JSW Prompt 5-17-2021

The JSW Challenge is open to anybody who wishes to participate. Using the writing prompt, write a flash fiction no longer than 500 words and post to your page. The Challenge starts on Monday and runs through Sunday each week. Please remember to link your story back to this post so everyone can read your entry.

©️csknotts2020

Friday Fictioneers 5-14-2021

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

She wound her way through the foreignness in her own backyard, smiling shyly at the vendors hawking their wares. The mix of languages floated through the air like exotic birdsong, falling around her like rain. Stopping beside a metal gate, she hesitated, looking around, then stepped inside, hurrying down the concrete stairs. Inside the dim restaurant below, she shook her head at the waiters, making her way back, through the kitchen, and out the back door. Putting in earbuds, she listened to the news of the assassination. No one would find her here.

JSW 5-10-21

The JSW Challenge is open to anybody who wishes to participate. Using the writing prompt, write a flash fiction no longer than 500 words and post to your page. The Challenge starts on Monday and runs through Sunday each week. Please remember to link your story back to this post so everyone can read your entry.

Friday Fictioneers 5-7-2021

See the source image
PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

“How’s that for moving houses?” Van asked.

He shrugged. It wasn’t a house, it was a trailer. Extra wide maybe, but still a trailer.

“I can’t wait to stand on our front porch,” Emmy said with a clap of hands.

It wasn’t a porch…. it was a extended door.

“Yeah.”

“What? Honey aren’t you excited?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, you could act like it!”

Well, he could, but what was he excited about? Not a trailer no matter how pretty inside. Not a bolted together house….

Walking away was what he was excited about and he did.

Retro Thursday 5-6-2021

 BY ATHLING2001

How Do you Kill a Monster without Becoming One….

———-

It ain’t easy.  That much is for sure.  Been a long time since I killed anything but back in the day….. yeah…. back in the day…..

It came for me when I was 15.  Thought I was tough then, I did.  Big swagger as I walked down the street.   Tough words.  Angry words.  Ugly words.  Funny how when you’re young you think those things make you tough.  Don’t take me wrong.  I was a scrapper.  I’d been in any number of street fights.  All my life.  Thought that made me tough, too.  How little I knew.

It came on a Monday.  I was home.  Had to be.  My little sister was there.  Didn’t like to leave her alone at night.  Not if I could help it.  We had day-old hot dogs for dinner.  A dented can of baked beans.  Marshmellow fluff. 

Lived in a series of rooms. Used to be offices when the building was a warehouse. One central room with a hotplate, couple broke-back chairs. A table. A radio. Another room with two mattresses on the floor. A bathroom that worked. Barely. But enough for water to clean and cook. I’d installed locks on the doors. Kept us safe so far. Then again, I wasn’t asleep yet.

Been years now. Too many. Never did find my little sister. I looked for her sometimes. All the times. That face in the crowd. A voice across a street. A dream of before I’d become a monster. But now… now I am old. Haven’t killed in years.

Weren’t killing that’d made me a monster. No. Abandoning her did. Ran when the Government people finally tracked us down. Gonna take us into the system. Foster homes. Schools. The ‘right’ life. Couldn’t take that. And so I ran.

She screamed. Begged. Tears. Never did forget that. Never did forget the sound of tears. Sound rang in my ears the rest of my days. Still there now. But it’s gonna be gone soon.

Soon. Another breath. Two. Another tear. I’ll no longer be a monster.

Story For The Week 5-4-2021

 BY ATHLING2001

JSW Prompt 4-30-2015 Response

9a4fc7a92c0923684b458b5d424ab0db
psycho path

I couldn’t help adding this picture when I ran across it..


I am broken.  Horrible way to introduce myself, I know.

“Hi, I’m Broken.  Nice to meet you ….”  Not!

Horrible and yet, why should I be ashamed?  Better hair, better skin, better teeth.  Better body.  Whooo boy, that’s a big one. Bigger than I that’s for sure. Much bigger.  So who and what am I? I can’t change, can’t make myself tall or shorter (for longer than I can squat), prettier, nicer, happier.  Seems like we always want the thing that we aren’t.

But back to me.  I was born broken, or so I’m told.  A wrinkled little prune of a baby boy, covered in blood and cawl.  I noticed I was different when I was four, fascinated by the flies dying on the windowsills and floors, snatched from life by the Mother’s flyswatter.  Maybe the Mother knew by then, but maybe not.

I knew and that was all that mattered.  In fact, from then on, I was all that mattered.

Lots of people think of psychopaths as Hannibal Lecter, Tom Ripley, Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair or everyone’s favorite psychopath, Dexter, and rightly so.  The important point, however, is most of you *don’t* think of psychopaths as the neighbor next door or the woman in the cubical.  You actually think we’re…. normal.

Don’t you know being a psychopath is the best thing in the world but it’s not normal, not by a mile. At least not in the way the world in large defines normal.  But aren’t we all different?  Aren’t we all psychopathic in one way or another?

Maybe we chose our own lives, our own paths.  I’m assured by the ‘New Agers’ this is correct.  We choose out lives, our trials, what we need to learn in each life.  Actually, I like the mental image of me in my baby form sitting there, all the paths of the world laid out before me.  I could be anything or anyone I want.  A President.  A King.  Famous equestrian. A poor, broken, woman in a war-torn land. (Not sure why anybody would choose such a thing but then I’ve never understood the thinking of the bovine masses.)  Are they too afraid to stand apart and shine?

Out of all those choices, however, I chose this path, the path of a psychopath.  I am not afraid to stand out and shine.  I love standing out and shining.  What I love even more, is dazzling the masses with my shine while they think I am as normal as they are. The dictionary defines a psycho as:

a deranged or psychopathic person —not used technically’

Think about that.  Then tell me what path you would choose.

Response JSW 5-3-2021

The JSW Challenge is open to anybody who wishes to participate. Using the writing prompt, write a flash fiction no longer than 500 words and post to your page. The Challenge starts on Monday and runs through Sunday each week. Please remember to link your story back to this post so everyone can read your entry.

The main characters are told that something they have been searching for does not exist.

“Shit.”

“That blows.”

“Are you sure it’s not there?”

“Positive, baby. Look for yourself.”

She scrutinized the paper, turning it over and over as if that might make the thing magically appear.

“But I know I saw it. I know I did!”

“Well. apparently not in this lifetime.”

She tossed down the paper. “That is wrong. I know it. I’ve read it a hundred times, both when I was little and then to the kids.”

“Honey, it’s okay. So the name is different.”

“No the name isn’t different. Why would I remember it wrong?”

“A thousand different reasons, hon. You know how tired you always were at night, getting the kids to bed.”

“I wasn’t that tired.”

“Okay, it doesn’t really matter. It’s the same anyway.”

“No it’s not. Why would my brain remember the wrong name?”

“Why do brains do anything?”

“Don’t give me the runaround, Dan. I’m really worried now about my brain.”

“There is nothing wrong with your brain,” he told her again, gently. “Just because you remember Bereinstein Bears and it’s Bereinstain Bears….”

JSW 5-3-21

The JSW Challenge is open to anybody who wishes to participate. Using the writing prompt, write a flash fiction no longer than 500 words and post to your page. The Challenge starts on Monday and runs through Sunday each week. Please remember to link your story back to this post so everyone can read your entry.

The main characters are told that something they have been searching for does not exist.

Friday Fictioneers 4-30-2021

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

They sat amid the devastation, oblivious. If not oblivious, at least resigned. The flood waters lay flat, motionless. Behind them, well, there used to be a house.

“Funny,” the first said, “how these daman chairs are bout the only thing to survive.”

“Yeah, funny,” agreed the second, dead-pan.

“Indestructible less you sit in them wrong.”

“Ah huh.”

“Think FEMA will get their tails in gear this time?”

“Nope.”

“You’re right. Probably not. Still……” And he was silent for a long moment. “There is always tomorrow.”

Story For The Week 4-20-2021

The sadness was all persuasive, wrapped around them like a blanket of fog, holding them all together. Alone they would have fallen and quickly. Together, they managed to prop each other up and hold the grief at bay.

“Why?” was Susie’s endless question.

“How?” Macy’s.

He just wanted to go home and be alone. This was something he didn’t like or want to share, this sorrow. It filled him full, leaving no room for kind words or reassurance of hope and continuation. Dead was dead. The mere fact of the matter took away the last traces from his life. Soon even the memory would be gone, the sadness over.

Maybe, if he hung on tight enough some sprinkle of memory might remain; colored sugar on a cake.

“He was a good man,” Macy said, wiping raccoon eyes. “He never judged me like the fathers of some of my friends.”

“He always supported us in everything we did,” Susie agreed.

They both looked at him so he nodded. “Never said a word when I bought my bike.” The bike that lived in his living room so he didn’t forget. The father who lived with him so he remembered.

“He was hoping you’d get over stupid on your own,” both of his sisters said and laughed.

If only they knew. He hadn’t ridden the bike in over ten years, not wanting to risk more loss. The Doctors couldn’t tell him why the accident wiped away only part of his memory, only that he was lucky.  At least he had something left, some memories, some hold on the world of his past. Not people, but events. Some didn’t. Some people with similar brain injuries simply forgot everything. He might have been left with only 15 minutes of everything. Or 15 seconds. Or nothing.

Lucky meant he only forgot people once they faded from his life. Like birthdays. He remembered the day, the cake, the presents but not the people. He knew people had been there, but they no longer existed. Bare walls bracketed the memories; he the last person alive. Childhood. Christmases. Lovers. Nothing.

The funeral was over. They hugged, kissed, promised to keep in touch before another funeral brought them together again. They wouldn’t, but they pretended for him. He looked at them, his sisters, aching to commit them so deep in his memory he would never forget but eventually, inevitably, he would.

Turning, he walked away.  Why the heck was he in a cemetery anyway?