Friday Fiction: 100 Word Challenge

Friday Fiction: 100 Word Challenge

Friday Fiction: 100 Word Challenge

A quote: “Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy.” ~~ Robert A. Heinlein

I’ll start with a story …


Those lights look magical under a black August night.

Filled with a 13-year-old’s bravado, I snuck out one night. A pocket full of coins, a head full of “screw you, old man” and headed straight to the carnival, so bright I could see it’s shine over the hill. I ate and rode and watched until …

Waking, I’m not sure how I ended up under the bleachers. Raised voices in the pink pre-dawn arguing over money earned and owed. The rides stand silent, trash blows across an empty midway.

The magic is gone.

Maybe it was never really there.


Now, it’s your turn.
. featured image, cropped, Adobe Stock standard license

Written by

  • Cameron says:

    The midway was bright and cheerful. The sounds of the children filled the air and shrieks of delighted terror came from some of the rides. My guest and I sat on a bench and watched the crowds walking by.

    “Are you enjoying yourself?” I asked.

    “I am. And I appreciate you taking me here. The agriculture displays were amazing and the Ferris Wheel was quite a lot of fun.” He looked over at me curiously as I offered him a plate.

    “What is this?”

    “Funnel cake.”

    And that is why our race was admitted to the Confederation. Diplomacy through entertainment.

  • Navig8r says:

    Erie doesn’t begin to describe what we found when we returned from our camping trip. Town completely deserted, but all the vehicles still in place.

    “Did we miss the rapture?”

    “Don’t think so. Not a God fearing town. There’d be lots of folks left.”

    “Reverse rapture? Where all the bad folks disappear?”

    “Nearly plausible, but there’d still be a few faithful left.

    “Radiation? Disease? Poison?”

    “There’d be bodies. The carny nails down the when. All set up, but no trash anywhere. Before dawn on opening day.”

    “Maybe we oughta be someplace else.”

    “Agree. No fire tonight, rotating watch shifts 24/7.”

  • Dupin says:

    It’s always saddest just before breaking down. The kids are gone. The rides are silent. The bustle hasn’t started to tear it all down. By this time tomorrow, we’ll be gone, holes and other depressions the only reminders.

    By the next day, we’ll be in another town, starting to set up. We’ll be ready by the next Friday, the rides turning and chiming, the midway games going, the smells of various foods and animals in the air. The gleeful noises and the groans of the parents.

    Then once again, the quiet just before we pack up. That sad, empty silence.

  • Leigh Kimmel says:

    “Wake up.” Bill poked at his brother’s sleeping form sprawled out on the hay bales.

    Fred groaned, then rolled over and resumed snoring. The kid must’ve stayed up until the midway shut down for the night, the way he was sleeping.

    All right. Time for more drastic measures.

    Bill grabbed his brother by the shoulders and hauled him out of the sleeping bag, off the bales of hay and straight over to the water faucet at the edge of the dairy barn.

    Moments later Fred was awake and cussing up a storm as the water ran off his hair and shirt. Right now he was still too groggy to fight effectively, so better to get it settled right now.

    Bill grabbed his brother by the front of the shirt and got right in his face. “Fred, you know we have to milk the cows first thing. Dad’ll give us holy hell if they come back dry.”

    Fred mumbled something about not enough sleep.

    “Fred, you told Dad you were old enough to stay overnight. You want to run off to the midway as soon as we’re done with the evening milking, that’s your lookout. Right now there are cows to milk, and you’re going to do your part if I have to ride your ass every step of the way. Or I tell Dad you’re not up to the job, and you go home tonight.”

    Fred might be only half awake, but it was enough to stumble over to the sanitation supplies and start washing the cows’ udders while Bill prepared the portable milking machine. In the half-light of dawn, he could see the Ferris wheel and the Tilt-a-whirl of the midway just past the swine barn and the beef barn. They didn’t look quite so bright and inviting with the lights off.

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