16/09/2020

MOVING HOME - a story in only one hundred words.

 

MOVING HOME

 Archie wouldn’t let me put him down – not surprising with all the upheaval – and I managed one-handed till Dad needed help with the sofa.

I thought his high-chair would be the safest place, and I was only gone a minute, two at the most, but when we came down Archie had gone.

 I knew who’d taken him – the bastard must have been watching us, waiting for his chance to snatch him.

 It was three days before he called, and I could hear Archie in the background. “My mother already loves him,” he said, “You won’t hear from us again.”

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Thanks to Roger Bultot for this photograph which instantly prompted a story, but Other Life in the shape of a friend for lunch got in the way and I've only just got round to writing it. I was briefly tempted to write a different story, as the pile of rubbish is reminiscent of the state my garden has been in this week while a new kitchen was installed, but I resisted the temptation to burden you with my life story!

What I will do is ask you to buy my latest book by clicking on the link at the top of this page. ROCK FESTIVAL is the fourth and final book in my Living Rock series - the first three books, A VOLCANIC RACE, WOLF PACK & LANDSLIDE are also available on Amazon. The series is a fantasy - not everyone's cup of tea, I know - but Rochelle has read them and enjoyed them, so they must be worth a try! 😊



09/09/2020

NOT OPEN - a story in 44 words.

 

NOT OPEN


“How much did you take today, Joe?”

“Nothing, Ma – ain’t seen a customer all day.”

“What – not one?”

“Nope – can’t understand it – I made a new card for the door, an’ all.”

“Oh Joe! Your dyslexia will be the death of me!”

 

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With apologies to anyone who suffers from dyslexia - a condition that can impact on all aspects of life.

This week's short story is REALLY short because I couldn't see any way to pad it out without losing the impact of my first draft. To read stories of twice the length written by other Friday Fictioneers and prompted by Rochelle's photo, go to her blog at  https://rochellewisoff.com/

MEANWHILE - may I remind you that the fourth and final book in my LIVING ROCK series, ROCK FESTIVAL, is now available on Amazon, along with the first three - A VOLCANIC RACE, WOLF PACK & LANDSLIDE.  To read an extract, scroll down to my blog dated 28th August. And then buy a copy, read it, enjoy it and LEAVE A REVIEW!! PLEASE!!


03/09/2020

BACK THEN - a story in 100 words

 


 BACK THEN

Grandma was always reminiscing about her youth.

Everything was better ‘back then’ – neighbours looked out for each other, you bought food locally and cooked it yourself, roads were safe to walk along, people read books instead of screens.

We’d smile indulgently and go home to order pizza and watch TV.

 Then the plague came. We helped our neighbours, discovering that the village greengrocer stocked more than we realised, and the corner shop always had toilet rolls. We took our exercise along undiscovered lanes, and someone set up a book swap in the bus-stop.

 We were almost sad when it ended.

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Just found ten minutes to write a story to go with CEAyr's image. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioineers so diligently for so many years!  https://rochellewisoff.com

We are in the throes of buying a new kitchen. The one we inherited was installed by the previous tenants themselves, on the cheap, and after two years in this cottage we are still not happy with it. So the time has come - savings aren't earning anything anyway!  Next Monday the contractor moves in to make a proper mess, which in our tiny cottage means we will be eating out for a week, purely in self-defence, you understand.

And one more thing - I HAVE PUBLISHED THE FOURTH AND FINAL BOOK IN MY SERIES!! If you click on the LIVING ROCK blog entry for last week, you can read the prologue, which I hope will encourge you to buy my books, all of which are on Amazon. And if you have already read the first three, click on the book cover top right to buy ROCK FESTIVAL.


28/08/2020

LIVING ROCK

 

LIVING ROCK series by LIZ YOUNG

PROLOGUE

Picture the scene – a world dotted with volcanoes and cut by rivers of fire that glow bright gold under a dark sky. Dinosaurs graze and hunt, tiny creatures scuttle, insects zip and pester.

Then a meteor the size of a small moon screams a fiery path through the fume-filled atmosphere and bombs a mile-deep hole into the earth’s surface. A billion tons of pulverized rock fountain skywards and the explosion flings an ellipse of mountains around the crater.

The impact creates a hair-line fissure that zigzags down the continent, and the land immediately spews lava in a frantic effort to weld itself back together. Burning vegetation pours smoke into the thickening atmosphere, the stars vanish, and morning never comes.

All grazing creatures starve and the predators follow them to a premature grave, insects eat their flesh until that, too, is gone, and there is no life left on the face of the earth.

For centuries the world is in darkness. The fissure scabs over in time, and the crater, two hundred miles long and girded by mountains high enough to be ice-clad even in summer, is gradually filled by rain, snow-melt and glaciers until it becomes a vast inland sea, from which three rivers spill south. The dust-cloud settles, and in this deep layer of fertile soil long-dormant seeds crack open, and the earth shines with new green.

Eventually a few fish crawl out of the sea on muscular fins and the slow process of evolution re-starts, but when water seeps into the underground lava-flows, the impatient earth mixes it with minerals to create instant life. Before apes learn to walk upright, a race formed of liquid rock has spread out to inhabit the lands divided by the three main rivers.

Near a tributary of the most easterly of those rivers stands a small mountain which, when viewed from the plain, resembles a recumbent giant. Half-way up its steep side, just where the giant’s mouth appears to be, is a cave...

 ......................................NOW READ ON...............................................................................

This photo of sea-polished pebbles proves there are many more rock colours than brown and grey, just like the Rockmen in my books. If this prologue has piqued your interest, you can buy all four books in the series from Amazon by clicking on these links:

A Volcanic Race: a novel: Volume 1 (Living Rock): Amazon.co.uk: Liz Young: 9781979086578: Books

WOLF PACK (LIVING ROCK): Amazon.co.uk: LIZ YOUNG: 9781790375080: Books

LANDSLIDE: a LIVING ROCK book: Amazon.co.uk: LIZ YOUNG: 9798618061049: Books

ROCK FESTIVAL: a LIVING ROCK BOOK: Amazon.co.uk: YOUNG, LIZ: 9798677548314: Books

I ALSO WRITE A PIECE OF FLASH FICTION EACH WEEK WHICH CAN BE READ FREE ON THIS BLOG. I WOULD BE DELIGHTED TO SEE YOU HERE, AND TO READ YOUR COMMENTS!

26/08/2020

FELIPE'S TROUPE


 

FELIPE’S TROUPE


Total darkness in the Big Top – the audience holds its breath, hearts throbbing in time to a syncopated drum-beat.

 A single spotlight ignites a man dancing in a kaleidoscope of red and gold, a second figure leaps into weightless flight onto his shoulders, then a third flies through the air to land like a feather on the flaming tower. The semblance to fire is so vivid the Big Top appears to burn.

 Then the topmost figure somersaults once, twice and off, the stack tumbles and disintegrates gracefully, all three figures bow and the clowns come in.

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I hope you can see these acrobats as clearly as I can see them? Thanks to J Hardy Carrroll for the image and to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog.  https://rochellewisoff.com/

I am excited this week to announce that the fourth and last book in my LIVING ROCK series is now available on Amazon. ROCK FESTIVAL, in paperback or ebook format. Follow the link to get your copy.

ROCK FESTIVAL: a LIVING ROCK BOOK: Amazon.co.uk: YOUNG, LIZ: 9798677548314: Books


19/08/2020

MY GRANDPARENTS' HOUSE

 


MY GRANDPARENTS’ HOUSE

I have no conscious memory of the house in Victor Harbour where my grandparents lived. Mum tells stories of her brothers sleeping on the veranda, and of me crawling out of the garden one afternoon and being found, after a frantic search, eating fallen kumquats next door.

 But after forty years in England I flew back, and as the perfume of eucalyptus assailed my senses at Adelaide airport, I recognised the land of my birth.

And that house, with its cool inner hall and gingerbread-trimmed veranda, seemed familiar – or maybe that was just wishful thinking.

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This week's image is so reminiscent of the house where my mother grew up that I couldn't write fiction - this piece is 100% autobiographical.

Thanks to Ted Strutz for the memory, and to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog. Welcome home, Rochelle - I hope your holiday was restful. X


13/08/2020

CARVED HEART - A STORY IN 100 WORDS

 


 CARVED HEART

At preschool, Sam and Josie shared paint-pots and finished each other’s pictures. They weathered the storms of senior school together, and at fourteen pledged eternal love, carving SJ inside a heart on a tree.

Then Josie went to university, promising, “I’ll be back.”

“But you’ll be different,” said Sam, sadly.

Josie became Josephine, MD of a successful company, her photo in the papers, while Sam built houses with his Dad.

Eventually Josie returned. “I should have stayed – we belong together.”

Sam showed her their carved heart, the initials divided by time. “Not any more, Josie – we’ve grown apart.”

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Here we go again with another Friday Fictioneers' image that prompted a 100 word story. I still haven't mastered Blogger's new format - why DO these site insist on changing thigs? - but my thanks still go to Rochelle for hosting us from her seaside holiday spot.

29/07/2020

BLUE - a story in a hundred words.

Foreword!

Memory's a funny thing.
I last saw this image in 2013, yet I recognised it instntly, and I also recalled the story I wrote seven years ago - I even remembered the title, so it was easy to find in my archives!
So here it is again, with only a couple of tweaks and no apology - I think it's worth another outing - what's your opinion?

Oh yes, and thanks to Jean L Hays for the photo and Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog.  https://rochellewisoff.com/
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BLUE

If I stand on a chair I can see people through the dolphin window. The postman’s face looks really funny all blue, like an alien. So does Daddy’s, but he turns pink indoors, which is so boring.

When Mummy came home from hospital last week I waved at her, but she didn’t wave back because she was holding our new baby. His face changed to pink in the house too, but I wished it would stay blue like my Smurfs.

Then yesterday Mummy screamed “He’s turning blue!” and the ambulance came.

Did I kill my baby brother with my wish?
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For thos who don't know what they are, this is a Smurf. My children used to collect little plastic models of them, and there are several films.




22/07/2020

MY MOTHER'S PAINTBOX - a story in 100 words

MY MOTHER’S PAINTBOX

Mum was never without a project – running up dresses on the Singer, knitting jumpers or darning socks in the evenings.

After we left home, she turned her talents to less mundane pursuits. I still have some exquisite lace she made for a petticoat, two of her wood carvings stand on my windowsill, and she loved painting watercolours.

She said she wouldn’t need her paints in the nursing home, and gave them away, but recently the activities have included painting and she yearned for ‘some decent paints’ – a hint of artistic snobbery resurfacing.

So I bought her another paint-box.

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Not fiction this week - the image reminded me of something so recent that I couldn't think of anythng else in the few minutes I had before rushing off the get my first haircut in six months! Thanks to Rochelle for the photo and for hosting Friday Fictioneers. And now I must dash!   https://rochellewisoff.com/

16/07/2020

PASS THE PARCEL - a story in 100 words


PASS THE PARCEL

When the social worker put Josie into my arms she was a silent, smelly little bundle – a two-year-old weighing less than our Christmas turkey. A life of being passed like a parcel between a drug-addict mother and a series of careless minders had almost killed her.

She slept in my bed that night and for months afterwards, gradually emerging from her shell, shrinking back when her feckless mother dropped in, but we fought off the woman’s attempts to reclaim her.

Now she's about to marry Martin – if he doesn’t treat her right he’ll have me to answer to.
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You don't have to be a birth mother to be fiercely protective, as I learned in my earlier life a a foster mother. Even some of my own children's friends became very dear to me.
Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog   https://rochellewisoff.com/  and to Jean L Hays for the photograph.

09/07/2020

KITCHEN SINK DRAMAS - 3 stories in 100 words each

KITCHEN SINK DRAMAS

This week's photograph prompted three stories, two of them also inspired by a friend's recent experience of the strain lockdown can put on relationships. I hope none of them are too close to home for any of my readers.
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KITCHEN SINK DRAMA 1

“I really don’t understand why you did it, after all these years.”
“That’s just it – years of the same irritating little things are like Chinese water torture, drip-drip-dripping until you could scream. At breakfast, for example, leaving the lid off the marmalade, toast crumbs in the butter...”
“I agree that’s annoying, but...”
“Dirty socks on the floor, changing channels without asking...”
“My Jim does that too, but even so...”
“He promised to fix the tap months ago. I was making pastry with that drip getting louder and louder – it was just his bad luck I was holding the rolling pin.”
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KITCHEN SINK DRAMA 2

Molly looked at Sadie in horror. “You’ll have to get married.”
“What – and spend my life chained to the kitchen sink? No way!”
“In my day nice girls saved themselves.”
“We’re not in the Dark Ages now, Mum.”
“Have you told him?”
“Yes – he wants us to get married, but I turned him down. He did this on purpose because I want a career.” Sadie’s voice softened. “It’ll be okay, Mum – you’ll get your grandchild, just not the mother-of-the-bride hat.”
Molly’s eyes strayed to the cupboard where she kept her knitting patterns and Sadie knew she was weakening.
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 KITCHEN SINK DRAMA 3

Belinda put his plate in front of Dennis – three bacon rashers exactly in line with two perfectly-browned sausages, crisp fried bread cut into meticulous triangles, the egg trimmed to a neat circle. She poured his tea and started the washing up – Dennis hated eating with used pans in sight.

His shout startled her, “This is dirty!” and a knife whizzed past her head to land in the bowl, cutting her hand. A bubble of rage burst in Belinda’s chest and, without conscious thought, she threw it back, watching with detached interest its slow-motion flight towards her husband.
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So there you have it, folks! My first impression of the photo was that it was of my own kitchen, but in fact it has more cupboards than mine, and any resemblance to my own home life is purely accidental. Thank you if you have read all three - feel free to state a preference - and apologies to Rochelle for breaking the 100 word rule - I don't do it often. :)


02/07/2020

ON THE HUNT - a story in 100 words


ON THE HUNT

He sits slumped in the outpatients’ department like a fly-tipped sack in a side road. Drunk, or high on something, though it looks more low than high – a life out of control.
Alone.
I sit beside him, inhaling the sour, unwashed smell like perfume.
A nurse asks, “You with him?” Hopeful.
I shrug. “Sort of.” Non-committal.
She shines a light in his eyes. “He’ll live.” Looks round the crowded Saturday night room and sighs. “Take him home.”
I scrawl an illegible signature, heave him upright. “Come on, mate.”
The nurse moves on, he's forgotten already.
He’s mine now.
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Control was the word that sprang out of this otherwise unremarkable scene, though as it was Canada Day yesterday and my youngest lives over there with his Canadian wife and daughters, I was reminded of the wide Canadian roads and traffic signs waaaay up high - very strange to my English eyes. I guess they have to be that high up because the trucks are so enormous!
Thanks to Na'ama Yehuda for the photograph and to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog, from whence you can follow the frog link to read other stories.  https://rochellewisoff.com/

24/06/2020

NUMBER ONE - a story in 100 words.


NUMBER ONE

Sean took over the business from his father when he was twenty, after working his way up from sweeping the floor, so when the pandemic forced a shut-down he was devastated. No money coming in and rent still going out – a disaster.
As the rules slowly relaxed he bought masks and gloves, deep-cleaned the premises, posted a notice.

On The Big Day there was a long queue – his clients hadn’t deserted him after all. Unwilling to turn anyone away, he let them in four at a time, shampooed them quickly and sped along the line, giving every head a number one.
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I have literally no idea what Todd Foltz'a photo is, but to me it looks like a line of bald heads. Once that idea was in my mind, the rest was easy - possibly fuelled by the fact that today I made a hair appointmentfor the first time in months.
Thanks to Rochelle for hosting us on her blog, https://rochellewisoff.com/

18/06/2020

WINDOWS - a story in 100 words


WINDOWS

     Looking out of this window I am twenty again, in my first flat, swallowing tears and trying not to admit I’m homesick to Dad, who is fixing my aerial. I might stay here all day.
Yesterday’s window was open to Mediterranean air, the rattle of palm leaves in the breeze and click of cicadas.
Tomorrow – who knows? As long as my memory still functions I can be anywhere I choose. Anywhere other than here.

I always imagined my last sight on this earth would be my children’s faces, not bare white walls, zigzag lines on a screen, and masked strangers.
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I'm still here, still fighting, still writing - though not as much as I should, but this pandemic seems to have frozen some of my brain! One bright note is that I am now in a bubble with my daughter and granddaughter, and was able yesterday to pick our five-year-old up from school, bring her home with me, and dig potatoes. Simple joys make life worth living.
This week's photo prompt took me to a darker place, somewhere I hope not to experience personally, but I know people who have been there.
Thanks to Rochelle for the photo and for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/

10/06/2020

HOME SCHOOLING - a story in 100 words


HOME SCHOOLING

It was only something to occupy the kids during lockdown, but it also qualified as home-schooling – a blend of science, maths and art.
Our old tent made the balloon, the guy-ropes attached to Nan’s wicker washing basket. Using a blow-torch to heat it was a bit risky but it worked, and when our balloon appeared above the garden fence, the neighbours cheered. Unfortunately, when Bob from next door offered Dad a beer he let go of the rope.
It didn’t fly far, of course, and the police were very understanding, but Tiddles was traumatised – she never could resist a basket.
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I do hope you are all surviving the pandemic situation in whichever country you live. One of my grandchildren has returned to school, albeit to a class of seven rather than the thirty she is used to, but the older ones must wait until September - that's a heck of a long break in their education.
My mother is still isolated in her Care Home, and although I have been able to see her twice recently by sitting two metres apart in their garden, I can't give her the hug she so desperately wants.
So I have resorted to humour this week just to cheer everyone up - I hope it worked? Thanks to Rochelle for hosting FF and to Ronda Del Baccio for the photograph that prompted this week's stories, more of which you can read by going to  https://rochellewisoff.com/
PS - Tiddles is a common name for a cat - not a child!

03/06/2020

FIRST DAY OUT OF LOCKDOWN


FIRST DAY OUT OF LOCKDOWN

The first day out of lockdown we met in the park, blankets spaced two metres apart. There was some good-natured picnic envy – “You brought Prosecco!” – “Are those real M&S pork pies?”
We wore disposable gloves to play Frisbee, danced in our own little spaces to a radio, laughed like we hadn’t laughed for weeks, and felt the tension drain away.

Until the Frisbee sailed over a hedge and the kids ran to fetch it.
If I live to be a hundred I shall never forget those screams, but the silence that followed was far worse.
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This story wrote itself in five minutes, which was a relief because I couldn't write anything last week! Also it's exactly 100 words without any editing, so I'll go with it. Hope you're all okay, lockdown, rioting, stress notwithstanding? I was allowed to visit Mum in the garden of her nursing home on Monday, and hope to see my kids later in the week, so things are slightly better.
Thanks to Rochelle for hosting FF through thick and thin, and to Ted Strutz for the photgraph that prompted my story - and all the others on    https://rochellewisoff.com/




20/05/2020

WATER MUSIC - a story in 100 words


WATER MUSIC

On holiday in Tenerife, who could resist a free concert?
It didn’t take them long to get ready – the Spanish waiter told them bikinis and sarongs were the norm. They started on the vodka in their hotel, mixed generous slugs into bottles of Coke, and went to the beach.
It was heaving, the music loud, the atmosphere electric.

They danced on sand that radiated the day’s heat, and watched the lights sparkle on the sea. It looked different at night – mysterious – and they dropped their sarongs to slip into its silken coolness.

Beach cleaners found their sarongs at dawn.
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There were many beach concerts when I lived in Tenerife, though I chickened out of going to one - I have more respect for my hearing! The sand needed sifting afterwards, despite the banning of glasses or bottles, but how could police control a jam-packed crowd of holiday-makers? Swimming at night, when drunk, is not a good idea either.
Thanks to Rochelle for running our group of flash writers, and to CE Ayr for his photograph she used as a prompt on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/  If you'd like to join our happy throng, click on the froggy on there which will take you to the link page.

I hope you are all well, staying safe, washing your hands, and ignoring idiotic advice to inject houshold substances or take unprescribed medicine!
Yes, I'm talking like a mum, but today I'm allowed to - it's my son's birthday, and he's of an age that reminds me how ancient I am :(

14/05/2020

HATS - a rant for these times.

I could rant about many things at the moment, including the overuse of words such as 'unprecedented', 'challenging' and 'iconic', but enough people are doing that already, and I don't like talking politics online.
Jan Wayned Fields' photo which Rochelle posted on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/2020/05/13/15-may-2020/hats/  for Friday Fictioneers this week didn't excite my fiction-writing head at all, possibly because it's already full of the book I am in the throes of editing.
So instead you've got this rant, which I know resonates with many of my friends in a similar situation. If you're young and free, enjoy it!  .............................................................

HATS

I have worn many different hats in my lifetime.
Daughter, then student, followed by years as a bank clerk, in the days when we counted banknotes by hand, computers filled a room, and deposit ledgers weighed a ton.
Happily I donned the various hats of a mother – cook, chauffeuse, nurse, gardener, teacher, decorator and seamstress until, eventually, I was a grandmother and retired.

But now they want to force me into another hat, with the words writ large – ELDERLY, VULNERABLE, PRISONER.

That hat won’t fit.

29/04/2020

THE MATRIARCH - a story in 100 words


THE  MATRIARCH

Guiseppe surveyed the empty tables with a heavy heart. “If we can’t open again soon we’re finished! What will we pass down to our children?”
Maria sniffed. “What children? You are never at home to make any.”
As she flounced off, Guiseppe admired her beautifully rounded behind, the swing of her heavy black hair, and long-neglected need surged through his body. Perhaps lockdown wasn’t all bad, he thought, following her upstairs.

Weeks later Guiseppe set some of his tables out on the pavement, and Maria welcomed their returning customers with the contented smile of a matriarch.
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I am pleased I managed to write a positive story today! 
This has been a week of ups and downs - a granddaughter celebrating her birthday in lockdown in the Middle East, several days of wonderful warm sunshine followed by a day of pouring rain, family members feeling the strain while I am unable to help.
But I have also managed to put in a lot of time on my next book, the final one in my fantasy series - probably! I still have the idea for a follow-up simmering on a back burner, but Book 4 brings threads from the first three books together in a shattering climax. WATCH THIS SPACE!
If you haven't yet read the first three, now would be a good time to order them from Amazon, either in print or ebook format. A Volcanic Race, Wolf Pack and Landslide, by Liz Young.
Go on - make my day - buy them, read them, post a review! Please!

23/04/2020

PRINTEMPS - a 100 word story

PRINTEMPS

Paris! City of romance and glamour, where even schoolgirls are effortlessly chic.
The smell of wet tarmac each morning as bouches de lavage clean the streets.
An enticing aroma of fresh baguettes, croissants, cafe and cognac.
Metro stations redolent of Gauloises and garlic, loud with fluid French accents.
Secret geranium-scented courtyards bathed in sunlight.

And malodorous pickpockets targetting careless tourists.  Stale-breath’d beggars slumped on Montmartre steps. Putrid bins crammed into ruelles teeming with thin cats.

But this spring the city is odourless, every cobbled square deserted.
Paris consigned to the rubbish heap by a bat - or possibly one dropped petri dish.



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My first visit to Paris was in 1967 on honeymoon, so I saw it through rose-tinted glasses. I still have one tiny cognac glass as a memento of those cafe-cognac breakfasts - so bohemian we felt! Ten years later we saw a different side of the life that teemed there, in the company of a French teenager and her boyfriend. All cities are two-faced though, and now I find the crowds claustrophobic - I do not envy those poor souls on lockdown in those empty streets. We live in a small town in the country, where my daily walks are full of spring colour and life.
Stay safe, everyone - we have a long way to go before this is over.

16/04/2020

PIGEONS - a little hundred word story for Lockdown!.



PIGEONS

I bought this apartment for the view, which now is all I have – I watch neighbours I have never met, enjoying the illusion of company and talking to pigeons.
Overweight Guy is bronzed and fit after weeks of exercise.
I heard Barbecue Couple’s champagne cork pop and raised my own glass to them.

Last week food deliveries stopped. I ventured out briefly and scuttled home, but I brought back more than food. Even in this unpolluted air I cannot catch my breath.

I wonder if there will be any flesh left when they find me – pigeons will eat anything.

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I met a neighbour today who was feeling so depressed about his isolation that I had to write this story - sorry if it's not the cheery story you were anticipating. :)  I hope you are all survivng the pandemic as well as you can, and making the most of your enforced imprisonment to finish that novel?

In truth this image reminds me of the view from a friend's apartment in Tenerife, where the rooftop terraces were used for lines of washing, barbecues and even chicken coops.

Thanks to Rochelle for hostingFriday Fictioneers on her blog   https://rochellewisoff.com/  and to Roger Bultot for the photograph.

PS - Only a day since the prompt yet already I am WAY down the link page - no wonder I only get a few comments!

08/04/2020

WALKING WITH CHILDREN


This virus lockdown has made us relish our one permitted walk each day, and given us time to dawdle – to stand and stare.
Because I am keeping a two-metre distance from my little granddaughter, she walks in front and sets the pace. She stops time and again to admire a pretty stone, a bug on a leaf, a strange door-knocker, crayoned rainbows in a multitude of windows – things we would miss if we were hurrying. So Jeff Arnold’s photo of a rainbow is most appropriate.

Here’s a little poem.

Walking with Children

Rainbows spread their ephemeral beauty
Overhead, or further away over
Yonder, the fabled pots of
Gold at their damp
Bases always just out of reach.
Instead, children enjoy their
Vibrant colours simply because.



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THANKS as ever to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers. After you've left a (kind) comment on my blog, you can read other writers' interpretations of this image by following the frog link from her blog   https://rochellewisoff.com/

I trust you are all keeping safe and well, and finding refuge from boredom in reading and writing. See you next week, DV.

01/04/2020

TWEET - a story in less than a hundred words


TWEET

“Mum! Come quick!”
“What is it, dear?”
“I’ve just seen one – you said there weren’t any left!”
“Well, I haven’t seen one outside for so long I thought something had killed them all. Don’t stand so close to the window, dear, it might not be safe.”
“But it’s only looking at me, Mum.”
“That’s as maybe, but we’ve got better things to do. There are still some berries left on that bush – nobody picked them this year. Come on, let's fly!”

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Only 80 words this week in my story written in response to the image taken by Douglas MacIlroy and posted on Rochelle's blog.  https://rochellewisoff.com/

I hope you are all finding ways of surviving the lockdown, if you live in a country that has imposed it. We are keeping our distance from anyone we see while food shopping or visiting the medical centre, but exchanging many a cheery 'hello' with total strangers as well as friends. My village has set up a volunteer help group of which I am part, so we hope nobody in our community falls through the net of care.

Meanwhile I have started work on the fourth, and probably final, book in my Living Rock series, so if you haven't already read the first three, Covid-19 LockDown would be a good time to order them from Amazon.The links to all three are here:-
A Volcanic Race: a novel: Volume 1 (Living Rock): Amazon.co.uk: Liz Young: 9781979086578: Books
WOLF PACK (LIVING ROCK): Amazon.co.uk: LIZ YOUNG: 9781790375080: Books
LANDSLIDE: a LIVING ROCK book: Amazon.co.uk: LIZ YOUNG: 9798618061049: Books

Stay home, stay safe, stay well, everyone!

26/03/2020

PARISH MAGAZINES

A second offering this week, but rather than a story, this is a personal memory. I'm probably not the only one taking refuge in nostalgia at the moment.
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My father was a Church of England priest, firstly in Tranmere, Birkenhead, then in Rugby, Warwickshire and, during my teenage years, in Hove, before he moved to his final parish in Horsted Keynes, Sussex.
The clack of Pa's typewriter from his study was a constant sound during my childhood, especially towards the end of the month when he composed the Parish Magazine.  
In the corner of Pa's study, precariously balanced on a small table, sat the Gestetner - a huge lump of machinery built round a drum with which Pa printed everything needed in the parish. 
To produce each page of the magazine he would wind into his typewriter a stencil comprised of, I think, three foolscap sheets (that's slightly bigger than A4 in modern parlance) onto which he typed at considerable speed, having learned that skill in the seminary. Each strike of the key produced a corresponding letter-shaped hole, and if he made a mistake the hole had to be mended and allowed to dry before he could retype over it.
The whole thing was then threaded onto the Gestetner roller, the reservoir charged with ink and the tray with paper, then a handle turned to print off copies. If I was lucky he'd let me do it - the whirr-kerplunk sound of each revolution is fixed in my memory.
It all makes the little Cannon printer that sits on my sideboard seem not only effortless but vaguely boring!

PS - apologies for going WAY over the word limit too!

GARDENING LEAVE - a 100 word story


GARDENING LEAVE

Lynne was digging absently, her mind on her latest plot, when Ron’s voice broke into her train of thought. “What’s for dinner?”
Lynne sighed. “I’ve already told you twice – stew and cabbage.”
“No potatoes?”
“There weren’t any – shelves stripped bare.”
However early Lynne went shopping, the locusts beat her to it. Putting food on the table was hard enough without Ron’s constant whining. She stabbed her fork viciously into the compost heap and continued plotting.

A few months later Lynne’s novel was finished, the garden was awash with green, and Ron had potatoes coming out of his ears.

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For some reason I couldn't copy the photo on Rochelle's blog, so I've used a copy of the lovely painting she did from the same photo - I hope that's okay? To read what other writers made of the image, go to    https://rochellewisoff.com/  and click on the frog.

My story is not - repeat NOT - based on fact, just on daydreams! I hope you are all well, and if the virus hits you, get well soon. We are self-isolating as much as is possible - we do need to eat. Thank goodness the Off-licence is considered essential by Boris and his government! Cheers!

19/03/2020

BILL'S FOLLY - a 100 word story for today


BILL’S FOLLY

It took Bill a month to build the tower, block by block.
Bill’s Folly, the town called it, but he ignored the jibes. He packed his battered car with tins and packets, bought a primus stove and bottled water.
The day he hired a crane the whole town turned out to watch his car creak skywards, trailing a rope ladder.

His pockets bulging with last-minute purchases, Bill climbed the ladder and pulled it up behind him.
“You want pensioners to self-isolate? Fine – but you’ll get a bucket-load of my shit every day to remind you I’m still here.”

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From this story you'll probably guess that I'm over 70 and not happy to be termed 'elderly'! After a last trip to the garden centre today to buy vegetable seeds, my husband and I will be self-isolating - I just hope the weather is good for gardening! Keep well, all of you who so kindly read and comment on my weekly story, and thanks to Rochelle who keeps us going.