The Six O’Clock Bridge – Sunday Photo Fiction 101

Well it is mid week of my first prompt as host of the SPF and i have yet to spin my tale. I usually try to do mine before reading any others on Friday Fictioneers and SPF just so I am not unduly influenced (or intimidated) by others’ work. While that will likely still be my mode of operation I will confess i read through some of the SPF already and must say the qulaity represents each of you very well. Okay, enough huffing and puffing, on with the show.

Facing Southeast from my front door.
Copyright ME. Joe Owens 2015

That bridge. What a piece of history it would be, if that is they could hold it until morning. All that stood in their way was three armored battalions, a half dozen infantry regiments and twelve hours. The British thrust would arrive before daybreak, with Patton’s boys racing to beat that. It was all well and good on paper and spoke through the radio, but he was the one who had to hold it for now. He rubbed his chin as he looked at the pieces laid out before him on the map board, checking and double checking his strategy. Over five thousand lives were littered on this battlefield so far and he prayed it wouldn’t be triple that by sun up.

A pang in his stomach alerted him to something seemingly amiss. Why was he looking at two sets of armor for Patton’s plan?

“Colonel Archer!”

“Yes, General Richmond?”

“Did you add this second armor group?”

“No sir, you must have.”

Richmond felt suddenly very ill. One of the markers was false, but which one he knew not. The strain of this crucial campaign was finally to hit home. The truth would come with the first light.

Gotta Get the Gun – Friday Fictioneers – 2/27/15

Well hello to all from the snowy mountains of Virginia! Yes, if you are paying attention I began with the same sentence last week. Over the last 10 days we have accumulated 20 inches with more forecast for tonight. What are we to do in such a situation? Visit others’ blogs. We should take this time to support our fellow bloggers and see what is going on online.

Think this winter is not weird? How about a flock of seagulls at least 7 hours inland standing on a snow mound.
Think this winter is not weird? How about a flock of seagulls at least 7 hours inland standing on a snow mound. (Copyright Alpine Acres Press 2015)

Friday Fictioneers is a great place to start. With a measly 100 words we consider a photo offered by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and create a complete story. This week the contributor of said photo is Dawn G. Landau.

Copyright – Dawn G. Landau

For Penelope the decade had seemed twice as long. For 3,659 days she was nobody, an enigma, basically just someone declared to be a daughter, sister, and best friend. But within the confines of her mind none of this equation balanced; until that moment, when all the fuzzy and disjointed memories pooled. Fear, regret and relief mingled.

The trail was exactly as she remembered. She just had to find the old Live Oak where she hid the gun. She slowed when she reached the riverfront, but there was no tree. Instead there stood a playground and picnic area.

“Peace!” Penelope sighed.

They Had The BOMB? – Mondays Finish the Story – February 23rd, 2015

Finish the story is another branch of the flash fiction genre ala Sunday Photo Fiction and Friday Fictioneers. A photo is a key piece in the other two, but Barbara Beacham chooses one more spice by supplying the opening line. !00-150 words after that is all you have at your disposal to spin your tale.

Copyright – Barbara Beacham

 

First Line: “The typewriter had a mind of its own.”

 

My attempt. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The typewriter had a mind of its own. Louis pressed the p key and f tapped the page. For  dump truck that resembled a rolling piece of N he saw the number 1 move. W brought the letter T to life. The piece of junk obviously needed to join the rest of the detritus collecting in the old rusty dump truck that resembled a rolling piece of scrap metal. He hefted the overgrown paperweight off the desk and made a visual check for a potential path to the door. 

“What are you doing?” Jenny asked. She was carrying stuff into the room from the storage locker to the right side of the door in his sights.

“Taking the scrap to the truck.”

“Stop! We have no idea what we have here!”

“I know,” Jeremy nodded, looking at the variety of seemingly unrelated peices. “We have the unenviable task of getting rid of the crap someone else would not.”

“Do you know anything about this area?” Jenny asked.

“What’s to know, there is some warehouses and a few bars.”

“Sure, now. But seventy years ago it was very different. The war meant a lot of things happened under the radar, so to speak.”

“Funny,” Jeremy said. 

“Okay, bad choice of words. But there was a group that did some pretty important things from somewhere in this cluster of buildings.”

“Like what?”

Jenny did not answer, a trait of hers that always served to ruffle Jeremy’s tail feathers. Instead she began typing on the old machine while referring to a crumbled collection of papers.

“Like this,” she said pulling the paper from the machine with random letters, numbers and symbols on it.

“Gibberish!” Jeremy said shaking his head.

“Type it, just like you see it on there,” Jenny said.

Jeremy began to type, keeping his focus on the page Jenny supplied until he finished. When he rolled the paper out and held it to read his mounth simply fell open. Finally the words mad it our of his throat.

“Germany will launch their planes with atom bombs on June 18, 1945.”

 

 

The Secret Of Puxatawney Phil – A Willard Willis Expose’

This is an Alpine Acres News special expose’ on the truth behind the horrid winter weather gripping the heartland of the USA as well as the Northeastern and Southeastern states and the connection to America’s most famous rodent Puxatawney Phil. Our intrepid and chill resistant reporter, Willard Willis is here tonight to lay out the sordid details about how this seemingly benign and beloved rodent created a never-ending alliance with some of America’s greatest retailers and manufacturers.

We know you will find this story as surprising and distressing as our editorial staff did when Howard pitched it to us seven days ago. So sit back, relax and prepare to hear a story you never expected. Without further ado we turn this over to Willard Willis.

Hello my fellow Americans! I am so happy you have chosen to join me tonight for what I believe will be the most shocking news you have ever heard concerning Winter, the industries that make their living serving us within it and the beloved rodent of Puxatawney.

WP_20140305_002

Over years of investigation I noticed several troubling trends and began to dig deeper into these anomalies. Finally this summer we made a major break with the apprehension of a key member of the Groundhog Alliance, a groundhog that goes by the name of Alpine Al. Alpine Al withstood several weeks of intense interrogation before finally realizing he had no recourse but to come clean. Through a special arrangement Alpine Al agreed to speak to me in an interview. What follows is the transcript of that session.

Willard Willis: So, for the record, your name is Alpine Al?

Alpine Al: You know it is.

WW: You are a member in good standing of the Groundhog Alliance?

Alpine Al: Again, that is old news.

WW: I would like for you to walk me through what you told me on September 24th of last year.

Alpine Al: Do you always talk so formal?

WW: Come on, you agreed to this, for the stay of execution.

Alpine Al: Yeah, yeah. Spill my guts to you or you spill my guts for real, I got it.

WW: So let’s hear it!

Alpine Al: Jiminy Cricket, okay, okay! So here is the way it was told to me by my grandfather many years ago. Puxatawney Phil the First was minding his own business on February 2nd, 1886 when all the sudden this dude in a funny looking hat reached in his hole, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and pulled him out into the freezing air. To put it mildly Puxatawney Phil the First was caught off guard and kind of stunned that he had been so rudely ripped from his warm abode.

He told his tale that the humans were gathered as if there was something they wanted from him. That first day there was only a few people from the surrounding burg and one photographer. They mentioned something about winter and a shadow, but he never heard enough to understand. What he could recall was that suddenly the humans cheered and this fellow in the hat hoisted him over his head. Puxatawney Phil the First wanted to empty his bowels and bladder, but he had a terrible fear of heights.

WW: Heights? He couldn’t have been more than seven feet off the ground.

Alpine Al: Well we aren’t called Air Hogs are we?

WW: Another thing, must we speak of this first Phil as Puxatawney Phil the First every time?

Alpine Al: What would you suggest we call him?

WW: How about Phil or PP1?

Alpine Al: You will afford Puxatawney Phil the First his due or we are done here!

WW: Fine. You can continue to call him Puxatawney Phil the First, just get on with it.

Alpine Al: As I was saying Puxatawney Phil the First wanted to let the Hatter have it with all he had but his fear of heights overtook him. When he regained his wits he was being stuffed back in his hole and that was the end for then. But within a few days he began to hear the people grumbling because they blamed him for the winter weather. He thought what the heck do they expect, it is mid-February.
He investigated and understood the people decided since they did not see his shadow spring was near. There was no sun! How could they see his shadow?

WW: You are surely taking long enough to make this interesting. Fast forward to Puxatawney Phil the Twelfth.

Alpine Al: Fine. So the year is 1970 and my brethren, the Groundhog Alliance, have been organized. In our annual meeting we heard a proposal from Boston Bob about an agreement to work with the winter clothing manufacturers of New England. If we agreed to cast the shadow or not cast on their order we could benefit very well financially. Within another five years we had snow plow manufacturers, sleds, snow boards and every other thing on board. Puxatawney Phil the First would have been proud. We found a way to execute his wish to soil the humans.

WW: So you admit All the Puxatawneys are complicit in this?

Alpine Al: It puts food on the table.

WW: SO the winter gear manufacturers would what contact Phil, I mean Puxatawney the whatever and give him the word?

Alpine Al: It all depended on the November to January sales figures.

WW: Okay, but what about the weather. Surely Puxatawney Phil had no direct control of that.

Alpine Al: Control, no. Evidence against Mother Nature that Father Time would love to see? Definitely!

WW: So what about Boston. What did they do to deserve what they have to withstand such an onslaught?

Alpine Al: Boston Bob the Seventh was blessed with an overactive libido. Ten little groundhogs have to be fed and educated. Also there is the gambling debt. You see Boston Bob the Seventh fell for the lie that Tom Brady was done and bet his entire nest egg on the Seahawks. The word is he nearly chewed through his paw when Wilson through the interception.

WW: So there we have it my fellow Americans. The most famous rodent in America is now exposed as a merchant of misery, a purveyor of pain, the grand master of disaster. Puxatawney Phil the Eighteenth could not be reached for comment, but I imagine he will be discussing the next moves with his law firm, Dewey Cheatum and Howe in Boston.

Crashing the Party! – Friday Fictioneers – 2/20/15

Well hello to all from the snowy mountains of Virginia! Everyone in the United States east of the Rockies is suffering through a snow/chill event that will set records all throughout this country. What are we to do in such a situation? Visit others’ blogs. We should take this time to support our fellow bloggers and see what is going on online. Friday Fictioneers is a great place to start. With a measly 100 words we consider a photo offered by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and create a complete story.

PHOTO PROMPT – © Copyright Marie Gail Stratfordt

Sally Ann sweated in anticipation of her glorious moment. Her wondrous creation would herald the festival’s start. 42 hours to create and design a way to propel. The bicycle body with heavy duty training wheels seemed sturdy, but unproven.

Her path was 100 risky, scary yards.

She heard the announcer give the cue. It was time.

The crowd cheered as she slowly began. Sally Ann heard encouragement to pedal harder. It was then that the lack of visibility struck home; then she realized the hand brakes were shot. Just ahead was the crystal glass fountain, all 12 feet of it.  


 

Henry’s Honor -Sunday Photo Fiction 100- 2/15/15

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Yes it is Sunday, the day when we draw back to take some rest and relaxation before reloading and heading back into the battlefield we call our work or school week. It is also the time that the collection of writers that have joined Allistair Forbe’s Sunday Photo Fiction eagerly embrace their weekly photo adventure. For the previous 99 and this one Allistair manned the helm. After all the hard work he has earned some time away and I am happy to take over in the interim. I hope all of you will continue to visit each week and invite your writing friends.

copyright – Allistair Forbes

“Henry this gentleman’s bet is going to be the death of you!”

“Maisy you just get to safety, I am fine here. I will prove to Lord Harriman that the Bertraan’s keep their word and have unbounded honor!

 Maisy climbed the long stairs leading away from the shore as she watched her beloved steady himself on the platform that fronted the sea and awaited the incoming tide. Losing their first challenge Henry had surrendered the right to choose the time for his second.

“Hugh, you aren’t serious,” Harriman’s wife said grabbing his arm. “He will die if he goes through with this.”

“The ol’ boy won’t go through with it,” Harriman declared. He shook his head to emphasize his point as he watched his adversary going through the motions of settling onto the platform. “He hasn’t the guts!”

“His guts will be washed out to sea,” his wife declared.

Henry sucked in the cool air pushed ahead of the sea storm. The water was roiling, angry waves lapping at the rocky shore. No ships dared be in this, so why was he taking such a chance?

“Honor,” Henry said aloud. For honor I do this!”

“He closed his eyes to pray as the first wave crashed into the shore.

Sweet Tooth – Micro Bookends 1.18 – 2/12/15

It is time for another weekly prompt from Micro Bookends. With two words a beginning word and an ending word and a photograph we have the pleasure of weaving a story with a beginning, middle and end. Our limit is between 90 and 110 words to craft this tale. If you feel challenged hop aboard.

Photo Credit: Melissa Dooley via CC.

“Sweet child what’s wrong?” Mother asked.

“Ow! Ow! Ow! It’s my back I threw it out with that last lunge. Oh my gosh it hurts so bad!”

“Here,” Mother said putting her hands on her arms, “Let me help you.”

“No, no, please don’t touch me. I just need a moment to relax the muscles.”

Julianna looked at the bright blue sky and tried to think of anything but the excruciating pain coursing through her body. These muscles were her friends, allowing her to perform such beautiful moves, but right now they howled like angry enemies.

Suddenly she could feel a wet goop from above land on her tooth.

********************************

If you love the photo prompt fiction challenge you should check out the Friday Fictioneers. It is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and usually claims 100 writers each week who try to describe a photo with a measly 100 words.

Kissing Julia – Friday Fictioneers – 2/13/15

What generates as much excitement as seeing Friday on your calendar each week? Why reading the Friday Fictioneers stories of course. Go on, admit it, you come around every week for these 100 word fiction nuggets, wondering what the unique collection of writing voices will do with the prompt chosen by our fearless leader Rochelle. This week she is the purveyor of the photo and it is a beautiful view from a balcony. I could not go but one way and I hope it comes off as funny as it did in my head.

 

copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Jerome Stacey couldn’t believe his luck. It was the exact piece of property he wanted to shoot his pivotal scene. Only here could his heroine reject the other guy.

“There’s only one catch,” his assistant said hesitantly.

“I don’t care. Whatever it is I’ll do it!”

“Ok. My uncle said he has to kiss Julia Roberts, on screen.”

Jerome felt his stomach twist in knots. But this was the exact shot he wanted and no price was too great.

“A one shot scene,” Jerome said. “All or nothing, she won’t do it twice.”

“He gets to kiss the Runaway Bride?”

“Yes.”

The Freezing Goddess – Sunday Photo Fiction -2/8/15

Today is Sunday and that means that Al Forbes is at it again. This friend of writers who also happens to excel in photography has dug into his extensive archives to find us something to use as inspiration. For the last two weeks my story centered on a budding relationship between an American salesman and an Irish beauty. The prompt photo for this week is taking me in a totally different direction.

copyright – Al Forbes

“When I saw the ad on the bulletin board I thought what an easy way to make $150!” Annie said.

“It is easy,” Ashley agreed. “All we have to do is sit.”

“Agreed, there is no exertion, but sitting in this cold is ridiculous. Couldn’t we do this inside? She pulled the wool blanket tighter around her, trying to pull every ounce of heat into her body during their break.

“Mrs. Dellano said the sculptor can only work with the material in this temperature range. We will just have to tough it out.”

“So are you going to ask him out?” Annie said nodding toward the other member of their artistic trio.

“Are you kidding? Look at him. There is no way he would say yes. I’ll bet he has a model girlfriend with legs that go on and on.”

“Ashley why do you always sell yourself short, you are my most gorgeous friend.”

“Okay, shed the blankets, time to get back to work,” the sculptor announced.

When the girls approached the chariot model the guy they were swooning over sported a strange expression.

“What is it,” Ashley asked.

“You look like a goddess!”

“What?” Ashley said, feeling the blush from her cheeks.

“Look,” the guy said pointing to a statue nearby.

Annie and Ashley approached the statue and were struck by the uncanny resemblance.

“Wow,” was all Annie could say.