A new adventure awaits me today

I’m so excited to be taking my writing to the next level. Later today (it’s just past midnight) I will be starting the 31 day My 500 words: A Writing Challenge.

I’ve been writing for over a year now on a regular basis with 4 or 5 Flash Fiction challenges a week. I’ve been here long enough to see a few of those challenges stop or falter and rather than seek new weekly challenges I’ve decided to challenge myself to regularly writing a minimum of 500 words each day.

My 500 words: A Writing Challenge seems admirably suited and I’m really motivated to completing it.

I’ll be regularly updating my progress and have just noticed that, conveniently, today is also the first of August.

It also happens to be Swiss National Day! Happy Swiss National Day to all my compatriots.

swiss-flag

(Swiss flag from PAM’S WORLD IN WORDS)

The Appointment : Sunday Photo Fiction

166-07-july-31st-2016

The Appointment

Henry knocked and entered.

His eyes adjusted slowly to the dim red lighting of the hallway and he noticed a garment suspended from a hook. In the gloom he mistook it for a dress, but on touching it, he realised, with bewilderment, that it was chainmail.

Remembering his instructions, he undressed and folded his clothes neatly on a chair.

His muscles tensed with surprise as he seized the hauberk from it’s hanger.

This is not going to be easy, he thought.

He laid it flat on the floor with a thud and it chinked noisily as he manoeuvred it into place.

Kneeling, he grabbed the hem of the garment and pulled it slowly over his head, swearing as it snagged his hair.

The contact of cold metal on his skin made him shiver, and balancing carefully from one leg to the other, he stood hesitantly, minimising further contact with his naked, vulnerable body.

A strong commanding voice pierced the door of an adjoining room.

“Are you going to take all day, I’m losing patience.”

“No Madame, I’m ready,” he stammered.

“Clench my gift in your teeth and crawl in here.”

He obeyed.

Here is my entry to today’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge. The prompt is © A Mixed Bag, 2012.

Narrow : Daily Post Photo Challenge

Narrow

As usual, the weekly Daily Post Photo Challenge, provides a refreshing and stimulating photo challenge and this weeks theme is narrow.

I’ve captioned the photos.

The Fish Pond : Friday Fictioneers

This weeks Friday Fictioneers prompt is © Janet Webb. Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and this particular prompt is a rerun from 3 years back. Thanks Rochelle!

I wasn’t writing then, so this entry is as fresh as I could make it.

photo-88

The Fish Pond

James, Bob and Steve left the pub well sozzled.

They stopped by the local store for more beers and, passing by the local Supermarket, Steve noticed three untethered trollies.

“Let’s load’em and race home.”

They divided their supplies and lined up in the middle of the road.

Suddenly, James made a bolt for the end of the street and the two others followed, laughing and swearing.

Then, inexplicably, James ran straight into the local pond with Bob And Steve following.

At the inquest it was explained how it was possible to drown in such shallow water.

Steve and Bob wept.

Word Count (100)

Precious Cargo

This is a companion piece to complement last weeks Friday Fictioneers challenge The Chase. Although it should stand on it’s own merits, the two stories, taken together, are part of the same ‘incident’ and provide a bigger picture of what was happening. I’ve reused the same prompt so thanks once again to  © Jan Wayne Fields.

Precious Cargo

The big white yacht glided effortlessly through the waves as it approached the harbour.

In his cabin, Señor Miguel Castellano paced uneasily, running a damp handkerchief over his fevered brow. A large brown packet marked ‘Urgent Medical Supplies’ had slid from under the bed and he carefully kicked it back under.

Suddenly the boat lurched, and, off balance, he was thrown to the floor. He caught his breath, grappled the covers of his undersized bed and pulled himself up until he was sitting awkwardly, still buffeted by the sudden movements.

He reached to the top of the bed and pressed the red button on the intercom.

He needed to find out what was happening.

He waited but nobody answered.

What the hell, he fumed, he’d better go up to the deck and see for himself. Perhaps the sea air would counteract the overwhelming desire to empty his stomach.

Steadying himself on the hand rails, he groped his way to the deck.

The yacht was thrown by the sea in every direction, and the crew were far too busy to pay any attention to their mysterious passenger.

Advancing slowly, and gripping tightly with one hand, he advanced hesitantly towards the captain who was pointing at something. He held fast with both hands and followed the captains gaze.

Another boat was following them and seemed to be gaining slowly.

The captain turned and shouted but his words were consumed by the wind.

There was a flash of light and the stifled sounds of an explosion followed by billows of white smoke.

The distance between the two vessels increased.

The captain gave the order to slow the boat and they pursued a more leisurely course towards the harbour.

“That was close,” he said, “it’s unusual for the coastguards to have engine problems.”

He frowned and hissed, “Please go back to your cabin Señor Castellano. No-one should see you as we approach the landing stage.”

“Make sure there are no further problems then Captain. Remember, you’ll only get the other half of your fees if my precious cargo and I disembark safely.”

The captain nodded curtly.

Only he knew what awaited them in port.

You can read the companion story (The Chasehere.

Child : OWPC

This weeks One Word Photo Challenge is Child

There are just a few photos that I’m genuinely pleased with and this is one of them.

This is my daughter, the wonderful Jennifer, just a few years old. She is of course (and is always) very beautiful. This was taken with a Nikon FM camera onto slide film and scanned to tiff as soon as technology allowed.

I know I usually enter several photos each week to OWPC but I wanted this one to stand alone. For fun I treated it to various ‘versions’ in Lightroom. I think that the sepia rendering works particularly well.

Veggies : FFfAW

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers is a weekly challenge set by Priceless Joy. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). This weeks prompt is © The Storyteller’s Abode.

Veggies

Stan was a wealthy man.

He drove to work in his Porsche on sunny days and was chauffeur driven on rainy days in one of his Bentley’s.

When he reached his secluded plot of land, he would change into his scruffy gardeners gear and get straight to work, planting vegetables in long lines. He made sure that there was always something growing, whatever the season.

He worked alone and his produce got good prices. He left the commercial side to his employees.

You might wonder how he became so affluent.

Others did.

When asked he would always say, “I have overseas investments.”

His mobile rang.

“Stan?”

“Yep.”

“I’d like to rent a plot.”

“OK. How many bodies?”

“Just the one. It’s a …”

“I don’t need to know. You have the offshore details?”

“Sure.”

“Go ahead.”

Stan switched to his online banking app and smiled.

“OK. Text me the pickup coordinates.”

He pocketed the phone.

He surveyed around him. There was room for quite a few more silent partners.

Stan was a very wealthy man.

Hiding place : Sunday Photo Fiction

Hiding Place

I didn’t slam the door on my way out. I stuffed salt and vinegar crisps and a choc bar into my jacket pockets as discretely as possible, and wrapped a warm wooly scarf around my neck.

I needed to get away without detection. When I turned the corner of the street I stopped and took a gulp of air.

I needed a better hiding place. I was improving with practice. The last time I managed until the sun had set, but my tummy sent me looking for something and they’d found me outside the corner shop.

This time I had food and most of my pocket money. I intended to save it all, but the need for sweets …

I was headed for those strange caves with windows in the hills. Someone had said they were remnants from wartime. Maybe they had beds?

I was a caped crusader, dodging in and out of the streetlight’s shadows unaware of the danger.

They caught me in a pincer movement.

Dad blocked the way and Mum scooped me up from behind.

Mum cried, “Danny, I was so worried …”

Dad just scowled.

I guess I was grounded again.

Thanks to © A Mixed Bag, 2010 for the photo prompt.

Here are the ‘rules’

The idea of Sunday Photo Fiction is to create a story / poem or something using around about 200 words with the photo as a guide. It doesn’t have to be centre stage in the story, I have seen some where the placement is so subtle, the writer states where it is.