Friday Fictioneers. Phone Home!

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

I’d have to get stuck here, wouldn’t I?  All this time travel technology and I end up in a place that has no cell phone towers.  Lost.

This looks like a greasy burger joint, not a place I’d frequent, even forty years ago.

Somehow I have to get some help.  How can I summon Rickman?

Aha!  A pay phone.  We used to use these.  Let’s see.  I lift this up,  Ouch!  That’s loud! Beep. Beep.

“The phone at this location is temporarily out of service,”  a curt voice announces through the speaker.

The cell phone sits in my pocket, useless.

*100 words*

Friday Fictioneers opens on Friday and runs until the next Friday, when the next photo prompt is posted.  Please visit rochellewisoff.com for more Friday Fictioneers responses and info. on how you can submit your own Friday Fictioneers Flash fiction!  https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/07/26/28-july-2017/

 

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. “My Friend.”

Photo credit, (c) Louise at The Story Teller’s Abode

We’d been friends for many years.  That year, our families took a vacation together.  The sights were beautiful.

Michael was not sleeping.  He was constantly on the go.  His dad wouldn’t let him go alone for fear he’d not return, so I tried to keep up with him.  Once, his dad accompanied him, and they’d both come back angry.

I was tired.

It was sunrise.  He grasped my hand and raced us toward the water.  “A boat!  We’ll sail in a boat!”

He looked crestfallen as we saw that the tide was low.  Michael sat in the wet sand.  “I’m sorry.  I think I’m out of control.  I never asked what you want to do.”

I smiled.  “I want to sit still with you, and watch the tide come in.”

“Still my friend?”

“Yes, still friends, Michael.”

He put his arm around me and said, “Thank you for looking out for me.”

I sat pondering, knowing that someday I’d need my space, hoping he’d understand.

~The End~

 

165 words

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. 

You can join the flash fiction fun at flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com

#FFfAW The Search Ends at Daylight

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Finally, June found his car at a building in the Arts district, where warehouses and concrete were peppered here and there with trees.  She had almost given up, when she remembered a party they attended here months ago.

A few cars were parked outside, though no thriving business lived here.  Obviously, there’d been a party, though she no one mentioned it to her.  Apparently, a few people were unfit to drive home.  She shook her head.  Those two were no good for each other.

How could she keep Lori away from Jack?   It seemed near impossible.  They were both driving her mad, when she should be focusing on college applications and admissions essays.  She sighed and opened the door.

People were sprawled around on worn couches and a stale smell of smoke and spilled alcohol permeated the air.  Was that Lori in the back?

“Lori?  Jack?”  She called before thinking.  Of course, they’d be mad she didn’t call them by Mom and Dad.

*163 words.   Flash fiction for aspiring writers presents a new photo prompt weekly for writers to use as inspiration for a flash fiction story between 100-150 words, give or take 25.  It’s fun to see the different perspectives of the same image.  Photo credit must be given to the photographer, who, this week, is Foot and Foodie.  If you want to join up, look for a new prompt on Tuesday, and find the rules and instructions at the site.  Visit this past week’s challenge at:

https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/fffaw-challenge-week-of-june-20-2017/

F is for Flash fiction. #AtoZChallenge #fffaw

FlashFictionApril3to5

Photo credit: Yarnspinnerr

“I shall dominate!  I am King of the Jungle!  Watch me swing fearlessly from branch to branch!”

“Just hurry up, Rory.  It should be my turn now!”

“I feel so free up here!  Look at it, Joe!”

“I am.  Now hurry up, and make sure you don’t land to the left.  Looks like a long drop!”

“I’ll bet you didn’t think my arms could hold out this long.  You’ll never last as long as me.  Did you check your watch?  I’m gonna time you when you get up here.  I’m gonna-”

**Crack**

“Ahhhhh!  Rory!  Help!”

**Crash**

“Ah, man, Joe, you didn’t!”

“Help, Rory!  Get an ambulance!  I think I broke my leg!”

~Pride cometh before the fall.~

Find out about this Flash Fiction challenge at https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/fffaw-challenge-week-of-april-4-2017/     A photo prompt is added every week.  Writers follow certain guidelines: Please include the photo prompt with your story and credit it to the photographer.  The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try and stay within this limit.  Pingback to the challenge post in your story’s post.  Add your link to the InLinks button. See more at the website above!

 

#fridayfictioneers. “On Her Throne, She Waits.”

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Photo credit, (c) Ted Strutz

Ever the skeptic, Billy was only there to prove Roma wrong.

“What drunk left that there,” he’d asked, laughing.

“You haven’t heard the legend of the Lady of Larson’s Lake?”  Roma spoke in a mysterious tone.

“Um, no, but I guess you’ll tell me?”

“She sits there at midnight, waiting for her husband who drowned here when the lake was full and deep.  They say she’s beautiful.”

Billy shivered now, as a woman in a soiled ball gown with shimmering hair down to her mid-back walked out in the ankle-deep water and took her seat at the “throne.”  Waiting.

(c) Pamela Schloesser Canepa, 2017

Friday Fictioneers opens up every Friday with a Photo prompt to which you may write any sort of Fiction response.  It is flash fiction, so your response must be less than 100 words.  Check out other entries and more specifics at https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/02/08/10-february-2017/

#flashfiction FFfAW challenge. “Michael’s Fairies.”

flashfictionfaeiriesphoto-20170130154651135 Photo courtesy of Jessica Haines.

“Michael’s Fairies,”  (c) 2017

by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

“He wouldn’t come away from the puddles,” Ray complained.  “He kept seeing things in the water.  Fairies, unicorns, …”

“Kids and their imaginations,” I shrugged.  How could I explain?   Ray didn’t understand.  Michael saw things, and that was that.  The rain didn’t matter.

“What took you so long with the teacher?”

“Issues.” I shrugged, offering nothing more.  “Thanks for waiting, though.”

Ray dismissed it with a wave.  “Gotta go.”

Despite two years together, I knew he’d never grace my doorway with his presence again.  And did it matter?  He did not make the cut.

I closed the door.

“I’m sorry,” Michael whispered.

“Don’t you ever be sorry for being you, honey,” I said with a smile, because I knew that was all Michael had done.  In a few weeks, I’d find a way to explain Ray’s absence from our lives.

Michael put his arms around my neck, and I returned the hug.

 

***Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers presents a new photo prompt challenge every Tuesday, and the challenge is open until the next Monday at https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/

I encourage you to enter your own, or go to their site and check out some more stories!

*Stories must be 100-150 words.(+-25)

#weekendcoffeeshare Writing Setbacks, a.k.a – No, Reality Won’t Stop Me

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee share, hosted by parttimemonsterblog.com.  If we were having coffee, on this foggy morning of January 21st, we’d sit outdoors, as the Florida sun is just starting to peak through.  Not to mention, it is a pleasant 70 degrees!  This has been quite a week, heck, it has already been quite a month.  There have been way too many challenges and obstacles to overcome.  But I’m doing it.  I am not a quitter, and I don’t say that lightly.

Still, my goals have been affected by setbacks.  My goals are not as clear anymore, either, due to many dramatic events in my family life lately.  I have a full-length manuscript that someone is editing for me, after which I’ll need to make some changes I’d already planned on.  Then, I have two other spin-off ideas, yet, I don’t have the focus to really dive into them right now, as I’m also taking a required online course for work that involves a lot of reading and responding.  It’s just 3 months!  *sigh* At least I have started typing up or writing the general ideas so they won’t be lost forever.  (This used to happen to me before I seriously committed myself to being a writer).

Heh, that sounds cool.  I have committed myself to being a writer!  Hey, guys, I’m a writer!  It was only a dream two years ago!  I had ideas floating around that were lost to the aether because I never wrote them down.  Fortunately, I changed that habit.  I can be glad for that, but still,  I am frustrated lately by the intense details that have dropped into my life since my son had an accident that put him in the hospital for three days.  Now, there is so much paperwork and follow-up.  He is better, though his employment situation changed recently, and that’s another concern.  We will get through this.

If my paragraphs seem to be all over the place, I apologize.  That is my life lately.  I deal with what I must, then I inject the writing wherever I can.  I did do some writing this week, however.  Although I haven’t worked on any of my manuscripts or novel in progress, I entered my response to a flash fiction photo prompt.  You can find it at https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/travel-my-way-fridayfictioneers/  Please give it a read and I’d love it if you have a comment!  I just love flash fiction, though I hated it at first.  But I realized that open-ended stories have their own merit, and I learned to love that beast.  Not to mention, I completed it before work on Tuesday as I let my hair dry.  What an excellent way to start the day!  I have also written poetry lately, in dealing with my overwhelming emotions and the overwhelming events of life.  I think it was this week I wrote my “Tenuous Grasp” prayer/poem, see http://bit.ly/2kciqvT.  Aha, yes, it was this week, 1/17/17.  Sometimes I write because I love writing, other times, I do it to survive emotionally.  I mean that.

I wish I had more to share on my status as a writer.  This week also consisted of busy activities at work, learning (and then teaching) a way my students can submit their writing to me online for grading, and, yes, hospital visits.  A hospital is the last place I ever want to be.  However, since insurance requires certain forms being filled out for my son’s accident, and I’d hate spending an hour on the phone to find out where to fax or mail them, my son and I went up there.  Twice.  First, on MLK day since I was off.  He is not driving now, so I had to go, too.  Well, the necessary department was closed that day. Or, that is, what we thought was the necessary department.

So, I arranged to take Wednesday morning off and we went again.  After speaking to about 5 people, starting with E.R. on the first floor,  where he had been first treated, we were sent to many different departments to include: Medical Records, (basement), Case Management (1st floor, I think; it got confusing), then, Trauma Admin (8th floor) where a cute young Doogie Houser/Will Smith intern helped us find the right office.  Finally, someone took our form and said it would be ready in 7-10 days.  All that, in addition to getting lost down a long, dark, hall with blank gray walls.   I could imagine being lost there, never to return.  Maybe I’ve seen that in a movie.  Did I mention I hate hospitals?  The long hidden corridors, the smells…I’ll stop there.  At least there was an end to our endless loop.

At any rate, I slept in today, as I so needed it.  I get arm pain and muscle aches, so I’ll modify diet this week and see how it helps.  Next Dr. visit is in 1-2 months.  No need to hurry there.  I am so glad it’s Saturday.  I am hoping to work on my writing projects next week.  Enjoy your weekend, my friends!                                                                                            *The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part Time Monster .  You can join this week’s Coffee Share on her blog or by clicking on the “Linkup Linky“.  In fact, I encourage you to click on the “linky” to see what’s been going on in the lives of other bloggers and even join us if you haven’t before. (I’ll make the links hot later)

“A Turning Point,” #flashfiction #amwriting FFfAW challenge

photoprompt-20161212155025335This week’s photo prompt is provided by Maria with Doodles and Scribbles.

 

The party had been a blast.  Too much so.  But Kimberly grew tired of Brad’s advances.  She sauntered down the dark road, her mind in a fog.  Why did I take that last drink?  She pondered.  Could I even scare off an attacker, with this stagger in my walk?

It was interesting that she chose this danger over a ride home with Brad, the All-American football star.

The unknown was her choice.  She’d swiped a heavy paperweight at the party when she decided Brad would not be taking her home.  Would it protect her?

Of course, she wasn’t thinking straight; she could have asked anyone else.  Instead, she darted out the door and down the street, to greet vampires or murderers, or who knew what.

Up ahead stood a dark, shadowy figure.

If I live, I’m going to stop celebrating New Year’s Eve this way, she whispered.

 

*This brief story was part of a Flash Fiction challenge, no more than 100-150 words allowed, based on a photo prompt.  The prompt was provided as one of the weekly challenges at https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/fffaw-challenge-week-of-december-13-2016/   I encourage you to peruse some of the other material there, as no two minds think exactly alike.

Yes, this was challenging!  What do you all think?

“The Post Office Box,” Flash Fiction, Limit:250 Words

By Pamela Schloesser Canepa. Featured on kurtbrindley.comPObox800px-Busselton_post_office_gnangarra_14

Tussling with the dog. That was Jasmine’s story, this time. The scar would dissipate in a week, she knew. It did hurt. This was so unfair, yet, all too familiar.
Driving to work, Jasmine noticed she’d inadvertently put on one navy blue shoe and one black. An understandable mistake; they were almost identical, and those colors were close. I wonder if anyone will notice? She realized the light had turned. I sure don’t need a ticket.
To her left was the post office. Darn, I forgot that electric bill. Rick will lose it. Do I go back? She worried it might make her late, yet she didn’t need one more fight about the mail.
Her thoughts drifted to the invitation that had arrived the week before, for her ten year high school reunion. Of course, with a four month old baby and a full-time job, she hadn’t seriously considered. Still, she had thought of going.
“You just want to see all your old boyfriends! You wench!” Rick had screamed, holding the baby in his arms.
“No, Rick, don’t worry, I don’t need to go.” That’s how it always went. Keeping the peace. When she never received any in return.
Abruptly, she pulled into the post office. “I need a post office box,” she announced to the clerk. JUST for me.
With receipt of the key, she found the assigned box. It was cool inside. She imagined fitting inside of it, this doorway to distant places.

Alternate ending B, realistic fiction:

Upon fitting her arm into the box, she felt instantly calmer, surrounded by that cool air.  A man and a woman approached the box near her, talking.  Jasmine quickly took her arm out.  This must look plenty weird, she was sure.  Of course, their arrival was also a reminder of the passing time.  If she was too late getting home, Rick would lose it again.   Lord, she sure didn’t want him to lose it, because that was never pretty.

Still, an idea brewed in her mind on the way home.  She would head to the grocery store after work, under the guise of picking up something special for dinner.

Three days later, she got up the nerve to execute this plan.  Rick was game; he said it was fine as long as it included a London broil.  So she had forked out the extra money that had been intended to help with the late fee on their credit card, bought a London broil along with vegetables and potatoes, and picked up one solitary envelope and a notepad.  On it she scribbled the grocery list; on the next page, she quickly wrote a note to Holly, of the High school reunion committee.

Sitting in the car at the post office, she left the car running and wrote:

 

Holly,

I miss your constant laughter.  I regret that I cannot attend the high school reunion.  My husband and I have had a bad year financially, but I should make it to the next get-together.  Please note, any future mail should be sent to me at P.O. Box 426-A880, Charleston, SC 12354.  I do hope you will keep in touch!

 

Sincerely,

Jasmine

 

Rick would flip if he found out.  He’d accuse her of telling lies about him, of trying to get sympathy, of….God only knows what; it was all ridiculous and it didn’t matter.  She stepped out of the car quickly to dash in, slap on a stamp, and mail the dangerous letter.  Why it should be so dangerous to want to keep in touch with a high school friend no one around her would understand.  Why did she feel like she was flying through the air on a trapeze, slaying a dragon, or suddenly sprouting wings; they didn’t get that or the look of glee on her face as she dropped the letter into the slot in the wall.  This is why she knew getting the P.O. Box was the right thing to do.  She felt ten pounds come off of her shoulders the minute she had put the letter in the mail slot.   As she left, a young, dark-haired man opened the door for her and smiled.  She remembered him from the other day.  A glance backward, and she saw him approach the box right next to hers.

It was a banner night back home.  A drunken rage that night over the London broil not being cooked enough, a broken toy that was left on the floor and then shattered into pieces when Rick purposely stomped on it.  Tension was mounting.  She felt as if a storm was coming again.  She shuffled around quietly, glumly, saying very little, trying as always to keep the peace.

The next day she bought another envelope on the way to work.  Tore another piece from the notepad.  She wrote:  “I am trapped in a hateful marriage and I feel my husband is going to harm me again, soon.  I really need help, and I can’t tell my parents because they will inform him in their intentions to set things right with us.  He cannot know I am seeking a way out.  If you know of a lawyer that can help me get out quickly and show me a place to go, it would really help me greatly.”  She addressed it to: The mail service customer at P.O. Box 426-A879.  She wrote her P.O. Box with only her first name above the return address.  She mailed it on the way home, after picking up the baby from daycare.  The air inside of her post office box was as cool as ever, calming, welcoming.  She let her son, Ross, stick his chubby hand in there for a moment.  He giggled, as if he felt the cool air of freedom as well.  She kissed his hand and took this to be a sign.

It was a week later when she received return mail.  It was from Holly.  What could she do?  Rick would hit the ceiling if he found it.  So she left it there, as if she had been unable to check the mail.  It had brightened her day, but being unable to retrieve it brought her right back to reality.

She pondered on the way home whether she’d made a mistake trusting the man whose box was next to hers.  He was always very polite to her, and he looked like a professional.   She felt the chances were high that he’d know of a good lawyer.  Still, she only went to the post office at odd hours now, for fear of seeing him.  What if he did nothing with her plea?  What if this was only fodder for his water cooler gossip at work?  Could he be that cruel?  Maybe he’d be afraid to help in any way at all.  She had to stop worrying, and start believing things might work in her favor.  It proved to be no small battle.

On her next visit to the post office, the man was there.  “Your mail was left in my box by mistake.”  He looked at her somberly, and walked off.

No, it actually was addressed to her from him.  She went to one end of the post office that was empty, leaned on a counter, and read it.

“I have seen you with a child.  You must make sure that child is with you next week.  Tuesday, after work, I will meet you here.  Please be here by six o’clock with your baby and anything he needs for a week.  I have a good lawyer, but I also believe you need a police officer present.  I am hoping you don’t need much from your home.  I am a parole officer and have some connections that can help you with your situation.  We will put you in a safe place during the proceedings.  There is more that you need to know about the process.  We will discuss that when I introduce you to the lawyer at a neutral location.”

A parole officer?  Who knew?  It sounded like he was just the one to help her.  Jasmine left the letter in her own P.O. Box, and walked out of the post office as if on air.   The whole world felt lighter, and it got her through the rest of the night with her husband’s whiskey breath and bitter complaints.

A year later, Jasmine sat in a lawn chair with little Ross.  The air was a crisp, cool autumn flavor, and there were mountains surrounding them.  A screen door slammed as a young man, Vincent, the parole officer, came out with his hands full of a tray of meat for the grill.

“Are you sure he won’t eat any of this?”  He asked, playfully.

Jasmine looked down at the baby she held with her bare hand, free of any jewelry or wedding band, and smiled.  Not knowing where this would go with Vincent was all part of the fun of life now.  He had said he wouldn’t rush her, yet seemed to put her and her son as a number one priority.  This house in the hills, the old burly neighbor and his wife down the road, all made her feel safe from the past and never truly alone, even when Vincent went back to the city to work.  Her undefined relationship with Vincent didn’t even worry her when she realized how much she had needed him at one point in her life.  She marveled at the chances of finding a P.O. Box right beside just the right person to help her, and even more so at finding the nerve to ask the right person for help.

“Really, Vincent!  He’s too young for a steak!”  She giggled, and so did little Ross, as she rubbed noses with him.  She looked to see Holly driving up in her Camaro, here to enjoy dinner and to introduce her new beau.  Jasmine and Holly had just reconnected in the last six months, Jasmine having shared her new post office box address and her new cell phone number, now that there was no fear of being found out and accused of any atrocities.

“Well, you’re the boss, Jasmine.”  Vincent winked at her and waved to Holly as she walked up with a very buff, blonde young man.  Again, Jasmine marveled at Vincent’s ability to say those words, and at the turn of events which found her here.   It all started with P.O. Box 426-A880, a little bit of rebellion against the cage that had surrounded her.

 

For Alternate ending A, please see the 9/24 entry!  Thank you for reading! -Pamela