By some sort of odd coincidence, both Friday flash fiction exercises I participate in (Friday Fictioneers and Flash! Friday) have ladders in their photo prompts today. One is commonplace; the other unusual, and both different enough that one story won’t fit both. Not that I’d do that anyway. Both brought lots of interesting thoughts to mind.
Friday Fictioneers’ photo prompt brought back to mind a favorite episode of mine from the classic Twilight Zone series. I’ve mentioned before that watching that series and seeing the stories penned by not only Rod Serling but people who became some of my favorite writers (Bradbury, Matheson, and many more) made me want to write.
Serling was an amazingly erudite man who had such a grasp of human frailty, and he reflected that in his tales of the other worldly and macabre. Almost single-handedly he made the term “speculative fiction” credible in a literary environment that dismissed such writing as pulp. (That, unfortunately, still happens to a certain extent.) He wrote or adapted to a screenplay ninety-nine of the original 156 episodes, including the one I’m paying homage to in today’s Friday Fictioneers offering, “Reincarnation.”
If you’ve never watched the original offerings of Twilight Zone, give them a try. Ignore the black-and-white presentation and the sometimes cheesy special effects and pay attention to the stories, the words, which are masterful.
As usual, if you don’t see the link on the title above, scroll to the top of the page, click on the Friday Fictioneers tab, then select the story from the drop-down menu. If you want to read the story for Flash! Friday, which features a ladder as well, click here or click on the Flash! Friday tab above and select the last story (Escalera del Jacobo) on the list.