Life and Living

That all my worldly possessions fit into the trunk of a car should mean something. But it doesn’t.

Not much means anything any more.

The tears of the sky fall upon my wind-shield and the wipers brush them away with nonchalance, a nonchalance that has now settled deep within my mind.

For forty years I worked as an accountant, bent over a desk in a 4 by 4 cubicle, returning to a house ransacked by two hyper active kids, who I love most dearly. What got me through was the mantra – ‘when they are off to college, I’ll be off to live my life.

The elder one graduated last year, the younger one graduates next year.

So here I am. I’ve settled my affairs, cashed in my chips, and am off to live my life, or at least what is left of it. With stage three carcinoma, the doctors really couldn’t say.


In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge of 23rd June prompted by a photo by Ted Strutz

Perfect beauty

Sarah realised that it was the third time this week that she was leaving at dawn, but when you are at the precipice of a breakthrough there was no time for rest. The results had finally come back and the figures looked more than satisfactory. This work was going to revolutionise the cosmetic industry. Thanks to them, perfect beauty was no longer a dream.

Her phone buzzed just as she reached the parking lot. “Sarah, there’s an anomaly. I don’t think we can ignore it.”
Shit. This was going to be another 48 hour day!

Above her, the sun took its first peek, streaking the sky with foamy waves of orange, pink and fire, an eager debutante trying to make shy acquaintance.

But the phone kept buzzing and Sarah was too busy to stop and say hello.


In response to Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers’ 120 challenge based on photo prompt by Footie and Foodie

When Gods awaken

He loved it.

The textures and striations of the rocky outlet glistened in the sun. The little cottage at the peak overlooked a kaleidoscopic green blue sea. That it was available so cheap was the clincher. If local superstitions of the land being possessed by a sea god worked to his advantage, then he wasn’t complaining.

It was the day of the neap tide that he felt the ground rock. Earthquake was his first reaction, as he rushed out of his cottage towards mainland, only to freeze in his tracks. All around was only the great blue sea.

He, it appeared, was atop the giant turtle sea god.

In response to Bikurgurl’s 100 Words Wednesday: Week 24 challenge based on photo by Geran de Klerk

Delusory

Jellies

Delicate and graceful, as if a touch would them tear

Freely floating, inviting, enticing, dancing without a care

Yet prod them and face venom; all beauty is not for your play, beware


In response to the Three Line Tales week 72 challenge based on a photo by Joel Filipe via Unsplash

Stakeout

This wasn’t what he had imagined when he joined the academy. In his crime fighting daydreams stakeouts were thrilling like the movies. His partner and he would be slouched behind the wheels of a nondescript black sedan sipping hot coffee and before they were done the perpetrators would appear.

Instead here he sat on a cold street bench dressed like a vagrant staring at the dying lights of Pearl’s Di-er, lips too chapped to even smile at the ironic sign.

Just as he shifted hoping to feel his legs again, he saw it. The distinct red dot of a sniper rifle aimed at his chest.

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Written in response to Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday 23rd challenge with photo prompt by Jesse Williams

Day one

I stared at the huge structure with its looming stone walls and wondering once again what I was doing there. Everything screamed money, and heritage, and every arch appeared to questioning my right to tread these hallowed grounds. Staring at the ground I quickly walked in, half expecting someone to shut the gates on me at any moment.

As I walk through the hallways I notice the furtive stares directed my way. Everyone noticed the strange boy, yet no one seemed to care that I looked lost and uncomfortable. If only I could turn invisible, at least until I found the others like me. The school had a 15% reservation for economically challenged meritorious students, so I couldn’t possibly be the only misfit here.

Suddenly someone tapped my shoulder. “You look new. Would you like me to show you around?” she asked, and with that sweet voice my day immediately got a thousand times better.

In response to Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers’ 119th challenge based on a photo provided by The Magicsticgoldenrose

Fly

There are boys who join the army for honour and country, there are others who join in search of a new home, and then there is Jason who enlisted because Tommy bet him 5 shillings that he would not qualify the physical exam.

Jason would do anything for a dare, and for an adrenaline junkie, the army was perfect.
If there was a dangerous place to go, if there was an important message to be carried, or if someone had to dash in and out of the line of fire, Jason was that man. Jason on his trusty bike!

“You can ride her, but can you make her fly,” someone once taunted, and Jason decided to take on the challenge.

A date was fixed, a ramp set up, and to add to the thrill, it was decided that he would jump over his mates.
The bets were not far behind.

Five brave men sat shoulder to shoulder. Ten feet away the bike started revving up. Louder and louder, closer and closer, until she sped up the ramp and shot off like a rocket amid raunchy claps and hollers, and landed perfectly and well clear.

‘More…More…” egged on the crowd.

Five more lads volunteered to join. The bike started its run up fifteen feet away, faster and faster, until she sped up the ramp and shot off like a rocket. Another perfect landing.

‘More…More…” egged on the crowd. The bets rose higher and higher.

Fifteen young men sat shoulder to shoulder. Once again Jason started his race up the ramp amidst thunderous clapping and cheering. The bike shot off the ramp. But the speed was too much. The ramp wavered. The crowd froze. The lads lost their smile.
Was the bike was going to land short?

Only Jason smiled.

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Written in response to Michelle’s Photo Challenge #91.
Writing style adopted in response to Neil’s Scrivener’s Forge Exercise 6 – Character in action.

Her happy place

Samuel put down his tools and looked around at the potting shed. His wife had been after him to fix it but he could never spare the time, or if truth be told, he had never made the time. When he had finally stepped into the dilapidated shed he well understood the reason for her consternation.

It took a while, but he had done it – woodwork fixed, table polished and everything cleaned. She would be pleased with her shed now.

Carefully he rested her urn on the table, exactly where the first rays of the sun could caress her. Somehow he knew she would be happier here than on any mantle place.


In response to Friday Fictioneers’ challenge of 9th June 2017 based ona photo by Sarah Potter

Corporate Games

“Why is the bitch presenting our report?” Tia hissed beside me.
My phone rumbled next.
“She’s trying to take credit again”
“Should not have allowed her to collate the reports”
“Our account”

We were in the middle of our quarterly meeting with the department heads. Despite being as irritated as Tia, I couldn’t just interrupt the presentation. However I won’t say I was surprised. I was not new to corporate games.

Quietly I gave Tia’s knee a comforting squeeze and mouthed “Trust me.”

The bitch continued droning until she reached the slide titled ‘Profit Predictions.’
Suddenly there was a distinct energy spike in the room as the department heads perked up. This was what the vultures were after. Everybody stared expectantly at some promising graphs.
Now the bitch floundered. The graphs were there, but without any data.

“Can we see some actual numbers?” the financial head prompted.
“Eh…,” she stuttered, fiddling with the presentation to no avail.
Eventually she looked over to us saying, “I’ll let the actual team give you those numbers,” and sat down.

I calmly rose, requested Tia to pass around the hardcopies I had been carrying, and stepped forward to take back our presentation.

In response to the Sunday Photo Fiction of June 11th 2017‘s photo prompt by A Mixed Bag 2012

Coulrophobia-phobia

There stands a man dressed in a thrift store ensemble wearing rainbow hair, a little short, a little overweight, with a bulbous nose and greasepaint smile, who slips and falls and gets slapped around by people and life and we call it humour.

Complacent in our self-appointed definitions of the ‘normal’, we fools call him a clown!

No, it is not the clown that I fear; it is the ignorance that labels him, that I fear.

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In response to Three Line Tales, week 71‘s photo prompt by Diana Feil.