Taking in Nature’s Beauty. #writephoto

Photo credit, Sue Vincent.

“Taking in Nature’s Beauty,”  a short story.

(c) 2018 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

“You have the words to describe it; I struggle with this.  It’s beautiful, though.”  Matt sounded unsure of himself and felt like a heel, remembering she couldn’t describe what she couldn’t see.  Or could she?

They sat on a log, and Pauline felt the breeze change.  Yes, they were in the presence of great beauty.  Only, Pauline could not see it.  Matt didn’t know how to describe it.  She fought against frustration at him, confident she could coax the words out of him.  Asking questions usually got her some clear answers.

“There are mountains,”  Matt began.

“How many Matt?  Two?”

“No, More.”  A man of few words, he was more at home in the world of numbers.

“Are they connected?”

“Yes.  Some of them could be as one, but with more behind them.  The two in fronted are separate, almost as if to let you see the ones beyond them.”

Pauline was forming a picture in her head.  “Is the sun shining at all?”

“Yes, there are a few rays of light, but clouds, too.”

“The sun only shines through in one spot?”

“Oh, no, there are several patches in the clouds letting in light, though they are thick and gray to one side.  It’s lovely.”

“Yes, I felt the clouds, the coolness, coming on.”

“There is a stream, and some trees,” Matt went on.

“What sort of stream?”  she asked.

“Um, just, a stream, no, a lake.”  Matt stopped there.

“Yes, it’s sounds quite lovely.  It feels so lovely,” Pauline mused.  In her head was the most wonderful picture of the scene that she sensed with her being.  It was void of color, for she had never seen color and only imagined it as variations of shading, as on a person’s skin, for she’d had such things described.  Color, to her, was an emotion, such as being on a rollercoaster, tasting a spicy food, or getting a cut on her foot as she had that one time.  It was all so frustrating to her as a child, but she developed an imagination that would fill in the gaps.  When people described beauty, she imagined how it would look, and it pleased her.

“Anything else, Matt?”

“Oh, I don’t know.  It just feels good being here.”  He grabbed her hand.

“Yes, it does.”  She held his hand tighter, needing no more explanation.  They’d gone way ahead of the other members in their group and had a few minutes to sit still and enjoy the scenery, each in their own way.  A hawk flew over, and his call resounded through the valley, carrying another breeze toward them.

~The end~

The #writephoto challenge is a weekly writing challenge based on a new photograph presented at https://scvincent.com and you may visit this week’s challenge at Write Photo Thursday Prompt


Tomboy. #FFfAW #flashfiction


Photo (c) Enisa

Tomboy, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa.  (c) 2018

It was a good memory.  Until it wasn’t anymore.

The sun shone vividly and bounced off of the rocks and the shallow water.  I admired my next door neighbor, Rolan, so much.  He was a little older, but I was a tomboy.  I was like a younger brother.

Yeah, right.

That was the day I became a woman, and there was no hiding it from Rolan.  He seemed disgusted.

“Now we gotta go home!”

“I’m sorry,”  I said.

“You need to quit tryin’ to be something you’re not.  You don’t belong out here with me.  Go to the mall with the other girls.”

On the way back, the tears burned my dirt-streaked face.  I hated that.  I was acting like a girl.  Maybe he was right.  I didn’t belong there.

Needless to say, we were no longer friends.  So I started going to the creek with Henry.  I choose where I belong.

~Approx. 163 words


Visit Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers  for more information about this Flash fiction challenge!

Small Town Vibes . #fridayfictioneers


“So, if the place is decrepit and unsafe, why does Henry still live here?”

“He runs the fuel station beside it.  Sells bait out of this window and sorta stopped keeping the place up when his wife died.”

Bingham squinted.  Too bad Jones would be retiring soon.  Bingham still had a lot to learn.

Just then, Henry opened up his bait window.  “Oh, it’s you guys.”

“Mind if we come in?”  Jones gestured.

Bingham felt nervous. Suddenly, jazz music started playing upstairs.

“Gotta go.”  Bingham slammed the window shut.

“His wife loves jazz.”

“His deceased wife?”


“Loved jazz?”


~100 words

“Small Town Vibes,” (c) Pamela Schloesser Canepa, 2018

*Friday Fictioneers is a once-weekly photo prompt challenge.  Rules include keeping your story within 100 words.  Visit Rochellewisoff.com for more information.  Thank you for reading; comments are welcome and appreciated!


Flawed Magic Men. #FFfAW #amwriting

Flawed Magic Men, (c) 2018 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

When I was little, if you told me Papa could catch the sunlight in his little hands, I’d believe it.

I believed it when he caught a firefly.  I’d never seen one before.  And then, he made the light disappear.  Years later, I figured out why he was tugging at his sleeve.

“All gone!”  He held up his hands.  Nothing.  I thought he was some kind of magician.

Truth be told, he really could make the light disappear.  He said something to make Grandma cry so bad one time.  It was like he sucked the light out of her soul.

Mom just said he had too much to drink.  When I looked at her questioningly, she answered, “Sick juice.”  Those were the words for the drink left on the coffee table that I shouldn’t touch.

Several times, it did make Papa really sick.  I’ll never touch the sick juice.  It seems even magic men have a flaw.  Sick juice was Papa’s Kryptonite.

~162 words

Challenge:  Respond to the photo prompt with a brief flash fiction story of around 100-150 words, give or take 25.  To find out more about Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers and this week’s photo prompt challenge, go to https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/fffaw-challenge-week-of-january-30-2018/

To submit your own response, click the blue InLinkz button at the above site after reading the rules of the challenge.

Living a Loop. #FridayFictioneers #amwriting

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

“Living a Loop,” (c) 2018, Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Looking back, he remembered.  He was six, she was eight.  Of course, she’d be older.  They’d followed each other around, their families silently watching, neither approving nor disapproving.  Everyone needs a friend.

Later, when they met, she was a bracelet laden, long-haired young anthropology major who went by the name of Feather.  He was smitten.

He was also subsequently dumped.  Their relationship was a whirlwind just like the whirly-gig of their youth.

Years later, at 29, he couldn’t believe it was her in that hospital bed, gray-haired and tired.


“Don’t worry.  I’ll be back.”  She smiled.

~96 words

A new photo prompt is posted every Friday at Friday Fictioneers here:  https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/01/17/12-january-2018/   Visit this website to view the requirements for the challenge, such as, keeping your story at 100 words or less.  You can enter the challenge or view other written responses by clicking on the blue InLinkz button.

Happy reading and/or writing!

Ensnared. #FFfAW #amwriting

Photo credit, Fandango.

“Ensnared” by Pamela Schloesser Canepa.  (c) 2018

Oh, the tangled vine 

that ensnares my heart

and keeps me bound to you.

Oh, the centuries of longing

in pain, the fury

I cannot undo.

All of the sadness 

and mystery that

kept me frozen in fear….

Stranger, turn away,

and please don’t ask,

What happened here.

-Victim of a Salem Witch Trial, believed to have turned vines into snakes in grief over her lover dying.  It is said she, and the snakes, then froze on the spot.  The vines are still a horrifying, yet amazing scene.  Town officials dragged her away,  catatonic and motionless, then burned her at the stake.  Townspeople cheered them on, yet there was much talk about whether the punishment was fair, since she didn’t appear to feel any pain.  Her last words spoken have been passed down from generation to generation.

~135 words

*This flash fiction entry was fictional.  Any resemblance to actual people or events is purely coincidental.  The Salem Witch Trials, however, are a historical fact.

Each week, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers presents a new photo prompt for consideration.  You never know what it might bring out!  Find out more about the weekly writing challenge and view other flash fiction offerings at https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2018/01/08/fffaw-challenge-week-of-january-9-2018/  where you can also view the rules for this flash fiction challenge.




Swindled. #FFfAW #amwriting

Photo credit, J.S. Brand

“Swindled.”  By Pamela Schloesser Canepa, (c) 2018

“I’m telling you, he’s got the ring!”  Kaitlynn’s face grew more flushed as she spoke.

“So that’s why you’ve plunged in after him!  Wait, the $500,000 ring from the Count?”

“Yes!  Why else would I be standing here soaked?”

“I hope Vende can’t see you.  He expects you to go back to the yacht, you know.”

Kaitlynn bristled.  “I have no intention.  I’d just hate to lose the product of all my hard work.”

“Yeah, your schmoozing,” Henry laughed, trying to hide his jealousy.  Not only had she been more successful this time, she’d practically given herself to this “Count.”  It seemed both of them may be going a little too far these days.

“Come ‘ere, you bugger!” Kaitlynn went in further, just as the bird flew off.  “Argg! He’s probably got the thing down his digestive tract now!  That arse!”

“Kaitlynn,” Henry breathed deeply.  “I think we should reconsider our goals.”

Wading back, Kaitlynn sighed, partly in agreement, and partly out of frustration.  “Yeah.  Okay.”

**165 words

Want to submit your own flash fiction or read some of the other responses to the photo?  Visit  https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/fffaw-challenge-week-of-january-2-2018/

Guidelines: 1. A prompt photo will be provided each Monday pm to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.     2. Linking for this challenge begins on Monday pm and runs to the following Monday pm.

3. Please credit photo to photographer.

4. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try and stay within this limit.

5. Please indicate the number of words in your story at the end of your story. (It doesn’t count into the amount of words).

6. This is a flash fiction challenge (stories in 100-175 words or less) and each story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Therefore, no serial (continuation) stories. They become too complicated for our readers.

7. Add your story to the InLinkz Link-up (Blue Froggy button). Please let me know if you need link-up instructions.

8. Please keep stories below R rating.

9. Please respect the diversity of our readers and writers in regard to race, religion, and life style choice when writing your stories.

Thank you for reading my Flash fiction response!  Your comments are appreciated!