Friday Fictioneers – Martha’s Mind

Dale Rogerson

Photo courtesy – Dale Rogerson

Martha’s Mind

Word count:  100

 

Martha inhaled deeply, held it momentarily then exhaled slowly.

She repeated this twice before settling into practice.  It was a warm evening with low humidity so she took the opportunity to meditate on the back deck while the mosquitoes were preoccupied.

The sun warmed Martha’s face; eased her frown lines, and smoothed her crow’s feet.  The cushion beneath cupped her bottom with ease which promoted a relaxed attentiveness.

Bird evensong and faraway car sounds floated by for her consideration but she paid them no mind.

For thirty minutes, Martha simply was.  Nowhere to go.  No-one to be.  Nothing to do.

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Friday Fictioneers: Alan’s Apathy

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Photo courtesy:  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Alan’s Apathy

Word count:  100

 

Alan’s finger idled through the bar chimes.  He stared at the wall and wondered what he might have for dinner.

Two months ago, Rachel had pouted in the doorway:  “I want something Beatle-esque.”

Then, she’d eyed the room with distaste.

“And, I want this room back after we’re married.”

She had flounced off to continue preparations – buying the dress; choosing the bouquet; finding the location, and deciding who sat where.  His only job (except to show up) was to create the music for them to exit the church to.

Alan sighed.  The only song that provided inspiration was “Yesterday”.

Friday Fictioneers: Venetian Vixen

Fatima Faker Deria

Photo courtesy:  Fatima Fakier Deria

Venetian Vixen

Word count:  100

 

Sylvia cupped her chin in her hands and watched Louis.  Her elbows rested on the window sill while her bottom smooshed against the end kitchen cabinet.  It was a small kitchen in a small apartment.

Louis would visit this evening after he had finished unloading the barge, and his clothes would smell of fruit and vegetables.  She would help him remove his shirt then press her mouth to his warm, damp skin.  He would taste divine.

Across the street, Martha watched from her window.  She was not interested in her husband; only in the woman who had stolen his affection.

Friday Fictioneers: Over Easy

Jean L. Hays

Photo courtesy:  Jean L. Hays

 

Over Easy

Word count:  100

Damn bird.

Sherry said it was a quail, and cuz their hippie neighbor had ‘em, they should too.  She’d cried about the chickens in cages but hadn’t minded eating their eggs all her life.

Larry watched it ponce around the back garden.  Two months they’d had it, and still no eggs.  How did birds get eggs anyway?  Did they have sex with another bird?  And how come eggs didn’t have baby birds inside?

Larry didn’t know, and he was tired with Sherry looking for a life that didn’t belong to her.

So he left.

Didn’t bother with a note, neither.

Friday Fictioneers: Portkey Life

dadsshoes.jpg

Photo courtesy: Anonymous

 

Better Life

Word count:  100

 

“That’s odd.” Cordelia stopped, tugging Montague’s jacket as he walked ahead.

“What’s that, pippin?” He stepped backwards, eyeing the boots, and came to rest behind his wife’s shoulder.

Cordelia reached out. “Where did these come from?”

“Best not to touch dear.” Montague chided gently.  “Probably belong to that brute gardener next door.”

Walking on, Cordelia briefly imagined that distasteful man grimace brown-toothed spittle at the effort of strapping his boots together.

In another realm, the gardener (whose name was Simon) gawked at the abrupt change in surroundings;  a beautiful estate all his own.

“All I done was touch the boot.”

Friday Fictioneers: What Childish Notion

nyc-jill-wisoff

Photo courtesy – Jill Wisoff

 

What Childish Notion

Word Count:  100

 

“Momma?”

She held Nathan’s hand tightly through the swarm of other pedestrians.

“Uh-huh?”

“Why is there a monster over there?”

“What?  Where?”  She replied without looking.

Exasperated with human traffic, she jerked her son a little too hard.  Nathan wailed, and passersby bestowed judgmental glares.

Screw this city, and screw Daniel; damn worthless ex-husband with shitty timekeeping.

She pulled Nathan toward her and looked down upon his tearful eyes.

“Momma!  The monster!” He pointed behind.

“Nathan, the only monster here is the one you’re…”

Her words were cut short as the Empire State Building broke free from the ground.

 

 

A Strange Request at a Piano Bar

I took my daughter to Five Below this weekend.  If you are unfamiliar (as I was several years ago, and thought it was a store for all things winter) everything in the store is $5 or below.  It’s not like the old five & dime stores, and definitely geared toward teens and younger.

While there, we each purchased a book “Write The Story”.  On each blank page is a title and beneath the title are eight words that must be included in the story.  I thought this would be good practice for both of us because I procrastinate and am very much distracted by my phone, and my daughter likes to write stories.  We agreed to read our finished pieces to each other.

The first story is titled above.  The words to include were Carnival, Sprained, Mask, Oxidation, Awkward, Apple, Juvenile, Controversy, Twirl and Sassafras.  With limited space, it really calls on the old editing skills.

***************

Tommy was a drifter; orphaned in New Orleans, he’d float from state to state working odd jobs at the carnival.

Mrs. Oozabell eyed him. “How old are you?”

He lied.  “Twenty-one.”

She tutted.  “Please, you are just a juvenile.”  But she nodded toward the apple dunking tent anyway.  “You can manage that one.”

Tommy smiled.  “Thank you.”

“Fifteen bucks a day.”  She nodded.  Tommy had to mask his disappointment.  He’d been hoping for at least thirty but he’d take whatever was offered.

The apple dunking tent was opposite an aged carousel with horses that would tilt and twirl, and with few customers wanting to get their face wet for fruit, Tommy wasted time watching the passengers.  His attention perked up when he saw a pretty, dark-haired girl.  She was the prettiest girl he’d seen all day and she was accompanied by two friends. He noticed the slender curve of her arm as she reached for the railing, and was in a daydream when she took an awkward fall stepping aboard.

Her friends laughed but Tommy was by her side immediately.

“I think I’ve sprained my ankle.” she cried.

The carousel manager lumbered over.  “Looks like oxidation on the metal wore the step away.  Guess it was only a matter of time.”

The girl hobbled to first aid and out of Tommy’s life.  He looked at the empty apple dunking tent and decided it was time to move on.  Mrs. Oozabell handed him his earnings.

“You have a good heart.  Find another life, yes?”

Tommy walked the streets until he heard piano music from a bar.  He loved the piano; had taught himself to play in the orphanage, so he walked in and ordered a sassafras sidecar.  The bartender queried Tommy’s age with a flick of his eye and poured the drink anyway.

The place was empty except for a few tables and the pianist, and when the guy was finished, Tommy approached.

“Hey, I don’t mean to step on any toes, or cause controversy, but how do I get a gig here?”

The pianist raised an eyebrow.

“What….you think you’re some kind of big shot?  I’m the piano man around here.”