Sunday Photo Fiction — The Aftermath

179D041D-4CCD-4B3F-931C-1EA4DDB03F37“They closed the school after the second mass shooting of the year last year,” Maggie told her cousin, Erica. The two girls were standing outside of the fence that blocked the school’s now empty parking lot. “I was supposed to go here, but because of the carnage, they shut the place down.

“I’m one of the lucky ones,” Maggie continued. “My parents can afford to send me to private school. Some parents have chosen to homeschool their kids. But a lot of parents — those who can’t afford private schools or who work and don’t have time to homeschool their kids — have given up. So a lot of kids are just hanging around instead of going to school.”

“That’s awful,” Erica said. “Can’t something be done to stop the gun violence so kids can get an education instead of just aimlessly hanging out and getting into trouble?”

“Not really,” responded Maggie. “The NRA is too rich and powerful. They literally bought and own the Republicans in Congress. The White House, too.”

Tears started streaming down Erica’s cheeks. “Maggie, I wish you could come live with us in Ottawa. You could go to school there and not be afraid of being shot.”

(200 words)

Written for today’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Photo credit: Sascha Darlington.

Sunday Photo Fiction —Room at the End of the Hall

50D0DCDA-9F79-4BCC-85EA-05398454138F“It’s the door at the end of the hallway on the third floor,” the guy in the glass-enclosed reception station at the rundown boarding house said. He reached through a small opening in the glass partition and handed Eddie the key. “The one with the fire extinguisher on the floor just outside the door,” the guy added.

“What a fuckin’ dump,” Eddie said aloud, even though he was alone, as he opened the door and stepped inside the room. Eddie’s gambling addiction had cost him his job, his marriage, and his home. And so here he was in a small, smelly room at some crummy flop house.

Eddie had paid for the room for a week in advance and couldn’t afford to lose what little money he had left on another bet. So he was happy that the room he had rented didn’t have a TV in it. If it had, he knew he’d be watching the Winter Olympic Games and calling his bookie to bet on Team USA in one or another event.

But then Eddie walked over to the small window, opened it, looked out, and saw the sports bar across the street.

“Fuck me,” he said.

(199 words)

Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Photo credit: J Hardy Carroll.

Sunday Photo Fiction — A Loose End

img_0610All Zack needed to earn some money was his late father’s wheelbarrow and to hire himself out. He posted hand-printed signs on trees and poles throughout the town advertising his wheelbarrow hauling service. “Will haul anything for anybody” his flyers said. The townsfolk responded, hiring him for all kinds of hauling jobs.

He was happy to have a job at all. It wasn’t a very pleasant job. It was a backbreaking job, a thankless job. But a job nonetheless. And that made Zack about as happy as someone who made a living hauling all kinds of shit in a wheelbarrow could be.

One day a somewhat shady-looking guy told Zack he need to have something hauled. He told Zack to follow him, which Zack readily did. The man pointed to a large, heavy, oblong sack and assisted Zack loading it into the wheelbarrow. Then he told Zack where to take it, which happened to be a large hole dug into the ground deep into the woods. He instructed Zack to dump the sack into the hole, which Zack did.

Then the man pointed a pistol at Zack, saying, “Sorry, pal, but you’re a loose end.”

(195 words)

Witten for today’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Image credit: Dawn M. Miller.

Sunday Photo Fiction — Eye of the Beholder

img_0569“What was he thinking?” Ellie asked her husband. “What kind of wedding present is that?”

“I think he thinks it represents love and sensuality. He said it’s a perfect reflection of the way newlyweds should feel about and respond to one another,” Jason said, somewhat defensively.

“It’s a monstrosity. It’s pornographic, for crissake,” Ellie objected. “Look,” she said, pointing at the male’s penis. “He’s got an erection.”

“Yes, an impressive one, at that,” Jason noted.

“I will not have that thing in my house or even in my yard where it can be seen,” Ellie said. “Give it back to Edgar.”

“He was my best man,” Jason said. “I can’t give it back.”

“Then sell it on eBay or something. Take it to Goodwill, or just take it to the dump,” Ellie said. “Just get it out of my sight.”

Jason finally acquiesced and contacted the city park service and persuaded them to pick up the statue and display it at a rather remote section of the park.

Ultimately the park service had to remove the erect penis from the sculpture after receiving a number of complaints from park visitors.

(191 words)

Written for today’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt.

Sunday Photo Fiction — The Picture Frame

AEE8322B-1ACE-4199-8393-22AD9D38D9D3Alice and her husband were going through her father’s attic a few days after his passing. “Michael,” she said, “come look at this.” She was holding up a large picture frame with what appeared to be detailed engraving on it.”

“That’s beautiful,” Michael said. “It looks like a carving of Don Quixote tilting at windmills.” Michael grabbed the frame. “It doesn’t look like it was signed by the engraver and there’s no plaque.” He handed the frame back to Alice.

“This is a really thick, heavy frame, isn’t it?” Alice said, shaking it slightly. “I think there’s something behind the engraving.” She tore at the brown paper on the backside of the frame. Inside she discovered a leather-wrapped sheath of papers. She opened up the sheath and gasped.

“Michael, look at this.” Alice held up the first page. It read:

The Windmills of My Mind
By Andrew Price

“What is it?” Michael asked.

“These seem to my dad’s writings and pencil sketches. Some prose, some poetry,” Alice said. “These are amazing. They’re really good, Michael. They seem to be autobiographical, too. Some date back to when he was a young man.

“What a treasure,” Michael said.

(198 words)

Written for today’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Image credit: C E Ayr.