Keeper of the Castle #FridayFictioneers

‘Oh my god! I swear I just saw a face at that window! Oooh, maybe the castle’s haunted?’ Tiff gave a theatrical shiver.

‘Or maybe you’ve been watching too much Supernatural?’ said Chloe. ‘Let’s go in and have a look round. Look, that doorway over there isn’t boarded up properly.’

‘Bloody hell!’ Tiff stepped in a huge dog turd. ‘I’m always so unlucky.’

She wiped her shoe ineffectually on the grass. ‘Oh, come on, let’s just go.’

A pair of black eyes watched them leave. He snarled, fangs glinting in the candlelight as he lashed out with his taloned hands.

Next time.

A 100 word story using the photo prompt above for the Friday Fictioneers, featuring a guest appearance from the Check Out beast. 

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Thinking About You

‘A party?? No way; you’ve got exams coming up. You need to start buckling down and thinking about your future.’

I stopped the car and Lizzy opened the passenger door. ‘Oh my god, you won’t let me do anything. I hate you!’

She slammed the door and, dragging her rucksack on the ground behind her, stropped off towards the school gates.

Aggghhhh. Teenagers. I breathed deeply to calm down, pulled out into the road and turned on the radio.

‘…the singer had already left the stage when the explosion occurred. 22 people, including children have been killed, with more than 60 injured.’

I listened to the rest of the news, barely able to take in what had happened. Innocent children murdered at a joyous occasion. Families destroyed. Parents devastated.

The news finished and one of my favourite songs came on. I started to sing along, but I heard the words properly for the first time; my voice cracked and tears started to flood down my face. Tears for the families left behind. Tears for the parents who would never see their children again. Tears for those who died, scared and alone, thinking about their loved ones.

When I heard that sound
When the walls came down
I was thinking about you
About you

When my skin grows old
When my breath runs cold
I’ll be thinking about you
About you

 When I run out of air to breathe
It’s your ghost I see
I’ll be thinking about you, about you

I pulled the car over and grabbed my phone, hitting the saved number. Pick up, pick up.

‘What?’

‘Go to the party. Buy something new. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy your life.’

‘Thank you!’

‘I love you, Lizzy.’

‘Love you too. Later.’

‘Yes. I’ll see you later.’

***

Lyrics from Skin by Rag’n’Bone Man © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Songwriters: Dan Bryer / Jamie Scott / Jonny Coffer / Mike Needle / Rory Graham

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A story using the photo prompt above for the Friday Fictioneers.

The tragic events of Manchester have been constantly on my mind this week and my heart goes out to the families and friends of those murdered and injured in this senseless attack.

Heart of Rome

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Rio was banging on again about his favourite topic: himself. ‘Obviously, I’m the principal figure as I represent America.’

‘I’m sick of your incessant claptrap,’ said Dan. ‘You won’t be so important once a tangerine buffoon destroys your precious America.’

‘That’s the leader of the free world you’re talking about.  Just watch your goddamn mouth.’

‘Surely Angela Merkel’s the leader of the free world nowadays?’

‘What?! You come over here and say that!’  Like that was going to happen.

‘Alright, alright, keep your bird-crap toga on.  Why so grouchy – dropped one of your coins in the fountain?’

Rio would have rolled his eyes if he could.  ‘That’s the Trevi, you ignoramus.’

‘You calling me thick? Sacrilege, mate, I’m like that with the Pope.’ Dan attempted to cross his immobile fingers to demonstrate his close relationship with the pontiff.

‘Will you both please put a cork in it?’ snapped Niles.  ‘400 bloody years of listening to your arguments, and I don’t even know what you gits look like.’

‘You’re not missing anything,’ said Big G.  ‘Blimey, look at that Swedish lovely there.  Bet she’d love to hop on this bad boy.’

‘For the twenty thousandth time,’ said Dan, without exaggeration, ‘the pole between your legs is AN OAR.  It’s not your John Thomas.’ Oh, to be able to rise up and shove that oar where the sun don’t shine.

‘I distinctly heard Bernini say, when he was carving it, “Lucky old Ganges, everyone will be jealous of his whopper.”’

‘Yes, whopper OAR!’

‘Well, why’s she smiling and having her photo taken in front of me then?’

‘Because she wants to show her friends back home what the biggest dic- I mean, idiot, in Rome looks like.’

‘Ha! You said it, biggest dick!’

And so on, ad infinitum, for another 400 years…

***

Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) is in Piazza Navona in downtown Rome.  It was designed in 1651 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini for Pope Innocent X.

 The river gods represented by four giant figures at the base of the fountain are  the Danube (Europe), the Rio de Plata (Americas), the Nile (Africa) and the Ganges (Asia).

Danube touches the Pope’s personal coat of arms, as the river closest to Rome. 

Rio de la Plata is sitting on a pile of coins, a symbol of the riches America could offer to Europe.

Nile’s head is covered with a cloth because, at that time, no one knew where its source was. 

Ganges carries a long oar, representing the river’s navigability.

***

This is my entry for the Sunday Photo Fiction, which involves writing a story of around 200 words based on the top photo prompt.

Photo © Sally-Ann Hodgekiss.

Another One Bites the Dust…Worst Honeymoon Ever #FridayFictioneers #flashfiction

‘I knew those bloody snails were a mistake,’ croaked Benjy’s new stepfather from the ensuite before vomiting again.

‘I had them and I’m fine,’ said Mum. ‘Maybe it was all that brandy?’

Benjy bounced out of bed and grabbed a book. ‘Read me Wimpy Kid!’

‘Wow, you’re hyper. Did you take your meds?’

Benjy nodded.

He needed to calm down if Mum wasn’t going to get suspicious. It was another three weeks until his prescription was filled.

A heavy thud came from the ensuite.

‘Terry?’ said Mum. Silence.

Benjy smiled. Now it would just be the two of them once more.

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A 100 word story using the photo prompt above for the Friday Fictioneers.

N is for 9 to 5 #AtoZChallenge

Photo © Jade M Wong

What the hell was that racket?  It sounded like a goddamn lion fighting a flock of eagles.  I looked at my phone: 5am.  My head pounded.  Last night’s leaving party had gotten messy, with tequila, karaoke and an ill-advised snog with Eddie from the mailroom.

Christ, the noise was that stupid dragon clock from Franklin, my boss.

‘I thought you liked Game of Thrones, Doralee?’

After working for the sexist, over-paid twat for twelve years, you’d think he’d know I was more into fan-fiction than fantasy.

But, now, my dreams had come true: the tide had turned, my ship had come in. A lottery win had enabled me to tell Franklin exactly where he could stick his job. I was done putting money in that man’s wallet.

The dragon squawked and beat its eerie green wings furiously. From its mouth came smoke and flames.  Where had Franklin even found something so bloody ridiculous?  I threw a book, walloping it on the head.

‘Shut up, you bastard, I’m retired,’ I shouted. ‘No more 9 to 5!’

The dragon shrieked, flew off the clock and landed on my chest. Its glowing red eyes held me spellbound.

‘I am your master now. You work for me. Forever.’

 

Bit of a mash-up today.  This is my post for the A to Z Challenge, but is also my entry for the Sunday Photo Fiction, which involves writing a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt above.  It’s also loosely based on the lyrics for the fabulous Dolly Parton classic, 9 to 5, and the characters from the film of the same name.

 Photo © Jade M Wong.