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Ticking Clocks

Alice slaved over the numbers. Every time the equity balanced, the income didn’t. Without even this rudimentary level of accounting, how could she hope to complete the tax forms? Finally finished, she double checked the address. The likelihood that congress would chose to change something so basic was low, but the laws change every year. Best to check.

Yep. Same address as the last ten years. Her eyes slid down the instructions by a few paragraphs. There the changes for the year listed something she hadn’t worried about. The date for filing had been changed. The new date? Yesterday.

The Challenge: Write a story of 100 words based on a photo
The Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Photo credit: Jennifer Pendergast

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Buggy

Desmond slipped the electronic surveillance device under the dashboard while the perp run into the convenience store. As soon as the guy hopped in the driver’s seat, Desmond took up the conversation where they’d left off.

“So, did you kill this one too?”

“What? The clerk? Nah. Didn’t have to. Walked right past him with the goods in hand. It’s cause I’ve got the devil’s own luck.”

“But that other guy?”

“Yeah. Yeah, I killed him.”

He had him! A couple of hours later Desmond collected the bug. Nothing but static and the rumble of the engine.

The Challenge: Write a story of 100 words based on a photo
The Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Photo credit: Shaktiki Sharma

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The Door Into Summer

There were 32 doors in Ruth’s house. She knew for sure because she’d counted them when her cat, Sargent Pepper, insisted on trying each and every one.

The first door she opened let out on a snowbank. Sargent Pepper gave her such a pitiful yowl, as though the cold and wet might be a personal insult.

This was followed by a tour of every room, and every closet until at last they returned to the back door, where, of course, the snow remained.

“I promise someday this door really will let out into summer,” she told him. “Just not today.”

The Challenge: Write a story of 100 words based on a photo
The Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Photo credit: Sarah Potter

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In the Woods

“Is that a piano over there in the woods?” Brandy peered through the trees. “You think it plays? Let’s try!” She took off running.

“Not that one!” Matt followed. “It’s cursed!”

“Hah, hah! Don’t be silly!” The piano played beautifully until the last note.

Then Ruth stormed out the back door of her house. “If you hit a wrong note you have to pay the penalty! It’s the chair for you!” She pointed at a kitchen chair left by the pond. She was so insistent that Brandy sat.

“See?” Matt stood next to her. “If you play that piano, you’ll get turned into part of a performance art piece.”

The Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Photo credit: Ted Strutz

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An Arch Look

Marge politely put a scarf over her head before entering the mosque. She was learning to carry one in her bag for just such occasions. It was that, or borrow one that had been on who knew how many heads.

This mosque featured more arches that any of the others she’d seen. The tour group had gone so many places, she wasn’t even sure what country they were in.

A set of arches beckoned. Maybe there would be something new. But when she tried to sneak off through them, a man blocked her way with a look. She scuttled back to her group.

The Challenge: Write a story in 100 words or less
The Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
The Photo Credit: Dale Rogerson

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Making Tracks

Toby needed to make tracks. Fast. He should have left town right after the killing, even if it meant hitchhiking through a snowstorm at midnight. Instead, he’d slept in the old wino’s cardboard palace. The smell weren’t too bad, so he stayed a couple of nights. Then they found the body.

Too late to hitch out now. He’d have to hop a train. He waited until the bull went by on an ATV, then tried to slip into an empty box car. It was locked! Climb up to the roof? Or cling to the underside? The bull caught him half way under.

The Challenge: Write a story in 100 words or less
The Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
The Photo Credit: C.E. Ayr

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The Fruit of Hard Work

Ruth liked to work in the elections office. Most of the other people there were also retirees. They all greeted her with a smile each election. Opening the envelopes and taking out the absentee ballots was easy work but felt important. During a major election they could work well into the night to be sure all the votes were counted and accounted for.

“You’re so fast!” One of her co-workers said. “How many did you process today?”

“I counted six boxes, so that’s around three thousand,” Ruth said proudly.

“Wow. That’s almost as good as the machine they will be bringing in to replace us.”

The Challenge: Write a story in 100 words or less
The Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
The Photo Credit: Sandra Crook

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A Father-Son Moment

 photo diner-roger-bultot_zps5njmticc.jpg

The boy found his father in the living room with a beer in one hand and the remote control in the other.

“Whatcha doing, Dad?”

“It’s a monster movie marathon on three channels at the same time. I can’t decide what I want to watch.”

“This is a horror movie? I get the scary music, but what’s so scary about a diner?”

“Just keep watching.”

“You’ve seen this before? Whoah! What’s that eating the diner?!”

“That’s the blob. The movie is Attack of the Killer Blob.”

“Oh, cool!” The boy sat down to watch.

The Challenge: Write a story in 100 words or less
Photo Cridit: Roger Bultot
Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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Christmas Pony

Alicia and Sally leaned against the split-rail fence while watching the horses eat. The bails had been frozen together this morning. Getting them to the feeder and breaking them apart had taken half an hour.

“You know, when I was a little girl I asked Santa for a pony every year.” Alicia broke the silence. “All through grade school and right up until I met you I wanted a pony. If I’d known how much work they take, I’d never have asked.”

“That’s funny.” Sally grinned. “Just yesterday I asked my dad to give me that one.”

The Challenge: Write a story in 100 words or less
The Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
The Photo Credit: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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Roofer

Carl hadn’t gone up on a roof himself in ten years. With one thing or another, his whole crew walked just as the millionaire hired him to roof a set of three. He scraped his knees and bruised his thumb, but got it done. Even the last roof with all the color tiles that had to be done just so – he did it on deadline. When he went for his pay, the owner changed his mind. He wanted the special tile on all three for the same price.

The Challenge: Write a story in 100 words or less
The Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
The Photo Credit: Sandra Crook

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A Life On the Shelf

Ruth stood in front of the curios cabinet. Hank put the shell in the niche on the lower left the day they came back from Coney Island. Martin put the feather on the top left the first time he visited after completing his bird book. Matt gave her the jar full of match heads. She wasn’t sure what that was about and wasn’t going to ask. Ted placed the painted pebble in the center niche the day he won his first award. Seems everyone had contributed something. Ruth stood there with her feather duster and considered what to do with it all.

The Challenge: Write a story in 100 words or less
The Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
The Photo Credit: Claire Fuller

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Come Hll or High Water

Old Man Matheson put on his galoshes in the mudroom.

“Are you crazy?” His daughter hovered over him, wringing her hands. “Do you have any idea what it’s like out there?”

“If I let a little bit of weather stop me, I’ll never get any exercise. It’s now or never.” He heaved to his feet.

“A little weather?”

He opened the door, then stopped. The front yard was completely under water.

“That isn’t weather. That’s a hurricane!” His daughter pointed at the rising waters. “Now close the door!”

The Challenge: Write a story in 100 words or less
The Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
The Photo Credit: © CEAyr

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Working Conditions

“This way.” Ken jangled the keys as he walked through the storage unit.

“You expect me to organize your storage unit for minimum wage?” Marge scowled. Her boss never knew where to draw the line. “I expect hazard pay.”

“No, no, no. It’ll be easy. We’ll just slip in and grab the box of files then head back to the office. See, I’ve got this new shelving system…” He unlocked a unit and rolled up the door.

A tower of beer cans, a trophy moose head, some tackle, and parts from a motorcycle all cascaded into the hall.

“We just need to set it up.”

The Challenge: Write a story in 100 words or less
The Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
The Photo Credit: Amy Reese

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Light Show

Deborah stopped half way up the stairs. The chandelier sent shards of light splashing all over the walls and ceiling. It was a light show she’d seen all her life. In the center of the cheerful display, the glare from a window revealed a form that left her cold. Her niece, dead now for nearly ten years.

“Mom? What’s wrong?”

“Nothing Dear,” she told her son. “Nothing at all.”

If she told him, he’d have her locked up some place where everyone would try to convince her she was crazy just like before. Better just keep it to herself.

The Challenge: Write a story in 100 words or less
The Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
The Photo Credit: Roger Bultot

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Quick Decision

Jane tiptoed away from the rest of the tour group. She should have used the bathroom at the previous stop. Now, if she wanted to go, she would either have to announce the need to everyone in the group, hold it on the bus while they rattled over who knew what kinds of roads, or help herself to the nice family’s commode. She considered the choice obvious.

But where would the facilities be? She finally found a tiled room that must be it, though there was no running water. She lifted the lid of what might be the toilet. Corn.

“Hurry up, Jane. It’s time to get on the bus!”

The Challenge: Write a story in 100 words or less
The Hub: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
The Photo Credit: Shaktiki Sharma

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