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Day 339

Sometimes I forget to breathe.
It’s not that I don’t want to.
The air is just so heavy now.
Like at the end of it all we only had sins left
And they’re trying to smother the few of us that remain into non-existence.  
Of course I survived, heaven nor hell wanted me.
I wouldn’t have pushed the button if I’d have known …
I’m forgetting again.
Today I saw it.
Squat pale sandstone in the distance and figures bobbing in and out.
The lab notes said they have a way to go back,
If they’ll let me in.

on-route-66-jean-l-hays

Word Count: 100
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No Business for Friends

Words blurred in and out of Delia’s focus. She slammed the book into her lap and glared towards the younger woman bound by ropes in the backseat.

“See, this is our problem. You never shut up.”

The woman blinked as the statement hit her but the gag prevented her from responding.

“Even now I can just hear you whining.”

The woman stared towards the slouching fabric above her despondently.

“I thought we were friends.” Delia mocked. “You know you can’t have friends in this business.”

The woman sighed.

“Whatever. It doesn’t matter. Tomorrow I’ll pretend I never knew your name.”

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

Word Count: 100
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I realize this is a beach and not a pier that you drop bodies off but you know … artistic liberties.

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Gathering Place

You always said the kitchen was our gathering place. 

“Over fine food families are saved.”

We’ve finally begun washing away the smoke gathered on your plates. Odds and ends scavenged from charred remains gather dust among piles of bills. There’s a bill for every emotion it seems but our payment for grief falls short. 

In your absence we gather under your favorite tree. We try to laugh but they burn our lungs on the way out, so we stand and pretend. Maybe we believe you’ll turn the corner, picnic basket in hand. Maybe if we just squint a little harder …

PHOTO PROMPT © Ronda Del Boccio

Word Count: 100
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Modern Gods

The fates decided to mechanize after Atropos, a little overwhelmed with the increasing demands of the job, had her “spree”.

“Well, there were too many of them anyway.” She dismissed the fragmented lives with a sweep of her hand.

Clotho agreed, “I don’t think I’ve had a break in a few thousand years. They reproduce like rabbits.”

“I’ve heard talk that machines can replace gods.” Lachesis reminded her sisters.

“I’d cut their strings too if I could.”

Clotho shushed the old women, “This is insanity. If Zeus can use Tinder we can have a machine to spin thread.”

PHOTO PROMPT© Sandra Crook

Word Count: 98
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First Date

“Do you think they’ll let us go around again? Just look at the view!” Tom moved from side to side taking in the sparkling city lights.

Jane’s nails dug into the seat. She clamped her knees together, maybe that would keep her legs from shaking off.

“Tom, please just sit still. You’re making the car swing.”

His date was stiff as a board. Her eyes brimmed with tears.

“God, I wonder if this car can shake as much as you are?” He laughed when she shrieked. “I’m just kidding. Hey, maybe we can do this again on the second date.”

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Word Count: 100

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Captivate

She appeared in the music shop window. An enigmatic child before Christmas breathing slow circles of lust across the glass. Day after day she faded in and out, inching closer to the gold plated door handles. Her rats nest hair, highlighted by shimmering grey, and clanging camping pots scared patrons away.

The day she finally slid her dirty fingers across the grand piano keys we knew. Whatever she unleashed, it was beauty the world wouldn’t be ready for. 

People looked on. Phones took video. It wasn’t long before every mind became captivated. 

We haven’t seen her in months now.

PHOTO PROMPT © Anshu Bhojnagarwala

Word Count: 98
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Best Laid Plans

The plan was fool proof.

I picked up the dress – white lace and satin – and called the priest, well, six. That’s how many it took before I found a priest rogue enough to perform a Catholic ceremony in the dead of night.

All the man had to do was show up.

His bike leaned politely against the building as always. My knock echoed loudly only angering me more.

“Can I help you?” I stared at the woman peeking over his shoulder. “My wife and I were just leaving.” Rage burned through me.

That’s the last thing I remember.

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr

Word Count: 98

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Chicken Little

Sia tapped an unsuspecting puddle with her toe. Startled it rippled away, gently distorting the realities reflected on its surface.

The ripples transformed her brother, straining to peer into the dark general store, to a boy scavenging after Christmas. Barren trees became crumbling sticks, not even good for fire.

The sky was falling.

“Something’s wrong.”

Marta’s back spasmed and her lungs burned as she coughed. Thin strings of blood stretched from her lips to the palm of her hand.

Only her son caught sight of the panic in Marta’s eyes.

“Nothing’s wrong Sia. Stop daydreaming and come on.”

PHOTO PROMPT © Jean L. Hays

Word Count: 98
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Fire in the Night

“What do you see?”

I see the future. I see you and me. I see my heart exploding. I see a million fireworks. I see galaxies.

I feel it all within me.

I see our first kiss, unintentionally wonderful. I see awkward laughs and gentle embraces.

I see lives intertwined, threads to a needle connecting time. 

I see my past fade away at your touch.

I see light fill empty spaces.

“What do I see?”

I see I’m in love with you but I can’t tell you that.

“It just looks like a fire dying in the night to me.”

PHOTO PROMPT © Anshu Bhojnagarwala

Word Count: 100

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Friday Fictioneers, massive thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for wrangling this massive flash fiction challenge in every week.

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Dad Said

“When can we go home?” Arnie watched his mom battle with the campfire. She rubbed sticks together, cursed, then clanged rocks above the cold wood.

“Think of it as connecting with your ancestors.” A frog escaped his mom’s frantic fire starting attempts. He counted the colors in the sunset. Five. His ancestors could have probably counted more.

“I thought dad said we were Irish.” The rocks hit the ground with a muted thud as his mom sat back.

“Well baby, your dad said a lot of things.”

“Like, that he would meet us here?”

Arnie watched his mom look away.

PHOTO PROMPT © Renee Heath

Word Count: 100

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Friday Fictioneers. Many thanks to Rochelle Wisoff Fields

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