Friday Flash Fiction: A stopped clock

Friday Fictioneers is on Facebook hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You can read other stories or, better, join in and write your own at https://rochellewisoff.com/. A complete story in 100 words in response to a photo prompt.  This week I realise I’ve been trying to channel my inner Merricat (I recently read and fell in love with Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle and there are some wonderful descriptions of what’s kept in the cellars and the rituals of how it is used or not.

closet

When we moved here, the cupboard under-stairs was chill and full of forgotten things:

Ten jars of lavender honey

Plum preserve prinked with peppercorns and cloves

Old bottles of gin with sloes burst

A tray of skeleton mice laid out

Pickled frogs…

 

Which we ate and drank and threw away (the mice we buried in the garden).

Cleaned out the cupboard, added light and silly things, unmended-or-not-needed-now-but. Someone, someday will wear red monster slippers.

It is airy too with space for things we fear. These have multiplied of late. That clock for instance, always stopping at exactly the same time.

Friday Flash Fiction: After the fire

Friday Fictioneers is on Facebook hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You can read other stories or better join in and write your own at https://rochellewisoff.com/. A complete story in 100 words in response to a photo prompt.  I’ve been too busy these last few weeks to read or write but I’ve enjoyed today’s challenge and am looking forward to reading some other stories. My natural story length for this seems to be settling at 120 or so words so editing is becoming a wee bit easier, I think.

 

photo prompt by J Hardy Carroll

After the fire

It was the water she remembered: acute shining fountains; reflections everywhere.

They could watch from their window. Safe, the chief said, behind the yellow ribbon. A crowd gathered on the street below. This was entertainment, nothing terrible, and besides, said the chief, nobody lived on the premises.

But as the show went on, the crowd were paled by the ash, their faces streaked with irritant tears. They coughed and went away.

The morning after, the ribbon was still up and the hydrants exposed. Street quiet and no one but cleaners and menders and doorway sleepers wandering invisible, dazed or dead.

 

Friday Fictioneers: Roots

Friday Fictioneers is on Facebook hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You can read other stories or join in and write your own at https://rochellewisoff.com/. A complete story in 100 words in response to a photo prompt.

tree picture

photo prompt by Sandra Crook

She wakes thirsty, the glass by her bed is empty.

The tree is a legend, stories attach to its branches: it was a hanging tree and before that its bark made the barren bloom. Its homely scar has offered temporary sanctuary.

History in the garden – it brings in the punters. Its fame has spread as its roots.

Like her, the tree is thirsty, sucking the front wall loose and toothy. Now it has reached the house: her ground floors burst, tiles cracked. She tripped with a tray of glasses yesterday, watched the liquid dry, into the floor.

My Speeding Heart

Friday Fictioneers is on Facebook hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You can read other stories or join in and write your own at https://rochellewisoff.com/. A complete story in 100 words in response to a photo prompt.

photo prompt by Douglas McllRoy

 

Your nails are nothing like my claws. Your heart is steady.

This is the one place you let me fly: window-lit, tree-less. Full of the tools you humans grow: pliers and torches and the ancestors of the new sound machine that sits in honour on the sideboard.

You think I am getting tamer. (‘so calm, so still’).

I am not.

You dream of flying, humans do.

I dream you leave the window open. Your fingers steal the beat of my speeding heart but it doesn’t belong in your chest. You must go rushing after it, crashing on the floor.

 

Sunday

Friday Fictioneers is on Facebook hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You can read other stories or join to write your own at https://rochellewisoff.com/. A complete story in 100 words in response to a photo prompt.

photo prompt: Ted Strutz

They had been planning this Sunday on the lake. She had words for the sky, for the water: cerulean, pellucid. No exaggeration.

The town was a jewel pressed onto the lake’s edge; there was a restaurant under vines.

The boat didn’t stop. Dumped them on the opposite side in another town. Change of timetable.

The boat that could take them back was three hours away, the bus wasn’t running.

They ate sandwiches on the harbour wall, trying to laugh it off.

On the boat, she looked back at where they’d been:  houses the colours of pink sugar almonds and saffron.

The Warehouse

 

 

Friday Fictioneers is on Facebook hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You can read other stories or join to write your own at https://rochellewisoff.com/. A complete story in 100 words in response to a photo prompt. My second attempt…

friday fictioneers 2photo prompt by J Hardy Carroll

The warehouse

She skips past the old warehouse, all boarded up now. It is a tale of terrific failure – that’s what her dad said and she can see: nothing happens here. He was only repeating well-oiled rumour. Limp metal, a jamb in slow-motion fall. She passes every day, feels the shadow of the blackened chimney, the creep of rot. The days pass and she skips more slowly, sees more slowly: sees the stripes of rust and the makeshift armour of corrugation, notices how the glass has survived everything, how it shines.

A first attempt at flash fiction

I’ve just joined Friday Fictioneers on Facebook hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You  can read other stories or join to write your own at https://rochellewisoff.com/. This was my first attempt at Flash Fiction.  A complete story in 100 words in response to a photo prompt. Here it is.

Photo prompt © Sarah Potter

He sat on the bench, feet off the floor and underneath him. There was one other person: a girl. She walked down the platform towards him. Before he looked down, he thought how pretty. She had big, duck feet and battered white shoes; coming closer, she smelt of fresh things. The rails started to ring and she stopped in front of him. Doors opened and slammed and then she was gone with the train. Quiet. Except: her battered shoes, posed, inches from the platform’s edge like a dark joke and his bare feet filthy. He went to get them, smiling.