Three Line Tales: Artist unknown

three line tales, week 153: a lot of paintings

photo by Beata Ratuszniak via Unsplash

All day he crouched, limbs folded tight as a disused easel, eyes on the cobbles, on scuffed work boots and tightly tied Oxfords with leather slick and shiny as glass.

I never saw him look up, never saw him sell a painting or the configuration of brightly coloured canvases change.

He’s gone but the canvases remain, peeled and paled, the gallery of an unknown, unknowable artist.

**************

Written for Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a tale. See here to join in.

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Three Line Tales: Now the colours are wrong

 

three line tales, week 144: people on a bath through fields of red bushes

photo by Andre Benz via Unsplash


When he dreamed of home the colours were wrong – the cool jade shrubs turned lurid magenta, wisps of ochre cirrus floating in a scorched sienna sky.

He’d wake sweating, reaching blindly for a hand no longer there.

There was no home left. No love to comfort him, no eyes to cry for all he’d lost. One night of flame had ended him.


Written for Three Lines Tales. See here to join in and share.

Three Line Tales : Frost coming

three line tales week 136: camping

photo by Tyler Nix via Unsplash


 

At midday the heat would drive Denny lumbering from the van to shelter under the makeshift lean-to. The mirror in her compact was broken which was a blessing – she didn’t relish seeing her reflection, the boiled ham flesh where once were hollow cheeks.

Still, she was grateful for the sun on her skin. Soon enough the scrub would be dusted with snow, glittering with frost. There were no trees to burn out here and few shrubs, she was down to her last canister of gas. She could freeze one night and only the coyotes would find her this side of April.

But even that wasn’t the most terrifying thought. Because the baby could come any day now, slip out of her like an eel onto a dry river bed. What if he hadn’t returned by then? What if she was alone?

 


Written for Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a story.

Three Line Tales : Zero bars

 

three line tales week 117: don't text and drive

photo by Alexandre Boucher via Unsplash


 

It’s the end of the world. Love you, brother.

Denny had always been one for drama – every headache was a brain tumour, every stomach ache cancer. But something about the text  made Stuart swerve onto the hard shoulder amid the car horns and cursing. His call to Denny failed to connect, the same for their sister Clare. Panic mounted as every number he knew failed, as the bars on his phone dropped to zero.

He was staring at the blank screen as the first blast hit, as the nose to tail cars in front of him were flipped into the air, as the pressure wave disintegrated the windscreen.

Love you too, brother.

 


Written for Three Line Tales. Pop along here to join in.

 

Three Line Tales : Towards the velvet black

three line tales week 116: an astronaut doing space repairs

photo by NASA (yes, THAT NASA – which is why you want to click through to the full size picture for the full effect) via Unsplash


 

‘Are you there? Dawson? Are you there?’

‘Yeah, yeah, I’m here, Flores. Breathe slow now. Tell me what can you see.’

Cold misted Flores’ visor. Her limbs were stiffening, breath coming harder. She should stay quiet, conserve her oxygen, but what was the point now?

‘I see black,’ she breathed. ‘A lot of black.’ And silver, shreds of silver from the destroyed space station. And in the distance something white, a helmet shining on top of a motionless torso.

She looked away, towards the velvet black, the sprinkle of stars dancing like fairy lights on a string. If she just reached out, she could touch …

‘Flores? Flores?’


Written for Three Line Tales. See here to share, read and comment.

Three Line Tales : What remains when she’s gone

 

three line tales week 114: a blur of a girl

photo by Charles Etoroma via Unsplash


 

She becomes a blur as she passes, rushing from store to store, caught in a whirlwind of purchases, money falling from her hands into every register like leaves spun on the breeze.

She feels herself blurring, her once hard edges bleeding outwards, flaking away like layers of over boiled potato. She thought once that things would shore her up, that the weight of her belongings would halt the crumbling. But instead, they’ve hastened it, eroded her until there is nothing but the chase, the purchase, the empty feeling when she reaches home.

One day there will be nothing left to prove she was here but plastic bags and a pile of unpaid credit card bills.


Written for Three Line Tales. See, write, share, read. Here.

Three Line Tales : His bloody mission

three line tales week 113: a close up of a road in Rome

photo by Vek Labs via Unsplash


 

‘Never stay anywhere more than one night. Never speak your real name, your real home town, your real destination. Lies are your only protection …’

Papa was long gone but his voice still circled Gordy’s brain. Each time someone was kind to him, each time he found more than a cold doorway to sleep in. Surely, the world was in too much disarray to notice one, lone man …

Still, Papa’s words stung him back to the cold road, to dew on his shoulders, to the familiar sting of blistered feet. His bloody mission.

 


Written for Three Line Tales. See here to join in.

I see a lone and lonely man, sore and wounded by his travels, yearning for another life, goaded by his father’s teachings. But what’s his bloody mission?

Suggestions please.