Little White Van

This post is submitted to Friday Fictioneers.

The challenge is to write a complete story in 100 words or less with a beginning, middle and end using the picture prompt below.

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

He lived in his white van. A van he purchased when times were good. His shuttered little sea food restaurant last year was a tourist hot spot. Usually this time of year is when he made almost all of his money. The empty strip-mall behind him was a constant reminder of the virus lurking all around him. The virus that killed his hopes for living.

Yesterday his van stopped running. Even if he could get it repaired, which he could not afford, where would he go. The coming winter would be hard on his seventy-four-year-old body.   

Wednesday Challenge – Downsizing

Photo Credit === Danny James

I never really cared about getting coffee at one of these little kiosks. I loved getting starting on road trips with a hot cup of coffee in a nice restaurant but now because of the COVID-19 pandemic I am sometimes forced to use these downsized little huts.

The COVID-19 Civil War

From 1861 until 1865 this country was torn apart on the issue of slavery. The soldiers of the north wore blue and the soldiers of the south wore gray. This civil war sometimes pitted brother against brother. This conflict resulted in over 700,000 deaths; 375,000 of the blues and 325,000 of the grays. Major battles were fought at Shiloh, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Vicksburg. The leaders of the north included U.S. Grant, George McClellan, and William T. Sherman. The south was led by Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, J.E.B. Stewart and James Longstreet.

Today this country is being ripped apart by another Civil War. The COVID-19 Civil War. The issue this time is not slavery but a virus. The COVID-19 virus. This COVID-19 virus is again dividing families, friends, and neighbors. The armies now are political parties. Today’s battles are being fought in New York City, Miami Florida, Houston Texas, and Los Angeles California.

This division is leading to a dark place. A recent Georgetown University poll asked how close the country is to the “edge of civil war”—with 0 being not close at all and 100 being at the edge. Americans say we’re at 67.23. So, two-thirds of the way to internecine bloodshed. We are starting to see this with the recent clashes in Portland Oregon and Seattle Washington. In late September Trump tweeted a quote from a pastor warning that if he’s removed from office it will cause “a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.” Is this what the American public wants?

The Union armies of the north were originally led by George McClellan. Lincoln famously said of him that he “had a case of the slows”, because of his reluctance to engage the enemy in battle. Today we have a leader who is reluctance to even recognize the enemy. He has his own case of the “slows.” He declared he was a “War Time President,” but at the first sign of defeat he left the battlefield. To him the virus was a sinister plot developed by the Democrats to prevent him from being elected. Then he misleads the nation by claiming that it would magically disappear. This has resulted in a disastrous health crisis that has tragically led to the unnecessary deaths that could have been prevented had he acted earlier.

In the Civil War the battle of Manassas (First Bull Run) the Union was so sure of victory that families brought picnic lunches to watch the battle. At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis citizens were so certain that COVID-19 was “just like the flu” that they continued to go to work and socialize as always.

Again, people are being ripped into angry communities by the simple request to wear a mask.

The toll so far this time is reaching 150,000. The Covid-19 pandemic that is fueling America’s COVID19 civil war already has felled more Americans than the Vietnam War (58,200), the First World War (53,402), the Korean War (36,574), the 2003 Iraq conflict (4,431) and the Afghanistan misadventure, the longest armed conflict in American history (2,445).

The US Civil War soldiers had rather crude weapons like muskets, which had to be refilled frequently, and bayonets. The COVID-19 Civil War is anything but crude: indifference, bitterness, grievance and old-fashioned hate.

The Civil War effectively ended  on April 9, 1865, when Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrender to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House

When will this war end? After how many deaths? After how many PREVENTABLE deaths? How long will reconstruction last? Will this country ever return to its greatness or will we allow this president to run this country into the ground to the point we can never recover.

This president clearly is willing — eager, even as he seems ready to do anything to stay in power — to fan the flames of this growing divide.


Never Make It To Market

This post is written for Friday Fictioneers.


Panic was starting to form a cloud of fear over the farm. The migrants that worked these fields were nowhere to be seen. The farms precious fruits were going to rot in the fields.

At first the owners were in denial. The crops would be harvested! The use of facial masks were soon required to repel the invisible invader. Once established the virus began to spread. Workers who had previously never been sick suddenly disappeared.  Co-workers soon followed.

The owners anger began to ferment. The invader did not distinguish who it infected. The owners slowly began to disappear.

Children laugh, children play, it’s supposed to be this way

Photo Credit — Danny James

Children laugh, children play, it’s supposed to be this way. Children love, children hug, children have the sweetest face. Children are supposed to laugh, and race, no evilness should touch this face. Children face the hardest times, when love, and life become unkind. Children are supposed to smile, and race, and not see tragedy all over this place. A child’s life should be a playground, where hurt, and pain are rarely found. This is not alway’s the path, but hope that they will learn to laugh.

John Hambrock