FF Challenge May 26th – Soaring with Unclipped Wings

I pledged to myself that I would write an upbeat story for this week’s Friday Fictioneers Challenge. It was all planned in my mind, I knew I could do it. And then our host Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posted this week’s picture. I struggled, tamped down many thoughts that lead me down dark alleys and I knew my story would not be a happy one. For those who have read my stories in the past, please stick with me through another dark story. It is an important one that needs to be shared.

Please visit Rochelle to get all the rules to this 100 word challenge. And thank you J Hardy Carroll for such a thought provoking photo. Enjoy reading short stories click HERE for more stories based the photo prompt.

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Now my 99 word story – Soaring with Unclipped Wings

I never wanted to clip her wings. I wanted her to fly. Lord knows where her creative streak came from but it defined her. My bold, beautiful, colorful daughter Cassandra. She spread her wings at 18, drawn to the artist mecca of San Francisco. I clung to the infrequent phone calls, her familiar voice tearing me apart.

Mom, it’s sick, everyone’s an artist.”

She was so happy, so alive.

And then the news flashed across the TV screen, 36 dead in Oakland Artist Collective Fire. My husband said I screamed. I don’t remember.

My beautiful baby flies no more.

Thanks for reading. This story rose from the ashes of the Oakland Ghost Ship fire. On Dec 2nd 2016 a fire destroyed an abandoned warehouse that had been used to house artists and as an impromptu music venue. 36 young people lost their lives when they were trapped in the rabbit warren of rooms that had sprung up in the warehouse. It is a tragedy that never should have happened. Click Ghost Ship for more information.


FF Challenge May 19th – The Road to Freedom

For those of you that read my story last week, you will find that I seem to have followed a theme with this weeks tale. But it’s not as dark, I promise.

First the small print, the legalities or maybe just the niceties. Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for continuing to host this challenge to write a 100 word story based on a photo prompt. Please click her name to get all the rules and to visit her site. Thank you also to Roger Blutot for providing the photo that captured an intriguing slice of life.

Now, drum roll please. Thank you, here’s my story The Road to Freedom.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

The blows rained down long after I was a bloody heap on the floor. Clinging to a thread of consciousness, I watched him don his uniform and straighten the shiny police shield that protected him and kept me captive. When the door clicked closed, I began the long journey. Inch by painful inch, I dragged my broken body to retrieve the card with only a phone number.

As my wounds healed, I was secreted from house to house across thousands of miles. I exchanged knowing looks with the women from the underground railway. My secret and theirs is safe.

Word Count: 99 carefully chosen words

Thanks for reading. Please click HERE to read a wide range of carefully crafted stories.



FF Challenge May 12th, Quieting a Raging Storm

Wow, the picture for this weeks challenge inspired so many stories, most involving someone sheepishly admitting their ineptitude in driving. I nudged those aside for something darker. I hope you enjoy it.

But first a big thank you once again to our host, check out her site at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, for the rules regarding this challenge. This week Rochelle contributed the photo prompt, although it’s unclear if she was responsible for the damage.

FF Busted Door
PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Years ago, the jealousy and anger that had raged like summer storms destroyed our marriage. Its death was a bitter beginning not an end. Stunned at the continued onslaught, I followed the rules. What else could I do? I called the police when she slipped into my house, leaving in her wake a trail of destruction. I could paper my walls with restraining orders. Things I could replace, my shattered nerves would eventually calm. But she had to be stopped before she discovered the precious new life my girlfriend was harboring.

Unlike MacBeth, I was able to wash the blood from my hands.

Word Count: 103

Thanks for reading. There are many more stories waiting to be read, click HERE to discover them.


Scrivener’s Forge 5 – Character and World Building

I would like to thank Neil MacDonald arranging these monthly writing exercises. I am grateful for the opportunity to focus on difference skills required for writing a good story. If you would like more information on the exercises please check out Neil’s post by clicking HERE.

This month’s challenge is as follows –


An exercise from John Gardener. Write a scene which places a character in a specific location. Use the interaction between character and description to show us a unique world we’ve never seen before and that will never exist again.  A man whose son has died in the war is looking at a building. Describe the building without mentioning the war, the son, or his death.

Hint: if you’re finding this hard to approach, consider why a character in this situation might even notice a building.

Here is my scene –

Henry sat, unable to move. The inside of his car flooded with alternating colors from the flashing signs. Blue, yellow, red. Blue, yellow, red. His heart and Budweiser beat in time. It had been twenty-five years since he had entered one of these stores but he knew every square inch by heart. The row upon row of bottles beckoned him as he peered between the posters that plastered the windows. His hands shook. Henry jerked forward and started his car and just as quickly turned it off. He removed the keys from the ignition. Blue, yellow, red. Blue, yellow, red. Henry stepped out leaning against the door jamb collecting his shattered nerves before closing the door and heading back in time.

The harsh glare of the fluorescent lights made the glass bottles twinkle a quiet invitation, pick me, pick me. He willed himself to walk past the stacks of cheap booze with handwritten signs piled in the aisle, remembering the burning turpentine taste. Henry moved quickly past the gin and the vodka, ignoring the aisles and aisles of wine. He knew what he wanted and knew that the whiskey was near the back of the store. His feet beat in unsteady staccato rhythm on the polished tile floor. He was aware that his every move was being recorded. If the bored clerk bothered to look up from his magazine and glance at his grainy monitor, he would see a middle-aged man, battered by time, wearing an expensive but disheveled suit. A man overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of choices, searching the shelves for a special bottle, something used for a celebration, maybe for consolation. Neither the cameras nor the clerk would see a man breaking a solemn promise made twenty-five years ago, a man about to take a careening bobsled ride back into hell. Henry reached to snatch a bottle of Jack Daniels off the shelf, its amber liquid offering promises of comfort. The bottle slipped from his from his trembling fingers and shattered at his feet. He whimpered at the sight. Shocked back to his harsh reality, Henry pivoted on his heels. He threw $40.00 at the startled clerk as he scurried to the shelter of his car.

Thanks for reading. All comments, hints, pointers, critiques are appreciated.

If you would like to read more submissions click HERE.



FF Challenge May 5th – To Honor

Welcome to this weeks challenge and my story. The picture this week proved to be a hard nut to crack. Finally it was the small flag, which I took to be a French flag, that lead me to a story.

Before we get to the story, first a thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this weekly event. Click her name to get more info on the challenge. Also thank you to Sandra Crook for the photo.

If you would like to read more stories, click HERE.

buildings ff May 5
PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

Far from the cafes and galleries of Paris, a kestrel hovers in the stark blue sky. Lost 100 years in the past, the deep-throated roar of battle pummels me. My eyes are assaulted by the devastation strewn across fields cleaved by trenches and mortar shells. After three days of battle 3,598 Canadians lay dead in the blood-soaked mud, 7,004 are wounded. The fledgling nation of Canada’s identity was forged in the blood and mud of France. Standing in the shadow of the Vimy Ridge Memorial, I adjust my uniform and wonder if needed would I be able to follow in their footsteps and honor them?

Word Count: 104

Canadian National Memorial
Canadian National Vimy Memorial

The history behind the story: April 9th 2017 was the 100 anniversary of the Battle at Vimy Ridge. Many historians credit the battle, the first time four divisions from across Canada fought together in WW1, with defining the nation of Canada which was only 50 years old at the time. France ceded 250 acres of preserved battlefield to Canada to honor those that fought and died in WW1. The breath taking Vimy Ridge Monument was unveiled in 1936. Interested in finding out more CLICK HERE.