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

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

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

The Porch as Chair

He used the floor of the cabin’s open porch as a chair dangling his legs. The chickens were safe. The dog was safe.

He figured if he couldn’t see it, it wasn’t there. No fairies. No unicorns. The trees weren’t watching. The sun didn’t care. He was safe.

Then he saw her walk up his long path. She was watching him for some time and decided to make her move. She needed a place to stay. After they spoke his understanding of safety expanded to include her.

Now they both sat on the porch. He promised to make chairs.


Text: Linked to Charli Mills’ Carrot Ranch 99-word Flash Fiction Challenge. The theme is a chair on a porch. Come join us writing flash fiction.


News: Last Wednesday the Prairie Writers Guild held a dinner in Rensselaer, Indiana, celebrating the publication of the fourteenth volume of their series From the Edge of the Prairie. Some of my haibun, which appeared previously on this blog, are in that volume. They print the anthology in Rensselaer. Although I have been a member for only the past year I have known some of the people in the guild for decades having grown up in northwest Indiana.