Hot Spice : Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT Copyright – Marie Gail Stratford

 

The city was up in arms against the hot sauce factory. The smell of hot spices hung heavy over the town and burned the eyes and lungs, specially the kids.

“Councilors – please do something – we know they can’t buy you”

The council met closed-door and came out unanimous – “Shur-Ah-Chuh Sauce will make the city world-famous. They will filter the air in 15 days.”

The night before as the Council members’ had dinner together, they found the secret of Chinese “Shur-Ah-Chuh” sauce on city’s famous Jamaican Cow Cod Soup. Never in life would they spend a penny on Viagra.

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This week, I chose to move to a different zone. Tried something new. To better understand the premises you might find these two links useful -

Jamaican Cow Cod Soup

Huff Post News

This was for Friday Fictioneers hosted by ever gracious – Rochelle. Have a look at other great stories through the froggy link below:

 

 

Tweedledee : Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Adam Ickes

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Adam Ickes

“I told you not to badger Tweedledee.”

“But Susy – he was chewing off Grampa’s candy weeds!”

“And so you decided to catch him by the horn?”

“Noooooo..– I tried to pull him back by his tail – but he turned…”

“Thank God you ran fast – Tweedledee can surely chase the hell out of you.”

“Yeah I thought Grampa’s store room up the stairs would be safe.”

 

I smelled you from outside fella! They don’t call me master ram for nothing. I know my head is stuck till Grampa comes to rescue –till then I have enough Candy Weed to chew!

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Am back after a week off.. back to my familiar groove of enjoying Friday Fictioneer’s with merry gang of fictioneers. Thanks to our host Rochelle, we have an excellent prompt from fellow fictioneer “Adam Ickes“.

you can catch the rest of the stories from the froggy link below:

The Rising : Friday Fictioneers – 27 June 14

Copyright-Madison Woods

Copyright-Madison Woods

A worried Mr. Trembletrip asks his wife “Where is that troublemaker Snippy? Time to pack and move”

“Oh dear!  Must be with his friends. But why move?”

“Those two-leggers are too close; their dragon-houses are heating up the forest. Too much smoke – too little water.”

“But where will we go?”

“Dunno! The council is arranging the migration.”

“Can’t we call the Sentinel Trees?”

“How? We lost the ‘Horn of Life’ long back.”

 

Hiding high on one of the sleeping sentinel trees, Snippy steps back and trips on something shaped like an old horn.

 

The forest echoes with a booming sound. The Sentinel Trees starts stretching their limbs after centuries of sleep.

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Written for Friday Fictioneers – hosted by the great Rochelle. One more rerun that I haven’t tried on the first run.

Check the other fictioneers here:

Broken Firewall : Friday Fictioneers

Copyright -Mary Shipman

Copyright -Mary Shipman

At this rate, it’s just a few days job for Mr. Tsrqponm; to break the firewall separating us from Dimension 5. Tearing fabric of time, this best known criminal brain of 5th dimension, can place all the disasters that have, or are about to happen; at any point of time- one after another, or all together.

Only hope is, if Juno can hack back through that firewall in time.

Frustrated Juno types alphabets – M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T …

A thin smile appears. Juno could see the inventory of Dimension 5 through the holes in the firewall.

The smile broadens as her nemesis breaks through the wall. He hits a few small black holes – Dimension 5 imploded in itself.

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Our “Friday Fictioneer” host Rochelle is taking a much deserved break. Though its a repeat prompt from couple of years back, I haven’t written on this one earlier.

And I have taken the liberty of going back to genre am not seeing around for last couple of weeks.

You may check the other fictioneers here:

Smile : Friday Fictioneers

Copyright-Ted Strutz

Copyright-Ted Strutz

“Honey – when are you getting free from your chamber tonight?”

“I have got two more souls sitting outside for me to relieve them from pain.”

“Don’t waste a second after that, I have a surprise for you.”

“You never stop surprising me sugar – do you?”

“How can I not think of the most important person in my life?”

“Even after these five years I do wonder why such a gorgeous and famous news anchor fell in love with me.”

“It was you who made me smile;  no one knew I had a smile before I came to you.”

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A different mood this week. Thanks once again to our fabulous host Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers once again!

 

Cup of Tea : Friday Fictioneers

Copyright – Douglas M. MacIlroy

I know they all will die. No matter how many times I marry, no matter how many times I try, house of Kobayashi will not last after me. The “Cup of Tea” will remain untouched and unloved. I outlive all of them as I outlived my beloved Kiku. I even outlived my father’s house along with the whole of Kashiwabara village.

After searching whole of Nippon for love, I sit alone in this barn. While I see them come and go under the silent candles, they will find my remains in my five feet of snow.

I hate them;
The butterflies find their flowers
At will.

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Reurning to Friday Fictioneers after taking a break last week I find our wonderful host Rochelle posting a photo-prompt that instantly connects me to my love for Haiku. And what is a better connect than my favorite Haiku master “Issa”. This one is dedicated to him, his life and work

Born as Kobayashi Nobuyuki, Issa is my favorite Haiku master among the Haiku Master quartet. The simple pen name “Issa” roughly meaning “Cup of Tea” wandered through his life in search of love. His haiku poems keep me spellbound as well as with wrenching heart. Some of his greatest works came from his pain –
After returning to his native village and getting some of his inheritance from his stepmother -

“the closer I get
to my village, the more pain…
wild roses”

He wrote after both his first and second born died in a very tender age -

“This dewdrop world –
Is a dewdrop world,
And yet, and yet . . .”

After death of a third child -

“Outliving them,
Outliving them all,-
Ah, the cold!”

and his beloved wife Kiku –

“if only she were here
for me to nag…
tonight’s moon!”

Another, translated by Peter Beilenson with Harry Behn, reads:

“Everything I touch
with tenderness, alas,
pricks like a bramble.”

… and last but not the least if you love Haiku – you may like to visit my poetry blog at – “Rain Starved Clouds”

Jumping the Fence : Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT Copyright – Erin Leary

PHOTO PROMPT Copyright – Erin Leary

“Fences are to keep you safe, don’t jump them”

“But Dad – how do I learn about what’s on the other side?”

“You need to learn the rules son”

“But what’s more important – rules or ‘to learn’?”

“Too many questions – we’ll be late. Lot of work before we can eat; your sisters may go hungry to bed again.”

He did jump the fence. Sitting by the fireplace he reads the letter.

“Dear Dad,

Am sorry, but I had to jump the fence. And I found the pines with golden acorns. Sending my first haul with Huck, while I stand guard. Get the village folk, there’s plenty for all. No one will go hungry to bed again.

You son”

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This 100 word Flash Fiction written for Friday Fictioneers challenge dated 23 May 2014. It’s a weekly challenge organized by Rochelle Wisoff.

I missed FF for 2 weeks  - and missed them bad. Was shunting between cities to take care of ailing mom; finally she is out of hospital and recovering at home !

You can see the other Fictioneer’s take from the froggy link below -

 

First Fire : Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Renee Heath

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Renee Heath

 

“Did he say how to light?”

“You are the witch, you should know”

“But I tried and tried; even waved my fingers like the wicked witch of the west.”

“Maybe you are trying too hard”

“May be you are right.” Lizzy closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and blew on the candle.

“You did it! You are now a fully capable Witch!”

“Let’s try it again.” Lizzy clapped, grinning ear to ear.

As the kids practiced, downstairs Mrs. Windwhisper was tying a bandage around her husband’s thumb.

“Was it absolutely essential? Flipping the fire-coin through the roof to light your daughter’s  first candle?”

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This 100 word Flash Fiction written for Friday Fictioneers challenge dated 2 May 2014. It’s a weekly challenge organized by Rochelle Wisoff.

Initially I thought of posting a poem. But it was written quite sometime back – and a bit longer than 100 word – if you wish you may read it here

You can see the other Fictioneer’s take from the froggy link below -

City of Gold : Friday Fictioneers

Copyright – Björn Rudberg

Copyright – Björn Rudberg

The run-down bar in the St. Petersburg is nearly deserted, apart from some late night music enthusiasts.

“You play well lad”, Vladimir quips keeping his lute down.

“Nothing compared to what you played just now” the guy replies. “Whose composition?

“Would you believe if I said it’s mine?”

“Why not, you can mint money with it. With my lyrics – we name it ‘City of Gold’!”

“Don’t be silly. Nobody knows Vladimir Vavilov. And Vladimir doesn’t need money. Music is enough to fill my tummy. If you really want to make money with this – you tell them its “Сanzona by Francesco da Milano”.

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And that was the name world came to know the composition – “City of Gold”. It was an instant hit. But Vladimir never reaped the popularity. He was consumed by cancer of pancreas a month before it was released. Like most of his composition he attributed this composition to Italian great de Milano.  The composition again garnered popularity after the rock band Aquarium released it in 1987. It was only in 2000 when the world came to know about Vladimir and his compositions – “City of Gold”.

 

This 100 word Flash Fiction written for Friday Fictioneers challenge dated 25 April 2014. It’s a weekly challenge organized by Rochelle Wisoff.

You can see the other Fictioneer’s take from the froggy link below -

Pineapple Man : Friday Fictioneers 18 April 2014

Copyright – Douglas M. MacIlroy

“Ken,  I don’t like mom always telling us to grow up,” little Bo quips sitting on the sofa beside her elder brother.  “I would rather watch Pineapple man cartoons with you.”

I know Bo, but sooner or later, like all grownups, we have to become serious and-” Ken’s explanation is cut short by Bo’s scream.  With the diver helmet still on Pineapple man steps out of the TV.

Ken and Bo huddle in the corner trying to cover themselves up.

The Hawaiian legend Pineapple man walks toward the kids, raises his hand and says -

“It’s a trap – never grow up!”

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This week was a bit held up in work and life – sorry for not reading as many stories as I usually do! Hopefully this week I will amend. And yeah – Happy Good Friday and Easter to all my readers. It’s also “New Year” in this part of the world !

100 word Flash Fiction written for Friday Fictioneers challenge dated 18 April 2014. It’s a weekly challenge organized by Rochelle Wisoff.

You can see the other Fictioneer’s take from the froggy link below -

 

Victory : Friday Fictioneers – 11 April 2014

 

copyright – DLovering

 

Something is churning inside Miguel’s stomach. He is not sure if it is tension or hunger. He looks up at his baby sister in papi’s arms. Even she it seems is holding back her tears. Papi has not gone to work for nearly a month now, like most others in small town of Novelda. Yet they have all gathered in the town square for the only thing that gives them hope.

Will they – only time can tell; only a few minutes more.

“Gooooooooaaaal” – the tv commentator’s voice ruptured the entire crowd in the town square. Spain is world cup winner!

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Spain won the world cup in July 2010 against the backdrop of growing economical and political unrest in most of it’s provinces, and football was definitely one thing that keeps them together.

100 word Flash Fiction written for Friday Fictioneers challenge dated 11 April 2014. It’s a weekly challenge organized by Rochelle Wisoff.

You can see the other Fictioneer’s take from the froggy link below -

Leading Lady : Friday Fictioneers – 4 April 2014

copyright-Kent Bonham

 

Getting late for awards; best actress for her blockbuster murder mystery. Amelia wonders why Stuart called her to dark “Studio 9”. This is where they shot Stuart’s murder scene. She still gets the chill. Her heart barely managed the shock that time.

Startled she turns in horror to see Stuart lurching back; as he collapses on her arms, she sees the knife. Heart pounding louder than carnival drums, she opens her mouth to scream!

The lights switches on – “April Fool”, the entire crew shouts.

*****************************

It’s been one year since, the entire crew met on the studio floor to remember Amelia on her first death anniversary.

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100 word Flash Fiction written for Friday Fictioneers challenge dated 4 April 2014. It’s a weekly challenge organized by Rochelle Wisoff.

You can see the other Fictioneer’s take from the froggy link below -

Sao Feng’s Treasure : Friday Fictioneers – 28 March 2014

Copyright-John Nixon

“Perfect Josh, hold it still.”

“Pete, you were right!” Sean screamed. “Two mirrored staffs in the mangrove; Jack Sparrow’s map was right; they point there on sea.”

“Sao Feng’s treasure” Josh could barely hold his excitement. “Dive Pete, find what’s below! We have beaten ‘Curse of Calypso’.”

“Yup! All alive and about to be rich”, Pete screamed and ran to take the dive.

After an agonizing wait – Pete came up, Sao Feng’s gold dagger in his fist.

“Sean, where’s Josh?”

“Dunno Pete, my eyes were fixed on the pointer. Josh was behind!” Sean’s voice trembled.

Calypso? Or 2 shares are better than…

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100 word Flash Fiction written for Friday Fictioneers challenge dated 28 March 2014. It’s a weekly challenge organized by Rochelle Wisoff.

You can see the other Fictioneer’s take from the froggy link below -

 

Mystery Lift : Friday Fictioneers : 21 March 2014

Copyright -Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Copyright -Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The staircase around lift cage seems locked in time. A calendar on its wall had just one sheet – “AgAust 1953”, the month and year his Vernian grandfather disappeared.

The calendar – at first it seemed a misspelled month – or is it?

And why just opposite to those two ornamental pieces on the lift-cage?

“Silver” and “Gold”, that’s Ag and Au on the periodic table? Ag-Au-St?

He pulled the golden amulet – didn’t budge.

A pull on the silver ring, and it folded down around the golden amulet.

A ring announced the arrival of an unseen lift– two levers inside marked “Charlie’s Chocolate Factory” & “Center of Earth”.

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100 word Flash Fiction written for Friday Fictioneers challenge dated 21 March 2014. It’s a weekly challenge organized by Rochelle Wisoff.

You can see the other Fictioneer’s take from the froggy link below -

Friday Fictioneers 14 March 2014 : Green Pollution

copyright – Adam Ickes

“Dad, I am scared! There is so much green.”

“Don’t worry son, I am with you. Just stick to the fenced path.”

“But those creepers are climbing on the path – there see-“

“Stick to the middle sonny. Just a few more Hematite for dinner and we are done.”

“Dad, how did it get so green?”

“It’s those earthlings; since they came, they have spread these greens all over our planet. Few red pyramids are all that’s red left in our red planet. If anything goes wrong – you know where to go. We can still see the red pyramid from here.”

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100 word Flash Fiction written for Friday Fictioneers challenge dated 14 March 2014. It’s a weekly challenge organized by Rochelle Wisoff. This weeks challenge posed a difficulty in understanding the image. What looked like a red pyramid when the image is small came out to be the top of the canopy when seen in full size. But I decided to stick to the image that appeared to me on first look.

You can see the other Fictioneer’s take from the froggy link -

Disappearing Gold : Friday Fictioneers!

FF:7th march – Copyright – Danny Bowman

Twenty more cauldrons of gold coins got delivered today. McWhiskey counted them, added to his tally and told Paikei and Tazingo to put them in the vault.

The world gold market was spooked. The prices skyrocketed, as gold from the safest vaults kept on disappearing. Only clue was a ten feet wide patch of loose earth replacing the strongest of floors.

McWhiskey rose to his watch tower and peered with satisfaction to the new extended vault that has taken shape of a mini hill. The leprechaun gold vault guarded by trolls looked safe from his watch tower next to it.

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Written for the Friday Fictioneer’s Challenge – get the details at Rochelle’s blog !

In the Haystack : Friday Fictioneers!

Copyright -Sandra Crook

Professor Bhaskar was shouting on his wife – “Famous scientist Aryabhatta found the truth of the twelve famous Shiva temples in India. The dome-shaped idols were God’s power generators, kept dormant by an invisible connecting fiber plasma cable. He replaced a decayed connector about to break, unleashing twelve mini Suns on earth.

The connector having life of 1.5 millennia is about to break in a day, and I had the replacement he left on my table. And yes that is why I am leaving tomorrow.”

“You mean the needle inside the glass bottle? I dropped it while using it in the balcony; that tractor carrying the haystacks was passing below. “

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Written for Friday Fictioneers! Challange 28 February 2014

You may also like to have a look at the Weekend Short Story : “The Restaurant Corner Table

 

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The Restaurant Corner Table

restaurant

Pushing the heavy swing doors of the restaurant, he looked up towards the clock, exactly 2:30 in the afternoon. Taking off the rain coat, he slowly moved towards the table in the corner, right in front of the glass wall facing the road outside. The drizzle outside has settled down to a steady rhythm.  It has become a weekly ritual since that fateful day two months back. That too was a Friday; he had planned for a lovely weekend with his fiancee; at least that’s what he believed her to be. And he found her getting that huge bunch of Valentine roses, not from him. That’s when she broke it him; all he did was raise his voice a notch up to ask who the roses are from – when he believed himself to be her lover. And she mercilessly broke his dream. As per her, it was all just his day-dream; she felt her to be a thirty plus guy, who is too ordinary and simple to expect her to be his lover. She never saw him as a lover but just as a friend, whom she helped. Just a friend? After all the emotions and attention he showered on her.

He kept going back and forth in his mind for more than a month. And then one day he came in to his favorite lunch joint, from his office during the late lunch time, with a bottle of rat poison. Sitting on the corner table, right beside the glass wall facing the road outside, he kept looking at the tiny bottle, while his meal was getting cold. He was about to open the bottle; that’s when he noticed the piece of paper lying on the seat next to his. A regular ordinary tissue paper; with a pen drawn heart. At first thought it to be some childish doodle. But then he noticed a few lines scribbled below.

It said – “Sitting across, I see the glint in your eyes that told me you are special! Hope someday you will feel the same for me. – Yours ‘She’ !”

Something made him feel, it IS for him. Sitting across? He lifted his head to scan the hall. It’s already past the usual lunch time, and hall was nearly empty. Only three tables were occupied. A woman in the far corner, head covered n scarf; couple of young ladies chatting away over the food; and someone behind with back toward him, couldn’t guess if it was a ‘he’ or a ‘she’. Which one of these could be the one who wrote this? She saw him? And noticed the glint – in his eyes? Is it one of these occupants? Or can it be someone who has left silently before he came in? After all he always sits on this same table – everyday! Wondering about the new-found piece of paper he never realized when the bottle went in his overcoat pocket from his hand.

From that day onward, every Friday he would get a paper napkin, with the familiar feminine perfume, and words that made his world filled with hope. He felt rise of hope and belief that he too after all can really be loved. Sometime he thought of coming early to find out who she could be; to catch a glimpse of her leaving the note. But every-time, Friday’s used to be nightmare with his boss. Still he made sure to sneak out for his lunch – and the piece of love he collected from the seat next to his. He already has a file full of it. He even left back some hints. Sometime it was another letter asking for her identity. And even a kiddish attempt, scratching the wooden table to write “I love you too!”

He was not sure if he can discuss it with someone. Not many friends and none so close to discuss something so childish like love. He just hoped that soon she would have enough courage to reveal her identity, and he will again walk with someone, shoulder to shoulder. Day by day he was becoming confident of the outcome, and it showed in the bounce of his steps.

Just before the thirty something man pushed the door open, the young waiter noticed that once again today the group of college students sat on a different table; one next to their usual table on the corner, right by the glass wall facing the road outside. It’s the same group that has, a silent couple he sees every time. He saw them talking love through their eyes, and exchanging notes on paper napkins. He also saw that day his regular customer who prefers the corner seat, with the bottle, very suspiciously looking like a bottle of poison.

The waiter the cleaned the table of the college students, picked up the paper napkin from the table and placed it on the seat next to the corner table, the one right in front of the glass wall facing the road outside.

Friday Fictioneers : The Silent School Bell

 

School Bell

School Bell

 

It was simply chaos since morning at school that day. After school started at 7:30 in the morning, the school bell didn’t announce the end of the first period. The hapless school guard was seen standing in front of the school bell.

“What can I do sir, I am trying for last fifteen minutes, but it’s not ringing at all.”

But that’s how it remained that day. It didn’t emit a single note even when repeatedly hit by various instruments.

It was not the only one, Bells across the world refused to ring that day. It was unanimously decided not to ring for 12 hours starting 8 AM to protest against removal of the bell from Big Ben

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Written for Friday Fictioneers Challenge : 21 February, 2014. Find the challenge details in the link !

 

Portrait by the Vineyard : FRIDAY FICTIONEERS! 14 FEBRUARY 2014

FRIDAY FICTIONEERS! 14 FEBRUARY 2014

FRIDAY FICTIONEERS! 14 FEBRUARY 2014

Rubbing my eyes I looked around, trying to recollect where I am. Vineyard, yes, that’s it! I was in my vineyard, admiring this year’s harvest, sipping my Moscato wine with strawberry slices enriching its fruity flavor. What happened next?

I started walking back still confused, trying to recollect the flow of events since morning. Where did I keep by goblet?

There, I can see the goblet now. But its huge! And I can’t reach – standing at the edge of the vineyard, I stretch my hand and it gets blocked, on a sheet of Canvas?

Oh yes, standing by the vineyard, I was painting my self-portrait; and now I am trapped inside the canvas of my own self portrait.

(Written for FRIDAY FICTIONEERS! 14 FEBRUARY 2014)