What the Hell is THAT?

House at base of cliff.

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright-Björn Rudberg

This is my third week participating in Friday Fictioneers — something I started to do as a way to prod myself into writing more. It helps, and it’s a bit of fun. I’m not quite used to the idea of being presented with a photograph and told to write a story about it. Ordinarily, I would keep shuffling through photos until I found one that suited me, and then I would write a story. That of course is not an option here, which is part of the value of Friday Fictioneers … you’re kind of stuck with a photo and can’t take the easy way out!

When I saw this week’s photo, my first reaction was: What the hell is that? I followed the photograph’s copyright link hoping to get some background info, but couldn’t find anything related to this particular photograph. So … *Cough!* … gonna kind of wing it here.


Gary Busey“What the hell is that!” I yelled over the din of the helicopter blades.

“Home!” Gary yelled back. “Hah hah hah!” Gary’s wild and crazed eyes danced back and forth between me and the house in the crater down below.

“Easy there, buddy,” I yelled, nodding at the stick in his hands. “How about let’s land this thing before you go all Linda Blair on me.”

“Right, right, right! Hah hah!” Gary yelled back.

I watched anxiously as we circled the house and began to descend toward the helicopter pad. Apart from the house, the floor of the crater was carpeted in dense foliage and nothing more. The house itself butted up against the wall of the crater — a steep cliff into which a stairway had been carved that linked the house to the rest of the neighborhood.

“You use that stairway much?” I yelled.

“Every day,” Gary yelled back. “Have to, if I want to get my mail.”

“You know … Gary, you should consider moving to the top. You know, where you would have access to the road, your mailbox, plumbing … shit like that.”

“Can’t,” yelled Gary. “Nick Nolte has a house up there. If the two of us were to accidentally bump into one another, it could open up a rift in the spacetime continuum that could suck the whole damn universe in! Schlurrp!

I felt the helicopter lurch sideways as Gary excitedly described the universe being sucked into a giant vortex. “Easy, easy,” I said. “Let’s please get on the ground!”

“Right, right, right! Hah-hah!”

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21 Responses to What the Hell is THAT?

  1. Dear Zombie

    Amazing how this challenge teaches us to frugality of verbage, isn’t it? I’ve learned a lot about word conservation and strong verbs since I started. Also. I don’t allow myself to change the photo if I can’t come up with something right away. (I didn’t start out as the facilitator of this lovely group)

    Clever story.



  2. Ha.. to really know were the photo was taken can both help you or limit your options… I know (it’s not the first time my photo has been used. In any case the photo was taken on a levada-walk close to rebeira dos freirors on the beautiful island of Madeira I visited last winter…

    I would definitely try to get grounded flying with a pilot like that… next step I assume he want to take me through that vortex….

  3. That is an odd house. I tried dropping it into images.google.com–find out where it was–and got nothing. Well done story!

  4. Hilarious story. I mean, Gary Busey and Nick Nolte – a definite rift in the spacetime continuum.

  5. J. D. Hager says:

    Love that rift in the space time continuum bit. And Gary Busey piloting a helicopter. That’s just plain scary. I could totally see him living in that house. Nice.

  6. Fabulous! Excellent take on the photo and truly, what could be scarier than Gary Busey piloting a helicopter. Oh yes, that’s right. Nick Nolte!

  7. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Zombie – Good story – GARY Bussey – Funny and hilarious! Yes – he and Nick Nolte not getting alone is excellent. I enjoyed your story! Nan 🙂

  8. Sandra says:

    Nice story, I could just imagine it. The real challenge would be getting that across in 100 words. 😉

  9. misskzebra says:

    I think Friday Fictioneers has helped me a lot with longer stories. I have this tendency to just want to push the plot, but you really do need to make every word count!

    A very amusing story! 😀

  10. cute story.. Looks like he flies his helicopter like he did his motorcycle.

    • LOL! I thought about referencing the motorcycle wreck, but I thought it might sound mean spirited. 😛

      I have a tendency to forget Gary Busey’s name and the only name that comes to mind is Nick Nolte. For some reason, I always look up the movie Contact when that happens, not because Gary Busey was in it, but because his brother Jake was in it. I see “Jake Busey” and go “oh right … Gary Busey.”

  11. AnnIsikArts says:

    Imaginative use of the photo prompt. M C Escher had a house a lot like this one, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Nick and Gary are wandering the staircases avoiding each other as I write. 🙂

  12. draliman says:

    Evidently not the most stable person to be piloting the helicopter 🙂

  13. liz young says:

    Good story but you’re going to have to work harder on sticking to the word count! There are houses like that in Teneirfe where I live.

  14. P.S. Joshi says:

    Zombie, His hair looks like he’s standing near the helicopter as it’s blades are rotating. That’s one hazardous landing. Humorous and well written, even if a little long. 🙂 —Susan

  15. storydivamg says:

    The eclectic photos are half the fun, aren’t they?

    I was going to josh you a little about the word count, but it looks as though others have beat me to the punch. 🙂 I spent quite a while learning how to craft these tiny flashes and sometimes they still creep a bit above the set number.

    Happy crafting!

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  16. Maree Gallop says:

    Great, funny story with loads of imagination.

  17. rgayer55 says:

    I guess Gary and Nick are so much alike they can’t stand each other. A very imaginative tale.

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