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13.6.24

TRAINING

 

TRAINING

They trained the orcas intensively in their secret location, then sent them off with attached cameras to spy on the enemy fleet.

 

The gamble paid off – every whale returned to their beloved trainer Edwin. The management took the cameras to be recharged, but Edwin overheard them talking over late-night drinks. ‘Kamikaze whales’ they dubbed them, laughing.

 

Edwin amended the training sessions and surreptitiously replaced the glue with his own concoction. Next time the orcas left, they scraped their backs under the jetty before departing.

 

Two days later the scientists stood on the jetty and pressed the control button.


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Perhaps it's the lighting, but they look like orcas peering over a jetty to me! Thanks to Lisa Fox for the image, which also reminds me of warm evenings in Tenerife. To read what other writers 'saw' in her image, go to https://rochellewisoff.com/  and follow the Frog trail.

6.6.24

ICE

 

ICE

‘Let’s go camping,’ he said.

‘In winter?’

‘Warm sleeping bags, a fire under the stars, it’ll be romantic.’

It was easier to agree – he always got his own way eventually.

.... 

I woke to the sound of a growl and shook him awake. ‘Bears!’

He peered through the flap. ‘Can’t see anything.’

‘There it is again – I’m scared.’

He went out, determined to prove this mere female wrong, and slipped on the ice.

As the huge mouth closed around his body I ran for the car.

 ....

True as I’m stood here.

'In a jail cell?'

Unfortunately the cops don’t believe me.

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Thanks as ever to Rochelle for running Friday Fictioneers, and to Roger Bultot for the photographic prompt. I've revived an old story for this week as I missed last week's FF, but I'm busy compiling a poetry book and subbing a novel, and my brain can't cope with too much at once these days!

16.5.24

TERRANIUM

 

TERRANIUM

They sat together in silence,

reading by lantern light,

oblivious to cicadas

and traffic noise alike,

as if they were enclosed

by a terranium of peace,

until her phone buzzed –

their hour was over.

 

She stood up,

closing her book.

‘Same time tomorrow?’

He nodded, smiling.

‘Wouldn’t miss it for the world.’


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A cheeky one this time, combining three different prompts - this photo taken by Dale Rogerson (thanks, Dale) and twoTwitter prompts by @FromOneLine and @vss365. I hope you like the combination!

To read other interpretations on Friday Fictioneers, go to https://rochellewisoff.com/ and follow the Frog.

I've been sidetracked these past few weeks by other writing, of flash fiction and poetry - more about that when I'm ready to let it go public.

25.4.24

POOH BEAR

 

POOH BEAR

 Pooh was different – he was special –

he wasn’t yellow, he was red;

born one Christmas in a stocking

on the end of John’s small bed.

 He and John were never parted,

everywhere together travelled,

till one day with all that loving

Pooh’s red tummy came unravelled.

 ‘Oh!’ said Pooh Bear, ‘All my stuffing’s

coming out!’ ‘Don’t fret’ said Mum,

‘Here’s a bit of good strong sort of

stripey fabric for your tum.’

 So she set to work and made his

tum and back and legs like new;

Pooh and John could go on playing -

that was all that bothered Pooh.

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Anyone who knows and loves A.A.Milne's writing will realise why I chose this Pooh Bear poem today. It's taken from a book of poems I wrote for my children about their special toys, and the story of John's Pooh Bear is true.

In fact, years later, I was asked to re-cover Pooh completely so that he would be hygienic enough for John's own son!

If you would like to read the book, it's on Amazon - STRIPEY CAT and Other Poems.

Thanks as ever to Rochelle, our never-failing hostess, and to Fleur Lind for this week's image, which took me straight to the Ashdown Forest in Sussex, UK, and to the tree in which lived the owl known to Christopher Robin as Wol.



3.4.24

AT THE WATER'S EDGE

 

AT THE WATER'S EDGE

Karen stood right at the edge, the ebb and flow of the moonlit estuary echoing her emotions. Each retreating wave dragged shingle from beneath her feet, and she fought to keep her balance, just as her mind struggled to maintain equilibrium in its turmoil of thoughts.

How could things have gone so wrong? She was tempted to let the tide take her, but when the wash of a passing ship knocked her over she scrambled up and back.

Back to life without him, back to prove she could do it alone.

No man was worth her death.

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I've been having deep and meaningful conversations with a friend about our former love lives - you can blame this sombre story on our retrospection. Though to be fair, the last time I entertained such dramatic thoughts I was a teenager! 

Thanks to Sandra Crook, a regular contributer of photos, for this image, and to Rochelle  https://rochellewisoff.com/  for hosting our select group of writers on Friday Fictioneers.


28.3.24

PLAYING THE MAN

 

PLAYING THE MAN

Back when I was just nineteen

I learned to ballroom dance;

how it came to happen

was totally by chance.

My manager’s young daughter

needed a chaperone,

so off to a dusty hall we went,

me and my plus one.

Because I was the elder girl

I had to play the man,

although I studied all the steps

a girl should know.

I can

even now dance properly,

but only if I lead –

try to steer me backwards

and I trip over my feet.

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There's a lot of truth in this story, although later I did, thanks to a talented friend, learn to follow a man's lead when dancing. Since then I put more self-expression into my dancing, but even those days are over. I turned 80 a few days ago and the sight of me gyrating to modern tunes is not something I care to inflict on anyone else, but my feet still tap, and occasionally I dance, alone in my living room where nobody can see!

Thanks are due, as always, to Rochelle for hosting our group of writers on her blog,  https://rochellewisoff.com/  and to Dale Rogerson for the image which prompted this week's stories. The 'Dance Studio' in which Juliet and I had our lessons was much less colourful, resembling as it did the entrance to a sleazy dive rather than the class establishment it claimed to be.

Two photos - one of me plus family and friends enjoying a pub lunch on The Big Day. The older man is the one who taught me to dance with a man! Taken by my elder daughter who flew in from Northern Ireland to surprise me.

And one with my younger grandson who was working but came round later.

I felt very loved.

13.3.24

A MIDNIGHT SWIM

 

A MIDNIGHT SWIM

They couldn't resist the lure of a free concert, and the waiter told them bikinis and sarongs were the norm. 

Starting on the vodka in their hotel, they mixed generous slugs into bottles of Coke, and went to the beach.

It was heaving with party-goers, the music loud, the atmosphere electric as they danced on sand that still radiated the day’s heat.

Lights sparkling on the sea looked different at night – mysterious and hypnotic. Dropping their sarongs, they slid naked into its silken coolness.

Beach cleaners found their sarongs at dawn.

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The dangers of mixing alcohol and the sea - many lives each year are lost this way.

Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers and for this week's photo prompt. You can read other stories, or write your own and join in, by following the Froggie Trail from her blog:  https://rochellewisoff.com/