Free/Pillars #writephoto

pillars

Photo by Sue Vincent

“Mr.  Johnson, how does it feel to be a free man after spending twenty-five years in jail?” a reporter asked Leroy Johnson as he stood in front of the courthouse with its massive pillars.  His mother was beside him.

He looked around at the sea of reporters with their mikes shoved in his face and the flashing cameras and smiled.  “It feels great!” he exclaimed.

Leroy was freed after spending twenty-five years of his life behind bars convicted of a murder he didn’t commit.  He was a free man now thanks to a couple of law students who examined the questionable circumstances surrounding his conviction and got his case opened.    Malcolm Holder, the real killer confessed to the killing.

“Do you feel any resentment toward Malcolm Holder?”

Leroy shook his head.  “Why should I feel resentment toward him?  He came forward and confessed to the killing twice.  The first time he did it was a couple of days after the shooting but he wasn’t arrested.  He tried to do the right thing but nobody listened.  They arrested me instead, an innocent man and sentenced me to forty years in jail with no chance of parole before 2029.”

“Is there anything you want to say to him?”

“Nothing except, that he did the right thing coming forward.”

“Mrs.  Johnson, how does it feel to have your son back?”

Mrs. Johnson smiled.  “It feels wonderful,” she replied.  “After twenty-five years, the Lord finally answered my prayers.  My son is a free man now.”

“Mr.  Johnson, what do you plan to do now that you’re free?”

He put his arm around his mother’s shoulders.  “I’m not thinking that far ahead but right now, I’m taking my Mama to lunch.”

I was inspired to write this story after hearing about the New York prisoner, Valentino Dixon whose conviction was overturned because of an investigation Golf Digest’s Max Adler helped to open.  Valentino was accused of shooting a man back in 1991.  He was arrested and convicted even though the real killer, Lamarr Scott admitted to local media just days after the murder that he shot Torriano Jackson but, he was never arrested.  To read the story, visit here.

This was written in response to the Thursday Photo Prompt – Pillars at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.

 

Sources:  USA Today; Bossip

Advertisements

A Shocking Discovery

cafc3a9-terrasse-dale-r

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

It was pouring outside.  Vera sat at the bar.  Although she felt out of place, it was better than being at home, crying over Dave.  What a shock it had been when she discovered that he’d been paying other women for sex.  I thought we had a happy marriage and a healthy sex life.

 “Vera? What are you doing here?” It was Dave.

I should ask you the same question.

“You shouldn’t be here. I’ll call a taxi.”

“Why can’t you take me home?”

“I have an engagement.”

She slid off the stool.  “Yes, I think she just showed up.”

 

100 Words

 

This story was inspired by an article about wives and girlfriends who discovered that their men were paying for sex.  We often hear stories about the women in the sex industry, but we don’t hear much about the women whose men pay for these services.

This was written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields For more details, visit Here.  To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit Here.

Source:  The Telegraph

 

Two Men

photo-20180917154615571

Photo by Michelle DeAngelis

They were on the beach.  Overhead a brave person was parasailing.  Behind them were the sounds of voices, laughter and the tinkle of glasses.  A lone man stood some distance away, facing them.  They were oblivious.  They were lost in each other.

His eager hands caressed her back before they held her tightly against him.  She hugged him and closed her eyes when he buried his face in her neck.  His warm breath caressed her skin.

Ross swept her off her feet eight years ago when they met in university.  They dated until graduation.  Then he went away for two years.  Heartbroken, she tried to move on and she managed to with Kieran…until Ross showed up.

If Kieran found out that she was seeing Ross again, he would break up with her.  She couldn’t let that happen because she loved him.  And she loved Ross.  Was it wrong to love two men?

Kieran lowered the binoculars.  He turned and walked away, shoulders hunched.  It was as he feared.  She was back with her ex.

175 Words

This story was written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by Priceless Joy.  For more information visit Here.  To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit Here.

The Burnses

dscf1134-2

Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

 

Chuck and Millie Burns were enjoying another day at the beach.   The weather was overcast but it didn’t dampen their mood.  The cool breeze and the smell of the sea air felt really good.

An hour later, they pulled up in the driveway and were getting out of the car when several squad cars showed up. Startled, they looked around wondering what was going on.  “Chuck and Millie Burns, you are under arrest for torture and child endangerment”  Handcuffs were slapped on them and they were led away, faces red and heads hanging.  They were bundled into a squad car and driven away.

It turns out that the police were alerted when the couple’s 15 year old daughter escaped the house where she and her nine siblings were locked up and starved.  Neighbors were shocked.  “They seemed like such a nice couple,” one woman said.  “Their children didn’t say much or play with the other kids but we just thought they were shy.  It goes to show you that you really don’t know people.”

The Burnses are currently being held in custody on six counts of torture and eight counts of child endangerment.

192 Words

I read of the couple who had 13 children because they felt it was God’s calling but those poor children were subjected to torture, endangerment, neglect and starvation.  They gave the impression that they were a devout Christian couple who had all of those children because it was “God’s calling”.  I’m pretty sure that torture, confinement, endangerment and starvation weren’t His calling.

This was written for Sunday Photo Fiction hosted by Susan Spaulding. For more details visit Here.  To read more of the stories based on this week’s prompt, visit Here.

Source:  Mirror

The Mystery Man/Spectral #writephoto

spectral

Photo by Sue Vincent

She didn’t know what it was about the shell of what was left of Haverley Manor that fascinated her.  This morning as mist covered it and the surrounding area, giving it a ghostly appearance.  Perhaps it was the figure of a man walking across the fields and appearing at the first window which drew her here on this grey and cold morning.  She adjusted the bonnet upon her head and drew her coat closer about her.

The man stood at the window still as a statue.  Who was he?  Was he real?  She shook her head impatiently.  Of course, he’s real, Hettie, she chided herself Ghosts don’t exist. They’re just figments of people’s imaginations.  She was getting closer to the structure when she heard a man call out to her.

She stopped and turned around.  He was stocky with long whiskers and carrying a rifle.  His face was ruddy and he looked to be middle-edged.  “What is your business here, Miss?” he asked.

“Are you the caretaker?” she asked.

He shook his head.  “No, Miss.  The name’s Finnegan and I was just passing by on my way to shoot some pheasant when I saw you going towards the remains of the old manor.  It isn’t safe.”

“The day before yesterday I saw a man go into the manor.  He’s there now.”

The man looked past her.  “I don’t see ‘im, Miss.”

She turned.  “But, he’s right there at the window on the second floor.”

“That’s impossible, Miss.  The structure is nothing but a shell.  There’s no way anyone can be up there.”

Frustrated, she turned and pointed.  “I’m telling you, he’s there.  I saw him go in just a few moments ago and he’s standing at the window now.  I can’t believe that you don’t see him.”

The man shook his head in bewilderment.  There wasn’t anyone at the window.  Perhaps, this young lady had a fanciful imagination.  “Miss, there’s only one way to settle this.”  He started toward the manor.

She followed him, her heart pounding with excitement as she looked up and saw the tall figure at the window.  Now, she was going to get a good look at this mystery man.

Finnegan walked around the back and watched the color drain from her face.  “You see, Miss.  It’s just a shell.  There’s no way that anyone could have been at the window like you said, unless he’s a ghost.  What did the man look like?”

It took several moments for her to gather her wits in order to speak.  “He appeared to be tall, pale with black hair and a slight limp.”

Finnegan looked startled.  “It can’t be,” he exclaimed.

“You know the man.  Who is he?”

“He was Abram Chaddesley, the late master of Haverley Manor–”

“The late master? You mean he’s dead?”

“Yes, Miss.  He died when lightning struck the manor.  It was reported that he was standing at the window on the second floor when it happened.  He was the only one who perished.”

“How-how long ago did this happen?”

“Thirty years ago, Miss.”  He stared at her.  She didn’t look a day over nineteen.  How could she have seen Master Chaddesley as he was before he died?  It just wasn’t possible.  “We best be leaving, Miss,” he suggested.  “You look a little peaked.”

“Yes, I feel a bit faint,” she gasped, clutching his arm for support.

“Do you live far?”

“No, no, I live at Ramstead Place.”

“I shall take you there, Miss.”

“Thank you.  You’re very kind.”

“It’s no trouble at all.”  He steadied her as they left the remains and started across the field.

She wanted to look back but was afraid to.   After that day, she never set foot near that place again.

This was written in response to the Thursday Photo Prompt – Spectral  for Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.

Source:  Mental Floss

The Moth and the Flame

jhc-clock

Photo: J Hardy Carroll

She sat there, eyes fixed on the Cathedral clock as it stood between them.  They were alone.  She felt his piercing gaze and the mixed emotions it stirred in her.  A part of her recoiled from his attention and the other part craved it.  He was the most dreadful man she had ever met and yet, she was drawn to him like a moth to a flame.  She could almost feel the heat…

Agitated, she rose to her feet.  She stiffened when he stood.  Panicking, she sought to escape because she knew that if he touched her, she wouldn’t resist…

100 Words

This was written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  For move details, visit HERE.   To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

No More

photo-20180910153513058

She rubbed the condensation from the window and looked out.  It was an overcast day, perfect for what she planned to do.

Today was going to be the last day of her pathetic life.  No more bullying at school.  No more self-recrimination and self-hate.  No more pain.  No more love.  Love–it was what Josh, her half-brother called it when they were doing it in her room or his while everyone else was sleeping or out.  She called it wrong because the Bible said that it was sinful for blood relatives to have relations with each other.  Yet, even though it made her feel dirty, she continued to let Josh “love” her because it was better than feeling rejected or neglected.  For two years, she believed that love, even the wrong kind was better than none, but not today.  Today, she was going to be free of it.

They found her dead, an empty pill bottle on the bed beside her.  She was only seventeen.  A week later, nineteen year old Josh took his life.

174 Words

This was written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by Priceless Joy. For more information visit Here.  To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit Here.