Bus Stop

I stood by the lamppost with a certain bit of dread around me. The streets seemed too deserted and a fog was rolling in. It felt like a scene out of a Stephen King book. I was headed home and waiting for the bus. I hoped it was running a little early tonight, so I could get off this dismal street.

I faintly heard footsteps from somewhere in the fog. I squinted to focus, but it did no good. I listened and found which direction they came from, but there was still no image to accompany the sound. So I listened and tried not to let my imagination run away. The steps were louder and definitely getting closer but I still could see no one approaching.

The distant sound of an engine gave me hope the bus was on its way. But the footsteps still echoed louder as if they were merely feet away. I began to see the outline of the bus and was relieved at its sight. Those footsteps seemed so close and had me on edge.

The footsteps sounded like someone was about to approach me. I surveyed the fog once more and saw nothing but the oncoming bus. As it came to a stop I heard the footsteps shuffle then stop. The bus doors opened. I started to move. Then felt a cold chill pass through me as I heard the foot steps start again, this time stepping into the bus. This couldn’t be real, there was no one there. The driver smiled at me with a crooked grin and said, “Care to come aboard the midnight express?”


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – lamppost


It was his radical way of thinking that drew me to him, it was his radical way of thinking that drove me away. Somewhere along the years the direction changed and he became a different person.

He had always been a believer in equal rights and doing good. Now he was slowly being warped by the current trends in politics. It didn’t change over night, but it still changed too fast. Now he was all for modern day racism and everyman out for himself.

I left him with a note and a link to a self-help group on his computer.


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – radical

Time Is Up

The parking meter stood in front of her car. She was digging in her purse looking for change, any kind of change she could use to feed the meter. Suddenly a knock on the window startled her and she about dumped the contents of her purse on the floor.

Looking over she saw an officer holding a ticket book in her hand. The woman rolled down the window and said, “I am looking for some change officer. I will get it in just a moment.”

The officer left out a sigh, it had been a long day for her of complaints and people trying to talk their way out of tickets. The violations were all clearly there, but everyone seemed to have an excuse today and she was getting tired of it. “Ma’am,” she said to the woman. “If you can’t pay for the meter I am going to have to ask you to move your car, or I will have to issue a ticket for a parking violation.”

The officer looked away for a moment sure that there was a sob story coming about how she was on a life and death errand. But her thoughts were interrupted by a loud noise. She suddenly felt something warm on her arm and as the woman quickly threw the car into reverse and started to drive away, the officer realized she was shot in the arm.

She hadn’t gotten a license plate or even really noticed the type of car. She had been so focused on trying to clear the parking lot so she could go home that she hadn’t noticed the gun in the woman’s purse. She hadn’t seen her draw it up and aim at her shoulder. She had been lost in her own thoughts.

Now a couple came rushing over from the street to assist the officer. The man asked if she was alright and if she needed to sit down. The officer had a far off look in her eyes and slowly nodded yes. She sat on the curb with some help and began to finally notice the pain in her arm.

Another police car pulled up into the parking lot and the sergeant stepped out. “Beth are you alright? What the hell happened?”

She slowly turned to the sergeant and said, “I got shot on my last day on the force…”



Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – violation


“Be our guest,” played in the background as the DVD spun in the player. No one was watching the movie, it looked like they had just vanished. Empty popcorn dishes stood on the floor with small blankets wadded up beside them. There was a pot of soup simmering on the stove. The table was in the process of getting set for dinner.

No one was in sight. The house was empty. There was no dog lapping at the water dish. No cat purring on the couch. The front door swung open and the police office slowly walked forward announcing his presence. His voice only echoed down the hall, “Police!”

The car was still in the driveway, the mother’s purse was still hanging on the closet door, and her cell phone was softly buzzing on the counter with an incoming message. The detective came into the kitchen and using his gloved hands grabbed the phone and retrieved the message. It was from her husband and said, “Be there in about 20 minutes. I love you.”

The detective talked into his own phone, “Trace this number right away. 555-2678 and get back to me.” He then turned to another officer and said, “Where is the neighbor that called this in?”

An officer came around the corner and with a small gentleman wearing a green coat. “This is Mr. John Harrison sir.”

The detective nodded towards the two men. “Good evening Mr. Harrison. Can you tell me why you called?”

The little man shifted his stance and said, “It was a loud boom almost like a bomb. I looked up and down the street and this was the only house where no one came out to investigate the sound. And I know Mrs. Sanders would have come out to see what it was. I didn’t see any fire or smoke so I figured it was one of those new fangled cannon guns and power bullets.”

The detective tried not to cringe at the man’s lack of correct terminology and asked, “Why did you say the Sanders were gone?”

“Well no one answered the door.”

“Detective Olsen, you might want to come see this,” an officer standing by the back door said. The detective went through the doorway and stopped short of the first step. There in the back yard was a large burned circle in the grass at least 25 feet across. “What the hell… “ was all the detective said.


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – guest

Front Row

“Ladies and gentlemen please welcome, PRISM!” The announcer stepped back from the microphone as the crowd went wild. Taking the stage was Steve, Don, Harry and Craig, better known as Prism.

Lynn and Tracy had seen the band many times before and were possibly screaming the loudest as the band started into their hit song, “Always Yours.” The teenage girls had camped out and gotten front row seats for the first time. They were determined that this would be a night like no other. As Steve smiled and winked at Tracy, they knew it was only going to get better.


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – prism

No Thank You

“And what’s this?” I asked

“It is a comprehensive list of my past lovers,” he said with a slight grin on his face.

“Why on earth would I want this? Exactly what purpose does this have?”

“I thought you might find some interesting names on there, I’ve been quite fortunate in the past. It is just to show you how special it is for you to be a part of my life.”

I paused and thought a moment, glanced at the list and said, “You can keep your list and kindly keep me off it.” And with that I left.


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – comprehensive

Did You Hear The One About The Award

“Attaboy!” she said, as he returned to his seat. He attempted a grin. He had just won an award for excellence in his job. His body language was nothing but disdain.

On the way home she asked what was wrong. He sighed, “This award used to mean something. Now it is just a piece of paper. Two of the winners only know one machine. And the award going to Steve after he has been here three months is crazy.”

He opened the window letting the paper fly away. “They couldn’t even spring for a frame this year. What a joke.”


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – attaboy

The Neighbor

There was a loud crash outside and I ran to see what happened. At the corner is a mangled mess of metal. I see the neighbor’s car, the one that their teenage son drives. I reach for my phone, dial 911 and go outside to see if I can help.

I reach the car, recognizing Sam through the blood on his face. I realize he is unconscious and try to find a pulse. Another neighbor walks up looking in the window and asks, “Is he ok?”

“There seems to be a strong pulse still.”

We both walk to the other car and look inside. A middle age man lay slumped over the steering wheel. My neighbor asks, “Can you hear me?”

He moves his head slightly and lets out a moan. “I tried to hit the brakes but he was so close.” the man said.

Just then someone let out a scream. It was Sam’s mom running towards the cars. “Sam, are you alright?”

I approached Sam and his mother and reminded her not to move him. Just then an ambulance turned the corner. I put my arm around her and pulling her back said, “Let them do their job.”


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – neighbor


Suddenly the weight of a knife felt heavy in his hand. A warm sticky flow of blood ran across his knuckles. He felt blinded like in a tunnel, completely disoriented by this wave of total darkness. Slowly the light came back and he saw the gruesome view in front of him. He felt his grip loosen on the handle of the knife and was startled when he heard the echo of the knife falling to the floor. What had he done? And even more puzzling was, who was this poor soul laying in a pool of blood at his feet?


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – handle