99 Word Prompt: Reflection

He sped along the highway as he left his home town. All that shaped and influenced him as a person, and everyone he knew, faded into the background as he drove ahead. He was looking forward to the new life he was anticipating in a city unknown. He didn’t know where he was going, but everything he was leaving behind, the good times and the bad, was burned into his memory.

His home town made one last appearance in the rear view mirror before it disappeared behind the horizon forever, but he was only looking at the road ahead.

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Redwood Summer Part III Chapter 12 (repost)

Rewrite of chapter 12, which is also the beginning of the last third of Redwood Summer, a novel of 1990 San Jose. This chapter begins after a job interview for the main character, and interview that didn’t go well. As he meets up with his girlfriend in downtown San Jose, he wonders what to do next. He also relates to her how he suspects his best friend has made a bad life decision, and he worries about his friend’s future. This chapter also contains some foretelling imagery.

https://robertkirkendall.com/2017/05/31/redwood-summer-part-iii-chapter-12/

99 Word Prompt: Into The Dark

Gladys peered cautiously at the basement door.  “Honey, I think I heard a noise in the basement.”

“What kind of noise?” her husband Paul answered.

“I can’t tell,” Gladys said.  “Either something fell or was knocked over.  Could you please look?”

“Scared of a little noise?” Paul laughed.

“What if it’s an intruder?” Gladys worried.

“I doubt it,” Paul assured.

“But still.”

“Okay, I’ll have a look.”  Paul opened the basement door and went down into the dark.  “Oh my god!” he screamed out.  “It’s hideous!”

“What is it?” Gladys panicked.  “An intruder?”

“Worse!  My middle school graduation picture!”


Redwood Summer Chapter 11 (repost)

via Redwood Summer Chapter 11

Rewrite of chapter 11 of Redwood Summer, a novel of 1990 San Jose.  The setting of this chapter is Jason’s workplace, a satellite imaging company.  The workplace is abuzz because of a visit they received from a group of businessmen who are rumored to be interested in buying the company.  Curious, Jason talks to one of the company lifers who explains that things are about to change, and that it might be a good idea for Jason to look for another job, and maybe even another place to live.

Jason is dismayed by the idea of leaving home and resistant to change, but he’s also feeling uneasy because he’s subconsciously becoming aware that powers beyond his control are about to shape his life.

Writing Prompt: Masks – The Bank Robbery

Very short story inspired by a writing prompt posted by Rachel Poli.  Subject: masks

https://rachelpoli.com/2018/10/19/time-to-write-masks-creative-writing-prompt/

THE BANK ROBBERY

A masked man entered the bank. He went to the nearest window, pulled out a pistol, and held it low as he pointed it at the teller.

“Fill this up!” the bank robber ordered as he tossed an empty paper sack st the teller.

The surprised teller picked up the sack as he stared at the pistol. Then he looked up at the bank robber, and started to chuckle.

“What the hell are you laughing at?” the bank robber said angrily.  “I’ve got a gun!”

“Your mask,” the teller answered between chuckles. “It’s ridiculous.”

The bank robber was flabbergasted. “Your life is in danger and you’re laughing at my mask?!”

“But it’s a clown mask,” the teller explained after he finally composed himself. “And a loud, garish one at that.”

“So?!”

“Well how do you expect to be taken seriously as a bank robber if you look like an escapee from the circus?” the teller pointed out as he started laughing again.

“Will you just fill that up with the top drawer so I can get out of here?” the bank robber demanded. “I’ve got places to be!”

“Oh, of course, right away,” the teller assured as he picked up the sack. He slid open the top drawer, then started laughing again. “Seriously? A clown mask?”

“Okay, you made your point. Now give it a rest!”

“I mean, could you imagine John Dillinger wearing a clown mask? Or Bonnie and Clyde? Everyone would laugh at them!”

“Maybe I didn’t have time to find a proper ask. Did you consider that?”

“All right, sorry for laughing at you,” the teller apologized as he kept laughing. “It’s just so totally absurd!”

“I don’t believe this,” the bank robber said with exasperation.

“Look, it’s not you, it’s me,” the teller admitted. “I just tend to laugh at inappropriate times.”

The bank robber threw up his hands. “You know what? I don’t need this.” He began to leave.

“Now wait a minute, I’ll get you your money.”

“I didn’t come here to get laughed at!” The bank robber put the pistol back in his pocket and walked away. “I’ve got feelings too,” he muttered under his breath.

“Aw, c’mon,” the teller called after the bank robber. “I promise I won’t put in the exploding ink cartridge.”

The bank robber exited out the front door, got into a getaway car, and shook his head discouragingly at the driver. The driver looked dejected as he drove off.

The teller looked at the empty paper sack and thought of the bank robber’s lost opportunity. “Some people just don’t know how to laugh,” he said with pity as he slid the top drawer shut.

 

©2018 Robert Kirkendall

 

Redwood Summer Chapter 10 (repost)

A rewrite of chapter 10 of Redwood Summer, a novel of 1990 San Jose.  In this chapter Jason is attempting to fix the car problem from the previous chapter, and ends up having a conversation with his father about where he’s at in life, and about what Silicon Valley was in its agricultural past.

via Redwood Summer Chapter 10

99 Word Prompt: Bottleneck

August 30: Flash Fiction Challenge

THE BOTTLE OPENER

A party goer grabbed a longneck bottle of ale from an ice chest and searched around.  “Anyone know where the bottle opener is?”

“I got this,” another party goer said as he picked up another beer bottle.  “Now give me yours.”

The first party goer handed him his bottle, then the second party goer held his bottle upside down  and placed the edge of its bottlecap against the other bottlecap.  “A little trick I learned in college, using one bottle to open another.”

A cap popped off and beer spilled all over his pants.

“Ooops, wrong cap came off.”

99 Word Prompt: Comet

August 16: Flash Fiction Challenge

YOU SHOULD’VE LISTENED TO ME!

“I see a dark omen ahead for you,” the sorceress warned.

“Well that’s a bummer,” the man said nonchalantly.

“Heed my words!” the sorceress reiterated. “When a comet appears that is aligned with one of the planets, it will spell your doom!”

“How does a comet align with a planet?” the man said dismissively. “That doesn’t even make sense.”

“Doubt me at your own peril!”

“Planets move in orbits, comets go in a straight line,” the man explained condescendingly. “Crazy old bat,” the man chuckled and left.

He crossed the street and was struck by an old Mercury Comet.

Redwood Summer Chapter 9 (repost)

Rewrite of chapter 9 for Redwood Summer. In this chapter Jason, the main character, and his friends Randy and Brian are driving home after seeing a movie, but what’s really happening is the growing apart of Jason and Randy. The breakdown that happens to Jason’s car is symbolic, not only of the relationship between Jason Randy, but also of the greater world changes that were happening below the surface in the summer of 1990 and were about to undermine the hard fought victory of the Cold War.

via Redwood Summer Chapter 9

99 Word Prompt: Peering

August 9: Flash Fiction Challenge

SAD CAT DIARY: WILDLIFE EDITION

The mountain lion came up to the forest’s edge drawn by the scent of food.  She peered from the woods at a flock of livestock in a nearby pasture.

One of those sheep could feed me and my little ones for a week, the mountain lion thought as she longed for the forbidden sustenance, but if I take one, the humans will come after me and kill me!  I only want one, the lion moped, and they have so many, it isn’t fair.

The dejected feline slouched in defeat.  Why must the humans be so cruel? she wondered piteously.