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Suzie’s House 496 : Shelter From the Thorn

Suzie's House

“Why? I’m not saying let’s go back to the park. I’m saying why did we have to leave when the sun is still up.” Lisa meant for the question to go to the entire band though she looked at Bruce as they hustled along to Ben’s house.

“Like I said already, we’ll talk about it when we get to the house.”

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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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Suzie’s House 495 : Scream

Suzie's House

“Not like that Emma. More like… “ Lisa let the camera fall to her side. Her brow twisted in consternation or maybe puzzlement. Or maybe both.

Emma kind of thought it was both. No matter what it meant that Emma wasn’t delivering whatever Lisa wanted for this video. Just that she was so sure she got it. What was wrong?

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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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Suzie’s House 494 : Family Reunion

Suzie's House

Emma had friends? Since when did Emma have friends? Jim sat in the van and stared.

He did vaguely recall meeting some guy who had been walking her home one night, but certainly not any girls and certainly not so many people over all. And the way they treated her – like she was the main thing. Like she was popular.

Like Jim would ever let something like that happen!

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Suzie’s House 493 : A Free Ride

Suzie's House

Sonoma lay flat on her back in a nest of blankets with her head wedged between the van’s driver’s seat and the front passenger seat so she could hear the conversation between Trent and “Big Jim”. She’d slept through an hour of the trip from Minneapolis and Madison, but didn’t feel very refreshed.

“How you doing, Darling? Back any better?” He reached down from the passenger seat and gave her hand a squeeze.

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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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Suzie’s House 492 : Blanking the Slate

Suzie's House

“Hey! Whatcha doing?” The old geezer shouted his question as he walked across the Walmart parking lot. He had crusty jeans, but a fresh plaid shirt over a faded but clean tie-dye T-shirt. His long, gray hair was pulled back in a frizzy, puny ponytail.

Great. Probably another refugee from the Hippie generation. Jim ignored him.

“You really wanna be doing that? Seams like a real waste.”

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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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Suzie’s House 491 : Goodbye Van Family

Suzie's House

Jim walked for four hours. He would have stopped and slept at the side of the road, but the one thin blanket he had with him didn’t do enough to keep him warm. He had to keep walking until he either found a place to stay, or someone took pity on his cold hitchhiker’s thumb.

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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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Suzie’s House 490 : Van Family Neophyte

Suzie's House

“He’s a misogynist!” The dork with fake glasses pointed at Big Jim Zempel and laughed. Laughed! As if he had any right to say anything, the wannabe.

“What are you talking about?” Jim tried to laugh it off, though he really wanted to punch the guy. Lately it seemed like lately Rick had been picking up more and more of those people. Always the ones who didn’t really need to be there. College kids killing the last few minutes before they went back to school.

“You, man. I’m talking about you.” The idiot college boy grinned dopily.

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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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Suzie’s House 489 : The First Day of School for Emma

Suzie's House

Emma paused in the front entrance of East High on the morning of the first day of school. She swallowed hard and tried to not think about barfing. This year, she was not going to run to the bathroom every few seconds. Not like all through middle school.

In middle school, up until she’d found the three Kates, she’d been a nervous wreck. Come to think of it, she’d been nearly as much of a nervous wreck afterwards too. When was it exactly that she’d gotten a grip?

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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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