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!

FF - We will remember them 191010

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!

FF - Lost Love 190424

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.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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?

What Pegman Saw – Be strong for me

“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 includes Amarillo, Texas. I struggled with this one, and the link between prompt and story is opaque. Amarillo is the location of the USA’s Strategic Helium Reserve. The major contemporary use for helium is in MRI scanners, which uses 20% of global production.

WPS - Be strong for me 180609

Juniper Trail – Manic Exploration.com  © Chris Katie Google Maps

Be strong for me

“You’re a cancer survivor,” insisted James fiercely. Stella gave him a fleeting smile and squeezed his hand.

“Jim, whatever they find with this scan, just accept it will you? Please? For my sake.”

Once more she was wheeled into the little room, once more laid down in the restricted space of the MRI scanner. ‘What a good job I’m not claustrophobic,’ she thought.

The scan started and she winced. The machine made a noise like an unsilenced motorcycle engine, and it sawed through her attempts to think coherently.

Stella knew Jim would come to hear the results, but she wished he wouldn’t. He wasn’t prepared for bad news.

And it was bad; the worst.

“But surely there’s some experimental treatment? Stella’s a survivor!” Jim was outraged.

The consultant just shook his head.

“Jim, let it be,” said Stella, gently.

Jim looked at her, about to expostulate. He looked – then wept.

Friday Fictioneers – The Blues

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!

FF - The Blues 180523

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The Blues

‘The blues’ they call it, and I can understand why.

In the pre-dawn light of a dull March morning, with drizzle coalescing on the windows, nearby houses loom, shapeless, out of the blue-grey mist.

I boil a kettle for coffee. Did I really used to grind beans fresh every morning?

I suppose I’d better wash the plate that I used for my microwave dinner last night.

No. That can wait until after coffee.

Perhaps I’ll feel better when spring finally arrives. Gerald’s plant looks cheerful enough.

It’s nearly a year now since he died.

I wish I could join him.

What Pegman Saw – Winter Took Him

This is my second story for this week’s “What Pegman Saw”. I’m sorry if that’s greedy, but this story kept recurring in my thoughts until I was forced to go and write it!

WPS - Winter took him 180324

Winter took him

Fall was ending and there were few leaves on the trees, barely an echo of their fiery September glory. Robert entered the park on foot, his life on his back – camping gear, food, and a precious plastic container.

He bivouacked overnight. His nostrils prickled with the pungent smoke of the fire he lit for warmth, for company and for protection. He heard wolves howl as they welcomed the winter. Memories gnawed him.

Next day he walked one last time between the forest and the plain. He felt Jenny very close to him as he visited their special places. Then, as the day fled, he went to the foot of the cliff where she’d fallen. He took out the plastic container holding her ashes, scattered them and lay down. Beautiful flakes of snow began to fall, more and more heavily, a pure white blanket to comfort his grief.

Winter took him.

What Pegman Saw – Behind the Scenes

“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 Treasure Cay, Abaco, Bahamas. I struggled with this…

WPS - Behind the Scenes 180310

Behind the scenes

Clive wake me ‘bout 5 o’clock wi’ coffee, before he go to work. He a good husband.

I get ever’ting ready in the main room, den I wake Momma, take care a her needs and wheel her through.

“You be good, Momma,” I say.

I c’llect my cleanin’ kit from the office, an’ ask Queenie whether I can miss this Sat’day for a frien’s weddin’.

“You cleanin’ Miz Mitchell’s place two o’clock Sat’day. Ask her.”

I hurry through cleanin’ the em’ty condos so’s I get to Miz Mitchell’s before she go out.

“Let me see. That’s the Rawson gal getting married, yeah?”

I nod.

“I’m afraid I need you here. We’re having a dinner party, and the place must be spotless.”

Nothin’ I can say; I can’t go.

Midday. Momma need care, and dinner.

The house is quiet. Momma’s still.

“Momma?”

I touch her. She col’.

“Oh, Momma, no!”

What Pegman Saw – I had, in any case

“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 Fukushima, Japan.

WPS - I had, in any case 171202

Genre: Historical fiction

Word count: 151

Owatatsumi is one name for the Shinto god of the sea.

kami is a generic name for a Shinto god.

I had, in any case

I had, in any case, been intending to leave Fukushima.

There were only two sources of work there; agriculture or the nuclear plant. Neither appealed. I wanted a creative life. I envied those few Westerners I had met. They travelled, they drank a stronger wine and sang a gayer song.

Then one day Owatatsumi was angered. He beat the sea higher and higher until it overwhelmed us. We were powerless as it tore down our buildings, as it snatched babe from mother, husband from wife, into the finality of death, and poured relentlessly on, and on, and on, into the nuclear plant, where panic-stricken engineers fought frantically to avert catastrophe.

The fierce kami of radiation burst out like devouring dragons, poisoning land and water, driving us from our homes for ever.

The government evacuated us, exiled us. I’m in Kyoto now.

I had, in any case, been intending to leave Fukushima.

What Pegman Saw – The Prisoner

“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 Carisbrooke Castle in the UK. King Charles 1 was imprisoned there to await execution.

I’ve tried something a bit different today, and I’m not altogether satisfied. Constructive criticism would be very welcome!

WPS - The Prisoner - Carisbrooke Castle 171125

The Prisoner

Charles woke late after a restless night. He had a headache again. It wasn’t even a hangover – this time. He lay, watching the grey light brighten, until discomfort drove him out of bed.

He wrinkled his nose. Virginia, his late wife, had hated it when the bedroom smelled stuffy. ‘I should change the sheets; it’s been weeks,’ he thought.

“I really am trying, my love,” he whispered, but even her memory couldn’t pierce his numbness.

He needed to escape. It was sunny. Carisbrooke Castle was nearby; he’d go there

He was in the Constable’s Chamber when an old man asked him, “Would you like to see the new excavation?”

Charles nodded. They went down, deep below the keep.

“In there,” said the man, pointing.

Charles entered the dark room; the heavy door slammed behind him.

He could just hear the man through the door.

“This place has always been a prison.”

Friday Fictioneers – Mugabe’s Gone

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!

FF - Mugabe's Gone 171122

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Genre: Historical fiction

Word count: 100

Mugabe’s Gone

The television booms in the background.

He’s gone. Mugabe’s gone.

I can’t believe it. My breath comes in gasps. My legs wobble as I stand.

I go to my little store room. There is the clock, exactly where I threw it at 11:15 on the evening of January 15th 1983. Shuddering, I feel for the photograph, hidden under some cloth.

Yes. Here it is. I hardly dare look.

My beautiful boy, my son, my Joshua.

“Don’t view the body,” they said. But how could I bury him without looking one last time?

Tears flood down my cheeks, my own Gukurahundi*.

      *       *       *

*According to Wikipedia, Gukurahundi is a Shona word which loosely translates as “the early rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains”. It was the term used by Robert Mugabe and his supporters for the purging of political opponents during the 1980s.