Last day of school

PHOTO PROMPT © Gah Learner

Mishka pulled the curtain aside, hoping to see a window. Her heart sank when she saw it was boarded up shut with wooden planks. Her breath came in sobs, heart thudding faster in her chest. Was her mother looking for her? Thoughts of her mother brought fresh tears.

A woman entered the room. She wasn’t in the car when those men pulled her into it on her way to school. Hope rose like a red balloon in her chest.

“Please ma’am. I want to go to my mommy.”

She eyed her up and down. And shut the door.

98 words

Not one of my favourite stories, but only because of the topic. This was extremely difficult to write. Usually I have no issues connecting with my dark side to conjure up all sorts of evil and crime. But to try to empathise with a child, kidnapped from her safe world, not knowing what will happen to her, or if she’ll see her family, friends and school again, was heart-breaking for me.

Child trafficking is on the rise. At ridiculous levels. I find it intolerable that elected governments are so quick to initiate changes to taxes, fuel prices, land appropriation or other laws that line their pockets. But horrendously slow to put a stop to crime. Rather it feels as if they create a safe haven for such syndicates to operate in. I can bet anything, that due to the rapid increase in child trafficking, it points to politicians or other high-level officials lining their pockets from this modern day slavery.

In South Africa, children cannot walk to school without running a high risk of being kidnapped and disappearing into thin air. They’re taking children from outside the school gates. Last week, they smashed the rear window of a car, to try to steal a baby from his car seat. This is the level of desperation and enticingly lucrative nature of child trafficking. Luckily, the mother managed to drive away and they failed to unbuckle him in time.

The culprits should be given a life sentence or the death penalty. A child kidnapped and sold into slavery has had her life taken from her.

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words or less. Click the blue frog icon to read more flash fiction.

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One thousand and one lights

PHOTO PROMPT © Carla Bicomong

 

The last thing Jinaka told me before the golden blade of the demon warrior’s sword plunged into his back, piercing through his abdomen, was to take the map to the city of Kunto.

Before I could catch him, he had thrust the bag and its sacred contents into my outstretched hands.

I ran, cowardly and guiltily. I looked back over my shoulder just as the demon towered over Jinaka, sword raised high. After fifteen years, my mentor was gone and independence weighed heavily on me.

Ahead the first lantern shimmered. One thousand more lit the way to Kunto.

98 words

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Carla Bicomong for this week’s shimmering prompt. Click the blue frog icon to read more flash fiction.

 

*** For some reason the comments were turned off on this post. Which I have now turned back on. 🙂

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The curious case of the cinnamon sticks

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

 

Nancy loved pottering about with Mum. Today they were planting flowers. Or they would once Mum found her garden tools.

“It’s as if they crawl off on their own.” she muttered to herself digging through piles of junk in their garden shed.

“Maybe the gnomes came to borrow them.” mused Nancy.

Mum mumbled something about gnomes and arses.

Cinnamon sticks poked out off one shelf, catching Nancy’s eye.

“See! The gnomes replace what they borrow with cinnamon sticks.”

“Flip! so this is where I stuffed these bloody cinnamon sticks. Maybe I should check the spice cupboard for my garden tools.”

100 words

My very first instinct was to write some grisly murder / thriller. Images of leaves, dried twigs and wintry scenes has this effect on me. I pushed myself to find something different, stretch my creative muscles a bit. Get the rusty cogwheels turning. There’s a bundle of twigs on the makeshift shelving that look like cinnamon sticks. (Left on image). And I went with that!

Hope you enjoy the break from my dark side. Anyone who is a busy parent juggling work (housework or career or both), fitness habits, hobbies, child-rearing will know that feeling of confusion upon discovering misplaced items. And I doubt that Mum will find her tools in the spice cupboard. That would be too easy.

Write a story in 100 words or less, and join Friday Fictioneers. Hosted by our friend Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Click the icon to read more flash fiction in different genres.

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The Hannah May incident

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

His question caught her off-guard. The room spun around her and she gripped the edges of the lectern to steady herself.

“Ms Silver, how would you explain the Hannah May incident?”

It was no secret that she had been Hannah’s life coach. A fact that tormented her. Buried guilt rose from past failures. Oversights.

It was she who had encouraged her to push past her fears, return to her love of sailing. She died in the storm of 2004. Neither sailboat nor her body was ever found.

Ms Silver found her voice, “Hannah May was brave enough to follow her dreams.”

100 words

Life coaches are amazingly positive people. And I’m sure they have their demons too. Ones they wrestle with and from which they find their own growth. Whatever the situation, it’s important to face fears that keep you from your dreams or the change you want to make in your life.

Have a happy Wednesday!

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Like Father, Like Son

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

 

“You’re just like your father”, remarked Robert lazily.

Marcus raised an eyebrow, “He’s your father too.” Then picked up the whiskey canister, “And no I am not.”

“I have the good fortune of having fallen very far from the tree.”

“Oh shut up!”

“See that’s just what Father says to me.”

“For the last time, I am not going on some reckless, un-planned, crazy-as-shit adventure of yours to the Galapagos islands!”

“Comfort zones. Careless mediocrity. Whiskey… like father, like son.”

Marcus held the whiskey canister above his glass. Cautiously sat it back on the table. “When do we leave?”

99 words

 Something about the house and the setting sun made me think of family and adventures. And I so much wanted to experiment with humour and dialogue today. Hope you enjoy this!

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Challenge is to write a full story in 100 words or less.

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Dead men tell no lies

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

The human body is capable of amazing things. Contortion is one. Bending with extreme flexibility. Just like Jimmy was now, crumpled into a lobster trap. Except that John had to break Jimmy’s legs at the knees to get it to fit. His face was blank and slack. Nothing left  of the shock that twisted his features looking down the barrel of John’s gun. Six bullets fired into his chest.

Now, pushing the trap off the boat into the water, John felt nothing of the cold shock that seeped into him when he found out Jimmy had betrayed him.

98 words

Brought back an old character from one of last year’s flash fiction, John the Baptist. Organised crime boss and ruthless with his enemies.

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by author Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Click the icon to read more flash fiction by other amazing writers. It is amazing to see the different stories and genre’s that an image can prompt. I’ll be impressed if this image courtesy of Liz Young inspires any romance stories!

Belle of the ball

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

Her dress was a cornflour blue, the same colour as her eyes. The latest fashion in a princess line style, puffed sleeves and lace trim. Now half of it was covered in grime from the cramped dungeon she woke up in after the ball. Nine days ago. Once a day a meal was shoved through a flap in the door. Then the music would play. Was it Mozart or Bach? Drifting down to her dungeon, through the floors and the walls from somewhere above where her captor waited. If only she knew what they were waiting for.

97 words

What an inspiring picture of musical instruments for this week’s prompt, courtesy of Rochelle. Took me to a dark place in 19th century England it seems. Admittedly not my best. But hope you enjoyed it anyway.

Written for Friday Fictioneers led by author Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words or less.

Click the frog icon to read more flash fiction, promise you it’s worth it!

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Veiled hearts

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

 

The first time their eyes met a deafening rip tore through her head

Mistaking it for her broken heart’s pieces cracking once again

She turned her gaze away, not wanting to shatter what took so long to mend

But something in his hazel eyes called to her through past lies

She dared another sideways glance a strange rising courage at the end

Pushed her into the unknown, where hopes renew and dreams begin

The second time their eyes met she did not flinch when the ripping sounded

A hazel gaze pierced through flimsy veils wrapping tight around the wounded

99 words

I read Erin Hanson’s poetry recently and was just so ultra inspired that I simply had to attempt my own. Last time I was inspired to pen rhythmic verse was in high school. So forgive me if it’s not perfect. The 100 word limit was quite challenging this time!

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by novelist and artist, Rochelle. The challenge is to write a full story in 100 words or less.

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Here is one of Erin’s poems. She is a talented young woman in her early twenties, touching hearts and moving souls since her teens with her magical prose.

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Country road (take me home)

PHOTO PROMPT © Danny Bowman

“Why can’t I go to my old school?” I sobbed.

“Because we live here now, Mitch, and your old school is hundreds of miles away.” Dad replied.

Dad promised that I would love the new city, the new house and my new school. I didn’t trust the promises adults made. I used to believe everything they said. You’re my little boy, Mitch. I’ll always be right here with you. That’s what mom used to tell me. Then she left and I never saw her again.

Dad calls her a nasty cyst. Whatever that is. I just miss her.

98 words

**nasty cyst = narcissist (Of course, Mitch doesn’t know what a narcissist is and hears something different 🙂 )

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle, where the challenge is to write a complete story in 100 words or less.

I had trouble accessing the link last week (don’t know why) and so if you haven’t yet read my FF post from last week, you may read it here: Ransom.

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When we were friends 

           PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

Shona pulled up her collar. A fine mist gathered around the group, complicit in their betrayal.

Everything about death was cold. Light leaves the eyes. Blood stops flowing, warmth dissipates. But this arm, though limp in her grasp, felt warm.

She wished she could turn back time. Just an hour. Before it all went wrong. She knew they were on the point of no return as they tossed their friend into the shallow hole in the ground, and covered her with dirt. Shona watched till the dirt piled high, then they patted it flat and covered it with dry leaves.

100 words

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by the awesome Rochelle where we’re challenged to write flash fiction, an entire story with beginning, middle and end in 100 words or less.

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