Friday Fictioneers – Bernhard

Bernhard

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PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast

Bernhard received his first commission shortly after participating in a regional TV reality sculpture show.

His winning sculpture was lauded by the Jury amongst the usual tears and scripted interviews of his proud family.

After some photos in the newspapers and a brief mention on prime time TV, Bernhard settled back into to his daytime job at the supermarket.

Depicting a massive timepiece, the commissioned sculpture, which stands proudly in the park, has undergone changes.

The wind broke the hands, rain has accelerated the oxidation and clambering visitors have buckled its form.

Bernhard is satisfied.

He named his sculpture Impermanence.


It’s nice to participate once again in this wonderful weekly Flash Fiction Challenge that is Friday Fictioneers.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Spaceman

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© A Mixed Bag 2012

It was Halloween.

The doorbell rang.

Andy wasn’t expecting anyone.

He turned up the volume on the TV.

The doorbell rang again.

‘Fuck me it’s not the moment!’ he shouted, but paused the TV and went to the door.

He’d give whoever it was a piece of his mind.

He yanked the door open, almost unhinging it.

There was a Spaceman on his doorstep.

‘What the …’ he started to protest, but the spaceman brought a heavy glove to Andy’s chin, knocking him back into the hallway.

The Spaceman then took one of the many tubes hanging from his spacesuit, coiled it around Andy’s neck and deftly strangled the life out of him before unzipping his spacesuit.

A wooshing sound filled the hallway and a lithe dark haired woman stepped out dressed in a white blouse and denim jeggings.

She bundled Andy into the spacesuit, then hoisted him onto the couch before resuming the programme on the TV.

She waited until the coast was clear before letting herself out.

The Spaceman Murderer had struck again.

Sunday Photo Fiction is a wonderful weekly Flash Fiction challenge.

FFfAW – The Paddock

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The Paddock

He was small, but knew that if he got onto the tips of his toes he could probably lift the latch, open the rusty gate and walk away, but here in the enclosure, he felt safe and protected from the outside world.

He couldn’t remember how long he’d been here, but he’d counted 1034 steps to go all the way around. He’d eaten the candy bars as slowly as he could and only taken small sips from the bottle, but the crumpled wrappers and empty bottle beside the drinking trough were a reminder that he needed to make a decision soon.

Perhaps just one more round to check that the fence was secure.

Then, with the setting sun, he spied the man in the long black coat coming back.

He knew what to expect.

After, he would get more candy and if he was lucky, some coke.

He took the blindfold out of his pocket and held it out, arms stretched and trembling, for the man to snatch from him. (170)

Today marks my return to writing after a pause, due initially to my trip to Myanmar but then prolonged after the passing away of my Mum a few weeks ago. She is constantly in my thoughts and I’ve been busy preparing her funeral which will be held next week.

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers is an excellent weekly challenge.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Secret Code

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Secret Code

Johnny’s a Hotel Manager, and every day I pass in front of his hotel.

We have our own secret code.

We take the week of the year as a base and add a letter of the alphabet.

As he knows what time I pass, he arranges to flash on and off some lights in the rooms facing the street.

The guests just think it’s a test.

Last week he spelt out ‘adore’ with 26+1, 26+4 etc from Monday to Friday.

I’m excited to discover this morning’s letter, but as I pass, I see three sets of lights, 26+19, 26+15, 26+19.

My heart skips a beat.

I call him, as I double back at the next roundabout.

It goes to voicemail.

As I get nearer, I see armed policemen falling out of unmarked vans, and the entrance cordoned off.

I abandon my car in the middle of the road and run to the nearest policeman.

“What’s happening?”

“They’ve taken hostages Madam.”

I bend in two and eject my breakfast.


The idea of Sunday Photo Fiction is to write a story with the photo as a prompt in around 200 words. The photo doesn’t have to be centre stage.

What Pegman Saw – Russian Romance

Russian Romance

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Anzhelika or Olga would have felt more appropriate. Her name was Cynthia.

We met on the plane from Frankfurt and she’d promised to show me Moscow.

From the hotel window, I could see it was another wet, winters day.

The front desk rang.

“Professor Blythe, a car is waiting in front.”

Downstairs the doorman shielded me from the rain and ushered me into the limousine. During the 15 minute ride to the Romanov Sinema, a short walk from Red Square, I sank into the plush leather heated seats and daydreamed of Cynthia.

On arriving, I was led to the front row. Cynthia was already seated.

We were alone. Soft music. Dim lights. High expectations.

“Taste the house speciality Don, Lemoncello Popcorn,” she said with a winning smile.

Two burly men wearing dark raincoats and single earpieces appeared from a side door.

One of them barked, “Please come with us, Professor.”

This week I strayed a few minutes from Red Square for my What Pegman Saw challenge.

Red Square, Moscow.

FFftPP – Jack and Jill

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Jack and Jill

Jack was a darling baby. We knew it was just muscle spasms, but he smiled at us minutes after leaving the womb. We were prepared for sleepless nights and endless tantrums but he remained calm and cheerful, even when he was sick or frustrated. We would fight to read him his bedside story and as he progressed from nursery rhymes to children’s fiction we would often stay with him until he dropped off to sleep.

Jack met Jill a few years before leaving school. We watched, amused, as his body transformed itself while his voice broke. They spent long hours in his room, supposedly studying, and we exchanged knowing glances as we heard them laughing and giggling.

Jill had long blond hair, sparkling blue eyes and dimples every time she smiled.

They made the perfect pair.

She was almost unrecognisable when we saw her in the morgue after the accident, and the hit and run driver was never apprehended.

Now Jack punishes his body with tattoos and spends hours scowling in front of the mirror. We are often woken in the middle of the night by his screams.

Jack is an angry man.


This is my second week back to Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. It’s nice to be back.

Friday Fictioneers : Corridor

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PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Corridor

The cell was intended for two but there were never less than five.

Behind the heavy locked doors, they had television, the only distraction from the stench of frightened unwashed bodies.

The stronger ate and slept whilst the others made use of newfound skills to get by as best they could, forced to live with their nightmares, night after troubled night.

Outside, the corridors were painted bright canary yellow and the floor, although a little worn, was polished and without blemish.

Tasteful artwork adorned the walls.

Yes, the authorities were proud to show visitors their model prison.


Friday Fictioneers is a weekly Flash Fiction challenge proposed by the lovely and talented author Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week’s photo prompt was provided by © Dale Rogerson. Thanks Dale.

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – The Tree

The Tree

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The ceiling fan cut sounds through the air in the shade of the bedroom, curtains drawn.

Whop whop whop whop …’

 Sally sipped Mum’s homemade lemonade from one hand and texted with the other.

Whir Whop Scrirr Whop …’

‘U comin by later Brad’

‘Yeah, I’ll shimmy up around eleven once your folks have crashed.’

‘Sweet :)’

‘See u later babes.’

‘Sure <3’

Hum Whir Hum Whir ….’

A growling, brattling roar from outside, interrupted the soft sounds from above.

She drew back the curtains and stepped onto the balcony just it time to see their magnificent pine topple, and fall in slow motion to the side of the garage.

Below, Sam, her obnoxious brother, raised his fist slowly into the air and then savouring the gesture, gradually unfurled his middle finger until it was erect and menacing.

He turned to his mates and they guffawed loudly.

Sally swooshed the curtains closed and threw herself back onto the bed.

Now she regretted talking to her parents about those spicy, pungent odours escaping from Sam’s room late at night.

This week’s photo prompt is © Shivangi Singh. You can see the rules for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers by clicking on the link.

Sunday Photo Fiction – The Chalice

The Chalice

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I’m uneasy with skulls. Although I trained as a nurse, neurosurgery was never my thing.

Give me a pus filled wound or invite me to an operating theatre to see open heart surgery any day of the week

The sight of blood doesn’t worry me at all.

Even human excrement is ok as long as the room is properly aired.

I looked to the mantlepiece and winced

It was time to draw a line and make a stand, so I turned to Simon.

I scraped up some courage and attempted to be polite and reasonable.

“Skulls are creepy and repulsive,” I said.

“Your chalice, with it’s macabre spinal stem, aggresses me beyond words and I refuse to share my mantelpiece with it any longer.”

“What’s this obsession with magic and the occult?  Please keep your Aleister Crowley books in your room and take this chalice as well. I don’t want to see them again.”

Simon grabbed the chalice from the mantelpiece and slouched back to his room.

I poured myself a stiff vodka and heard the usual chanting.

I sighed.

I suppose he’s going to go gothic next.

Sometimes it’s hard bringing up a teenage kid on your own.

This is my entry to this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction.