Monthly Archives: February 2014

Friday Fictioneers – L’amour d’une mère

ff260214The sun-bleached photograph above the fireplace trembled –  a gentle reminder to Isabelle that the bus bringing her son home had entered the village.

As she waited expectantly by the gate, the rusting red tractor of Monsieur Roget thundered  past her cottage. The cheery farmer doffed his chequered cap and smiled, as he did every morning. Behind him the street lay empty: it seemed there would be no bus today.

Maybe tomorrow,’ thought Isabelle.

Back inside she continued to ready for her son’s return – she missed him so. Arnaud hadn’t been home since leaving for the front; Isabelle couldn’t remember exactly how long ago that was.

friday-fictioneers

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

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Trifextra 103 – One Final Misunderstanding

670px-Know-When-to-Break-Up-Step-07We were finished –

She seemed heartbroken, yet accepting.

‘One of us should go…tonight,’ I said.

‘I agree,’ she whispered, as the carving knife sliced into my kidneys.

Bitch!

She knew damn well that wasn’t what I meant

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These 38 words form my entry into the Trifextra 103 challenge.

We were asked to write a story that ended with the words ‘that wasn’t what I meant‘. To be honest I’m not a fan of prompts which define a story’s last words; however, that said, I hope you find some merit in what I came up with.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Ascension

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On the edge of the circle she stood. All around expectant breaths hung visible in the winter night air. Under the layers of ceremonial robes her milky white skin remained unblemished, pure – her small , fragile body only now showing signs of the woman she was destined to become.

Before Azanaquira could truly be at one with the Gods she first needed clarity, she needed focus – she needed a life free of distractions and concerns. The Queen’s only role is to lead, to inspire, to protect; to link her people to their Gods. There can be no other cares.

‘My Queen. It is time.’

Her eyes betrayed no emotion, no tears. Receiving the flaming torch from her life protector there was no debate; no battle within her conscious – Azanaquira was no longer behind those chilling blue eyes. Looking out, possessing that childlike body was now a Queen. A Queen who had to free herself for duty.

Approaching the centre of the circle she paused only briefly to view the man and woman bound within the pyre. Their eyes shone as cold and accepting as hers – their job was done: they had given their people their Queen.

Leaning forward the fire was lit. Within moments orange flames crackled and danced against the oceans of the rising moon.

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These words form my entry into this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge. 

Friday Fictioneers – A Second Chance

ff190214Dull, metallic thuds of the heavy school bell signal it is time. All week long, talk had been about the meeting – what folks would say, how they would vote.

The facts were clear: Joey Jackson had torched the derelict Mulligan place – cost him five years over at Ravenhall County. Joey now wanted to come back to town, make good – still claims he never knew anyone was inside at the time.  Some believe him, Judge and Jury weren’t sure.

As order is called the unmistakable hubbub of heated debate begins to drift out into the warm evening air. Across the playing field a scruffy haired kid sits alone on the swings, waiting and hoping.

friday-fictioneers

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

Trifecta 112 – The House on the Corner

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The housing market in was in a funk: next to nobody was moving. Houses would only sell when the vendor got ‘realistic’. The house on the corner of Evansdale and Darnley couldn’t be given away. No, really – not even for free.

Ever since I could remember the ‘For Sale’ sign was there, stuck in the bare scrub that used to be the front lawn. Winter or summer it would be up, creaking to and fro in the breeze. People came and looked – sure, but the sign stayed. Nobody even cared for the old place – the windows are all busted, the fly screen hangs limply, the darned slates blow off every fall.

There’s stories of people getting close. An art dealer from upstate was closer than most to exchanging. Had sold up his old business and wanted to open a boutique in town. Five miles out on Route 34 his Ferrari ended up sandwiched between the front axles of a 100ft transporter. His wife and baby kid were riding just behind – they never even saw the place: police drove them straight back upstate.

Then there was Big Joe Denmark – he owns, owned, everything round here. Everything expect the house on the corner of Evansdale and Darnley. He didn’t even need it. Why would the man who has everything want that old place? He should have let it go. Think they got as far as busting down the front fence to get his diggers on site. Was a shock to everyone who saw it when he collapsed plumb dead in the street. Black, syrupy blood pouring right out of his eyes, so they say. Didn’t see it myself.

Fools. They should have asked me. I could have told them the house doesn’t want to be sold. It’s happy where it is; what it is. Just leave it alone, it aint doing anyone any harm.

…Don’t believe me? Think I’m full of it?

Go on then , try and buy it. Go on I dare you – I double dare you!

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These words, based on the third definition of the word ‘funk‘,form my entry into the Trifecta 112 writing challenge.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Bird Brain

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‘Keep coming you little fucker, that’s it, come to daddy?’ he whispered, as a chirping sparrow hopped into the cross-hairs. ‘Just stay there, just there, perfect.’

BANG!

‘Got him!’ he yelled. Clean shot, no blood on the lawn – as always. He hoped that one day the dumb sparrows would get the message. However, another part of him hoped they wouldn’t – he had grown to like the sport.

The following morning the green-keeper was once more lurking in his shed. Through half dozing eyes it seemed the sky had gone black. ‘What the fuck’ he muttered,’ as he staggered out of his tattered deck chair.

A single shining, black raven sat perched atop his precious had painted sign.

‘Cheeky little bastard, I’ll have you, just you wait!’

Resting the barrel of his shotgun on the open window ledge he quickly had the interloper in his sights. For a moment they watched each other – the raven’s blinking, green eyes drilling deep into his thought’s of murder. Slowly, strangely, he wondered what this was all about: all the killing – was it worth it? The raven kept looking, its green eyes blinking.

BANG!

The darkness left the skies as the raven swooped for the heavens. In its place came a hungry sparrow, pecking for worms. In the shed, the brains of the green-keeper trickled down the walls,  the tip of his gun still smoking.

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These words form my entry into this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge. 

Friday Fictioneers – Keeping The Flame Alive

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Rik and Val met at Art college – got married in the spring of their freshmen semester. Val fell pregnant with their twin boys soon after; Rik earned just about enough between his paintings and job at the Deli to keep the young family together.

Forty years on from that first stolen look across a crowded cafe they’re still together. Rik forever entranced by her innocent beauty – the silken blond locks, the playful smile on her lips. His increasingly clumsy brushstrokes can never truly do her justice, but these days it’s all he has.

‘Happy Valentines, my love,’ he whispers, as a single tear falls from his cheek.

friday-fictioneers

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

Trifextra 102 – Unseen Advances

bluebells_1633226cHe only wanted to be her friend:
To touch her, to breathe her.
She now lies still in the wood –
Tender bird song framing the silence,
As bluebells sway in the summer breeze.

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These 33 words form my entry into the Trifextra 102 challenge.

We were asked to write a story about ‘love gone wrong‘ which didn’t include any of the following words: Love, Heart, Sad, Tears, Pain, Wept. I hope you enjoy what I came up with.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Morning’s Gift

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It had been many, long years since Britta Jarnskop had stood atop the crest of Sellanja Rise. In the distance flecks of light began to spark over a still darkened horizon – the comforting security of night once more meekly surrendering its battle to the advancing dawn.

As a child she had often climbed the Rise with her father – together they would sit amongst the glistening snowdrops awaiting the new day, dreaming of the joys it would surely bring. That joy had soon turned to a nightmare: their lakeside village in the Gerstag valley ransacked – only little Britta survived, although at times she wondered if she truly had. Within that vibrant shell of seeming eternal youth now spun the memories of a lifetime, centuries in the making.

Britta was tired. She no longer wished to make others suffer her fate to extend an already overstretched, unloved existence. They had tried to stop her, but within her eyes they knew: it was her moment – a moment that they too would face in time.

As the first flashes of light collected and joined the battle was over – a new day was born. Britta Jarnskop closed her eyes and accepted the flames which engulfed her body; accepted her end.

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These words form my entry into this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge. 

Friday Fictioneers – Light of Love

ff050214Big Norm Cawthorne never got over losing his Lindy-Mae.

The light in my life,’ he called her.

After her passing they say Norm was never the same man again. Spent his days rummaging through endless yard sales and flea markets – what he was looking for, nobody really knew, or cared.

Turns out Norm wasn’t alone for long. When they found him the Cawthorne place was lit up like a Christmas tree. However, seems no matter what he did he could never get enough: no amount of flickering bulbs could illuminate the darkness Lindy-Mae’s passing had left in his life.

Now he is back in her glow for ever.

friday-fictioneers

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

Trifecta 111 – Press Intrusions

The_New_York_Times_newsroom_1942”M’ is for making news people – If there isn’t any, make it up. There’s always news!’

That was Jake’s favourite saying. He’d laugh when he said it; we’d all laugh too. Our esteemed Editor-in-Chief didn’t demand toadying, but he still expected it. Heck, none of were innocents – we didn’t do this job for nothing, we could have done something else. We chose to be here; we chose to treat people like shit. At times I hated myself for it. However, one of the Boss’s early forays into conscience reassurance still managed to win me over, most days:

‘They’re celebrities. We pay them – we own them. If they step out of line we have a right to know!’

After a while it just became the way we all thought. Yes, we had our own families, our own secrets – but we were just ordinary people, doing ordinary jobs. Nobody cared whether we’re up to no good with the sister-in-law, the brother-in-law or anybody else for that matter. Those were our concerns, not the nations.

The office was quiet that particular morning in early May – just after the holiday weekend. I noticed the Boss wasn’t at his desk when I slipped out of my coat and into my chair. Soon I received a flustered tap on the shoulder from Frank O’Callaghan – the Deputy Editor. Even this early in the morning his tie was already at half mast, as dark sweat stains puddled under his arm pits.

‘It’s the Boss,’ he began – chewing his lips, while sucking his teeth. ‘New ‘M’ word for the day – manipulate, got it?’ he continued.

‘What’s up Frank? Where’s Jake?’ I replied.

Behind Frank’s flushed forehead, the local TV news channel was paused on a grainy, slightly pixelated image subtitled ‘Gazette Editor, Jake McGivney and friends‘. I didn’t recognise the women, or man, he was with. Almost didn’t recognise the Boss without his clothes.

‘On it’, I nodded, just about managing to suppress a smile.

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These words, based on the third definition of the word ‘manipulate, form my entry into the Trifecta 111 writing challenge.