Three Line Tales : Shifting the goalposts

three line tales 73 midsummer

photo by Christian Widell via Unsplash


 

Years ago it had been their pitch, a rough piece of wasteground surrounded by a ring of scrubby trees that caught tumbling crisp packets, discarded newspaper shiny with chip grease.

They’d used their jumpers for goalposts, left bottles of lemonade in the shade to keep cool on hot days. Talked about Thunderbirds and Dr Who and how Shane Lacey in the third year kept a knife tucked in his sock. Long, hot days.

Now there was a proper goalpost, crisp white lines painted on the grass. No more chip papers, no more warm, dusty lemonade. How he missed it.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See the picture and write a tale. Visit here to read the other stories and to join in.

Three Line Tales : Scar Tissue

photo by Joel Filipe via Unsplash


 

‘Jelly sting,’ he’d said. ‘Swimming in the Gulf of Mexico with Nico. You met Nico, right?’

I’d kissed his scars – welts like bronze earthworms pushing from the surface of his back – he’d turned, pinned me to the bed as I wriggled and laughed, another afternoon lost to each other.

It was only after he went missing I searched his things, found the case, the money, the filmy packets and their dense white powder. All those scars.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a tale. To join in and to read the other stories this week, see here.

And seeing as I seem to be making a habit of quoting from songs at the moment and it’s a lovely, sunny Saturday here in the UK, let’s throw in a little Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Three Line Tales : When the day really starts

 

photo by Diana Feil via Unsplash


 

The booths were closing for the night, shutters locking in stuffed bears and tigers, flamingoes with felt beaks and floppy legs the colour of raw salmon. Damian passed by the hot dog van, greasy air scented with onions.

He’d arrived early, starting off making balloon poodles and flowers, passing them into small, sticky hands, trying to smile into Bambi eyes. His day really started as the children stumbled home to bed, as the bass began to pound through the PA. It was then the women would come, teetering over the claggy grass in stilettos, clinging together for support. They’d be drunk – handbags heavy with quarters of vodka – and see him, his broad red smile, his rainbow wig. Damian’s hand would go to his pocket, balloons slipping through his fingers, sleek as skin. The women would touch his shoulder, brush his arm – kiss him sometimes. The sweet, harmless clown.

It was them he thought of when he was alone, as he fingered the slack balloons.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a story.

Three Line Tales : The spell of Grimalkin

 

three line tales, week 70: a cat walking on a dock wall with boats in the background

(photo by Timothy Meinberg via Unsplash)


 

I stay by the fire. The chores will have to wait for I can’t turn my mind to them. Wood cracks in the grate, spits out sap to sizzle and dance before dying.

She’s ink black, sleek as an eel, curled tight in my lap. I feel her breathing, though her purr is lost beneath the howling wind, the groan of roof beams above our heads.

He’s out on the waves, deafened by spray, blinded by gales, fingers stiff and cracked as the boards beneath his feet. Keep him safe, little Puss, keep him safe.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See here to join in and read the other tales.

Inspired by a line from a Wiki page on ship’s cats and superstition. Fishermen’s wives would keep black cats in the hope the animal would use its supernatural influence to protect their men out at sea.

Grimalkin was the name given to cats in general but also to witches’ familiars. A cat called Grimalkin is a familiar to the Three Witches in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Three Line Tales : Think the same, act the same, obey the same

three line tales week 69: Lego heads

photo by Carson Arias via Unsplash


 

My father used to say, ‘Push a child through school and all you get is a million minds that think the same, act the same, obey the same.’

I guess that’s why he took us away, up to the cabin over the mirror lake. Why our school room was the whispering forest, why we read wolf tracks and deer pellets and badger routes instead of books.

It’s why I’m looking over the city now and not dead within its walls.

 


My, I am churning out the dystopia like nobody’s business these days.

This was written for Sonya’s Three Line Tales and how my mind veered from happy smiley Lego men to the end of the world is anyone’s guess. See here to read the other tales and join in the fun.

Three Line Tales : Silent Night

 

three line tales week 66: a pylon with red sunset

photo by Adi Ulici via Unsplash


The electricity pylon still stood, though three lines had broken free during winter storms. The metal chords lay where they’d fallen – half-buried in the swaying grass – giving the tower the forlorn air of a skipper having fumbled the rope.

Jim savoured his last pre-rolled cigarette, the tobacco dusty and bitter on his tongue. The workmen hadn’t come to service the tower since before the TV stations put up their test cards for the last time. Since before the screens blacked out for good.

He crushed the cinder under his boot, listened to his final smoky exhalation. And headed for home.


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales – see here to join in and to read the other stories.

Another dystopian vision this week – perhaps it’s because I’m reading Justin Cronin’s The Passage at the moment. It’s good, do take a look.

Three Line Tales : Away from the chasms and back to the light

three line tales week 64: light bulbs – there is a light that never goes out, maybe

photo by Nick de Partee via Unsplash


 

It stretched across the land they said, one long wire, looping between posts and trees, disused telegraph poles and house gables, a bright line of bulbs – baubles of hope in the darkness.

Travellers brought back tales of how the Light Line saved them in a storm, on the blackest, foggiest night, leading them back to the path, away from chasms, sinking sands, shifting dunes.

No one knew from where it drew its power. Some said it was from the air or from the tides, from the gentle spin and rock of the earth itself. But everyone remembered the day the lights flickered out.

 


Written for Three Line Tales, a weekly inspiration of pics and prose. See here to join in and to read the other tales.