Sunday Photo Fiction — The Cruise

“I can’t believe we’re finally going on a cruise,” Bertha gushed. “I’ve wanted to go on one of these ever since I can remember.”

“There’s nothing too good for my Bertha,” Benny said. He looked around at the five other people sitting at their table. “It’s our fiftieth anniversary.”

“Oh, that’s wonderful,” Mildred said. “My husband got me this cruise for my 65th birthday, which was last month.” She nudged Charles, who was dozing. “Isn’t that right, Charles?”

“This is my second cruise,” said Murray jumped in. “The last time I was with my wife,” he added.

“Is she not with you this time?” Benny asked.

“No. The last time we hit some rough water and she got severely seasick. And then there was some kind of food poisoning or something and nearly everyone on board, passengers and crew alike, got severe diarrhea.”

“Oh my,” said Henrietta. “No wonder she didn’t want to join you this time.”

“Well,” Murray said, “she passed before the cruise ended. But she wasn’t very good company anyway, so I thought I’d give it another go.”

The conversation stopped. The others all got up and left the table.

“Hey, where’s everyone going?” Murray asked.

(199 words)

Sritten for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt.


Sunday Photo Fiction — Off Campus


Henry tentatively walked across the bridge that led away from the campus on which he’d spent the last 35 years.

He stopped every few paces to look back over his shoulder. He looked at the building that housed him. Which window was his, he wondered. On which floor did he live?

He thought about the word “live,” and wondered if living is how he spent his time there. Or was he merely existing, surviving from one day to the next.

A few more paces and another look back over his shoulder. There was a chill in the air and Henry wondered why he wasn’t properly dressed.

A few more paces and another look back. This time Henry saw the two men running toward him. He recognized them and seeing them coming after him filled him with both joy and dread.

The two men finally caught up with Henry, each one gently grabbing one of Henry’s arms.

“Henry,” one of the men said, “we were worried about you. You know you’re not supposed to wander off campus.”

The three men started heading back over the bridge toward the campus. Henry saw the familiar sign that read, “State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.”

(200 words)

Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge.

Sunday Photo Fiction — Clay Pigeons


Frank grabbed Sally and pulled her behind the embankment as the military tank rumbled over bridge. “Do you think they saw us?” Sally whispered to Frank.

Frank peeked over the embankment as the tank rolled out of sight. “No, I don’t think so,” he said, as reassuringly as he could. “It will be dark in an hour,” he continued. “We’ll wait here until then before heading to the other side.”

Four months earlier the generals had staged a coup, arrested the president and his family, and declared martial law when those loyal to the president took up arms in open rebellion.

The fighting had been fierce and thousands of lives had been lost, but Frank was determined to make it across the border with Sally, where they’d be given asylum. He figured it would take them a few more days on foot, since private vehicles were no longer allowed on the roads.

After the sun set, the two left their hiding place. They had barely taken two steps when they were caught in a bright spotlight. Shots rang out and both of them fell dead to the ground.

“Like clay pigeons,” one of the rebel soldiers said, laughing.

(198 words)

Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Photo credit: A Mixed Bag 2017.


Pot Shots

“You’ve got to hold it steady, close your left eye, aim, and pull the trigger,” explained Brian to his little brother.

“I know,” said Neil. “I’m not stupid.” Neil aimed the BB rifle toward the teacup and saucer mounted atop the first spindle. He took a deep breath, aimed, and pulled the trigger.

“Swing and a miss!” laughed Brian. “Give me the gun and let me show you how it’s done,” he said, grabbing the gun from his younger brother’s hands.

Brian put the butt of the BB rifle up against his shoulder, lined up the cup in his sight, and shot. “Boom!” He yelled out as the cup shattered into tiny pieces.

“Give it to me,” Neil pleaded. Brian handed him the gun and said, “Just do it like I did it.”

Neil mimicked his brother, pushing the rifle’s butt into his shoulder, closing one eye, squinting, aiming, and shooting.

Both boys started jumping up and down and shouting when Neil’s shot his its target.

And that’s when the shit hit the fan. Their father, hearing all the ruckus, ran into the backyard.

“Your mama’s gonna whoop your asses,” he said. “Them cups was a wedding present from your great grandmama.”

(202 words)

Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt.


Space Junk


Henry was thrilled when his boss at the Air and Space Museum told him he could design a new exhibit to demonstrate twentieth century space exploration. “Let me see what you can do, Henry,” his boss told him.

After taking a couple of days to come up with his killer idea for the exhibit, Henry got things rolling. He wanted it to be a surprise, so he cordoned off the exhibit space with opaque plastic sheeting and worked diligently to bring his idea to fruition.

Over the next few weeks, models of various spacecraft and satellites were delivered and assembled in the exhibit area. The walls, ceiling, and floor were painted to resemble outer space.

The time came for Henry to unveil the new museum exhibit. Henry asked his boss to meet him there just after the museum closed the night before the big reveal.

With a dramatic flair, Henry let the opaque plastic sheets fall to the floor. “I call it Space Junk,” Henry proudly announced.

Henry’s boss gasped; he couldn’t conceal his visceral reaction to the exhibit. “It’s hideous,” he said. “Take this monstrosity down immediately.”

(188 words)

Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Also for today’s one-word prompt, “visceral.”

Photo credit: A Mixed Bag