Tag Archives: Photo Fiction

Friday Fictioneers – Staying Put

ff021116Every time I stopped at the Trading post our conversation would be the same.

‘Why don’t you sell up, Vern?’ I’d ask. ‘Take the money McCullum’s are offering.’

Everyone knew McCullum’s Dairy was desperate to get Vern’s acre of land.

He’d always just smile and reply, ‘Where would you get your gas then, Jimmy? Besides, too many memories.’

Vern died last fall. As it turns out there were other reasons he never left. One reason in the cellar, another in the cavity wall. At least one more in the yard.

McCullum’s Dairy never bought the land. Doubt anyone ever will.

friday-fictioneers

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.

friday-fictioneers

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

Friday Fictioneers – Safety In Numbers

ff210916From the shadows at the top of the staircase I could see the fireworks reflecting in the lens of her black spectacles, almost smell the starch on her featureless, grey uniform.

Liberation Day’ they hailed it. Liberated from the now elitist burdens of freedom, choice and democracy.

My sister was too young to understand as they looked out over the city together. But I knew what our mother had done – what all those of newly acquired status had done. It was in that moment that our future fates were formally and fatally entwined: I would have to kill her.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challen

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.

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Other entries for SPF can be found 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

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 – The Grassy Knoll Files

spf050616Joel was a conspiracy theorist. He wasn’t the only one in his freshman year at St. McKenzies. In fact they had their own club. ‘Theories Unlimited‘ it was called, and they met once a week in each other’s rooms at the dorm house. So far this semester they had covered all the old favourites: JFK, Area 51, the Moon Landings. Tonight Joel was hosting the group. There would be plenty of room, there was only six of them.

‘That’s clearly not true,’ cried Emily. ‘Elvis isn’t dead, he has a ranch in North Dakota – I’ve seen the pictures.’

Joel nodded in agreement. As the discussion around the continued existence of ‘The King’ raged on, Joel got up and wandered across to the fridge. Having pulled together a pastrami sandwich he tipped the milk carton up to pour himself a glass, only to find the carton almost empty.

‘Hey, has anyone been at my milk?’ he asked the group.

The room fell silent, almost. At the far end of the settee Jimmy slurped from a plastic beaker. Looking up, the white foam ring around his lips was clear for all the theorists to see. Sheepishly he shrugged his shoulders and said ‘Err, the CIA drunk it? Aliens?’

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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.

Sunday Photo Fiction – A Show of Appreciation

118-08-august-23rd-2015For nearly 50 years he’d worked at the factory – everyone of Ted’s age went straight from school to the factory. Three wives had come and gone in that time, two divorced, one dead – only the last one did he remember with any particular fondness. Six healthy children had been raised in the same red-brick two up, two down on the Marlow Road – all had left, apart from Mary.

‘A gold watch? A gold fucking watch? Is that all I meant to them?’ he spat.

‘But Dad, it is a very nice watch,’ said Mary.

They’d all liked Ted. For 30 years he was Santa Claus to the children gathered at the Christmas party in the factory canteen. Every summer it was Ted who organised and ran the fete in the sprawling grounds of the chairman’s estate. If there was a living, breathing embodiment of a company man, it was Ted.

‘Sod them, and sod their fucking watch!’

Ted coughed, bent double in his armchair: his scarred lungs had paid a heavy price for his loyalty.

Mary handed her father his pills and a brandy. Neither would really make him feel any better, but at least they’d keep the worst of his pain, and disappointment, at bay.

‘A fucking watch,’ he spluttered, once more, as he threw the glinting retirement gift into the fire.

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

Alastair’s Photo Fiction – Family Ties

25-09-september-15th-2013

Tom was back again at Glen Morich Manor, the ancient family seat of the once feared Clan Macpherson. Tom had always known about his family’s shameful part in the Macphersons downfall – blood lines tied him directly to the man who triggered their gory demise.

All this fool had to do was let them know when the MacDonalds breached the horizon. Give a signal. A sign. Instead as he slumped into a drunken stupor the Macphersons were ransacked; the family all killed, their mutilated bodies then paraded through the village.

Walking into the main hall again there came the usual slow creep of guilt.  He knew he was being watched. The eyes on the painting. The face on the plaque above the fire. Even the bronze bust of Lord Macpherson seemed to be turned towards him with a look of icy cold contempt.

He bolted.

The only exit was flanked by a pair of Macpherson battle suits. The suit on the left suddenly stepped in front of Tom. He froze. Slowly a sword rose. The blade glinting. Higher and higher. Then it fell.

Tom woke with a start. The nightmare over for now. However, he knew the manor would be awaiting his return soon.

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

Alastair’s Photo Fiction – The Call of the Sea

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The call went out.

All available hands to the station!

At 17 Billy Crabtree was the youngest of those hands. His father was coxswain. The Crabtrees were fiercely proud to have them both on the Mary Bell.

The churning seas which greeted the boat as she crashed down the slipway promised a rough trip. Billy wasn’t worried. He trusted his father to keep them all safe.

The stricken trawler was out of power, out of control. The rocks of Verndale Point were looming. Billy watched his father manoeuvre the Mary Bell into position. One by one the terrified trawler-men were hauled into the lifeboat.

The wave came from nowhere. Everything was swallowed up by a cold, wet shadow. Suddenly there was light. Yards from the rocks a drenched Billy watched as the trawler smashed to pieces. His father skilfully steered his own passage to safety.

Within moments the seas were eerily calm. The Mary Bell turned for home. Just another day in the life of volunteer heroes.

This story is dedicated to the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI). In particular to the memory of the eight crewmen of the Penlee lifeboat who were lost at sea a week before Christmas, 1981. Also not forgetting the eight hands of the coaster MV Union Star who perished despite the fearless efforts of the Penlee Lifeboat crew on that terrible night off of the South Cornish coast. 

penlee lifebaot crew

As well as forming a tribute these 150’ish words also represent my entry into this week’s Photo Fiction challenge on Alastair’s WordPress siteThe picture is copyright of http://kattermonran.com/

Alastair’s Photo Fiction – Beacons of Mercy

lights

The waves crashed against the jagged coastline of the Northern Boundaries. Thick fog was swirling in the frozen air. Ten miles out the Hyratal Laguna was desperately making for the shelter of Berlatas harbour. As the Laguna rolled violently from side to side her crew struggled manfully to keep their vessel on course. Most of the 50 passengers were praying. Praying to their Gods, praying to any God who would listen.

The winds continued to batter the ragged sails. Captain Thietus Gundsmork remained confident. He knew these seas like the back of his hand. In the darkness ahead the serrated edges of the Hellaran rocks were about to welcome their bounty.

From the left it came. From the right it followed. The twin lighthouses of Berlatas illuminated the scene. Just In time Gundsmork heaved his vessel from disaster. The lights guided the Laguna safely home.

The passengers continued to pray.

This is my entry into this week’s Photo Fiction challenge on Alastair’s WordPress site. The picture is copyright of http://kattermonran.com/

Alastair’s Photo Fiction – Pandora’s Box

apf190513

She’d heard it all a million times before.

“How’s ya box Pandora?”

“Woah, don’t open the box Pandora!”

She was a bit strange. It didn’t hurt her that people thought that way. Pandora Waghorn had lived in this small, end of the line town all her days. It was her father’s box. She’d loved her father dearly. He’d doted on his Pandora. She swore to him to keep it close.

Pandora slept soundly that night. The box was in its usual place by her bedside. He was in and gone in moments. Her snores went undisturbed. The bedside table was now empty.

I’ll see what’s in this friggin’ box. That Pandora. Stupid cow. Should be in a mental home. Right. Hmmm. Damn this is tight…..Ah, nearly there…Got it!…Wha…What the….!!

Pandora Waghorn continued to snore. The box was once again by her bedside.

Across the street his face remained frozen in shock as they zipped up the body bag.

This is my entry into this week’s Photo Fiction challenge on Alastair’s WordPress site. The picture is copyright of http://kattermonran.com/