Assault

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He didn’t leave the cool confines of his apartment very often. There, he was safe. Safe from from the broiling sun of the equatorial city. Safe from the cacophony of noise that assailed his ears when he opened the door of the hotel. Safe, most of all, from the germs that he could feel penetrating his skin when he wasn’t in the filtered air in his suite. An assault on his senses.

What he was in search of today couldn’t be delivered. He smiled to himself. It could be delivered but refused to be. He walked several blocks through the city. As he walked, he became less aware of those things that assaulted his senses and more aware at the prize at the end of his journey. Ahead of his, he saw the hotel that was his destination. He stopped and gathered his composure.

He walked into the hotel bar. He saw her immediately. His daughter, waiting for him,     for the first time in twenty years.

171 words

Photo credit to dorothy

The Bullying

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The school bus stopped with a screech in front of the fire station. The children had misbehaved almost the entire route and the monitor seemed unable to stop them. Now, something drastic was happening as the monitor was screaming for him to stop and all the children seemed to be screaming. Something about bullying. The bus driver shrugged his shoulders and came to a halt.

The little boy had been shoved around since he had boarded the school bus. He was pushed around every day. The monitor knew it, but she didn’t want to get in the middle of it because those kids would turn on her. The two bigger boys called him terrible names and said awful things to him.

Today, the unthinkable happened. The little boy reached in his backpack and pulled out a pistol. He was waving it around wildly, threatening to shoot the bigger boys who were bullying him and the other kids on the bus. The bigger boys were crying.

They were by the fire station. The driver quietly walked off the bus and got the firemen. When the little boy saw them, he sat down in the floor and started crying too.

199 words

Amsterdam

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“Why is the stupid door pink instead of red,” Katrina mumbled to herself. She had just rented a room in the famous red light district in Amsterdam. An American girl in Amsterdam. No money, no way to get home, no job. It was just sex. She scratched a smiley face on the door and went inside.

It wasn’t bad. There were new linens. She had heard that putting a bowl of pasta puttanesca out drew in clients. A knock at the door. Her first client. He took one look at her and said, “Let me help you get home.”

99 words

Consequences

62B0EBD5-A0DC-4754-8F68-1FAD308E4814They docked off Grand Cayman Island. Dave and his wife were going on a day trip to the island on the little ferry. Dave had business there. Maria was looking forward to the shopping on the island. Dave knew he would be able to slip away from her for a few moments while she shopped. Dave picked up his backpack. No one would ever know about the large amount of money in it or the money laundering scheme. He had already managed to get it through customs by hiding it.Now to hook up with his contact.

Dave worked for a gangster who was a crime boss. He’d asked Dave to take some drug money to the Cayman’s and give it to his contact.

Dave sent Maria off to shop and sat down on a bench to wait, backpack by his side as instructed. A woman came along and casually picked it up. Dave was relieved.

When he got back to New York, the crime boss called him in and asked him what happened. The contact had not picked up the money. Dave tried to explain it must have been stolen. Wham! The bodyguard broke both of  his knees.

 

Carnage

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A small crowd of protestors formed in a midwestern town in the U.S. They were taking a chance of being arrested by the roaming police of the U.S. government.

“Aaron, I’m terrified that we’re actually doing this,” Mandy said.

Aaron replied, “We have to be brave or we will never get our freedom back.”

The crowd was protesting the discontinued social programs, particularly those that provided them food and medical attention. The President had all social programs abolished in 2017. Since then, the disabled and the elderly people in their community had suffered and many had died.

Now it was 2019. There were few jobs. People tried to farm, but the change in the climate made it almost impossible. Aaron had organized this small protest.

A young girl was carrying a sign that said, “Love.”

They heard the police before they saw them marching in. They stood their ground. The police began the carnage by knocking the sign out of the young girl’s hands.

162 words

Photo credit to Elaine Farrington Johnson

The Ruins

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Wearing a special HazMat suit developed in early 2018, Jennifer was one of the environmental scientists who was outdoors in the Fall of 2028 taking soil and air samples. Her team was working in the Washington, DC/New York City/Boston corridor.

After a North Korean missile had struck Japan, the U.S. had bombed North Korea. They got off a missile toward South Korea. Using several nuclear-tipped ICBMs, Beijimg had fired on the east coast of the U.S. and the U.S. had destroyed the capital of China. What was left of the U.S. government had been moved to Columbus, Ohio.

Radiation poisoning spread over the eastern portion of the U.S. Many teams like Jennifer’s were deployed over the entire region. People were surviving, but few survived along the northeast corridor. They had determined that it would be years before the food would be safe to grow. Water was being purified.

Jennifer went inside the in-ground shelter to make her report. No real change from the last time. She recommended importing as much food as possible and relying on the western U.S. for the rest. She laid her head on her desk and cried.

Sunday Photo Fiction

Cheep!

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Cheep! Cheep! Jaqi’s eyes flew open. It was the smoke alarm. The battery was dying and she was trying to sleep.

Her husband had sent her to the beach days ahead of him. She couldn’t reach the smoke alarm. She laid there and tried to ignore it. Cheep!

Jaqi heard another noise. She got up and grabbed her purse. Her Smith and Wesson pistol was in it. As she stepped out on the balcony to listen, they grabbed her from behind.

When her husband arrived three days later, all he found were her old beach sneakers beside the bed.

Working the Canyons

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She tried to keep in the shadows of the tall buildings. The buildings made the streets like canyons. There were nooks and crannies. It was easy to hide. She slipped from building to building. Then she waited before she went to the next building. If they found her, they would take her cargo and kill her.

Svetlana was a Russian girl working for the Americans. She was a mule, but her cargo was only information. The Russians would do anything to stop her delivering it to the Americans. They weren’t far behind her, but they seemed confused concerning her whereabouts. Svetlana was good at what she did.

She could see the place where she was supposed to meet her American contact. She slipped in and out amongst the trees. Right before she walked in the door of the restaurant, she heard a gunshot. She smiled. They missed. She was here.

150 words

Photo Credit to Pamela S. Canepa

#MarquessaChallenge – At First Sight

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It only happened to Rachel once. Maybe because, after that one time, she never let it happen again. If it had happened again, she hadn’t recognized it. She had walked into his office that one day, the day she’ll never forget. His desk faced the right wall. The door was open. He was at his desk, looking down, reading something. She reached in to knock at the open door which swung open to the right. As she knocked, he turned toward her.

She had to keep herself from gasping when his eyes met hers. They were laughing eyes. Dark, dark brown in color. Mesmerizing. They grabbed her eyes and held them.

He said, “Can I help you?”

Rachel couldn’t speak. She had forgotten why she had come to his office.

She mumbled, “Sorry, wrong office.” Then she fled down the hall. Back to her own office. She was breathless when she sat down at her desk. She knew his name. She quickly remembered why she had gone to see him. She couldn’t go back, but she had to. He was going to be her professor in a class this semester.

Rachel was a research assistant at the University of South Florida. She was pursuing her Ph.D in Computer Science and Technology. Peter Fitzgerald was an Associate Professor in the Department and her professor in an upcoming class. Rachel felt like she’s just been hit by a train. Could you really fall in love at first sight? Rachel was far too sensible to think that. It was just a moment. Everyone had moments now and then. It would pass and the next time she saw him, he would be just another man on the street.

What Rachel didn’t know is that Peter had felt the lightning bolt as well. He wondered who that girl was. Was she an undergraduate student? A graduate student? He had to find her. See her again. He walked around through the halls of the Technology Building, but he didn’t see her anywhere.

Early that afternoon, Rachel had Peter’s class. She dreaded it. How would she face him after fleeing his office. She slipped in from the back as he was calling roll. After class, he walked up to her.

“You didn’t get here in time for roll call,” he said.

“I’m sorry, Professor Fitzgerald.”

“Please follow me to my office to fill out some information for me.”

Suddenly, Rachel realized she was daydreaming. That day had been so long ago. Rachel couldn’t imagine why it had popped into her mind while she was driving down the road in South Florida. She hadn’t thought of Peter in many months, although he did pop into her head from time to time. She was successful in shoving him out of her head these days. She was happy with her life. When she did think of Peter, she usually thought of the end of their relationship. Today, instead, she had thought of that very first day.

The Glory Days. They had certainly had them. For years. The last time she saw him, those brown eyes didn’t sparkle any more. He said he was happy, but his demeanor and his eyes said something different. He had settled. Settled for what made him content at the moment. That was all right with Rachel. He wasn’t hers to save or care for.

Only one thing made Rachel sad now. She wished she could have emotionally let him go sooner. She would have lived a happier life. Instead, she had waited and hoped that one day, they would be together. But, it was not to be. She’d had relationships. Lots of them. She’d even been married. No one had ever touched her heart and soul like Peter. Now she wondered if it was because she never gave anyone else the chance. It was probably too late now.

Rachel remembered the day when Peter looked at her, after they made love, and said, “In your eyes, I’ve found the missing pieces.”

She felt bound to him then. That was right before he left her forever.

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#fictionfriday is brought to us by Simply Marquessa

He’s Toast

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April was up at 5 a.m., fixing Keith’s breakfast. Eggs and toast. Marriage didn’t seem good to April. He never made her feel loved. She tried all kinds of things to endear herself to him. This morning, she had even cut little heart shapes out of his toast.

Keith walked into the breakfast room and sat down without speaking. She served his breakfast. He started to eat and looked at the pieces of toast.

“April,” he said, “if all the bread has holes in it, take it back to the store.”

April threw the skillet on the floor and walked out.

 

Photo Credit Kelvin M. Knight