Friday Fictioneers – Aftermath

ff210115A lone gull hovered above the windswept harbour. Its heart-breaking cries echoed unanswered amongst the rusted, abandoned hulls below. In the distance angry crimson clouds continued to rumble, yet the seas remained eerily, unnaturally still. There was nothing left I could do here – there had to be someone else alive, and I had to find them before it was too late. I checked the map once more and readied to leave. I looked skywards just as the gull turned inland towards the smoldering city. A chill went through my body as scented warm rain began to fall.

friday-fictioneers

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

It’s an old prompt, but a new story. No re-treads on here.

(Due to time constraints, today was a ‘write the first sentence and see what follows‘ effort. I hope it doesn’t feel too disjointed or wishy-washy as a result.)

Friday Fictioneers – Desert Island Notification

ff170413I wiped hot sand from my lips; sticky sweat dripped down my sunburnt back. It had been days since a violent storm had tossed the splintered wreckage of my yacht onto this island. From my shaded cover all I could see was endless ocean. Then something caught my eye – a fleeting sparkle on the water’s edge.

I stood up and stumbled warily out into the baking heat. A green bottle bobbed through the white foam, inside a piece of paper.

The handwritten note began, “Friday Fictioneers Prompt…”

‘Good old Rochelle’, I thought. She certainly does think of everything and everyone.

friday-fictioneers

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

It’s an old prompt, but a new story. No re-treads on here.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Trouble in Paradise

168-08-august-14th-2016A thin trail of blood trickled down his ring finger. At first the tiny wound had barely even stung – he couldn’t even remember how, or when, it had happened. Now there was a stiffness in lower arm. Slowly that sickening stiffness cascaded up towards his shoulders and then out and around the rest of his failing body. His legs suddenly gave way as he collapsed to the ground struggling for breath. These distant, hidden rainforests had been the photographer’s life; today they might prove his death.

His whole body and mind were now shutting down. Yet, it would surely pass. This was just a temporary shock: the primitive defence of some ancient flora defending its hard won territory. But as daylight began to ebb he remained on the sodden spot where he’d fallen. Drips of warm, sticky sweat covering his now fevered brow. In the distance desperate hopes were raised by shouts. Yet unable to respond, unable to cry for help the shouts soon faded – the piercing white searchlight of torches extinguished as his lonely vigil once more returned to clawing, suffocating darkness. In the near undergrowth something slithered in his direction.

spf

Other entries for SPF can be found here.

Friday Fictioneers – Happy Birthday to Me

ff120314A bikini-clad girl waved as her white leisure cruiser sped past the end of the pier.

Brad wiped bubbling froth from his top lip. ‘Jeesh, don’t you just wish you were 20 again?’

I smiled.

I hadn’t see 20 for nigh on 30 years. A lot had happened in that time – plenty of it good, and yeh, some not so good. But through most of it I’d been with the one person I truly loved – the one person who was there when I needed someone the most. I’d never risk losing her, not even for another life.

‘You bet,’ I lied, reaching for a cold beer.

friday-fictioneers

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

It’s an old prompt, but a new story. No re-treads on here.

Friday Fictioneers – Last Man Standing

ff080513‘It’s her, Chief.’

I didn’t need to be told. I already knew whose battered, broken body they’d found in the apartment above the Laundromat.

A month ago a painting had been sent to Police HQ. It was a childish mess of colours and shapes, but in amongst the confusion were faces – four faces. As of tonight, three of those faces were dead. They’d all been watched, but they all still died.

Now only one, seemingly unidentified face remained breathing.

‘We’ll get him,’ I said to my lieutenant.

I double-checked my service revolver was loaded. When the coward finally came for me, I’d be waiting.

friday-fictioneers

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

It’s an old prompt, but a new story. No re-treads on here.

Friday Fictioneers – The Morning After Effect

ff161013My head was still spinning from the night before. I didn’t remember much, but it had been a good night, that much I was sure. Jimmy always did say the best nights were the ones you couldn’t remember.

On the way to the corner store two woman whispered as I approached.

That was his friend,’ I overheard one of them say. Both sets of eyes looked towards me. Dismissive. Disgusted.

My phone buzzed. There were a dozen messages from Jimmy’s kid brother.

It was then I noticed the blood stain on my jeans.; it was then I started to remember – and panic.

friday-fictioneers

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

It’s an old prompt, but a new story. No re-treads on here

Friday Fictioneers – Opposites Attract

the-boat-and-miss-libertyBob Fogarty had run his crabber out of St. Verlaine for as long as anyone living there could remember. Everybody liked Bob. He always had a story,  and when the whisky was flowing good, most likely a song or two.

Then there was May Fogarty, like chalk to Bob’s cheese she was. Always rubbed folks up the wrong way. Never had a good word to say about anyone or anything – most especially not her Bob. But it didn’t stop them having their ten kids, didn’t stop them staying together while other families drifted apart. Deep down they just loved each other I suppose.     

friday-fictioneers

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

It’s an old prompt, but a new story. No re-treads on here

Friday Fictioneers – Running Towards Trouble

ff140514Maggie gently squeezed my hand as the ceremony came an end. It had been our first September back in New York since I’d left the service.

‘How did it feel that day?’ the young woman next to me asked.

How did it feel, lady? It felt absolutely fricking terrifying. Instinct was screaming at me to turn and run, to flee to safety with everybody else, to escape from the undreamt of horrors unfolding a few blocks up ahead. But I didn’t turn, I didn’t run, none of us did.

‘It felt like I was doing my job, Miss.’ I said.

friday-fictioneers

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

It’s an old prompt, but a new story. No re-treads on here

Friday Fictioneers – Tourist Trap

ff060716Freshly whitewashed walls sparkled under a warm, early-morning sun. Down by the small harbour, tables and chairs, stored over winter in his uncle’s goat shed, had been wiped down and placed outside Nik’s Taverna.  Even the normally unhurried and unfussed Madame Soranis had replanted her window box in readiness. Back up the hill, Mr Konaros too was almost ready for the summer season. Not many visitors to the picturesque village of Arxalas would likely remember Mr Konaros. A few though would have reason to regret crossing his path as they fumbled around in unexpectedly empty pockets on the journey home.

friday-fictioneers

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

It’s an old prompt, but a new story. No re-treads on here!

Friday Fictioneers – A Long, Slow Thaw

ff290616‘She wants to see you,’ my brother said, his faint voice almost lost within the crackles of the long-distance line.

I hadn’t spoken to my younger brother in two years; it had been nearer twenty-five since I’d seen our mother, yet the memories of that spring morning remained clear.

‘You’re too good for her, and that family,’ she’d insisted, bitter, angry tears reddening her eyes.

She never did come to the wedding, never did see her our three girls grow up. She had other children, ones who hadn’t disappointed her.

‘She’s dying’ my brother, continued. ‘She wants to say she’s sorry.’

friday-fictioneers

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

It’s an old prompt, but a new story. No re-treads on here!

Adieu Europe

diceGot to be honest and say I wasn’t really watching the EU Referendum hustings that closely. Why? Well, two main reasons. Firstly I didn’t appreciate there was a serious chance we would actually vote to leave. Naive perhaps, but for me Europe has simply never been an issue. Secondly, it all felt like an internal Tory squabble (most UKIP are ex-Tories) – a squabble that has been brewing for years and needed to finally vent steam. Well, vent steam it did, and driven by the racial intolerance currently rife in our politics, the voters of the UK took the frankly mind-numbing decision to cut themselves adrift from our European neighbours.

What now? Well, that’s a good question. However, I wouldn’t waste time asking the ‘Leave’ campaign as none of them seem to know. Unlike the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014, where there was a 670 page white paper outlining the transition, in this referendum there has been nothing but soundbites and rhetoric. On the news of a Leave vote the UK markets crashed to the point where we dropped from the 5th to the 6th biggest global economy. Hot on the heels of share values being decimated the first lie of the Leave campaign was then exposed. Leaving the EU would apparently allow an extra £350m to be spent on the NHS, each week. As it turns out that was, err, “a mistake” according to UKIP leader, Nigel Farage. Conveniently it was a mistake plastered all over battle buses, hoardings, flyers and television interviews. As I type I’ve just read that Cornwall residents (who voted 57/43 to leave) want their current EU subsidies to be matched by the UK Govt. I wish them well with that request. There will be a long queue of people wanting their lost EU income protected.

Of course, I’m Scottish and a passionate supporter of my country and it’s right to become an independent nation once again. Many people will now be asking where this result leaves that dream. The answer is probably best summed up by this post-EU Ref map.

ukeu

The yellow bits voted to remain; the blue bits voted to leave. As you can see there is a rather large, unspoiled, yellow bit north of the Scotland/England border. In more detail, there are 32 council areas in Scotland. Of those 32, erm, 32 voted to ‘Remain’. Sad fact is if everyone who voted in Scotland had voted to ‘Remain’ it would have made absolutely no difference i.e. we were, as we always are, outnumbered by our fellow islanders in England and Wales. The net result is that despite an overwhelming desire to remain in the EU, Scotland is on the way out. With it will be an end to the EU funding so vital to many Scottish organisations. However, I’m sure we can expect the UK Govt to cover the shortfall, or more likely not.

Unsurprisingly this outcome has triggered talk of a second Scottish Independence referendum. First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, made it clear during the recent Holyrood elections that only a “significant and material change” would bring “indyref2” onto the table. There can’t be much argument that being dragged out the the EU against our will more than qualifies. It looks like being an interesting year or two ahead on the UK political scene.

Thanks for reading.

The clock is ticking

Wee Ginger Dug

So that’s it then. The sun has risen but the darkness falls. The nightmare has happened. The nightmare is here. Two Unions lie broken. Last night England broke the Unions, and chose for us. Chose to take us into the dark forest, chose to take us off the path we wanted to travel. England and Wales have voted to leave the EU and Scotland has voted to remain. Every single council area voted to remain.  The union is divided but Scotland is united, and here we are again, sitting at the back of a bus that’s being driven to a destination that we’ve said we don’t want to go to. We cling on as we drive off a cliff. We shout from the back seat but no one listens. We hold our heads in our hands and we weep in frustration. That’s the best of both better together worlds. That’s…

View original post 1,158 more words

Friday Fictioneers – Fear of (Not) Flying

ff220616With the evening sun setting over Milwaukee, Cathy buckled up tight for her final paid landing. The former homecoming queen had pushed her cart up and down the aisles of Deltas for the last 30 years. Her ankles now ached most shifts, but she never once stopped smiling.

“I bet you won’t miss the three-day trips and 5am starts,” the Captain had said.

Thing is she would. Life at home had become almost unbearable since Frank had begun to forget. Last weekend he didn’t recognise their oldest daughter. Cathy feared she would be next, and that scared her.

friday-fictioneers

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

It’s an old prompt, but a new story. No re-treads on here!

Friday Fictioneers – A Pupil’s Sorrow

I started piano lessons at Miss Shawbridge’s place when I was eight. I always hated them, even though I never disliked her. It was the house which creeped me out, it smelled of death, everything just looked old. They stopped me going to see Miss Shawbridge when I was 13.

I saw her the other week, Alice Shawbridge. I hadn’t seen her in almost eleven years. Despite what I did to her that afternoon she still bears no malice. She’s forgiven me and wishes me no ill, she says. The thing is, I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive myself.

friday-fictioneers

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

It’s an old prompt, but a new story. No re-treads on here!

Sunday Photo Fiction – Next in Line

160-06-june-12th-2016Three red lights shimmered in the summer haze. The cars on the start line continued to rev, golden licks of flame shooting from the silver and black exhausts. One by one the lights went dark. Both cars screeched  from the start, flame and smoke trails in their wake. Before you could wipe the heat and dust from your eyes it was over. Dad had won again.

‘Well, he’s only gone and done it, Brad.’ I turned towards my little brother, but he himself was already turned away – lost in his own world. Brad had never really shown much interest in racing; he’d never really shown much interest in most of the things our family was known for in the county. I though loved all of it: the cars, the competition, the noise, the excitement. But I was a girl and girl’s don’t race.

The fans in the stands cheered as this year’s champion made his way back towards the pits. In a few years  Brad would be expected to take over the family concern – expected to become the next champion to raise the family name high.  I knew that wasn’t going to happen. Dad would be heartbroken, but in time I hoped he’d understand.

spf

Other entries for SPF can be found here.