Tag Archives: Sunday Photo Fiction

Marquis Oya

Cover-EB

#FFC52 #3WW #SundayScribblings Another combo post for Thain in Vain, three word Wednesday, Sunday Scribblings 2 and Sunday photo fiction. Here is the 1200-word continuation of Kanoni:

* * *

“Seek not roads well traveled.”

Octavius leaned back and regarded the young man standing at his desk. The cave was dark, absent of light, except by candles.

The young man cleared his throat. “Did you hear me, Octavius?”

Octavius leaned forward, steepling his gnarled fingers. “I heard you Rashid.”

“And your response?” Rashid prodded.

“I’m ascertaining if you truly comprehend my response and the ramifications.”

Rashid bowed deeply at the waist. “I’m ready, Master.”

Octavius picked up a crooked staff leaning against his desk. He leaned against it as he rose, and stroked his long white beard with his free hand. “Very well.”

Rashid stood to his full height, shoulders squared, head held high.

“Seek paths left untraveled, my son.”

A fragment of metal tied to the top of the staff gleamed in the dim torchlight. A ring worn by Rashid matched both the metal’s consistency and brilliance. He cried out as the intensity overcame him. Dropping to his knees, he grasped his ringed hand by the wrist, tears streaming. He continued to hold his hand firm until the ritual was complete. “Master…” He wept, cradling his agony close to his chest.

Rashid witnessed sadness in Octavius’ eyes. Octavius watched as his pupil writhed on the stone floor. He watched in disbelief as Rashid gripped the gleaming metal between his teeth and slid it off his finger. Once freed from flesh, the ring struck the cave floor and bounced twice before resting – dull and tarnished brass.

Octavius sunk to his chair. “Great Goddess, I feared this result,” he said quietly.

Rashid looked up, his bloodshot eyes pleading. “Master, I…”

Octavius sighed. “You are no longer my ward, Rashid.” Octavius’ eyes focused on the spots on the ground where the ring bounced. Each spot had transformed from solid rock to lifeless sand. Rashid followed his former Master’s gaze and followed it to the ring. He reached for it.

“Stop!” bellowed Octavius.

Rashid froze, mid reach. His heart raced and he felt a shiver. He looked to Octavius and saw anger for the first time in the twenty years he had studied with him.

“You were well aware of the ritual.” Octavius rose, quicker than the time previous. “It was crucial it be allowed to complete.” His voice softened. “You are no longer of the brotherhood.” Octavius touched the metal of his staff to the sandy spots and they reverted to rock. “May the Goddess, Kanoni, watch over you in your future endeavors.”

“Master, please…”
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16Sunsets – The Warehouse

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Detective Frank Massey peeled back layers of newspaper and spray paint.

Different organizations had attempted over the years to revitalize the neighborhood. Some saw it as a complete waste of money. Massey didn’t subscribe to that thought process. The money that made its way to the neighborhood wasn’t a waste, but it was definitely allocated wrong. It wasn’t as simple as hanging up a fancy chandelier in the vestibule of a brownstone. He wasn’t the person to decide how when or where to spend the money, but the current way of doing things wasn’t working.

The problem wasn’t a lack of desire to improve the community. There was desire aplenty. Unlike other cities, the gangs didn’t have the same reach elsewhere. They were just as violent; just as much drugs, but where cities like Los Angeles and Chicago had relatively few players… This city has too many different gangs, Massey thought. They constantly warred, and no one had enough street cred to unify the gangs. The narcotics and gang divisions still had enough work.

Despite the residential improvement that came and went with the political climate, the warehouse district hadn’t changed in several decades. If there was a gang that had the potential to consolidate, it was the Kings. The gang’s leader, Lil’ Cee, was an unofficial informant. There was no paperwork and no formal relationship with the police department, but if you wanted info on a particular crime or gangster that Lil’ Cee felt had crossed some sort of line, the Kings were known to be… not helpful, Massey thought, but at least not combative. If the world were a different place, Massey imagined the Kings might be some sort of youth league.

Massey worked on the window. Despite the years on the force, he was still out of place in his precinct. The window was useless. No matter how many layers he pulled up, there were still more blocking his view of the interior of the warehouse. He hadn’t seen sentries and lookouts in the normal places. The Kings refused to allow anyone to join under the age on fourteen, so there wasn’t the cliché of kids playing outside and acting as lookouts.

Massey leaned into a door normally guarded and listened for the sounds of partying and other noises. The warehouse was never empty – The Kings made sure of that.

Massey considered calling for backup, but he wasn’t supposed to be here in the first place. It wasn’t a jurisdiction issue, but coming here wasn’t a move a lone detective with as many years on the street as he did should be doing. He took a few steps into the warehouse before thinking better of his actions.
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Chapter 4 – The Waterfall

Beginnings Project

Wow. It’s been almost a week since I wrote any fiction. Everyone is throwing down word counts for this whole Nano thing, and I’m barely doing anything at all. Well, not nothing, I’ve gotta finish a paper for class, and my wife’s sister is visiting from Tennessee. I decided to catch up on a week of flash fiction prompts:

Inspiration Monday
Sunday Photo Fiction
Three Word Wednesday
Sunday Scribblings 2
Friday Flash

I’m continuing Miss Alister’s Transference, click through and keep clicking through to get all the way back to here with part one. I also typed the whole thing up on my Smith-Corona Coronet Super 12, circa 1971, all stream-of-conciousness like. Here’s the 1042 word continuation:

**EDIT** I just realized, I wrote this in the wrong perspective. I’ll need to rewrite in the first person…

* * *

“There’s a storm brewing.”

I glanced toward wind chimes mounted over the cabin door and surveyed the horizon. “Not one that I can see,” I replied.

James stood just behind me, I was performing his sentry duties. “Not that kind of storm,” he chuckled.

I lowered the looking glass focused on an island – the object of my intense scrutiny. It wasn’t James’ style to lurk, shirking his duties. “Pray tell, Skipper.”

I could feel the glare from my captain, blood rushing to change the color of his face. If the man could shoot lasers from his eyes, I expected this would be an excuse to cripple me over my attempted fun. I sheathed my looking glass and took a step towards the capstan, paying heed to the anchor chain as I walked. Each step away from the captain, I felt the heat from the coin compound in my pocket.

Perched atop of the capstan, I grinned at my fuming captain. “Come on, Cap’n. Speak to me,” I hoped my smile would defuse his anger.

The captain of the Zebedee chewed on his cigar for a moment. “How ’bout before I tell you, you enlighten this salty old dog on what you saw with that spyglass of yours.”

I shrugged, leapt down from the capstan and picked up a piece of the netting that was a constant companion aboard ship. I passed the netting between my fingers, drawn to each imperfection, removing debris every few knots. I continued doing this, now second nature, as I complied with my captain.

“There’s a stream on that island there.” I tossed my head in the direction of the greenish-purple island on the horizon. “That stream has a little waterfall. Each time we port near by, I look for it.”
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Jorge, the Carven Dragon

79-09-september-28th-2014

500 words for the Sunday Photo Fiction prompt this week. I forgot about it yesterday, so here it is today:

 

Juanita sighed and braced her hands on her thighs. She winced as she rose to a standing position with her hand finding a familiar position on her back. She brushed the dark dirt from her pants.

“I’m getting too old for this, Jorge.”

She walked to Jorge and wiped away a spider web that had formed between his wing and the top of his head. She ran her hand along the edge of the table where Jorge lay.

She patted Jorge on the top of his head. “I’ll be back with more fertilizer.” She smiled at the impending mirth and continued the routine she established after her husband died so many years ago. “Don’t you go anywhere!”

Jorge had looked over Juanita’s garden for decades. He was a gift from her husband when she announced the vegetables at the supermarket were unfit for consumption.

They were a gardening duo with Juanita planting and caring for the neat rows of vegetables and Jorge guarding it from crows and other avian interlopers.

A scream followed by breaking glass emanated from Juanita’s house. As the day waned into night, Jorge became worried about the sweet old woman. She had left her gardening implements and had not returned with fertilizer. His eyes, perpetually cast towards the sky now rested on the house.

Another day came and went with no appearance of Juanita.

Jorge rose to the tips of his feet and stretched his wings, tail sticking straight up. He hadn’t remembered the last time he had moved. He leapt from his perch, the creaking and scraping of his wings arrested his descent. He padded softly towards the house to satisfy his curiosity and worry.
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Isolation

200 words for the Sunday Photo Fiction this week:

 

I remember sliding down those steps.

A thump followed by a giggle.

My mum would scold me. “You’ll wear out your britches,” she would say, “we haven’t the money for new ones.”

When I’d hit the bottom, I’d gallop up those stairs. The galloping was just as noisy as the thumping, but I could never resist the pull of gravity when my tiny frame overcame the friction of the step.

Perhaps that’s why I became an engineer – the fascination with things like friction and gravity. I didn’t know it then, or even when I started, but those lessons on those steps would be the key to our salvation.

It took twenty years and the gross national product of several first world countries. We were ready.

They shook my hand and I stepped through the hatch. The tower cleared and the ark lifted a centimeter before idling. Then two centimeters. Then four. By the time I left the gravity of our dying world, I was traveling multiples of kilometers.

They were already building a duplicate, but my ship and I would be the first. I had enough DNA samples and tech to birth a new home – if I survived the isolation.


Reoccurring Dreams

Cover-VM

960 words for Sunday Photo Fiction:

“Happy Birthday, Father.” Nichelle handed her father a toy with metal balls strung to a shining frame. The reflection of his face reflected off the metal balls and he brushed his fingers against the letters spelling his name: Leal.

“Thank you, Nichelle.” Leal regarded her sternly. “Perhaps when I named you, I set into motion your fate.” He lifted one of the metal balls and watched it slam into the row. “Much like these metal balls…”

Nichelle rolled her eyes. The argument never changes, she thought. Aloud, she replied, “Just because my name means ‘maiden,’ this does not guide my fate.” She looked up to her father and their eyes locked. “It doesn’t guide your faith either,” she whispered.

Leal’s smile revealed lines of perfect teeth. “I do not remarry or take a woman to bed not because my name means ‘faithful,’ but because I have no interest in such things.”

Nichelle looked away from her father, covering her mouth with her fist. Closing her eyes, she allowed her lips to part and her teeth to touch her fist. Leal waited, patiently. This argument was equally as old.

Nichelle stepped to her father, wrapping her arms around his large frame. The scratchy fabric he wore felt familiar on her cheek. She inhaled deeply, taking in the smell of her father. A hug from Leal filled her with a sense of belonging. That sense filled her, emboldening her resolve.

“Mother has gone to the great beyond many years ago.” She sniffled. “She wouldn’t want you to remain sad on her account.”

“Child,” Leal embraced his daughter at arm’s length, “sadness is not what I feel.” He wiped away her tear with his calloused thumb. “When you were gifted to your mother and I, we knew you’d be destined to do great things. We’d been told by the finest healers the empire had, we would not conceive.” He sat on a bench and pulled Nichelle down to sit next to him.

“Tell me, Father.” She had heard the story many times, but she cherished it, for it was a tale of a mother she never knew. She rested her head on his shoulder.

“We had a fight the night prior. Your mother wanted to adopt orphans and I was so engrossed in my work…” Leal looked down at his lap. Nichelle squeezed his hand, encouraging him to continue. “I acted selfishly, shamefully. That the goddess bestowed her grace on us is testament to her mercy and love.”

“That night, as I slumbered, I had a vivid dream of a woman that I knew was my wife. She surveyed a ruined planet. In my heart, I knew I was seeing her beyond death.”

“What did she look like?” Nichelle whispered.
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16Sunsets – Sixteenth Sunset

500x750-16Sunsets

“Where’re you going?”

Kristof looked out the window to see the beginning rays of the day. “The last two weeks have been a blast, hon.”

Krystal sat up on the bed. “Kristof?”

Kristof sat at the foot of the bed. He stared at the mirror attached to her vanity. “We both knew this day was coming.”

“You look fine,” she said quietly. She crawled to the foot of the bed and hugged her husband from behind.

He patted her arms and replied. “I felt fine before my last M.R.I. scan.”

Krystal squeezed one more time and released him.

“I’m gonna take a bus.”

As Kristof walked to the bus stop, he thought about he events of the last fifteen days. He refused to listen to the nagging voice in his head. So many questions, he thought. Where had his super strength come from? Would he really die today?

The bus rumbled up to the stop, belching dark smoke. Environmentally friendly, indeed, he thought crossly. He fed two dollars into the bill collector and as soon as he stepped past the yellow line on the floor, the bus pulled away from the stop.

* * *

“Where’re you going?”

“Shut your mouth.”

“Shut my mouth? You best check yo’self before ya wreck yo’self.”

Joaquin smiled. “The nineties called, they want their sayin’ back.”

“Puh-leeze.” The woman threw back her sheet and touched Joaquin’s bare back. “Nobody calls no one no more.”

Joaquin picked up a lava lamp on the night stand, shook his head and replaced it.
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16Sunsets – See no Evil

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Major Jacob Globe toed a statue of three meerkats sitting on a log. They were in the classic speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil pose. He stood in a designated smoking area, lined with fake clover. He looked straight up at the open roof and saw a flock of birds fly overhead. The orange sky was getting darker. Sixteen Sunsets, he thought. What did it mean? He took another drag and shivered. The smoking area only featured a single lamp and a heating tower. This late at night he didn’t bother to turn it on. He would’ve been done smoking before it put out enough heat.

“Major?”

Jacob looked up to see his assistant leaning through the doorframe and into the smoking area. She wrinkled he brow and brought her hand up to her nose before stepping back. He dropped his cigarette beside the meerkat statue and crushed it under his boot.

“Recent news on subject three-one-six.” She handed him a flash drive and hurried away.

* * *

“The unidentified man and his female companion left the restaurant before authorities arrived on site. We go now to eyewitness news reporter Amber Ambrosa on the scene.”

The scene changed from the news anchor to a woman in front of a fast food joint.

“Thanks, Stu. I’m live at the restaurant at the corner of Seventh and Riverside where an attempted robbery was foiled by a mystery man.” Amber held her microphone out to the cashier and the scene panned out. “Can you tell us what happened here?”

“I was working my shift here at the restaurant and this dude tried robbing the place. A guy totally kicked his bleep before he could rob the rest of the customers. The mystery man’s my hero.” The cashier blew a kiss toward the camera.

The camera followed Amber as she interviewed other restaurant patrons.

“The guy performed some mad judo and wrestled the gun from the robber. That was so totally righteous!”

“I’m glad someone has the guts to stand up to these thugs. If more people acted like the mystery man, we could take this town back from the gangs.”

“I was in line to order when it happened. I was so frightened; I didn’t know what would happen. Thank God that man was there to stop the robbery.”

The camera swung its focus on Amber again. “Just some words of thanks from grateful patrons. The situation could have been worse if not for the selfless actions of a mysterious hero. For eyewitness news, I’m Amber Ambrosa. Back to you, Stu.”
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Be Cool

#FFC52

I’m combining the Sunday Photo Fiction prompt and Thain’s #FFC52 prompt 32 for this flash. My word processor reports this as 501 words, but there are a few hyphenated words that are counted wrong:

 

John watched four single propeller airplanes perform maneuvers at the end of an air regatta. The four planes banked in formation, white exhaust creating lines in the sky. After about ten minutes, John glanced at his watch.

I’m gonna be late!

He made his way through the crowd. He had a job interview at the airport. He fingered the brim of his hat and pulled it low, hiding his face. He didn’t need the job as a pilot, but the owner of the airline was a friend of his. The inaugural flight was in a month and his friend wanted an ostentatious launch. John smiled at the thought of interviewing for the position. His friend was the founder and CEO, but still answered to the board of directors. John had flown his own Gumman G-II from his Jumbolair airstrip. The flight from Ocala to Orlando-Sanford was uneventful, but he had to leave with plenty of travel time due to the air regatta.

“Mister Travolta?”

John looked up to see a young woman with her hand extended. He grasped her hand firmly and removed his hat. Even though he was a celebrity, today he behaved like a sixty-year-old pilot.

“I’m Jessica, I’ll be conducting your interview today.”

John motioned with the hand holding his hat. Smiling, he replied, “Lead the way, Jessica.”

He followed Jessica into an office with glass walls and waited for her to seat herself behind a desk before sitting himself.

“Mister Travolta, please tell me of your experience with the Boeing seven-oh-seven.”

John cleared his throat. “Well, I’ve flown one as a goodwill ambassador for Qantas.”

Jessica smiled. “The flying Kangaroo?” She looked into his eyes, “You an Aussie?”
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Sixteen Sunsets – Continued

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“Krystal! Something amazing has happened!”

Krystal dropped her phone and turned to the front door.

“Where have you been?” She screamed. “I’ve been on the phone for hours. Why did you leave your car at the hospital?”

Kristof held up his hands. “I’m sorry. I had some stuff to think about.”

Krystal pushed Kristof towards the door. “I know, I talked to doctor Flax.” Tears streaked day-old makeup. “I thought you might have done something to yourself.”

Kristof sat on a bench in the foyer and pulled Krystal down to sit beside him. “I’m sorry, but you have to listen.”

“I have to listen? Ever hear of a cell phone?”

“Listen!” Kristof exploded. He paused to regain his composure and looked out a window next to the front door.

Krystal sat mute, waiting for Kristof to continue.

“How long has that green car been out there?”

“What?”

“The car in the street. How long has it been out there?”

“I don’t know! Don’t change the subject!”

Kristof shushed her and peered out the window.

“Did you just shush me?”

“Look, something crazy happened to me. I gotta check this car out.”

* * *

Kristof exited the house through the back door and hopped over the eight-foot cinder block wall separating the back from the front yards. He slinked to a bush a few feet behind the suspicious car. A pile of cigarette butts pooled by the driver door.

Kristof recognized the reflection of the driver in the side mirror. It was the thug from the night before. Kristof didn’t recognize the other three occupants in the vehicle, but he remembered the threats from the thug.

Kristof considered his options and before he came to a conclusion, Krystal opened the front door. The thug and the other occupants started to open the doors and Kristof knew he had to act.

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