An Enchanted Place


All over the world, (yes that’s right) writers are busy staring at the photo prompt and putting fingers to keys to say just what they see.  Thanks to Sandra Crook for the photo this week and to Rochelle for leading us along the Friday Fictioneers trail.

13 March

 

Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 100

An Enchanted Place

Fairies danced here once. My sister, cousin and I watched them at twilight as they danced about in the clover, their flimsy wings translucent and dotted with pale colours. No adult believed our stories, laughter and a pat on the head was their usual response.

Life moved on as life does, we three lived ours in different countries, until death robbed us of our cousin. Returning to this place where we played and laughed together, I feel the loss of the child I knew and the weight of the adult I’ve become.

I won’t come back.

The diggers arrive tomorrow.

♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠

Note: Our enchanted place is no more, except in my memory. Fifty houses now stand in the field I was remembering, where we ‘saw’ the fairies long ago.

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Keep Turning Right


It’s funny how some stories just jump into your head and almost write themselves.  That’s what happened when I saw the prompt for this week. Thanks to our Tour Guide Rochelle for never leading us astray and to Melanie Greenwood for supplying the photo this week. So pleased to have posted earlier this week in at Number 10 – wow.

6 February

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

Keep Turning Right

‘Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please’

The assembled group fell silent, listening intently as Harris read the remainder of their itinerary.

‘I’ll lead you into the maze, although it is absurd to call it a maze, but you’ll be able to tell everyone that you have been.’

‘Why absurd sir?’

‘Not a proper maze, you just keep taking the first turning to the right. We’ll walk around for ten minutes, then go and get some lunch. After lunch, we’ll take a short walk back to the river, where you will board the boat that will take you back to London.’

 ****************

If you have read Jerome K. Jerome’s ‘Three Men in a Boat’ you will know that the tourists Harris led into the maze at Hampton Court got lost for hours.

Hampton Court Palace

‘Three Men in a Boat’

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DIY – A Shorcut


Copyright - Ted Strutz

Copyright – Ted Strutz

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

DIY – A Shortcut

John stepped back into the water trough a second time.

‘I hate bloody DIY! And why soak the paper? What’s wrong with old fashioned wallpaper paste?’

‘I thought it would be quicker and hopefully less messy.’

‘You thought. Here, make yourself useful, hold the brush.’

‘It seemed a better idea to do this while the boys were away.’

He grabbed the brush, held the paper off the wall and in one angry movement swept it down to the skirting board.

‘Careful, you’ve covered up the socket.’

‘Just shut up,’ he said, jabbing the point of the scissors through the paper.

 

*******************

The socket reminded me of the fiasco we had when we decided to decorate the bedroom our boys shared when they were small. It’s all true, apart from the scissors in the socket…but it could well have happened that night!

Thank you to Ted Strutz for the photo prompt and to Rochelle for continuing to light the way.

Tuesday morning on the 10.25


Countryside as Seen from a Moving Train

 

“Are things any better with Jack, or still the same?”

“They’re still the same.  I’ve tried my hardest to find out what the problem is, but nothing I do makes any difference. I’m afraid I have just given up.”

As the two women take their seats across the aisle from me, I try not to stare. Their conversation has aroused my interest, set my imagination to work.

I wonder what on earth could be wrong with Jack and think up several different scenarios.  Is he ill? Perhaps he only has months to live and couldn’t bring himself to upset his wife and family. Or is he facing redundancy and feels depressed, wondering how the family will manage without his salary? Or has he found someone else?

I decide it must be the latter. It will explain the change in his attitude to his wife, the reason why she has given up.   He doesn’t really want to be with her but just can’t bring himself to end their relationship.  I imagine them in their semi-detached house with small manageable garden, they have a mortgage and three children; the youngest would not have been planned. They used to holiday abroad for two weeks each year, now they take one week and spend it in a caravan somewhere in the Devon, barely speaking to each other.

He met the woman who became his mistress at work.  She is tall and slim with a terrific personality, quite attractive with a great sense of humour. His wife was like her when they first married, he tells her, but now she is more interested in the children and her family than him.

The train races along and I am tempted to take out my notebook, but it is in my bag on the luggage rack and I am unwilling to cause a disturbance. I resist the temptation. I make a mental note to always make sure the notebook is in my handbag. The conversation between the two women is spasmodic, their voices low.  I find it hard to hear anything further without making a fool of myself.

As the train enters a long tunnel, I have the opportunity to study their reflection in my window.  Although a slightly distorted view, I see two women in early middle age; the one who had asked the question seems the younger of the two and is now reading a magazine.  The other woman, the “wife”, is half-heartedly nibbling on a sandwich, staring into space.

Small stations flash past. The train will only make three stops before reaching London. I find that I feel sorry for the wife, she probably has done nothing other than carry on as she always has.  Perhaps she too longs for more; a more interesting life, a more attentive husband, but feels it’s too late to do anything about it.  She is just resigned to things the way they are, getting on with the mundane tasks life has handed her; a home to run, a husband and children to care for.

I decide that she looks like a ‘Susan’ and her friend is called ‘Louise’.  I am busy creating lives for them and their families when the train pulls into Paddington. I gather my bag quickly from the rack and follow the two women from the train.

“There they are” calls Louise, pulling Susan’s arm and hurrying her along.

They walk towards two young women, waiting by the coffee shop.

“Where’s your dad?” asks Susan sounding worried.

So, Jack hasn’t even bothered to come to the station. I feel sad for her; she is still hoping for a change of heart, while he obviously just doesn’t care anymore.

Suddenly there is a commotion and out of the crowd a man comes running, being pulled along by a very excitable West highland terrier.

“Oh Jack” Susan cries  stooping down to grab the dog, who is  trying his best to jump up to her, “you’re back to your old self.  I was so worried we were going to lose you.”

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I feel more comfortable writing ‘memoir’ pieces and would welcome your feedback if you have the time.

Shabby Love


Happy New Year!!  Hope you are all well and keeping warm and dry as we battle this dreadful weather.

Welcome to another year of Friday Fictioneers, hosted as always by the one and only Rochelle. You can get more information about how to join our happy band, the rules and regulations etc., by going along to her website here. Thanks for the photo this week to Dawn Quyle Landau

Copyright Dawn Q Landau

Copyright Dawn Quyle Landau

.

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

Shabby Love

Our meeting place has lost its charm.

I happened there by chance, and remembered

How much I loved you, once.

We met often, making plans for ‘sometime later’

Until the day you pressured me for things I could not do.

You lashed out, calling me prude and names

I’d never heard nor understood.

I ran from you in tears, upset and hurt,

Much later realising the valuable lesson learned.

Love is not always kind, or what you hoped for.

True love comes when you are least prepared for it.

The little hut is shabby now, like your supposed love for me.

———–

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Happy Birthday Dad


Thanks as ever to Rochelle for guiding us towards another challenge and to Adam for his great photo this week.

Today would have been my father’s 90th birthday.  Due to the date, he has been in and out of my mind all day, when I saw the prompt this week, I knew I had to write about him and so I crave your indulgence.

Copyright - Adam Ickes

Copyright – Adam Ickes

Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 100

Happy Birthday Dad

 Some weekends he would take off on his motorbike, heading for the Lake District and the hills he had roamed since boyhood. He knew the places untouched by tourism, and would lose himself in the majestic beauty of the scenery; whatever worries he took with him, vanished into the clean, fresh, air.

After the accident, his motorbike was sold. He was 58 and my mother judged him too old to be in charge of such a powerful machine.

He sulked.

He died at 67; we scattered his ashes into the wind on Scafell Pike.

I’m sure I heard him laughing.

 

I wrote more about my father here, I still miss him.  https://40again.com/2010/06/20/thinking-about-my-father-today/

Maggie’s Choice


My story is rather bleak as that is how most things have seemed to me this week, though I have tried for a hopeful ending.

Thanks go as usual to Rochelle for continuing to host Friday Fictioneers. I must admit to slight envy when I read in her post that she will be meeting up with some Fictioneers this weekend, it must be so good to meet up in person with the people whose stories we read each week. I can dream…

Thanks also to Kent Bonham for the intriguing photograph this week.

Copyright -  Kent Bonham

Copyright – Kent Bonham

 

Genre: Fiction

Word Count 100

Maggie’s Choice

Maggie walked carefully down the dimly lit back street. Her small bag contained the items she was told she would need, afterwards. The house in the back street was her only option, no-one must ever find out about ‘It.’

The bright room smelled strongly of antiseptic; the strange array of equipment on the starched white cloth, looked alien and frightening. Though her body had healed after the violent assault, the nightmare continued. Tom still could not bring himself to touch her and now, this.

She endured the pain and, with her body cleansed, at last felt ready to move on.

 

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Free


There has been quite a lot happening in my life just recently and the urge to write just got up and walked out. I had to have the lenses in my eyes replaced – not as horrific as it sounds I assure you – but a worry nevertheless. My work has also taken up too much of my time and I found I didn’t want to write – anything.  I have missed Friday Fictioneers very much indeed; missed the contact with people who had become very supportive friends; missed the exchange with people who are kind enough and interested enough to follow my blog, such as it is. I did try to post something for the prompt last week, then deleted it as it was not much good.  I am back to try again.

Forgive the out-pouring, but it matters to me that you know why I have been AWOL.

 

Copyright - Sandra Cook

Copyright – Sandra Cook

 Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

FREE

 Beth found the bones at 6pm.

They lay in a shallow space between the overhanging rock face and the old irrigation channel she was working in; she had been clearing stones and old debris from it for the past two weeks.

Rob came over when she called and casually inspected her find.

‘Looks small, a child perhaps?’

‘No!’ Beth shuddered at the thought.

‘Children worked in places like this; the find is not unusual.’

As he gently moved the bones to one side, a soft sigh whispered past them and floated up on the cool evening air.

Free.

At last

 

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Busy Bees


Last week was one of those weeks best forgotten. I did no writing but lots of driving and listening, to mainly boring people, talking about mainly boring topics. I missed my Friday Fictioneers fix, like lots of others I look forward to Wednesday when the email from Rochelle drops in my inbox and I wonder in what direction the photo prompt will take me. The photo this week is courtesy of Jennifer Pendergast  -hmmm

Genre: Horror

Word Count: 100 words

Busy Bees

The giant bee at the entrance attracted local newspaper headlines.

GIANT BEE LANDS IN HONEYPOT

HONEY, I GOT STUNG!

Alice ignored them and carried on with her work.

The giant bee was the idea of the PR-savvy graduate, foisted on her for the summer.

Alice ignored her too, and went to talk to her bees.

“She’s a problem, but we can’t have too many questions asked.”

“Buzzzz,buzzzzzzzzzz?”

“Just as you wish.”

That night as Alice drank the golden elixir, which she had done inside one shape or form for three hundred years, the hives were empty.

The swarm was forming.

PS – I needed an extra word, so I hope the hyphenated PR-savvy is allowed.

Hell Raising


Thanks to Sandra for this week’s photo, and to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for gathering us all together again this week. On seeing the photo, I was initially struck by a farming theme and as I could write what I know about farming on the back of a postage stamp, I quickly decided against even trying to go any further with it.

sandra-crook

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

Hell Raising

Occasionally tourists would stop at the end of the drive, snapping away.

Nicholas didn’t mind. Sometimes if the mood took him, he would get off the porch, wander down the drive and pass the time of day.

“Howdy.”

“Hello, nice to meet you. We’re on holiday from England, mind if we take a few photos?”

“Nope, you go right ahead.”

“We were wondering what on earth it is, that strange thing on your patio.”

“It’s just my trike.”

“You mean you actually ride it?”

Nicholas turned away, eyes blazing red. Should he show them, or would that spoil their holiday?