Friday Fictioneers – Clean shot

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (the blue frog) on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - Prompt 180606

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Clean shot

Of course, I keep my ears open as to what she is doing. Even after our break-up, we still move in the same circles; I can always hear news of her activities.

Today, I wait in the gallery above the lobby of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I should have a clean shot from here. The exultant arches supporting the roof flee my presence, diminishing into the distance just as my joy has done. Why did Laura leave me?

There she is! I ready myself.

Damn! Someone’s blocking my line. Move, you idiot!

He moves.

I squeeze the shutter release.

The dove on the pergola – an invitation

The girl who went to Kolkata 180417

“The dove on the pergola” – an invitation

In Kolkata, extreme wealth and abject poverty co-exist side by side. Modern thinking conflicts with traditional beliefs, and yet people remain subtly influenced by the old ways. There are people with devout religious faith rubbing shoulders with those who acknowledge no god.

In rural Bengal, by contrast, traditional values still hold sway, and family interests come before almost everything.

What would it be like, I wonder, for a young Indian woman who has grown up in a village in Bengal, to move to the big city of Kolkata?

And that is the starting point for the novel I have just started to write – “The dove on the pergola”.

Makshirani, the heroine of the novel, has to find a way to build her life in Kolkata. How will her traditional upbringing influence her choices? Will her beliefs and background give her sufficient flexibility to survive and prosper in the city?

The starkness of these questions and the consequences of failure seem to me to be much greater in India than in the Western world. That’s exciting, and it’s why I’m writing this novel.

So here’s an invitation.

Once a week, every Monday, I shall post about the progress I’m making. For obvious reasons I shall not divulge much of the plot, rather I shall be writing about the process of constructing the novel. If you’re interested in that, please follow me. And if you want to ask questions about what I have posted via the comments section, I shall do my best to provide satisfactory answers. Constructive criticism is welcomed with open arms!

Just a footnote about the writing I’ve done previously. I have written two novels, neither of which has been published. I have written well over 100 short stories, (mostly flash fiction of 100 or 150 words) that have all appeared on this blog. If you’re interested, you can find them in the archives.

What Pegman Saw – A letter from India

“What Pegman saw” is a weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. Using the location provided, you must write a piece of flash fiction of no more than 150 words. You can read the rules here. You can find today’s location on this page,  from where you can also get the Inlinkz code. This week’s prompt is the Kangra Valley, India.

WPS kangra-valley-india 180602

A letter from India


18th May 1847

My beloved Margaret,

I write to say you needn’t worry – the serious fighting is over and we have peace. We must now bring prosperity to the people. Major Barclay believes tea could be cultivated here, and he is something of an expert.

How I long for you! I imagine you walking in the green pasture by the clear river, your hair ruffled by herb-scented breezes from the great snow-capped mountains.

I pray you are safe after the birth of our first child. In my mind’s eye I see you holding the dear creature close your heart. How strange it feels not to know whether my child is a son or daughter!

Dearest, it seems so long before you can join me here and make me whole. Until then, I shall serve with honour so you and our child may be proud.

May God bless you,