Dirt Cheap

PHOTO PROMPT – © Connie Gayer
PHOTO PROMPT – © Connie Gayer

His sideways smile was telling. She’d seen his kind before, looking for locals too far in the hole with the bank. “Storms come up quick ‘round here,” she warned him. “Hail can cut to the bone.”


“Thanks for the advice, but don’t you worry your pretty little head about me. Which way to the Blackburn farm?”


“That fancy car of yours is no match for the roads ‘round here. Better let Roy take you in the truck.”


She tossed the keys to Roy.


Hours later, Roy returned. “Here’s a twenty for your trouble, Roy.”


“It was no trouble, Miss Blackburn.”


Writers from ’round the world share stories each week that are inspired by a photo prompt submitted by Friday Fictioneer contributors and offered by the immensely talented Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

I’ve learned a great deal while participating in Friday Fictioneers. Your comments have always been appreciated. It is unfair that I do not have time to read more of your stories; it seems I get ’round to fewer and fewer each week. My plate is full of research and writing as I push to complete my degree. It has been great fun getting to know you. I will miss being a part of the group, but I have to say goodbye for now. I wish each of you the best, and as always, thanks for reading.

It’s Raining Frogs In Texas

The dude in the header was camped out on my last remaining tomato plant, and as I was removing basil to make room for garlic, I spotted him snoozing in the sun. I ran inside and grabbed my camera. Luckily he was still there when I returned.


Today it is raining. Tomorrow it will be raining. Sunday too. So, planting garlic will have to wait. Until then, there’s homework. Among the many things I have learned so far this semester, it is safe to say that I am not going to become a forensic scientist. I will probably never even play one on TV, but I have learned a thing or twenty about human evolution (or lack thereof). More on that in a future post. Until then, here are 100 words of total fiction.

Copyright Dale Rogerson
Copyright Dale Rogerson

 Cultural Artifacts 

“A highly developed mechanical species once dominated this entire planet,” said the interstellar tour guide.


Skeptical, I asked, “How do you know?”


“We know this because remains found in shallow pools at the Swamp of Enlightenment show forms with variable height adjustment. This, of course, was a response to rising water levels during the Exxonozoic Era. A wider wheel base evolved as larger quantities of fossil fuels were consumed.”


I raised my hand. “Why didn’t the species adapt?”


“It is unknown. However, the widely accepted hypothesis is that an uncontrollable demand for power ushered in the Age of Arctic Fires.”


Thanks to Dale Rogerson for this week’s prompt.

Check out more Friday Fictioneers here.


The Storyteller

Copyright - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

“It was a dark and stormy night…”


Jeanie interrupted, “It’s always dark at night, silly.”


“Hey, who’s telling this story, me or you, kiddo?”


Jeanie giggled. She loves this story.


“It was a stormy night. A soaking wet angel showed up out of nowhere. There we were, your mom and me, when all of a sudden a flash of light made us dizzy.”


“Then what happened?”


“We fell asleep. And when your mom woke up, there was a little bundle of joy waiting!”


“Then what happened?”


“The angel took my hand.”




“Yes, Mom?”


“Who are you talking to?”




This week’s prompt comes from none other than the Grande Dame of storytelling herself, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. “Make every word count,” says she. And so, we do. Check out more Friday Fictioneer stories here. Thanks for reading my ghost story.

Little Sister’s Memoir

Courtesy of Ted Strutz
Courtesy of Ted Strutz

I didn’t begrudge them their laughter. We each deserve all the joy this life has to offer. I didn’t resent his hand on the small of her back as we approached the gate. The day was glorious; an embrace was appropriate. But when he kissed her, my heart exploded. Blood spurted then curdled. Breath arrested mid inhale. I was suffocating. Suddenly, my thoughts spun out of control. How could this happen? Evelyn had never shown any interest in boys. She liked her books. It was me who liked games. What about me! What about me!


“What about me!” I blurted.


Oh, did I say that out loud?

This week’s Friday Fictioneer photo prompt, courtesy of Ted Strutz, reminds me of all the times I had to take a sibling with me to the ballgame, to the carnival, to the movies. To all the big sisters (and brothers) out there, this one’s for you. They look up to us. They long for our approval. What they get is our hand-me-downs. So, if you have a little sister (or brother) give ’em a call and tell them how much you love them. Thanks for reading.


Of Mouse and Mankind

Copyright - Marie Gail Stratford
Copyright – Marie Gail Stratford

The Modern Thinkers Conference convenes, and as participants from around the globe take their seats they hear gunshots in the distance.

“What we are witnessing with these continual outbreaks of violence are organisms that are unable to adapt to their environment,” says the conference leader. “We need to get creative.”

Someone in the back speaks up. “So, what you are saying is that as technology advances, our chance of survival against threats from within our own species will require not only critical thinking but creativity.”

“Yes, exactly, creativity is vital for future survival.”

“Such as?”

“Personalizing our workspaces, of course.”


I must confess that lately it seems there is so much talk without substance going on in the world that I am beginning to see the appeal of earbudding through life. Yes, I verbalated a noun. Yes, I created a new term for turning a noun into a verb. Verbalated. Spread it around. Okay, now that I’ve gotten my creative fix for the week, I’ve got to get my study on. Creativity abounds as Friday Fictioneers share their stories. You can check out what they are up to here. Thanks for reading.