Category Archives: Friday Fictioneers

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.

 

 


Hot Pepper Vacation

FF217 Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

“I’ll have the ghost pepper pie,” I said.

The waitress’s expression was that of a cop approaching a rooftop jumper. The words Are you sure? crouched unsaid on her lips.

I glanced out at the bleak Alberta winterscape. The meteorologists were rejoicing at the mid-February heatwave as the mercury rocketed up to -20.

“I just need a little heat in my life,” I whispered.

Twenty minutes later, my mouth was ablaze and sweat poured off me like a monsoon. I closed my eyes and imagined Cancun.

The manager noticed. The next week, they were advertising Mexican vacations, $4.99 a slice.


Hey, You Never Know

Happy New Year, even if we are almost a month into it already. In the world of international admissions, this is a very busy time of the year, with students coming in for the spring semester. It’s my job to keep track of them and get them registered and set up with everything they need, while still processing applications that are coming in for next fall. But everyone who is coming for this semester is here, so hopefully things will quiet down a little. I hope to be back as much as I can.

FF216 Na'ama Yehuda

copyright Na’ama Yehuda

Hey, You Never Know

I wrote my number on the napkin and reached forward to drop it on the tray of the cutie in 12B. She didn’t look back.

Then I got a text. Who’s this?

13C. Winking emoji.

A minute later: Can I have your Haagen-Dazs? The flight attendant had just gone through, distributing the little cartons of heaven.

I hesitated, then slid the frozen treasure onto her tray.

So, what do I get? I audaciously added a kissing emoji.

My husband might kiss you. He’s in 12A.

I sighed and called the attendant. “Another napkin,” I said sadly. “Plain white.”

12B snickered.

flirty-napkins-1

I was actually on a flight that had these napkins. Luckily no one gave me their number.


Chad

FF215 CEayr

copyright CEAyr

“So, who else should be in the club?”

“What about Chad?” I suggested.

Marcus choked.

“Chad?” he shouted. “Chad Shermanburger? Investigated-by-the-FBI Chad? Started-a-forest-fire-testing-his-homemade-rocket-fuel Chad? Brought-a-baby-cougar-to-school Chad? Sold-his-own-version-of-the-Nobel-Prize-online-sparking-outcry Chad? You want Chad freaking Shermanburgar, who somehow sneaked aboard Air Force Two and met the vice president to join the Adventurers’ Club?”

I gulped. “Not at all. I meant Chad . . . Parsons.”

“Oh. Okay.”

Looking back, I should have stuck to my guns. Chad Parsons was boring.


Team Sisyphus

FF214 Linda Kreger

copyright Linda Kreger

“Come on, team!” Larry bellowed. “There’s no “I” in Sisyphean!”

“There’s a ‘y’ though,” I said, ignoring the fact that there obviously was an “i”. “As in, why should we try?”

“I’ve got a good feeling about today,” he said, just like every day.

We sighed and started shoving the rock. “That’s it!” Larry screamed as we approached the top. “You’re almost there. Three more feet!”

Ryan slipped. The rock crashed back down.

“Good effort, team,” Larry said. “Let’s break for lunch and try again this afternoon. Just stay positive. At least we’re out here getting exercise, unlike Team Prometheus.”

 

 

The Mythological Punishment Olympics is a pretty depressing spectacle. Here are some of the teams in contention:

Team Sisyphus

Team Prometheus

Team Ixion

Team Erysichthon

Team Tantalus

Team Danaïdes


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