Tag Archives: Friday Fictioneers

FRIDAY FICTIONEERS: ‘The Signature Room’

11 Nov

I used to be a Friday Fictioneers regular, but what was intended as a short break soon become a long one.  I thought I would try break the drought with a short story in response to the prompt for this week.  As per usual, the task is to write a complete narrative in 100 words exactly!

The Signature Room

My father saw it as a vanity project.

He refused the title Grandma gave it, labelling it The Signature Room.

I saw colour whirling in time with the whispering wind, and shapes jostling into position as they awaited the arrival of royalty.

I saw windows into unfamiliar worlds, and mirrors reflecting portraits of my reality.

I saw an autobiography, where words were replaced by images, and ink with paint.

After Grandma died I invited my father to sit with me, to see her story.

Three days later a sign appeared on the door: ‘Dora’s Gallery’.

His signature was scrawled beneath.

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Friday Fictioneers: ‘Mask’

12 Jun

As she does each week, Rochelle has issued the Friday Fictioneers community a challenge to write a 100 word story in response to a provided photo prompt.  This time, the prompt is a repeat.  I quite liked the story I wrote the first time, and think my second attempt is stilted and lacks the creativity of the first.  That said, I did enjoy the challenge of having to think about the prompt from a different perspective.

‘Mask’

She left me with her children.  Them and me.  For three hours.

We’d talked about this moment, but then it had been hypothetical.

Now, it was real.

What if they don’t like me?  They had to like me – HAD TO – I really like their mum.

I approach them, a nervous grin gracing my weather-worn face.

They stare, unsure.  Then, they consult.

Mia appoints herself spokeswoman: “We don’t like you. Go away.”

I do.

I grab the mask from the box at the top of the wardrobe and wrangle it over my face.

I return.

“Bruce?”

“Scuba Sam,” I reply.

Friday Fictioneers: ‘Separation’

2 Jun

I thought I would get in early this week.  As per usual, all 100 word stories are written in response to the visual stimulus provided on Rochelle’s blog.  My contribution for this week is below.

‘Separation’

After we purchased the land, I began designing our house: a kitchen to accommodate messy family breakfasts, a living room with a sofa on which we could snuggle.

Around this time, he began setting out plans for his shed, a man-cave in which he could escape the dramas of domesticity.

The marriage was rocky and, several years and children later, we treated each other with stony indifference.

Separation.

In the divorce he was granted the shed at the bottom of the garden.

He lives there now.  Alone.  Away from the drama.  Away from his children.  Missing out on their lives.

 

Friday Fictioneers: ‘Walking the Black Dog’

29 May

It is Friday Fictioneer time again!  As per usual, bloggers are tasked with creating a 100 word story in response to a photo prompt provided by Rochelle on her blog.  My contribution is below.

‘Walking the Black Dog’

Her dog liked to walk near the cliffs.

The sodden, shiny rocks beyond the fence excited him, and he greeted each with enthusiasm.  Enthusiasm that was contagious.  More often than not she followed him, beyond the barricade, her bare feet maintaining a tenuous grip on the slippery, sleeping hunks of stone.

These night-time walks became frequent and, under the cloak of darkness, her inhibitions were dulled.   When nudged by the dog, his muzzle on her shin, she

stepped

slipped

leapt

into the water and was swallowed by the waves.

They searched, but found only her black dog amongst the stones.

Friday Fictioneers: ‘Benched’

22 May

It is Friday Fictioneers time again!  As per usual, the task is to write a one hundred word story in response to a photo stimulus posted by Rochelle to her blog.

‘Benched’

The captains sized up the students, strategized and sought to secure success.

They called names quickly, like music building to a crescendo.  Choices predictable as a metronome.

Hugs, high fives, and humungous grins abounded.

Then, the pace slowed.  Options were reduced, but spots needed to be filled.  Names were tentatively articulated, quieter, less sure, as captains reached for the best of a bad bunch.

Three students left.  An uneven number.

An intense conversation.

Then, a name.  Mine.

A smile.  Mine.

Hope.  Mine.

A hand outstretched.  A welcome?

No. A redirection.

To the bench.

Once again.

Maybe next time?

Probably not.

 

Friday Fictioneers: ‘Out of this World’

17 May

It is Friday Fictioneers time!  Each week, bloggers are challenged to produce 100 word stories in response to a photo prompt posted by Rochelle.

‘Out of this World’

When citizens first saw the plans, the architects were labelled lunatics and the structure ridiculed as a spaceship.

Existing buildings were razed.  The site was levelled.

Concerns were raised.  Level heads prevailed.

The project took off.

Our imaginations followed suit.

We imagined foreign lifeforms – strong, ready to dominate – performing superhuman feats.

Seven years later, nations descended upon the structure.  Their members flexed muscles and squared shoulders.  They jumped to meteoric heights and ran as if pursued by rockets.

Adults soaked up the sport.

Kids sat mesmerised by their youthful imaginings playing out in the spaceship they’d watched being built.

FRIDAY FICTIONEERS: ‘Now’

24 Apr

It is Friday Fictioneers time!  Each week, bloggers are challenged to produce 100 word stories in response to a photo prompt.

For my return to Friday Fictioneers, I am trying something a little different – a poem, rather than a short story.

Before,

we lived

together.

 

Before,

tick tock

was a clock,

time passing.

 

Before,

flight

was a kite,

a childish game.

 

Before,

barbed wire was for fences

uniting the rails,

providing security,

safety.

 

Now,

barbed wire is for people,

flight is a drone,

tick tock is a bomb.

 

Now,

I rail against injustice

I plead for security.

 

Now,

I speak so that others know –

This is not a game.

Mine is not a childish tantrum.

 

Now,

our people are passing

through cities,

stripped

of belongings

of dignity,

seeking a safer future.

 

Now,

our people are passing

away.

 

Now,

we die

apart.

 

Friday Fictioneers: ‘The Daughter Flower’

10 Feb

It is Friday Fictioneer time again!  The challenge is to write a one hundred word story in response to a photo prompt.  Details, including the prompt, can be found on Rochelle’s blog.  The photo prompt this week clearly features a daffodil.  However, for the purposes of my narrative (see below), I have creatively re-imagined this daffodil as a sunflower.

The Daughter Flower

“Time to visit the family,” mum informs me.

We begin with Great-Gran.  Mum fusses, murmuring pleasantries that the old woman cannot hear.

Next is Great-Grandpa, Nana, and Pop.  Each receives a greeting.  She animatedly shares snippets of family scandals, leaving gaps in the conversation for the relatives to respond.

My sad smile stretches across silences.

Before leaving we visit David: her son, my brother.

It is my first time.

His grave is marked by a sunflower, now taller than him.

Beside the son-flower, sits a smaller, pinker specimen.  An unusual choice.

“A daughter flower,” whispers mum, answering my unasked question.

 

Friday Fictioneers: ‘Dust to Dust’

27 Jan

I thought I would get in early this week with my contribution to Friday Fictioneers.  The prompt, as usual, can be found on Rochelle’s website, and my story can be found below.

Dust to dust

In his teens, my father laboured to extract stone from the earth.  His shoulders browned beneath the unforgiving sun, sweat streamed down his spine, and dust swirled in his nostrils.

In his twenties, he shaped stone, birthing archways and entire buildings.

Barely middle-aged, he became sick; old and weak before his time.

A field of gravestones stretch before me.  These sculptural testaments to lives lived and lost rise proudly from the grass.  Each promises that memories will not fade.

“Earth to earth… dust to dust.”

Without his guidance, how will I be able to carve a stone that memorialises him?

Friday Fictioneers: ‘A sombre note’

25 Jan

I have been absent from Friday Fictioneers for a while now, but thought it was time to get back in the game!  As per usual, the prompt can be found on Rochelle’s blog, and my 100 word story can be found below.

A sombre note.

People who play the piano ‘tickle the ivories.’

Yet, when Grandpa’s fingers waltzed across the keys the music did not laugh.  Instead of a smile splitting a face, the sound was sorrowful, like a soul torn – in turmoil, trampled.

As he played, he spoke softly to himself of a chord, a note, impatience and second chances.

We admired his quiet determination to perfect the piece.

Only later, when Alzheimer’s collapsed and confused time did we learn of the confession that was buried – buried before the body of a girl, a noose around her neck, had been cut from the tree.