Monthly Archives: August 2013

Trifextra 83 – Home By The Sea

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Our dreams were of gold

Chasing clouds across the sky

Seeking rainbow’s end

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This first ever attempt at a Haiku forms my entry into the Trifextra 83 writing challenge. Apologies to all lovers of Haiku for this intrusion into your world. I hope you can forgive me one day. 

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Friday Fictioneers – Reunion Station

ff280813Waiting tables in the grill I’d catch a glimpse of her at the concession stand. With her glistening blond hair and blood red nails she was the very definition of feminine elegance to a fifteen year old.

Today was the first time I’d been back at the station in what seemed like forever. As my wife queued with the kids in McDonald’s I couldn’t help myself; I had to see if she was still there.

She was.

As elegant as ever – maybe even more so. A few years older, but just as I remembered: the way I will always remember my first true love.

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This is my entry into this weeks 100 word challenge over at Friday Fictioneers.

Trifecta 92 – Banged to Rights

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I hated almost every minute of working in that place, especially having to deal with that power crazed shit: him with the blackboard and his ‘strikes’. Every day he’d creep around the centre putting the fear of God into the snot nosed kids who staffed the place. I can see him now: one hand scratching his balls, the other tossing his chalk into the air. So many times I felt like reaching out for that damned chalk and ramming it down his throat. However, I was on two strikes; that would have probably made it three.

I remember one morning he sloped past my desk – he rarely looked me in the eye. He was just itching to give me another strike but didn’t have the guts. He knew how much money I was pulling in. More importantly the real bosses knew. A few feet further up the office he paused and out it came – his catchphrase:

‘Let me say it in language you might understand. This ain’t damn bowling friend: a turkey round here and you disappear – one strike left. Am I making myself clear?’

The spotty sixteen year old he’d just chewed out was shaking. The poor bastard looked almost on the verge of tears.  I gave the kid a quick thumbs up and a wink – it brought a smile back to his face. However, I’m not going to shit you: as bad as it was I was actually making some good money.

There were other benefits to working there: we thought we’d kept it quiet – the prick was meant to be out of town at a conference. Him coming back and catching his daughter and me going at it like Easter bunnies kinda signaled the end of my career in the centre.

He almost died when I turned up for work the next day.

‘Don’t worry I won’t be staying’

Heading straight for his blackboard I marked up my third strike – had to admit I’d probably earned it.

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These 333 words, based on the Tenpin bowling ‘turkey’, form my entry into the Trifecta 92 writing challenge.

Alastair’s Photo Fiction – The Bargain Hunter

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Geoff Portman had a passion for oriental antiques. At least twice a year he would fly to Hong Kong hunting for pieces to add to his growing collection. He’d been told of a little shop in downtown Kowloon, but in truth he was disappointed. As he took one last look around he noticed it. Covered in sackcloth, gathering dust in a box at the back of the shop – the glinting tip of a handle lured him in.

‘How much for the sword’ he asked the shopkeeper.

‘Not for sale. Cursed!’

Geoff had heard all this before.  ‘Two thousand dollars?’ he said.

‘Not for sale. Cursed. You no listen to me. Cursed! Need to stay with me. Only me’

‘Five thousand dollars?’

The shopkeeper signed before saying ‘You have it for Ten thousand dollar!’

Back in his hotel room Geoff went to sleep satisfied with his purchase – he would have paid at least double. The next morning they found Geoff still in bed. One half of him on the left; the other on the right. The police were baffled. No murder weapon and CCTV showed no-one other than Geoff leaving or entering his room since last night.

In downtown Kowloon the sword settled back into its box – the glint of the handle sure to catch someone’s eye soon.

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These 200’ish words form my entry into this week’s Photo Fiction challenge on Alastair’s WordPress siteThe picture is copyright of http://kattermonran.com/.

Trifextra 82 – Teletales

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Hello <Insert Name>, thank you for ordering AMCO International Bedtime Services.

Please select from one of the following story themes:

1 Handsome Princes

2 Ponies & Puppies

3  Pageant Queens

4 Repeat Options

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These 33 words from my entry into the Trifextra 82 writing challenge.

Friday Fictioneers – The Conductor

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Hairy Bob slept under that tree. Nobody minded except them newcomers – they asked Hairy to leave but Hairy told ’em this was his tree as much as God’s!

One evening Hairy shuffled into the Churchyard; it was gone – just a big old hole where his tree once stood.

Now, Hairy knew that ugly tree had taken a few bolts over the years. ‘Protected the Church’ he said, but them newcomers knew better – they didn’t know stink. That night came a terrible storm. CRACK! – a direct hit on the steeple and damned if the whole place didn’t burn down.

Them newcomers shoulda listened to Hairy.

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This is my entry into this weeks 100 word challenge over at Friday Fictioneers.

Trifecta 91- The Code Breaker

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Billy-Jo smelled of raspberries. Her eyes were green as frogs; her hair the colour of coke. Billy-Jo’s father ran the sawmill and he hated his ‘princess’ mixing with the likes of me. But we got round the old buzzard easy enough, thanks to Mitchells Cattle supplies! On their front wall was every darned brand mark in the county. Each one was a different farm – I knew ‘em all.

I wrote up a sheet for Billy-Jo. It had all the marks on it; said what each one meant. When her school bus drove by Mitchells she’d see one of the marks circled in chalk. Worked a treat. Allowed us to arrange meets and nobody was none the wiser. I never went anywhere near their house, not once.

We’d been dating for a good while and I was having them urges. All the other boys had ‘em and their girls sorted them good. She seemed wary; a bit nervous likes. However, she eventually agreed it was time. That morning I chalked the ‘Barons’ brand mark. Across from their place was Verndale Lake. Lots of long grass – a perfect spot.

I got there early. Heck, I was nervous too. The rustling of the leaves signalled company.  ‘Hi Mikey,’ said Jemima.

I couldn’t think of much to say. It weren’t who I was expecting but boy she did look good. Jemima didn’t smell of raspberries. She smelled more like my mother. Her hair was blond but the black bits said it weren’t natural. That day was the last  I chalked on Mitchell’s wall.

Never did figure out where Billy-Jo got to that night or how Jem turned up instead: ‘just fate,’ Jem would say with a smile. I ended up doing thirty years in the sawmill while Jem brung up our kids. She left me young when the sickness hit the town. God took her early said the preacher. I can still smell her on my shirt now. The smell of love I always told her.

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These 333 words, based on the word ‘brand’, form my entry into the Trifecta 91 writing challenge. 

Alastair’s Photo Fiction – River’s End

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Jerren Hawkins had been working the Mississippi Riverboats for nigh on 20 years. Most days you’d likely catch a glimpse of him on three or four of the river’s finest steamers. Those days were nearly at and end: Jerren was heading for dry land and the family pig farm in Wyoming. The Hawkins were big in pigs; Jerren was the only one of his siblings not already rearing prime pork. However, the sickness had taken his older brother and Jerren had been called up.

On his last day Jerren was interrupted as he quietly surveyed the decks of the Marylou-Bell.  ‘Step this way Mr Hawkins,’ said the Chief Steward. Jerren looked worried. 20 years above suspicion and now this.

‘Surprise!’ they all shouted as Jerren was ushered into the staff dining room. Most of these people didn’t know who he was or what he did, but Jerren’s was a familiar face and people, it seems, just like to say goodbye.

As the Marylou docked Jerren was waved off on his way. Once he’d faded from view he checked his inside pocket – fob watch, snuff box and two wallets. Not a bad haul for his last day on the job. Leaving parties sure were good for business.

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These 200’ish words form my entry into this week’s Photo Fiction challenge on Alastair’s WordPress siteThe picture is copyright of http://kattermonran.com/.

Trifextra 81 – Life At First Sight

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From the very first moments the senses form.

Shapes and movement; blacks and whites.

A loving mother’s face.

In time focus and control; spectral appreciation and wonder.

The full kaleidoscope of life revealed.

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These 33 words from my entry into the Trifextra 81 writing challenge.

Friday Fictioneers – Wheel Love

ff140813With each dawn he’d leave her; until his return at dusk she would watch for him. Pining.

Her branches ached for his firm white body, the ‘come to bed’ headlights, the deep, thick tread of his Michelin radials. She longed to get closer, but he remained agonisingly distant: her trunk too stiff to bend and reach out. To touch him was her dream.

Then came the wind.

Her roots were ripped from the soil; life was flowing from her, but she didn’t care – they were together: locked in a blissful embrace until the tow truck stole her love away.

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This is my entry into this weeks 100 word challenge over at Friday Fictioneers.

Trifecta 90 – A Man’s Best Friend

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It was a small town; everybody knew Peter Wingdale. He had a reputation for being a cold, heartless soul. Any grasp of right and wrong had been lost somewhere along the way for Peter. He wouldn’t think twice about picking on helpless old folks or kids;  animals too – more than one neighbourhood cat had been found hanging, gutted in his tool shed. He was crazy if truth be told. However, that summer he seemed to change. He looked so proud. Her blond curls twinkled in the spring sunshine. Long walks in the woods, afternoons in the park, paddling in the lake – they became inseparable.

She was clearly wary of him. Never a sound when he was close. People began to think it was strange – she almost look scared of him. One time old Mrs Haggerty says she saw Peter giving her a fearful smack outside the off licence. As she began to cry Peter grabbed her by the throat; screamed for her to be quiet. He threw her in the car. They weren’t seen again for a week. She now limped but still stayed firmly by his side. Loyal as ever.

For a while things appeared back to normal. Peter and his girl walking about town. He never did say what her name was. Then one day they disappeared again. No more sightings. No more public admonishments from Peter. Late Monday last week the police were called out to the Wingdale place: gun shots had been heard. Peter was in his mother’s room – well most of him was. His brains were sprayed all over the landing wall. He must have been facing his mother’s bed when he pulled the trigger.

Down in the basement they heard whimpering. They found her curled up on a blanket at the back of a cage, trembling but alive – just. Turned out Jennifer was her name. Peter may have treated her like a dog but she had somehow survived  both him and his cruelty.

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These 333 words, based on the word ‘grasp’, form my entry into the Trifecta 90 writing challenge. If you would like to vote for me in the community voting then you can do so on Thursday night or Friday morning. 

Alastair’s Photo Fiction – Fatal Distraction

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Ray scanned the screens. Being head of security for the Bremington Vets Day memorial service was the biggest break in his career; he couldn’t afford to make any mistakes. Ray then spotted something: checking his list it wasn’t down. He quickly contacted his brother on the 2-way.

‘Lanny, this is Ray. Ice cream cart at the west gate. Did you know about this? Over.’

‘Ray, Lanny here. No – must have been added to the programme after we received our copy. Over.’

‘Lanny, this is Ray. We need to get there. Mark a perimeter; nobody else to be allowed in before I arrive. Over’

Ray rushed from the control room – the back of his van – to meet his brother. The man pushing the ice cream cart came under immediate questioning.

‘Hey Paul, didn’t know you were on site today? Gimme a strawberry cone and Lanny will have a vanilla with choc chips.’

‘Sure thing Ray,’ said Paul.

Back in the control van the roving camera focused its lens on the south gate. As Ray and Lanny savoured their ice creams the man with the bulky rucksack slipped into the park unnoticed.

These 192 words form my 100th blog entry, as well as being my story for this week’s Photo Fiction challenge on Alastair’s WordPress site. The picture is copyright of http://kattermonran.com/.

Trifextra 80 – Like Father, Like Son

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Every night it was the same for Vera’s boys.

Dribbling, drooling, tears and tantrums.

Jimmy Jnr’s swollen gums and impending first milk tooth was his excuse.

Jimmy Snr was just a rotten drunk.

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These 33 words from my entry into the Trifextra 80 writing challenge.

Friday Fictioneers – Photo Opportunity

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‘Who’s that? She wasn’t there!’ thought Chip, as he viewed the picture he’d just taken of his best friend Brad. Chip looked up and down the street – empty – just Brad on the corner.

The boys were new in town. What they didn’t know was that right behind Brad was the site of the old Bidwell ballet school – the same spot where the Exchange is today. Fire destroyed the school back in ’58; three young girls and their teacher were killed.

Local legend says that the school continues to put on shows. Had Chip’s camera just been lucky enough to capture their latest performance?

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This is my entry into this weeks 100 word challenge over at Friday Fictioneers.

Trifecta 89 – The Final Judgement

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Robert William Xavier Mallard had long been regarded as one of the finest Judges in the state. Many an aspiring Johnnie Cochran had run aground on the rocks of Mallard reef. He took no nonsense; nobody knew the law better than Bob.

Only one local firm thought they had the better of Judge Mallard – Cressmans. To give them their full names, Cressman, Fernandez & Cressman. For every criminal the Judge had banged to rights there would be another the damn Cressmans would get off. Grudging professional respect aside, he loathed them.

Any Client, Any Case’ was their motto. Most of their clients were as guilty as sin. Weak excuses, even weaker legal arguments – it didn’t matter. The gleaming smiles and razor sharp Cressman suits worked their magic more times than the Judge cared to forget.

And there they were at his retirement party. Fernandez didn’t show – Bob wasn’t absolutely sure there was a Fernandez. He wouldn’t have put it past the Cressmans to add the name simply to appeal more to Hispanics. It’s the kind of thing the shysters would do.

‘No hard feelings Judge, I mean Bob’ grinned Wally Cressman as he approached the bar. His pearly white teeth and recently acquired suntan glowed as he sat on the stool next to Bob.

‘Not many’ Bob replied, barely looking up from his cocktail.

‘That’s the spirit, and hey if you ever need a solicitor…well, maybe not, eh Bob?’

‘No, I’ll take a card. You never know.’

As Wally reached into his jacket pocket Bob pounced. The punch came from way back – delivered with the zest of a young sweetheart defending his maiden’s honour. Wally didn’t see it coming. It landed flush on the nose, blood splattering against his tanned cheeks. Bob calmly removed his phone and dialled.

‘Cressman, Fernandez & Cressman. Any Client, Any Case. How can I help you?’

‘Yes, I need a lawyer,’ Bob replied, a satisfied grin on his face, as he resumed sipping his Manhattan.

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These 333 words form my entry into the Trifecta 89 writing challenge.

For those who don’t know, the picture used is of Saul Goodman from ‘Breaking Bad’. Saul is the archetypal shyster lawyer, and one of the stars of the show. If you haven’t watched ‘Breaking Bad’ then I suggest you make plans to do so!