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“#Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” – NonFiction #Photoprompt with Suzanne Burke

Suzanne (Soooz) Burke is running a fun weekly writing challenge at her blog. This week it’s a PhotoPrompt #FictionInAFlash. We’re invited to write in any genre, 750 word count max. When I came across Soooz’s challenge in my blog roamings, once I saw the prompt, hundreds of memories flashed by me. So 750 word cap is going to be a challenge!


flash fiction


Hello everyone and welcome to week #4 of my  “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction piece inspired by that image in any form and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.


“Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Week #4. Image Prompt: Join in, have fun, and let loose your creative muse.#FictionInAFlash @pursoot @IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity.


Route 66


From the first time I ever visited Las Vegas, I felt an inexplicable energy through me, an unfamiliar state of feeling that I should be living on the west coast. This feeling had nothing to do with the fact that Vegas is like a Disneyland Mecca playground for adults but more about the atmosphere – desert, climate and just being in the southwest.

It must have been my colorful childhood education from some of the shady characters I’d met in my mother’s circles that began my fascination of mobster stories. After my first Vegas experiences there were plenty more visits there, sometimes 2 and 3 times per year. After so many years of going to Vegas, and one helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, I had an instant feeling that I needed to relocate our vacations to Arizona, more evidence to myself that it was the southwest calling me, more than the casino attractions in Las Vegas.

The first time I landed in Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, I remember strolling the carry-on through the airport with hub, on our way to grab a taxi, when I stopped myself in my tracks and took a pause when this incredible feeling of something inexplicable came over me and told me this was where I needed to be. A familiarity ran through me as though I were home, like I was familiar with a place I’d never before been other than in a helicopter landing in a canyon.

My long fascination with everything southwest, from the climate to the beauty to the rich history of the various Native tribes and cultures, felt familiar and I’d always had this longing to drive Route 66, pretty much inspired by Thelma and Louise. I’d flown over the spot where the movie ends and their car goes off the cliff, while in the helicopter, the tour guide made it a point to announce.

Our first trip to Phoenix was fantabulous. My husband loved all the cowboy stores, venues and paraphernalia, and me, well, I couldn’t get enough of the views, and of course, shopping anything southwest. Don’t even get me started on beautiful Sedona, but those are other stories for another time. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t going home without something ‘Route 66’ and it seemed only fitting when I spotted a set of luggage on discount while I was in the market for a new bag to return home with since what I’d come with was already overflowing. The luggage was colorful with Route 66 plastered all over. And along with some other goodies I found at a flea market when our new friends had taken us to in Mesa, I picked up this sign.


route 66


Here I am living living in the east living still in the dream of being a southwest coast girl someday. Who knows what will come when the new world opens up. Never stop dreaming!




If you’d like to hop on Soooz’s challenge, click on the link below.

Source: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Week #4. Image Prompt: Join in, have fun, and let loose your creative muse.#FictionInAFlash @pursoot @IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity. – Welcome to the World of Suzanne Burke.



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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.


  • Stevie Turner

    Enjoyed reading this, Debby. I’ll think I’ll pass on Las Vegas, but I’ve often wished to visit the Grand Canyon. However, I’m not keen on travelling at the moment, so it won’t be this year!

    • dgkaye

      I hear you girl. Ever since we rerouted to Arizona, we had no desire to go back to Vegas. The Vegas I loved in the 80s and 90s were ‘the days’ there. And I haven’t been to the US in 4 years now, even across the border, which is 1 1/2 hour drive from Toronto – Buffalo, New York. 🙂 x

  • Robbie Cheadle

    An interesting insight into why you like this part of the world so much, Debby. Thanks for sharing.

  • Norah Colvin

    I enjoyed the story of your brush with Route 66, Debby, and what a great souvenir to take away – practical as well. I walked the Santa Monica pier where Route 66 ends a few years ago and had my photo taken by the sign. That was pretty exciting too.

  • Vashti Q

    Hi, Debby! I enjoyed your story. I felt your enthusiasm and love for the southwest as I read it. I’ve been to Nevada and Arizona once. I visited Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam, and the Grand Canyon. It was an amazing trip, and I’ve always wanted to return. After reading your story, I can’t wait to visit the southwest again. 😀 xo

    • dgkaye

      Oh thanks Vashti, and thanks for sharing your experience. If you’ve never been to Sedona, Arizona, make sure that’s in the trip! <3

  • Soooz

    Thanks so much for taking part and sharing these great memories with us, my friend. I’ll be featuring it on my Challenge blog on June, 19th. ❤

  • Gwen Plano

    I loved your story, Debby. I grew up in the southwest, by the Arizona border. There’s a special beauty to that area. Now I live in Missouri and criss-cross the United States to see family on each coast. Lots of travel, but for retirees, time is not a concern. Thank you for sharing your journey!

  • Hugh W. Roberts

    “… I felt an inexplicable energy through me, an unfamiliar state of feeling that I should be living on the west coast.” – I had exactly the same feeling on my first visit to London, so know that feeling very well. The rest, as they say, is history.

  • Marsha Ingrao

    Ah yes, Deb, the draw of the desert. You sparked about 25 years of memories out of me. Before I met him, Vince lived in Bullhead City. It took a lot of convincing for me to even visit Laughlin, Bullhead City, Las Vegas, Prescott, and finally Sedona. To get me to leave the comforting green of California, which was much less green than Portland and Indiana, but acceptable, was like dragging a screaming child out of the grocery store. “I love the high desert,” he told me at least two or three times a week. Now, I ]’ve grown up and I look forward to our Southwest trips as much as he does. I love your story.

  • Olga Núñez Miret

    I visited Las Vegas a few years back, but although we had a good time there, it was spent mostly visiting some of the many wonderful National Parks around (and Grand Canyon as well). Las Vegas is not my kind of place, but I’ve been to some places where I’ve felt as you mention, Debby. Very inspired.

    • dgkaye

      Good for you Olga. Yes, if in Vegas, everyone should visit the magical Grand Canyon. If you haven’t been to Arizona, wow, so much to see and do there. <3

  • sally cronin

    You look so fetching in your cowboy hat Debby and you can tell you were right at home.. that dry heat is also a boon especially with your cold winters and our annual rainfall. I hope that one day you get back there and I can see you running writing retreats in the hills, and perhaps a cactus farm for the Tequila Kaye brand… ♥

  • Pamela

    Excellent piece of memoir responding to the flash prompt, Debby. I understand that feeling exactly. In the early ’80s I visited San Francisco and Marin County for the first time and thought “Oh my gosh, this is where I belong” even though I lived in the East Coast. Four years later (and a divorce and much drama) I rather miraculously landed in the SF Bay area with my new guy and two kids – for 17 glorious years. It’s still and always will be “my place.” xo

    • dgkaye

      Oh wow Pam, I just got goosebumps. Despite the drama you’ve been through, it seems as though the universe directed you to where you needed to be. I believe I’ll fish my wish too someday. <3

  • Sue Dreamwalker

    So loved this Debby.. Some places just resonate and hold us in its grip… As something internal clicks in recognition…
    Loved your memory recollection and happy you were able to bring home your luggage prize…
    And I so agree… We should never let go of our Dreams. 🙂 🙏💚

  • Liesbet

    Aha, now your passion for and desire to be in the Southwest makes more sense to me! Like you, for most of the same reasons (except the shopping), I LOVE the desert Southwest. We hope to return there by fall of this year – indefinitely… But, we will see what happens. 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Yes, it’s great to have plans Liesbet. Right now the southwest seems to be a hotspot for the Covid. You’re best of where you are right now – til the world calms down . <3

  • Liesbet

    It will take us a while to get to the southwest, plus we need cooler temps than right now… Funny how not too long ago, MA was a hotspot and guess where we are? Now, places that did really well during the beginning stages of Covid are suffering. There’s no predicting what the scene will be in the fall. One thing is for sure, we do need to leave our current place within the next couple of months if we are to maintain our sanity. It’s not our home and it sometimes has more challenges than living in our 19ft camper!

    • dgkaye

      I can imagine that! And regarding your state and all the tri-states who suffered Covid badly not too long ago – strong leadership helped the cause! I’ll leave it there. 🙂

  • Kate Johnston

    There is something very cool about the southwestern part of the US. I used to live in Denver, and we did a lot of traveling in that part of the country, including the Grand Canyon. But I sorely missed the ocean and the seasons, so when I had the opportunity to come back to New England, I did. I’ve never been to Vegas–not really my scene, but I can understand the draw!

    • dgkaye

      I agree Kate, there’s something about the southwest. And like you, I do enjoy the change of seasons – although I could do without winter. 🙂

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