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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

Friday Fictioneers : I ain’t your mother

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields


 

‘Sing to me?’ he said.

I stirred the pot, the clumped stew with the stringy jackrabbit I’d snared the night before. Piercing him with squint eyes, I said, ‘Sing to you? I ain’t your mother.’

I’d swaddled him in a blanket, propped him against an old pinyon pine overlooking the valley. His chest rattled, the once broad shoulders pared down, scrawny as the jackrabbit.

‘I’ll be gone by morning,’ he whispered, as calm as if observing the sky is up, smoke is black.

Smuts scorched my eyes as I hummed an old, sad tune my mother taught me.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. Be inspired, share, read and comment here.

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Fictioneers : The silvering of clouds

PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

There’s a light you get at twilight, when the sun is tucked behind silvery clouds. The sky’s still blue, holding onto day, but the earth is draining of colour, already sliding into night.

It was like that twenty years ago. Day Zero we call it now, but really it was just another summer’s day, a day I have no memory of. Until the broadcast.

I remember Ma’s face as the news came buzzing and tinny over the radio. A sandcastle crumbling under waves. The radio has remained dumb since.

If you could see us all now, Ma, you’d weep.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. Come on over, be inspired here, read and comment. It’s a joy.

 

 

Friday Fictioneers : Afterwards, on rainy days

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson


 

Afterwards, on rainy days Claire would wrap a blanket around her shoulders and dash to the arbour bench by the pond. Feet tucked up. Fat plops of rain falling from the roof, balding the lawn.

She would stare at the buttermilk pods of waterlilies, at the green discs of their leaves, at droplets gathering and rolling like mercury.

Watching the ripples form and grow, she would think of Mark, how he dropped into her life, how the ripples of his actions reached further than she could ever have imagined.

How they continued to spread, even though he was gone.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and write a story. Don’t forget to share, read and comment on other tales too – here.

What can I tell you – I saw the art work in the picture and thought of ripples on the surface of a pond.