FF Challenge, April 21st – Grandma’s Secret

So here is my story for this weeks FF Challenge. A newbie to this challenge? The rules are simple – write a story 100 words or less based on the photo prompt. This challenge is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, please click her name to visit her site for more info.

Thank you Magaly Guerrero for this week’s intriguing photo.

Art and Shoes
PHOTO PROMPT © Magaly Guerrero

Now, here is my 102 word story – Grandma’s Secret

With a mischievous smile and twinkling eyes, grandma whispered stories about 1924 Paris like they were a shared secret. Nights at the scandalous Moulin Rouge and dreams of becoming a dancer. She always kept the best for the last, where a brazen twenty-year-old from New York met a shy thirty-year-old artist from Oklahoma and how their love bloomed in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.

Grandma never talked about life and death on the farm in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl and she never shared the secret of how she kept her mischievous smile and twinkling eyes despite so many shattered dreams.

Thanks for reading.

Please click HERE to read other stories based on this week’s photo.



FF Challenge, April 14th – A Slice of Life

Thanks for dropping by for this week’s Friday Fictioneers. There are a few pieces of business before we get to my story. First FYI the challenge is to write a story 100 words or less prompted by the photo. The host for this challenge is Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, click her name to visit her site and get all the rules.

Thanks to Dale Rogerson for this weeks photo.

A Slice of Life
PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Now my 99 word story – A Slice of Life

The initial spark was now a raging fire that refused to be sated. Their weekly dates had quickly shifted from dimly lit restaurants to pizza and wine in her apartment. Tim would be arriving with their favorite shortly. The wine was breathing, she was simmering in anticipation.

Jessica flung open the door not expecting the young man who was offering her a pizza box. She barely grasped the ‘He paid already and said to give you this.’

When Jessica’s poisoned body was found, clutched in one hand was Tim’s picture, in the other was the note.

‘Sorry. I’m married.’

Thanks for reading. Please click HERE to read other stories based on this week’s photo.

Scrivener’s Forge 4

This month’s challenge was a tough one for me. But before I get to that I want to thank Neil MacDonald  for hosting this monthly challenge. Want to develop some new writing skills or sharpen some old ones. Take a gander at Neil’s challenge. Here’s the LINK to this month’s exercise.

To quote Neil here is the challenge for April –

Character and Likeability

A main character doesn’t have to be likeable, but they do have to be interesting. Any believable hero or heroine must have flaws (just as every satisfying villain must have good qualities). They may even be overwhelmed by their flaws. Flawed heroines are given a much harder time by readers than flawed heroes.


Write a scene with an unlikeable main character that you think will engage the reader’s interest. You might want to try changing their gender and writing it again. If you do this, consider what you learned from the comparison.

Here is my scene, word count 509

The door closed behind Matt with a satisfying thud. Avoiding the pile of newspapers and mail scattered in the hallway, he made his way into the kitchen. Things had gotten a little out of control since Helen left. Good riddance, he thought, the bitch had been driving him crazy with her constant nagging. As if on cue the phone rang. He placed the McDonald’s bag on the counter, pushing aside dirty glasses and empty bottles, ignoring the ear-piercing ring. The number of empty bottles strewn across the counter surprised him. One by one he picked up the bottles, convinced one would not be empty. One by one he threw them against the wall.

The phone rang again defeating the joy he had felt at finding a bottle that was a quarter full. He knew who it was and knew she wouldn’t give up. Matt snatched up the phone. His ex-wife’s voice was like nails dragged across a blackboard.

“Where the hell were you?”

Matt seethed in silence.

“You know you missed his baseball game again. You know how much he wants you there.”

Thoughts of seven-year-old Steven sobered him for a moment. “Christ Helen, I never said I would go. You’re the one filling his stupid little head with ideas.”

“Matt. He’s your son. The least you could do is show some interest in him.”

“Screw him and while you’re at it screw you.” Matt slammed down the phone.

Grabbing the bottle and a glass he headed to the living room and settled into his recliner. Matt didn’t bother turning on the TV. He knew what today’s top story would be. House fire claims the life of four.  The smell of smoke still lingered on his skin. No matter how many showers he took, the scent of smoke followed him everywhere. Gulping back some whiskey, he had long ago given up of the niceties of ice, he braced himself. He knew the images would come, just as he knew the only way to stop them. It had been also most two years ago. Flames had roared through the house destroying everything in its path. The captain’s voice boomed through his mic. We’re missing one. A five-year-old. Matt crawled room to room, hands frantically searching. The thick smoke blinded him. His breath was a ragged roar echoing inside his mask. On and on he probed. His stomach had lurched when his hand had brushed the small leg. Clutching the little boy, he rushed down the smoke-filled hall almost tripping as he burst through the front door into welcoming daylight. The EMT’s snatched the child from his arms. Matt had watched them frantically working. His heart was torn in two when their frantic actions slowed, then stopped.

How could he explain to Helen that every time he hugged Steven, he felt the body of the dead boy he had so desperately wanted to save? How hearing his son’s laughter, he was reminded that he had failed that little boy. Every smile from his son was a reminder that he had let a little boy die.

Thanks for reading. Leave me a comment. Did I develop an engaging unlikable character?

Visit this LINK to read other submissions to the Scrivener’s Forge Exercise.


FF Challenge April 7th – Best Friends

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Fictoneers.

Let’s start with a visit to or host Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, at her site for all the rules for this challenge.  In brief they are to write a story 100 words or less based on the photo prompt. Take a chance and join our group by submitting a story. Thanks to Jellico’s Stationhouse for this weeks photo.

Click this link to read all the stories based on this week’s photo.

Now on to my story for the week – Best Friends

PHOTO PROMPT © Jellico’s Stationhouse

We played all day. You ran, I chased. You jumped, I jumped higher. When you mastered your bike, we raced down hill, arms stretched overhead. Your laughter was a babbling brook that followed us everywhere.

Here in the dark corner of the garage your bike and I wait. Its bright blue paint is covered in dust. The quiet whispers frighten me. Leukemia, they utter furtively as if terrified by the word. Your parents clutch each other, tears streaming.

I saw your parents when they came home yesterday. They were laughing. A sound I’ve missed. Soon you’ll come out to play.

Word Count – 100

Thanks for reading. Take a moment and leave me a comment.