Tag Archives: remembering

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.

friday-fictioneers

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.

friday-fictioneers

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.

friday-fictioneers

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

Friday Fictioneers – Idle Conversation

ff010217Everyone on the block knew Victor. He used to work on the Pencove Estate, 200 acres of ornamental gardens, thick forest and water lily-covered lakes. It was his life. A bust hip then saw that life confined to his ground floor apartment, an arthritic dog and a single window box.

One hot summer’s day he invited me in for a brew and a game of dominoes.

‘Don’t you miss the estate,’ I asked.

He smiled and passed me a bottle of ice-cold beer.

‘Sure, I’ve nowhere to bury the bodies anymore’ he laughed.

I laughed too. Anybody would have. Anybody.

friday-fictioneers

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.

friday-fictioneers

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.’

friday-fictioneers

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 – 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 – 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.

friday-fictioneers

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

Friday Fictioneers – Home Alone

ff270313A distant dog howled as a single yellow searchlight passed slowly across the room where we huddled in silence. Outside, the wind continued to shriek. Heavy raindrops crashed against the cottage’s misted window panes. Inside, only one sound, the gentle hiss of a gas lamp above the dusty stone mantle.

“When will father be back?” my sister whispered.

Our Mother’s face was drawn and worn. The empty look in her tear-stained eyes revealed the truth, even if her words remained defiant.

“Soon, child, soon – now sleep.”

A stooping shadow scurried past the window. An impatient knock sounded at the door.

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

This is a much more open-ended piece that I would normally write. However, it’s the scene which came into my mind, so it’s what I wrote. Hopefully you can find your own ending.

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 – A Last Sighting

ff301215The coffee shop on Fulton barely paid minimum wage, but there was new money in the neighbourhood, and the tips were good. Most mornings, on my early break, I’d see them part with a kiss on the top step of the brownstone at 708. There didn’t seem a lot of love, but at that age I certainly wasn’t an expert on the matter.

One damp, fall morning I watched as he left in a hurry without his kiss. From an upstairs window a woman’s eyes briefly met my own. Heavy, red drapes were then pulled tight once more. I never saw her again after that – nobody did.

friday-fictioneers

These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge. As this is my final story for 2015 I will take this opportunity to wish all my friends on FF a Happy New Year. See you all again in 2016.

Friday Fictioneers – Table for One

ff291014We would often overhear the old woman on reception telling a caller that they were full tonight; see couples drift back into the darkness, hungry and disappointed at the ‘No tables – Sorry!‘ sign in the window.

Yet, within a dimly lit alcove, one table would remain untaken. A single place setting, one glass; a carafe of house red breathing gently in the glow of a melting candle; a single white rose.

I didn’t know the owner’s story, whether he was married, or had kids. Not sure if anybody knew why the table was always left empty – just never seemed our place to ask.

friday-fictioneers

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