This week for Friday Fictioneers (the 100-word flash fiction group) we have something slightly different. Because our trusty leader, Rochelle, is busy getting her books published, we’re revisiting a photo prompt from July 2012. Then I was right in the middle of writing my first novel without any idea that it would one day actually be published by Penguin and several other publishers around the world. I used many of these picture prompts to write scenes, some of which actually made it in (although slightly altered) and this was one of them.
So firstly, here is the original flash fiction piece I wrote inspired by the photo above in July 2012:
“A winter like this I have not known since I was a child in Germany,” said my mother, her mouth still full of z’s and v’s even after all these years. She shivered and took her gin and tonic back inside.
Oskar rapped his knuckles on the thick ice that had risen like a soufflé out of the garden bucket. Its tap dripped an icicle.
“Would you like some ice with that madam?” he laughed. Oskar turned the handle, twisting hard; his mouth twisting too with the effort. The tap snapped off.
I cried – for the cold, for the homesickness, but mostly for the waste of a bucket.
And here is the scene that made it into the book:
Oskar rapped his knuckles on the thick ice which had risen like a soufflé out of a bucket hanging on a nail beside the back door. I recognized it; it was the bucket my father and I had used, with a tap attached to the bottom so we could brush our teeth with running water. In the frozen garden the tap dripped an icicle.
‘Would madam like something to drink?’ Oskar laughed and turned the handle, twisting it hard; his mouth twisting too, with the effort. The tap snapped off. And for the first time since I had come home I cried – for the music, for Reuben, but most of all for the waste of bucket.