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 -The Consolation Prize

Photo Credit – Dale Rogerson

This is a 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers. Please follow the link to find the rules and to look at other 100 word stories. 

Candy pink sky fades to indigo. You knock on my door at exactly six.

I can’t help but see us, shadow backlit by fairground lights, reflected in the abundant chrome, in the eyes of the vendor who implores you to take one more chance to win me a prize.

No luck for you, and no stuffed creature for me. Consolation comes from following the scent of onions and doughnuts to purveyors of deep-fried delights.

You offer to share.

Lips coated in oily cinnamon-sugar, we kiss for the first time.

At home, I blame red cheeks on chill October air.

Friday Fictioneers -The Optimist


PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Copyright – Roger Bultot

Of course, the urge to complete a Friday Fictioneers entry would only come upon me this strongly when my university dissertation is due in a week from now… If you also have a desperate need to procrastinate, please follow the link and read lots of of other fabulous short stories or find the rules for completing your own entry.

Jenny stepped onto the rusty balcony for the last time, protectively gripping her coffee. Over the lip of her mug, she surveyed the incoming fog and looked forward to disappearing into it.

This is the first time she would leave somewhere and not fondly think back on it. She wouldn’t miss anything, not the run-down house, not the underfunded exam factory she worked at which called itself a school, not the anti-social neighbours, and definitely not the bird crap on her car every morning.

Jenny used to be an optimist. Somewhere else, Jenny thought, I still might be an optimist.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Living Tarmac

142 02 February 7th 2016

Copyright – Al Forbes

A piece for Sunday Photo Fiction.

A strange dust began pervading the air above the roads, accompanied by an oily scent. Over the course of some months, the haze became dense and unbreathable. When the newspapers told us the air could be cancerous, our family of four packed our things.

As the dust was presumed to be a result of urban activity, we went to live with my grandmother and her dog, who resided in a remote village. The lack of mobile signal made it difficult to know how my friends were doing, and there was nothing in the news besides the health warnings we already knew.

One wet morning, three weeks after we had moved, I was walking the dog in the nearby woodland. I noticed an odd smell. Lots of trees seem to have fallen over, even though the storm the night before had been mild. After climbing over the wreckage, I saw the cause.

An irregular strip of tarmac stretching as far as the eye could see, fingers of asphalt forking away like growing branches.

Too Real To Be Real

I’m no memory of how I came to be here. I feel like I’ve been on this dark road for hours in trance, and now my eyes and brain have just gained focus on the present. The street I’m in is too real, the winter breeze is opaque, and the stuccoed walls of the semi-detached houses seem to make dents in my vision. The sodium streetlight casts an extradimensional glow on the scene.

I’m frozen to the spot, the air inside my lungs feeling foreign as it enters. My heart seems to have stopped.

There’s a painful flash, and I feel like my synapses are burning. Devoid of the ability to see anything but blinding white, I hear some cheering, and a voice.

“Experiment number three hundred and fifty nine. Success.”


59 05 May 11th 2014

Copyright – Al Forbes

For the main Sunday Photo Fiction page, click here.

“I’m going to cut that woman up. Don’t even think I’m joking. The next dinner party she hosts, I’m going to grab a knife and just stick it in her.” Eva finished her sentence with a gulp of red wine.

Kathrine laughed and topped up Eva’s glass, but Alice raised her eyebrows.

“What?” Eva glared at Alice and settled back onto Kathrine’s couch.

“You don’t think you’re overreacting?” Alice asked.


“I know she said some things about your dress, and about the last boyfriend you had, and… actually, you’re right. I’d be the same.” Alice conceded.

“Going to say, I was surprised you were taking her side, it’s not like you two are friends.” Kathrine gave the empty wine bottle a sad shake.

“Well, we’re not enemies.”

“Even after she told everyone about that incident last summer? With the stripper?” Eva asked.

“…She did what?” Alice’s face darkened.

Eva smiled.

“So, anyone up for a YouTube tutorial on how to stab someone?”

The Metal Infector

57 04 April 27th 2014

Copyright- Al Forbes

Please check out the main page of Sunday Photo Fiction to check out more stories and to read instructions on how to submit your own.

The Great Metal Infection of 2052 actually began in 2050. Biologists who studied the microflora of the Amazon River had trouble identifying a certain strain of bacteria in one of their samples. These bacteria had a highly unusual cell structure, and despite genetic testing, they could not say what the strain had evolved from, or discover its closest relative.

After a short period of time, the biologists began to notice something odd about their tools. Overnight, anything made of metal that was exposed to these bacteria, even the implements they had supposedly sterilised, began to warp out of shape, and odd protrusions would appear. Closer inspections revealed that the bacteria had managed to burrow into the metal and multiply within little surface nodes.

Their hottest incinerator seemed to deal with the affected instruments, but the laboratory couldn’t contain the infection. Within two years, there was devastation. Luckily, the same biologists also discovered the organisms’ aversion to gold, silver, copper, and titanium. The resulting production of alloys which are resistant to “metal rot” allowed humanity can carry on as it once did.

Which is a shame, really.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Dead Beneath the Paint

54 04 April 6th 2014

Copyright – Al Forbes

1 Year on WordPress! Please check out the Sunday Photo Fiction blog to read the other submissions and for instructions on how to submit your own piece.

I stare into the mirror. Blossoms are braided through my hair, and the earthy scent of crushed petals clings to my naked skin. Behind me, the paint is peeling in the corners of the room, the cracks growing larger as time filters through the door in the form of women who paint me and strange men who seem to be pleased by the sight of me. At first, I could not fathom why.

Through the window, another day is dying. When I can no longer see my own reflection, more time will pass through the door. I count the seconds in glances and reverent whispers.

In time I came to understand what I was; artwork. A beautiful picture to be admired. An adornment worthy of royalty.

I have been sold.

I wait for my grand unveiling.

Friday Fictioneers – Rehearsal


Studio Lights from Kent

Copyright – Kent Bonham

Time for Friday Fictioneers, click the link to be taken to the page of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, where you can find instructions for taking part.

So, about that thing you saw the other day…

Yes, that incident. On the stage.

I understand that it must have looked very odd, given that we weren’t wearing clothes, and we were in that position.

Yes, I know he’s your husband, I quite understand why you were so upset about it. But you see, it’s really not what it looked like.

No, we really weren’t doing that.

No, of course I don’t think you’re an idiot.

You see, we were rehearsing a scene for the play. That’s all. Nothing untoward about it.

I’m afraid they’ve sold out of tickets.

Friday Fictioneers – Unbelieving Eyes

Featured Image

Copyright – John Nixon

Friday Fictioneers Central is where you can find the instructions for submitting your own 100 words story and the other submissions. A bit rushed this week, but I’m determined to keep on schedule with my blog posts.

The peace I’ve found in these woods for the past two years is sunk in an instant, like a ship dashed on the rocks of its home port. My feet involuntarily step backwards. He turns and sees me.

“Nat?” He smiles, almost politely.

“You’re back.”

“I never thought I’d find you here. You always said these woods were ugly.”

“I guess, after two years, I learned to see the beauty you saw.”

“There was another thing I said was beautiful, and you didn’t agree.”

I stand bashfully behind a dead looking tree trunk.

“I still have trouble believing that.”