Participants write a piece of 100 word fiction, prose or poetry based on a photo prompt and exchange comments on each other’s work. If you are a writer of short fiction, join in and let your imagination feed others with your stories.
Years ago, they visited this place. It must have been their first date. Or, maybe their second.
Bill’s hand tight on hers, he led her along the path, brushing past the roses, as he searched for privacy: somewhere to explore her body. She teased with promise and he fell under her spell.
He found the perfect flower for her, and she kissed his cheek and then, his lips, but a thorn found her finger. Her temper flared.
That incident foreshadowed the course of their marriage, moments of bliss but always tainted.
Until he snapped.
Beneath the rose bush, she lies where thorns don’t reach.
For months, I have complained about lack of time and blamed my failure to complete my second novel on that and on personal circumstances.
Since the Lockdown, I have had time, but the onset of a virus (maybe THE VIRUS) succeeded in giving a justifiable reason for not writing. Serious coughing caused me to hit keys that transformed my carefully crafted words to farcical nonsense. 4 weeks have passed and I can no longer blame illness and so, I am ready to return to my second novel. The great thing about the break is that I have had distance from my book and its weaknesses are clear and can be addressed.
My teacher in the Dream Author Coaching Programme, Sophie Hannah, asks us to set our dream goal for the future and smaller goals to get there. My small goal is to write a short piece of fiction or non-fiction most days so I produce 5 pieces of work each week in addition to moving my second novel forward.
During recent weeks, I have become addicted to the news and flick between channels on the television or scroll through apps on my devices, looking for something good to absorb. It’s a fool’s quest in this new age of the virus which challenges our human race. I have always believed in survival of the fittest, but here I am bordering on the criteria for elderly with a husband already past that summit. When did I become one of the weaker of our species?
Pre-outbreak, I would wake most mornings and steel myself for the spin, aerobics or other intense physical class I had planned, priding myself that I can keep up the pace when alongside those half my age. My sense of fun is not absent and my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter thinks I am one of her favourite playmates. My looks have faded but I do not see an old woman in the mirror. My doctor says my medical file is almost non-existent.
And yet, I saw a video which showed the removal of ventilators from those over 65 to allow younger victims a chance.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do think it is right that we try to protect the young so I do not object if that is what is necessary.
It has made me contemplate my life and my achievements, the greatest of which is the beautiful family I have created. All of the success at work and play pales into insignificance and I miss being able to hug my loved ones. It is for their own good and mine, and as we are reminded frequently, for the greater good of our NHS but if I had known those last hugs had to last this long I would have never let them go.
This is a short story I am working on. It is not finished but please feel free to comment.
In the middle of the ocean, the stars shine bright and the blue water takes on shades of purple, red and black. The hull slaps on the slopes of watery hills formed by the waves. At 38, Alice is the youngest of three crew, and the least experienced, nonetheless she takes responsibility for the yacht on her shifts of the rota. Each night, when the sun disappears behind the horizon, she stills the quivers in her stomach before reminding herself of the alternative. Her colleagues will be at their desks making relentless phone calls in the hope of hooking a deal. Survival and safety are her targets now.
Orion’s belt glows above and she uses it as the base from which to practise her knowledge, working to all sides and reciting the names of the constellations and planets in a whisper; she does not want to disturb the others. Fred is stretched out in the main cabin, on call he says but unlikely to wake unless thunder shakes the ship. Now that the night is set, the peace calms her fears, the wind strokes her face and its air fills her lungs.
It has been 10 days since they last encountered another ship – a tanker crept up behind, nearly running them over before gliding by to fade into the mist – and they were too far from land for wildlife. A seagull had hitched a lift but fled on day 3 and the dolphins had played for a few days but she had not seen a pod this week.
A sail flaps and Alice leaps to tighten the sheet. The wind is changing. She shivers and reaches for her fleece as she scans the skies. The stars have vanished. Should she wake Fred? Shorten the sail? Close the hatches? Or should she observe a little longer?
Sometimes, I feel that I am climbing the Great Wall of China with no end in sight. If you have tried this, you will know that it is steep and treacherous and the only people who scale it easily are the locals. When I visited in 2014, even the ancient Chinese women overtook me (younger by decades) on the way up, and my descent was a glamour-free, undignified trip on my rear-end. There was no way that I was trusting myself not to tumble.
Life has been a series of ups and downs during the latter part of 2017 and first month of 2018. The number of items on my to-do list increases and family events outside of my control act as barriers to completing tasks. There hasn’t been a lot of time for writing and I feel embarrassed when asked ‘how’s the next book coming along?’
‘It’s progressing,’ I answer without adding ‘in my head and dreams.’
I haven’t even joined the Friday Fictioneers for our weekly challenge recently, although I have done some flash fiction pieces on my own.
My New Year’s resolution is finally set – more writing, less procrastination. The trouble is that I have already procrastinated – it’s February!
The amazing Rochelle at http://www.rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com organises photo prompts and links for the Friday Fictioneers. Authors write a piece of 100 word fiction, prose or poetry based on a photo prompt and exchange comments on each other’s work. If you are a writer of short fiction, join our group and let your imagination feed us with your stories.
Hi fellow writers. I’m back! After weeks of chaos, I finally have time to return to my writing. Sorry if this is too sad for you but this story would not stay silent in my head. Hopefully, my sense of humour will return with the next one.
Once upon a time, his fingers wrapped around mine, protecting me so that I thought no one could hurt me. What did I know? Poison was taking him from me; rogue cells which searched until they found harbour in his organs.
Fight poison with poison, they told us. We hoped for a while and then, that optimism also wasted away.
The mountain has been too steep and soon, my darling will be a memory and I will be left floundering in a wasteland, tumbling like a weed through the lonely years.