FF Challenge June 16th – Siren Song

Welcome to the Friday Fictioneers Challenge of writing a story 100 words, or less, based on the photo prompt. Thanks once again to the wonderful Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this challenge. Curious, click her name to get all the rules, join our group, post your own story.

This weeks photo was provided by Dale Rogerson. Remember all photo’s are the property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers. They should not be used for any other purpose without express permission.

Now look closely and you will see me doing my happy dance. After a few weeks of being over the word count, this weeks story is a sleek 99 words.

FF June 16 2017
PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Wisssh-ahhh, wisssh-ahhh.

The waves are a siren song luring us to the beach.

We strolled hand in hand, the ocean licking her long-tanned legs, the moonlight turning her blond hair into a halo. A simple touch and my skin was on fire.

Wisssh-ahhh, wisssh-ahhh.

The waves erased our footprints. We were fleeting. She would break my heart. I stroked her delicate neck. She would be gone without a trace.

Wisssh-ahhh, wisssh-ahhh.

“Henry, Henry!” After 45 years, the shrill voice was painfully familiar. I struggled to hold onto my nymph.

 “Henry, wake up you’re going to burn to a crisp.”

Thanks for reading. Click HERE to fall down the rabbit hole and read more stories.

Cindy

Scrivener’s Forge 6 – Character and Action

Once again I would like to thank Neil MacDonald for hosting this writing exercise. Please follow CLICK HERE link for all the details. I find his exercises that focus on a specific aspect in writing extremely challenging and hence rewarding.

Here is a recap of the exercise, so that you can judge whether I met the challenge –

Character is action

Characters act. The ways they act, and hence the stories they create, depend on their natures. In this month’s exercise, we’ll explore using action to reveal that nature.

Exercise

Create a character in your mind. Visualise her or him. Learn what their goals, mannerisms and peculiarities are.  Then write a short scene that shows us who your character is, entirely through their actions. Show us who your character is – do not tell us. Do not use any describing words (adjectives or adverbs). Make your verbs count – if a character walks, we don’t learn much about them, but if they stride we see their confidence and purpose, whereas if they slouch or creep we see their discomfort.

Now here is my scene –

Eager to see their oldest daughter Diane and Fred, her husband, Dottie strode the confines of the tiny cottage, running fingers over polished surfaces, unnecessarily smoothing wrinkle free surfaces. At 1:30 Bob, pushed to the brink of annoyance, suggested they make the trip to the marina early. Bob looking relaxed, tanned, and happy drove the boat slowly knowing that anytime spent waiting at the marina would push his rattled wife to the breaking point.  Dottie, nervously smoothed her rumbled shirt, while her hand continuously strayed to her hair searching for any disorder that needed attention. Feeling like a street urchin, she cursed the fact that she had not changed out of her faded shorts and battered sneakers. Her attempt to plastered a smile on her face to hide her concern failed miserably. She questioned whether the weekend with the two self-described Yuppies from New York would be a disaster. She silently prayed they would be charmed by the log cabin and the little island that featured no electricity and no indoor plumbing.

 At 2:20 while Bob calmly strolled the docks, window shopping boats they would never be able to afford, Dottie marched the shoreline increasing her tempo with each pass. By 2:30 she was bouncing between cursing the lack of phone at the cottage, surely responsible Diane would have called to alert them of their tardiness, and the sinking feeling something was wrong, terribly wrong. Bob’s causal manner was exasperating to Dottie who had worked herself into a frenzy convinced her oldest child had been in a horrific car wreck. As she stomped towards the payphone at the marina, her mind swirling with the unanswered question of who she would call, a sleek silver sedan edged down the roadway and crept to a stop at the dock furthest from her. Dottie’s heart pounded as she stood rooted, hopeful the car was the answer to her prayers. She held her breath as an attractive couple, looking like models from an outdoors photo shoot, stepped out of the car. Both were decked out in pressed khaki’s, polo shirts and Sperry Top-Siders. Light bounced off their sunglasses as they scanned their unfamiliar surroundings.  Dottie yelped in relief when she recognized her daughter and son-in-law. She ran towards them waving her arms frantically. When their eyes pivoted towards charging figure, Diane slowly raised her hand in a timid greeting.

Thanks for reading. Please click HERE to read other scenes.

So what do you think? Did I meet the challenge? Did this story engage you and make you feel for the characters? Any comments are appreciated.

Cindy

 

FF Challenge June 9th – The Potting Shed

Welcome to the Friday Fictioneers Challenge of writing a story 100 words or less based on the photo prompt. Thanks once again to the wonderful Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this challenge. Curious, click her name to get all the rules, join our group, post your take on the photo. Read other stories by clicking HERE.

This weeks photo was provided by Sarah Potter. Remember all photo’s are the property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers. They should not be used for any other purpose without express permission.

Here is my 103 word story based on the photo. I tried to eliminate the four extra words but was unsuccessful. I would pledge to write a 97 word story next week but let’s get real 100 words is hard enough, I don’t know if I can live up to a 97 word pledge.

sp-overgrown-summer-house
PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

 

Gleefully, I had plunged tiny fingers into cold moist soil and inhaled the scent Grandma called life. My mind twists around memories, the sound of rain on the windows, bright green shoots, Grandma’s soft voice narrating each step. The trips to the potting shed and the bountiful harvests ended my sophomore year when my interests strayed and grandma was lost to cancer. Her house was sold, life went on.

Decades later, facing a crossroad, a job lost, a husband jettisoned, the For-Sale listing drew me back. I will tend tiny shoots and inhale the scent of life while Grandma whispers in my ear.

Thanks for reading. Please leave me a comment, help me improve my writing.

Cindy

 

FF Challenge May 26th – Soaring with Unclipped Wings

I pledged to myself that I would write an upbeat story for this week’s Friday Fictioneers Challenge. It was all planned in my mind, I knew I could do it. And then our host Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posted this week’s picture. I struggled, tamped down many thoughts that lead me down dark alleys and I knew my story would not be a happy one. For those who have read my stories in the past, please stick with me through another dark story. It is an important one that needs to be shared.

Please visit Rochelle to get all the rules to this 100 word challenge. And thank you J Hardy Carroll for such a thought provoking photo. Enjoy reading short stories click HERE for more stories based the photo prompt.

j-hardy-rubble
PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Now my 99 word story – Soaring with Unclipped Wings

I never wanted to clip her wings. I wanted her to fly. Lord knows where her creative streak came from but it defined her. My bold, beautiful, colorful daughter Cassandra. She spread her wings at 18, drawn to the artist mecca of San Francisco. I clung to the infrequent phone calls, her familiar voice tearing me apart.

Mom, it’s sick, everyone’s an artist.”

She was so happy, so alive.

And then the news flashed across the TV screen, 36 dead in Oakland Artist Collective Fire. My husband said I screamed. I don’t remember.

My beautiful baby flies no more.

Thanks for reading. This story rose from the ashes of the Oakland Ghost Ship fire. On Dec 2nd 2016 a fire destroyed an abandoned warehouse that had been used to house artists and as an impromptu music venue. 36 young people lost their lives when they were trapped in the rabbit warren of rooms that had sprung up in the warehouse. It is a tragedy that never should have happened. Click Ghost Ship for more information.

FF Challenge May 19th – The Road to Freedom

For those of you that read my story last week, you will find that I seem to have followed a theme with this weeks tale. But it’s not as dark, I promise.

First the small print, the legalities or maybe just the niceties. Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for continuing to host this challenge to write a 100 word story based on a photo prompt. Please click her name to get all the rules and to visit her site. Thank you also to Roger Blutot for providing the photo that captured an intriguing slice of life.

Now, drum roll please. Thank you, here’s my story The Road to Freedom.

inside-the-diner
PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

The blows rained down long after I was a bloody heap on the floor. Clinging to a thread of consciousness, I watched him don his uniform and straighten the shiny police shield that protected him and kept me captive. When the door clicked closed, I began the long journey. Inch by painful inch, I dragged my broken body to retrieve the card with only a phone number.

As my wounds healed, I was secreted from house to house across thousands of miles. I exchanged knowing looks with the women from the underground railway. My secret and theirs is safe.

Word Count: 99 carefully chosen words

Thanks for reading. Please click HERE to read a wide range of carefully crafted stories.

Cheers,

Cindy

FF Challenge May 12th, Quieting a Raging Storm

Wow, the picture for this weeks challenge inspired so many stories, most involving someone sheepishly admitting their ineptitude in driving. I nudged those aside for something darker. I hope you enjoy it.

But first a big thank you once again to our host, check out her site at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, for the rules regarding this challenge. This week Rochelle contributed the photo prompt, although it’s unclear if she was responsible for the damage.

FF Busted Door
PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Years ago, the jealousy and anger that had raged like summer storms destroyed our marriage. Its death was a bitter beginning not an end. Stunned at the continued onslaught, I followed the rules. What else could I do? I called the police when she slipped into my house, leaving in her wake a trail of destruction. I could paper my walls with restraining orders. Things I could replace, my shattered nerves would eventually calm. But she had to be stopped before she discovered the precious new life my girlfriend was harboring.

Unlike MacBeth, I was able to wash the blood from my hands.

Word Count: 103

Thanks for reading. There are many more stories waiting to be read, click HERE to discover them.

Cindy

Scrivener’s Forge 5 – Character and World Building

I would like to thank Neil MacDonald arranging these monthly writing exercises. I am grateful for the opportunity to focus on difference skills required for writing a good story. If you would like more information on the exercises please check out Neil’s post by clicking HERE.

This month’s challenge is as follows –

Exercise

An exercise from John Gardener. Write a scene which places a character in a specific location. Use the interaction between character and description to show us a unique world we’ve never seen before and that will never exist again.  A man whose son has died in the war is looking at a building. Describe the building without mentioning the war, the son, or his death.

Hint: if you’re finding this hard to approach, consider why a character in this situation might even notice a building.

Here is my scene –

Henry sat, unable to move. The inside of his car flooded with alternating colors from the flashing signs. Blue, yellow, red. Blue, yellow, red. His heart and Budweiser beat in time. It had been twenty-five years since he had entered one of these stores but he knew every square inch by heart. The row upon row of bottles beckoned him as he peered between the posters that plastered the windows. His hands shook. Henry jerked forward and started his car and just as quickly turned it off. He removed the keys from the ignition. Blue, yellow, red. Blue, yellow, red. Henry stepped out leaning against the door jamb collecting his shattered nerves before closing the door and heading back in time.

The harsh glare of the fluorescent lights made the glass bottles twinkle a quiet invitation, pick me, pick me. He willed himself to walk past the stacks of cheap booze with handwritten signs piled in the aisle, remembering the burning turpentine taste. Henry moved quickly past the gin and the vodka, ignoring the aisles and aisles of wine. He knew what he wanted and knew that the whiskey was near the back of the store. His feet beat in unsteady staccato rhythm on the polished tile floor. He was aware that his every move was being recorded. If the bored clerk bothered to look up from his magazine and glance at his grainy monitor, he would see a middle-aged man, battered by time, wearing an expensive but disheveled suit. A man overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of choices, searching the shelves for a special bottle, something used for a celebration, maybe for consolation. Neither the cameras nor the clerk would see a man breaking a solemn promise made twenty-five years ago, a man about to take a careening bobsled ride back into hell. Henry reached to snatch a bottle of Jack Daniels off the shelf, its amber liquid offering promises of comfort. The bottle slipped from his from his trembling fingers and shattered at his feet. He whimpered at the sight. Shocked back to his harsh reality, Henry pivoted on his heels. He threw $40.00 at the startled clerk as he scurried to the shelter of his car.

Thanks for reading. All comments, hints, pointers, critiques are appreciated.

If you would like to read more submissions click HERE.

Cindy