28/12/2017

SABU'S CHRISTMAS GIFT - a story in one hundred words

SABU’S CHRISTMAS GIFT

Sabu’s baby sister’s death from cholera was the final straw – wearing only shorts and rubber sandals he walked to the city, his mother’s wails ringing in his ears.
He swept a school in exchange for lessons, ate the scrapings of more privileged students’ plates, slept in his broom cupboard.

Each Christmas he walked home – each year there was one child less.
It took him five years to qualify, two more to earn enough, but finally he drove a rattling lorry home, where eager hands helped him unload its contents.

On New Year’s Day clean water began flowing from Sabu’s pump.
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Ted Schulz's photo prompted this story, although I rejected several other ideas along the way! Thanks to https://rochellewisoff.com/ for hosting Friday Fictioneers - and as I'm off to my brother's house for lunch Right Now I shall leave you with best wishes to a prosperous 2018 and sign off. Bye!!

20/12/2017

COFFEE, ONE SUGAR - a one hundred word story

COFFEE, ONE SUGAR

He was huddled in the doorway with a dog sharing his sleeping-bag, his hair spiked with frost. Alice put her latte down beside his blue nose and hurried on, too embarrassed to linger.
The next day she put the coffee into the man’s hands, and when his icy fingers touched hers Alice blurted out, “How do you cope?”
He hugged his dog. “We keep each other warm.”
“What else can I bring you?”
“A hat would be welcome.” He raised the coffee and surprised her with a broad grin. “And less sugar – it’s bad for the dog.”

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I tried to write a different story today but this one forced its way through! Last week I turned a fleece blanket from an aeroplane 'comfort kit' into several warm hats for a homeless charity - they were so easy to make, and I have more than enough blankets. Perhaps you could do the same in your neck of the woods this winter?
Thanks to Bjorn Rudberg - who else could it be? - for the photo prompt, and to https://rochellewisoff.com/  for hosting Friday Fictioneers.
Great excitement this morning! I received an email from Amazon telling me my first royalty payment will be sent soon! I must admit I wasn't expecting one yet - sales of my book A Volcanic Race have been disappointingly slow - and I won't be retiring on the proceeds or even covering expenses, but it's a first for me :) 
On that positive note, I must thank every one of you for taking the time to read my stories and hope that you continue to do so in 2018. HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!!

14/12/2017

MAN IN BLACK - a story in one hundred words

MAN IN BLACK

The man in black’s sudden appearance at the meeting caused a ripple of consternation, but his demeanour made the Chairman of the Local Amenities Committee reluctant to evict him.
Within moments the proposal for a new bowls pavilion was rejected in favour of lighting the long path which ran diagonally across the park. Councillor Jarvis, the lone objector, was overtaken by a coughing fit, and the vote was carried unanimously.

The tall globular lamps became known in the local pubs as ‘that useless load of balls’, but all laughter ceased when aliens landed a spaceship on the brightly-lit runway.
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This dramatic image is the cover of my book A Volcanic Race, which is now available on Amazon in most countries, in print or ebook.
Written with a teenage main character, it is suitable for all age groups from early teens to pensioners, and would make a splendid stocking filler.
No stocking is complete without a book!
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Thanks to Sandra Crook for the photo of a lamp which inspired me and other Friday Fictioneers this week, and to Rochelle for hosting the group on  https://rochellewisoff.com/

07/12/2017

PARTITION - a story in one hundred words

PARTITION

A Government official drew a line on a map and overnight we became aliens in our own country. Old enmities rose like vomit – neighbours took our homes and land.
Driven by soldiers and by fear, we walked for weeks, carrying our young and old, until we reached this place. At first we were glad to rest, but the shelter was an illusion. Crammed in like market animals, fighting for space and food, the noise and stink were indescribable.
Then disease came – weakened by starvation, many died, and our prison oozed despair.

The day I buried my babies, even the trees wept.
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The plight of refugees in many parts of the world is close to my thoughts while we prepare for a peaceful family Christmas here, so Dale Rogerson's photo prompted me to write this story for Friday Fictioneers, hosted my the lovely Rochelle on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/

My book A Volcanic Race, which is for sale now on Amazon, is also available to borrow from the town library in Ingersoll, Ontario, which is some consolation in view of my failure to get a copy - or even a leaflet - into my local library. I would also be delighted if some of you FFers bought a copy of your own and posted a review :)

29/11/2017

INCOMERS - a story in one hundred words

INCOMERS

The farmhouse was just within their budget, so Beth and Steve bought it, reasoning they could do much of the renovation themselves.
The owner of the post-office-cum-stores said morosely. “Hear you’ve bought the old Arnold place. Hope you know what you’re doing.”
Back outside, Beth shivered. “What did he mean?”
“Villagers don’t like incomers getting a bargain,” Steve said, “They’ll come round when we offer them work.”

But no tradesman would enter the property and they had to do everything unaided. It was weeks before they started clearing the outhouses.
That was when they discovered the bloodstains in the bath.
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Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers, and 'What's His Name' for the photo prompt. I must also thank those people who have already bought a copy of my book A Volcanic Race - now is the time of year to buy gifts for friends and family, so why not a book? Positive reviews will encourage me in my present task of writing the next book in the series. It is available on Amazon in print and ebook. 


27/11/2017

MEMORIAL - a poem

PHILADELPHIA
To a memorial in the chancel
 I wonder if he called her Phil,
his sweet young wife
who died too soon
leaving three babies motherless.
Did the birth of her youngest,
Peter,
cause her death?
And did they blame him –
this child who never knew
her breast,
her arms,
her love.
.................................................................
Written at a Festival workshop in Holy Trinity Church, Hurstpierpoint. Local poets and artists were invited to pick a church feature as a prompt, and this memorial slab in the chancel was my choice. The poems were later published in the church magazine.

22/11/2017

THE GLORY-HOLE - a story in one hundred words

THE  GLORY-HOLE

Maggie knew that downsizing didn’t mean just moving somewhere smaller, but she hadn’t realised how much junk she’d accumulated. Every drawer and cupboard was jam-packed with forgotten stuff.
“Most of this should go to charity,” she muttered, wrinkling her nose as she flicked through her wardrobe, and she filled several bin-liners without a qualm.

The glory-hole wasn’t so easy, though there was nothing of value. She didn’t need Georgia’s christening candle, or the scarf she’d worn to Mark’s wedding, and heaven only knew why she’d kept those baskets, but how could she dump the clock that stopped the day Derek died? 
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Thanks to Rochelle for the photo prompt this week - I wonder if that cupboard is in her own home? - and for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/

My own week has been filled with the excitement of publishing my first novel on Amazon. A Volcanic Race is a fantasy suitable for teen to adult readers, and is available in print or ebook.  If you like my flash fiction, why not buy yourself a copy for some relaxing reading during the coming festive season?

16/11/2017

GANG WARFARE - a story in one hundred words




GANG  WARFARE

We never meant to hurt anyone.
Me, Ginge and Joey were the Denver Street Gang, with our headquarters in Joey’s garage. The four from Bennett Road used the old office building. It was only kids’ stuff – yelling insults, chucking stones, letting tyres down.

Then Ginge suggested it would be fun to smoke them out with that tin of sludge off the garage floor. How were we to know it would burn that fierce?

Three of them got out the back, but Kevin broke his ankle and couldn’t run, so they just left him.

They’ve got a nerve calling themselves a gang.
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Thanks to J Hardy Carroll for this week's Friday Fictioneers' photo prompt. to read other stories by our group of writers, visit https://rochellewisoff.com  and follow the links.
I have again been busy working on getting my first book published. The print version of A Volcanic Race went live on Amazon today and the ebook should follow shortly!! Once I've recovered from the excitement I can start revision work on the second book in the series.

09/11/2017

DEPARTMENT STORE - a story in 100 words for Friday Fictioneers




DEPARTMENT STORE

“What on earth are you playing at?” The department manager’s voice was icy.
Walter settled more comfortably into the cushions. “Ain’t no sign saying we can’t sit here," and Doreen kicked off her shoes, dug her toes into the artificial grass and rocked the swing seat. 
The manager, aware of the amused onlookers, kept his temper with an effort. “This is a display, not a hotel.”
Walter handed over a fifty. “Doreen was missing home, and this is the only grass for miles.”

At closing time the manager asked them to come every day - sales of garden furniture had doubled.
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I am not a lover of cities, so I have a fellow-feeling for Walter and Doreen.
Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on  https://rochellewisoff.com/ from which blog you can follow the link to read other interpretations of Marie Gale Stratford's photograph.
I am getting close to publishing my first novel, A Volcanic Race, on Amazon, and I'm up to my ears in proof-reading, composing a blurb, and trying to get my head round publicity. So please forgive me if I don't read every blog this week :)

03/11/2017

WHODUNNIT? a mystery in one hundred words

WHODUNNIT?

Colonel and Mrs DuCole lived outside Nether Mills in the Manor, which was a large house, but not large enough for them to share harmoniously.

Gerald played golf badly, his daily failure to reduce his handicap rendering him evil-tempered, and he hated Mildred’s collection of china. Every surface in the Manor was crammed with breakables, ranging from priceless porcelain to mass-produced pottery.

The day Gerald scored twenty over par he snapped, striking Mildred over the head with a souvenir from Clacton-on-Sea. Their gardener phoned the police-station.

“I know who did it – the Colonel in the library with a candlestick.”
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Yeah, yeah, I know - it's corny, but I've had a busy week. I am within reach of uploading my book A Volcanic Race to Amazon and as it's my first venture into self-publishing it has been a tad stressful!
This week's Friday Fictioneers photo prompt comes from Sarah Ann Hall and was published on Rochelle's blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/

25/10/2017

MOVING MUM IN - a story in one hundred words

MOVING MUM IN

“It’s a lovely room, dear.” Judy’s lack of enthusiasm was palpable.
Penny took her hand. “What’s wrong, Mum? I thought you were happy to be moving in with us, and you can’t live alone any longer.”
“Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier. It feels like a step nearer the grave.”

Penny put a gentle arm round Judy’s shoulder and turned her towards the window. “See that sky? Sunset isn’t the end of the day – it’s just the beginning of evening. Now let’s have a cup of tea while we decide where to hang your pictures.”
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Roger Bultot's photo made me think of other kinds of sunsets and, as my own Mum will shortly be moving in with my brother, this story almost wrote itself.
Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/ from whence you can follow the link to read other sunset stories.

18/10/2017

TREE - a poem for Friday Fictioneers

TREE

A tree is always there –
immovable,
a living solid friend –
backrest to the solitary reader,
a shelter from sudden rain,
the hollows of its roots
a bed for summer lovers –
perhaps a hundred years
of memories.

You don’t expect
to wake one morning
and find its height
reduced to length,
the secret places
in its roots
indecently exposed,
and the unreachable boughs
sad and defeated
under your caressing hand.

When a tree falls
your whole world rocks
and the child in you
trembles.

It’s like coming downstairs
in the dark night
seeking comfort,
and hearing your father cry.
.......................................................................
On seeing Sandra Crook's photograph of a weeping tree, I immediately thought of this poem which I wrote thirty years ago in 1987, the year a hurricane tore down far too many beautiful trees across the south of England. As we have just had another big storm, it seems appropriate to post it here. And it has the requisite number of words!
You can see other 100 word stories via https://rochellewisoff.com/


12/10/2017

EMPTY NEST - a hundred word story

EMPTY NEST

That garden shed was a bone of contention from day one.
He wanted a man-cave to store his tools, while I envisaged a quiet retreat for writing. Grudgingly, we shared the space, each snarling when disturbed by the other.

Until sparrows converted his crusty, gnarled gardening glove into a nest. Stealthy as thieves, we watched noisy hatchlings feed and fledge. Indulgent, we brought insect gifts and wiped their crap off tools and books, naming each baby.

Then one morning they flew out to claim the sky.
We cleaned up silently, united in our grief, as bereft as university parents.
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Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog   https://rochellewisoff.com/  and to Douglas MacIlroy for the photo prompt.
I was away last week for three days, celebrating my daughter's birthday in Ireland, and did not visit as many other FF blogs as usual, for which I apologise. Must try to do better, as the teachers used to say - perhaps they still do?

04/10/2017

TROOP SHIP - a hundred words

TROOP SHIP 1939

“It’s no worse than when we went fishing that time,” Albie said, holding Bert’s belt as the troopship lurched into another trough.
“I were sick then too, remember?” Bert said, heaving up more of his breakfast.
Albie parked his whey-faced friend under a companionway and left him there while he walked the deck. The dark grey waves lifted and fell all the way to a horizon almost as grey, needles of spray lacerated his cheeks, and the deck was slimy with spume and vomit, but Albie pulled in deep lungfuls of the salty wind and laughed with sheer exhilaration.
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I believe this is the first time I've posted an extract from a book, but the mind of a writer is a strange land, and Ted Strutz's photo of a modern ferry took me to a scene from Helter-Skelter - a novel I am hoping to get published. I had to cut the little scene severely to fit, but I hope it shows how much Albie loves the wild tooth and claw of Nature.


Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/  You can follow the link from there to read other interpretations of the prompt.

28/09/2017

THE TEST - a story in one hundred words.

THE  TEST

Amita’s parents were modern enough to let her choose her own husband.
Sleek Ahmed had a large apartment above his shop, while Jamel was lean and sunburned from driving his lorry all day.
Undecided, Amita said she would marry whoever brought her the best gift.

Ahmed, freshly shaved, arrived first with a delicate gold necklace, promising to smother Amita in jewels when she married him.
She smiled noncommittally.
Finally Jamel’s lorry stopped outside and a huge sheet of corrugated iron clattered to the ground. “A new roof for your parents,” Jamel said, wiping sweat from his brow.

Amita chose him.
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Here we are again with stories for Friday Fictioneers, a forum hosted by https://rochellewisoff.com/ - you can follow the link from her blog to read other takes on the photo prompt for this week, which was taken by J Hardy Carroll.

21/09/2017

SHOES - a story in a hundred words.

SHOES

We hadn’t bought a map, preferring always just to explore, so we simply wandered through the town. Most of the narrow streets were busy with locals carrying shopping, calling to each other from balconies, or sunning themselves on the pavement – the kind of scene we’d hoped to discover when booking our holiday.
But one district was eerily quiet. Outside several doors lay a pair of child’s shoes, faded and filled with cobwebs.
In a cafė we asked about them. The owner crossed herself.  “Years ago the earthquake destroyed a school – some parents still wait.”
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How could I write about anything else this week when any parent's nightmare has been brought to life on our television screens? Thanks to Sarah Potter for the photo prompt and to https://rochellewisoff.com/ for hosting Friday Fictioneers.


I have been absent from FF for two weeks, visiting family in Canada, and last week's photo reminds me vividly of my son's father-in-law's delicious home-made bread, every slice of which had a hole formed by the machinery of his bread-maker!  

30/08/2017

THE SERF - a story in a hundred words.

THE SERF

The new labourer is an odd bloke. He was mixing cement by hand till I showed him how to use the mixer. Mind you, the brickies claimed his cement was the best they’d ever used, so he knows his job.

Took some persuading to wear a hard-hat, too, and his clothes are weird, but he’s a grafter – looked shocked when we stopped for a brew-up, and can you believe he’s never tasted tea? Said serfs weren’t given such luxuries, and Den asked him where he came from.
“This place,” he said, “Before cannons destroyed it.”

Fair gave me the shivers, that did.
.................................................................................
I always sense the ghosts when I visit a ruin, hence this week's story prompted by Roger Bulltot's photo on https://rochellewisoff.com/  where Rochelle holds court. 
As I am flying off to Canada on Friday to visit my son and his family, I apologise in advance for a) my lack of comments on other FF blogs, b) delayed or absent replies to any comments you are kind enough to make on mine, and c) my probable absence from FF for the next two weeks. Be good while I'm gone!

24/08/2017

FAIRY LIGHTS - a 100 word story

FAIRY LIGHTS

It has been a difficult year, weather-wise, and we have to make every sunny day count. Today we were working in the meadow, racing against time to finish before the rain, and we returned at dusk to find a temple had sprung up like a mushroom!
Its glowing walls beckoned and so, carrying torches, we followed our Queen, singing as we marched.
We were passing the timber structure when disaster struck. A human emerged from the temple, shrieked loudly enough to burst our ear-drums, and sprayed us with poison.

Only four of us survived – who will paint the flowers now?
...................................................................................
In the middle of a busy week, here is a touch of fantasy to lighten our lives! Thanks to Jan Wayne Fields for the photograph, and to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/   Follow the links from her blog to read other stories prompted by the photo.

19/08/2017

JUNGLE - a one hundred word story for Friday Fictioneers - on a Saturday!

JUNGLE

The en-suite was tiny, rendered even more claustrophobic by a window obscured by rampant creeper and a jungle-themed shower curtain. Joanne propped the door ajar and washed quickly.

She was rinsing her hair when a bird shrieked raucously – surely there were no parrots in Surbiton? – and when she turned off the shower she heard the rasp of tropical insects and a swish of wind through trees.

Joanne wrapped herself in an inadequate hotel towel and stepped out of the shower – onto damp undergrowth and fallen branches.

A snake slithered over her foot.
She screamed.

 ..............................................................................
I am very late on parade this week - life got rather complicated and inspiration flew out of the window - so this little story is the best I can offer before rushing off the give Mum her lunch. Thanks to https://rochellewisoff.com/  for hosting Friday Fictioneers - you can follow the link from her blog to read other stories.

10/08/2017

ORANGE TAPE - a story in one hundred words

ORANGE TAPE

The beach was packed, but an area at the far end was empty, cordoned off only by flimsy orange tape. There was a sign in Spanish but no guard, so Trudi stepped over and spread her towel, ignoring the shouts of a local.
“Can I explore that cave, Mum?”
Charlie’s ‘cave’ was the size of a small car – Trudi nodded, lay down and relaxed.
She was woken by a shower of pebbles and looked up, far too late to run - she didn’t stand a chance against a forty-ton rock.

It took them three long, hot days to find Charlie.
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It's only a story - right? Yes, but based on somethng that happened while I lived in the Canary Islands.  You can read the news report here:  http://www.tenerifemagazine.com/happenings/2-dead-6-trapped-in-los-gigantes-rockfall.htm
Thanks, as ever, to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers, and to C E Ayr for the stunning (!) photograph that is this week's prompt. Follow the links from https://rochellewisoff.com/  to read other stories.
And for anyone who read my blog two weeks ago, I am proud to announce the arrival of my third granddaughter - I am now Nanny Liz to five children, all delightful!

02/08/2017

FLOWERS ARE NOT ENOUGH - a story in a hundred words

FLOWERS ARE NOT ENOUGH

The bank’s letter hit Marylin like a train – Andrew had gambled away their house.
After a savage argument she worked in grim silence, carefully sealing the boxes before they went off to a storage facility.
One question ran through her brain on a loop as she worked – why would anyone in their right mind think a few pathetic flowers could make up for losing her home?

When the removal van arrived, she paid six months in advance, reckoning that would give her ample time to find somewhere new, maybe in Eastern Europe or even Mexico, before they found him.
                  .............................................................................
Thanks to Dale Rogerson for this week's photo prompt and to  https://rochellewisoff.com/  for hosting / organising Friday Fictioneers. Follow the links from her blog to read stories by other writers. You can also scroll through my own blog to read a poem with which I won a forum competition earlier in the week.

01/08/2017

AN EXPAT'S LAMENT - A POEM


I'M A WINNER!  A forum to which I belong had a competition in July to write a poem on the theme of HOLIDAY. I won with this poem, written in memory of our many years in Tenerife. I should add that all of our visitors were welcome, and that this is tongue-in-cheek - honest!

IT’S NO HOLIDAY FOR US – an expat’s lament

We have so many visitors
we have to take bookings.

They bring bottles of duty-free
to an island where booze is cheap,
and a pound of mild Cheddar
when we requested strong.

For a week they eat our food,
use our electricity,
and leave hair in the shower.

‘Your life is one long holiday,’
they say,
‘It’s all right for some,’
as we drive to the beauty spots
for the hundredth time.

Then they buy us a meal,
and we leave them at the airport,
before going home to sweep sand off the floors
and wash their sheets ready for the next lot.


27/07/2017

NOT MY FAULT - a hundred word story for Friday Fictioneers.

NOT MY FAULT

“It’s not my fault, Sir!”
“You were caught red-handed destroying it, Taylor.”
“Well, yes, Sir, but that little sh.. – er – boy Stone, made me do it.”
“How, precisely? You’re twice his size. In fact I recall you were sent to me last week for locking him in a broom cupboard.”
“Exactly, Sir, and nobody would have known about that if he hadn’t phoned home. Without that phone booth to hide in while he snivels to his mum, he’ll have to take it like a man.”
“As you will, Taylor – bend over that chair.”

“No Sir! Please Sir! Not the cane!”
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It's my opinion that some people take photos just for this forum, as J Hardy Carroll appears to have done with this one! Despite that, three separate interpretations popped into my mind, but two were about phone calls too personal to share, and the phone call that is on my mind at the moment hasn't come yet - the one about the arrival of another grandchild, who is already five days overdue.
So here it is - a light-hearted treatment of a dark subject. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog, from whence, after leaving a comment here -  you can follow the link to read other stories.  https://rochellewisoff.com/
ps. if you'd like to read another of my stories, go to p40 on this month's  http://visualverse.org/

20/07/2017

GOODBYE, OLD FRIEND - a bit of verse for Friday Fictioneers!

GOODBYE, OLD FRIEND

If my toaster breaks down or my kettle explodes
I throw it away – that’s a fact.
Now my car would cost more to repair than it’s worth,
but I’m really reluctant to act.
It’s only a useful machine, after all,
one of a million the same,
but we’ve been through a great deal together
and dumping it seems such a shame.
We’ve moved from one house to another,
been shopping, and visited friends,
it should go with a bang, not a whimper,
yet now our long partnership ends.
Hauled up by a chain to a trailer,
an undignified exit, boot first,
it’s own number hidden by temporary plates –
that final detail is the worst.
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This bit of verse is a fictional account - my own elderly car passed its MOT last month with flying colours - but the spare number-plate on the rear shelf of Kent Bonham's photograph reminded me of what we called 'gruas' in Tenerife (trailers on which garages would collect broken cars) and I had no further inspiration this week. Apologies to our leader Rochelle whose blog is @  https://rochellewisoff.com/  for over-running the word count (117!) but verse is particularly tricky to cut down.
Last week the number of people who were good enough - insterested enough? - to comment on my blog exceeded 20 for the first time in ages, so thanks to all those. Keep it up, folks!




13/07/2017

IRON, SILVER & STARLIGHT - a Flash Fiction in 100 words

IRON, SILVER & STARLIGHT

During untold eons the demon slept, sealed for its sins in stone and held by three curses – until a quarryman’s iron wedge revealed it to the world.
One curse lifted, it was abandoned on a corner shelf, seething with futile rage and still clawing for freedom.

Then it caught a collector’s eye. A palm was crossed with silver and, blithely unaware she had broken the second curse, the woman took it home and put it on display.

When she turned to feed her child, malevolence stirred in the bottled starlight, flexed its muscles and broke free.
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I saw a demon and spirits in this image, taken by Janet Webb and posted for Friday Fictioneers by Rochelle. Follow the links from https://rochellewisoff.com/  to read other stories from the same prompt.

07/07/2017

AMAZON ADVENTURE - a story in 100 words

AMAZON ADVENTURE
“Here’s another fine mess you’ve got me into!” Stanley flapped his flippers angrily. “You should never have booked that Amazon Adventure. We were parcelled up, stamped with a bar-code and delivered by courier – so humiliating.”
“I thought the Amazon was a river,” Ollie whined. “And I thought we were going to be saved when that penguin wearing a backpack arrived, but he just changed the meter and ran.”
Stanley gave Ollie a withering look. “Well, the only way out of here is through that window.”
“Jeez! That’s a big drop.”

“No problem – we’ll just make a chain with these paper-clips.”
...................................................................................................................
For readers not familiar with British television, British Gas use penguins to deliver Smart Meters in their adverts.

This was the only story I could come up with after a week during which I was coughing almost non-stop. Yes thanks, I'm better now!


Thanks as always to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/  and to Clare Sheldon for the photograph that prompts all our stories this week.



29/06/2017

A PATTERN OF SIX - a story in 100 words

A PATTERN OF SIX

Six years I had been imprisoned – I was only a child when they forced me into marriage. 
It took me six days to find the key – by then I was starving and he was stinking.

The open door terrified me. I counted those water pipes many times before I took the six steps to the tunnel with its sheltering roof, dashed over the cross-alley to the safety of tall walls, and bought enough food for six in a dark little shop.


Only then did I return home to clean up the blood. 
Six knife wounds make a dreadful mess.

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Rochelle took this photograph and posted it on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/  to prompt Friday Fictioneers to write stories in one hundred words each.
If you go to page 81 on http://visualverse.org/ you will be able to read another of my  flash fiction stories.

22/06/2017

BURNING THE PASSPORTS - and TRAVELLING - TWO stories in 100 words each.

BURNING THE PASSPORTS

It was supposed to be a day of relaxation – drive into the French countryside, eat moules in a tree-shaded cafė, stock up with goodies and head home.

It was dark when we zigzagged through burning tyres, dodging masked men brandishing weapons.
“They only stop lorries,” Dave said, just before a torch blinded him and the door was wrenched open. Not a gendarme in sight as our wine hit the road and two men squeezed into the boot.
“We have guns,” they said, “Drive.”

If we don’t end up in prison I’m burning our passports.
........................................................................................................
And here's another story in a much lighter vein - two for the price of one this week!
........................................................................................................
TRAVELLING

I was happy in that quiet close – trees for shade, some lovely flowers, and the cats kept the birds at a respectful distance. The furthest we travelled was to a local market – nothing too adventurous, until we went on a day trip to France.
Miles on the motorway, far too fast – anything over fifty upsets my digestion. Then, after hours in a smelly ship, we’re driving on the wrong side of the road!
The moment we got home I moved out. The people next door never go anywhere – I’ll be much safer living behind their wing mirror.



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One of the treats I looked forward to when we returned to England was a day trip to France such as we used to enjoy in the 1990s. Though the news reports are no doubt exaggerated, with the turmoil that fills our present world, the very idea now fills me with dread.

The second tale? Well, that cobweb appears with predictable regularity on my car, and on one occasion I actually spotted the spider nipping back behind the mirror. Which I can't take out, so he stays, living an exciting life in the fast lane and catching flying insects in his seine net.

These stories were prompted by Ted Strutz's photo posted on Rochelle's blog for Friday Fictioneers. To read other stories, follow the links from  https://rochellewisoff.com/

15/06/2017

HEN PARTY - one hundred words for Friday Fictioneers

HEN  PARTY

Six of us flew to Tenerife for Leanne’s hen do. The apartment was pretty basic, but it didn’t matter because we were out every night.
In one nightclub this creepy bloke bought us all drinks, and when we staggered home in the pitch dark he tried to kiss me. Eeuuw!
He pinned me against a palm-tree – I still remember his long pointed teeth – but then the moon came out like a spotlight, there was a horrible screech, and a black shape flapped up into the tree. When I looked round, the bloke had just vanished.

A real weirdo, that one!
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Dozens of people from all over the world write a 100-word story each week prompted by a photograph. This week's photo was taken by Dale Rogerson. Go to https://rochellewisoff.com/ and follow the links to Friday Fictioneers, read what others have written, and perhaps to take part?