Sunday Photo Fiction — Any Port In a Storm


“How does the jury find?” the judge asked.

The jury forewoman stood up and said, “We find the defendant, Charles Maxwell, guilty of assault and battery.”

The judge looked at the jury and thanked them for their service. He then looked directly at the defendant and, in a somber voice, said, “You have been found guilty by a jury of your peers. You will be sentenced to serve one year at the state penitentiary.” The judge banged the gavel down hard and said, “Court adjourned.”

The defense attorney turned to Charles and silently mouthed the words “I’m sorry,” as the two bailiffs led Charles out of the courtroom.

About an hour later, right before Charles was scheduled to be transported from the holding cell in the courthouse to the penitentiary upstate, Charles’ father came to see him.

“One bit of advice for you, son,” his father said. “Whatever you do, if you drop the soap in the shower, don’t bend down to pick it up.”

“Why not, Dad?” Charles asked.

“Oh boy,” his father said. “You’re not going to do well in jail, I’m afraid. You’re going to be incarcerated with a bunch of men, some of whom have been in prison for years. Many of them have not had sexual intimacy with a woman for a very long time. Don’t be a target, son.”

“But, Dad,” Charles protested. “I’m not a woman.”

“Any port in a storm, son,” Charles’ father said. “And I mean any port.”

Written for today’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt from Susan Spaulding. Thanks, Susan, for using my photo this week.

28 thoughts on “Sunday Photo Fiction — Any Port In a Storm

  1. Susan August 12, 2018 / 11:57 am

    I knew this would likely end up as one of the story theme and you handled it brilliantly. Loved the final line.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 12, 2018 / 1:02 pm

      Thanks, Susan. And thanks for using my photo this week.


  2. abhiray59 August 12, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    Good advice from a father to his son.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Marleen August 12, 2018 / 12:20 pm

    Interesting how he sounds so innocent… but isn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen August 12, 2018 / 12:25 pm

      Not to say no one is innocent.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. James August 12, 2018 / 1:03 pm

    The finding of guilt and the sentencing are two different hearings, Also, probably a lot of people thought of the old prison/soap trope when they saw the prompt, but I’m’ a little surprised you’re the one who used it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 12, 2018 / 1:08 pm

      “The finding of guilt and the sentencing are two different hearings.” Picky, picky, picky. That’s why they call it “fiction.” Actually, I was surprised about how I used the prompt.

      Liked by 3 people

      • James August 12, 2018 / 3:51 pm

        When I was a kid, I remember watching an episode of “Bonanza” (yes, I’m old) and commenting to my Mom about how something in the story didn’t make sense. She said “If they didn’t do it that way, there wouldn’t be a story.” Eventually, I said to myself, “That means it’s bad writing.”

        Okay, I’m not accusing you of bad writing, but this is the standard I hold myself to. So if anything in my stories lacks a logical progression, it’s on me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen August 12, 2018 / 4:54 pm

          Aside from the courtroom details, which I don’t think are exactly what you were “surprised” about, why did this topic surprise you?

          Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango August 12, 2018 / 7:42 pm

          Well, in my defense, when you’re working with a word limit (e.g., 200 words in this case), you need to take a few short cuts. As it was, my post was almost 250 words. So, for word-limited prompts, I apologize to no one for taking some “literary license” with my flash fiction.


          • Marleen August 12, 2018 / 10:53 pm

            Ah. < 250
            — 200
            didn't =
            0 (or less)

            Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango August 12, 2018 / 11:24 pm

              That’s called higher mathematics, I think.


  5. Iain Kelly August 12, 2018 / 2:40 pm

    I had a similar use of the prompt. There’s only so much drama you can get out of a bar of soap.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. isaiah46ministries August 12, 2018 / 6:36 pm

    A little slow, isn’t he, but, unfortunately, he will get the meaning real quick or learn to fight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 12, 2018 / 10:06 pm

      Thanks. I’m glad you liked it.


  7. Sight11 August 12, 2018 / 8:15 pm

    That’s not how you should be, especially if you’re going to prison. Wonder If I could weave a story?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. rugby843 August 12, 2018 / 10:15 pm

    Loved it. And tell me, exactly what is the picture of. Is it soap?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 12, 2018 / 10:23 pm

      Yes, a bar of soap on a shower soap caddy.


  9. rugby843 August 12, 2018 / 10:19 pm

    After reading the responses, I guess it is soap. Interesting thing to photograph. Thought It Was Very funny, F

    Liked by 1 person

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