Don’t Go Breaking My ‘Art… #3LineTales

Back to work tomorrow…noooooooooo!  How is possible that I didn’t win the lottery or get snapped up by an agent in the last six weeks??  The summer has flown by, mostly spent editing the finer details of my murder mystery (would you flee the country if you thought your witness protection identity had been blown?) and writing lots of flash fiction like the Three Line Tale below.

Don’t Go Breaking My ‘Art

I’d spent twelve hours folding and shaping the delicate paper into hundreds of tiny cranes, my fingers burning with the strain of the repetitive task but, at last, I had enough for my final project, the culmination of three years’ study embodied in a powerful comment on modern politics: a group portrait of world leaders with the cranes glued to look like they were flying overhead – each depositing a torrent of crap.

I left the studio and headed home, exhausted but buoyant, knowing that I had merely to stick the cranes into position to meet tomorrow’s lunchtime deadline.

‘Bloody hell, these stupid students can’t even be bothered to tidy up after themselves,’ said Bobby, the janitor, as he swept the scraps of paper off the table into a bin bag, scrunching up the coloured cranes and emptying a box of used paints on top of them, ‘don’t worry, I’ll clear up the rubbish, shall I?’

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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. 

Merry Christmas? #3LineTales

It’s been a busy few weeks while we’ve been off for the summer holidays. I sent my children’s book to several agents…I can now consider myself alongside the likes of JK Rowling as I’ve had my first rejection email!  Woohoo!

I’m currently working on a ‘cosy mystery’ novel, trying to fix some major plot holes before I hand it over to my editor at the beginning of October.

Less than two weeks to go before school starts. Chances of me signing to an agent/finding freelance work/winning the lottery before then??  Answers on a postcard etc etc.

In the meantime, here’s a quick Three Line Tale using the photo prompt below:

Merry Christmas?

Jeff bounced up and down on his chair, clearly desperate for me to open the oddly shaped present, covered in Santa wrapping paper. ‘Careful! It’s fragile.’

I gently pulled off the paper to reveal the hideous remains of a horrible snake type creature, its huge jaw lined with ferocious sharp teeth. ‘I got it off Ebay. Emily’s going to love it; it’s amazing!’

Emily did not appear amazed, choosing instead to suck on her toes. ‘Well, it’s certainly unusual, Jeff,’ I said, ‘but I’m not sure it’s quite appropriate for our six-month old baby’s first Christmas.’

photo by Samuel Zeller via Unsplash
Photo by Samuel Zeller via Unsplash

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

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

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.

U Got The Look #3linetales

Honestly, what did I do before I discovered writing prompts??  It’s great, I never have to think about what to post anymore.  Mind you, it does mean that I haven’t written much about all the incredibly exciting things that have been going on in my life recently…exciting things like work (ugh), cooking (ugh), washing-up (ugh), shopping (ugh).    Hmm, maybe not writing about them is a good thing.  Here’s a Three Line Tale instead:

Lost in the mass of teenage girls screaming along to The Style’s biggest hit, I’m All Hers, I gaze at Pete, their heart-throb lead singer: I stare at his carefully tousled hair framing his perfect face with its chiseled cheekbones, piercing blue eyes and soft lips, his muscular body displayed to perfection in a tight t-shirt and ripped skinny jeans.

I make sure he is looking at me, before I mouth, ‘Do you want me to mend those for you?’

He glares at me, shaking his head and rolling his eyes, ‘OMG, Mum! You’re so embarrassing!’