Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #51


Cottonbro at

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


Inspiration Call: Micropoetry Monday

Photo credit: ©

protective hands held on too long
the bird forgot the dreams of soaring

freely in the skies.

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Inspiration Call: Micropoetry Monday – use this picture as inspiration for a micro poem (a short poem with no particular rules).

Publishing opportunity details for this writing prompt can be found at Open Publishing Projects.

Prompt: Inspiration Call: Micropoetry Monday

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #31


AFP/Getty Images

Bubbles of Happiness

He watched as his elder niece blew the bubbles and the younger one tried to catch it in her palm. All her efforts were in vain; every soap bubble burst as soon as it touched her little palm. Yet, they were laughing and shrieking as they took turns to blow bubbles and catch it.

Bubbles of happiness, they called that little game.

They certainly looked happy but they did not seem to have caught much happiness.

“Did you girls have fun?” he called out to them.

“Yes!” both his nieces echoed.

He smiled indulgently. “I think you failed to catch any bubbles of happiness, girls,” he teased.

The younger niece stopped and looked at her sister in disbelief, while his older niece just stared blankly at him.

“Weren’t you watching? We caught the bubbles! They burst and the happiness went into us!”

His eyes widened. Bubbles of happiness indeed!

(149 words)

This is a lesson for me.

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 relatively short flash fiction piece inspired by the photo. While there are no definitive style or word limits, I suggest trying to keep your posts to under 300 words.

If this picture inspires you and you wish to participate, please write your post, use the tag #FFFC, and link back to this post.

Prompt: Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #31

July 25: Flash Fiction Challenge

fire warm radio flame

Photo by Pixabay on

Lost and Found

For one day, he wished he could hear that familiar voice again.

The voice he knew so well, the deep baritone which aged into higher pitch over the years. By the time he married, his father’s voice had thinned out.

Death robbed him of his father’s voice; fire robbed him a second time as it swallowed everything.

He stood in front of what was left behind, himself and his wife included.

“Oh boy, what happened?” that laughing voice sounded out.

He thought he was seven again; his wife had saved the audio recording of his father’s voice.

He cried.

(99 words)

Sometimes, the simplest things in life are capable of making you cry.

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

July 25, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the phrase “for one day.” The words single out a special occurrence. What is the emotion and vibe, where does it take place and why? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by July 30, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

Prompt: July 25: Flash Fiction Challenge

Love. War.

Recipe for Love


Image from Flickr | Photo Credits: vacivity

Thank you, everyone, for coming here today. For being here for me and my family, and of course, for Maddison, Maddy to our friends and colleagues. Or Mad-dog to those who knew her wild and adventurous side.

I don’t have any more wonderful things to say about my wife. Indeed, many of you have done that just now, sharing beautiful stories. Slices of her life. Pieces of her.

No, instead, I have something different to say today. Things about our marriage which are not beautiful, nor wonderful. Some of you might even be, how should I say, surprised?

Ten years ago, Maddy and I graduated from the same university and we got married. But our fights started even before we got married. And since then, we have never stopped quarrelling.

In fact, you can even say it became worse. Enough to last until we are fifty. Strangely, we fought over food the most. Probably because we are both terrible cooks. And neither of us wanted to cook.

Darling, is there anything you want for dinner, she would ask. I’m fine with what you want, I would reply.

As we figured out how to work in the kitchen, shouts and screams were common. As was the smoke alarm. There were days when we ended up having only burnt instant spaghetti for dinner. At 11 o’clock.

But as her battle with her cancer continued, to the point where she could only lie in bed, these fights were the only thing still meaningful in our lives. The only thing that was still normal in our house.

Darling, is there anything you want for dinner, I would ask. I’m fine with what you want, she would reply.

But things were different. Shouts and screams were no longer common. Neither was the smoke alarm. And I would end up feeding her instant spaghetti, the only dish we learnt how to make.

Funny how these are the things I remember about Maddy. But in the end, it is these little things that made up our lives.

So what if we have enough quarrels to last until we’re fifty? That dream is never going to come true. How I wish I can hear them again. Even just for one more time.

Originally published in LitUp

This piece is difficult to write because so many things came to mind. How do I get the words down without losing the emotions? This story has been sitting around for almost 3 months now and have gone through many rounds of edit. I can no longer figure out what works and what does not. Is it too melodramatic? Does it lack the impact of the message? Is the theme strong and clear enough?

I decided to submit and crossed my fingers that the editor is willing to. The editor, DiAmaya Dawn (talented lady of many crafts, by the way) of LitUp was kind enough to accept and publish it. So what you are reading is the final product, which I hope is a touching message from a spouse.

Am I Human?

Illustration by Michal Dziekan

I am cheerful.
I am jocular.
Only when I am
with people.

But on paper,
I don’t know
how not to be sad
how to show happiness

My previous happy event
seemed surreal,
my next happy event
is nowhere in sight.

I am simply
an empty vessel
with heavy heart.

And worse of all?
I don’t know
how to function
like a normal person.

But I know
how to curl up
like a baby,
or how familiar
that sinking feeling is
in my chest cavity.

So don’t talk to me,
don’t console me,
just walk along
to see what I see.

That’s all I ask for.