Throwback Thursday – Roommates

It’s almost time for Friday Fictioneers, when writers from around the world post 100-word stories based on a photo prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog. This week’s photo is a “rerun” of a prompt from October, 2012. The photo is by Raina Ng.

I am rerunning my story from 2012 as well. I hope it stands the test of time; you be the judge!

Photo Copyright: Raina Ng

Roommates

by Jan Brown

Walking into Sarah’s kitchen, I experienced simultaneous waves of nostalgia and nausea. In the sixties, five of us lived here. It was large and airy, with a relaxed feel and a perfect location near the university. When we welcomed a sixth roommate, things changed.

We thought Marty was merely a “Type A” personality who would help us get our shit together. But a near-constant rage sizzled just below the surface of his counterfeit charm.  Sarah fell under his spell and stayed with him all these years, enduring the narcissistic behavior and sadistic abuse. Some said death was a blessing. Hers wasn’t. His will be, at the hands of the state.

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Until One Day

This week I returned to the dark side….

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, where every story is a surprise. If you’d like to read other Fictioneers’ stories or post one of your own, click here. For more information on Friday Fictioneers, visit the website of our exquisite and hard-working leader, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  Enjoy!

Photo Copyright: Roger Bultot

Photo Copyright: Roger Bultot

Until One Day

by Jan Brown

It took forever. Forever to find the little apartment. The only one she could afford. Days of staying in flophouses and later in her car. Terrified someone would report her to DCFS. Terrified she would lose her children.

So she didn’t complain about the smell–something akin to dry cleaning fumes. She opened the windows and let in the sunlight. They played outside. They smiled and laughed. By nightfall the apartment was full of fresh air and love. They slept well and rose early every day.

Until one day they were overcome by fumes….when the meth lab exploded and burned.

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TGIF

The first week on a new job can be so difficult–for you as well as your loved ones. Especially if they don’t love you back.

This is the theme of my story for Friday Fictioneers.  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields leads our rowdy band of fictioneers by providing a photo prompt to inspire us each week. Writers from around the world post 100-word stories, based on the prompt. You can see them all here, and you can post your own story, too!

Many thanks to Dawn Quyle Landau for this week’s photo.

Photo Copyright: Dawn Q. Landau

Photo Copyright: Dawn Q. Landau

TGIF

by Jan Brown

Monday:

Promotions were announced at the precinct. My husband, Jack, got his gold shield. I didn’t.

He always has to be one step ahead.

Tuesday:

A wasted evening listening to Jack bitch about his new job in Homicide.

Seriously?

Wednesday:

I dissolved my monthly supply of lithium into his coffee.

He forgot his thermos.

Thursday:

I bashed his brake line with a chunk of asphalt.

He didn’t take his car.

Friday:

I made breakfast for Jack and his new partner.

Delicious.

Saturday:

I reported him missing.

The next spring:

I hiked along the tracks, smiling as I passed their graves.

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Welcome Home

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers! We are a community of writers from around the world who post 100-word stories based on a photo prompt provided on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog. Please visit her lovely blog for more information…and join us if you wish!

This week’s photo is by Doug MacIlroy.  Mahalo, Doug!

Doug hokusai

Photo Copyright: Douglas M. MacIlroy

Welcome Home

by Jan Brown

I settled into the sofa and put my feet up. If I had to do this, at least I deserved to be comfortable.

I logged in to create a memorial page: birth, death, survivors…a litany of facts without significance. Allegations of “beloved husband” and “dear friend” rang untrue.

Not enough reality.

I clicked “cancel,” started over.

“The deceased had no children with his estranged wife, but is survived by a son born last December to their neighbor, Mrs. Lydia Fitzwilliam. Manslaughter charges are pending against Col. Richard Fitzwilliam, recently returned from Afghanistan.”

Too much reality.

I clicked “cancel,” started over.

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NaPoWriMo 10 – Slightly Used

The National Poetry Writing Month challenge for today is to write an advertisement-poem.

Slightly Used

by Jan Brown

I have a lovely ring to sell
Ten carats for ten awful years
A desolate decade of hell
Spent gathering abject fears

Red diamonds intertwined with white
The color of my blood and tears
Memories of each terrible fight
But I stay…and he perseveres

Condition of item: slightly used
But no more than my heart
Was sadly broken and abused
Still, we cannot be apart

Will take best offer–buy now and save!
I’ll need money soon to start
My new house–on his unmarked grave
No, we’ll never be apart

 

Single Again

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers! We are a community of writers from around the world who post 100-word stories each week, based on a photo prompt provided by our effervescent leader, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week’s photo is by Janet Webb. Thank you, Janet!

janet-webbs-sangria

Single Again

by Jan Brown

My handbag was bulging. It contained a very fat envelope with the cash proceeds of our joint savings account.

At the tapas bar, my husband was almost finished with his third pitcher of sangria. I poured the rest into his glass, adding a little something extra. He made a face as he gulped it down, but didn’t comment on the bitterness.

That night, I performed a little magic with hair dye and scissors. I looked in the mirror, and a hot rocker chick looked back. But something was missing. Actually, two things. But I can afford a boob job now.

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Read more Friday Fictioneers’ stories here:

The Terrace

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers! We are a community of writers from around the world who post 100-word stories each week, based on a photo prompt provided by our effervescent leader, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week’s photo is by Bjorn Rudberg. Thank you, Bjorn!

bjorn madeira

The Terrace

by Jan Brown

I grew up on a wonderful island, its mountainous terrain gently shaped by terraces to provide growing space for vineyards and living space for homes.

The warm waters of the ocean attracted thousands of tourists. I foolishly married one–a very handsome one–and followed him back to the United States.

We lived in a flat city, surrounded by flat plains. The only terrace was the fieldstone patio behind our flat house.

My husband’s heart grew cold as the wintry wind; he demanded a divorce.

Now he lies beneath the flat stone terrace, and I am on my way home.

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To read other Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link below:

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Recognize

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, when writers from around the world post 100-word stories based on a photo prompt provided on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog. This week’s photo is by Jean L. Hays. Thank you, Jean!

Dolphin jean L hays

Recognize

by Jan Brown

I was finally free. I celebrated that freedom every day in my studio, a tiny loft overlooking the bay. The only thing I took from my old life was my nest egg, which I invested in equipment to continue my artwork in stained glass.

The local news featured my work when they covered the art show on the beach. That was how he found me.

I could change my hair color and my name, but I couldn’t change my artwork.

I would always be recognizable.

What he didn’t recognize was my newfound strength, the fearlessness of independence.

And my Glock-19.

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For more Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link below:

Surgical Precision

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, when writers from around the world post 100-word stories based on a photo prompt provided on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog. This week’s photo is by Sean Fallon. Thank you, Sean!

photo credit sean-fallon

Surgical Precision

by Jan Brown

Like most other buildings on the block, it looked vacant. It wasn’t.

It was anonymous. A good place to hide.

A well-dressed man paused, looked furtively down the block, then walked quickly around back. Unlocking a solid steel door, he stepped into another world.

A reception area with tasteful art and marble flooring gave way to twin operating rooms with perfect lighting and sterile air flow. Recovery areas were beautifully furnished. He did the surgeries others wouldn’t. His talents were legendary. He never lost a patient.

Except for that little incident with the death of his pregnant mistress. So sad.

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To read more Friday Fictioneers’ work, click the link below:

A Handsome Man

It’s time for Friday Fictioneers, when writers from around the world post 100-word stories based on a photo prompt provided on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog.  This week’s photo is by Claire Fuller.

You can read other Friday Fictioneers’ work by clicking the link that appears below my story.

claire-fuller2

A Handsome Man

by Jan Brown

Reminiscent of an old movie, the clandestine meeting took place in a used book shop. The gruff owner reminded her of Rod Steiger in The Pawnbroker.  She suddenly felt sorry for Peter, who worked there as his cover.

Peter emerged from the back room and said, “I set aside this book as requested, Miss.”

“Yes, I received your email.”

She flipped through the pages with interest, noting various markups. His email contained the cypher. The decoded message would reveal the names/aliases and addresses of the target.

Peter handed her a receipt along with a photo.

A handsome man. Too bad.

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