Sinking ship

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

 

The painting caught her eye on her first day of work at the museum. Art always spoke to some part of her, but this was different.  The sinking ship was vivid and disturbingly familiar, although it was hundreds of years old.

That sense of familiarity stayed with her long after she left work at closing time. Following her into her dreams,  where people beside her leapt off the sides of the sinking ship into icy waters. A little boy cried as she tried to soothe him in a language she shouldn’t have known, while icy fear turned her skin pale.

100 words

I’m not a believer in past lives or reincarnation. They make for interesting stories though, don’t they?

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The challenge is to write a story in 100 words or less.

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Stories that changed me: The Star by Arthur C. Clarke (1955)

When I made my quiet return to my passion of writing, I began with a course in creative writing, and short story writing. Part of this course was to read and read and read. And read some more.

During this course I discovered the grandfathers of science fiction, Jules Verne and HG Wells. And then I stumbled upon The Star by Arthur C. Clarke.

“The joys of life are often in those moments of stumbling when expectation is at its lowest so that the impact of the discovery is at its greatest.”

(Yes, feel free to quote me on that.)

This story written in the 1950s about space exploration towards a star that – oh, wait. I’ll let this description from Kings Alumni Community tell it for me.

“The Star” is the story of a group of space explorers from Earth returning from an expedition to a remote star system, where they discovered the remnants of an advanced civilization destroyed when their sun went supernova. Their chief astrophysicist, a Jesuit priest, is suffering from a deep crisis of faith, triggered by some undisclosed event during the journey. This story appeared in the magazine Infinity Science Fiction in 1955 and won the Hugo award in 1956. It later appeared in Arthur C Clarke’s book of short stories, The Other Side of the Sky.

Something about ‘crisis of faith‘ and ‘advanced civilisation destroyed‘ and ‘supernova‘ pulled me in. Tickling my own questions on religion and humanity. On universal love and connection beyond human contemplation let alone understanding. And also, what was a Jesuit priest doing leading a space expedition?!

This marked the beginning of a hidden love for sic-fi and fantasy that I wasn’t even aware of. The way it was able to explore humanity and question deeply between right and wrong, even redefining ideas completely, appealed to my inner philosopher.

And by the end of this short trip to space, I was forever changed.

Perception altered.

Mind blown.

New dimensions opening.

Ending with a question, it triggered many of my own questions.

You can read Arthur C. Clarke’s short story The Star, here.

It is three thousand light-years to the Vatican. Once, I believed that space could have no power over faith, just as I believed the heavens declared the glory of God’s handiwork. Now I have seen that handiwork, and my faith is sorely troubled. I stare at the crucifix that hangs on the cabin wall above the Mark VI Computer, and for the first time in my life I wonder if it is no more than an empty symbol.click to read on

 

 

Fairytales and Happy Endings

PHOTO PROMPT © Jilly Funell

 

In the old days, we had magic mirrors, crystal balls and reflection pools. Today we have Facebook. Fairy God Mother was eager to see what her princesses were up to.

An image popped up of a yellow-haired beauty, locks trailing the floors of a refurbished circular room. Guten Tag! Renovations completed! Hashtag new life begins.

FGM smiled, then grimaced at the next image.

Another blonde pouted, in that awful duck face. Date night with my prince! In the comments a brunette posted, Enjoy the honeymoon phase while it lasts, Cindy. Once a beast always a beast.

Oh Belle, sighed FGM.

100 words

I hope you enjoyed my modern take on fairytale princesses. I quite enjoyed writing this too.

Thought I would add this much needed update: The abbreviated form of Fairy God Mother to FGM was definitely intended for humour. However I did not have enough words to add a tidy quip that it didn’t have any references to genital mutilation of any kind.

And the three princesses are in sequential order: Rapunzel, Cinderella and Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

Is anyone here participating in NaNoWriMo? I plan on doing it this year. Properly this time. 😉

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The challenge is to write a story in 100 words or less. Go!

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The stonemason’s daughter

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Scuffling at the entrance caught little Paul’s attention. Through the wide church entrance he saw the priest, and some church elders, arguing with her.

She caught his eye then, watery blue. Then she looked at her adversaries and turned around, down the steps away from the church. The elders watching after her, ensuring her retreat.

“It is a shame.” muttered Mama. “Her father built this very church. And now she cannot enter.”

“Why?”

“She believes in things the elders do not.”

“People say she is a witch.”

“Shush!”

Paul remembered her eyes. “I think she’s more of a fairy.”

99 words

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The challenge should you wish to accept it, is to write a story in 100 words or less.

Thanks to group leader Rochelle for this week’s intriguing image that led me to thoughts of cathedrals, witches, outcasts and fairies.

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Clueless

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

 

“I can’t believe you just ate it, Sheldon!” Betty sighed on the other end of the phone line.

“What else does one do with cupcakes?”

“Never mind. Did you at least look at the clue?”

“Clue?”

“On the icing. I drew it on with icing.”

“Betty, you can’t even draw with a pencil. Look, it was on my table on top of my notes, I thought you left me a sweet birthday surprise.”

“It was a surprise. A treasure hunt surprise.”

“By the way it was a tad too sweet.”

“You are literally clueless.”

“Wha – hello? Betty, you there? Hello?”

100 words

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Sandra for this week’s prompt.

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I’ve joined in a bit late this week. But better late than never.

I’m in the middle of a glorious drug withdrawal. Prescription drugs. All legal – but no less debilitating than if I was a recovering heroin junkie. On the bright side, it means autoimmune disease is under control with less medication.

Back on the dark side, it means my sarcasm is at dangerously high levels.