Friday Fictioneers – Slippery Dish

Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Good evening everyone. This is an entry for Friday Fictioneers, where we write a 100 word story based on the photo prompt. The challenge is hosted here by Rochelle Wisoff Fields, who also kindly supplied the photo this week. The frog below will take you to other entries. 

Pink Froggie

A lacquered bowl was gently placed in front of him.

Octopus – his favourite dish. He plucked a tentacle with some chopsticks, admiring the delicate fleshy circles.

Of course, the biggest suckers at this particular restaurant table were definitely his prospective clients.

He smiled at them, but not too much. Treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen. That way, they’d never question if the deal was too good to be true.

An honest deal wouldn’t keep him in pricey sushi, would it?

“Well, I might have a solution to your problems, but it’s a bit different to what you had in mind…”

 

Sunday Photo Fiction – Yellow

Bicycles

Photograph by Susan Spaulding

Hello all. This is an entry for Sunday Photo Fiction. Coming in well under the word limit today – but for once it just didn’t feel right to add anything else. One thing I struggled with was the shortening of toasted sandwich – growing up this was called a toastie, but not sure how widely used that term is? 

“Where’s your mum pissed off to this time?”

“Didn’t ask. Don’t care,” Layla said, almost like she meant it.

There was a greasy hiss from the toastie-maker as Rachel popped the lid.

“Puts a dint in those fabulous plans she promised?” Rachel guessed. She flipped the sandwiches onto plates and set them on the table.

Layla pierced hers with a fork. The toastie exhaled steam before haemorrhaging nutella-banana filling.

“I love these,” Layla said. “Better than birthday cake, anyway.”

Rachel raised a glass of lemonade.

“Happy sweet sixteenth, Layla.”

Sunday Photo Fiction – Human Misery

This is a flash fiction for Sunday Photo Fiction – 200 words or less based on the photo prompt. Follow the linky for an explanation of the rules or more stories. 

Magdalena had enjoyed 8 happy years of marriage and expected many more to come. Her husband was a thoughtful and honest man, and the idea of abandoning him for anyone else would never cross her mind.

Somewhere down in one of the many netherworlds, three old crones were watching the human world through their special crystal glass. Nothing gave this sadistic bunch more pleasure than watching unhappy mortals.

They didn’t need to get involved too much, humans were very good at making each other miserable. However, they were capable of a few manipulations here and there, and it made the watching even more entertaining.

A stranger was passing through Magdalena’s village, and all it took was one crone’s whisper: “Isn’t he handsome?”

Reflection

For years, I’d noticed unnatural things about my own reflection. Sometimes I saw a slight delay in movement, or an odd twitch that I didn’t feel. The eyes would blink maybe a second before I did, and I’d catch some strange expression in the corner of my vision as I turned away from the mirror.

When my mirror image finally spoke, I felt relieved that I hadn’t been imagining it all this time. There was another person there, or some other version of me.  We became good friends, in the end, understanding each other so perfectly. I began to feel sorry for people who didn’t have a reflection who could talk back.

Months went by, and then he asked me a question I couldn’t answer.

“What do you do,” he asked, “when you’re not being my mirror image?”

The question rolled in my head, and I realised I couldn’t remember where I was before I came to this particular bathroom mirror, I didn’t know what laid beyond the door behind me. When my mirror image walked back into his life, I was surrounded by black fog.

I was nothing but his reflection.

Friday Fictioneers – Closure

PHOTO PROMPT © Peter Abbey

Copyright – Peter Abbey

Another Friday Fictioneers Submission. Please follow the link to take part of read other 100 word stories. The big question for me today, as someone who never studied English after 16, was “That or Which?” Feel free to educate me. 

There was a neglected snicket behind George Street which squeamish locals avoided.

Louis stood at one end, feeling strangely cheered as he realised how grotty this path had become in a decade. He regarded the glass settled in the cracks of degrading asphalt, the abandoned chip cartons, and the pair of stray knickers which lay pathetically across the ground.

How could this place ever have been romantic?

He fixed his gaze on the mouldering fence. He counted the slats, until he reached the 27th on his right.

Louis hearts Hannah

A squirt of spray paint, and the names were gone.

Friday Fictioneers – Light for the Lost

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Image belongs to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Just about managed to write a story for the CORRECT picture prompt for this week. This 100 word story is for the Friday Fictioneers challenge. Please follow link to view other stories and see rules for entering. 

The back of the sofa yielded 21p, enough to buy some reduced bread from Asda. The whole time, I was hoping to God that nobody from school would spot me and ask if I was okay, that nobody would notice I was paying in coppers.

At home, my heart jumped when I saw lights in the kitchen, and mum at the table. After nine days in bed, she was finally up. Just as I dared hope she was ready to be mum again, I saw her vacant expression, staring at the flame of a candle.   

“She loved candles,” mum murmured.

 

Friday Fictioneers – The Grinning Cat

Okay, slight mistake, accidentally used last week’s prompt for Friday Fictioneers. Bear with me here, it’s been a while.

As Alice checked her watch, the seconds hand was ticking past 9. Her date was late. The only company available was a yellow-eyed cat, watching from the path.

“The thing they must understand,” she told the cat, “is that I can’t bear lateness.”

She stared at the lake. The night sky reflection was so perfectly clear, Alice felt she could tumble in and end up amongst the stars. She leaned further over the wall. Suddenly, the cat was between her ankles, her balance was gone, and in she went.

Curiously, there was no splash.

“Enjoy Wonderland,” the cat chuckled.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Photography

176-10-october-9th-2016

Sunday Photo Fiction: 200 words based on the picture prompt, and click the link if you’d like to take part or want to read other submissions. It’s a been a while since I last submitted something. I’m very glad this challenge is reliably here to give me direction when I do feel like doing some writing!

Adam stood in the middle of his late grandad’s living room. Looking to the left, he saw bare walls and bin bags. He’d spent the past hour systematically stripping the place down, unsentimentally doing the job his mother didn’t feel capable of doing. Adam himself hadn’t known his grandad that well, but needles of guilt were bothering him. His cavalier approach to clearing the house was beginning to feel irreverent.

Looking right, the room was still preserved as grandad had left it, identical to Adam’s memories of the rare childhood visits, even down to the stacks of photography magazines on the coffee table. The magazines must have been sat untouched for years, which inspired some curiosity in Adam as he picked one up. They were still in their plastic jackets. Had grandad been intending to read them for the past decade?

Hours later, Adam pulled a digital camera out of the wardrobe, still attached to a USB cable. In the evening, he plugged the thing into his computer to see how grandad’s photography skills had fared despite neglecting the magazines.

A single photo loaded, partially obscured by Grandad’s thumb, of an A4 page filled with handwriting. It began:

“Dear Adam…”

Memories

I hesitate before I open the wardrobe. Fingertips on the cheap chrome handles, I feel it would be more neurotic to stop myself at this point than to give into my curiosity. After opening the doors, I kneel down and hunt through the debris at the bottom of the wardrobe; khaki shorts, tangled shirts, stray socks, grey-smeared trainers. The disturbed dust makes my eyes water.  I pull out an old shoebox, dark green with a fox logo, and place it on the bed.

Opening the box feels indulgent. They say that people now prefer to spend their disposable income on experiences rather than goods. A good memory is like good wine, it becomes more valuable as it ages, and so creating and preserving such memories is an investment. It’s more pleasurable to examine your mementos when it has been some time since you last did so. Digging out this shoebox, I’m not only letting my current emotions ruin what should be an enjoyable session of nostalgia, I feel that I’m permanently cheapening my memories.

I don’t cut to the chase. I carefully leaf through all the photographs, reread all the important cards with loving words of encouragement. I look through old loveletters, sketches, and cinema ticket stubs with mindful devotion, giving them the time they deserve. I try to let myself pretend I’m not just doing this for one reason. When I find what it is I’m really looking for, I place it face down on the duvet until I’m done with everything else.

Finally, I examine the photograph of me, Amy Gladwin, and Charlotte Foster. It’s Amy that I focus on.

“It’s so awful,” I say out loud, to no one in particular. But I had to say it, because I can’t say it to her directly, no matter how I wish I could. Before everyone found out about what happened, I wondered whether I should get in touch. We were connected online, so it would have been easy. I enjoyed seeing her photos and updates, but when she became semi-famous, I didn’t want to be that old friend who crawls out of the woodwork when they smell success.

I still don’t want to be that old friend. I wonder how many people are doing what I am doing right now. You are not special, I tell myself. Up and down the country, right now, there will be old classmates, student flatmates, colleagues, all digging out photographs and thinking about the connection to Amy they once had. Looking at an old photo of a girl I was best friends with, it’s easy to forget that I barely know the woman on TV.

As a teenager, Amy Gladwin was an unambitious student who somehow did nothing but knew everything. Her specialty was doing the bare minimum in class whilst probing those sitting next to her for news. She was a professional shit stirrer, knowing exactly what to say and which buttons to press, and so she was an entertaining friend to have. Despite knowing their secrets would be around the school by the end of the day, people still talked to her, because she always made the process of spilling the beans feel wonderfully cathartic.

Amy Gladwin, 27 year old journalist and media personality, was one of those funny people on panel shows who aren’t well known but make the most controversial jokes. She wrote opinion pieces for newspapers about austerity, feminism, the media, education, and all sorts of other things. She ran the London Marathon and recently went on holiday to Brazil.

Last week, someone stabbed Amy in the back and left her to die in the kitchen of her apartment.

Friday Fictioneers – Salty

Waves

Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

An 100 word entry for Friday Fictioneers, the writing challenge set weekly by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, who this week used a photo of her own. Please follow the link to find the rules and also more 100 word stories based on the above photo prompt.

Patrick rolled beads of risotto on his tongue, letting the buttery sauce carry flavours of garlic and white wine around his mouth.  It was good, but not yet perfect enough for his fickle restaurant customers.

“More salt,” he eventually said.

“Are you sure?” Claire asked, brazenly. He narrowed his eyes at the only person in this kitchen who thought she could challenge him.

“Remember when we were in Sicily, and we spent that one evening on the beach?”

A red flush appeared above Claire’s collar. “Yes.”

“I remember the risotto we ate in the restaurant beforehand better. Make yours like that.”