10/01/2018

RICOCHET - a story in one hundred words

RICOCHET

“You couldn’t hit a barn door!”
“Could too! See that bucket? The Laceys are away for the weekend – they’ll never know.”
Billy shouldered his air-gun and fired, anticipating the clang of metal, but his aim was way off. Instead there was the sharp snap of glass followed by a series of pings and a squawk.
“Now you’ve done it!” cried Sam.
“The window’s only cracked,” Billy said, adding hopefully, “No harm done,” and they fled.


The Laceys returned to find all their designer lamps adorned with strange, unexplained holes, and their parrot lying in the bottom of its cage, dead.
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I can't explain why Victor and Sarah Potter's photograph made me think of a crime scene, but this story is the result of my weird imagination. Thanks to Rochelle at  https://rochellewisoff.com/  for hosting Friday Fictioneers. From her blog you can follow the link to read how other writers interpreted the prompt.

03/01/2018

CONCEPTUAL ART - a story in one hundred words

CONCENPTUAL ART

Marcie wandered the exhibition, aware that her best frock was hopelessly unfashionable, but she didn’t care - when she cleared up afterwards she’d get the leftovers.
Meanwhile she eavesdropped as they told each other what it meant.
“Of course, it’s pollution – plastic resembling jellyfish and killing whales.”
“No, no – it represents the ephemeral nature of life.”
“I see a cloud of angels coming to gather souls.”
“How sweet! Isn’t she a darling?”

Suddenly Marcie could bear their braying voices no longer. “I’ve been sweeping round these bloody things for days – they just look like cotton reels and condoms to me.”
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Apologies to Roger Bultot, who took the photo and probably understood the exhibit, but once I'd seen cotton reels and condoms I couldn't write anything else. Thanks to Rochelle for posting the prompt on her blog https://rochellewisoff.com/  from whence you can follow the link to read how other writers interpreted the picture.
I would like to wish everyone who visits my blog a very happy and prosperous 2018. My own New Year got off to a good start as I had a pleasant surprise today - I've sold ten copies of A Volcanic Race already this year! This is probably nothing special for a seasoned novelist, but for a debut author it is wonderful - my family bought their copies last year so this means that people I don't know are reading my work. Have you bought a copy yet? The link is at the top of this page.

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.