18/05/2017

EAVESDROPPING - a short story in 100 words

EAVESDROPPING

Joe’s passion was people-watching. Each night he’d regale Monica with stories of businessmen meeting hookers en route to a motel, writers seeking material, runaways looking for lifts. After a decade he considered himself an expert.

These three women, he guessed, were young mums on a break from housework, though their conversation looked rather intense for that. Joe took the coffee to refill their cups and heard one say, ‘I’ll drive – my car’s bigger.”

How nice, Joe thought, an outing, and left them to their plans. 
He was almost out of range when the blonde said, ‘Remember to bring your guns.”
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This story was written for Friday Fictioneers, ably run by Rochelle, where writers from across the world use a mere 100 words to tell a story inspired by a photograph. This week's picture was taken by Roger Bultot and posted on  https://rochellewisoff.com/

10/05/2017

STRIKE THREE - flash fiction

STRIKE  THREE

I only noticed strike one in retrospect – he forgot names and muddled dates, but doesn’t everyone?

The second strike was more troubling. I’d often catch him standing with a lost expression, clearly wondering where he was, but a gentle word would bring him back. Never one to listen to other opinions, he became angrier, and so illogical it was useless trying to reason with him.


But when he backed the car into the gatepost, stormed into the kitchen shouting, “Who put that blasted pillar there?” and then demanded, “What are you doing in my house?” – that was strike three.
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Those who have lived through similar scenarios will understand where this story comes from.
Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on  https://rochellewisoff.com/  and also for bravely sharing the photograph of her accident - I hope the insurance covered it?

05/05/2017

GHOSTS OF WAR - flash fiction

This week's photo reminded me of two places - the market square in Le Touquet, France, where we have shopped on many occasions, and the Town Hall in the novel I am touting round submitting to agents at the moment. I have resisted the temptation to use an extract, though some of the story filters through in these one hundred words.
Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers, and to Sandra Crook for her photo that prompted my story and all the others here; https://rochellewisoff.com/

GHOSTS  OF  WAR

Tuesday afternoon was not the best time to arrive in a small French town wanting lunch. Shuttered shops exuded an air of desolation and Gerry voted to drive on, but I wanted to explore.
In the square, fallen blossom formed drifts around a dry fountain and the air was deathly still. Fear gripped us as the flowers adorning the colonnaded Mairie were transformed into flags emblazoned with swastikas, and heavy boots stamped the cobbles.

Then a shutter banged in a sudden breeze, and the flags were flowers again, but when I touched the walls my fingers found bullet holes. 

28/04/2017

THE HUSBAND AND HIS BROTHER

TWO MORE STORIES for Friday Fictioneers - after reading yesterday's post, a friend asked for the other two sides of the triangle, so here goes -

THE  HUSBAND

All promises should be kept, but one made to your mother is sacred.
When Tony started school, Mum told me I should always look after him, so I raised my hand in the Scout salute and promised.

I knew he had a crush on Maggie, but when we married I assumed he’d find his own wife. Instead he hung around like a bad smell, even after the children were born.
Last week I finally told him to sling his hook, but today he came pleading to make up, with a bottle in each pocket.

I should never have drunk it.

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THIRD SIDE OF THE TRIANGLE

Maggie was mine ever since school, where I sharpened her pencils and protected her from bullies.

After we grew up I taught her to dance and she fitted my arms perfectly – until my brother seduced her with his money and flash cars. I still took her flowers, though, when I went round to share my home-brew with Richard. Then he got jealous of how close Maggie and I were getting and threw me out, but he couldn’t resist my beer.

After the funeral I tried to comfort Maggie, but she’s turned against me.
I wonder if she’d like parsnip wine? 


27/04/2017

BEST FRIENDS - flash fiction

BEST  FRIENDS

Richard and Tony were brothers who, with their neighbour Maggie, were a solid threesome all through school.
In their teens they went dancing together, drank cappuccinos and pooled their money to share bowls of spaghetti. Best friends – until Maggie married Richard. 
Tony was devastated. 
“I loved you ever since school.”
“Don’t be childish,” Maggie scolded, but he never gave up trying.

Over the years Maggie fended off Tony's many attempts to seduce her, hiding his brother’s disloyalty from her husband.
Then Richard died and she was finally able to eject Tony from the house, saying frostily, “Don’t come back till Hell freezes over.”
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Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers from her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/  You can follow the link from there to read other writers' stories.
A second thank you to Rochelle for using one of my photos for this week's prompt. A few months ago I awoke to a beautiful frosty, misty morning and went out with my camera, ending up in our churchyard. The teasels were particularly eyecatching with every detail outlined in white crystals.

TWO MORE STORIES!  A friend suggested I write two more stories from the points of view of the men in this one. If you would like to read them, click on my home page to find my post for Friday 28th.

20/04/2017

STILL LIFE - a story in 100 words

STILL  LIFE
The books, vase and shoes had adorned Helen’s desk for so long that they became known as ‘the still life’.
Even after her husband William died, as unobtrusively as he had lived, she met any suggestion to move them with an obstinacy that intrigued her children while also exasperating them, so after Helen’s own funeral they demolished the pile with almost indecent haste.

Pressed inside every indented section of the book Lily discovered a faded rose, Henry tipped a champagne cork from each shoe, and hidden inside the vase Georgina found a bundle of love-letters, all signed, Eternally yours, George.’
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All that weight had to be crushing a secret, didn't it? Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/ and to Magaly Guerrero for her photograph of the lovely flamenco shoes.

If you enjoyed that story, check out a slightly longer one, also written to a visual prompt, and published on Friday on this site -  http://visualverse.org/submissions/minotaur/

14/04/2017

FRIDAY MORNING - flash fiction for Good Friday

FRIDAY  MORNING

Last night had been enjoyable despite the threat of discovery – thirteen men breaking bread together and sharing wine. This morning, though, the bread was a hard lump in his stomach, and he could still taste the wine on his tongue, as sour as betrayal.
He stared into the mirror as if seeing a stranger. Was it really necessary to endure today’s horror? 
He got up, feeling far older than his thirty-odd years – what he needed was fresh air. Outside, his friends were waiting, with one notable exception.
“Walk with me,” he commanded, “It will be cool in the Gethsemane garden.”
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Pizza and wine - bread and wine - today's story had to be about Good Friday, the morning after the Passover meal. I think it's safe to assume that Jesus, who was human too, was also scared.
Thanks to Dale Rogerson for the photo prompt, and to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog https://rochellewisoff.com/ .  
Happy Easter to you all, whatever you believe.