Category Archives: Friday Fictioneers

I Came for the Sugar

I Came for the Sugar

“What the…?” The waitress was staring at Nise’s sleeve. Panic exploded in my mind.

Nise’s laugh sounded natural as he pulled the worm out. “This is my pet, Mirai.” Nise sprinkled sugar on the table. “He loves this stuff.”

The waitress looked ready to vomit.

I rushed home and let Nise collapse on the couch. I crawled out of his pocket, exhausted from controlling the huge body.

That was too close. I had to get out of this Neanderthal era and back to my own civilized time.

I manned the chrono-communicator. Again. “Mirai to anyone. Get me out of here.”


Prisoner Cruise

copyright C.E. Ayr

Mom called it a cruise, but I knew that prisoners didn’t go on cruises. I rode to the dock the day the ship left. I couldn’t see Dad, but I waved as the ship steamed away, just in case.

He returned five years later, tanned, muscular, almost unrecognizable. He didn’t drink anymore, didn’t yell or get violent. I didn’t mind the polite stranger he’d become.

At first.

But he doesn’t laugh anymore, doesn’t go outside. He just sleeps or watches TV.

Now when the ship comes, I ride to the dock to curse the beast that, somehow, ate my father.

A strange story, but that is probably what you’ve come to expect from me. What do you think happened to the father while he was away?


Eluci-Date

I keep meaning to write and post the Friday Fictioneers story on Wednesday, but the last few weeks have been crazy busy here. I work in international admissions at Gannon University and we have new students coming in for the October session. Next week should calm down a bit, relatively speaking.

“Describe this picture!”

copyright Rowena Curtain

This was the final round of Eluci-Date, the show where two contestants competed for a date with a lexicographer by creatively describing pictures. It had been called Meta-For-a-Date until it was bought by thesaurus.com.

My mind froze like a naked Floridian in Greenland.

Sunny. Stripey.

My opponent Lewis looked smug.

3…2…1…

“Angelic safecracker!” I bellowed.

Kristina, the lexicographer, gazed at the picture. “Lewis?”

No! She wanted a comparison.

“Smeared titanium white on the palette of creation,” Lewis said, smirking. “With a #6 fan brush.”

Kristina frowned, then grinned at me. “Why would an angel become a safecracker?”

What do you see in the picture? Let me know.


Russian Penicillin

copyright Dale Rogerson

For a moment, Viktor thought the strong hands on his forehead were his mother’s. Then he smelled the blood and gangrene and he remembered.

“How is the battle?”

“The lapots are bombing the Volga’s east bank,” the nurse said. “But Stalingrad still stands.” Her hands worked at the bandage, teasing the cloth away from the fevered flesh.

“Is there penicillin yet?”

“Russian penicillin,” she said. Then the pungent taste of the garlic extract filled his mouth.

“Is there any hope?”

Her hands smoothed down the new bandage onto his scorched scalp. “We are Russians,” she whispered. “We never give up.”

Source: Waking Times

* garlic was used so often by the Red Army that it was nicknamed Russian penicillin

**Lapot: Russian nickname for the JU-87 Stuka divebombers, from the word for bast shoes, since the landing gear resembled that type of shoes.


The Clue of the Pickle

copyright Ted Strutz

I froze when I opened the trash. There was a pickle.

I hate pickles.

And I live alone.

Someone was in my house! Eating pickles.

Then a man walked into the kitchen.

He screamed.

I screamed.

Not for ice cream.

I called 911. He did too.

911 came.

They arrested me! They said I was living in this guy’s attic for months.

That doesn’t seem right, but it’s true I’m not in any of the framed pictures.

Which is strange.

They ordered a psych evaluation.

I just have one question.

Who have I been paying rent to all this time?


The Ones Left Behind

copyright David Stewart

The Ones Left Behind

After an hour, I gave in and texted again.

Did you have supper? It was after breakfast, mid-evening over there.

No reply. My heart beat faster, irrationally. His friend Amber was there too. She’d learned Vietnamese, he’d said.

The phone chimed. I jumped for it.

“Is that Stan?” my husband asked from the kitchen.

“Yeah.”

He came over to read the reply.

Yep!

A picture popped up of a glowing building and a lotus flower fountain.

“It’s gorgeous,” I said. “My lucky little boy. Still, I worry.”

“He’ll be fine. After all, he’s nine now. He’s not a baby anymore.”

*

This Friday Fictioneers story is very late, but since Rochelle chose my picture this week as the prompt, I wanted to make sure I wrote one. I took this picture in Ho Chi Minh City when I was there on business a few months ago. I wrote a kid’s book about my travels called Stanley and Amber in Southeast Asia, about a kid and his unicorn friend traveling around Southeast Asia (it started out as a Flat Stanley project for my niece; thus, the name). So, I thought I’d write this from the parent’s perspective.


Trinkets from Paradise Lost

FF 222 Jan Wayne Fields

copyright Jan Wayne Fields

The booth clung to the edge of the fairground like a leech. The owner sat alone, swiping at a futuristic-looking tablet.

“Whadya got?” I asked.

He stood, flashing me a shark grin. “Novelties from lost places.” He proffered a small box. “From the Garden of Eden. Real apple wood.”

I rummaged through the items. “Lost places? Really?” I held up a hat marked CALIFORNIA.

He glanced at his watch. It had no time, just the year: 2020.

“How’d that get in there?” His shark grin widened as he shoved the hat behind him. “Now, how about a T-shirt from Atlantis?”

 


Going the Distance

The door closes, coffin-like. The interior is stifling. I’ve trained years for this moment, braving broken bones and lost hair.

A muffled thump and I’m airborne. I’m tumbling freely until I can work the controls enough to level out.

Impact. I’m slammed mercilessly into the unforgiving sides.

Light streams in. Assistants help me outside to wild cheers. I survey the scorched field strewn with other fridges. I’ve gone two lengths further than the Chinese fridge.

My gold medal for the Fridge Nuke around my neck, I go explore the rest of the Hyperbolympics. Maybe I’ll check out the shark jumping.

Nuke the fridge - The Top 10 Everything of 2008 - TIME

 

In case you’re wondering about the inspiration:

Jumping the Shark

Nuking the Fridge


Fructicide

I am sitting in a hotel room in downtown Hanoi in Vietnam with rain misting outside. Since I didn’t have any meetings today and I happen to be 12 hours ahead of my usual timezone, I decided to write a Friday Fictioneers story right as the prompt was released. This is actually the third story I wrote before I could get one to 100 words. I’ll post the others later.

https://rochellewisofffields.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/img_20190807_112118.jpg?w=1024&h=768

copyright Roger Bultot

By the time we arrived, the pulpy flesh spattering the walls had begun to harden. The stench of smashed strawberries and fear hung in the air with the flies.

The other berries were scared to talk until a lemon pointed us towards the watermelons. We got a warrant to roll them; my partner retched at the carnage we uncovered.

It was a gang hit. The Amesti family was making a move on the upper shelf and the bigger Allsweets struck back. Two of them were sentenced to suikawari. That’s just life—and death—in the jungle of the Farmer’s Market.


Act Hacked

FF x Dale Rogerson

copyright Dale Rogerson

If you’re going to connect your robotic theater to the Internet, make the password more creative than shakespeare123. It took me ten minutes to hack it.

My mother told me not to cause trouble. She also told me to create art. You can see my dilemma.

It started small, like making Hamlet declare “To pee or not to pee,” then changing every instance of “cat” to “pig” in a certain musical. To be fair, Pigs was sold out for six months.

They caught me eventually, after I added a techno remix to Phantom. The good news I’m on salary now.

 

 


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