Three Line Tales : A second skin

three line tales week 111: two puffins ; ireland st patrick's day

photo by Wynand van Poortvliet via Unsplash


 

Kirsty would miss the puffins most in the spring, when they mobbed the island with their monochrome waddling, their sad eyes settled on bobbles of pink thrift.

Nowhere smelt like the island – the air carrying only sea scents, the deeps and crashing shallows, weed and rot and salt, a smell you could taste, that covered you like a second skin.

‘Ready to go?’ Mum took her bag, walked the short pier to the ferry. ‘It’ll all be here, waiting for you when you come home,’ she called with a sad smile. Together, they took the ferry to the mainland.


Written for Three Line Tales. See here to join in and read others.

I saw this image and smiled. Recently, I wrote a story about a very similar island environment. It was a pleasure to revisit this rugged, salt tangy scene.

Right now that story is under consideration for publication. Fingers crossed, eh?

 

 

 

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Three Line Tales : The bright wink of the sea

three line tales, week 109: inside the wave

photo by Jeremy Bishop via Unsplash


 

Blue heat colours his dreams. Surf bubbling over crisp sands, hot winds shivering through palms and tufted seagrass, carving the dunes into serpents.

And she’s there, gazing out over the bay, brown body rippled as the beach beneath her feet. She turns, one hand stretched towards him, smile lost in the bright wink of the sea …

He wakes. It’s still dark. The display on his clock reads 03: 00 am. A gale batters the corrugated iron walls, joints creaking, rivets tapping in their sockets. The third day of the storm. Outside crisp snow is carved into serpentine dunes. He blinks and her smile is lost.

 


Written for Three Line Tales. Write a tale based on the prompt and share away. See here for how.

Three Line Tales : Gideon keeps a secret

three line tales, week 107: diaries, roses and bobbins with sewing thread

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.

Three Line Tales : Just one step

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.

Three Line Tales : The Thrift Store Cat Whisperer

three line tales week 103: a sanitation van in front of pink graffiti

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.

Three Line Tales : Midnight on the Champs Elysees

three line tales, week 100: a ferris wheel in Paris with soldiers patrolling

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Line Tales : Waiting for morning

three line tales week 97: a blue wooden door with a face

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.