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.

Sunday Photo Fiction — Freak Show

img_2120Marjorie was killing time marching around the large planter in the backyard garden. Henry, her older brother, was transfixed by a strange looking insect crawling on the patio. They were both waiting for their father to take them to the circus.

After a few minutes their father called out to them from the house. “Come on, kids. Let’s go to the circus and see what kind of trouble we can get into.”

Marjorie and Henry scurried into the house and grabbed their things. They loved going to the circus. Henry was a traditionalist and loved sitting under the big top, watching the clowns, the trapeze artists, and the animal trainers. Marjorie, even though still very young, had a strange fascination for the macabre. She was particularly enamored with the more carnival-like freak show tent.

Because Henry was thirteen, his father let him go into the main circus tent on his own. But since Marjorie was not yet four, he accompanied her. She was so excited by all the strange exhibits on display and when they got to a stand that was selling stuffed animals and dolls, she pointed to one doll and asked her father to buy it for her.img_2122

(200 words)

Written for Sue Spaulding’s Sunday Photo Fiction. Photo credit: James Pyles. And for Teresa’s Three Things Challenge (circus, carnival, and freak show). And for Teresa’s Photo prompt, Worth a Thousand Words. Image credit: Thanks

Sunday Photo Fiction — Evolution

img_2014“This is the fossilized skull of an early species that inhabited this planet,” the guide said. “This species of mammal surfaced after the dinosaurs disappeared but before the earliest of the human beings.”

“It has human-like features,” Karla said. “But it’s huge, so much larger than humans were.”

“Well,” the guide said, “bear in mind that it lived in the same era as the larger mammals, like the Wooly Mammoths. They were much larger than the largest contemporary mammals, such as elephants.”

“But not as large as the dinosaurs that preceded them, right?” Diego said.

“That’s right, Diego. But when The Master realized that His dinosaurs were flawed, He created other life forms, including the large mammals, and this species, the manmoth,” the guide said, pointing to the giant skull.

“So what happened to the manmoth?” Karla asked.

“The Master, in His infinite wisdom, saw that the manmoth was unable to compete with the other large mammals, so He created smaller creatures that evolved into human beings,” the guide explained. “But when the humans almost destroyed His planet, He finally gave up on human life on this planet and focused His attention on creating intelligent life on our planet.”

(199 words)

Written for today’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt from Susan Spaulding. Photo Credit: Joy Pixley.

Sunday Photo Fiction — The Ride

1018EC18-D1C2-4D77-99F7-6F73B2DDE388Lauren was doing her best to keep up with her boyfriend, Alex, but she was exhausted. They’d been riding for around six hours, stopping only for a quick lunch and several short coconut water breaks to replenish their electrolytes. But she was not used to rides of this duration and distance.

Lauren hated bicycling, but Alex was an avid cyclist, and she felt she needed to pretend that she, too, was into it, lest she lose him. She’d invested too much time and effort in him to let that happen.

Even the flat street they were riding on seemed daunting to her. She could feel both thighs seizing up and she knew that she couldn’t go on. In desperation she called out to Alex.

Alex looked back and saw that Lauren was struggling. He swung his bike around and rode back by her side.

“I can’t go any further,” Lauren said to him. “I feel like I’m going to faint.”

“I got you,” Alex said, and as she started to fall, he grabbed her and pulled her off her bike, cradled her in his arms, and held her tight as she cried.

But she was smiling on the inside.

(200 words)

Written for Susan Spaulding’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Photo credit: C.E. Ayr.

Sunday Photo Fiction — A Night in the Big City

Yes, I know it’s Monday and I’m just getting to posting my Sunday Photo Fiction prompt response. But, you know, sometimes life interrupts the blogging rhythm, especially when family makes certain demands for one’s attention on a summer Sunday.

So, yes, a day late, but better late than never, right?


Bobby’s father handed him a hundred bucks. “Take your brother into New York City. And here are two tickets for tonight’s Britney Spears concert at Radio City Music Hall. I know you two are having a hard time dealing with your mother’s and my divorce,” he told Bobby. “So you guys go enjoy yourselves for a change. You like Britney Spears, don’t you? All you kids like her, right?”

“Yeah, Dad, sure. Thanks,” Bobby said with a little less enthusiasm than his father expected.

“The hundred bucks should cover the train fare and something to eat for dinner for the two of you,” he said. “Have fun and take good care of your brother.”

At about 11 pm that night, the insistent ringing of Harvey’s cellphone woke him up. “Yeah?” Harvey said.

“Dad,” Bobby said. “Can you come get us?” I don’t have enough cash left for the train fare home.”

“Give me your address,” Harvey said. “I’ll call and have an Uber come pick you up and bring you home.”

“Never mind,” Bobby said. “I’ll call Mom. She’s staying over at her new boyfriend’s place and he lives in the city.”

(192 words)