Flash Fiction – We stand together

Image © J Hardy Carroll

 

My feet crunch on broken glass, tears rising quickly.

‘Why…’ I begin, but the choke in my throat holds back the rest of my words.

Afternoon sunshine streams through the window, the upended tables and chairs brushed bronze, shards of glass glint gold.

The air is heavy with dust. With loss. But underneath there is something else. Love. We fall silently into our roles, a human chain, stronger together, clearing out the rubble. At first I think nothing is salvageable but then I realise there is. Amongst the splinters of wood, the twisted metal, it is there. A tiny kernel of hope.

We stand together.

 

‘We stand together’ was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge inspired by a photo prompt. This week’s prompt is topical as we all try to make sense of the senseless. My heartfelt condolences for everyone affected by the atrocities in Manchester.

Join in with the challenge over at host Rochelle’s blog here.

Flash Fiction – Hope

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Image courtesy of Sandra Crook

 

Dampness seeps through a hole in my shoe as I trudge one exhausted foot in front of the other. There’s no-one to rush home for.

I’m so tired.

On the bridge I pause, staring down into the crashing water below. Would anyone miss me?

I’m so lonely.

A soft mewling breaks my thoughts. A wriggling sack next to the railings. I tug it open and lift out a shivering kitten, bones protruding. He licks my hand. My heart swells. It’s been a long time since I felt needed.

“I’ll call you hope.” I whisper as I tuck him inside my coat.

 

I thought nothing could top 2016 professionally but appearing on TV last night, albeit briefly, to talk about writing, being published & mindfulness was such a great experience and an amazing start to the year. You can watch the 3 minute clip here. Or read my blog piece about it here

Hope was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge inspired by a photo prompt. You can join in and read the other entries over at Rochelle’s blog here

Flash Fiction – Seeking Silence

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Photo courtesy of Jan W. Fields

 

It’s been five days since I buried you. A thin film of dust covers the piano I’ve inherited with your estate. Moonlight Sonata slices through my mind.

Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.

I smash the axe down. Wood splinters and keys squeal. Still, I hear music.

The tyres of the Jag screech as I speed from the mansion. Away from your memory. But I still hear you playing.

Please stop. I didn’t mean to hurt you.

It builds.

I’m sorry.

 The crescendo.

My foot squeezes the accelerator as I approach the cliff, and I’m flying, falling, screaming.

But still the music plays.

 

 

Written for Friday Fictioneers. A 100 word story inspired by a photo prompt. Pop over to host Rochelle’s blog and read the other entries here

Flash Fiction – Framed

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Picture courtesy of Scott L. Vannatter

 

The kitchen window is ajar and I leap inside. My feet plunge into something soft and hot. I hop from paw to paw until my pads stop burning and I sit and lick them clean, staring at the pie I’d landed in. Chicken. Mmmm. I pick out the meat, a little salty but it fills a gap, and nudge the dish with my nose until it clatters onto the floor. I’ll share with blame the mutt. He bounds over, ridiculous ears flapping and slurps up the gravy.

Footsteps approach. I dart behind the bin – I am a ninja.

‘REX!’

Humans – nearly as stupid as dogs.

 

A light-hearted entry this week for Friday Fictioneers. A 100 word story inspired by a photo prompt. Read the other entries here. 

 

Flash Fiction – Puppet

luther-siler

Photo – Luther Siler

 

‘I hate you, Dad.’

‘I needed a job, Ella.’

‘There are loads of other jobs.’

‘There aren’t. And it’s Christmas. We need the money.’

‘I don’t care about Christmas. I care about the poor animals being tortured.’

‘They’re not tortured. They’re helping us find cures. They’re very well looked after.’

‘How could you hurt them?’

‘I don’t. I’m just security.’

‘Just a puppet. Don’t you have any morals?’

I think of the plan. The welfare group will arrive at midnight. I’ll leave the door unlocked. I wish I could tell her, but it’s better she doesn’t know. Safer.

‘I’m sorry.’ I whisper as she turns away.

 

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 word story inspired by a photo prompt. Read the other entries here

 

Flash Fiction – Tired

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Photo – Al Forbes

 

A brisk walk will do you good

But I’m so tired – my legs feel like they’re made of lead.

 

Some fresh air will make you feel better

 My chest is so tight it’s an effort to breathe.

 

Count your blessings

Count? My mind is hazy. I cannot concentrate on the simplest of tasks.

 

Happiness is a choice

Do you really think I would choose to feel like this?

 

Snap out of it

Snap? I have slept for twelve hours but still don’t have the energy to move.

 

A good meal will cheer you up

I told you I cannot eat. My throat is constricted, my stomach full of swirling emotions.

 

Turn that frown upside down

I try. I really do, but my skin feels tight and it’s hard to make my muscles move.

 

If you can’t be bothered to help yourself

I am screaming for help, can’t you hear me? But the room is silent and you turn away.

 

Sunday Photo Fiction – A story inspired by a photo prompt. Read the other entires here.

 

Flash Fiction – The polished table

socs-badge-2015

 

The thirty-eight seconds it took the elevator to glide to the penthouse was always the worst part of Paul’s day. He furled his fingers around the Ferrari key fob in his palm, clutching it so tightly the metal cut into his soft flesh. It was here, in the cold tin box, under the harsh white light, he felt the most exposed. He held his breath and didn’t release it again until he’d slid his key into his front door. Home. His castle. Of course it was still here. Still his. 

Citrus assaulted Paul’s nostrils; the cleaner had been. He slipped off his Italian leather shoes and placed them on the rack inside the cloakroom. ‘A place for everything and everything in its place,’ his mum used to say. She’d be amazed if she could see his house, or perhaps horrified, ‘all this space for one person’ she’d shake her head. The thought of her disapproval made the furrows in Paul’s brow deepen, and he strode across his white pile carpet and took the stairs two at a time.

The wardrobe mirrors sparkled but there was a smear in the bottom left corner and Paul tutted as he wiped it with his tie. He’d ring the agency on Monday. Request a new girl. Insist on an English one this time who could read the manual he’d written. There was no excuse for sloppiness.

He shrugged off his jacket and pulled a padded hanger from the rail. ‘You can always tell a man by the cut of his suit’ his dad said. As if he knew. He’d only had one good suit, ‘for weddings, funerals or court’ and that came from Oxfam. Not like Paul. He surveyed the monochromatic rainbow in front of him, Armani, Hugo Boss, and wondered what his dad would say. If he’d be proud?

His parents had crept into his thoughts a lot the past few weeks. Paul found it discomfiting. It wasn’t that he missed them exactly but he wished they could have seen his success. You could have fitted their whole house into his kitchen. Paul grew angry when he remembered sharing a bedroom, sharing a bed with the brother he no longer spoke to, but he was never quite sure who he was angry with. His idiot brother had repeated his parents mistakes. A tiny terraced house and grubby children who clamoured for attention, sucking the life from their mother who huffed and sighed but pretended she was happy, despite the purple smudges under her eyes. Paul had visited once – he shuddered – never again.

Downstairs, Paul rang his favourite restaurant. They didn’t do home deliveries as a rule but for him they made an exception There hadn’t been time for lunch. He wanted something quick. Quality food. Not the hotdogs his mum used to serve night after night. He’d huddled next to his brother in front of the one bar fire, the smell of gas battling with fried onions, hoping there had been enough money for ketchup. Paul vowed he’d never eat a hotdog again but an image flickered across his mind of staring up at the inky sky as fireworks exploded – red, blue, gold – and Paul remembered the grease dripping down his chin as he bit into the sausage, the sharpness of the mustard, and tears sprang to his eyes. He rubbed them away and fidgeted on the leather sofa he’d chosen for looks rather than comfort.

All this emotion. It was most unlike him. He needed a holiday. He was working too hard. His laptop whirred to life and he searched for The Caribbean. An image popped up of a family on the beach, Mum lying on an orange towel reading, Dad playing cricket with two laughing, freckled children as the aquamarine sea lapped at the golden sand behind them. Paul felt a pang of something but he wasn’t sure what. He was happy wasn’t he? Look at his life. Look at all his things.

The doorbell rang. His meal was here. Paul sat at the polished oak table that seated eighteen, seventeen of the chairs he had never used, and, like every other night, began to eat his dinner alone.

 

As ever, constructive criticism is welcome, particularly this week as this is the first time I have ever written in third person and it felt rather strange! This piece was written for Streams of Consciousness Saturday. Write what you feel following a prompt and post, No editing allowed. This week’s prompt was the words ‘stuff.’