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: Morning-After Vertigo

Friday Fictioneers * Rochelle Wisoff-Fields * Photo by Maria Gail Stratford *
Morning-After Vertigo * 85 words * Angela Shaffer * 1 Apr 2016

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Morning-After Vertigo

Wind whipped tangled locks,

traces of late-night havoc still

clinging to the skin. Seeping

regret tinged red and green –

jealous as an itch on missed flesh.

 

The edge altered reality, tilting

the grip, slipping the step, blurring

the hold – slighting gravity.

 

Double the trip and let the mind

dip farther past matter. Stretch out,

reaching, grasping, swiping –

pregnant as a pause on hushed lips.

 

If tottered too far up the steep sweeping

stoop – binge on delusion in last fleeting

moments. Until the bottom comes quick.

 

~ Hello dear Readers and Writers …

Thank you, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for fun Friday fiction. Thank you, Maria Gale Stratford for the photo.

Since April is Poetry Month, I crafted a few lines inspired by how dizzy I got thinking how high up the building was – and how much further the Marriott stretches. I saw a party-girl waking up disoriented and curious, foolishly teetering on the edge – the edge of the building and the edge of decency.

 

Click the Frog to read diverse interpretations of this photo prompt from Friday Fictioneers writers.

Thank you for reading!

@MmePhilosopher

 

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

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

Dr. Sheldon

He smoked hand rolled clove cigarettes, finger tips stained yellow. The taste was bitter, thick and heavy. Producing the type of stink that clings to clothes, skin, hair, teeth. That smell, the one he carried with him, made him want to vomit. The record breaking projectile vomit shit that only happens in movies. But the smell held purpose. Mainly, the attraction of hippy-esque college girls. Young, stupid and inquisitive. The perfect combination for fireside foursomes. Also, clove covered up the sweet skunk of marijuana.

He wasn’t a professor. He held exemplary talent with technology. Programs, mostly. Corporate bullshit. He worked from home. He dabbled in forgeries. His doctrine – fake. His awards – fake. He displayed them in glass frames, simple onyx inlays. The frames he carried in a briefcase, quick to toss them on the walls whenever a ‘student’ came to call. Four years ago, he happened open this cozy office, vacant. Lousy location, in the old gymnasium wing, but he never complained.

The name on the certificate was Dr. Sheldon Holmstead, graduate of Yale, degree in philosophy. Those college girls especially loved that he was Ivy League (in print) and possessed the audacity to choose a basically extinct theory of thought. No one contemplated anymore.

There were no great wondering thinkers walking the streets, and if there were people typically avoided them. Crackpots proclaiming the end of the world. Hookers, too doped up to realize that their problems didn’t matter. Musicians who haven’t bathed for a month belting out original melodies with no paying fans. Radicals disguised as ‘liberals’ – wanting equality, equality, equality, an underlying hint at socialism.

The ‘students’ loved his take on life. His subjective persuasion to enlighten the soul. He memorized Whitman and Longfellow to show off. He quoted Milton to humble the audience. He ended with Lenin to inspire revolution. He smoked pot to The Beatles and handed out acid. Who knows what the girls thought, hell, who truly cared. They loved his theories, but most of all they loved the sex and drugs. If a problem arose, say angered parents; Dr. Sheldon displayed the signed document of release which safely protected the university in question. The document clearly stated that pharmaceutical additives were required to participate in the study. This same document, presented to the girls prior to entering the course, was described to them as a petition to incorporate mind enhancing narcotics to public mainstream. Being college students, many wishing to practice law or run for office one day, were eager to agree with the good doctor to avoid a littered past. Four years sailed by smoothly. No discoveries, no problem. Dr. Sheldon acquired a lunch pass, parking space, and gym membership. The only thing the university wasn’t giving him was a salary. None of the higher ups knew that he existed. The philosophy program held low status, yet was required by alumni funded desire to stay operational. He avoided the philosophy professor at all costs, and informed his ‘students’ of a threatening past with Dr. Grettenhauser, life long rivalry and hatred.

 

Picture c/o:  http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/11/22/article-2511786-1993A32B00000578-792_964x674.jpg