FFfAW : The barman and the golden girl

 

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Michelle DeAngelis. Thank you Michelle!


The beachfront’s infested.

I see’em on every slipway, bumping their asses against the fencing. On the beach tangled in fishing nets like red snapper.

I found a pair behind the bar this morning, making out on a crate of Bud Light. Thought it was raccoons going through the trash again.

Meg used to laugh at my bitching, shake her head as she sliced lemons for the evening. ‘Leave ’em in peace. They’re only young once.’

Maybe that’s why I’m angry. Cos that used to be me and Meg rattling beer bottles, slipping into warm, gritty sheets of sand, waking when the sun seared the backs of our necks.

Now I’m here tending bar, slopping out drunks at closing, getting turned over at least once a season by some junkie too glass-eyed to see his way to the register.

And Meg’s in an urn in the back room, my golden girl stored in tarnished plastic.

 


Written for Priceless Joy’s FFfAW. See the pic and write a tale. Don’t forget to share, read and comment here.

 

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FFfAW : In search of other colours

 

This week’s photo prompt is provided by wildverbs. Thank you wildverbs!


 

I rub my palm on the misted bus window, clearing a porthole of clean glass to peer through. Lawns stretch along straight roads, dust-dulled grass cut by grey tarmac, grey houses, grey pavements.

There’s a man mowing his lawn, stooped back turned towards me, grey head down as he follows the straight line in the grass. His cardigan flaps in the breeze, the colour of gunmetal. He could almost be my dad, bent under the weight of geometric lawns, pub and pint Saturdays, roast beef Sundays, back to work Mondays.

The bus passes on and leaves the man behind and I begin my search for other colours.

 


Written for the FFfAW Challenge. See the pic and write a tale, share, read and comment. See here to join in the fun.

The image of green and grey through a gloomy window reminded me of one of my favourite New Model Army songs, Green and Grey. The song is all about someone who escapes a small town life … and the people they leave behind.

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers : The loss of Folly

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Fandango. Thank you Fandango!


 

‘Stay down. Stay hidden.’ A last flash of Poppa’s eyes in the darkness and he was gone.

Folly did as she was told. She knew the forest well, the creak of the trunks in the wind, the sound of twigs falling to leaf litter, the scurry of creatures smaller and more terrified than herself.

But she searched for other sounds – the soft rustle and pause of a lean wolf, the hiss of breath through his snout; the grunt of boar.

Most of all she listened for the Others, the clumsy thrash of their limbs, the hushed, garbled words, the scrape of metal just before …

Come the grey paling of the dawn, the Others had not come. Nor had Poppa.

She crawled from the hollowed out tree, brushed dead leaves from her skirts, evicted a beetle from her shoe.

A voice cried out, lifting the crows from their roosts. Crashing footsteps,  garbled words – sharp, ringing as a sword hitting stone.

She closed her eyes and wished …

 


Written for Priceless Joy’s FFfAW. See the pic and write a tale. See here to join in and to read the other stories.

 

 

 

 

 

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers : A disappointing ten years

This week’s photo prompt is provided by shivamt25. Thank you shivamt25 for our prompt!


 

I see him as I stand at the cafe counter, waiting for my name to be called.

Designer sunglasses, designer jeans ripped at the knees, the thread turned to tassels. An empty cup on the table, brown with dried froth. He’s thumbing his phone screen, scrolling, scrolling.

The barrista hands me my coffee but I don’t move. She gives me a curious look but moves onto the next customer. I let the buzz of customers buffet me until I sway.

Ten years.

The floppy fringe is the same, a dapple of grey now in the brown. There’s a looseness about his jawline that I don’t recognise, but he’s disappointingly trim, a natural bronze to his skin that suits him.

I’m surprised. Not just that I’m seeing him again when I thought I never would, but that he looks so well, so at ease. I imagined the guilt would follow him all his life, be etched on his flesh, written in those hidden hazel eyes.

I wonder if he even remembers.

 


Written for  FFfAW. See the pic and write a tale – see here to join in.

What do you imagine the guilty man has done? Do leave me some ideas in the comment section.

FFfAW : A single man who can sew

 

This week’s photo prompt is provided by artycaptures.wordpress.com. Thank you artycaptures!


 

Stanley pulls back the curtain, allowing summer to flood the room and his instinct is to close it again. The light’s too harsh, unforgivingly revealing the intimacies of pallid skin and hair. A respectable man would look away, but there’s little about him most people would class respectable.

The body can wait for now. He turns to examine the room.

It’s neat, floor and grate swept, mantel uncluttered of ornament save a carriage clock. A pair of trousers with worn hems lie over the back of a chair, braces still attached. A shirt flung over them shows a neat repair on the shoulder seam. Stanley darns his own socks – he’s not surprised by a single man who can sew.

A rumble of voices out on the landing tells him Inspector Gordon has arrived. He nods to Stanley as he enters the room.

‘Another?’ Gordon averts his eyes from the bed. For a large man he’s squeamish of the dead.

‘Another,’ nods Stanley. His eyes settle on the scarlet cord.

 


Written for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Authors. See the pic and write a tale. Yesterday I created Gordon and Stanley from nowhere and today they’ve crept back into my head, two Edwardian policemen who want to be heard. See here for their first outing, The Scarlet Net.

FFfAW : A streetcar named desire

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Yinglan. Thank you Yinglan for our photo prompt!


 

The cafe was crowded, loud with the clatter of plates, the hum of chatter. Piles of coats were heaped on each oil fired radiator, their mist making the air heavy.

Gramma’s wheelchair was turned to the window, her coffee cup balanced on the arm, raisin bun balanced on that.

‘When I was a girl they were pulled by horses. Such a mess on the road. All over your shoes.’

Sandy looked out at the trolley cars, the silvery ribbons of track. ‘Gramma, you’re old, but you’re not that old.’

The old lady stuck out her bristled chin. ‘Plenty you don’t know about me.’

Stubborn old goat. ‘Go on then, Methuselah. Tell me.’

Gramma turned away from the street, puckered face alight. ‘Oh my girl, I got more to tell you about than than horse apples. First, you gotta promise me something.’

‘Promise what?’

‘You won’t tell your mother.’

‘Err, okay.’

Gramma smiled so wide, every one of her opalescent teeth flashed. ‘Now, I opened my first cathouse in the summer of ’08 …’

 


Written for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Pop along here to read the other tales and to join in.

 

FFfAW : The frostbitten heart

This week’s photo prompt is provided by loniangraphics. Thank you for our photo prompt!


 

Each time the snow fell, covering the land in gnawing cold and ankle deep crunch, she went out looking. And when ice turned the world to a hard snap … she searched then too.

Looked for the lamp post with its prism of glass, for dancing, gaseous shadows falling on hard packed earth. Looked for the faun and his presents clothed in paper and trussed with string.

Sitting under the fir trees, waiting for chattering beavers, for sleigh rides and Turkish Delight  – Always Winter, never Christmas – she was filled with so much yearning, such a need for magic, it was as if the frost had bitten her heart, as if it was in shards in her chest, cracked like a broken ice puddle. Beneath her feet there was never magic, only the parent of grey, gritty slush.

She’s old now, still searching. Still driven by that frostbitten heart. But sometimes, I swear her breath smells of rosewater and lemons and I wonder  …

 


Written for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.  See here to join the fun.

And if – dear, bereft reader – you are ignorant of the land I am describing, then you merely need to step this way. Mind those moth balls, now.