The air supply has switched to the recycled stuff now. The others ask how he can tell, but Harrison swears he can taste the difference.

He sits in the chair, as he has for the last ten hours. Since the alarms started and they were all rushed in here.

The Waiting Room. A place to wait while the world burned.

He glances again at the no-smoking sign and taps his fingers on the table. He needs a cigarette. He doesn’t even smoke that much. He’s not one of those pack-a-day types. But if the world’s going to end, he wants a cigarette.

He looks around the room, at the other men and women, all in their neat suits, so silent they might as well be furniture. There were attempts at conversation at the start, painful as surgery without anesthetic, but that dried up quickly. Now, thank God for small mercies, it was just silence. There’d be time to talk later.

There won’t be anyone else to talk to.

He wishes the window was real. If the world is ending, someone should be left to see it.

But all he can see is a false sky without a cloud in sight.

Word Count: 200

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to Donna for running the challenge. Photo credit to Arun Sharma.



As a child she had nightmares of the man in the moon, a face twisting slowly in cold and distant rock, and she would wake screaming. Her parents bought her books, showed her documentaries, tried to tell her there was nothing there, just stone and dust and flags held up with wire, frozen in a windless sky, but they were never enough to stop the nightmares.

Only years later, when she stood on that dusty grey ground gazing at the Earth below, did the nightmares finally end.

This is for Three Line Tales Week 181. Thanks as always to Sonya for running the challenge and apologies for all the weeks I’ve missed! Photo taken by Neil Armstrong. 

Trying to get back into the habit of doing these – and of actually posting stuff on here. 


Hey everyone! Sorry for being gone so long – I’m going to try to get back on top of posting – but I return with exciting news! My short story, “Sign of the Rose,” has been published by Crimson Streets, who also published “The Lazarus Riddle.” It’s a Victorian-era murder mystery which I’m quite proud of.

They have also provided the above gorgeous illustration by L.A. Spooner that I cannot praise enough. It captures the gothic mood of the story perfectly and I would not have chosen any other scene to depict.

Please take the time to check the story out if you have a minute!

“Someone’s coming for us,” Calvin said as he sat down opposite Algernon Brook’s padded brown armchair, searching the shadows behind the looming bookcases in the study as though they might hide paper-thin assassins. “They killed Cameron and we’re next.”

Read Sign of the Rose here!


There was a tree that grew music.

In spring, it sprouted symphonies. March overtures became triumphant swellings by May. On a mild April day, the melodies shamed the birds to silence.

In summer, the music continued, but it seemed to most that it was dimmer, paler. Not a patch on its earlier stuff, most people said.

In fall, it was nearly bare. A couple crisp, drying notes still clung to the branches. The birds sang over them and they shriveled in silence.

Come winter, there was no music left.

But spring would come again soon enough.

Word Count: 96

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and Anshu Bhojnagarwala for providing the prompt photo!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter



Buy one breathing mask, get one free for a child or family member! Get 20% off your next radiation treatment!

Offers not valid in cities under martial law, territories outside the Protective Zone, or available to any citizen considered “non-desirable.” 

This is for Three Line Tales. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Artem Bali for providing the prompt photo!

Empty Places

Posted: February 27, 2019 by J.A. Prentice in Flash Fiction
Tags: , , , , ,


The market store had sat empty so long the town’s children couldn’t remember it any other way. The store rotted, windows hammered up with boards, paint flecking away, the sign fading letter by letter. There was always talk of someone buying it, opening it up again, bulldozing it, selling the land for housing, but nothing ever came of it.

There was talk of the curse too, but nobody believed that. At least, not during the day.

But in the dark of night, when shadows stretched and the wind blew cold, nobody lingered long by the ruined store.

Word Count: 97

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and Jean L. Hays for providing the photo prompt!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


Glass roses sung like wind chimes in the morning breeze, crystalline stems trembling. The sun shone a brilliant gold and the cloud-marbled sky gleamed.

A bee buzzed by, clockwork wings carrying a wire-striped body, and alighted on long needle legs. In the sky the birds circled, watching with glinting eyes and knife-sharp beaks.

And in the crooked tower upon the hill, the metal man watched his creation unfold, his long copper fingers tapping like a typewriter. On his world he had been alone, an outcast in a world made of meat.

Here, in this wonderland he had made, he belonged.

Word Count: 100

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and providing the prompt photo!