Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by Susan Spaulding, who has taken over this great weekly prompt from my old friend Al Forbes.
And she provides this week’s photo, which made me think of a character introduced by JS Brand in The Open Road, a Finish the Story challenge I recently contributed to.
The idea here is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
Click on this link to enter your tale, and see what others have written.
Click here to hear the author read the tale:
Zip’s humour is getting blacker by the minute.
Only a few years ago he thought he was the happiest guy alive.
He was married to his high school sweetheart, the prettiest girl in the state by a country mile.
He got the job of his dreams with the highway patrol, riding a Harley.
Back then he was a sunny-faced optimist, thinking his life was perfect.
Then he discovered that new rules for policing meant he had to go soft on this riff-raff that was ruining his country.
Long-haired hippy wasters, blacks, Mexicans, heavens knows what else, and he has to be polite to them!
They all deserve to be beaten up, or drafted, or both.
And that idle lump of lard that his wife has become.
She got that way having babies, girl babies, no use to a man like him.
Where’s the son he wants, a boy to teach how to play football, to fish and, most importantly, to shoot.
But what’s this ahead?
In the middle of nowhere.
A woman in a dress, all fancied up.
With a flat.
It seems like, after all, there is a god.
And he has delivered unto Zip.
I can only hope that Zip gets what’s coming to him.
There are two many like him as it.
Poor Zip! God has granted only two of his wishes. Patrolling highway on his Harley and helping this beautiful damsel in distress. About his other wishes, a man does not get everything he wants. He has to grin and bear his fate.
Not sure he wants to help the damsel, sir, I fear he has ulterior motives.
Thanks for visiting again
A downhill tale, Zip had better watch his back.
He ain’t a nice guy, that’s for sure
Hi CE, thank you for giving Zip another shot. The Zip I introduced was originally Cecil Nolan, but was given the nickname Zip by his unimaginative Highway Patrol colleagues, in honour of Zip Nolan, a character in the Lion comic in the 1960s and 70s. I can’t explain how American cops knew about the characters in a British comic.
The Lion’s Zip was beyond reproach. I made new Zip less than perfect and he’s been slipping deeper into depravity ever since. Good!
I should have mentioned that the original Zip was immortalised in song by a punk band, Cult Figures (link below). The band seems to have made a comeback; their genre’s different but they might make a good support for the Crawling Bones?
Good grief, Rickenbacker, what have we got ourselves into here!
Ol’ Zip might be more trouble than he is worth, it seems, unless I specifically give him another surname.
Like Yirgub, perhaps?
And maybe I should have asked you if you are okay with me using and abusing your creation in this way?
Do you have the lyrics for the song, which is quite amusingly Grandpa Punk?
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Zip Yirgub would work. It’s just as likely that people outside the Highway Patrol would call him Zip, after the original one, as that his colleagues would call him that if his surname was Nolan.
Who’d have thought trying to pay tribute to one of my childhood heroes would have put us into a quandary?
I’m perfectly happy with you using or abusing any of my flash fiction characters by the way.
I haven’t been able to find a full set of lyrics, but when I’ve a few minutes to spare I’ll pass on the ones I know.
Cult Figures definitely look like Grandpa Punks in the video, but they formed in 1977 and split up a few years later. It looks like they got back together a couple of years ago, released an album and started gigging again. There’s hope for all of us!
Read the original too.. Nice development for your character.
Thank you, Violet, I am not sure if he will reappear or not.
Excellent character piece, and I know what happens next to him too! 🙂
Good trick, Iain, I haven’t written the sequel yet.
Don’t spoil it for me, okay!
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Zippadeedodah! This will either go very well or fall very flat!
Ol’ Zip has a plan, how it will turn out is as yet uncertain.
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Ambiguous last line there. Hmmm, he might just meet his punishment!
Rest assured Zip is up to no good.
As for the pretty lady in the dress, who knows.