I’ll admit, I was jealous of my brother. While my life was unremarkable, his was extraordinary.
Beautiful girlfriends. A house in Kensington. Holidays to Tonga, Maui, Cambodia.
He lived in the house ten years, but as I walk the rooms, my footsteps echoing, the place feels like a feature in a style magazine. No photographs of family on the mantelpiece. No scrappy school paintings pinned to the fridge or toys on the floor. Not even a dog basket cluttering the hall.
I cuff my cheeks dry. The man had so many trophies and won nothing.
Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the prompt picture and let your imagination fly. See here to join in.
The call came just after eleven pm. She let it go to voicemail.
‘… I wasn’t able to get to a phone before now. You know how it is…’
The table was still set for two, the candles burned to black grease. At least the wine hadn’t gone to waste. She teetered out onto the veranda, glass in one hand, cigarette smouldering in the other.
She’d never liked sharing, not since she was a little girl. Back then it had been dolls and slices of black cake she’d kept to herself. Perhaps this was payback for her childish greed, a cosmic levelling.
Sipping her wine, she watched the flames enveloped the house they’d both loved, the house he’d want for his next family.
Never was good at sharing.
Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Street View as its starting point. This week we visit the Dominican Republic. See here to join in.
Black cake is a Caribbean recipe I’ve never tried but that sounds rather amazing.
What we’d thought would be three days walking turned to five then six.
The smaller children suffered worst, those too young to understand the cold, the heat and pain it brings. The small ones added to the sound of those days – the crunch of ice underfoot, the soughing wind, children’s sobs collapsing into whimpers.
The land was a series of low hills and promontories, leading to great expanses of shale, glacial cliffs.
Those that fell – infants, the elderly, the sick – were left unburied, wrapped only in the clothes they wore. The earth too hard to dig. No spare blankets to act as winding sheets.
I think of them sometimes, pared by the ice, weathered to the colour of rock, another low hill eroded by the wind.
Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Street View. This week we visit Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. See here to join in.
The fall felt sudden when it came, the troops marching along the avenues, the army encampment in the shadow of the tower, everywhere red, white and black.
Others went before us, but trouble had seemed so distant, another man’s worry. And in the meantime there had been meals to cook, clothes to launder, work and school, the thousand small things that make a life.
Now liberty sleeps, the days have taken on a darker hue and that other life has faded to a distant point on the horizon that remains just a point, no matter the miles travelled.
Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the prompt pic and have a go. See here to join in.
Apologies for the slow response to comments. I’ve dived into writing another novel and am finding hard to clamber out!
Brigstowe Bay was a grinning moon banked by rocky spurs.
At the centre of the smile was a bank of grubby sand, the Grand Pier with its sagging wooden roller coaster and sun bleached stalls selling candy floss and hot dogs.
On the northern spur, looking towards Torquay, were the wide streets and Romanesque villas of Upper Cliffside, looking down on the promenade in more ways than one.
On the southern side, set apart from the wannabe millionaires of Cliffside and the hucksters and charming liars of the promenade, was an area locals called ‘Brig’.
The pubs and cottages lining Brig harbour resembled squat toadstools, warty with jerry-built extensions, sheds and stillhouses. What fishing boats remained ran the coast, ‘fishing’ for washed up whisky and smuggled brandy.
A boy from Brig could beat a Cliffside lad hands down in a fight.