Three Line Tales : The Spark

three line tales week 85: sparkler and sunglasses

photo by Matt Palmer via Unsplash


 

The front room stank of beer, the armpit smell of stale kebab meat. Gingerly, Sandy stepped over discarded food wrappers, knocking over a bottle that gurgled lager onto the rug.

‘God’s sake!’

A muffled cry from the crumpled duvet on the sofa told her Dave hadn’t made it to bed last night.

‘You’re a pig!’ Why did she still flat share with this loser?

‘Didn’t find it,’ he mumbled.

‘Find what?’

‘The spark.’

Dave always claimed his night’s picking up girls in clubs wasn’t selfish gratification, but a quest for the ‘spark’, an indefinable moment of connection that would tell him when he’d found his soul mate.

Sandy pulled back the duvet, revealing a mass of tangled brown hair, lids firmly shut over what she knew to be dazzling blue eyes.

‘You can’t even see in front of your face, you idiot.’ She let the duvet drop.

 


Written for Sonya’s Three Line Tales. See the pic and write. Visit here to read the other stories.

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Three Line Tales : Miss Salome’s world stops spinning

 

three line tales week 84: glamping

photo by Niv Rozenberg via Unsplash


 

Miss Salome was nervous of her new home at Lombardi’s World of Physical Wonders.

She was used to the contented cluck of the hens, the rhythms of a farmhouse bound by sunrise and seasons. But Lombardi’s was a like a city, all noise and bustle under canvas and always a new face – Atarah the alligator woman, Sherman the dogfaced boy, the half and half Charlie, Abdu who they called the leopard skin boy … too many to remember.

She had once lived rooted to the earth, now the soil beneath her was forever changing from red to brown to grey, back to red with the rumble of cartwheels.

Then one day she saw him, a man in miniature, so small and perfect he could be cast from porcelain. He sat on the top step of the neighbouring caravan, hands resting on his knees, watching her.

‘Welcome to the neighbourhood,’ he said smiling and for once she was pleased of her beard, pleased it hid the flush of pleasure that rogued her cheeks.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See the pic … and you know the rest. Go here to read the other stories.

To learn more sideshow acts and terminology see here.

 

 

Three Line Tales : The falling

three line tales, week 83: origami paper cranes on a table

photo by Dev Benjamin via Unsplash


 

The bell went for break, the children’s whoops and laughter receding along the hall as Shona set to tidying. She’d been showing them simple origami swallows, training their faltering, stubby fingers to create sharp folds, the table scattered with a rainbow flock of creased paper wings and torn beaks. The tap of shoes in the hall made her turn.

Poppy. Sensitive, more likely to be found talking to the dolls than her school mates. ‘Miss, the birds – they’re falling!’

Shona smiled, sent the paper rustling with her hand. ‘We made them, remember? They’re not real.’

Poppy shook her head, pointing to the window. ‘Not those. Those.’

The sunlight flickered, dimmed. A sound like hard rain falling. The children screaming.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See the prompt pic and just write. See here to join in and to read the other tales.

Three Line Tales : A thousand plucked wires

three line tales week 82: a very long skeleton

photo by Samuel Zeller via Unsplash


 

It was the spaces between the ribs Sam watched, triangles of black caught between bleached pins, growing and shrinking with each coil and flex. Crescent bones hooked together, held a moment then snapped apart, making a sound liked plucked wires.

‘How is it doing that?’ he whispered.

The serpent was stripped of flesh and muscle and skin, the elongated organs long dissolved to atoms. The diamond-shaped skull turned at the sound of his voice, blank eye sockets searching for him.

Col sighed, scrubbed his forehead with blunt fingers. ‘How are any of them doing it?’

Behind him, the sound of a thousand plucked wires.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a tale … And unlike me, try to keep it to three lines! See here to join in.

 

 

Three Line Tales : The anniversary

Three line tales week 80: a pizza oven

photo by Cathal Mac an Bheatha via Unsplash


 

Their anniversary dinner, their favourite pizzeria.

He stares down at his plate, at the smear of tomato, the shattered bread dough. Life gets in the way of love, he thinks – clothes dropped on the bathroom floor, plates left in the sink, a leaking cistern, overdue mortgage payments. It all distracts from the emotion that was once the centre of his world.

‘I love you.’ He reaches across the table and takes her hand.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. Visit here to read the other stories and to join in.

Three Line Tales : The dragons take York

three line tales week 80: a blue old school VW camper van

photo by Annie Theby via Unsplash


For some context … The VW reminded me of Trixie, a red campervan that plays an important role in my urban fantasy work in progress. Below is an extract in which our heroes are being chased through the streets of York by a huge and terrifying creature – all bat wings, claws and fangs. If they can only reach the VW and safety …


 

The shadow of King’s Court was coming closer and closer and below the pound and slap of their footsteps he heard something — the thrum of a VW engine.

‘We’re going to do it,’ shouted Neil. ‘We’re nearly safe.’

Suddenly there was another loud screech and it was all the movie sound effects he’d ever heard, every terrifying alien bug mother, every nameless horror – angry, frustrated, on the attack. There was a loud crash. The ground rocked beneath his feet, throwing him down. On his knees on the cobbles, Neil dared to look behind him.

The creature that had been caught up in the shop sign was free, the bracket piercing the membrane hanging from its wing, plaster clinging to the metal.

Dipping its head, it plodded towards him.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See here to join in and to read the other stories.

Three Line Tales : Under the floodlights

three line tales week 79: outside of the MCG; the g

photo by Arnaud Mesureur via Unsplash


 

‘Keep under the floodlights,’ said Mumma. ‘It’ll be warmer under there.’

So that’s where we stood, Polly, Mumma and me – me sandwiched between them, glimpsing the flood of frightened, muddy people. Everybody seemed to be hurt – nobody was bandaged or cleaned.

I hid behind Polly as the fighting broke out around us. Food. It was over food a lady said. I think that’s what she said – she was crying.

Then the floodlights guttered, spat. Went out.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Word’s Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a tale. See here to join in.