The Lost Branches

I hit enter and watched the little leaves pop onto my screen.

I did the DNA testing to learn about my ancestry. Just out of curiosity, really. Now I was staring at several names – not-that-distant relatives – that I had never heard of.

The next day, grandma held the printout in her weathered hands. A scowl crossed her face as she scanned the names. I waited eagerly to hear the stories that I could see dancing through her mind.

“Ah, yes,” she muttered. “That’s Beulah and her kin.”

“And…?” I prodded.

“Sometimes the family tree just needs some pruning,” she spat.

 

100 words

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Happy weekend! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

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Work in Progress

This is the wonderful business opportunity? You can’t be serious.” Arms crossed, Maria wrinkled her nose in disgust at the dilapidated building.

“I know she needs some TLC…,” Mike began, mind reeling with potential.

“Our car can fit through the gaping hole in the wall! And that terrace is a death trap!”

Mike used his charm. “I was in rough shape when you found me. You took a chance and that turned out okay, right?”

Her eyes softened. “I guess,” she joked, “but you’re still a work in progress.”

Mike patted the wall and whispered, “Let’s get you fixed up.”

 

Word count: 100

PHOTO CREDIT: Sandra Crook

Happy weekend! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

On the Run

Sunsets were bittersweet to Ana. They were beautiful, but they were also a harbinger of the darkness to come.

She had stopped at the pond to rest, maybe even to bathe. Her sore muscles begged for respite.

She froze as the hair stood up on her neck. Was it the cooling twilight air or was it because of him?

Yes, darkness was coming. In more ways than one. She could feel him. He was close. Always too close.

Ana wistfully picked up her sword and bag. She had to keep moving before the reds and purples overhead faded to black.

Word count 100

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Happy weekend! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

The Survivor

Martin stood in the ruins of the abandoned hospital, his mind lost in the nightmares of 1860.  He could feel her here, his sweet Helena. Her imprint was strong, resistant to the fade of time. Her voice called to him on the breeze. He closed his eyes and she was healthy and beautiful. Before.

The ancient amulet hummed in his pocket. The talisman had been too late to save Helena. Martin wished he’d met the same fate.

The building where he stood was nothing but a shell now, the inside gutted out. Just like him.

Mere survival was not the same as living.

 

**note: I made an edit based on reader feedback… just moved the order of two sentences. I feel like it makes a big difference in the flow. For anyone interested, this is the original:

Martin stood in the ruins of the abandoned hospital, his mind lost in the nightmares of 1860.  The building was nothing but a shell now, the inside gutted out. Just like him.

He could feel her here, his sweet Helena. Her imprint was strong, resistant to the fade of time. Her voice called to him on the breeze. He closed his eyes and  could envision her healthy and beautiful. Before.

The ancient amulet hummed in his pocket. The talisman had been too late to save Helena. Martin wished he’d met the same fate.

Mere survival was not the same as living.

 

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bulltot

This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

One Enchanted Evening

Ana laid tangled in Nick’s arms in the bed of his parked pickup truck, soft music floating from the cab. Far from city lights, a million stars dotted the sky. She thought the night couldn’t be more perfect but he promised more.

He led her through the woods to their campsite. Soft illumination inside the tent made it glow green like an emerald. Twinkle lights hung in the trees. The beauty left her breathless.

She turned to find him on one knee, ring in hand. Hope and anxiety were clear on his face.

Serenaded by cicadas, the couple celebrated her answer.

 

PHOTO PROMPT© Jan Wayne Fields

Happy weekend! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

 

 

Farewell Fireworks

Debbie carefully packed her desk items into a box. She paused at the cup overflowing with bent paperclips, one deposited every day she worked in this dreadful office.

She wasn’t necessarily ready for retirement, but the company had pushed her toward a settlement. Out with the old, in with the new.

Good luck with that. There was more drama than work with her younger counterparts. They also had loose lips. Yes, Debbie had all the dirt. Affairs. Embezzlement. Stealing.

The secrets flowed through her fingertips as she typed her final email to her boss.

She was going out with a bang.

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Claire Sheldon

Happy Friday! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Fugitive

Outrunning the police was not easy, but finding the hidden stash was just as difficult.

Sore feet and aching legs carried her through the never-ending maze of streets. She checked the photo one more time. This had to be it. Everything seemed to match… the archway, the wires, the cracks in the bricks.

She knelt at the manhole cover and pried it open with shaky fingers. Reaching into the darkness, she felt the bag that Paolo had secured under the street. The cash and fake ID were there, just as he promised. Tears of relief hit her cheeks.

Time to disappear.

 

Photo credit: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Happy weekend! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Welcome to Paradise

 

Chelsea awoke with a massive headache, courtesy of the free-flowing booze at the all-inclusive resort.

Welcome to Paradise.

‘Where is John? Why is our room so messy?! Maybe he went down to the beach. Fresh air sounds good.’

She stumbled along the boardwalk and froze at the sand’s edge, confused. It was 2:00 pm but the sky was as black as midnight. Crumpled towels, umbrellas, and flip-flops were carelessly strewn about. But not a single person in sight.

A bright light suddenly shone down on her like a spotlight. Caught between fear and hope, she looked up.

It took her swiftly.

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Happy Friday! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

First Date

 

Maeve surreptitiously checked her watch again. This was the worst date ever.

It’s not his fault,’ she thought, excusing herself to the restroom.

With shaky exhale, she studied her tired features in the mirror. Her grief was still messy like an overgrown vine, tangled and disruptive, unrelenting in its devouring grip.

Well-meaning friends aside, she was obviously not ready for this. She still wanted the only man she could no longer have. Pretending otherwise was pointless.

When her unsuspecting date opened the note delivered by the waiter, Maeve was long gone.

“I’m sorry” was all she could manage to write.

 

Photo by Sarah Potter

 

Yes, I know I’m late for Friday Fictioneers! Better late than never? I didn’t want to skip out again, though. This photo screamed isolation and desperation to me. You can find the other entries for this photo prompt here.

 

 

Room 215

There was a reason the Hotel Souriant staff avoided room 215.

It was cold and uncomfortable but it also buzzed with negative energy. It seemed watchful, knowing. Like a fat, greedy spider waiting for prey to get caught in the web.

Five people had disappeared from that room in as many years.

The traveling businessman checked in on Monday. Almost imperceptible, a low groan rumbled through the bones of the old building. Darkness stirred.

By checkout Tuesday, he had vanished… though his belongings still littered the floor of room 215.

The staff swore they heard a satisfied sigh echoing through the hall.

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

Happy weekend! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.