They say Widow Walker stormed down to drag her husband back from the riverboat dock where the gambling and carousing went on every Friday night. She pushed grown dockhands clear off the pier into the river, the silly ones that tried to stop her, the Pinkertons and roustabouts. Then she stared down the bullyboys guarding the entrance to the Golden Nugget riverboat, and them hardened hombres backed down whining like whipped dogs. The real trouble started when Widow Walker found her husband drinking with a different painted floozy on each knee. That’s the night Haunted Pier burned to the waterline.
Inspired by this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt:
Alexavier Shaw paced restlessly while his Expert System recounted the details of the morning’s stock trading. He was worth another billion, just another day in the penthouse.
The bar was out of Scotch, so he happily clutched the excuse to take a walk.
While returning, he encountered an anomaly; an ancient wooden door in the concrete canyon. Through it, he could see a field of wildflowers and hear birds. A circus caravan wound its way up a hillside and calliopes played in the distance.
Shaw grunted and pushed the door shut. He’d return to counting, because nothing counts but more.
The voyage was uneventful until the ship arrived in America on Oct. 29, just in time to meet the 2011 Nor’easter (a.k.a. Snowtober). The Chairman of the Board, Hendrick Van der Decken, repeatedly vowed that his tulips would reach port despite the Devil himself.
Wind and surf drove the sailing ship miles up the coast, from Virginia to New Jersey. During a desperate Board of Directors Emergency Meeting, the ship capsized. A snownado scooped up Van der Decken and deposited his frozen corpse several miles inland.
Legend has it that on Halloween night, at lowest tide, you can still see a ruined office chair rising from the waves, and hear defiant swearing on the wind, in Dutch.
Thus began the Legend of the Flying Chairman.
125 words, inspired by this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt:
(Okay, I cheated the word count a little, too much fun.)
Herding the tours onto the bus is less than spectacular, I suppose. Every group seems to have one particularly large, aggressive guy who had beer for lunch. The Family Units are all right, as long as their kids don’t scream too much.
But the pay is sweet, fifty grand per load, and it’s easy enough to drive another group out to the desert and have another “breakdown.”
You’d think they’d catch on, just from the name. “Tour Beautiful Fly Canyon.” Flies and the undead go together like helpless and tourist.
The scrawl on the index card on the end of the mobile filing case reads—“Pittsburgh, 15201 to 15232, 1979 to 1983.”
Each of these cases holds the records of tens of thousands of men. All cross-referenced, sorted by date and location. The filing cases recede into infinity, perspective vanishing point at the limits of vision.
Most file clerks have a nervous breakdown the first time they see this filing system. Is this Satan’s own record keeping, are the earliest entries scratched Sumerian logographs on hardened clay tablets?
No, but that’s close. These belong to the V. A. Hospital.
As I sit and watch in the dark, the moths are fluttering. Into and out of the light from my computer screen they spin. They bang against the LCD screen, attracted to the bright light from a browser page that I left open.
I contemplate for a moment how alike we are. A blank page fascinates me as well. I flit and hover ever closer, waiting for the bug-zapper of inspiration to strike or the crash against the glass that warns me to change directions.
Immolation is my distant fluttering hope, to burn in the bright, hot fire of recognition.
100 words. Inspired by this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt:
Most of the family is here, actually, going back at least three gen’rations. Emily says when the sun hits ‘em right, you can see smoky shapes in the jars, sometimes little eyes. I ain’t never seen none o’ that stuff, but I believe her cause most all of the girls have the Sight.
Grandma had it too. We don’t have a jar for ‘er. She run orft the day ‘fore grandpa got hit by that truck.
Emily says I should quit yammerin’, and not ride home in yore car tonight.