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The Windlass of Time

4 Jun

A hundred words for those who are still left and for those who have gone before, based on the photo prompt below. We walk in the shadows of giants. D-Day. June 6th, 1944.

 

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(Copyright C. Hase)

 

 

A stooped and wizened man stands behind a bench at the end of a pier, supporting himself with both hands as he watches liberty boats ferry passengers to the beach from a cruise ship anchored offshore. Long years have extinguished everything in his life except the fire in his eyes. Through them he sees soldiers in a maelstrom struggling in crimson surf beneath a dull gray sky.

A car backfires and he flinches, then squares his shoulders and turns to walk resolutely inshore, sure that today will be his last. Another day, another turn of the wheel. Maybe tomorrow.

 

 

 

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On On Off

28 Jan

100 words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt supplied by Ted Strutz and selected for this week’s round of stories by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

 

On-on-off

(Copyright Ted Strutz)

The switch positions and the cord wound clockwise said the drop was compromised. The scorch mark told him to burn everything and run. The hole was new and sure to have a camera inside.

<–>

He walked by with measured steps, eyes on the ground. Another wage slave drone headed to a dead-end job. Mindless. Hopeless.

But they were wrong.

He would remove the RFID chip in his forearm and follow protocol for reintegration into the network. Different city. Change of identity. Same goal.

One man’s terrorist. Another man’s freedom fighter.

The victor writes the history books.

There is always hope.

 

 

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God of All Things

23 Jul

100 words for Friday Fictioneers a group of writers from around the world who meet at a virtual restaurant every week and choose one story from column A and two from column B. The head cook and bottle washer is Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and the stories are inspired by the photo prompt below from Marie Gail Stratford.

My story is a requiem for two goats, dear friends of a dear friend, mauled to death by a pack of wild dogs on a recent moonlit night. The link to the picture is obscure, but has its roots in the Japanese superstition about not placing chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice.

God of All Things

 

No luck today in my search.

In a shaded grove of tangled bamboo, iridescent Tui’s fill the air with mournful song. A shaft of sunlight bathes a low mound.

Khalil Gibran said, “Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation”.

I don’t blame the dogs. They are man’s best friend in daytime, but at night and in a pack they answer only to the moon.

I do blame the owners and pray we never meet.

In fresh turned earth I stand two lighted joss sticks, one for Brad, now at peace, and one for Calvin, still missing.

 

 

 

goat on stump

 

 

 

A Revolutionary Act

6 Nov

A 100 word homage to Eric Arthur Blair for Friday Fictioneers, a collective of writers overseen by Little Sister Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, inspired by the photo prompt below which was supplied by Alastair Forbes.

If you think it cannot happen here, you haven’t been paying attention. It is happening now.

The telescreen

The walls shook with the sound of approaching helicopters.

“We might as well say goodbye,” Winston said to Julia.

“YOU MIGHT AS WELL SAY GOODBYE!” the house shouted.

“You’re thirty years late.” Winston replied, free of the need to maintain the illusion of conformity. They could only kill him once, and thoughtcrime was thoughtcrime.

“What is it, Winston?” asked Julia. “What have you done?”

“I expressed an opinion on my blog…”

“YOU EXPRESSED AN OPINION ON YOUR BLOG…”

“How could you?” Julia asked. “The penalty is….”

“…DEATH TO PERPETRATOR. RE-EDUCATION OF RELATED INDIVIDUALS.”

The door burst open.

“Homeland Security, freeze!”

ingsoc

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Dear America...

Arevolutionary act1

Because Freedom is Dangerous

28 Aug

Here is my story for Friday Fictioneers, a gathering of writers from around the world who meet each week in Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s cyber garage  to share their 100 word inspirations based on photo prompts such as the one shown below from Dawn.

This week’s picture is of Union Station in Washington, D.C., a city created by Congress to keep the nation’s Capitol distinct from the states and to provide for its own protection. (Seems they were doing then what they do so well now. Go figure.) It  is also famous for harboring a disproportionate population of vermin whose actions are the subject of my story. (I’ll let you know my cell number as soon as I’ve settled in.)

Lubyanka

“Destination, sir?” the TSA agent asked.

The elderly man standing trackside looked his interrogator up and down, taking in the blue and gray uniform rife with none too subtle bells, buttons, whistles and decals.

“Do I know you?”

“I’m a Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response team member. We’re authorized to….”

“Visible Intermodal what?”

“VIPER Team, sir.”

“Has it crossed your mind how ridiculous that sounds?”

“The Department of Homeland Security chose the name.”

“Ever wonder who chose theirs?”

“Your destination?”

“My ticket says Denver, but it’s looking more and more like Lubyanka Square, Moscow. ”

“Please come with me, sir.”

Collateral Damage

4 Oct

100 words about the ghosts of war. They are all around us. 

The story is for Friday Fictioneers and is inspired by the photograph below supplied by Raina Ng. Please check out a few,or all, of the stories produced by a wide variety of writers from around the world. You may even find yourself saying, “Hey, I can do that.” (John Bigbooty, this is your moment.)

 (Author’s note: Chất độc da cam is Agent Orange, a defoliant whose use in the Vietnam war scarred two countries and kills and maims to this day.)

Hien Giang rises the hour before dawn. Soon the rich aroma of Pho Ga and fresh Bánh Mì fills the kitchen with Ai’ Long’s presence. They met during the struggle, she a nurse and he a cook in the vast tunnel complex of Cu Chi.

After reunification, two stillborn children emptied her of tears and their house of laughter. She died of cancer a year later.

Chất độc da cam destroyed his life long before he ever asked Ai’ Long to marry him.

In a darkness no flashlight can pierce, Hien Giang sits alone and breaks bread with his family.