What Pegman Saw : The drugstore kid’s Mom


 

When Donny said to meet by the juniper tree, I knew which one. There were dozens of gnarly old trees out there whittled and twisted by the wind, but only one we’d carved our initials on. Only one we’d swore oaths under.

My heart sank when I saw Carl was with him.

‘You need protection now, Donny?’ I called, trying to laugh, the sound drying in my throat.

Donny shrugged. ‘Carl was just passing by.’

I guess he was just passing by when that kid at the drugstore lost an eye. I knew the kid’s Mom. Nice lady.

‘You broke your promise,’ he said quietly.

‘You broke yours first.’ I stepped back, rocks rolling under my feet, tumbling down the ravine.

Carl reached into his pocket.

A deafening blast, the stink of cordite … For the drugstore kid’s Mom.

‘Let’s talk, Donny,’ I said.

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, the photo writing prompt using Google Streetview as its source. See the pic, create, share, read and comment. See here to join in.

 

 

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Three Line Tales : Gideon keeps a secret

three line tales, week 107: diaries, roses and bobbins with sewing thread

photo by Frank McKenna via Unsplash


 

Gideon Smith was the first to complain of the smell, Jennet Powell the next. After four days, Smith took matters – and a house breaker’s jemmy – into his own hands and broke into the seamstress’s cottage.

Jennet found the biddy stiff in her chair, head drooping, strands of silver hair sparkling against the blue of an unfinished velvet gown. On the deal table lay bobbins of thread, dull steel needles and scissors, a book with a pale cloth binding, a water stain clouding one corner. Gideon eyed the title and slipped the thin volume in his pocket while Jennet was rifling through a box of hat pins.

The constable was called and Jennet and Gideon left, Jennet to stow a jet and crystal pin in her drawer, Gideon to walk along the canal. He dropped the book into the lock. The pages flapped like broken wings before it hit the water and vanished into the thick brown, one last act of kindness for his neighbour.


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Word’s Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a tale. See here to join and share.

Friday Fictioneers : Speckled crimson

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson


 

The world was swollen that night, heavy snow turning hedges and curbs to fat pillows. Beneath were the same thorns, the same sharp corners to catch unwary toes.

As she looked across a garden glazed white, she realised that was what her marriage had always been – pristine to the casual observer, while beneath that shallow surface …

Despite everything, she saw beauty in those contrasts of soft and sharp, sweet perfection and hidden terror.

Her favourite contrast lay beyond the misted window pane. Crisp, white snow, smeared and speckled crimson.

Her grip slackened around the knife’s bone handle.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and write a tale and don’t forget to read and comment. See here to join in.

Terrifying photograph and author interview : The People’s Friend

 

This is week sees the final instalment of my serial The Mermaid of Mortling Hall in The People’s Friend magazine and what a lovely experience it’s been, from the writing and drafting of the story under Alan Spink’s steady tutelage, to kind comments of support from family, colleagues and blogging friends.

As a finale, Alan emailed me and asked if I’d like to give an author interview on the magazine’s blog, so if you’d like to learn a little more about the story, about my writing habits – and see a terrifying extreme close-up of my toothy mug – then pop along here.

Many thanks go especially to all bloggers who left encouraging comments and to all those who bought the magazine – your support has been amazing.

 

What Pegman Saw : No longer watching

 

Meo had told me where to find the place, to look for a fresco of the Virgin in a window by the Via Sant’Alò. He’d shot me a lopsided smile. ‘You’ll see her eyes are closed, amico. The lady no longer watches over us.’

At the sight of that battered little door under the steps, my heart lurched. Too small for an adult to pass through without bending double, it would have been perfect for my Ciccio. I could imagine his excitement – a door his height when all the world was built for grown ups.

I saw his smile, sparkling ebony eyes, felt a small hand slipping into mine. Then the hospital, the smell of cleanser masking body fluids, the hiss of the ventilator.

I wanted to run, find a bar, anywhere, just away …

There was a grind of rusted metal and the door swung open. ‘Lost something?’ said a voice.

Trembling, I stepped inside.

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, a writing prompt that uses Google Streetview. See here to join in and to read and comment on the other stories.

 

 

 

Three Line Tales : Just one step

photo by Samuel Wong via Unsplash


 

Every weekday he steps onto the escalator, blinks in the cold neon, shuffles to the right. It’s a conveyor, he thinks, sucking up human beings, churning out labourers, consumers, productive cogs.

Then one day he’s about to take that first step and his foot pauses as if caught on an unseen obstacle. There’s a tut and grumble from the commuter logjam building behind him, but now he’s unable to move. He once dreamed of flying in a rocket ship to the craggy face of the Moon, of chipping the old bones of a newly discovered dinosaur from the chalk. He once dreamed.

An impatient cough stirs him. Flushing, he takes a step and though inside he’s raging, wanting to turn and run, to fly a rocket, to name his dinosaur, he shuffles to the right, let’s the escalator carry him on and up.

This is not an age for dreamers.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a tale and pop along here to read and share.

Friday Fictioneers : One tear lost in the river

PHOTO PROMPT © JS Brand


 

‘You sure this is the place?’ asked Valdez.

The hotel’s corrugated iron roof was rusted and dripping dingy rainwater into the river. A sign above the door was feathery with curling paint.

The boatman nodded, palm open.

At the reception desk stood an elderly lady, her grey hair whipped into a bun, head tilted towards a radio. A waltz crackled from the speaker.

‘Senora Martin? I’m a police officer. I need to speak to you about your son.’

She looked up, revealing one pearly cataract. ‘He’s dead?’ She smiled, a single tear falling from her blind eye.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and write a tale and don’t forget to read and comment here.

What do we think Senora Martin’s son did to make her smile at his passing? Answers on a postcard please. Alternatively, you could just comment in the box below, which is a much better idea.