Friday Fictioneers – Catching a Wave

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 on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - Catching a Wave 190529

PHOTO PROMPT © Susan Eames

Catching a Wave

The setting sun brightened the palm-trees and warmed Brad’s back as he sat straddling a branch and gazing out to sea.

“Yeah, it’s pretty dark on the horizon, but it’s calm here. No sign of the waves getting up. I just hope they hang fire until tomorrow.”

He listened to the reply from his cellphone and laughed.

“Quit worrying, Angie. The condo is eighteen metres above the sea; the forecast storm surge is nine metres. It won’t even be close.” He flipped his phone shut.

His eyes glowed. Surfing the surge of an onrushing hurricane would be the ultimate thrill.

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What Pegman Saw – The Final Journey

“What Pegman saw” is a weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. You can read the rules here. You can find today’s location on this page,  from where you can also get the Inlinkz code

WPS - The Final Journey 190525

The final journey

It’s alright; the pain is less now as I draw near the end. I no longer need morphine, just my view of the Manikarnika Ghat from the guest house where I’m spending my last few days.

I have had a happy life. Not without hardship, of course – which of us can escape that? – but I have been fortunate. My parents chose me a good husband who provided well for me, and I obeyed him and brought him joy. We had seven children together, and five of them survived childhood. I have had the delight of nine grandchildren.

Smoke is rising from the ghat, and orange flames; another soul is destined for salvation. Soon that will be my shell, burning there.

I will know no more of this glorious world, with its sounds, and its scents; its touching and its tasting; its love.

I am content. I have had my share.

Friday Fictioneers – The magic of being eight years old

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 - The magic of being eight years old 190522

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

The magic of being eight years old

Blindfolded, little Fleur approached the crudely drawn donkey to try to pin its paper tail in the right place.

She didn’t like parties. She didn’t like Jessica. And this was Jessica’s birthday party. Fleur wished with all her might that she wasn’t here, playing this stupid game.

She reached up to touch the paper donkey, and instead touched – hair. She stroked it. It was warm, and soft, a living creature. She could smell it, hear its hooves as it fidgeted. It was big, bigger than she could stretch.

Fleur snatched off her blindfold and saw, gleaming silver – a unicorn!

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What Pegman Saw – Bloody Sunday

“What Pegman saw” is a weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. 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 location is Selma, Alabama.

WPS - Bloody Sunday 190520

Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, AL | Google Maps

Bloody Sunday

The march was meant to be non-violent.

There was anger, yes, and not surprisingly, with Jimmie Lee Jackson shot dead by a trooper a few weeks earlier, but we were peaceful. Six hundred strong, we walked slowly to Edmund Pettus bridge. I wriggled and jostled to the front to be close to my heroine Amelia Boynton.

The troopers were waiting, in heavy coats and gas-masks, billy clubs in hand.

We stopped. Sirens began wailing.

The troopers came on. They knocked people down and trampled on them, arms, legs, faces. Their horses converged on us. A mounted man struck Amelia viciously on her head, and she dropped, almost under the horse’s hooves. I went down and everything went black.

I woke up in the Good Samaritan Hospital, with a very sore head and burns from tear gas. And in the next bed was Amelia.

“How are you, child?” she asked.

The Owl on the Pergola – journal 190511

Mallick_Ghat_Flower_Market,_Kolkata_03

There is a sense of satisfaction and (let’s be honest) relief at having completed and printed out the first draft of my latest novel, “The Owl on the Pergola”. The manuscript is now with my most trusted reader for her verdict – fingers crossed. The first couple of chapters have elicited the comment ‘Colourful’ which is encouraging as far as it goes. The photograph shows one of the locations in which the novel is set, so colourful is probably fair!

I’ve enjoyed living with the characters day by day for the last six months, and, while I shall still be working with them as I edit the book, it won’t be in quite the same way. You see, I now know how the novel ends – yes, that’s right, I honestly didn’t know how it would end until I wrote the last page! Even if editing changes the story appreciably, I shall never again walk beside the characters as they discover who they are and what they can achieve. I shall miss that.

Friday Fictioneers – No Go Zone

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 - No Go Zone 190510

PHOTO PROMPT © Jean L. Hays

No Go Zone

Jessie’s boys knew not to go past the barbed wire. They’d trespassed there once. Within two minutes, a police van and six officers had removed them, and returned them to their parents with a warning letter. Their dad had taken his belt to them for that.

It wasn’t as though there weren’t other places to play. The park in the village, or, a short bus ride away, a beach, or, slightly further, a town with a bowling alley and a cinema.

Still, Jessie couldn’t help worrying. Beyond the hilltop were three concrete domes, soldiers – and a shoot to kill policy.

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A milestone reached!

I have at last finished the first draft of my latest novel. The first 50,000 words were finished under the stimulus of NaNoWriMo – thank you to everyone who supports that endeavour, and to Gabi who was my writing buddy. It’s taken me since then to write the next 60,000 words, giving me a completed manuscript of 112,000 words. The working title is “The Owl on the Pergola”

Now the hard work starts – the editing!

The dove on the pergola - Holi 180731

The Owl on the Pergola

The novel is a work of literary fiction that tells the story of a young Indian woman who grows up in a very poor rural community, and moves to Kolkata when she is 16 years old. She is luckier than most, having an aptitude for study and a wealthy aunt who is prepared to sponsor her through higher education. However, she has to contend with an obsessive stalker who eventually turns violent, and with the ubiquitous prejudice that a woman’s place is in the home, serving her husband and his family. Will she have to choose between the man she loves and the academic career that she desires?