I got so many responses from last week’s entry I thought I might continue the story this week. I will have to go back and see what Mr. Forbes says about ongoing stories. Some hosts prefer you don’t have a serial and I cannot remember if he has that view. So until I know for sure enjoy!
Hugh Kelly was a brilliant strategist and the main reason other than our brilliant code that we has survived against our invaders for so long. But even Hugh was unsure now, almost seven days after that chilling message appeared on the bridge. THE PIES . . . WE KNOW! Did they know more than we thought or was it a ploy? They had some of our best and it was accepted that they had interrogation teams.
Did they know our plans for this place? Were they hiding and waiting for us? Were our emplacements all compromised? The possibilities were endless and maddening! Alex Maddox said he thought it was just psychological warfare, meant to cause confusion and doubt. If that was true then the effect was just as desired. Long meetings filled with too many opinions to give confidence preceded the choice, but the command group voted to move ahead with the offensive strike.
Now we sit with nervous energy as the magic hour approaches. Will this be our end? Could we wake to see a new flag wafting over our land tomorrow? Honestly, I just want to wake up and see anything tomorrow. Because too many of my friends will not.
Sunday Photo Fiction is another weekly photo prompt fiction exercise I try to join frequently. There is a collection of writers from the right side (in relation to us) of the Atlantic that deliver a different perspective and flavor to story telling here. Allistair Forbes is the host and if you are not familiar with his work you are missing something special.
When we started the resistance we knew we had to develop our own method of communicating, some way our enemies could not decipher. The world wide web was out, mainly because it was no longer present, part of the loss when the electromagnetic storms ravaged everything with a chip or transistor.
Luckily there was paint, gallons and gallons of paint. We designed the code in a way that it did not match with any known written cipher code. Then we began to use it in places that we knew the enemies would see it and try to paint over it. We wanted the code to only be effective for hours, sometimes 24, but others as few as 12, or even six. But it was enough, we knew to look often.
Our abilities confounded our adversaries and we beat them at every turn. Before six months passed we had nearly defeated them and driven them back to their own borders. Until they managed to lay a trap for our bravest and most daring painter who tried to send too many messages in too short a time. He was right, if he had succeeded the war would have ended. But now we have to find another way. Our enemy used him against us, making him signal us back with our own words.
The PIES! Of all the messages they could have chosen, that was the one that sent chills through out our ranks. It was as effective as one hundred bombs!
Each week Allistair Forbes tosses us a bone in the form of a photo prompt and allots us roughly two hundred words to make a story. I enjoy this type of challenge immensely and celebrate my second week back in the fold.
There was countless hours studying mathematics, calculating physics answers, statics classes to make sure the structures were sound, all in all over a quarter million dollars worth of investment in the mind of the engineer assigned to build the suspended tram system.
From an engineering standpoint the system was perfectly sound. Everything worked exactly as designed, transporting the happy skiers up and down the mountain as they desired. That was until the flash ice storm of April 1, 2016. Even a Magna Cum Laude mechanical engineer could not design a system to deal with a five inch coating of ice on every surface. The complicating factor was that it came during the peak usage time of the day, stranding many visitors to the slopes.
Several calls to the engineer found only his voicemail, which meant that the problem rolled back to the director of operations, Sammy Cale. Sammy was a sixty-two year old career Marine sergeant in his eighth winter on McIntosh Peak. His no-nonsense style was evident as he tried to direct his team to deal with this crisis. The weather forecast offered no hope as the temperature wasn’t expected to rise above freezing for another twenty hours.
“What kind of Marine experience can you bring to this train wreck?” his second in command asked.
“Looks like an Air Force problem to me,” Sammy grinned as he chomped down on his cigar.
Alistair Forbes hosts a once weekly photo fiction writing event called appropriately enough Sunday Photo Fiction. The idea is to create a story / poem or something using around about 200 words with the photo as a guide. I have not been a part of this for some time and missed it, so I am back!
Sheila had delusions of grandeur about her long time hobby of collecting dolls. It had been six months since she found the newspaper clipping about Old Mrs. Crenshaw and how her lifetime collection of dolls had been sold through Sotheby’s for three million dollars. Three million dollars would set her for life. The worn newspaper clipping she fingered every single day was beginning to fade, but she strained really hard to make out the photo of Mrs. Crenshaw’s collection. It looked like she had hundreds of dolls, but so did Sheila.
She could also make out a shiny gold and glass display case the dolls had been kept in and figured that is what made the difference. She remembered seeing something like it at the local trash dump on one of her walks to town over the weekend. A can or two of spray paint should shape it up. But what about the glass? Where could she find some glass to fill the holes? A smile crept on her lips as she looked at the window cleaner at the bakery who smiled as he put a shine on the large windows between her and shelves of steaming bread.
Puppies will be puppies. Everyone says that, but until you have your own you don’t believe it. Well, I believe it now. My puppy was very docile when we first brought her home. I guess she was trying to get her bearings. Who could blame her, she went from a rectangular fenced in slab of concrete to a big, wide open world where she could roam free.
Suddenly the world was her oyster and chew toy. These new humans handling her were strange, but they could be molded, could be swayed to do her bidding. It was just a matter of following her puppy plan to win their hearts.
Even as she explored this new land, Sydney could not help but be intrigued by this new place. There was also a lot of activity going on outside. She could see this big mud pit where someone was working. She wanted to see more, so she found a way out to the fun. In short order she had the mud all over her. She began to worry when the mud began to stiffen. Had she made a big mistake?
Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly writing challenge where a photo is used as a prompt for a piece of fiction using around 200 words. The piece doesn’t have to centre around exactly what the photo is, it can be just used as a basis for a story.
copyright – Allistair Forbes
The table was surrounded by men with hard faces. These were the kind of men that demanded results from anyone who received their money. John and Alex Rosenbaum had contracted to move the hill out of the way of their new interstate lanes. But that was before the discovered the granite base below. Now they were back to ask for another check to cover the unexpected cost.
“Excuse me for not understanding, but didn’t you do a preliminary study to determine what you would face?” The chairman of the board asked.
“We did,” John answered.
“What did that study tell you?” another member queried.
“There was no evidence of the granite,” Alex replied. “But you have to consider we removed one hundred million cubic feet of earth to get to this point.
“Gentlemen, we contracted with you to remove the entire obstruction. Tell me why we should write you anything more.”
“Either you do, or your interstate stops here,” John told the chairman.
John and Alex stood as the board conferred. The chairman frowned and then nodded agreement.
Walking out of the building broad smiles found their way across the brothers faces.
“Where did you get that picture again?”
“Some dude named Allistair Forbes, they have no idea that hill is somewhere across the pond.”