Archive for the ‘Short Fiction’ Category

Lost at Sea

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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.


Where lies the remains of Annie C. Maguire

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Portland Head lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

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Memorial to the capsized British vessel, Annie C. Maguire, 1886

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A mist roles in from a cold, dark sea.

Waves kick up, thrashing the British barque.

Wind gusts rip sails from the bowing masthead.

A deep guttural sound bellows to the surface from under the ship’s hull.

She hits rock, breaking apart on impact.

Caught in her rigging she turns and twists in its knotted embrace. 

The Annie Maguire drifts, its SOS not acknowledged.

Were there none to hear her distress signals sent?

Darkness descends.

A bullhorn sounds, and the cone-shaped glow of light emerges.

The lighthouse; a beacon to the capsized ship and crew.

______________

Footnotes: Mystery surrounds the capsized Annie C. Maguire British vessel. Miraculously her crew was saved and rescued on Christmas Eve, 1886, when the ship went aground during a storm, but the ship’s remains were never recovered. You can find images and information on this vessel and story here

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

 


 

 

 

This old house


This old house

“Kelly, I want you to do a cover story on that old homestead over in Plymouth.” Shauna said.

“That old house? It’s barely standing. No one wants to touch it, not even a real estate developer to determine the property’s worth or potential. They claim there is something strange about it. An old man who looked after the adjoining properties around there lived in it.”

“Yes, the caretaker. But, he died years ago, a very old man. But, there is no death record on him.”

“And his spirit still lurks around the old grounds. That’s what the real estate office says.”

“Well, you said you loved doing stories on places where things happened.” Shauna said, smiling.

Land deeds, surveys, property listings, documents of all kinds were spread across an old map table at the county courthouse. What looked like tea stain marks and scrawled signatures merged together making things nearly illegible.

The house was over a hundred years old. Records showed inhabitants from nearby properties were descendents from the original settlers.

With my camera, door key and copy of the records I approached the house, cautiously.

Tree roots grew up between rotted floor boards exposing earth and weeds, causing the entire floor to buckle in places. I hope I don’t fall through the floor to some gaping hole beneath. Paint was chipped and peeling from walls to ceiling where spiders weaved thick webs for their occupants still moving about. Windows were broken where the ground had shifted under the foundation.

A lone bulb dangled loose from a string of wires suspended just above me as I heard the patter and gnawing of rats or mice in the attic. I hate spiders, detest mice and freak out at the sight of rats.

The ceiling did not look any more stable than the floor looking like it could collapse any moment. I pulled out my flashlight. The descending sun cast shadows across things inside giving it an eerie glow. The furnishings were sparse, all of them looking like ancient pieces from a bygone era. Old, yellowed newspapers with dates so far back… Impossible! Beside them lay recent newspapers, some even with my stories in them. How can that be?

I quickly propped up my flashlight and began going through the pile. There was a scrolled up piece of parchment; a draft… Mayflower Compact?!

Floor boards creaked under heavy steps. The door was pushed open. I jumped, grabbing my flashlight and held it tightly in my raised hand; my ‘weapon’ ready.

“Oh, miss. I’m happy to find you. I read your stories in the Plymouth Sentinel. You tell a good tale. Will you write ours, about our crossing on the Mayflower? Oh, I’m sorry. I haven’t properly introduced myself. I’m William Bradford, governor of Plymouth Colony.”

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Footnotes: This is a story of fiction, but the real story about William Bradford, the Plymouth Colony governor can be found  here   The above photo is one I took from the road we traveled while on a trip back to New England and Nova Scotia years ago. This old house caught me eye, and I had to stop and get a picture of it. I don’t think anyone was living in it at the time. I love taking pictures of old homes, historic buildings and churches and try to find some history on the area wherever we travel, so thought it would be a great photo prompt for this story.

Happy Halloween 🙂

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Somewhere over the meadow-land

The below post is fiction and my submitted entry for the http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/build-your-own/

The photo is provided by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

 

I was uncertain where I was, but just kept going. Across the meadow, to where I didn’t know. Would anyone care about the “crazy lunatic  woman” who talked to the. “invisible man.” in her room, pleading his help to get out?

It’d been so long since I’d driven a car, then losing control after it swerved from the road hitting the tree. The car I stole from the entrance drive after running from the room while they did some, “psychological analysis evaluation”. Whatever that was. But, I had to get out of that insane place. Or, is it me that is insane? They all think I am.

Hitting my head hard against the dash. Shattered glass everywhere. The awful sound, the loud beeping noise coming from somewhere. Oh, yes, the asylum’s security alert system that went off.

My head hurts. It still bleeds from the gash where glass shards landed from the impact.

I’m so weary from running, and so weak. My blood is leaving tracks across the meadow as I stumble through thick bramble brush.

I hear him calling out my name, “Sarah… Sarah, I am here. You are free.”

________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

 

Posted August 25, 2014 by Joyce in Fiction, Flash Fiction, My Writings, Short Fiction

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Alone, like the bird on the lake.

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A lake near a walking trail we use in Loveland, Co.

Jenna felt as alone as the bird on the lake. The water was stilled, a channel with no place to go, like her. Now she was out of a job with no money, or friends. She knew the company would not take her back.

 

I can’t undo what I did, led to believe I could have it all. I believed him, the ‘CEO’ who promised the career move would secure my future. But, instead he manipulated me, wanting “things” in return, leading me down a lonely, dark path.

 

She heard a voice, “Jenna. Go back. Trust me.”

 

She looked.

 

God?

_________________________

 

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Footnotes: The above story is fiction, not my own. I took the photo while walking on this trail with my husband and dog, Maggie. From time to time, I will post photos of places or things where I have been, and use the photo as a prompt for a short fiction story, or just tell a little about where the photo was taken with my own perspective on it. As always, comments and feedback are welcome.

 

Little Bug Jed

Little Bug Jed fell asleep in the bed

while all curled up by a boy named Ned

When morning came, little bug Jed

woke up to find Ned’s turtle named Fred

hungrily chomping on another bug’s head.

In fright he jumped from the bed beside Ned

before being snatched and eaten by Fred.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Bug notes; There are times when the spirit moves me and inspiration comes in different ways, and I will move from a serious post or piece or even a serious story to one with a humorous or light approach to brighten the day and I want to feel the fantasy take me beyond the mundane realities in this world. Thus, in the recent months or past I have posted a poem or story to go with a funny or crazy little image to lighten the mood. Hope you enjoy the little poems or stories along the way to my ‘Fantasy Land’, a place I loved and enjoyed at Disneyland and Disneyworld.

Posted May 28, 2014 by Joyce in My Writings, Poems, poetry, Short Fiction

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A Frog Named Slime (Day 29 for the NaPoWriMo poetry challenge)

A Frog Named Slime

A frog named Slime covered in grime

Jumped in a pond to scrub himself clean,

 scrubbed so hard he washed off the green

“Look at me now! I can’t be seen,

looking too clean like a shriveled green bean.

“‘I look all shiny with all that sheen.

and won’t look like a frog if I’m not all green.”‘

So away he hopped to his puddle of grime

and happy was he the frog named Slime.

____________________________

Joyce E. Johnson © (2014)

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