#FridayFiction: 100-Word Challenge | “sweet notes and circus clowns”


His grandchildren tut-tutted from behind their phones. A social worker had waved her angry glasses at him. But he couldn’t play in his cramped apartment. The neighbors complained. (He should complain about them!)

He had to play outside, to wind-gutted trees and passersby. To princes, ballerinas, and circus clowns, if they came! And they did stop by sometimes.

So what if he lost track of time, wandered farther than they thought he should? He was a grown man!

Strangers slowed down to catch his sweet notes on their tongues and smile despite the chill and hurry.

He had to play.


Photo prompt from Darleen at Protein Wisdom


#FridayFiction: 100-Word Challenge | “Transcendence”


Mary frowned.
Everybody wanted something, but she couldn’t figure out what she wanted, much less how to get it.

She breathed deliberately, allowing herself to believe she was the right person in the right place. The clouds were the cotton from inside a Tylenol bottle. The moon? A giant analgesic, rolling out of a childproof sky.
Mary raised her arms in sweeping surrender to her imagination, but the garbage bag in her left hand surrendered its contents to the driveway first.

Mary flinched, staring at the banana peel on her pink bunny slipper. She laughed, and found it was easy.


Photo prompt from Darleen at Protein Wisdom

#FridayFiction: 100-Word Challenge | “Room To Grow”


The noise pushed Shelby out of the house and across three fields. It was cool by the stream, and Shelby hid, muddy-footed and hungry, staring at the cabin, not really believing people came here on purpose.

Shelby’s house was full of feet waiting to stomp on any words you were fool enough to let out. “So what, Shelby?!” Stomp. Stomp. 
Shelby wanted something that filled you up even more than a bellyful of food — space.

The screen door squawked open, and Shelby saw a woman reading a book at the kitchen table before it cracked shut again.

Room to think.


Photo prompt from Darleen at Protein Wisdom

#FridayFiction: 100-Word Challenge | “Aunt Alison Insists”


This isn’t my mother’s hand.

“Of course it is. It’s labeled. See.”
Aunt Alison saw life through a lens and confirmed it was real through the labels she affixed to each photograph and each box-full of photographs.


“Honey, it’s labeled,” Aunt Alison insisted. “What would you know?” A declarative sentence with a question mark hanging off the end, just for fun. “You were just a baby!” She smacked her knees with her palms and smiled sweetly.

A baby, whose whole world extended to the end of her mother’s fingertips. I smiled. Alison was rifling through a new old box.


Photo prompt from Darleen at Protein Wisdom
Check out Jimmie Bise at Jim-O-Rama for a dose of his usual sci-fi goodness

#FridayFiction: 100 Word Challenge | “A Frank Beginning”


The first time The Boy did magic, he called the birds. Then he got scared and conjured a protective bubble to catch them.

Magic came easily enough, but he NEEDED to predict and control the consequences.

These were proud birds who had avoided the cages. They flapped and rolled the bubble down the hill, dragging their feathers through the soapy membrane and popping free.

The Boy frowned and whispered.
“I’m going to be a magician, Flopsy.”
The rabbit twitched, knowing he would spend the rest of his days poking his delicate nose out of a top hat at children’s parties.


Inspired by Darleen at Protein Wisdom

#FridayFiction: 100 Word Challenge | “Fantastic Frank and the Holiday-makers”


Frank knelt, his outstretched fingertips talking with the salt spray.
Be humble. Nothing to prove.
He didn’t buy it.

Frank closed his eyes, heard the waves receding and the bonfires crackling. He saw a pinprick light and breathed. It grew and spiked the soft sand with neon tentacles, clattering toward him like a bowling ball mowing down pins. Frank pumped his fist. The light stopped short, clanked, and disappeared.
No! Frank opened his eyes and looked around furiously.
The holiday-makers’ drink-muffled consonants slapped the sides of his head and clung to his earlobes.

“Hey, Frank! How bout some magic tricks?”


Inspired by Darleen at Protein Wisdom

#FridayFiction: 100 Word Challenge | “Fantastic Frank”


Voices. Toddlers screaming. Tight-lipped mothers.
“And for my last trick!” No. Frank smacked his palms together and thought about rose gardens, berry bushes, and baseball. He caught the right memory, resignation flooding his over-pink face, and raised his left hand in front of him.
He smiled. The smile twisted and disappeared under his raincloud eyes.
Why can’t they see it? Just this once!
Peacock feathers. Ladybugs. Blinking eyes.
The cotton candy world floating above his open hand crumbled, a tablespoon of sand in his sweaty palm.
He checked the deck of cards in his pocket and waited behind the curtain.


Inspired by Darleen at Protein Wisdom and Jimmie Bise at Jim-O-Rama