Sunday Photo Fiction 4-4-2017

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 around 200 words.


© A Mixed Bag

He could just make out the roof of the house, the stark white of the barn, the lighthouse beyond. If he could see them, they could see them, but would they?

“Daddy?” Strawberry blonde curls tangling in the wind.

“Yes?” He looked down.

“When is Mommy coming back?”

God, it broke his heart. “Never, baby.”

She started to cry and he knelt, folding her into his arms.

“I’m not going to leave you, Baby. Never, never, ever.”

“Ever?” asked her tiny tear-filled voice.

“Never,” he promised, knowing he was lying, but lying had become his life. How else could he keep her safe, keep his promise?

He rose, holding her in his arms, walking back along the trail which led, eventually, to the house. Hopefully, a safe house, at least for the time.

What do you want for dinner?”


He laughed. “Then chocolate chip pancakes it is.”

“Stuffed full!”

“Stuffed full,” he replied, hiding his own tears.

“I love you, Daddy.”

A hesitation. A catch. “I love you, too, baby. I love you, too.”

He hoped, for today, that would be enough.

Sunday Photo Fiction 3-28-2017

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 around 200 words.

© Jules Paige

She stopped at the end of the pier, staring off into the dark water.  It was a year ago this week when she’d lost Sandy. The longest year of her life.

After the first months, friends began telling her to ‘get over it.’ As if Sandy could be compressed down into an It. How could she get over it? He had been her world. Still was her world.

He’d been an excellent swimmer. So how could he have drowned? The police thought he must have suffered a heart attack or stroke. Something to knock him out long enough to drown.

The thought of him drowning; of water thick in his mouth and nose, body sinking, unable to save himself, haunted her. She wanted it not to be so. Desperately, wanted it not to be so.

But it was. It had been. It always would be.

He was gone. Lost. Buried. Forgotten by everyone but her. One day she might move on.

Laying down, she put her head on her paws, waiting for him to come home.

JSW Prompt 3-19-2017



Apparently so, given his facial contortions.

“Haven’t you a serious bone?”

I laughed. That could so go the wrong way. “I’ve got lots of bones, ” I said instead, “But I’ve never known one to be serious.”

“Color me surprised.”

“Blue maybe? Or red… maybe meadowlark….”

He sighed.

I rolled…. “Oh, damn, I did it again .”

I could almost hear his thoughts, he was projecting so loud. As well ask why the sun rises in the west or sets in the south. Why the sky is green and flowers puke.

“Come on, Doc, you know you love me.”

“Love is a very liquid concept.”

“Gotcha,” I laughed, sliding sideways, head hanging off the side of the couch. I rolled my eyes at him, grinning upside down.

“It’s time to go back to your room,” he said, rising from behind his stalwart desk. “Austin will take you.”

My eyes rolled and rolled and rolled……..





Daily Post One Word Prompt – Artificial 10-23-2016


The artificial feel of the grass was the first clue she and I might not be right for each other. That and, oh, whole bunches of other things. Not like it was a very good time to be harboring such thoughts, not with her all gussied up and ready to step out of the house on her father’s arm.

How the hell did I get myself into these messes? And how the hell was I going to get out of this one?  Holy heck on a stick.

I looked around as all the guests settled into the chairs lined up in her parents back yard, flowers and crepe paper and crap all over the place. And fricking lilies.

No wonder I couldn’t stop sneezing.  As long as her father didn’t come out with a shot-gun, I guess lilies weren’t so bad after all. Maybe I’d just swell up in an allergic reactions and, in the confusion, roll myself right out of here and beyond.

I glanced at the men stationed by the gates, guns in hand.  What could I do but smile and wave? Neither action was returned. Bad. Very bad.

I know you are probably thinking I was an idiot to get into this situations, but I never knew any of this crap about her father and….. friends. Not until too late, that is.

The music started and she stepped out the sliding door, father beaming at her side. His eyes met mine and I grinned like an idiot, running through the limited choices available to me. Get married and live. Refuse and die. Humph.

Bet even you know the answer to that one.

I wonder how much it would cost for a divorce?

How Did The World Become So Cruel?

“Our world is no longer a safe and predictable place. We cannot allow ourselves to be pulled into a false sense of security. Today’s tragedy is a stark reminder that we are not immune from these types of domestic terror attacks nor the hateful motives which drive these assailants,”

President of the Florida Sheriffs Association, Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell.

I know when. I know forever. But what I don’t know is why. Why does it have to be this way?

I’ve been holding this post since that day in Orlando because I just didn’t, and don’t, know what to say. Down deep, I know there are words. I want them to be perfect words, but they’re not. Not perfect. Maybe not even there. Maybe there are no words to express the sadness I feel, the horror at the cruelty of man against man and, even more, the total incomprehension when confronted with events like Orlando or… the list seems to go on forever.

When Cain raised his hand to Abel, was that the moment this darkness entered our souls? Or was it earlier? Later? Or is this always the way we have been, and always will be?

My truest hope is, no, this will not always be.


Friday Fictioneers 3 June 2016



Thanks to Piya Singh for this week’s photo prompt.

It wasn’t the house he’d wanted, the house he’d expected, but it would do. It would have to do. Stepping inside, he studied the bare rock walls, the dirt floor, one room with a coal-fired stove directly in front of him, a rickety table and one chair. He dropped his bag and walked further into the room. His life was like this, bare walls, dirt floor.  Emptiness. Emptiness surrounded by emptiness.

Pulling the gun from his pocket, he put it in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

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Daily Post One Word Prompt – Hope


The Midnight Hour, Part 4

He’d stood over a lot of bodies in his life; kids, adults and anything in between. Being a detective in Chicago brought one face to face with the dead on a daily basis. He’d moved here to raise his daughter in a safer place, but was anyplace really safe?  Long as human scuffed in the dirt, folks were going to die.

But like this? Stupid kids. And by kids he meant anybody under twenty-five. Maybe, after tonight, thirty.

Their whole lives in front of them. What a waste.

He knelt by the body, using his pen to look under and around Mark’s neck. Broken hitting the big-ass rock. Why did kids hang around places like this? Drugs, sex? Why didn’t they learn? Only last year, his deputy had fallen down this hill, but he was alive. Just a matter of inches alive, but alive.

Accident or deliberate?

He looked up. Wish I could, wish I might. He’d given up wishing on stars a long time ago.

He’d have to bring in Mary, hoping for a truth he knew didn’t exist. She hung with Mark and that delinquent, Bobby.  Better bring in Bobby, too. He had to put suspicion anywhere it would be with Bobby. The boy was bad, had always been bad. Then again, apples didn’t fall far from the tree. Look at his old man. Beat the shit out of the kid until Bobby got old enough to hit back.

He wasn’t a whitewasher. He was a good cop, a solid cop. He’d never taken a bribe or thrown a case or planted evidence, but if it came down to Bobby or Mary, his baby girl was not going to jail. She wasn’t even going to be involved. She had a life to be ruined.

Damn daughters and their teen-age heart breaks. In love with both boys for different reason. Had them fighting over her. A disaster in the making, but he’d done nothing. It was different in your own house. If his wife had still been alive thing might have been different, but she wasn’t. Her death the only one he could neither solve nor prevent.

He nodded for the Coroner and rose, stepping away from the body. Began the long climb back up the hill as his Deputies searched the top for clues.

Moving to the back of his car, he popped the trunk and pulled back the carpet, holding it up with a shoulder. Reaching into a bag, he pulled out a cigarette butt. He’d started the stash when Mary started dating Bobby Wymith, knowing  – without admitting he’d ever cross that line – he would need it one day.

But could he cross that line? Crossing meant he was a bad cop, or did it?  Was he framing or making sure justice was served?

Dropping the butt into the pocket of his jacket, he moved just beyond the perimeter of the search, listening to the reports. Trash bagged but it would be useless. Scuffed footprints and tire tracks; useless.

He reached into his pocket, fingering the cigarette butt before pulling it out.

Far in the distance, the whine of a siren startled the night. His fingers opened.



Friday Fictioneers 3-16-2016



PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


She stood on the opposite bank, hair tangling her face, stark against the abandoned buildings surrounding her. I couldn’t see her face, but I knew. I wanted to scream the strength of the current, gentle rapids roaring into whitewater beyond the river’s bend. It hurt crashing against rocks, the ups and downs, ins and outs, ups as downs and downs as ups. Hurt until the drowning, the letting go of any claim of control. She’d wouldn’t have been perched there if she had control.

I wanted to but I couldn’t.  The water had taken away my voice, too.