“Fire Down Below” – Friday Fictioneers

Once again, it’s time for Friday Fictioneers, the weekly photo-prompt, 100(ish) word, micro-fiction challenge courtesy of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. I love these little nuggets of creative fun, and it is especially challenging to try and keep it to only 100 words!  This week I managed to hit it exactly!

I hope you enjoy, and please feel free to leave comments and/or suggestions.  I love to hear your thoughts!  So without further ado, I present to you, “Fire Down Below.”

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Copyright – Sarah Ann Hall

Copyright – Sarah Ann Hall

“T’ey say thems were for a factory that was t’ere, once, deep un’ergroun. During The War. After having t’ move it all down below, what with t’em ‘smart bombs’ from space sat’lites and the like.” He leaned in conspiratorially. “Some folks says t’ey still be down t‘ere, workin’ away, still alive after all t’ese years. “

I just laughed. The War was a good 100 years ago. ‘Course Ziggy was the better part of crazy most days.

Suddenly I stopped, looking at the weed-choked pipes jutting up from the ground ahead of us. I could tell Ziggy smelled it, too.

Smoke.
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Click below to read other folks entries!


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A Forlorn Hope

Once again, I’ve actually made the attempt to partake as one of the “Friday Fictioneers” over at Madison Woods’ blog.  Once a week she posts a provocative or intriguing photo, and the challenge is to come up with an appropriately provocative or intriguing narrative to go along with it, in  100 words.  So, here’s this week’s entry for me!

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A Forlorn Hope

Madison Woods - Grapevines

“It’s dying.”

Jaelen gasped in dismay. “Are you sure?!”

Nehla just dropped her gaze and shook her head.  “I’m sure.  You can see it in the leaves, the stems.  It’s almost summer, and not a single bloom. Not a single grape.”  She heaved a deep, shuddering sigh. “It didn’t work.”

That was it then.  All hope was gone.  Genetically engineered to withstand the radiation, toxic soil, and blight which had destroyed so much of the Earth’s crops, this should have been their way back.

“We need to tell the others.”  They turned, and reluctantly headed back down into the tunnels.

~ Eskewpe

A Day At The Park

I’m not sure when I finally accepted that he wasn’t coming back.  He’d been different lately. Distracted, moody, distant.  We’d always had a great relationship, or so I thought at the time, and despite the big difference in our ages, we were still brothers, and he always sort of looked out for me.  Mom was so depressed she barely left her bedroom for longer than it took to microwave up a cup of tea, spread some garlic and butter on a piece of overtoasted bread, then tuck another dog-eared romance novel under her arm and disappear from our lives again with the quiet click of the door pulled shut behind her.

David was my anchor.  He was the one I looked up to, the one I let myself believe in, mostly because he was the only one who stuck around most of the time.  Dad was a traveling salesman, a “regional rep” for some company selling medical supply equipment or something like that.  His trips started taking longer, and longer, sometimes a week or even two.  He said competition was up, so he had to start traveling farther to find new clients.  We never seemed to have a lot of money, so I guess we had to believe him.  Maybe needed to believe him. 

Looking back, I guess maybe we should have seen it coming, but when you’re eleven years old, you don’t really expect it.  I think Dave knew, suspected at least.  He and Dad seemed to get into more and more fights, mostly about how we needed him there, how it wasn’t Dave’s job to run the family, it was HIS.  I don’t know if the fights helped or hurt. All I do I know is that one day, Dad packed three suitcases into the back of his beat-up old Subaru, told Dave to take care of things while he was gone, then looked at me with a strange expression, ran his fingers through my hair,  and with a kind of sad little smile said, “Try not to forget what I look like.” I thought he was kidding around.

That was a year and a half ago. Continue reading