Friday Fictioneers: Uplift

PHOTO PROMPT © Ronda Del Boccio

As Fi left the living room, Callie removed one earbud. She rested a pink DayGlo marker pen on the textbook that was open on her lap. ‘You didn’t read a word the whole time she was in here.’

‘What?’ I returned to staring at The God Of Small Things, ignoring her slight smile.

‘Uplift,’ she said.

‘You going to give me a physics lecture now?’

‘Uplift is how my mum describes the feeling of meeting my Dad.’ She put her earbud back in place and picked up the marker. ‘And it’s not physics, you pillock – it’s chemistry.’

***

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the prompt photo and write a story of no more than one hundred words. See here to join in.

I admit, I struggled over this one. So I followed the lead of our gracious host and attacked the subject tangentially.

The God of Small Things is a novel by Arundhati Roy that I haven’t read in years but remember it being amazing. It won the Booker Prize in 1997.

Friday Fictioneers: Trophies

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields

I’ll admit, I was jealous of my brother. While my life was unremarkable, his was extraordinary.

Beautiful girlfriends. A house in Kensington. Holidays to Tonga, Maui, Cambodia.

He lived in the house ten years, but as I walk the rooms, my footsteps echoing, the place feels like a feature in a style magazine. No photographs of family on the mantelpiece. No scrappy school paintings pinned to the fridge or toys on the floor. Not even a dog basket cluttering the hall.

I cuff my cheeks dry. The man had so many trophies and won nothing.

***

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the prompt picture and let your imagination fly. See here to join in.

Friday Fictioneers: Fallen

PHOTO PROMPT © C.E.Ayr

The fall felt sudden when it came, the troops marching along the avenues, the army encampment in the shadow of the tower, everywhere red, white and black.

Others went before us, but trouble had seemed so distant, another man’s worry. And in the meantime there had been meals to cook, clothes to launder, work and school, the thousand small things that make a life.

Now liberty sleeps, the days have taken on a darker hue and that other life has faded to a distant point on the horizon that remains just a point, no matter the miles travelled.

***

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the prompt pic and have a go. See here to join in.

Apologies for the slow response to comments. I’ve dived into writing another novel and am finding hard to clamber out!

Friday Fictioneers: A little piece of heaven

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

The door squeaked open. Kurt stepped out onto the tenement roof and propped the door open with an old metal chair he’d saved from a skip. He felt in the brick planter – no plants, just bricks – and fished out his tobacco wallet.

The cigarette paper slipped easily through his practiced fingers, flakes of tobacco tamed into a tube. The lighter flared, clicked shut.

The lead roof was still hot, petrol fumes dissipating a little as day gave way to night.

Laney’s voice reached him up the stairwell. ‘Kurt! Dinner.’

Downstairs the baby was giggling, hiccuping, giggling.

Not a bad life.

***

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the picture and write along. See here to join in the fun.

Friday Fictioneers: Rainbow

PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold

They called the new baby Rainbow.

To anyone who asked – and plenty of those who didn’t – Kate would say it was because they wanted their daughter to be bright and colourful, to be a symbol of hope, connected to both the Earth and the Heavens.

Mike would stand behind his wife, smile and nod.

What he couldn’t add was that after Kate’s drink driving conviction, her brief imprisonment and lengthy counselling, after her affair and his decision to take her back, the baby was a symbol of calm after the storm.

The sole remaining, ephemeral connection between her parents.

***

Written For Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the inspirational photograph and pen a story. See here to join in.

Friday Fictioneers: The Linnet of Livorno


PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

Granny Cora was in music hall back in the day.

She started aged seven with her parents and four siblings – The Flying Beneventis – though the family name was Mossop and the closest Granny came to Italy was sharing a Penny Lick on Blackpool seafront.

At the age of twenty-one Granny married her manager, Gordon, and shed her leotard to become a novelty act – The Linnet of Livorno. She’d stand alone in the limelight and whistle. One moment she was a blackbird, the next a mistle thrush, always ending with a song to make the heart break – the nightingale.

***

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the picture prompt write, share and read the work of others.

I don’t know what the bird in the picture is – I’m pretty sure it’s not a mistle thrush, a blackbird, a nightingale, or even a linnet. But whatever she is, she inspired me to travel back in time.

NB

A Penny Lick was a small glass for serving ice cream most common during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The glass would be rinsed off (not very well!) before being used for the next customer.

Wilton’s Music Hall is the oldest music hall still standing in London. It really gives an idea of what a typical Victorian music hall was like.

Friday Fictioneers: Love Letter

PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold

The stomp of boots echoes up the narrow stairwell.

Anton scrambles out of bed to the attic room door, rams the bolt home. His fingers describe a sigil in the air as he mutters a holding spell. It won’t stop them, but it might buy him time.

On his desk, a manual typewriter – black and gold, antique. He creates another spell over the keys and begins to type…

…In a cottage in the deep forest, an identical typewriter rattles to life, the keys tapping out a message.

I am discovered. Take the children. Never stop running. Love always.

A

***

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

Friday Fictioneers: The Three Graces

PHOTO PROMPT © Ceayr

The women gathered at the fountain each day: Elodie – her single, long brow dipped in a frown, always a fresh hole in the same, worn smock; Ottilie – tugging her sleeves to cover the bruises; Maribel – pregnant for the seventh time despite the empty cradle at home.

Other women came and went, cooling hot cheeks in the fresh water. But these three would stand apart, heads so close their hair mingled, their voices lost below the burble of water.

One thing is true – they all vanished on the same day, leaving the water to speak alone.

***

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers, the best writing prompt on WordPress. See here to join in the fun.

Friday Fictioneers: His beautiful complexity

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Denny sought significance in everything.

Dates were important, number sequences – on hoardings, in newspapers, on television – their sum, whether they were prime or perfect.

Natural phenomenon were noted, too. Snow that fell earlier than usual. The late migration of geese.

He’d collate the information he gathered, created charts of beautiful complexity with the findings, their arcs and swirls beyond my understanding, the notation written in an alphabet of his own invention

Those charts are all that remain of him now. Wonderfully unfathomable just as he was, they hang on my walls, the secret code to an alien universe.

***

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the picture and scribble a little tale to share with the group. See here to join in.

Friday Fictioneers: His fortune in a globe

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Joseph made it a habit to check the flower bulb hidden in the inner pocket of his coat each day, even when the sea was craggy with waves, or the crew limp as windless sails in the overheated air. And every day of the eight weeks it took to reach Portsmouth, the globe remained hard as a pebble, the papery skin sweet smelling.

As his hammock swung in the humid crack of darkness below deck, he imagined the fortune he could charge the plant collectors at Kew, the dresses he would buy Mary, the house he could leave his son.

***

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See here to join in.

I saw Josh’s lovely image and thought of all the plant collectors through history who often risked their lives on long sea voyages to find unusual and unclassified plant specimens and take them home.

Sometimes these adventurers would return to fame and fortune, like Joseph Banks or the tulip bulb collectors in 17th century Netherlands.

I wonder if my Joseph will experience success or failure.

NB – Kew is Kew Gardens in London, one of the most prestigious botanic gardens in the world since it was founded in 1759.