19/04/2018

CHAIN GANG - a 100 word story

CHAIN GANG

We needed six kids holding two chains each, and one to start us off.
Big Carl would grab his chain and run like crazy while our skinny legs struggled to keep up. Muscles screaming, hands burning, round and round, faster and faster, till Carl yelled ‘Now!’ and we lifted our legs and flew.

I let go once, and my loose chain took Carl’s tooth out. Skinned knees were nothing compared with the shame.

Thirty years on, Carl’s big heart gave out. When we wedged our shoulders under his coffin, all six of us were certain we heard him shout, ‘Now!’
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Douglas M Mckillroy's photo is probably of something much more industrial than a children's ride, but this is how I've interpreted this week's Friday Fictioneers' prompt from Rochelle, our glorious leader. Go to her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/  to read other stories from our group.


What glorious weather we're having in England this week! And it's more of a treat because it's a rarity. Needing some photos for a book cover was my excuse to take the day off and get the bus to Brighton, where I managed to squeeze in lunch, a bit of shopping, and a stroll along the seafront with an icecream in my hand. The kids' rides on Brighton Pier might have influenced my choice of story!


12/04/2018

UNTIL THAT NIGHT - a story in a hundred words


UNTIL THAT NIGHT

It was our dream house thirty years ago. Children raced round its rooms, their laughter bouncing off the walls, and the house itself smiled. Perfect.
Until that night we left a window open.
Now we creep around in silence, brittle as glass, afraid of breaking our fragile union. Happiness has vanished – in fact we barely speak at all – and the house sags around us for lack of love. The window stays open – there’s nothing worth stealing now.
He wants us to leave – ‘move on’ he calls it – but what if she returns and I’m not here?
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Friday Fictioneers is a group of roughly 70 writers who produce a 100 word story each week from a photo prompt. This week's photo is by Yarnspinnerr and posted on Rochelle's blog https://rochellewisoff.com/ - thanks Rochelle.
I am celebrating - quietly - having reached the end of the latest draft of Wolf Pack,   the second book in my Living Rock series. To read the first book click on the link at the top of this page.


04/04/2018

AND BREATHE - a 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers


AND BREATHE

Dee hoisted Petey out of his high chair and smacked his nappy-padded bottom. He wasn’t hurt but it shocked him into taking a breath – when he held it that long it frightened her.

Petey grew into a self-willed teenager, ignoring Dee’s admonitions to stay away from the tidal pools, and his gang often bunked off school to go swimming.
One blustery day Martin misjudged his dive and the whirlpool dragged him down to certain death, but Petey took a deep breath and jumped after him.

The others counted two long minutes before he dragged Martin ashore, unconscious but alive.
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Dale Rogerson's photograph of lights made me think of whirlpools - such is my weird imagination! Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog https://rochellewisoff.com/  from whence you can follow the link to read more short stories and see what other writers made of the prompt.

29/03/2018

FAMILY TREE - fiction in one hundred words


FAMILY TREE

Kirsty raised her glass to Andrew, mouthing “Happy anniversary” over the buzz of conversation – despite everything they’d made it through twenty-five years. With their first grandchild on the way, she was content, if not deliriously happy.

The dappled shade reminded her of a distant afternoon beside a river, making love hidden by willow tree fronds, young and carefree.
Careless, too. Her smile faded as she recalled the subsequent loss and heartache.

Andrew’s voice shattered her reverie. “Kirsty – who’s that young man?”
Kirsty could only watch, trembling, as the consequence of her stolen afternoon walked towards them across the lawn.
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This week's photo prompt comes from Fatima Fakier Deria via the good offices of Rochelle at https://rochellewisoff.com/  and is one of about 70 stories which you can find by following the links from her blog.

I was very pleased this week to find that my local library in West Sussex are now listing my novel A Volcanic Race, which I hope will lead to more people reading it before the sequel, which I am now working on, comes out. You can buy your own copy by clicking on the image of its cover on this page.

21/03/2018

ESCAPING - a story in 100 words


ESCAPING

I know it won’t be an easy road, but there’s no turning back now.

I loved him once, but he soon knocked that out of me. The kids, poor little sods, tiptoed round the place like mice, scared to say a word. I tried to hide the bruises but they guessed anyway.

With no money I couldn’t see any way out, but last night Mikey, my little hero, tried to stop him, and he hit Mikey. Knocked him clear across the kitchen.
So now we’re leaving, making our own way, and however rough it gets he’s not going to stop us.
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Bjorn Rudberg's photo, which Rochelle used on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/  this week, reminds me of some of the mountain roads in Tenerife - the ones the tourists don't see - where you can't turn round even if you want to. Those tracks prove that vehicles use it regularly despite the dangers - I wonder what's round the corner that could be worse than the road itself?
That thought prompted my story - what faces this mother is scary, but if she stays...



15/03/2018

MAN WALKS INTO A BAR - a story in 100 words


MAN WALKS INTO A BAR

“Evening, landlord! A pint of your best, please, and one for yourself. I hear there’s been a UFO sighting?”
“Saw it with my own eyes. It came out of nowhere, hovered just over my car, then whooshed off. Never been so scared in my life.”
“Where was this?”
“On the old quarry road.”
“Can you show me?”
“You won’t get me out there again.”
“Then I’ll find it myself. A photo like that will get me into the nationals.”
 Later.
Another man walks into the bar. “Anyone lost a camera? Just found it lying out by the old quarry road.”
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This is yet another story prompted by a photo taken by Ted Strutz and posted on Rochelle's site  https://rochellewisoff.com/  - thank you both. By following the links from Rochelle's blog you can read lots of other stories from the same prompt.

I'm off balance today. Getting up at 7am because the only slot my hairdresser had free was at 9am has thrown me - the stress we retirees go through!! 

On top of that, over the past week I have been writing new sections for my Work In Progress (WIP) revision, and rediscovering the thrill of having so many thoughts tumbling over each other that my fingers can't move fast enough to keep up.
 If you haven't yet read my first book, A Volcanic Race, now would be a good time, because the next one is on its way! The link to Amazon is on the top right of my page. Yes, up there!

09/03/2018

GARDEN VISIT WITH DAD


GARDEN VISIT WITH DAD

Jed Fisheagle’s expression was stony as Patty wheeled him round the gardens.
“I had hoped you’d appreciate the nature and fresh air, Dad.”
“Air’s alright – I can smell the pines from here – but nature? Huh! Those ain’t trees, all chopped about like that.”
“They’re pollarded, Dad.”
“Whatever, they ain’t natural. And water should be free, not walled in a pond full of fish a man can’t eat. Where’s that coffee you promised?”
As Patty turned his wheelchair towards the house, Jed swung his stick, toppling several stacks of stones. “Even their signposts are wrong – this ain’t the way to the reservation.”
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Another picture prompt from Friday Fictioneers - thanks to https://rochellewisoff.com/
and to Sandra Crook who took the photo. I like trees to be natural - trimmed is okay, but never pollarded to within an inch of their lives - to this story couldn't be written any other way.