Category Archives: Fiction

Fiction

Oh My Precious Streets – Two Prompts For The Price Of One!

Today WordPress has given us two one-word prompts – Street and Precious. Precious street or street precious. The former makes more sense.

PS – Also entered in this week’s Discover Challenge – when I saw the prompt I though how appropriate this post was for that too.

As a family we relocated to South Africa in 1974 and until my folks found their feet some 5 years later, we lived in different places. My Dad had the same job for all of this time, so the reason we moved around a lot is that my folks rented all the time instead of buying a house. Come to think of it, it took a while before they could afford to buy their own home. They had 3 kids under the age of 10 to clothe, feed and educate.

Continue reading Oh My Precious Streets – Two Prompts For The Price Of One!

From Nothing to Nothing

It was dark, overhanging clouds heavy with rain cloaking the days in inky darkness, turning them into night. Thunder crashed overhead signaling a downpour that never came. It had not rained in ten years.

She alighted from the back of the taxi that had come all the way from the city. Her suitcases were unceremoniously dropped to the cobbled pavement. She paid the driver in notes which he gingerly held by their corners as though they were tainted, contagious, of what she did not know.

She pulled her scarlet cloak tighter around her shoulders hoping that the envelope of warmth it afforded her would extend to the people walking past, looking down, not daring to make eye contact with the beautiful and mysterious stranger.

Maybe they were afraid of greeting her, giving them something of themselves, lest she asked for more.

She knew what they were thinking, she could see it in their eyes.

“A woman on her own…”

“Look at the red cloak she is wearing.”

“She’s too beautiful to be a good woman.”

“She’s not like us.”

“I hope she doesn’t cause any trouble.”

And they hurried past, leaving her, standing on the cobbled pavement in front of the station that had not seen a train in ten years.

What they did not know was that she was not lost. She knew this village well, knew its people and the way they thought. That was why she had left, on the last train, ten years ago…leaving behind the insularity of the small village and the insularity of the villagers’ thinking.

Sitting on that last train ten years ago she had made a promise to herself to never return. She ran away, never once looking back, leaving behind…nothing.

Now she was back. She had broken the promise to herself. She was back…to nothing. She was still running away, backwards, towards this village of her birth where she still had nothing.

Nothing save for the scarlet cloak and the two suitcases still on the cobbled pavement where the taxi driver had unceremoniously dropped them.

A clap of thunder had her looking up at the inky heavens. Memories of the past crashed into her, jolting her body much like a flash of lightning jolts even the strongest tree. Trembling she  raised her hand to her wet cheeks wanting to wipe away tears only to find them dry.

In confusion she looked down and saw the drops of rain starting to wet the cobbled pavement, landing on her face, sliding down her scarlet cloak to form a scarlet pool at her feet.

WordPress weekly writing challenge: ForeshadowThis week, we want you to toy with your readers’ emotions and try your hand at foreshadow. Click here to read other bloggers' interpretation of this week's theme.

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Writing 101 Day 5: Someone’s Lost Their Ride – 100 Word Story

Writing 101, Day 5 assignment - Be Brief 
You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter. Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

“I wrote a letter to my love and on the way I lost it…” I distractedly sing the children’s rhyme, my eyes on the treacherous path. I see something…

White paper napkin, black scrawling writing, red lipstick smudges. Crumpled up. Carelessly lost. Or deliberately thrown? Placed in my path by pesky wind.

Picking it up, I read:

“8 o’clock. Be there. The ship sails. Never to return.”

Well someone’s lost their ride. I sigh, smell the rich perfume still on the paper. My fingers feel dampness. Of tears?

The church bell tolls nine times.

Tears come unbidden to my eyes.

Just don’t go there! Three trick questions to NEVER ask me!

Daily prompt: A Pulitzer-winning reporter is writing an in-depth piece – about you. What are the three questions you really hope she doesn’t ask you?

Best is to stay away from these questions:

  1. What's wrong? Nothing! Rather ask me "What's up?" or "What's on your mind?"
  2. Are you sure? Off course I'm sure, just trust what I just said ok?
  3. Why? Because... (and that's all you'll get). Rather ask me "What was your motivation for...?" or "What are you reasons for...?" or "How did you arrive at that?"

What questions do you NOT want to be asked at all?

Click here for more of WordPress bloggers’s trick questions posts.

The Purple 18-Wheeler – Part 2

She slowly came to, the disembodied voice still resonating in her mind somewhere “…purple 18-wheeler…armed and dangerous…do not approach…”

She grunted as she realised that she was lying on her stomach her left arm painfully caught under her, her twisted pose pushing her face into the dirt. The dirt smelt of sweet almond tart.

“Breathe…take deep breaths, you can still breathe,” she repeated over and over again lest she lose consciousness again.

After what seemed like hours, she painfully rolled over onto her back and blinked at the brightness of the the sun directly overhead.

“It’s midday,” she thought, “I’ve been out for hours, they must think I’ve defected.” She scrambled, panicked, to her feet, slipping and sliding in the dirt until she could stand groggily looking around her, “at least there’s nothing broken.”

Whatever she was in was taller than her. Looking up again at the top of the stalks she realised that she was in the middle of a cornfield. She listened for sounds.  None came. She was in the middle of nowhere, unsure if she was in some kind of limbo or Jungian dreamworld.

Slowly she started remembering the details. The chase, the purple 18-wheeler, the flash disk still secure in her pocket. Realising her friends at The Hide wouldn’t be looking for her she sat in the dirt again and put her head in her hands.

She knew the rules – out of contact for more than a day and you’re presumed defected, or taken, or dead. She was all alone now. With a flash disk in her pocket that could restore sanity to an insane world.

*******

She’d been running for hours and still hadn’t reached the end of the cornfield. She’d slipped and fallen many times, the knees of her jeans non-existent, the grazes stinging and stiff making it difficult to run faster.

It was still daylight but she couldn’t see the sun anymore. It would soon become dark and cold and the wolflings would come out, howling at the 2 red moons in the sky, perpetually full. She needed to find shelter for the night.

Questions played over and over in her mind. Where were they? Why hadn’t they followed her into the field? Where was her car? Why was she still alive?

Continuing on from the 1st part - the Purple 18-Wheeler, if you're liking this story...where would you like it to go? What questions should I be asking...and answering? Let me know and let's write Part 3 together. What fun it can be!