Space Junk

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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

Where Have I Seen This Before?

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I admit that I’ve only watched the phenomenon known as “Doctor Who” once in my life, and that was years ago when my son, now a fully grown man, insisted that I watch what he described as an amazing TV show he had just discovered.

“Doctor Who” is a British science-fiction television show about the adventures of someone called “The Doctor,” an extraterrestrial being. The Doctor explores the universe in a time-traveling spaceship that resembled a British police box, which was common in Britain when the series first aired in 1963.

Much to my son’s disappointment, I wasn’t at all impressed with the program. I thought it was kind of cheesy.

And seriously, a spaceship that looks like a phone booth? Everyone knows that this is what a real spaceship looks like:

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Not like this:

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Although I only saw the show that one time, and that was 20 or so years ago, I immediately recognized the photo prompt as Doctor Who’s spaceship.

I texted the picture to my son and told him I was going to write a post about it, thinking he’d be excited.

Instead, he texted me back and said, “Dad, you really need to get a life.”

(199 words)


Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. Listen, I know this is supposed to be fiction, and this post is non-fiction, but I was inspired to write about the photo, and isn’t that the whole point?

Photo credit: A Mixed Bag 

The Aftermath

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Muttering under his breath, Charley shook his head as he and Jeff surveyed the damage. “Two more bodies about 20 yards down that closed sidewalk,” he told Jeff, pointing to their left.

“Them’s the sixth and seventh so far today,” Jeff said, updating the tally on the page on his clipboard.

“We gotta check these buildings next, just in case there are more in the rubble.” Charley said, looking toward the concrete shells where housing units once stood. “Look out for snipers.”

A year had passed since the generals declared Marshall law after the military takeover of the federal government. The President, his family, and most members of his administration had been jailed for treason against the state. The insurrection by the President’s loyalists began almost immediately. Riots and mayhem around the country ensued.

The generals cracked down hard in an effort to restore order. There were thousands of fatalities in the fighting and countless arrests.

Most of the rebellion had been quelled, but bands of Trumpanistas, as they called themselves, continued to roam the cities and cause havoc. The generals assured the public that things were under control and peace would soon be restored.

But Charley and Jeff knew better.

(200 words, exactly.)


Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. Photo credit: J. Hardy Carroll.

Head Case

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“Oh Daddy, Billy shouted. “Come look at this! Hurry!”

Alex came running over to his son to see what had him so excited.

“What is it, Daddy?” Billy wanted to know.

“I’m not sure, Son,” Alex responded. “If only it could talk, it could tell us its story.”

Both Alex and Billy were startled when the head looked at the two of them and asked in a kindly voice, “What would you like to know?”

“Cool!” exclaimed Billy.

“Holy shit,” said Alex.

“Not in front of the boy,” scolded the head.

“What are you?” Alex asked, holding Billy by the shoulder and moving him slightly back from the museum display case.

The head smiled, “I’m a head case.”

“A head case as in a crazy person?” Alex asked.

“Oh no,” responded the head. “I am what I appear to be, a head that resides in a case.”

“Where’s the rest of you?” asked Billy.

“Oh, it’s all in my head,” the head answered.

“Do you have a name?” Billy wanted to know?

“It’s Hedwig Lamarr,” the head responded. “But my friends just call me Hedy.”


this post was written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction.