Friday Fictioneers: Little Girl Lost

PHOTO PROMPT © Anshu Bhojnagarwala

‘You must dry off, or you’ll catch your death.’ The homeless guy beckons me to the fire with stubby, soot black fingers.

Crows feet deep as cuts, weathered skin – he could be in his seventies, or ten years younger, hard to tell. The street does that to you.

The drenching has me shivering and the autumn wind cuts across the river, knife sharp. Hypothermia is a real danger.

‘Thank you,’ I say, giving him my best little-girl-lost smile.

He offers me a blanket that stinks of rats and body odour.

I accept it gratefully, hide the knife in its folds.

***

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See here to join in and to read the other stories.

This could be the prequel to An Unforeseen Event, the story I wrote for What Pegman Saw last week.

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Friday Fictioneers: Third Love


PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

First love. Uncle Jack’s red Bugeye Sprite. Seven years old, twisting along the B roads, school tie tugging tight in the wind.

Second love. A black and gold Ford Capri straight off the forecourt. Driving the length of the M1 – Catthorpe Interchange to Gretna – just to see Eileen with the tawny eyes and endless legs.

Third love. A silver Bentley Continental bought with the commission from his first big deal.

Abandoned in Kielder Forest under a Hunter’s Moon. The smell of burnt rubber and oil. The ting of cooling metal. The Moon reflected in a pair of blank tawny eyes.

***

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and write a tale. And what a cracking photo this week. Pop along here to join in.

Friday Fictioneers : Odd Fish

PHOTO PROMPT © Randy Mazie

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‘Odd Fish.’

The old women whispered as he passed the yard, rocking in their chairs, fanning damp faces with crimped newspaper. Samuel dipped his head, avoiding their dry, puckered gaze.

Clouds of dust rose as he crossed to the cemetery. Passing sharp, white headstones he reached a wooden cross in the shade. Taking out a well-thumbed book, he peered closely at the text.

‘Here’s the book I was telling you about, Mama.’

Clearing his throat, he read, ‘If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born …’

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Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See here to join in, to read and comment on the other tales.

I’ve been away for a while and what a joy to be back in my blogging home.

Note – Samuel is reading the opening lines of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.

Friday Fictioneers : A watchful eye

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Nathan Sowers grandson of our own Dawn M. Miller


 

Dew had settled on Bertha’s shawl, seeped through to her dress. The damp drew out the warmth from her shoulders, making her shiver.

She glanced into the mirror, at the reflection of a wormy shed, the path leading to it choked with fleabane. Back when she was ill, she would have seen the shed’s lone window as an eye, wide, watchful, judging …

A scrape, a thump. The demons were awake inside the shed. Thank goodness she’d thought to lock the door, to protect herself against their grasping claws, their greedy mouths.

‘Mama!’

How the devils screamed! She closed her eyes.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. Write a story and join the fun. See here to learn how.

NB Bertha’s name just sprang to my mind when I went to write this. Hardly surprising for anyone who has read Jane Eyre, for Bertha Mason is Rochester’s disturbed wife, the original ‘madwoman in the attic’.

As a teenager, I loved Jane Eyre, but grew to have greater sympathy for Bertha after studying Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, which explores the themes of racism, colonialism and prejudice in Charlotte Bronte’s original telling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Fictioneers : City of a Thousand Scandals

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria


 

‘Always something to see,’ sighed Signora Bianchi, sweeping open the muslin drapes. Her pillowy bust pressed against my arm. She smelled of garlic and bread dough and crushed lavender. ‘City of a Thousand Scandals,’ she said with a sly wink and sashayed from the room, slingbacks slapping her heels.

She was right, of course.

That summer the city unfurled beneath my window – the bargemen rising with the sun, setting with the midday heat, the thieves and shysters and gigolos slinking out with the midges as the sun wallowed.

And then there was you, the biggest scandal of all.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. Indubitably the best prompt on Word Press. See here to join in, to read and comment on others.

This week’s entry reads more like an opening to a 1940s/50s novel, a young man caught in a foreign city, alone, naive … in danger?

Who do you suppose he’s taking to and why is this person so scandalous?

Friday Fictioneers : If I could cast a magic spell

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot


 

If I could cast a magic spell I would not wish for doubloons nor gems large as apples, heavy as the ice that seals our well these bitter mornings past.

Ermine and mink, rivers of silk and satin hold no glamour in my heart. I seek no fortune or renown or any home outside our shuttered cottage, its mossy thatch, the scent of tallow and our lowing beasts.

The only spell I crave is to be made as stone, a sculpted woman with no flesh heart beating in its bony cage.

Perhaps then I should miss you less.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and write a tale. See here to share and read the other stories.

I struggled a bit with this one. Then I saw the back of that impressive sculpture in the foreground and thought of being turned to stone.

Apologies in advance. Due to work commitments I’m very late to the party and doubt I’ll Be able to read many other posts before FF comes round again. Sorry if I miss reading your story and many thanks if you take the time to read mine.

 

 

 

Friday Fictioneers : The boy who powered New York

PHOTO PROMPT ©Jill Wisoff


 

‘Now I know, Doctor Gordon.’

Gordon’s hands lay folded on her lap. She knew not to move too much or too suddenly during their chats. ‘What is it you know, Samuel?’

A light glowed behind his ashen eyes. ‘Why I’m always so tired.’

Beneath the worry lines and shadows, she saw the child trying to escape.

‘The city lights,’ he said, hands a blur, ‘they’re powered by my thoughts. Think of it all – the subway, the stores, the buildings. So much energy.’

Through the barred window, Gordon glimpsed a streetlight. The fat bulb blinked, guttered to darkness …

 


This piece of flash fiction was written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic, write, share, read and comment here.