Parking Fees

Photo by: Al Forbes

Warren Brey sat in Holt’s Cafe sipping an espresso. He watched the stock market feed on the laptop before him, and also the parking garage half a block away. His usual waiter, Ian, returned with scones and jam, and sat down.

Normally a waiter joining a customer was right out, but Warren was a personable sort, especially for a billionaire.

“I’m just curious,” said Ian. “Why do you watch the parking garage so carefully?”

“I own the garage.”


“Also, I’m waiting for Harold Joiner to arrive.”

“The MP? The one with the Jaguar hover car?”

“The very same. He likes to hover his car into the upper deck, take the best parking spot, and later hover back out without ever paying.”

“What a punter! Must be infuriating.”

Warren grinned. “When I see him enter, I have my mechanics remove one counter-gravity pod. It unbalances the car and makes it impossible to fly.”

“Oh, that’s brilliant!”

“Not really. He stashes them inside his car. He just loads another one in and flies off.”

“Scott free, then?”

“Well, they cost £200,000 each.”

“But you’re still getting ripped off.”

Warren smiled beatifically. “Not really. I own the company that makes the counter-gravity pods.”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction:

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The Background Search

Grayson Soares pulled into Treasure Cay, Bahamas and noticed the FBI man waiting for him. He shrugged as he tied his sailboat to the slip. After turning in the Nassau mass shooter, he was getting used to answering questions.

He invited Special Agent Newton aboard and opened a beer.

“Don’t get me wrong,” said Newton. “We appreciate you, but you knew an amazing amount of info about the shooter.”

“He chartered my boat so I looked him up.”

“About that. You knew more about him than, NCIS for gun purchases, reveals. You knew he’d been diagnosed with schizoprenia and he wasn’t taking his meds. You knew he had two AR-15 assault rifles and two Glock G19s. Did you look in his bags?”

Grayson took a long swig. “Nope.”

“You knew more than the FBI with all our databases! How’d you do it?”

Grayson shrugged. “I looked him up on Facebook.”

Written for What Pegman Saw:

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Enormous Wealth

Photo by: Sandra Crook

Althea Warbridge leaned heavily on her cane. Though age had ravaged her body, she still projected a regal bearing. Before them, a rambling building bespoke enormous wealth. Large ponds bordered by Joshua Trees graced the entry where they approached.

“Your father invented the first practical nanotechnology here at Warbridge,” said Althea.

“You must be proud, Auntie,” said Joshua, helpfully holding her arm.

“Pish-posh! Some of his vile microscopic machines escaped and consumed whole buildings before he stopped them!”

Joshua gestured to the elegant building. “At least the mansion survived.”

“Heavens no! The mansion was destroyed. That’s the servant’s quarters.”
Written for the Friday Fictioneers:

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The Contract Fable

Photo by: Goroyboy

Pietro’s tiny paintings made him famous throughout Europe. Certainly, part of his success came from the presence of the Inspiration Devil, Babylonix.

The little horned beast stood a tiny four centimeters high, but he offered giant benefits. Pietro never lacked for brilliant ideas.

The downside was Babylonix occasionally insisted on scattering the paint tubes around the studio. Sometimes, Pietro couldn’t find them. This gave the artist fits.

“Can we make an agreement to scatter my paints only on certain days?” said Pietro.

“You mean a contract?” squeaked Babylonix.

“Yes, I guess.”

“Of course! I’m a devil, you know. But you must write one I can comfortably hold in my hands.”

Pietro agreed and set to work on a page one centimeter across. Likewise, the writing was incredibly tiny. When done, the two signed it.

On Tuesday, Babylonix made a mess as scheduled. On Wednesday, Pietro insisted the devil clean it up.

Babylonix guffawed. “I don’t have to clean anything!”

“Yes you do,” grinned Pietro, retrieving the contract. “You didn’t read the fine print.”
Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers:

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The Unnatural

Jake brought Angie back to her mom’s house in West Milford, NJ. Angie was still sobbing and choking on her tears as Maureen ushered the two inside.

Maureen held her daughter while she shook in terror.

“What in God’s name happened?” said Maureen.

“We drove down Clinton Road,” said Jake, hands shaking as he held a coffee cup.

“What on Earth for?” said Maureen. “It’s supposed to be haunted!”

“We didn’t take it all that seriously. We wanted to leave a coin in the road for the ghost boy. It’s daylight. This was supposed to be fun!”

“So what did you see?” said Maureen.

“It was awful!” wailed Angie.

“It was unnatural,” said Jake. “Something that can’t exist.”

“Was it, aliens?”

“No, not that.”

“Some crazy monster?”

“No. Something even worse. It was…” Jake choked for a moment.


“A conservative pro-gun politician shaking hands with a liberal environmentalist!”
Written for What Pegman Saw:

Author’s Notes:

Near as I can see, West Milford, NJ is pretty close to Clinton Road.

Clinton Road in New Jersey is supposedly haunted and otherwise has had many strange sightings:

“…The ghost boy at the bridge: At one of the bridges over Clinton Brook (Dead Man’s Curve) near the reservoir, if you put a quarter in the middle of the road where the yellow line is, at midnight it will supposedly be promptly returned by the ghost of a boy who drowned while swimming below or had fallen in while sitting on the edge of the bridge. In some tellings an apparition is seen; in others the ghost pushes the teller into the water if they look over the side of the bridge, in order to save them from being run over as he was in life…”

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A Sensitive Robot

Photo by J Hardy Carroll

They stood outside the boxing gym in the snow. “I’m serious, here,” said Francis. The trainer had a gravely, Bostonian accent.

Bruce spluttered, incredulous. “Why should I spar with a robot?”

“Sparring with humans teaches it how to fight. You gotta certain style that’ll make it a better fighter.”

“Do I look stupid? It’ll kill me!”

“Nah! It’s a sweetheart. It’s actually very sensitive.”

“A sensitive robot?”

“It get its feeling hurt real easy. Just one thing to remember….”

Suddenly a boxer crashed through the window and flew into the street.

Francis shrugged. “…Never call it a Bucket of Bolts.”
Written for the Friday Fictioneers:

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The Rejection

Photo by: Fandango

Two sea monsters rose from the sea near San Francisco. Thousands of years old, they were like human teen-aged males, looking for trouble. They raised up a hundred of feet out of the water, surveying their surroundings.

“Let the wanton destruction begin!” said Bellerophicus with glee.

Then Gallopheniciadon saw the windmill in Golden Gate Park. “Look at her. She’s so beautiful!”

Bellerophicus’ four tentacles waved. He said, “Wow, she is hot.”

“She holds her tentacles out straight, stiff and immobile with lust. She’s exposing her genitals, inviting a mating!”

“She’s a tart.”

“I’ve never seen a female like her.”

“You should call her Stormy.”


“It’s a good name for a female who publicly exposes herself and invites frequent matings.”

Gallopheniciadon keened the ancient mating song. Only silence followed. “She refuses me! How crushing.”

“Forget her! Let’s smash this city.”

“No, I’ve lost the blood lust,” sighed Gallopheniciadon, sagging in the waters. “Let’s return in another 1,000 years. I’ll be bigger and more attractive. Maybe then, we can destroy San Francisco.”
Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers:

Author’s Notes:

Stormy Daniels: “Stephanie Gregory Clifford (born March 17, 1979),[2] professionally known as Stormy Daniels, Stormy Waters or simply Stormy, is an American pornographic actress, screenwriter,[3] and director…The Wall Street Journal reported on January 12, 2018 that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money back in October 2016, shortly before the presidential election, to deny having had an affair with Trump in 2006…”

I’m pretty sure the picture prompt this week comes from the windmills in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
Golden Gate Park windmills: “There are two functioning windmills on the western edge of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California.[1] The northern Dutch Windmill was completed in 1903, and the southern Murphy Windmill was completed in 1908.[2] The Dutch Mill was placed on the San Francisco Designated Landmark list December 6, 1981, and the Murphy Mill was added July 2, 2000.”

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