The Bosendorfer piano sat drunkenly on Alexandre Frick’s lawn, rain splashing on the pared keys.
The instrument once belonged to his tutor, Miss Bucher, the woman who had convinced him he could be a classical pianist. The plan had been to restore it, but moth grubs had eaten the felt and woodworm was turning the frame to powder.
Alexandre’s wife Sofia stood beside him, huddling under her umbrella. ‘I have an idea,’ she said.
Four months later, geraniums shone scarlet from the frame, purple campanula and lobelia tumbled over the keyboard, blooming just as Alexandre had thanks to Miss Bucher.
Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the photo to become inspired and write a tale of your own. See here to join in.
We’d hear the phut-phut of the old Triumph motor bike minutes before seeing it. As it drew nearer, other sounds – the twin rattles of the sidecar’s loose wheel and the cage strapped to the pillion with cable ties.
The din snaked along cobbled lanes, in through open windows, drowned out the excited yabber of playing kids, of old time tunes on the radio.
Then Magda would appear in scratched goggles and a flying helmet, squint-eyed cat pressed to the floor of the cage, claws locked round the wires.
Magda chose to be alone, mum said, but I never learned why.
Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and write a tale and don’t forget to read and comment on others, found here.
You know the Red Mountain Market and Deli? Closed up, oh, fifteen years ago I guess. Round the time we had that spate of fires.
Owner was a guy called Stanley Ludd – brick-coloured hair, smelled of old books and floral disinfectant. Ran the place with his mother, Coral, and what a mean old biddy she was – used to bawl poor Stanley out in front of the customers, beat him sometimes.
She died in one of those fires, got trapped in the library somehow.
Never saw a prettier sight than all that paper burning, flames the colour of new bricks.
His war work often took Klaus away for days, occasionally weeks.
On his return he would give Hanne a package of dazzling white tissue paper, tied with fine red string. Inside, a glass flower.
Roses, their petals furled and gilded; daffodils whose golden trumpets captured the sun; lily of the valley, crocuses, celandine, all spun and blown, Klaus said, to imitate the garden she’d sacrificed when they moved from Bavaria to an apartment near the Reichstag.
After the war, after the trial, Hanne bought a granite mortar and pestle, took each flower in turn and ground them to powder.
In winter, the frost made feathers on the window pane and she’d melt them with her breath or scrape them into flakes with her nail.
In summer, the heat would build through clear blue days, only fading as the sun rose to stoke the fires again.
But the sound of raised voices and slamming doors from below didn’t reach her attic room. Her only sounds – the cry of swallows diving in the meadow, the scratch of pencil on paper as she made new worlds.
Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers, this week very, very late! See here to join in and to write your own story.
There used to be a saying about shepherds and skies – do you know it?
I sit awake nights, trying to remember the sky Before.
The nights the wolves grow brave, snuffling round camp with their hollow bellies and frosted eyes. The nights cold shoos the black bears from the mountains and I sit vigil with my rusted rifle, cradling our last shells like a miser with his gold.
Memories of the world Before are slipping from me, you see, turning to dreams, to fictions. Only that rhyme proves the sky wasn’t always red.
Tell me you remember it.
Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and write a tale to suit. Visit here to join in the fun.