Thank you, Rochelle, for one of your water colours as our Friday-Fictioneer prompt. I can recall when I was a child of the days running through the soft surf and collecting shells. Scrambling over rocks and poking around small pools was also lots of fun.
The sun is out and I am looking forward to a relaxing warm weekend. Roger Bultot’s photo-prompt reminds me to seek the shade if the sun becomes too hot. Thanks to our host Rochelle for presenting the challenge to write a story for our Friday-Fictioneers, a hundred words of fun. More contributions are available by clicking HERE.
We were called the city slickers in our faux Louis Vuitton short-sleeved shirts, embroidered ‘Domino Kings’. We played in the afternoon shade, sipping mint tea or black coffee, enjoying retirement in the street bustle. Slowly, our numbers dwindled. Tony went to stay with his daughters in Chicago. Charlie’s eyesight is blurry with too much brandy, and Derek is getting his hips replaced. Rich George is on a Caribbean cruise with Yasmin for two months.
Today, it is just us two playing pontoon. Darren is winning, and he is annoyingly cantankerous about George getting married.
This week’s Friday-Fictioneers picture reminded me of the many wells and Spas of mineral water with their health and healing giving properties. I remember seeing a movie, Countess Dracula 1971, with Ingrid Pitt as the Countess Elizabeth Bathory. The film’s theme is about the loss of youth and beauty.
You may read more contributions to Friday-Fictioneer’s 100-word stories HERE.
Beneath the flagstones are the remains of Countess Bathory. Her body is encased in oak, and it taints the water seeping into the basin with her blood. Legend says she weeps for the souls of deceased virgins. I bless anyone who dares to drink from this source with longevity and eternal beauty.
The tour guide sprinkles salt into the glass, lifts her black veil and sips the water. The visitors gasp, and are enchanted by the radiance of their guide, with flawless skin and features of a mythical goddess.
Ladies, please buy your personalised Bathory water from the gift shop.
This story is for Friday -Fictioneers, a flash fiction site hosted by Rochelle. Other contributions can be read HERE.
I like this week’s picture, I can sense the thunderous roar as the water falls over the cliffs, and almost feel the humidity hanging in the air. It is a powerful scene.
‘The falls are wonderful.’ ‘What did you say?’ Laura shouted, ‘I said this is impressive!’ ‘Come on.’ Mike held her hand and led her along the narrow path.
She felt his grip tighten as they neared the edge of the cliff. ‘I can’t live without you. If I jump, nobody will ever know.’ ‘No Mike, don’t.’ She struggled free from his clenched hold. He laughed. Laura’s legs shook, and she stumbled away from the precipice.
Mike knelt and held up a ring. She felt her heart thumping Her answer must be no. Will he really jump? Only she would know.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A light hearted piece of old fashion flash fiction to raise a smile. Inspired by stories from Philip K Dick.
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.
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.
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.