Tag Archives: Memories

Friday Fictioneers – Together Again

Jimmy had always been a mother’s boy. They’d lived alone in a big house at the end of Russell Avenue. Some said their bond was unnatural, but nobody really knew for sure. When she died Jimmy’s grief had been beyond pain. For years he mourned her loss. It was only the pills which kept him going.

Jimmy eventually  moved away from the house on Russell Avenue, but his mother’s shadow never left his side.  When they found him his bottle of pills was empty. There was no note, no suspicious circumstances. Everybody knew Jimmy just wanted to be with his mother again.

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

Friday Fictioneers – Anniversary Supper

The last of the logs crackled in the fireplace. A bone-piercing chill steadily embraced the once warm and inviting front room. On the coffee table a bottle of our favourite cheap red wine was missing only one large glass, the take-away pizza less than half eaten.

This was supposed to have been our chance to talk, to patch things over – perhaps our last chance. He should have been here well before eight, been off the roads long before the storm passed across the valley floor.

I had red wine and pizza while waiting that night too, and every year since.

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

Friday Fictioneers – A Familiar Face

I hadn’t visited Uncle Jimmy since he’d gotten real sick. I felt bad about that, especially when I was told he’d left me something.

The small package contained a DVD and an envelope, the words “WATCH THE FILM BEFORE OPENING” etched boldly into the bleached, white manila.

Flickering, colourless reels of people and places of another time. A man on a rickety bicycle rolled unsteadily across the screen. He paused to raise his cloth cap triumphantly towards the camera. As the lens zoomed in my heart began to pound.

It can’t be. How could it be?

I opened the letter. Hands shaking, I started to read.

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

Friday Fictioneers – Pointless Recriminations?

‘Are we still doing this?’ I asked.

Johnny smiled and took a nonchalant drag on his cigarette.

‘Why? You lot going all chicken on Johnny?’

I laughed an unconvincing laugh. ‘Course not, just getting late is all…and…’

Before I could finish Johnny had scrambled up and over the iron gate. Through the rusting bars I watched as he paused to light a fresh smoke. He then beckoned for the rest of the gang to join him.

Some of us followed, one or two didn’t. Even now, all these years later, I still regret the choice I made. Still feel guilty about what happened.

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

Friday Fictioneers – Unwanted Attention

ff150217Susie woke with a start. It wasn’t the first time,  and for sure, wouldn’t be the last.

‘She’s my daughter, my kid, mine, mine!’

The defiant words of her father as he was dragged away remained as fresh as ever. The smell of stale beer and nicotine somehow still in her nostrils. She’d never forget the pain he caused her. The pain which will stay with her forever, even in sleep.

From the cot below the window, her own daughter gurgled and threatened to cry before falling silent once more. Beside her Jimmy snored. Outside another dawn began to break.

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

Friday Fictioneers – Retribution

ff080217We’d all had sessions in that basement room. The same pointless questions. The same insufferable pain no matter the answers.

‘Tie him up good and tight,’ someone shouted.

Most of the guards had evaded capture. A few had already been killed on sight. This one wasn’t going to be so lucky.

‘Come on, Tom. You’re first.’

I was handed the knife. The terrified face looking up at me was barely older than that of my own son when he too was killed. The numbing thought of that moment edged me forward.

For a moment I hesitated; almost felt sympathy. Almost.

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

Friday Fictioneers – Movie Memories

ff281216Every Saturday morning my brother and I would cycle down to the movie theatre on the corner of Mullen St. No matter the weather, no matter what was playing, we’d be there. For two hours each week we would leave behind our small hometown and travel to places we’d only ever read about, perhaps even to the distant reaches of outer space. The stars on that flickering screen were our heroes. One by one those heroes are leaving us. Yet the moments of joy and wonder they provided at that theatre on the corner of Mullen St will remain forever.

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My final Friday Fictioneers story of 2016 takes the form of a small tribute to those childhood icons who have passed in recent days, weeks and months. May they all rest in peace. 

Friday Fictioneers – For Old Time’s Sake

ff211216Kelly’s feet ached. The soles on her shoes needed repairing; Frankie Jr’s front teeth needed straightening.

‘Five minutes, Kelly.’

The manager’s words were sympathetically delivered, but she knew she couldn’t take advantage. Not if she wanted to keep this job.

There was one last card to write – it was always the hardest. Christmas was just about the only time Kelly and her mother acknowledged each other’s existence these days. Some years she wondered why they bothered at all. But then she would remember the times before it went bad, and then she’d cry, and then she’d write the card.

‘Break over, Kelly. Table five’s waiting.’

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

Merry Christmas to all my friends on FF, especially Rochelle, who continues to be the most gracious of hosts for our weekly scribbles.

Friday Fictioneers – Onward to Victory

ff151216We hadn’t advanced in weeks. My fingers and toes were turning black with frostbite. From somewhere deep within the freezing mists came the unnerving echo of enemy gunfire. This cursed weather didn’t seem to affect them as much as it did us.

Despite everything, my letters home had remained defiant – they had to be. We knew that all of our personal correspondence was reviewed by increasingly paranoid eyes. If I told the truth, If I said I thought the Fuhrer was wrong, I’d never see my wife and son again.

I steadied my rifle, despite trembling hands, as fresh snows began to fall.

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

Friday Fictioneers – Festive Follies

ff071216I’d been up here once before, back when our father had worked on the building’s maintenance crew. On that sticky summer’s day my brothers and I believed we could see the whole world, even if it was really only west New Jersey. Thirty years later I look down and watch the rush-hour traffic backing up on Riverview Drive.  A sudden, biting wind ruffles my hair, nips at my tears. I look up briefly to catch a cascade of coloured lights twinkling in the windows of apartments across the street. Within my coat pocket an unanswered phone continues to ring.

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

Friday Fictioneers – The Way Out

ff261016‘You absolutely sure you know the way from here?’

I nodded towards our guide. ‘I just saw someone, on the other side,’ I said. ‘In the distance.’

‘I never says getting out would be easy. But if outs what you want, this is it. Take it or leave it.’

I turned to see my wife and son sheltering against the biting, autumn wind. We had nothing, but here, at least, we had each other. Over the bullet-riddled bridge lay dangers, but with luck, perhaps a chance to give our son opportunities we never had.

Heavy, cold raindrops began to fall.

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

Friday Fictioneers – Nom De Plume

ff191016They found Uncle Joe in his shed at the bottom of the garden. Nobody had seen him in almost a week.

His body was slumped over what Uncle Nolan said was once their Grandpa’s writing desk. The floor around Joe’s feet was littered with screwed up paper, the desk drawers crammed with bits and pieces from his life.

On the desk sat a blue typewriter. In a neat pile alongside, were bundles of letters thanking a woman called ‘Mrs Betty Bartholomew’ for her ‘submissions’. I didn’t really understand, but Uncle Nolan just smiled as he wiped away a trickle of fresh tears.

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

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.

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Other entries for SPF can be found here.

Sunday Photo Fiction – View From The Hill

125-10-october-11th-2015As kids we often climbed to the top of Kinney Hill. From there we could see the whole world. Africa, Australia, America, even China, on a really clear day, shimmered mystically on the summer horizon. We had plans to visit them all – to see the world. Sadly, those times of innocence and wonder have long faded to memory. Most of my friends from those days settled down to an ordinary life. An expected, safe  existence  in the town within which they were born and raised. Me? I decided to see if I could actually seek out  these places: those distant lands only those brave and hardy enough to climb the scree scarred slopes of Kinney Hill could usually hope to see.

Twenty years I served in all. Twenty years in lands far from home. In lands far from my wife and children. When I returned for good they were gone and I was once again alone. I still meet up with my friends from childhood. We swap tales, remember the days on Kinney Hill. I tell them of my travels. They all listen with respect and admiration. They then go home to their families; I return to silence, my empty flat  and my own thoughts. Thoughts for a better end to my life than this. Thoughts of a better reward for my sacrifice. Thoughts.

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Wasn’t feeling inspired today but then this story just came in a flash. Only took five minutes to write i.e. it’s very raw and not overly edited, but it’s what came to mind. Hope you find something to like about it.

Other entries for SPF can be found here.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Endings and Beginnings

122-09-september-20th-2015‘What is it tonight?’ asked Pete, my dorm mate.

‘Citizen Kane,’ I replied.

‘Not again!’

‘Come on, Pete, it’s only the third time this semester. Afterwards there’ll be a discussion on the film’s impact on 21st century cinema…and don’t forget the cheese dip, pizza and wine.’

‘Wow, hold me back, already. Come on, Joe, it’s Friday night and you want to sit in a dusty basement with a bunch of bores, watching a naff black and white movie?’

‘It’s a classic?’ I insisted.

‘Yeh, well go and enjoy your classic. If you need a drink afterwards you’ll find us at the Bier Keller over on Morrison.”  Pete buried his face into his pillow and returned to sleep.

***

Professor Muldoon loaded a reel onto the projector. Everybody else loitered by the free buffet – including her.

We were in the same Media Studies class, but had barely spoken. In our one, brief conversation she’d told me that Citizen Kane was her ‘absolute, absolute favourite‘. I hadn’t seen it, but of course agreed.

‘Places, everybody,’ said Professor Muldoon.

My breath shortened, and heart thumped as she smiled and took the empty seat next to mine.

The lights went out and the film began.

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