Friday, December 4, 2020

First Friday in December-Dougherty, Iyer, Vidler

 It’s First Friday, when three authors post their 150-word stories based on a single picture. Read them! You may find a new author to follow. Here’s the inspiration.

Nick Fewing, Unsplash


It Ain't So Bad, Really

Me and the dogs, we seen better days. Worse days, too, though. Just now, it ain't so bad. We got one another for company, and to keep warm. Out here's a pretty good place to be; it beats them shelters all to hell. That's for sure. Shut up in there with all them bums, that ain't so good. Ain't so healthy, either. Not with the virus goin' round. Better out here, where the air's fresh and clean.

Yep, I been in worse places. The dogs, too. People think it's dangerous out here, but they got no clue. It's like a damn park compared to some of the places I been.

The only problem now is the restaurants bein' closed. Dinin' from their dumpsters ain't what it once was, what with all that carry-out business. But don't worry about us. We're gettin' by, and Christmas is comin' soon.


As I approached the man and his dog, I looked straight ahead. If I didn’t see the homeless I could convince myself they didn’t exist. That wasn’t true, of course, and I was ashamed for thinking it. As I passed, the old dog left his master’s lap and inched toward me. He seemed to know me. I stooped to scratch his neck when I noticed the white spots on his ears. I knew that dog. I gave the lab to someone many years ago. I studied the man. He raised his gaze, and our eyes met.

“Richie?” I said.

The man lowered his head and covered his face with his arm. My heart sank and soared simultaneously. “Richie,” I repeated. “I’ve searched everywhere for you.”

“I couldn’t let you see me this way,” he said.

“Now that I’ve found you, little brother, I’ll never let you go again. Come home.”


The dog did it. No one noticed Wilder. People focused on Harpo, and Wilder kept his head down. Folks were generous at Christmas, especially with the dog on his lap. A little boy offered Harpo his hamburger. Iffy situation, that one—the dogs were trained to never accept food from strangers. Wilder whispered firmly and Harpo scarfed it down. The kid beamed.

They’d collected quite a bit in the cup. But it was cold, the concrete was hard, and they’d been here for three days. Was it worth it? Street gossip said Bully Bill met with his dealer here, and Wilder and Harpo were ready.

And there he was, the fat man with bulging pockets. Harpo’s hair rose, and Wilder felt the silent rumble in the dog’s chest. Harpo’s muscles bunched. Wilder lifted the Glock from under the blanket. “GO!”

Harpo sprang.

Surveillance was a bitch, but it paid off.

 About the Authors

CLR Dougherty

Charles Dougherty has written over 35 mystery/thrillers in three series set in Caribbean sailing world.

Dougherty is a lifelong sailor; he's lived what he writes. For 15 years, he and his wife lived aboard their boat full-time, cruising the East Coast and the Caribbean islands. They spent most of that time exploring the Eastern Caribbean. Dougherty is well acquainted with the islands and their people. The characters and locations in his novels reflect his experience.

A storyteller before all else, Dougherty lets his characters speak for themselves. Pick up one of his sailing thrillers and listen to the sound of adventure as you smell the salt air. Enjoy the views of distant horizons and meet some people you won't forget.

Find out more about Charles Dougherty and his books at

Sharks and Prey

Kidnapping, Sex-Trafficking and Betrayal in the Islands

Sharks and Prey is the eighth book in the J.R. Finn sailing mystery series.

Finn’s daughter, Abby, disappears in Antigua while on a semester break. Finn has never met Abby; her mother divorced him while he was on a clandestine mission over 20 years earlier. He hasn’t spoken with his ex-wife since he left on that mission, but he’s followed his daughter’s life from afar.

 Finn and his friend Mary visit Antigua aboard their boat, Island Girl, for a short holiday. They discover Abby’s missing when they see a poster in the Customs and Immigration office.

 Distressed, Finn calls his ex-wife and offers his help.

Join Finn and Mary in Antigua as they wreak havoc while looking for Abby.

Sharks and Prey is perfect for fans of mystery / thrillers set in the Caribbean.

Learn more at

Polly Iyer

Polly Iyer is the Amazon bestselling author of ten books of suspense. They include Hooked, InSight, Murder Déjà Vu, Threads, we are but WARRIORS, Kindle Scout winner Indiscretion, and four books in the Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series: Mind Games, Goddess of the Moon, Backlash, and The Scent of Murder. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and monthly on the Blood Red Pencil Blog. Website

we are but WARRIORS


Her latest book, we are but WARRIORS, is about an Israeli publisher whose Middle East peace plan divides his country into supporters and enemies. Some even want him dead before he speaks at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. It’s up to General Benjamin Lowe’s Security Agency and his twin sons, one a disabled Afghanistan vet, the other a covert military operator, to thwart a wily assassin and the sinister cabal behind an operation that could change the face of the Middle East, with a shrinking timeframe to prevent it. 

Ellis Vidler

Ellis is filling in for someone who couldn’t make it this month. She’s the author of five suspense novels (one with Jim Christopher) and two short story collections.

Cold Comfort

After being dumped by her faithless fiancé, Claire Spencer abandons her dreams and settles for a quiet life as a Williamsburg Christmas shop owner. So how does she become a killer’s target?

Sometime security consultant Riley, burned out and haunted by a young girl he couldn’t save, vows never to work with women again. But when a thug tries to kill Claire, Riley's plans go all to hell. Knowing she’s in danger, he can’t walk away.

While dodging speeding cars, ducking bullets, and escaping through murky swamp waters, conventional Claire and freewheeling Riley struggle against their powerful chemistry—if she’s picket fences, he’s barbed wire.


Join us! Post your own version in the comments--150 words. 


Karen McCullough said...

Love all three of the stories! The approaches are so different, yet they all work.

Ellis Vidler said...

Thanks, Karen. I always enjoy them, and they're fun to write too. Ellis

Polly Iyer said...

Thanks for having me, Ellis. I loved all the other stories.

Ellis Vidler said...

I liked yours and Bud's too. It's fun to see how differently everyone sees the same thing.

Kaye George said...

Another three winners! Great job, everyone. I enjoyed all of them.