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.

 

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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 : A bitter offering

Today Pegman takes us the the lovely island of Mauritius


 

‘What about this one?’

Atia surveyed the stone in her brother’s hand. She shook her head. ‘It must have a flat edge and a sharp point opposite.’ She looked up to the mountain. ‘You see? Like that.’

Felix looked, but the peak was wreathed in smoke, a lazy coronet often there on still days. He thought of his friend Cato who’d caught a beetle the day before, big as his palm, black as a thunder cloud with branched horns on its head like a stag.

‘I want to see the beetle, Atia.’ The sun was making him hot and whiney.

‘We must leave a stone for Venus -‘

The ground shifted under him, throwing him down. His knees hurt like bee stings. ‘Atia?’

She grabbed his hand, dragged him to his feet. ‘Run! Run to tata!’

The air stung, tasted bitter, dust filled his eyes, his mouth.

‘Lares help us!’

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, a prompt based on Google Streetview.

Of course, having a history degree that touched on the Classics, once I saw the smoky mountain top all I could think of was Vesuvius and what might have happened, had a brother and sister been out making offerings to the Gods on that day in AD 79.

Notes

Lares were household gods, small and personal ones, possibly guardian ancestors.

Venus was patroness of Pompeii, hence the children leaving a token for her.

It seems Roman children called their fathers tata as often as they did papa.

One last thing …

It’s thought Pompeii was engulfed by pyroclastic flow, a volcanic eruption where rock behaves more like water. To see what the Pompeiians might have seen before the end, see here.

 

And for the dormant Goth inside me still …

Friday Fictioneers : Down the muddied gullies of the Thames

PHOTO POMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy


 

They called her Polly-Mynah on acount of her own given name and the bird that needled her shoulder.

Down the muddied gullies of the Thames, neath crumbled eaves and untrusting eyes, one body needs another to keep watch or a body won’t last too long. That’s what Polly-Mynah had. Yes, the body in question had an oily black head, a beak gold as a sovereign and eyes sharp as frost, but he watched for Polly, keen as any madhouse copper.

Even when the creature died she kept his name, like a pining widow twines to her marriage vows.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers, the best prompt in town. See here to read the other tales and to share one of your own.

On seeing today’s pic, I was minded of a novel idea I haven’t yet found the time to write, about a young girl and her pet bird and their adventures along the fetid, treacherous streets of the capital and the unconventional friend they make their.

 

What Pegman Saw : Becoming

This week, Pegman takes us to the Sambor Prei Kuk Temple in Cambodia.


 

Thursday 4th April 1901

The sun is setting. Naive European as I was – not now, after everything that’s happened – I imagined the evenings would bring some relief, some respite in which energies could be restored. Now, when I lie under my roof of sagging canvas – mosquito nets hung around me like a cocoon – I feel the nights are as hot as the days, hotter even. No respite. Never that here.

It is at night that the forest yearns to overtake the temple, snaking back over the leafy ground and that circle of bare earth cleared by Chanda and the other men. I imagine her – the Forest – sending out her lieutenants – gibbons, snakes, that velvet pawed assassin the tiger – to reclaim what I have stolen.

The men are gone. Have I written that before? I am losing track.

It occurs to me – if the nets are my cocoon, what am I becoming?

 


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

 

Friday Fictioneers : Owt or Nowt?

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Kelvin M. Knight


 

The sun squatted low, puffs of apricot cloud still bubbling along the horizon. The colours brought to mind summer, despite the cold that had snuck into her boots.

Edith waited patiently outside the bakers for a loaf, a roll or perhaps a chunk of parkin too misshapen or overcooked to grace the shining tables of Clifton. She wasn’t particular – a full stomach for a ha’penny was hard to come by these days.

The baker’s boy tugged the door with meaty fingers. ‘Nowt today.’ The door slammed, snapping off his words.

Sleeping rough was always colder on an empty stomach.

 


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

If you’re wondering what ‘parkin’ is, look here. And if you’re wondering what ‘nowt’ means … why, it’s the opposite of ‘owt’ of course! Nowt meaning nothing or naught and owt meaning anything – Northern English slang dropped down from the Old Norse and still very much alive up north and in our house, we being defected Northerners! So when someone asks is there ‘owt or nowt’ they’re saying is there ‘anything or nothing’.

What Pegman Saw : The flooded orange grove

The space is cramped, the air hot enough to snatch the sweat before it pearls on his skin.

Below breakers crash, hiss to silence before building again, a sound that fills his dreams with frilled waves and sharpened rocks. He used to dream of home, of orange groves and trees speckled with flowers, a thousand stars in a sky of polished emerald leaves. But each crash of the sea has stripped an inch of his past until there is nothing but the fort, the rocks, the waves.

He will die here.

It’s a certainty that he doesn’t know so much as feel, a knowledge hammered into his bones, a thread spun through every tendon and muscle.

Night begins to fall, the cold beam of the lighthouse a lance subduing the sun until it retreats below the sea.

The waves crash louder in the darkness.

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, a writing prompt using Google Streetview. See the pic and wander. Go here to join in and to see the other stories.

I saw the fort, saw the little turrets on the side called garita or bartizan and wondered what it might have felt like to be a soldier in there, looking out on a foreign sea.