Archive for the ‘Friday Fictioneers’ Tag

The Mouse (flash fiction for Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT - © Marie Gail Stratford

Photo credit: Marie Gail Stratford. Thanks, Marie for the photo prompt for this week’s Friday Fictioneers

 

I have not submitted a flash fiction story to Rochelle Wisoff Field’s Friday Fictioneers for the last three years, but thought I would jump on this one for old times sake and join in the fun. Here is mine of 100 words, exactly.

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I needed a break. Pouring myself another cup of coffee I sat down to relax. But, my brain still worked on the next chapter of my book. The gnawing, grinding sound like tiny teeth, chewing was driving me insane.

But, it came from my desk. The mouse gyrated, moved around in crazy patterns, made clicking sounds, jerking itself free from my grasp. I stared, unbelieving as it came alive. Using keyboard shortcuts I clicked My Docs. Gone! Nothing! I clicked on my last saved file of my years’ long book project. It was not there. Gone!

The mouse was still.

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Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

‘Yearning to breathe free’. Friday Fictioneers photo prompt

It has been over nine months since I’ve participated in Friday Fictioneers (due to other priority writing projects and time involved), but often read and comment on other writers’ stories. This week, however I decided to add one into the mix. Friday Fictioneer stories can be found at Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s blog, at http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ Because of the current piece of work I am editing and posting chapters of now (a novel, The Informant’s Agenda) this photo prompt seemed appropriate to my writing genre and story theme, so here is my contribution this week for this prompt.  The interesting thing is that although my current novel is fiction, this little story has a lot of truth in it as it is based on factual truths found in my novel. 1) My grandfather Jacob’s family were immigrants from Odessa, Russia, and were German Jews. And after over thirty years of research I am now writing a story similar to their own. And 2) I did visit Russia and cities in Ukraine in 1989 where I visited several cities in my novel, and took the photos below this story of the Babi Yar Jewish Memorial in Kiev, 1989 which is a sad, unforgettable site. Information on the Babi Yar can be found in Wikipedia and elsewhere.  Any comments and feedback are always welcome, and thanks for reading.

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The Babi Yar Memorial of the 33, 771 Jews massacred on September 29 and 30, 1941 by the German SS in Kiev, Ukraine

The Babi Yar Memorial of the            33, 771 Jews massacred on September 29 and 30, 1941 by the German SS in Kiev, Ukraine

  I took the photos above of Babi Yar in 1989 while touring Ukraine, Russia : Joyce E. Johnson (1989)

Below is my story to go with the photos above and submitted for the week’s Friday Fictioneers story.

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I thought of Grandfather Jacob and his family coming ashore in 1889, yearning to ‘breathe free’, to live in a land where ‘pogrom’ and persecution were foreign words, not ones to be feared.

The words of one from the Babi Yar memorial to the thousands of Jews massacred in Kiev came to me.

“My mind reeled with the images. My heart wept for their pain. Where did it all begin? Why no end to their suffering? Where would they find acceptance? A place where peace would reign?”

It seemed fitting to end my journey here upon my return from Ukraine.

____________________

Joyce E. Johnson

Benefactor

The story below is fiction. It is my submission for this week’s Friday Fictioneers 100 word story based on a photo prompt, provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Comments and feedback are welcome.

Thank you all for following my blog and stories through the year, and for the positive welcomed comments. I wish you all a healthy, happy, prosperous new year in 2013.

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A “secret benefactor”, her lawyer said had fronted the last twenty thousand needed for her to buy the coffee-house cafe, add the bookstore, and turn it into the profitable venture she had only dreamt about before.

“The contract is ready. All we need is your signature and everything will be legal and tidy to close the deal.”

Could she trust him? This new “business partner” was too secretive, a figure in the shadows. He chose to remain anonymous, requiring her lawyer to keep confidential his identity until the meeting between the three.

Here they come.

“NO! Not my ex-husband!”

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The Night The Lights Came On At The Plaza

The below story is fiction. Formatted to be read like a poetic prose. It is my submission for this week’s Friday Fictioneers writing group based on a photo prompt, hosted and led by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Comments and feedback are welcomed.

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I’d not been back in years, but the memories still fresh.

All that happened out on the square.

The night the lights came on at the Plaza.

The years passed slowly. I had no news

where to look, or if he’d married.

Then I get a call and he wants to meet.

At the sidewalk café where we sipped our wine, and

I lost myself in his aqua blue eyes.

He left suddenly, with no explanation.

A man too mysterious, with too little to give back.

There he is, waiting and watching,

like a spy coming out of the cold.

Joyce E. Johnson

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Memorial


A note on the picture above. I took this photo while walking a nature trail with my husband and dog. Our city (Loveland, Co.) is well-known for the many professional artists and sculptors who have created beautiful works of art for galleries, museums and artists’ shows. Many are on display in our city and elsewhere around the world. This particular piece with the hand points the direction under an overpass and bridge where walkers and bikers on the trail can view other sculpted caricature faces displayed. This art project was entitled, “FACES.” I don’t know if the sculpted faces are those of actual people known for specific accomplishments here, or just those depicting fictitious persons, but many are very whimsical and expressive in detail.

Each week I write my short ‘flash fiction’ story of 100 words to go with the photo prompt provided by Rochelle Fields on her website and Friday Fictioneers. Below is my story to go with the photo prompt I provided for this week’s Friday Fictioneers, “Faces.” Feedback and comments are welcome.

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“Memorial”

“It’s Dicky.”

“Yep, that’s him, alright.”

“With the same silly smirk on his face. Great work by the artist.”

“He will be missed. Everybody loved him.”

“Remember back in college? He was a practical joker, always a good laugh.”

“Yes, even with the professors.”

“Then he becomes a clown, volunteering at the Children’s Cancer Research Center Hospital. Always giving back, never asking in return.”

“Entertaining sick children for hours. Coming in every week.”

He told the staff, “I just want to bring joy and laughter to the kids, however long they might have.”

“And then he himself dies of cancer.”

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Story and photo by: Joyce E. Johnson

Restored

The below story is fiction. It is my submission for this week’s Friday Fictioneers 100 word story based on a photo prompt. I was traveling and on a trip during the two – three weeks I missed submitting a story. Comments and feedback are welcome.

Thank you, Rochelle for the photo, the encouragement, the wonderful friendship we’ve had through the years, and the camaraderie we also share as writers of fiction.

And also I want to thank Madison Woods (a.k.a. Roxanne Phillips) for her past photo prompts, helpful tips with Word Press, and the encouragement she offered too, for all her work with Friday Fictioneers. It has been fun, and getting to know other writers this way, a valuable asset to me as a writer.

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RESTORED

She sat anxious, waiting, and afraid.

“Carol, are you ready?”

“Yes.”

Carefully, the doctor unwrapped the bandages from around her face and head. About all that was left exposed were her eyes, although still red and swollen.

The glass partition in his waiting room reminded her of the thick coat of ice on her car’s windshield that day of the storm, and the horrible accident, breaking facial bones, scarring her with shattered glass.

Her husband sat with her, also anxious, but hopeful, holding her hand, squeezing encouragement.

When the doctor was done, he handed her a mirror.

“Honey, you’re beautiful!”

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Captive

Below is my Friday Fictioneers 100 word story based on this week’s photo prompt, provided by Madison Wood’s Friday Fictioneers website. Feedback and comments are welcome.

On a personal note: For the benefit of those reading my blog and stories that are not writers of fiction, but maybe readers only, please note that all of the Friday Fictioneers stories I write and create are only fiction, or what we all loved as a kid growing up, the ‘make believe’ stories we read, listened to as told, or from books we treasured. They do not relate to, tell about, share the same views or opinions, or are similar to any experiences I have had. The characters, plots and stories I create are of my own making and ideas, not someone else’s. That is the beauty and the fun of creating characters and plots with different circumstances, problems, or issues in their life. And of course all these little fiction stories are all based on a photo used to prompt us writers to create a 100 word piece to go with it. That is another part of the fun, and freedom to be expressive in our creation. Sometimes I like to use an idea from issues that are found in the news stories these days, or are similar to situations that may seem real, not just imagined. With that in mind, I like to think about a real life person in this situation or role, and how he or she might react to it, think, or do. As a Christian and a person of strong faith, my characters are not always people like that, but are in fact ones without such a faith. What they do, think and decide for themselves in their situations could, or may not change the outcome of their situation. It is entirely up to them. It might turn around their situation, make it worse or leave them with one thought: What now? What should I do? Who do I turn to? Who will help? The story below is a tad bit similar in a way to one of my favorite genres, ‘Espionage’. Hope you enjoy it.

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She waited, anxious between cold, concrete walls no wider than a produce cart.

She was desperate.

She’d sought them out, pleading, “Can you help?”

“If you work for us, and the revolution. Yes. We’ll get her out.” he said.

“But, I’m an American. Not a spy.”

“Doesn’t matter. We fight, for the cause of freedom. To eradicate the opposing government, and free those still held. In Iran.”

They held her daughter, a journalist, prisoner.

She’d wired the money, sent the transcripts, even forged documents.

Her ‘contact’ was an hour late. What if he doesn’t show?

Someone’s coming.

“Sarah?”

“Yes, mother!”

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‘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

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“Specimen”

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

“OK.”

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)

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“Wings”

“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)

Friday Fictioneers – WHERE ARE WE?

Friday Fictioneers 100 word story (June 15, 2012) – “Where Are We?”

Note: First off, I can honestly say that this sixth story of mine is once again exactly 100 words, except for a title I added. Second: The below story is true, not fiction as all the ones prior to this have been. This event happened exactly as told,  exactly at this time last year in June (2011) when my husband and I were vacationing in Glacier National Park, Montana. To fill in a little bit more on what really happened I will add a few of the details. We started out on a trail after parking our car and got lost for over two hours in the rain. The fright at being lost, and maybe running into a grizzly bear was as real as can be imagined. We had already had one encounter with a black bear two days prior when one ran right out in front of our car while driving down the road. I am a believer in the power of prayer. I depend on God for his divine protection and mercy, every day.  It is my faith that keeps me strong, focused. So, I take nothing for granted.  When Madison Woods posted the picture prompt for this week’s Friday Fictioneers story,  it was like experiencing this adventure all over again. The picture was so much like the ones I took  while on our trip  that I am going to post mine here instead of re-posting Madison’s. I don’t know where her picture was taken, but mine here were taken in the Glacier National Park the day we went on that hike when hiking through the forest, an adventure I and my husband are not likely to forget.

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“WHERE ARE WE?”

With every step, and thump of my walking stick the bell jingled, loudly. My eyes anxiously darted around every tree, rock, bend in the trail. Do they smell me, hear me? 

Grizzly bear habitat, Glacier National Park, Montana. The rain continued, cold.

“We’re lost. There’s no path. We don’t have our map, nor a compass.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll get us back. Wait here. I’m going to look for our car.”

I waited alone, praying, scared. God, where are we? Where is he? I’m going. I can’t stay here. Please help!

I walked on.

There he is.  Our car. We’re safe.

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# FRIDAY FICTIONEERS, Massacre at McDonald’s – 100 word story, May 25

The place is closed now, deserted, a sign posted with large ugly moths looking for entrance. I can’t forget that horrible day at McDonald’s. Nine people were killed, six wounded. A crazed maniac walked in, pulled out a gun and shot at random. I was working my 4-11 shift at the pick-up window when I heard ear-splitting screams, running, yelling, “Get down!” I hit the floor, crawling around, pulling others down with me, even as some fell after being hit. Some said he was a former “disgruntled” employee. It’s been a year now. I’m still grieving. Where is the healing?

“RAINBOWS” – 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers, May 18

Ribbons of pastel stretched across the sky in a half-moon. Sunlight poured out of heaven covering the meadow in a warm blanket. Trees and plants suddenly looked greener, fuller after the summer rain. Robby stood staring up at the rainbows, his mother beside him. “See, mama? They came to cheer you up.” he said. “Don’t worry.” But, his daddy still had no job, and often got grumpy, mean. His mama cried a lot. They had no money, hardly any food left. Robby said a prayer. A short time later, his father burst through the door. “I found a job!”

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