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A single light blazes in the distance guiding my way, the only thing visible through the haze. The past haunts each step: explosions, screams, decisions, truths too harsh to remember or forget.

Twenty feet away now, feet crunching through snow, hair frosted by harsh winds. A door swings open to reveal a shadowed face.

They will call us heroes, saviors of our world.

But what about our life together? Can you accept the person I’ve become? Can the person I’ve become accept you? I have to know, once for all.

“Honey, I’m home.”

This is my weekly post for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle, our ever-present light in the dark. For more stories, click the link.

The Love Boats

PHOTO PROMPT © JS Brand

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The Love Boats

When we first met, it was love at first sight. You were well-built and strong, sturdy steel sides carving a path through water. My gleaming white surfaces glistened in the sun as I glided past.

We said we’d go slow. No promises. No regrets.

But then, something happened, something neither of us expected. And now, there’s a jet ski in my hull. I think it’s yours.

I wait for your response, fingers clasped on my radio.

Static. Held breath. Then, “You are so weird. Call me later, and I’ll pick it up when I’m in port.”

….

This is my weekly submission for Friday Fictioneers. Our captain for this voyage is the ever-vigilant Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. For more stories or to add your own, click the froggy!

IWSG: I Heart Fantasy

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Hard to believe it’s February already, but it is. That means today is IWSG Day and a week before Valentine’s Day, which makes it the perfect time for this optional question of the month.

February 7 question – What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

Okay, I may not write fantasy most often, but it’s the genre I love most, because I love creating new worlds. I love exploring new worlds when I read, too.

Every genre can and should have interesting characters. But in fantasy you get interesting worlds built on nightmares and dreams. Some of my favorite world-builders are authors like George R.R. Martin, Mercedes Lackey, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Octavia E. Butler. One of the things I love about these authors is that the world is a major plot point, like another character with motivations and secrets to uncover. At times, I find the world more interesting than the characters.

For example, in the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien uses the idea of the Undying Lands to navigate our fears and hopes about life and death. We hope those we love are in a “better place” maybe even the place they were always meant to be. At the same time, we want to think the are still with us. I love the tension between this place and wherever mortals actually go when they die. It’s just one of many ways he uses setting and world-building in a way that wouldn’t be possible in another genre.

I don’t write fantasy most often, because it’s hard. Creating a world is hard work. Salutations to all the writers who have gone before and pulled it off.

What about you? What’s your favorite genre to write and read? Is it also the one you write most often? Do you love fantasy too?

Happy IWSG Day and Happy February!

Pieces

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PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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Pieces

“You need help.”

And I walked away wondering what is wrong with…me?

You did help me. You’ve taught me so much.

Like saying “you need help” without offering to help is actually an insult. Also, sometimes “really good people” are perfectly okay with shattering you, leaving you to pick up the-

Anyway. Now I know. There are people out there willing to take credit for doing nothing. That’s what they do, how they apparently thrive.

But I’m not magic. I can’t turn shards of glass into a mirror.

This is my weekly story for Friday Fictioneers. This year the picture is from Rochelle, our fearless leader, writer, and a good photographer too. For more stories, click the blue Froggy!

Hollowed Out

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PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

Hollowed Out

When I woke the first time, I lay on a cold stone slab, incense and smoke thick in the air. Robed figures stood in a circle chanting.

Then, nothingness.

Then, a room with sun-colored walls, a single person in a robe, her hood thrown back to reveal pale green eyes, fiery red hair.

“I don’t even believe in….” I look down at my hands, wrinkled and old. I’m 29. Was 29.

“You’re going to be okay. The exorcism was successful.”

But that’s not true, is it? I don’t know if I will ever be okay again.

….

This is my entry for Friday Fictioneers, hosted brilliantly as ever by our fearless leader Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. For more fun stories, click the blue frog!

They Came  From the Trees

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

They Came From the Trees!

When the alien invasion happened,  it took a long time. Really long. Thousands of years long. By the time human beings noticed something strange, it took several more years for scientists to figure out that the sentient clouds weren’t just pollen or some new bio weapon. They were aliens, and they came in peace.

That’s okay though. In humanity’s defense, it took the aliens thousands of years to figure that trees weren’t actually sentient. They should have been talking to those hairless mammals the whole time.

Everyone makes mistakes.

….

When I first saw this image on my phone screen, I thought it was some kind of weird alien tree. By the time I figured out it was an amusement park ride, it was too late. This story idea was born. Everyone makes mistakes, including me, I guess. Not sure if anyone else will find this story as funny as it is in my head. You never know with these things.

For more fun stories don’t forget to click the frog!

Cracked

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PHOTO PROMPT © Victor and Sarah Potter

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Cracked

They have the picture perfect life on the surface, all smiles and sweetness.

Then one day, the peace is shattered by footsteps, a tentative tapping on a door. Something cracks. A distant door opens. The homeowners slowly, carefully make their way over. You never know who to trust at times like these.

“Who are you?” one asks.

“My car broke down. I was wondering-”

“Come inside. I’ve got you.”

Into this perfect world, beneath its surface, the visitor disappears, never to be seen again.

“I love it when they come to us, mommy.”

“Yes, honey. Me too. Now eat up.”

….

Re-entering the Friday Fictioneers fray after a long absence. For more stories, click the blue frog!