Episode #3: The Loop

“Well, well, well. This is new. But I guess there’s a first for everything.”

Startled, Damian spun around to face the owner of the voice.

Just a little further down the river where he stood, a lady was meticulously arranging her shawl so her bare shoulders would be covered; she was wearing a bare-shouldered dress. Raising her head, she gazed directly into his soul. “It doesn’t work that way.”

Damian frowned. “What doesn’t work that way?”

“Your wish. Unwittingly or not, you have found me to grant your wish. But I don’t have the power to rewrite the past, for I have a limit of interference.”

Damian’s frown only deepened before his eyes widened into realisation. “You are who everyone calls ‘The Witch’! The one who grants wishes.”

The corner of her mouth twitched in suppressed mirth. “Legend in living flesh. Although there are some who would call me by less flattering names.”

“If you can’t change the past, then what about the present?” he hedged, his mind already working on a different version of his wish.

“Oh?” The Witch drawled. “Are you sure you won’t regret your wish?”

The resolute look on Damian’s youthful face was enough an answer, but the Witch, with wisdom beyond anyone, let the silence hung between them to affirm his determination.
“No, I won’t! I want to relive that last day I saw my wife! Forever!” Unable to bear the silence, he finally roared.

Unfazed, the Witch lazily raised her hand to point across the river. “There, once you enter the waterwheel house, there’s no turning back,” The Witch warned.

Damian whipped his head in the direction she pointed and saw, for the first time, a waterwheel house. All that time he was there, he had never noticed it before. And he realised that somehow, they were across the river, standing in front of the house. The waterwheel was stationary.

The door creaked open, as if to welcome its owner. It was dark inside.

“As long as the waterwheel of that house spins, you’ll repeat that same day when you last saw your wife. And everything, I mean everything, remains unchanged,” she explained.

“I see.”

“Yet you still wish to go through with it,” the Witch raised her eyebrow. “Aren’t you casting a net into water to fish not for the moon but its reflection?” It was an observation, not a question.

Damian shrugged. “At least I’ll be happy,” he replied with a faraway look in his eyes. “If there is heaven, it will be reliving that same day. Exactly how I want it to be. That’s my wish”

Again, the Witch gazed thoughtfully at Damian. “What you think of as heaven is actually hell.”

Damian did not answer. The Witch seemed to stress on something during their exchange but Damian could not put his fingers on it; he was also too pre-occupied with his thoughts. Before the Witch could say anything else, Damian walked through the doorway of the waterwheel house, into the darkness.

The door swung close and the wheel, without warning, started to rotate. It had begun.

But the Witch shook her head sadly. “I tried to warn you. Time has corrupted you and twisted you in unimaginable ways. You shouldn’t have made that wish.”

It was too late. Damian could not hear her words; he was already experiencing the seventh loop of that day, when he walked into the house only to find his wife with the town’s sheriff.

They were both naked on the sofa in the living room.

In blind rage, Damian grabbed the fireplace poker and started to go after the sheriff, with every intention of killing him. Then he intended to claim his wife as his again, never to be apart. But that day always ended in the same way three hundred years ago - his wife, in sheer panic, grabbed the sheriff’s gun and shot Damian. Twice.

And because he wished to relive that day all over again, he could only watch helplessly from his body as they mutilated him in an attempt to cover their murder and their affair, dumping his body parts into the river.

The very spot where Damian’s spirit and the Witch met.

“You’re indeed still young and hot-headed when you died. That man you wanted to kill so much with your bare hands has been dead for a long time. Even their grandchildren are dead,” the Witch only shook her head before she raised her face to the sky.

“In a world as vast as ours, there bound to be many inexplicable events. They are what we call supernatural events. You could have made a wish to leave behind your anger and be reborn. Instead, your irrational fixation has cost you your chance at redemption,” she muttered to herself.

The Witch then lowered her head to stare at the waterwheel house again before waving her hands, turning it invisible so no one could intrude upon Damian’s space.

Damian’s wish to repeat that fateful day would be honoured.


Originally written for The Junction on Medium.

 

Episode #1: The Perfect World
Episode #2: The Suicide Wish

Episode #2: The Suicide Wish

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Image by HG-Fotografie from Pixabay

“Oh? Looks like there is still a spark of life in you after all,” a lazy voice observed. “Camomile tea?”

I looked up and blinked, disoriented. “What? Where am…I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude. I was thinking about something and I guess I just wandered into your shop,” I explained hastily to the lady sitting at the table.

“That’s what people do when they have a wish and they are looking for someone to grant it. I’m that someone,” she replied before taking a sip from her cup. “Are you sure you don’t want any camomile tea to calm your nerves?” she repeated as she glanced at the cup of tea opposite her.

I frowned. “I’m sorry, but who are you?”

“Oh? We just met. Surely you haven’t forgotten my name?” Again, she had a knowing smile as she assessed my blank look.

“I am ‘The Witch’. Or ‘The Djinn’. Or ‘Fairy Godmother’. Names, to me, are like clothes. Some are more commonly used, some are used only on special occasions and others you don’t even know how or why you got it in the first place,” she set her tea cup on her saucer with a firm clink. “But you will notice the demeaning ones usually have the article “The” attached to it, for some reason. If you don’t want tea, why don’t you take a seat?” she gestured at the chair opposite her at the table.

I took her advice and sat down. In front of me, besides the offered cup of camomile tea was a crystal ball and a candle. “I’m sorry, but are you a fortune teller?”

“You don’t listen well, do you?” she smiled shrewdly. “I’m not a fortune teller. I’m ‘The Witch’. So tell me, what is your wish?”

“I-I was just thinking,” I stammered, not sure if it was due to her persistence or my insecurity. “I don’t have any wishes.”

“That is itself a wish as well,” The Witch replied. She arranged her shawl before she gazed at me. “Very well. Maybe this will help you in your wish to think.”

She stood up and walked over. Producing a match seemingly out of nowhere, she struck it. The head of the match burst into a bright ball of flame, like all matches do when they are first struck. Then the flame became so small it almost went out. Finally, it settled into a hypnotic steady flame. She lit the candle with that flame before blowing it out.

She set the extinguished match in front of me, beside the tea. The lavender aroma from the candle was relaxing, first soothing my body then my mind. Her movements were practised, like she had done this many times. The match left a wisp of smoke and for some reason, that calmed me even further.

“Relax. Breathe evenly. Look into the crystal ball. The scent of the Old World from the candle will do the rest,” she instructed as she sat down opposite me.

Conscious of her amused expression, I did what she instructed. I relaxed and soon, my wish was granted.


I look over the edge of the block of flats I am standing on. It does not look as high as I thought it would be. Suddenly, I am able to see everything in great detail. The startling clarity of the trees, the squirrels, the birds, the people and the cars lies bare below me. One step forward and it would all be over.

What have I got to lose? At the age of 25, I should be out there enjoying life, not up here debating death. When people face a problem, they attempt to solve it. But when the problem becomes too much to handle, they run. I face a lot of such problems.

Perhaps that is the coward’s way out; perhaps that is a tired soul’s way out. But undeniably, standing on the edge gives an exhilarating sense of thrill. The gentle caress of the wind. The familiar sight of the neighbourhood. The breathing sounds of the city.

I lean forward and fall.

You know how survivors of near-death experience mention that their life flash before their eyes? And they suddenly understand what kind of person they are? And they wish that if they can start all over again, they would do things differently? I do not have any of that experience. Understandable, since I choose to die and do not expect survival.

However, I see things. I see a lot of things. I guess death does open the eyes of the living. On the 12th floor where I live, I see Mrs Gunderson pacing in her living room, worried sick because her drug addict of a son has not come home for 2 days. Through the window next to Mrs Gunderson’s, the model couple of our neighbourhood, the Randys are having a major fight because of Mr Randy’s extra-marital affair.

As I continue my plummet, I notice a single mother outside her flat struggling tiredly with her groceries after a night shift while her autistic son is sitting on the other side of the door, apathetic to his mother’s plight. The mother gives a tired smile and mutters a quick greeting to a young lady who is wheeling her father out. The young lady returns an equally tired smile.

They may live opposite each other but circumstances do not allow them to exchange anything beyond that. They are blissfully unaware of the other’s situation and are hence, envious of each other. The young lady and her father are going to the hospital for another expensive round of chemotherapy session.

The law of gravity continues to exert its influence on me. For the briefest moment, I entertain this idea: Does the law of gravity ever get paid for all the time it is working to keep everyone in place?

Then I spy another neighbour whom I get along with. A cheerful lady, Janet, who never seems to let anything get her down, not even the death of her newly-wed husband. She is bending over the photo of her deceased husband who died in a tragic accident 2 months ago, silent tears making its way down from her eyes to the photo, the only connection they have now.

Embarrassed by this intensely private moment, I turn my head away. At my final destination, Mr Tennyson is sitting on a bench by the road. We call him the old eccentric fellow because of his pugnacious nature. Every little thing seems to set him off.

With a sudden flash of insight, I realise he is trying to get attention. And right now, as he sits alone on the bench, he is looking at the distance, waiting for his son and daughter-in-law to visit him with his grandchildren. He has been alone for so long that any form of communication, even hostile ones, are welcome. I am surprised by my dispassionate observations through this short journey.

Then my journey inevitably explodes into a world of pain. Is it natural? I always believe that it is quick and painless. It feels like that time when I was 11. I ran too fast on the track and fell, twisting my ankle as I went tumbling. Except right now, I do not just twist my ankle. It feels like I twisted every joint in my body.

I can’t breathe! It feels like that time when I was 8. I drank my cough syrup and quickly washed it down with water but it went down the wrong pipe and I choked. I coughed and all was well again. Reflexively, I try coughing, then realise I can only manage a few gasps. I am drowning in my own blood! Is this how the fish feels when it is out of the water?

Dimly, I notice that people are looking at me now. Mr Tennyson who is on the bench opposite me. Mrs Gunderson who is peeping out from her window. Janet who is on the phone calling for ambulance. The young lady who is wheeling her father on the pavement is now holding her father’s hands. The single mother who is hugging and covering the eyes of her screaming son. The Randys who are shocked by the interruption to their fight.

In front of them, my problems fade into insignificance. And everyone is probably thinking, He has such a bright future! What problems does he have to commit suicide? My problem is probably insignificant compared to his.

As they pay more attention to me, I realise: I don’t want to die! I want to live! But now, I can only lie on the ground in world of pain, choking on my own blood - the very life given to me. What a befitting punishment from the divine forces! I try gasping for breath again but it eludes me.


“Oh? Looks like there is still a spark of life in you after all,” a lazy voice broke my reverie. “Camomile tea?”

I gasped for air and starting coughing. “What? Where am…” Disoriented, I looked around. Then I realised The Witch was sitting in front of me, her legs crossed as she sipped from her cup. “A-are you a fortune teller? Did you just…?” I did not continued. For some reason, my lungs hurt, like I had been swimming underwater for too long.

She took another sip before setting the cup down. Then The Witch gave me a slightly amused look. “You tend to ask the same questions over and again, don’t you?” she observed. “Don’t you get tired of doing that?”

I tried replying but only managed a raspy breath.

“Drink some camomile tea. It helps calm the nerves,” she advised. As I drank from the cup, she continued. “So, tell me. You have experienced an inexplicable event, haven’t you?”

I opened my mouth but before I could reply, she raised her hand to cut me off. “You don’t have to explain to me. In a world as vast as ours, there bound to be things that cannot be explained. They are what we call supernatural events. What you have just experienced is yours and yours alone. You can choose to believe it or not. Unwittingly or not, you have found me to grant your wish. And I just did. What happens next is up to you.”

Unable to meet her steady and knowing gaze, I looked down and nibbled the insides of my lip. Unconscious, my eyes settled on the burnt match in front of me and I noticed something I missed the first time. The flame might have died but there was still a steady, albeit faint, glow in the matchstick.


Originally written for The Weekly Knob.

Well, this is a story I wrote a while back for a prompt requiring the use of “match” in the story. I’m now in the process of reviving my passion for a character I created long ago – The Witch. It’s time for her to emerge from the dusty attic to face the world again.

I wanted to explore the idea of “be careful what you wish for”, because I’m fascinated by mythology and fantasy. Slowly, I outlined the Witch’s morally ambiguous personality and decided she would grant wishes whether it is to the benefit of her recipients.

I hope you will enjoy this story. I will also release another story of her soon.

Episode #1: The Perfect World

in transit

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Photo credits: Tien | Incheon, South Korea (2020)

“Fabian, you have to accept the fact. This marriage is not going to work.”

His wife was beside him in the cafe, quiet all the while when he suddenly heard her say that.

If Fabian was surprised, he did not show it.

It was probably fatigue. After long hours of travelling, he was finally reunited with his wife in Kazakhstan. That had been a better part of one whole day, even with the time difference in mind. And now, they were on their way back to America, back home to that city where their romance first started. That was another half day gone.

Travelling was not the problem; the problem was Fabian did not sleep well whenever he travelled. He was lucky if he even got two hours of sleep. He must be hearing things.

He had to be.

Because it was a last-minute decision for him to travel to Kazakhstan, he could only do a transfer flight and he had six hours of layover in South Korea. It was too long for him, as well as his active mind, to rest but it was too short to take one of the free transit tours which Incheon Airport had to offer to revisit the city.

So instead, he chose to sit quietly and people-watched. He had ordered a dark chocolate cheesecake and a hazelnut latte - both her favourite - but they remained untouched.
And she suddenly dropped that bombshell on him.

Fabian did not look at her.

“Please.”

Again, her voice. He could not deny it anymore. He let a few moments passed before he cleared his throat and started speaking.

“Angela, did you remember our first honeymoon? It’s right here, in South Korea. Isn’t it ironic? We were so happy back then. But the airport has certainly changed a lot, hasn’t it? Remember this dark chocolate cheesecake and the hazelnut latte? They are from that same cafe you loved. Angela. Angel-in-us. Angel-in-us. Angela. The cafe that sounds almost like your name if we say it fast enough.”

Pausing in his soliloquy, he finally used the plastic fork to cut a small piece from the tip of the cheesecake that his wife loved so much and put it in his mouth. Most cheesecakes were sweet and creamy so he was pleasantly surprised by the slight savoury and toasted taste of the cheese. The bittersweet taste of the dark chocolate also complemented the cheese well.

It was easier to understand why his wife was so fond of it after he had tasted it himself.
“Since we’re here, shall we take our second honeymoon? And you have always wanted to visit Japan and her famous torii gates, as well as China and the Great Wall, don’t you?” he turned to look at Angela.

She still had that kind and understanding look on her face. Just the way he remembered.
“Let me go, Fabian.”

His vision started to mist and he blinked a few times as he licked his lips. There was still a slight aftertaste of the cheesecake. Instead of replying, he reached for the hazelnut latte and took a sip. The sharp nutty fragrance was not lost on him. Now he really understood why all these years, Angela had a special fondness of the dark chocolate cheesecake and hazelnut latte from Angel-in-us.

“We are already in transit, Angela. Just humour me and I’ll try my best to let you go,” Fabian said.

Then he turned to look at Angela’s ash urn again.

“I promise.”


Originally written for Weeds & Wildflowers on Medium.

I never had any intention of writing this flash fiction, especially the ending. This is originally a photo with the caption I came up with

even the most uncomfortable wait becomes bearable with simply joys

It sparked an interest in a fellow Medium writer, Dennett, and through her series of questions, this story was born. I must say, this is the most organic piece of writing I have ever come up with, starting from just some idle conversation into a snippet of life. Even the ending was surprising for me by the time I finished it, and the entire writing process took me about two hours, editing included.

It has certainly been a long time since I have done such a piece of creative writing.

Episode #1: The Perfect World

Image from GettyImages

In a world as vast as ours, there bound to be many inexplicable events. They are what we call supernatural events. And I am here to tell you one of them. Whether you believe it is up to you. Who am I, you ask?

Well, some call me “Fairy Godmother”, some call me “Wicked Witch”, some call me “Trickster Djinn” and others call me by less flattering names. How flattering my name is depends on how my clients perceive my services. But my name does not change the nature of my job  –  I grant wishes to my clients as long as Fate allows them to find me.


So tell me, have you ever heard of “Kelbsio”? No? Don’t worry, she is nobody. So let me tell you a story about this woman, Kelbsio. Why do I know her story? Because she was my client. But don’t worry if you don’t know her. Like I say, she is nobody.

“Please! I just want you to grant me the ability to go anywhere I want! You grant any wishes as long as people can find you, don’t you? And I found you!” she begged.

I set my empty porcelain teacup down with a firm clink and looked closely at the lady in front of me. She had no aura, yet she was alive. It was almost like looking at an intelligent walking corpse.

“How curious,” I murmured as my eyebrows arched at my observation. “I can grant your wish.”

Kelbsio’s face brightened up but fell when I held up my hands and continued.

“But that said, I rarely warn people regarding the consequences of their wishes. The last one ignored my warning in favour of her vanity and had me grant her wish of seeing who the fairest of all is. For a while, it was her. She knew and wanted to hear it. However, beauty is such a fleeting and meaningless concept. Her story did not end well,” I paused and picked up my teacup, which was somehow filled with tea, and drank deeply. Kelbsio’s hands clasped together but her thumbs rotated around each other as she waited.

“As with the others, I’ll grant you your wish. It’s a simple wish. But then, simple wishes are often the most complicated,” I set my teacup down with a firm clink again. “Here, take this key. It will allow you to go anywhere you want. Just say where you want to go before you open any door with it.”

“Thank you! Oh, you are my fairy godmother!” she grabbed the key and ran to the door of my shop. “I wish to go home!” She stuck the key in and opened the door. Then she slipped through the doorway.


“I wish to go to my husband’s office!” Kelbsio twisted the key and opened the door. She was having whale of a time. Friends were amazed that she could make dinner for her family and still make it for their gathering; her children were surprised at how fast she could appear in school with their forgotten assignments; neighbours were puzzled at her ability to buy groceries without leaving the house; and she was having more time to herself without the hassle of travelling.

“Oh, Kelbsio! Erm…what are you doing here?” her husband stood up as his secretary jumped away from his lap.

“Hello. Brent.”

“Hi, Mrs. Tanner! I, er, just have a few documents for Mr. Tanner to sign,” his secretary, Jannah, flashed an awkward smile. “Well, that’s all, Mr. Tanner! I’ll, erm, I’ll just have to submit the papers,” she said as she gathered some papers.

“Those are blank writing papers, Jannah. And at least come up with an original excuse, like pretending to be my little girl sitting on my husband’s lap so he can practise his bedtime story-telling skills.”

“Oh, erm…” Jannah winced and shot an imploring look at her employer. Brent only waved her out.

“So Kelbsio, what are you doing here? Is there anything you need?” her husband started to fold his arms, thought better of it, and leaning on his office table, his hands pressed on the edge on his sides.

“Well, I thought I could surprise you for dinner. Turns out you are in the…heat of things and I got a surprise instead,” Kelbsio replied, her words icy enough to restore Arctic to its former glory.

“Kelbsio - ”

“No, Brent, right now I don’t want to hear your excuses,” Kelbsio cut her husband off. Her hands fingered the key as she turned and left.

“Wait, Kelbsio! Kelbsio?” Brent followed his wife out the office door but for a moment, was bewildered. Except for his illicit lover sitting at her desk near his office door and other office personnel, Kelbsio was not in sight. He turned to Jannah. “Where’s Kelbsio?”

“Huh? No one left your office, Mr. Tanner. You are the only one who came out,” Jannah frowned. “Is everything all right? Is she…”

Jannah did not complete her question. Brent Tanner did not give his answer.


Kelbsio looked at the key in her hand. The key had brought her to many places. Sometimes, she even cheated and went overseas in a blink of an eye for a two- or three-hour holiday. She could have escaped from the madness of her life but she was no coward. She stared down at the problems and solved them. That was what her mother taught her. Her husband’s extra-marital affair was no exception.

She stood in front of her bedroom door and took a deep breath. If she did it right, she would be able to change the lives of everyone. “I wish to go to the perfect world where my husband will not betray me,” she slid the key into the keyhole easily and turned.
Her perfect world was just a step away. She hesitated for a moment. Then she stepped through and closed the door behind her.


The office door swung slightly open. Brent Tanner leapt to his feet, dumping Jannah who was on his lap onto the floor.

“Ouch, Brent, what the hell?” Jannah groaned. “That hurts!”

“You didn’t close the door properly! What happens if my wife walks in on us?” Brent hissed at her.

“Huh? Wife? What wife?”

“My wife, Kel..Kel…” Brent struggled with his thoughts for a while. “You know what? I have no idea why I said that. Let’s lock the door this time.”


Kelbsio tried to go to her perfect world. But her perfect world did not exist in the first place and by going there, she ceased to exist. That is why I said at the very start of her story, that she is nobody and that I was looking at an intelligent walking corpse.

Is this a frustratingly inexplicable event? Do you believe it? Of course not. You don’t know what has just transpired, do you? And even if you do, you did not experience it. So naturally you do not believe it.

It does not matter. What matters is, do you have a wish? Am I your “Fairy Godmother”? Or your “Wicked Witch”? Or your “Trickster Djinn”? Be careful. Tell me your wish and I will grant it. That is, of course, if you can find me.


Originally written for The Weekly Knob.

Well, this is a story I wrote a while back for a prompt requiring the use of “key” in the story. Four years ago, to be precise. Back then, I just wanted to write a ridiculous piece of story about granting wishes.

The character slowly grew on me as I outlined her morally ambiguous personality. I also wanted to explore the idea of “be careful what you wish for”, because I’m fascinated by mythology and fantasy. But I got busy with my masters degree education and later, my day job.

Then Crispina noted that I should finish the stories, rather than tease about them in another flash fiction I wrote for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge. After another epic bout of procrastination (four months…), I’m now in the process of reviving my passion for a character I created long ago – The Witch. It’s time for her to emerge from the dusty attic to face the world again.

I hope you will enjoy this story. I will also release another story of her soon.

Saturday Six Word Story Prompt (6WSP) #23 – February 1, 2020

white mug on red background

Photo by Stas Knop on Pexels.com

coffee makes life great; sugar, better!


If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Welcome to Week #23 of the Saturday Six Word Story Prompt. Click here to read the guidelines for the Saturday Six Word Story Prompt series.

Prompt for Week #23 (February 1, 2020 – February 2, 2020)

Sugar

Click here for the 6WSP image.

I will do a roundup post each Friday. So please be sure to participate before time runs out!

I can’t wait to read your stories. 😀 I hope that you’ll be back for next week’s Six Word Story Prompt. 🙂

Have fun! Thank you for participating. Until next week, folks!

Prompt: Saturday Six Word Story Prompt (6WSP) #23 – February 1, 2020

Friday, 5 lines or less…

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Image by Céline Martin from Pixabay 

society demands he bow to destiny –
he knows what awaits him
but he does not resign himself to it
for he knows that is
ONE possibility


If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Using the word destiny
Write a story or poem of 5 Lines or Less
Link back to this post

If you are on WordPress this will create a pingback.
If you are not on WordPress put a link to your post in the comments.
You can also post your story or poem in the comments.

Prompt: Friday, 5 lines or less…

Crimson’s Creative Challenge #64

CCC#64

“We are going to die!” They screamed when the structure came down. Then the second one, the third one, until six structures appeared.

But they did not.

The worst part, however, was the constant pounding. For days on end, there was non-stop pounding. Dust flew and the earth turned. They scurried around even as they tried to maintain a semblance of normal life.

When it was all done, their home was surrounded by the structures. They were trapped!

As one unit though, they had already formed a contingency plan; they had started shifting their home.

The ants were resilient in that manner.

(102 words)


If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Here’s how it works:

Every Wednesday I post a photo (this week it’s that one above.)
You respond with something CREATIVE

Here are some suggestions:

  • An answering photo
  • A cartoon
  • A joke
  • A caption
  • An anecdote
  • A short story (flash fiction)
  • A poem
  • A newly minted proverb, adage or saying
  • An essay
  • A song—the lyrics or the performance

You have plenty of scope and only two criteria:

  • Your creative offering is indeed yours
  • Your writing is kept to 150 words or less

If you post a link in the comments section of this post I’ll be able to find it
If you include Crimson’s Creative Challenge as a heading, WP Search will find it (theory)
by ‘Searching’ in the WP Reader (fingers crossed)

Here’s wishing you inspirational explosions. And FUN.

Prompt: Crimson’s Creative Challenge #64

Three Line Tales, Week 209

three line tales, week 209: a guy spinning a basket ball on his finger with Pokemon in the background

photo by Bannon Morrissy via Unsplash

Everyone thought the young man working in the amusement arcade was an incompetent high school dropout because of his permed hair, his extensive tattoos and his nonchalant attitude.

Especially when he tossed the spinning basketball backwards into the hoops without looking and scored a point.

No one would believe he was a double degree postgraduate from Dartmouth filling up his time doing odd jobs while waiting for his European visa to be processed so he could join the archaeological team in Greece, who were eagerly waiting for his expertise.


If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

You’ll find full guidelines on the TLT page – here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write three lines inspired by the photo prompt (& give them a title if possible).
  • Link back to this post (& check the link shows up under the weekly post).
  • Tag your post with 3LineTales (so everyone can find you in the Reader).
  • Read and comment on other TLT participants’ lines.
  • Have fun.

Prompt: Three Line Tales, Week 209

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #51

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Cottonbro at Pexels.com

It was his tenth anniversary. Ten years since her husband died from an unexplained gunshot.

Janice stared fondly at the negatives of her and her husband that fateful day. They were having a picnic with a few of their friends when her husband, out of sheer mischief, decided to force feed her a dish she hated – sashimi. One of their friends, Dennise, was an avid photographer and she thought it would make a memorable photograph.

She whipped out her SLR camera and took eight burst photos of Janice’s husband chasing after Janice. The first seven were Janice escaping from her husband’s outstretch hand holding the sashimi with chopsticks. The eighth was him falling forward without warning, right in front of Dennise’s camera.

Everyone were laughing at his antics and Janice’s helpless screams of “Get away from me!”. At first, they thought he had tripped over himself – he had a knack of tripping over flat surfaces – and they laughed even harder at his awkward fall to realise something was wrong. By the time they realised there was too much blood from a simple fall and he was not moving at all, he had stopped breathing. There was a nasty exit wound on his chest.

Tears immediately welled in Janice’s eyes and she put the negatives away. The police never found the murderer and Janice still did not understand why anyone wanted to kill her husband. The police did not have any suspect at all – both Janice and her husband were just an average couple and well liked by neighbours as well as colleagues. The only suspicion they had was, the murderer had used a silencer.

The series of photographs would only serve to remind Janice what she would never have so the photographs were never developed. Dennise still passed the negatives to Janice, in case she changed her mind one day.

If only Janice decided to develop the photographs, it would reveal, at the far right of the photograph, a woman firing a gun. Not at Janice’s husband, but at Dennise, for having an extra-marital affair with her husband.


If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Welcome to “Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge.” Each week I will be posting a photo I grab off the internet and challenge bloggers to write a flash fiction piece or poem inspired by the photo. There are no style or word limits.

For the visually challenged writer, the photo shows a woman holding up to the light and looking at a strip of film negatives that seems to show images of two people outdoors.

If this week’s image inspires you and you wish to participate, please write your post, use the tag #FFFC, and link back to this post. I hope it will generate some great posts.

Thanks to all of you who have participated in these challenges so far. Your posts have been very creative. Please take a few minutes to read the other responses to this photo challenge.

Please create a pingback to this post or manually add your link in the comments.

Prompt: Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #51