Three Line Tales : A simple lie

three line tales week 74: an empty school

Photo by Daniel von Appen on Unsplash


 

It was a simple lie. I didn’t even have to form the thought into words, Weber saw to that.

‘A yes is all we need. A yes and all of this can be over for you.’ His shirt was dark with sweat and even from the other side of the desk, I could smell last night’s schnapps on his breath, the sharp fug of raw onions.

One ‘yes’ and Professor Greenspan’s room became a store cupboard, his class taken by the oily Professor Marlin.

I walked past Greenspan’s apartment today. The windows were boarded up, misspelt obscenities scrawled across the warped wood. With a pen, I wrote in shaky text, I’m Sorry.

 


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

 

Three Line Tales : Shifting the goalposts

three line tales 73 midsummer

photo by Christian Widell via Unsplash


 

Years ago it had been their pitch, a rough piece of wasteground surrounded by a ring of scrubby trees that caught tumbling crisp packets, discarded newspaper shiny with chip grease.

They’d used their jumpers for goalposts, left bottles of lemonade in the shade to keep cool on hot days. Talked about Thunderbirds and Dr Who and how Shane Lacey in the third year kept a knife tucked in his sock. Long, hot days.

Now there was a proper goalpost, crisp white lines painted on the grass. No more chip papers, no more warm, dusty lemonade. How he missed it.

 


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

Three Line Tales : Scar Tissue

photo by Joel Filipe via Unsplash


 

‘Jelly sting,’ he’d said. ‘Swimming in the Gulf of Mexico with Nico. You met Nico, right?’

I’d kissed his scars – welts like bronze earthworms pushing from the surface of his back – he’d turned, pinned me to the bed as I wriggled and laughed, another afternoon lost to each other.

It was only after he went missing I searched his things, found the case, the money, the filmy packets and their dense white powder. All those scars.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a tale. To join in and to read the other stories this week, see here.

And seeing as I seem to be making a habit of quoting from songs at the moment and it’s a lovely, sunny Saturday here in the UK, let’s throw in a little Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Three Line Tales : When the day really starts

 

photo by Diana Feil via Unsplash


 

The booths were closing for the night, shutters locking in stuffed bears and tigers, flamingoes with felt beaks and floppy legs the colour of raw salmon. Damian passed by the hot dog van, greasy air scented with onions.

He’d arrived early, starting off making balloon poodles and flowers, passing them into small, sticky hands, trying to smile into Bambi eyes. His day really started as the children stumbled home to bed, as the bass began to pound through the PA. It was then the women would come, teetering over the claggy grass in stilettos, clinging together for support. They’d be drunk – handbags heavy with quarters of vodka – and see him, his broad red smile, his rainbow wig. Damian’s hand would go to his pocket, balloons slipping through his fingers, sleek as skin. The women would touch his shoulder, brush his arm – kiss him sometimes. The sweet, harmless clown.

It was them he thought of when he was alone, as he fingered the slack balloons.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a story.

Three Line Tales : The spell of Grimalkin

 

three line tales, week 70: a cat walking on a dock wall with boats in the background

(photo by Timothy Meinberg via Unsplash)


 

I stay by the fire. The chores will have to wait for I can’t turn my mind to them. Wood cracks in the grate, spits out sap to sizzle and dance before dying.

She’s ink black, sleek as an eel, curled tight in my lap. I feel her breathing, though her purr is lost beneath the howling wind, the groan of roof beams above our heads.

He’s out on the waves, deafened by spray, blinded by gales, fingers stiff and cracked as the boards beneath his feet. Keep him safe, little Puss, keep him safe.

 


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

Inspired by a line from a Wiki page on ship’s cats and superstition. Fishermen’s wives would keep black cats in the hope the animal would use its supernatural influence to protect their men out at sea.

Grimalkin was the name given to cats in general but also to witches’ familiars. A cat called Grimalkin is a familiar to the Three Witches in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Three Line Tales : Think the same, act the same, obey the same

three line tales week 69: Lego heads

photo by Carson Arias via Unsplash


 

My father used to say, ‘Push a child through school and all you get is a million minds that think the same, act the same, obey the same.’

I guess that’s why he took us away, up to the cabin over the mirror lake. Why our school room was the whispering forest, why we read wolf tracks and deer pellets and badger routes instead of books.

It’s why I’m looking over the city now and not dead within its walls.

 


My, I am churning out the dystopia like nobody’s business these days.

This was written for Sonya’s Three Line Tales and how my mind veered from happy smiley Lego men to the end of the world is anyone’s guess. See here to read the other tales and join in the fun.

Three Line Tales : You, me, us

 

three line tales week 68: a whole bunch of graduates at their graduation ceremony

photo by Faustin Tuyambaze via Unsplash


 

It’s hot in the auditorium, summer sun blazing through the high windows, open doors drawing through little but traffic noise, the metallic whirr of labouring air con.

Three years on from my first day on campus, my first glimpse of your dark, clipped hair, your shy, clipped smile.

Does anyone here miss you except me? Resentment bubbles at the thought of all these smiling people, caught in their selfish, happy bubbles and not one giving you a thought. But that feels right too – it was always you, always me, always us alone. The chancellor stands, smooths her gown and starts to speak.

 


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a story. Go here to read the other entries and to join in with your own.