Van Gogh’s Café

icon-grill-ted-strutz

Van Gogh stares through the centuries. He could be studying every detail of the café for one of his paintings: every rose-tinted light, every bottle clink and curve. The colors of his century are abstract, inviting.

He scrutinizes a shadowed corner and finds me there. He is committing it all to memory. He just might go home and paint my stunned expression as I stare back at him.

I raise my glass in a toast, wanting him to know how much his art is finally appreciated. The bartender scowls. But then, she must think I’m toasting a blank wall.

For Friday Fictioneers, writers from all over the world come up with a 100-word story or poem inspired by a photo that’s posted every Wednesday. Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting and to Ted Strutz for this photo.



Out of Reach

reach

He shuffled by the statue on his way to work. He tried not to look but always did.

On the worst and grayest days, a demon grasped and pulled at his ankle. Sometimes the demon was love and then it wasn’t so bad. Still, the man kept reaching. But for what? Salvation, freedom, a better life in some other, faraway place? All that reaching could turn into too much. All that reaching could make a man fall. The statue showed him that. He ducked away from the drizzle and went to work.

Still, the man kept reaching.

For Friday Fictioneers, writers from all over the world come up with a 100-word story or poem inspired by a random photo. Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting and to David Stewart for this photo.


Virtual Reality

For Friday Fictioneers, writers from all over the world come up with a 100-word story or poem inspired by a random photo. Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting and to Renee Homan Heath for this photo that taunts us with the promise of warmth during these frozen days.

copyright-renee-homan-heath

This one stirred her heart with the rustle of palm tree leaves. She could feel the sand between her toes and the warmth of the boardwalk. Her feet made a hollow echo while the waves sounded out their own rhythms.

Just as she was about to step onto the warm sand, everything changed and her feet squished onto a muddy jungle path. Monkeys screeched instead of seagulls and the leaf rustling felt much more menacing. These virtual realities never lasted long enough, but she knew if they did last too long, any fantasy could turn into a nightmare. She began to run.

Friday Fictioneers: Sunglasses at Night

It’s time for Friday Fictioneers, a chance to write a 100-word story or poem inspired by a random photo. Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting and to Ted Strutz for this mysterious photo.

The sunglasses were strategically placed near the toys that fly. Most people ran right up to the flying toys and sent them whizzing through the air. They didn’t see the need for sunglasses, even as the toy airplanes buzzed by their eyelashes and almost landed on their heads.

Jake put his sunglasses on and strolled up to the giggling pack of girls. They became shadows. He could no longer see eyes rolling or the possibility of condescending looks. He walked up to the girl and held out his hand. She took it. Without a word, he led her away.


The Great Escape

For Friday Fictioneers, everyone over at the Madison Woods site writes a 100-word story or poem inspired by a photograph. It sounds like fun and should be interesting to see how similar the stories or poems are once they’re posted each Friday. This week’s photo was taken by Jan Morrill. Even though it’s not Friday yet, it’s about time to start celebrating so here’s my first attempt.

He sprinted down the white-walled alley. A chill from the shadowed sand ran up his legs and settled in his gut. Each turn only led to more walls and more alleyways. The sky taunted him with openness.

If only he could fly like the birds he so loved to watch. He tried jumping but the walls proved too high. He scratched and scrambled and fell back down to the sand.

A sweet smell drifted from the door. Just as he took a step toward it, a hand gripped the back of his neck. Soon the dreaded leash was once again upon him.