Friday Fictioneers – Development Opportunity

ff030216Frank rolled down the car window and spat raven-black spit onto the sandy ground. The sign chained to the fence said ‘Coming Soon – Affordable Family Housing’.

‘How can they build out there?’ I said. ‘It’s more water than land, Frank.’

‘People needs houses, Joe. They’ll just drain it. Five years from now you’ll never know Logan’s swamp ever existed.’ Frank reached for a fresh plug of tobacco and wedged it under his bottom lip.

I forced a nervous smile. It had been over ten years – surely they’d never find her. Even if they did, they’d never be able to prove nothin’.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.

Friday Fictioneers – Actions and Consequences

ff270116Vera’s whole body was shaking. In her right hand she still held onto what was left of the bottle of Chateau de Sable. The rest of the bottle lay in pieces around Billy’s head. At first she thought she’d killed him, but then he started to groan.

The meal, the cheap bottle of red: it had been Billy’s clumsy attempt to rekindle any lingering passion. Instead, all it had done was rekindle a belief in Billy that his wife was his to do with as he pleased.

Vera had to think fast. There was no easy way out of this, but one way or another, this would all end here.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.

Friday Fictioneers – A Final Composition

ff200116Flakes of Viennese snow drifted in through the open window. On top of the grand piano a single candle dripped wax onto unscored manuscripts. A once warming fire now lay cold and grey in the hearth. Crippling fever pains again gripped his stomach; tears of stale sweat drenched his shirt.

None of this mattered – all that mattered was the commission, and his reputation.

Gripping the quill as firmly as he could between trembling, calloused fingers, two more bars, and then three more, were added to the overture. This requiem would be finished on time, even if it killed him.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.

(Apologies to the makers of Amadeus for this ham-fisted plagiarism of their cinematic masterpiece!)

Friday Fictioneers – Personal Everest

ff130116Warm sweat was pouring down my back. The ends of my fingers tingled with pins and needles. My lungs were aching. I struggled to focus on my surroundings. I could barely hear the voice.

‘Only another few steps’

My mind was scrambled. The pain was searing. I just wanted to stop; to let the others go. There was no point in anyone waiting for me – I was a lost cause, and surely they knew it.

You can make it!’

With one last effort I was almost there. Almost…and then the music stopped.

Ok, class, see you next week’

I hate January.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.

Friday Fictioneers – Last Will and Testament

ff060116‘…and now we reach the final item.’

The lawyer paused to take a sip of peppermint tea. The house, within which the assembled relatives sat, had already gone to a second cousin few had ever met. His 80% stockholding was now in the hands of five bowling buddies from the company mail-room.

‘My GX2012 Lear Jet with landing rights, storage and ten years of fueling and pilot fees paid in advance, I leave to my friend, Dylan.’

‘Dylan?’ enquired Aunt Agatha.

In a warm, quiet corner of the room, an old Labrador stirred briefly at the mention of his name.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.

Friday Fictioneers – A Last Sighting

ff301215The coffee shop on Fulton barely paid minimum wage, but there was new money in the neighbourhood, and the tips were good. Most mornings, on my early break, I’d see them part with a kiss on the top step of the brownstone at 708. There didn’t seem a lot of love, but at that age I certainly wasn’t an expert on the matter.

One damp, fall morning I watched as he left in a hurry without his kiss. From an upstairs window a woman’s eyes briefly met my own. Heavy, red drapes were then pulled tight once more. I never saw her again after that – nobody did.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge. As this is my final story for 2015 I will take this opportunity to wish all my friends on FF a Happy New Year. See you all again in 2016.

Friday Fictioneers – A Time For Giving

ff231215Silver’s one surviving eye glistened in the twinkling fairy lights. Droplets of fresh cream fell from the ends of his whiskers. On the floor a serving plate lay broken, beside it, a scented gift torn free from red and green wrapping paper. As worn, yellow teeth chewed slowly on a second slice of salmon, a ginger and white face appeared at the far end of the table. Silver hissed, but the fearless intruder ignored the warning. One by one, others soon joined to claim their share of the unexpected bounty. In the shadows, the kindly folks from the cat’s society watched on smiling as the neighbourhood strays tucked into their Christmas treat.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge…and please remember is a pet is for life, not for Christmas.

Seasons greetings to all my friends on FF!

Friday Fictioneers – Starting Afresh

ff161215Ruffles stirred in his wicker basket as the door was slowly pushed ajar. The old, chocolate Labrador yawned, and then watched through tired eyes as Emmy tip-toed across the cold, stone floor.

At the window she paused. This had always been her favourite time of the day: the dawn mists rising over the barn; a slither of red sky beyond the southern cornfields. For just a moment she hesitated, before propping up the white envelope against a bowl of apples on the kitchen table.

Picking up the small suitcase, she turned to Ruffles and smiled. Perhaps a heavy heart, but no tears, as Emmy slipped quietly out the back door.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.

A Fragile Democracy: Consequences of the Carmichael Case

fionamoragrahame

The electoral court has made its decision and have refused the prayer of the petition ‘Timothy Denis Morrison and Others against Alistair Carmichael MP’.  Alistair was quick off the mark to access the media and convey his delight with the verdict. Maybe it would have been more prudent of him to actually read the opinion delivered by Lady Paton before he took to the cameras.

His delight is hard to understand given that the judges opinion of him is:

‘ we had no concerns about the credibility and reliability of the witnesses, with one exception’ (para 8)

Alistair Carmichael has fallen so far that even:

‘the practice of leaking information, particularly false information, in order to embarrass political opponents, [which] may strike many members of the public as by definition dishonest and reprehensible’ (para 52)

has not prevented him from sharing his ‘delight’ at having got off on a technicality.

The…

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Friday Fictioneers – A Man’s Gotta Have His Pride

ff091215‘Hey, Lonnie, some big old chicken gone and robbed the Kwik-Mart in Evansville.’

Wendy-May paused from laughing at the TV report only long enough to suck the remaining barbecue sauce from her chicken wing. It was the best they’d eaten in months. Even little Lonnie Jnr. was being treated to full fat milk instead of formula.

Lonnie returned with a fresh Bud from the cooler. He looked towards Wendy-May and scowled. ‘That’s no chicken, stupid woman. It’s a darned rooster, a rooster.’

‘Ok, honey bun. Sit down and drink your beer.’

Lonnie slumped into his armchair.

‘Were a rooster,’ he mumbled. ‘A rooster!’

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.

Friday Fictioneers – The Trainspotter

ff021215Our apartment was at the end of the Blue Line. Through my bedroom window I used to watch, hoping to see father arriving home on the first down-service each morning. Mother said he was a barman in the city: by night he served sparkling cocktails to big shots, during the day he slept. We never had much, but we never went short, and father always told us such great stories.

The Blue Line now terminates three stops back up the line at Farrow and Main; the track bed lies overgrown and abandoned. But my memories of those times  remain as colourful as the days they were made.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.

(Apologies to CEAyr, no jokes again this week. I will try and raise a titter before Christmas, if I can.)

Friday Fictioneers – One-Way To Botany Bay

ff251115Our passage pitched and rolled its way past the jagged cliffs of St. Mozen Pt. Through the small porthole I watched as the glinting lights of my village faded into the salty, early morning mists.

I had been wrong, I’d said so in court. It weren’t my wheat, but my wife and boys was starving. Surely any man would have done the same – any man.

Transportation,” the judge had said. Not a quiver of emotion in his voice.

Should’ve ‘anged him!” some in the raucous gallery had grumbled.

Ahead now lay months at the mercy of the oceans. Never again to see the lights of home.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.

Friday Fictioneers – There But For The Grace Of….

ff181115A woman’s shoe was thrown from the back of the crowd, only just missing the head of a small, red-haired girl. The man gripping the terrified child’s hand  paused to stare at their accusers. A brief, solitary act of defiance which saw louder, and even more venomous, abuse rain down upon the shackled marchers.

“Dirty scum!” the angry crowd shouted. “Die traitors!”

My Dotti and her friends joined in the shouting. But despite her words I knew Dotti was just as frightened as those being taken to the fields today. We were all frightened – next time it might be us.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.

Friday Fictioneers – Little Girls’ Dreams

ff111115Beneath the snow-white veil, in a place where only those who knew to look would find, Carrie’s joy remained laced with painful sadness.

This was always meant to have been their moment, a moment they had been planning since back in the second grade. Their weddings were to be on the same day, at the same time, in the same church – this church. Carrie and her sister would walk down the aisle, and into marriage, together.

Yet, today as the bells rang out over the village, Carrie made that walk alone. Her beloved sister forever in all of our hearts.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.

Sunday Photo Fiction – A Change of Heart

129-11-november-8th-2015The knocking began in my dreams, but ended in the hazy, morning light of the car park.

‘Sorry mate, you’ve got to move – we’re closing for resurfacing,’ said the man in a Day-Glo orange jacket. ‘You been here all night?’ he asked.

I had, but I didn’t plan to admit it.

‘Oh, no,’ I said. ‘Just a couple of hours. I’ll be on my way.’

The workman nodded and returned to his van.

The squeaking wipers cleared fallen autumn leaves from the windscreen. The heater did it’s best to clear my view. I was suddenly freezing. My back was stiff, my mouth dry.

Slowly the tree line ahead reformed, the last few drips of early morning dew wiped to one side. A man and his dog ran along the path through the trees. Then they appeared, just as they always did.

I had it all planned – every word I was going to say. This was to be the moment I got my life back. But they seemed happy, happier than they had ever been with me. Without thinking I reversed and pulled out of the car park. I didn’t even glance back into the mirrors. They had their new lives, it was time I came to terms with mine.

spf

Other entries for SPF can be found here.