Friday Fictioneers – Dark Matter

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) Douglas M. MacIlroy

Dark Matter

Trevor had picked up the letter from the hospital as he left for work; and then forgotten it as he focussed on his application for time on the Keck telescope in Hawaii. It wasn’t until the afternoon tea-break that he read it.

“Sperm count – very low; quality – poor. Conception is essentially impossible.”

Trevor swallowed hard. It was his fault Fiona had been unable to conceive! How on earth was he going to tell her?

Her smiling face as he arrived home that evening seemed particularly joyful.

“I had some wonderful news today,” she said. “We’re going to have a baby!”

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Friday Fictioneers – Included

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 © BRENDA COX

Included

I watched the boy in a wheelchair as he gazed at the gaudy carousel, with its bobbing, gilt-maned steeds. It had a mechanical organ, which was infusing an old Beatles song with melancholy.

With a rumble, one of the new trams passed between us, steel wheels squealing against steel track, eclipsing both sound and sight.

When it had gone, I saw the carousel operator and the boy’s father lifting the wheelchair onto the carousel and securing it near the edge of the platform.

The carousel revolved, the organ played a Sousa march, and the boy looked out – and beamed.

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Flash Fiction – Commitment

Commitment

The front door slams, jerking me to full awareness of my whisky hangover.

The place beside me is empty, the bedding cold. Angela’s suitcase and her yellow coat are gone.

How could I have been such a fool?

She had looked so lovely yesterday, blue eyes sparkling.

I lever myself out of bed, groan, pull on yesterday’s clothes. Perhaps I can catch her before she gets the bus to Manchester at 8 o’clock? The red roses I’d bought her reproach me from the floor.

Wincing, I jog; it’s the only way I’ll make it before she leaves. I take the stairs of an underpass two at a time, pounding feet offering a counterpoint to the litany of excuses in my aching head. Do I really fear commitment so much?

I barge through the crowds at the bus station.

07:59 A large man drops a large suitcase right in my path, and I stumble into it. “Oi! Watch where you’re going,” he snarls.

08:00 I look across the crush to the bay where her bus is waiting, and see a flash of yellow. She enters. The bus door closes and the bus starts to move.

Friday Fictioneers – Fresh Start

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 © ROGER BULTOT

An apology to Rochelle. When I first accessed the prompt this morning, my computer didn’t give me Roger’s prompt, so I went with Rochelle’s photo.

Fresh Start

White, pinched faces. Clothes that had once been smart, now heavy with grime and the sweat of fear.

The older woman kept glancing apprehensively at the younger, seeking reassurance. She sat lop-sided, as if she had been injured and never quite recovered.

“You are from Armenia?” I suggested. I could only imagine what they had been through.

The two women exchanged glances, and then the younger nodded assent.

“I have friends who will take care of you, if you like. They will help you learn English.”

The younger spoke to her companion, who wept.

“Thank you, sir,” she answered.

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Friday Fictioneers – Only a cold

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 © DALE ROGERSON

Only a cold

It was one of those late fall days, when clouds smear the sun like ice-cream and a chill wind rattles the last leaves.

Pastor Nicholas was coughing in the hallway

“It’s only a cold,” he said, irritably, to his wife, Maisie, and he slammed the door as he set off to visit his parishioners.

Maisie had made him a packed lunch, but he left it unopened. Despite his exhaustion he could feel God working through him, healing broken lives.

That night, Maisie had to call an ambulance. “Pneumonia, exacerbated by overwork,” said the hospital. Maisie was devastated when Nicholas died.

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Friday Fictioneers – The security of wealth

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 © LIZ YOUNG

The Security of Wealth

Gold, silver and crystal thrust skyward in gigantic whorls that scattered mazy gleams from a myriad brilliant points. The billionaire looked and beheld that it was good.

People, ant-like, came from the slums and worked in the hotel of shiny surfaces, cleaning, toting bags, serving, making beds, all for the comfort of the guests. And if they were lucky the ants received tips. And if they weren’t tipped, they can’t have done a good job.

And that night, the billionaire felt his heart constrict, counted his racing pulse, sweated with the agony in his chest – and died.

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Friday Fictioneers – Insurance

PHOTO PROMPT © KRISTA STRUTZ

Insurance

I can smell the end of the season, a mixture of sunblock and stale beer.

Chuck has become evasive; “Busy”, he texts.

There’s no sign of him yet at Sol’s Bar. Good. I smile at Rob.

“Buy you a drink?” he suggests.

“Sure. Thanks.”

We’re laughing over our third beer when Chuck appears.

“Beat it,” he snarls at Rob, who looks questioningly at me.

“It’s okay, Rob. Thanks for the beers.”

I turn to Chuck.

“So it’s Florida for the new season?”

“Where’d you hear that?”

“Little bird told me.”

“Yeah! I was meaning to say. You wanna come?”

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Friday Fictioneers – Country Matters

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 © SANDRA CROOK

Country Matters

“You go and get the hay in, Jack. I’ll be alright.”

Lucy patted her round tummy, and smiled.

“Well, if you’re sure…?” said Jack.

Lucy waited until she heard Jack whistle the dog and slam the back door before she slumped down. The smell of the bacon she’d cooked for Jack made her queasy.

There was a sudden pain from her abdomen, and a growing sense of wetness. Surely not? Not now!

“Mum? Mum!” Her voice held panic.

By the time Jack had brought in the hay, Lucy was sitting cuddling her new-born.

“He’s got your eyes, see,” she said.

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Friday Fictioneers – Before my journey

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 © PENNY GADD

Before my journey

It will soon be time for my long journey, but I couldn’t leave without visiting the river one last time.

I have watched it in all its guises; spate when it is beaten to a cappuccino froth, and roars like a locomotive; a quiet trickle after weeks without rain; best of all, full but tranquil, with fish hiding in the shadows. I have seen kingfishers, and, once, an otter.

Today I have been blessed with warmth from dappled sunshine – but now it fades.

It will soon be time for my long journey.

I shall go gentle into that good night.

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Friday Fictioneers – In the Keukenhof Gardens

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!

This week, I’m afraid my link to the prompt is tenuous. The picture is of a place in Holland, I think, so I’ve written a story set there.

PHOTO PROMPT © BRENDA COX

In the Keukenhof Gardens

I walk, gravel scraping beneath my feet, and a gentle breeze stroking me like the tender fingertips of a lover. Scarlet and golden blooms murmur beside the dark lake, their scent glowing.

Faint music hangs like wood-smoke in the air, luring me onward.

The music swells, raucous dance-music on a mechanical organ rasping in a harmonious dissonance, while people laugh and applaud.

All the world’s emotion shrills through those organ pipes.

I sing.

I dance.

My tears flow warm and comforting as I see my part in the dance of life and rejoice that it holds so much of love.

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