18/10/2018

BIRTHDAY PRESENT - a 100 word story


BIRTHDAY PRESENT

“Come on, Mum – you haven’t chosen anything yet!”
Betty shook her head, too breathless to speak. It was sweet of Joe to take her shopping, and no doubt the Mall was a marvel of modern design, but why did everything have to be so spread out? Ten minutes just to cross the car park before they even reached the shops. Give her an old-fashioned High Street any day.
She clutched Joe’s arm. “Just take me to the nearest cafė, darling – I need a coffee.”
“But what about your birthday present?”
“You choose – I like surprises.”

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You'll probably GUESS (see what I did there?) from this story that I don't like Malls any more than Betty does - marathon shopping isn't my idea of fun - so I sympathize with the woman in this photo, taken by Jilly Funell for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to our indefatigable leader Rochelle, who blogs on  https://rochellewisoff.com/

If you enjoyed this story, why not scroll through my archives and read some of the others? At my first ever Author Fair last Saturday I gave away little scrolls with a story on each one, hoping to attract more readers, though it was worth all the effort of printing and rolling them just to see the pleasure on people's faces at being given something for nothing!  

I reached a milestone last week when I sent off to my proofreader the second book in my Living Rock series. All being well, WOLF PACK will be out early in the New Year - watch this space!

11/10/2018

PRINCESS - a hundred word story


PRINCESS

“You said no?”
“I said no.”
“How could you? He’s such a nice boy.”
“And so rich.”
“That’s not what I meant, but having money isn’t such a bad thing.”
“He’s boring and possessive.”
“He’d treat you like a princess.”
“Yeah, right – give me diamonds and lock me up in his castle.”
“But you’re thirty – you might not ...”
“Get another offer? Thanks Mum.”
“Don’t you want to be married and have babies?”
“Give you grandchildren, you mean? When I get married – if I ever do – I want to share my castle with a prince, not a gaoler.”
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I just didn't fancy the idea of living in this building, with its slit windows, minimal light, and no way out, which prompted this week's story. Apologies to Rochelle who took the picture, and who also hosts Friday Fictioneers at https://rochellewisoff.com/
I have been extra busy this week, as I am going to my first ever Local Author Fair on Saturday at Crawley Library. Crawley is in Sussex, so if any of you are down that way on Saturday morning, do please pop in and visit my stand, where I shall be displaying - and hopefully selling copies of - my recent book Helter-Skelter, the cover of which is at the top of my blog - click on it to buy your copy.

04/10/2018

SHELL GAME - a story in a hundred words


SHELL GAME

Dave was out there as usual this morning in his car, waiting to follow me.
I did my normal Tuesday shop then met the girls for coffee, and while the babies played we went over the plan meticulously – we would only get one chance.

After an hour Sally left wearing my clothes, with her shopping in my buggy, Rene tucked my baby in with hers and walked off to the Mall, while I jogged across the park, my face hidden in Sally’s hoodie.

That evening we celebrated in the Refuge – Dave is no match for three women playing the shell game.
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Here we are again, another week, another raft of stories courtesy of Rochelle at   https://rochellewisoff.com/  who manages our group of writers, and thanks to Sandra Crook who took the photograph.
For any reader who doesn't understand my reference, the shell game is a sleight of hand trick played with three conical shells and a pea, similar to Find the Lady.
Local Author Fair - and if anyone is in Crawley on Saturday 13th OCtober, come and visit my stall at the Library (opposite Debenhams) where I shall be giving away more of my flash fiction.

27/09/2018

LATE FOR WORK - a tale of consequences, in one hundred words


LATE FOR WORK

Gerald pedalled furiously along the dark streets, shot through an amber light, and collided with a delivery van, breaking his wrist.
Gerald’s absence left Dennis, the night porter, to set the breakfast bar, and he neglected to turn on the coffee urn.
Deprived of her morning caffeine, the Foreign Secretary departed angrily for a Cabinet meeting, but her trailing scarf became trapped in the revolving door. Before Dennis could press the emergency button she was half-throttled.
As she was rushed into Emergency, Gerald watched the drama, totally unaware that his failure to get up on time had averted a war.
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It took me ages to come up with a story this week,but I've been busy helping with the local Arts Festival, so I hope you'll forgive any shortcomings.
Thanks to https://rochellewisoff.com/  Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers, and to Yvette Prior for the photograph of a lovely mosaic floored lobby.

20/09/2018

ALFREDO'S - a story in one hundred words


ALFREDO’S

There’s a secret hidden in the side streets of our town, known only to the locals. Tourists are directed to promenade restaurants with music, free entertainment and lights reflected in the night-dark sea.

On rare occasions some will venture further and discover Alfredo’s, where they will be shown to a table outside – only the kitchen is indoors – and given a carafe of local wine. There is no menu. Alfredo serves whatever his sons caught that day – sardines, swordfish, octopus – with salty potatoes, salsa picante and tomato salad.

The alley breeze keeps the diners cool, and if it rains there are Alfredo’s famous umbrellas.
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This week's image - thank you, Dale Rogerson - took me straight back to Tenerife, where there is a restaurant much as I describe here. It is in Los Cristianos, called El Cine, and has been in the same family since the 1970s. We spent many a happy evening there, usually with family or friends. 
Thanks to https://rochellewisoff.com/  for hosting Friday Fictioneers. If you follow the links from her blog you can read how other writers interpreted the image.

I have been busy these past few weeks with a house move, and apart from a prodigious amount of painting still to do, we are settled in comfortably for the duration. ie - until they carry us out! See my previous post for a photo.

13/09/2018

HANS AND GRETA - a one hundred word story for Friday Fictioneers


HANS & GRETA

Every hour, on the hour, the carved doors swung open and Hans moved smoothly to meet Greta. Watched by townsfolk and tourists alike, they leaned towards each other to kiss, then danced to a foot-tapping peasant tune before parting company.

Behind those closed doors Hans and Greta lived in a comfortless world of jigsaw lights and intricate draughts, fires that never stayed lit, curtains blown frantic by every breeze, and constant chest infections.

One bitter winter day the doors opened on emptiness - relieved only by a hand-painted sign: ‘Couple wanted. Free accommodation. Must be reliable.’
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Here I am again, after a week off writing while we moved house. We are now living in an old cottage and, although I have some painting and other odd jobs still to do, we are settling in. There are twenty of them, owned by a Village Trust, and we are very lucky to have been offered one.
Must dash - I now have a garden and it's in need of some TLC  :)


30/08/2018

VANITY, THY NAME IS WOMAN

VANITY, THY NAME IS WOMAN


Sadie can’t pass a mirror without stopping to gaze at her reflection.
“You’re vain,” I tease her, but it’s more than vanity, it’s obsession.
First thing you see when you walk into her house is a full-length image of yourself. They’re everywhere – plain mirrors, ornate, large and small. No pictures, just mirrors.

Anyhow, I hadn’t seen Sadie for a week so I called round and let myself in. No sign of her, but all those mirrors spooked me.
As I opened the front door I spotted Sadie waving at me - from behind the hall mirror.
I slammed the door and ran.
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My house is full of mirrors too - perhaps that's why I had to write a story despite being in the throes of moving house! The two men with a van arrive at 8.30 tomorrow morning to move our furniture 50 yards along the road, and we've spent the past few weeks renovating the new cottage. Well, not new, about 150 years old, but it's new to us! And the past few days have been spent shifting boxes of books, clothes and kitchen stuff, and all the cr*p we've accumulated in three years of living here. 
Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers - please forgive me if I fail to comment on your blog - I am by no means certain the internet will move as quickly as we will!