Category Archives: Flash Fiction

Solitary Rose

Thank you Rochelle for the writing prompt, a picture submitted by a favourite blogger of mine, Dale Rogerson.

More stories from Friday Fictioneers can be found HERE.

Solitary Rose

We argued over a trivial extravagance, and Glenda stormed out.
I’m going to Cardiff, don’t call me. She slammed the front door, and plaster fell from the ceiling in the hall.
The children said nothing. After school, we had a two-week holiday in the Pennines and returned to an empty house.
Clare asked when Mum was coming home.
Soon, I said, and choked on my despair.

Late from work, I saw the solitary rose. My heart raced. 
Sorry, said Glenda.
It’s okay, I said. How’s Cardiff?
George still loves me.
Jealousy, grounds for murder, I thought, and hugged her tightly.

Dandelions at Night

Dandelions at Night

Mary went to close the bedroom curtains, and looking through the window, she saw her neighbour wandering around in his garden. She glanced at her clock. It was almost ten o’clock at night, and a bit late for planting or pruning. Perhaps he was looking for slugs, it was the sort of thing he might do. Poor Mike, for the past year, he had struggled on his own as isolation didn’t suit him.

In the moonlight, the garden was a monochromatic scene where detail merged into the shadows. She saw Mike was now on his knees, digging with a trowel.
Mary closed the curtains. She would take a hot drink to him and have a neighbourly chat. Everyone likes some company and a gossip, since living on your own isn’t easy. 

Outside, a breeze rustled the branches of the sycamore and blew her dressing gown loose. She pushed open the side gate and closed it with a nudge from her bottom. In her bare feet, she tiptoed across the grass and stood behind him.

‘I know you are there,’ he said and continued digging.
‘Hot chocolate.’
He stood up. ‘Mary! you’ll catch a cold.’
‘It was the wind.’ She passed him both cups and pulled her flimsy gown together and fiddled with the straps.
‘This is lovely,’ he said.
‘Hot chocolate,’ she said, and sipped her drink. 
‘Yes, I know.’
‘Look,’ she said. ‘It’s a bit late for weeding.’
‘Oh, I can’t stand digging out the dandelions when they are in full bloom.’
The knot in the straps of her dressing gown slipped loose. She sipped her drink.
‘The flowers close up in the dark, so I dig up the plants when they’re asleep.’
‘Oh, I see,’ she said. ‘Mike, why don’t you come over for a nightcap when you’re finished?’
‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘I still need to close the shed.’
‘You do that.’ She closed her gown. She took the cups and ambled across the lawn. With a backward glance, saw him watching as she pushed through the side gate with her hip.

In her living room, she slipped a small log onto the fire and then fetched two glasses. She still had plenty in the bottle of her 12-year-old Macallan to encourage him.

She sat down on the sofa and waited.

Blind Perspective

Rochelle’s selection for the Friday Fictioneer’s prompt is a colourful picture by Na’ama Yehuda. The flowers remind me that spring is here, although the winter chill occasionally blows down the street to ensure I never forget my coat.

A beautiful and colourful garden can brighten our mood. Especially for us, who can see and appreciate the various flowers.

There is a small garden nearby designed and planted with plants, giving off powerful scents to stimulate our sense of smell. I have taken my inspiration this week from the idea of flower scents.

There are more Friday Fictioneers stories to read, HERE.

PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda

Blind Perspective

Come on Dad. My daughter, Tilly, griped my hand and pulled me around the garden.
Listen. She turned towards the sound. It’s a bumble bee. The honey-bee’s hum is softer.
Smell the tulips. That means it is May because I can’t smell the daffodils anymore. 
Mind the steps, she tapped them with her stick.
Can you hear the bluebells? She reached for the flowers and took a deep breath.
Beautiful.

Tilly is a wonderful woman; On Sundays, we meet in the gardens.
Her Labrador leads her around the flower beds, where she touches the flowers and breathes the air.
Beautiful.

Convivial Wintry Chill

Thanks to Dale for the lonely winter scene, which is this week’s prompt selected by Rochelle. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the cold weather is over for this season, and looking forward to our annual day of sunshine in Scotland. Okay, maybe two days in July.

You can connect with Rochelle, click HERE, and read more stories connected with the picture prompt; HERE.

Convivial Wintry Chill

Good morning, a blue sky and glorious hot sunshine. I can’t resist sitting out in only my shorts and never mind the sun cream. Usually, I get a tanned face on the ski slopes, but today I am going for a full body glow, never mind the cold.

Samantha used this chair on picnics and trips to the beach. Ah, happy, wonderful summer days with tomato and ham sandwiches, Victoria sponge and mouthfuls of Pinot Grigio. Our boys splashed to tease and torment Buster, barking frantically.

I miss Samantha. Oh, why?

Tomorrow, I will burn this chair, with its memories.

Magical Emporium

A light hearted piece of old fashion flash fiction to raise a smile.
Inspired by stories from Philip K Dick.

Magical Emporium

Mary wiped the kitchen sink and stared out of the window at the dull, dark clouds. Rain was on the way. Her entire world seemed miserable, as if a screw was loose and she wasn’t sure how to fix it.

The fridge motor interrupted her despondency, and its humming became a rhythmic beat of da–daa–dum–dum. She imagined herself in a Viennese Waltz cavorting with a tall hussar, so she twirled around the table.

The hoover in the corner perked up. “May I have the pleasure?”
“Delighted.” Mary curtsied. She took the hoover by the handle and they danced around, flowing with the music.

Rain streamed against the window like violin strings as the fridge rumbled on; the slow-cooker gurgled, and the kettle whistled. Her washing machine shuddered out the bass of beating drums and the Dolce Gusto went whoosh, whoosh, sending aromatic plumes of percolating coffee into the air.

Mary skipped and spun, swinging on the arm of her handsome Mr Hoover, waltzing around her ballroom. A spectator in the clock sprang out and called cuckoo, cuckoo—just as the timer on the oven played an allegro bleeping in consonance with the kitchen orchestra.

She heard the front door slam. Her music stopped. Quickly, Mary shuffled the hoover into the cupboard. She strode into the hall.

“I am shattered,” her husband said, “and completely worn out.” He gave her a pitiable peck on the cheek. She hung his jacket on a peg as he slouched into the living room and slumped onto the sofa.

“Did I hear our white goods singing?”
“No,” said Mary. “We don’t call them white anymore.” 
“What!” He kicked off his shoes and laid back. “I am too tired to argue.”
“They are called appliances,” she said, reaching into his trousers’ pocket for a long flex cord and she plugged it into a battery recharging pack.
“Ah! That’s better.” He closed his eyes.

Mary returned to the kitchen and made a call on her mobile.
A loud voice answered. “Mr Wong’s Magical Electrical Emporium.”
“Mr Wong, it’s Mary.”
All the appliances rumbled, and the Dolce Gusto hissed.
“Yes, Mary, do you need a repair?”
“Sort of Mr Wong. Do you have any hussars?”

The appliances sighed. They were safe. She wasn’t disposing of them.

“A new man? Why not repair the one you have?”
“Mr Wong. My husband has degenerated. He’s worn out and completely flat.”
“We can fit a new battery.”
“It’s no use. I want one with style and stamina.”
“Okay, I will bring a fresh one tomorrow. Anything else?”

“Yes, I seem to have a screw loose in my head. It hurts.” 
“An emergency!” said Mr Wong.
“It is! Oh yes, an emergency. Oh, it really is.”
“I’ll bring some spare parts immediately.”

Mary grinned. Mr Wong was always gentle with her parts, and his tuning was so invigorating.
She smiled and felt so cheery already. 

Vigilante Street Cleaner

This week we have a very busy street scene photo-prompt, thanks to Rochelle.(click to visit).

More of our Friday-Fictioneer’s flash stories are available to read HERE.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Vigilante Street Cleaner 

They retired my badge last month.
The Chief thanked me for my long loyal service, and the city gave me a pitiful pension for the years I patrolled the sidewalks.
Over time, I deplored how our streets became meaner.

Well, I am a free man; rise late and drink lattes at Antonio’s café. 
I enjoy the warm, bright days. Hell! I never noticed the glass tower block before.

The shoes are my message.
See, I collect them in the dark when bedlam stalks the alleys.
Their owners sleep life off in the morgue, and tomorrow there will be another pair.

Lost Empires

Every ruin speaks volumes of history and are monopolised as tourist attractions. What other use can they be, but a reminder of how great civilisations crumbled? But why?

Thanks to Rochelle for selecting this picture prompt.

Although this picture is from somewhere in the Middle East, I have gone for a Roman Empire theme.

Read more from Friday-Fictioneers HERE.

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Lost Empires

Mary-Anne wondered what the people were like. Were they civil and kind?
Or cruel, with hordes of slaves captured during brutal Empire expansionism?

The Roman Empire split, the West in Mediolanum (Milan),
which became unwieldy and expensive to control, and the East in Constantinople.
The Visigoths and later the Vandals contributed to the fall of the Western Empire.

A blood blister had burst, and Mary-Anne took off her sandal.
The trip around the ruins was hot and laborious, and the tour guide’s descriptions were macabre. 

How thankful that such murderous savagery did not happen nowadays.

Never in our civilised world.

Charming Tatiana 

Thank you Rochelle for keeping the Friday Fictioneers community inspired to write our set of flash fiction. The variety of stories presented indicates the wide imagination that prevails among us. Click HERE for more stories.

This week’s photo-prompt of a rusted grill in front of a door has sinister implications for me.

Photo Prompt by – Brenda Cox for Friday Fictioneers.

Charming Tatiana 

Tatiana is beautiful only at night, since the sunlight burns her skin.

In the Brecht Bar, her melancholy melodies inflame the passion in the minds of lustful drunks.
It is with these hypnotic charms she turns strangers into raging rampant beasts, who with a puckered invitation follow into the dark alley.
There, Tatiana embraces their aroma of sweaty testosterone and clasps her mouth on their neck, and sucks to leave a hickey.
Strangers disappear every week.

The rusted grill protects Tatiana, so she may sleep throughout the day. She does not fear the garlic breathed villagers who carry sharpened stakes.

Dream with the Stars

Thank you Rochelle for keeping the Friday Fictioneers community inspired to write our set of flash fiction. The variety of stories presented (click HERE) indicates the wide imagination that prevails among us.

This week’s photo-prompt of a stone-walled barn by Lisa Fox, indicates a certain pride by the builder.
I can imagine the rustic lifestyle and a storage barn for animals or just chopped wood.

PHOTO PROMPT © Lisa Fox

Dreams with the Stars

At first it was a small dirty cowshed.
At night, we would look through the holes in the roof to find Betelgeuse.
My twin sister, Annabelle, dreamed she would be rich and live in a chateau.

This made father laugh. When he rebuilt the barn, he declared it the castle of Queen Annabelle.
Hold on to your dreams, they will come true, he declared to us.

We held hands beside the barn and remembered father’s words.
‘His spirit is the inspiration of my dreams,’ said Annabelle. Her diamond rings glittered like Orion’s belt, but this barn was still her castle.

Papa’s Poker Addiction

This week for Friday Fictioneers Rochelle has selected a photo from Bill Reynolds of an old Ford truck that has seen better days. I can imagine it is still in use and has had many repairs, and it looks robust enough for all country jobs.

More Friday Fictioneers stories can be read by clicking on the link HERE

PHOTO PROMPT © Bill Reynolds

Papa’s Poker Addiction

Last night, we didn’t hear Papa stop the truck behind the trees.

Mama knew he had lost at poker, and she screamed his name as she ran among the cacti. 

Carlos cheated Papa with a royal flush every week, but still they played on; hopeless.

We had occasional work harvesting aloe for cents, and we survived.

Father Francisco arrived. He cupped Mama’s hands.
Papa had asked for forgiveness and blessing before his act of redemption.

Together we all shuffled with Mama crying to the church and saw Carlos’s newly formed grave.

Smiling, Papa held up a bag full of money.