We called it the watch-house. It was the perfect playground, despite our parents’ warnings.
A hornets’ nest hung from a high window. Someone would come and remove it periodically, but the nest always grew back.
We dreamed up the notion that the nest was a collector, gathering up the world’s evils, growing huge with them, until the watchers came to take it away. We imagined that life sat less heavily on our young shoulders each time it disappeared.
I called in again recently when I happened to be nearby. The nest was enormous. Maybe the watchers have given up.
This is my offering for this week’s Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the link-up.
Archie let his thoughts drift, soothed by glowing embers, the flames’ soft crackle. The fragrance of burning pine-cones took him back to boyhood summers, hunting here in these mountains with Father.
Now, Archie hunted alone. He longed to settle, to share all this with a son of his own. He’d tried to find the right woman, but none had endured. He had held great hopes for the last one—the failure still hurt.
He prodded a smouldering piece of leather into the hot centre of the fire, incinerating every trace. He sighed. She’d looked good in those red shoes.
Another story for Friday Fictioneers, a weekly flash fiction link-up kindly hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.
“Please, Daddy. Can we take him home? Look—he’s hungry. He wants to come with us, I can tell. Please. Can we?”
“No, Jimmy. We’ve been through all this. It looks harmless, but once it’s been fed and restored it will own you. It will take all your pocket money to keep it going. It will take all your time playing with it and keeping it healthy. It will get into your mind and heart until your thinking gets all twisted up.
“Jimmy, you’ll be a man soon enough. You don’t need to own this monster to prove it.”
This is my contribution to Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this weekly flash fiction event.
Bruno visited daily, bringing little treats to cheer her, longing for a spark of interest in the darkness of her eyes.
He knew it wasn’t his fault. The road was treacherous; he hadn’t expected her to be there. He hoped she wouldn’t blame him. In fact, as he’d lifted her into his car he could swear he’d seen a flash of gratitude in her expression.
He knew it was destiny. Guilt, gratitude—they were immaterial. This was love.
When her shattered shell healed, Bruno would take her home, and this little turtle would never be alone and vulnerable again.
After a l-o-n-g hiatus, I thought it might be time to return to the fray and submit a 100 word story to Friday Fictioneers again. I hope I haven’t become too rusty. I can feel my flash fiction joints creaking and groaning as I write, but nevertheless, here goes.
Many thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers.
“It was here. I’m sure.”
“But where are the shelters, the food tents? We can’t land here, in this bleak, soulless place. It’s worse than home.”
“Remember, friend — at home we were persecuted, starved out or hunted down. And home is a lifetime away. There’s no returning.”
“So now what?”
“We decide. Drift through space until the ship dies, or stay. We’re strong now. We have knowledge — to share or use against this planet. After all, they once welcomed us.”
“Look. There’s a sign. It says: New border security policies are now in force. Aliens attempting entry will be destroyed.
“Look, Salvatore. New York. New beginnings for us.”
Salvatore grasped Mama’s eager, outstretched hand. Here he would invest the nugget of greatness he knew was within him and make his mark. He wouldn’t shrivel and stoop, lungs destroyed like Papa’s, in the sulphur mines.
Already, at nine, Sal knew what he needed: skilled teachers, opportunities.
Shepherded down the gangplank with his brothers and sisters, Sal felt the weight of his good fortune, his pockets heavy with assets. He’d been lucky during the voyage. He’d gathered rich pickings in carelessly concealed trinkets and cash. There’d be a market in New York.
I’m contributing some historical fiction to Friday Fictioneers this week. I’m not sure why my thoughts flew so swiftly to this particular Sicilian immigrant family arriving in the land of opportunity, but Salvatore certainly did leave his mark, in his own way.
The early blossoms were perfect. At first no-one noticed. Helen called a cheery hello as she passed, and George waved good morning as he watered his yellow roses.
Soon the bushes were a riot of purple, and Penelope’s neighbours stared, from a distance. George stayed indoors.
Penelope completed her project. This was who she was – a woman with purple flowers and a matching purple door.
The end was swift. Penelope’s padlocked purple door remained a warning to passers-by that the Ministry of Civic Harmony would not tolerate subversive colour schemes. This was a yellow street. Just yellow.
Once again I’m dragging the chain this week, but hopefully someone will still be browsing through the Friday Fictioneers link-up and drop by to read my story. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this weekly flash fiction event.