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Back for another installment of Friday Fictioneers! This one was inspired by the volatile weather that blew through here the day after Christmas. My roommate and I spent the long night watching storm track after storm track head our way gaining intensity, only to drift east. We were grateful to be spared, not knowing what was happening elsewhere. While I (tucked away safely in Fort Worth) was very lucky, eleven people in Dallas were not. Tornadoes ripped through neighborhoods, across a busy major freeway, and destroyed homes, businesses, and churches. The system moved across the United States adding to the death toll and damage. It still seems very surreal even though I live in prime tornado territory.

Whims of Fate

photo copyright - Jean L. Hays

Photo copyright – Jean L. Hays

Sherry surveyed the damage, trying not to burst into tears.

The diner had fallen on hard times. It was in the Boecker family for generations. She was in danger of losing it in the economic downturn. Sherry considered selling it. Then the tornado blew through leaving behind one wall and a pile of rubble where her business once stood. Now she couldn’t even sell.

Her son Ricky called out, “Look, Mom! Dad’s stained glass window made it.”

The real miracle came two days later when she found the insurance policy her husband took out on the diner before he passed.

———————-

Check out the rest of the great stories using this photo prompt by clicking on the little froggy below.

This summer has been a bit rough, leaving very little time or energy for much more than going to my “day” job. I hope to get back to more writing. It boosts my confidence and helps me forget evenings in retail for a while. I’ve tried and failed a few attempts to get any serious work done on my cozy mystery. But I’ll get there soon. I’ve slowly gotten together my main cast of small town Texas characters and now need to get on with the details of the homicide and ensuing investigation. 🙂

This week’s picture for Friday Fictioneers reminds that I’ve let another thing I enjoy immensely (my genealogy research) fall by the wayside with the drama and stress of the last couple of months. Hopefully I can get back to that as well. Enjoy the micro story!

PHOTO PROMPT - © Claire Fuller

PHOTO PROMPT – © Claire Fuller

Connections

Sally was so close to finding Barbara, the sister she’d not seen since third grade. She thought Barbara died. Mother wouldn’t talk about her. Grown-ups got quiet anytime Sally asked.

It was fifteen years before Sally discovered their father took Barbara when he lost parental rights. It took another year to figure out he’d dumped her at his grandmother’s house. He died shortly afterwards without telling anyone about his wife and other child. Now all Sally had was the grandmother’s name and hometown.

Heading into search Clarksville city records for information, she stared at the clerk with her face.

“Barbara?”

Back after another long hiatus with a new story for Friday Fictioneers. I know this is possibly too soon to write on this incident but the words refused to leave. I couldn’t think of anything else to write for the prompt. All I could think about was a frightened five year old. I apologize if this bothers anyone.

 

Chandelier seen from directly underneath

Photo Prompt – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

Justice

It’s been forty years since the tragedy, since my grandma held me still while people died all around me. Most of what I know of that day comes what I was told, from the stories about Great Aunt Susie, about my brave uncle. All I remember is feeling scared but safe in grandma’s arms, of the certainty that I mustn’t move a muscle or look at what was happening. I remember the ceiling, the first thing I saw when the police showed up.

So much pain. So much loss. And it changed nothing. No justice, no peace. My administration will change that.

#prayingforcharleston #blacklivesmatter

Photo copyright - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Photo copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Fading

The photo changed for the last time when Geraldine died. Years ago, it was full of smiling faces lined up on the veranda the day of our big family reunion, the one time we were all together. First we lost Grandpa. I knew the picture was different when his image vanished from it. Then went Uncle Charles. One by one, the family disappeared, the photo more lonely and bare. I’m all that’s left of the group. The only part of the image left now is the family homestead. What will happen to the picture once I, the photographer, am gone?


Here’s a VERY late submission to Friday Fictioneers.

Photo copyright - Melanie Greenwood

Photo copyright – Melanie Greenwood

This week’s story started out in my mind as something more melancholy or ethereal. As is usual for me, it didn’t actually come out the way I planned. I never know where my muse will go until she’s already left me behind. 🙂 Hope you like my take on the photo for this week’s Friday Fictioneers. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Ah, well. There’s always next week.

Destined to…

It seemed like a fun way to spend the day, to lose myself in the beauty of nature. I turned my face to the warmth of the sun, stiff breeze at my back, and entered the maze. I felt an energy the moment I crossed the threshold. No sounds penetrated the green walls. The energy tugged, a faint voice directed me to the center, to the answer to all my questions. As I entered the heart of the maze, the voice said, “Your gift in this life is–”

Awoken from the dream by my stupid cat, now I’ll never know.

Time for another Friday Fictioneers! I’m not sure what I think of this one but I’ll share it anyway.

Charlie

“Are you sure it didn’t start at one of the power outlets?” Ted pointed at an unplugged switch plate.

“We checked them. No scorching, no residue,” Kurt sighed. “They’re clean. Well, relatively clean.”

“The fire had to start somewhere. And don’t say it was spontaneous human combustion.”

“Of course not. There’s no such thing,” Kurt huffed. “The fire didn’t spread across the body. It consumed everything at once. What could cause that?”

“Hell if I know. You’re the expert.”

Kurt didn’t voice his thoughts. Five strange fires. Victims all child molesters. He knew pyrokinesis sounded crazier than spontaneous combustion.

The Fictioneer gang’s all here!

Photo copyright - Georgia Koch

       Photo copyright – Georgia Koch

Sorry so late to the Friday Fictioneers game this week. A new semester and two new classes had me scrambling on this one. I’m still not all that happy with this piece but I was determined to come up with something. I need to push through the harder ones and not only try ones that immediately spark an idea. I didn’t put the official inLinkz code at the bottom. It seems to be giving me some trouble. Most of my links from older stories have broken or vanished altogether, so I’m using a traditional text link until I can figure out the problem.

The Lady of Shalott

Much like Anne Shirley as she floated down the river reciting the Lady of Shalott, I was minding my own business. Not at all in need of a rescue. Mother nature had other ideas. A sudden deluge washed my tiny Yaris into a ditch before I could react, quickly rising nearly to the windows. I crawled out the window and onto the car as the water continued to rise. I was never happier than that moment to see the Ford F-350 pull up close. “Hop in the back,” he said. Damn. He was the last person I wanted to see.

Here’s all the other fine work for the week

Photo Copyright - Jan Wayne Fields

Photo Copyright – Jan Wayne Fields

I couldn’t seem get a solid handle on a story for last week’s Friday Fictioneers. Several possibilities popped into mind immediately this week. I look forward to reading the myriad of interpretations.

Above Reproach

It was his fault. He posted articles online. He joined the movement. He was the one to speak out against the corrupt government, bought and paid for by the major corporations.

Nigel assumed he was untouchable, that his family’s status would shield him. He never considered the consequences to his family. Away for a weekend of protests, Nigel returned to find an empty home. While he played crusader for strangers, the mayor’s personal army came for his mother and sisters. Cold dinner waited in the kitchen to be served. Nigel waited at the window, hoping against hope for their return.

Yay! I finally managed to come up with a story for a prompt. It’s been a few weeks again since I participated in Friday Fictioneers.The last few prompts brought nothing to my frazzled mind. I think my current class of writing about place might be the culprit for this piece. I’ve been thinking a lot about places I’ve been and want to be.

Copyright - Melanie Greenwood

Copyright – Melanie Greenwood

Remember When

As I take the photo I can hear the animated conversations in my head. Words like kerning, tables, and frames are interspersed with mocking color scheme choices, abuses of clip art, and the hazards of working with charcoals instead of pencils. Amidst the smells of cafeteria fries and pizza, the taste of watered down fountain drinks and Starbucks hastily acquired between classes, we bitched about how hard some teachers rode us and how easy others were, lamenting and rejoicing the fact we weren’t any of us a teacher’s pet. Fifteen years later, I still miss the camaraderie of those days.

ImageI seem to be hit or miss with Friday Fictioneers, but here’s my next entry! I will probably be even more absent next month as July is another session of Camp NaNo and I very much need to start work on the cozy mystery series I keep threatening to write. Photo copyright – Mary Shipman


Starting Fresh

Cheryl worried about wiping away the remains of her childhood, destroying memories as sure as she was taking down the wall in the room. The home had been in the family for generations, each one adding to it without making major changes. Now she was breaking down walls, adding in modern amenities, throwing out old wallpaper and carpet. As much as she wanted to pass that down to the next generations, she couldn’t. For the sake of meeting damned standards of a neighborhood that built around her in the last twenty years, she had to gut everything and start fresh.

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