Can’t believe it’s time for another round of Friday Fictioneers! If you’d like to read the other stories or read the FF rules, click here.
I stand in the dark, with only the smell of urine to keep me company. I’m a trespasser, not just to this abandoned building, but to this country which you seem to have claimed for yourself. Every odd little custom and saying reminds me of the weeks in which we first met, where my looks of amusement would prompt explanations from you. “That’s just something we say where I’m from.”
I’m now in the place where you are from, in the very building you said you lived in.
The warm aroma of coffee beans surrounds me like a hug. An eclectic mix of people are in the same queue as I am, but all are slumped and silent, craving the bitter caffeine hit that will take them through to lunchtime. Every time the door opens, cold air invades the shop and the girl in front of me shivers. She rubs her arms and looks wistfully at the pastries and muffins on display. My mouth waters when I look at the range of sticky, buttery, flaking goods behind the glass, and I know it must have the same effect on her. They’re hard to resist, and after looking at the prices, one suspects that the shop owners know exactly how tempting their wares are.
As we approach the till, the odour of cinnamon and vanilla grows stronger, and I examine the oozing bottles of syrup next to the barista. The woman who takes my order doesn’t smile, but I get the impression that she’s trying to. Half past eight in the morning and she’s already so tired the muscles in her face won’t slide a millimetre upwards. I’ll probably feel the same way in a few hours.
When I finally obtain my drink, I raise the cup and bathe my lips in the steam, flirting with the dangerously hot liquid. I get a taste of caramel syrup and milky froth for my trouble. The condensation freezes on my face as I step outside, my limbs involuntarily contracting before they adjust to the winter temperatures. Before my fingers go completely numb, I run them down the left side of my body until I reach the handle of the knife.
I savour my coffee. It might be the last one I have.
Click here if you’d like to read the other stories, or if you’d like to submit your own story based on this photo.
Didi tugged at her school skirt as she shuffled in the plastic chair. An acidic sensation spread from her stomach to her throat as she thought of the imminent meeting with her headmistress. She tried to warm her numb fingers by pressing them between her knees. Despite her situation, she smiled when she thought of whose fingers had last touched her, and she knew that meeting him was worth the punishment for being caught.
Madam Omogote opened the door and motioned for Didi to enter her office. She was a squat beast of a woman whose formidable roar was feared by students and teachers alike. She bared her teeth at Didi and pointed towards the bench on the other side of the room. Didi knew the drill. She bent over the bench and grasped the supporting plank on the opposite side.
There were a few tense seconds…
The cane sliced through the air and Didi gripped the plank tighter.
Link to Friday Fictioneers central is here. There you’ll be able to find more stories and instructions for submitting your own 100-word flash fiction based on the photo.
Tom was fished out of the icy soup of dead souls and tipped, unceremoniously, onto the deck. He looked up in a listless stupor at the hooded figure which stood over him. The silent and aloof stranger waited for Tom to regain his senses before leading him inside and pointing to a seat.
Sodden, Tom pondered all the things he had lost in death, trying to decide which he would miss the most; his wealth, his wife, or his mistress.
Even before the temperatures rose and the shadows of flames flickered through the windows, Tom knew where he was going.
If you’d like to submit your own flash fiction story based on the photo, click here.
I place the pen against my mouth and close my eyes, trying to pull the threads of my emotions into a straight, logical line that I can write about. I find that they’re all connected into a tangled web, not very flattering to my intelligence or my conscience. My lips quiver next to the plastic, and moisture gathers at the corner of my eyes.
It’s my lack of guilt that makes me guilty. We were all stood in a line together, eyes down, whilst they assessed us. I was the person next to you, not the one who chose you. Not the one who dragged you out of the line. Not the one who directly caused those screams that triggered never-melting ice to grow in our spines.
I can’t be dishonest about the sleepless nights in the cells, where I didn’t feel bad for you because I was too busy thanking God it wasn’t me.I don’t kid myself that a lifetime of this is worse than what you went through.
If you’d like to submit your own 100 word FF story or look at the others, click here to go to the blog of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Credit for the photo goes to Sean Fallon.
They stashed the mannequin in my bed, leaving its shiny brow protruding from underneath the covers. They thought it would frighten me, but that night I laid in a comfortable silence whilst feeling the weight on the other side of the mattress. If you were like the mannequin, you’d be here right now. Wouldn’t things be better if you stayed where you were put? If you didn’t occasionally say such troubling things to me?
I checked the freezer the next morning, just to make sure. Your face is so cold and perfect. The neighbourhood rumours are wrong. I saved you.
This week’s entry is inspired by the Biblical story of Esther, one of my favourites.If you’d like to look at the other Sunday Photo Fiction entries, click here.
I was his favourite from the beginning, but how deep are his affections? Am I merely a replacement for the last one that displeased him, an object he can parade with pride in front of his subjects? When he looks at me, I think I see more in his eyes than lust, and it is hard to imagine those same eyes condemning me to death for my impudence.
I stand in royal garb whilst my people pray in sackcloth. In a few moments, we shall know whether I am a saviour, a martyr, or a coward.
I push open the doors of the royal court, and hush falls over the room. I see the sneering face of Haman before I bow to my husband and King. I see a golden glint reflected on the polished floor. I touch the sceptre the King has extended to me, a symbol of his pardon. My impertinent entry to his court will not be met with death.
I know that I have been saved by the grace of God, now it is my turn to save my people.
Time for another round of Friday Fictioneers! If you want to read more FF stories or submit your own, click here.
Jack tasted dust and fear in the night air as he slowly ran his tongue across his lips. He took his time walking down the stairs, knowing she could hear his boots hit the cobbles, imagining the nausea she’d feel in her throat and the way her gut would clench with every footstep. Jack paused outside a green door, waited five seconds, and then smashed the lock through with a single kick. The crunch of splintering wood mingled with a wail of desperation.
She was pressed against the wall, backed into a corner, defenceless.
Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for picking out the photo, if you’d like to submit your own 100 word story or read some others, click here.
“Everything is too… pale.”
“Pale?” The estate agent took off her glasses and squinted at the extravagant building in front of them. Robbie gave the glasses a disdainful glance. Had she not realized those geek-chic frames went out of fashion in 2011? He sighed and smoothed back his artificial curls.
“Darling, that man up there looks like he hasn’t even heard of a St. Tropez tan.” He lazily flicked his hand up to the decorative bust. “And just, the whole thing is so white. What’s wrong with ordinary bricks? I like the colour of brick. It brings out my eyes.”
To take part in this week’s photo fiction challenge, head here.
On the 27th of October, 2013, Hannah fell through a puddle. She was so busy looking at her phone that she didn’t even realize the puddle was there. She just suddenly plummeted through the dirty water and found herself face down on a pavement not completely unlike the one she’d been walking on.
The air was full of floating dirty leaves and autumnal sludge covered much of the ground. She brushed off the muck and tried not to be blinded by the orange sunrise, which seemed to shimmer brightly off every surface.
A silhouette appeared before her, and held out her phone.
“Be more careful where you step next time.” The voice was dry and male.
Seconds later she was back on the surface, the mud on her jeans the only sign of her fall. A kindly man helped her up.