Friday Fictioneers : The angel in Ladieswear

PHOTO PROMPT © Marie Gail Stratford


 

Polly worked in a department store in town, in Ladieswear.

Every Saturday, Jase and I would sneak up the stairs with their wrought iron railing, past Menswear and the ocean of lace and frills that was Bedding, blushing through Lingerie – flesh coloured corsets and conical bras – to flick casually through the rails of sateen blouses with their limp tie-necks.

We’d wait to catch a glimpse of her kohl-rimmed eyes, her hair – a perfect globe of gold – before she scowled and we fled, taking with us a vision of Polly to maintain us through the dull school week.

 


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

 

 

 

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Friday Fictioneers : The Invisible Girl

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Ann Hall


 

Frances nestled into her favourite spot behind the jardiniere, in the shade of the dining room curtains.

She liked it there. When she stood up, the fern fronds spilling from the pot tickled her cheeks, smelling of woodland. When she sat, legs tucked, she pulled the heavy velvet curtain to her, becoming invisible. Then she could listen to the parlour maids talk of Mother in sharp, hushed tones, watch Polly wipe her grubby hands on the table cloth.

Today, scuffing feet told her someone was coming. High and low whispers, a man and a woman.

Her mother.

Not her father.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers, the best writing prompt around. See here to join in and to read the other tales.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Pegman Saw : A wise form of madness*


 

They grew up in neighbouring blocks, in the stone-built houses left when the rich folk deserted the Old Town for the New, exchanged crumbling laurel swags and ballustrades for reinforced concrete and steel.

They went to the same school, though never met. She was bright enough, not brilliant but hardworking, while he spent the school day picking pockets, shoplifting, in juvenile court.

As she whispered with her friends over boy band singers, he was getting his first gang tattoo – a dagger on his right cheekbone, a symbol of belonging.

Then one day, she was walking along Rose Street, he coming the other way, trousers hanging low, body hunched as if the world had climbed on his narrow shoulders. His face was slim, brows in a tight frown. The kind of boy the nervous cross the street to avoid.

On impulse, she smiled

And his world opened.


 

Written for What Pegman Saw, the writing prompt that uses Google Streetview as its starting point. See here to join the fun and to read the other stories.

The title comes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Act One, Scene One.

What Pegman Saw : A storm at Slaughter Bay

 

‘Hello? I don’t know if anyone can hear this broadcast – the signal’s terrible, a stormhead’s gathering, causing interference. I know you’re out there, Stephen, that you might be monitoring this wavelength –

‘I heard something … hold on.

‘I had to look, I thought I heard … The sun’s setting. I don’t have much time.

‘Stephen – anyone – if you’re listening, this is Rodney Statham, Professor Rodney Statham of the Imperial College research team. We were recording the flora and fauna of Slaughter Bay. We arrived seven days ago, a group of five research scientists, two local guides – Burnum and Daku … They were brothers, Stephen. Their poor mother –

‘There! I’m certain this time. Something outside the hut –

‘Stephen, if you hear this, if a rescue party is coming from the mainland – you must stop them!

‘God, that awful smell! Hawthorn and corpses. One’s coming under the door! Another! They’re on me, they -‘

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, a prompt using Google Streetview. To join in and to read the other stories, visit here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Friday Fictioneers : Why Poppa made them run

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot


 

The pall of woodsmoke that had turned day to night was finally lifting. The fires must have burned themselves out.

‘Where’s Poppa?’ His sister Nance was sitting on a fallen log, feet kicking the crumbling wood to splinters.

The sky was vermillion, the sunset turned vibrant by the filthy air.

‘Where, Danny?’

They would need shelter, somewhere out of the cutting wind. Somewhere safe.

Danny looked at his little sister, at those large eyes reflecting the fiery sky. One day he’d have to tell her why Poppa had made them run, but not today.

He held out his hand.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See here to join in and to read some glorious fiction.

What Pegman Saw : Where the trucks were headed

 

They were housed in an apartment block overlooking the main street into the city.

Morning and evening the road clogged with oily buses and flat-bed trucks spewing dense smoke that oozed along the tarmac, a grey stinking river. Most of the trucks carried munitions workers or mechanics heading for car factories making cheap, boxy run arounds for the home market and – or so it was rumoured – stretch limousines for high-up party members and foreign oligarchs.

The apartment had a balcony, a washing line of twine strung from post to window. When she took in the laundry, she brought the smell of the road in with her, sheets carrying same thick filth that coated the trees and filmed the windows.

Through the long night the road rumbled on, though she knew better than to ask where those trucks were headed.

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, a prompt using Google Streetview as its source. See here to join in and to read the other tales.