Photo Prompt

Each month, we post a photograph as a writing prompt. Post your 100-word story in the comments section, and we’ll choose one to feature in our next issue. To see examples, read photo stories we’ve published in the past.

In the spirit of fun and fairness, please follow these guidelines:
• Post only one story per photo prompt.
• Be mindful of others’ feelings when commenting (keep it positive rather than giving feedback).
• Remember this is a shared safe space for all lovers of 100-word stories.

 

Photo of two trucks on a bridge.

Art Credit: Thomas Hawk

88 Responses to “Photo Prompt”

  1. Gretchen Kalhust says:

    Raising the binoculars to her eyes, a wide smile spread across Stella’s face as she adjusted the focus. Without turning, she spoke to her companion, “Hot damn! All of our hard work has paid off. Today will be the beginning of the revolution. We will bring down the corporations! The trucks are almost in position. The detonators are ready, yes?” Next to her, the man startled and took several heartbeats to reply, “I didn’t bring the detonators…” “What?! That was your job!” she shouted. Shrinking, he squeaked “No, you specifically said that you would be bringing them to this job.”

  2. Jennifer Lai says:

    Sitting Trucks

    The bridge is collapsing. You can feel it in your bones. The moan. The rumble. The death rattle of hundred-year-old steel. On the edge of a precipice in a forty-ton semi, you vroom vroom vroom over the speed limit. Looking to the sky, you think of your wife. Her grave adorned with roses the color of clouds. You struggle to keep going, but you cannot stop now. There isn’t much time, and another truck trails behind. You wonder if you’ll make it across or plummet into the valley below. Either way, you’ll see what awaits you on the other side.

  3. Jim Byrnes says:

    Short Sighted

    My stupid brother and I were standing in the observation area for the Perrine Bridge. I guessed that from the bridge deck to the water below was roughly 500 feet and high enough to parasail to the bottom. My brother was right next to me, shaking his head and mumbling, “I don’t know,” over and over again. He obviously thought my plan was bat shit crazy but I was totally obsessed and committed. I asked him what he thought about my plan and he said, “I’m pretty sure you’ll be able tp make it at least once.”

  4. Teddy Kimathi says:

    My grandfather always told me to carry everything precious, whenever I embarked on a long journey. Three summers later, my heart dropped a luggage, which many called a baggage. Movers tracks crossed the bridge, which wasn’t far from where I lived. It always looked like winter on the other end. My house was much emptier but happier. I felt lighter; everything around me seemed to be levitating, undisturbed by gravity. Isaac Newton must have known that words vary in gravity. She always told me she helped me become lighter by making me lose weight. A weighing scale now sits idle.

  5. David Dumouriez says:

    100 miles is nothing on a road like this. Some folk will be behind you for 50 before you even realise they’re there. But I realised that blue critter was there pretty much from the start. He was too close. I slowed down to let him pass. He didn’t. I put my foot down to open up a gap. He just put his foot down too. That’s when I knew something was up. You can’t do this job for all the time I have without developing an instinct. But even that didn’t prepare me for what happened on the bridge.

  6. Patrick Mulligan says:

    Sacrifice

    I can’t make this delivery. Transporting unknown contents is never a good idea. Problem is, I do know. It started with money changing hands, trucks already loaded. But I heard the sound throughout the drive. At first it was a heartbeat, thought I’d been caught up in kidnapping. As we get closer to the city I don’t know how I misheard the ticking. At least I know this bridge. I signal to the other driver that the gap in the railing is coming up, nothing but an empty stone valley below. I just don’t know how else to stop this.

  7. Victoria Hares says:

    Forgotten

    Staring.
    Birds gliding
    in the baby blue sky.
    Counting.
    Trucks roaming
    above the bridge.
    Admiring.
    Hues of red dyeing
    the sky.
    Remembering.

    Midnight blue,
    pale green,
    safety yellow,
    crimson red,
    never ending black.

    I lay there,
    with my bones bare.

    Searching.
    The man that left me here.
    Waiting.
    The reaper that left me here.
    Hoping.
    The afterlife that left me here.

    I lay there,
    forgotten in despair.

  8. Rickie Roberts says:

    A cloudless blue sky. Summer stretched ahead of them. They lay on their bellies on the bank overlooking the bridge that crossed the gorge. “Let’s play snooker,” said Michael. “Snooker?” asked James. “Yeah. When you see a red car you score a point. Then two if the next one is yellow, three for green,” explained Mike. “My first point, a red lorry,” James said excitedly, “and five for the blue one.” “No Jim, that’s green, not blue,” said Michael. James jumped up, shouting “Blue, blue.” Michael pushed him, harder than he intended and suddenly his friend was falling, falling …

  9. “We visit your mother every bloody week! I’ve had enough – this week, I’m staying home”. Zeus hammers his clenched fist onto the dining table.

    “You’re my husband… We’re a couple… I want us to go together.”, retorts Hera, unwilling to budge.

    After a moment’s thought, Zeus proposes, “I can see there’s only one solution here”, before flouncing angrily from the room. A pregnant pause, before he bellows, “You coming? I’m waiting.”

    “Boys”, sighs Hera, as she eventually follows.

    Next door, Zeus counts down. “Ready… set… GO!”, he commands, as the pair grip their controllers and the game of Scalextric begins.

  10. A BEDTIME STORY

    Two trucks are racing on a high bridge, one red, one blue.

    Inside the red truck: ten thousand boxes of tiny red trucks, trucks the exact same model of the truck they’re inside.

    Inside the blue truck: mirrors facing mirrors, a case of calendars from the future, a box of blue Möbius strips.

    Driving the trucks are naked female manikins salvaged from a burnt-out dimestore.

    My son asked me for these trucks, for his bedtime story. Now he wants me to blow them up. But I love my trucks. I can’t, I tell him, not just yet. But I will.

  11. Elizabeth Stone says:

    Aimless

    Wheels drone on over metal,
    the sound of us leaving behind the only home we’ve known together.
    Crestfallen but smiling, electrified by anticipation and the static of our favorite alternative rock station fading out behind us.
    The consecutive rap of tire against track in our bodies as we dart through state lines,
    over the bridge and into a future yet unseen,
    past trucks and fields and the sun glinting ahead on the horizon.
    Forward,
    onward;
    the road carries us on.

  12. Geoffrey Morgan says:

    There was a red semi-truck trailer heading over a bridge with another blue semi-truck trailer right behind it. The drivers were both doozed and just came back from a late party that went till 4 am in the morning. In an hour or 2 it got pretty bright in the day and they were headed on with one following the other to go to Las Vegas, Nevada. Whilst making their way over from LA, California, they had to cross this unusual bridge on their way. This bridge was long but not very steady with skinny poles and a curve thing holding it up. The drivers were afraid to cross it, as their truck load could be much more than this bridge can hold. The red truck headed on first, very scared and shaking, and was going smoothly until he heard a cracking noise. He stopped the truck immediately and asked the blue truck driver to come over and help him. Now they were both stuck in the middle of the bridge and had no idea which way to go as the bridge could fall from either side. They decided to line up behind each other and go at 160 km/h and just fearlessly cross the bridge. They ended up crossing it and it was a happily ever after type story.

  13. Geoffrey Morgan says:

    Amarillo

    We’d ridden with Riley for about eight hours. He’d picked us up in San Bernadino late. A trucker headed to Amarillo, two songwriters headed to Nashville. Judy had been snoring softly in the sleeper in the back of the cab since midnight. Until sunrise Riley had talked of missing his family and the $3,000 monthly loan and insurance payments on his rig. Maybe once I’ve made the last payment. His voice drifted off and he nodded across the sky blue cab at the cab blue sunny sky and we smiled, our dreams suspended on that arch, that bridge, that gorge.

  14. G. Mahoney says:

    We don’t call them zombies or the living dead because they are very much alive. We call them the “Hungry”, because well, that’s what they are.

    The whole world turned upside down in a matter of months. It isn’t known where the virus came from, but it struck quick and hard. Millions of people running rabid trying to eat each other.

    A select few of us who managed to escape gnashing jaws eventually found one another mostly through happenstance.

    Our troupe now nomads, scavengers never occupying one place too long in our hot-wired rigs.

    Tanks evaporating swiftly. I feel famished.

  15. Toraya Belanouane says:

    It was just another year, just another warning. It’s time to pack up. We need to get out of here. Year after year, it’s always the same. Why do we stay here if we have to run? The traffic from the city slowly tappers off as everyone find their place to evacuate to. Where shall we go?
    “Dad, why do we live in a place that constantly floods?”, wondering but never daring to say a word. After the fight between the parents, they (mom) decided the going we’re
    Over the mountains and through the woods to Grandfathers’ house, we go.

  16. Bill says:

    There was a red semi-truck trailer heading over a bridge with another blue semi-truck trailer right behind it. The drivers were both doozed and just came back from a late party that went till 4 am in the morning. In an hour or 2 it got pretty bright in the day and they were headed on with one following the other to go to Las Vegas, Nevada. Whilst making their way over from LA, California, they had to cross this unusual bridge on their way. This bridge was long but not very steady with skinny poles and a curve thing holding it up. The drivers were afraid to cross it, as their truck load could be much more than this bridge can hold. The red truck headed on first, very scared and shaking, and was going smoothly until he heard a cracking noise. He stopped the truck immediately and asked the blue truck driver to come over and help him. Now they were both stuck in the middle of the bridge and had no idea which way to go as the bridge could fall from either side. They decided to line up behind each other and go at 160 km/h and just fearlessly cross the bridge. They ended up crossing it and it was a happily ever after type story.

  17. Dawn says:

    September 2021. The Distance Between.

    The distance between the head and the heart:
    Sixty kilometers.

    Billy-Boy wedged inside his red lorry, fuzzy dice bobbing above the dashboard.
    ZZ Top beard flowing, blues rock playing on the radio.

    Docket specifications:
    Top load of Carcass and Meat characteristics.

    The distance between the heart and the head:
    Hours infinite.

    Girl in the basement flat holding a razor blade, carving his name across her abdomen.

    River of blood driving down over a diamante belly-button ring.

    Billy stops to pick up a hitchhiker.
    He calls home, he’ll be away another night.

    He wind whispers “Roses r Red, Violets r Blue.”

  18. Ken Gosse says:

    Roamin’ Romans

    The Romans forged across the land
    by building roads—some still extant—
    and using arches, bridges spanned
    the mighty rivers which would grant
    them victory for conquests planned.

    Their aqueducts, a mighty feat,
    would carry rivers overhead
    ensuing that their fields of wheat
    would meet their ample need of bread
    to supplement their drink and meat.

    Centurions marched side-by-side
    as chariots and wagons haul
    their officers and what supplied
    their battles ’gainst the Goths in Gaul
    to spread the Empire far and wide.

    And underneath each bridge today,
    ensuring that the road won’t sway,
    their Roman Numerals have their say.

    • Asma says:

      PHOTO PROMPT STORY
      Today once again, the traffic begins with the heavy trucks. If you ask me , most of these truckers drive very carefully, like a man walking a tightrope.
      The worst are the cars. How they whizz past ! And then the pile- ups : shattering glass, screams , blood and gore, ambulances, medics, stretchers, bodybags.
      Then the suicides : men and women of all ages : a second of hesitation and then down into the awning gulf. So do l try to stop them ? No, l never do anything, l never go anywhere. I just watch life go by. Being a bridge, what else can l do ?

  19. Toraya Belanouane says:

    I slowly open my eyes. Where am I? Oh, I know… I’m on the ground again. I recognized these horrified facial expressions around me. People rushing around
    They ask “Do you know where you are?”
    “Do you know your name?”
    “Where do you live?”
    So many questions at once…I know the answers I just can’t articulate them. Now come kidnapper I mean ambulance. Those embarrassing flashing lights screaming somethings wrong over here and the bed they want to force me on. Luckily this time my mother was there, so kidnappers trusted me enough to accept my waiver, this time.

  20. Bernardo Villela says:

    NO HAZARDS
    by Bernardo Villela

    Merle braked to a stop on the bridge beneath a shocking blue sky.

    Another tractor trailer blocked the lane ahead, no hazards. Merle turned his on as he clambered out of his turquoise cab and approached the red one.

    “Problem?” Merle said jovially. Seeing the passenger side empty silenced him. Merle stood on the step; nobody was collapsed in the cabin.

    A tentative look over the fence confirmed a body laid in the ravine below. Bile rising in his throat, Merle turned away. Dialing 911 the image of the trucker splayed in a blood-splat branded itself on his brain.

  21. Abigayle Thornton says:

    Freely falling into black and blue,
    Serpents latched to ankles and wrists, whispered soothing promises.
    My house on the other side of town, and I had never left.

    I rose at dawn to twin cities,
    comforted only by streetlights and the Hudson.
    Years gone by and I still ponder how someone who
    has never stood upon the edge
    Painted a picture clear as day.
    How I awoke that night, tearless eyes,
    Silence on my tongue,
    just like any other morning.

    The only difference now
    is how I regard that iconic staple of Troy,
    like a ghost gazing upon its tomb.

    • Rabab says:

      MY PHOTO PROMPT STORY
      So we have hit the road, Ben and l. Ben, my high-school buddy works for this moving company.
      We are transporting all my house hold goods 50 kms away to Mark’s girlfriend ‘s house. After ten years of marriage, he has left me the houe but taken all the beautiful things we bought together because Madeleine likes them .
      So are we going to transport all this to Mark’s new house ? Not on your life ! We are going to drive the truck into a gorge and jump out of the way ! If love does not last, should material goods ? Should tears ? Should heartbreak ?

  22. It is a sun drenched sky blue day, with puffy clouds lingering in the crisp clear air — like the last picture mom took. I have stalked mom’s bridge for weeks, simmering up the courage to jump. Today I did, head first, with bungie cords interrupting my fall with a memory jolt of mom pulling my drowning little ass out of the pool by my ankles. I miss mom’s gumption. A truck driving, cuss slinging, grab the world by the balls kinda gal.

    I will continue jumping every sunny morning till the grief of mom’s suicide jump clears from the air.

  23. EUGEN M. HOBLE says:

    Sleepless nights in Pasadena

    There was something brave in him driving the twenty thousand pounds truck while having a shotgun resting on his lap, and there were moments when Gustav even imagined what could have happened if the police had stopped him.

    But a poisonous thought began to build up in the back of his mind after he peered at the odometer and realized that the green truck showing up in the rearview mirror had followed him steadily for the last two hundred miles, ever since he left Pasadena.

    Marcia lived in Pasadena, and so did her husband. Was it him, back there?

  24. Krystyna Fedosejevs says:

    Next… Madeleine

    Truck refuelled. The taste of breakfast lingered in his mouth. Another town passed. Ten miles away from Julie. Mostly sunnny. Barry’s truck hummed. His heart sang. Lavender scented Chloe’s nightgown last night. Breeze through an open window fluttered sheers, perked his ears to the chirping of awakening birds. Was Penny okay? He left her canteen two days ago. Tears flowed. Her lover skipped town. Kids left without their dad. The paving on the Interstate was smooth under his rolling tires. Over a bridge he spotted Jack driving behind him. Once a friend, now a rival. Who will reach Madeleine first?

  25. A says:

    “Looking at two trucks on the other bridge”, a big voice woke me up in my car. What caught my eyes was an old and rusty bridge. Jenny told me: “ They are so brave because there was a ban on using the bridge but why are they still able to drive.” It occurred to me that they should pray for them to cross the bridge safely because the bridge can become a pile of scrap metal in a split second. Jenny broke the atmosphere in the car: “I also want to try the feeling of playing with Death like that.”

  26. As I leave the front door, I am heartbroken.

    I tried to move around this uneasy feeling, that is unsustainably inevitable. My heart sinks as I hear the motor to my semi sink to a dark undertone. It drops, drops, and drops. My inner peace has been unfaithful, as I hold my tears back and let the truck breathe.

    I’m not sure what I’m missing; Dream job. Living life on the highlands, closer to family. But something is missing. Something that is bearing me so far to the ground that I feel like a lifeless soul. Time will tell.

    Goodbye.

  27. KB says:

    Memories of dry wind and scalding sun… The strumming of a guitar and the smell of potato chips certainly made them root themselves in my mind. I lazed about in the front of the tractor trailer, counting each time I saw another 18 wheeler on these desolate, wavering roads.

    Mountains upon mountains and shrub after shrub. Dry, serene, barren desert… Hours and hours swiftly passed. This dusty road trip towards Wyoming was long but surely worth it.

    However, as my grandmother once said, all good things come and go. We’ve came to a stop.

    Mother announced, “Welcome to Cheyanne, Wyoming.”

  28. Tyler Thomas says:

    Trucks and airplanes aren’t the same
    I wanted to be a pilot when growing up, I joined the airforce when I was 18 and after I went to college to become a pilot but that never happened. Now I just drive 18 wheelers, delivering crates morning and night and thinking about flying in the sky. As the sky is free from everyone, no traffic, no wrong exits and also having a co-pilot to talk with as truck driving isn’t a very fast money maker, and the ones that are hired are stretched thin, so I’m mostly on my own. The sky is so blue and free.

  29. GM says:

    The sun was blazing hot, wind pushing past my face. I could hear the distant sounds of 18 wheelers rumbling over the bridge. As I float through the air I look down to see all sorts of cars and trucks driving through. I must admit this bridge has disrupted the peace on this side of the mountain. I know I’m only a bird so there’s nothing I could have done to stop it. Though sometimes I like to remember all the kinds of wildlife like me that used to live here. It was a peaceful place safe for every animal.

  30. Elliott Trujillo says:

    Road trip around the world. Miles and miles of different roads and highways. Driving across a bridge with an amazing view of mountains. We pull over to look at the view. Nice clouds, mountains everywhere all around you. We see these 2 trucks coming by. They’re going pretty fast. Next thing you know, the truck loses control and swings his truck all the way across the bridge. The truck behind him was driving so fast on top of him that he didn’t have enough time to react and hit his brakes so he slammed into the truck and the truck went flying down the bridge hitting the mountains below.

  31. Jules Pizzo says:

    I am a bird flying over the bridge my home once laid under. I see trucks driving over the bridge so I dip in front of their windows. I don’t dip to say hello but to scold the drivers behind the massive trucks. Their big wheels and heavy cargo making their way up and over. What they don’t realize is that there’s families underneath. They may not be people but they matter. The sleepless nights and early mornings. I dip under to see my home only to watch the shake of the bridge knock my home into the river below.

  32. isabella g. says:

    Today I needed adventure. And I knew where I needed to go. I had to go to my favorite spot. I drove to the bridge, and waited. I just liked the view. And the feeling of having your legs dangling off a bridge, it’s a feeling that can’t be beaten. I had never thought twice about sitting at the bridge. I never once thought it was unsafe. Until I felt a rumble. The rumble got stronger, harder. Like it was pulling me from side to side. I turned and there they were, two huge tractor trailers. I lost my balance.

  33. Victor K. says:

    It’s a hot and sunny afternoon in Arizona. There are two Semi-trucks racing down the highway. They are going upwards of 100 miles per hour. The trucks just came from the best heist for the crew’s career. They stole 2 Semi Trucks of gold bars. They are racing away from the scene trying to cross state lines into New Mexico. Then they will be home free from the Arizona police. They plan to melt the bars down into jewelry and things alike. Then they will sell the gold on the market and be set for the rest of their lives.

  34. AR says:

    Hope

    T’was a lonely road. Yet it was the only road Alistair had ever known. He was born in this world. He pondered how it appeared so bright, so beautiful, when everything was just so dark. Behind him, Zach drove his blue truck. Al questioned why his red truck brought inspiration to the people. When he came to a halt, watching the people surround his truck, he still didn’t get it. Zach brought the food, but Al’s hatch opened and he understood. Other people stepped out. More survivors, old friends and family, as hope was restored to the last of humanity.

  35. Matthew says:

    “The countryside is so beautiful,” I said while looking out the window. Last week, after years of debating, my parents decided to finally leave the city. We left early on Sunday and spent all morning putting our belongings on two semi-trucks. The ride was far, from New York City to Arizona. As we were on an impressively long bridge, I looked down at the landscape. The lush, rocky, and mountainous terrain with the sun beating down on the surface was the prettiest thing I have ever seen. “I can’t wait to live here,” I said happily looking out the window.

  36. Amy O'Halloran says:

    Racing Home

    I’ve been gone for four days and all I think about is coming home to my baby girl’s open arms and grinning face. My last trip I had missed her birthday and this trip I promised I would be home before Santa. Just a couple of more months of this and I’ll be graduated and I can do anything I dream of, as long as it’s home. When I had her I never thought that this is how our lives would be, constantly apart, but I know in my heart this is what needs to happen for a better life.

  37. R.A. Johnson says:

    The mountain road has held me captive, bathed in the stink of hogs headed for slaughter, but the bridge is my chance. Downshifting, I get a run and creep alongside, foot to the floor. The hogs stare at me, and I know they know their fate. My nemesis hunches over his wheel, and I match his posture, urging my machine forward through sheer force of will. But then he leans back and brakes hard. I fly past his evil smile and turn to see the hairpin at the end of the bridge. All I smell now is my own fear.

  38. Arthur Pugh says:

    Earthquake

    The arid canyon under the bridge was inhospitable. That did not stop the bridge builders. The metal beams were driven like stakes into the cracked ground. The sun seared the tarmac. Only trucks would pass. Not even birds would perch near.

    When the bridge started singing, its shadow became populated with blank stares and concerned faces. They examined the steel which had sagged and twisted. Theories circulated wildly, while the metal writhed into a cacophony. It was merely an accompaniment to the rumbles of the earth. The stones beneath the workers heaved, as the bridge sang its final song.

  39. Rachel Cain says:

    Seeing Dad

    I picture my dad. He is a mountain. He’s one thing at the bottom and another thing at the top.
    The worst thing in life, is that horrible aching gut punch you get when a person you saw, you didn’t really see at all.
    I wonder, how did I miss him?
    Yesterday he was blood pumping, broad shouldered and scratchy. Yesterday he was making faces at supper, kissing us girls on the head- three kisses. Yesterday he was slipping away for a cigarette on the back porch. Yesterday he whispered thin goodnights.
    Today he is ice cold and a stranger.

  40. Pension Blues

    This is how I move the truck over bridges, creeping in second gear. The turkeys, clucking faintly, in the breezy back, packed together. AC and Bill Bailey’s show keep me cool in the cabin. I take my break at the Waffle House, a person needs eyes on them. I open the tailgate, check up on them. They rubberneck at me, some do. Well, no, they’re stiff. We still got Highway 64 and the steel bridge. Look, I say, to my frozen fowl, see the depths, trickle of blue. Next year I’m going to retire. It makes me nervous.

  41. Rig’s Full’O Pigs

    The squealing of hogs was enough to make his ears bleed. He’d driven all night…Rig’s Full’O Pigs. He liked the sound of that. What he didn’t like the sound of was 130 decibels, second only to the sound of a jet engine, bouncing around inside his brain. He needed a cup of coffee. He’d take a break at the next rest stop. Get out and stretch his legs and give his ears a rest. Else he might drive this bitch right off the bridge, pigs and all. Leave em Achin’ for Some Bacon. He liked the sound of that.

  42. Mackenzie says:

    Flatlands

    Darnell clicked his worn CB receiver. “Gets flatter by the year, eh, Herb?” The canyon had finally risen to meet the rusted bridge.

    “Shit, man,” said Herb’s gravelly voice. “Y’know Otto used to watch birds down there, fighting over fish and shit?”

    “Ma-an.” Darnell looked outside. “Fuckin’ drier than a graphite drawin’ down there now though.”

    “Listen to you! Fuckin’ poeticizing this shit.”

    Darnell chuckled, glancing again at the bleached rocks. As he re-entered the highway, he wondered if the canyon would start rising past the iron arch , whether in another twenty years it would grow into a sky-carving mountain.

    • Amy O'Halloran says:

      I love that you incorporated the dialogue in the way that they would speak. You did an excellent job portraying their personalities.

  43. Alyssa Englund says:

    My grip tightens on the rail. My vice-like clamp has nothing to do with the height.

    “Looks like the bridge will be clear after this next semi,” Jared says running a hand along my forearm. “You ready?”

    I nod, refusing to look down. I trust him.

    “You don’t have to do it,” he repeats, not understanding this isn’t for him or anyone else. I no longer throw myself into ridiculous activities to prove myself to others. Not anymore. Middle age has freed me.

    I climb onto the rail. I am not stepping off a bridge. I am learning to fly.

  44. Emily Kurzweil says:

    “Jump!” the voice says, after we made our pact together earlier in the day.

    My sweaty fingers clutching the guardrail slip.

    Shame scorched away my fear. The life insurance pay out would just cover my debt and free my family from my financial mistakes. I was worth more dead than alive and I stopped living years ago under the weight of failure.

    Trucks careen past my turned away back; wind whipping against my tear soaked face and charging through me.

    I loosen my hold on all things failed and fleeting, my top heavy body pitching forward into the canyon below.

  45. Penny Ellis says:

    Truckstop

    Miles from home, there’s always someone to chat to on the CB radio. I’ve arranged to meet up with Foxy Loxy. He knows me as Chicken Licken. I was drawn to him because we both use the same nursery story handles. We are meeting at the Iowa 80 Truckstop, the largest stop in the US.

    I park up and call in. “Chicken Licken calling Foxy Loxy.”

    Minutes later Foxy’s truck is pulling up next to mine.

    “Hey Chicken Licken, how ya cooking,” and he throws his hairy arms around me.

    Is Chicken Licken’s Sky about to fall in?

  46. The Time It Takes to Think Through a Life

    It’s his daughter’s birthday and he can’t remember at what point on the odometer she grew taller than her mother so, even though the radio’s static tempts his eyelids to drift, he drives to get home in time.

    That night, for one sleepy moment, he confuses a train’s headlight with the moon and, though reflexes kick his foot to the brake pedal, he can’t avoid the crash. The train drags his truck and jackknifed trailer along the track, sparks threatening fuel tanks, before shearing the engine compartment inches from his knees.

    And him lost there in the smoke and mist.

  47. Christy Brothers says:

    70 West

    My dad drives an 18 wheeler to put food on the family table.
    Day after day, year after year, he sits behind the wheel.

    “Dad? What the strangest thing you’ve ever seen?”

    “A naked man, playing the trumpet.”

    “Driving?!”

    “Yes.”

    I still haven’t found the courage to tell him about my secret
    wish of riding shotgun in his big rig.

    “What do you do all that time out on the road?”

    “Well. I do a lot of thinking.”

    “Aren’t you lonely?”

    “I think about you.”

    The ride home turns silent. For God’s sake! Open your mouth
    before it’s too late.

    • Christy Brothers says:

      Just spotted a typo. If I can delete and repost, please let me know how. Thank you. Otherwise, the sentence should read. “Dad? What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen?”

    • Penny Ellis says:

      So many questions at the end of this piece. What does she really want to tell her dad? I like an open ended story.

    • Jules Pizzo says:

      This is awesome it’s like happy but at the same time, you can feel how much he aspires to be like his dad.

  48. Jay Heltzer says:

    Pig peered out from the back corner aluminum portholes as Pig and Pig snorted and pushed and grunted around him amongst the other pigs and pigs. Trapped in the zooming, heated metal box, Pig tried to reason with it’s captor.

    “Can you let us out so we may wallow in mud and root freely for wild food?” Pig asked.
    “Nope,” the beast-carrier belched.

    Pig’s drooped eye stared out, down to the dry canyon below as the metal monster rocketed across the bridge. It’s pink rump singed against the rattling sun-hot door.

    “Push and jump,” Pig thought. “That’s all that’s left.”

  49. Brian Mahon says:

    Sure, it was dangerous, but flowers had no oomph. That’s why Ramon snuck his dad’s five-point harness and Tacoma to the bridge. Love isn’t be afraid to rappel over guard rails to tell the world:
    “Ramon Loves Jenny!”.

    No traffic and no clouds on the moonlit Nevada night; perfect conditions to click in, go over, and spray paint tribute.

    Once gravity took over, instead of writing romanticisms, Ramon spun helpless on his string, face down and ass up. The sparkling river two-hundred feet below made for a nice view, a watery unclasped necklace.

    Jewelry – good enough for the rescued lover.

  50. Andrea Daniels says:

    Peanut smoked every bit of meth that night in the hotel. Her sister loaned her money. Not exactly. A cheque for rehab, far from drugs and close to trees. The maid was a guy. He said he’d come back later but she didn’t mind. They talked as he emptied the trash, swapped the glasses in the bathroom. He knocked at 5 a.m. with coffees from the deli. His pass key got them on the roof. The sun scraped itself off the ground and found its way to the sky. Neither mentioned the chairs in the pool, mermaids below the surface.

    • As I leave the front door, I am heartbroken.

      I tried to move around this uneasy feeling, that is unsustainably inevitable. My heart sinks as I hear the motor to my semi sink to a dark undertone. It drops, drops, and drops. My inner peace has been unfaithful, as I hold my tears back and let the truck breathe.

      I’m not sure what I’m missing; Dream job. Living life on the highlands, closer to family. But something is missing. Something that is bearing me so far to the ground that I feel like a lifeless soul. Time will tell.

      Goodbye.

  51. “The Summer They Learned to do a Cannonball”

    Aah…the dog days of summer! Playing Marco Polo and screaming “FISH OUTTA WATER!” Hearing, “NEVER,” while a cheating brother tiptoed across the deck to spring off the diving board, landing a graceless belly-flop. The surprise attacker half-drowning whoever was “it.”

    “It” getting mad at the sneaky belly-flopper, accusing, “You were outta water, you big fat liar!”
    “Am not!”
    “Am so! MOM!”

    The childish game ending too soon when the tattler caught Mom being belly-flopped by the pool boy. Dad taking the kids to the Howard-Johnson Motel, where they learned the perfect cannonball while Mom packed and moved out. Aaaaah…

  52. Margie Loesch says:

    Wake Up Call

    “Wake up!” Ice water drenched his face from above.

    “What the-“

    “Get going! We’ve 20 minutes before the photographer arrives.

    He finished last night’s tequila left in the motel’s water glass. Relief!

    “Where’s Jared?”

    “Jail.”

    “What?!”

    “You thew the patio furniture into the pool  at 4am.”

    “No!”

    “Look out the window.”

    Said furniture littered the pool’s shallow end.

    “But Jared-“

    “Took the rap for you. You melted down. Back out now if you feel that trapped.”

    Silence.

    “Or, in 15 years when her dad retires and turns it all over, divorce the bitch.”

    “Better plan.”

    “More lucrative.”

    “For sure.”

  53. Geoffrey Morgan says:

    Double Exposure

    I feel absent finger tips against my leg these hot afternoons by the pool in Kathmandu. Weak signals, ethernet linked emails to the coast, we exchange whispers, a broken promise. I cannot sit still. I throw the chairs into the water, turn and leave them sinking. I sweat up the Anapurnas to Throng La, building strength for my way home, her touch burning, hot. My chest lifts, falls, the heart toughening. I practice squeezing oxygen from thin air. My step quickens down from mountains to the plane racing, lifting me aching, up, up. Then finally emptied, her hand lets go.

  54. Geoffrey Morgan says:

    Double Exposure

    I feel absent finger tips against my leg these hot afternoons by the pool in Kathmandu. Weak signals, ethernet linked emails to the coast, we exchange whispers, a broken promise. I cannot sit still. I throw the chairs into the water, turn and leave them sinking. I sweat up the Anapurnas to Throng La, building strength for my way home, her touch burning, hot. My chest lifts, falls, the heart toughening. I practice squeezing oxygen from thin air. My step quickens down from mountains to the plane racing, lifting me aching. Then emptied, her hand lets go.

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