Friday Fictioneers

Rochelle is the host: https://rochellewisoff.com/2022/02/09/11-february-2021/

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Go ahead Billy, if you think it’s such a good idea. 

No way, I’m not opening the door. I didn’t say it was a good idea I just said maybe he left some money in it or something. 

By the smell of it he must have left his lunch in it, it smells disgusting!

That’s a strong smell for an old, rotting lunch. My lunch has never smelled that bad even when I’ve forgotten it in my backpack for the weekend. 

Well, what is that smell then?

I don’t know. Like I said, go open the door and we’ll see. 

©2022 CBialczak Fiction

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #154

This challenge is hosted by Fandango

Trevor walked through the park. He knew many of the guests would cringe once they saw what he was holding but he did this to show people that not all snakes are dangerous or gross. He could understand the fear, since fear of the unknown typically overrules. Snakes aren’t something people see everyday or are around. If you see a snake it is usually because you are out gardening or hiking and that is not what you are anticipating. Trevor knew all this and tried to teach the public that snakes were nothing to be afraid of.

As he walked, Trevor could hear the children squealing and the parents gasping as he held the snakes head to everyone to see. What they didn’t know was that Betsy, the python, was a people watcher herself and loved to see all the people ducking and jumping when they saw her. Betsy loved Trevor and was so happy to have him to walk her safely through the zoo without being squished by pedestrians or worse, zoo buggies full of food for the other animals. She couldn’t imagine her body bouncing back after being totally flattened. Because of Trevor, Betsy could be at ease and do her people watching silently.

Friday Fictioneers

Rochelle is the host of Friday Fictioneers

Marcia walked in and saw that all the tables on the perimeter were taken. Inside she cringed. She really didn’t want to meet Brian, her blind date, and be seated in the center of all the people. She didn’t know what he looked like or what they would even talk about! How embarrassing if they sit there silently eating their meal in front of everyone. She would feel awkward. It felt like if you were going to sit where you were the center of attention you should at least look like you are happy and having fun. (100 words)

©2022 CBialczak Fiction

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #153

Fandango is the host of this challenge

The photo below was provided by fellow blogger Li @ Tao Talk. Thanks, Li.

Marcus found the pieces from when he was a kid. He knew he had buried them in the yard but he never believed he would still be living here to find them. What had he been thinking back then? That someone would discover them and think of them as a treasure? All he knew now was that if he wanted to preserve what was now a vintage toy, he had better clean them up and get all that dirt off them. Luckily plastic doesn’t dissolve!

He threw the pieces into a bowl of soapy water to let them soak. He had left them there overnight, knowing plastic doesn’t do anything but sit in water, no damage would be done. By morning he took the pieces out, dried them with a paper towel, then threw them onto the pile of stuff he had on the kitchen table.

Like soldiers in a battlefield looking for mines, the soldiers he tossed onto the table were diligently looking for pressure points to use in a foot massage. Marcus laughed to himself. They probably needed a good foot massage after all the work they did in the service. Kids didn’t know what it took to be in the service and they didn’t understand that massage isn’t just a quick karate chop to the back.

Looking down at the toys now Marcus wondered if those old army men could remember being buried as a treasure. They were still sort of a treasure to Marcus; they had been a gift from his mother.

©2022 CBialczak Fiction

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

Book Review: Beware the Cuckoo

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Beware the Cuckoo by Julie Newman is a mystery like no other. Be prepared to be drawn in to the past and present of two young women as they try to find their way through adolescence, independence, and truths that sometimes hurt.
Karen, Yvonne, and Sandra are best friends but so different than each other in almost every way. In the 70’s they are in school and they spend most of their time together but have found lives outside of school that drive a wedge between them. Karen is the quiet and compliant one, Yvonne the partier, and Sandra, the rich girl with the perfect life. Losing Yvonne helped bring Sandra and Karen closer for a while but the truth might hurt them both and everyone they love.
Now as adults some memories have been forgotten but none of the hurt has lessened. Will 2010 be the year all the truths come out?
I gave this story 4 out of 5 stars for the believable characters and captivating plot line. The plot is dragged out a little too long so as to make the reader want to skip a few chapters and get to the end but overall it is worth sticking to as the author has a way of tying it all together in the end. 

FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTITIONER: 2021: WEEK #19

Find it here: https://flashfictionforthepracticalpractitioner.wordpress.com/2021/05/12/flash-fiction-for-the-purposeful-practitioner-2021-week-19/

She closed her eyes and leaned her head back. Three books already and they still had six more days here! Patrice smiled to herself as she felt the heat of the sun penetrate and warm up her in this relaxing oasis.

Patrice was happy that she had bought some of her old books. She had hated getting rid of them and knew there had been a day that she had wanted to read them. Now, finished with the first three, Patrice was reminded why she chose those books in the first place. Her only fear now was rain.

©2021 CBialczak

FOWC with Fandango: Complacent

Check it out here: https://fivedotoh.com/2021/04/10/fowc-with-fandango-complacent/

com•pla•cent kəm-plā′sənt►

  • adj.Satisfied with the current situation and unconcerned with changing it, often to the point of smugness.
  • adj.Eager to please; complaisant.

Going Home

Brenda looked at the computer screen but didn’t read one word. It had been two months since she had been back in her home. Due to unforeseen circumstances she had been forced to move out of her house, leaving behind her partner, animals, and all belongings. Now she sits and wonders when she will get any amount of normalcy back.

Brenda’s sister Catherine is completely complacent when it comes to the situation, making it so hard for Brenda to even talk to her. Catherine is a local so this new lifestyle has not affected her life like it did Brenda’s. When Brenda is upset and missing her home, Catherine acts like she is over-reacting and acting like a baby. When Brenda tries to explain it to her sister, Catherine just rolls her eyes and says she can’t understand what the problem is.

Some day, hopefully soon, Brenda will be able to go home and be with the people who love her the most. Until then she puts a smile on her face and moves through the days, doing what is needed and expected of her.

©2021 CBialczak Fiction