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 – 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 – Icon

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 © LISA FOX

Icon

As soon as Miles had parked the Harley and removed his helmet he heard the chanting, a thread of sound drawing him to the open door of the church.

The interior was dim, and fragrant with incense. The singing reverberated, thrilling him with reverence, as he drifted towards the glow of a hundred candles illuminating an icon.

The eyes of the icon seized his attention.

“Feed my sheep,” said a deep voice.

Miles blinked. “Pardon?” he said.

A white-bearded priest spoke to him about Jesus. Within two years, Miles had sold the Harley, and enrolled in a seminary.

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Friday Fictioneers – Getting Started

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 © TED STRUTZ

Getting started

Arun counted his savings. He borrowed from his grandmother. He sold the gold ring left to him by his grandfather (he didn’t tell his grandmother), and he bought a moped with panniers.

He went to the fish market and bought some fine fish, which he sold door to door. By evening he had fish left, but he was out of pocket. He shrugged and had a fish dinner. Which fish had sold well?

Next day he did better, and the day after better still.

The motorbike only lasted two years – but by then he had a business and a van.

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Friday Fictioneers – Short Growing Season

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 © JENNIFER PENDERGAST

Short Growing Season

Jo sighed as Ruth finished helping with her cystic fibrosis exercises.

“Mom, I’d so love a garden.”

Ruth snorted.

“Jo, this is Alaska.”

But Jo and her dad, Mike, looked through catalogues and ordered some bulbs. As soon as the bulbs arrived, they planted them in the front yard.

“The snow will protect them from freezing,” explained Mike.

It wasn’t long before the ground was covered with one hundred inches of snow, and when the late spring came, the snow melted and the bulbs bloomed gloriously.

Even with a short growing season you can enjoy life and colour – and beauty.

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Friday Fictioneers – The End

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

The End

It was bound to happen sooner or later.

The street below my apartment is choked with police cars, blue lights strobing, sirens howling, deafening and disorientating me.

I shall not take the coward’s way out; I shall die as I have always lived, with zest. I hope, though, that someone will find these jottings I have made. I would like to feel that my actions might be understood if not condoned. Perhaps this text will be a mirror for my intentions.

In a few minutes I shall exit onto the roof and run along the terrace.

My narrative will end.

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