photo by Frank McKenna via Unsplash
Gideon Smith was the first to complain of the smell, Jennet Powell the next. After four days, Smith took matters – and a house breaker’s jemmy – into his own hands and broke into the seamstress’s cottage.
Jennet found the biddy stiff in her chair, head drooping, strands of silver hair sparkling against the blue of an unfinished velvet gown. On the deal table lay bobbins of thread, dull steel needles and scissors, a book with a pale cloth binding, a water stain clouding one corner. Gideon eyed the title and slipped the thin volume in his pocket while Jennet was rifling through a box of hat pins.
The constable was called and Jennet and Gideon left, Jennet to stow a jet and crystal pin in her drawer, Gideon to walk along the canal. He dropped the book into the lock. The pages flapped like broken wings before it hit the water and vanished into the thick brown, one last act of kindness for his neighbour.
Written for Sonya at Only 100 Word’s Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a tale. See here to join and share.
photo by Samuel Wong via Unsplash
Every weekday he steps onto the escalator, blinks in the cold neon, shuffles to the right. It’s a conveyor, he thinks, sucking up human beings, churning out labourers, consumers, productive cogs.
Then one day he’s about to take that first step and his foot pauses as if caught on an unseen obstacle. There’s a tut and grumble from the commuter logjam building behind him, but now he’s unable to move. He once dreamed of flying in a rocket ship to the craggy face of the Moon, of chipping the old bones of a newly discovered dinosaur from the chalk. He once dreamed.
An impatient cough stirs him. Flushing, he takes a step and though inside he’s raging, wanting to turn and run, to fly a rocket, to name his dinosaur, he shuffles to the right, let’s the escalator carry him on and up.
This is not an age for dreamers.
Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a tale and pop along here to read and share.
photo by Hans Vivek via Unsplash
Hey, Danny, look! See that old lady? The one pushing her world in a shopping cart. Thrift store clothes, shoes held together with string – your everyday homeless old bag, right? Keep watching.
Isn’t that the weirdest thing you ever saw? How many are there – five. … ten … sixteen … twenty-four I make it. Twenty-four stray cats all after the same hobo like she’s got fish tacos sewn in the lining of her coat. She talks to ’em too, says some weird garbled crap that sure ain’t English. Sal says she gives ’em all names, that they sit round and listen like they’re in elementary school and she’s the teacher. But Sal says his mom was abducted by aliens, so …
Sure see some weird shit in this job.
Written for Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a story. See here to read and share.
photo by Manu Sanchez via Unsplash
‘Are you ready?’ His voice is smokey in the darkness, profile sharp against the setting sun.
How can she ever be ready to leave her mother, already sagging under the strain of occupation, her little sister Adalie, all scuffed shoes and knees and lights in her eyes, her hair? How can she leave them, knowing they might break without her?
Still, Marielle takes one last look along the Champs Elysees, at the distant bow of the Arc de Triomphe. One day her city will be free again. She hopes she will live to see it, but if not … ‘For Adalie,’ she whispers and follows him into the night.
Written for Sonya at Only 100 Word’s Three Line Tales.
When I saw this photo of soldiers on the Champs Elysees, I was reminded of a famous, chilling set of photographs of Paris – taken by Heinrich Hoffman – of Hitler gloating in front of the French city’s beautiful landmarks at the beginning of the occupation. And so my mind drifted to the Resistance, to people like Marielle.
photo by Bogdan Dada via Unsplash
I lean against the door, feel the rough wood under my hands, against my ear – I listen.
Breathing – deep and soft – a muttering that says the sleep is not peaceful.
I sigh – My Monster, my Devil. Soon I’ll return, break the chains that bind you and then … I will feed them all to you.
Written for Only 100 Word’s Three Line Tales. See here to join in and to read the other stories.
photo by Scott Umstattd via Unsplash
‘And do you often let yourself into the flat without your tennant’s permission, Mr Scott?’
The landlord shuffled grubby slippers on the threadbare carpet. ‘Single parent families on benefits. Always trouble.’
Segeant Flynn thought of the bedroom with its peeling wallpaper, the wax like figures tucked neat and still as mannequins under the bedclothes. He shot the man a bitter smile. ‘Well, they won’t cause you any more trouble, will they?’
Written for Three Line Tales. See here to join in and to share a story of your own.
photo by Alex Iby via Unsplash
A strip of black, ashy sand, white breakers above – a grey sky, heavy with sea mist that rolls in and out of the shore like a living thing.
Many would be driven insane by my monochrome world, by the endless crash of the waves, the screaming dip and soar of the gulls – but not me.
Inside me burns a fire of anger so fierce it will turn the sand to glass, boil the seas until they vapourise, leaving nothing but a crust of salt behind. The world will know me.
Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See here to join in and to read the other stories.