Tuesday – Anything Possible – Photo Prompt

Keith Channing is a talented writer who has a regular feature named Kreative Kue and he has published his 36th. I find these prompts to be uniquely challenging and decided to join in this week. The idea is to take a picture Keith has published and write anything you want about it. I decided to write a flash fiction story about the photo. I hope you like it and if you want to check out Keith’s site go here http://channing.info/wp/2015/08/03/kreative-kue-36/

A prompt picture

The Orange by John W. Howell © 2015

“Hello, Sergio. Yeah, we are almost to the border. No, it’s just the three of us. Me, Jorge and my sister. I know we should get off the phone. Will you have the truck on the other side right? Good, see you then. Goodbye.”

“Who are you talking to?”

“It’s our pickup man. He will meet us when we get across the river.”

“Do you trust him?”

“Well, let me put it this way. I have only paid him half, and he needs the money. Marie, not so fast.”

“I am anxious to get to the other side. I can’t wait to start our new life.”

“Jorge what are you doing?”

“Picking an orange. What’s the big deal?”

“We are not supposed to make any kind of trail. Don’t pick more.”

“Sure. Who died and made you boss?”

“I’ve planned this crossing for over a year. I don’t need any screw ups. Do not drop those orange peels either.”

“Oh yeah? What should I do with ’em then?”

“I could tell you, but I’m a gentleman.”


“Oh my God it’s the border patrol.”

“What did they say?”

“HALT YOU THREE DON’T MOVE. I think they mean it.”

“Ponte de rodillas rápida.”

“Hey, no pushing. What are they saying?”

“Get down on your knees quick. I would do what they say.”

“How in the hell did they know we were here? I’ll bet it’s that phone call of yours.”

“Sorry Jorge they are saying orange. You picked the only alarm orange in the country.

“Does this mean we will not get to cross into Mexico?”

“That’s what it looks like Marie.”



  1. Very clever at defying expectations. And the orange alarm…

    1. Thought I would reverse the experience. 😉

  2. Such a cunning security measure. There’s always that one person in a group that ruins it for everyone else.

    1. Reminds me of the Wes Craven movies. “Don’t open that door.”

  3. That would be my luck John. Great little piece. I’m always impressed at how quickly you can build a complete story.

    1. Yes! Brings new meaning to the term “Code Orange.” Very clever.

      1. Thanks. Could also be “Agent Orange.”

  4. Love the alarm orange.

  5. Darn those alarm oranges! Nice job, John!

  6. I can almost hear the border patrol guys running around their hut shouting maniacially (I know that’s not a real word, but it’s so much nicer-sounding than manically). The common cry being, “Orange alert!”
    Of course, we all know that the alert status, the fruit, and even the colour get their name from Jason Orange, one-time (sorry, two-time) singer with Take That.

    1. Ha ha ha Could give rise to another story about where’s Jason Orange.

      1. My turn tomorrow. I had planned to use the woman on the phone, and still might. Interestingly, there wouldn’t have been cell phone coverage in rural Cyprus in 1982, when I took the picture. I wonder if she knew that. Perhaps she was prescient, or…

      2. Or itching her ear.

      3. Where’s the magic in that, though?

      4. Depends on what is causing the itch.

  7. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Wonderful short story by John W. Howell based on a photograph… pop over.

    1. Thank you, Sally. 🙂

  8. They’re trying to go *back*?? Hmm, interesting twist, John. I imagine a lot of folks would say, Pick the orange and GO! I’m not sure I’d have wanted an orange bad enough to fight those tall weeds, though!

    1. Not necessarily back. Just going to the promised land. (complete reversal of expectation)

  9. John, I love the twists you put on stories. Not to mention the “alarm orange.” 😀 Hugs!

    1. Thank you Teagan. 🙂

  10. Loved it! Alarm orange!

    1. Or orange alarm. 🙂

  11. Orange alarm, hey? how intriguingly, wonderful. love that idea

    1. Thank you for stopping. Glad you like it.

  12. The alarm orange will be my catch phrase for the week. Your dialog is always clear and playful. Have you ever thought of screenwriting? You’ve got an amazing talent, John!

    1. I am taking a screenwriting course right now. (just started it)

  13. Wow, great job with that story pic prompt, John! I enjoy those types of writing challenges as well 🙂

  14. […] The Orange by John W. Howell © 2015 […]

    1. Thank you, Keith for the ping back. This week’s photo looks interesting as well.

  15. I’ll never look at an orange the same way! Nice one John.

    1. Thanks. When you get one just say hello.

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