Friday Fictioneers – Who’s unclean?

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 - Who's unclean - 200205

PHOTO PROMPT © TED STRUTZ

Who’s unclean?

“You shouldn’t be here! You gave birth four weeks ago and you haven’t been churched yet. Singing carols in the airport is an act of worship!”

Cathryn glared at Pastor Lucas.

“What nonsense! A woman isn’t unclean after giving birth!”

“Go home, Cathryn.” Pastor Lucas turned away and followed the choir.

He watched them in their white robes rising serenely up the escalator like angels, and his eyes lingered on young Beth, golden-haired, blue-eyed, the most angelic of all.

The singing was heavenly – but Cathryn was waiting by the exit.

“You do realise that the child is yours?” she snarled.

Inlinkz – click here to join in!

What Pegman Saw – The Ice Maiden

“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 Greenland.

WPS - The Ice Maiden 190309

Image by Ellasommer on Pixabay

The Ice Maiden

Lars sighed and looked up from his homework. It was no use. He was going to have to see her again.

After the indoor smell of food, the autumn air felt fresh and chill. A dog howled somewhere.

Was he foolish, leaving without a rifle? A bear had been seen pillaging trash cans. He shrugged. If he went back into the house, his mom would probably catch him and make him go back to his studies.

It grew ever colder as he walked out of town, but his clothes were warm. His fingers tingled and his mouth was dry with anticipation.

And there she was. Beautiful. Perfect. The moonlight shone through her, making her glow with every shade of blue. Her sculpted features were proud and yet alluring, warm and yet ice-cold. Pinpoint reflections of stars sparkled on her like scattered diamonds.

Lars sank to his knees – and worshipped.

A rainy day in Kyoto

This is going to be a miscellaneous collection of thoughts and pictures; a portfolio blog post if you like. That’s what today has been like.

It was a “free” day, when we managed our own activities. Daphne and I decided that we would start by visiting the temple at Fushimi-Inari. We caught the first subway train and arrived at the station where we changed to another line. All well so far. We found the right part of the station for the next change, and, after careful study of the subway map we boarded a train. It wasn’t very full, and we wondered where everybody was. Then we realised that they were all on the adjacent platform piling into a train that was going in the right direction.

We leaped up, sprinted across the platform (insofar as two elderly ladies can sprint!) and just caught the train. The doors closed and we departed. It went straight through the first station – we hardly noticed – and stopped at the second, where we realised what had happened. “I hope it stops at our station,” said Daphne, as the doors closed. I suppose it didn’t actually take us that long to retrace our journey by four stations…

When we finally reached the right place it was raining. Never mind. The temple is renowned for its many torii gates, and they were spectacular, brilliant orange, which in some lights shone golden. They became closer and closer, until it felt like walking inside a great cathedral.

Kyoto torii bright 170408

Above the torii gates, on Mount Inari, we walked through a forest, a mixture of bamboo and cedar. It was wonderfully tranquil. The trees were reddish-purple and green.

Kyoto cedar and bamboo 170408

One final thought on the temple. It seemed to be much more of a working temple. There was worship and meditation taking place.

Kyoto pilgrim 170408

When we returned to the station, we needed the loo. Most stations have European style toilets. Fushimi-Inari station does not. It has Asian squat toilets. I squatted, and then it was time to stand again. My knees and quads told me in no uncertain terms what they thought of that manoeuvre – in fact, I reckon I was lucky to make it without falling over!

We went to the Philosophers’ Walk next, which is a path by a canal whose banks are planted with cherry blossom. It was raining heavily by now, and there were crowds of people being slightly less courteous than they would have been in the sunshine. Still, at least we saw the place, and it is indeed beautiful.

Now we must pack. We’re off to Hiroshima in the morning, to see the Peace Park. That’s a serious business, and I shall blog about it tomorrow.