Encounters of the Second Kind

I’m dreadfully late in posting my response to this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt, and it’s been several weeks since life has allowed me to participate. However, I’m back with a story from the Lauren Shrecklich saga, this time from someone else’s POV.

Every week, people from around the globe participate in the Friday Fictioneers challenge. This week, my photo is featured as the prompt, and many writers have already submitted their 100-word stories. Play along with us if you like. The more the merrier. My story this week weighs in at 113 words (making up for all the words that have been missing over the past month).

20140926 Marie Gail Stratford

Cheri hadn’t stopped thinking about Lauren since she met the petite FBI agent on a flight to BWI. As she slipped into the South End pizza parlor to meet with her writers group, Cheri did a double take. There stood Lauren. Cheri occasionally ran into passengers near her Boston home, but this stroke of luck surprised her.

Throughout the evening, Lauren remained aloof, avoiding Cheri’s gaze. At the meeting’s end, she finally made eye contact. “You should find a new writers group,” Lauren snapped.

Cheri swallowed the fury rising in her throat, turned, and fled the restaurant. She blinked, trying to see past the tears into a dream that had become a nightmare.


This is my response to the Friday Fictioneers prompt for August 1. The challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the photo prompt. Play along by writing your own, reading others and/or commenting on the flashes we fictioneers create. My piece this week weighs in at 99 words.

Author’s Note: Although I work to make sure my loosely connected flashes stand alone, I’m not 100% certain that this one is a completely stand-alone piece. However, as it fits the photo prompt perfectly and is an important turning point in my Lauren Shrecklich saga, I am serving it here anyway. I’ve linked to other stories throughout so any new readers can catch up on the tale if you find holes in this flash or simply want more background information.

View from the Plane

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


Lauren Shrecklich did not need to fall in love—not on New Year’s Eve, not with an airline attendant, and not in front of senior agent Michael Morales. But Cheri was the kind of woman that always made her look twice.

Throughout the flight, Lauren distracted herself with her rosary each time the attendant passed by. While pouring complimentary champagne for the two agents, Cheri noticed the rosary and showed Lauren her charm bracelet. “St. Christopher. I feel safer having him around.”

While waiting for their luggage at the baggage claim, Michael asked Lauren, “Did you get her number?”


Just a little ad hoc vampire story to add to my growing collection.

“A Jew, a Christian and a Muslim walk into a bar.”

“Aw, c’mon, Will. Enough already with the jokes featuring our worst enemies.”

“You scared, James?” Pete sauntered over to the bar. Will rolled his eyes at James. “I once spent—“

“—three hours staring down the evil eye.” Will and James completed the sentence for their inebriated companion.

“So, you’ve heard the story before.” Pete settled onto a stool. “Get me another bloody Mary, would you, Will?”

Will began mixing the drink. “Our worst enemies, eh, James?”

James nodded. “Don’t you agree, Pete?”

“Well, they can do some damage; that’s for sure.” The veteran vampire opened his shirt to reveal a scar in the shape of a Star of David. “Of course, the evil eye and the star aren’t as easily turned into stakes as a crucifix is.”

“I’d consider an atheist to be a worse enemy than the believers,” Will posited.

“Oh, no, I’d take on an agnostic any day. Those that don’t pray make pretty good prey by my way of thinking.” Pete took a swig of the drink Will placed in front of him.

“I said ‘atheist’ not ‘agnostic.’”

The other two looked quizzically at the bartender.

“Atheists don’t believe in anything—makes them pretty hard to touch.”

“Never thought about it like that,” mused James.

“Agnostics don’t know whether or not they believe in anything,” Will continued. “Makes them a lot easier to handle than atheists or believers.”

Pete nursed his drink a while longer while Will cleaned up behind the counter. James fiddled with a paper napkin—boredom was the common denominator for this undead trio.

“Alright, you two. Closing time. Scram—before the sun comes up and makes anthills out of you.”

Pete and James paid their tabs, collected their jackets and shuffled out into the pre-dawn darkness.

Will poured himself a drink and, forgetting to lock up, settled down to read the latest Anne Rice novel. His guilty pleasure provided a good way to wind down after a long night’s work, and he soon nodded off in his chair.

A couple hours later, three visitors arrived. Just before the sun’s rays diminished him to a pile of dust, Will awakened to see a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim walk into his bar.