Mai Lai and Nasi Goreng

Lovely picture from Brenda, I can just imagine the onslaught of cooking aroma when the alleyway is bustling with people.

More from Friday Fictioneers here.

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

Mai Lai and Nasi Goreng

Mai Lai turned down the alley. I pulled my scarf across my face and followed her.
There was no one around to disrupt my plan.

Foreigners avoided Kai-Tok’s alleys where I had a meeting with a corrupt official.

A container ship from Mozambique was loading humanitarian supplies at the docks, and the harbour agent demanded a bribe to release the shipment.

He was waiting for us with a steaming bowl of fried rice.
My taste buds exploded.

I confirmed the export documents. Thankyou.
Then Mai Lia cuffed and arrested him.

It was the best Nasi Goreng we have ever eaten. 

Absent Fathers

The lovely tray of baked biscuits made my mouth water,
my imagination wafted the aroma of fresh baking through my mind.

Further stories are available on Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast  

Absent Fathers

I’ve made your favourite ginger biscuits for your party.
There is Mum, Dad, Tom, Helen, Bill and you, Samantha.
Oh yes, Buster and Kitty.

Samantha’s top lip trembled and tears dribbled down her cheeks.
Who is going to eat Dad?

You can. They are just biscuits, darling.

Why do they have names? I don’t want to eat our family.
It’s not nice.

They are all dressed up for your birthday, aren’t they pretty?
Mary wiped her daughter’s face. No names then. Just biscuits.

Her daughter’s perception plucked a string on Mary’s emotional violin.
She broke off Dad’s arms and head.

The Nurse, the Virus and the Wormhole

Many thanks to Dale for this week’s photo-prompt, which reminds me of a classic children’s story.

The halo effect around the lamp has a warm spiritual feel of peace. However, I have gone for a Sci-Fi story this week.

Read more stories from Friday Fictioneers.

The Nurse, the Virus and the Wormhole

The lamp is on as a signal that all is well.

Nurse Gladys stared towards the Milky Way, looking for the return flash of plasmatic light. She was waiting for a vaccine delivery from Anolion; shivering, she pulled her coat collar up.

Two years ago, the Anolie materialised through a wormhole to gorge on Earth’s vegetation. Unfortunately, Gladys’ sons were the first of millions to die from a virus contracted from these aliens.

The Blue-Lighted packet appeared, it contained Vaccine and Anolie eggs.

The agreement was one of coexistence and to share resources.

Gladys smiled, she loved roasted Anolie.

Legend of a Green Man

This week’s picture prompt for Friday Fictioneers flash fiction showing an entanglement of trees and their roots is interesting for me. I spent some time trying to determine what the type of tree it was. I came up with–an American Beech or possibly Eucalyptus.

Does anyone know?

More stories from Friday-fictioneers here.

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

Legend of a Green Man

Was her motivation greed or curiosity?

Legend tells of a Green Man and of an underground city dripping with gold and silver.
Myth requires the first born in spring as a sacrifice at the roots of the great, grey tree to fertilise the forest and ensure an abundant harvest from our fields.

Everyone in Cronbourne keeps clear of the tree in May and we wear a sprig of silver birch to deter evil.

Martha laughed and went searching for hidden treasure.
We continuously called and heard her mobile ring within the tree.

The autumn harvest was excessively rich that year.

Back to School

This week’s photo-prompt , thanks to CE Ayr, has a sense of isolation and one I am sure many people are feeling in the present atmosphere of Covid restrictions. At the same time there is a sense of peace in the image that I feel when walking along a quite beach early in the morning, preferable on a Caribbean island rather than along a cold, wind swept coast.

More stories from Friday Fictioneers.

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr

Back to School

John relished the solitude of his dawn stroll. He walked and breathed in time with the natural rhythm of the waves as he listened to the soft adagio whoosh of water washing along the sand.
His mind relaxed and emptied of all invasive thoughts as he concentrated on the peace of the moment. 
Mentally refreshed and calm, he felt prepared with emboldened fortitude and leadership expected from a head teacher.

His knees trembled as he watched.
After an enforced break, over excited, chattering children arrived as their pale-faced parents waved anxiously from the gate.
He wiped his forehead and smiled.

Creepy Landlord

This week’s picture prompt from Roger is inviting, but I sense a hint of apprehension.
However, the CCTV puts my mind at ease.

More Flash Fiction stories at Friday Fictioneers

Creepy Landlord

Not as expected, but the rent is cheap and suddenly available.
Sally checked the agency’s note.
The landlord, Mr Bates, had the keys; she knocked.
It’s the top flat.
She followed him into a tiny room.
You’re beautiful. He scratched his beard.
Sorry!
A pretty view. See the park.
Oh yes, nice.
Is that jasmine shampoo?
She moved to the exit.
No, no, this way.
A dark bedroom with narrow windows, a carpet stain and a new mattress.
He scratched at his neck. Should we forget about this month’s rent?
She smiled. Maybe not, as my boyfriend would kill you.

The Watchers

Friday Fictioneers

This week’s picture prompt, thank you Dale Rogerson, reminds me of the odd freak snowfall we sometimes get in May.
Also, how sometimes we get caught out by a sudden spring frost that decimates the border flowers planted out the week before.
Weather around the world follows a similar pattern each year, yet nature surprises us with unpredictable events.
Nature loves us, really.

The Watchers

We had held hands on the veranda listening to Spanish guitar music, watching the meteors streak across the night sky.
We had bread with bratwurst dipped in Dijon and drank Pilsner. 
One shooting star momentarily lit up the entire street and Baxter scampered indoors whimpering, Caroline followed to calm our Labrador. 
It was a hot summer with an uncomfortable, sweaty night, but in the morning, I woke to a sharp frost with a snow-covered garden. I saw footprints leading to the rose-bed, then stop.
By midday the snow had gone, as was Caroline and Baxter.
It has been three years.

Journey’s End Pub

This week’s picture, to me, is a reminder of the Burma -Death Railway built with forced labour by the Japanese Army during WW2. It is estimated that 90,000 labourers and 16000 allied prisoners of war died during it’s construction. The brutality of the period reverberates with us still, in books and in films.
One film, The Railway Man, is an adaptation of the account of a British Army Officer, Eric Lomax, captured and tortured by the Japanese. Years after the war Lomax confronts his Japanese counterpart and they become friends. As they say; time heals. Perhaps, but only for some.

My story has nothing to do with that tragic period.

Read the other stories on Friday Fictioneer by clicking here.

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

Journey’s End Pub

Their shift had ended 200 years ago, and the bearded miners packed the “Journey’s End” pub.
The flaming fire warmed the room, but at midnight the atmosphere turned sullen.

John sipped his ale.

Outside, a train screeching to a halt stirred all the men to drink up and leave.
John followed them into a fog of hissing steam that obscured a locomotive.
The miners climbed into the carriages, and the engine pulled away in the dark above dilapidated tracks.
John marvelled at this silver miners’ mystery.

He returned indoors to his bitter ale, and the crowded pub of bearded miners.

A Chance Opportunity

When I opened the photo prompt this week I saw the humour of having such a robust security device.
Yet, I noted the craft in the metal work so my story recognises this skill. Having worked with metal I understand the satisfaction of creating aesthetic pleasing items, no matter how simple they look.

Below the story I have added a crafted bespoke gate, which we fitted for a customer.

My story contribution to Friday Fictioneers reflects how the apprentice system needs resetting in this technological age.

PHOTO PROMPT © Trish Nankivell

 A Chance Opportunity 

Elliot hated the written blacksmith test.
The pen snapped in his hand and he slammed the desk.
‘I’m sorry, sir. It don’t make sense.’ he said and wiped his eyes.

Mr McKay looked over his newspaper. ‘Take your time, lad.’
He watched as Elliot clawed at his hair.
He was the worst-case illiterate and innumerate of anyone in the rehabilitation class.
Words and letters jumbled around in the boy’s mind.
However, he expressed eagerness in his eyes and was a skilled metalworker.

“A last chance,” the judge had said.
“Join honest society and make use of your pilfering hands, constructively.”

_______

Holy Water!

There is something about village life that creates a sense of wicked humour from me.
The minister is sometimes a central figure that may bind or break communities.

Read more stories from Friday Fictioneers.

PHOTO PROMPT © Marie Gail Stratford

Holy Water!

‘Water, is the sustenance of life.’ Father Van Gory preached.
Melba and Cheryl were at the back as usual, knitting.
‘Any time now,’ whispered Cheryl.
‘You’re mean.’
‘You mustn’t tell.’ Cheryl dropped a stitch. ‘It’s only vinegar.’
‘Serves him right.’ Melba stared at the priest. ‘Him rubbing salt in folks’ wounds.’

‘Alcohol,’ Father Gory pointed at the Bible group, ‘is a mean spirit.’
He picked up the bottle of water. ‘Let us pray and seek forgiveness.’
He took a large mouthful, then spluttered and sprayed it over his notes.

Cheryl dropped a stitch.
‘Immaculate,’ whispered Melba. ‘Let him seek forgiveness.’