Friday Fictioneers for May 13th, 2022

Today is Friday Fictioneers’ photo prompt release day, posted two days prior to Friday the thirteenth, an inauspicious Gregorian calendar arrangement in the superstitious minds of many.

Central to Mistress Rochelle’s well-chosen pic from the artistic eye of our friend to the north, Dale Rogerson, is a red rose. “O my Luve’s like a red, red rose/That’s newly sprung in” May; is partly from the famous Robert Burns poem.

What can one do with the flower of love on the most traditional day of western bad luck? My go is below Dale’s photo. My gratitude to both wonderful, bonnie lasses for giving direction to this week’s micro-fiction collection.

Click on Dale’s red rose for a ride over to Rochelle’s rockin’ blog for how it’s done.

Genre: Padded Journalism
Title: Guns and Roses
Word Count: 100

The blonde was his beauty. He was her beloved beast. They struck out for freedom armed with guns and motivated by love.

“We’ll never blend in, Casey. You’re too tall.”

“Vicky, look! It’s them laws. Let’s die like Bonnie and Clyde. We’ll be famous.”

“But dead as hell. Drive fast, Babe. If they get close, they’ll flip us.”

There was a loud bump. Casey’s driving skills failed to keep them from the grassy Indiana ditch.

Her last words were, “I love you, Babe. See you in hell. They could have at least waited until Friday.”

A gunshot, then cops everywhere.


Look both ways when on the run in the Alabama sun.
Mind the gaps and ditches.
Keep in mind that at six-foot-nine, you’re not that hard to find.

Click on Casey & Vicky for your risk free ride to more marvelous stories.

Friday Fictioneers for May 6th, 2022

Na’ama Yehuda’s lovely flower garden picture posted by the incomparable Rochelle, mistress of pools of water and writers was both inspirational and challenging. A rose by any other name is a tulip, even on Friday Fictioneers, right?

 

Click on the flowers to get more info from Rochelle’s. The PHOTO PROMPT by © Na’ama Yehuda.

Genre: Murderous Fiction
Title: I never promised you a
rose tulip garden
Words: 100

We were so much in love, hotly in lust, blindly infatuated—the perfect couple. I decided I could trust him with my biggest secrets. We just clicked.

“Hey Babe, I need to tell you one more thing.”

“Oh, Sweetheart, you can tell me anything. Without trust, there’s no us.”

“I worked as a hooker when I lived in Reno.”

“Okay, Love…that’s over now.”

“I also shot a man there just to watch him die.

“You did what? You’re a murderer? We need to get that mess cleaned up.”

“I’ll be packing tonight. Don’t worry about me leaving. I’m already gone.”


Look both ways to see that no one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes, we can only be who we are. Mind those gaps so you don’t forget that your truth may be none of my business.

***

My story was musically inspired by: (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden by Lynn Anderson, Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash, and Already Gone (also maybe the line, And there’s some rumors going round, someone’s underground from Witchy Woman) by Eagles (sic).

Click on the flower gun to link up with more marvelous stories by the Friday Fibbers cast.

Monday’s Rune: Sudden Snake Story


Watch My Step

On a recent sunny Spring morning I walked comfortably along the yellowish-brown path of a meadow trail. I thought I saw a snake stretched calmly across my path. The trail ground cover and snake were much the same texture and color. I removed my sunglasses, moved closer, and looked directly at whatever it was.

Sure enough, a three-to-four-foot-long Texas rattlesnake, one of our ten species, was calmly holding its head up and making eye contact. It was not coiled-up or making threatening rattle noises. I noticed its tongue sensing the air. Otherwise, it was motionless.

I decided the snake was probably a female, not that I could tell. I’ve always had better luck with female mammals, why not reptiles? It’s difficult to determine a snake’s sex unless you are an expert, a snake, or have a sexing kit. They cost about $70, if you have a need to know and are willing to get more up close and personal with snakes than most folks are, be my guest. That optimistic conclusion helped to keep me calm.

However, I was shocked when the snake spoke to me. She said, “Please, don’t make me move. It’s early and I’m still cold.”

I stepped back and looked around. I tried to speak but I only stammered stupid nothings. I wasn’t afraid and thought it might be a trick. Imagine speaking to any animal. My skepticism must have showed.

“Oh, please,” she hissed, “everyone knows snakes talk. The Bible? Eve? Don’t make me do that bite thing. Humans taste like soap. We don’t like doing that.”

No way! A talking snake. Unbelievable (except biblically).

I hoped no one would hear me, “So, what is your name? What should I call you?

She seemed to smile, “Call me Metaphor. We don’t use names. But, since I’m blocking your progress for a while, it’s apropos, don’t you think? What is your name?”

Holy shit. A philosophical, talking rattlesnake.

“I’m Bill. Do you want me to leave?”

She answered, “Not really. If you’re uncomfortable, walk around me and get on with your life. I’ll do the same. If someone else comes by, it may not go this well. But if you have a few minutes, let’s talk. Think of it as a game.”

Good grief. A fucking philosophical, bible-wise, talking lady-snake who wants to play mind games with me.

She seemed to like me. Other than Eve, who has ever encountered a talking animal? Ok, maybe the fish in that Hemmingway book. Wait. No, never mind. Now that I think about it, talking animals are everywhere in literature, TV, and movies. I couldn’t just up and leave without regrets.

She asked, “Which do you fear more, other humans, aggressively growling dogs, or snakes?”

I admitted it. Snakes scare me. “No dog has bitten me since childhood. People seem safe enough.”

“Why is that?” she asked, “Have you ever been harmed by a snake?”

I could see where her ‘game’ was headed. “I don’t know why. That is how it is with most people. No. I’ve never been harmed by a snake.”

She asked, “Has any human being ever harmed you in any way?”

“Of course.” I said, “Many times. We’re not very kind to each other. Humans have harmed me or threatened to do so.”

Then she asked, “Of the three, you fear least your own species even though they are the ones who have harmed you most?”

“That’s true. But most people seem harmless. I feel safe, most of the time.”

“How many people in your life have been killed by dogs?” she asked.

I replied, “Certain breeds and certain dogs can be dangerous. Most animal pets are innocuous, including pet snakes.”

“That’s my point, Bill. Some dogs, people, and snakes are dangerous. But everyone and everything is not out to get you. I can tell you are not worried about me, nor need I be concerned about you. It’s called discernment. You do that with people and dogs. Try it with snakes. Now we both better get going before someone comes. I enjoyed our little game. Goodbye, Bill.”

We maintained eye contact as I walked around her, getting no closer than she was long. I turned and walked away. It’s always best to let nature, dogs, snakes, and other people do the talking. When I listen, I learn.


Look both ways crossing meadows and encountering other beings in life.
Mind the gaps and learn your lessons well.

Friday Fictioneers for April 29th, 2022

Yesterday, Fictioneers Mistress Rochelle dealt us an urban photo by Ted Strutz from which we were prompted to contrive, via inspiration, a micro-fiction story. May my tardiness be forgiven. Three more NaPoWriMo poems and my life returns to whatever my normal may be.

Click on the prompt picture to be hustled over to her purple majesty’s page for the plan.

Genre: urban fiction
Title: Tony Loves Rosie
Word count: 100

The slow walking old man stopped. He remembered this corner with ambivalence, but that day with dread.

The ironic sign was near where he’d shot and killed Ted Coffey during the gang rumble. Hearing the Third Avenue elevated pass brought a tear. The bike lay were he almost bled to death. Behind him the spot where Rosie died. Then, her loud voice.

“Tony fucking Del Toro. Is that you? Remember me? It’s Rosie Reyes. I heard you died in Viet Nam. Marines, right? Hey, let’s get a cup a joe and talk old times. Good memories.”

Seeing her changed everything.


Look both ways, even on one-way streets.
Mind the gaps hidden in the crevasses of your mind.

Click on the movie scene to read more stories inspired by the prompt.

Friday Fictioneers for April 15th 2022

Once again, the lovely Rochelle, Maven of artistic fact and fiction, and Dale, ingenious photographer to the ethereal and adroit crafter of masterful tales, have conspired to extract mid-April narratives from the noggins and minds of Friday Fictioneer followers.

My song-related reportage maxed out at the 100-word limit and follows Dale’s visual. Click on the chair to write your story if you dare.

Click on the photo to ride on over to Rochelle’s page to read all about it.

Genre: Senior Gonzo Fiction
Title: Concealed Carry
Word Count: 100

***

We limped in. Kris needed his cane. The music sucked, but our old table was available. We sat and waited.

A young man approached.

He said, “You need to leave. We don’t want your kind in here. Now get out.”

I glared at him for a minute. “Two waters, coffee with cream, and menus, please.” His anger was visible as he moved closer. Kris placed his pistol on the table.

“Listen motherfucker, I’m Bobby McGee. We’ve nothing left to lose. You do. Repeat the order, fetch it with a smile or say ‘goodbye.’ We ain’t leaving alive. We’ll await Janis.”


Look both ways but remember the seventies if you can.
Mind the gaps for Glocks and dead grumpy waiters.

Give a Glock Click HERE to find more great stories. And for your happy entertainment, four of the finest good ol’ boys.

Friday Fictioneers for April 8th, 2022

Today the ever lovely and charming Mistress of Mystery and lover of history and animals, Madam Rochelle, teamed up with David Stewart to serve up a delicious challenge which she prompted from her recliner throne surrounded by things important to her.

My 100-story follows the prompt photo. Is yours here?

 

click on red land line (or anywhere) in the PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart to go check out Rochelle’s blog for the latest menu.

Genre: Breakfast Fiction
Title: I Got You, Babe
Word Count: 100

They had told me there was another man. She’d soon be leaving me. I’d catch them in the act and kill them, then myself.

I parked a block away, planning to catch them having breakfast. I cautiously entered Big Al’s Restaurant. I saw two meals without coffee. Did she give it up for him? Probably a Mormon.

Her voice, “Hi Babe. Eggs sunny side up, right? Just like you, bright and sunny. I had to get our coffee. Did you drop the kids off? I’m working on that writing prompt you told me about.”

I decided to delay my plan.


Look both ways for drama in your life.
Mind the gaps for reasons to commit fictional crimes
if you are indeed a writer of such.

Click on the wayward children to read other flash stories.

Friday Fictioneers for April 1st, 2022

Sheriff of the Friday Fictioneer’s photo-prompted story telling tribe, the legendary Mistress Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, dons her purple Converse All Stars, the color of the brave, and leads her army of writing spirits into another battle with our hidden, internal creative imaginations in the face narrative challenges armed with only one hundred words. Today she teams with a Roger Bulot prompt photo of an urban scene for us to draw our pens and to drum on our keyboards as we begin our final March march of extraordinaire flash fictioneering into April.

Click on the PHOTO PROMPT by © Roger Bultot to taxi on over to Rochelle’s fabulous footwear and curly hair care blog to get the straight skinny on how to join up with these crazy cats.

Genre: Funny Fiction
Title: A Big Lie
Word Count: 100

***

“Gregor, why dem kicks up dare?”

“Dem’s cuz last night was second new years eve, Julie. Ya makes a wish and trows up yer J-jays”

“Second new years? Never heard ‘bout dat. Today is second new years day?”

“Oui, bae. Today use’ta was new years till dey changed calendars, yers to myin.”

“We had our own calendars? Cool! Ima gunna trow deez old sneaks up for good luck.”

“Dems yer all-stars, Jules.”

Barefoot Julie hung her shoes, first try. “Now, we have lots-a luck. Happy new years.”

“Yeppers, bae. Same. Taday also been April fool’s day fer near five-hundred years.”


Look both ways and practice wise skepticism this Friday.
Mind the gaps for a joke or a hoax.

Click on the Cabernet Sauvignon infused Jordan to read other fine fiction.

Gloss: (if you need it) April Fools’ Day goes back to 1582. France switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, ala the Council of Trent in 1563. People slow to get the news or failed to start a new year on 1 January and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes. Pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as poisson d’avril (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily hooked fish and a gullible person.

Friday Fictioneers for March 25th, 2022

Our Friday Fictioneers Mistress Rochelle has conjured up an inspirational prompt photo of her own, which sent my muse back to the beginning of it all. My story follows Rochelle’s picture.

Click on the photo prompt (© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields) for a magic carpet ride to Rochelle’s purple palace.

 


Genre: Travel Fiction
Title: You Again?
Word Count: 100

***

I saw the snake, backed away, and warned Sarff.

“Is it poisonous?” she asked.

“I don’t know.”

A feminine voice said, “I’m not poisonous.”

Sarff said, “A talking snake. How cool. What’s your name?”

“I’m Petra. You’ll be okay. Just watch your step.”

I said, “Snakes can’t talk. It’s a trick.”

“You’re such a skeptic, Ormr. Read the Bible,” said Sarff.

Petra said, “The pomegranates at the top of the hill are yummy this time of year.”

As we climbed up. Sarff said, “Thanks. I love pomegranates.”

I said, “It’s forbidden to eat the fruit here.” They laughed at me.


Look both ways when reading fact or fiction.
Mind the gaps for hidden serpents.

Click on the pomegranate bush to read more inspired stories.

Sammi’s Weekender #253 (catacomb)

Click on the graphic to open Sammi’s blog for more 77-word responses to this prompt.

 


The Instinct of Art

We get no credit for living. No prestige for breathing in the good air, for eating, consuming; then exhaling poison, crapping disease, passing noxious gases, piling up trash: our environmental sins.

We’ll die. We all do. We know it’s coming. A zero-sum life is waste making waste. But art lives on. Art has soul. Bodies rot in catacombs, but our souls and spirits travel the Earth, through time and space, into the Universe, beholding life through art.


Look both ways daily as you live your story.
Real life falls into the gaps between our living selves and our eternal art.

Sheri’s Alliterative Challenge

Author Sheri J. Kennedy is hosting a writing challenge she calls “Alliterative Literature Plotted Prose and Poetry Challenge.” I call it alliteration on a double dose of steroids. She is taking submissions through April 10th, 2022.

If you would like to test your skills click here or use the link below for Sheri’s blog (Reality With a Twist) with the composition rules, submission instructions, and Sheri’s example.

My entry is posted below. While challenging my story telling ability, my vocabulary, and my overall mental acuity, I found writing this to be fun and educational. You have about three weeks, so why not give it a try?


Benevolent Bedlam

Bronco buster, Bret Butler and his beautiful brunette bride, bonnie Bamby Buttercup, bebopped into the Bohica Brothers Barrelhouse and Brewpub brandishing boo-coo bucks to buy beer, bratwurst, and beans.

They bantered with the blond bimbo barmaid Brenda Bobbitt before her bashful barback boyfriend, Buck Bukowski (brilliant but a bit of a boor), butted-in with bragging babble about Bret’s bright blondish brew. Bebop blared on the boom box.

Bamby bought brandy but Bret brabbled and briskly begged Brenda to bring boosted bitters of basic brown or beclouded brews for his blooming belly, blessedly beseeching her to bear with him and bide his bleak befuddlement. Bret could be a bit of a bullheaded brute.

Brenda beamed back at Bret’s bargaining blast and brought him bottles of black booze. Bret belted back the boss beer. Buck begot barley-broo from behind the billet. Before bada-bing bested bada-boom, the blasted boys were buzzed and boasting bushels of blarney.

Bamby briskly beseeched her bae to bring back a brindled bundle from the boot of the Buick. Bret brought her brand-new babushka, beholding his brazen brilliance. Then all blazes broke out blunting the barroom bliss.

Buck boasted about Bamby’s bodacious breasts baffling a befuddled Bret and betraying Brenda. Briefly, Bret was bar borne and bounced bedeviled upon Buck and began bashing and beating his brains while bumping Brenda’s bodice. Beaten Buck became befogged by Bret’s bustling brawl and bummer blowout. Bret and Buck bled. Before long, the blotto bestial barbarians were befouled and besmeared with blood.

Bret brooded about Bamby’s besmirched beauty and his babe’s big as buckets bosoms. Buck brandished a borrowed Baretta, but Bret bullied him badly by bashing his bean with a board. By and by, Bret’s biscuit was buttered, and Buck’s bacon was baked and boiled. Both bemoaned the bustle as the Beatles blasted Bad Boy in the background.

The boxing bickering buddies became Bamby and Brenda’s bane. Bedimmed and befogged, Brenda bitched and barked barbs about the bamboozled buffoons so their breathless ballyhoo could be belayed. Bamby bargained with the boneheaded, broken, badass boys.

The beginning bourne bombed because the bloke and beau butthead’s blatant boisterousness brought bandy bromides, blank bywords, and behests before breaking off the boxing bout. Bewitched, bombastic, and bedaubed, Bret and Buck broke bottles on bones before breaking up the brouhaha. The brainless bumpkins backed their bodies off, bearing beaming blue blisters.

Now buffoon Bret bowed to benighted Buck. Brandy berated Bret to begone. Betrayed, they booked as Buck breathed, being borderline bitterly batshit and buggered. Brenda beheld Buck as a binger of a bacchanalia. By and by, byes were blabbed and broadcast by all. Brandy and Bret bolted for their bus. Blowsy and bursting, Buck blubbered, babbled, and bawled as Brenda bickered, bayed, and bellowed.

(by Bill Reynolds)


And this is the link to her blog: https://realitywithatwistbooks.wordpress.com/2022/02/25/alliterative-literature-plotted-prose-and-poetry-challenge/

****

A glossary is unnecessary for submission, but since I used some unusual words, I am adding one here.

Glossary: referenced from merriam-webster.com, or as cited

babushka: triangular head covering, scarf
bacchanalia: Roman festival, an orgy.
bae (ˈbā): slang acronym, before anyone else; baby, babe, or sweetheart
bandy: to discuss banteringly
barbed: pointed, biting criticism
barley-broo: whiskey (also, barley-bree)
bedaubed: ornamented with vulgar excess
belayed: stopped, to cancel
benighted: a state of intellectual, moral, or social darkness
bide: to tolerate, withstand
billet: a chunk piece of wood (synonym for bar)
binger: a drunken revel, excessive – compulsive
Bobbitt: alludes to Lorena Bobbitt
bohica: (slang; Google, Wikipedia, urban dictionary; ‘Bend Over, Here It Comes Again’)
boo-coo: much (Google, military slang)
bourne: a goal or destination (synonym – plan)
brabble: squabble
bromides: tiresome person, a bore
brouhaha: uproar, hubbub
Bukowski: alludes to Charles
bywords: epithet (disparaging, abusive word)