Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Sad Story Of Max Josephs...A Short Story

Car and Mountain big

Wednesday Weekly Writing Prompt

Last's week's picture for the weekly writing prompt was great. And so is this week's. Thanks to the great gals for hosting yet another wonderful opportunity to be creative!

Once again, here are the rules:

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story.
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
4) Link up with your blog with via the inLinkz linky on the following sites: HERE, and HERE.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.
Required Words:

Here goes! Enjoy!


It took Sara 30 minutes of searching to find the picture. "I swear, there's a picture," Sara's mother told her daughter too many times to count. "It's of my grandfather when he worked for the park's department back in the 20's. It's a famous photograph--I think it was in LOOK Magazine. I wish I had the original."
 Sara googled LOOK Magazine and Park Service...nothing. She entered other key words to find the famous photo of her relative with similar results. Nothing seemed to help. After a moment a thought came to her and she tried National magazines U.S. 1920's. Once she saw that TIME Magazine was on the list she thought she had something, and after a few more queries her finger hit Enter a final time and the famous picture shown before her.

"Suspected Killer Hides Out in God's Backyard," Sara mouthed the title to the article. Under the picture were the words: U.S. Park Ranger Dean Stockard Surveys Forest Service Lands Below Mt. Hood In Oregon Where Max Josephs Is Believed Hiding.

Armed with information Sara continued searching. MAX JOSEPHS and KILLER. Google spit out thousands of results. She read and the information fascinated the college student. Max Josephs, a local auto mechanic robbed the town's only restaurant after his wife moved out taking their two-year old daughter with her. When the restaurant's cook confronted Max, he shot him, killing the father of five in cold blood. A manhunt followed. Max eluded capture for several months. The story made front page news across the entire country. Soon people began to wonder if Max would ever be found.

Sara read on, amazed a family member lived through such an interesting chapter in American history. The story concluded. Mr. Josephs, starving and desperate, eventually hiked out of the forest and was shot and killed by police when he resisted arrest. The story's final paragraph struck Sara deeply. "The sad story of Max Josephs should be a lesson for us all. The shedding of many tears could have easily been prevented had only Mr. Josephs followed the Golden Rule. May God have mercy on his soul." 

Yes, mom, Sara thought. Not only is there a famous photo of her great-grandfather, but a pretty good story to boot.

Word Count: 382


  1. Scott,
    I loved the story within a story. I would've liked to be a fly on the wall at the board meeting of Scott, Inc when you came up with this. It was very believable. I was half-expecting a blurb at the end that it was based on a real manhunt. It was very clean and precise. I envy you writers that can end consistently with sub-500 words (I cut 300 on average). It definitely speaks of your efficient crafting of your stories, which is precisely what make this one here so good. Bravo, my friend!

    1. Thanks Chris!! I just checked out your post for this weekly writing prompt and it still lingers in my mind. This one was fun. Thanks for the kind words!

  2. WOW! What a surprise that took! I loved this and I also loved how you weaved in technology (google searching :)). What a wonderful piece!

    1. Thank you Nicole! When I first saw this awesome picture, I wondered what that man was thinking about as he looked at that incredible scene. After that, it all fell into place. Thanks again!