Monday 27 October 2014

Watched, a Story Prompt Monday story

I got so lost in a book today I almost forgot it is Monday and therefore time for my next very short story. (In case you’re curious, the book I read is 'The Soldier' by Kate Aaron and my review can be found here). But, better late than never, here’s this week’s installment. The picture was chosen by Dermot and I hope you’ll like what I came up with even if the story is a bit creepier than my usual fare.

I stared at them from a safe distance as I’d been doing for the past three weeks. Every weekday they could be found here in the park. Always at the same time. Always on the same bench. I knew their routine, could set my watch to it. They’d arrive shortly after four and stay until quarter to six. The weather didn’t matter. I’d seen them there in the pouring rain, huddled together under a big umbrella.

I knew why they met here. They weren’t supposed to be together. She wasn’t allowed to date until after her exams and even then her parents would never approve of him. Him. I hated him. He’d no right to sit next to her, have his arm around her shoulder. He wasn’t good enough for the kisses she gave him.

But it was almost over. I’d suffered for three long weeks but would put an end to it tonight. If I couldn’t have her, nobody could. Tonight, over dinner, I’d expose her secret to our parents. I had the photos to prove it after all.

Monday 20 October 2014

Same Idea, Different Name

Two weeks ago I decided to try my hand at flash fiction and enjoyed it so much I did it again a week later. The comments to both posts stated the readers' wish for more of the story. And, if I’m perfectly honest, both flashes kicked off longer stories in my own head too.

When a friend suggested the picture below for this week’s post I was intrigued. And as soon as I’d finished the piece I knew I would one day want to expand on the 200 words I’d written.

I’ve therefore decided to rename this weekly event. What was called ‘Flash Fiction Monday’ for two weeks will henceforth be known as ‘Story Prompt Monday’. Whether or not I’ll ever get to write any of these longer stories is anybody’s guess, but, for the moment at least, that is the plan.

Faerie Door

I stared at the door. I knew I’d never seen it before. I had no idea where it had come from or where it might take me if I entered.

The sounds behind me were getting louder. It wouldn’t be much longer before they caught up with me. I still couldn’t believe my fate. I’d known I might be cast out if they ever discovered my true nature; the death penalty had taken me by surprise. My people hadn’t killed anyone in a generation at least.

A soft melody mingled with the shouts closing in on me. It lured me forward, closer to the door. There were no words to the song and yet I could hear the invitation. Still I hesitated, wondering if a known and painful death was really worse than the unknown waiting for me on the other side. The melody and the underlying words were pulling at me and I took a step forward. With every step the words I couldn’t hear became clearer, until it was an invitation I didn’t want to resist. I reached for the handle and pressed, answering the call.

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild

Those last two lines were taken from William Butler Yeats’ poem, Stolen Child. Here’s a link to The Waterboys’ song of the same title, which incorporates the poem. It’s beautiful and can be heard here: 

Monday 13 October 2014

Flash Fiction Monday: Hands

Last week I decided to try my hand at flash fiction for the first time. I enjoyed the experience so much, I’ve decided to make it a regular feature. 

Welcome to Flash Fiction Monday.

Today’s picture was provided by Dermot Kennedy. As always, I would love to hear what you think.

I passed him every day on my way to work. He stood on the corner of two busy streets, clearly visible, yet unobtrusive.  He never asked for anything. In fact, two months after first noticing him, I still had no idea what his voice might sound like. His clothes were old and didn’t always fit him correctly but they were clean, as were his hair and what was visible of his body.

It wouldn’t be hard to mistake him for a statue. He didn’t move at all, just stood there with his hands held out, turned up in a silent plea for help.  It was a request I couldn’t ignore. At first I just gave him whatever change I happened to have on me. Before long I made a point of having coins in my pockets, using notes in shops just to add to their number.

Every day he broke my heart. His loneliness was tangible.  Today will be different. I’ve got money for him, coins and notes, but I’ll give him more. I’m going to let him know he’s not as alone as he thinks with just a simple touch.

Monday 6 October 2014

Flash Fiction Experiment

A little while ago I joined a Flash Fiction group on Facebook. Not that I'd ever written flash fiction or had even given it serious thought, but it seemed like something I might want to try my hand at in the future. To be honest I sort of forgot about the group almost as soon as I'd clicked on 'join'

Yesterday evening the group posted the picture for October. As soon as I saw it, I knew this image would be the one to inspire me enough to lose my 'flash fiction virginity'.

Below is the picture as well as the words it inspired. I hope you'll like it, but either way,let me know what you think.

The Hug

I was melting inside my ridiculous costume, counting the seconds until I’d be able to take it off again when I saw him. He sat on his own at the back of the large tent we were in. His head and back were bowed and he stared at the ground just in front of his feet.
I forgot about the heat and discomfort. His sadness and pain seeped from him and towards me in slow cresting waves.  I walked away from the screaming kids who’d been hanging off and climbing all over me all afternoon and walked towards the saddest man I’d ever seen.

I’m still not sure what made me do it but I sat down on his left leg and leaned into him. I would have talked but that wasn’t easy from inside the costume. I think he glanced at me for a second before he wrapped his arms around me, clasping the fake fur entrapping me.
He didn’t make a sound as tears fell from his eyes to our legs and I stayed until the last drop had fallen.

I’ll get out of this costume now and I will find him. He needs me.