Category Archives: Under 300 Words

Guido

It was still there, just as he remembered; that grotesque eagle statue that “looked like it had been spray painted gold”. Her words. She made him laugh. That’s when their eyes met and he found the courage to ask her to join him.

The cafe on the corner was gone. Well, the building was still there, but the space had become a trendy clothing shop.

It was crazy, but he was sure he could smell coffee in the air and a hint of her perfume. “Jasmine”, she had told him, like her name. Crazy.

“Jazz?” He whispered. But there was no one there.

So many things had changed since that day. They’d shared a wonderful life. Made a home, raised three amazing kids. He had always assumed he would go first. Fate didn’t agree.

So now here he was, fulfilling a promise that he would go back, have a coffee and check on their old friend, Guido, the eagle.

He tipped his hat toward the old bird. “It’s all your fault you know. If you hadn’t been so gawd awful looking she might never have noticed me.” Then he laughed out loud. “Thanks Jazzy girl. You knew I needed that.”

~kat
(200 Words)

For Sunday’s Photo Fiction challenge inspired by this photo by our host Al.


Checkmate Baby


Charlotte was a ‘checkers’ kind of girl. Occasionally she entertained a game of backgammon or tic-tac-toe, but chess? That was his thing. Strategy was not Charlotte’s strong suit.

She didn’t mind at all that Stuart invited friends to the house when he got in a mood for a game. But tonight was different. His guest for the evening was Claire, an attractive woman he’d met at work. Stuart was quite oblivious to this femme fatale, but Charlotte read right through her fake smile and polite nod. Charlotte found a corner in the adjoining room and waited.

It wasn’t long before Claire made her move. Charlotte’s instincts had been spot on. Claire had slipped between the game table and Stuart’s chair and was leaning in toward him, to his horror, when Charlotte rushed into the parlor to thwart her advances.

“I believe this is what you call a ‘Checkmate’. Am I right Stuart?”

Recovering from his initial shock, Stuart sputtered, “Uh…Right you are Charlotte.” He turned to Claire and declared, “you heard the Queen. This game is over.”

As Claire let herself out, Stuart winked at his wife, “and you said you were no good at playing chess!”

~kat

(198 Words)

For the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge inspired by this photo by our host Al.


Easy

© C E Ayr


She threw her arms around him, smothering his face and neck with kisses.

“You be sure to tell your mama I hope she feels better real soon,” he whispered in her ear.

“Oh, I will sweetie.” She wouldn’t.

“If you all need more money to pay those doctor bills…well, you just call and I can wire it to you. Oh, and call me when you get there. Okay? So’s I know you got there safe.”

“Will do,” she lied, as she reached around him, grabbed her bag and darted off, tossing her hand up in a wave. “I’ll be back before you know it.”

She found a window seat on the train. One last obligatory wave and she’d be free of that stupid bumpkin. He’d been an easy mark; a homeboy. His grandmother’s inheritance would keep her comfortable for several months, or at least until she landed her next chump. Speaking of…

She fixed her gaze on a well-dressed gentleman seated across the aisle. “No wedding ring,” she surmised. “Traveling alone perhaps?”

They locked eyes. He didn’t look away. She smiled coyly.

As the train pulled away from the station, her “bumpkin” stood waving. She never looked back.

~kat
(198 Words)

For Al’s Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge inspired by the photo above by C E Ayr.


Thin-Skinned Deep


Today was The Great Unveiling. Crorrarq glanced at himself in the mirror. It had been seven years since the occupation. Seven years of blending in under a layer of celluloid, masking his true nature. Crorrarq was one of millions.

The Elders had vehemently opposed the event. “It’s much too soon. We’ve been observing these humans,” they said. “How can we expect to be accepted for who we are when they don’t even accept their own? You’ve seen them. Building their walls, hoarding their riches from the poorest of their kind. Killing each other for money and resources. Turning away those who are weak or different. No,” they warned, “humans are far too barbaric and uncivilized to accept us as neighbors.”

But the decision was made. Votes were cast. The Great Unveiling would go on as planned.

At noon on that fateful day every alien on the planet revealed themself to the humans they had grown to love and who claimed to love them. It was a dreadful day. The humans saw only monsters where once they saw friends. Every alien was rounded up, imprisoned and ultimately executed.

The Elders had been right all along. It was much too soon.

~kat

(199 Words)

For Sunday’s Photo Fiction Challenge based on this photo by our host Al.


Anne of Bickling Hall in Norfolk

Her saturated garments sucked moisture from the misty gray air and clung to her skin. Damp strands of auburn hair hid her ashen face. Her hands and feet were bound in chains.

She rocked slowly from side to side in cadence with the yeoman’s oars, silent. The smell of rot and sewage wafted from the dark river, assaulting her senses as onlookers spit their disdain, “Whore!” “Witch!” “Traitor!” The gruesome severed heads of previous passengers along this bloody way dangled from the trusses of the bridge as they passed through.

Soon they would arrive at the tower. Her splendid tower where she once resided in oppulance when he still loved her deeply. This day she would enter from its bowels through the traitor’s gate.

Such was the final voyage of this wretched woman, once queen. She languished for weeks in the tower confessing her innocence to the very end.

On that horrible day in May she climbed the scaffolding in the Tower Green to meet her fate. To the one who had once declared that he had been “struck by the dart of love” appealing to her to “give herself body and heart to him”, she gave her head.

~kat
(200 Words)

A dramatization of the last weeks of Anne Boleyn, charged, found guilty and executed for numerous crimes at the behest of her husband, King Henry VIII who had arranged for annulment to gain clearance to marry his mistress Jane Seymour. They were betrothed the day after Anne’s execution and married ten days later.

For Al’s Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge inspired by his photograph of the Traitor’s Gate at the London Tower on the River Thames


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