Archive for the ‘Short Fiction’ Category
There once was a tiny leprechaun
who lived in the hills of Ireland upon
fields of flowers and grass so green
he wandered about, but couldn’t be seen,
the little man known only as Shawn.
Then one day he came to town
sprinkling his lucky gold dust all around.
Like a bit of magic, he spread his cheer
to everyone everywhere, far and near,
then quietly left without a sound.
Joyce E. Johnson © 2017
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone who wants or needs a little cheer. 🙂
His hand gripped tightly. With grunting, gasping breaths he climbed up, and saw nothing but the tunnel of hard, cold steel that went on, endlessly in the claustrophobic tomb.
“Help!” He cried out.
Save your breath. It will only tax what energy you have left and be your downfall.
A hoarse cough broke from his parched throat.
My ‘downfall.’ Yeah! Done that!
Don’t look down. The bottom is endless, too. Grab hold! Anything!
His feet felt like iron weights.
Climb! I can do this.
The elevator shaft opened.
Oh, thank God!
Psalm 31: 2, Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of rescue, a strong fortress to save me. NIV, Old Testament
The above short story is fiction, but I used it as an illustration of the times when we need to be rescued from some trap or downfall, either by our own doing, or one of a literal sense. To acknowledge God, and His power to save, rescue and heal us, however it happens is when we need him most. The Psalms are full of the many stories and pleas of David, King of Israel who often found himself trapped by his enemies, or caught in literal or personal traps he’d set for himself. I’m thankful for the way God always provides us with a way of escape from that which the enemy sets up for us, either to catch us by surprise, or one placed there, warning us of what might come if we do not acknowledge Him, or seek His help .
Joyce E. Johnson © 2016
Photo credit: Marie Gail Stratford. Thanks, Marie for the photo prompt for this week’s Friday Fictioneers
I have not submitted a flash fiction story to Rochelle Wisoff Field’s Friday Fictioneers for the last three years, but thought I would jump on this one for old times sake and join in the fun. Here is mine of 100 words, exactly.
I needed a break. Pouring myself another cup of coffee I sat down to relax. But, my brain still worked on the next chapter of my book. The gnawing, grinding sound like tiny teeth, chewing was driving me insane.
But, it came from my desk. The mouse gyrated, moved around in crazy patterns, made clicking sounds, jerking itself free from my grasp. I stared, unbelieving as it came alive. Using keyboard shortcuts I clicked My Docs. Gone! Nothing! I clicked on my last saved file of my years’ long book project. It was not there. Gone!
The mouse was still.
Joyce E. Johnson (2015)
Pam leaned over the raft trying to pull the paddle loose, caught beneath the rocks.
“Let it go. Leave it!” the guide yelled, trying to stabilize the raft. But it spun around in a whirlwind of churning white water.
She was jerked from the raft, pitched into the rapids. Her scream was drowned out by the force and strength of a river gone wild.
As she floundered about trying to swim back, the guide and others in the raft tried working the raft back towards her. But, as they came dangerously close to the ‘Big Drop’ the current was too strong. The raft went over and disappeared from view.
“No! Please! Don’t leave me.” She screamed, but they were gone.
Her only thought now was survival. Getting out of the river, climbing to safety and finding help.
Grabbing at rocks, anything she could hold on to, Pam fought the current, working herself across the river to the south side where it ran parallel to the road. A rooted tree limb sticking out from the shore beckoned her.
She managed to pull herself up, out of the freezing water. As she climbed the steep slope towards the road she thought about her friends in the raft, and Mike, their guide. Did they make it? Are they safe?
She shook from the cold, soaked clothes clinging to her body. When she got to the road she saw emergency vehicles and rescue crews with Katie, their guide and the rest in their group.
“Pam! Thank God, you’re safe. We were all so worried. We tried to get to you but the water was…”
“I know. I’m sorry, Katie. It was my fault…” Like a dam opened the tears spilled over as she could no longer hold it back. Shivering, dizzy and barely able to stand she welcomed the warm blanket and supportive arms about her shoulders as the emergency crew made her comfortable in the back of their vehicle for the ride back down.
“Pam. We’re all safe. It’s OK. The bus is here to take the rest back.” Katie hugged her. “I’m coming with you.”
The guide walked over to Pam and smiled, “What are you going to do next time I say, ‘Let go of the paddle?’
“Do as you say.” She said, smiling.
He laughed. “Sometimes Pam, a lesson is best learned when taught by experience alone. We don’t always see the danger up ahead, until it happens to us. It is the way I learned.”
“Yes. I know from experience what the river is capable of at flood stage, but this is the beginning of our summer tourist season. The trip was scheduled in advance, and I didn’t want to cancel, or disappoint. So, I take full responsibility for what happened to you, putting you at risk. I’m sorry. Your next trip is on me, if you want to try this again, sometime.”
Joyce E. Johnson © 2015
This is a work of fiction, part 2 and the conclusion. Part 1 was posted on Monday, May 18th. My story is not related to, or in reference to any real person or event. Whitewater rafting is a popular summer sport (among others like hiking, camping and climbing ‘fourteeners’) in Colorado. The Cache La Poudre River is one of several that offers it. You can find more information on whitewater rafting on the Cache La Poudre River here. I hope everyone’s summer season is off to a great start. Stay safe and have fun over Memorial Day weekend.
This is a an old lobster trap on the porch of a visitors center in Digby, Nova Scotia where lobster and scallops fishing remains one of the biggest occupations there with people living on the coast.
The movement was slight, but unmistakable.
“There! See that?”
“Got it. Lower us down. It’s too rocky, unsteady to set down the copter.”
“It’s Ingram. He’s alive. Caught and tangled in his own traps under a downed tree. We’ll have to pull him free.”
They radioed the pilot. “Send down the hoist pulley.”
“It’s tied on. Now! Easy! Lift him out, carefully. I think he’s got broken ribs. Not sure what else.”
“Good. Now, let’s get him secured in the basket.”
They radioed back. “Take him up. Gently!”
“I’ll let them know we’ve found him.”
It was Christmas.
Carolers gathered around the old hall. “Joy to the world…” They sang. “and heaven and nature sing…”
Ingram pulled Henry up onto his lap. “Henry, this is for you.”
Henry ripped open his present, his blue eyes as big and bright as the lights on the tree.
The miniature clipper was just like the one he let go the day he sent it out to sea.
“Wow! Look, mama! It’s my boat.”
Joyce E. Johnson (2014)
Footnotes: All photos used for this 3 part story are ones I took while on a trip to Nova Scotia, Canada many years ago. You can find part 1 and 2 of Lost at Sea previously posted.
Fishermen’s wharf, Nova Scotia (Not sure why so many American flags displayed)
Days passed with no word or sign of his whereabouts.
They came with flowers and wreaths throwing them out upon the waves.
A little boy holding his mother’s hand carried his small clipper pushing it out from shore.
“Henry, that is your favorite boat. Are you sure you want to… do this?” his mother asked.
“Yes, mama. It is for Mr. Ingram. He needs a new boat.”
“But, Henry, it is…,” then stopped herself. He was only four. He wouldn’t understand.
Henry looked up at her, “Mama, you told me to ‘believe for the impossible.'”
She nodded. “Yes, Henry, I did.”
Joyce E. Johnson (2014)
Footnotes: This is Part two of a three part story. Part 3 (the conclusion) will be posted in a few days. You can find Part 1 of this story under short story/flash fiction posts, Lost at Sea.
An old Mariners’ hall meeting place, Nova Scotia, Canada
A small crowd gathers at the Mariner’s hall, # 1077
The boat drifted for days, then was found washed ashore, its broken hull taking on water.
An experienced lobster fisherman, Ingram guffawed with his meaty hand wrapped around his pint of ale, “Just give me some line and I will fill my want, whatever the sea spits out at me.”
But, it looked like the sea claimed him. The old mariner pulled up anchor and set out to fish, traps in tow. Then the Nor’easter slammed the Atlantic coast.
Now they come to wait, and pray.
Joyce E. Johnson (2014)
Footnotes: The above photo was taken in Nova Scotia while on a trip many years ago. I will be posting Part 2 and Part 3 (the conclusion) to this story in a few days.