My heart is lightened remembering the first time I had pulled this old thing from our attic. Its ebony wool was frayed and one of its brass corners had been removed. It had be Great-Aunt Gertrude’s carry-on for her train-ride to the West.

For me, it was my get-away bag. My denied destiny… the rodeo.

Girls weren’t to climb trees, bust horses, or chew…. according to Father. But I was better than brother at all three.

I was packed and gone – three whole hours- when Grandpa found me headed toward Tulsa.

We compromised.

But I never did unpack it.

Written for Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. Requirements: July 26, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about what happens next to a stranded suitcase. Go where the prompt leads you, but consider the different perspectives you can take to tell the tale.




1365256807kyjppThere she was.


Every evening, for the last three days, I had walked the beach at the edge where the wave breaks the shore.

Every evening, she was there.


The first evening, she waved at me as I went passed.

I smiled.

Her wave was a small princess wave – like the beauty queens in cars in a Labor Day parade.

I hadn’t even nodded my head toward her. I think I sort of dipped it.

Duh! What a doofus.

At least, since then, I have tipped my hand to my forehead.

This evening… It will be different.

Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner – 2018: Week #30. Requirements: Create  a flash fiction story of 200 (or less) words using the photo prompt provided.

Now, How Did He Get Away?

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

“Did you see him?  Can you describe him?” The young officer’s hands were shaking as he as holding his notepad.

“Yeah. I was just standing here. I heard the bank alarms blasting. Suddenly, there was a man, maybe six feet… six five… running passed me down the front stairs. I turned as he bumped into me. Then I saw it. He wasn’t actually running. He was bouncing. Bouncing like crazy. He had only one leg.”

“What else did you notice?”

“That’s it. He had this green pouch on his pack that was gyrating as he jumped.” I stifled a giggle.

Written for Friday Fictioneers. Requirements: Create a 100 word flash fiction story using teh photo prompt provided.


pexels-photo-626164-shadow“I can’t find the back “door. Where’s the door?”

“Can’t you turn that blasted alarm off?”

Of course I can’t turn the alarm off. It’ll go off when the smoke clears.”

“My ears are going to burst. When will this infernal smoke clear?”

“When I can find the door. Have you found the door?”

“Will you please quit taking about that damned door? Just reach around and open a window.”

“You know we can’t open the windows. They are all sealed and alarmed because you were afraid of being burglarized. Need I remind you what the intruder alarm sounds like?”

Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner- 2018: Week #26. Requirements: Using the photo prompt given, create a flash fiction story of under 200 words.

Traveling the Hayfields with Pop

3945396Humping down the stairs and around the backyard, Pop, his cane waggling in front being used to scatter the beagle and the three strays more than for maintaining any semblance of balance, was headed toward the chariot… a ‘62 Valiant… and into the hayfields.

I raced beside him knowing there was no waiting.

Opening the door, I swung from the roof into the backseat.

“Wait!” I bellowed. My fingers had not released from the roof before Pop had slammed the door.

Exasperated, Pop opened and shut the door. Hard.

“Next time, get’ya whole self in.”

And off we went.

Written for The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. June 28, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that is a sketch or about a sketch. It can be “A Sketch of a Romance” or “The Sketch of Aunt Tillie.” Go where the prompt leads you to scribble.

Fishing by Plane

Yarnspinner photo-20180604154619038

“Just switch carry-ons. That’s all you need to do.”

“Do I look dumb?”

“Don’t be that way… We’ve had a great flight. You know I’ll stand by my promises. You’ve already seen the first transaction to the Cayman’s completed before the layover.”

“You pumped me for that information before I realized you were on a fishing expedition into my husband’s company.”

“I’m not sure that’s the way hubby’ll see this if it goes public?”

“Now, you’re threatening me?”

“No threats… Basic facts. For promised confidentiality, plus a token of appreciation, this is now your carry-on? Another $250,000? It’s a win-win?”

Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Requirements: Using the photo prompt provided, create an approximately 150 word flash story.

Written for Be A Writer – 2018. (Switched TRAIN to PLANE) Patricia Highsmith wrote a novel called STRANGERS ON A TRAIN.  Use the phrase “strangers on a train” in a poem.  Or, write part of a story based on this idea: a stranger your character meets on a train tries to convince your character to do something that your character finds shocking or morally wrong.

Ruled a Robbery

Here is this week’s prompt, courtesy of C.E. Ayr

“Yes, Chief… It has been ruled a robbery.”

“A robbery! They took a blasted wrecking-ball to the place.”

“Yes, Sir. That is correct.”

“A wrecking-ball!!!”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Did you see the pictures in the news…? It made CNN! … It made Fox News…. And you are going to tell me our line of inquiry is robbery by wrecking-ball?”

“It’s the third one, Sir.”

“The third one… We have a wrecking-ball serial robber on the loose in our city. Can you explain to me how he is getting away? You do know how large the crane is to wield the wrecking-ball?”

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction, Requirements: Using the photo prompt provided, create a 200 word (or less) flash fiction story.

Written for Be A Writer Now – 2018. I used a twist… OPTIONAL WRITING PROMPT: Write a poem with the title, “What was stolen.”  Or write a story about a character who is robbing a house when s/he makes a surprising discovery.