Category Archives: Friday Fictioneers

Treasure Hunt Plea

FF 203 Dale Rogerson

copyright Dale Rogerson

One of the nice things about a photo prompt is that there are many different aspects that you can draw a story from. For instance, the clouds, the buildings, the garbage bag, the snow, the graffiti on the building, or the whole thing together. I’ve decided to concentrate on the graffiti, telling the story in the medium itself.

Treasure Hunt Plea

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Here is the plain text of the above, in case you had trouble reading it.

Please help!

I use what little freedom and money I have to paint this, hoping it will be seen

We have no voice, no dignity

They treat us like cattle, herded back and forth

They drug us into stupor, give us slop to eat

Profiting off our lives and our deaths

My generation is being wiped out from the front and from behind

If you read this, do not forget about us, the silent ones

They promised us rest and instead gave us a chilly cell on death row

The nursing home is so cold, in temperature and in spirit

As you know, I like to try experimental things sometimes. Let me know if you don’t get this. 🙂

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Competing Vows

FF 202 Roger Bultot

copyright Roger Bultot

Competing Vows

We met at the garden gate after dark, both trembling and nervous. She was still beautiful, even swathed in the crisp, new habit.

“Hello, wife,” I said, still unused to that glorious word.

She looked troubled. “The abbess said the cardinal has annulled it.”

“We didn’t agree to that! Did you?” She shook her head. “Let’s run away. Tonight.”

“Where?”

“There hasta be somewhere your family can’t find us.” I tried to draw her outside, my body aching for her. “Do you have some time, at least?”

She resisted. “They made me take other vows here.”

“But ours came first.”

 

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The Family Legacy

The Family Legacy

The basement stank of burned flesh.

“It’s a gateway to outside our world,” my dad said, pointing to the hole. “They never stop coming, but light attracts them.”

I adjusted my night vision goggles. “Can we block it up?”

“You don’t think I’ve tried?”

A stygian tendril snaked out. Dad’s machete came down, severing it cleanly. I heard a shriek.

“They do that sometimes.” He tossed the writhing limb into the incinerator.

“What if they’re intelligent, if they need help?”

“We can’t risk it,” he said. “Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it. All blood is black in the dark.”

 

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Baby Balloons

This is my 200th Friday Fictioneers story, each one exactly 100 words. I started doing these over six years ago, but I took a break for most of the last two years, which is why I’m only reaching this number now.

I decided to go through the Friday Fictioneers stories I did in the past and pick my top five stories. I came up with 22 favorites, but narrowed it down to 10. If you have been reading for a while, you might remember some of these. Here they are in chronological order:

1. The Wrong Tourist (#11) (This was the first one that used a picture I submitted)

2. Knick-Knack Paddy Whack (#40)

3. The Dog, the Clubhouse, and the Cookies (#53)

4. What Does This Button Do? (#61)

5. Jasper’s Lamp (#62)

6. Fructocidal (#63)

7. The Last Few Seconds (#64)

8. A Bad Car Dynamic (#127)

9. Desertedmoonlitclearing.com (#139)

10. Prodigal (#181)

And now, this week’s story.

FF 200 Sandra Crook

copyright Sandra Crook

Baby Balloons

Finally, the loom stopped.

“That’s the last one,” Mrs. Arane said. She sighed.

Her assistant Cyclosa pointed to the hundreds of shroud-white balloons along the walls. “You made them well.”

“What if they get hungry during the flight?” Mrs. Arane sniffed.

“They’ll be okay.”

Mrs. Arane wiped her eyes. “Some of them.”

“Children, come get your balloons!” Cyclosa called. She grabbed four balloons in four of her limbs.

The baby spiders lined up, bouncing with excitement. One by one, they took a balloon and, waving goodbye, launched themselves into the open air.

Mrs. Arane watched with tears and a smile.

Read about spider ballooning

 

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Rebirth

I tried to think of a pithier title and couldn’t come up with anything.

Rebirth

You can’t know what happens after you die. The piano feels screws loosening, feels a crowbar somewhere underneath. Wood cracks, splinters. It’ll be soon. They’ve already pried off its ivory keys.  At least it doesn’t hurt.

There’s a pling sound as its strings are cut, the last music it will ever play.

Consciousness fades.

* * *

“What a unique table!”

The table feels a hand run along its glossy surface.

“It looks like it was made from a grand piano top.”

Was I ever a piano? the table wonders. It can’t remember. Unfortunately, you can’t know what happened before you were born.

 

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I, Pawn

FF197 Jeff Arnold

copyright Jeff Arnold

Even pawns can become queen. Just keep moving forward.

I may only be a lady-in-waiting, but over the years, across the chessboard, the queen has taught me everything until I am sure I know more than that hapless prince.

So one night I take a large pillow and go to the queen’s bed.

Just get to the end.

Regicide? No, promotion.

I put on the crown and march to the hall.

“The queen is dead! Long live your new queen!”

I don’t see Sir Geoffrey until he stabs his sword into my side.

I always forget how the knights move.

 


Big Sister Loves You

FF196 Roger Bultot

copyright Roger Bultot

The phone rang immediately. Of course.

Be strong. I picked up the receiver.

“Josh,” the female voice said. “You covered your camera again.”

“Look, I’m just not comfortable—“

“Josh.” She was chiding. “It’s for your own good. How many lives does SIS save?”

Everyone knew the statistics. Special Interior Surveillance saved 47,000 lives a year. They said.

“What if you have another panic attack? Like last month? We need to see to help you.”

My chest was already tightening at the thought. “Okay,” I mumbled.

She made a kissing noise into the phone. “Thanks, Josh. SIS loves you, remember?”


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