Friday Fictioneers : A new normal

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz


 

‘Calm down.’

The skin twitched at Jeanne’s throat, her pulse beating hard. ‘What if they search the car?’

‘They won’t search the car if you look normal.’

Panic grabbed her. What did ‘normal’ look like? She wasn’t sure she knew anymore.

He sighed, forced a smile, squeezed her hand a little too tightly. ‘It’s okay. We haven’t done anything wrong.’

The rain was easing, the wipers juddering over the drying windscreen.

The sight of a uniform made her heart jump. But the official waved them through, his eyes fixed on the far horizon.

From the boot, the knocking started again …

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. Tell a tale based on the pic in 100 words or fewer. To join in and to read the other stories, take a look here.

 

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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.

What Pegman Saw : The king of meaningless expressions

 

The sun slumped low in the sky as we pulled into the drive-in. Kids clustered at the entrance, the girls whispering and giggling behind cupped hands, a boy tossing a ball on baked concrete.

Mansell turned off the engine, cuffing his top lip. His shirt collar was dark with sweat, his tie hanging limp. ‘Damn this weather, eh? Hot as asses out here.’

My partner was king of the meaningless expression.

Pulling on his suit jacket, he nodded towards the drive-in shelter, its corrugated iron roof, its strings of dusty bunting. ‘The boy’s parents run this place, you say?’

I checked the manila file on my lap. ‘For the last five years. Mother and stepfather.’

He opened the door to the SUV, pulling his jacket collar straight. ‘I’ll lead.’ He nodded to the open file. ‘Keep those photographs hidden. We need answers – the sight of blood only ever brings more questions.’

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, a photo prompt using Google Streetview. See here to join in and to join in.

 

 

 

 

#tuesdayuseitinasentence : A prop to occupy my time

Sue has to work hard to occupy her time.

There is the ceiling to look at, its network of bumps and cracks, the hint of stains painted over. The wall opposite is not a viable option because of the painting hanging lopsidedly from the picture rail. It’s a seascape in oils, the brushwork amateurish, the use of cadmium yellow and scarlet lake clashing violently with cerulean blue, the mishmash of poor composition and worse execution making her strangely angry.

Before she would have carried the thing into the garden and taken pleasure in dumping it in the firepit, watching the clotted paint blister in the flames. Now all she can do is look towards the ceiling, finding river valleys in the cracks, lakes in the old stains, painting her own landscapes with wallpaper and damaged plaster.

 


Written for Stephanie at Word Adeventures’ #tuesdayuseitinasentence. Use the word – today it’s OCCUPY – in a sentence or blog post. See here to join in the fun.

The title was inspired by the R.E.M song, The One I Love – one of their finest singles I’d say.

Friday Fictioneers : Toy soldiers

PHOTO PROMPT © Karuna


 

Diana found them at the allotment one evening. The sun was setting through russet leaves and the scent of summer passing rose from the earth. Two teddy bears and one bald plastic baby doll, strangely sinister, fur and booties ruined by mud.

She almost left them on the compost heap. But then she imagined small, sticky hands gripping them to fast-beating hearts, brave sentries to keep the nightmares at bay.

Perched atop her barrow of squashes and windfall apples, they were battle hardened warriors.

Besides. Night was falling fast and Diana needed all the protection she could get.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and write a tale and pop along here to read the other stories.

Friday Fictioneers : What was here?

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll


 

Newt shuffled along the dusty tabletop so Mama could perch next to her.

‘And what was this bit?’ Newt traced the lines on the picture with her finger, the crosscross patterns, the dark bobbles with their raised paint.

‘That was grass, the brown lines are paths. That blue was a lake, the blobs are trees.’ Mama coughed, the sound rattling like dried beans caught in her chest. ‘Let’s go. Dark’s coming.’

As they hurried back to the tunnel and the oildrum fire, Newt tried to imagine Lake, Trees, Grass …

Tried to imagine a world coloured blue and green.

 


 

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers, the finest flash writing prompt you’ll find. See here to join in and to read the other, wonderful tales.