SANDCASTLE - flash fiction in 100 words


Kate and Robert stared in dismay at the weather-stained house. It wasn’t the luxurious holiday home of the photographs, but the website had promised unlimited wine, so they ventured inside.

The gate clanged shut like prison doors and the interior was gloomy as a dungeon. Light-bulbs flickered, electric points sparked, and the bed was damp. When they couldn’t even open the cellar door they left to find a hotel.

Unseen, the caretaker watched their departure from a cellar window. The absentee owners hadn’t paid her for years – she wasn’t about to share their vintage wine with any putains Anglais. 

I had to resort to a dictionary this week, as 16 years of learning and speaking Spanish has buried most of my French!  Thank you to ce.ayr for the photograph and to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers' Flash Fiction each week on her blog  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/

An odd thing I have noticed this week - after at least a year of boasting 103 followers - mainly due, I fear, to the A-Z Challenge which I entered for three years - my numbers have suddenly dropped to 95. Should I take this personally or are people simply indulging in an early Spring Clean?
Whatever the reason, thank you for being one of the remaining few. Please leave a comment to let me know you've visited. And no, I will not be entering the A-Z Challenge this year, but I wish the thousands who do the very best of luck.


THE CLEANER - a 100 word story


Nobody laid a finger on the clavichord after Charlotte’s accident, and when Sir Richard opened the house to the public the instrument was imprisoned behind posts and silken ropes. It languished forgotten, yearning for the past glory of its parlour days. 
Each year its soul died a little.

Then Leo joined the cleaning staff. A cheerful lad, he tended the antiques wielding his polishing cloths and loving everything equally - until one evening sunset turned the clavichord to gold. 
Glancing round guiltily, Leo lifted the lid, and as music flowed out into the empty room the clavichord’s soul sang again.
I wish I had room in my home for this beautiful little instrument - there's even space for a glass of wine to one side!  This photo comes courtesy of Jan W Fields, and was posted on this blog https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ as a prompt for Friday Fictioneers - an online group of roughly a hundred writers worldwide who use the weekly prompt to write 100-word stories.
This is not as easy as you might think - follow the blue frog trail from Rochelle's site to read some other stories. After you've commented on mine, of course!


BRAMBLE JELLY - a story in 100 words

Prompted by the photograph on Rochelle's blog  https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ , this story is written for Friday Fictioneers. To read how other writers from around the world interpreted the picture, follow the Blue Frog trail from Rochelle's page.

I missed last week through illness but now I'm back and this week's photo is exactly like a flight of steps in my village! So here is my story - please leave a comment to let me know I'm not talking to myself!


The steps opposite the bakery led to the very best blackberries, but everyone knew they were reserved for Old Betty - her bramble jelly was reputed to cure everything from coughs to cancer.

Trudi, recently arrived in the village, scoffed, “Peasant nonsense!” and set out with visions of blackberry-and-apple crumble for dinner. She picked fast, the brambles parted easily to let her reach the plumpest berries, and her basket was soon full. Wearing a self-satisfied smirk she turned to leave, but there was no way out of the thicket.

The villagers agreed that Old Betty’s bramble jelly was even more effective that year.


THE HOUSE ON FULTON - a 100 word story


The photograph had obviously been in the agent’s window for months, and normally we would never have considered Fulton, but if we didn’t find somewhere soon our buyer would drop out.

When we saw the shabby house on the run-down street my heart sank, but I said to Maria, “It’s got a garden for the kids - and it’s all I can afford.”
She gave me one of her looks and climbed the porch steps, but then she turned to the agent and said, “We’ll take it - it has a happy front door.”
 I will never understand women.
Happy New Year to everyone!  This first post of 2016 is another entry to the Friday Fictioneers, prompted by the photograph from https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  Follow the Blue Frog trail from Rochelle's blog to read what other bloggers have made of the picture.