Friday Fictioneers – The Passionate Collector

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!

FF - The Passionate Collector 200325

PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold

The Passionate Collector

“Of course, the old typewriter was Hemingway’s,” drawled Benson. He’d invited me in for a nightcap after our first date. “Look – you can see traces of blood on the keys.” As though absentmindedly, he half drained the glass of red wine he’d poured for me. “Screaming Eagle Cabernet 1992; an unbelievable vintage,” he murmured.

“At least it’s a bourgeois lamp,” I muttered under my breath.

“And the lamp,” continued Benson, relentlessly, “is the first prototype made for Louis Tiffany by Clara Driscoll.”

There was only one response I could make to Benson’s vulgar display of wealth.

Reader, I married him.

Inlinkz – Click here to join in the fun!

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.”

Inlinkz – click here to join in the fun!

 

What Pegman Saw – Happy Anniversary

“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 Silver Bay, Minnesota.

WPS - Happy Anniversary 200316 02

Happy Anniversary

“Gotta stop a minute, take off this jacket.”

Dave nodded but didn’t copy. He felt chilled despite the knitted sweater under his wind-cheater.

Colin eyed him. “Sure you’re up to this?”

Dave pushed past and walked on. Colin shrugged.

The woods were full of birdsong.

“Saw a bald eagle once, hereabouts.” Dave tossed the remark over his shoulder.

“Mm-hm?”

“Don’t believe me, huh? Well, I know what I saw. A bald eagle.”

Dave stopped at the foot of a rough stone stairway.

“Catch my breath, boy,” he said.

“I’ll be right behind you, case you fall.”

Dave straightened his back, drew himself up and climbed the stairway without stopping. The waterfall roared a welcome. He looked down. The river bank below was full of holidaymakers enjoying the first sunshine of spring. Dave pointed at them.

“Seventy years ago today, from up here, I saw your Grandma for the first time.

What Pegman Saw – After Eden

“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 Hadera, Israel.

WPS - After Eden - 200229

After Eden

Hannah smiled.

“I love the flowers here.”

Aaron smiled back.

“The Stream Park is a beautiful place – but not as beautiful as you are.”

Hannah’s smile faded.

“We need to talk seriously. My mother asked me straight out today if I was meeting you.”

“What did you say?”

“I said ‘Yes’, of course! I’m not a liar.” She clutched her handbag in her lap. “The thing is there’s something I must tell you. About myself. And I’m afraid I may lose you.”

“I shall never leave you!”

“Aaron.” Hannah swallowed hard. “Do you believe what they teach us in synagogue?”

“Of course. I mean there are bits I take with a pinch of salt…”

Hannah spoke across him. “You see, I don’t, Aaron. So I can never be a proper mother to the children of someone who believes.”

The couple stared at each other, a world of loss in their eyes.

Friday Fictioneers – Fourth Wall

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!

FF - Fourth Wall 200226

PHOTO PROMPT © DALE ROGERSON

Fourth Wall

Heavy, gilded mouldings around the proscenium made the stage look like a mirror, thought June, applauding at the end of ‘Cosi fan Tutti’. She looked for Oliver, her boyfriend. There he was! June smiled, then frowned. Why was he holding hands with his stage partner, Margery?

The curtain rang down and the houselights brightened. June waited. Her heart sank when Oliver arrived with Margery and the other two principals.

“That was wonderful, darling. I loved it!”

She leaned forward to kiss, but he gently resisted.

Taking out a diamond ring, he said, “I love you, June. Will you marry me?”

Inlinkz – click here and join the fun!

What Pegman Saw – A Wish Granted

“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. This week’s location is Menorca, Spain

WPS - A wish granted 200208

Image by Matt Gribbon from Pixabay

A wish granted

The black horse struts downhill, groomed sleek and with scarlet ribbons plaited through his mane and tail for the festival. Marc, one of the caixers, rides him like a king, tall and stern-faced. His black hair is trimmed short like a warrior, and his eyes are dark and commanding. Every few metres he makes the horse rear and people scurry beneath to touch its heart for good luck.

I watch how Marc controls the horse, and my heart yearns for him.

The horse rises, and I step forward, reaching for the beast’s heart. I touch it! Perhaps my dream will come true!

I sprint down the street to the town square, and greet Marc when he arrives.

“Alejandro!” he says.

“May I squire for you in the jousting tomorrow?”

He frowns.

“I have my brother…” he says, and then smiles. “I’m sure we can find something for you to do!”

 

Friday Fictioneers – Cloudy, clearing later

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 on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - Cloudy, clearing later 191127

Photo Prompt © C E Ayr

Cloudy, clearing later

High cloud covered the heaven. Even mid-afternoon there were no shadows – or, perhaps, everything was shadow.

I scuffed a pebble towards a tree, missing by miles. That’s life when you’re out of work. Nothing you do hits the target.

I noticed Claire at the window of her first-floor apartment. A nice girl, dark-haired, blue-eyed – pretty. No point someone as useless as me hoping to date her, though.

But she gestured me to wait, and thirty seconds later she was running towards me.

“It’s no good moping,” she said. “You need qualifications. Have you tried Medville College? Here, I’ll take you.”

Inlinkz – click here to join in!

Infidelity – 300 word version

Infidelity

It was dark in the wings. I should have been in the Green Room but I wanted to watch the performance.

A strong arm slipped around my waist. It felt so right that I couldn’t help myself. I turned towards Frank, tilting my face up to his. He kissed me. I yielded, as I would have done for Jim, and then thought, ‘No, I don’t need to pretend…’ and kissed back enthusiastically.

How long is eternity? Two seconds? Three seconds? That is how long the kiss lasted, but it brought its own sort of eternity.

And then it was over.

Frank stepped back.

“Liz, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that. I’m so sorry. You’re a married woman.” Even in my swirling Arcadian haze of arousal I noticed that he didn’t say that he was a married man.

“Don’t be sorry, Frank. Don’t be sorry”. My right hand stroked his chest feverishly. The quartet on stage was reaching its climax.

“Oh, Liz, you are just so…Liz, I love you’.

Why did Jim never speak to me like that? Why did he never kiss me like that?

I felt guilty that night as I went to bed. Jim didn’t seem to notice anything. He kissed me goodnight, rolled over, and was snoring gently within a minute. Normally I liked Jim’s snores. They weren’t loud, they just rumbled gently and reminded me that my man lay beside me; a comfortable knowledge of security. That night, though, they grated.

‘Liz, I love you’. The joy of that knowledge! And its guilt. Lying there beside my sleeping husband thinking of another man’s love.

And then, knowingly and deliberately, I imagined Frank’s embrace, the look of bewildered joy on his face, his tender words. I allowed the joy to seep through me. I went to sleep.

 

Friday Fictioneers – Chance Encounter

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 (Join the Party!) on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - Chance Encounter - 190619 PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Chance encounter

It’s lonely, being divorced, childless and forty-something. Still, at least I have the time and money to travel.

I was waiting for a plane when I met him. He was tall, and looked artistic, cultured – interesting.

“Is that seat taken?” he asked, pointing at the place beside me. His voice gave me goose-bumps. Hastily I removed my bags.

“Where are you going?” he said, sitting down.

“Cambodia.”

His eyes opened wide. “Flight EK222? Why, so am I!”

He pulled out his boarding pass. “Seat 27A”

“Mine is 27B! Looks like we’ll be sitting together a while longer.”

How very agreeable!

Join the Party!

A milestone reached!

I have at last finished the first draft of my latest novel. The first 50,000 words were finished under the stimulus of NaNoWriMo – thank you to everyone who supports that endeavour, and to Gabi who was my writing buddy. It’s taken me since then to write the next 60,000 words, giving me a completed manuscript of 112,000 words. The working title is “The Owl on the Pergola”

Now the hard work starts – the editing!

The dove on the pergola - Holi 180731

The Owl on the Pergola

The novel is a work of literary fiction that tells the story of a young Indian woman who grows up in a very poor rural community, and moves to Kolkata when she is 16 years old. She is luckier than most, having an aptitude for study and a wealthy aunt who is prepared to sponsor her through higher education. However, she has to contend with an obsessive stalker who eventually turns violent, and with the ubiquitous prejudice that a woman’s place is in the home, serving her husband and his family. Will she have to choose between the man she loves and the academic career that she desires?