Friday Fictioneers – Come home safe

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 © Ronda Del Boccio

Come back safe

Tatsuya is away. Will he be back tomorrow, or next week?

I clap twice, fold my arms across my breast and bow to my household shrine, emptying my mind. A melody lures, light and shade slide slowly past each other and my fingers tingle. I push these distractions gently away, letting my mind fill with the nothingness that holds all things. The music stills and the colours fade.

When I open my eyes, I am dazzled by my rice plants glowing green with life. It is a good omen.

Kagutsuchi, please bring Tatsuya safe home from fighting the wildfires.

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Friday Fictioneers – Pan’s Pipes

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 © Sandra Crook

Pan’s pipes

Pan took his pipes from his lips. Nature shuddered. Bees that had bumbled in wildflowers vanished from meadows; birds no longer sang evensong in woodlands; lions were forced by lack of prey to scavenge carrion.

But men.

Men had ignored Pan for decades. They had burned fossil fuels to keep him at bay, to be safe. They worshipped the car; television; money. They had beaten Pan.

In the Arctic, methane seeped from previously frozen tundra, and the ice burned.

In the Antarctic, a billion-tonne iceberg calved from an ice-sheet.

Pan propped his pipes against a fence, sighed, and departed.

 

Neil Macdonald, a writer whose opinion I value highly, has suggested that the story would be better if it were less declamatory. I think he’s probably right. So here’s a revised version!

I’d be fascinated to know what others think, and whether this second version is an improvement!

Pan’s pipes (version 2)

Pan took his pipes from his lips. Nature shuddered. Bees that had bumbled in wildflowers vanished from meadows, birds no longer sang evensong in woodlands, and lions were forced by lack of prey to scavenge carrion.

Men, though, were different.

Fearing Pan, they had forced him out of their lives, burning fossil fuels ever faster as they rushed about in planes and cars, or numbed themselves with the flickering images of television. They overwhelmed him, until ice burned in the Arctic and billion-tonne icebergs calved from ice-sheets in the Antarctic.

Pan propped his pipes against a fence, sighed, and departed.

 

 

Friday Fictioneers – Setting the Date

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 © Ted Strutz

Setting the date

Here by the lake the air smelled fresher. Swallows shrilled their night-song. Half-seen moths brushed against skin.

“So I guess, if it’s okay by you Mom, we’ll have the wedding in the fall.”

Eva smiled at her son, John, and his fiancée, Elise.

“Can we manage that, do you think, Pa?”

Cornelius blinked through thick spectacles. He thought of his life with Eva. Such memories! The delight of being a couple; Eva’s support when he was jobless; the joy of bringing up a family together.

“I guess,” he said.

Eva slipped her hand into his.

“That’s settled then,” she said.

Friday Fictioneers – Fire!

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 © Dale Rogerson

Fire!

The hazy sun told the story; bush fires were raging, driven towards Warrnambool by a blistering wind. The kids fidgeted in the car as Judy rushed out with photos and the cat. Bruce chucked the document strongbox into the trunk, then sprinted next door.

“Ain’t no good, I’m stayin’. Eighty’s too old to start again.”

A glowing ember struck the window.

“Goddamit, Sam, get in the wagon!”

Sam’s wife, Alice, was wheezing asthmatically in the choking atmosphere.

Bruce grabbed her and pushed her into the car. Sam followed, protesting.

As they roared away, the rear-view mirror was filled with flame.

Friday Fictioneers – The Wrong Shape

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 © Liz Young

The Wrong Shape

I watch the slow, steady drip from the bag into the cannula in my arm.

I know what’s in it; saline and glucose in water. Calories. My counsellor told me before the nurse inserted the needle.

I struggle with fear; fear of being fat; fear of food.

(I could, so easily, turn off the dripping calories)

I used to lie about my exercise habit, my non-existent periods, my days without food.

(Turn off the drip)

I don’t want to see my family.

(Turn off the drip)

I watch the slow, steady drip. That’s my life.

I’m frightened. Hold my hand.

Friday Fictioneers – PTSD

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 © J Hardy Carroll

PTSD

“Incoming!”

I wake up sweating and sobbing. Even after I force myself to open my eyes, to stop biting the pillow, to stop clawing the sheets, I can still smell the blood. Shaking uncontrollably, I stumble into the kitchen. The crimson ketchup on last night’s plate explodes into my field of view. I dive for cover.

“Pull y’self together, Private.”

“Suh!”

I drag myself to my feet and salute. Okay, so he’s dead, but you still gotta salute an officer.

Jimmy’s foot’s lying on the floor.

He’s lucky.

They’ve given him a prosthetic.

Wish they’d give me a new mind.

Friday Fictioneers – The Music Teacher

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 © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The Music Teacher

She was an excellent flautist, with a string of diplomas.

Naturally she had to earn a living – at least until an orchestral post came along – so she taught by day, performed with semi-professional bands by night, and auditioned for every orchestral playing job she could.

She married, had children, auditioned in Cardiff, Stavanger and Tel Aviv, and kept teaching.

She taught good pupils to excel, she nurtured slow pupils; everyone caught the joy of music that she radiated.

Retirement came, but she kept on teaching.

I wonder how many hundreds of lives are richer for the life she has lived?