LEMMINGS

There were six of them now.

Jimmy had been the first. He had been strolling along until he came upon the sign: ‘Sidewalk Closed – Please Use Other Side.’

The sidewalk appeared to be passable, but the sign told him otherwise.

Jimmy had waited for a break in the traffic. It was an eight-lane highway. Cars and trucks shot passed at ferocious speeds. He’d managed to get two lanes out before an artic sent him scurrying back.

Angie had been the next to join him, then Cassandra, Bill, Jason and Siobhan.

They took it in turns to dart out into the road, walking, pausing, sprinting – then turning and retreating. Cassandra had made it halfway, but a succession of buses brought her back.

Jimmy finally gave up. He looked at the closed sidewalk and strode past the indignant sign.

He got five paces before the ground began to fall away. A massive sink hole opened up and swallowed him. The hole spread across the road. Two cars failed to stop and crashed over the edge.

The dust settled. The traffic was blocked. Angie, Cassandra, Bill, Jason and Siobhan crossed over to the other sidewalk and carried on their way.


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Copyright J. Hardy Carroll

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.

DYSFUNCTIONAL

Max stared at the wall. He threw the chewed paperclip into the plastic cup and picked up a fresh one.

‘How many is that?’ Darcy asked from across the cubicle divide.

‘Ten.’ Max answered, putting the new paperclip between his teeth.

‘You’re not functioning well today.’

‘A-ha!’ Max shouted and spat out the paperclip. Leaning forward he wrote on the crossword. ‘D-y-s-f-u-n-c-t-i-o-n-a-l. ‘An inability to work with hollowed-out dry and stiff ointment.”

He threw the newspaper down in triumph.

Darcy looked over at him. ‘Can we get on with actual work now?’

‘I’m all yours. Remind me to order more paperclips later.’


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Copyright Claire Sheldon

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 LOST LEGION

‘What now?’ screamed Aetius.

Another hail of arrows split open the sky, hurtling down on them. On command the surviving legionnaires raised their shields and fended off the onslaught. The screams and cries signalled more men lost. The wild gale battered them, the rain hammered them relentlessly.

General Manius stared through the bleak grey storm at the huddled remains of the Ninth legion, strewn along the unforgiving rocky hillside.

They were hopelessly lost in this barren land. There was no escape. Retreat was blocked behind them, and they had no idea which way would lead them to safety. The aquila had been lost.

On all sides they were surrounded by the hellish inhabitants. Why had they been sent to conquer this desolate place? There was nothing here worth Rome having.

‘General, what now?’ Aetius yelled again.

Through the storm Manius heard an evil animal howl. Emerging from the thick fog, fearsome warriors charged towards them.

‘We fight and we die,’ Manius commanded as he hauled himself to his feet. His men followed his example. They rushed to meet their death. Manius fell to one blow from a giant axe.

The Ninth legion was lost to history. The land called Caledonia remained wild and unbowed.


 

203 06 June 18th 2017
Copyright A Mixed Bag

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.

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.’


200-05-may-21st-2017

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.

LADY MADONNA

I sat under the umbrella of the cafe, shaded from the strong Roman sun. Sipping from the cool ice drink I watched the people go by.

Excited, loud groups of school children ran across the ancient cobbles mixing with bus tours of the ponderous elderly. Teenagers by the fountains took selfies with their phones. Couples sat in each others arms, heads resting on shoulders, stealing the occasional kiss.

The midday bell rang from the tower. I looked to the door. It opened as it did everyday at the same time.

She strode out across the square. The crowds of people seemed to part in front of her. I marvelled at how effortlessly she glided on the uneven ground in her heels. The eyes were hidden behind chic sunglasses, her auburn hair fell from beneath the stylish wide-brimmed hat. Her hips swayed in the tight dress that stopped just below the knee exposing the tanned and toned calves.

I watched her walk from one end of the piazza to the other until she disappeared from view. The sights and sound of the world resumed. I left my money for the drink and ambled away.

Same time tomorrow.


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Copyright Sally-Ann Hodgekiss

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.