Duong Tran

abandoned bike

Image Credit Hoi An- on Unsplash

Few had met Duong Tran in life. Most had gone out of their way to avoid such a meeting.

Some had slipped a crumpled bill into his hand at a crowded intersection, avoiding even eye contact as the bill transferred hands.

But when he was killed crossing an intersection that lacked a much needed crosswalk, they rallied behind him.

They rode the coattails of his death into a courtroom where they spoke passionately about the tragic loss of his life. 

A life they would have collectively continued to ignore- had he not become a very useful tool in their hands.

This piece, written in exactly 100 words, is my response to Sadje’s What Do You See? photo prompt this week.

Shadow of the farm


Rob was born two days before the bank came and ran his family off the land that had been in his father’s family for generations.

His father, unable to cope with the shame and loss, took his own life before Rod ever had a chance to know him.

He was raised not only in the shadow of a man that he would never know, but by a woman left empty and bitter by that man’s loss.

The moment Rob laid eyes on the farm that had caused so much suffering, it became clear to him. The farm had suffered too.


This week, the photo prompts offered by Crimson’s Creative Challenge and Friday Fictioneers were too closely related to pass on the opportunity to use them together. Adhering to the word count allowed me to offer only the barest of bones, but I think the premise might hold up well under a little fleshing out.

Children of the Tolhouse


CCC #66

There came a time when the average age of the local villagers had progressed well beyond that of childbearing and there were no longer enough children to support the story hour offered every Saturday in the old gaol library.

This news hit the phantom children fated to walk the halls of the old Tolhouse for all eternity especially hard.

Whereas they would miss the brief respite from reality offered by the stories, it was the laughter of happy children they would miss the most. 

A meeting was called. 

A plan of action agreed upon.

In short order, the few children that had been born to the villagers- began to disappear.


This is my response to the photo prompt provided on Crimson’s Creative Challenge this week.

The push-broom murder


CCC #64

Little Evie Sorensen
Was born of drunken stock
To a man who drove a push-broom
And a woman with one frock.

She grew up cold and hungry
But she never shed a tear
When she went without her supper
So her parents could have beer.

She had no friends to speak of
‘Cause they moved from room to room
So she’d while away the hours
Playing horsey with dad’s push-broom.

And a gallant steed he was
That push-broom horse with her astride
As they left behind the squalid walls
Of this week’s cramped bedside.

Nights she waited at the window
Not for her dad, but for her roan
Till one night she saw her drunken dad
Stumbling up the street alone.

“They grabbed me in the park there
Near Lord Nelson’s monument
And before I knew what happened
I was eating the cement!”

“One grabbed and swung my push-broom
But, thank god, it hit the garden wall
Or he’d a split my head clean open
Whew! Was that ever, a close call!”

As daddy raved and mommy wept
Cause he’d come home with no beer-
Little Evie Sorensen
Shed her first real tear.

This is my response to the photo prompt provided by Crispina Kemp on this weeks Crimson’s Creative Challenge.

The ‘she’ or ‘me’ of it


I wake up on a knobby carpet, the burnt out butt of a cigarette still locked between the fingers of my right hand. It takes me a few seconds, but I eventually recognize my surroundings as the floor of my own living room. 

“A definite plus.” I congratulate myself aloud, the words tangled on the field of Velcro that was once my tongue. 

My legs, hobbled at the ankles by a pair of skinny jeans, and the whole of my exposed skin covered in a neon orange fallout that doesn’t take long to identify as the remains of a bag of stale Cheetos, I amble into the toilet still shackled at the ankles- just in the nick of time to relieve my aching bladder in the appropriate manner, and thus add plus number two to the list of things I have to be thankful for. 

Bracing myself over the sink, I stare into the eyes of the woman who peers back at me. 

“Who are you?” 

“What are you?” 

One minute, she is someone I understand. An ordered being given to lists and labels. One who spends quiet afternoons re-arranging house plants from “needs a lot of sun” to, wait, wha…what the hell…? Is never late for work. Pays all her bills on time. Someone who is quite content to spend hours, days, months, sometimes even years in no company but her own.

But then something will happen. Usually something as negligible as a refrain from an old song that begins playing over and over and over again inside her head until she…

“Until she is something I can no longer control.” 

I speak aloud again, this time my tone, almost apologetic. As if the woman in the mirror is a separate entity. As if she is not my own reflection, but rather, someone I barely even know. 

But have wounded. Have wronged. In some irreparable way.

…and then… 

And then, I slink away from the mirror, and when I am sure she can no longer see me, I slip into the welcoming arms of my own familiar bed.

Where I will hide and wait. 

Wait, not to forget, as I know only too well that will not happen. 

But rather, to forgive.



This piece is my response to the photo which was provided by Nekneeraj on MLMM Photo Challenge and the four phrasal prompts provided by LRose on her blog of the same name. The phrases were:

  1. stale Cheetos
  2. re-arranging house plants from “needs a lot of sun” to, wait, wha…what the hell…?
  3. She is something I …
  4. …and then…