JSW – 3-1-2021

(For some reason this didn’t post)

The JSW Challenge is open to anybody who wishes to participate. Using the writing prompt, write a flash fiction no longer than 200 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.

“On the corner of main street/Just tryin’ to keep it in line/You say you wanna move on, and/You say I’m falling behind/Can you read my mind?” – Brandon Flowers, The Killers

He stopped playing, fingers poised over the piano keys as the next verse of the song rolled into his mind and, a moment later, out his fingers onto the keys. The melody had been in his head for days just waiting for the words to come.

He was alone in the studio. He preferred it that way now, not like when he was young and they first started the band. Then, the more chaos the better. In all the ruckus, he could create all day.

Turning on the bench, he started out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the Northwest forest beyond. Dusk was settling down over the trees like a blanket and he could hear the first, faint, call of an owl.

Another marriage down the drain and he just didn’t want to do it anymore. It was easier to be alone and find a companion when he wanted company. Companions were a dime-a-dozen. Love, well, was overrated. Even if the decision made his heart hurt.

Dark hung over him, kissing the room’s corners and elbows, whispering among the furniture and drapes. He was alone. Truth was, he didn’t want the companionship either. He wanted…. darkness. The world was moving on. He was falling behind.

Could they read his mind?

(This story is purely fictional and has no resemblance to the actual author and band).

Sunday Photo Fiction 9-23-2018

Sunday Photo Fiction

SPF 09-16-18 Anurag 1

Photo Credit: Anurag Bakhshi


It was a familiar fantasy, one he’d had for years. Driving. Driving. Guardrails flashing past. Trees. Signs. Winds through cracked windows. Feel in his belly like a roller-coaster up the first hill. Clackety. Clackety. Clackety. Body filling with air, with fear, with joy.

Sweet fear as he raced forward. Faster. Faster. Inch by inch by mile. Feeling in his belly growing and growing….. faster. Faster. Expanding like a balloon until he would explode.

Fear. Fear. Fear. Fear. Fear. Steering wheel clutched in sweaty hands. Cold hands. Fear hands. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Faster. Faster. Faster. Then bump and trees and….. freedom!


Sunday Photo Fiction 7-28-2018

Sunday Photo Fiction

SPF July 22 2018 (2 of 1)

Photo Credit:C.E. Ayr

The ride wouldn’t be hard, not physically, but mentally? Frankly, I had no desire to bike across any state with Marcus. Who would? Not many people like to be controlled and Marcus was a whiz at control.

When he’d first shown up, I’d felt sorry for him and so I’d invited him to hang. I’m such a chump. All my friends say so.

We left at dusk, riding several hours into the night before he would allow a stop. The sky was a spectacle. The night cold. I lay all night fantasizing about sneaking away.

Did I?

Five days which would have melted the Devil was enough. After midnight, I rose, quiet, and snuck away, wheeling my bike beside me. Hitched a ride home after ditching the bike.

Never biked since.

Always told people he moved away, decide to bike the world.

Who knew?





The challenge for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner will open early Wednesday morning, June 27th. Allow the prompt to take you anywhere you want to go! (Limit your stories to 200 words.)

This challenge is open until 11:00 pm Thursday night, July 5th, 2018.


pexels-photo-626164 shadowPedro Fogueras pexels-photo-626164 shadow


Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner

It was the nightmare again, always the nightmare, trapped in a gauzy world of nothing on nothing on nothing.  The Notherworld, he called it. A nothing world. Full of nothing. For nothing. For nowhere.

Only for the dream.

As always, he called. Searching. “Maria! Maria!Maria!”

Always answered by the strange silence hung in that land, a silence made of nothing.

Stumbling through a white eternity. The Notherworld wastes. No Santa Claus. Not in the nightmare.

When he woke up in the morning, he was still clutching her teddy bear. Knew she was gone forever.




The challenge for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner will open early Wednesday morning, June 20th. Allow the prompt to take you anywhere you want to go! (Limit your stories to 200 words.)

This challenge is open until 11:00 pm Thursday night, June 28, 2018.


Kai Pilger pexels-photo-462867 Taxi


Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner


Taxi wasn’t his preferred method of travel, but it would do in a pinch. And this was the pinch of all pinches. If he didn’t get there in time, he’d be on the couch for the rest of his natural life.

The taxi driver glanced in the rear-view mirror, but he ignored the look.  Too bad if the man felt threatened. Everybody had a gun these days and most would use them just for the fun of it. He didn’t have time to explain he wasn’t one of those nor did he even own a gun. Let the man sweat. Might get him there faster.

As the cab screeched to the cub, he leapt out, tossing two fifties to the driver. Rushed into the building, collapsing into a chair just as she walked in.

“Almond coconut or chocolate chip?” he asked breathlessly.

To his relief, she smiled.

Sunday Photo Fiction 6-17-2018

Sunday Photo Fiction

DSCF5305Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding


He sat quiet, watching the coming and going in the park, Alfred standing to the side, staring off towards the pond.

“After we eat, don’t worry,” he said, taking a bite of his biscuit. Sipping coffee. Tossing half of another to his friend. Alfred ignored the sharing.

He shrugged. It was early. Alfred wasn’t a morning bird.

Neither of them were young. Maybe that was why they were such good friends. Both of them looking at the world from the wrong end of the telescope.

He hope Alfred went first. Who’d take care of him if he passed first? Alfred was a quiet bird, a reflective bird, set in his ways.

Taking his last bite of biscuit, he crumbled the bag and tossed it into the trash bin. Two points. He still had it.

Glancing down, he saw Alfred eating his biscuit, settled back to wait. Friends waited for each other. Friends accepted each other. Friends were friends.

Besides, he enjoyed the quiet. The pond would wait.



Another of my favorite writing prompts is back!

The challenge for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner will open early Wednesday morning, June 6th. Allow the prompt to take you anywhere you want to go! (Limit your stories to 200 words.)

This challenge is open until 11:00 pm Thursday night, June 14th, 2018.



He stood just off stage, waiting to go on, heart pounding like he’d already run a marathon. The dull roar of the fans sounded like a hurricane, ready for him to blow them away. Lift them up and away into the magical world inside his head.

He was ready. More than ready. Sweat tinting his hair-line, slicking his back, his upper lip. Already feeling the keys beneath his fingers.

A tech bustled around, adjusting his battery pack, checking the charge. The Sound Manager doing one final check. Pyrotechnics ready. The other band members milling around, cyclones of their own nervous energy.

“And now, welcome to the stage, the band everybody has been waiting for….”

The rest lost in a tsunami of noise; lights flashing like shooting stars.

Rudy tapped the rim of the snare, counting out the beat towards heaven.

Sunday Photo Fiction 6-12-2018

Sunday Photo Fiction


Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

“Metal flamingos?”

“Would you rather have real birds, feet buried in the sand?”

Susan sighed, watching the man buying lunch at the trailer beyond.


“Are you trying to distract me?”

“If I was trying to distract you, I’ll be heading you towards the bedroom.”

“If I wanted real flamingos, would you get them?”

“For you, darling, anything.”

She turned in her chair and looked at him. So handsome with his chiseled features and beach blonde hair. And his hands. She’d never known such magical hands.

“Anything in the world?”

Leaning over, he kissed her gently. “Anything.”

“Okay, then I want flamingos. A pair to keep in my garden.”

For a moment, he considered, pretty sure hijacking real flamingos was against the law. Besides, he’d never heard of captive flamingo except in zoos and he wasn’t much of a zoo fan.

He pulled her into his lap, lips caressing the soft skin of her neck. “How about a little before lunch fun?” His hands moved up her sides.

She wiggled. “You are trying to distract me!”

“Guilty as charged.”

She snuggled for a moment then rose, grabbing his hand and pulling him inside.




































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Sunday Photo Fiction 6-8-2018

Sunday Photo Fiction

SPF June 3 2018 (1 of 1)Photo Credit: C.E. Ayr

The two men stood in front of what used to be a home, neither quite sure what to say.

“It was a nice house,” one said finally.


“Real nice inside.”


“Bill put in a nice new bar.”


“Real shame.”


“Wonder if he’d of rebuilt?”


“You don’t think so?”


“Why not?” He scratched under his ball-cap.

The other man just shrugged.

“He loved that house.”


“I’d hate to see it burn again.”


“You think it will?”


“Well, he ain’t the best kind to have in the neighborhood.”


“I guess we’d be better off if he moved.”


“Don’t need nobody poking their nose into things.”


“Think he’ll talk about things?”


“Why not?”

“Kinda hard.” Uttering his first two words of the morning.


“Dead men don’t tell no tales.”

They stood looking at the ruins of the house.

“Yeah,” they both agreed. “Dead men don’t.”


































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Sunday Photo Fiction 5-30-2018

Sunday Photo Fiction

Dog & Grave Headstone


Photo Credit:Susan Spaulding

 The Watcher

“Buddy is still watching over Grampa, isn’t he?”

Pa nodded, cupping the back of the boy’s head with his hand. “He sure is,” he said quietly, staring down at his Pa’s grave. Didn’t seem like no time since he was standing by Gramp’s grave with his Pa, his Pa’s hand cupping his head.

Funny how time worked like that. Used to be summers lasted forever. Now his boy was out of school and back in almost fore he turned around.

The boy knelt, petting Buddy as if he was real.

Buddy would of been there if the dog hadn’t died the hour after his Pa. Died of a broken heart, that dog. He hadn’t never seen nothing like it. Both of them buried right there, together until the end.

“Come on, boy,” he said, turning away, “time to go on home.”

The boy hesitated, petting Buddy once more, whispering something in the dog’s ear before following.

“Pa,” he asked as he took his Pa’s hand, “is Momma gonna watch over Gramps til you get there?”

For a moment, Pa was silent, eyes fixed on the grass, then he lifted his head, smiled at the boy. “She sure is, boy. Gonna have them a party when I get there.”