Friday Fictioneers – The Hard Sell

ff130814‘$70 is my final offer,’ said “Buy Anything” Bob Bradshaw, as he inspected the dust covered writing desk. ‘..and that’s me being generous,’ he added.

Mrs Thornberry narrowed her eyes. The grandfather clock in the hall chimed midday.

‘$70? Surely you can do better than that?’

‘Ok, ok. You got me, lady. There you go, $80. Just don’t tell folks or they’ll think I’ve gone soft!’

Mrs Thornberry watched from behind frayed net curtains as Bob wheeled the desk away. It had been her Harold’s desk and a measly $80 didn’t seem right, but at least it meant she could pay her bills for another month, before calling Bob again.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.

Friday Fictioneers – Groundbreaking

ff060814The Di Cessano’s were legendary for their parties: porcini-stuffed wild boar roasted over flaming coals; the swirling, operatic tones of Flagstad and Melchior’s defining duet from Tristan und Isolde drifting out into the sultry, Tuscan night air.

Back then nobody knew about the fault line. Overnight, the house in the valley became the house on the hill.

If you drive past today, you may still catch a glimpse of Madame Di Cessano dancing in her silken gowns; defiant strains of Wagner echoing through the rugged, overgrown hillside. The parties may have stopped many years ago, but the memories linger on.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.

Friday Fictioneers – The Principles of Youth

ff300714‘Red’ Pete was as left-wing as they came. Few on campus could match his fire for hard-line, unforgiving, Marxist-Leninist rhetoric. Even within the sanctum of his own set you had to be wary of expressing the wrong opinions to Pete: get in his bad books and you’d be labelled ‘capitalist swine'; sometimes he’d say it with a smile, sometimes not.

Pete and I stayed close over the years, but drifted as friends. I still see him most days at work – ‘Sir’ Peter on his way to the boardroom, me on my way to the factory floor.

I like to think he’s still a revolutionary at heart.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.

Friday Fictioneers – Piano Lessons

ff230714By day our top floor apartment echoed to the sounds of learning: flats where manuscripts said sharps; clashing C minors in place of sweeping D majors. On the faded green settee proud parents sat nodding nervously in time.

By night the door was firmly locked, blinds drawn and the heavy curtains closed. It would then be her turn. There were never any missed notes; never anybody to listen except me.

Mother had played Carnegie Hall at 14, for a President at 15. By 17 I was born, and nobody seemed interested in her any more.

Mother isn’t bitter; she just loves to play.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.