Killing me softly

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr

“Tom! I thought I told you to do your homework? Give me those. Now!”

Tom moaned, handing Theresa his headphones together with his smartphone. Ignoring him, she returned to the kitchen. She was rushing to prepare dinner with minced meat that wasn’t fully defrosted yet.

She must have touched the screen by mistake because it started to play a song. The familiar lilts and mournful notes made her breath catch in her throat. Yet it was all wrong. The artist didn’t know how to capture the emotion in the song.

She would know. She wrote it. Ten years ago.

99 words

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As soon as I saw the image I heard the song in my head. I sang Killing me softly at my school concert too – the Roberta Flack version. Embarassingly, I’d been singing it since before the Fugees version thanks to my mom’s karoake videos, which I hoarded. So of course, I had to write this story.

UPDATE 23 May 2020: When I wrote the story I had no idea of the true origins of the song. A youtube recommendation today revealed to me that Lori Lieberman wrote a poem about the way she felt at a Don McLean concert. The poem became lyrics to the song Killing Me Softly made popular by Roberta Flack. Lieberman was cheated out of the royalties. In my story, Theresa is taken aback hearing a song she wrote years ago being sung by someone else. In my imagination, she too was cheated out of the rights of the song that was close to her heart. Knowing Lieberman’s true story (and it being goosebumping-ly close to my flash fiction) I really wanted to credit her as the original artist and lyricist of the enduring song.

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words or less. Click the frog to submit your flash fiction and read others’ stories too.

June 14, 1941

PHOTO PROMPT © C.E.Ayr

All those summer nights

closing spun-out days of waiting tables

blistered feet, merry hearts and

cheery faces in creamy cafes and yellow-lit clubs.

Hope was never a fragile thing.

Together, we would make it through.

Starlight in the skies

turned to fires burning high

over our heads, we were lost in flames.

The sirens screamed long into the night.

Our stricken hearts would never give up this fight.

When the daylight came to clear the smoke away,

the words on our lips met the tears on our cheeks:

Paris has fallen. Paris has fallen.

94 words

******

(Update: As Neil pointed out, try reading it backwards. It kinda almost works 😉 )

This is a story of how life never goes as planned. Take 2020 for example.

That’s how the poem began and it developed into the Nazi-German siege of Paris on June 14, 1940. I took some creative liberty in my poem.

After four years of Nazi occupation, Paris was liberated on August 25, 1944.

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Armed fighters take part in the liberation of Paris. Who might these young people have been before the war changed everything? (Keystone/Getty Images) Sourced from Washington Post

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words or less, click the frog to submit your flash fiction and read what others have written. Enjoy!

bigfred

The flying diner

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

 

“It’s quaint.” purred Chyna, surveying the retro-styled diner.

“It’s overrated. Who cares how ancients lived 800 years ago on Earth?” said Tronick.

Elvis wrinkled his nose, intending an academic assault. “Who cares?! The 1950s is only the preliminary decade of scientific advances that bridged us into the space age. And, may I add, the reason why you and I can live on Mars today.”

“They’re the reason? You’re seriously going to overlook the black quartz technology of the 2300s?”

“Shut up you two blockheads!” Chyna scolded. “Here comes our chocolate milkshakes. Wonder how it tastes?”

94 words

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words or less. Click the frog to submit your flash fiction and read others’.

bigfred

*****

Who would have thought we’d be living through a pandemic? Never in a million years did I ever imagine I’d experience it. Fast forward to 2020 and here we are. I hope you are all staying safe and if you are in quarantine or self-isolation, make the most of it if you can.

The vegetable seller on First Avenue

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Every day people came to his stall, picked out their vegetables and went on their way. From their purchases, he could surmise dozens of dinner table spreads. Beef stew, tomato bredie, potato bake. Why else would one person buy a bag of potatoes two days in a row?

Local culinary tastes weren’t the only thing he noted. Gossip proved juicier than any of his wares. His trained ear weeded out keywords. Names were particularly valuable. He never tired of figuring out daily habits, work routes or any decipherable pattern that might prove insightful later on in the investigation.

98 words

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The challenge is to write a story in 100 words or less. Click the blue frog to submit your flash fiction and read others’.

bigfred

When two become one

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Everything was blurry. Bushra blinked the tears away. Placing her right hand over her chest she felt the beating inside her breast. Slow and steady. Just like he was.

A year ago she was given a new lease on life. Never did she imagine it would be without him.

A weak heart, the doctors’ had explained to her mother when she was born. She wasn’t supposed to live past her teen years.

The road was wet, explained the policeman. Lost control of his motorbike.

Now, he would never know that he saved her life. Thank you my love, she whispered.

100 words

 

*******

(I really hope this story makes sense. And that it isn’t too vague.)

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words or less. Click the frog to submit your flash fiction and read others’.

bigfred

Happy Valentines Day!

I hope you love with all of your heart, without conditions.

Stairway to heaven

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

Oh shoot! The escalator to heaven is broken again. Assistant angel, Nuri, had been accompanying the new recruits to their destination in heaven. He looked at the motley crew of fresh souls, pity squeezing his heart. Bless these poor buggers. At least they died instantly.

Suddenly, the escalator started up again. This time in reverse heading straight down towards Hades chambers! He didn’t fancy dropping in on Hades and Lucifer right this minute. Not with all the war down on earth. They wouldn’t appreciate being interrupted whilst busy deceiving souls.

Desperately, he pressed the red button for the Archangel.

99 words

******

Had a little fun with the divine realm and the supernatural here. The image immediately conjured up images of angels, saints, and stairways to heaven.

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. A weekly flash fiction prompt where the challenge is to write a story in 100 words or less.

Click the frog to submit your flash fiction and read what others have written too.

bigfred

Snow globe

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Nolly, the gnome, reclined on the bench. Life was good. For one thing you get all the dazzling, fluffy beauty of snow. Without the cold. Nolly shivered at a memory of frostbite on his large nose. He allowed his eyes to wander along the treetops to the clay-tiled rooftops where the perimeters began.

Perimeters of dome proportions that he couldn’t ever cross. Still, better than a November garden.

Beyond the perimeter, approached a dark shadow. Nolly gripped the bench tightly knowing the quaking would end soon enough. And all the tiny snowflakes would tumble gently over him in glorious splendour.

100 words

My first post for the decade! Nolly is a miniature garden gnome, of fairy-sized proportions, who has been up-cycled as a decorative feature in a snow globe.

Perhaps you will spare a thought for the inhabitants of your entrancing ornament the next time you shake it. 😉

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, where the challenge is to write a story in 100 words or less. Click the frog to submit your own flash fiction and read what other’s have written.

bigfred

The pickpocket of Cebu

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier

I arrived in Cebu island, nursing depression and a gin-and-tonic. Through the airplane window, the island was ablaze with city lights.

On the first day, I met Imelda as I struggled to navigate my way through the city’s transport network of Jeepneys.

Imelda. Beautiful and young. She survived by pickpocketing.

We spent many days exploring the island together. Soon the days stretched into warm passionate nights.

One day, I awoke to find her gone. I had been expecting it really. Just, my heart ached at the emptiness when I realised she stole not only my wallet but my heart, too.

100 words

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So happy to have my photo for this week’s prompt! I took this photo as I wandered Cebu City in the Phillipines at night. Jeepneys are commonly used as cheap transport. These vehicles are converted to seat passengers along the walls of the van instead of in rows. And you simply jump on or off at the back. Hitching a ride in one is a must if you are a tourist.

Hope you enjoyed this story!

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words or less. Click the frog to submit your flash fiction and read others’.

bigfred

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Vagabond dreams

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Clive dusted his hands. “All done for today. Your entire life in one small unit.”

“A unit with the dimensions of a grave.” Asiya quipped. She forced a smile.

“You know, I have a spare mattress at home, if you ever…”

“Oh! that’s okay. I’m staying with a friend.”

He rubbed the back of his neck, said goodbye and left. She didn’t think he believed her.

She made sure he was gone. Then she unlocked the door to the storage unit, walked through it and locked it behind her.

She hid behind her piano and settled in for the night.

100 words

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words or less. Submit your flash fiction to the gods by clicking on the blue frog.

bigfred

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Hitting the nail on the head

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

“I can’t believe you bought this. Are you trying to sink us?”

There was a time when she used to love everything I did.

“It’s seen better days.” Things have not been the same between us since…. “I’m trying to move us forward.”

She sighed.

“Okay, I get it. Roller shutter doors are not conventional coffee shop decor. But that’s what will be so great about it. Think industrial. Like an upmarket New York loft. Nothing a coat of paint won’t fix.

“Some things can’t just be covered up and forgotten about, Elliot. Some things can’t be fixed. ”

98 words

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words or less. Click the blue frog to submit your flash fiction, and read others’.

bigfred