Broken Fence

The Fredericks bought Adkins Estate with farmhouse, barn and sheds. The farm maintained itself from land rentals to local farmers. There was also a notorious fence separating it from ancient Indian burial grounds.

That’s why they bought it. They planned to rent rooms to people wanting to spend the night in a haunted house.

They repaired the buildings but broke the fence to make it look spookier. They called their website “Visit Fredericks’ Freaky Ghost House”.

Many rented rooms and left five-star reviews until it became known that after changes to the fence, the ghosts no longer felt welcome.


Linked to Charli Mills’ Carrot Ranch flash fiction challenge with the prompt “broken fence”. Stories are required to be exactly 99 words excluding title. I searched, but I could not find Frederick’s Ghost House. Just in case there is such a place, this is a work of fiction.

Photos: “Deep Green Looking Up”, above, and “Where There’s Sun There’s a Shadow”, below. These don’t look spooky to me, but perhaps I am not looking close enough.

Where There's Sun There's a Shadow

On the Bridge — #writephoto

Ellen stood on the bridge while Nathaniel photographed her from the shore.

“Don’t spoil my memories!”

He did not know how he could spoil her memories, but Nathaniel took multiple shots and made sure the photos looked good. He saw her smile. That let him know she was glad he was taking those pictures. For her part Ellen saw no future that did not include Nathaniel.

Today her face is wrinkled. While she was still able to walk her family decided to take her to her childhood home which seemingly random turbulences over the decades tossed her far away from. She asked to see that old stone bridge. They found the bridge. It was still there in spite of the changes, some challenging, some like windfalls of blessing, that would make almost everything else unrecognizable to her.

As they walked over the bridge, Ellen stopped to the best of her remembrance where she stood when Nathaniel took those photographs. She wondered what happened to him. Why did she lose him that summer?

Ellen thought of her family, husband, middle-aged children and grandchildren starting to have infants to care for. Some of them were with her on the bridge worrying she might fall and guarding her from the edge. She may have another year to share with them. As she breathed the air and watched the water move below she felt an overwhelming gratitude for all of it. The parts of her life she got right soothed those she wished she did differently. She looked toward the shore where Nathaniel stood long ago and smiled at him once again.


Linked to Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt. She provided the photo for the prompt. I am also linking because of the reference to gratitude in the story to Debbie Roth’s Forgiving Fridays.

Sue Vincent's #writephoto icon

Fish Tale

He wondered if a mermaid was a fish or if he’d catch anything today or if the soldiers would spot him.

Once he was robbed. They almost killed him with the beating. He didn’t mind dying, but he had to bring fish home to Martha and Peter.

He was too delirious from the bombings and hiding to catch food. He slept till she woke him handing him more fish than he’d ever expect to see. “For Martha and Peter. And you.”

As she turned to dive into the water he thought he heard her say, “I’m not a fish.”


Text: Linked to Carrot Ranch April 26th writing challenge. This week the theme is “fish tale” for these 99-word stories. Come and join us.

Photos: “Water and Bird and a Lot of Other Stuff”, above, “Chicago Botanic Garden”, below.

News: Christopher Fielden is celebrating the release of two writing challenge anthologies today which support charities and give writers like myself something to do, Nonsensically Challenged Volume 2, and Tritely Challenged Volume 1.  I have a story in each.  You are welcome to submit stories for the next anthologies.

Chicago Botanic Garden

One-Liner Wednesday — Wave Meets Footstep

In the time it takes to deeply breathe the waves forgive and wipe my footsteps clean.


Linked to Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday and Debbie Roth’s Forgiving Fridays.

#1linerWeds badge by Dan Antion
#1linerWeds badge by Dan Antion

Santa Self-Care — #writephoto

Mark loudly rang his own doorbell. “Thank you, Santa!” He heard Julie’s feet pitter-patter as she rushed to the door. “Have a nice day, Santa, in your snowy fairy glen at the North Pole.”

Julie looked outside. “Where’s Santa?”

“Sorry, Julie. Santa’s gone. He left gifts for you.”

Eventually someone would have to tell his daughter about Santa, but Mark couldn’t do it. She’ll have to cure herself even if she breaks her own heart.

Later that day Julie answered the door. “Santa! Back so soon?”

“Who was that?”

“Sorry, Dad. Santa’s gone, but he left you this present.”


Text: Linked to Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt and Charli Mills’ Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge with the prompt “self-care”.

Photo: Sue Vincent provided the photo for the prompt.

Sue Vincent's #writephoto icon

One-Liner Wednesday — Heart

If you don’t have a heart there’s always a good reason to give someone hell.


Linked to Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday.

#1linerWeds badge by Dan Antion
#1linerWeds badge by Dan Antion

One-Liner Wednesday — Just Because

Just because smart guys tell you they will be able to dump you into a computer some day, given enough funding, does not mean they will ever, ever be able to do that.


Linked to Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday.

#1linerWeds badge by Dan Antion
#1linerWeds badge by Dan Antion