Kreative Kue 392

Kreative Kue 391 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

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John W Howell is a multiple nominated and award-winning author who blogs at Fiction Favorites. Details of John’s books can be found on his Amazon author page

The Pickup by John W. Howell © 2022

“Where are you?”

“Standing on the corner by this green pole on Wayfair street.”

“What’s the cross street.”

“All I see is one sign.”

“What does it say?”

“One way.”

“Yeah, that helps. Can you give me anything that would pinpoint your location?”

“I have a red purse.”

“I mean a landmark.”

“The First National Bank, you mean?”

“Okay, is the bank in front of you or behind you?”

“Behind me.”

“Ah, I think I see you.”

“Terrific.”

“But I must go around the block ’cause I can’t get over.”

“Oh, just take your time. No rush at all.”

“You are being sarcastic, right?”

“You sure pick up stuff quickly for an idiot.”

“Now, now. This could happen to anyone.”

“NOT TO SOMEONE WHO IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE GET-A-WAY DRIVER; IT DOESN’T.”

“Okay, be calm. I’ll be there in a minute.”

“I sure hope it’s before the cops do.”

“Don’t worry, they’re behind me.”

“Wonderful.”


My effort was:

The brief report

Jeanne Desjardins was beyond excited. This was the first time her editor had allowed her out on her own. Her editor was none other than Jaques Lefebvre (that’s right, the editor most feared in journalistic circles due to his uncanny ability to spot any and every error of spelling, punctuation or grammar – and goodness help any hack who reported anything that couldn’t be independently verified and confirmed) and Jeanne was one of those who had been tasked to cover a presidential address.

Armed with nothing but her mobile phone and her notebook, Jeanne made her way to what she believed was to best place to see the president pass. She took up her position near a pedestrian crossing and waited.

Less than an hour later, a group of motorcycle outriders appeared in her view, followed by three black limousines and tailed by more outriders.

This was it.

Flushed with a mixture of excitement and terror, she carefully counted off the seconds as the motorcade approached and noted the exact length of time it had taken to travel the distance she had already measured (five times to be completely sure) from the junction to the crossing. She switched to her phone’s calculator function and expertly calculated the limo’s rate of progress.

Having noted her calculations in her notebook, Jeanne double-checked her calculations, reverified the distance, called her editor and gave him the information he sought.

“Two problems, Jean,” he replied in a tone that failed utterly to reassure her that she had done a good job, “Firstly, I told you to go to the Hotel du Lac, not the rue du Lac, and secondly, I asked you to report on his speech – NOT HIS SPEED!


Picture 021c

Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put your offering (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at keithchanning@gmail.com before Sunday evening UK time. If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here. Thank you for taking part.

The brief report

P1000274a

Jeanne Desjardins was beyond excited. This was the first time her editor had allowed her out on her own. Her editor was none other than Jaques Lefebvre (that’s right, the editor most feared in journalistic circles due to his uncanny ability to spot any and every error of spelling, punctuation or grammar – and goodness help any hack who reported anything that couldn’t be independently verified and confirmed) and Jeanne was one of those who had been tasked to cover a presidential address.

Armed with nothing but her mobile phone and her notebook, Jeanne made her way to what she believed was to best place to see the president pass. She took up her position near a pedestrian crossing and waited.

Less than an hour later, a group of motorcycle outriders appeared in her view, followed by three black limousines and tailed by more outriders.

This was it.

Flushed with a mixture of excitement and terror, she carefully counted off the seconds as the motorcade approached and noted the exact length of time it had taken to travel the distance she had already measured (five times to be completely sure) from the junction to the crossing. She switched to her phone’s calculator function and expertly calculated the limo’s rate of progress.

Having carefully written her calculations in her notebook, Jeanne double-checked her calculations, reverified the distance, called her editor and gave him the information he sought.

“Two problems, Mlle Desjardins,” he replied in a tone that failed utterly to reassure her that she had done a good job, “Firstly, I told you to go to the Hotel du Lac, not the rue du Lac, and secondly, I asked you to report on his speech – NOT HIS SPEED!


This original fiction was written in response to Kreative Kue 391 published on this site earlier this week.

Kreative Kue 391

Kreative Kue 390 asked for submissions based on this photograph: KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA John W Howell is a multiple nominated and award-winning author who blogs at Fiction Favorites. Details of John’s books can be found on his Amazon author page

The Landing by John W. Howell © 2022

“Avignon approach, Cessna N1977.” “Go ahead, 1977.” “Currently at 2000 Heading point 027 three miles SSW of the airport. I have the information.” “Roger 1977. Altimeter 395. Descend and maintain 1000. Overcast conditions. Ceiling 500 feet. Visibility 3/10ths. Wind calm.” “What does all that mean?” “Say again 1977.” “I just want to land. What was all that other stuff?” “I gave you the height of the runway and the fact that it’s overcast and not very good conditions. Oh yes, and I told you to descend to 1000 feet.” “I got the 1000 feet, but why not just say it’s lousy there.” “You need the information so that you can make a safe landing. I will also tell you when you are cleared to land.” “Oh, come on. This puppy is going to land whether you like it or not.” “Excuse me. How long have you been flying?” “I left Paris two hours ago.” “No, I mean, how long have you had a license.” “License? I didn’t realize you needed a license.” “Oh my. I think we have a problem.” “No, we don’t. I’m descending to 500 feet and have the airport in sight.” “You hold it right there, 1977. You are not going to splatter that plane on the runway on my watch.” “Don’t you think it would be better to land on your precious runway than to run out of fuel and splatter into the countryside?” “Let me ask. How much fuel and how many souls are on board?” “What does that have to do with anything?” “I need to know how many fire engines to have waiting. The more the fuel, the bigger the fire.” “And the souls?” “We need to account for everyone after the fact.” “Okay. I have about four gallons, and I’m the only one here. I’m still on a vector for the airport. I see runway 22 ahead. Seems clear.” “Fine, you are cleared to land on runway 22. What is your name.” “Why?” “I want to make sure the arrest documents are correct.” “Al Smith.” “Very funny.” “What’s funny?” “What’s your real name.” “I just gave it to you. Also, you can relax. I am on the ground. “Contact the tower at 199.6. Have a nice day.” “Tower Cessna N1977 with you.” “Roger 1977, proceed to the intersection 19L and hold for further instructions.” “What are all those red and blue lights?” “Nothing at all, sir. Just hold at 19L.”

My effort was:

The hunt

Each of the boys, Johannes, Eldred, Yusefu, Rudolf and Walter, had told their mothers that they were going for a walk up the lane and past the old farm cottages to see if they could find any rabbits for dinner. Each of them carried an air rifle and a supply of pellets. Except, of course, for Walter. Walter’s parents didn’t approve of guns, and that disapproval extended to include toy guns and even water pistols. As a young boy, Walter was never allowed even pieces of wood shaped like guns and any games that involved shooting were strictly off-limits. The only computer games he was allowed were of an intellectual nature. Possibly as a result of this and other restrictions on his development he was, of the five eleven-year-old lads, the most risk-averse, the most timid, the least manly – or so his friends repeatedly told him, anyway. As much as they disliked guns, though, Walter’s parents weren’t averse to accepting a share of the spoils of the boys’ hunting trips. And the other boys’ parents were happy to accept the situation because Walter’s family was one of the most influential in the region. Not wealthy as such, well, not obscenely so, but immensely powerful. They had the ear of the local police, the mayor and his council; even the regional political establishment consulted with them and listened to what they had to say. No-one knew why, and any who did never said anything. All of this added to the mystique that surrounded them and went a long way towards explaining why Johannes, Eldred, Yusefu and Rudolf were seemingly so content to allow Walter to string along as part of their gang. The day was overcast and the hunting disappointing. There was a distinct chill in the air that had not been forecast; an unexpected hailstorm followed. Darkness fell so much more quickly than usual and so the boys decided to take shelter in one of the farm cottage outbuildings. Time passed slowly, especially as Walter started giving an accurate time-check every ten minutes or so, each one more alarmist than the one before. Walter was the only member of the group who possessed a mobile phone. Its timekeeping was incredibly accurate but of course, inside a building with 70cm-thick walls, itself located in a remote part of the country, there was no signal. Even outside the building the signal was low grade and too weak to initiate a call – not that Johannes, Eldred, Yusefu or Rudolf would ever make a call for help; they were happy that they could make their way back home as soon as the storm abated and, if necessary, they knew that they could survive the night here in this shelter. Suddenly, above the thunderous drumming of hail on the corrugated metal roof of the building in which they were huddled came another noise. It was a low, dull throbbing sound that none of the boys had heard before. The thrumming became louder and more insistent and with it, a piecing whine. Suddenly, the brave souls who were happy to hunt and shoot, and to shelter against a violent storm in a dark, crumbling old building that also gave refuge to goodness-only-knows what other creatures of the night, suddenly they became fearful, terrified almost. The whine above the thrumming had provided their breaking point and they were, every one of them, close to tears. All except for Walter who looked up cheerfully and said, “See that light? Daddy’s sent the chopper for us. We’re going home.” “Yeah, we knew that,” Yusefu replied, “We knew you’d be scared, and we pretended to be, too, so’s you’d not feel like a softy.”

P1000274a Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put your offering (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at keithchanning@gmail.com before Sunday evening UK time. If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here. Thank you for taking part.