Friday Fictioneers – At first sight

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

At first sight

Standing at the grave-side with my children, I remember a shop on Down Island.

The window held an intriguing mixture of objects; stained glass fairies; crystals; natural remedies; and some brightly patterned kaftans.

Inside, the place smelled euphoric. The man behind the counter was smiling and humming.

“I like those kaftans. Could I try one, please?”

He glanced at his watch.

“Heavens! It’s quarter past one. Sorry, we’re closed. Open again tomorrow morning. It’s Beltane, you see.”

My face fell.

“Come with me,” he suddenly said. “There’ll be some great vegetarian food!”

Forty years we were together.

Goodbye, my love.

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What Pegman Saw – Some days are good

“What Pegman saw” is a weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. Using 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. This week’s prompt is Taunoa, French Polynesia.

WPS - Some days are good 200321

Some days are good

Some days are good, some bad. Paul was such a big part of my life. I sigh and put away the nail polish. I can’t be bothered. Perhaps I shouldn’t have bothered with a vacation either; September will always be tainted by the memory of those last days as Paul fought for life.

But I did bother, and it’s a pleasant resort, and a gal’s gotta eat. That waterfront fish restaurant tonight, I think, only I mustn’t feel melancholy as the sun sets.

“Bonsoir, Henri!”

“Madame!” Professionally charming. “We ‘ave lovely mullet tonight. ‘ere, I give you a seat by the water!”

The sky is azure, the light crystal sharp. It is a courageous sky.

I am so lost in my thoughts, that at first I don’t hear him.

“May I join you?”

Silver hair but unlined face, gentle and scholarly, a quiet smile.

I smile back.

“Please do.”

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Friday Fictioneers – Well Done

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 © DAWN MILLER

Well Done

The farmer’s son drove the tractor, and the blades of the plough turned the clods like a sexton’s shovel. The empty grain silo coursed with rain.

Winter came, harsh and unyielding. The farmer’s son stayed home, just the whisky bottle for company. Icicles like swords hung from the silo.

Milder weather came. The farmer’s son rose, sighed, and sowed the summer wheat. Day by day the land greened under the gentle sun.

Then the harvest.

The farmer’s son confronted the silo. With an effort of will, he filled it with grain.

“Well done, son,” said the memory of his father.

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Friday Fictioneers – Breaking Up

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

I’m afraid I’ve cheated this week, writing three separate stories for the prompt. I’ve put them together because they’re on a single theme, and form a sequence. So that’s how I’ve cheated – I’ve written a 300 word story in disguise! I hope you’ll all forgive me!

 

Breaking up, breaking down

Robert looks cold and aloof.

“I just prefer her,” he says, quietly. “It’s nothing you’ve done. Can we stay friends?”

I clamp my jaw, shake my head.

“Better a clean break,” I manage.

I shudder uncontrollably as I walk to the station to catch the train home. It’s full. I huddle in my seat and weep, heedless of stares.

What more could I have done to keep him?

My phone chimes. A text message. I can’t read it for tears.

As the train pulls into Manchester my crying stops, and I feel the ice crackling and crystallising around my heart.

Breaking up, breaking out

Robert looks cold and aloof.

“I just prefer her,” he says, quietly. “It’s nothing you’ve done. Can we stay friends?”

I look at him and remember what he’s said in the past.

‘I find commitment difficult.’

‘It was a fling – it didn’t mean anything. I’m sorry.’

‘I don’t like you seeing other men.’

‘I don’t like you dressing like that – it makes you look like a tart.’

“Friends? Forget it!” I say, and stalk out.

Outdoors, the wind is icy, but my overcoat keeps me warm. I feel energised. Let Robert play his mind games; I shan’t be joining in!

Breaking up, breaking through

Robert looks cold and aloof.

“I just prefer her,” he says, quietly. “It’s nothing you’ve done. Can we stay friends?”

Prefer her! When’s he had a chance to find out? What a rat! I punch him, hard, on the jaw, then gasp. ‘What have I done?’ I think, horrified.

We look at each other.

Suddenly, he grins, then laughs, a great belly laugh.

“Your face!” he hoots.

“I’m really sorry,” I stammer.

“It’s my fault. I was being outrageous. I’m sorry.”

We sit down, side by side, and talk. The ice between us melts as we understand each other better.

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What Pegman Saw – The Crossing

“What Pegman saw” is a weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. Using 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. This week’s prompt is Tolchester Beach, Maryland, USA.

WPS - The Crossing 200125

The crossing

Jim drove towards the water, parked and sat in darkness. The far side of the estuary was spangled with lights.

He gulped bourbon from his flask, then stripped, folding his clothes neatly onto the seat. “See, Mom?” he slurred, not knowing whether it was a sneer or a lament.

Then he waded into the water and swam towards the far shore.

It’s five kilometres and he was not a strong swimmer. He would swim until exhausted and then quietly let himself slide under…

The water wasn’t cold, not at first anyway, not as cold as his loss. He swam steadily, his mind floating free. This wasn’t such a bad way to go.

A slap of water roused him. His limbs were shuddering, but still moving. Orange street lights! Close!

His left leg cramped.

Only one hundred yards to go.

His head was submerging.

Every stroke was agony.

He made it.

What Pegman Saw – Farewell

What Pegman saw” is a weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. You can read the rules here. You can find today’s location on this page,  from where you can also get the Inlinkz code.

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Image by melaniejwagar from Pixabay

Farewell

The dawn sky glows oyster and then shatters as a golden ray of light lances across the land. I start the Harley.

“For you, Namid,” I whisper, and her voice whispers back the lines of poetry she spoke at our first meeting.

Cruising south-west, I take time to notice the lake by which we picnicked, the woods through which we roamed hand in hand. The bike throbs gently. Lakes, trees, kilometres and hours creep past inexorably, like the years of a life.

Fifteen hours after setting out I ride through Cold Lake, down to the water’s edge.

I watch the massed clouds, purple and gold in the evening light.

I remember.

I remember the attacker’s snarling face. I remember savage pain in my belly, ripped as I struggled to protect Namid. I remember her eyes as the knife pierced her chest, her anguished gaze of farewell.

The sun sets.

 

 

Friday Fictioneers – We Will Remember Them

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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PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

 We will remember them

Liz glanced at the clock. Fifteen minutes before her grandson, Oliver, was due to arrive.

She shuffled through the photographs until she found a small, square, monochrome print. Her brother Peter. She had snatched the shot as he entrained for the front in 1940.

Liz shook her head. Peter’s image seemed imprisoned by the margin. The severity of his mouth was belied by his apprehensive eyes.

What else did she have that she could pass on to Oliver?

A single page letter in Peter’s beautiful handwriting. A cutting from the local press, after…

A tear trickled down Liz’s cheek.

The doorbell rang.

 

Friday Fictioneers – Lost Love

I’m sorry to have posted and read so little recently – I am making a determined effort to finish the first draft of my novel (which was originally inspired by a Friday Fictioneers prompt). You probably won’t see much of me for another month or so, but I couldn’t resist Sandra’s evocative picture today!

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

Lost Love

Here, between the indigo shades of night and the pearl-bright morning, between the sky and the falling tide, here she sat, where once she had sat with him, had kissed him, had fallen in love. She sat and listened to the hiss of the waves as they greedily wrestled shingle from the land, she listened to the whisper of a calving glacier, when a million tons of Greenland ice had shattered the sea, she listened to the echo of Krakatoa, whose eruption had rung the earth like a gong.

Her spaniel nuzzled her fingertips, and she sighed.

War is terrible.

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Friday Fictioneers – In Memoriam

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.

FF - In memoriam Lynne 181224

Copyright – Adam Ickes

In Memoriam

The time for fighting was past.

The time for prayers was past.

Words of love and consolation had been spoken; a painful balm for an atrocious parting.

A breeze through the open window softened the summer heat in the sickroom, where she lay breathing gently, unconscious and free of pain. Her husband held her hand. Her two, grown-up daughters sat by the bed. Her sisters were close. She was so peaceful that none of those she loved could tell when the end came.

Wife, mother, teacher.

Sister, feminist, friend.

Who will fill her shoes now?