Tuneless


Thankfully the rain has ceased, but now the bright, crisp, frosty mornings come as a shock to the system.  Where did I put that de-icer? I know there’s a can here somewhere…

Many thanks to Rochelle  for continuing to inspire us and, this week, thanks to her husband, Jan, for the photo prompt.

22 January

Copyright: Jan Fields

Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 100

Tuneless

‘I want to learn the piano.’

‘You would like to learn the piano.’

‘Sorry. I’d like to learn the piano.  Please?

‘We can only afford one lesson each week and your sister asked first.’

I remember that conversation so well, though it took place a lifetime ago. My sister was my mother’s favourite then, and could do no wrong.

I was a tomboy. I bit my nails, climbed trees, ran wild and played with the boys.  Definitely not mother’s idea of a pianist.

The piano took some punishment for a few months, until my sister discovered the local ballet class.

 

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.

Click on Mr Frog to read more great stories 

In The Shed


I have been AWOL from Friday Fictioneers for too long; hopefully the reduction in workload will allow me to resume my writing which I have really missed, along with the interaction with my FF friends. Thanks as always to our ever supportive leader  Rochelle and thanks too this week to Doug MacIlroy for supplying the photo prompt.

Copyright - Douglas MacIlroy

Copyright – Douglas MacIlroy

Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 100

In The Shed

It’s in the shed, go and find it.’

Mum, I don’t like going in the shed, come with me?’

‘I thought you would have forgotten that little scare by now. Old Sam died two years ago. He was only seeking shelter from the snow after all.’

I wish I could forget the dirty old man I found lying on sacks in the corner. I was only five and with the curiosity and innocence of childhood had smiled and asked him his name.

The memory of his rough hands on me and the smell in the shed will haunt me forever.

 

We Get a Garage


I have been away from FF for too long. I haven’t changed allegiance, or gone off the rails, I’ve just been hibernating, recharging my batteries, call it what you will. Thanks as always to the indomitable Rochelle, who never fails to put out a prompt each week to tease our creativity, memory, humour.  Write 100 words, that’s all you need to do to join this very supportive band of writers.

The prompt this week spoke to me of my childhood and memories of actually getting a garage of our own, something only people with cars had, and when I was a child, they were very few and far between.

Copyright Claire Fuller

Copyright Claire Fuller

Word count: 100

Genre: Memoir

We Get a Garage

At the end of our street was a piece of waste ground.  We made our dens there and played during school holidays; summers were long and warm in my memories of childhood

‘I’ve managed to buy the land, Vern,’ said our next door neighbour, unfolding plans on our kitchen table.

‘Will you help me build the garages… you can have one rent free?’

My father frowned, thinking.

‘Ken, you have a deal’, he said and they shook hands, smiling.

Years ago the planners bulldozed the garages, replacing them with little town boxes.

My old street is still there though, this is what it looks like today – lots of cars and not a garage in sight…

My street as it looks today

 

 

Read more stories…

Into The Blue


I have been unable to post anything as my account was suspended by WordPress. I don’t know why this was and they haven’t told me why they did it. There was just a message saying my account was suspended when I tried to log on. I sent an email complaining and have not had a reply, but magically the account seems to be working now. Thank you WordPress!

So, with haste in case they change their minds and banish me again, here is the story you should have seen last week.

Copyright BS

Copyright B.W. Beacham

Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 100

Into The Blue

“It’s deep blue, just like your eyes”, I say,

He continues to read the paper barrier between us.

“My outfit looks good, what will you wear?”

There is no answer.

He turns a page.

Seemingly all communication has ceased,

His silence is slowly suffocating me.

I walk onto the terrace.

I forgave his betrayal,

I should have let him go

Not clung to him in desperation,

Fearful of a life without him.

I watch the flotsam in the bay, subject to demands of an indifferent tide,

Like me.

I dress for the party and leave,

Travelling hopefully, towards new horizons.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thanks as always to Rochelle and to B.W. Beacham for the photo last week.

I have not been able to comment on any stories, I promise to make amends this week – WP permitting of course!

 

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.

Hayride


I have missed the Friday Fictioneers community in recent weeks, due mainly to lack of inspiration and a lost muse! However, after my previous post, thanks to some very kind messages of support from Erin, Dawn, Ruth and John, that basically told me to ‘just get on and write’ I have a story;  a memoir prompted by Sandra’s photo this week.

Thanks as always to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for organising the prompts and supporting all the writers, and this week to Sandra Cook for her lovely photograph.

28 February

Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 100

Hayride

I remember.

‘Come on up. You can do it!’

I struggle, balancing on fat bales. My grandfather pulls me up and drops me on the hay.  I pick bits of straw from my unruly hair then scramble forward to watch Joe start the tractor.

The sun is warm on my back, the air is still. I feel hot, the straw scratches my legs and they itch.  My father waves his shirt to me from the open gate, he is laughing, happy.

At the farmhouse, my mother and grandmother wait with warm scones fresh from the oven…

That summer, long ago.

 

For more FF stories click here 

To help with my personal reboot, I have also changed the appearance of my blog. There are a few glitches to iron out, but I hope you like the new layout.

The Lamplighter


I was very late submitting my attempt last week and Friday Fictioneers wait for no woman, or man!

My grandmother told me many tales;  some she made up, some she promised were true. In any event she should have written them down. She told me about the lamplighter and that my great grandfather liked to drink …

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields lights the path to Friday Fictioneers and we all follow as best we can. Thanks to her for the photo this week.

lamps

Genre: Memoir/Fiction

Word Count: 100

The Lamplighter

Granny told us many stories of the lamplighter. He lit the gas lamps in her town so folks could see their way home, or in her father’s case, to the alehouse.  One night her father didn’t stagger home. They found him next morning face down in the stream, his jug still clutched in his hand.

Many supportive neighbours and a few of his drinking friends attended his funeral. My great grandmother baked all night, then lit the parlour lamps and held a wake, relaxing in her new found freedom, released from toil and childbearing.

She never mentioned his name again.

For we are very lucky, with a lamp before the door,
And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more;
And oh! before you hurry by with ladder and with light;
O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him to-night!    

  (from The Lamplighter – Robert Louis Stevenson)

Always and forever


It’s Friday, well it is here in the UK, so it’s time for Friday Fictioneers. Each Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posts a photo prompt and writers from all over the world drop everything ( almost) to write 100 words and post by Friday.  It’s a great way to meet some great people, so why not give it a try?. Here is the photo for this week, courtesy of Rennee Homan Heath.

Genre – Memoir (99 words)

Path to the beach

Blue skies, warm soft air, white sand,

The days of love and longing here

Long ago, crowd my mind and bring a smile.

We are older now and unable

To run up sand dunes, or lie together

As we did back then, lost in wonder.

We walk more slowly across the sand

Still hand in hand, lovers still but not

That hectic, frantic love driven by need and lust,

A gentle touch, a smile, an embrace now speak

Our love, we will remember always those first days

When we made our pledge, one to the other,

Always and forever.

Follow the link to other stories here