Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for all her work and organization. You can visit her site and read through the other Flash Fiction Friday postings at:


For those who are new, Rochelle shares a photo prompt to which several #FridayFictioneers compose a 100-word flash of fiction. Come, see the devil in the church.

Much thanks to Mr. Bradbury, I feel like a thief.

Here’s my contribution:

Carnival Of Screams

It was from this vantage, high up where the belly of the water tower only yesterday marked the town of Bristleburg, five teens had climbed to watch the sun dissolve behind the Blue Ridge. The cork pop of the dandelion wine seemed to bring forth a queer gurgling of engines and mechanical music. These children bore witness as the Nightshade Carnival of Screams arrived.

The top hat man who’d called himself James was festooned in ink and knots of scarred tissue. Despite the appearance, his velvety voice soothed and beckoned, aroused and titillated the town-folk.

He’d charmed them all.



  1. Kwadwo says:

    I can imagine the big tent with all the tamed animals, the music, popcorn, cotton candy and cheering crowd.

  2. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear JK,

    How did you know about my scar tissue? Carnival is headed your way.

    (Spooky good story this week, JK, shaded in truth, limned with the light of day yet dark as hell.)



    • JKBradley says:

      We should all be so blessed to have scars, my friend. The only thing we take with us are scars, and if we’re lucky, we also take love. Nothing else.

  3. Haven’t read “Dandelion Wine” for many years but I’ve always liked Bradbury. Have to look it up again.


  4. Almost. Almost? C’mon man! 😉

  5. Sandra says:

    Very sinister and some great descriptions. Well done.

  6. Dear Jk,

    A well written tribute to Mr. Bradbury IMHO. Beautifully written exquisite in its darkness. Dare I say, brilliant?



  7. zookyworld says:

    Neat follow-up to your story last week of the ice cream truck. I wondered about the Bradbury connection and had to look up Nightshade to find the reference of “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” I admit that I haven’t read the book, but I loved “Dandelion Wine,” so I should check it out.

    • JKBradley says:

      I highly recommend Bradbury as a foundation for writers of fiction. He was a poet (in my opinion) who wrote short stories, one a week, no matter what. Go to the library and check out one of his anthologies of short stories. Read them. Enjoy them. And watch his technique. Take notes on his word selection and phrase use. And, yes, read his novels. He was an artist, a word painter, a storyteller, a master of his craft. Let him open doors for you as he did for me.

  8. EagleAye says:

    Ooh, Dandelion Win and Something Wicked This Way Comes. Ray Bradbury is one of my all time faves. I think you did his work justice. Most well told!

  9. rgayer55 says:

    I could see the video in my head. Writing doesn’t get any better than that.

  10. Helena Hann-Basquiat says:

    Oh, you delightful man! A carnival of wonderful Bradbury references! If only the top-hatted man had been named Montag!

  11. […] Bradley may have penned my new favourite story ever with his homage to Ray Bradbury “Carnival of Screams” – the only thing missing was a Fahrenheit 451 […]

  12. Love the story… and realize from the comment that I need to catch up on Bradbury beyond Fahernheit 451.. Great and dark anyway

  13. unspywriter says:

    Okay, shiver! And let’s hear it for the distraction of dandelion wine. Thanks for the comments on mine. –Maggie

  14. troy P. says:

    Mr. Bradbury would be proud… nicely done!

  15. Carnival of Screams! What will you think of next? Wait, don’t tell me. I will wait for next week…

  16. rheath40 says:

    Your stories never cease to charm me.

  17. Sarah Ann says:

    Nice and creepy as ever.

  18. Linda Vernon says:

    Ha HA! Just wonderful! 😀

  19. That’s some beautiful writing. Makes me want to read more.

  20. jwdwrites says:

    Great story JK, I absolutely loved it, especially the ‘festooned in ink and knots of scar tissue bit. Very atmospheric and colourful piece.

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