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.

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…”

The Library Book Project – 23 February 2013

To read more about this project, click here.

It’s funny how some words on a little screen can cause pain like real punches. I have to sit down, winded, and fight the instinct to cry. Yet, I invite these words in, I carry around my phone in my pocket, a little portal through which people can injure me at any time. Of course, only a few weeks ago, it was our connection. The tone it played when it received a message gave me thrills, and I’d leap across my bedroom so I could read the message you’d sent.

In those first few days, the communication was incessant. There were messages from you well into the night, and your words were the first I would read in the morning. You’d continually joke about my clumsiness. That was how we met, after all. When those books spilled to the floor, my face turned crimson with mortification. You were the only one around who didn’t give me a filthy stare. Instead, you smiled sympathetically and waited around for me to check my book out. We started talking, and couldn’t stop, so we exchanged numbers.

After a week or so, I’d be anxiously checking my phone every half an hour to see if you’d responded to my texts. Your responses were slow, half-hearted, sluggish and with none of your previous wit, like you weren’t paying attention anymore. I wondered what I’d done wrong, and fought the desire to text you back straight away when you did eventually send me something, ashamed of my eagerness.

You added me on Facebook at one point, and my heart rose, thinking this was a sign your interest in me was picking up again. There were a few good conversations, and you suggested we meet up. I laughed at myself then, about how worried I’d been about some stupid text messages. I remember how I felt when you kissed me. I smiled for the entire afternoon, and I really thought this would last.

I was surprised, hurt, and maybe a little angry when you didn’t reply to any of my messages after that. I couldn’t figure out what you wanted. If you weren’t interested then you shouldn’t pretend that you are. I told myself that was it, that it was the end of our small whatever-it-was, emphasis on the word small. I was a person, I had a life, and you didn’t just mess someone around like that.

It didn’t prepare me for when I was browsing Facebook on my phone, and I saw that you were in a relationship with someone else. Hurt, confusion and depression weigh me down as I walk back to the library. I post the borrowed book through the return point. I do it hurriedly, because it upsets me to think that the book has been in my life for longer than you.