Friday Fictioneers “Backfired Awareness”

Friday Fictioneers * Rochelle Wisoff-Fields * Photo Prompt by Janet M. Webb * “Backfired Awareness” * 100 words * A. Shaffer * 29 July 2016

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“Backfired Awareness”

Brenda internally shook. Only a prank, she thought, things weren’t supposed to roll this way. The hoity-toity new mall in Southern West Virginia was an insult because none of the locals could afford the goods. Installing an Olympic-size swimming pool next to the food court — beyond absurd. Local activists hatched the plan, drained the pool, flooded the area. A statement, it was all just a statement. The Media, however, ran with it. The state of West Virginia was shut down, noted as a loss. That’s when they brought in the refugees, populating “Wild and Wonderful” with the world’s castoffs.

 

Hello Dear Readers and Fellow Authors…

This week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields called on Janet M. Webb for Friday Fictioneer’s photo prompt. In 100 words, Friday Fictioneer Authors craft “story” from a picture. For me, the excess water automatically makes me think of those in the Southern part of the state who are currently still devastated by recent flooding. This weeks output of rain has probably not helped them recover. Husband and I are closer to Pennsylvania, and while we have had much rain we are not in dire straights as our Southern brothers/sisters.

I wish that there was something I could really do to help them, but my allergy to the sun prevents me from being able to get in the car and race down there. Silly, I know, but I am lucky if I can tolerate a five minute period outside. Even something simple like taking my dogs out may result in an attack. I linger in bits of shade, trying to hold on to consciousness.

Needless to say, I offer much thanks to the Friday Fictioneer family and friends for the online connection. I cannot enjoy summer like everyone else, but I can safely stay inside, working on “story.” Keep on spinning, Saffron. I can create a reality where the Sun does not set out to destroy me, or imagine what it would feel like to be “normal,” spending a day on the river or — hard to imagine — purposefully laying out in the sun for a lovely, golden complexion. “Story” has a way of providing for the mind when reality lacks. “Story” lives in the art we express. We can find “story” in many places:  literature, theatre, film, COSplay, paintings, sculpture, photography, music, lyrics, and video games. Yes! I said, “video games” lol my all-time dislike {secret there is that I am terrible at ‘playing’}.

Click the BlueFrog below and read the other esteemed Friday Fictioneer stories. The concept is so interesting because one picture inspires endless possibilities<>. As always, if inspired by the photo prompt, please create a “story” all your own. Simply follow the links and copy the codes, and KaBam!…I, along with the other Authors, will read your “story” and offer feedback. Because, telling “story” holds rewards but so does knowing that someone reads your work.

Keep on creating!

Angie

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Friday Fictioneers: “Thus Spun Saffron”

Friday Fictioneers * Rochelle Wisoff-Fields * Photo Prompt by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields * “Thus Spun Saffron” * 100 words * Angela Shaffer * 1 July 2016

Thus Spun Saffron

Saffron thought doily curtains were designed after crystalized snowflakes. Perfume trapped the elements of flowers. The daintiest of cakes are hinted with lavender. Any beauty created by human hands found example in nature. Ten years passed like shifting sand — the accumulation like frosty fingers. Only the first few issued pain, then a strange numbness set in her limbs. Saffron made herself cold, isolated, strong as the frosted glass. The harms of the world could not shatter personal fortitude. Positioned here, high up in her cave-like fortress, Saffron created reality for those too tired, for those unaware that they could.

Hello Dear Readers and Fellow Writers…

Every Friday, the lovely and talented Ms. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields shares a photo prompt, and creative Friday Fictioneer Authors create a story for the picture. Very cool<>… I look forward to Fridays for our outstanding fictional challenge. I like considering writing prompt practices as “exercise” for the brain. As hinted at through Saffron’s story above, We are the Artists – let us continue sculpting reality. Fiction presents a playing field for inventive imagination. Curious? …give Brian Boyd a read – On the Origin of Stories and see how fiction shapes experience.

Click the BlueFrog below to read the works of Friday Fictioneer Writers. Feeling creative?… I hope so 🙂 follow the link at the bottom of the BlueFrog’s page, follow directions, and add your own story as prompted by the photograph.

To a grand weekend, Darlings…Keep on dreaming<>

Angela aka @MmePhilosopher aka MadameWriter

 

Friday Fictioneers: “Gilbert’s Big Win”

Friday Fictioneers * Rochelle Wisoff-Fields * Photo Prompt by Rich Voza *

“Gilbert’s Big Win ” * 100 words * Angela Shaffer * 24 June 2016

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Gilbert’s Big Win

Shuffling through the airport necessities, Gilbert’s mind drifted. Hours ago, he faced the ultimate wager. Time spent counting cards no longer tasted of success. Money bought problems not happiness. Years — just chasing the river. The proposition from Count La Fuse involved more than money. For once, Gilbert’s poker schemes produced some good. Facing foreign high rollers and eclectic thugs, he came up aces. Staring out the window, Gilbert felt like the hero. He cracked a smile when gate A19 lit up. The winning card caught a two on the flop. Gilbert won the pot and a mail order bride.

Hello Dear Readers and Fellow Writers…

About a month has passed since I’ve contributed to Friday Fictioneers. Apologies, but… I am in the throes of theory. Only four weeks left for my Master’s capstone project! I am filled with anxious terror and determined hope. MTF.

Who knows why I saw Gilbert’s story in this photo, but here he is. Recently, I’ve had a deep distaste for those who gamble carelessly because of personal experience. I do not gamble, I just watch others lose lose lose. Gilbert sounds self-important and bizarrely off-kilter as to what is good/right. Even in his semi-human moment when he realizes money does not buy happiness, Gilbert still takes the bet in efforts of buying a spouse. Seems my frustrations is surfacing here in my fiction, as I could not grant the character much human decency due to his gambler “nature.” Well, at least it is out of my system. Maybe now I can get back on positive reinforcement.

If new to Friday Fictioneers:  Click the Blue Frog below for a redirect link that houses all the stories written for this photo prompt. Talented and charming Friday Fictioneer authors post 100 word stories once a week as prompted by Ms. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Feel inspired to craft your own story? Plz do…the Frog also has a posting link.

Friday Fictioneers: “Cowboy Camp”

Friday Fictioneers * Rochelle Wisoff-Fields *

* Photo prompt by Madison Woods *

“Cowboy Camp” * 100 Words * Angela Shaffer * 23 April 2016

Cowboy Camp

Summer camp looks like heaven when daily life drags on. However, if one winds up in the desert-mountains, eating carmelized-in-the-can pork-n-beans, surrounded by Christian-rock hymns – you quickly realize this is Cowboy Camp. Illusions of fun evaporate. The ruins drew my curiosity. I was eleven. I left the herd, took up with the Natives. I met kids who would love the beans I ignored. Starvation. When I cut the wire, the stupid cows stared at me, wouldn’t budge. One didn’t make it, but the rest of the cows trotted across the bridge I made from a plank. They used it all.

 

Dear Readers and Fellow Writers ~

Apologies for the day late post and absence last week. As soon as I saw Madison Wood’s photo I immediately thought of my childhood experience. “Cowboy Camp” is based on the cult-like event Mother thought would be good for my “bad” attitude. I wanted to set the cows free because in my mind I thought the Native Americans could benefit. In truth, I could not find anything strong enough to cut the wire. Even if I had, the real cowboys would have corralled them back. I did, however, take what food I could sneak from the chow tent. The saddest part was that I had to go back to camp eventually. Though we did not speak the same language, we connected.

Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for weekly fiction fun and special thanks to Madison Wood for the photograph. Click the Blue Frog below to read and/or contribute to Friday Fictioneers weekly Flash Fiction challenge.

Friday Fictioneers: “Motherland Initiation”

Friday Fictioneers * Rochelle Wisoff-Fields * Photo Prompt by J. Hardy Carroll *
“Motherland Initiation” * 100 words * Angela Shaffer * 8 Apr 2016

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Motherland Initiation

Cali choked down senior sorrows and put on a brave face. Pennsyl-tucky, Mother called it, with a laugh and a snort. Determined to make the best of a bad hand, Cali followed the scrawled directions. She wasn’t prepared to see the building that haunted her dreams looming ahead. Nor did she find the welcome comforting.

“You’ve finally come,” hissed a voice like razors, slight on her neck.

“The doctor’s been looking for you.”

Cali struggled but found her arms secured.

Laughter from the dark, …a prank.

but that didn’t explain her déjà vu or the organic pull towards the darkness.

***

Hello Fellow Writers and Readers ~

As always, special thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for a mini-break from reality with Friday Fictioneers. Thanks this week to J Hardy Carroll for the interesting photo prompt. I can’t wait to read everyone’s take!

If you’re new to Friday Fictioneers, click the Blue Frog below to read and contribute.

Friday Fictioneers: Pretty Up

Friday Fictioneers * Rochelle Wisoff-Fields * Photo by Ted Strutz *

“Pretty Up” * 100 words * Angela Shaffer * 25 Mar 2016

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Pretty Up

Imogene is known for dawdling. Most parts of the world would label her as “mentally deficient,” among other harsh titles. Not here, not down in the holler. We’ve a way of taking care of our own, especially when those outsiders come a calling. They like to think they’ve got us all figured out – like we’re simple – but they can’t kin the lengths we go to for loyalty. Imogene heard they were a coming for her, and she high tailed it into the woods. I reckon these flowers she planted was her way of prettying up this holler, a final farewell.

 

“Energy Ooze” for Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers * “Energy Ooze” * 100 words * Angela Shaffer * c/o Rochelle Wisoff-Fields * Featured Photography Artist:  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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Energy Ooze

Glass bottles filled with tinctures and mixtures littered the shelves. The mortar and pestle was tinged with traces of herbs left behind. Arranging the brass devices, Tanner noted a slight bubble inflate and burst in his latest tonic, an unusual blend of Digitalis purpurea Juniper Catawba, pomegranate energy drink, and a dash of absorbent earth. The carbonated elements should have evaporated last night – when his energy drink accidently spilled into the pestle – yet bubbles were taking shape. Thick bubbles, sticky pops and clinging splatters, revealed an odd shifting underneath the surface that advanced toward the mouth of the glass decanter.

* * *

~ Day late this week, apologies. I am entering hazardous waters with studies, but I enjoyed this refreshing fiction break.

~  As always…thanks to Rochelle for creative energies encouraged by her weekly fictional challenge!

~ Make sure to click on Mr.Froggy-Blue-Face below to enjoy diverse flash fiction inspired by the photo prompt.

 

Shout to Sources:  Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers, AntiqueBottles

Enter Tragedy

Flash Fiction Tragedy Scene

The scene a lovely patio setting; porch swing, hammock, glass and iron furnishings.  Wine and cheese tray, crackling fire nestled in bricks quaintly creating a corner for cozy conversation. The couple rarely curled up on the patio, despite the fact that it’s lure was the main selling point of the house. He thought it took too much time and effort to chop a few blocks of wood. Rarely was their time for the two to do anything as he over-valued his personal space and kept her like heirloom china. The oversized log splitter he found in the Bulletin Board littered the vibrant green lawn. Her roses shivered in contrast. Junk amidst beautiful landscaping. She sipped her wine, calmly putting the plug back into the outlet before dialing 911. Convincing local authorities that her husband’s handy-man abilities were lacking was easy. After all, look at the miss-patched shingles and makeshift driveway. Lips smirked in deception, she worked up the tears.

His death happened simple enough.  Truly, there was no way to disprove the basic facts.  The coroner’s report went straight through, no questions:  Death by Faulty Mechanical Equipment.

Picture c/o:  http://usprideproducts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/pto-adapter-attachment.jpg

Dr. Friedrich Stein Character Profile

Hello dear Readers ~

This is a scene from a short-story idea I developed last year. I was inspired while attending a local community event {I think it was a tomato-tasting}, almost a decade ago, when I noticed how inter-mixed the gatherers were – from sculptors to medical doctors to writers to construction workers. I wandered how opposite natures would work when thrust into an opposing world. I thought an interesting relationship could be formed from one character who was committed to reality and another who reached for fantasy. Or, an artist and a logician. I want to see how the muse and the scientist work together, or – how astronomical the explosion of opposites could result in.

@MmePhilosopher

Waiting on Mistresse…

Flickering candlelight tickled the air, clinging like silk to his skin. He felt a delicate bead of sweat take form on his brow, but refused to wipe it away. He couldn’t let her know that she unsettled him. Returning his gaze to the candle did not soothe him – she preferred candlelight. Things like lace, candles, cream, stilettos, satin, chilled berries belonged to her, elements of her configurations. He called their conversation the night before to mind – she demanded to address an exponential critical factor, insisted it convey face to face, and instructed him to arrive at the Manor at 8:15 sharp. The directness of her requirements were not suspicious, the cause to alarm came from the lacking of sensual innuendos.   Their arrangement was a tangled web of subterfuge, a contractual affair of unusual bonds – Friedrich’s saving grace. Their relationship bordered on toxic, yet tasted too savory to imagine life without the eccentric flair.

Friedrich dared a scratch to his unruly head and stole a glance at the receptionist. 8:23. The girl was elegant and plain. Brunette, reed thin build, and opaque makeup donned in black like all of her women. The receptionist wore an unimpressed air of superiority and addressed Friedrich in short staccato bursts.

“Lady-Mistresse is eager to speak with you, Dr. Stein. She regrets a previous meeting detains her. She recommends you take in the night air on her private balcony.”

“Of course,” Friedrich said through clenched teeth, “one cannot rush Mistresse, can they?”

His eyes boiled with frustration, yet he attempted to maintain composure. She could be tricky, he knew. She could be dressed as one of her women milling about the establishment. She could be watching him at any moment. Right now, she could be coyly laughing. She enjoyed his reactions to uncomfortable situations; he discovered that tidbit years ago. This evening, however, he did not feel like entertaining his inner babe. Surely, that is what this is about: she must’ve received word that his grant was lost to a child genius in Japan. Yes; he wanted to throw a temper-tantrum, pull his curls out, and suck on his thumb…but he would not follow his desires, at least not without her to guide him. Not without her silken touch to his temples, her reassuring cadence that none were more intelligent or genius than Friedrich. Not without the lingerie and strawberries. He cleared his throat and craved champagne. Failure for Friedrich came only with coddling. Many things for Friedrich came only at her permission.

Friedrich rose off the black velvet divan and crossed the marble floor towards the balcony. A seductive smirk pulled at the corner of his mouth as he remembered his first experience by the wrought iron rails. He was young then, barely breaking through his twenties yet already a national phenomenon – “Friedrich Stein assumes doctoral position by 21 years of age. Dr. Stein to take on incurable diseases.” Published and polished, Friedrich was known to be ahead of his time, but he did not accomplish these things alone. If not for her unique tutelage, Friedrich could still be in that basement making LSD for undergraduates and slicing up rats for the veterinary clinic. The cool breeze on the balcony took him back. Back to that night they first met. Back to that card she put in his shirt pocket at the wine tasting. Back to that first glance she cast through downcast lashes.

Friedrich gripped the cool railing and looked down at the sprawling metropolis. The lights and whispers of the city drifted up, and he breathed it all in, letting the memory succumb him. The air was brisk that night, too. She wore Japanese silk in a sexy kimono style. Clinging one minute, flowing the next. She was like that silk – embodying your dreams or suffocating you in reason. Back then she was a poetess and scholar. A starving artist searching for meaning. She read her words that night beneath the stars. She wrote about love and sex and limits. She fell in love with light and sound. She lived her life like art, she insisted – and Friedrich wanted to discover if that was true. Her syllables tasted salty, of wants not achieved.

His obsession began with the jagged tear trickling down her cheek. So much beauty should not feel sorrow, he thought. Who were these lovers she described? Who could ever turn away from her starlit gaze? Sapphire eyes sparkled. Her pale hair fell in smooth waves to the middle of her back. Ivory skin shone through in places the silk couldn’t cover. She moved with the grace of the swan, gliding from guest to patron, smiling liquid succor like that of orchids in bloom – exotic, yet innocent and pure.   She was a wisp of a woman, petite and delicate, so thin a man could wrap her into himself. Absorb her energies and steal the muse…

8:35…Where is she?

“I’ll take a scotch, neat,” he said, knowing the girl would comply. He’d need something to stiffen his nerves. Friedrich sensed that something monumental kept Mistresse away, and he did not enjoy the circling turmoil resulting in the pit of his stomach. “Make it a double.”

 

Picture c/o:  http://orig11.deviantart.net/2889/f/2014/122/2/b/the_muse_by_3ddream-d7gl8es.jpg

Operation: Steak Fries {FridayFictioneers}

Friday Fictioneers
“Operation: Steak Fries”
100 words
c/o Rochelle
Thanks to Emmy L. Gant for the Photo Prompt this week!

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Operation: Steak Fries

“I told you to use fresh offerings,” Major Flank said. “Looks to me, Comrades, like Lt. Shank failed the whole operation. Look at those teeth marks. Couldn’t take waiting all night till chow?”

“With all due respect, sir,” Shank said, “I would like to remind the company that I am a vegetarian. And a decent human being.”

“That remains to be determined,” Captain Loin said, “Shank was on duty while Lt. Rib performed the intergalactic call. Get Private Round in here; set up another offering.”

“Sir, Round was the previous offering.”

“Indeed. Well, Shank, time to see if you’re acceptable.”

***


Hello, Fellow Writers ~

I tried something different this week and went with strictly dialogue. Hope it works!

As always, thank you for reading…

@MmePhilosopher