential risks, but I wanted to know their thoughts.

One person asked, “I did not understand the last few lines where you said, ‘I figured it out. He did too. In the end, it was just the end.’ Can you explain what you meant?”

Stumped for a good answer, I copped-out with, “He died”—a true but poor response on my part.

Now I could simply say, “When it is over, said, and done, it was a time. And there was never enough of it.”

***

Look both ways for answers.
Mind the gaps in the poetry of others,
it’s where we may find answers.

Poetry: Bless My Nurses


They want my brain snot,
and why not? Rosie Rhona Corona
all around, and my blood, IV
goes in and out, needles
in this arm then that. Ouch!

Pressure checked, too high,
stand up and it’s too low.
Count to bloody fourteen,
“pee or we’ll drill for it”—
to prove I’m a well man.

Testing, testing, testing.
Looking good but bend over
butt rush hose to the glory hole.
They’ll fix me man, if they
don’t kill me first.
More blood? Ouches.


Look both ways.
The well-traveled road is the smoothest.
Mind the gaps or no discharge.

Poetry: Sammi’s Weekender #170 (jostle)

 


Die to Live

Time’s shadow condemns fools
to imprudent neglectful ignorance,
to deep suffering, lost love,
mindless hearts of stone

—pitiful loneliness.
On my knees I cried out.

I was my enemy.

Her hands rose; lightning shocked
me dead. I awoke, jostled to new life.


Look both ways.
Watch yourself and check six.
No fool minds the gap.
Be not the fool.

***

Friday Fictioneers for 8/14/2020 (Downtown Ice Cream)

Many thanks to Rochelle @ Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for guiding us through Friday Fictioneers. The challenge she presents is to write a story based upon a photo prompt, provided today by the same lovely Rochelle herself.

The challenge was to write a complete story (beginning, middle, and end) in 100 words or less.

PHOTO PROMPT -Copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Title: Downtown Ice Cream
Genre: Fiction
Word count: 100

Elizabeth and Jacob—so much in love. Next week, they’d be off to France for their honeymoon.

The dark-skinned man finished his ice cream, wiped his lips on a napkin, then walked to the restroom. Coming out he walked past them and toward the door.

Jacob yelled, “Sir, you forgot your valise.” The man turned to see Jacob grab the case. He yelled, “God no!”

The explosion killed 22 in the store and seriously injured 15 in the street.

The officer dropped the engagement ring into a plastic bag saying, “I hope we don’t find the finger to fit this.”


***

Look both ways for awareness of surroundings.
Mind the gaps in the frozen hearts of terrorists.

***

Click the blue frogs for the link to read other stories offered for today’s challenge.

Click for link.

dVerse Poetry: Quadrille ‘garden’

Many thanks to Victoria Slotto for hosting the dVerse, Poets Pub bar for this prompt. Our play is to write a quadrille (44-word poem) that uses any form of the word garden.


***

Hortus Art

Neither musician nor gardener am I,
yet their music I love. My camera
captures beautiful flowers, botanically
cultured or randomly given by
nature’s pressing flora.

Perceived beauty touches every sense.
In wind, rain, desert’s secret bounty,
all life contributes to more life.

Love it.

***


Look both ways into the magical world of horticulture,
to the earth, air, and sky.
Mind the gaps for contributing animal life.

 

Click here for a link to the links of all the other participants.

Poetry: Sammi’s Weekender #169 (misanthrope)

Click to visit Sammi’s page and see other responses to her prompt.

 


***

Love and hate, two words
once pithy
now made windy by insincerity,
like sorry or mea culpa (my bad)
to keep some false shallow peace.

Apologies mean little as expressing
regret where no fault or damage was done,
ad infinitum. I’m sorry,
but I’m so not sorry.

No, I don’t love that man nor hate that one,
love does not conquer all without wisdom,

or discernment of the scorpion’s sting.
Call me misanthrope if you like,
or cantankerous skeptic.
I like some people, hate others,
present company excepted.

Words with meaning and grace
make life tolerable. Nothing is perfect.

***


Look both ways, into self and judging others.
Mind the gaps of deception.

dVerse Poetry: OLN, “Just Sayin'”

Thanks to Lillian for hosting the bar and suggesting OpenLinksNight for favorite sayings. Mine was by Eric Hoffer, “The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.” My poem gently follows that theme.


What do I want?

What do I want?
And you, the same?

Everlasting life?
Perfect existence?

Is it happiness?
What exactly is that?

Heath and wealth
Both common goals

But is there more?
What is enough?

Love, perhaps, or
in my perfect world?

Let’s compare notes.
You show me yours

And I’ll show you mine,
In the balance it hangs

Every important thing
about life and time.

What do you want?
And, for me, the same?


Look both ways for love and opportunity, but look within for love.
Mind the gaps for unhappy steps.

Friday Fictioneers for 8/07/2020 (Pancho and Cisco)

Many thanks to Rochelle @ Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for again distance-herding us through another Friday Fictioneers. The challenge is to write a story based upon a photo prompt, today by Jennifer Pendergast.

My challenge was to write a complete story (beginning, middle, and end) in 100 words or less. The photo prompt led me to the American West. That triggered an old TV show (western genre). I then found some inspiration in songs by Eric Clapton and Willie Nelson.

I added videos at the end in case you want to see what I’m talking about. The complete TV show is there. It’s too long to watch it all, but the intro is informative.

PHOTO PROMPT – © Jennifer Pendergast

Title: Caballero Revenge
Genre: (Copycat – Hysterical) Fiction
Wordcount: 100

***

Loco was in full gallop when Pancho yelled, “Santa Mierda, Cisco. A coal train. What we gunna do now?”

“Diablo says we jump between the cars. The posse will never catch us.”

“Loco say you both loco. We go around. Ride to the rear.”

“No, Pancho. To the front. We’ll shoot the engineers and take the train.”

“But Cisco, we are the good ones. We don’t kill and steal trains.”

“Ah, but Pancho, we do now since you shot the deputy.”

“Oh, Cisco, I only did that because you shot the sheriff.”

Thusly, the Cisco Kid and Pancho became outlaws.

***


Look both ways, especially if you shoot the sheriff.
Mind the gaps in trains, but ride to the front.

Click blue frogs for link to inlinkz

Poetry: dVerse Poets Pub 8/4/2020 (window)

Today’s dVerse Poet’s Pub prompt for poetics is Looking out the window, provided by Peter Frankis. While the challenge was to take a picture, post it, and write about it. I adjusted time a bit. I used a picture I searched for and found that my wife took of me through a window, 48 years ago. This idea came to me quickly and I could not let it go.


Circa 1972, through front window of house I grew up in.

The Window Behind Me

A window from the parlor to the covered front porch
of my parents’ home, a memory of chewing paint off the sill,
of watching adults sit and talk and wave as neighbors walked by.
For eighteen years, my view of the world outside
where wind blew, rain fell, thunder clapped, people sang,
cars passed and honked. Life beckoned me to the stage,
through that window.

What was I thinking 48 years ago? My young wife and new son
in the window behind me. Our future? Was I talking or listening to
a passerby? Was I thinking of losing that hair as it turned gray?
Four-years military—done! College degree, done! Responsibility
branded me an armed man. Was I up to it? Did I have life,
or had it taken me?

Would the photographer still be my wife after 54 years? Would I have two
more children and would they be in their forties with more kids?
Would I build two careers and retire? Would I write poetry?
I had time. I knew I would live forever. I did not even know what I didn’t know.
Now, I know. Some I wish I didn’t discover. A window from the past
reflecting the future. The present me, right here, right now, today.
I want to say, relax, you’ll be fine.


Look both ways through every window.
Mind the gaps and cracks.