Waiting


Still trying to get my act together, but managed to get something in almost on time. Delighted to see Rochelle has used my photo of a sudden snowfall in Central Park – we were taking a carriage ride and suddenly the snow started falling – magical.

24 July

 

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

Waiting

Penny is late. I fiddle with the strap of my overnight bag. I don’t like waiting. I’ve been here so long people are staring. We said 5pm outside the café; the park closes at 6pm she’d better hurry up.

Sarah was the same where time was concerned, always late.  It got on my nerves in the end, along with her flawless skin. No need to cover her acne with layers of Max Factor. And her hair, so shiny and wavy… not so wavy the last time I saw her.  Everyone gets their comeuppance in the end though, it’s only fair.

 

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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 

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.

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.

 

For more stories click the little blue froggy thing         

 

 

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?

 

 

A wanderer in the time of longing – a short story


Orchard

(Photo: Orchard near St Nectaire – Peter Curbishley)

It was a time of longing, a time of sweet anticipation.  Summer was drawing to a close, tucking the soft rolling landscape away.  The orchard was heavy with russets and damsons, the baskets had been cleaned in readiness and were waiting for him to return.

Early in the morning, when the carpet of dew was still perfect and sparkling, I heard the music.  I went to the window to watch for him, the horse slowed and turned in to the yard, the caravan clattering over the uneven cobbles. He smiled, raising a hand as he passed through the yard and out into the orchard. I pulled on a clean dress, covering it with a blue apron; the flower and the flute worked on the pocket in brightly coloured threads during the long months of waiting.

In a corner of the orchard the horse was tethered, drinking water drawn from the well.  The caravan was turned towards the sun, the bright green paint replaced by dark red swirls, traces of blue clouds with yellow flowers growing up and over the top, green leaves curling round the sides. Summer.

He was sitting on the back board, long legs swinging over the side.  He smiled a broad lazy smile, his eyes crinkling.  He placed the flute to his lips and blew a twirl of notes that escaped and rose up into the morning air.  My feet traced steps in the grass as I swayed in time to his music.  There were no words between us, just the music and a feeling of joy.

We walked together through the orchard; he held the boughs as I plucked the dark juicy damsons and sweet brown russets.  We filled two baskets each then rested on the bank by the river.  He took crusty bread from his pocket and a chunk of cheese which he cut into pieces. Later he took water from the river, offering his cupped hands so that I could drink.

The air was warm and still.  Where had he been since I saw him last? Had he remembered the shawl, or had he forgotten all those things I told him as we talked together late into the night on his last visit? I waited and wondered.

He looked at me and smiled, he did not like being questioned, that much I knew. I lay back in the grass and listened to his tales of black cloaked travellers who roamed vast deserts under a blazing sun; of how he had joined them, gone with them on trails invisible to him but well known to them; of his visit to the dream weavers to hear their stories as they wove them into lightly spun threads as soft as gossamer.

I closed my eyes and was aware then of his breath on my face. He gently traced a line along my mouth and up towards my eyes.  I felt a light brushing of his lips on mine.

He laughed, “I have it ma fleur, come.”

I took his hand and let him lead me back towards the orchard. The shawl was beautiful, colours shimmering and dancing in the late afternoon sun.  He helped me up and we sat together as he told how the weavers had made my shawl.

Later as he slept, I lay within the circle of his arms, watching the sunlight dancing over the golden symbols painted on the roof.  Wrapping my dreams around my nakedness, I gathered my clothes and slipped away to the river.  When I looked back the sun was going down and I could hear a flute playing softly in the distance.