Happy Ending?

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers! My story is a little different this week. No one gets assaulted or killed. No one commits suicide. No one is buried in the back yard under the magnolias. Hmmm…something must be wrong with me! Maybe next week I’ll be back on track 😉

Here is the photo prompt from our fearless leader, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in Friday Fictioneers, please visit her website for more information.

kitchen window rochelle

Photo Copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Happy Ending?

by Jan Brown

Sarah knew it would be hard to leave her home of twenty years. She had been awarded the house in the divorce, and she considered herself lucky–at first.  But her heart was broken. She thought they’d write the story of their romance there. A story to last a lifetime. 

Now she saw their lives from a more realistic perspective. The nights alone wondering if he was really “working late.” The anger, the shouting. The questions from their kids. The broken dreams.

Her heart raced as the moving truck arrived. A tentative smile crept across her face. She was ready for the next chapter.

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To read more Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link:

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What the Mirror Shows

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 Rochelle’s blog for more information…and join us if you wish!

This week’s photo is by fellow writer Janet Webb. Thank you, Janet!

I’ve been absent from these pages for a couple of months, busy (overwhelmed, actually) coping with medical issues.  If this story seems a little different from my usual fare, it is. I’m not sure it follows the “rules.” It’s exactly 100 words, but it’s not really fiction. It is, however, full of feelings that I needed to express.

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Photo Copyright: Janet Webb

What the Mirror Shows

by Jan Brown

Jennifer packed her bag. No makeup on the day of surgery. The mirror shows every time-worn line around her questioning eyes. Is it hope she should be feeling? Or something closer to dread?

She blinks back tears as the doorbell rings.

Carmen, her BFF, is taking her to the hospital. Jennifer is hesitant to unload her fears and sadness on Carmen. Her friendship and moral support is priceless; it deserves a positive response.

The tears fall anyway, and Carmen gets a flood of raw honesty, a gloomy glimpse into her friend’s desperation.

Jennifer wonders: What will the mirror show tomorrow?

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

Guarding Manny

It’s almost 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.  She graciously posts the photo on Wednesday each week, which allows most of us to actually post our story before Friday. In other words, she accommodates procrastinators like me!

This week’s photo is by Managua Gunn.

As always, I encourage you to read other Friday Fictioneers’ work by clicking the link that appears below my story. Enjoy!

copyright-managua-gunn

Guarding Manny

by Jan Brown

As I stand guard, I watch tourists and office workers shop, eat their lunch and enjoy the harbor. They throw scraps into the bay, to be snatched by hungry seagulls that honk with delight.

I see Manny waiting for lunch bags to be tossed in the garbage….the seagulls’ leftovers.

Manny is a vet like me. Unlike me, he lives on the street. He keeps asking for my helmet. He believes it’ll protect him from the government’s mind control rays.

All I can offer him is my morning muffin. Fortunately, the blueberries have superpowers that keep the evil rays in check.

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Bang

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.

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

copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Bang

by Jan Brown

Bang.

The neighbor’s tree is down. Took the electric line down with it.

As evening comes, I’m reading my Kindle in a dark family room. I light the oil lamps. Spooky atmosphere complete. Isn’t this how teen horror movies start?

Bang. Bang.

Quarter-size hail plops on the roof.  I long for conversation with someone other than the electric company, but don’t want to drain the battery in my iPhone. Damn.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

Someone’s breaking in. Or out. What part of the teen movie is this???

Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang.

Oh. Right. I grab the window. Slam it shut.

Bang.

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Kip and Dredge Go to Work (Sort of)

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 Doug MacIlroy.

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

photo by Doug MacIlroy

Kip and Dredge Go to Work (Sort of)

by Jan Brown

Kip and Dredge spent most days smoking pot and wreaking havoc in their parents’ basements. When they weren’t dumpster diving.

Now they’d taken temporary work on a ranch, mucking stalls (whatever that was). They’d never seen real horses before.

Kip asked, “What’s on his face?”

The foreman said, “It’s a blinder. It’ll calm the horse, keep him still, make him easier to handle.”

“Wow. Don’t tell Mom. She might make me wear one.”

Dredge snorted. “Like that would make you less of a tool.”

“Jerkwad.”

“Toolbag.”

The foreman tossed them two pitchforks. “One for Jerkwad, one for Toolbag. Let’s go!”

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What a Drag

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 David Stewart, and it is full of intrigue. The sculpture makes a very powerful statement about human interaction.

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

Copyright David Stewart

What a Drag

by Jan Brown

The harder he struggled, the more she dragged him down.

She latched onto him like quicksand.

He paused too long, allowing pure physical attraction to get a momentary edge. She convinced him there was a difference between temptation and addiction, between enjoyment and overindulgence, between a drink and a drunk.

She said she wanted love. What she really wanted was a place to stay, an endless wallet, an ardent admirer, a defender of all her misdeeds. She needed a comrade, a cohort, a co-dependent.

She latched onto him like quicksand.

The harder he struggled, the more she dragged him down.

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Music Appreciation with Kip and Dredge

My two favorite slackers, Kip and Dredge, are back this week–their first appearance in 2013. Also, happy birthday to my musical brother-in-law, who has a character namesake in this story.

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 Roger Cohen.

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

Enjoy!

Photo Copyright - Roger Cohen

Music Appreciation with Kip and Dredge

by Jan Brown

Kip emerged from the dumpster, straining to lift the heavy instrument and hand it to his friend.

Dredge took the bass and set it against the back wall of Mick’s Music. “Why do they throw away so many instruments?”

“Mick said a lot of them are too f*’d up to repair.”

“And those are the ones that we sell to Mr. Lewis at the middle school. That’s the sad state of music education.”

“Hey, is this really a bass?” Kip turned it sideways and strummed it like a guitar. “Doesn’t look like a bass!”

“You’re proving my point.”

“Whatever, dude.”

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A Whiff of Whiskey

A short story about the price of addiction….

A Whiff of Whiskey

by Jan Brown

It took Tom a moment to recognize her. She was waiting in line at the deli counter along with a dozen other hungry people. She looked hungrier than most, gaunt and dressed completely in black, with a silver-gray scarf that matched her hair. She wore dark sunglasses and carried a white cane, but Tom still recognized the curve of Tasha’s face, the straight ballerina posture of her lengthy spine, the slight Mona Lisa smile of her pale lips.

He wondered when, and why, Tasha became blind. Would she be startled if he approached her? He thought back to the one and only high school reunion that he had attended, and savored the memory of their encounter. At the time, Tom was twenty-eight, a ruggedly attractive blond hunk, sound of mind and body. Especially body. He took her home on his motorcycle and proved, in one searingly hot night, that he was so much more than the skinny geek she knew in high school.

Continue reading

Modern Art (as curated by Kip and Dredge)

This story was inspired by Shannon Wendt’s (@wordswendt) #liblit prompt of the day: (character) “a man called Junior” &  bonus word: “portentous”.

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Modern Art

by Jan Brown

Junior brought home his new treasure and proudly displayed it to his girlfriend. “So…you think I can’t help you decorate the apartment? Look at this!”

Tanya regarded the monstrosity with a cynical look and sighed in her trademark, exaggerated manner. “Geez, Junior, it’s just a piece of junk! And what is that gooey stuff all over it?”

“Sorry, I haven’t had a chance to clean it up. Kip and Dredge found it on one of their trips around the neighborhood, so I promised them a beer if they’d let us have it. I guess we had a few. Beers, I mean.”

“I know what you mean, but I think you had more than a few! Only a stoner or a drunk would think this thing would look good in anyone’s apartment.”

“That’s what Kip’s dad said.  But I figured you had better taste. Younger. You know, pop culture. Hip hop.”

“What hip hop artist would put this crap in their home?”

“It’s not crap. It’s ironic. An artistic mobile made out of scraps of stuff we use every day. It makes a statement.”

“It’s ironic that you think it doesn’t look like crap. And the only statement it makes is, ‘I have no taste and no money for real art, so I go dumpster diving with my slacker friends.’ ”

“OK, can we agree to disagree? I’ll clean it up, and we can hang it out of the way, in the back hallway.”

“I have a better place for it.” Tanya yanked the trash-art out of Junior’s hand and flung it into the garbage can. The metal mobile struck the side of the trash can with a portentous clang that echoed throughout the apartment. “Now Kip and Dredge can rediscover it another day,” she smiled.

Kip and Dredge Discuss Shakespeare

It’s time for Friday Fictioneers, when writers from around the world post 100-word stories based on a photo prompt provided on Madison Woods‘ blog. This week’s photo is by Lora Mitchell. You can read other Friday Fictioneers’ work (including Lora’s) by clicking the link that appears below my story.

Kip and Dredge Discuss Shakespeare

by Jan Brown

Kip and Dredge had been engaged in their favorite nocturnal activity: dumpster diving. They ambled out of the alley and decided to explore the boardwalk.

“Why would they put this statue here? Looks kinda like Puck.”

“Someone stole one of his wings.”

“Maybe it was Bottom. He was pretty mad when Puck changed his head from a normal, ugly dude to the head of a donkey.”

“You do know that was just a play, right?”

“Oh. Yeah.”

“Well, what did he do with the broken-off wing?”

“How should I know? Maybe he’s serving it to his friends with hot sauce.”

“Ouch!”

“Hey, you wanna get some Buffalo wings?”

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