Archive for September 2012

Friday Fictioneers – Sept., 28, “Pagoda”


It was our ‘pagoda,’ just an old stone shrine in San Francisco’s China Town. We stood here declaring our love, thirty years ago.

Today, I stand alone with a tattered copy of our vows to each other, reading mine, shaking, and weeping with every spoken word or phrase.

Only the silence answers me back.

The birds sing their woeful song to my grief-stricken soul.

Our wedding day. We laughed, running to catch the trolley car when he fell, got caught underneath, and was crushed to death.

I never remarried.

“Clang! Clang!”

The death knell of that hated trolley.


Posted September 27, 2012 by Joyce in Fiction, Friday Fictioneers, Short Fiction, Writing

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Autumn in the Colorado Rockies

Autumn in the Colorado Rockies
Photograph taken on the Peak to Peak Highway,
between Estes Park, and Nederland, Co.

Shades of green and sage,

fading fast; they yield and turn

for the Aspens that brandish yellow

 golden jewels of Autumn

under a bright, September sun.

Colors shimmer on the pond,

their reflection mirrored back

 fill the canvas with shapes and hues

   of trees that shiver and soon will drop

those now crisp falling leaves

 yielding to the season’s weather,

they gather on the ground.

Joyce E. Johnson (Sept., 2012)


‘Friday Fictioneers’ – Flash Fiction 100 word stories

Every week a photo is posted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields provided by her, or someone else for the benefit of inspiring writers from all over the globe to submit their own 100 word story based on the photo prompt.  Below are two of my stories from the Friday Fictioneers category. They all are pure fiction in the literal sense, entertaining, but never autobiographical of any experience I, or anyone I know, have experienced. My characters, plots and locations are those of my own creation, and from the world of ‘make believe.’ They are not indicative of my own beliefs, or perspectives, necessarily, but of their own, real or imagined. You may find all my prior 100 word stories under the category of Friday Fctioneers, Flash Fiction, or Short Fiction if you are new to my blog and wish to go back and read any of my older stories. I welcome you to come along with me to my imaginary world of ‘make believe.’

Joyce E. Johnson



“Anson! I told you to clean your room, and get that dirty old jar out of here.”


Anson walked out to the barn, and entered his science specimens’ domain.

“This will be better, Widow Black. It is time for you to join the others out here, now.”

He unscrewed the jar, and let the spider crawl out, lifting the jar gently up to a large web where she could now join her ‘kind.’ Others waited with anticipation for the ‘newcomer.’

“You will feel more at home here.”

Anson would make a great arachnid scientist one day.


Joyce. Johnson (2012)



“What’s that? An illusion, or an angel with too many wings?” my friend asked.

“Don’t ask me. We’re in Paris. Remember? Everything here is interpreted differently. Ask the tour guide.”

“Are you kidding? And look like a ‘redneck’ or a moron from ‘south paw’ U.S.A.?”

“The brochure says here that the sculptor is a descendent of ‘French Americans,’ and was, ‘presented to Paris in appreciation for their gift to the United States for the Statue of Liberty.'”

A month later.

“Remember that angel statue we saw, in Paris?”

“Yea. Why?”

“It was demolished by angry demonstrators who hate Americans.”


Joyce E. Johnson (2012)

The power of our words, and the might of our tongue.

Words have power. They can lift one’s spirit, encourage, offer hope, praise, and acclaim. They can inspire, stir emotions, sooth, feed the soul, bolster confidence, heal and forgive. Like the color and hues of a rainbow awash over a sky after the storm, they can comfort, replenish the soul.

But, they can also hurt, and be as cutting and sharp as a knife, more damaging to one emotionally than a sword, physically.

Once said, they are not easily forgotten. Once written, or posted they are not retractable, and can only be deleted. Like a picture, words and the image they create are out there, and its effects, good or bad remain with those it hurt or helped.  Intentional or not, they will be remembered, often destroying friendships, relationships, causing confusion or misunderstanding. And to hit or miss with words as they are spoken or written is risky if one values their reputation or respect.

None of us are perfect, so therefore neither is our tongue tamed, or trained to prevent words fired off in anger, frustration, or sarcasm and will always find a projected target somewhere. They will get the brunt of what is said or written. If honest enough, everyone can admit to showing anger, firing hurtful words or admonition to those in our past. It can  leave one with regret, having said them. I am guilty of this. Is anyone else? God is always forgiving of what we have said, or done. But, people are sometimes not. The memory of things said runs deep. The offense is taken, and the wound can still fester. It may be their problem if they do not forgive, but it is ours if we do not learn from it.

Whether it be a politician using slander and criticism, or spinning or twisting the truth to gain votes or points, all and everyone can have a motive for spitting fire from their tongue, or writing or posting with the intent of hurting another. I have seen plenty of this on social networks. The anger, words, disdain is there for whomever it was, or was not directed.

A passage in Isaiah 55:10 (NIV) says; “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

With this in mind, I hope the words from my mouth and the words written by my hand will be used to bless those, not curse them, encourage them, not depress them, lift them up, not tear them down. In that sense, I think we all can agree we are either a work in progress, or just choose to ignore what is written by God, himself.


Posted September 15, 2012 by Joyce in Devotional, Essays, Faith, Writing

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The Old Millhouse

The story below is fiction. It is my story entry for this week’s Friday Fictioneers 100 word story, provided by Madison Woods, based on a photo prompt.


The Old Millhouse


Henry, old, crippled and, “eccentric, strange” the village people said trudged over to the old millhouse, cane in his right hand and wilting wildflowers in his left.

He unlocked the creaking door to its dark, dank interior. It was his annual rite to bring her flowers, lay them in her lap, arrange and prop her up so she would not slouch, or fall. The quiet and solitude greeted him, as did the spiders working their webs, and the mice, their nest.

Her skeletal remains sat waiting just like the year before, upright, awaiting his visit.

“Oh. Dear Henry. How lovely.”


Posted September 6, 2012 by Joyce in Friday Fictioneers, Short Fiction, Writing

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