Sunday Photo Fiction 7-12-2017

Each week a photo is used, donated by one of the participants of Sunday Photo Fiction, and the idea is to write a story with the photo as a prompt in 200 words or less.

205 07 July 9th 2017

© A Mixed Bag

Quiet Afternoon At The Pub

“The White Horse?”
“Sure” Kerry replied, Welsh accent stronger in-country.
“Gonna drink me under the table?”
“As if you drank. Be nice to just sit and chill. Don’t have a gig until tomorrow.”
Chris halted; regarded the bassist.
“Drew the short straw, huh?”
“Yeah, well,” Kerry grimaced. Their band mate, Jay, made Chris-Patrol look easy.
With a laugh, Chris headed into the Pub, settling at the end of the bar. The bassist ordered a pint. Chris water.
“Butts gonna think you’re a pussy. Drinking water in a pub.”
“You brought the Pub into the picture. If I’m a pussy, you’re a pussy.” Paused, then asked, “So what?”
“Just checking…making sure you’re okay.”
“On the daily check-in front, I’m fine.”
“You sure?” They didn’t need Chris dropping into one of his depressions this early in the tour.
Three men started to tune up; fiddle, tin whistle and Crwth.
Before long, both rockers were lost in the music.

Crwth- a Welsh form of stringed lyre which is played with at bow and which has a range of just one octave.

Friday Fictioneers 4-18-2017



PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Friday Fictioneers 

Chris leaned back with a sigh of contentment. Dante lay on the bed, groaning. Jay, on the floor. The hotel room was a wreak; not torn apart, just a constant scattering of things here to there.

“Good pizza,” Jay managed, saxophone laid beside him.

“Have more.”

“Piss off, Chris. If I eat more, I’ll explode. What then, huh?”

Dante grunted in agreement.

Chris sipped his wine, pleasantly buzzed.

“Where are we?” Jay asked.

“Frick if I know. Somewhere with good pizza.”

Chris snorted, finished his wine. Touring was hell, but he’d never been happier.

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers 3-12-2017


photo-20170306154630013This week’s photo prompt is provided by Mike Vore. 

Guide for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

1. A prompt photo will be provided each Tuesday to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.

2. Linking for this challenge begins on Tuesday and runs to the following Monday evening.

3. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try to stay within this limit.

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers


Chris whipped the cover off the piano and sat down, fingers running lightly over the keys as he waited for the rest of the band to settle. He’d been awake the last 72 hours in a frenzy of writing; never a good sign in the studio.

“So,” Dante asked, having drawn the short straw, “what’s on the agenda today.”

“Same as yesterday,” fingers stroking ivory. “We have to get it right.”

“We got it right yesterday,” Jay put in.

Chris stopped playing. “Once. Out of how many times?”

The rest of the band simultaneously cleared throats, sighed.

“Once,” Jay admitted, “if I remember correctly, out of …hum-ah… many times.”

“All right then.” Chris started to play again.
“I thought once we got famous, we were supposed to enjoy, not slave away.”

When Chris looked up, no one claimed that statement.

“We are not famous enough.”

The rest of the band shared a look.

“Ah, silly me,” Dante muttered.

Another long day in paradise.

Sunday Photo Fiction – February 5th 2017 – “Among Friends”


Each week a photo is used, donated by one of the participants of Sunday Photo Fiction, and the idea is to write a story with the photo as a prompt in around 200 words.



© J Hardy Carroll

Sunday Photo Fiction 

Among Friends

“Holy MOG,” Jay exclaimed, looking at the tangle of dusty bottles crowding the shelf.

“You did mention redecorating,” Chris grinned.

“My wife would kill me. You decorate with it.”

“Doesn’t fit my decor.”

“And it fits mine?”.

Dante wandered over.

“Jay is thinking about redecorating.”

“I am not. Asshole.”

Dante said something in Italian, probably not complementary. He was their trumpeter, trombonist, jack-of-all-brass-instruments guy. Except for Jay’s sax.

“I was about to say,” Chris continued, “with his herd of kids, they wouldn’t be breaking anything valuable.”

“Dante has as many kids as I do!”

“You guys tire me out.” This from Dante. “Besides, seven kids isn’t a herd.”

“That Chinese bottle would look good in your kitchen, Dante,” Chris returned. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Whiskey?”

Dante had recently stopped drinking. They all had at one time or another, but he’d had the hardest time.

Dante snorted. “How’d you like a fricking ‘Closed’ sign on your door next time a herd of sex-starved women buffalo over.”

“Buffalos?” Both Chris and Jay asked.


Throwing his arms about their shoulders, Chris laughed, “All this fucking crap makes me hungry. Let’s eat.”


Friday Fictioneers 2-3-2017


roger-bultot-flowerPHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot


Chris glanced out the window to the lot below. What the hell was he doing in New York in the middle of fucking winter? He could have chosen LA – warm LA, mind you  –  or even gone home for studio work.

She came up behind him, slipping arms about his waist. “You can’t leave already.”

“I’m supposed to be working, you know.”

She turned him around, hands sliding behind his neck.

“You are working. You’re working on me.”

With a laugh, he let her slide the shirt off his shoulders, shedding clothes as they returned to the bedroom.


Daily Post One Word Prompt – Maddening



He set the book in his lap and leaned back, nape of his neck resting against the rough horse-hide of the chair. Not his choice of sitting accouterments, but then again, this wasn’t his place. More a borrowed place.

Regardless of ownership, he loved this place. It allowed him to escape the endless ebb and flow of the world. Of reporters and paparazzi; a million people calling his name, pulling him in a million difference directions. The second leg of their tour started in two weeks and he was wiped out. He loved touring, loved interacting with the fans, but the older he got the more downtime he needed if, for nothing else, the fragile thing he called sanity.

Not that he considered himself anywhere near sane. Life in the music biz had never been sane. His parents had called him high-sprung; his friends crazy and the band members, probably, an arrogant prick.  Which, he was. He was all of the above, but fronting a band like The Secret Agents and being the main creative genius, didn’t tend to engender one towards sanity.

Jay walked in and sank down into the other chair, shifting around to get comfortable. “I hate these chairs.”

Chris raised his eyebrows. “And you are sitting there why?”

“To bug the hell out of you.”

Chris snorted.  “Well done, Jazzman. Well done.”

“The call earlier was Kerry,” Jay said, leaning over to look at the book in Chris’ lap. “He’ll be back by the beginning of next week.  Rudy should be here by then, too.”

Kerry was thir bassist. Rudy the drummer, both coming in upon the departure of an original band member.

“So why the hell are you here and not amongst that gypsy band you call kids.”

“It’s so not a gypsy band,” Jay protested.

“How many kids is it now?” Chris asked.  “Ten… twenty?”


“And one on the way.”

“Well, yeah.” Jay blushed, faint redness spreading across brown skin. “I’ll be heading home for few days so I can be back with the others.”

They fell silent.

“Are you all right?” Jay asked.

“Yeah,” came the answer, more upbeat than was the truth. He was never wholly all right, but he’d learned to keep himself to himself. It made things easier all around. No one need know the maddening world inside him.

He felt Jay watching him, figured  he wasn’t fooling the other man.

“No more broken mirrors,” Jay said, suddenly serious.


“Make sure you eat.”



“Yep.” He was lying and they both knew it.

Rising, Jay lay a hand on his shoulder.  “Call me.”

“Yep.” He didn’t watch Jay walked out. Heard the faint sound of the outer door closing behind him.

Alone folded him inside. Hidden, sinking into the disorder of his own mind.




FRIDAY FICTION with RONOVAN WRITES Prompt Challenge #30-Favorite Song

Word Count is off! Let’s focus on the theme of the thing. Not many actually stick to the word count anyway. (SUGGESTED-No more than 500 if you want to try that.)

Using the prompt of ‘Favorite Song’, WRITE. Use your Favorite Song as inspiration for your fiction. Maybe it’s the title for it or maybe it appears in the story in some way? (REQUIRED)

DEADLINE IS: 23:59 EST (New York Time) Wednesday

Click Here for more stories.

Play this. Play that. Play my favorite song. Giggle, giggle, ohhhh, ahhhhh. What’s your favorite song you didn’t write? That you wrote? He’d heard them all and more. The songs, of course, but also the cries and pleas. The screams. From reporters. Talk show hosts. Fans. Whispered on pillows between intimacies done for very different reasons. And, on his side, just because he could. There had been a few years of drinking and a few of drugs – more to focus his attention, keep him going, – than for recreation. He’d never thought of drugs as recreation. Now, he didn’t drink and he didn’t drug and he didn’t….. well…. he didn’t do any of those things from his younger years. Except the intimacies.

What he did was music. In the mixed-up world of  stardom and fame, he’d clung to his music like he’s clung to his sanity. Music had always been his high, only he’d forgotten for a while. It’s hard to remember the truth when a gaggle of fans are tearing off your clothes.

“So,” asked the anchor of one of those morning shows – he’d have to ask his publicist which one – , “What is your favorite song that you’ve written?”

Over the years, he’d answered differently, just to keep everybody guessing. All part of the game of superstar and fan. Really, Superstar and the World.

His mind  flipped through the endless loop in his head, looking for the best answer. They would never learned the truth, because they didn’t want the truth.

They wanted Story.

Truth was, his songs were his autobiography.

“My favorite song?” Which would he choose? Heaven or Hell? He wasn’t a hell or heavens man. If he was, he’d be in deep shit. He’d come to believe each person created their own heaven and hell right here, right now, every moment of their lives..

“I always said if I wrote anything country, the title would be ‘My Love Is Like A Toaster, It Keeps Popping Up And Down.”

Finally, the right answer. His favorite song was the song unwritten, lingering just on the edge of consciousness, waiting to be heard.

Canned laughter. He no longer wanted a canned life.





Daily Post One Word Challenge – Giggle

Giggles erupted behind him, no doubt suppressed hand over mouth. He wanted to sigh. He didn’t, but the urge was definitely there. Even without turning, he knew it would be two young girls, wide-eyed and innocent (at least to him) trying to look at him while pretending not to look. Ah, the price of fame.

For a moment, he considered turning, then dismissed the notion. They were too damn young. He could tell by the sound of the giggles. He’d become a connoisseur of giggles over his career. A woman’s giggle was different from a teen’s; a teen’s different from a child’s. Truth was, his daughter was likely older than the giggle girls behind him.

He was hot and sweaty from working out in the hotel gym, wanted nothing more than a shower and breakfast before another day of celebrity began. His public face was thin these day, exhausted by the endless days of tour busing, concerts, parties and VIP’s to be schmoozed.

Sometimes, he actually wondered what the hell he was doing. Told himself, every time, he was living the dream, his dream, the one he’d harbored since sitting down in front of the piano when he was three. Such a long distance between here and there.

Twenty more days and he’d be free; sand, sun and waves in his future. Cocktails if he still drank, which he didn’t. The important part of the equation was alone. Well, maybe not totally alone.

The ding of the elevator pulled him from his thoughts. Stepping in, he turned, eyes catching those of the two teen-age gigglers.  He couldn’t help but give them his best smile as the doors closed.

To read more posts, click Giggle

Daily Post – Money for Nothing

If you’re like most of us, you need to earn money by working for a living. Describe your ultimate job. If you’re in your dream job, tell us all about it — what is it that you love? What fulfills you? If you’re not in your dream job, describe for us what your ultimate job would be.

When I read the prompt, the first thing that popped into my mind was the classic Dire Straits line, ‘Money for nothing and your chicks for free.’ So I decided to let some characters I know tell you about it.
Money for Nothing


“This,” Chris said emphatically, as if putting his foot down, “is the best job in the world.”

“Money for nothing?” Jay, saxophonist extraordinaire, asked.

Chris gave him the smile that thrilled thousands of girls out of their underwear. “And your chicks for free!”

Somebody groaned, probably Kerry.

“Hey, it’s true,” Chris went on, sipping his drink.  “We get to travel all over the world.”

“It’s not free,” Jay pointed out.

“Hell, at this stage, what do we care?  The shows pay for themselves and more. Best food, best hotels, best parties, best sex… and all we have to do is get on stage and do what we love.”

Unable to argue the point, Jay stayed silent, letting Chris bask. Maybe he shouldn’t, but after all they had been through, why not?  The other man might be the biggest asshole in the world at time, perfectionist to the nth degree, ego bigger than the clouds plus that artistic temperament on the side, but he was Chris. Who’d want to change that?

It was Chris’ genuis with music and lyrics – and his face – which propelled them to stardom. Not that he and the others weren’t talented, they all were, but in the face of Chris’ genius, ego and face? Way outclassed. Which was okay. He didn’t want the spotlight. He wanted to play his sax and enjoy life. They’d all fallen into their little niches, each one a perfect fit. He liked his niche.

“So, we know it’s the groupi…. girls….. for you, Chris,” Kerry said, accent not as heavy as it had once been, “but not for us all. I personally go for the ‘get off the sheep farm’ view of the deal.”

“Yeah, well,” Chris replied, “You were the one born all hell out in the backwater of some dinky Welsh town.  No wonder you wanted out.”

Kerry laughed. It was true. He couldn’t see himself a craggy old sheep farmer. He loved his home but sheep….not so much. He played because he loved music, so when he was offered a chance to join the band, he’d jumped and hadn’t regretted it since. This was the life he’d dreamed of since before he could remember.

“We travel all over the world,” Chris repeated, “do what we love… by which I am speaking of music, Kerry, so get your mind out of the gutter.”

Snorting, Kerry zinged, “There isn’t enough room in the gutter with you there.”

“Then wait your turn like a good little Welshie.”

Jay smiled.  They were all so different, brought together through the love of music. Music did things to the heart and soul, woke memories of ancient things, times when maybe men had trusted each other and lived in peace. Music was life and life was music. Anybody who thought different was deluded. Music was everywhere. In the stars, in the sky, in the babbling brook. The wind. Rain. Even the deep throb of bass in the cacophony of human life. They had been born to music, carried it in their souls wherever they went..

In the arena, the crowd was screaming, ready to fall in love all over again. In Chris’ case, panties at the ready. They exploded onto the stage like fireworks, pouring out their collective soul to the universe.

This was the best job in the world.