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.