Fountains #WeeklyWritingChallenge

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Joy had been fussy all day which had, as far as Mercy was concerned lowered the whole tone of shopping in the city center for holiday clothes. Tried from dealing with the four year old, Mercy decided to finish early and try again when she was alone.

Buying drinks and snacks, Mercy pushed Joy in her pram which was full of things she had brought, across the road to the large patches of grass that made up the ‘gardens’, though really it was just two rectangles of grass divided by a large sunk circle area where there was seating and water fountains.

Mercy found a good spot and give Joy the orange juice. It was a brilliant day; hot and sunny, with a cooling breezy and not a cloud in the sky. Mercy could almost believe that she was no longer in rainy England but in an hotter country. It was busy though and just as the shops had been crowed so was the street. There were people everywhere! The noise was like a constant loud humming.

Joy was fussing again, tugging at the straps holding her in the pram and making straining noises. Her juice forgotten but still clutch in a small hand. She was too big for the pushchair now but her habit of running off meant things had to be this way. Joy was a cute toddler but all ready spoiled by grandparents who had always believed they’d never get a grandchild. Mercy blamed them for the problems Joy often give her.

‘What is it now?’ Mercy asked.

Joy waved her free hand and give a little screech, ‘water!’

Mercy looked and saw that there were children playing in the fountains. Water jets were shooting up at different heights and seemingly at random in what would have been a nice display, if not for the children running about between them. As Mercy watched, she noticed some of the kids were only half clothed; wearing just shorts or underwear, some even had swimming costumes on.

‘No,’ Mercy said firmly, ‘drink your orange juice.’

‘Mama, mama!’ Joy cried and strained more at the straps halting her freedom.

‘Now you stop that,’ Mercy snapped and moved the pram around.

Joy threw the juice bottle away and tried to stand up in the pram.

Ignoring the watching eyes from the people around them, Mercy picked up the bottle, found it half empty and placed it into the pram. Then she put her hands to her daughter’s shoulders and eased her back down.

‘Now, listen, Joy, I said no,’ Mercy spoke in a low voice.

Joy’s face crumpled and fat tears began flowing. An awful wailing sound came out of the small mouth and more heads began turning to look.

Mercy gritted her teeth, getting ready for the rant that was about to happen.

‘You won’t get any sweets.’ Mercy snapped.

Joy screamed loudly and kicked out her legs madly out. Her hands pounded the straps and Mercy had to grab on to pram to stop it from falling over.

‘Fine, fine! You can go and play!’ Mercy half-shouted.

She released her daughter with a few clicks and Joy tumbled out of the pram.

Not dazed at all, Joy forgot her tantrum and stumbled off to the closest water fountain.

Mercy lowered her head, re-arranging stuff in the pram as if nothing had happened.

 

(Inspired by; https://secretkeeper.net/2018/05/21/weekly-writing-challenge-142 with thanks).

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Yes #3linetales

three line tales, week 121: together for yes

The nightclub was called Yes and I wasn’t sure why but the story of having to say ‘yes’ to everything that my best friend spun was wrong.

I mean, I was fine with strange men buying me drinks on my big three-one birthday but I wasn’t about to let any of them take me back to their beds!

I knew how to have a good time but not to over do it, as we left I decided that Yes wasn’t really my scene, Satan’s Halo was more my place and the men were much more to my taste there.

(Inspired by; https://only100words.xyz/2018/05/24/three-line-tales-week-121/ with thanks).

Advice #1linerweds

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My advice to anybody who asks me; to get out and be free from everything once in awhile.

(Inspired by; https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2018/05/23/one-liner-wednesday-advice/ with thanks).

Green #FridayFictioneers

Hannah stared at the new plant. It looked like ivy, just jazzed up by great-auntie’s crystal bowl which it sit in.

‘I don’t like it,’ Hannah declared, ‘it’s giving me a funny feeling.’

Her mum who was making fried eggs and chips for dinner, tutted and replied, ‘it was a gift and it’s just a harmless plant.’

The feeling that something wasn’t right lingered. At midnight, Hannah crept downstairs and saw the plant no longer on the table but by the back door.

‘Let me out,’ an eerie voice spoke as the leaves of the plant shook.

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/05/23/25-may-2018/ with thanks).

Hotel On The Beach #TwitteringTales

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I pointed out the white and grey abandoned hotel on the coastal cliff to my husband. I had spoken about the place often, having as a child grown up there. This  was the first time we had seen the place and now it belong to us. I couldn’t wait to get re-living my childhood again.

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2018/05/22/twittering-tales-85-22-may-2018/ with thanks).

Globe

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I stood before my old high school, looking up at the massive building whilst a mixture of thoughts and feelings raged inside of me. It had only been three years since I’d last gone up the stone steps, through a set of the wooden double doors and down the corridor to my last day here.

The next day, the school had shut down and workmen had built a tall chain link fence around everything. Signs warning of closer, danger and demolishing in progress hung down. My friends and I were not put off by them though. The six of us had returned for one night to have a last wander though the halls and classrooms before they were gone forever.

‘There’s a way in around the back,’ Edison’s voice whispered.

‘Let’s go then,’ Hunter answered back.

We set off quickly and followed the fence all the way around the back to where the gym and sport fields where. There wasn’t anyone around on this warm spring evening, the workmen building the new housing estate across the way, had gone home and since the roads around here had been blocked off, there was no reason to drive around here.

‘There’s the gap,’ Edison pointed out.

We all stopped and looked. I would have missed the small cut in the links if he hadn’t pointed it out. Edison was small and chubby, really geeky looking with large glasses and longish brown hair. He was our guide, having come last week with his older brother.

Edison pulled apart the links quickly, the sound was loud and echoing, then he duck down and wiggled through. He held one side and the rest of us followed him; Hunter, Dusty, Spencer, Marci – the only girl- and me, Corey. We all had rucksacks and since we were all eighteen or over, we hadn’t really had to explain to anyone what we were going to do.

Keeping in the shadows of the building, Edison took us through a broken in fire door and we entered the main building. The familiar smells of wood vanish, lemon cleaning spray, books and sweat hit me and took me straight back to being fifteen again. It was like I was hurrying to my class again and going off to meet my friends for lunch.

It felt different though; the halls and classrooms were empty. The walls looked duller and most of the posters had been taken down. There was an eerie sense of loss to the place, like at a funeral. Our footsteps echoed too loudly as we peered into classrooms, looking for things.

‘Let’s go to the library,’ Marci whispered, though her voice carried.

‘I heard they’d got rid of all the books,’ Spencer muttered back.

‘I want to go and tag some stuff,’ Hunter said, ‘let’s split up.’

I went with Edison and Marci whilst Dusty choice to go with the other two. We heard them a few moments later smashing a door window and shaking cans of paint spray.

‘Hooligans,’ Marci said under her breath.

I had to agree. The whole point of coming here was to say goodbye to the place. Though I doubt anyone would care what we did. On the approached to the library we found torn pages and books scattered around, someone had been here before us.

Marci toed a few of the books, looking very unhappy in the low light. She had always been the bookworm of the group, though we all liked books, expect for Hunter. Marci went to the door and opened it. Edison and I followed and I saw that Spencer had almost been right.

All the bookcases were empty, but there were a few piles of books on the tables and floors. Marci and Edison began pouring over them, taking the ones they wanted. I went the counter and flipped through a dusty history book. Nothing took my fancy so after a few minutes, I got bored and decided to leave.

Walking down the corridors, I entered a few classrooms and saw that only a few had their desks and chairs piled up against the back wall. I guess they must have sold a lot of stuff off. On the blackboards, the people that had broken in before us had written rude things and draw interesting pictures. There was graffiti on the walls too that added to the sense of abandonment.

Opening the door of my old geography classroom, I walked in and saw a globe on the teacher’s desk. I touched the old paper map and give it a spin, there was nothing wrong with it. I looked and saw on the walls old posters of different countries. There was also a bookcase a quarter filled with atlas and guide books to different places. I collected them all, Marci would like them then with a shrug, I picked up the globe and left.

We all meet back some hours later, our rucksacks and arms full of gathered stuff. There was the scent of smoke in the air and I guessed that some of the others had been up to more then just tagging and looting.

‘What you want that old thing for?’ Hunter asked me.

Everyone turned to look. The globe was too big for my rucksack which had a few books, rolled posters and other stuff inside, so I was holding it instead.

‘It’s kinda cool. What are going to do with all those wires?’ I counted back.

‘Sell them,’ he replied.

There was some swapping of items and talking over things. Then we left. The sky was inky black with a handful of stars and the street was quiet. We walked together for awhile then went our different ways home.

Once there, I put the globe on my desk and spun it again. It felt a strange thing to take from an about to be demolished place but I felt oddly drawn to it. Leaving the stuff in my bag till later, I studied the world, mapping my way across it as I had never done in geography lessons.

Tiredness caught up with me and I saw it was nearly midnight. Giving the globe a final spin I went to bed, my head full of memories from my old high school.

Light #TaleWeaver

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Mum died when I was a baby and every since then I’ve seen the light orbs. No one told me they were ghosts, it was just something I’ve always known. I didn’t really speak about them because it was so normal I thought everyone could see the orbs.

They were white and yellow in colour but sometimes I saw lights in blue or green. They came in different sizes; from pin points, to coin size to the biggest being like plates. The lights drifted around everything wherever I went. Sometimes they would vanish then return so it was hard to tell how many where around me at once. I had no real feelings about them, just that sometimes I felt loved and safe.

I learned in high school though that I was the only one to see the ghosts. I told maybe three or four friends one morning and by the end of the day the whole school knew. I become known as a weirdo and had to hang around with the other rejected teens. They though didn’t seemed to mind my ‘gift.’

‘Can you talk to the ghost lights?’

‘No. I just see them all the time.’

‘Doesn’t that get distracting?’

‘How bright are they?’

‘Not that bright during the day at night they can get like a light bulb. I’m use to them so they don’t really distract me.’

‘What if they aren’t ghosts?’

‘What if it’s like something to do with your vision?’

‘Yeah, my brother is colourblind, maybe it’s something like that?’

‘I don’t know….The lights are always moving around, they don’t effect the way I see.’

Despite all the suggests, I know they were ghosts, though I wasn’t sure how I know. It just was. Then, I decided I didn’t want to answer the questions anymore for what further more could it prove? So what if only I could see the lights? I didn’t need anyone else to believe in them to make them any more real to me.

I just got on with life as normal then. I did my exams, I went to college, had my first love and heartbreak then went to university. I found a part-time job in a small bookshop. I was happy and still surrounded by the lights. I never told anyone again about the ghost lights until the man who would become my husband.

It would have been easy enough not to tell him of course but why should I hide from someone who truly loved me? So, soon after he had proposed to me whilst we were laying in the heat of a summer night unable to sleep, I turned to him and said, ‘I have to tell you something…secret about me.’

‘That you are the most wonderful thing in the world?’ he answered.

‘No,’ I answered and snuggled closer to him, ‘there are these lights and they are ghosts and I can see them. I’ve always been able too. They don’t speak to me and they’ve never done me any harm. They are just there and I think they are watching over me and protecting me. I think my mum caused it when she died. Perhaps, she’s one of them or all of them. I don’t know.’

He was silent for awhile and I thought at first he was thinking of how to call everything off or else, as my heart beat so loudly, had fallen asleep suddenly and missed what I’d said?

‘Are they here now?’ he asked in whisper.

‘Yes. I see them all the time.’

He hummed as if he was trying to think of what to say.

I didn’t want to hear what was coming so tried to move off the bed. His grip tightened on me though, making me pause. He drew me into a hug and held me tightly, breathing into my hair.

‘I knew you were special from the moment I saw you,’ he muttered.

‘So, you don’t mind the lights?’ I asked into his chest.

‘No. Because I can see them too,’ he replied.

 

(Inspired by; https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2018/05/17/tale-weaver-171-may-17th-light/ with thanks).

Investment #FlashFictionChallenge

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It was unreal to think the manor house I was standing before was now our’s. Sadly, the place was a memory of it’s former self. Lucky, the walls and roof were all sound but there were broken windows and doors to replace then the rooms to strip and redecorate. There was no running water, working electricity or gas and it was uninhabitable.

We were going to change all that, make it into a fine home then perhaps a hotel and open gardens. It was a life’s investment but once done up the property value would soar into the millions.

(Inspired by; https://carrotranch.com/2018/05/17/may-17-flash-fiction-challenge/ with thanks).

Boots #FridayFictioneers

I came across the boots whilst digging at the bottom of my new garden. They were just sat on the low wall as if waiting for their owner to come back. I glanced around but there was nobody, only me and the birds.

The boots had been out here for awhile also the toes were wrapped in duck tape. How strange! I had a flash of the fairy tale about elves mending shoes and laughed. Perhaps someone would come back for the boots soon enough? I decided to leave them be.

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/05/16/18-may-2018/ with thanks).

Avenue #writephoto

It was too late to go back, Saly realised. She had meandering around the park without thinking. Now, she was at the far side where park met meadows and farming fields. Casting around, she spotting a bench and slipping the headphones off, she went and sat down.

Curling her fingers over the bench lip, Saly looked at the canopy walk away created by the two rows of closely planted trees who’s branches arched and touched high above. When she had been younger, she had believed such structures were tunnels into other lands filled with magic and wonder.

Taking in a very deep breaths, Saly smelt the ting of smoke over the fresh air and earthy scents. There were no signs of flames though, so the gently breeze must be carrying it. She sniffed, thinking maybe it was her partly blocked nose that was causing her to think she was smelling the smoke. Saly had been over the last few days, sensing things that weren’t really there.

Looking down at her knees, she wondered if things would ever be the same again. Of course, they wouldn’t be, not now that he had gone and she was alone again. But that had been one love and surely there’d be another? There’d always been before. It was hard though, Saly told herself, the death of a relationship seemed the end of everything.

Noticing that she was very much alone, Saly let the silent tears she had been holding in all day finally fall. Her auntie had always told her it was stupid to cry over men and a sure sign of weakness. Saly had agreed but how could she stop all these emotions when they were constantly consuming her like an over flowing bathtub?

There’s someone better out there for you, she chatted in her head, this is just another trial run for the real thing. 

Wiping away hot tears, Saly sat up straight and become determined not to cry over him anymore. Staring at the canopy walk of trees, she got up and went over to the entrance. Shadows were playing across the ground and there was feeling of protection within the sheltered area.

‘When you walk out the other side,’ Saly said aloud, ‘you’ll have left your past behind you and take your first steps into your future.’

Slowly, she walked underneath the trees, trying to stay true to her words. For the last few steps she held her breath then taking the first step out, let everything go. She smelt flowers and the coming hot summers. The endless possibilities of her future stretched before her. Saly walked away, her heart lighter.

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/05/17/thursday-photo-prompt-avenue-writephoto with thanks).