Friday Fictioneers – Do Buy

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Photo Prompt © Jilly Funell

You are what you buy, that’s what Thomas says. I tuck into my burger though it tastes like meat-flavoured polystyrene. Thom shows off his latest device.

Rachel slurps her shake, commanding silence for an aphorism.  “If nobody sees you consume it, does it really exist?” she asks. Rach is deep that way.

Contemplatively, I chew a french fry, all carbohydrate and sodium chloride. I am becoming the Happy Meal. My friends watch the transmutation occurring,

In another mall, adjacent to my universe, more burgers are coming to life.

 

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

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Friday Fictioneers – Compassion

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Photo Prompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

With infinite tenderness, you place yourself across the path of my danger, stopping the hurtling train. You are my superhero.

The whispers start. “She can’t exist on her own.” “Dependency”. Even “Stockholm Syndrome.”

People can be cruel. “Don’t listen,” you say.

I go out less and less, avoiding the voices and the stares.

You make me a nest, and my legs wither. My chest inflates only shallowly now.

Too late I realise what you are.

 

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

Friday Fictioneers – The Collection

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Photo Prompt © Sandra Crook

An empty scallop shell counter-poses a sprig of dried lavender. A kestrel, loving testament to the taxidermist’s art, perches vigilant on a branch. A creature, half a million years gone, turned to stone. Maybe it was a gorgon who saw her own reflection in a pool.

The hip bone connects to the ankle bone. It’s uncomfortably easy to believe there might be a space for a basilisk.

I shift my weight awkwardly, unable to tear myself away from the curator’s model  universe.

You can’t capture running water in a bucket. In a bucket it’s still.

 

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

Friday Fictioneers – Backstage

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Photo Prompt © Priorhouse

Through the glass doors I watch one, his head tipped back, just so, in companionable mirth. Like the moon, he pulls his sea of acolytes forward. They lean in with appreciation. The laughter is measured, not brash enough to disturb the serenity of Chez Raymond.

Out there in the ceremonial arena, waiters glide soundless across the marble floor. Deals are quietly made and liaisons arranged. Back here in the kitchen, we are the swan’s legs, a frantic paddling below the surface.

Chef calls “service”. I spit in the tournedos before carrying it out to the charismatic man.

 

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here 

Friday Fictioneers – Fish

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Photo Prompt © Dale Rogerson

There was not a cloud in the sky when the rain began. Not water-rain. A single moist slap on the tarmac announced the start.

I turned. A mackerel flapped iridescent on the empty roadway. Then another. Scales brushed my cheek, like the beard scratch of a lover’s kiss. Fish began to fall in torrents.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I looked up, hoping to see spuds too, so I could open a fish and chip shop.

But miracles aren’t what they used to be. There weren’t even any bloody loaves.

 

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

Friday Fictioneers – Free Speech

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Photo Prompt © J Hardy Carroll

There was something studiedly noble about the way he drew himself to full height in the dock, hands grasping his lapels, silver head canted.

“There is no freedom, nothing more important,” he declared, “than our right to say what we think. Our liberty itself is on trial here.”

The prosecution, of course, showed the pictures of torched villages and bodies spasmed in final agony. Witnesses testified to the sudden and savage explosion of hate.

“It was just a speech,” the Minister said. “You couldn’t expect me to foresee what goes on in other people’s heads.”

 

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

Friday Fictioneers – Day’s End

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Photo Prompt © Gah Learner

Everything has shrunk. This single window is now my television on the world.

The nurses come and go like birds. I no longer know their names. They click and hum, or maybe that’s the machines. In the heat of the day, one opens the window. As the sun transits into the west, another closes it again.

The moon rises. Lights spark on, sprinkling the bay with glitter. I am quite content to die, but oh I’d like to see one just more sunrise over the docks. There might be a ship bound for distant ports.

 

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

Friday Fictioneers – Dan Grimes

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Photo Prompt © Nathan Sowers

In the whole village, only I still remember Dan Grimes. He lived, carried to the fields the scythe he called Excalibur, drank ale, married Bess, and died, all before living memory.

The young uns don’t credit it when I say Dan would walk half way across the county for work.

“Why didn’t he get the bus?” they ask.

“Weren’t no buses then,” I say, and they ponder this in silence.

When folk say Joseph Grimes has his mother’s crabbiness, I tell ‘em the viciousness is purely Dan’s. And they respect my lore.

But Dan weren’t vicious when he were young. He were sweet. Just not sweet on me. He comes to me in my dreams.

 

 

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

Friday Fictioneers – Late

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Photo Prompt © Carla Bicomong

“My father is late,” she says as if this would somehow explain why she hadn’t turned up for work.

“I see,” I say. But I don’t see. “Where has he gone?”

The only answer is a shrug. How can she tell? Nobody knows. Her eyes, russet flecked with gold like sunspots on two stars, are filled with sadness and with resolve.

“Perhaps he’ll come back soon,” I suggest helpfully.

But she looks like I might be a little crazy.

“He’s late,” she repeats slow, as you might to a child.

I’m still not giving her the response she clearly expects.

“Late. Dead,” she says

I am overwhelmed by embarrassment.

 

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

Friday Fictioneers – Radium Daguerreotype

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Photo Prompt © Yvette Prior

There, in the top right corner, that blur. See it? No, it’s not a smudge, it’s real. This is a special kind of camera. No holiday snaps of laughing kids here. The device strips away the flesh, to reveal … see? Your ribs, your radius, humerus and ulna. The miraculous complexity of the wrist. The radium camera reveals what you’re made of. But the blur isn’t a bone – it’s your spirit.

No, you can’t keep the image, sorry. We hold them in safe keeping. Sometimes we spread them all out on the floor and compare souls, judge who’s most worthy.

 

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here.