Alastairs Photo Fiction – The time portal!

Time for the delightful writing challenge of Alastairs Photo Fiction, Alastair shares with us one of his photographs to use as a prompt for writing a flash fiction (short-short) story of no more than 150 words. Writing from a photo prompt is fun, give this one a try! Click on his link for more details.

His photograph this week is the following:

Stepping Into The Future

“A picture of a time portal?” She shook her head handing the photo back to him. “I was expecting something – I don’t know – more exciting, a dark luminous tunnel, a pathway ending in a mist.”

He smiled, “I know, completely average looking. But this is it. The portal, between the first and second set of steps. By the time you reach the second set you’re in the future, when you turn and walk back down you’re in the past again.”

“Fascinating, but how do I know you’re not just making this up.”

His smile became broader. “I anticipated your question. So I took this picture before I came. Notice the date in the lower right hand corner.”

She looked at the date in the photograph and then at him.

“You’re from my future?”

“Yes,” he said, “But I couldn’t wait any longer to be with you,

so I came early!”

(150 words)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

To enter your own flash fiction from Alastair’s photo prompt, click here to get started!

Thanks for stopping by, have a great week ahead!

~ Penny


Ligo Haibun Challenge – Geared to Immortality – Part 2

Another excellent writing challenge brought to you by Nightlake. The Ligo Haibun Challenge offers writers an opportunity to improve and hone their written skills, I encourage you to give this one a try, just click on the link for more details!

The prompt I chose for this week’s challenge was “Today Ten Years Ago” from those words I went with the theme “Anniversary” and 10 years become 10,000 years! I chose to try something a little different with this challenge. Did you notice the title reads “Part 2”? The first part is in my previous post where I wrote from a photo prompt by Alastair. It was fun teaming the two challenges together. Double the challenge, double the fun!

For your pleasure and enjoyment the finale to “Geared to Immortality“:



The succubus giggled. Sharing a human soul. She was so proud of herself.  For too long a tiring and boring process, always sneaking and seducing through dreams, drawing out life Alastairessence and then moving on to the next one. Sigh, so many victims, it became exhausting and boring.

And then an excellent idea – what if she were to cohabitate with just one soul, dwelling inside. She could accomplish the same thing through an innocent human. Delightful.

Such rich sensation of horror experienced by this human each time she viewed someone using her inventions – watching them wither away. How sensual and double the fun. Of course it wasn’t the invention – but no one knew that but the succubus.

And she had finessed the process now, so embedded was she within this human’s soul. Now each new invention used by another human stole only some of their living essence. They’d live on in a miserable half life fashion. Oh how delicious. Technology was awesome. 

Today, the anniversary of that first day she had entered this being’s soul, indeed a cause for celebration. The inventor knew something happened inside her soul that day, but still didn’t really ‘know’ …  The succubus sighed again, happily looking forward to thousands of years, inventions and souls to come.

an evil within
the price of technology
eternal victim



Alastair’s Photo Fiction – Geared to Immortality!

It’s Sunday.  Time for another flash fiction challenge at Alastair’s Photo Fiction. below is the photo prompt for this week: Join in the fun, just click on the link for details!



It was a private room. Her special retreat. A room where she stored her first invention. So proud she’d been, that day. A simple thing, and not the first by any means, but these particular gears had a special quality to them. And the subsequent chain of events which had followed her invention, never far from her mind. Especially today – the anniversary. Some people had called it magic. The scientists had been baffled. She didn’t know either but tried not to dwell on these things, unsuccessfully!

Today, she stood inside this hidden room remembering with disbelief her many yesterdays, thinking on her tomorrows of eternity. A secret she wasn’t aware of buried deep in her soul. She didn’t know how it could have happened, but it had.

But the price paid, unimaginable!

One thousand years had passed since that fateful day the gears of motion had made her immortal!


(150 words)

To find out what happened to our inventor on that first day, stay tuned for my next post for this week’s Haibun Challenge. The word prompt is Anniversary! This is my way of encouraging writers to enter both of these wonderful writing challenges! So much fun and very rewarding!


~ Penny

Penny L Howe

My trip to Mars!

A SHARED MEMORY FROM MY PAST: When I was in the 8th grade I was shy but friendly with my fellow 8th graders. I lived in the country. So the size of the classes were relatively small. About 20 students. But I loved to write stories.

So one day I began to write a science fiction (yes I loved it even back then) story about a flying saucer landing in the play area of the school grounds. They (the aliens) were here for the purpose of choosing which students would go with them back to their planet to learn about life on another world.

trip to mars

A friend sitting to my left asked to read the first few pages and then the boy sitting next to her asked to read them and so on until the story circulated from desk to desk. Every day I added new written pages. Naturally many of the students were characters in the story, so we were all having great fun with this, until the day I looked up to see the principal (Mr. Dunbar – his actual name) standing next to my desk with his hand out (I guess word had gotten out).

I handed him (very nervously, he was always so stern appearing) the latest few pages. He stood there reading them and then said “You know Penny it isn’t fair not to share this story with everyone”. So he told my teacher she should let me, everyday, stand in front of the class (OH NO, remember I was shy and very self conscious about my speaking voice!) and read the latest installment. Which I nervously did. To the cheers of the whole class, and my embarrassment.

Penny L HoweYes the fiction had a happy ending. A few of the students “of course I was one” were chosen and went to live on Mars! Yes at that time it was definitely the “Go To” place, in outer space. My Title of this fantasy, very uninspiring … “My Trip to Mars“!

As I reflect on this story today, I think to myself how much like blogging this experience was, where we write and then interactively share our written words with others. Who knew I’d be sharing my stories with others around the planet when I grew up … Not Mars perhaps, but ever so cool. Blogging and bloggers, yes indeed! And no principal peering over my shoulder either!

Thanks for your time to visit me today, Have a great day!

~ Penny

On a lighter note for Tuesday …

Sneak preview – Children of the Orbs Series: 5 years ago floating “Orbs” the size of a grapefruit had shown up everywhere on the planet Earth, one per person. For years humanity struggled to understand the purpose of the glowing globes, hovering nearby. Orbs that followed them everywhere. Orbs that could not be disposed of. Orbs that bonded with some and rejected others.


Wars were fought as men and women struggled to comprehend what was inconceivable. Children understood. They were the future of the Universe. The Orbs communicated their need. They had come to show human children the way. The future of the Universe depended on the Children of the Orbs.

… Suddenly awake, sixteen year old Paige kept her eyes closed, her basic survival training lessons taking over.

First … listen. Nothing. Smell the air. Nothing. What, then? Motion? Yes, the entire “floating house” was swaying slightly.

She opened her eyes just enough to see. Her Orb floating slightly above her, softly glowing a crimson color – a danger warning.

Moonlight filled the small room she had been sleeping in. The room, one of a grouping of others in the single story house, currently moored one hundred meters up in the air, over a medium size lake.

The room seemed empty except for herself and Dal, still asleep in the bed next to hers.

Paige’s hand slide to the edge of the bed and down the side of the air inflated mattress. Her fingers made contact with the weapon she had learned to depend on. The always ready gun – it wasn’t really a gun as it didn’t fire bullets and it couldn’t seriously injure anyone, but it could freeze them in their tracks; stopping any physical movement from a few seconds to a few hours depending on the setting.

This would give Paige enough time, with the Orb’s assistance to come up with a solution to the situation. Dal (Dalgor) wasn’t trained yet, he wouldn’t be of much value to her. She’d come to rescue him from this planet, his life was in danger. Now, both their lives were in danger.

Again, the floating house moved, a small movement but she was aware. Someone was climbing up one of the mooring cables. In one fluid movement, Paige was out of bed, crouched on the floor in a position ready to fight if necessary…

© Copyright 2013 by Penny L Howe
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright conventions


Stay tuned, more sneak previews coming up soon!

~ Penny

Penny L Howe


The Trek of it all – William Shatner!

Hey everyone, and of course all you hundreds of millions of trekkies (yup, that many)! I just have to share this video with all of you.

William Shatner, (A Canadian who became famous as Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise for the sci-fi cult tv show – Star Trek) is a movie star, tv icon and writer of science fiction. He’s also 82 years old. Does that slow him down? Not a whit!

He owns a horse farm (loves to ride) does tv commercials, shows up on tv shows, and so forth and so on. The follow commercial is for a new video game, and Shatner (as always is at his best) Please enjoy – a lot!

I also think he is an excellent representation of the meaning “living every day of your life to it’s fullest!” btw any of you who think I might be exaggerating click this link for his upcoming activities Bill’s Appearances!

Live long and prosper William!

~ Penny


Friday Fictioneers – Or is it?

Welcome readers,

Friday Fictioneers is an international community of blogging writers who come together once a week to share their creative talents via a ‘hundred word’ (roughly) fiction story prompted by a single photo. Some use the photo for inspiration while others use it as an illustration.

  • Writers are encouraged to think outside the box.
  • The story should have a beginning, a middle and an end.
  • THE KEY: making every word count. As close to 100 words as possible.

Hopefully I’ve accomplished these items this week. Enjoy! And yes this story has 100 words exactly!

copyright-Rich Voza

copyright-Rich Voza


She looked at the photo. This week’s prompt. She was going to write one hundred words this week or die trying. She was still mystified as to why a hundred word count was so important.  Had to be a reason.

Slaving away at her revisions, she repeatedly glanced at the prompt.  Finally, at last, she’d done it. One hundred words exactly. Yes! She hit publish.

Hidden safely behind the moon, the aliens in the flying saucer observed the all important “indicator” light up. They nodded at one another and went to pick up another human brain now ready for consumption.


Thank you,


Penny L Howe

Somethings are incomprehensible…

… and therefore exceedingly funny or scary depending on your interpretation.


If you are not a fan of the television series called Doctor Who, you are not going to have a clue of who or what this photo is.


They are the arch-enemy of the doctor. Who? The hero (main character) of the popular sci-fi TV show Doctor Who is “The Doctor” and his main protagonists are the beings in the photo.

They are the Daleks. Extraterrestrials (Cyborgs “genetically modified beings inside a mechanical shell”) who are bent on universal conquest and domination, utterly without pity,compassion or remorse. The only emotion they have is hate. Their favorite word is “Exterminate”.

Honestly if you look at the photograph they are not the least bit scary and if you watch the show, they are not the least bit scary either.


But their purpose for existence is scary. One I think about. Can a world that continues to focus on Hate or Indifference at the least, instead of Love and acceptance be so very different or far fetched than a funny looking mechanical being from outer space set on extermination!

Something to think about…yes?

~ Penny