It had been five days since anyone had seen The Man from Barleyfield. Everyone knew him, oh yes everyone. He was the one who handed out $100 bills on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Some said he was a billionaire real estate developer from the northeast, others though they heard him speak of Gulf of Mexico shrimping boats while still others were sure he owned big timber operations in the American west. Wherever the money originated he seemed to have plenty.
Every morning the crowds gathered by the Penley River channel to watch the dragging operation. His little white rowboat still bobbed on the water anchored in place where the authorities believed The Man from Barleyfield was last seen. Before long the crowds began to diminish. The excitement of the free money soon ebbed away and people talked about The Man from Barleyfield less and less.
On a train platform in Seattle a man in a worn sport coat set a old hounds tooth hat on his head, straightened his tie and set out on his right foot toward a new adventure. It took almost seven months to get rid of the $30 million he had swindled from First National Bank in Fargo, but now that it was gone he was ready to begin his life anew.
It’s Nemo! It’s Nemo!” Charlie said as he circled the small pond so he could watch the multi-colored fish move between the limits of his small world.
“Do you think that might be Dory?” Charlie’s mother asked. She encouraged this bit of harmless imagination in the hopes it might occupy Charlie’s busy mind for a little while. She was nearly exhausted from a day of wrangling her three year old through clothing stores whilst trying to augment his wardrobe as well as her own. The three year old boy was not patient in any regard, wanting to run off at the first chance.
“No mommy, Dory was funny. This fish is boring,” Charlie assessed.
“Why do you think she is boring?” his mother asked.
“All she does is swim around Nemo. This fish does not do that, it is not Nemo’s friend.”
Audie was surprised at how much thought her son put into this analysis. He obviously took in more than she gave him credit for doing.
“She will not help Nemo find his dad, so we have to,” Charlie said.
“County Hotel, really?” Metzer said chomping on his unlit cigar. “Who do they think they foolin’?”
“I dunno. I guess the way this backwards country runs the citizens don’t question it. But I ain’t getting crap with this parabolic microphone. There is definitely shielding going on.”
“That means the boss is inside there. How we extract her from there without getting all of us killed or captured is going to be rough.”
“It’s a good thing I brought the heavy armor,” Louis grinned.
Ten minutes later they had their gear in hand, ready to make their attempt. The reconnaissance reports told them their boss would be on the eighth floor. Eight floors with who knew how many trained killers awaiting them. But Carlie Benson wasn’t just any boss. She fought to keep these two, her best spy team together even when everyone up and down the organization screamed for their heads.
There was another special reason they were willing to risk their lives. While they didn’t know it they were both risking their life to rescue the girl they loved.
“You know Louis, you are the only one I could count on to do this,” Metzer said.
“Right back at you buddy. Let’s get after it!”
For Al’s weekly adventures based on the photo supplied by one of the locals. I had to go this way when I saw the phot0, perhaps because I am reading a Mitch Rapp book, but it just seemed the way for me.
“Frank, I need more of the six inch slabs!” Jerry told his foreman. “They are for a big job at the Mills’ place.”
“Does she realize the weight?” Jerry asked.
“Don’t matter, she pays cash, the quarry runs on cash, she’ll figure it out.”
Frank nodded as he climbed aboard his dozer to fetch the load. Two hours later the flat bed trailer sagged under the weight.
“What’s she makin’?” Frank asked.
“A fish pond,” Jerry said.
“Must be a big one!”
“It is for the Marlin her husband caught in Malibu. Poor fella can’t let the fish go!”
This is not a true story obviously, but it is where my troubled writing muse led me. I hope you are all well and ready to give us some great stories like you usually do. Happy Friday! This is written for the weekly Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Photo Challenge.
“Keep your voice down, there are too many people nearby. If everyone finds out we will not get our shot,” Kim said in a loud whisper.
Alice shuffled down the hall, rushing to her prize. Just inside the ribbed walls were three mirrors that could reshape your body forever. You only had to stand within the outline in the mirror and push a button.
“Three choices, Marilyn Monroe, Dolly Parton and Kim Kardashian,” Kim grumbled. “Who came up with this?”
“No doubt a man!”
Alice pondered her future, breathed in deeply and made her choice.
Ideas were slim this time, but hopefully it will generate a laugh or two. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting and to all who take time weekly to read and comment. It means a lot to me to know folks enjoy my creations.
“Now that’s what I am talking about!” Kirby declared pounding his fist on the desk. “Let little Miss Bleeding Heart get a load of that!”
He slid the dolly underneath and wheeled the two boxes around so they fully blocked Lizzie Hardy’s office door. She would struggle all day to navigate the impediment.
The next day all the office staff gathered at the request of their young boss.
“I’m not sure if you know this but I wholly support the environmentally-friendly recycled toilet paper industry and thank you so much for the gift left outside my office door yesterday!”
For those who don’t know how this works and think I have lost my mind, this week Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch introduced me and possibly others to a company from Australia that is a pioneer in the environmentally-friendly recycled toilet paper. I am not sure I want to know any more about the process, but it was the prompt for this week!
“So let me understand you King William. You want me to rally the Knights of Canterbury so we can make a five day journey to the opposite coast just to sacrifice ourselves for your pleasure?” King Wallace asked incredulously.
“I assure you King Wallace, the sacrifice is not without it’s merit, but no, I expect you to defeat the Black Knight before you reach the coast. If you do not and he reaches Echolfield to merge his army with the Count’s we are all lost!”
“No, no, no that’s not it at all!” Mrs. Cuddy said as she walked into the center of the U shaped tables where her teenaged cast of the spring play rolled their eyes again. This was the eighteenth reading attempt and this was the furthest advance before she stepped in to give her critique. At this rate they would never get a chance to perform the ninety minute full version.
“Drew your voice has to be commanding! King William is supposed to be inspiring.”
“I’m sorry Mrs. Cuddy, I just can’t stop thinking about drinking what’s in that cup!” Drew said.
“The skull cup? Oh silly boy that is just tomato juice.”
“Oh, they said it was real blood from a goat!”
The room erupted with laughter and Drew’s face turned crimson.
Herm could feel the eyes of a stranger on him. He was reviewing a photograph he had just captured on his tablet when he heard an unfamiliar voice over his left shoulder.
“How do you do that?” the stranger asked.
Herm looked incredulously at the man who held a camera of his own. The question was vague, so he pressed for clarity.
“I mean the perspective. It looks as if there is a stone giant readying to smash the steel tower. I can never make that happen in my photographs. I tried once when I went to Cleveland to watch the Indians. I had Mike Trout of the Angles in the palm of my hand I thought when I took the photo but in the end it came out looking cheesy.
“It took me a while to master it,” Herm said. “You really just have to eyeball it until you get the correct positioning. It is all about angles, quite a bit of geometry you know.”
“Well this just got a lot more embarrassing,” the man replied.
“How so?” Herm asked.
“I work at the university downtown,” the man said.
“Oh really, what do you teach?”
This is my second shot at Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. It is something I found by searching the Daily Prompt’s listing of blogging events. It is hosted by a guy named Roger (found this out from another Practitioner) and you can find it at this blog: A Writer’s Community.
I really enjoy these flash fiction challenges with a photo prompt because they give you just enough to start a story. The saying goes a picture is worth a thousand words. Well in most of these type of challenges you have only a fraction of that, so the words you choose must carry meaning.