A quick one:

I wrote this 100-word story from the following picture prompt, posted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for the Friday Fictioneers. What struck me was that the room seemed so empty, so I wrote a story that is along the lines of “be careful what you wish for”:

The Children’s Room

Monica simply wished Joey would stop jumping and screaming so she could have some peace.

“Take him to the library,” said Peter.

Joey stared in silent awe as they walked past the shelves. She led him to the Children’s Room and chose a book.

“Look at the pictures for a minute, okay?”

He didn’t look up as she left. The silence was heavenly.

“You’re holding a book for me,” she told the librarian. “Please hurry.”

Book in hand, she rushed back.

He wasn’t there. She searched the room, then ran through all the rooms, her screams shattering the silent building.

If you’d like to join in, it’s easy. Just write a 100-word story of your own, post it on your blog or a webpage, then click on the froggie and add the link to ours. Don’t forget to read the other stories and comment — it’s fun to see the different takes on the same picture.

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Celebrating the Dreamers

And no, I’m not talking about the immigrant children who grew up to become unpapered Americans. That’s a political question for another time, perhaps.

I’m referring to those of us who suffered the impatience of loved ones when we wanted to spend our lives on things that would never make us rich, might not even make us a living. Things we saw in a dream and tried to recreate with words, crayons, paints, clay, stone, fabrics or musical instruments.

When Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posted this picture prompt for the Friday Fictioneers, many of us saw a man making a small living creating beautiful art.

I saw a man drawn to draw, whether it made money or not.

While I have had my books published, I also have piles—many years-worth—of notebooks, journals and digital files that will never be seen by anyone but me. They are the dreams I just had to write down in some form or other, and earning money was never a part of it. I only wish my father had lived long enough to see some of my dream come true.

If you have a dream, work on it now. Even if you have to hide it from impatient people. Even if you can’t explain it to those who love you but don’t understand why you do it. Even if you have to fit it in around “making a living”. Celebrate your dreams and make them real, if only for yourself.

As a start, take a look at this week’s picture and dream up a little 100-word story of your own. You can make it less than 100 words, but no more, at least not for the Friday Fictioneers. (You can turn it into something bigger later. I have.) Post your story on your blog, your website, wherever. Then click on the froggie below and share the link — let us know where we can find it! We’re all dreamers, aren’t we? We want to read it. Be sure to click and comment on the other dreamers’ stories.

Here’s mine:

The Street Artist

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

I glared across the street.

“Mama,” I said, “is Papa painting pictures again?”

“He is making money, my dumpling.”

“Not very much money.”

She pulled on my arm, dragging me down the street to ask the grocer for more credit. She thought forcing me to come along would enure me to being poor. It only made me hate our poverty even more.

“Why doesn’t he come with us?” I demanded. “Why isn’t he the one to beg food from these people? Then he would understand what he puts us through.”

“Why doesn’t the bird stop singing to hunt for food?”

C’mon, Granny

It’s been a busy summer with not much chance to take another walk through the woods. I did write this 100-word tribute to a friend who was born to a mining family.

PHOTO PROMPT© Roger Bultot

“Smile, Grandma!”

“Get that thing outen my face.”

“C’mon. All your grandkids want to see you.”

“I’m still livin’ in the same house.”

“Most can’t afford to travel so far.”

“Shouldn’t’ve left the place they were born, then. Nothing wrong with it.”

“Except there’s no jobs.”

“Plenty of jobs. Just lazy people who don’t want to work.”

Meredith sighed. “We can’t all work the mines, Granny.”

“Good enough for your grandpap.”

“Who died from Black Lung, remember?”

“Balderdash. Old fart wouldn’t stop smokin’ cigars his whole life.”

“Forget it, Merry,” said Thomas. “Some old dogs you can’t teach anything.”

chadhymas.com

Most soul-crushing jobs kill you early. Coal mining takes its time.

Theft of Humor

Or is it just out of fashion?

Hello! Here’s a little story to this week’s picture prompt posted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for Friday Fictioneers. This is the conversation that came to my mind when I saw it:

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

Sally dumped her bin on the Post Office counter.

“Whatcha got today, kid?” Will asked.

“The usual. Packages. Some letters.”

“Anything rush?”

“You guys still do that these days?” She laughed, but friendly good-natured Will was suddenly scowling at her, looking both angry and hurt.

“We’re doing our best,” he snapped. Instead of sorting through her bin right there while they chatted, he carried it to the back.

She waited, but he didn’t return. Finally she said, “Geez, I’m sorry. When did we all lose our sense of humor?”

“We didn’t lose it,” said the other clerk. “It was stolen.”

Click on the froggie and join the fun!

Try it! There’s a new photo every Wednesday or so. If you’re a writer, or even if you don’t think you are, it’s a good way to get the creative juices flowing. You don’t have to win a Pulitzer — just write a little story and post it on your website or blog — And please, please give credit to the photographer. They share their own work, no charge. Then click on the froggie and share your link on the Friday Fictioneers Inlinkz site. And remember, it’s 100 words or less! I can hear you writers groaning, but it’s a great way to practice Hemingwayesque brevity. Then read the myriad ways other people have interpreted the same picture. Comment and receive comments from them.

I look forward to each week’s new prompt. Both the photos and the stories keep me thinking, about people and everything else we deal with every day. Funny — I didn’t even notice the contents of the bin at first. Now that would have made for some humor!

Cold City Streets

Okay, I’m having fun with another prompt from Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff https://rochellewisoff.com/, and to ©Ted Strutz for the photo. I’ve also uploaded the story to InLinks. If you want to give it a try, write your own 100-word story and click on the frog on Rochelle’s blog!

COLD CITY STREETS

The city streets were so cold.  She’d walked forever, dodging people with bitter eyes and hunched shoulders.  The fifteenth marquee didn’t even show the name of an upcoming play.  She opened the door anyway and crossed the thin scarlett carpeting to examine the outdated posters.  Faint music floated from somewhere.

“Lookin’ for somebody?”

She jumped.  “Oh!  No.  Not really.”

The woman looked at her muddy shoes and pinched cold face.  “You an actor?”

“Couple seasons.  Back home.”

“That’s more’n some of us.  C’mon, kid.  You can watch us rehearse.  We got coffee.”

Maybe the city wasn’t so cold after all.