Tag Archives: Short Story

Time Thaws the Torment

I became immersed in silent peace with Dale’s photograph, along with its seasonal touch of the inviting Christmas tree lights. The picture shows a thaw in the weather and a respite from the hard frost; but for how long? Winter can be mild or hard, and in the Spring, we forgive the past harsh weather as the appearance of flowers lighten our mood.

This week, I have taken my inspiration from Franz Kafka.

The German novelist Franz Kafka writes about his father in “Letter to My Father.”

“What was always incomprehensible to me was your total lack of feeling for the suffering and shame you could inflict on me with your words and judgments.” 

Thank you, Rochelle for this week’s prompt for Friday Fictioneers, other stories can be read HERE.

Time Thaws the Torment

I took the shortcut from the railway station along the path I used twenty years ago.
It was then I vowed never to return, but here I was.

Sat on my heavy rucksack, I looked across at the place, my childhood home once full of boyhood adventures.
I loved this country and our family’s farming life.

Come home, my mother said. It’s Christmas. He’s gone, bless his soul.

Was it him who drove me away, or my stubborn pride? A lifetime of agony and tormented pains.

Forgiveness lightened my backpack as I strode with definitive certainty.
I had returned home. 

World out of Focus

Thank you Rochelle for the photo-prompt and for reminding me to visit the opticians for my annual eye test.

Readers please click on Rochelle to visit her site. More stories about the writing prompt can be found HERE.

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

World out of Focus

Certainly, sir.

We have a range of paranormal spectacles.

Yes, our mood range. The rose lens lets you view the world in eternal, euphoric happiness.
Our blue ones present a cynical world of bitterness and grievance.
Apparently, they are very popular with politicians.

Our nostalgic glasses will let you wallow in a mud pool of missed opportunities and shameful regrets.
However, this monocle will swell you with pride as you relive achievements and insurmountable success at the expense of others.

These, in cotton wool to avoid distortion, present a view of your future.

You may not like what you see.

Hanging by a Thread

I am not certain where the picture by Sandra was taken. It looks like Charmouth on the south of England. The area is also referred to as the Jurassic coast because of the large number of fossils found along the foot of the cliffs. Thank you Sandra for reminding me of my holiday visit. (From Sandra’s page, she tells us the picture was taken at West Bay, Dorset).

As always, thank you Rochelle for posting this week’s prompt, please click on her name to join the party. More contributions of 100 words stories can be found HERE.

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

Hanging by a Thread

We holiday every June in Charmouth, to sunbathe on the beach. On the cool days, we walk along the cliff tops or among the costal rocks looking for fossils.

We call the seagull Freddy; he knows when we buy chips and circles around waiting for a chance to swoop and steal. To annoy Charlene, Tom threw her chips into the air. She stormed off up the path.

I am patient with Charlene, her teenage tantrums, her fussy eating fads, her blackmailing, and exaggerated modesty in the caravan.

‘Do you think she will really jump?’ Tom laughs.

I run after her.

Grandma’s Legacy

Thank you, Rochelle, for the memories your picture this week has stirred. I am sure we all have many items in the attic or at the back of the garage that were once loved but are now forgotten. Eventually, they end up in junk shops because we think ‘someone’ may find it useful.

Click on Rochelle, to discover the background of Friday Fictioneers. More 100 word stories on this photo-prompt are available HERE.

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Grandma’s Legacy

The musty smell of antiquity evokes my engrained fear of Grandma Louise. I see a porcelain pan, and I retch. Mornings, I had flushed grandma’s contents down the outside toilet. 

I wander junk markets conflicted with angry and fond memories, to relive my chaotic childhood. The Bible that bruised my skull, the flea infested shawl for winter huddles. The horn handled stick with which Grandma beat sense into me.
In a cruel way, she was loving and kind, and a penniless old hag with an infectious laughter that endeared forgiveness.

She left me a landscape, a ‘Constable’. 
Thank you, Grandma.

They Grow So Fast

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. 

More stories from the group can be read HERE.

Photo-prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

They Grow So Fast

Jessica was fearless.
At three she ran into the sea, and I had to rescue her from the pounding waves.
You never told me it was salty, she had said.

At four, she fell off the donkey.
It was my fault. I should have told her she was too small to be a jockey.

At ten she climbed the fifty-foot cliff face.
My heart raced. Get off I screamed. You’ll fall.
She laughed.

At twenty, she is sailing solo across the Atlantic.

These shells soothe my apprehension and remind me of our fun times.
Oh, Jessica, you grew so fast. 

City Slickers.

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.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

City Slickers

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.

“Hell, the floozy is only twenty-five!”

The Curse of Calico Jack

Calico Jack was the nickname given to John Rackham, a pirate who stalked the Caribbean seas.

For this week’s Friday-Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle, I have added my flavour in a mixture of fiction, myth and fact. So thank you Brenda for the engaging photo prompt, I can taste the fresh pineapple and feel the warm breeze.

More Friday Fictioneers’ tall tales, HERE.

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

The Curse of Calico Jack

Grandma Louise sells pineapples and nutmeg from a shack, where she distils molasses rum. At sunset we swat mosquitoes, and sip from chipped glasses, as she laughs about her pirate ancestors. 

She knows the whereabouts on Barbados of a casket pilfered from Calico Jack by his lover, Anne Bonny. He cursed her to hell as he dangled in Port Royal, and she vanished like a silk scarf in a Caribbean storm.

Grandma won’t reveal where Anne’s ghostly soul lies and the fate of the Spanish plunder.

She just smiles, sipping rum, and nods to her pineapple fields and nutmeg trees.

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.

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.

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.