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.”
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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.
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And here's another story in a much lighter vein - two for the price of one this week!
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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?

08/06/2017

THE FANS - one hundred words for Friday Fictioneers

THE  FANS

Maggie and Nell were Valerie’s staunchest fans, reading each book the moment it came out and discussing every bodice-ripping page over glasses of Prosecco.

When Valerie died they wore black arm-bands and planned a pilgrimage.
After months of research they found the place, but the caretaker was reluctant to admit them.
“We only want a quick peek,” Nell pleaded, but Maggie’s fiver was more persuasive. He pocketed it swiftly. “Don’t touch anything.”

They walked down the brick path, found Valerie’s retreat beneath rampant roses, and stepped inside reverently.

After a long silence, Maggie said, “Well, she always did love nature.”

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This week's photo prompt comes courtesy of Sarah Potter via Rochelle's blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/  If you follow the Blue Frog link from there you will find many other interpretations of the same photograph.
But first, please do leave a comment on mine, if only to prove I am not talking to myself!