Early Morning Paddle

This morning only a last trace of winter’s ice remained as the two paddlers slipped their kayaks into the lake. They worked almost as a team, working silently, so not to break the silence of the morning.

Once they were afloat the lead paddler quietly pointed right, the other nodded agreement and hardly making a sound they began a leisurely pace around the lake.

Visibility was hampered by the surface fog rising off the water, but that was right at the surface. Fifty feet from shore they watched a small group of deer grazing silently in a small grassy clearing.

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This week’s Saturday Mix from Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie can best be described by quoting from the website:

So, I would like you to use THIS photograph to write a brief story about spring in exactly one hundred words. It needn’t be gushy romantic or a lovely weather report, nor do you need to even mention spring .. but one should be able to tell that you’re actually talking about spring.

The photo is of Edgewood Garden, Washington State

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The Balcony Scene Remembered

It was on a Tuesday when Jim started his job teaching PE at his old high-school, with a side assignment working with the theater class. He would be working with students building the sets for this year’s production.

A month later, the first in-service day, a time for the faculty to work on papers or other projects, when Jim found himself on the subway into downtown Manhattan heading for a theater supply company.

At the shop the proprietor greeted him, “Good afternoon, welcome back.”

Startled with the greeting, Jim asked, “Do I know you?”

“Well, I recognize you from years ago. You and a young girl were in some production, and needed costumes for a balcony scene. In this job you have to remember faces.”

Jim thought for a minute, “Yes, we were. Boy you have a memory. Have you seen her, I haven’t since graduation.”

“Where are you now?” asked the old-timer.

Jim grinned, “I’m at the old school, on far western Long Island.”

“I’ve heard of, Brooklyn,” chuckled the old-timer.

“Well, I’m just getting away from the building and looking for sources for this year’s sets. Just let me browse.”

“Sure,” said the old-timer, “take your time.”

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For Sunday Photo Fiction – March 19th 2017 Each week a photo is used, donated by one of the participants of Sunday Photo Fiction, and the idea is to write a story with the photo as a prompt in around 200 words. The photo doesn’t have to be centre stage

This week’s photo is © A Mixed Bag

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The Green Tux

Edith stood back and looked at her efforts; surely this year hers would be the best dressed moose in town. Tomorrow she and Fred would celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary, A day she happily remembers.

It started with the wedding at St Patrick’s, the ceremony performed by Father O’Leary. Followed by a parade from the church to the Moose Lodge 2017, only a couple blocks east. The Moose Lodge members either marched in their procession, or stood on the curbs cheering them on.

This year she was pressing the Kelly green tuxedo that Fred wore on that day 60 years in the past. It was a bit of a struggle, but he’d lost enough weight to fit into it once more. They would be celebrating the day just how they started life together, at the Moose Lodge.

It’s Finish off Fridays (FoF) time again – the flash fiction writing prompt that alternates with Sanaa’s Friday Music Prompt.

I provide the picture and the opening sentence, you write an additional 100 to 150 words to complete the story.

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Who Is The New Barber


Out in the middle of nowhere, dozen’s of miles from any interstate, stood the small town of Midvale. The town seemed to have some strange happenings, but it didn’t seem to bother most of the residents.

Main Street locally known just as Main, or at times Maine. Not many. even on the city council could agree on the spelling but the State Roads Department insisted on putting Main on some of the signs and Maine on others.

One thing for sure was that from day-to-day nobody could be sure what shops would be open, or even who the proprietors were. Take for instance the “Big Bakery”. For a year or so the storefront had been abandoned. The on a Tuesday the sign appeared and aromas of baking wafted over Main St, or was it Maine St. Everyone that entered was greeted by name, as if the baker or his assistant knew them. After church services the next Sunday the parish started talking about it. Nobody knew the baker or the assistant. No one had even seen them in the market or eatery. They all began to wonder…

Two months later the bakery was gone, leaving the space empty and dusty, as if the space was always abandoned. No ovens, no pastry display cases, nothing! Even the sign was gone without a trace. Again the town started talking, they were mystified.

That incident was almost forgotten when across the street, in another abandoned storefront, a Coffee Shop appeared. The baristas all seemed to know all the patrons, and their choice of black or with cream and sugar. But again none of the town knew the staff. Except in the shop they were never seen around town.

The chief of police had his deputies watch all the parking places, but there were no strange cars in town. It was as if the coffee shop staff just appeared in the morning, and vanished after the shop closed in the evening.

Three months later the coffee shop unexpectedly vanished, the same way the bakery did. Nothing left but an old abandoned, empty and dusty old storefront.

But really mystified the residents of Midvale was what happened a few months later. Over night a new barber shop appeared unexpectedly. It even sported the sign “Three Barbers, No Waiting“. And the three barbers greeted all the patrons as if they had been old friends, they even knew exactly how to trim their hair.

This week Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s challenge Tale Weaver #111: the lighter side 16.03.17 is best described by the blog post itself

As we’ve past the Ides of March, and it’s St. Pat’s eve, thought we’d take a walk on the lighter side this tale weaver. Your thread, your tale, your tapestry is carte blanc: comedy; happy endings; sweet tales; lighter fare. What ever strikes your fancy as being light and airy. Shimmering, like stained glass sun catchers and melodically like wind chimes. Farcical like silent movie stunts (Buster Keaton comes to mind). Laugh out loud funny books and movies – your taste probably varies from mine.

Take off the dark clothing, change the heavy music on the stereo, and write with a light heart and a lighter pen.
image: Gary Larsen, Far Side, School for the Gifted via activehappiness.com

It’s a bit longer than usual, a bit over 400 words, but today’s challenge has no limit.

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What Time Is It?

An Apple-Watch? No! A Smart-Watch? No! The old-timer, the great-grandson of an old-time Railroad man, wouldn’t have any of those new-fangled things. He always wore his great-grandpa’s railroad pocket-watch. But when he reached for it to see how long he’d been napping, it wasn’t there. In the morning he’d hooked it to his vest and looped the chain around a button his vest. Then gently placed it in his vest pocket. But no matter which pocket he felt, it just was plain missing.

That’s when he imagined he saw it standing across the field.

Once again Rocelle Wisoff-Fields challenges Friday Fictioneers to write about 100 words based on a photo. This week’s photo is courtesy of © Jennifer Pendergast

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Atop, it’s up there

Cheri Lucas Rowlands challenges today with the word ATOP, Here are a few things that are up there, all alone.

The Bald Eagle is sitting on the “Osprey Cam” at Blackwater NWR during the winter.

THe beacon at a local airport.

And two weathervanes

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Where – no – When

The hangover was a bit worse than usual. The last thing he remembered was that he’d bought a new car and his co-workers throwing a party. He was able to stagger to the car and head home. When he finally felt good enough to open his eyes he was baffled, where was he?

The forest surrounded his car, really surrounded! Old trees and ferns were even growing up through the floorboard, and out the roof. It was like the car had been abandoned for years.

Confused, he opened the rusty door to take a look and found no way to drive out. There wasn’t even a trail he could see to walk out. How long had he been here? The last he could remember was that party on St Patrick’s Day in 1937.

“Hmmm he,” began to think, “Where am I or more to the point, When am I? I’m getting hungry, I need to get some breakfast?”

157 words for FFfAW Challenge-Week of March 14, 2017
This week’s photo prompt is provided by Tim Livingston with the blog, The ForesterArtist.

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Where Was It?

© A Mixed Bag 2012

It was a rare occasion when William took a shift at the Air And Space Museum, as the Director of Security he found little time for what he called the ‘beat cop’ assignments. He set aside time to work all jobs in his department.

On a late Friday night his shift on the floor came due. Donning his uniform he began to tour rooms. The routine called for a rather random route, a measure he’d approved. This evening he started in “Early Flight”, then on the the “Milestone Of Flight Hall”. Seeming random, this route would foil anyone intent on mischief from memorizing a pattern.

And so it seemed to William until was on the second floor when he entered the Apollo To The Moon room. Unfortunately William hadn’t looked at the schedule of what exhibits were being moved. So as he entered the room right off he thought something was way wrong. His favorite part of the display, The “Space Suit” was missing!

In the nick of time, before the called the museum director, he noticed a small sign, “Temporarily on loan to NASA Johnson Space Center, returning in two months”. And his breathing slowly returned to normal.

Each week a photo is used, donated by one of the participants of Sunday Photo Fiction, and the idea is to write a story with the photo as a prompt in around 200 words. I missed, a bit over, so I cut some but ended with only 199 words.

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The Honeybee’s Made It Happen

Spring and the flowers were just beginning to bloom and the honeybees were busy pollinating, and collecting nectar. Back in the hive through the summer the nectar would ripen into honey. Then came early autumn and the beekeeper harvested some of the honey, not all. He left plenty for the hive to live through the coming winter.

Back in the barn, the beekeeper began fermenting some of the best honey, soon it would be ready to bottle as Mead and be ready to serve at his daughter’s wedding in the spring, and as a perfect gift for the honeymoon.

For the Carrotranch Flash Fiction Challenge March 9, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a honeymoon story. It can be between a couple before, during or after the honeymoon. Or it can refer to a honeymoon period. Go where the prompt leads.

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Where is It?

The tables were full of puzzle experts, well they all though of themselves as expert puzzlers. One small group of three at one end of the table started to whisper amongst themselves, then the whispering became more exciting.

After a couple of minutes of hushed conferring with each other one loudly proclaimed “We Got It!” And a moan went up from the others, the competition was over. Not really, the answer had still to be checked.

More conferencing by the whole team finally resulted in a unanimous decision, probably the right answer had been found. They found the coordinates on the map, and the location looked reasonable. The treasure might be found, so plans were made for all of them to discover what prize they would find on the weekend, providing the weather held out. Could it be pirate treasure that was rumored to be hidden in the forest a few mile out of town? Or maybe something more sinister?

Another one for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale-Weaver challenge Tale Weaver 9th March – Making Sense of Nonsense – The Secret Code You come across a document marked TOP SECRET

Inside you find the above coded message.

Weave a tale about the secret code, reveal the secret, explore the secret, enjoy where the prompt takes you.

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