Friday Fictioneers – When Dad gets home

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 © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

When Dad gets home

I walked into Mom and Dad’s room without knocking. Dad choked as he swigged from a flask. When he’d caught his breath, he said, “Must dash. Don’t tell Mom, will you?” He winked at me, ran downstairs, and into the car.

I went to breakfast and sneaked myself an extra spoonful of sugar.

“No more sugar! said Mom.

As she left the room. I dug into the sugar bowl for some more – but it slipped and shattered on the floor. Horror!

Mom was back in a flash.

“You just wait till your Dad gets home,” she said.

Inlinkz – click here to join the fun!

Friday Fictioneers – Fairies are Real!

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!

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PHOTO PROMPT © Ceayr

Fairies are Real!

Cosy in parka and new boots like Mummy’s, Gemma snuggled against Daddy on the bench.

The moon-filled droplets of the fountain hung in the air like pearls on a necklace. The church clock solemnly chimed ten. A breeze shivered the leaves, and ruffled the water. It smelled earthy, moist, full of presence.

Gemma stared into the shadows.

Suddenly, she tensed. Her gaze moved between the dark trees and the sparkling fountain. She clasped her hands and laughed with delight.

Daddy sat quiet until Gemma turned to him.

“Did you see anything, Honey?”

Gemma nodded enthusiastically.

“They were beautiful, Daddy!”

Inlinkz – click here to join the fun!

 

Friday Fictioneers – Breaking the News

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.

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PHOTO PROMPT © NA’AMA YEHUDA

Breaking the News

As Rick and Tamara stood centre-stage, bowing, Rick’s mom beamed. What a lovely couple they made! They could marry in the church where her father had been Minister! After the show, she chattered all the way home.

“Mom! Can we stop? I’ve got something to tell you.”

She pulled over. “Won’t it wait?”

“Mom, I’m gay.”

“Oh, no, Honey!” She clamped both hands over her mouth.

Rick flushed crimson.

“My boyfriend’s called Dexter. May I introduce him to you on Sunday?”

Rick’s mom fidgeted, then nodded.

“Okay. Invite him to tea, only…” she hesitated, “let’s not tell Gramps yet. Please?”

Inlinkz – click here to join in!

Friday Fictioneers – Maoz Tzur

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!

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PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Maoz Tzur

It was the last day of Hanukkah, and all eight candles of the Hanukkiah blazed in the window. We sang the Haneirot Hallalu and the Maoz Tzur, and we sat down. Papa turned on the lights.

“Can’t we keep the lights off? The candles are so pretty!” asked five-year-old Rebekah.

“The candles are for others to see and know that HaShem saved us. It would not be right to use their light for another purpose,” explained Papa, gently.

“Why?”

“Sit here and I’ll tell you.” Papa patted his lap, and Rebekah climbed up and snuggled there.

“Once upon a time…”

Inlinkz – click here to join in!

Friday Fictioneers – Shuttered

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!

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Photo Prompt © Roger Bultot

Shuttered

After that first time, Binyamin knew better than to tell his father how he felt about Asher. He shuttered his face and kept his tears for the dark hours of night, alone in his bedroom. Besides, what good would tears do? His father had moved the family across the continent to give them a chance of a better life. How could he argue against that? If only he could speak to Asher occasionally, or even just speak about him to his family…

Day by day his face grew harder.

Day by day his joy diminished.

The shutters rusted solid.

Inklinkz – click here

Friday Fictioneers – Man of Mystery

 

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 © Ceayr

Man of Mystery

Where’s Jack?

Usually at this time we’re sitting together in the bay window, sipping coffee, gazing at the Mediterranean, with the window open to catch the cry of the gulls and the fragrance of the rosemary bush outside.

He’s been banging about all morning. I heard the Hoover twenty minutes ago – but it’s not a day he usually cleans.

“Sorry the coffee’s late, Mandy.”

He puts it on the table.

“What have you been doing?”

He smiles. “International man of mystery, that’s me!”

The doorbell shrills. Jack answers, and feet stampede into the lounge.

“Hello, great-granny!” chorus our three great-grandchildren.

Friday Fictioneers – Love’s Fragrance

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

Love’s fragrance

“Those are pretty flowers, Mommy!” Helen leaned across the table and stroked one of the petals very gently.

“Daddy gave them to me,” smiled Imogen. “Today is a special day – we’ve been married for ten years! They’re made of glass and metal, and the shiny yellow is real gold.”

“Do they smell nice?” asked Helen, doubtfully, leaning close to them and wrinkling her nose.

“I’m afraid not, honey, but they’re beautiful, aren’t they?”

While Imogen busied herself preparing supper, Helen ‘borrowed’ her mommy’s favourite perfume.

“Why, these roses smell just like you, darling!” exclaimed Mark when he returned that evening.

Friday Fictioneers – New Year Resolutions

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!

I’m sorry to contribute so little to Friday Fictioneers at present. I’m very busy with my novel “The Dove on the Pergola”. The first draft has now reached 80,000 words, and I suspect I have about 20,000 still to write. And then it will be time to edit, edit, edit!

I owe Rochelle a big thank you, because the germ of the novel came from a Friday Fictioneers prompt!

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PHOTO PROMPT © Priya Bajpal

New Year Resolutions

Laboriously, tongue tracing the letters, Danny wrote “Keep bedroom tidy” on his square of red paper. Tracy’s blue square read “Do my homework on time”. Deborah’s elegant script, written with a fountain pen on green paper said, succinctly, “Gym!”, while Michael’s resolution, scrawled on yellow paper and not entirely altruistic, was “Spend more quality time with Debs.”

Each of them placed their resolution in a sweetie jar which Michael ceremoniously sealed.

The magician tapped the jar with his wand, and immediately a fountain of glittering mirror dust erupted from it, sparkling silver, gold, sapphire, emerald and ruby.

Happy New Year!

Friday Fictioneers – One family

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!

An Apology!

I may not have commented on your Friday Fictioneers post last week. I have had trouble with my internet which has made it difficult to read stories, and next to impossible to comment on them.

If I have failed to read and comment on your post, I am sorry and I will try to do better this week! Many thanks to all those of you who read my story despite my lack of reciprocity.

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PHOTO PROMPT © Carla Bicomong

One family

I scoured market stalls selling lanterns decorated with images of dragons, of cash, of storks, until I found one bearing the image of a dove.

Under the trees at the lakeside, with a thousand other people, I waited until the last bird had finished her evening song and then I lit the candle in my lantern. I launched it and it drifted into the indigo twilight.

At first I could identify it, but after five minutes I was no longer sure, and after ten minutes mine was just one gleam of light among many.

I sighed, content and at peace.

The Dove on the Pergola – 11th June 2018

The Dove on the Pergola – Progress 180611

This is my weekly blog post about the progress of my novel “The Dove on the Pergola”. The novel is about a young Indian woman who has lived until she was sixteen years old in a village in Bengal, and who then moves to the big city of Kolkata. 

The Dove on the Pergola 180611

If a reader is to keep turning the pages of a novel, it helps if the novel has a strong sense of direction. Some writers achieve this by planning. Others construct lively characters, put them into an intriguing situation and discover what happens as they write.

Stephen King, in his book “On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft” advocates ‘excavating’ the story. This seems to mean having an outline and then just writing, allowing the characters and plot to emerge naturally. He gives the outline of a horror story in his book, and suggests it can be used as a writing exercise.

I tried it, and it definitely freed up my story. I wrote things that I would not otherwise have imagined – I had to really, as it was a horror story, and I don’t ‘do’ horror. Just in case you’re interested, you can find the story – ‘Maureen’ – here.

‘The Dove on the Pergola’ has several storylines.

There is the story of how Makshirani gradually starts to understand the nature of love that leads to a happy marriage. This includes romantic adventures – and, of course, misadventures – that bring her to the point of betrothal. Will she? Won’t she? Not telling you! Maybe I don’t even know myself yet!

Another storyline involves Makshirani’s growing sense of personal autonomy. The subservience of women that was the rule in her village is fast disappearing in Kolkata, where she lives during the period of the novel. Fast disappearing, but not yet eliminated. Makshirani will want to be sure that she won’t become a prisoner of her husband’s family. Will this cause her to walk away from the man she loves passionately?

And then there is the story of Makshirani’s family, left behind in the village. Her departure had consequences and evoked the enmity of the richest man in the village. She sends money home, which makes enough difference to prevent the family from becoming destitute. As she makes progress, she is able to send more home, indeed, her money can support the family. But how do they feel about this? Her father has lived all his life in a culture where it is the man, the husband, the father, who provides. Is he now useless, redundant? How does his wife, Makshirani’s mother feel about the impact on her husband?

There are other storylines, too, and an unexpected revelation about identity, but these are the main ones. And I want to bring them all to the boil simultaneously for the climax of the novel.

So, this is where I’m starting the serious work on this novel; with the climax. I’m planning to use Stephen King’s technique of excavating the story, and in the process I expect to learn much more about the characters. I wonder whether Makshirani will marry? I’m really looking forward to finding out!

Hands up anybody who thinks this is over-ambitious? Okay, well that’s what the comments box is for! Write and let me know what you think!