The Young Professional

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Daniel did not understand art, and the painted cow statues that stared him down from across the street were certainly no exception. He did not know why the beefy creatures were painted with flowers and leaves and other flora. He had always assumed they were some kind of vegetarian protest. As a protest to their protest, the young professional ate an 100% beef chili dog once a week while staring down the cows from the bench outside of his office in New York City. It had seemingly little effect on the cows.

As he chowed down on his delectable chili dog on one muggy New York day, a young woman sat on the opposite side of the bench. Daniel saw that she had an undeniably artsy aura about her, but was also undeniably beautiful, and in that moment the young professional quickly decided that he would learn to understand art.


“The Young Professional” is my submission the 59th FFfAW Challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 150 words. Special thanks to SWritings for the challenge photo.

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Canyon

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The drive back from the canyon was a quiet one. We were almost entirely defeated at this point; it had been nearly nine months since the sixteen-year-old girl had gone missing and all we had so far was a plastic disposable camera. We drove about 30 minutes before we found a film development place. I parked the car and told Johnson I’d be back in a few minutes. He flashed me a thumbs-up and continued playing some game on his phone.

There was almost no one in the photo center, just me and the attendant. I plopped my detective badge down on the counter and handed the guy the camera.
“Police business,” I said.
“Whatever man, it’ll be 45 minutes” he muttered.
I left and grabbed a much needed lunch with Johnson. We walked back into the photo center to find the kid looking very shocked.
“That’s some morbid stuff dude,” he said as he handed me the envelope.
I tore open the envelope and flicked through the photos.

Trees. Birds. Deer. A Cave. A teenager’s corpse.


“Canyon” is my submission the 58th FFfAW Challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 175 words.

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Photo Fragments

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On the oak end table, next to the big, plush, leather couch in this living room, there was a photo frame. Inside the frame was a picture of a man, in beige camouflage with a huge black dog. This man was my dad, but I would have never known. He was stationed in Afghanistan before I was four years old, and he never came back. I was never told why; there was no one to tell me. This man was just a fragment. Fragments of a dad I never knew. Fragments of a mom who never cared about me. Fragments of a stepfather who beat me incessantly. Fragments of a sister who had leukemia and died at twelve. Fragments of a brother addicted to heroin and apathy. Everything was a fragment, smashed to pieces, and it all got taped together to make me.

I was broken.


 

“Photo Fragments” is my submission the 57th FFfAW Challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 143 words.

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Beacon

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I didn’t want to burn the guitar. It seemed like a waste to burn something capable of creating beautiful music to lighten our moods. I suppose heat is more important than art in our case though: we just ran out of real firewood, and now we must resort to burning whatever flammable materials we can get our hands on.

The glossy coating melted off the guitar first, like some type of clear chocolate, or a sweet doughnut glaze. The steel strings came loose and curled in on themselves, like a metallic hand curling into a fist. The fire blazed on, giving no regard to the fact it burned such a fine instrument.

Our band of survivors all crowded around the flame. We absorbed every last bit of heat the fire had to offer as we sat and spoke quietly of our dreams, the guitar flame our little beacon of hope. Even in this apocalyptic urban wasteland, where we resorted to burning musical instruments to survive, there was hope.

There is always hope.


 

“Beacon” is my submission the 55th FFfAW Challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 171 words.

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Saltwater

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I don’t know how long I’d been walking that path. Every further step I took, my legs cried to be put to rest on the sandy ground below. I ignored them: I had to do this. I had to do it today.

I came upon the spot I was looking for eventually, right in front of Frank’s Hot Dog Shack on a smooth and sandy portion of the Maine coast. The sun was just barely hanging onto the horizon. Maybe it was glad to see I made it.

I went to the edge of the water, and let my eyes close and the refreshingly brisk water wash over my feet. I kept my eyes shut as I lifted my little brother’s favorite Matchbox car up to my lips and placed a gentle kiss on the hood, then tossed it into the ocean. My salty tears dripped from my cheek, joining their kin in the salty ocean.

The same ocean that took him from me ten years ago.


“Saltwater” is my submission the 53rd FFfAW Challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 168 words.

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The Veteran’s Seat

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Every time I sat at this bench waiting for the bus, I silently hoped that I would sit next to a person with a Forrest Gump-like story to brighten up my entire day. Unfortunately, this was real life, and in real life, things like that never seem to happen. I’d usually end up next to an uptight businessman, or woman with her bratty, snot-nosed kids.

However, one day I met someone truly interesting at this little bus stop. It was dawn on a mid-August day. I hadn’t been sitting for more than ten seconds when the raggedy-looking man sitting beside me turned and said, “You know how I got these two glass eyes?”

“Umm, staring at the sun too long?”

He gave a small chuckle and said, “No son, war. War gave me two glass eyes and a whole lotta hate for fighting. I seen some things, but now I can’t see at all. Ain’t that something.”

And with that, he got onto his bus.


 

“The Veteran’s Seat” is my submission the 52nd FFfAW Challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 164 words.

If you enjoyed this story, don’t forget to like and subscribe for more of my short stories. You could even share this blog with your pals if you wanted to spread the joy of reading! Thank you and have an awesome day!

 

“The Hill”

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The hill used to be nameless. It’s name came one scorching day smack in the middle of summer.

Eddy and I were running barefoot through the forest that grew on the gentle hill, playing games we made up on the spot. We ran down to our favorite hiding spot, a rusty old Chevrolet. We kept our stash of comic books in the trunk, and at the end of the day, me and Eddy would head down there and read and drink Cherry Cokes. That fateful July day however, was not a usual day.

As we approached the Chevy, we could smell something unusually foul. We were kids though, and curiosity pulled us towards the car like it had it’s own gravitational field.

Then we saw him.

Sitting in the driver seat in a pool of shining crimson blood was a man, with a single bullet hole in the middle of his forehead.

We’ve called it Dead Man’s Hill ever since.


 

“The Hill” is my submission the 51st FFfAW Challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 160 words.

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“Grey City”

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London is a grey city. The grey sky meets the grey ground, where grey people walk on grey pavement alongside grey buildings. They never seem to mind the grey scene.

I live across from a old man who isn’t so grey. He plants gold sunflowers, and tends to them everyday. He sits next to them on a little wooden bench for hours sometimes. I think I’ve seen him speak to them.

I asked him one day, “Why do you grow these flowers in this grey city?”

He looked at me, with kind wrinkled eyes, and whispered, “Ten flowers for ten years that my wife has been gone. She put the color in my life, so I plant them to color the grey away.”

The man stopped coming out to care for his golden flowers. A grey hearse came to his home on a grey night and took him away.

Today I planted eleven sunflowers. My life isn’t so grey now.


Photo credits to Sonya of “Only 100 Words”

“Destinations” is my submission for the 50th FFfAW challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 160 words.

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“Destinations”

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Photo credits to The Storyteller’s Abode

“Destinations” is my submission for the 49th FFfAW challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of a whopping 172 words. Enjoy!


 

As the sun peeked over the watery horizon, he couldn’t help but recall the old Beatles tune. He smiled at the thought, a great song for a great new day. He stretched out his arms and legs, feeling the cool, golden sand against his bare skin. He yawned away the last remnants of drowsiness, grabbed his shoes and rucksack, and headed up onto the boardwalk. He knew he had a few minutes before the first bus showed up, so he decided to pop into a little restaurant on the oceanfront. He sat at the counter and ordered a coffee from the woman tending it.

“Where you headed handsome?” she said plopping down his coffee.

He chuckled, “That’s a good question, but I’m afraid I don’t have a good answer.”

She raised an eyebrow, “So you don’t got a destination or anything?”

“Everyone has a destination, I just haven’t found mine yet, and that’s what I aiming to do.”

The man left a hundred-dollar bill and boarded a bus without checking it’s next stop.

 

“SAM”

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Photo credits to Etol Bagam

“SAM” is my submission for the 48th FFfAW challenge  called “The Saloon” (Check it out here). It is composed of a whopping 163 words. Enjoy!


 

The mixed stench of cheap cologne, cigarette smoke, and lousy beer lingered in the saloon well past closing-time, but the well-dressed man who just entered didn’t seem to mind. He sat rigidly at the counter, and Al approached to tell him the bar was closed. As he drew closer however, Al noticed something distinctly off about this man.

He put his hands on the counter and grunted, “We’re closed buddy.”

The man, straight-faced and unwavering replied, “I am SAM 1053, and you are Albert Davidson.”

Al’s pulse quickened. This wasn’t a man, it was a SAM, a Self-Aware-Machine. They were government agents, sent out to suppress and prevent any form of rebellion. Sweat rolled down his temple.

SAM 1053 continued, “You have been reported as a threat to the security of the New American Empire, and have been ordered to be neutralized. Prepare for neutralization.”

Al fumbled under the counter for his revolver, but was met by two . 45 rounds directly between his eyes.

“Rebel suppressed.”