Not Puff – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
This week Al provides us with one of his own fascinating photos, sure to inspire lots of intriguing entries.

Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© A Mixed Bag 2011

Click hear to hear the author read the story:
Not Puff

Our brave hunters go deep into the mountains to slay dragons.
They haul back the great carcasses for the women to cut up and cook.
They drink and boast of their mighty exploits.
The survival of our people was once totally dependent on dragon hunting.
Their meat was our staple diet, and we traded goods made from their skin, their teeth and their claws for corn, vegetables and fruit.
It is less important now, we have learned how to farm and to fish, we are quite self-sufficient.
But, since there is no more war, our men have to prove their valour somehow.
They laugh at me, because I follow them to the mountains.
After they return home to their roistering, I search for the eggs, and the babies.
I take them to my little hut, and raise them as my own.
I hand feed them, give them names, Donald, Derek, Dorothy, Deborah.
The women mock me, ask why I never call one Puff, after my favourite song.
Because Puff is my favourite, I say.
The dragons grow up gentle and trusting, incapable of harming humans.
Then I release them.
Our brave hunters go deep into the mountains to slay dragons.

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Walk Away – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
And she contributes this week’s intriguing photo which, and I am only guessing, was not taken in Kansas City.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Click here to hear the author read this 1 minute story:
Walk Away

I watch you walk away.
You always walk so beautifully.
Each time you return I ask you to stay.
And you do, until the next time you leave.
You have hurt me so badly, so often.
When I beg you not to do this, you smile.
When I swear to you that I will not take you back again, you laugh.
When I swear that I will not let you go, you wave goodbye.
You know how much I love you, how much I long for your touch.
I watch you walk away.
But, this time, only in my mind.

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The Grass – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
This week Al provides us with a superb photo by Eric Wicklund, who bears no responsibility for the tortured convolutions of what passes as my creative process.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Eric Wicklund

Click here to hear the author read aloud this 90-second story:
The Grass

The Mediterranean soothes my soul.
I sit at the end of the jetty in evening sunshine.
Gazing across the port entrance to the little lighthouse perched on the sea wall opposite, I am at peace with the world.
Then my eye is caught by what looks like grass, in the middle of the channel.
I am confused, because it is not floating, just tips protruding above the surface.
I wonder if it might be a submerged log, which could be dangerous to small craft.
As I ponder this, I imagine that the grass is growing longer.
Then I see a leaf, or several, on a twig, rising higher out of the water.
Within minutes I know it is not my imagination, vegetation is sprouting out of the sea.
People on other jetties are pointing, shouting, running.
I turn to head for the shore, then stop in horror.
Between me and safety is a ten foot wide writhing mass of knee-deep thorny scrub.
The plants are taking over.

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Wedding Reception – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
Al’s photo this week makes me think of
armies on the march, so my thought process evolved fairly naturally.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Al Forbes

Click here to hear the story read aloud by the author:
Wedding Reception

Weddings are great fun.
Not the church rubbish, or the boring speeches and stuff.
No, the bit after that, when the dancing starts.
And the fighting.
Actually I have been told that this doesn’t happen everywhere, but in Scotland it is kind of a tradition.
Especially in small towns, where everybody knows everybody.
Grudges are held, so old scores get settled.
By this time there have been a few toasts.
That really helps.
Then somebody looks at somebody else’s girl, or a comment is made, and they’re off.
Like the Wild West, sometimes.
Or large parts of Europe when old Julius Caesar was having a tantrum.
So I’m down here in darkest Ayrshire.
And it’s a mixed marriage*, so a battle is guaranteed.
I look around for a bit, and I am glad I brought the Uzi.

*In Scotland this means that one of the combatants is Protestant, the other a Roman Catholic.

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The Last Goodbye – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
This week
Al has selected one of my photos as the prompt. It shows a statue in Glasgow’s Buchanan Street Bus Station, almost invariably my point of arrival in my home city when I visit Scotland.
My story below is a variation on one which appears in Medville Matters, my recently published book of flash fiction, still selling like tepid scones. I consider it cheating to do this, but could not shake the connection from my mind, sorry.

Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© C. E. Ayr

Click here to hear the story read by the author:
The Last Goodbye

I know I have to do it, but I really do not want to go.
And I do not want to tell her I am leaving, this time for good.
I think of that first night, that first kiss under a lamppost.
Even then neither of us was young, and yet it has been the longest relationship in either of our lives.
Love at first sight?
Probably close enough, although we both laugh at the notion.
It has not always been smooth, but we survived everything, and stayed together.
And now I am going to hurt her.
I am going to say goodbye.
I see in her eyes that she already knows.
The tears are already forming.
I wonder if she will ask me to stay, make it even harder.
But she does not.
Instead she kisses me again, although this time there is no lamppost.
Wait for me there, my love, she says, pointing out across the Mediterranean.
The mermaids will take care of your soul until I join you.

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The Three Bears – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
This week’s delightful photo by Karuna took me straight to the happy world of Fairy Tales.
Well, what do you want me to say?
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Karuna

Click here to hear this 1-minute story read aloud by the writer:
The Three Bears

Once upon a time there were three bears
Life was good, and food was bountiful.
There was a Daddy Bear
The streams ran fast and clean.
We caught salmon.
There was a Mummy Bear
The forest was lush.
We ate fruit and berries.
There was a Baby Bear
The air was fresh.
We lazed in the sunshine.

Then the men came.
They dammed the streams.
Someone has eaten my porridge
They cut down the trees.
Someone has broken my chair
Their dogs ran through the forest, terrorising the animals.
Then they brought guns.
And they all lived happily ever after

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The Monster – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
This week our intrepid leader pr
ovides an entertaining image, which sadly took me to the darkest of dark places.
My apologies in advance, especially to UK readers.

Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Al Forbes

Click here to hear this 90-second story read by the author: The Monster

I stare out over the desolate moorland.
The newspaper slips from my fingers, falls to the ground.
The headline screams up at me.
The Monster is Dead
And there is the photograph of the face that has haunted me for five decades.
Beside it, as always, is the equally evil countenance of his blonde accomplice.
A tear runs down my face.
I am surprised, I thought I had cried myself dry long ago.
But now I realise they will only stop when I die.
It won’t be long now, I am over eighty years old.
My little boy would be sixty, almost a pensioner.
I would probably be a grandfather.
But no, he would probably be a grandfather!
But he didn’t even live into his teens.
Because of these creatures.
It has always been believed that he is buried out here, but now we will never know for sure.
That is the final, cruellest pain.
That even on his deathbed this vile being could not feel enough humanity to say where they had put my boy.
I stare out over the desolate moorland.
And weep.

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