Crane

“Did you see the crane fall at the marina?”
“A crane fell in the marina? No! I haven’t heard of it. Oh my gosh!”
“Yeah, it was sort of sad. Funny too.”
“Funny??!!! How could you see funny on such a tragedy?! A crane falling is a huge deal! Did anyone got hurt?”
“Hurt??? Heck no! Well, maybe the crane, but it didn’t really look like… Pretty sturdy guy.”
“Are you serious? Not only you think it’s funny, but now you make jokes?”
“What are you talking about? It was just a bird falling after a bad take off flight. No big deal. It was not even flying high. No one was around it. Why does this need to be so tragic for you?”
“Wait a minute… A bird? A crane bird?”
“Yes. You know… Big thin legs, long curvy neck…”
“Oh! Hehe. Oops. Sorry, I thought it was a construction crane…”


This post was written in response to the FFfAW Challenge-Week of January 2, 2018 , with photo courtesy of J.S. Brand.
For more posts inspired by the picture, click the blue frog below.

Portuguese version: Grua

Fiction: Butterfly heaven – compacted version

She was born in a flower pot at the city. Too much noise, too few flowers.

So, off she flew, away from the city.

But all she found was a desert.

Big red rocks, dangerous looking lizards, spiders, scorpions, snakes…. Not much water… Only a few low woody bushes….

She felt hungry, thirsty and afraid, and started to regret leaving the comfortable city.

Then, she sees a flowering succulent bush. She goes for it and finds the most delicious, thirst-quenching and satisfying meal.

She also finds cover, amongst leaves as pale as her wings.

Her own private Butterfly Heaven!


This post was originally written with 143 words, for a Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers almost a year ago, and inspired by a picture of a pale winged butterfly on a succulent bush, by TJ Paris.

butterfly

Then earlier this week, as I saw the Flash Fiction Challenge of the Carrot Ranch, with a prompt of a desert surprise, I couldn’t help remembering my little butterfly.

So instead of creating a new story, I took the extra challende proposed by Charli to try and reduce the size of my original story to 99 words, so it would fit the Flash Fiction Challenge requirements.

So this now it the results of this reducing effort.

 

 

Isolated

They lived in an isolated island. The rest of the world was very close, though, separated from their island by a narrow canal. In years past, some tried crossing the canal to the other side, but were swallowed alive by the sea creatures that populate the passage.

But it hasn’t been like this forever. Legend says that in years long gone the water was safe and the tide was low enough that passage between the lands was possible every day. But for many generations none of them have ever seen anything like that.

They tried bridges and boats, but nothing would survive the water.

One day the tide goes low again and they can see the legendary walkaway linking both pieces of land. They cross together, into the city, all happiness.

But at the last minute, she decides that the island is her home and turns her back to her fellow islanders. She stands there, frozen, deciding if her decision was right. Only a few minutes away from becoming the only inhabitant of the island…

 

photo-20160215084213932


This post was written in response to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, with a photo prompt by TJ Paris.

To check other stories inspired by the same prompt, click the blur frog below:

 

Gunslinger

He is crossing the desert after the man who killed his father. The crossing is though, but the need for revenge keeps him going.

After days in open desert, he finally reaches a village.

The story of the murder and his seek for revenge travelled faster than he did, though, and the townsfolk knew who he was as soon as he entered town. They’re a peaceful folk and afraid of gunslingers.

He came armed with 2 Colt pistols and an  incredible amount of hatred.

They all run to hide inside their houses, waiting for him to pass and go on with his business.

When he entered the town’s Saloon, all he saw was an empty room. Not a single soul to serve him.

He poured himself a pint of beer, grabbed some jerky and sat down to eat before continuing on his journey.

“Coward pricks! It’s not them I’m after…. Well, at least I get free beer.”

WildWestSaloon


This post was written in response to this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers , with photo prompt provided by myself, and contains 156 words.

The picture is of a saloon in Virginia City, Montana, which is an authentic wild west city, that had the buildings preserved to this date.
Today it’s more like a touristic attraction, but much more authentic than the “fabricated” ones.
The guys from our party all sat down and ordered beer.
They didn’t have jerky, though, just peanuts. And the shells were supposed to go to the floor. I guess it added to the spirit of the place. ;o)

 

Gunslinger is a word I learned recently. Having had watched the wild west movies all in  Portuguese as a child, I simply didn’t know the English word, until last year when I started reading The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. And that’s what inspired the crossing the desert image

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”
– Stephen King

To see other stories inspired by the same prompt,  click the blue frog below. 

Rebirth

She wasn’t really superstitious. Or maybe she was, just never admitted.

The kind of person that follows the Spanish saying “Yo no creo en Brujas, pero que las hay, las hay”. Like she didn’t believe in ghosts, but would not put her feet on a cemetery at night.

She graduated on Economic studies and worked for a financial institution.

She hated the job.

One day, in spite of her family not supporting her, in spite of her husband’s angst of a lower household income, in spite of her eternal fear of needles, she quits her job and signs up in medical school.

Her very first class was on a lab with a skeleton so they could study the human body’s bone system.

That skeleton reminded her of the image in the Death card of her grandma’s tarot deck.

She smiled. The death card means the end of a phase and subsequent rebirth. That was it! She was going to be a doctor!

The skeleton smiled back. Pero que las hay, las hay!

rebirth


This post was written in response to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, with photo prompt from pixabay, depicting a skeleton on a lab.

skeleton

The tarot card image I use above is also a public domain image, taken from Wikipedia.

“Yo no creo en brujas, pero que las hay las hay”, translates as “I don’t believe in witches, but they do exist”. 😉

Berkeley to Bahia

It was the year of his 70th birthday and he had a dream. To take the bike and some friends and ride from the place where he was living, Berkeley, CA USA, to the place where he was born and raised, Salvador, BA Brasil.

He was a capoeira mestre and had several pupils or peer mestres who were up to the challenge.

On their way they would be visiting other capoeira groups and documenting it all. Then, the money raised from the media created on their journey would go to project Kirimurê, helping kids in need in Bahia.

On September 1st, 2013, they started their 1-year-long bike ride from the United States towards Brasil. It was a trip of a lifetime!

b2b


 

This post was written in response to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, that this week has a prompt from pixabay.

Although the challenge is for fiction, there is nothing fictional about my story. The bike ride did happen, and one of my friends was part of the team.

You can see their website here: http://b2bjogacapoeira.com/

To see other stories inspired by the same prompt, click the blue frog below:


Firefly

It was the night before the vernal equinox.
The wood fairies were busy in wrapping up winter and getting everything ready for spring.

In the bark of the trees, pupae are about to hatch, just in time for the equinox festival.

Now, the day has come!
Night and day have the same length and life is about to sprout everywhere with the start of spring.

The fairies did their job and will now enjoy the big festival.

Flower and leaves buds start to open.
Little and big animals wake up from hibernation.
Birds fly back home.
And, as soon as the day becomes night and dark falls upon the earth, fireflies of every color emerge from their pupae and light up the trees in a breathtaking festival of lights, getting ready for life as adults and the love season.

treeoflights


This post was written in response to Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, with photo prompt from pixabay.com, and contains 139 words.

To see other stories inspired by the same picture, click the blue frog below.

Giggles

They were hiking up the mountain, when a rock slide blocked the trail just behind them.

They heard the noise, run back to check.

“On no! How are we going to go back now? Do you think we could climb over?”

“I guess it would be too dangerous. The rocks may not be settled.”

“What do we do then?”

None of them wanted that, as they did not pack for overnight camping, but there was no other way than spending the night in the woods.

They wore all their jackets, created a bed of leaves and snuggled together.

As they were about to fall asleep, he hears a hustle around them, and feels something passing over their bodies. He raises startled. What was it?

Then he hears giggles.

Giggles??? Are there other people here?

“Who’s there?”

No answer.

He remembers the night goggles laying at the back of his backpack and, when he puts them on, he sees 4 playful weird creatures peeking from inside a tree trunk.

He freezes… it’s gonna be a long night….

aliens


This post was written in response to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, with photo prompt by myself, and contains 175 words.

The funny thing about these challenges is that I always have the hardest times with my own pictures. I provided the picture because I thought it could inspire nice stories. In this case I actually created the picture by layering 2 pictures into one. Still…

One of the difficulties I have is to keep it short. I always tend to write a lot on the first draft for my own pictures.

Then, I’m never really satisfied, thinking other people was able to use my picture much better than myself.

Oh well. I guess it may be just a case of being harder on myself for feeling ‘responsible’ for the prompt…

(PS. the inspiration to create the picture with my monster buddies was a story written by E. A. Wicklung for some other prompt. I guess it was this one. So thanks E. A.! ;o)

To see other stories inspired by the same prompt, click the blur frog below:

 

Snow Prince

This post was written in response to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, with photo prompt by Sonya, from Only 100 Words.

It was created to be read with Cookie Swirl C’s (hehehehehe) voice. Although for Cookie Swirl C my Elsa would sound more like Anna, and the other way around, but oh well….

(Yes, that’s the favorite ‘TV’ program of my kids. Yes, I’m pretty influenciable. Yes, Elsa and Anna from Frozen, indeed, just as peahens. ;o)


 

Peahen Elsa: “Oh My Gosh, Oh My Gosh! Is that Jack Frost????”

Peahen Anna: “Jack Frost? Where?”

Elsa: “That one over there, all white and snowy. Owwwwnnnn, so cuuute! I’m gonna talk to him!”

Anna: “Elsa, wait…”

Elsa: “Er, Hi. I was looking at you from over there. Oh my gosh! I’m so nervous! I mean… Are you Jack Frost? The winter spirit? Snow king? Oh my gosh!”

White peacock: “Who, me? No, I’m…”

Elsa: “O c’mon, don’t be shy, you can talk to me, I’m your biggest fan! No need to hide.”

White peacock: “I’m not hiding, I’m really not Jack Frost. I don’t even know who this Jack Frost is.”

Elsa: “How come you’re not. And how come you don’t know??? You’re so snowy… So cute! Oh my gosh!”

White peacock: “Er… lady, excuse me, I don’t know what you are talking about. I’m not snowy. We’re in Africa, remember? There is no snow here. I’m just leucistic, okay? Now, would you excuse me, please? I have to go.”

Elsa: “Wait… Jack…”

 

jackfrost


To see other stories inspired by the same picture, click the blue frog below:

 

Revenge

The world was colorful and happy. Except for Griswald.

Griswald lived in the gray forest and liked it like this. He didn’t care about colors and happiness. For him the entire world could be gray. But that was not really his problem. As long as people didn’t bother him, he would keep quiet on his isolated, gray and sad world.

One day, a group of kindergarteners come with their teacher and a few chaperone parents to the forest and plant some colorful flowers, in an attempt to make it brighter and prettier.

When Griswald sees the pretty flowers he gets enraged and swears vengeance.

For the next few months he makes himself busy building some sort of gadget. Then, on a beautiful sunny spring day, the gadget is finally ready to be used.

It looks like a regular car, all gray just like him. He starts the car and drives towards town. But as he drives, the car steals all the colors around and makes the rest of the world as gray as Griswald forest.

Revenge


This story was written in response to this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers with photo prompt from pixabay, and contains 175 words.

To see other stories inspired by the same picture, click the blue frog below:

 

Goddess

After he has been summoned by the spirits and left to the forest, she felt lost for a while. She knew that he wasn’t a bad person and that he would never have turned to the dark spirits on free will.

Was he trying to save her and their baby from the red mark?

He was the one who needed to be saved now. She grabbed the baby, packed a few things and went back to her old village, heading directly to the Goddess temple.

In the middle of a clearing in the woods, just behind the cemetery, there stood the statue of the Goddess. Most villagers took it for an Angel, but she knew better.

She kneels down in front of the statue and asks for protection for her beloved husband and their baby. She also asks for strength for her own, in the upcoming fight she’ll undertake to save her man from the dark spirits of the forest.


This post was written in response to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, with the prompt provided by Sonya, from Only 100 Words, and contains 160 words.

goddess

It’s also a new ‘chapter’ for The red mark and The time is now!.
I’m actually starting to like that and may decide to continue writing about the red mark… Who knows next November….

To see other stories inspired by the same picture, click the blue frog below:

Photographic essay

We’re 7 in our photography classes. So our teacher assigned to each of us a color of the rainbow for our essays.

I got red.

Red???? Seriously????

I would have liked to have green, and go to a forest for nice pictures with the sun rays finding their way in through the tree branches full of green leaves.

Or blue, and have a stunning picture of sea and sky.

Or orange, yellow, purple, indigo…  Just not RED!

What can I picture in red?

Love? Pfff!!!… As if this even existed!

Red roses, strawberries? Blah, cheee-sy!

Blood? Uh… That’d be cool! But maybe too graphic, huh?

And why do I keep thinking love for red? Love does not exist! It’s an illusion!

Well, fine, I admit I believed it until recently. But now I know there is no such thing like love. Just pain.

Love pain!

Love pain????

Hey… maybe that’s it!

lovepain


This post was written in response to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, with photo prompt from pixabay.com (AdinaVoicu), and contains 150 words.

To see other stories inspired by the picture, click the blue frog below.

Butterfly heaven

She was born in a flower pot at the city. She didn’t like it there much, though. Too much noise, too few flowers.

So, off she flew, away from the city. But the city was in an arid area and all she found was a desert.

Big red rocks, dangerous looking lizards, spiders, scorpions, snakes…. Not much water… Only a few low woody bushes….

She felt hungry, thirsty and afraid, and started to regret leaving the comfortable city.

Then, suddenly, she sees a flowering succulent bush covering a huge ground area. She goes for it and finds the most delicious, thirst-quenching and satisfying meal. Much better than what she used to get in her luscious colorful flowers at her pot.

She also finds cover from predators, amongst the thick leaves as pale as her wings.

She has found her own private Butterfly Heaven!

 


This post was written in response to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, that this week features a picture by T.J. Paris.

butterfly

 

To see other stories inspired by the same picture, click the blue frog below.

 

Meinem Deutschland!

It’s been 20 years now he has left his home country, Deutschland.
That was when he married the love of his life and moved to the USA to build a family with his American bride.

They have a happy family, with two amazing teenage boys, a fun dog, a nice house, good jobs.

Then one day, he gets a call from home that his step-mom has passed from this world.
He goes back to give support to his widowed dad and orphaned half-sister.
He also visits mom, to whom he is the only child.

Then he suddenly realizes that it could have been them! His own dad or his own mom!

This realization makes him extremely home sick.
He wants. He needs to go back to being close to his German family.
He needs to be with mom and dad when their time comes.

From that day on, he starts working in trying to move back home bringing his American family with him.

deutschland


This post was written in response to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, with photo prompt by Sonya, author of the blog, from “Only 100 Words”, and contains 162 words.

The story is not fictional, though. This has happened to one of my dearest friends.
The passing of his step-mom was about 3 years ago, and he still didn’t manage to reallocate to his home land.
I’ll miss him once he goes, but I’ll be happy for him, knowing how important it is for him to be close to mom and dad again.

To see other stories inspired by the same picture, click the Blaue Frosch below.

The Closing Night

It was the opening night of the great and spectacular illusionism show. The public was excited.

But only Aluin knew it would actually be his closing night. So many years bringing magic and awe to people’s life, made him feel his own life was lacking some of that wonder. Knowing the tricks took the magic away and consumed his soul.

He didn’t want that life anymore. He also wanted to feel the magic and awe other people saw through him.

The show started and he did his most amazing tricks ever, culminating with his own disappearance from the stage.

Ovation radiated from the theater. The public was in pure ecstasy and stood there giving him a warm and frenetic round of applause for at least 30 minutes, waiting for him to come back and take a bow.

He never got to hear the applause, though, as at that time, he was sailing the paradisiac seas of Indonesia, trying to fill his life with a different type of enchantment.


This post was written in response to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, with photo prompt provided by myself, and contains 167 words.

wpid-wpid-photo-20151005074310397

The picture was taken while we were waiting for the performance of The Illusionists (hence writing about magic shows).
Pictures are not allowed during the show, but we arrived early and I couldn’t resist the blue light of the stage in contrast with the Chinese-themed decoration of the walls and ceilings of Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater.

I hope it will inspire you all with great stories.

And if want to read all of those great stories, click the blue frog below and links to them will appear like magic in your screen.

;o)

The red mark

The day was supposed to be joyful. The big day party was about to begin and the boats were arriving full of guests. All seemed well and excitement was in the air.

Then suddenly, as the gates were about to open so the festivities could start, a scream was heard coming from the house. There was a BANG! Everyone looked at the house and they saw it.

The house had been marked! The front wall that was all bright white until a minute ago, had the creepy red mark now.

The guests turned, went back to their boats and started to sail away.

It’s not wise to be for too long in the shadows of the red mark.

The party was over!

 


This post was written in response to this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writer , with photo prompt by Louise from the Storyteller’s Abode, and contains 122 words.

RedMark

To read other stories inspired by the picture above, click the blue frog below.

The view

This has always been the view from my room. A pretty walled garden, full of roses. I can’t smell the roses, but that’s actually good, as I can’t stand their sweet smell. But I still like to view the view.

Last week, a new person moved in. It’s a lady who likes to paint. She’s now blocking my view!

Who does she think she is to block my view like that, standing all day in ‘my’ garden to paint her silly ugly paintings?

I’ll file a complaint! That cannot happen! This view is mine and I don’t want it changed! No painting ladies standing on the garden!

***

The nurse comes to check on Bathilda. She seems troubled lately. Ever since a new patient was admitted at the hospice.


This post has been written is response to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, with photo prompt provided by Graham Lawrence, and contains 128 words.

Rosegarden

To check other stories inspired by this prompt, click the froggie below.

Rodeo

It is the morning of the rodeo. The horses are still calm.

Billy has no horse assigned to him yet.

He tries to look at each horse in the eyes. They don’t seem very fond of cowboys, bastards who tickles their flanks and don’t deserve to ride them.

Then Billy notices a young horse that seems more friendly. He’s also the most different looking one. All the horses are brown, this one is all white, with a pretty shiny hair. His name is Wishing Star.

They look at each other’s eyes and seem to connect somehow.

The horse is nervous now. At the time Wishing Star is released into the arena a little accident happens. The flank strap doesn’t get tight and the annoying ticklish sensation never comes. He relaxes but senses Billy tensing, with the possibility of being eliminated. He jumps and pounces and bucks as if being tickled, but making sure his new friend won’t fall.

Billy wins the big prize, and gets a friend for life.


Rodeo

The story was inspired on the photo prompt provided by Scott, for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.

The first version of my story was based on the wrong belief that the poor horses get their privates tightened up for bucking. Then I did some research and found out this is not true. Some information about how the flank straps work can be found here.
I wasn’t sure if I should start all over with a different story, or just modify it. It would have made more sense if the private tightening was true, because horses would have a real reason to be unfriendly. But for lack of other ideas, I decided to just modify it.
If a new idea comes to my mind on the course of the week, I may give it a second chance and have another story written.

;o)

To see other stories, click the blue frog bellow.

Boi Bumba

Catirina is at the end of her pregnancy and her baby is due soon.

She had rough times during pregnancy, when she craved ox tongue.
Francisco killed their master’s prized bull to satisfy her cravings, enraging master, who went after them.
But Francisco and Catirina managed to resuscitate the bull with the help of shaman wizardry, making it all well again.

Baby comes on a rainy day.
Catirina is sitting by the window feeding her little one when they hear a knock at the door.
Through the glass windows, she sees an odd shape, but can’t really tell who it is due to the fog and water drops at the glass.
Francisco opens the door, to find the bull, who came to claim his tongue back by taking the one of the baby…


This story was written in response to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, with photo prompt by Priceless Joy added below, together with a more revealing version of it.

wpid-photo-20150907075906099    Boibumba

For those of you who have never heard of Boi Bumba, this is popular legend from Brazilian folklore, which is celebrated every year with a festival that includes the representation of the story, with lots of music and dance. More details about it can be found here. Note only that my story was inspired on it, but adds more to the end. The traditional folkloric version has a happier ending (that we know of…) 😉

To see other stories, click the blue frog below:

Gold Rush

“I’ll take this train to Seattle, then a boat to Alaska, find some gold and come back to marry you. Love you. Don’t forget me. I’ll be back.”

After a month, she stands at the train station waiting for some news. She gets a letter.

“Dearest Maggie, I miss you so much. I stayed in Seattle a little longer than expected, but now I’ll be leaving to Alaska in 2 days. I’ll try to find lots of gold to come back to you. Love, D.”

She comes back to the station every month. Nothing for a few months.

Then a letter comes, short and weird.

“Dear Maggie, I’ll have to stay longer here. Miss you, D.”

She continues going to the station every month, hoping to hear from her love.

8 months after the last letter, she gets another one:

“Dear Margareth, I’m sorry if this breaks your heart. I’ve married someone else and our baby boy arrived yesterday. I’m not coming back. Best regards, Denny.”

(164 words)


This post was written in response to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, with photo prompt by Louise, from The Storyteller’s Abode.

wpid-photo-20150830113902812

The see more stories, click the blue frog below.