02/07/2020

ON THE HUNT - a story in 100 words


ON THE HUNT

He sits slumped in the outpatients’ department like a fly-tipped sack in a side road. Drunk, or high on something, though it looks more low than high – a life out of control.
Alone.
I sit beside him, inhaling the sour, unwashed smell like perfume.
A nurse asks, “You with him?” Hopeful.
I shrug. “Sort of.” Non-committal.
She shines a light in his eyes. “He’ll live.” Looks round the crowded Saturday night room and sighs. “Take him home.”
I scrawl an illegible signature, heave him upright. “Come on, mate.”
The nurse moves on, he's forgotten already.
He’s mine now.
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Control was the word that sprang out of this otherwise unremarkable scene, though as it was Canada Day yesterday and my youngest lives over there with his Canadian wife and daughters, I was reminded of the wide Canadian roads and traffic signs waaaay up high - very strange to my English eyes. I guess they have to be that high up because the trucks are so enormous!
Thanks to Na'ama Yehuda for the photograph and to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog, from whence you can follow the frog link to read other stories.  https://rochellewisoff.com/

24/06/2020

NUMBER ONE - a story in 100 words.


NUMBER ONE

Sean took over the business from his father when he was twenty, after working his way up from sweeping the floor, so when the pandemic forced a shut-down he was devastated. No money coming in and rent still going out – a disaster.
As the rules slowly relaxed he bought masks and gloves, deep-cleaned the premises, posted a notice.

On The Big Day there was a long queue – his clients hadn’t deserted him after all. Unwilling to turn anyone away, he let them in four at a time, shampooed them quickly and sped along the line, giving every head a number one.
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I have literally no idea what Todd Foltz'a photo is, but to me it looks like a line of bald heads. Once that idea was in my mind, the rest was easy - possibly fuelled by the fact that today I made a hair appointmentfor the first time in months.
Thanks to Rochelle for hosting us on her blog, https://rochellewisoff.com/

18/06/2020

WINDOWS - a story in 100 words


WINDOWS

     Looking out of this window I am twenty again, in my first flat, swallowing tears and trying not to admit I’m homesick to Dad, who is fixing my aerial. I might stay here all day.
Yesterday’s window was open to Mediterranean air, the rattle of palm leaves in the breeze and click of cicadas.
Tomorrow – who knows? As long as my memory still functions I can be anywhere I choose. Anywhere other than here.

I always imagined my last sight on this earth would be my children’s faces, not bare white walls, zigzag lines on a screen, and masked strangers.
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I'm still here, still fighting, still writing - though not as much as I should, but this pandemic seems to have frozen some of my brain! One bright note is that I am now in a bubble with my daughter and granddaughter, and was able yesterday to pick our five-year-old up from school, bring her home with me, and dig potatoes. Simple joys make life worth living.
This week's photo prompt took me to a darker place, somewhere I hope not to experience personally, but I know people who have been there.
Thanks to Rochelle for the photo and for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/

10/06/2020

HOME SCHOOLING - a story in 100 words


HOME SCHOOLING

It was only something to occupy the kids during lockdown, but it also qualified as home-schooling – a blend of science, maths and art.
Our old tent made the balloon, the guy-ropes attached to Nan’s wicker washing basket. Using a blow-torch to heat it was a bit risky but it worked, and when our balloon appeared above the garden fence, the neighbours cheered. Unfortunately, when Bob from next door offered Dad a beer he let go of the rope.
It didn’t fly far, of course, and the police were very understanding, but Tiddles was traumatised – she never could resist a basket.
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I do hope you are all surviving the pandemic situation in whichever country you live. One of my grandchildren has returned to school, albeit to a class of seven rather than the thirty she is used to, but the older ones must wait until September - that's a heck of a long break in their education.
My mother is still isolated in her Care Home, and although I have been able to see her twice recently by sitting two metres apart in their garden, I can't give her the hug she so desperately wants.
So I have resorted to humour this week just to cheer everyone up - I hope it worked? Thanks to Rochelle for hosting FF and to Ronda Del Baccio for the photograph that prompted this week's stories, more of which you can read by going to  https://rochellewisoff.com/
PS - Tiddles is a common name for a cat - not a child!

03/06/2020

FIRST DAY OUT OF LOCKDOWN


FIRST DAY OUT OF LOCKDOWN

The first day out of lockdown we met in the park, blankets spaced two metres apart. There was some good-natured picnic envy – “You brought Prosecco!” – “Are those real M&S pork pies?”
We wore disposable gloves to play Frisbee, danced in our own little spaces to a radio, laughed like we hadn’t laughed for weeks, and felt the tension drain away.

Until the Frisbee sailed over a hedge and the kids ran to fetch it.
If I live to be a hundred I shall never forget those screams, but the silence that followed was far worse.
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This story wrote itself in five minutes, which was a relief because I couldn't write anything last week! Also it's exactly 100 words without any editing, so I'll go with it. Hope you're all okay, lockdown, rioting, stress notwithstanding? I was allowed to visit Mum in the garden of her nursing home on Monday, and hope to see my kids later in the week, so things are slightly better.
Thanks to Rochelle for hosting FF through thick and thin, and to Ted Strutz for the photgraph that prompted my story - and all the others on    https://rochellewisoff.com/




20/05/2020

WATER MUSIC - a story in 100 words


WATER MUSIC

On holiday in Tenerife, who could resist a free concert?
It didn’t take them long to get ready – the Spanish waiter told them bikinis and sarongs were the norm. They started on the vodka in their hotel, mixed generous slugs into bottles of Coke, and went to the beach.
It was heaving, the music loud, the atmosphere electric.

They danced on sand that radiated the day’s heat, and watched the lights sparkle on the sea. It looked different at night – mysterious – and they dropped their sarongs to slip into its silken coolness.

Beach cleaners found their sarongs at dawn.
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There were many beach concerts when I lived in Tenerife, though I chickened out of going to one - I have more respect for my hearing! The sand needed sifting afterwards, despite the banning of glasses or bottles, but how could police control a jam-packed crowd of holiday-makers? Swimming at night, when drunk, is not a good idea either.
Thanks to Rochelle for running our group of flash writers, and to CE Ayr for his photograph she used as a prompt on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/  If you'd like to join our happy throng, click on the froggy on there which will take you to the link page.

I hope you are all well, staying safe, washing your hands, and ignoring idiotic advice to inject houshold substances or take unprescribed medicine!
Yes, I'm talking like a mum, but today I'm allowed to - it's my son's birthday, and he's of an age that reminds me how ancient I am :(

14/05/2020

HATS - a rant for these times.

I could rant about many things at the moment, including the overuse of words such as 'unprecedented', 'challenging' and 'iconic', but enough people are doing that already, and I don't like talking politics online.
Jan Wayned Fields' photo which Rochelle posted on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/2020/05/13/15-may-2020/hats/  for Friday Fictioneers this week didn't excite my fiction-writing head at all, possibly because it's already full of the book I am in the throes of editing.
So instead you've got this rant, which I know resonates with many of my friends in a similar situation. If you're young and free, enjoy it!  .............................................................

HATS

I have worn many different hats in my lifetime.
Daughter, then student, followed by years as a bank clerk, in the days when we counted banknotes by hand, computers filled a room, and deposit ledgers weighed a ton.
Happily I donned the various hats of a mother – cook, chauffeuse, nurse, gardener, teacher, decorator and seamstress until, eventually, I was a grandmother and retired.

But now they want to force me into another hat, with the words writ large – ELDERLY, VULNERABLE, PRISONER.

That hat won’t fit.