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

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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

Pretty Terrible

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Marianne has been in with the doctors a long time. That’s what Marianne’s husband, Joseph, was thinking as he sat in the hospital waiting room. He noticed the flowers. Pretty. He hated hospitals. He’d just focus on the flowers while he waited on Marianne.

“Excuse me. Mr. Hayworth?”

Joseph jumped. He’d nodded off, staring at those flowers.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Hayworth. Your wife has a collapsed lung. We accidentally caused it to collapse at the end of the procedure. She has to stay until it resolves. She’s in Room 412.”

Joseph was still trying to wake up. He jumped up, thanked the doctor, and shook his hand. The doctor left and walked quickly down the hall.

“Now what?” Joseph thought.

He walked over to the flowers, snatched them out of the pots, and started walking quickly to Room 412 to see Marianne.

140 words

Photo Credit Shivamt25

The Ghost Road

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They were driving the most challenging road they had ever driven. He had altitude sickness. They had been to the Grand Canyon. When they left for Phoenix, they took a wrong turn and ended up on a road that clung to the red rock mountainsides and took breathtaking drops down.

The road straightened out. They knew they shouldn’t turn on a dirt road. Phoenix couldn’t be this way. But they followed the GPS.

Later that night, her cousin called the police to report them missing. They scoured the desert. There was no sign of them. Not ever again.

Photo Credit Danny Bowman

Dover and the Dignitary

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“Some big shot is flying into Dover this morning or so they told me.”

“Who told you, Jack?”

“The Captain. He wouldn’t say who it was. Very hush hush and all.”

“I wonder why such a secret?”

The three men drove the tank toward the Dover airfield. They were part of the artillery detail that was scheduled to greet the plane of the incoming dignitary. U.S. dignitaries would be at the foot of the stairway to the plane, standing on the red carpet. They didn’t know it would be the President.

Jack said, “It must be someone really important for them to bring them in secretly to Dover since we normally have the funeral and mortuary duties.”

“Strange use of such a big runway,” commented one of the men, as they lined up in formation.

A British Air Force jet landed and taxied into place. Out walked a small boy and Prince William, second in line to the British throne. All the men clapped when little Prince George waved. The men were shocked when they found out later that Prince William was going to fly with the American Air Force during maneuvers in South Korea.

Photo credit to A Mixed Bag

The Gothic School

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“This place scares me, Amanda,” Carrie, a student nurse, remarked to her friend.

“Yes, Carrie, it scares me too. I can’t believe we have to live here during our nurse’s training,” Amanda replied.

“You know this place used to be a hospital for people with smallpox?” Carrie said.

The girls were walking along the corridor of the Renfield building, now a training center for nurses. They were returning to their rooms.

The corridor became cold and the girls heard a moan.

“What was that?”

In front of them, there was a dim apparition. A person walking and moaning. They ran.

100 words

Photo Credit Roger Bulltot

 

The Power of Longevity

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When he asked me to go camping, I looked at him as if he were a stranger. We’d been together for more years than I could count. For more years than I wanted to count. Camping? I love nature, but when it comes right down to it, I love nature on day trips. At night, I’m a room service kind of gal.

He wanted us to have a new experience. There was a campfire. That helped. When I left the tent, there was a coyote’s eyes looking at me from the edge of the darkness. I felt safe with him.

Photo Prompt Jan Wayne Fields