Adrift #FFfAW

The days and nights had become one long stretch of nothing. It seemed there was only the sea and the sky left, the rest of the world has just gone. Dad and son sat in the tiny dingy, thinking, sleeping, daydreaming, hallucinating, hoping and praying to be saved. The sinking of the fishing boat haunted them but they were far away from that now and everything else. Large waves rocked the boat, the sky grew black, another storm was coming and this time they might not survive.

(Inspired by; https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2018/11/26/fffaw-challenge-193rd/ with thanks).

Fading #TwitteringTales

mashup

It was a photo everyone always laughed over. Those old cameras creating ‘ghost’ images when the button was pressed too fast. There was more to it though because the girls in the background, my cousins, had been long dead before the printed date on the back said.

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2018/11/27/twittering-tales-112-27-november-2018/ with thanks).

The Loneliest Day

feet-619534_1920

The phone rang, Jen tutted and abandoned the cake batter she had been mixing to answer it. It was probably a cold caller and she should just let the answer machine get it but she had finally got month old baby Louis down for his afternoon nap and didn’t want anything disturbing him.

‘Hello?’ Jen said into the phone.

‘Hi, it’s only me,’ her husband, Mike spoke, ‘I tried your mobile. I thought you might be a sleep.’

‘No,’ Jen replied with a sign, ‘I was in the kitchen.’

‘Okay. I just wanted to let you know I’m not sure what time I’ll be home,’ Mike explained, ‘there’s been a full office computer crash. Some idiot downloaded a virus yesterday and it’s super bad. I’m not letting anyone from the IT department leave till we’ve fixed it.’

‘I see,’ Jen uttered.

‘I’ll get something to eat on the way home. Don’t wait up for me, you still need to rest as much as possible.’

Jen nodded.

‘How is Louis?’ Mike asked.

‘Good. He’s sleeping now and he drink a full bottle before.’

‘Super! I got to go. Got the big boss at my throat. See you later, Honey.’

‘Bye,’ Jen said as the ring tone beeped in her ear.

She hung the phone up then stared at it. Why did things like that had to happened? Jen hugged herself and tried not to let the silence of the house get to her. Feeling a slight chill, she moved back into the warmth of the kitchen.

There in the bright lights, surround by cooking equipment and ingredients she could pretend that everything was normal again. Busying herself with finishing off mixing the cake batter, she was just about to divided it into the paper cupcake cases with a baby’s cry came from the living room.

Jen paused and tried not to rush off. Hoping, he would stop and settle again, She began scooping batter into the cases. She made it to four then give in and went into the living room.

‘I’m coming, Louis,’ she called.

Jen stood over pram then picked Louis up. She mumbled things to him and snuggled him. Then realised he needed changing and went and did that. Wrapping him up again, she tried to get him back to sleep but he seemed too awake. Placing him into the pram again, she wheeled him into the kitchen and parked him up.

Finishing dividing the cake mix, she placed the tray into the oven and set the timer. Washing her hands, she tidied everything up then wondered what to do next. On the counter was a pack of spaghetti and a jar of bolognese sauce, this evening dinner.

‘We won’t be needing this now,’ Jen said aloud and put them away, ‘I’ll have some soup instead and you can have some more milk.’

Louis made a moaning sound and Jen checked on him. He had taken both scratch mitts off again.

‘How do you do that?’ Jen wondered.

She put the mitts back on and wheeled him back into the living room. There, she put the TV back and set the channel to one with afternoon game shows as had became her habit. Picking up Louis, she sat cuddling him on the sofa. He dozed on and off then wanted feeding again.

The timer went off whilst she was feeding him and Jen, who hadn’t mastered juggling a baby and other things yet, had to place him down and go to get the cakes out. Louis started crying and her repeatedly tell him she was coming right back had no effect. Cakes out and left to cool, she washed her hands and hurried back to breast feeding him.

Settled again, Jen felt waves of tiredness drifting over her. Louis was a heavy, hot, soft bundle in her arms. The house was warmer now as the heating had come on. Rain was tapping against the windows and even though it was almost four o’clock, night had rolled in.

Realising, she should close the curtains, Jen got up careful and placed Louis in his pram again. She went over to the window and looked out. The street lamps were on and there were cars and people outside. A front door across the road was open, light pooling out and two people were stood in the glow.

A stab of loneliness hit Jen. Her hands slipped from the curtains. She had been ill throughout the whole of her pregnancy and had to have time off work sick then take early maternity leave. Luckily, she and Louis had got through the birth fine, but Jen was recovering and hadn’t left the house much in the last ten months now.

Family and friends had been regularly visitors throughout those months and Jen was grateful for those mornings and afternoons spent with in their company but the mid-week period was the worse time. It was just her and Louis for eight or nine hours whilst Mike was a work and everyone else was too busy.

Jen closed the curtains and tried to get rid of the dreadful feeling filling her up. She checked on Louis who was fast asleep then went into the kitchen. She ate one of the just cooled cakes and made herself a cup of tea.

To help focus herself, Jen thought about plans for the next few weeks. After her last hospital check up, she would started to go out more. She had seen a mums and babies play group advertised at a local church on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. There was also baby swimming on Monday and Friday mornings at the sport centre. On Wednesdays there was the lunch club at her work that she could take Louis too as well.

‘See? You are going to be fine,’ Jen said aloud, ‘just get better.’

Grabbing another cake and her cup of tea, Jen went back to the sofa. Adverts were flashing on the TV and Jen got ready to watch the next quiz show, feeling that little bit better.

Hidden #WritePhoto

It seemed too peaceful in the woods for anything dreadful to lay underneath but that  was what my instincts kept warning me of. For nights, I had been dreaming about this little girl in a pink ballerina dress dancing through these trees and calling my name. I had tried to ask her who she was and why she was here but she didn’t answer me.

I followed the river downwards, watching the chopping water tumbling over large rocks and small waterfalls. The sound of the water smoothing the edge off my worries. Birds were twittering away in trees which had almost lost all of their colourful autumn leaves. The chill of winter was settling in between the slate grey sky and muddy ground. My breath was misting in the late morning.

Huddling in my red Parker coat, I tried to recall the place the little girl seemed to be leading me too. I had never walked in these woods before and it was only because of her I was here. In my dreams, she had made letters of out sticks. I had looked it up on the internet and been directed to here. It had taken an hour and half driving, I had set my Saturday aside for this but even if nothing came of it, I had explored a new place and enjoyed a pleasant walk.

The river bent away and the path I was on spilt in two; carry on or go further up into the woods. Digging my hands into my pockets, I shut my eyes and finally opened spirit sense. I let the natural sounds move away and listened underneath them at anything that could be supernatural. It was always harder to do this outside as there was so much going on but the little girl was strong and she came to me in my mind.

She was dancing in her pink dress with frilly underskirt, ballet slippers ribboned up her legs, her dark hair up in a tight bun and her skin was milk white. A giggle and twirls along the second path and into the trees she vanished.

Opening my eyes, that’s the way I headed. The path wove around the trees, going up at a gentle pace for some time. The sounds of the river faded, more paths joint my one leading to other unknowns but I stuck with the one before me which soon became less trod on as it ran further and further above the woods.

‘Is this right?’ I whispered, pausing at a fallen oak tree covered in moss.

The feeling I was getting somewhere grew and I sent my sense out. The little girl appeared, not dancing now just pointing me on. I followed her fading form around a corner and came to bridge crossing a small stream. Leaves and twigs had blocked the flow of water but there was something else too….A flash of pink.

The breathe caught in my throat and I crept over. I didn’t look fully, didn’t need to, I knew she was there.

‘It’s okay, Sweetheart, you’ve been found now,’ I spoke.

I took my phone from my pocket and dialled the police.

The little girl smiled at me then faded into a mist which the winter wind carried through the trees.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/11/22/thursday-photo-prompt-hidden-writephoto/ with thanks).

 

 

Wrapping #WeeklyWritingChallenge

christmas-3823528_1920

It was getting to Christmas again. This time Terri had been on top of everything. Being off sick from work with stress had turned into a strange blessing. Whilst everyone else was worried about finding the time to  get everything done, Terri was racing ahead.

The last of her presents arrived and wanting to put a surge of energy to good use, Terri decided to get wrapping things up. Covering the front room with boxes, wrapping paper, bows, tag, sticky tape and scissors, Terri put on some Christmas themed music and studied her notebook. The page listed peoples’ names and the gifts she had brought them as well as the cost.

Terri humming along to the song and set about wrapping each item up. It was fun for an hour then her head started spinning. She began questioning if she had brought and spent enough on each person, if they would like the gift and how could she be sure they didn’t have this book all ready?

A rant began in her mind and she had to stop to calm down.

It doesn’t matter, she thought finally, everyone is getting a present and that’s what counts the most. 

 

(Inspired by https://secretkeeper.net/2018/11/26/weekly-writing-challenge-169/ with Thanks).

Winter Cometh

snowflake-554635_1920

Nights grow longer, colder, sun fades from icy grey sky which dead tree branches claw in bitter winds, water crystallises, glistening in moonlight, winter arrives.

Vintage #3LineTales

three line tales, week 147: a woman playing guitar in a shop

Harmony’s dream was to own a shop, so when the moment came and Harmony stood looking around at all the shelves decorated with vintage items for sell, she still couldn’t believe it was real.

It was a rocky start for her little business and she relied on internet sales, still she loved it and she tried hard to prompt; going to fairs and shows, spreading the word as much as possible.

Things grew and steadied out, Harmony held on to her joy and shared her love for all things vintage, the trend grow so big that she was able to expend out and life quite happily.

 

(Inspired by; https://only100words.xyz/2018/11/22/three-line-tales-week-147/ with thanks).

 

 

Let It Flow #FridayFictioneers

Stepping down into the river bank, I found a large rock and began taking off my boats and socks. Late November wind made my skin tingle with cold. Abandoning things, I placed my feet into rushing water.

I gulped down cries that rose in my throat and shut my eyes. Underneath, I could feel smooth stones and ice cube like water sliding up my ankles. I thought about all the ‘bad’ currently in my life, pushed it down into my feet, wiggled toes and let the river carry it all away from me.

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/11/21/23-november-2018/ with thanks).

First Snow #FFfAW

It was a surprise that it was cold enough to snow but Gwen reasoned this was Scotland after all. The first blanket of white she saw from her bedroom window filled her more with sorrow then happiness.  Life was going to be tougher from now on.

She got the kids up, ready for school and didn’t telling them anything. They were over- excited about Christmas all ready; six weeks to go!

Hand on the door to leave, Gwen so thought about lying to keep inside. Instead, she braced herself and stepped into the winter wonderland.

 

(Inspired by; https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2018/11/19/fffaw-challenge-192nd/ with thanks).

Time #1LinerWeds

clock-1031503_1280

The doctor warned the new pills might effect Noah’s sense of time but he hadn’t expected to wake up in the middle of the nineteen century.

(Inspired by; https://lindaghill.com/2018/11/21/one-liner-wednesday-its-time/ with thanks).