29/12/2016

NIGHT BUS - a 100 word mystery

NIGHT BUS

Since Dave vanished weeks ago George was the only one left and he’d already been beaten up twice – sleeping alone was dangerous.

It was past midnight when a bus stopped and a voice called, “Free ride, mate?” Light obscured its destination but George didn’t hesitate. As he stepped aboard, the door shut so fast he lost his belongings, but then Dave emerged from the glistening mists that filled the interior and handed him a bottle. “Wondered if you’d be next.”
George drank deep, tasting strange flavours. “Have you been here all this time?”
“All what time?”
George stared. Too late - the bus was moving.
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Thanks to Rochelle at https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ for the photo prompt. The picture was taken by Shaktiki Sharma and I'm not sure what it is, but the configuration of lights made me think of a double decker bus! 
This is the worst time of year for rough sleepers - far too cold and too many drunken revellers - so perhaps one cannot blame Gerorge and Dave for taking a leap into the unknown. 





23/12/2016

CHRISTMAS EVE AT THE DINER

SAME PICTURE, DIFFERENT STORY!
I wasn't totally satisfied with my first response to this week's Friday Fictioneers' photo prompt, so here's another story. Do feel free to scroll down and read the other two stories I've posted this week.


CHRISTMAS EVE AT THE DINER

Sally’s feet ached. Christmas Eve had been a long, hard slog.
Lorry drivers had merely grabbed a burger without leaving a tip, every family had brought over-excited, noisy children, and someone had thrown up in the toilets.
The moment the last customer left, Sally grabbed the keys to lock up – with luck she’d be home before midnight – but just then a couple stumbled out of the darkness.
“Don’t lock us out,” the man pleaded, “My wife’s in labour,” and as Sally held the door open for them, one brilliant star came to rest in the night sky over the diner.

22/12/2016

NOT ALL SANTAS

NOT ALL SANTAS

I still believed in Santa until he took off his red outfit that time and hurt me – my own Pa – but this year I couldn’t face Christmas again so I packed my bag and quit
I almost didn’t get into Brad’s truck when I saw his Santa hat, but I was more afraid of Pa catching me, so I chanced it.
Then Brad stopped at this diner and bought me dinner and I thought, Here it comes – payment time, but he just showed me photos and talked about what he’d bought for his kids.
Not all Santas are monsters after all.
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Finding a Christmas story to fit the photo prompt wasn't easy this year, but I've managed it. Also if you scroll down you will find a slightly longer Christmas story I wrote at the weekend. 
Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/, from whence you can follow the link to read how other writers interpreted Roger Bultot's photograph.
Please leave comments on my stories before you go, and I wish you all a very Happy Christmas, and Happy Holidays to those of different faiths or none.


20/12/2016

IF IT HAPPENED NOW

IF IT HAPPENED NOW - A STORY FOR CHRISTMAS

“What’s up, babe? Your latte’s getting cold.”
“I’ve gone off coffee, Joe – get me an orange juice instead.”
Joe returned from the counter wearing a worried frown, “You’ve been moody all week and now you’ve gone off coffee – are you breaking up with me?”
Mary couldn’t meet his soft brown eyes. “You might want to dump me when I tell you – I’m having a baby.”
“I’m going to be a dad? That’s brilliant!”
“It’s not yours.” The words dropped like a stone between them and Joe leapt up so violently that other customers stared. “Whose is it then? I thought you loved me.”
Mary shrugged helplessly. “I do love you, Joe, but I didn’t have a choice.”
“You mean someone forced you? I’ll bloody kill him!”
“It wasn’t like that. This angel turned up and told me God’s been watching me and decided I’m the right one to have His baby. The angel said this baby will save the world one day.”
“And you expect me to believe that?” Joe’s voice dripped scorn.
Mary shrank back in her seat, her hands protecting her belly, and a tear trickled down her cheek. “I’m having a hard time believing it myself, but it’s the truth. I’m dreading telling Mum and Dad.”
Joe sat down slowly and wiped her tears with his calloused carpenter’s thumbs, “I can’t deny it’s a bit of a shock, Mary,” he said gently, “But I love you and we’ll work it out.” He grinned suddenly. “I’ve always wanted to be a dad.”

Written for no particular reason other than the need to do so! Leave a comment if you'd like to, and I wish you a very Happy Christmas. Thank you for staying with me and reading my blog through the year. Lizy.


14/12/2016

MRS JENKINS' REFUSAL - a 100 word seasonal story

MRS JENKINS’ REFUSAL

“Mrs Jenkins refuses to go to bed!”
The Care Home manager soothed Hyacinth. “I should have told you – she always sits up on Christmas Eve.”
.......
Alone at last, Edna sank into cherished memories of a youth spent roaming the moors, doing her best to fulfil her father’s predictions of a ruined reputation.
Gnarled fingers twisted her wedding band. She’d had to settle down eventually, but she’d always yearned for her lost freedom.

A sound alerted her. He had come every Christmas without fail for sixty years – her gypsy lover with his string of horses.
This time she would leave with him.
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Thanks to Rochelle for the atmospheric photograph and for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  from whence you can follow the link to read how other authors interpreted the photo prompt.



07/12/2016

RESERVOIR - a 100 word story

RESERVOIR

The city sprawl was visible from space, its airport runway a strip of light that silhouetted each plane’s takeoff and landing. The pilot of the largest craft didn’t join the circling queue, but waited confidently behind his radar shield.

Only when the city slept did he descend and slide stealthily beneath the surface of the reservoir, where their carefully-constructed outer shell blended seamlessly with the drowned landscape of abandoned farms and fields. 
Birds by day, bats by night, they explored, listened and observed.

They were in no hurry – there were several years to go before the invasion.

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Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ and to Lucy Fridkin for the photograph which prompted my story. You can read other interpretations by following the link from Rochelle's blog.

30/11/2016

RED SILK DRESS

RED SILK DRESS

Living on a sheep ranch, internet shopping was the best way to get groceries. Unfortunately, Dave’s new bride Stella didn’t stop at food. First his old furniture needed replacing, and admittedly his bed-linen was past its best, but when the red silk dress arrived he’d had enough. “A spell up-country will teach you to appreciate nature instead of shop goods,” he said, and drove them deep into the bush.

After setting up camp Dave went hunting, but when he returned he found Stella unpacking a box. “I ordered two comfy chairs,” she said happily, “They were a Black Friday bargain.”

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Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers - an online group of people who write a 100 word story each week prompted by a photograph. This week's photo was taken by Jan Wayne Fields. To read how other wirters interpreted it, go to  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ , after commenting on my story first, please!
ps. for those who don't live in England, this is the week we have been 'enjoying' that American import - Black Friday sales.

24/11/2016

CHAINS - a 90 word story

CHAINS

I was twelve when the trader threw my dead mother overboard and kept me for himself. 

He sold the beautiful babies I bore him, then took a younger girl to his bed and sold me to a rich businessman.

I cooked and cleaned for them, nursed their children, ate only their scraps. At night they locked me in the outhouse – on the back of that door I scratched every day of my years of slavery.

Until I was rescued I didn’t even know how to use a mobile phone.
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Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ from whence you can follow the link to read other stories prompted by CEAyr's photograph.

17/11/2016

FINAL CONCERT - 100 word fiction

FINAL CONCERT

Barbara always carried her own cello – the famous musician wheeling her large case on a railway porter’s trolley was a familiar sight in cities across Europe.
She never let an audience down, and although the Germans were advancing at a terrifying rate, she refused to cancel her final concert in Paris.
It was June 1940 when she approached the checkpoint, where the officer in charge waved her though, saying, “I heard you play in Berlin, Fraulein - exquisite.”
By the time the authorities found her abandoned cello, three small, bewildered children were stretching their cramped limbs on English soil.
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Yet another photograph to prompt 100 word stories from us, the Friday Fictioneers group hosted by Rochelle on her blog  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  
The photo was taken by Bjorn Rudberg, who will correct me if the instrument is a double bass, but cello is only one word and in this forum every word counts!

09/11/2016

STANLEY'S DELIVERY

STANLEY’S DELIVERY

“Come on Stanley – time’s a-wasting.” The voice was stern and Stanley grabbed the nearest blanket, reaching the exit before he read the label - Artist. 
His heart sank. Briefly he considered pretending he’d read it as Artisan, but with the supervisor watching, he yielded to the inevitable and took off.
Stanley searched the town carefully, but he had almost given up when he saw it. He laughed so hard he almost dropped his bundle. With a roof so glorious, this had to be the place, and with a practised swoop the job was done.
One baby artist safely delivered to her mother.
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I hope this step into fantasy gives you a few moments of pleasure -  and respite from this traumatic week suffered by the entire world, and especially America, which has my deepest sympathy.
Thanks as always to  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  for hosting Friday Fictioneers, and this week to Sandra Crook for the photograph of that glorious roof which inspired my story, plus the other stories you can read by following the links from Rochelle's blog.



02/11/2016

THE HALLOWE'EN STORE


THE HALLOWE'EN STORE

“Dad! Jason pinched me!”
“If you don’t stop fighting I’m throwing you out.”
“You wouldn’t,” said Carrie, digging her elbow into Jason’s ribs, and Pete lost his temper completely. It was almost midnight, the Hallowe'en party had been a washout, and he was exhausted. Screeching to a halt at the roadside store, he pushed them out of the car and drove off, reckoning ten minutes should teach them a lesson.
But when he returned they weren’t there – and neither was the store. Only a local drunk who told him, “That store only appears at Hallowe'en. It’s always gone by midnight.”

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I wrote this story in response to the above photo promt, taken by Jean L Hayes and posted on Rochelle's blog -  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  from whence you can follow the Blue Frog link to read other stories by Friday Fictioneers. After commenting on mine, if you would be so kind!

26/10/2016

WHO DARES? a 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers


WHO DARES?

Twice daily the guard from this end marches across for a shared smoke, the boom of his boots reminding us how deep the ravine is. Sometimes, while his back is turned, daring lads run on tiptoe to spray graffiti, their parents unwilling to forbid these small tastes of freedom.

But this morning the unthinkable happened – both guards disappeared. After an hour, two lads ventured across, and vanished without a sound. No yells, no shots, just a deathly silence. Eventually their fathers went looking, and they haven’t returned either.

We’ve been waiting all day. We don’t know what to do.
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After several attempts to copy the photo prompt, I believe I've managed it. I hope you can see the picture of an enclosed wooden bridge, otherwise my story won't make much sense! Thanks to https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ for hosting Friday Fictioneers - follow the link from her blog to read other 100 word stories.

20/10/2016

ROBINSON II - flash fiction

ROBINSON II

Ethan’s voice dripped scorn. “That’s not proper treasure!”
“Is too!” exclaimed Henry, “Tell him, Grandad.”
Albert lifted down the box. “These are souvenirs of my shipwreck. Sixty years ago I washed up half-drowned on an island, and I’d have died of cold but for that Zippo. Kindling and driftwood like this made a fire, then I searched the beach.” He touched the coins reverently. “There’s one of these for each body I buried.” After a moment his back straightened. “But I also found a fishing net, so I survived.”
“What’s that bird for?”
“To remind me never again to eat a seagull.”
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Thanks to Rochelle at https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  for posting Claire Fuller's photo as a prompt for this week's Friday Fictioneers. To read other takes on the prompt, follow the links on her blog. After commenting on mine, of course, and please feel free to scroll back to read my earlier stories.




13/10/2016

TIP SLIP - historical fiction in 100 words

TIP SLIP

These lights? They're for Maureen - she was afraid of the dark. I can hear her now; ‘Leave the light, Mammy.’ She couldn’t sleep without.

She waved from the corner that morning, like always. I’d just sat down with a fresh cuppa when the whole bloody tip slid down over the school like lava. 
It took them two days to dig Maureen out. Tore my heart to shreds – my babby who was so frightened of the dark lying in that black slurry

Fifty years she’s been up by there in the cemetery with the other kiddies, and I still keep a light burning for her.


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This week's photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers linked instantly in my mind with the 50th anniversary of the dreadful tragedy in Aberfan, Wales, when a mine spoil tip slid down after heavy rain and buried an entire school full of children.
Thanks to Rochelle for posting her photograph on https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  from where you can follow a link to read other stories. 
You can read about Aberfan here: 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aberfan_disaster

07/10/2016

SUSHI - a 100 word story


SUSHI

Kura hadn’t wanted to retire to the country, yet here they were.
Each morning Shin sat on the wall, fishing in the pond, his temper worsening as his efforts yielded nothing. Meanwhile Kura cleaned her spotless house, yearning for the sticky handprints of her grandchildren.

One day she bought a fish still gasping on the fishmonger’s slab and raced home to throw it in the pond. Shin caught it the next day and ordered Kura to prepare sushi, which she did with careful fingers.

A week later she poured Shin’s ashes into the pond and returned to the city.

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Thanks to Rochelle for posting C E Ayr's lovely photo on her blog  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  from where you can follow a link to read how other members of Friday Fictioneers interpreted the prompt.


28/09/2016

SHOPPING - a 100 word story

SHOPPING

“I don’t need it,” I said, grabbing my backpack. “I’ll be five minutes – it’s only round the corner.”
I gave Mum a kiss – I’m glad about that – and as I went I was thinking what to get for her birthday. She likes Milk Tray and Dad doesn’t, and I’d just decided to get her a box when this enormous truck appeared out of nowhere. Then there were sirens and red-hot pain and now this corridor. It doesn’t look much like a hospital.

I should have listened to Mum and worn my helmet – she’s going to be so mad at me.
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Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog -  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  . To read other stories prompted by the same photograph, follow the links on there.

22/09/2016

STAIRCASE TO HEAVEN - Flash fiction

STAIRCASE TO HEAVEN

As the afternoon sun slid towards evening, the starburst of light rose up the tower wall enticingly.
“It’ll be an amazing view,” the twins urged, but neither parent fancied the climb after a day of sightseeing.
“You go – we’ll be in the cafė,” Phil said. They watched from below as the two silhouettes shrank, four childish hands playing catch with the quivering reflections. 
Other eyes watched from above.

“It looks like a staircase to Heaven,” Jane remarked before heading for tea and cake and a nice sit down.
But appearances can be deceptive – Hell isn’t always underground.
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Why this lovely photograph taken by Roger Bultot prompted me to write this story is a mystery even to me. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  from whence you can follow the link to read how other wirters interpreted the photo.




15/09/2016

SLEEPING BEAUTY - a ghost story

SLEEPING BEAUTY

When old Maureen died, her long-absent nephew searched fruitlessly for her rumoured fortune and departed, cursing.
For years the cottage slept within its thorn thicket, guarded by savage nettles, while Maureen waited with the patience of the grave.

Then Clare saw the mossy roof from the road, fell in love, and bought it. Cheerfully they scythed the jungle, cleaned the windows, stripped wallpaper, and built a fire. When smoke belched into Clare’s face she merely laughed and poked a stick up the chimney to clear it.
Out fell a tin box.

Maureen’s ghost smiled with satisfaction – finally, a worthy successor!

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I have just returned from visiting my daughter who, with her husband, has bought a cottage in Northern Ireland. They had to chop down man-high undergrowth to reach it, and they've got their work cut out for months to come, but they're loving it. Hence this story, prompted by a different fireplace. Thanks to Shaktiki Sharma for the photo and to Rochelle at  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  for hosting Friday Fictioneers.
This is the NI cottage - its owners consider they've already found their treasure.


07/09/2016

YELLOW DRESS - flash fiction

YELLOW DRESS

The whirr of Mum’s Singer was a constant rhythm as I played on the rag rug, sorting her buttons, so naturally I chose Needlework at school.

We progressed agonisingly slowly from aprons to peg-bags to pencil-cases with concealed zips, but finally we were allowed to make a dress for the end-of-term social. I bought bright yellow cotton - although Miss Clutterbuck thought ‘young girls should wear pastels’.

In the evenings, to the heady rhythms of ‘Six-Five Special’, I sewed a shirt-waister with huge black buttons from Mum’s button-box, and at the social I glowed like a sunflower – a pastel wallflower no longer.
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This week's photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers plunged me into reminiscence and nostalgia, so thanks to Sandra Crook for the photo and Rochelle for hosting us so indefatiguably on her blog  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/

I shall be in Northern Ireland over the next few days with family, so please don't be offended if I am slow to respond to your comments. Oh, and I must extend a warm welcome to Perry who became my 100th 'follower' this week. :)



31/08/2016

SOUL CLUSTER - flash fiction in 100 words

SOUL CLUSTER

“Fifty people lived there,” the man said, “Including my family.”
The camera crew began filming as the reporter asked, “In that small house?”
“We couldn’t use the house – we lived in the cellar. “
“All those months?”
“More than a year.”
“What did you eat?”
“Dogs, rats, even grass. And there are always cockroaches.”
“No-one can live on that.”
“Many didn’t. My mother died first, and then the babies, but a bomb got them all in the end.”
“All except you.”
“I was fetching water. It is a small comfort to know that their souls reached heaven together.”
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Thanks to Rochelle for posting Vijaya Sundaram's photo on her blog  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  To read other interpretations of this photo, follow the blue frog link from there.

25/08/2016

CAYUCO - a 100 word story


CAYUCO

A fishing boat spotted the ninth cayuco of the year wallowing in the trough between massive full-moon waves, its occupants’ faces grey with sickness and terror.

Tourists took photographs as people struggled up stone steps to policia and medicos, silver blankets and bottled water on the harbour wall. There were disbelieving gasps when another layer was revealed – second-class passengers under the feet of the first, their hair and clothing soaked in brine and vomit.

Just one woman remained, searching desperately through the filth until she found, wedged beneath the lowest seat, a bundle that had stopped crying hours before they sighted land.

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The above photograph, taken by Georgia Koch, is this week's prompt for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle. When you've left a comment on my story (please!) you can read other writers' interpretations by following the Blue Frog link from her blog 
https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/
My story is based on fact. When we lived in Tenerife I witnessed similar scenes in  Las Galletas, the village where I shopped - these photos were taken at sea and on the beach there.








18/08/2016

SEA GLASS - a story in 100 words

SEA GLASS

Kanet had ruled for sixteen years, but when he saw his cousin’s army approaching he fled the island, leaving his daughter to be captured. Izobella cursed him as she threw her crown at his departing sail, and the gods blew up a storm which swamped the boat, sending Kanet to his death.

Izobella married the invading cousin.

Centuries later Bella, playing on the beach, found a sea-glass jewel, its wave-tossed surface dulled but still holding inner fire. She took it home and stuck it to a cardboard crown. 
“See, Mummy, I knew I was a real princess!”
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The photograph which prompted my story was taken by Janet Webb and posted on Rochelle's blog  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  Follow the link from her blog to read other interpretations of the photo prompts that are posted each week. You can also read more of my stories by browsing my archives which are listed on the right.
I spent some of my childhood scouring Brighton beach for pieces of sea-glass among the pebbles, and to me they were always jewels.

10/08/2016

ISLAND PICNIC - a 100 word story

ISLAND PICNIC

When Tom was young his parents used to take him over the reed-bed to picnic in the summer-house.
“Walk quietly,” his father would warn, “Don’t wake the troll,” and Tom would tiptoe across in delighted terror.
Later, Tom played the troll game with his own children, and even his worldly-wise grandchildren trod softly over the bridge.

One afternoon, at an island picnic, Tom collapsed. His sons raced homewards carrying him, their footsteps loud on the bridge, and they were halfway across when a massive arm reached up and snatched the body.

 “It’s what Tom would have wanted,” they said at his coffin-less wake.

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Firstly I am proud to tell you that I have had a poem accepted for World Poetry Day, which you can read under the 'Melting Pot' tab on Liz Brownlee's blog at:  https://messagepoemstotheplanet.wordpress.com/
Secondly I would like to say 'Welcome' to another two followers who have appeared out of the blue - thank you for your interest in my blog!
And thirdly, this week's photo was taken by Adam Ickes. I remember the photo, so presumably I have written a story about it before, but I can't remember when or what, so here's a new one! The prompt was posted for Friday Fictioneers on Rochelle's blog  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  To read other stories, follow the Blue Frog trail from there.

03/08/2016

YE OLDE COFFEEE SHOPPE


YE OLDE COFFEEE SHOPPE

Janine was so sunk in despair that she walked into the cafė without realising it hadn’t been there yesterday.
A coffee appeared and a hand gripped hers. “Tell me about it, dear.”
Mesmerised by the pulsating glow from a wall lamp, Janine spilled the whole sorry tale of love and betrayal.
“You want revenge,” the stranger said, “Give him this.”

The bottle hummed in Janine’s grasp as she walked home, but she mixed its contents into his curry without hesitation. She only came out of her trance when he lay writhing, but by then it was too late.


They never did find the shoppe.

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This photo, taken by Ted Strutz, is this week's prompt for Friday Fictioneers,, hosted by   https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  . My offering is a little spooky - follow the Blue Frog trail from Rochelle's blog to read what other writers came up with.
...

28/07/2016

TROLLEY DOLLIES - flash fiction

TROLLEY DOLLIES

“Will you look at her, Mavis! Stuck up cow.”
“Thinks she’s too good for us because Waitrose carries a better class of shopping.”
Betty sniffed. “She still gets dumped in the same car park, though.”
Mavis leaned in confidentially. “Those trolleys with the posh wheels are always getting nicked. I heard her cousin’s living on the streets full of a bag-lady’s stuff.”
“No!” Betty was briefly diverted, but then a chilly wind blew and she creaked dolefully. “She’ll be as rusty as us soon if this flood water doesn’t go down – my wheels are bloody freezing!”

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Janet Webb took this photo which is this week's prompt for Friday Fictioneers, the group hosted by Rochelle. Follow the link on her blog  
 https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  to read other 100 word stories.



21/07/2016

RUBBISH - flash fiction

RUBBISH

Charlie was happiest when the only sound was the shriek of gulls fighting over fish guts, but Jed wanted a mechanical winch.
“Winches got no sense, boy,” Charlie said, “Can’t feel what’s in the net like hands can.”
“We’d catch more.”
“Don’t need more - we ain’t greedy like some folks.” Charlie picked rubbish from the net. “Got more respect for the sea, too.”

One day the net was too heavy even for their calloused hands.
“Bloody container dropped off a ship, I reckon,” Charlie cursed.
 Cutting the rope, they returned to shore, leaving their discarded net wrapped around a whale.

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The photograph, taken by Jan Wayne Fields, is the prompt this week for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by   https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/   I am particularly grateful for the prompt this week as I have written nothing else, due to a cataract operation last week that's left me a bit disorientated. I'll be fine when the other eye is done, which I hope can be soon!
Meanwhile, please leave me a comment  and browse the rest of my site before following the link on Rochelle's blog to read other 100 word stories.

14/07/2016

ASTRAY - a 100 word interquel.

This week's photo prompt was first posted two years ago on Rochelle's blog,  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ . If you'd like to read the story I wrote then you will find it in my archive for May 2014.
I almost used it again this week, as I had a cataract operation two days ago and my eyes are a bit strange, but instead you have more about Juan, whose story I wrote last week. It's neither sequel nor prequel - is there such a thing as an interquel?

ASTRAY

“Take it to policia,” Juan’s mother would have said, but he’d left home to escape her discipline – he sold the bracelet he found in the street. Later, broke and hungry, he stole a handbag, and soon he was a regular at the backstreet pawnshop.

Juan lived the high life until he fell ill – his woman took his wallet and left. Starving, his fevered hands botched the next robbery, and under the uncompromising regime of jail he yearned for his mother’s gentler discipline.

The moment he was free Juan scuttled home, settled down with the wife his mother chose, and raised sheep.

07/07/2016

PRODIGAL SON - a 100 word story

PRODIGAL SON

In the narrow alleys of the barrio word spread like floodwater, and if Juan misbehaved his mother had her slipper waiting when he got home. “I heard what you did.”  At sixteen he ran away.

In the city Juan lived by his wits, and was soon smoking fat cigars and wearing gold rings. But when he was ill, no-one brought soup: when he fell, nobody helped him up: and when he screamed, nobody heard.

Aged thirty-two, he returned home, where his mother clipped his ear. “I heard what you did.”
Juan smiled happily as she washed the prison stink from his clothes.
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Thanks to Rochelle for this week's Friday Fictioneers' photo prompt. It reminds me vividly of the narrow alleys I saw in Tenerife, hence my Spanish hero Juan. You can read what other writers made of Jan Marler Morrill's photo by following the links here:  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/



This is one of my own photos from Tenerife - you can see the resemblance.

30/06/2016

ALIEN INVASION - a story in 100 words

ALIEN INVASION

They appeared out of a shimmering heat-wave and overran the town by sheer weight of numbers. The townsfolk were powerless to prevent them billeting themselves in every house.

The creatures loved heat, turning off air-conditioning and basking in the sun like lizards. They took many specimens from the countryside, but when they stole human DNA for an inter-breeding programme, there was talk of killing them despite the risk. Wiser souls said “Wait – Mother Nature will sort them out.”

It snowed unseasonably early that year, and as the aliens staggered to their ship, the townsfolk broke every egg into a snowdrift. 

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This story was written in response to the photo prompt, which was taken by Rochelle and posted on her blog https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/
When you've left a comment on my story please feel free to browse before following the links on Rochelle's blog to scores of other 100 word stories.

23/06/2016

FROTHY COFFEE - a 100 word story

This photo prompt - taken by Rich Voza and posted for Friday Fictioneers by https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  - had me stumped for 24 hours - should I go with the plane or try to find a story in one of the other barely-discernable features?
My ideas bank was empty, until a poem I wrote thirty-odd years ago came to mind. This story is a prose version.

FROTHY COFFEE

In the coffee bars of my youth we used to put the world to rights.

In our virtual reality no-one went hungry, because fertile nations grew enough food for everyone. Racism was a thing of the past in a world where all skin was cafė-au-lait. Democracy worked, politicians were honest, population was steady and disease controlled. War was banished – there was never, we agreed, a valid reason to take another’s life.

Sitting over spaghetti and frothy coffee, I believed in all this passionately – until I became a mother. Now, if anyone harmed my child, he wouldn’t live to see another sunrise.

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And here is the original poem -

KILLING

In coffee bars
twenty years ago
we talked endlessly
about the morality
of killing –

There was never
we said
a good reason
to take another’s life.

But now,
if anyone touched my child
or did to him
any of the unspeakable things
people do to people
these days,
I would kill them myself
with these hands

only one killing
wouldn’t be enough.

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So there you have it - two for the price of one! Please leave a comment before visiting the other writers of flash fiction by following the link from Rochelle's blog.

15/06/2016

EXHIBIT - a 100 word story

EXHIBIT

“Is this where I leave my exhibit?”
Craig curled his lip. “Not that old piano?”
“Careful,” said Paul, “It has a soul.”
“Rubbish!” Craig sneered, “And we don’t take rubbish.”
“This is the Tate Modern, isn’t it? Where they exhibit dead sheep?”
“We’ve moved on since then.” Craig was losing his cool – he was always being taunted about the formaldehyde sheep. “Your piano belongs in the tip.”
“You’ll be sorry you said that,” Paul warned, and walked away.
Craig kicked the piano.

With no doorman to move them on, a crowd formed as a dirge emanated from the unmanned instrument.
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Don't blame me - I don't choose the photograph! That was taken by John Nixon and picked for Friday Fictioneers by Rochelle who blogs at  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/    You can follow the link from her blog to read what other authors wrote to the prompt - after leaving a comment on mine, if you would be so kind!


08/06/2016

PACKING - a story in 100 words

Rochelle, the seemingly tireless leader of Friday Fictioneers is relaxing for the summer weeks by posting previously used photo prompts on her blog.  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ This photo taken by Douglas M MacIlray is the first picture for which I have already written a story, but you're not getting that - for one thing I can't remember what I wrote before!
Besides, the new story below is more topical, as my daughter and son-in-law are in the throes of packing to move from Tenerife to Northern Ireland. This story is for them. 

PACKING

Mandy was emptying the top of the wardrobe when something coiled around her wrist. Startled, she yanked her hand back, but it was only a flex.
“Alan! I’ve found that drill!” she yelled and tugged at the flex. The drill shot free suddenly and just missed Mandy’s shoulder, pulling her off balance. Instinctively she clutched the nearest shelf and toppled backwards with the wardrobe on top of her. Unhurt but smothered by clothes, she yelled again. “Alan! I need help!”
But Alan had found another forgotten treasure, and it’s impossible to hear anything with your head inside a diving helmet.


03/06/2016

A WINNING STORY in 200 words

Eash month Talkback, a writers' forum to which I belong, runs a flash fiction competition - entries are prompted by a word and restricted to 200 words or less. May's word was LAMBENT - I admit I had to look it up! - and my story came first. So I decided to post it on my blog for those who like to read my stuff.


HOMELESS                                              

The harsh light of dawn heralds the clatter and clank of dustcarts and delivery vans, waking doorway sleepers from the gentle oblivion of night. I light a cigarette, cupping the match to burn its light onto my retinas – a small fire to appease the hunger.

At noon, glaring sunlight strips layers from bodies that should remain covered, while sweaty faces complain about the heat and sniff disdainfully at the street people soaking up the warmth.

Later, sunset blazes over the roof-tops – a brief, glorious vision of a town burning – but when darkness falls there are only cold neon street-lights and shop-fronts.

And of course there are candles in jars on pavement tables. I hate the pathetic, fake romance of lambent light striking sparks from polished glasses – glasses which probably hold the same wine that I drink from my carton.

It would be easy to set fire to a tablecloth. That one over there, where the bloke is struggling to eat while the girl rubs fire into his groin with her bare foot. They haven’t noticed me watching – no-one ever does.

Imagine the flames, the breaking glass, the panic, the screams.
All it would take is one flicked cigarette butt.



01/06/2016

TROUBLE AT T'MILL - a 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers

TROUBLE AT T’MILL

When the mill-race dried up and the wheel stopped turning, the mill-stones couldn’t grind flour and the entire village went hungry.
“That’ll be His Lordship’s bloody lake,” said Chalky Miller, “I knew that dam would be a disaster.”

A week later the flow still hadn’t been restored, so Chalky and some villagers dynamited the dam. What they hadn’t accounted for was the weight of a million gallons of water. The flash flood spun the wheel so fast that sparks flew from the mill-stones, the flour dust ignited, and the mill burned.

The villagers stood by helpless, hungrily breathing in the scent of baking bread.
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A bit of light-hearted story-telling this week as an antidote to last week!
Thanks are due to https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ for hosting Friday Fictioneers, and to Piya Singh for the photo prompt. Do follow the link from Rochelle's blog to read how other writers interpret the photograph.