Common Ground

photo-20170619154627204

A cramped space this. I need to stretch, feel the earth under my feet. A little less talk and a little more quiet.

Thriving in closed spaces, you’ve mastered the art of contorting yourself, being stashed away.

The air is mine own. My mind lifts off- a sailboat in flight, the air my water, the water grounding me and the earth a vast expanse of ocean I float on.

You and I see the same road.

You are intent; and I never really look.

When did I begin to speak a different language?

Your eyes unseeing, uncomprehending, a thousand miles away.

Your every word, every drawn breath, every expelled curse- so easy to understand, mired in the world.

I surged ahead, wanting nothing.

And yet, here we are.

You lead, your eyes on the road.

I follow. My eyes also on the road.

The darkness is complete till dawn breaks.

The sky bursts. Clouds scud across the palette. Tints shifting settling into a golden hue.

Let us stop here and confront each other in enforced silence.

After breakfast at this lovely place, things will seem a little less intense, our bellies warm with pancakes, omelettes, buttered toast and hot coffee.

[200 words]

Priceless Joy Thank you for hosting this challenge. I’ve missed your challenges, missed writing and it feels great to be back and alive once again. Footy and Foodie, thank you for the photograph.

photo-20170619154626950

 

Celluloid Eyrie

203 06 June 18th 2017

Murthy’s shadow loomed on the white sheet that stretched pole to pole at the little ‘hall’ with tin sheets for a roof.

A little better than an oven when the weather was pleasant and a lot worse than a sieve on rainy days, its only claim to grandeur was a statue of a rather pompous looking bird that had seen better days.

A fire caused an uneasy calm.

It was painstakingly restored when the demand for movies became greater especially when times changed from bad to worse.

The booming from the inside, invited the passers-by in once again. Anything to escape the direct scorching heat of the midday sun. Anything to escape.

It was like an oven inside, though fans whirred sleepily when the power was there. Power cuts saw the generator operate just the projector, improving the air immensely with Kerosene fumes.

Months morphed into years. Murthy’s routine never faltered.

A sloshed brother made a half-hearted attempt to follow the enigmatic Murthy one evening and passed out effortlessly.

Nobody knew what he looked like, where he came from and where he went.

Nobody cared.

Only the haughty eagle knew, but wouldn’t say a word.

Splat!

Damn! A passing crow.

[200 words]

Thank you Al, for hosting Sunday Photo Fiction

spf

 

L’amour toujours

photo-20170327143644962

Madame Sophie collected the finest things in life first. Waterford crystal. Flora Danica. And then she set her sights on people, for people were attracted to things, mais oui!

She was known for her exquisite soirees. The lustrous rope of pearls felt cool against her fevered skin. She took her place by the piano, accompanied by her dear doting husband.

Alas! La Belle Madame could not sustain the high note. She would reach it but didn’t have the confidence or the passion to stay there. She would break off…Such a pity. Oh, Mon Dieu!

She never gave up though.

Madame began trilling. She scaled higher and higher.

‘Wait for it, here it comes!’

‘Now.’

As if on cue, little Gregory, Madame Sophie’s youngest, held up the bowl of Waterford crystal and put it on his head.

Madame was well into her range when she espied little Gregory and her precious bowl. The notes escaped her glorious throat, soaring higher and higher, as she let herself go completely.

Resounding applause brought her back.

A beaming Monsieur slipped an extra pastry to Gregory.

You see, Monsieur had decided that Madame had had enough disappointment.

[193 words]

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers is a weekly challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. Thank you PJ, for the awesome opportunity! Thank you Louise with The Storyteller’s Abode for the photograph!

 

 

Maisie’s Muse

05-jules-paige-26-march-2017

Sunday morning. Finally. A glorious day. A getaway. All week in the cramped flat. Hardly any action. It was once a week, but enough for a girl.

He was always there before dawn to grab a hunk of bread and a chunk of cheese. His steaming mug of coffee slid across the counter and he caught it in time, before it became poetry in motion, scalding her if she wasn’t careful. Helping her to scramble into the little boat, he tossed the ropes aside and set sail, bobbing all day. They left before the others and he returned with her, spent, sunburnt and sweaty, just the way she liked him.

Gosh! He smelt so good!

Maisie felt the breeze ruffle her to distraction and turned, smiling into the wind. Her perfect profile, gorgeous brown eyes, oh, a man could drown in those limpid pools of honey. She had eyes only for him, and looked at him like no woman ever looked at a man.

The quay was deserted at this time. She could be herself, with an extra spring in her step and a joyous whimper, she found herself in his arms again.

It was only he.

And she.

Woof!

[200 words]

Sunday Photo Fiction is hosted by Al Forbes. Thank you Al, I enjoy this challenge immensely! Thank you, Jules Paige, for the photograph. I love it!

spf

A Game of Hornes

cow

Presenting-“The Cowntess Moasty-Toasty of the House Cocoamuff, First of Her Name, the Unburnt Toast Almost, Queen of all Ambling Bovines and the First Moos, Cowleesi of the Great Grassland Stretch, Breaker of Great Wind and prospective mother of Prize Heifers…”

A secret tryst in the barn, induced by unlimited Cocoa and muffins, Pat-a-cake being the predominant theme, Moasty-Toasty was christened after her gleaming brown coat reminded the others the toast was almost burnt before her first Moo.

The First of Her Name, and probably the Last. It won’t catch on, really now, would it?

The Queen of all Ambling Bovines, for Moasty Toasty has been known to emulate her mother, the Cowager, who was known errr, for  mooching. The Cowager has long since been forgotten, the public having such short moomory.

Thus, the addition First Moos.

Cowleesi,  note the eyes, the tuft of hair, the distinct resemblance. The sun never sets on the Prairies, Pampas,  Veld,  Rangelands, Steppes, and Savannah, Great Grassland stretches all.

The ABC diet, rich in asparagus, beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage contribute to the penultimate title.

Throw in handsome Angus, and you’ll have little Bullah, and Cownnie gamboling in no time at all.

Charmed.

[200 words] Sorry, went overboard!  😀

Thank you majesticgoldenrose for the photograph. A million thanks, PJ, for hosting Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge! I had loads of fun with this!  ❤

 

Vantage Position

airport

It’s all about waiting.

So that’s where I come in.

A need to break the monotony.  And a quick bite.

They come to me; the aspiring, the ambitious, the smart and the successful. For, invariably, there is a delay and their best laid plans are thwarted.

I take their orders and execute them in silent efficiency.

Newspapers are whipped out. Screens light up and they are lost to the world.

From the corner of my eye, I make note. The regulars. The daily travelers. The once-a-weekers. More than that, I can’t be bothered.

The married, on clandestine escapades, betrayed by hands rendered bare, base of fingers decorated by rings of pale skin, in place of metal twisted off, in furtive haste.

The eyes give them away first.

Nothing much escapes me.

I pick up a card and read the name.

I’ve always kept my eyes and ears open and my mouth shut.

Wait and watch, I’ve been told, and things will come to you.

Jackpot!

[165 Words]

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers is a challenge hosted by PJ. Thank you!

Thank you Dawn Miller for the photo prompt.

Elegant Exit

al_forbes

Empty velvet lined boxes

Stand proudly on shelves

Their rightful occupants

Being awaited for

In vain

 

A lesser life this

Than believed

Far from prying eyes

Too hard to bear

Exquisite pain

 

Behind lush foliage

A mansion stood

Anticipating

A fresh coat of paint

In vain

 

The vintage car

Last to go

Larger than life

No discreet way really

Inevitable shame

The pursuit of dignity

In vain

 

Deeds signed

The ink barely dry

Time to call it a day

Finally

Time to leave town

Might as well leave in style

Head held high

A fitting end to a lifestyle

Vain.

 

[100 words]

Thank you, Al Forbes, for the photograph.

Thank you, Rochelle, for hosting the Friday Fictioneers’ Challenge. Shalom!

To read more entries please click here.

 

Dingy Digs

hotel

Ye olde County Hotel,

Vestigial pride of the city.

No need for reservations.

Who comes here anymore?

 

Dark corridors, damp walls and mouldy furniture.

The door creaks open. A dingy little room.

A lumpy mattress.

 

A television set in the corner blinks to life.

The sound of traffic from the street.

Persistent.

 

A mini refrigerator rattles with a couple of sodas.

A packet of crisps, a carton of cookies and salted peanuts.

The electric kettle hisses steam.

The teabag rests in the mug waiting to become an infusion, exploding into clouds of golden light.

The steady hum of the air conditioner is comforting.

 

The evening palls the horizon.

Everywhere lights are switched on.

Pockets of illumination.

 

I lie on my back, my shoes kicked off.

My head hits the pillow.

I close my eyes.

 

Like Pippa,

on her one single holiday of the year,

I make the most of my shoestring budget.

 

I’m on vacation too.

 

No cocktails, racy fiction, harmless flirtation by the beach; moonlight, starlight, sunrise or sunset; frangipani, marigold and magnolias; canapes, lobster swimming in butter, eclairs; satin sheets, fluffy towels, scented soap.

 

Hello, room service…

I’ll have a cheeseburger.

 

Who are you to judge?

Now scoot!

 

[200 words]

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. To read more entries click here.

 

 

 

Unbearable

teddy-bears

Is it Sunday already?

Time for laundry.

First the whites.

Colours next.

Four cycles.

One. Two. Three. Four.

Four. Four. Four. Four.

North-South-East-West.

Morning- Afternoon- Evening- Night.

Spring- Summer- Autumn- Winter.

Balance.

Perfection.

Four is the best of all even numbers.

Two is OK too.

But four is satisfying.

Sorting through the clothes I try to make four piles.

There aren’t enough.

Hmmm.

I walk around the house.

Sheets I changed just yesterday.

Cushion covers  I can’t throw in, they have to be hand washed.

Curtains?

No. Not on Sunday.

Curtains are slotted for Wednesday, the middle of the week, for curtains separate tranquility from the bedlam out there.

This room has not been used for years now.

I spot the bears sitting there.

One. Two. Three.

Just so.

I am not happy with three.

I did try.

Everything does not work the way I want it to.

These bears need a spin in the machine.

Now how do I do this?

The big ones go together.

Where do I put the little one?

The little one is always the problem.

Another one would’ve…

Four.

The set would have been perfect.

It’s my fault.

Four would have held everything together.

[200 words]

Sunday Photo Fiction

Karmic Gears

crook3

 

my life

a certain cycle

karma

a sequence

i haven’t set into motion

already spinning

it pinned me down

gathering

speed and strength

with every thought

word

and action

maybe even silence

and inaction

 

i have one life

this i know

keep

the machinery oiled

iron out

the creases and folds

while i still can

before i become one

with the elements

 

this life

already

a forgone conclusion

 

atonement

for my sins

are visited on

the flesh of my flesh

the blood of my blood

the wheel in my wheel

 

and that cycle

mine own

to stop

this spinning wheel

 

[100 words]

Thank you Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers! Shalom!

Thank you, Sandra Crook , for the photo prompt.