Friday Fictioneers : I’ll remember

PHOTO PROMPT © Kent Bonham


 

‘The registration number?’

A gloved hand took the slip of paper from her fingers. Glove and paper vanished inside the open car window for a moment before reappearing.

‘Take it,’ said the voice.

‘Won’t you need it?’ she stammered. ‘To remind you -‘

‘I’ll remember.’

She tried to fix in her head the timbre of the voice, pin down the gender, but there was nothing to identify the speaker, nothing distinctive.

She might have been talking into a void.

‘You’ll know when it’s done,’ said the voice.

‘How?’

‘The world will shift.’

Then the car was gone and she was alone.

 


Here’s my cheerful little entry to this week’s Friday Fictioneers. Run by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, this is the best writing prompt online and I’m glad to be back after a two week enforced hiatus. But now we have wifi back and I’m in a killing mood … See here to join in the fun and to read the other tales.

Friday Fictioneers : The scribble of her mind

PHOTO PROMPT © Claire Sheldon


 

Afterwards, Peter sat on the edge of their bed, staring at the desk, the spot on the corner of the room Danielle had commandeered as an office after her redundancy.

‘A new start,’ she’d said, ‘working for myself. About time.’

It’s only now he sees the cup of straightened paper clips, reams of unintelligible notes, the writing spilling onto the wood, the scribble of her mind.

‘Time away,’ the doctor had said, gaze dropping from desk to bed to floor. ‘That’s all she needs.’

The hospital form shimmers in Peter’s hand, his own guilty signature blotched with tears.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the prompt picture and write a tale. Go here to join in.

That’s it from me for a while – no internet for two weeks. I hope to be back by the end of the month, so happy scribbling all!

Friday Fictioneers : The Golden Boy

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


 

Five minutes in the old city and she was lost.

Countless winding alleyways walled with golden stone, scented with spices or stables or wine, hustling with traders and patched thieves. She didn’t care. She would have worn the city as a coat, eaten every crumbling temple, sunk into its foundations like good, sweet rain, she loved it so.

The city was him. He had worn it on his skin like cologne, grown golden in its reflected rays.

Now he had slipped into the desert forever. But some days she could imagine turning a corner, being blinded by gold …

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. Write a tale and read the other wonderful stories here.

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.

 

Friday Fictioneers : The Killing Moon

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson


 

I recognise the moon tonight. That same blue white ball that leaves a ghost moon in my vision when I close my eyes. The same clouds, ruched gauze floating in the black.

Do you remember our first night with that moon? Bars of light falling through the palms as if we were walking along the sea bed with fronds of weed waving above.

I think you’ve forgotten it all. How you looked at me. How you made me feel as if that rock was in orbit around us and us the centre of everything.

If you remembered you’d stay.

 


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

I saw the moon pic, I thought of the end of a great love … and I had to include one of my favourite ever songs by Echo and the Bunnymen.

 

 

Friday Fictioneers : The ties that bind

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter


 

Christine had to force the lean-to door, tendrils of ivy and bindweed clinging at the wood. Tears welled in her eyes as she saw what was inside.

She’d been putting off clearing her father’s house since he’d died, finally gaining the strength three weeks after the funeral.

That morning she’d found the birthday cards from his ‘wife’, more addressed to ‘Daddy’, the spidery writing unfamiliar.

She remembered Mum’s sideboard scented and glossy with beeswax, now it was drowning in weeds, the wood curled like the pages of a well-thumbed book … and the memory of her Father shattered.

 


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

Never be alone

PHOTO PROMPT © Karuna


 

By the time Diana reached home, night was snapping at her heels, the first fallen leaves of autum swirling in the wind.

What had her mother always said? Never be alone. Always be inside after nightfall. But despite her best efforts and being ‘striking’ in her youth (not beautiful, never that) she’d always lived alone.

Once inside the house, she locked and bolted the door, passed from room to room, closing the shutters on the darkness. Something warm pressed against her calf.

‘Hello, Grim.’

She lifted the cat into her arms, felt the rumble start in his throat as she ruffled the back of his neck. Not quite alone.

 

After dinner she lit the candles, three groups of three – earth, air and sky as mother had taught her – took a bowl of warm water to the dining table and began cleaning the toys she’d found at the allotment.

She didn’t bring objects home often but these had spoken to her. So much love poured into them, so many hopes and whispered promises. The dreams of a young heart had a potency that faded as people aged.

There were countless similar objects around the window and door frames, cluttering the fireplace. China dolls with missing limbs, brooches, rings, letters of love and loss and friendship, a fabric heart, hand-stitched, a token left for an orphan centuries before. Anything loved could work. Could ward them off.

Grim jumped to the window seat, eyes fixed on the shutter latch. Standing, Diana put aside the doll, its eyes rolling closed.

‘You okay, Grim?’

The cat leapt up, hissing, spitting, spinning on his claws, fur standing from his body like pins. The windows rattled, the glass chiming in the frames. Wind howled down the chimney puffed ash into the air. The floor shook beneath her feet, boards bucking, her chair falling.

She checked the candles, still alive in there holders … and watched in horror as they blew out one by one.

A moment of quiet. Ash fell like charred snow, the only sound her own breathing.

Three loud knocks on the shutter.

 


I wrote the first part of this for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers this week and the wonderfully talented Jane Dougherty asked me about the significance of the toys. That got me thinking. So here’s my answer.

The story that raised all the questions – Toy Soldiers – is here. And another tale of Grim the cat is here.