…This is the guy I was telling you about. He’s here every Thursday, regular as clockwork.
…A decade maybe? Always with the second guitar in a case that he never opens.
…No, he sets it up next to the speaker and stands away from it.
…Mostly call and response songs. He calls and no one responds. You only get one side of the…
…I think her name is (or was) Maggie.
…Because for all his many tunes he always comes back to that name – ‘Maggie Mae’, ‘Maggie’s farm’, ‘Little Maggie.’
…I see her as an Irish tearaway – unmanageable fiery red hair, a checked dress, pale legs, plimsols…
…A voice that can find the harmony in any melody. We’ll make a tormented poet of you yet!
…What? And leave her guitar behind? No, I think the clues point towards something more…
…What’s wrong with a little morbid curiosity?
…By just looking at his face. Whoever and wherever she is, he finds her in the music…
Written for: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
2. Fine! I’ll raise our ginger child…
3. Went to Rome. Bunch of plebs!
4. Giant asteroid. No point in dieting.
5. I came. I sore. I ashamed.
7. Sales slump attributed to cannibal holocaust
8. White supremacist baker killed. Brown bread.
9. Hospital full. Everyone Kung fu fighting.
10. Ventriloquist dummy blames owner for murder
12. Eve you minx. Fancy an apple?
13. Parallel universe. King trampled under suffragette
14. Harry, lets marry. Sorry Faye. Gay
15. Hell beast, loves cooking, GSOH seeks…
‘We’ve been over this a dozen times Gregory. I grow tired of repeating myself.’
‘Yes, and I apologise for the inconvenience, but surely there’s a more mutually beneficial way of sealing our union than a duel to the death with an opponent famed throughout the land for being able to pull a man’s arms out at the sockets. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that you’re not ‘fair’ enough fair-maiden…’
‘Now Gregory, you know how I despise double-negatives!’
‘Yes…but under the circumstances of my imminent, garish dismemberment one might expect to be granted a little leeway?’
‘To win my hand you must prove your worth.’
‘But why must I be the greatest warrior? Why can’t I bake you the greatest cake? or sow you the greatest quilt?’
‘The crowd grows restless my love.’
‘OK…well, in that case…let me just go…check…that…my sword has been sufficiently sharpened.’
‘…And you’re not going to leap onto the fastest horse you can find and gallop away like the last lot?’
‘Upon my honour fairish maiden…’
Written for: Sunday Photo Fiction
From a lonely library, hanging by a thread, I took a book – last loaned fifty years past. From between its waxy pages a solitary slip of paper slid:
‘He suspects. It’s tonight or never. You – My all.’
A rendezvous unfulfilled; a burr that kept catching.
Necessity employed me as sleuth. The previous lender’s faded name led me to buildings long vacated and to a rain-soaked grave, the date of departure fifty years past.
Standing over the headstone – a man, unfeasibly old.
‘You were her husband?’
‘No, her… her other.’
‘I believe this was for you.’
Written for: Thin Spiral Notebook (100 Word Challenge)
It was the future and everything was fine – better than fine in fact – damn near perfect. The trains ran on time, war was a memory and grass grew equally green on both sides.
The problem was one of earth-shattering boredom.
Without conflict very little was ever in flux, and without change no one ever needed to react to anything.
If only there was some nightmarish netherworld where ‘stuff’ happened and insidious foes could be resisted.
But such a place could never be. The benevolent overlords who ruled with oppressive politeness wouldn’t allow such a phenomena to flourish…
Written for: Carrot Ranch (99 words on an inverted view of Dystopia).
Also, should you be so inclined – One of my stories I, The Stakes has just been published on ‘The Drabble.’ I thank you…
‘And so you see, the answer was inside yourself all along…’
Mystical settings aside the pupil was livid.
‘That’s it? That’ll all you’ve got? After months of meditation, and all those trials: Descend blindfolded to the bottom of the sacred pit and pick the poisonous moss of blah…and the tightrope over the lava…and the chalice filled with troll’s tears (‘Don’t spill a drop!’)…I have literally journeyed to the centre of the earth in my quest for enlightenment…and for what? Some vague, fortune cookie punch line? I’ve a good mind to go up into the world and expose you for the charlatan that you are!’
The teacher’s face remained calm as he replied in his mother-tongue.
‘You seem very angry, but alas I can’t understand a word you’re saying. Typical westerner – thinking everyone speaks English.
I’m gonna go out on a limb and presume that you’ve mistaken me for Zastra the Zen Master. A lot of people do! (He’s in the next cave along). My name’s Leonard. I work in IT Support, though in truth I don’t get much support done what with you rich pricks turning up at all hours of the day and night with your white man issues. It became so much of a problem in fact that I went to see Zastra myself. He gave me these pre-prepared cards to read out. No idea what they mean, but most of you seem mollified by them…oh…I may not speak English, but I know a string of expletives when I…please don’t slam the door. Stalactites don’t grow on trees…bye then!’
As one pupil left, another arrived.
‘Great and wise Zastra. I have travelled across continents to seek answers.’
Leonard gave a deep sigh and read from the card. ‘OK…first, descend blindfolded into the sacred pit of…’
Written for:Sue Vincent’s Photo Prompt
…that the answer is always ‘YES.’ ‘No,’ closes doors and denies possibilities. The second rule is to build upon the original premise.
Rachel stormed into the theatre. ‘You and Simon are having and affair aren’t you?’
Guilty-as-sin though she was, Jenny’s instinct was to deny it, but rules were rules.
Hesitation caused the chorus line to finish her sentence. ‘…It’s the best sex they’ve ever had,’ whereupon they launching into a twenty-minute song and dance number whilst painting a giant mural on the stage floor depicting Jenny’s infidelity.
‘How do you think I should take my revenge? Torture?’
Written for / Picture by: Bikurgurl