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Sentimental Bric-a-Brac 

Gifting items to Charity or Second Hand shops gives you a satisfactory feeling that the once treasured piece will find a new home. Better than it going to the rubbish landfill site. Although, buying something else to fill that space, kind of defeats the idea of having a clear out. I have known someone who has regretted giving away an item then spends days looking for a similar replacement!

Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers, and to John Nixon for the Photo-prompt.

Read more Stories HERE

PHOTO PROMPT © John Nixon

Sentimental Bric-a-Brac 

I called him Grandad since he would come by and ask the same question.
‘Is it here, yet?’

Occasionally, I invited him in for tea and biscuits. He told me his wife brought it into the shop when she was angry with him, because he went fishing on their first anniversary. She passed recently, and he wants it back.

‘Someone will return it.’ He seemed convinced. ‘They always do.’
He would not say what it was. How was I to know?

‘Is it here yet?’
‘Maybe tomorrow.’

Now, I haven’t seen him for months.
Perhaps he found it at home.

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.

Children’s Lives Matter

This week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt by Rochelle is an abandoned building that may have once been a lively place. Read more contributions HERE.

PHOTO PROMPT © Carole Erdman-Grant

Children’s Lives Matter

Her dream for this ruin was a restaurant as a picturesque stop on the journey into the mountains. Marlene squeezed my hand.

Derelict! My heart sunk like my bank balance flushing down the drain. This renovation project was Marlene’s childhood dream. A notion she started in the school playground, gazing at the view of the surrounding rocky peaks.

She led me through the burnt-out shell, and I heard children laughing and singing.
Marlene sang along, with tears rolling down her cheeks.

Let’s not do this, I shook my head.
Yes! I want a memorial, she said. To remember my dead classmates.

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.

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.

Architects in Love

Thank you to Anne Higa for the picture of the Bell Tower in Pisa and to Rochelle for posting it to challenge us with this prompt to produce a 100-word piece of flash fiction for Friday Fictioneers.

More contributions are available to read by clicking HERE.

PHOTO PROMPT © Anne Higa

Architects in Love

When visiting Pisa, I fell in love with Angelina.
We held hands and debated the construction mistakes made in building the famous bell tower. 

I loved the way she flicked the Fettunta crumbs from her chin. I watched over my Chianti how she puckered her lips around the Picipasta.
She leaned against my shoulder and promised to meet every summer in Pisa. 

Each August, I sat alone by the tower. I knew why.

This year she came. She smiled and trembled as I kissed her temple.
Laughing in her wheelchair, I pushed her around the tower.

For her last time.

Hide and Seek

Thank you Rochelle for your choice for this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt. It is a playful looking picture from Dale and shows the mischievous nature of kittens.

More stories can be read by clicking on the link HERE.

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Hide and Seek

Susan fell off her tricycle and scraped her knees. She said it was because she had no friends, so Grandma found her a kitten.

Kitty followed Susan everywhere, and they played hide-and-seek. Kitty couldn’t count to ten. She always waited until Susan crawled behind some furniture, then dashed to surprise her.

Kitty hid in the darkest places and little Susan didn’t like that.

The bookcase was musty, but she followed Kitty in and became trapped among the pages of an encyclopaedia. Kitty kept watch while Susan journeyed through a magical adventure and made lots of friends.

No one found Susan.

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.

Poisoned at Dawn

This week’s prompt shows a gloomy picture of dark clouds gathering, perhaps reflecting the mood of higher cost of living and possibilities of a renewed Cold War. Thanks to Na’ama Yehuda.

More exciting stories by Friday Fictioneers can be found by this link: CLICK HERE

PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda

Poisoned at Dawn

At dusk, Albert walked the alleys and paths around Battersea.
Although the bombing blitz of WW2 seemed a long time ago, he felt duty bound.
He wore a fedora now instead of the Warden’s helmet and had a George Medal pinned to his blazer.

He opened the Times and spluttered into his morning tea.

Everyone called him Daft Old Albert–but he was Sergey Makarov, a KGB Officer and sentenced to death.

The envoy in the newspaper photograph was his warning. 
How close were they? He must keep his nerve and maintain the cover.

Has the MI5 mole exposed him?

Magical Matilda

Thank you to Rochelle for posting Ted’s picture as this week’s prompt for Friday Fictioneers.
There are magical adventures for children in books, and in our library a lively reading group for children encourages their imagination to flourish. My fiction this week plays with the idea of being transported into the world of stories.

More Friday Fictioneer contributions – HERE

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

Magical Matilda

Magical Matilda related stories to children in the library, and her incantations transported them to many places.

They felt sand between their toes as they watched turtles shuffle along the Barbados beach.
She talked about polar bears as the children shivered and huddled in an Igloo and rubbed noses with Eskimos wearing furry parkas.
In India, they rode elephants and picked tea leaves in Assam among one-horned Rhinos. 

Matilda’s magical spells failed when the Pied Piper stole her children in Hamelin, and siblings became ill, nibbling on gingerbread in a German forest.

Terrified, Matilda hid in a cuckoo’s nest.