Friday Fictioneers – Might Have Been

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!

PHOTO PROMPT (C) ROCHELLE WISOFF-FIELDS

Might have been

You have a pretty house. Sometimes I imagine I live there.

On Sunday, when your family dress in their best clothes for church, and then afterwards you all sit down together to eat roast chicken, plates heaped high with meat and potatoes and carrots and cabbage and fresh green beans.

On a summer evening, when, gin and tonic in hand, you cuddle Robert in the backyard.

At night, when the ghostly flicker of the TV illuminates the sitting room, and you leave the curtains open as the outside world disappears into shadows.

The things that might have been…

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Friday Fictioneers – Wilted

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!

PHOTO PROMPT (C) DALE ROGERSON

Wilted

You gave me a single red rose before you left for the special military operation.

‘I should be back within days,’ you said. ‘The rose won’t even have time to wilt.’

But that was months ago.

You brave men must feel as though you’re fighting all the world, when you see NATO’s weapons used against you by the Ukrainian Nazis. It must be terrifying; I don’t know how you can bear it.

I long for you to be home.

The rose will stand, wilted, in its vase, until I hold you in my arms again.

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Friday Fictioneers – Spring

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!

PHOTO PROMPT (C) NA’AMA YEHUDA

Spring

In this place, this tranquil place, this sun-warmed niche of brilliant colour and delicate fragrance, I can start to forget his coldness, his fault-finding, his vicious silences.

I can believe once again that a man might smile at me for pleasure, with laughter and delight; that he might hold me with tenderness. I can hope, perhaps, for truthfulness and openness – even, dare I wonder? – for love.

In this place, this tranquil place, this place of gentle birdsong and sweet, moist earth, I feel the dry seed of my spirit swell and quicken to meet the spring.  

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Friday Fictioneers – Random Shooting

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!

I was uninspired this week (my bad – the prompt is good) so I wrote about an event that actually happened to me in 1973. Yes, it’s a true story!

PHOTO PROMPT (C) TED STRUTZ

Random shooting

Rush hour was past, and there was only one person in the carriage with me as we squealed and rattled towards the suburbs, through a canyon of tenement buildings with mean back-yards. I gazed out, enjoying the last of the daylight.

A man emerged from one of the houses.

‘Heavens! He’s got a gun!’ I thought.

He raised the weapon.

There was a ‘Bang!’ and the window just forward of mine cascaded onto the floor in a thousand crystalline shards. The other passenger and I exchanged glances, both of us unharmed.

I never knew who did it, or why.

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Friday Fictioneers – Berkeley, and a Life

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!

PHOTO PROMPT (C) CAROLE ERDMAN-GRANT

Berkeley, and a life

“Wot’yer doin’, yer lazy bastard?” called his mother.

Caleb hastily fumbled the g_n out of sight.

“Goin’ out.”

He felt the money pouch under his clothes, stuffed with the proceeds of dealing. Soon, people would have to take him seriously.

“Don’ wait up, Ma” he said, and disappeared into the night.

He crept into the old factory where the gang met, concealed himself and waited, listening intently.

A motorcycle! But whose?

Very cautiously, g_n in hand, Caleb peered out.

Thank goodness! It was Steve. Caleb ran across, kissed him, and jumped onto the pillion.

“Next stop Berkeley and a life!”

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Friday Fictioneers – Rob’s Chair

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!

PHOTO PROMPT (C) DALE ROGERSON

Rob’s chair

‘I shan’t be needing that again,’ said Rob, as we watched the first snow cover his garden chair on the terrace. I gave his arm a squeeze; there was nothing I could say.

He died mid-winter, and I got on with life, but even when spring came I left the chair where it was. It was Rob’s chair, to help me remember him, his laugh, his joie de vivre.

Eventually, I met someone else I could love and winter gave place to spring. We’re quietly happy together.

I haven’t told him about Rob’s chair – but I think he’s guessed.

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Friday Fictioneers – Compulsion

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!

PHOTO PROMPT (C) DAVID STEWART

Compulsion

Go on.

Have a fried egg. Just one won’t kill you.

I glare at the laptop. I must write.

One fried egg and a rasher of bacon.

No!

I write two pages and make coffee.

Two eggs, bacon and a tomato. Tomato’s healthy.

I fight the cravings all day, then go to bed.

Thirty minutes later, I get up.

Bacon. Six rashers under the grill.

Two eggs…I look at the box. There are five eggs. What the heck…I take them all.

My plate is piled high and Cameron, my husband, walks in.

‘Oh, Penny…’

‘I’m sorry, so sorry,’ I weep.

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Friday Fictioneers – Who Cares?

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!

PHOTO PROMPT (C) ROGER BULTOT

Who Cares?

‘I used to work there,’ he said, softly. ‘You wouldn’t think it, would you?’

He gestured towards the bank’s headquarters, a temple of Mammon rising, ethereally beautiful, far above the surrounding buildings. Brilliant itself with reflected light, it cast deep shadow over the church opposite.

I handed the down-and-out a cup of coffee and a hot meat pie, and sat down beside him.

‘Do you have anywhere to go tonight? Snow’s forecast,’ I said.

He shook his head.

‘Come,’ I said, taking his hand and leading him to the church. ‘You can sleep here. We’ll try and find somewhere permanent tomorrow.’

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Friday Fictioneers – Desirable/Undesirable

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!

PHOTO PROMPT (C) ROCHELLE WISOFF-FIELDS

Desirable/Undesirable

He and she were in Jerusalem with their families, which you would have thought made them fairly safe from meeting anybody…undesirable. And yet, here we are, in a Romeo and Juliet situation.

There was drama, sure. He saw lads high up on Roman ruins, saw them pushing at a stone. He saw a girl below, oblivious. He ran, shouted, leapt, pushed her out of danger. The stone shattered on the ground, and a shard pierced his leg. Blood everywhere. She staunched the wound.

Only five minutes before their families arrived, but the damage was done, phone numbers exchanged.

Shalom.

Salaam.  

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Friday Fictioneers – Stone Walls etc.

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!

Stone walls etc.

With stealthy violence, the plant grew through the wrought-iron railings. Its tendrils insinuated themselves into cracks in the wall. Its leaves bathed in the sun. The plant grew and became strong.

*       *       *

Marriage to Benson had been fun at first. It was entertaining playing up to the bragging about his possessions, especially Hemingway’s typewriter; ‘See – Hemingway’s blood on the keys!’

But nothing lasts for ever, and yesterday I told him I was leaving. I hadn’t expected the fury of his reaction. Nevertheless, battered and bruised, I left. Even iron bars can’t imprison a flower.

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*       *       *

This story draws on one I wrote in March 2020, ‘The Passionate Collector’ but it stands alone. Anybody interested can follow the link below.

The Passionate Collector