Tag Archives: Short Stories

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.

friday-fictioneers

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.

friday-fictioneers

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 – 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 – Clearing The Way

ff250117Frank cursed quietly under his breath as he placed the handset back into its cradle. ‘A blown engine out on the Little Williams road.’

‘Oh, no, Frank, not again. Isn’t there anyone else who could go?’ Missy protested.

His wife knew fine well there wasn’t: his was the only pick-up truck for 100 miles.

‘Don’t wait up, love,’ he said. ‘It’s at least a two hour job, longer if they need towed into Greenburg.’

Missy had no intention of waiting up. Mr Brown from across the street had played his part. She now had to play hers and slip into something more comfortable before he arrived.

friday-fictioneers

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

Friday Fictioneers – Caught On The Job

ff110117The down arrow gently pulsed. I could have walked, but 29 floors was a long way and there was no rush. While waiting, I briefly reflected on a job well done, a particularly troublesome loose-end tied up once and for all.

A door clicked shut behind me. I turned to see a figure emerging from the gloom.

Shit.

It was 4:15 in the morning. Why was she there? I was told nobody would be there.

I smiled and stood to one side as the lift door slowly opened. I wouldn’t get paid double, but when my liberty was at stake, not even money mattered.

friday-fictioneers

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

Friday Fictioneers – Debt Crisis

ff050117Most days, the twisting lane down to Hennigan’s farm lay silent. Only the rumble of Frank’s rusty tractor occasionally besmirched the rural hush. In summers though, desperately needed visitors would weave their way down the lane to buy the farm’s prize asset, Hennigan cider. There hadn’t been nearly enough visitors this summer, or last, and the farm was in trouble.

From her kitchen, Mary Hennigan peered out between autumn raindrops towards the barn. Frank’s Labrador had been barking, and now he’d started to howl. Buttoning up her raincoat, Mary set out for the barn, cursing both Frank and his stupid dog on the way.

friday-fictioneers

The words above form my first Friday Fictioneers story of 2017.  

Happy New Year to all my fellow FF’rs.

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 – 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.

friday-fictioneers

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.

friday-fictioneers

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

Friday Fictioneers – Family Eviction

ff301116Colin lives in a tent at the bottom of his mother’s garden – down there between the gnarly old fir and the stream. It may not seem like much of a home, but to Colin it’s his sanctuary. His place away from the darkness and the doubts. He couldn’t live anywhere else,  not now.

Colin is 59 and his mother passed last month. Colin’s older sister inherited the family home and wants him gone. Colin and his siblings drifted apart after what happened with their father. His mother though continued to love him as only a mother could. Colin is lost and scared without her.

friday-fictioneers

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

Friday Fictioneers – The Best Laid Plans

ff231116I lingered as Ellie Henderson walked past the store window.

‘You’ve no chance there,’ my boss, said.

Ellie was a real beauty. I’d  admired her from a distance as she met and married Frank Henderson.  Frank had sure been the lucky one, but his luck ran out when his body turned up face down in Whitewillow Creek – a fishing accident the coroner concluded.  Ellie had been in mourning for months now. Surely she would be ready to move on soon.

‘The door to that one’s heart is locked and bolted – she’ll never love again,’ my boss, continued.

What a proper sinful waste that would be. I almost regretted killing Frank now.

friday-fictioneers

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

Friday Fictioneers – The Need for Appreciation

ff171116The small jazz club off 3rd and Lafayette was Duane’s second home. The unmistakable sound of the big man slapping his beloved doghouse bass filled the air. The chatter amongst the packed crowd was unanimous:

‘The best’

‘Sends tingles down the spine every time’

I needed a smoke. A woman by the door caught my eye.

“There’s nobody better” she said.

I didn’t know her. I didn’t know any of these people, and I doubt Duane did either. Just maybes if they’d shown him this love before now he wouldn’t have gone and done what he done. Maybe then tonight could have been a gig, and not a wake.

friday-fictioneers

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

Friday Fictioneers – Daddy’s Girl

ff091116Sophie stood out from even the most glamorous of crowds. Her glistening blond hair, the immaculate make-up, the perfect poise – the unmatched grace and style. Everything she wore was made to measure. Nothing but the best for Sophie, only the most famous of labels would do. At times she could attract attention, receive lingering looks from passers-by. Yet, it never made her feel uncomfortable. Instead it made her feel wanted. It made her feel real.

Back in their small home town, Sophie’s father may still mourn for his lost son, yet there isn’t a prouder father alive. Sophie had become the perfect daughter.

friday-fictioneers

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