Against all odds : Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner

Against all Odds

Of all the places I thought I would end up on New Year’s Eve, this bowling alley is somewhere on my list, but not today and certainly not in this predicament.

I had planned another quiet evening. Just a quiet night in front of the small screen, with a glass of wine, or two, and some nibbles.

But you came for me.

Suddenly and noisily.

One moment I was sipping my Pinot Grigio and the next I was surrounded by you and your ‘employees’, masked, dressed in black and brandishing weapons.

You tied me up like a worthless parcel that you wanted rid of, and leant down to fix my gaze when you uttered my sentence.

“Useless shits like you shouldn’t lend money you’re incapable of paying back.”

Your kick with that heavy, steel capped boot, drove all the wind from my lungs and mixed it with the expelled liquid contents of my stomach.

So here I am all trussed and hidden behind the pins, one of which has been stuffed with explosives.

You’d love a strike.

I’d love you to miss completely.

I’m fatally afraid that the odds are not in my favour.

(194 including the introductory words)

Photo prompt : public-domain-images-free-stock-photos-alley-ball-bowl.jpg

Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Week #1- 2016. where the requirements are : Create a 200 word flash story using the photo prompt and the provided first sentence (which is optional). This challenge is organised by Roger Shipp. Thanks Roger!

The Garden After the Rain : Friday Fictioneers

The Garden after the Rain

There’s something extremely sensual about fondling clay. I love going into the garden after the rain and grabbing the sodden clay; moulding it between my fingers and making shapes as I drift into tactile, youthful memories.

The other day I watched this pottery competition on the TV and one of the contestants said that pottery is almost as good as sex ; I wouldn’t go that far though. It’s just good, dirty fun.

Delving deeper I yank out some sort of cable. Probably a remnant from when the house was built.

Then I see the severed finger attached to the end.

It’s another week and another piece of flash fiction for Friday Fictioneers, prompted by Rochelle and the interesting image provided by © Connie Gayer …(Mrs. Russell). Thanks to both of you!

This week my fiction clocks in at exactly 100 words but I had to work really hard to bring it down …

Edit : For cohesion I changed saw to see in the last sentence.

Living on edge : Mondays Finish the Story

This weeks Mondays Finish the Story challenge is the featured image (© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham) and the first sentence is “She lived a life that some would describe as being on edge.” Once again I’m happy to have the opportunity of adding my entry to all the great flash fiction entries that you can find by clicking on the link.

Living on edge

She lived a life that some would describe as being on edge. You could tell just by looking at her. She was continually tense, nervous and extremely irritable.

As she entered the room she seemed to bring life’s tensions with her. Bustling in with short rapid steps, making the shortest route to the sofa.

Paul cleared his throat to speak but she snapped angrily.

Reaching into his trouser pocket he grabbed his lucky nickels as if reaching for inspiration. They slipped noisily to the floor and hearing her yap once again he glanced towards the sofa and saw her trembling and panting noisily, tail tucked and hidden behind her.

He pushed the button under the ledge of his desk to signal he wasn’t to be disturbed.

Outside the office, a red light shone just beside the sign – Paul Gallant : Pet Behaviour Counsellor.

The Vulture and I : Mondays Finish the Story

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham
© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

The Vulture and I

I watched the vulture looking at me hungrily as I lay on the ground bleeding and injured. Holding my hand flat against my right side I pressed hard, trying, but not succeeding, in stopping the flow of sticky, red fluid. It was seeping unhindered through my shirt.

Looking back to the vulture, I attempted to shout, but no sound came out of my weary body. Head spinning, tongue glued to the roof of my mouth, jaws clenched with excruciating pain, I felt the inexorable encroaching darkness, and the inevitable extinction of my life’s spark.

A surge of sharp pain brought me back momentarily from the brink, and reaching into my left pocket I took out my revolver, aimed squarely between the vulture’s eyes and squeezed the trigger. I was already in the tunnel as the bullet hit, contemplating the irresistible, bright white light.

(126 words)

Another inspiring prompt from Barbara this week for the Mondays Finish the Story challenge. The first sentence is imposed and the story should be completed in less than 150 words.

Please spend some time looking at the other entries!

The Ticket : Friday Fictioneers

© Ron Pruitt
© Ron Pruitt

The Ticket

The bus driver blocks the tall stocky passenger from getting onto the bus.

“Don’t push, sir! Ticket please!”

The man halts and thrusts a ticket towards the driver.

“Pompous idiot!” he bellows. ”Waste of space!”

The driver scowls and takes the paper, examining it slowly, and methodically.

“Please take a different tone, sir I’m just doing my job.”

He hands the ticket back. “Take your seat,” while motioning the next passenger to come forward.

Whoosh! The door closes, the engine roars, and everyone gawps as the bus leaves the bus stop with the stocky man at the wheel.

Here is my response to this weeks Friday Fictioneers, a writing challenge organised each week by Rochelle (this is it’s third anniversary!)

The Photograph : Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

I’m in a rush as I’m off to a Steve Hackett gig in a few minutes so here is my Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers entry for this week. Can’t believe I missed last week. Maybe I’ll have to cut down on the number of challenges I do in a week but I don’t want to stop the fun!

© TJ Paris
© TJ Paris

The Photograph

“What do you think?” Charlie looked up from the photo and across to Alice.

“Show me it again,” Alice replied.

He slided the photo across the table.

“I don’t know hun, it’s a great photo, but you’ve done better”

“Yeah I know but …”

“Perhaps if you showed all the photo, we could see it in context.”

Charlie’s expression shifted to sadness. “You know why I cropped in to the butterfly.”

Alice’s eyes opened wide, and Charlie saw that she remembered.

“Oh darling I’m so sorry, so, so, sorry, I had completely forgotten.”

Charlie’s expression seemed to turn inwards.

The film of that day played in both their minds as Alice fixed Charlie’s gaze with warmth, tenderness and complicity.

She went across and took him in her arms.

He snuggled into the softness of her warm embrace, inhaling her sweet perfume. He felt his heartbeat slowing as the memories slipped back into the abyss of unwanted souvenirs.

Pushing lightly on Alice’s shoulders he gazed dreamily into her eyes.

“I’ll use another one.”

The Woods : Mondays Finish the Story

Not one but two stories today as it is also Mondays Finish the Story! The photo prompt is below and the story must start with “Not knowing what to expect, he made his way into the dark of the forest”

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham
© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

The woods

Not knowing what to expect, he made his way into the dark of the forest. He felt acutely misplaced and awkward. Woods were the substance of fairy tales or of Robin Hood and belonged firmly in the realm of stories or films.

The shoes in which he was so comfortable on the sidewalk or at the office felt so out of place far from the concrete and tarmac of the city. The soft and humid carpet of pine needles enveloped and caressed his feet and he was surprised at the sensation.

But he had no time for pleasure and certainly no time to reflect or compare. Only time to get where he needed to go and precious little of that.

When he got to the other side of the forest, the plane would be waiting for him on the runway and he would take off to begin his life anew.

Keeping on the path he half-walked, half-ran, as fast as he could.

Click on the prompt below to see the other entries and perhaps your own?

The Postcard : Mondays Finish the Story

© 2015 Barbara W. Beacham
© 2015 Barbara W. Beacham

The Postcard

Now this is living the life of Riley.

Olivia read the words on the freshly delivered postcard and turned it over to see a photo of a cat sprawled out and content.

She knew she had to act rapidly.

Rushing upstairs, she threw a few things into an overnight bag and was out of the house in less than five minutes.

Hurrying, she pulled up the collar of her coat, slipped the grey hood over her head and put on her sunglasses.

Glancing furtively on both sides of the street, she noticed the black unmarked van, and the woman opposite talking on her mobile. Without drawing unnecessary attention to herself, she turned her head to avoid detection by the CCTV cameras, and slipped into an alley.

The game of cat and mouse continued, but Olivia knew that they were just playing with her. Her capture was imminent.

I like flash fiction challenges and to have the first few words imposed and a photograph to inspire makes the challenge very stimulating. The is this weeks Mondays Finish the Story. The link below will take you to the other entries. Why not join us?

The Island : Mondays Finish the Story

It’s time once again for Mondays Finish the Story and this week Barbara has provided the image (below) and the first sentence “Few knew about the castle hidden inside the island.” My job is to write between 100 and 150 words to complete the story based on these two elements.
Here it is!


The Island

Few knew about the castle hidden inside the island. Josh had learnt from another inmate while he was last doing time.

“You’ll see, its perfect!”

“The only way to get onto the island is by private boat!”

It was exactly what Josh needed. Somewhere to hide while the storm blew over. No communications, no CCTV, isolated and perfectly secluded. The perfect hiding place.

He pulled harder on the oars to make the little rowing boat go faster and looked behind to make sure he wasn’t followed.

His arms were aching as he approached the shore of the tiny island. Looking up he could see the stone tower on top of the hill.

He hid the boat in some bushes, slung his bag over his shoulders and climbed towards the tower.

A uniformed soldier guarded the entrance.

“Ministry of Defence. What is your business?”

No-one had informed Josh that the castle is, in fact, a decommissioned army base. (149 words)