Friday Fictioneers – The Past in the Present

Begin the Route

Photo Copyright – Jean L Hays

Friday Fictioneers is organized by Rochelle Wisoff Fields. Please visit her page to see the rules and look at other entries.

Some areas of the old Mother Road are undergoing a revival, but I don’t see it happening for this God-forsaken place. Abandoned for decades, the battered tarmac stretches ahead of my car’s lights.

I wonder if this is what the whole world will look like after civilisation ends.

I stop the truck and get out. This place has no features to identify it, but I know I’ll be found, even in the dark.

I hear the sound of gravel crunching underfoot, but after all these years, I don’t dare to turn around and face him.

“I’m not afraid,” I lie.

Sunday Photo Fiction – The Most Beautiful Prison

94 01 January 4th 2015

Copyright – Al Forbes

Please check out Al’s page for the rules, and other entries.

I’m trapped in a beautiful prison.

The six walls that surround me are lined with ebony shelves, perhaps ten storeys high. Three are hidden behind silken curtains, and crammed on the shelves are treasures upon treasures. Despite the length of my incarceration, I still discover new things, even now. Strings of pearls, diamonds, filigree gold jewellery, boxes lined with satin, leather books written in languages I don’t understand, china dolls, animals carved from onyx and agate.

Many days ago I discovered a stone angel that seemed warm to the tough, about the length of my palm. It bears a likeness to someone I once knew, a certain prince who was cursed for trying to use his wealth to become a God. My memory of him is obscured and distorted, like someone tried to burn it.

The angel whispers something about a seventh wall.

Friday Fictioneers – A Different Kind of Fame

Claire Fuller (7)

Copyright – Clare Fuller

This post is for Friday Fictioneers, run by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Please click here to read the instructions and find other entries.

I sit and watch as the swollen figure sobs, tears dripping down bloated cheeks, and I wonder where my compassion disappeared to over the years.

“Even my name, “ Michelin Man gasps, “Is an insult!”

I think I became aware of its gradual erosion after my 43rd session with Ronald, yet again ending with hysterics and yowls of, “Nobody knows who I am behind the face paint!”

More recently, Mr Muscle sought out my help. “Have you seen the new Aquafresh guy? He’s totally ripping me off…” He’s blasé, but underneath, he’s furious.

These mascots, they need more than therapy.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Equal and Opposite

75 08 August 31st 2014

Copyright – Al Forbes

Sorry that I’ve been neglecting the blog, but I moved to Kent yesterday. Hopefully I’ll have more time for writing now! If you’d like to see the rules or the other stories, click here.

“Who’s the lady at number 17? I never see her talking to anyone.”

She is Karen Hannah. A wretched woman who isn’t welcome in my home or in the homes of my friends.”

“What did she do?”

“What she did is irrelevant. The point is that she got what she deserved. You might disagree with the phrase ‘An eye for an eye.’ You might think it’s unbecoming for ladies like us. Not in her case.”

“Is she really so bad?”

“Let me tell you, that woman did what she did for attention. If she wasn’t, then she ought to know that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Since she clearly has no conscience, we’re simply teaching her that there are consequences to the things she does.”

“Hold on, is this the same Karen who Susan mentioned? The one who… Oh.”

“Exactly.”

TBAM – Chapter Three: D

To see the rest of the novel, click here.

Levi didn’t look back as he travelled down the gravel pathway to the street. Mansions lined the road, but he barely glanced at them. He couldn’t process what they meant, and they didn’t matter as much as getting away from the house he’d just come from. He walked in a random direction, feeling the moisture on his back gathering into beads of sweat. This was probably a bad decision, but he was walking now and found himself without the will to turn around.

Without a watch or phone, Levi had no way of knowing how he walked for. The mansions disappeared and turned into a steep cliff-side road. He could see the city below him to his left. The view was magnificent, but Levi was not in the mood to appreciate it. He tried to gauge how far away the city was. An hour? Two hours? Perhaps he would find something before that, but he didn’t know what he was looking for. There were shrubs to his right which he stayed close to and tumbled behind when he heard cars approaching.

Levi’s guestimates turned out to be somewhat conservative. For about an hour after the road began to level out, Levi followed it through a section of rocky moor. Without a view from above, Levi was petrified he would end up off course. He reached a junction and his heart sank. By the road, on a blue painted road sign, there were directions. They weren’t in English. And he was actually pretty sure they weren’t in Welsh. In fact, the characters looked Asian. He stared for as long as he dared to stay still.

If he saw Lekivan and Soriah again, they owed him an honest explanation. There was no way for Levi to decipher the sign, so he took the right turn and hoped for the best. After another hour, Levi was desperate. He saw a black car approach from the distance. His first instinct was to hide, but by then he was so sick of walking he didn’t even care if it was Lekivan behind the wheel. He flagged the car down and, mercifully, it stopped.
The car’s left window rolled down, and a dark skinned man appeared. He wore sunglasses and had close cropped hair.

“Hi, thanks for stopping,” Levi croaked. He hadn’t realised how dry his throat had been getting. He coughed before starting again. “Could you give me directions into the city?”

“You’re Levi, right?” The stranger smiled. His accent was strong.

Levi’s stomach dropped. He knew he should have hid.

“Hey! No need to look so worried!” He pulled a leather wallet out of his pocket and opened it up to reveal some sort of police badge. “I know the situation, right? Just gonna take you down to the police station, we’ll talk everything through, get you something to eat and drink.”

Levi didn’t reply. He trusted this man even less than he trusted Soriah and Lekivan.

“Or you can just keep walking down this road until you collapse of exhaustion. Whatever.”

Friday Fictioneers – Not Like Real Life

PHOTO PROMPT -Copyright - Jan Wayne Fields

Photo belongs to Jan Wayne Fields. Please head to FF central for rules, more stories etc.

Samantha’s world was full of watercolour horses from the illustrations in old fashioned children’s books. She wore a different colour dress every day, and got to wear glitter on her eyelids like grown-ups did.

Her toy box was bottomless, and on some days she would fall into it and float to the bottom. Once there, she’d sit on a pink chair across from Carla.

Samantha’s world was Carla’s too, they’d created it, and now it was the only place Samantha saw her.

Carla would look healthy, and still had her hair, like the very last time they’d played together.

Sunday Photo Fiction – An Unwilling Cadet

72 08 August 10th 2014

The photo belongs to Al Forbes, who also organizes the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge. I’m determined to try and keep up with flash fiction challenges at the moment, but I’m so tired as I spent last night scouring adverts for rooms to let since the landlord I had an agreement with let me down. Because, you know, the prospect of moving 150 miles south wasn’t stressful enough…  0_o

At 12 and a half, Lara still had six more months before she’d be one of the uniformed teenagers standing in the row before her. Her father, the leader of this Air Cadets squadron, paced the line before growling at a mousy girl not much older than Lara herself. The girl’s shoes were scuffed. “Not acceptable,” her father barked.

It must be worth it to them, Lara thought. The uniform, the strictness, and the many, many rules. They were here because they chose to be. Lara’s parents had worked with this squadron for nearly a decade. It had always been expected that she’d join as soon as she was old enough.

Lara had once expressed the sentiment that she didn’t really get it. Her parents had responded with talk about her CV, getting a gliding license, and all the activities. She’d enjoy it, they said, once she was a part of it.

Lara scowled at her father’s back. She didn’t want to be a part of it.

TBAM – Chapter Three: C

See the rest of the novel here.

So, the option of leaving suddenly looked much more precarious. The uncomfortable truth was that Levi had no means of getting home. If, god forbid, Lekivan and Soriah did have shady intentions, he was utterly at their mercy. Avoiding any kind of confrontation might be his best bet, even if he felt that he was slowly sliding closer and closer to a situation that could be more uncomfortable.

“You know, I’m actually feeling really woozy. Perhaps it would be best for me to go to the hospital and get checked out.” Levi suggested. He might be able to take a nurse to one side and explain the situation, make a phone call. Who would he call?

“The hospital is quite a journey away. I’m sure it’s better for you to rest here,” Lekivan replied.

“Not as much of a journey as I made last night.” Levi instantly regretted his words as Lekivan’s expression turned darker. “What about the doctor who examined me last night?”

“He’ll be working.” Lekivan was now curt. “Levi, staying put is the best option. If you’ll excuse us, Soriah and I need to talk in private. We’ll send the housekeeper in to get breakfast for you. You must be hungry.”

Lekivan walked out of the other side of the dining hall. Soriah paused to give Levi a nervous smile.

“I know you’re ill, and the situation isn’t as we would want it, but we’re so happy you’re here.”

Levi watched as she followed Lekivan into what he presumed was the kitchen. For all the times he’d been sure Soriah had lied this morning, he was equally convinced she was being honest during that last sentence. It made him all the more nervous.

Incredibly conflicted, Levi hesitantly stood up. He walked back towards the entrance hall and peered through the dining room door. His way out looked to be unimpeded. He’d already decided leaving was a bad idea, but he found himself walking towards the door anyway. Maybe it was the thought that he might not get another opportunity, or the thought that if Soriah and Lekivan were genuine they’d understand why he’d done it. He unlatched the heavy doors and walked though.

Friday Fictioneers – My Home Below

Björn 6

 It’s time for Friday Fictioneers, please head to FF Central for rules, advice, and access to other 100 word stories. Picture copyright – Bjorn Rudberg

I wonder if this house resides in a great black pit.

I curl up under the duvet and close my eyes, hoping the feeling will pass like motion sickness. Maybe a visitor will knock on the door and prove that I’m accessible to the outside world.

I could leave this place, but level ground is a sheer cliff face when all my will power, the strength I took for granted when I was healthy, has leaked out of the cracks in my psyche.

I’m so brittle now, the cracks spread without provocation. If I fell from the cliff, I’d shatter.

Sunday Photo Fiction – The Apocalypse

71 08 August 03 2014

Copyright – Al Forbes

Click on the photo to be taken to Sunday Photo Fiction Central!

Oooooh la la la la…

And humanity ended.

It all began when the flowers gave birth. Large, smooth stones began to appear besides flower beds and plant pots. They were different sizes but all a uniform eggshell blue, smooth to the touch and actually rather aesthetically pleasing if you stopped to admire them.

Steadily, little indentations began to appear on their surfaces, one on every rock. They deepened and little teeth began to form around the resulting hole. If you lifted them to your ear, you might hear a gentle hum. Five seconds later, you’d feel drowsy. Another ten and you’d be dead.

When all the rocks had mouths with perfect sets of teeth, they began to sing. As the soothing voice of the stones carried through the streets, more and more people fell to the ground.

No zombies. No killer virus. No asteroid.

That’s right. Singing rocks.