The curious case of the cinnamon sticks

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

 

Nancy loved pottering about with Mum. Today they were planting flowers. Or they would once Mum found her garden tools.

“It’s as if they crawl off on their own.” she muttered to herself digging through piles of junk in their garden shed.

“Maybe the gnomes came to borrow them.” mused Nancy.

Mum mumbled something about gnomes and arses.

Cinnamon sticks poked out off one shelf, catching Nancy’s eye.

“See! The gnomes replace what they borrow with cinnamon sticks.”

“Flip! so this is where I stuffed these bloody cinnamon sticks. Maybe I should check the spice cupboard for my garden tools.”

100 words

My very first instinct was to write some grisly murder / thriller. Images of leaves, dried twigs and wintry scenes has this effect on me. I pushed myself to find something different, stretch my creative muscles a bit. Get the rusty cogwheels turning. There’s a bundle of twigs on the makeshift shelving that look like cinnamon sticks. (Left on image). And I went with that!

Hope you enjoy the break from my dark side. Anyone who is a busy parent juggling work (housework or career or both), fitness habits, hobbies, child-rearing will know that feeling of confusion upon discovering misplaced items. And I doubt that Mum will find her tools in the spice cupboard. That would be too easy.

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Like Father, Like Son

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

 

“You’re just like your father”, remarked Robert lazily.

Marcus raised an eyebrow, “He’s your father too.” Then picked up the whiskey canister, “And no I am not.”

“I have the good fortune of having fallen very far from the tree.”

“Oh shut up!”

“See that’s just what Father says to me.”

“For the last time, I am not going on some reckless, un-planned, crazy-as-shit adventure of yours to the Galapagos islands!”

“Comfort zones. Careless mediocrity. Whiskey… like father, like son.”

Marcus held the whiskey canister above his glass. Cautiously sat it back on the table. “When do we leave?”

99 words

 Something about the house and the setting sun made me think of family and adventures. And I so much wanted to experiment with humour and dialogue today. Hope you enjoy this!

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

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Sunday lunch

 

She leaned back in the chair, the cold wrought iron pressing into her back. Through her grief a smile rose to her mouth. Countless Sunday lunches, warm garlic breads and ice cold lemonades. She could almost hear the chatter, the laughter ringing around the table. Young and old.

A hand touched her shoulder, she didn’t have to look to know it was her brother, Barry.

“C’mon sis, I’ll make you some tea. Let’s go inside.”

She stood up and took one last look at the chair where Dad always sat. Sunday lunch would not be the same without him.

99 words

Hooray! My picture was chosen for this week’s flash fiction, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Thank you, group leader, Rochelle!!!!I took this picture while on holiday, and the lodge I was staying at had a sombre air about it. Later I heard from hotel the hotel staff that the father of the family-run business had just passed away. So naturally their story came to mind.

I apologise for not commenting  much on last week’s flash fiction. Life has thrown me major life changes which has given me the most confusing mix of incredible joy and sadness at the same time. I promise to double my efforts this week and read as many of this week’s posts as I can.

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by the most talented artist and writer, Rochelle Wiesoff-Fields. The challenge is to write a story in 100 words or less. Click the blue frog icon to read more awesome flash fiction by more great writers. Make coffee, sit back and enjoy 30 second stories.

 

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Unholy racket

PHOTO PROMPT © Björn Rudberg

 

This was his place. A sanctum of peace, serenity and love like no other. On top of a mountain overlooking the fields. Cloudless days allowed the horizon to kiss the earth. Today, the clouds rolled at his feet below the mountain peak. Glowing pink and yellow. He extended one foot to dip into it when a loud banging noise stopped him.

His eyes flew open. Noddy, his labrador jumped excitedly towards him and licked his face. Behind him tottered his toddler, squealing and snatching at the dog’s wagging tail.

He sighed. Five minutes of meditation would have to do.

99 words

Hope you enjoyed this attempt at flash fiction humour. Those with small children and hyperactive pets suffering from separation anxiety may relate to this somewhat.

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

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Meet me in the land of dreams

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

We sat in the gardens of an ancient ruins, side by side. Laughing with the ghost of my mother. She looked young like me, but felt older.  Behind us the shrubbery crawled over an abandoned castle, most of it gone. What stood was crumbling.  Above us thick green canopies shaded us.

“When will we meet again?” I asked her, taking note how black her hair was, without the strands of grey that sprouted when she was still with us.

She offered me only a knowing smile as her answer.

Of course. I wasn’t permitted to the knowledge of the unseen.

100 words

My mother passed away two years ago. Yet I never feel as if she is gone. I still feel her overbearing, sometimes annoying, presence with me. (This was really how our relationship was! No angelic talk here 🙂 )

And when I dream of her, it feels as if I’m really seeing her, and in the dream I’m aware she has passed on.

There have been many dreams of her. The year she died, she came into one of my dreams on the eve of my birthday and I hugged her in delight, knowing she was not with us.

The above story is part of one of the dreams I had of her, where there was an abandoned castle behind us.

Proudly written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by our leading writer, Rochelle Wiesoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words or less! Click the frog icon to read more flash fiction by other awesome writers.

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Innocence on snow

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

 

“What’s your favourite animal?” Clifford blew into his gloved hands and rubbed them together. He glanced at his step-daughter who skipped and hopped beside him. Each time her boots kicked up snow, she giggled. And something warm kindled inside him. He hoped she was warm enough.

“That’s easy. Unicorns.” She answered without skipping a beat.

“Unicorns? Izzy, they’re not real.” He bit his lip.

She stopped and bent to draw in the snow. “How do you know?”

“Well, I’ve never seen one.”

“Doesn’t mean they’re not there.” A snowball hit him square in the face and Izzy skipped away, laughing.

100 words

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by talented author and artist, Rochelle. Write a story in 100 words or less. Click the blue frog to read more flash fiction from other writers.

 

Thanks to Dale Rogerson for providing this week’s image prompt. Cosy and warm, despite the obvious cold weather. Personally, I hope Izzy always believes in the magic of unicorns.

 

The Aftermath

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

“I feel sad.” said Afshan.

Aabid knew, but encouraged his daughter to talk, “Oh, why do you feel sad?”
He flung a piece of rubble the size of a football to the side. His arms trembled. The bombs struck in darkness. That was two weeks and three burials ago. Memories of his wife and two children clutched at his heart.

“Everything is gone. Ruined.” Such big words for a little girl, he thought sadly.

“Yes.” Grief threatened him as he was violently confronted by the ruins of his former life. “All we can do is look ahead. Start over.”

99 words

Written for Friday Fictioneers where the challenge is to write a story in 100 words or less. Hosted by leading flash fictioneer, Rochelle.

Thanks to Sandra Cook for providing this week’s photo prompt.

Things can change so quickly in life. Enjoy the present moment, and surrender to whatever it holds for you. A good attitude goes a long way. I tried to depict this in this week’s flash fiction, with Aabid surrendering to his loss and still looking ahead to whatever Life brings his way. I struggled with the title on this one.. The Aftermath was the best that came to mind…

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The creeping tenacity of memories

PHOTO PROMPT © Björn Rudberg

 

The boxes were filling up with old clothes, DVDs, CDs, books and even an old guitar. This was part of our plan to declutter. Detox. Create order out of chaos. Part of our marriage counselling ‘homework’. Create a space for love and togetherness to grow.

“Wait, not that one. Roy.” I took from his hands a green beenie, fingered the aged wool fondly.

“You haven’t used it in years, Katie. Chuck it!”

Ignoring him I placed it on the bed away from the boxes. Little did Roy know that it belonged to my late husband.

Screw cancer, I thought bitterly.

100 words

Glossary:

Just in case it is not widely known, “Beenie” is the term we use around here for woollen hats.

Thanks to Bjorn for the vivid photo for this week’s Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. The challenge is to write a story in 100 words or less. This has really helped me to grow as a writer making each word work for its place on the page (or screen.) I suggest you try it. And it is fun to get to know the other writers through their flash fiction.

Click here to read what other’s have written for this prompt and see the wide variety of perspectives a single image can inspire.

 

I have just celebrated one year on wordpress and I’m pleased that I got to spend all of it with you lot! It has been entertaining, fun and educational. Here’s to another year.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!

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Abduction or adventure?

PHOTO PROMPT © What’s His Name

Abdul stared at the smartphone. Cold fear gripped his heart. It seemed Karima left an audio diary on her phone. The police wouldn’t help him if they heard this.

He pressed play again, “Frankfurt. That’s where I’ll go. Simply pointed to a place on the map, blindfolded. That’s how much I don’t care anymore. Life is dreary here. My soul longs for adventure.”

His sister’s voice pulled at his heart through the mounting fear. He had to find her. Human trafficking was on the rise. Girls disappeared every week.

Karima was always reckless, but she’d never leave without saying goodbye.

100 words

Had a busy few weeks at work handling crisis after crisis, and kept me away from writing and Friday Fictioneers. But I’ve clawed my way back and I’m glad to be here this week!

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. The challenge is to write a full stroy in 100 words or less.

Read more flash ficion here.

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Country road (take me home)

PHOTO PROMPT © Danny Bowman

“Why can’t I go to my old school?” I sobbed.

“Because we live here now, Mitch, and your old school is hundreds of miles away.” Dad replied.

Dad promised that I would love the new city, the new house and my new school. I didn’t trust the promises adults made. I used to believe everything they said. You’re my little boy, Mitch. I’ll always be right here with you. That’s what mom used to tell me. Then she left and I never saw her again.

Dad calls her a nasty cyst. Whatever that is. I just miss her.

98 words

**nasty cyst = narcissist (Of course, Mitch doesn’t know what a narcissist is and hears something different 🙂 )

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle, where the challenge is to write a complete story in 100 words or less.

I had trouble accessing the link last week (don’t know why) and so if you haven’t yet read my FF post from last week, you may read it here: Ransom.

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