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.

Friday Fictioneers 11-26-2021

Today we contrive stories from a cityscape photo with a narrow street from Roger Bultot. Rochelle has set it all up on her blog and we post as directed by her wonderfulness.

For Friday Fictioneers we write micro-stories of 100 words or fewer given ideas germinated by a new photo on Wednesday of each week, provided by various participants. You can read the rules over on Rochelle’s blog and join in the fun. Here is the photo and my story for this week.

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

Genre: Ethnic Fiction
Word Count: 100
Title: Crucible Mossad

***

They stopped jogging.

Chava whispered, “It’s the white truck. Remove the gas cap. You won’t see the nano drone. Wait two seconds, replace the cap, and run. I’ll meet you at Freeda’s.”

Tzitta moaned, “You distract the guards. I’ll be gone before they notice. Sexeh outfit, Sista.”

Five minutes later they ducked into Freeda’s Deli. An old man yelled, “Check the ice!”

The crowd went silent as they sat at the bar.

Freeda looked, “Nu?”

Chava nodded.

Then an explosion rocked the building.

Tzitta said, “Oy gevalt!”

Everyone stood, shouting, “Mazel tov.”

Freeda pushed sandwiches toward them, “Ess gezunt, ladies.”

***


Look both ways but take a side.
Mind the gaps, cameras, and guards.
Run like the wind.

Click on Ziva David, former Mossad on NCIS portrayed by Cote de Pablo, to read all the wonderful micro stories written by participants.

Gloss: Nu is a Yiddish expression to ask a simple question instead of using words such as “well” or “so.” Oy gevalt! means oh, violence! It is used to express shock or amazement. Ess gezunt is deli slang for eat in good health. Everybody knows mazel tov, right?

Friday Fictioneers 11 – 19 – 2021

Today, two of my favorite people conspired to inspire Friday Fictioneers. Magnificent Rochelle teamed up with photographer extraordinaire, Dale, to throw us on the old woodpile.

We write micro-stories of 100 words or fewer given ideas mused by a new photo each week, provided by other creative and imaginative compatriots. You can read the rules over on Rochelle’s blog and join in the fun. Here is the photo and my story for this week.

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson. Click it to fly on over to Rochelle’s blog to get all the hot words on how to join up.

Genre: Gonzo journalism
Word Count: 100
Title: Chainsaw Hammer

***

I cut logs all day with my new chainsaw. After dark, I drank a beer in the yard with my new toy. I thought when all you have is a hammer

I heard footsteps, then voices. Two burglars! They jimmied a window. I worried and drank more beer.

I grabbed my chainsaw and jerked the start cord. She sounded off. I gunned her a few times before yelling, “prepare to die, mutherfuckers.”

You never heard such a commotion. Yelling and running for dear life. After they left, I finished my beer and went to the house to change my pants.


Look both ways if you’re gunna burgle in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Mind the gaps where crazy old farts sit drinking beer with their favorite new toy.

Click on Gonzo, The Mordant Scribe to read some other stories from the same picture prompt.

Friday Fictioneers 11 – 12 – 2021

Another Wednesday as marvelous Rochelle inspires us for Friday Fictioneers. We write micro-stories given ideas by a new photo each week, provided by creative and imaginative compatriots. You can read the rules over on Rochelle’s blog and join in the fun. Here is the photo and my story for this week.

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz. Click for trip to Rochelle’s blog.

Genre: Historical Fiction
Word Count: 100
Title: Blind Man’s Bluff*

If Russians discovered us, we’d be captured or killed as spies. The last we saw before submerging to the bottom of the fjord were escarpments and mountains.

Life in a submarine a thousand feet down on the ocean floor is tense with fear and physically miserable. A whisper meant discovery and death. We sat for days entombed in dark silence.

Our air gone foul; our batteries low; we decided to escape. We started. Slowly, we crawled between underwater mountains.

Then, the skipper’s voice, “We’re clear. Surfacing in international waters. Another day at the office for Cold War bubbleheads, eh mates?


Look both ways as you run silent and deep.
Mind the safety of gaps between glacial mountains.
Learn the endurance capabilities of human life.

***

Click on picture of the Spy Submarine (USS Connecticut) to read other stories from the same prompt.

*Title from the Book, Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage, by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew.

 

Friday Fictioneers 11-05-2021

Many thanks to the wonderful Rochelle for herding us cats on Friday Fictioneers. We write micro-stories inspired by a new photo each week, provided by very creative and imaginative compatriots. Here is the photo and my story for this week.

Click on this week’s PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast to link to Rochelle’s Blog.

 


Genre: Fiction
Word count: 100
Title: Krumpas Coop


Excruciating pain shot from my foot to my brain. I yelled, “Those damn Legos are diabolical. That hurt!”

Mary yelled back, “Are Steven and Julie there?”

I said, “I think the Krampas got them. The window is open and no sign of them.”

Mary walked in, “Well Krampas knows how to write.” She handed me the note.

I read aloud, “The ransom is a bag of M&M’s, a gallon of Rocky Road ice cream, and two new ponies.”

As I handed the note back, we heard giggling coming from the attic.

I asked, “Do we negotiate with terrorists or Krampas?”


Look both ways and mind the gaps.
Especially when Legos are involved.

Click on Krumpas to read other stories.

Friday Fictioneers: My Sold Soul

Many thanks to the wonderful Rochelle for herding us cats on Friday Fictioneers. We write micro-stories inspired by a new photo each week, provided by very creative and imaginative compatriots. Here is the photo and my story for this week.

Click on this week’s PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy to link to Rochelle’s Blog.

Genre: Satirical Epistolary Fiction
Wordcount: 100


Dear Mr. Bill,

Back in 1969, you agreed to our soul safekeeping if you got lucky with one Fancy Fox.

Enclosed herewith please find your damned, odoriferous, devil-moth eaten, blackened, rotten soul.

Our Diabolical Board of Demons directed soul safekeeping be returned to original owners since repossession is inevitable.

Due to Texas PowerGrid uncertainties, the ravages of our dark virus experiment, and subsequent chip shortage, we are terminating soul safekeeping, forthwith.

Please store your stinking, grain alcohol-soaked spirit in a warm, damp, moldy place until we confirm by certification your final demise.

Insincerely,

Wormwood Chinaski,
Human Soul Safekeeping Division


Look both ways, keep smiling,
mind the gaps of the damned, and ride the soul train.

Click on Mr. Wormwood to link with all the other stories for this week.

Friday Fictioneers: Let’s Party

Many thanks to the wonderful lady, talented artist and writer, and patient friend Rochelle, for herding us cats on Friday Fictioneers. We write micro-stories (fact or fiction) to a new photo each week, provided by some very creative and imaginative compatriots. Here is my story for this week.

This week’s prompt (PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.) provided, and I bet painted, but Rochelle. Click the image and go to her blog to learn all about it.

 


Happiness Is

The outdoor social party was to welcome new arrivals to the senior center near Seattle. Bill, a newcomer, volunteered to serve special lemon-flavored ice cream.

“This is the best party. Everyone is happy to meet you, Bill,” said Marilyn, the Social Director.

Bill said, “Have some ice cream, Dear, everyone loves it.”

Back at their condo, Yolonda said, “Gawd! I can’t believe you spiked their ice cream. I hope no one finds out.”

Bill removed the bottle of lemon-flavored drops from his pocket. “A little THC never hurt anyone. We’ll need a big bus for next week’s pot shop run.”


Look both ways and share the love.
Mind the gaps and quash old fears.

Click the meme to read all the other stories.

 

Friday Fictioneers: When in Rome…

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox. Click for Rochelle’s blog.

Genre: Micro Memoir
Word Count: 100


We flew to Brussels to visit friends in the municipality of Heist-op-den-Berg, a Belgian, Flemish community of 42,000. Brussels is an international big city to the south. This little area is pure Netherlander (Dutch) in language and a reserved, coldish, culture.

Rudy had said he liked American helpfulness and friendliness (speaking, holding doors, smiling, etc.) when he visited here.

I went for a run through town.

Seeing the surprised looks I got, instead of a wave and “good morning,” I got louder with “Howdy, y’all,” all smiles like I wanted to hug. The natives were plumb shocked. I loved it.


Look both ways trying to understand life, history, language, and culture.
Travel, learn, love, and mind the gaps.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do,
but “to thine own self be true.”

Click on Photo for more FF stories. (Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau left his Belgian counterpart red-faced after he raced straight past his open arms to plant a smooch on the latter’s partner. Trudeau was among the world leaders attending the NATO summit in Belgium. The awkward moment took place as he arrived at a dinner in Brussels.}

 

Friday Fictioneers: Julie’s Gold Mine

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot. Click picture for Rochelle’s blog.

Julie said, “Dad, you don’t understand. You buy used cars. Same thing. It looks like a lot, but you’ll get change.”

I said, “I see. One person’s trash is another’s treasure.”

“Exactly!”

I handed the cashier a twenty. She held out my change, “Would you like to donate to our feed the poor project?”

I said, “Of course,” handing her another five.

When shopping came up at dinner, Steven said, “Secondhand sales and peer-to-peer marketing is a hundred-billion-dollar business. In Austin, the fastest growing retail market is in junk stores. And there’s the rental game.”

“My, how things have changed.”


Look both ways to see that resale and rental retailers are thriving in the pandemic – and not just because brick and mortars were shuttered.
Mind the gaps. They may have fleas.

Click on Julie and Hoss to read other FF stories.

 

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Plan Reveal


A few years ago, I completed writing my fifty-thousand-word memoir during Nano. The unfinished manuscript haunts me. I want to finish it, get feedback, and maybe self-publish.

I also want to put some poetry book pages together, but that may have to wait until later in 2022. Maybe I’ll discuss poetry as I contemplate National Poetry Writing Month (April).

I’ve acquired a training course, and I have other books on writing memoirs. Writers Write suggests doing a few other things, such as completing their 127 free memoir prompts. Flash memoirs. Why not?

For Nano 2021, I intend to write about 400 words for each of the 127 prompts before November 30th. That would be five prompts per day, each about the length of this post, yielding almost 2,000 words daily. I’ll commit to 50,000 words for the month. I shall neither edit nor revise. That’s a Nano no-no.

It’s not as creative and crafty as a novel, but I am not in the novel or novella mood. I want to commit to my memoir by January of 2022. But I also want to do Nano.

Additionally, I’ll post two poems, one essay, and a flash fiction story each week.

My weekends may be busy. Sammi’s prompt requires fewer than 100 words. That is one poem. But I must wait for the prompt which pops up about 3:00 AM (US central time) each Saturday morning. My writer’s group, RRWG, zoom meeting is 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Saturdays. Maybe I’ll write more words on other days to reduce required weekend writing.

I post a 1000-ish-word essay for my Dispassionate Doubt blog each Friday. I’ll get a head start on those before Nano begins. I moved my midweek poem to Thursdays, and I want to continue that. Maybe I can get them drafted, if not written.

Moving my midweek poem is because I plan to continue with Friday Fictioneers (FF) prompts. At 100 words and technically three days to finish posting, writing FF is doable. The reading and commenting on others will take longer. But I can do it.

Many Nano participants work eight or more hours a day, have kids to deal with, and lives with less time available to them than I have. If they can find the time, so can I. We’ll find out.


Look both ways.
The reason to accept a challenge is to meet it.
Mind the gaps for wasted time (Facebook and rabbit holes).
Plan.