Short story: Flora and Richard

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When Flora had left, Richard got out of bed and roamed around the bedsit – picking up a jumper to breathe in the smell of her, opening the fridge and sticking a finger in the cream of the collapsed victoria sponge. He hadn’t been there on his own before and although it made him feel trusted, closer to this abstruse girl, the place was hollow without her.
From a wall cabinet Richard picked out a tiny dusty pinecone, and then a miniature trophy for a school art competition, and then a child’s drawing of the sun. “For Mummy” he read, and Richard wondered about Flora’s family – the ones she never talked about; the ones she had rushed off to when the call came.

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This is part of the Friday Fictioneers writing group – where writers from all over the world write about 100 words using a photo as inspiration. This week Rochelle Wisoff-Fields has chosen one of her own photographs. Happy birthday Rochelle! Lots of other writers have written very short stories inspired by this photograph; click here to read other people’s and to join in. And please comment below with any suggestions for improvement on my story.

Short Story: Life-sized plastic giraffe’s head and other stuff

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It was our game. It was what we always did when we went to the beach. You wouldn’t believe the things we’ve found over the years – a life-sized plastic giraffe’s head, a wooden carving of Michael Jackson, and gloves, so many gloves you’d need hundreds of hands. Caps I can understand, but gloves?

What can I tell you? It was a beautiful morning, she was awake early, barking, scratching at the door. Didn’t even stop for breakfast. Thank God.

As soon as we were off the walkway she went straight to it. The smell, I suppose. Man’s boot, foot still in residence.

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This piece of writing was inspired by the picture prompt provided by Renee Heath for the Friday Fictioneers writing group. Each week writers from around the world attempt to write 100 words (or so) and this week I’m a little over.

I’ve been looking at tumblr and came across this amazing photographer taking pictures of things found on the beach. Click here to take a look at the pictures.

I’d love to receive comments and constructive criticism. Click here to read other people’s stories inspired by this picture or to join in.

Short story: Fireworks

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“Wow,” he said, still out of breath as he rolled off her. “That really blew my mind. Fireworks or what!” He put his arm around her. “Did the earth move for you too?” All she felt was overwhelming disappointment. He hadn’t kissed her sloppily, or undressed her as if he was a hungry puppy, like the last boyfriend. He had been loving and patient, and although she hadn’t reached that elusive orgasm, it had gone well, for a first time. But she knew already she wouldn’t be seeing him again. His use of clichés was positively indecent.

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This piece of writing was inspired by the picture prompt provided by Lora Mitchell for the Friday Fictioneers writing group run by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. We all attempt to write 100 words (or so) and this week I’m slightly under. Although Rochelle asked us to suggest the genre in our title, I prefer, at least in these short pieces for people to make up their own mind. So, literary fiction? humour? erotica? You tell me…

I’d love to receive comments and constructive criticism. Click here to read other people’s stories inspired by this picture or to join in.

Short story: 708 Fulton

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I thought I saw you today, going into 708 Fulton. You turned your head as you pushed the door open and the two hearts inside me leapt when I thought I caught a glimpse of ginger beard. Four lanes of traffic stopped to let me cross so I could hear you laugh again. The icy blast that followed me in, made the customers nearest the door glance up from their steaming coffee cups. Only the beardless man at the counter, an orange scarf still warming his neck, didn’t look at me standing there – expectant, yet already disappointed.

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This piece of writing was inspired by the picture prompt provided by Jean L Hays for the Friday Fictioneers writing group run by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. We all attempt to write 100 words (or so); finally this week I kept it to exactly 100.

I’d love to receive comments and constructive criticism. Click here to read other people’s stories inspired by this picture or to join in.

Short story: Two glasses of sherry

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Even after fourteen years she still set two places at the table. The ritual brought her comfort – the mats with the holly borders, the Christmas candles, the crackers – still plenty left from last year.

“Not yet Stanley,” she said chiding the old tabby and shooing him to the floor.

She poured two sherries, placed them on the table and sat down, her bones creaking. With some effort, the cat jumped up to the empty place opposite, sniffed at the glass and backed away, nose twitching.

“It used to be your favourite,” she said. “Cheers Stan,” she lifted her glass and chinked it against the other.

***

This piece of writing was inspired by the picture prompt provided by Scott Vannatter for the Friday Fictioneers writing group run by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. We all attempt to write 100 words (or so); this week I’m slightly over.

I’d love to receive comments and constructive criticism. Click here to read other people’s stories inspired by this picture or to join in.

Short story: Lucid Dreaming

At hourly intervals for two weeks Finlay had pinched his wrist until a purple bruise flowered there. But it wasn’t until his nightshifts finished and he tried to get back into a normal sleep pattern that it worked.

As soon as the dream started he knew it was different – the colours more vivid, the surfaces shinier, the edges of the buildings drawn in neon. And the people stared at him too, as if he was in the wrong dream. Finlay pinched his wrist – painless.

His only decision now was who to look for first.

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This piece of writing was inspired by the picture prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for Friday Fictioneers 100 word (or so) group.

I’d love to receive comments and constructive criticism. Click here to read other people’s stories inspired by this picture or to join in.

Short story: Batteries dead

Dr Elliott never disclosed any secrets, not even to those closest to him. He simply stored them away. In his final hours he wanders through the rooms in his mind.

Go there now, feeling your way in the dark, stumbling down unfamiliar steps, fingers following the rhythm of wood panelling. Fumble for the filing cabinet – unlocked, ready for your visit. Pull on the handle, hear how well-oiled Dr Elliott keeps it. A beam in the dark – a torch; its light flickering; the batteries fading. It highlights manila files: Hepworth, Agnes; Hepworth, Samuel; Hewer, Rebecca; Hewer, William. Dr Elliott’s mind trembles and the torch stutters. Dr Elliott heard two decades of William Hewer’s secrets and now his file is open in your hand. You shine the torch on the yellowing photograph: your son, aged five – blonde, pale, confused. There is a pain in your heart remembering the day it was taken. You blink and the torch blinks with you. Tap it against your palm, it pulses once, twice and turns off. Batteries dead.

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This was inspired by the picture prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for Friday Fictioneers 100 word (or in this case 175 word) writing group.

I’d love to receive comments and constructive criticism. Click here to read other people’s stories inspired by this picture, provided by Sean Fallon.

Short story: Rowing on the lakes of Canada

My world is green, opaque. Fronds of women’s hair beckon me down. Slippery kisses against my pebble-dashed skin. Content, I sink to the gritty bottom to be nibbled by the fish, the eels, the worms until I will be divided into my constituent parts. Like oil and water I will separate and be remade as scales, shells and fronds of women’s hair.

Suddenly – a refraction, a disturbance of scattered light. Look for me another day I say to the hand reaching down towards me, but I am snatched from my watery home, coughing, choking back into the boat, like a newborn.

***

I wrote this to the beautiful Lakes of Canada sung by by Sufjan Stevens (originally by Innocence Mission). You can listen to it here (the song starts at .55).

I’m writing a novel and I used this picture prompt from Rebecca Tsaros Dickson as inspiration for a scene. So this piece of writing was a combination of novel, picture and music.

I’d love to receive comments and constructive criticism. Click here to join in or to read other people’s stories inspired by this picture, provided by dianavt.com.

Short story: Cut in Cursive

Dust motes danced in the early morning light that filtered through the closed shutters. With a table fork I carved the name ‘Ruben’ into the wooden dresser, low down, where it wouldn’t be noticed. It took a long time before I was finally happy with the cursive letters.

Later, at breakfast with my mother and Oskar, I watched the name out of the corner of my eye. It looked lonely and I thought that maybe tomorrow morning, when everyone was still asleep I would come downstairs again and carve my name beside his.

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I often listen to a piece of music when I’m writing and this time it was Iron and Wine’s Muddy Hymnal. If you want to hear it, here’s a link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR3jQQH9sYg

I’m writing a novel and I use the 100 word (or so) prompt for Madison Woods’ #Fridayfictioneers as ideas for scenes. So this piece of writing was a combination of novel, picture and music.

I’d love to receive comments and constructive criticism. Click here to read other people’s stories inspired by this picture, provided by Raina Ng.

Short story: Sunday afternoon

“How does the spider make his web?” I asked, gazing at the threads above us, silky in the afternoon sunshine; Ruben was silent, his eyes closed. I prodded him.

“Hmm?”

“The spider. How does he start?” I looked at Ruben sleeping. “Does he spit the first thread, or jump, or what?”

“Or what,” he said dreamily, still not stirring.

I ran a stalk of grass down the bridge of his nose.

“Ok!” his eyes opened. “He lets the wind take it, and wherever it lands, that’s where he makes his home.”

“Like you,” I said. But Ruben just shut his eyes.

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This piece of writing was for the 100 word (or so) prompt for Madison Woods’ #Fridayfictioneers. I’d be very happy to receive comments and constructive criticism. Click here to read other people’s.