WRECKAGE

The forensic investigators had gone. The security forces had abandoned the scene. Demolition signs and safety warnings adorned the perimeter fence that surrounded what was left of the museum.

I stumbled through broken piles of furniture, shattered glass and mangled steel. Rubble and dust covered everything.

They told me she may never be found. If she had been standing next to the bomber there may be no remains. They had tested all the samples they had lifted. Results were inconclusive.

My daughter was listed as missing presumed dead. I searched on through the wreckage.

My life lay in the ruins around me.


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Copyright J. Hardy Carroll

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

The scenes from Manchester are very much in my mind this week. My thoughts are with everyone involved, especially the parents and children. My apologies if this piece upsets anyone reading it.

DEFIANCE

They sat by the sea watching children play on the beach.

‘Alright?’ he put his arm around her shoulder.

The tears slowly running down her face gave him his answer.

It had taken her twenty years to return. Years of pain and guilt. She had been their teacher. They had trusted in her. She was supposed to protect them.

A school outing before the summer holiday began. A visit to the local museum for a bit of history and then a trip to the beach. It wasn’t her fault the terrorists had come that day.

The images still haunted her. They would never leave her. The panic, the terror, the fear in those young faces. The blood. The dead.

Governments fought aimless wars and encouraged segregation and hate. Religions tried to absolve themselves of blame. Terrorists continued to kill with no purpose, never furthering their cause.

She was beyond all this. She had only her memories and sorrow. She wouldn’t let them count her as their victim. She was here. She had not let them win.

This was her defiance.


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Copyright The Storyteller’s Abode

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

Influenced by events in Manchester this week, my thoughts are with all involved, especially those children and parents affected by this devastating and abhorrent act.

OLD FRIEND

The grey clouds hung low over the surrounding rooftops. Phillips stood next to the gate. His breath formed small puffs of mist. He pressed his hands deeper into his pockets.

‘They sent you.’

Phillips recognised the voice from the other side of the gate. He had last heard it in the bar in Whitehall all those years ago.

‘They needed someone who could confirm your identity.’ Phillips peered through the small gaps in the gate’s bars. ‘Show yourself.’

Travers stepped out from behind the wall. ‘Satisfied?’

‘It’s good to see you.’ Phillips said.

‘And you, old friend.’ Travers replied.

‘Why did you do it?’ Phillips asked.

Travers shrugged. ‘Someone had to. Wars were being fought over false information.’

‘What about your loyalty to our government?’

‘Governments come and go.’

‘To your country then?’

‘What are countries but artificial borders dividing people. Better to sacrifice oneself and prevent nuclear war.’

Phillips knew his friend was genuine in his belief. ‘You know what my orders are.’

‘Can you do it though?’ Travers smiled.

Phillips pulled the gun from his pocket and fired two shots. Travers slumped against the gate.

‘Goodbye, old friend.’


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Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Al Forbes. For more details visit HERE.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

ED’S DINER

Two eggs sunnyside up, greasy fries and plenty of ketchup. I’d cut out the red meat, doctor’s orders.

Thirty years I’ve been coming to Ed’s Diner for lunch.

The decor has stayed the same. Green leather seats, dirty orange ceiling, chipped fake marble counter.

Ed has aged along with the building, looking out through the hatch while he grills and fries the food.

Meryl was fresh-faced when I first ordered from her. Now she was looking forward to retirement.

Ed’s closes next week for refurbishment. New owners coming in. Ed and Meryl won’t be back when it reopens. Neither will I.


inside-the-diner

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

HUNTING SEASON

White gives way to green. Cold to warmth. Life returns.

I feel invigorated. Hibernation is over. Fresh blood runs through veins.

Months since anyone came through. It’s been lonely recently.

I’m eager to entertain. Soon the tourists will return.

The young and adventurous. The healthy and vital.

The thrillseekers. I’m happy to oblige.

The highway will open again.

Final checks. Rooms cleaned. Fresh sheets. Walls painted.

Into the office. Hit the switch. Neon light.

Motel. Open. $12 a night.

Just like Daddy before me. Keeping the family business running.

The swamp no longer frozen. A watery grave once more.

The axe is sharp. It’s not needed for firewood anymore.

All is ready. Now I wait.

It’s hunting season.


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Copyright Ioniangraphics

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.