Friday Fictioneers – The offering

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!

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Photoprompt (c) Roger Bulltot

The Offering

“Dad, may I go into the ruin?”

Russell smiled at his eight-year-old son, John.

“OK. No climbing, mind.”

In the cool shadows, John could feel the holiness of the place. There was a special silence that was full of voices chanting. He took out a trowel from his backpack, and the silver teaspoon that his mum had bought him at the seaside because he had wanted it so much. There, amid the echo of centuries of prayer, he buried the spoon, and wished with all his might.

In her hospital bed, John’s mum peacefully abandoned her struggle against cancer.

What Pegman saw – The boy who asked questions

“What Pegman saw” is a weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. Using the 360 degree view of 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.

Hyo worried about her only son, twelve-year-old Chin-Mae. He didn’t fit in; and in North Korea that could lead to…well, she didn’t like to think about it. She fretted as she queued for food. She fretted as she mended the family’s clothes.

Chin-Mae was in trouble again.

“I don’t understand,” he said in his class. “Aren’t Americans human like us?”

“No! They are mad dogs who want to destroy us.”

Chin-Mae was flogged.

Hyo wept over his bruises, her poor child. But how could she help him not to shame the family?

“Some things you must never say,” she told him.

Later, his school visited Samjiyon, and he saw the Great Leader rallying the patriotic troops of the republic.

At home again, “I do not believe it is right to go to war,” he whispered to Hyo.

“Oh, my son, my son!” she sobbed. “How can you be a coward?”

 

 

Friday Fictioneers – Judgement Day

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!

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PHOTO PROMPT© Jan Wayne Fields

Judgement Day

It was dark when Bob and Frank pitched their tent. Bob took off his leathers and gazed at the engagement ring Frank had given him.

“Only a hundred miles tomorrow,” said Frank.

“What will your dad say when we tell him we’re going to marry?”

“It’s okay, Bob. Not everybody in the military is prejudiced.” He took out a Marlboro. “Shall we look at the stars?”

As he unzipped the tent door, a dazzling point of light exploded on the horizon, growing rapidly into a fiery pillar thundering into the heavens.

“Shit! I thought they’d scrapped those! That’s a Minuteman!”

The photo is entitled ‘Lights of Sturgis’. Sturgis is a small town in South Dakota, and its main claim to fame is an annual motorcycle rally, one of the biggest in the world. Sturgis is close to the Ellsworth Air Base, where fifty Minuteman missiles (long range missiles with nuclear warheads) were sited. The missiles were said to have been scrapped in 1994. I have no reason to believe that this is not the case, other than general paranoia and a belief in conspiracy theories…

Mother love

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story 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. This story complements the one I published last Wednesday

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Photoprompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Mother love

“I’m worried about Deborah. I want to visit her today.” Jennifer tugged the silken peignoir tighter around her bony shoulders.

Charles sighed.

“She has to grow up sometime, darling.”

“You know she doesn’t always eat properly.”

It was only a fifty mile drive.

The lift was broken, so they had four flights of stairs to climb. Jennifer wrinkled her nose at the smell outside her daughter’s flat.

Deborah, stick-thin, in crumpled clothes and with matted hair, opened the door and peered out. She had a look of exaltation, which swiftly faded.

“Mum! You know I don’t like you coming here!”

A strange place for a theophany

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story 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!

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Photoprompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

She had been in her bedsit for days, reading, thinking, praying. What did it mean to live a good life? Why did she feel love? Above all, who was she?

The questions consumed her. She never noticed the gathering dust. The clothes in her wardrobe, her pretty things no longer interested her. She hardly ate, and drank only water.

Then, abruptly, she shook her matted hair, stretched, thought, ‘I must wash’.

As she moved towards the shower cubicle, she saw a great light, and felt a holy awe.

She knelt, and deep joy overwhelmed her.

“It’s true then,” she gasped.

Friday Fictioneers – A failure of trust

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story 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!

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Photoprompt (c) C E Ayr

A failure of trust

A stone wall stood between two families’ fields. A sapling sprouted in the wall, and grew to be a mighty oak. After hundreds of years the tree perished, men cut it down, and left the stump to petrify with weather and time.

The wall was dismantled, and the two fields it had separated became one. The families worked together, prospered, and grew to love each other.

But some family members still disliked and mistrusted the other family. Now they’re rebuilding the wall, piling old stones about the stump and talking about the days the oak stood alone, tall and proud.

Old habits

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story 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!

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Photoprompt (c) Dale Rogerson

The removal firm were neat. They stacked the boxes six high, almost filling the ground floor. Wendy looked at the cartons; her whole life packaged; a new start, in a new apartment, in a new city. She looked at the beautiful flowers, the tall ones from her mother, the smaller bouquet from her brother. She was a thousand miles away from them, and they were still thinking of her.

She needed bookshelves. She’d better unpack the microwave; no, she could eat out tonight. She switched on her laptop and began typing. That ‘Friday Fictioneers’ post wasn’t going to write itself!

A Writer’s Perspective

Here is another piece of flash fiction. Again, it’s a ‘Drabble’ being 100 words long and having a beginning, middle and end. It was inspired by a scene I saw on holiday, but it’s completely fictional. Rather entertainingly, we subsequently met some of the performers – including the two lads – in a taverna and were able to express our enjoyment of the concert.

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A writer’s perspective

Those who were to perform in the Festival concert were in the front rows of the audience. Two young men sat side by side. The compere introduced a piece for solo piano, and both boys stood up. One went to the piano, the other stood at the side, recording a video of the performance.

Were they a gay couple, I wondered? The youth turned, looked at me; I smiled back.

Afterwards, he asked me why I had stared at him, rather than watch his friend performing.

“I am a writer. I have to look where other people are not looking.”

The Angel of Epirus

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story 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!

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Photoprompt (c) J Hardy Carroll

The Angel of Epirus

They met in the fragrance of pine trees and the harsh smell of shattered dwellings. Hans should have killed her, but he was sick of violence. Magdalena should have screamed for the partisans; but Hans looked like her brother, dead twelve months. He looked despairing.

Shuddering, terrified, she removed her dowry necklace, pressed it into his hands.

She hissed hated German words. “Walk! Three days!” She pointed west. “Find boat. Pay man. Italy.”

Now the new buildings after the war are themselves old and in disrepair. Magdalena still feels the scars of her whipping. She still hears the whisper “Krautfucker!”

A Chance Encounter

A Drabble is a piece of flash fiction that is 100 words long. The subject of this Drabble came to me as I was enjoying lunch in Café Kentrikon in Syntagma Square, Nafplion. Full of beer and tuna sandwich, I knew that all was well with the world. Life was good. Don’t read too much into the story, though; it is fiction, after all!

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The warm breeze caressed me like a lover. I settled comfortably into my cushioned seat at the café under the plane tree, and gazed across the marble square. I thought of my grandchildren playing there sometime soon.

He was tall and instantly recognisable, despite grey hair; my former boss, the man who had fired me. It had not been an amicable parting.

I waved. He squinted at me, did a double-take.

“Penny?”

“Adrian! How are you? How’s Joy?”

He shrugged.

“She wanted kids. I didn’t.”

“You made it up the corporate ladder though?”

He shrugged again.

“For what it’s worth.”