The Returning

Sol studied the structural engineer’s report intently, and then as if the ten page report had meant nothing, he asked, “So how are the restoration plans coming along?”

“But…I mean…please reconsider. The structure is weak. Restoring it is not prudent. You would be well advised to demolish and build from foundation. It’s still a great plot and you will make a considerable profit.”

“No demolition. This is a historic landmark. I want it preserved.”

“It will cost more to restore than rebuild.”

“And I’m bloody well willing to pay for it! Can you do the job or should I find someone else?”

“I’ll do it. Just consider yourself warned. By the way, I was not aware this ramshackle had history. Scandal perhaps, something about a spinster of questionable repute being driven out by the town’s people. No historic value.“

“This ramshackle has historic value to me, my friend. I was conceived here.“

In response to the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge of 16th July based on a photo by Mike Vore

Crank the engine

The wind pushes back on the car but to no avail. The gentle slope feels like a cliff drop as the car quietly but rapidly rolls forward, like nothing but a miracle would stop it.

They say your life flashes before your eyes when you are at the precipice of eternal oblivion. Well murder mystery scenes flash before mine. Did someone sabotage my brakes? At 16, I had neither a psychotic spouse nor a phenomenal insurance policy! White noise on the radio plays an ominous requiem. They don’t even know that I have taken the car. Was this how I was destined to go – A Jane Doe!

Suddenly words of caution penetrate my fog of despair – Remember, its an electric system, the brakes wont work unless the engine is running.

In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge of July 19th based on a photo by Kent Bonham

Invisible cracks


Staring out the window, she wished it were her hearing that had failed, not her limbs. Then she would not have to hear the cavalier bargaining nor the callous comments.

His teasing laugh still rang in her head, “Darling, who buys crockery on their honeymoon!” Yet he had happily carried it back for her. For years it had held a place of pride in their showcase, until Linda’s christening. No one knew, but one of the cup handles had to be glued back.

Memories, was all she could carry to the retirement home. Everything else went with the estate sale.


In response to Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday photo challenge of Week 28

Emulation amiss

Human teens are really cool, said Young Jellie without a doubt.

Floating with the tide was so unspectacular, he yearned to stand out.

In retrospect chewing strawberry gum was probably not the smartest route.

In response to Sonya’s 77th Three Line Tales challenge based on a photo by Pan Da Chuan via Unsplash

Show ’em tiger

She was about to say it, “Go break a leg tiger,” because that what she normally said. But today the words got stuck in her throat.

The last time he had. Literally!
The sound of bone snapping continued to hound her nightmares. Silly things like the antiseptic smell of disinfectant still made her want to throw up.

Yet she knew, if he didn’t do it, he would never be whole again.
Physiotherapy may have restored his body, but only getting back on the bike could heal his soul.

“Go show ’em tiger. Make her fly.”

In response to Bikurgurl’s 100 Words Wednesday challenge of week 27 based on a photo by Nicolas Picard

The wings of Marie

The high priestess addressed the sentient.

Every soul dreams, and within these dreams it is Marie who rides in on the wings of fireflies. With the felling of the forests, and the death of the fireflies, dreams have been lost, and when dreams are lost then hope too is lost.

O Marie, Goddess of Dreams, we beseech you to manifest yourself once more within our nightly visions.
O tears of Marie, transmogrify thyself.

With this prayer she uncapped the sacred jar and waited.

Suddenly billions of fireflies flew out to cover the world.
The sentient had a second chance at hope.
But had they the wisdom to protect the wings of Marie?

In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge of 14th July based on a photo by Janet Webb.


Something was wrong.

He knew it before he even opened his eyes. His head was in a dense fog, his arms and legs were lead, and alarm bells buzzed in his every synapse. With a gasp of dread he shot up and the entire world tilted on its axis. Clenching his fists he waited till the walls stopped swaying.

What the hell? His room was thrashed. Fractured furniture, torn clothes, and smashed glass lay scattered all around like the aftermath of a hurricane, while he sat there adrift, confused. The fire on his skin made him look towards himself. Was that blood?

The maelstrom in his head got louder the moment he tried to move. Fear, like a pinball, bounced against his heart, his head, his throat, and finally settled in his gut like dead weight. Did he get into a brawl in his own bedroom? That’s ridiculous, but then again, what other explanation could there be for this devastation.

Blurred images seeped through the safety valves of his mind assaulting him with memories of plump breasts and creamy white thighs, the synchronised undulation of bodies, the satin heat of skin on skin, the unbearable need, the pain…No.
The buzzing in his head got even more unbearable. He squeezed his eyes closed, willing the memories away. No, he cannot remember, would not remember.

Dragging himself to the shower he stood under a cold spray. He dared not be late for practice. Coach would go ballistic. Shit, his parents were coming in tomorrow to watch him play. The room better be cleaned before that.

A banging on the door interrupted his thoughts. Wrapping himself in a towel he answered. His parents stood there, agitated, confused, concerned. “Weren’t you supposed to pick us up?”

Fuck! It was already tomorrow.

Written in response to Michelle’s Photo-Fiction #95 prompt.

The scene is written in the style required by Neil’s Scrivener’s Forge Exercise No 7 where we are required to go into the plot late but come out early.


I’m frozen outside the closed door. Oh Mateo, what have you done!

Roof running! What on God’s merciful earth was that? When he left home this morning he said he was going for a run, trying to explain something called free running to me. Mateo, don’t be up to no good, I warned him, and he insisted that it was a legitimate sport.

That’s Mateo, always out to live life. He cant resist a challenge, or a dare, even if gets him into trouble. I doubt any other mother has been called to the principal’s office as much as I.

Just last month he had been suspended for an entire week for holding some senior’s weed in his locker. Why Mateo, I ask him, and he says it’s so his friend’s college applications don’t get affected. Doesn’t a good heart count for anything, he asks me. He’s a good boy my Mateo, but he drives me crazy.

I warned him, last time Mateo, I get called by the principal one more time and you are in serious trouble.

One month later I’m standing outside another cold white door. Only this time the words on the door read ‘Mortuary’.

In response to the 123rd Challenge of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers based on a photo prompt by Grant-Sud.

The dwellers


This is my home

the habitat where I dwell

But you come along

raising all hell.


Call me a bug

try to exterminate

Self-assured of your constant

right to dominate.


The leaves are mine

the earth I leave to you

Extend me the same courtesy

and politely bid adieu.

In response to Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge – Bugs