Friday Fictioneers: January 14, 2022

Once again, the lovely Mistress of Fiction, Rochelle, has orchestrated the launch of a photo prompt to inspire my story telling muse into a frenzy of guns and guitars, of love recalled, of romantic tension.

Click on the Bradly Harris photo to jet on over to Rochelle’s place for the big picture. My one-hundred-word micro-story, inspired by an old Abba song, follows.

PHOTO PROMPT © Bradley Harris

 


Genre: Literary Fiction
Title: Better Worlds
Word Count: 100

Maria whispered, “Do you remember, Fernando, when we last stood here? That night, long ago; a night of guns and guitars, of dreams and distant drums, of freedom, love, and fear?”

“Oh, Maria. We were so young and full of life. Revolution held many promises for a better world. I deeply miss it all: the guns, cannons, and cries of our love for liberty; for our people. I miss us, then. I want to go back. To that night, to make those feelings forever.”

“No regrets, Fernando. Let’s return to that night.”

Holding hands, they took their final steps back.

 


Look both ways, back to that night.
Seek the love of hopeless romantics, the glamor of disco days,
and never let your memories die.
Mind the gaps while turning pages in the book of life.

***

Click on Che to read more stories from the same picture prompt.

***

 

Enjoy this rendition of ‘Fernando’ by Cher and Andy Garcia from the movie, Mama Mia.

Sammi’s Weekender #243 (temerity)

Click on the graphic to land on Sammi’s blog page.

In First Place

I’ve heard,
hold my beer and watch this.
Said it myself.
Miraculously,
I survived
to tell you
of my teenage temerity,
disregarding risk,
contempt for danger.

Like others, I was certain I’d live
forever.
Also, like survivors,
I now know I will not.

I want to go out in a blaze of glory,
not drenched in tomfoolery. Therefore,
I shall decline all qualifying events
for next year’s Darwin Awards.


Look both ways for the consequences of your own confidence.
Mind the gaps for the parenthetical excuses of fools.

Friday Fictioneers: January 7th, 2022

For the first time in 2022, our dear and lovely lady, the queen of Friday Fictionalism, Mistress Rochelle has joined forces with Brenda Cox to masterfully tempt me into yet another maddening moment of muse-some, mendacious micro-storytelling.

Click on the next photo for a free taxi ride over to Rochelle’s place where you may want to get smart about writing fibs to a photographer’s photo. My sad story follows the prompt pic.

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox (Click it!)

Genre: Gonzo Journalism
Title: Don’t Be Misunderstood
Word Count: 100

Cold and drunk as I might be, I stumbled into the artists den, desperately needing to pee.

Of a painting man I asked, “Where’s the restroom?” my slurred Texas accent sounded like I asked, boom-boom?

With a mean look he yelled at me, “Number ten. Boocoo dinky-dau drunk, american. Take money!”

Through a white curtain, I entered where several young ladies were sitting around laughing and pointing. One demanded money.

I got out my wallet. Then, I heard a loud crack.

Next thing I woke up, dead as you see me now, with wet pants and an empty wallet.


Look both ways in the house of the rising sun.
Mind the gaps, speak clearly, and reconsider the nearest bush.

Click on Jake or Elwood to check out our literary squares gallery and more magnificently moving micro make-believe.

A bonus, if you dare: —

Friday Fictioneers 12 – 01 – 2021

Friday Fictioneers challenges us to write micro-fiction (<101 words) prompted by a photograph supplied by one of our colleagues. It’s all teed up by our friend, extraordinary artist, and fabulous leader, Rochelle. Click the prompt photo to see her blog page with all the skinny. It’s fun.

Today’s picture has a two-level outhouse indicating politicians up top and voters below. I recall seeing this arrangement in a military cartoon with officers on top and enlisted below.

In the Viet Nam War, officers and radiomen were preferred targets of the North Vietnam Army and the Viet Cong, which is why soldiers did not salute officers in the field.

Click on the PHOTO PROMPT by © Lisa Fox for Rochelle’s blog to get all the FF info.

Genre: Military Fiction (War Story)
Word Count: 100
Title: FNG* Down

The new Lieutenant ordered me to be his radio man. Our platoon leader was callow, yet confident and eager. A stickler for rules, he risked soldiers’ lives needlessly. A poor listener with a gung-ho, know-it-all attitude.

He chewed me out in front of my squad and gave me extra guard duty. Bad enough I had to hump the motherfucker’s goddamn radio.

In the jungle one day the lieutenant ordered me to step back, I yelled, “Yes, Sir,” stepped back and saluted him. The crack sound of the AK-47 made me dive for cover.

Our next lieutenant was a big improvement.


Be aware of enemy presence and men with guns.
Mind the gaps, make more friends than enemies, and keep your powder dry.
Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean you’re not being watched.

Click on the soldier to link to the squares, where other stories are being told.

*FNG is military initialism and jargon for fucking new guy.

Tuesday Rune: Health

Nine on Tuesday

It’s nine o’clock on a Tuesday.
The patients just shuffle in
with oxygen tanks and walkers,
some in wheelchairs, hoping
for something better
for medical science
to keep them in one piece
to keep us alive and well.

Now, for some, is the time
of politics over health,
religion over medicine,
conspiracy over science.

I look around
and I say to myself,
man, what are you doing here?

It’s nine in the morning
and I am just one
of these people.
Another old fart
or flatulentess
getting a test to tell us
what we already know.

Some day this shit’s
gunna kill us,
if our own stupidity
and pride
fail to do it first.

It’s a lovely, sunny, cool day
here in Temple, Texas,
for wondering, Bill,
what are we doing here?

So, we sit and wait,
neither early nor late,
to have some clinician guide
say it has not gone away.
“If you stroke out,
give us a call, and
have a nice day.”


Look both ways.
Understand life backward but live it forward for as long as you can.
Mind the gaps for the fountain of youth, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and life everlasting. Amen.

Thursday Rune: “Tom”


We were
crew mates and friends,
Tom and I.
He came from
South Carolina,
via the
University of Hawaiʻi.

Partners.
A team of two.
For a couple of years,
we had laughs.
But it ended.

Lieutenant Tom, an enigma,
half of a nuclear bombing team,
a pot smoker,
beer drinker (me too),
almost certainly
a skeptic.

A kind of Buddhist,
politically left,
a sky diving
motorcyclist, and
the class clown.

We were different.
Tom deeper,
more spiritual,
and funnier.

After the Air Force,
Tom became a teacher,
back in South Carolina,
and a renowned
BASE jumper.

An avocation
that brought
an early end to Tom’s life
at the bottom
of a high SC tower when
his parachute gear
failed.

I’ll not forget.
I wish it had been
different. I’d call him.


Look both ways and remember even brief friendships.
Mind the gaps, they sometimes hold truths.

Sammi’s Weekender #227 (ramshackle)

Click on this graphic for Sammi’s blog.

 


Revelation of Genesis

Deserted, dangerous
Ramshackle houses
Former family homes, once
Functional buildings,
Businesses, barns, refuge
From the hot Texas sun
Or driving storms of
Wind and rain.

Suppertimes, nights of dreams,
Homework, plans to plow
Cotton-farm acres.

Now it’s all abandoned, forgotten,
Seen but unnoticed or ignored
Peppered along the otherwise
Scenic road drives on, once dirt,
Now blacktop paved roads
Memories forgotten or
Buried in nearby family
Cemeteries. Unwanted,
Unloved by ungrateful
Outsiders who see
Only haunted eyesores, sadness.

A mess to be cleaned up
By the next generation.
Past lives carried into the
Graveyards of the forgotten.


Look both ways and wonder.
Who were they? What were they like? Where are they now?
Pay attention to the message and mind the gaps.

Poetry: Sammi’s Weekender #220 (oasis)

Click graphic for Sammi’s Blog

 


Sanctum or Asylum?

Refuge comes
at great cost.
This oasis shades no reality.
Sanctuary offers
only twisted truth.
Each prison is of my making.
I must move on.
I’ll never be free
of my past.
Change
or paranoia will hand me
fearful death.


Look both ways for any port in a storm
but learn to dance in the rain.
Mind the gaps as you seek the road less traveled.

Sammi’s Weekender #219 (vivid)

Click on graphic for Sammi’s blog page.

Vivid Memories

That first romantic kiss.
Nights in the wilderness
sitting by a warm campfire.
A mother’s smile, a daughter’s laugh,
the soft whispering voice of a lover.
Our child’s birth, your son’s success.
The smell of a grandmother’s hug.
That first buzz, never found again.
The gift of a young pet. The sadness
and loneliness of a beloved’s death.

Muffled lonely sounds
on cold snowy nights. My first bike.
A thing well done. Disappointment
overcome and rewarded. A road
less travelled. A baby’s accidental
soft touch. Moments in a lifetime.


Look both ways,
to the future for the young,
to the past for the old.
Mind the gaps but live in today with hope and happiness.

Friday Fictioneers 7 – 16 – 21

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Untitled flash fiction for Friday Fictioneers. 100 Words.


We were fifteen and looking for a place to shoot. I carried the pistol.

We walked railroad ties near idle coal mines.

Jimmy saw abandoned warehouses and ran ahead.

I heard him scream. I clicked off the safety and saw two men kicking Jimmy.

I yelled, “Stop!” One guy charged. I shot. I’d dropped the gun when it recoiled.

The other guy charged. I picked it up and shot two more times. He tried to run away. I shot again.

We pushed the bodies down an old coalmine shaft.

Jimmy is gone. I alone know where those assholes are buried.


Look both ways and keep your powder dry.
Mind the gaps between the ties.