In Someone Else’s Shoes

Although I’ve been rather absence of late, several other fine writers from around the globe continue to participate every week by writing 100-word stories based on a photo prompt. You can join the Friday Fictioneers too by writing your own story or simply reading along.

2015 11 17 CE AyrCopyright CE Ayr

In Someone Else’s Shoes

Agent Lauren Schrecklich turned onto Pershing Road as she waited for her Bluetooth to connect. She took a deep breath and prayed Senior Agent Morales would pick up.

“Schrecklich. Talk to me.”

“Ben’s checking out the locker at Union Station. I’m headed to Missy B’s. Too many people there might recognize him.”

“Good call. But you’re on your own. No heroics tonight.”

“Yes, sir. But . . . “

“I mean it, agent.”

“No heroics. So I can ditch the high heels?”

“Not a chance. You have to fit in.”

“Yes, sir. Operation Tomboy to Drag Queen commencing immediately.”

***

Want to read more? Follow links in the word salad to your right to read more about Agent Lauren Shrecklich.

On the Spot

I’m coming a little late to this week’s Friday Fictioneers party, but I am trying to get back into the weekly routine. If you are unfamiliar with this weekly writing challenge, you can learn more over on Rochelle’s blog. Incidentally, the picture this week is one of hers. To play along or read other entries, click here. My story, one word shy of 100 this week, follows the photo prompt.

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

On the Spot

Leah sighed almost imperceptibly as Jill arranged the board on the table. The Ungame. Her mother-in-law’s way of forcing intimate conversation. Leah hated it.

“Your turn, Honey,” Leah’s husband prodded.

She rolled the dice and counted the spaces around a board with no beginning or ending point.

“Tell it like it is.” Reading the square where she had landed, Leah drew the appropriate card. “What is your worst fear?”

“C’mon, Honey. We won’t judge.”

The faces around the table stared at her—pairs of eyes gazing at her like sets of oncoming . . .

“Headlights,” Leah blurted. “I’m petrified of them.”

***

Although my story this week is pure fiction, I personally share Leah’s disdain for The Ungame. However, I know some of my readers enjoy it, and you can learn more about this cruel social experiment here.

Resurrection in Turquoise

It’s been several weeks since I’ve had time to participate in Friday Fictioneers, but Rochelle knows the best way to get me back again–by using one of my photos as the prompt. If you’re new to this weekly challenge, the rules are simple: Writers from all over the globe are invited to compose a 100-word story based on the week’s photo prompt. Click here to read and play along.

My story this week is almost entirely autobiographical, but that’s all I’ll say on the topic for now.

Copyright Marie Gail Stratford

Copyright Marie Gail Stratford

Resurrection in Turquoise

Thirty years later, she remembers the pale green of hospital walls and her own small legs encased in plaster. Her dreams are haunted. Too often, she wakes with a start.

Thirty-five years later she takes a deep breath, submerges her face in the pale green water of an indoor pool. Three measured strokes, another breath. Three more strokes. A breath. The panic fades.

Forty years later, she sits in her office, glances at the blue-green logo on her business card. In her favorite color, she recognizes a bluer version of hospital green. She’s lived to see the resurrection of the turquoise butterfly.

Crime and Punishment

It’s time once again for Friday Fictioneers, and this week I’m taking time out from moving and unpacking to spend more time playing with my FF friends. You can play along too. Just check out the photo prompt that Rochelle chooses for us each week. Then write your own 100-word story based on the prompt. Of course, half the fun is checking out what everyone else is up to, so follow this link to post your own in the LinkUp and read stories from around 100 other writers located all over the word.

This week’s photo comes to us courtesy of the inimitable C.E.Ayr. (Yes, follow that link and read his stories.)

Copyright C.E. Ayr

Copyright C.E. Ayr

Crime and Punishment

“Wanna know what happened to that building?” Gerry pointed to a massive eroding structure bearing the remnants of a seascape, complete with orcas splashing in the surf.

“I already know,” Trish retorted. “It’s a whale of a tale.”

“I bet you didn’t know about the infestation,” Gerry quipped.

“The infestation?”

“Yeah, that building had tics.”

“Tics? I thought they lived in trees.”

“Not these tics. They were aquatics.”

“Did you hear what happened to the ceiling?”

“No, what?”

“It was floored.”

“I’ve had about enough of this punishment.”

“You have to admit, it fits the crime.”

Extraordinary Moments

Every week, authors from around the globe post their 100-word stories in response to a photo prompt. I’m a little late to this week’s Friday Fictioneers party, but it’s never too late to jump on this train. Why don’t you join us too?

This week’s photo, from Madison Woods, is a rerun from several years ago. I wasn’t in the playground yet, so my 99-word story is brand new.

Copyright Madison Woods

Copyright Madison Woods

Extraordinary Moments

“Lots of common things aren’t exactly common.”

Terry and Jules sat on the deck sorting through a bowl of jelly beans. Smoke lingered from the barbecue.

“Like luna moths.” Jules selected a green jelly bean.

“Luna moths?”

“Yeah, they’re native here, but you never see them.”

“Huh.”

“They only live as moths for seven days. Might be longer if they stopped fucking long enough to eat.”

“I might live longer if I stop eating like a kid.”

“Time to take a lesson from the moths?”

The two fell into each other—a common act on an uncommon night.

Human After All

It’s time for Friday Fictioneers, and our hostess Rochelle has given us a retread prompt from the days before I played along. If you are new to this concept, you can learn more here and play along here.

The photo prompt this week came from Madison Woods, and my 100-word story follows.

Copyright Madison Woods

Copyright Madison Woods

Human After All

The soundtrack of my youth included heavy metal ballads, songs that took heaven and my heart by storm. The first time I saw musicians performing on stage, those larger-than-life performers grew into role models. “When I grow up I want to . . .”

By some stroke of luck, I didn’t recognize celebrities the first time I met them or that famous producer’s name during our online encounters.

The moon raged, but no stars clouded my vision. By the time I achieved name recognition, the famous had become friends, colleagues, nemeses, alter egos. We learned together how heroes fall.

Author’s Note: After spending high school and college listening and performing to contemporary Christian music, I found myself in the company of several notable celebrities without intention. Although this story isn’t autobiographical, it deals with some of the issues common among religious performers. It turns out you can’t keep up a charade forever. It turns out that we are all human. That doesn’t make the art we humans produce less meaningful, but it can cause a huge wad of problems for anyone who puts another human on a pedestal.

Anyway, here are a couple of YouTube links for any of you who might enjoy some of the music I loved back in the day:

First, “The Raging of the Moon,” with lyrics inspired by the fall of Communism. Remember when we thought the fall of the Berlin Wall was the end of all our problems?

Next, “Hero” by Steve Taylor, with lyrics that say what I meant to say, maybe better than I did.

Being a Pepper

Once again, it’s time for Friday Fictioneers. Each week, around 100 writers from all over the world participate by sharing their 100-word stories as inspired by the photo prompt. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields is our gracious hostess. Feel free to play along by following the links.

Copyright G. L. MacMillan

Copyright G. L. MacMillan

Being a Pepper

 “Shoot me a Waco, Charlie.” Dr. Charles Pepper leans on the soda counter.

“You know we call it Dr. Pepper now, right?” The pharmacist winks at his customer.

“It’d be a tad awkward to ask you to shoot me, don’t ya think?”

Charlie Alderton grins.

“Morrison said he and Lazenby are buying you out.”

Alderton nods. “People are so enamored with this soda silliness it’s getting hard to do any actual work these days.”

“Well, you know what they say about all work and no play.”

“Yeah, and I also know what they say about all play and no work.”

***

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.”

Irish Proverb

Author’s Note: I’ve taken a little artistic license with this historical fiction piece. The true story behind the naming of Dr. Pepper is unknown, and I have been unable to verify whether or not Dr. Charles Pepper actually frequented Morrison’s Old Corner Drugstore where Charles Alderton invented the drink. Nevertheless, I could certainly imagine the two having this conversation some early evening when the drugstore was quiet. You can learn more about the history of Dr Pepper here.

Our Lady of the Snows

Once again, it’s time for Friday Fictioneers. Every week, about 100 writers from around the world compose original, 100-word stories based on a photo prompt. This week’s photo comes from Dee Lovering, a truly talented member of our motley crew.

Copyright Dee Lovering

Copyright Dee Lovering

Our Lady of the Snows

Half a world away from Rome, She keeps a home in Belleville.

On my first visit, I was oblivious. At six weeks old, I knew Mommy and Daddy and the love of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. That was before the cold wrath broke me—here in Her shadow.

Years later, I learn of how She stands, Protector of Innocents, in the place of my breaking. Did She watch and weep—a powerless spectre?

I gaze upon Her image in the chapel, wander through the Agony Garden, give voice to my rage. Finally, in a quiet corner, grace finds me.

***

A shrine to Our Lady of the Snows stands in Belleville, IL. Follow the link to learn more.

Casualties of a Revolution

This week, for Friday Fictioneers, I’ve held onto my story until the feast day of a certain set of martyrs whom I wished to commemorate in this week’s response to the photo prompt. I’ve also cheated a little by not counting the words to the Latin hymn as a part of my 103-word story (and I still tipped the scale a little too far).

For those of you unfamiliar with this challenge, Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge in which around 100 bloggers from all over the globe participate each week. Rochelle is our gracious hostess, and this week’s photo comes to us courtesy of the inimitable Sandra Crook (whose name I’m finally getting right this time). I will admit that I’m playing a little fast-and-loose with this prompt as the street in modern-day France has inspired me to write about the streets of France during the French Revolution.

2015 07 14 Sandra Crook

Casualties of a Revolution

Veni, Creator Spiritus,

mentes tuorum visita,

imple superna gratia

quae tu creasti pectora.

Constance’s voice quavered. A novice, she had not intended to sing these verses again before her final vows. Executioners shouted. Constance knelt before her mother superior for a final blessing.

Qui diceris Paraclitus

altissimi donum Dei,

fons vivus, ignis, caritas,

et spiritalis unctio.

Lifting her head, Constance found courage in the familiar words. She raised her voice and ascended the scaffold ahead of her sisters.

Tu, septiformis munere,

digitus paternae dexterae,

Tu rite promissum patris

sermone ditans guttura.

The novice placed her head in the designated spot, still singing. She closed her eyes and continued singing as the blade dropped toward her exposed neck.

Accende lumen sensibus:

infunde amorem cordibus:

Infirma nostri corporis

virtute firmans perpeti

One by one, the sisters followed Constance’s lead. The crowd fell silent, listening to the song of praise accompanied by the rush of angel wings.

Deo Patri sit Gloria,

et Filio, qui a mortuis

***

On 17 July 1794, 16 Carmelites were executed in Paris for practicing their faith tradition. The song the sisters actually sang has been lost to the ages. Conflicting reports say they chanted the words above or a number of other spiritual hymns. You can follow the links to learn more.

Exposure

I’ve been scrambling to keep up this week. I hosted a summer open house for Complete Picture Content, my web-content writing company, yesterday. It was a great success, but I’m exhausted from the work of turning my home into an event space. Today is a good time to relax and participate in Friday Fictioneers. Each week, participants from all over the globe respond to a single photo prompt with their own original stories. Each story must have a beginning, a middle and an end. The hard part? Keep that story to 100 words. My story this week weighs in at 101.

Copyright Stephen Baum

Copyright Stephen Baum

Exposure

Detective Granath rubbed her temples. She had suspicions—but the eyewitness of two fourteen-year-olds wasn’t enough.

“Detective?” Tom Delany, a CSI, stood in front of her, smiling. “We found the camera.”

Granath looked at him quizzically. The witnesses had told her that the perpetrator had grabbed the camera and opened it.

“I developed the film just in case.” He handed her a small stack of photos. They were all overexposed, but the last two showed the clear profile of Judge Amarine.

“Let’s get him arrested.” Granath reached for the phone on her desk. “I hope this is enough for a conviction.”

***

Another note for my fellow Fictioneers: As some of you already know, reading and interacting on Blogspot blogs is quite difficult for those of us who don’t use that platform ourselves. I’m delighted to see new bloggers with Blogspot visiting and commenting here. Unfortunately, I am often unable to return the favor of interacting. But I am visiting and reading. You just can’t see it because of the locked-down security settings. If any of you want to find and friend me on Facebook, I will be happy to leave my comments for you there when I can’t get into Blogspot’s comment sections.