Fandango’s Story Starter

Check it out at Fandango’s site

As our eyes met across the busy café tables, I was struck with the feeling that…

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People Watcher by Christine Bialczak

As our eyes met across the busy cafe tables, I was struck with the feeling that you knew. You had this look in your eyes that saw into me. I could tell you weren’t just scanning the room. This has never happened before, this feeling that someone can be inside my head. It was a nice change if I admitted it but that was assuming I was right. This was the first time I have ever seen you and I do know what you are thinking, but can you know what I am thinking? I drop my head and stare down at my newspaper, trying to clear my mind of all thoughts, yours and mine, so I could get a fresh look at you. When I finally raise my head to look back at you, you are gone.

“That was close,” I murmured to myself. It wasn’t that I was afraid for others to know, for you to know, it was just so hard to explain to those who only saw part of me. I mean I have never seen you before or talked to you. I didn’t even know you personally so how could I open up with something so mentally confusing? That was the hardest part; trusting my decision to say something or not. It had happened exactly like this before and the minute I opened my mouth to explain, it was a disaster. All I know is I was relieved to see you haad gone, even though you were pleasant to look at, unlike half of the patrons in this place.

When I first realized my ability to hear people I thought it was just my imagination running wild. I mean, how can you look at a stranger and suddenly know who they are and what they are about? It didn’t happen with inanimate objects; that had been one big failure in that poor, old man’s junk shop. I have to smile to myself when I think of that day. I stood in that shop for hours, trying to hear what all those old junk pieces might say to me, but nope, nothing. It had been disappointing as I thought maybe I could learn some new bit of history that is unknown to the rest of the world. No such luck. The only thing I heard was the old man farting and the scuffing sound as he moved about his shop.

I don’t know when it happened or what it is called. I have Googled the subject thousands of times, coming up with nothing. But it was there, a part of me that could hear right into someone’s thoughts. It was a creepy idea when I said it aloud, I will admit that. Stalker 101, Psychopath Next Door, Fucked-up Weirdo in a coffee shop. Yup, I fit them all, when I didn’t explain myself well.

Looking back down at my paper I began reading the articles on the first page. Nothing exciting. More news about school shootings, which always broke my heart, and of course more about the Republicans versus the Democrats. That topic is really getting old. With all the money they make up there in Washington, why not just buy someone who is completely neutral to come and fix the issues. That seems reasonable to me.

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #166

Click here to join in

The photograph below is from ninerio at DeviantArt.com.

For the visually challenged writer, the photo shows a couple embracing in front of a large, illuminated clock, as well as other smaller, x-ray-like images of the mechanical components of clocks.

Okay so mine isn’t prose, although it could be considered fiction.

First Kiss

Dancing in time
holding the moment
lives intertwined
loves bestowment
love will not fade
where it does exist
until the very end
from when we first kissed.

©2022 CBialczak

I suppose I could add a small fiction piece:

The Dare

Milly had dared Bernadette to do it and she couldn’t believe that her best friend went through with it!
The day before Bernadette was telling Milly how in love she was with Brandon.
If you’re so in love, Juliet, why don’t you show it at the drive-in tomorrow night!”
“What?!?! You want me to prove my love at the drive-in? That is disgusting. There is no way I am taking off any of my clothing in the back seat of Brandon’s car, let alone anyone’s car. If we do it it’s going to be in a bed. Jeez, Milly! I can’t believe you would even want me doing it in public like that!”
“Bernie, that isn’t what I meant! I meant, drag Brandon up onto the platform and kiss him in front of all the cars. I’ll be there with Jack and who knows who else will be there! Are you afraid your mom might be there?”
“Milly, first of all, my mom doesn’t do drive-in movies. Second, I’ll take the dare! I think it will be fun to get up. there. I just have to hope that Brandon will go along with it.”
“Well, just prove that you made your greatest effort and I will give you credit! But, you really have to try and convince him.”

Later that night, as the movie began to play, Milly, who was sitting with her head resting on Jack’s shoulder, sat up abruptly!
“Oh my God! She is doing it!”
“Doing what, Mill?”
“I dared Bernadette to drag Brandon onto the platform and kiss him in front of the whole drive-in theater and she is doing it! Aw, look how cute they both are!”
“I’d have done it,” Jack responded.
“Well, I know that. It wouldn’t have been much of a dare. I would definitely do it! Maybe we should surprise the crowd and get up there too.”
“Let’s not and say we did. Give them the limelight for now. I’m happy with kissing you right here.”

March 2022 Writing Prompts

Week 3 (March 15-21) – Paper stars and green fizz

Find this writing prompt here. Setting the timer for ten minutes and here I go…….

Molly couldn’t believe it had finally come! Her tenth birthday. Finally double digits and summer vacation. She wondered what she would get for her birthday this year. Last year, she remembered with a grimace, had been colorful face masks for the upcoming school year. That stupid virus made that birthday really lame. But this year she was having a party! There would be paper stars hanging from the ceiling in the living room and green fizz in the punch mom promised to make. Grandma was bring a giant cake and Uncle Bill said he had something really special for her special day.

Molly wasn’t one to care much about presents, she really had everything a kid her age could ask for, except for a pony. Dad said they didn’t have room for a pony but she knew the old pasture out back would be perfect. Mom said we didn’t have time or the understanding of how to raise a pony but Molly knew she could learn. She hoped she got this wonderful gift but she didn’t want to get her hopes up. She didn’t want to be disappointed like last year, but then again nothing could be as bad as a party on Facetime and face masks as the big gifts.

Molly walked to the closet to pick out a great birthday outfit. She wanted to wear her favorite dress, the one with the little flowers on it and the belt, but she thought maybe, just maybe, she should wear pants in case she did get a pony. Then she wouldn’t have to waste any time going back inside to change her clothes. What would Mason say? He had a horse at his dads but always complained because he couldn’t ride him by himself. Mason’s horse was huge. Molly tried to think, did Mason say he used to be a race horse or a work horse? Aw, that didn’t matter. What did matter was what she would have her pony do.

Molly sat on her bed and imagined looking out her window to see a pony waiting for her in the pasture. She could open her window and called down to it, that she was coming, that she would bring carrots and apples. She had thought about names but hadn’t totally decided. If it was a boy pony she might call him Hunter or

Photo Challenge #397 – MLMM

Photo credit Sarah Whiley

Use the above image as inspiration for a poem or short story.

Alternatively, if you are an artist or photographer, use this as an opportunity to showcase your own work.

You have 1 week to complete this challenge.

Please credit the artist!

When you’re done, TAG the post Photo Challenge and MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie, and add your link to the comments or Mister Linky.

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He said he wouldn’t budge.
He said he would stay in that one spot until they gave him what he wanted.
Well, Lucky wasn’t going to back down for nothin’. He wasn’t asking for much, just a ride to the pub. But everyone knew that the only person to be lucky when he started drinking was Lucky himself.
So there he stood, arms crossed, baseball cap on backwards, refusing to move.

As time went on everything around Lucky seemed to age, except for Lucky. Buildings were erected and taken down around him, time only stood still for Lucky.

No one noticed Lucky after a while. They just drove by him, going about their business, wondering only briefly if he would ever move and go back home. But Lucky was stubborn. And so when Lucky finally died of starvation the town briskly painted a coat of non-rust aluminum over his body and left him there. The aluminum kept Lucky’s body safe from the elements but over time his body tilted and he seemed to bend at an awkward angle. No one bothered to move Lucky. If that is how he wanted to stay, he could stay that way now forever.

©2022 CBialczak

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #135

Fandango hosts this challenge: https://fivedotoh.com/2021/09/13/fandangos-flash-fiction-challenge-135/

writerscentre.com

As he stood before the doors he pondered his options. There were more doors than usual and given his last trip  through he wanted to make sure he chose the right one this time. His mind went back  to the last door…

I remember opening the green door. I chose green on that particular day because the trees were full of new grown leaves, the grass was freshly cut giving it a greenish glow, and the world around me seemed alive. I didn’t know at that time that green wasn’t the door for living and thriving, it was the door for rotting and spoiled, for mold upon the top of the leftovers from last week. But I had gone not knowing this. I had gone thinking of positive things and life and love. I thank God I had that positive energy, otherwise I could have been stuck there forever.

When I opened the green door last time I was greeted with an odor, an indistinct odor that I couldn’t place right away.  I  let the door close softly behind me as I looked down the path  that was waiting for me.  It was a long path and there wasn’t much around it, not like the blue door, not like the purple door either. But it was the door I chose so I would move forward. 

As I walked along I could hear the soft mewing of a cat wanting to be fed and I could hear the sucking sound of a baby nursing a bottle full of warm milk. Those were pleasant sounds, I had nothing to worry about. But as I rounded the corner, unable to see more than a few steps ahead of me, I noticed the figure, the woman in a dark green cloak, her back to me. 

She was a petite woman, much shorter than I. She was facing a counter, a sort of kitchen counter, where bottles were lined up ready for filling. As I walked closer I could hear her crying, softly sobbing, and wondered why. I didn’t want to startle the woman so I cleared my throat to alert her of my presence. She lifted her head slightly but did not turn around. Instead she continued to cry softly. 

When I  finally  reached the woman I could smell the sourness of milk, the rotting smell of old food, and then strangely mixed in, the soft smell of baby powder, tenderly spread upon a clean babys’  bottom. I wanted to turn away in disgust but instead I stepped closer, looking over her shoulder. It was there that I saw  where the smell was coming from…

The woman was holding a large carafe. In it was a large green growth, closely resembling lichen on an old dead tree. Below the carafe, in the sink she stood against, were more baby bottles, all filled with a green liquid. 

“I can’t feed my  baby this poison, this filth, but I have nothing else and he is almost done with my milk.” 

That must have been the suckling sound I had heard.

“My  baby will die here if I cannot feed him.”

“Why is the milk so spoiled?” I  asked.

“Because I can’t find any fresh milk and this is all  I have”, she replied.

Taking the carafe from her hand I tried pouring out  the milk from below the mossy growth.  The milk poured slowly, but with a pure white color, a miracle considering the top of the bowl. 

“Here is the fresh milk”, I said.

The woman turned to me, her crying had subsided. What I saw was horror. This woman, this mother, she was a monster! The flesh on her face was as hard and green as the moss on a mountain stone. Her teeth were black and her lips were cracked with dry blood. 

I turned and ran as fast as I could, pounding my feet on the path, not wanting to look back, not knowing if she was following me or not. As I came closer to the green door I felt some peace and my fear turned to sadness. I came to a stop at the opening and heard a soft song being sung. It was her. She was singing a sweet song to her baby, telling the baby he would always be okay. The singing continued, softly, gently. I breathed a sigh of relief. I would be able to get out of this horrible place but I also knew I had saved that little life. I don’t know what happened before I got there and I surely didn’t want to know what would happen once I left but I knew I had done the right thing.

Reaching for the knob he hesitated. Why  was he picking this orange door? What did orange make him think  of? What horror would orange be connected to? He took this moment to think, think hard about his uncertainty. Orange was a pumpkin in fall, waiting to be carved and lit by a candle. Orange was fresh fruit and vegetables on a summer morning. He couldn’t think  of anything that could go wrong with this door. He guessed he  would have to take his chances. 

He grabbed the knob and turned it, slowly  pushing the door open.

©2021 CBialczak Fiction

Wordle 511

Find it here

The Criminal Cruncher: A superhero story

Sparks were flying as the legendary superhero raced through the streets in his sports car turned criminal catcher. The Criminal Cruncher was a spontaneous hero who could often be seen rising in the sky with a ring encircling him like the planet Saturn. The heat’s high temperature, which was emitted from the Cruncher’s car was a far cry from the temperature of the sun but it could still melt a criminal, landing him incapacitated instead of incarcerated. The Criminal Cruncher knew his powers were like magic and were what would make the future possible for the civilians in the city, though dressed in his black garb he was more ominous than hopeful. Somehow the Cruncher knew he had to find a way to rekindle  the hope of the people or all of his work would be for nothing.

©2021 CBialczak Fiction

Wordle 508

by bwarren

The child rose from the grassy area under the tree where he had been admiring the card from his schoolmate. He had seen a form in the sky that surprised him as it looked like a dragon rising up into the sky. There were dark clouds that looked like fire coming from the ferocious beast. The poor child was scared by the sight and began breathing heavily as the effervescent being drifted closer to the tree. He closed his eyes as if his lids formed a safe border between him and the monster. When he opened them again the sky sparkled off tiny raindrops like the finery in his mother’s jewelry box. He finally felt safe.

https://sundaywhirl.wordpress.com/2021/07/04/wordle-508/

©2021 CBialczak

The Sunday Whirl: Wordle 506

Find it here: https://sundaywhirl.wordpress.com/2021/06/20/wordle-506/

The Message

She looked out the window as the rain poured from the sky. The past few weeks had been a terrible drought so the rain was very welcome. She believed in God, a god, and felt that the rain coming down on a night like today was a symbol of courage, some sort of sign that God had been listening to them. She thought of the history of her hometown and how the people who lived here still believed in faith. Not a week had gone by, nor had any resident ever let an occasion slide by, without giving thanks for all  they had. In the end, wasn’t it an onslaught of prayer and belief by the people who taught the younger generations the rights and wrongs of life here? 

Friday Fictioneers

alicia-j..jpg (619×821)

Find the prompt on Rochelle’s site: https://rochellewisoff.com/2021/06/16/18-june-2021/

My focus had been on my feet, trying to maintain my footing despite the uneven ground or large roots protruding into the path. It wasn’t until I heard the snap of a branch that I looked up and saw the root cellar. 

Slowly I approached and could hear the soft hum of a guitar. Was I hearing things? As soon as I walked around the side to the front of the building I  saw him. It was a  young boy, guitar in hand, rocking  in an old wicker rocker, singing softly to himself, eyes closed, in  his own little world. 

©2021 CBialczak

What do you see # 85 – June 7th, 2021

Sadje posted this picture today: https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2021/06/07/what-do-you-see-85-june-7th-2021/
It is very similar to ones I use on Simply 6, so how could I not participate?

Martin

Martin looked up at her. “She keeps looking this way and smiling. What for? Is there something up there that she has for me?” Martin had no idea what that “something” could be, I mean he’d only been in this world a few months and had already been whisked away from his mom and dad, brothers and sisters. “Is she planning something up there?” Martin just sat, knowing that if he continued to look up at her she would continue to look down at him and smile, and that gave him a good feeling.

“Come here, Marty, you little cutie!” Martin already hated the nickname but what was he to do? He had to smile and act like it was okay. He had no one to ask if there was a way to stop this foolishness. I mean, just a little while ago he had been plain old Martin. “Maybe she will pick me up so I can see what she is doing up there.” Martin continued to sit, holding his composure and trying to hide the anxiousness he felt inside. “If she has something up there I like then Marty won’t be such a bad name to live with!”

©2021 CBialczak flashfiction