Friday Fictioneers – Debts Paid

Photo supplied by Douglas M MacIlroy

Happy Friday Fictioneers day, AKA Wednesday! Hope you are all surviving lockdown, If you want to submit your own 100 word story based on the photograph, or see others, just follow this link

“A little something to wet your beak on.”

Crack.

“Glad to see you survived your meeting with Sparrowhawk,” said Tawny Owl, placing Finch’s drink on the bar. “He doesn’t forgive debtors easily.”

Finch didn’t reply, memories of last night circulating like a jerky film reel.

Crack.

“I have the perfect job for a little birdie like you,” Sparrowhawk had said. “A message to deliver.”

At the described tree, Finch heaved to dislodge and topple the stranger’s nest. Only then did he hear.

Crack.

Glimpses of broken shell, scattered.

Minutes later, Finch trembled under Sparrowhawk’s gaze, “Message delivered.”

Friday Fictioneers -An Ordinary Teenage Disorder

 

Photo Courtesy of Jean L Hayes

Hi all. This week was a struggle and I nearly gave up, but here is my entry for Friday Fictioneers

Only two days until prom, and decorating is underway.

Molten glue drips onto my finger, welding another button to my skin instead of the heart shaped wire frame.

Alex glances over and I quickly turn my head away, feeling every blood vessel in my cheeks dilate.

God, what is wrong with me? A question all my friends must be asking as they avoid me, like love sickness might be catching.  It’s torture, this guessing game of what’s possible and what’s likely and what I want and what will actually happen.

Nothing is happening, I think, as he steps towards me.

 

 

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…”

 

Friday Fictioneers – The Means of Production

Photo by C E Ayrs

Decided to give Friday Fictioneers a go this week, run by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  I’m honestly not a huge political history buff, but decided to try and go in that direction anyway. I also would like to leave a disclaimer that even though I do work in manufacturing, this is definitely not something I am planning! 

No missed calls. No new emails.

After two cups of espresso and reading 30 pages the latest Simon Sinek book, he picked up his eerily silent company phone, perplexed.

As he drove to the office, he decided that great leadership was creating a self-sufficient workforce which did not bombard him with communications every minute.

He pulled up to the gate. Reversed. Pulled up again. This automatic number plate recognition system was beyond ridiculous. He owned the building, for God’s sake!

He jabbed at the intercom.

“I’m sorry,” a voice came through the static. “You’re no longer permitted in this factory…”

Friday Fictioneers – In Hiding

This image belongs to Anshu Bhojnagarwala.

 

This is a submission for Friday Fictioneers, a challenge to write a 100 word story based on the photo prompt. It’s a lot harder than I remembered, but I got there eventually.

“May? Are you in here?”

After a pause, the music classroom door closed.

Nestled under the piano, she tucked her costume skirt over her feet. The show would go on without her. She didn’t care if they were angry. The last exam was finished, and she wouldn’t see her fellow students again.

There was no mum or dad waiting in the audience to watch her.

A folded flyer for A Midsummer’s Night Dream propped up a stool leg.

She thought of Alice, proudly waving the flyer, proclaiming her big sister was a fairy.

May reluctantly left her hiding place.

Unwanted Gifts

Roberta hurried out of the front door in her husband’s slippers and shawl. Neither were adequate protection for the occurring downpour, but she marched down the street anyway. One of Roberta’s elderly neighbours was hobbling along the pavement some distance away.  Roberta always forgets her name; the street she lives on is friendly but not that friendly. The old lady started to cross the road, but her foot skidded on a stray piece of gravel as she stepped off the pavement. Roberta, however, was ready to save the day, and roughly grasped Bridget (The name dislodged itself from somewhere in Roberta’s memory) by her upper arm and pulled her up before she could fall onto the road.

Some five seconds later, a silver Toyota dashed around the corner, narrowly missing the kerb.

“Oh!” exclaimed Bridget. She stood for a second in silence, clearly contemplating what could have happened if Roberta had not been there. “How lucky you were here, R-“

“Bridget, we should get you out of the rain!” interrupted Roberta, through gritted teeth. Her slippers are already sodden.

After escorting Bridget to her front door, Roberta returned home and dried off. She made a milky cup of tea and began to confide in Fudge, her placid tabby cat.

“Oh, so lucky you were here, Roberta!” she imitated, with a dollop of sarcasm. “Yeah, lucky for you, you old bint. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my Saturday, and if Dave’s slippers don’t come out of the tumble dryer alright, I’m done for.”

Roberta’s in depth chats with Fudge only started when she started having the visions. The cat wouldn’t think she was crazy, and most importantly, the cat couldn’t tell anyone else that Roberta had gone off her rocker and thought she could see the future. Fudge yawned and stretched across the settee on the opposite side of the living room to the Roberta.

“Okay, Fudge, I know. Dave deserves to have his slippers ruined, the cheating bastard. Though, he might not have cheated on me yet, and we know that we can change what’s in the visions or Bridget would have met her maker this afternoon. So maybe he won’t cheat on me. The vision of him and his ex-wife could be completely out of context?”

In response to this, Fudge stared glassily out of the window.

“Or maybe I’m in complete denial,” Roberta sighed.

 

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.

Bad Decisions

“If it wasn’t for the fact it felt so good, I’d never make bad decisions, ever,” Caroline slurred. She was almost lying down on the couch opposite me, as listless on her fourth glass of sauvignon as she’d been energetic on the second.

“I never seem to have the opportunity to make half the bad decisions you do, at least be grateful for that,” I replied.

This seemed to pull Caroline half upright.

“But you are happy, right?” she asked.

Yes, I was happy. I’d lived in that sleepy town for six years, and made some friends that weren’t as dysfunctional as Caroline, and was one year into a relationship which seemed gloriously uncomplicated to any that I’d been in before. Caroline, meanwhile, floated along wherever the winds took her, and if there was any kind of storm, she sheltered here with me for a few days.

Last time it had been regrets about changing her job and working with a new company. This time, it was a broken heart, which had been the likely outcome from the moment she had fallen in love with her boss.

“I would let you know if I wasn’t happy, it’s definitely my turn to sit on your couch and drink your wine until I cheer up.”

Caroline walked over and sat next to me.  She took my glass of beer and put it on the table. Before I could ask why, she kissed me hard on the lips.

“Sure you’re not suffering from the lack of opportunity to make bad decisions?”

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 – Keeping it For a Reason

PHOTO PROMPT © Claire Fuller

Copyright – Claire Fuller

Welcome to another wonderful Friday Fictioneers. This picture really called out fantasy to me, but I’ve written a few of those lately and wanted to do something different. Not sure it really worked, but I’m on limited time today. If you want to take part and read other stories, please follow the link.

James looked up from his phone, and his daughter was nowhere to be seen.

“Elise?” His voice filtered through the trees either side of the cycleway. A faltering heartbeat later, she tumbled out from between the foliage, recklessly spinning her schoolbag around her wrist.

“Dad, can you keep this safe for me?” She pressed a thumb sized stone into his palm.

“What do you want this for?” he asked, annoyed.

She shrugged before turning and running ahead to the cycleway exit.

“I’m not keeping it for no reason!”

He looked at the stone, sighed, and slipped it in his pocket.