Friday Fictioneers – Closure

PHOTO PROMPT © Peter Abbey

Copyright – Peter Abbey

Another Friday Fictioneers Submission. Please follow the link to take part of read other 100 word stories. The big question for me today, as someone who never studied English after 16, was “That or Which?” Feel free to educate me. 

There was a neglected snicket behind George Street which squeamish locals avoided.

Louis stood at one end, feeling strangely cheered as he realised how grotty this path had become in a decade. He regarded the glass settled in the cracks of degrading asphalt, the abandoned chip cartons, and the pair of stray knickers which lay pathetically across the ground.

How could this place ever have been romantic?

He fixed his gaze on the mouldering fence. He counted the slats, until he reached the 27th on his right.

Louis hearts Hannah

A squirt of spray paint, and the names were gone.

Friday Fictioneers – Keeping it For a Reason

PHOTO PROMPT © Claire Fuller

Copyright – Claire Fuller

Welcome to another wonderful Friday Fictioneers. This picture really called out fantasy to me, but I’ve written a few of those lately and wanted to do something different. Not sure it really worked, but I’m on limited time today. If you want to take part and read other stories, please follow the link.

James looked up from his phone, and his daughter was nowhere to be seen.

“Elise?” His voice filtered through the trees either side of the cycleway. A faltering heartbeat later, she tumbled out from between the foliage, recklessly spinning her schoolbag around her wrist.

“Dad, can you keep this safe for me?” She pressed a thumb sized stone into his palm.

“What do you want this for?” he asked, annoyed.

She shrugged before turning and running ahead to the cycleway exit.

“I’m not keeping it for no reason!”

He looked at the stone, sighed, and slipped it in his pocket.

Sunday Photo Fiction – On Pause

177-10-october-16th-2016

Copyright – Al Forbes

The Sunday Photo Fiction challenge is facilitated by Al Forbes and involves creating a 100-200 word story around the featured picture. Please follow the link the find the rules. 

“She won’t let the seasons change.” Little Bird pecked viciously at the orange leaves, letting them cascade onto the damp ground. “None of us ever want winter to come, but permanent autumn won’t work. And it won’t be long before humans notice the nights aren’t getting shorter.”

“Are you listening, Taela?” asked Big Bird.

“Yes, I promise I am,” I snapped my eyes away from the fiery coloured trees. “I’ll speak to her.”

When I made my approach, she was sat between the boughs of her favourite Great Oak. Her long, silvery hair spilled down the tree trunk, snarled with twigs and dirt.

“It’s almost mid-December,” I said gently. “I know that it’s hard to move on…”

When she turned to look at me, I saw her eyes were red-raw, and full to the brim with pain which hadn’t lessoned in the past two months. She looked like she was about to say something, but then gave up.

“No matter how long it stays autumn, he won’t come back,” I continued, firmly.

A week later, the tree branches were bare.

Friday Fictioneers – Light for the Lost

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Image belongs to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Just about managed to write a story for the CORRECT picture prompt for this week. This 100 word story is for the Friday Fictioneers challenge. Please follow link to view other stories and see rules for entering. 

The back of the sofa yielded 21p, enough to buy some reduced bread from Asda. The whole time, I was hoping to God that nobody from school would spot me and ask if I was okay, that nobody would notice I was paying in coppers.

At home, my heart jumped when I saw lights in the kitchen, and mum at the table. After nine days in bed, she was finally up. Just as I dared hope she was ready to be mum again, I saw her vacant expression, staring at the flame of a candle.   

“She loved candles,” mum murmured.

 

Friday Fictioneers – The Grinning Cat

Okay, slight mistake, accidentally used last week’s prompt for Friday Fictioneers. Bear with me here, it’s been a while.

As Alice checked her watch, the seconds hand was ticking past 9. Her date was late. The only company available was a yellow-eyed cat, watching from the path.

“The thing they must understand,” she told the cat, “is that I can’t bear lateness.”

She stared at the lake. The night sky reflection was so perfectly clear, Alice felt she could tumble in and end up amongst the stars. She leaned further over the wall. Suddenly, the cat was between her ankles, her balance was gone, and in she went.

Curiously, there was no splash.

“Enjoy Wonderland,” the cat chuckled.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Photography

176-10-october-9th-2016

Sunday Photo Fiction: 200 words based on the picture prompt, and click the link if you’d like to take part or want to read other submissions. It’s a been a while since I last submitted something. I’m very glad this challenge is reliably here to give me direction when I do feel like doing some writing!

Adam stood in the middle of his late grandad’s living room. Looking to the left, he saw bare walls and bin bags. He’d spent the past hour systematically stripping the place down, unsentimentally doing the job his mother didn’t feel capable of doing. Adam himself hadn’t known his grandad that well, but needles of guilt were bothering him. His cavalier approach to clearing the house was beginning to feel irreverent.

Looking right, the room was still preserved as grandad had left it, identical to Adam’s memories of the rare childhood visits, even down to the stacks of photography magazines on the coffee table. The magazines must have been sat untouched for years, which inspired some curiosity in Adam as he picked one up. They were still in their plastic jackets. Had grandad been intending to read them for the past decade?

Hours later, Adam pulled a digital camera out of the wardrobe, still attached to a USB cable. In the evening, he plugged the thing into his computer to see how grandad’s photography skills had fared despite neglecting the magazines.

A single photo loaded, partially obscured by Grandad’s thumb, of an A4 page filled with handwriting. It began:

“Dear Adam…”

Memories

I hesitate before I open the wardrobe. Fingertips on the cheap chrome handles, I feel it would be more neurotic to stop myself at this point than to give into my curiosity. After opening the doors, I kneel down and hunt through the debris at the bottom of the wardrobe; khaki shorts, tangled shirts, stray socks, grey-smeared trainers. The disturbed dust makes my eyes water.  I pull out an old shoebox, dark green with a fox logo, and place it on the bed.

Opening the box feels indulgent. They say that people now prefer to spend their disposable income on experiences rather than goods. A good memory is like good wine, it becomes more valuable as it ages, and so creating and preserving such memories is an investment. It’s more pleasurable to examine your mementos when it has been some time since you last did so. Digging out this shoebox, I’m not only letting my current emotions ruin what should be an enjoyable session of nostalgia, I feel that I’m permanently cheapening my memories.

I don’t cut to the chase. I carefully leaf through all the photographs, reread all the important cards with loving words of encouragement. I look through old loveletters, sketches, and cinema ticket stubs with mindful devotion, giving them the time they deserve. I try to let myself pretend I’m not just doing this for one reason. When I find what it is I’m really looking for, I place it face down on the duvet until I’m done with everything else.

Finally, I examine the photograph of me, Amy Gladwin, and Charlotte Foster. It’s Amy that I focus on.

“It’s so awful,” I say out loud, to no one in particular. But I had to say it, because I can’t say it to her directly, no matter how I wish I could. Before everyone found out about what happened, I wondered whether I should get in touch. We were connected online, so it would have been easy. I enjoyed seeing her photos and updates, but when she became semi-famous, I didn’t want to be that old friend who crawls out of the woodwork when they smell success.

I still don’t want to be that old friend. I wonder how many people are doing what I am doing right now. You are not special, I tell myself. Up and down the country, right now, there will be old classmates, student flatmates, colleagues, all digging out photographs and thinking about the connection to Amy they once had. Looking at an old photo of a girl I was best friends with, it’s easy to forget that I barely know the woman on TV.

As a teenager, Amy Gladwin was an unambitious student who somehow did nothing but knew everything. Her specialty was doing the bare minimum in class whilst probing those sitting next to her for news. She was a professional shit stirrer, knowing exactly what to say and which buttons to press, and so she was an entertaining friend to have. Despite knowing their secrets would be around the school by the end of the day, people still talked to her, because she always made the process of spilling the beans feel wonderfully cathartic.

Amy Gladwin, 27 year old journalist and media personality, was one of those funny people on panel shows who aren’t well known but make the most controversial jokes. She wrote opinion pieces for newspapers about austerity, feminism, the media, education, and all sorts of other things. She ran the London Marathon and recently went on holiday to Brazil.

Last week, someone stabbed Amy in the back and left her to die in the kitchen of her apartment.

Friday Fictioneers – Salty

Waves

Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

An 100 word entry for Friday Fictioneers, the writing challenge set weekly by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, who this week used a photo of her own. Please follow the link to find the rules and also more 100 word stories based on the above photo prompt.

Patrick rolled beads of risotto on his tongue, letting the buttery sauce carry flavours of garlic and white wine around his mouth.  It was good, but not yet perfect enough for his fickle restaurant customers.

“More salt,” he eventually said.

“Are you sure?” Claire asked, brazenly. He narrowed his eyes at the only person in this kitchen who thought she could challenge him.

“Remember when we were in Sicily, and we spent that one evening on the beach?”

A red flush appeared above Claire’s collar. “Yes.”

“I remember the risotto we ate in the restaurant beforehand better. Make yours like that.”

Share Prices are About to Fall

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAYR

Used with Kind Permission of CEAYR

Please follow the link to find the rules of Friday Fictioneers, and to see more imaginative 100 word stories.

The board of ARK Water Mining stared at Lila, expectant.

“The good news about our discovery is true,” she began, smiling. “I estimate that it will only take twelve months before we profit from our newest water source. If our rivals haven’t found anything by then, we’ll be the sole water supplier. We’re expecting profit margins of at least 500%”

After the meeting, Lila looked outside at an empty lake, connected by dry riverbeds to an ocean which no longer existed. Her attention was seized by a dark mass in the sky, the like of which had been unseen in decades.

A raincloud.

Friday Fictioneers -The Optimist

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Copyright – Roger Bultot

Of course, the urge to complete a Friday Fictioneers entry would only come upon me this strongly when my university dissertation is due in a week from now… If you also have a desperate need to procrastinate, please follow the link and read lots of of other fabulous short stories or find the rules for completing your own entry.

Jenny stepped onto the rusty balcony for the last time, protectively gripping her coffee. Over the lip of her mug, she surveyed the incoming fog and looked forward to disappearing into it.

This is the first time she would leave somewhere and not fondly think back on it. She wouldn’t miss anything, not the run-down house, not the underfunded exam factory she worked at which called itself a school, not the anti-social neighbours, and definitely not the bird crap on her car every morning.

Jenny used to be an optimist. Somewhere else, Jenny thought, I still might be an optimist.