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?
I wake and stretch
and for a moment, all is well
Then I remember
and another cell in my heart
Another furrow marks my face
and I wish for the past
When my lover was well
and my child had a future.
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.
Photo Prompt © Danny Boweman
Even his hand had shrunk, wasted over the months.
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.
Photo Prompt © magaly guerrero
Lindy in Trouble
Every week the hard-working 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 the group and let your imagination feed us with your stories.
I can not let this opportunity pass by without poking fun at my current status. My leg disappeared down a drain and I wasn’t wearing heels this time. Previously, they have been a contributing factor in other injuries.
One minute she was at my side, the next she was sprawled on the cobbled pavement.
‘For heaven’s sake Mother!’
‘Get up.’ Passing people glared. They’d understand if she was their responsibility.
I was tempted to walk away, but then sighed as I extended my hand.
‘I told you. But no, you had to wear those bloody shoes.’
‘Sorry.’ Her eyes filled.
I lowered on to one knee and patted her shoulder. ‘Never mind. Let’s dust you off and inspect the damage.’
She did that thing with her mouth and I knew we were heading to another hospital. Again.
As I am glued to the settee with my injury, I decided to start a story thread for a little bit of fun and see what happens. I will write the first two lines.
You carry on the story by inserting a line in the comments section of this post. The next person should follow so that the story evolves in the comments. Nothing that your mother wouldn’t want to read please.
Update on 19th April 2017 Thanks for the comments. What fun! I realise that I did not tell you how long we are going to do this. I’m going to finish the story one week from today on the 26th April and will put everything together in a post titled We Wrote a Story.
Here We Go
No one willingly invited Melanie for supper. Her reply was always accompanied by a list of allergies and food intolerance so concocting a decent menu required considerable time and a vivid imagination.
I am delighted to announce that the lovely writer Rita Chapman interviewed me for her guest author spot. Rita originates from the UK and now lives in Australia and has a love of travel. She has written several romantic travel books in addition to a crime mystery and a horse lover tale. Click on the links below to see my interview and to find out more about Rita.