photo by NASA (yes, THAT NASA – which is why you want to click through to the full size picture for the full effect) via Unsplash
‘Are you there? Dawson? Are you there?’
‘Yeah, yeah, I’m here, Flores. Breathe slow now. Tell me what can you see.’
Cold misted Flores’ visor. Her limbs were stiffening, breath coming harder. She should stay quiet, conserve her oxygen, but what was the point now?
‘I see black,’ she breathed. ‘A lot of black.’ And silver, shreds of silver from the destroyed space station. And in the distance something white, a helmet shining on top of a motionless torso.
She looked away, towards the velvet black, the sprinkle of stars dancing like fairy lights on a string. If she just reached out, she could touch …
Written for Three Line Tales. See here to share, read and comment.
photo by Charles Etoroma via Unsplash
She becomes a blur as she passes, rushing from store to store, caught in a whirlwind of purchases, money falling from her hands into every register like leaves spun on the breeze.
She feels herself blurring, her once hard edges bleeding outwards, flaking away like layers of over boiled potato. She thought once that things would shore her up, that the weight of her belongings would halt the crumbling. But instead, they’ve hastened it, eroded her until there is nothing but the chase, the purchase, the empty feeling when she reaches home.
One day there will be nothing left to prove she was here but plastic bags and a pile of unpaid credit card bills.
Written for Three Line Tales. See, write, share, read. Here.
photo by Vek Labs via Unsplash
‘Never stay anywhere more than one night. Never speak your real name, your real home town, your real destination. Lies are your only protection …’
Papa was long gone but his voice still circled Gordy’s brain. Each time someone was kind to him, each time he found more than a cold doorway to sleep in. Surely, the world was in too much disarray to notice one, lone man …
Still, Papa’s words stung him back to the cold road, to dew on his shoulders, to the familiar sting of blistered feet. His bloody mission.
Written for Three Line Tales. See here to join in.
I see a lone and lonely man, sore and wounded by his travels, yearning for another life, goaded by his father’s teachings. But what’s his bloody mission?
photo by Sam Carter via Unsplash
Doug climbs onto the stile, sits on the limestone step. Beneath him the rock is as cold as the ice capping the water butts in the farmyard, as if it’s grown brittle in the frost and might shatter under his weight.
He gazes out over the flock, at the wind tugged fleeces, at the snow gathering along the wall line. Time to go. Still he waits, lets the flakes build in the crooks of his arms.
He could sit, let the drifts pile over him, let the walkers find him – wind dried and stringy – in the thaw … A warm, wet nose nuzzles into his palm – his collie, Flash, needing food. Needing him. Doug stands, beats the snow from his coat and heads home.
Written for Three Line Tales. See here to join in.
This reminded me of growing up on the edge of the Peak District National Park. Lots of hills. Lots of limestone. Lots of sheep.
photo by Wynand van Poortvliet via Unsplash
Kirsty would miss the puffins most in the spring, when they mobbed the island with their monochrome waddling, their sad eyes settled on bobbles of pink thrift.
Nowhere smelt like the island – the air carrying only sea scents, the deeps and crashing shallows, weed and rot and salt, a smell you could taste, that covered you like a second skin.
‘Ready to go?’ Mum took her bag, walked the short pier to the ferry. ‘It’ll all be here, waiting for you when you come home,’ she called with a sad smile. Together, they took the ferry to the mainland.
Written for Three Line Tales. See here to join in and read others.
I saw this image and smiled. Recently, I wrote a story about a very similar island environment. It was a pleasure to revisit this rugged, salt tangy scene.
Right now that story is under consideration for publication. Fingers crossed, eh?
photo by Frank McKenna via Unsplash
Gideon Smith was the first to complain of the smell, Jennet Powell the next. After four days, Smith took matters – and a house breaker’s jemmy – into his own hands and broke into the seamstress’s cottage.
Jennet found the biddy stiff in her chair, head drooping, strands of silver hair sparkling against the blue of an unfinished velvet gown. On the deal table lay bobbins of thread, dull steel needles and scissors, a book with a pale cloth binding, a water stain clouding one corner. Gideon eyed the title and slipped the thin volume in his pocket while Jennet was rifling through a box of hat pins.
The constable was called and Jennet and Gideon left, Jennet to stow a jet and crystal pin in her drawer, Gideon to walk along the canal. He dropped the book into the lock. The pages flapped like broken wings before it hit the water and vanished into the thick brown, one last act of kindness for his neighbour.
Written for Sonya at Only 100 Word’s Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a tale. See here to join and share.
photo by Samuel Wong via Unsplash
Every weekday he steps onto the escalator, blinks in the cold neon, shuffles to the right. It’s a conveyor, he thinks, sucking up human beings, churning out labourers, consumers, productive cogs.
Then one day he’s about to take that first step and his foot pauses as if caught on an unseen obstacle. There’s a tut and grumble from the commuter logjam building behind him, but now he’s unable to move. He once dreamed of flying in a rocket ship to the craggy face of the Moon, of chipping the old bones of a newly discovered dinosaur from the chalk. He once dreamed.
An impatient cough stirs him. Flushing, he takes a step and though inside he’s raging, wanting to turn and run, to fly a rocket, to name his dinosaur, he shuffles to the right, let’s the escalator carry him on and up.
This is not an age for dreamers.
Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a tale and pop along here to read and share.
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 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.