Three Line Tales : Think the same, act the same, obey the same

three line tales week 69: Lego heads

photo by Carson Arias via Unsplash


 

My father used to say, ‘Push a child through school and all you get is a million minds that think the same, act the same, obey the same.’

I guess that’s why he took us away, up to the cabin over the mirror lake. Why our school room was the whispering forest, why we read wolf tracks and deer pellets and badger routes instead of books.

It’s why I’m looking over the city now and not dead within its walls.

 


My, I am churning out the dystopia like nobody’s business these days.

This was written for Sonya’s Three Line Tales and how my mind veered from happy smiley Lego men to the end of the world is anyone’s guess. See here to read the other tales and join in the fun.

Friday Fictioneers : What was here?

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll


 

Newt shuffled along the dusty tabletop so Mama could perch next to her.

‘And what was this bit?’ Newt traced the lines on the picture with her finger, the crosscross patterns, the dark bobbles with their raised paint.

‘That was grass, the brown lines are paths. That blue was a lake, the blobs are trees.’ Mama coughed, the sound rattling like dried beans caught in her chest. ‘Let’s go. Dark’s coming.’

As they hurried back to the tunnel and the oildrum fire, Newt tried to imagine Lake, Trees, Grass …

Tried to imagine a world coloured blue and green.

 


 

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers, the finest flash writing prompt you’ll find. See here to join in and to read the other, wonderful tales.

 

 

#tuesdayuseitinasentence : If only

Bed sheets, linen

Image : Pixabay

His gaze fell upon the flower still clinging behind her ear. Its petals were flushed coral, curled back like lips parted in surprise. Her hair tumbled from its clip, curls lapping her neck. A tangle of sheets pillowed her head, exposed a shoulder, an arm thrown behind her, fingers still gripping the fabric even now.

If only she had said yes.

 


Well, that went creepier than I expected!

Written for Stephanie at Word Adventures’ #tuesdayuseitinasentence. Today the word is GAZE. Pop along here and join the fun.

The Devil of Moravia: Knee deep in fields of horror

Floral China teacups and plates

Image : Pixabay

Will Edmund do the right thing for Frances? Can he tell what the right things is anymore? See below to read more about Edmund and his unlucky journey to Old Noah’s door.

Onetwothreefour, fivesix , seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelvethirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty one, twenty two, twenty three, twenty four, twenty five, twenty six. and twenty seven.


 

‘Better to let her die,’ he called after me, ‘than for her to live with what she has become.’

But all I could think of was her hand in mine. Of somehow freeing her from her curse. Of killing Slatina.

Pipe smoke, spilled ale and the rotting flower stench of jenever spirit caught in my throat as I entered, the floor catching at my boots. Rushlights flickered in their holders, the glow barely enough to reveal the board walls, the wrecked hulks of the patrons hunkered over their filthy brew.

It was quiet in there yet, for the Dog and Bear never truly grew into its own until the deepest hours of the night,  when decent men had scurried to their beds, leaving the river mists to swirl alone.

I made towards a long low table of rough wood, its burden of stone bottles and seeping firkins. A young woman stood behind it, the sleeves of her smock rolled up to reveal arms thin as a child’s. A hare-shot lip puckered her face into a sneer.

‘I need to see your Master,’ I said.

With a bob she ducked behind a tattered flag which hung as a makeshift curtain from a rope behind her.

Samuel was at my side once more, his breath coming short and sharp. ‘I beg you, Edmund, let us go now before that repulsive individual appears. No good shall come of renewing this acquaintance. Have you forgotten all he is?’

‘Hush, Samuel.’ The voice was low, soft, hardly more than a hiss. ‘You must not speak ill of the dead.’

I took in the keeper of the Dog and Bear, from the length of tawny silk bound about his head, to the gown of braided velvet that skimmed the toes of his curling slippers. ‘You still believe yourself a dead man, Old Noah?’

He shrugged. ‘Look about you, Edmund. Has the Saviour returned, bringing his Kingdom to renew mankind? Does that filthy snake of a river burn with cleansing fire? No? Then I am still dead, still awaiting the day of my resurrection. But dead men may still be hospitable. Come in. A jug of gin warms on the fire.’

We passed beneath the curtain as the hare-shotten girl crossed back into the inn and found ourselves in a parlour just large enough for the three chairs huddled round a small grate within. Old Noah motioned for us to be seated as he arranged cups of cracked china for the gin.

In truth, the man was as damaged as his porcelain. I heard tell he was once a soldier who fought bravely, flinging himself into every fray and cannonade, emerging unscathed even when all about him fell. Battle after battle he fought, Death ever his companion but never claiming him. One terrible day as he walked knee deep in fields of horror, his shattered mind came to understand that the bullets could have missed him so entirely only because he had no earthly form, that he must have died years before and only now understood the nature of his immortal form.

I took the proferred gin, the heat small comfort in that squalid den. ‘We need something of you, Old Noah.’

He nodded. ‘All who come here want something of me. It is the nature of the dead to intercede on behalf of the living.’

All the journey through I had not wondered at what I would say when the time came to ask, believing that necessity would frame the words for me. But now, faced with such a dreadful task, I faltered, my lips drying like parchment.

He handed a cup to Samuel, then climbed onto his chair, kicking off his slippers, tucking his feet beneath him.

‘We need … We want …’

He held up his hand to silence me. ‘Whatever it is, you shall have it.’ I made to protest but he would not hear me. Instead he said, ‘Something moves about the earth, something old beyond time, yet a creature unknown before. It is a forerunner, a creature hailing the End of Days. My wandering shall soon be at an end and so shall yours, that is certain. What we do along the journey – that is the only question left to answer.’ He shot Samuel an uneasy look. ‘Some souls are already eaten, leaving nothing but the shadow of the man that once was.’ He waved his hand in the air, as if Samuel was a mist to be dispelled. ‘But some yet cling to life.’ He took my hand then, gripping it so hard, I feared the bones might crack. ‘Use what is left to you wisely.’

He stood then, gesturing towards the curtain, towards the inn and the world beyond and as if knowing why we came he whispered, ‘Take the girl,’ he said. ‘She will missed by no one.’

Evidently disturbed, Samuel hurried from the parlour, leaving me alone with the curious old man.

Noah pressed close to me, his breath of aniseed and clove bathing my face. ‘You have fallen into the darkest company, Edmund. I felt you lost before, but now …’ He shook his head. ‘All I can say is this. Know who you are. Embrace it, no matter how dark, no matter how squalid. Only then will you triumph over this terrible evil.’

He pushed me away then, my mind spinning with his words, lost as to their meaning.

 

 

 

What Pegman Saw : Where I began

Today Pegman walks through  Portal, ND


 

Mum told me the place was called Railway Avenue.

When I was a kid lying on my bunk, pillow wrapped round my head to block the shouting, I imagined what it was like. A countryside lane, maybe, with a redbrick station and a flower bed, the town name picked out in yellow begonias. Maybe the line had long closed, leaving the grass to grow tall between the sleepers, with only the field mice left to follow the old ways.

When she finally kicked me out, I packed a bag and hiked there just to see, just to know the place where I began. I found a truck stop, a rundown cafe surrounded by wide open tracts of churned up dirt grubby with engine oil.

It made me smile. I was sixteen and it seemed right that my life began somewhere where even hope couldn’t survive.

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, a great writing prompt inspired by Google Streetview. See here to join in and to read the other tales.

Three Line Tales : You, me, us

 

three line tales week 68: a whole bunch of graduates at their graduation ceremony

photo by Faustin Tuyambaze via Unsplash


 

It’s hot in the auditorium, summer sun blazing through the high windows, open doors drawing through little but traffic noise, the metallic whirr of labouring air con.

Three years on from my first day on campus, my first glimpse of your dark, clipped hair, your shy, clipped smile.

Does anyone here miss you except me? Resentment bubbles at the thought of all these smiling people, caught in their selfish, happy bubbles and not one giving you a thought. But that feels right too – it was always you, always me, always us alone. The chancellor stands, smooths her gown and starts to speak.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a story. Go here to read the other entries and to join in with your own.

Friday Fictioneers: Early morning coffee at the roadside diner

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot


 

It’s still early, indigo just crawling up the sky, eating the stars. The diner feels secluded still in its bubble of light, its coffee and pancake fug.

The door opens. Merv Klitschko, greasy trapper hat pulled low, ear flaps creased at his shoulders cos the guy’s got no neck. He’s at the counter, just gets coffee which is weird. Merv’s a man of habit – bacon, eggs, waffles, maple syrup, every morning for the last fifteen years.

I look to see if it’s raining, cos something’s dripping from Merv’s coat, puddling round his boots.

Then I see what that something is.

 


 

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. Write a story to go with the photo, but in no more than 100 words, please. See here to join in and to read the other, stunning tales.