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.

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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.

Three Line Tales : The fire inside

three line tales week94: little red riding hood, a girl in a red parka on a beach

photo by Alex Iby via Unsplash


 

A strip of black, ashy sand, white breakers above – a grey sky, heavy with sea mist that rolls in and out of the shore like a living thing.

Many would be driven insane by my monochrome world, by the endless crash of the waves, the screaming dip and soar of the gulls – but not me.

Inside me burns a fire of anger so fierce it will turn the sand to glass, boil the seas until they vapourise, leaving nothing but a crust of salt behind. The world will know me.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See here to join in and to read the other stories.

Three Line Tales : A murder of crows

three line tales week 91: a raven at Stonehenge for Halloween

photo by Julien Laurent via Unsplash


 

Feathers flutter in the wind – a parade of crow’s wings, a pair nailed to each fence post, blue black dancing over the churned earth.

Daw knows the farmer who owns the land, who shoots the crows. Grover his name is. The man never could bear to see anything beautiful fly, his instinct always to capture, to cage, to kill.

Grover had a wife didn’t he? Nancy. Not seen her for a long while.

 


Written for Three Line Tales. See the prompt pic and write a tale.

 

Three Line Tales : A hush after the storm

three line tales week 87: a hand reaching up from a meadow under a pink sky

photo by Bryan Minear via Unsplash


 

It was the freedom of movement Reem valued the most. She would walk to the top of the hill overlooking Burnley, the grass hushing her steps, the breeze hushing the grass.

Raising first one hand then the other, she wriggled her fingers, allowed the breeze to wrap around her, pass over her, bringing the smells of the city – petrol fumes, the local chip shop, crushed vegetation.

Adnan laughed at her ritual. ‘Why up there of all places?’

She just smiled, pulling him close. ‘Because I can.’

 


Written for Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a post. See here to join in.

Three Line Tales : Miss Salome’s world stops spinning

 

three line tales week 84: glamping

photo by Niv Rozenberg via Unsplash


 

Miss Salome was nervous of her new home at Lombardi’s World of Physical Wonders.

She was used to the contented cluck of the hens, the rhythms of a farmhouse bound by sunrise and seasons. But Lombardi’s was a like a city, all noise and bustle under canvas and always a new face – Atarah the alligator woman, Sherman the dogfaced boy, the half and half Charlie, Abdu who they called the leopard skin boy … too many to remember.

She had once lived rooted to the earth, now the soil beneath her was forever changing from red to brown to grey, back to red with the rumble of cartwheels.

Then one day she saw him, a man in miniature, so small and perfect he could be cast from porcelain. He sat on the top step of the neighbouring caravan, hands resting on his knees, watching her.

‘Welcome to the neighbourhood,’ he said smiling and for once she was pleased of her beard, pleased it hid the flush of pleasure that rogued her cheeks.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See the pic … and you know the rest. Go here to read the other stories.

To learn more sideshow acts and terminology see here.

 

 

Three Line Tales : The falling

three line tales, week 83: origami paper cranes on a table

photo by Dev Benjamin via Unsplash


 

The bell went for break, the children’s whoops and laughter receding along the hall as Shona set to tidying. She’d been showing them simple origami swallows, training their faltering, stubby fingers to create sharp folds, the table scattered with a rainbow flock of creased paper wings and torn beaks. The tap of shoes in the hall made her turn.

Poppy. Sensitive, more likely to be found talking to the dolls than her school mates. ‘Miss, the birds – they’re falling!’

Shona smiled, sent the paper rustling with her hand. ‘We made them, remember? They’re not real.’

Poppy shook her head, pointing to the window. ‘Not those. Those.’

The sunlight flickered, dimmed. A sound like hard rain falling. The children screaming.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See the prompt pic and just write. See here to join in and to read the other tales.