Friday Fictioneers – Light for the darkest night

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 - Embankment light 171213

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

Light for the darkest night

The Thames chuckled treacherously as the ebbing tide tugged at the bridge. The lights of the Embankment were haloed by midnight drizzle.

Mary leaned over the parapet, sodden and chilled.

That cow from the Social Services. ‘We’re concerned about your child’s home environment, about his safety. Better we take Jonny into care.’

Bitch!

Mary sobbed, and threw her leg over the parapet. They’d be sorry when they pulled her body out of the river!

“Excuse me,” said a stranger’s voice.

“God, you startled me. I almost fell!”

“You don’t really want to jump then? I’m glad. Here, take my hand.”

*

I apologise to any social workers who happen to read this. I know that you are dedicated professionals, working under extreme pressure and getting it right the large majority of the time. 

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What Pegman Saw – There’s a Note

I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone with this week’s story, set in Cordoba, Argentina!

“What Pegman saw” is a weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. Using the 360 degree view of 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.

WPS There's a Note 171104

There’s a Note

Inspector Herrera lifted the body and winced. The young woman had driven the knife so violently into her chest that the blade emerged from her back.

“There’s a note, sir.”

The handwriting was firm, towards the end almost scoring through the paper.

“Antonio,

Don’t you remember those summer nights of laughter? When La Barra played cuarteto and we danced?

Don’t you remember how we stood tall with courage and won the respect of your parents?

Don’t you remember how we became one, body and soul?

Don’t you remember?

You have betrayed my love! And for whom? For that slut Maria!

I will not live without you, Antonio; and I curse you. Not to be impotent, and your whore barren; no, you will have children – but you will bury every one of them.

And now I die, taking the first of your bastards in my body to the grave.”

What Pegman saw – The failure

“What Pegman saw” is a weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. Using the 360 degree view of 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.

WPS - puerto rico - 170909

Plaintive sea birds soared over the ocean, cutting long arcs through the air as they rode updrafts by the precipitous wall of the fort.

Carlos sat in one of the fort’s crenellations. The chance of a lifetime and he’d blown it. Alright, Massachusetts was cold; he couldn’t eat his favourite cocina criolla; he missed his family and friends. But surely he could have coped for three years? Instead, he’d missed lectures, eaten too little, and slept for hours during the day when he should have been studying. He’d been weak and failed his family.

He swung his legs over the edge and looked down at the waves breaking on the rocks.

A girl approached and coughed. She eased into the space beside Carlos, and swung her feet over the drop.

“This isn’t the answer, Carlos,” she said. “Come home. We need you.”

Hand in hand, brother and sister walked home.

 

 

 

 

Song without words

This story was written with two types of reader in mind: the general reader; and readers who are passionate about classical music. However, it is fiction, pure and simple, and not historical speculation. Note, too, that I am aware of the date Mendelssohn died, and the date that Clara and Robert’s son, Felix, was born. The story is not suggesting that he is Mendelssohn’s son.

A question of paternity piano 170812

That way lies madness
Clara reached out her hand, and laid it on Robert’s naked shoulder. He flinched and tensed.
“He’s not my son, is he?” His voice was despairing.
“Oh, Robert, please, not this again.”
Robert spun round. His hands reached out as though to strangle, but dropped instead to Clara’s hips. He buried his face in the thick, raven hair cascading over her shoulder. She held him, rocked him, sang gently to him as though to a small child.
She led him towards the bed, coaxed him into it with little gestures and murmurs, endearments and caresses.
“You are an angel,” he said, eyes wide-open in wonder, “a glorious angel, with golden wings and a dark halo, and – I heard it, you know.”
He smiled, smirked rather.
“I heard it. He told me on the piano.”
“Robert, stop it. This is nonsense. You’re upsetting yourself needlessly.”
“You tell me it’s nonsense?” He emphasized the pronouns grotesquely. “He told me on the piano yesterday afternoon when he played to us both. That ‘Song without Words’. The rubato between bars twenty-six and twenty-seven, and, just to make sure, in case I missed it, again between bars twenty-nine and thirty.”
Clara sighed.
“Lie down, Robert. You’re imagining things. You are so sensitive, so creative. I love you for that, I really do, but not when you use it to torture yourself. Lie down my dearest, lie down my love.” She gentled him with words and touches until he lay down beneath the covers.
He looked at her sadly, so sadly.
“Your grief will be my only regret when I jump into the Rhine.”
Clara said nothing, just stroked his cheek tenderly. Robert’s eyes closed, and his breathing became gentle and regular.
From the nursery next door, young Felix began to wail.