photo by Manu Sanchez via Unsplash
‘Are you ready?’ His voice is smokey in the darkness, profile sharp against the setting sun.
How can she ever be ready to leave her mother, already sagging under the strain of occupation, her little sister Adalie, all scuffed shoes and knees and lights in her eyes, her hair? How can she leave them, knowing they might break without her?
Still, Marielle takes one last look along the Champs Elysees, at the distant bow of the Arc de Triomphe. One day her city will be free again. She hopes she will live to see it, but if not … ‘For Adalie,’ she whispers and follows him into the night.
Written for Sonya at Only 100 Word’s Three Line Tales.
When I saw this photo of soldiers on the Champs Elysees, I was reminded of a famous, chilling set of photographs of Paris – taken by Heinrich Hoffman – of Hitler gloating in front of the French city’s beautiful landmarks at the beginning of the occupation. And so my mind drifted to the Resistance, to people like Marielle.
photo by Scott Umstattd via Unsplash
‘And do you often let yourself into the flat without your tennant’s permission, Mr Scott?’
The landlord shuffled grubby slippers on the threadbare carpet. ‘Single parent families on benefits. Always trouble.’
Segeant Flynn thought of the bedroom with its peeling wallpaper, the wax like figures tucked neat and still as mannequins under the bedclothes. He shot the man a bitter smile. ‘Well, they won’t cause you any more trouble, will they?’
Written for Three Line Tales. See here to join in and to share a story of your own.
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.
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.
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.
photo by Ben White via Unsplash
Watching my small son sing was the best – he’d inhale so deeply, the force of his own breath would make him stand on tiptoe, gradually sinking to the ground as he sang, like a deflating balloon.
The sound wasn’t good – he’d sing whatever came into his head, regardless of the tune – but his grinning enthusiasm, that was what I loved.
I watch his chest rise and fall now, the mechanical rhythm of the ventilator in place of his own puppyish gasping. I long to take him in my arms but he’s attached to the bed with lines and drips, all the things that keep him alive.
I wish I could hear that tuneless song just once more before he goes.
Written for Sonya’s Three Line Tales. See the pic and hone a tale. See here to join in and to read the other stories.
*The title comes from the Prince of Denmark’s last words in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
photo by Matt Palmer via Unsplash
The front room stank of beer, the armpit smell of stale kebab meat. Gingerly, Sandy stepped over discarded food wrappers, knocking over a bottle that gurgled lager onto the rug.
A muffled cry from the crumpled duvet on the sofa told her Dave hadn’t made it to bed last night.
‘You’re a pig!’ Why did she still flat share with this loser?
‘Didn’t find it,’ he mumbled.
Dave always claimed his night’s picking up girls in clubs wasn’t selfish gratification, but a quest for the ‘spark’, an indefinable moment of connection that would tell him when he’d found his soul mate.
Sandy pulled back the duvet, revealing a mass of tangled brown hair, lids firmly shut over what she knew to be dazzling blue eyes.
‘You can’t even see in front of your face, you idiot.’ She let the duvet drop.
Written for Sonya’s Three Line Tales. See the pic and write. Visit here to read the other stories.