Flash Fiction 2012

Indies Unlimited holds a weekly 250 word flash fiction challenge to a photo taken by KS Brooks and a writing prompt by Stephen Hise. Anyone is allowed to enter and the word limit is strictly enforced. Writing flash fiction is a great way to keep your writing skills active and a great way to help keep your writing fresh and new.  

I have entered a few of them throughout 2012. The winner's entry is placed in an anthology at the end of the year. My latest entry you see below won a place in the anthology for 2012. The other eight entries follow in order November on down to January. I didn't enter every week because the picture had to speak to me; I had to see the picture and decide if there was something i could write about it. 

My favorite and most fun to write was my entry on November 3rd titled Fall Morning. But I am rather fond of my entry on January 28th I titled Grandbabies. Readers, in the comments below, tell me which one you like best. Which one is your favorite?

December 2, 2012 entry I won with ~

Photo taken by K.S. Brooks
Master of Disguise

He slowly rolled over and woke up after his dream of lying in a field of hamburgers of all kinds—plain burgers, cheeseburgers, bacon burgers, double meat double cheeseburgers—and realized his owner had not come back with his hamburger. He stood on his hind legs, looking out the slightly open window wondering where his owner had gotten off to. She promised she’d be right back and she’d been gone for a long time now.
The many different food smells wafted through the window and he was getting hungrier by the minute. Where was she? He watched all the kids standing around the boardwalk games and food places wondering how he could possibly go get himself a hamburger.
Well, since he was a master of disguise, he switched his attention to looking around the car to find something he could put on so he wouldn’t be recognized. He maneuvered the owner’s floppy hat onto his furry little body. On his hind legs, he looked into the mirror and saw the hat wasn’t going to work. It covered him completely and if it wasn’t positioned just right, he wouldn’t be able to see where he was going.
He shook the hat off himself and ruffled around in his owner’s purse. When he pulled his face out, his owner’s sunglasses were perched upon his nose. Ah, success, the kids wouldn’t recognize him now. Suddenly, the door opened and there she was with his cheeseburger, along with fries and his favorite—strawberry shake!


November 10, 2012 entry ~

Photo Taken by KS Brooks
Same Gave All

          Graduation Day from Navy boot camp. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a special day then because it fell on the day after Veteran's Day. And what made it even more special for me was the fact our female instructor had gotten permission for our graduating class to turn our heads to the right as we marched in front of the parade stadium; not only where the high ranking military officials sat but also all our proud parents. It's a day I'll never forget, just as I'll never forget our annual military family celebration of Veteran's Day.
          I wake grandpa up early to get him ready in his Army uniform, one he was so very gratified to wear those many years ago during the Korean War. All the cousins, aunts and uncles and our spouses attend the annual bar-b-que. Everyone attending, who served in the military, wears the respective forces uniform from which we served and attend the city parade. We stand tall and proud--I and my husband in our Navy regalia, my mother's uncles--Air Force, my female cousin--Air Force, three male cousins and my son in their Army uniforms, and we salute the others from with the parade.
          As an honored military family, we attend the Veteran's Day Parade every year, come rain or shine. We proudly stand to honor all those who served before us, serving now and who will serve in the future to keep our country FREE! WE HONOR THEE!


November 3, 2012 entry ~

Photo Taken by KS Brooks
Fall Morning

          It was an early fall morning. Clean, clear, crisp with not a cloud in the sky. Beautiful, just as she'd remembered it a year ago. And a year ago, it was the same; she couldn't believe how lucky she'd been coming here, year after year, waiting. Hoping he'd show up as he had all the previous years.
          For the past ten years, when she'd first met him there, she hadn't been looking for a relationship. This was her quiet place and she'd been surprised when he had walked out of the brush, seemingly in his own world oblivious to everything around him. He had appeared as surprised as she'd been, standing their alone at the edge of the glass-like water; the reflection of them so clear. At first he looked at her--hesitant--before he'd made his way to the water's edge and sat down on a grassy knoll.
          When she'd looked into his golden-brown eyes, her first thought had been how magnificent he looked, and how very tall sitting just a few feet from her. She was not afraid to be with him in the wilderness. Though she'd heard a specimen like him liked to be alone, she'd remembered looking around, listening for any sound there would be more, but she'd not heard a din of twigs snapping.
          She'd remembered how safe she'd felt around him then. Now, she watched as he soundlessly approached, looking at her with adoration and happiness--her very hairy, bigfoot friend.
September 22, 2012 entry ~
Photo Taken by KS Brooks
Feeding Frenzy

          It was a snowy Sunday, quite chilly, but it was his day to feed the seagulls. Feeding the birds once a week was the peaceful, relaxing stage of his life he enjoyed since the day he retired from commercial fishing almost 20 years ago. And at the age of 77, it was his one day he looked forward to out of his days living in the Pioneer Home. Although it was a slow walk and many painful steps across the street to get to his usual bench at the edge of the harbor, he would feed them come hell or high water, rain or shine, snow or wind.
          It relaxed him so much, sometimes, he would fall asleep, until the seagulls got restless and flew away. But on other days, they would come closer to him and take food right out of his hands. He often wondered if some of them remembered him from his days at sea on his boat--the Odette--when he fed them crab and shrimp scraps; he hated any part of food to go to waste. He wondered if he would be wasted.
          This particular day was bad for his aches and pains. He wondered how long he would be able to stay. Suddenly, something startled them, scaring and alerting him to sit very still, scarecrow-like because all the birds landed on his whole body. They must have known it was his last day; he was ready to be recycled to the sea he loved.


September 15, 2012 entry ~

Photo Taken by KS Brooks
Playhouse Poltergeist

          It was always the same for her--first the anticipation, then the guilt, and lastly the shame of messing up her lines or missing a dance step--all because he was there...again. Like he had been night after night sitting in the sealed box observing her. Or was he watching everyone; it was hard to tell who he had under surveillance, but she felt his devil-like eyes were focused only on her. Her nervousness would not go away until the show was over, the curtains were closed, and she had left the stage. No longer could she see him and determine if he was real or not.
          Until a new keenness, an awareness she had not expected exposed itself in her already frayed and raw nerves. He was there, in her dressing room, waiting for her; she thought she might faint. She did not know this man--if he was a man, she did not know what he wanted of her.
          "May I ask," she started, taking a few steps inside, "what do you want of me?"
          "Come, close the door and we shall talk," he said in a hushed whisper.
          Was this the way it was to be? A command from a man who looked...not real, out of this world...a man who her mother said looked like her father. But it couldn't be because he was dead and she had never met him...until now and he said her name, "Jacqueline, my daughter, its time, I've come for you!"


June 2, 2012 entry ~

Photo Taken by KS Brooks
George on the Lake

          I had a very peculiar feeling I would be witnessing something on the lake this morning.  Hunkered down behind a large boulder on the western shore with my coffee thermos, I watched with my trusty high powered binoculars.
          Once or twice I thought I heard a faint but distinct sound – George’s vigorous Bombardier outboard motor.  I raised the binoculars and barely distinguished the silhouette of George and his skiff against the mountain shore; the sun just coming up and the moisture rising made it difficult.
          As I sat there observing George, I recollected him as a very likeable, older fellow.  He had a wonderful, friendly wife, Peggy, who made the best homemade yeast biscuits.  I remembered from the many times I’d been to their cabin, George was always tinkering in his small wood shop making furniture, and Peggy was always baking something that smelled out of this world. 
          When Peggy suddenly passed away, George was devastated.  I recalled seeing a small wooden box George had made for a neighbor whose son had passed away, and the box was for the son’s ashes.  I had asked George if Peggy wanted to be buried or cremated; if cremated, would he make a box for her?
          Movement through the lens made me scrutinize what I saw – George maneuvered a medium-sized, oblong-shaped package to the edge of the craft and after a brief pause with bowed head, he pushed it into the water and I watched it sink.  I believe I had my answer.


February 11, 2012 entry ~

Photo Taken by KS Brooks
Old Photograph

“You know, I haven’t looked in this particular photo album in over 50 years,“ she said as her arthritic hand slowly flipped through page after page of old photos. 
Suddenly, she froze. “Oh my God, who put this photo in here?” Her fingers rested against a photo of an old brick building that looked like it had perhaps been used as a mill or gold mining back in the day.
She started to cry. Clearly seeing the photo again upset her.
“Remember when I told you I had a twin? Well, it was New Year’s. It was huge party my parents held to not only celebrate the New Year, but it had been a good year for finding gold around town and everyone came to the party. Even the kids were allowed to attend and we were told we could stay up and welcome in the New Year but we also had to be careful, because the balconies around the doors had not been put in yet.
My twin, Randy, always listened to me. The doors were open because it was hot with all the people inside. We loved to chase each other, in and around all the people, trying to hide from each other.  He had gotten too close to one of the open doors as he ran past trying to catch me, but he’d slipped on someone’s spilled drink.  He fell to the river below before anyone could catch him. It was my fault, all my fault.”


January 28, 2012 entry ~

Photo Taken by KS Brooks

          I was told it might not happen, but I was to wait under the street light.  Only this street light and no other.  It was mid-winter; heavy winds were blowing the snow sideways, and it was all I could do to keep this old, worn-out, tired body balanced.  As I tried to comprehend why this night of all nights they said it would happen, I wrapped my hand-knitted Alpaca scarf around my neck trying to stay warm and calm. 
          I was very nervous and I didn’t understand why it had to be done in such secrecy.  Why couldn’t justice be carried out the right way? If justice mattered at all, I wouldn’t be standing here, waiting and wondering if it was going to happen. But I was the only logical choice until my son returned home from the war.  
         A squeal of delight sounded behind me.  I quickly turned around.  They were walking towards me, then the oldest started running and it was all I could do to not start crying.  Justice was partly on my side this night, but it wasn’t helping us against the woman who called them their mother and abandoned them; left them with a friend and ran to another state after getting caught shop lifting in a department store.
         The site of seeing my granddaughters coming to stay with me until my son came home was overwhelming and I began to ball like a baby as I scooped them up into my arms.


January 22, 2012 entry ~

Photo Taken by KS Brooks
Skipping Rocks and Practical Jokes 

          I tried teaching my kids how to skip rocks on the rivers, bays and creeks whenever I took them camping. My daughter tried but only got lucky with one or two that magically went on and on of their own accord. 

          People who knew me, knew I had a penchant for playing practical jokes on people. My daughter was always trying to get me back. She loved hearing about the time I hooked up a fog horn to my friend's furnance; another time, during a friend's wedding, I kidnapped the bride for a few hours; during another friend's wedding, I put saran wrap on the toilet seat, short-sheeted the bed and put millions of chads in the air conditioner and shag carpeting. 
          My daughter came to visit me soon after my wife passed. She took me out to the bay and we skipped rocks and laughed until I couldn't stand anymore. I was really impressed with how she had learned to skip rocks after all the years of me teaching her and I couldn't figure out how she made almost every one skip three or four times. Many years later, during a low tide, I went for a walk, still lonely after my wife's passing. I walked among the rocks as best I could and looking down I saw a round rock, flat on one side and knew she had gotten me back after all these years with a man-made skipping stone. I smiled and now it's time to be with my wife.

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