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Suzie’s House 500 : Rights

Suzie's House

“When you catch yourself thinking the kind of stupid things your brother would say, tell yourself, ‘I have a right to be myself. Nothing anyone says can change that.’” He made air quotes.

“You’ll probably have to tell yourself a lot of times.” Sonoma agreed. “Along with things like, “I have a right to be here.” “I have a right to be heard.” and “I have a right to be loved.”

“But… What if I don’t?” Emma’s voice rose enough to make her throat hurt. She couldn’t think of an example right off the top of her head, but Emma was pretty there were limits. It was all kind of murky.

“Dear.” Trent patted her hand. “You always have all of those rights.”

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Suzie’s House 499 : Midnight with Cookies

Suzie's House

Sonoma. What a weird name. Emma lay on the bed in Miranda’s room and stared at the ceiling. The room smelled of shoes.

Emma always thought Miranda didn’t like her. But as soon as she found out about Emma and the thing with her brother, Miranda cleared the piles of clothes and shoes off the bed in her room. The place was a kaleidoscopic mess – like one huge walk in closet turned inside out.

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Suzie’s House 498 : Shelter from the Storm

Suzie's House

The girl gaped adorably as she stared across the den at them. Sonoma had always found that lost waif look appealing. Knowing what little she did about Emma, Sonoma felt compelled to do everything she could to help.

Trent smiled and gave her hand a squeeze – his signal that he totally understood her feelings, and would back her up. The two of them had encountered waifs any number of times over the fifty plus years of their union.

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Suzie’s House 497 : Decayed Fears

Suzie's House

“You’re Jim’s sister? You poor thing.” The old man shook his head.

Emma stood in Mrs. H’s den like a stupid deer. She couldn’t decide if she should stare at Drew or the old man and old woman so she tried to do both and probably looked like a total derp face.

“It’s alright,” Drew said. “They’re harmless.” He gestured at a chair next to her. He was already sitting in the one opposite of her. The old couple had the couch.

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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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