By The Sea

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When he happened upon the village, he had been traveling for a long time. Wandering from place to place. He stopped in the small restaurant for some dinner and that’s when he saw it. There was a sign advertising a position for a lighthouse keeper. His breath caught in his throat. He had worked as a lighthouse keeper many times in his life. Those were the only times he had been a good person. When he had a connection to the sea.

He called the number on the sign. There was a small room he could live in at the bottom of the lighthouse. It had been standing empty for a while now. Workmen came to set its light. He moved in the few things that he had.

That night, he went about the business of calibrating the light. An image came into the path of the light and he realized it was a large ship sailing too close to the coast. When the light began to work, he watched as the ship steered away from the coastline.

He sighed with relief. This Christmas he had done a good deed. Unlike so many Christmas’s in the past.

 

*Thanks to Susan Spaulding and #SundayPhotoFiction

 

 

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Mashed Potato Surprise

The family sat down for Thanksgiving dinner. She had cooked quite a dinner and he had helped. Everyone was at the table and they were both carrying the dishes of food to the table when she heard a crash. She turned around and he had dropped a large bowl of mashed potatoes on the floor, splattering them everywhere. They were everyone’s favorite dish.

He smiled, walked to the table, and pointed his finger. A lightning bolt appeared and at the end, a large bowl of mashed potatoes.

She said, “Hmm, so why have I bothered cooking all these years?”

 

Thanks to Charli at the Carrot Ranch

 

 

The Abstraction

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The old man had entered the contest for wood sculpting six months ago. Now, at the deadline, it was finished. As the crowd walked by and viewed his creation, they remarked that he should not have carved a living tree. His vision wouldn’t have worked on a dead one.

As more people viewed it, he wondered if the world had forgotten abstract art. Did everything have to be realism? He got angrier by the minute at their criticisms and tried to explain abstraction.

He got angry and threw his ax in the middle of the tree.

He won the award.

 

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and Friday Fictioneers!

 

Haunted

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“It’s always darkest before the dawn.” That old quote popped into her head at 4 a.m. It wouldn’t be daylight soon this morning since the Earth was spinning toward the shortest day of the year. She was still awake at this ungodly hour, as she often was, yearning for the light.

She couldn’t sleep until it was daylight. The old dreams, the terrible dreams of her childhood, haunted her, and she knew she couldn’t sleep until dawn when they would subside. She remembered them when she awoke, screaming, but only for a few seconds. Only the light chased them away.

 

Thanks to Charli and the CarrotRanch!

One-Way Glass

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Doors to her were only a symbol. They had always kept her out, excluded her. From the time she was a child, she’d felt like she was on the outside looking in. She wondered if that clear blue pane would allow her to see inside. No doubt it was one-way glass. Doors were always one-way.

Since she’d become an adult and developed courage, she’d insisted on being allowed into the doors she thought were important to her. A difficult door had been to her career. It was not a career particularly open to women in those days. She had to push her way, kicking and screaming through that closed and locked door. It disillusioned her. During her career, she had to knock down one door after another.

Now she found herself fighting against the most difficult door of all. Time and age. This time, she wanted to stay on this side of that door, but she was being pulled toward it by an irresistible force. She didn’t want to go.

170 words

 

Thanks to Priceless Joy and Jade M. Wong for the photo prompt.

The Bend in the Road

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Richard looked at the steering wheel in his hands and felt fear.

He drove fast. He had to get away, but he reflected on his surroundings. He had always loved this highway with its view of the ocean. Now it was a place where he felt trepidation.

Richard kept looking in his rear view mirror. He saw something in the distance. He recognized Arnold’s car. Arnold was a vengeful coward with a fragile ego and muscles the size of softballs.

Arnold was a sociopath. A mean, whisky drinking liar who tried to con everyone he knew. His friends saw him as a fun, nice man, but he wasn’t.

Arnold was behind him now, swerving and trying to run him off the road. Richard knew he might as well pull over. He got out of the car.

Arnold bellowed, “You owe me money. Time to pay up!”

Richard could tell he was drunk. Arnold came running at him, swinging his fists. Richard was ready for him, standing at the side of the road. As Arnold reached him, swinging and yelling, Richard stepped aside. He stepped the wrong way. Right over the edge of the cliff. Arnold ran right into Richard’s car.

200 words

*Thanks to Susan and Anurag Bakhshi for photo prompt!

 

 

 

Pillars – #writephoto

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She walked among the pillars of the old building on the monastery grounds to gather her thoughts. She found it cool and serene here. Many things had gone wrong in her life recently. Not only in her life, but in the lives of some of her friends and family. She touched the cold, gray marble of one of the pillars in the colonnade and she felt a frisson of emotion. She yanked her hand away. It was exciting and frightening. Slowly, she touched the pillar again. The same emotion overcame her. She felt strength. Through her mind and body, she was flooded with the strength to meet her problems head on. She didn’t want to take her hand away, but she finally did. The strength to fight on remained.

She walked to another pillar and touched it. She was shocked with the emotion of hope. Hopelessness about her life had permeated her world for so long that she had forgotten what it felt like to feel hopeful. She felt strong and hopeful. Ready to tackle the problems in her life.

She had to touch another pillar. She could not imagine that it would cause any further emotion in her. Strength and hopefulness had already been granted to her. She touched the pillar. A sense of worthiness flooded through her. She had felt unworthy to tackle her problems. To even live her life. For years now, she had felt no self-worth at all and, by touching this pillar, that changed. It gave her great relief and made her feel that not only could she solve her problems, but she was worth the life she was living.

After she caught her breath and composed herself, she decided to try touching only one more pillar. She walked to one near the front of the colonnade and put her hand on it. She smiled and the smile got bigger as she left her hand on the pillar. She felt gratitude. She was grateful she was alive. Alive to live the life she had been given.

Strength, hope, worthiness, and gratitude. The pillars in the colonnade at the monastery gave her those things that day. She asked herself whether it was real or not. Did they give her those things? Or was she just ready to feel them on her own?

She’ll never know.

 

Thanks to Sue Vincent for the great photo prompt!

Don’t You Love Me?

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”I thought we came to the Beach Bar to have a drink and then go parasailing, Michael? We haven’t even made it to the bar. You captured me way out here,” Gale exclaimed.

”C’mon, honey. I’ve missed you all day,” Michael said as he tried to steal a few kisses.

”Later, Michael. I’m thirsty for a beer and I really want to do some parasailing this afternoon,” Gale said as she pushed against Michael’s chest.

She pushed away and Michael turned away. With his back to her, he said, “Honey, don’t you love me?”

”Michael, don’t you even use that line on me,” Gale said.

Michael turned around grinning and grabbed her, kissing her again.

”Do we really have to go parasailing today, Gale? Let’s have one beer and then go to my apartment.”

”I know when I’ve lost an argument,” she said and started walked toward the bar.

Michael didn’t know that, once she made it to the bar, she wasn’t going anywhere with him after this.

168 words

 

Thanks to Priceless Joy and Michelle DeAngelis for the photo prompt.

 

Spectral – #writephoto

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She had brought her equipment out earlier in the day, before nightfall. It was set up, ready to go. Ready to detect any spectral presence at the old fort. She didn’t bring her team this night. She had decided to check out the old fort alone in an effort to disturb things as little as possible. She was an experienced ghost hunter, although it was a hobby and not a vocation. Her field was physics and she was a teacher.

She sat in her car at the end of the road approaching the old fort and observed for a while. Other ghost hunters had examined the fort after reports by tourists that they felt cold spots within the fort, usually associated with a spot of light and an apparition who possibly used to reside there. That didn’t make a lot of sense to her since the fort was mostly open to the elements now. She wanted to do further study.

It was a foggy night. It seemed to be an odd fog. There was no wind, but the fog was swirling around. She quickly got out of her car and went to her equipment set up some distance from the old fort. It was definitely picking up paranormal activity in the area. But what type? She suspected she knew.

The fog thickened. It seemed to swirl more and the ghosthunter had her answer. This was not your typical ghost or your typical fog. This was an ecto-mist or ectoplasm. A ghostly mist identified by the swirling pattern. She knew she must wait quietly. Ectoplasms sometimes developed into full-blown spectral apparitions.

As she watched, the fog darkened as it swirled and then stopped. There was the outline of a being sitting on the ground. She started snapping her camera although all she could see was a man wearing a white wig in an elaborate red costume or uniform. She couldn’t see his face clearly, but she could see that he was holding a rock in his hand. He was holding his head in his other hand. Within fifteen seconds, the dark fog took him away and normal fog settled in around the fort.

Given the time period in which the fort was built, rocks and cannons were all with which they had to fight. He must have been a wounded soldier.

Driving back to her home, she was thrilled with her photos and her discovery. She found herself feeling very sorry for that soldier so many hundreds of years ago.

 

Thanks to Sue Vincent for the great photo prompt!

The Stake Out

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“Don’t you think it’s obvious to rub the fog off in one spot, Stan?”

”No, Joe, I think it would be more obvious if he saw two guys sitting here in a car on a side street just hanging out,” Stan replied. “It would look like we’re on a stake out.”

”This guy is a nasty piece of work, Joe. Plus, he’s smart. He and his buddy had to have real smarts to pull off that bank heist.”

”How smart can he be? He’s covered in that red stuff from the marked money.”

The two men noticed a man in a business suit walking down the street. No car was around. It was many blocks to the business section of the city. The man kept looking around.

After the man walked a block up the street, Joe and Stan started the car and slowly followed him. He started to run. Joe jumped from the car and ran after him. He pulled out his gun, started to shoot, and Joe dropped to the ground.

 

Thanks to Priceless Joy for the prompt and wildverbs for the photo!

@Rosemary Carlson 2018