Today Pegman took us to Pripyat, Ukraine. Years ago I met a Greek couple who had been affected by the Chernobyl Disaster. Although they were elderly, they were frailer than their age warranted. “Chernobyl,” the husband said, “was a very bad thing.” I’m dedicating this story to them.

 

Oh, such a racket! Men shouting, babies whimpering, feet stomping, horns honking, dogs barking!
The eerie sound of gears grinding to a halt.

“Enough noise to wake the dead,” someone said. But the dead did not wake up.
Thirty-two years later the bodies are no longer counted because after all this time
there is no proof that The Disaster still causes the aches and pains that drag people toward death then allow them to plunge into darkness.

No proof?

For nine days heat from the fire spilled poison up into the sky where it drifted like a bevy of black angels hiding inside the wind. How far? Who knows?

Tourists come to view the remains of our town, snap pictures of themselves in front of the decaying Ferris wheel, dust-covered dolls hiding behind gas masks, empty beds, blackened toys.

But no one can take a selfie beside the acrid scent of destruction.

 

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I’m cheating and submitting two stories this week because, after today, I’m taking time away from our merry band. I will miss you all and will certainly visit every now and again. Once I have a handle on the revision of my novel, I’ll return ~ with bells on. Lish

things happen down at the water’s edge
petey’s place is always hoppin’ and jumpin’
delia’s boathouse sells beers schnapps tequila on ice
that light through the trees shows where toots and jango deal everything from cocaine to meth
great place to hang if you’re wantin to meet a girl or ten
take money girls like money
yeah yeah it’s quiet now that’s cause it’s past two in the a.m.
but after four the lunatics come out and sing
loud too
sometimes they wear bells sometimes crazy hats and big pants
gotta go to the light
visit toots and jango

 

Having been here many times, I have the advantage of knowing where Ted Strutz took this picture. There’s a great deal of history on this gorgeous island. Here’s a snippet for you to enjoy. I’ve added a link at the end so you can read more about Charles and Cutler. I have no idea if Charles had a wife. But that’s what fiction is for. Right? Thanks, Rochelle, for posting today’s Friday Fictioneer prompt.

“Heavens, Charles. The man shot your pig, not your father nor son.”
“Quiet! The wheels already turn. Just today Captain Pickett proclaimed, ‘We’ll make a Bunker Hill of it.'”
Celia raised an eyebrow.
“Cutler should, must be arrested for destroying British property. My stripes, the creature only ate a potato or two! ”
“The Americans are calling for military action. Do you realize you may be starting a war? Over a pig! Honestly, Charles.”
“In addition! Cutler told me I should have kept his potatoes out of my pig. Atrocious!”
Shaking her head, Celia pulled a ham from the oven.

Information about The Pig War https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pig_War_(1859)

 

Father’s Protection

Posted: July 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

Today Pegman took us to Melbourne, Australia. Scrolling through pictures, I found this hotel? restaurant? on planetware.com and found it quite unsettling. Thanks to Karen Rawson and Josh Hardy for providing us with Pegman fun.

Mother,

The skies have returned to glacier-ice blue. Five years passed before the greasy-black smoke of burning tires dissipated. We lived underground. The land is littered with grenades, bullets, and bones. We collect them, put them in piles for later use. Angelina builds walls from grenades. Now that sunlight sparks off the metallic angles, her structures are quite beautiful. Felicia creates windchimes from bullets and vines. If even one tree remained, we would hang her creations from the branches. Please, don’t worry, these reminders of war are no longer dangerous, Frederick has made it so.

What do I do? Build a place for each of us to live, safely and alone. Only four people remain but constructing homes from the bones of your loved ones takes time. Each is built with care.

Do not return. You would be uncomfortable here. My roof is made from Father’s ribs.

Sincerely, Damien

(150-words)

 

The Drowning

Posted: July 16, 2018 in Uncategorized

Today Pegman took us to Baltimore, Maryland where I found a little green boat I’d love to be in today. It’s hot for inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest and a wee paddle would be fun! Thanks to Karen Rawson and Josh Hardy for another great place to write about.

 

Yep, the last picture I took.

You old fool everyone knows you see things. And that photo’s so fuzzy just about anything could be floating in the water.
Have some soup, Papa.

She rises up at the strangest times. Sometimes beside lovers picnicking in their boats or little boys skipping rocks along the shore.

Geez if I hear this story one more time, I’ll stab my eyes out.
No soup, Papa? How about a biscuit with jam?

Doesn’t scare me. Nope! Not one bit. Fact is, I look forward to seeing her rise above the waves.

If there is a God, please let him sew this old man’s mouth shut.
Tomorrow we’ll go to the Ness and see what we can see. Maybe she’ll be there. Like hell.

You crazy?

You’re asking me that question?

She won’t rise if you’re there. Your baby sister won’t visit anyone she doesn’t like.

 

Today’s photo was provided by Liz Young. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for always posting thought-provoking prompts.

people are always watch, watch, watching me,
following, whispering, shouting
inside my head, behind my back, talk, talk, talk
i feel tied up in knots, trapped in a cage,
nowhere to run, nowhere to hide,
scared, happy,
no, sad, giddy
where are my mates, my mom, daughters
didn’t i have a son once
he is dead, was never born, did he have a twin
hell, can’t remember
i think i ate yesterday or last week
donuts, chips, an apple found in the trash
fought a squirrel for it, a raven

“Come with us, son. Time to go back inside.”

99-words

 

Today’s picture prompt was provided by J. Hardy Carroll and posted by our fearless leader, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, a master cat herder. Thanks to you both.

Before the war, football, cars, and pretty girls were the only things James thought about. He was the life of parties that never ended before 3 a.m. Girls called him. Everyone in town started wearing pink and blue shirts because that’s what he wore.

Superstar.

After the war, people glanced at his prosthetic and moved their eyes to a spot above his shoulder, acted like they couldn’t quite place who he was and walked away. He felt invisible.

Tonight James had a surprise for them. Hefting his baton, he strutted out on the field in a short-skirted, perfectly pink majorette uniform.

 

100-words