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/