Rock God #FridayFictioneers

Tank looked up at the statue of a sliver car with the words ‘Rock Rogers’ scrawled across the side whilst his breathing echoed in the protection filter mask.

The earth’s ground air was too poison to breath and the humans that had survived through the V-Plague of the late twenty-first century now lived underground and the sky. Tank and his crew came from one of the sky communities and their mission today was only a close visualisation one.

‘They worshipped some strange Gods in the past,’ Tank muttered.

 

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2020/03/18/20-march-2020/ with thanks).

Plague Mask

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I was hurrying home after a quick run to the shops, not that there was much left on the shelves as everyone was panic buying but I had got as much on my list as I could.

Passing the costume shop on the corner of the high street, the window display caught my eye. Normally, there were bright colourful costumes, sometimes children’s character themed or old pop/rock stars, their Halloween and Christmas displays were great.

However today, there was a huge head to foot black cloaked figure with a 1600’s grey plague doctor’s mask covering the face. It looked scary, threatening and close to an imagine of Death himself.

I frowned and noticed the other three manikins were dressed as a mad scientist, a doctor and a sexy nurse.

Someone was really trying to get into fun of the health pandemic mode.

A World Gone To Pot #TWPC

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I put the key in the lock and pushed open the door. The familiar smell of grandma’s house flooded my nose. Lavender, lily of the valley, mothballs and old cigarette smoke.

‘Gran, it’s me!’ I called.

Closing the door with my foot, I took the bags of shopping down the short hall and into the kitchen. Dumping everything down, I began to unpack things.

‘Gran?’ I called after a few moments then stopped to listen.

She didn’t reply so I went into the living room. The TV was up full blast and she was fixed to the screen watching the news report about the spreading virus.

‘Did you lose your hearing aids again?’ I asked then muted the TV.

Gran looked around at me wildly then shouted, ‘Cara? When did you get here? I lost my hearing aids! Have you seen the news?’

I rolled my eyes and answered, ‘yes, gran.’

Searching for her hearing aids took a few minutes; they were down the side of her chair. Then we put the TV to a lower volume and I went back to unpacking. After, I made us both tea, sandwiches and cakes.

‘I got all your shopping in, gran. There’s no need for you to go out,’ I said.

‘What was that, Cara?’

I signed, my gran was ninety-four and still living in her own house because she was so stubborn we couldn’t get her to move into a home. Beside from her deafness and slowly fading memory, she was healthy and seemed to be coping fine.

‘We talked about this yesterday. You can’t go out and have to stay isolated because of the virus. You can’t catch it. That’s why I’m doing the running around for you,’ I explained slowly.

‘I remember! I’m deaf not dumb, child,’ gran shot back.

I sipped my tea and watched the news. There seemed no escaping the pandemic.

‘World’s gone to pot!’ Gran cried, ‘you youngsters don’t know anything. I lived through the war I did! We had to make sacrifices, live as we could, get on with things. We knew what to do; mending and growing, saving, scrapping, getting by without. We had to support our boys too. I knitted socks and scarfs to keep ’em warm. And what’s all this now?’

She waved her hands at the TV in anger and carried on with her speech.

I half listened, having heard most of this before. She was right of course. Everyone was behaving badly, only looking after themselves and driven by fear instead of fact. Gran had lived through worse times and she and others got through it.

‘Fighting over toilet roll!’ gran shouted, ‘I wiped my bum with last week’s newspaper!’

‘Gran!’ I snapped in shock.

‘It’s true, girl. We used what we could back then.’

‘I know. It’s okay. Let’s change the channel.’

With gran muttering, I put something else on; a repeat episode of an old TV drama series. We watched it for a while then I tidied up and got ready to go.

‘See you tomorrow, gran,’ I said.

‘I don’t need babying,’ gran mumbled.

‘I know, I know,’ I signed ‘and you are right by the way. People need to behave better, like they did back then. It would be easier if we were all not selfish and just able to carry on.’

‘Keep calm and carry on!’ gran yelled, ‘we use to say that!’

‘Yes, yes, you did and that’s what we need to do now. Right, see you later,’ I added and kissed the top of her head, ‘and remember no going out. Though the garden is okay. All right?’

‘Yes. It’s time for Countdown. Where’s the control?’

‘Right there, next to your hand, gran,’ I pointed out.

She nodded and changed the channel.

‘Bye,’ I called and let myself out.

 

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge: Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Split Light #WhatPegmanSaw

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Lee was the last lighthouse keeper and that thought weighed heavy on his heart. He had been in the job for thirty-seven years and had come to the end of the era. There wasn’t much need for a beam of light to circle the bay now there was all that technology mapping on the ships.

Lee felt quite sad about that but maybe the lighthouse would get a new lease of life. There was talking about turning it into a museum and allowing the public scenic views from the top. And perhaps, he could return as a volunteer? Wouldn’t that be great to give visitors tours and share his stories.

 

(Inspired by; https://whatpegmansaw.com/2020/03/14/silver-bay-minnesota/ with thanks).

 

 

Non-Fiction Announcement – Coronavirus

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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to write this notice post, though I’m sure everyone is aware of what is going on in the world right now.

Currently, I’m well (if I get the chance, I’ll change that to ‘not well’ etc when needed) but I am in the high risk group as I have severe asthma and ulcerative colitis – a bowel disease- which has given me a weakened immune system and also the drugs I take for it are immunosuppressant.

I’m staying as well as I can, following all advice/instructions and keeping up to date with coronavirus reports. I am thinking about self isolation in general to lower my chances of getting the virus, it may or may not help me but for me as I’m at risk of complications from having the virus or even worse, it makes sense to do what I need to to be safe.

With regrades to this blog and posting a short story a day, I will carry on as normal. I’m writing a few stories extra when I can to have ready to publish in case I can’t write.

However, if days start to become missed then please understand it’s because I’m too ill to write. I will catch up on them when I can.

Thank you for your support, Hayley.

Lambent #WritePhoto

Isolation. Everyone was recommending it, everything into lock down and slowing.

Crowded streets and places were empty. Traffic lights changed colour but no one stopped and started before them. Signs hung in shops declaring the stock that was no longer available though most of those shops were shut for good. Life continued from behind closed doors.

On the research island it little mattered. I was the only one here, researching the puffins as they made nests and mated. I had two months worth of extra supplies in case of emergency as standard. Though, I had ordered more, as much as they could send me as I heard that panic buying was causing shortages.

I was far too busy outside, distracted enough with my recordings to eat or drink much. It was keeping warm at night that was the problem because even though it was spring, it was still cold and sometimes a bit of snow glittered in the morning light.

My boss had suggested I return home. Be with my family and stay safe because if anything happened to me out here there might not be no one to my rescue me.

I had thought carefully then answered, ‘no. I’m not at much risk here. The delivery people can leave the supplies and I can disinfect things. If I go home to the mainland I’m bound to catch the virus. We should keep in regular touch though. Two to four times a day fine with you?’

Laying on my stomach, I watched the sun rising and the puffins waking up. I couldn’t help but think about that idea of isolation. I imagined everyone complaining about it, becoming restless and fed up. I though, thrived on solitude. It was needed to become one with nature, to do the work I loved and never did the sense of boredom creep into my mind.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2020/03/12/thursday-photo-prompt-lambent-writephoto/ with thanks).

Fountain #FridayFictioneers

Lottie watched in earnest as her father, the head gardener of the large manor house estate, turned on the fountain.

They had been going around all morning fixing and turning on the many water features awakening them after their winter slumber.

‘It adds music to the garden,’ her father said in his broad Yorkshire accent.

Lottie nodded, fidgeting with her skipping rope.

Around them, the different gardens were coming alive with colourful flowers and green leaves. The sun was high and in the distance lambs were bleating.

Water bubbled forth from the fountain’s spouts, adding tinkling chimes to the music of Spring.

 

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2020/03/11/13-march-2020/ with thanks).

Always A Book By My Side

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I promised myself this year I wouldn’t buy anymore books. The bookcases and shelves were bowing under the weight of so many books, they wouldn’t take anymore. I had moved on to filling storage boxes and then to piling books on the floor by my bed, sofa and desk.

Most people held maps of how to get to places in their memories, I had a map of where each book was in my house instead. If there was one title I wanted to read, I was able to go to the room and shelf or box or bookcase it was in and after browsing through, locate it.

Most of the time, I took my next book from a current reading pile and moved through them that way. When I went out, the book came too and so I was never without one. There was something comforting about the weight of a book in your bag and also if you needed to wait you could read for a bit.

I had calculated I had enough new books and ones I wanted to re-read that I didn’t need to buy anymore books for a few years. So, I thought to try and read what I had and save the money I would have spent on something else. So began my new year resolution.

Within a month I had broken it. There were two books I wanted that I had missed the release of. I brought them and told myself to get back on track. Another two months later and I went to an art and craft fair. I meet an self-published writer who hadn’t sold a book all day. I felt bad and so brought his book and also another which had been on my list for awhile.

I told the writer of my book buying ban and thought it a hard task to do. I agreed and said this was the second time I had broken it now but I was determined to keep trying. I told myself if temptation came again I was to turn away.

It didn’t work! A few weeks later, I found another book I couldn’t live without and had to buy it. A new addition to my library and other world to escape into when I got around to it.

Why couldn’t I stick to my ban? Why did I have no self control? Why was I so addicted?

I pressed a book to my face and breathed in deeply, loving the ink stained pages and weight in my hands. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t stop, I needed more books.

Plant Pot #FFFC

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The couple on the top floor had been arguing again. I could hear their voices echoing through the apartment. I poked my head out of the door and looked up the twisting staircase, not that I could see anything other then the fancy design of the stairs and gold brass hand rail.

Just as I was going back inside, a large house plant in a clay pot came sailing over the railing down towards me. I jumped back as soil, broken pot and snapped off leaves flew everywhere.

I looked at the mess in wonder then up again towards the arguing couple and their door slammed shut.

‘Poor plant. It wasn’t your day, was it?’ I spoke, ‘well, we can’t leave you like this.’

Slowly, I searched out a new plant pot from my balcony and scooped as much as the soil up as possible. Re-potting the plant took some effort as it was heavier and taller then me.

‘There. That’s better now,’ I said and patted a leaf, ‘come into your new home now, safe away from those too. I hope they move out soon, worse neighbours I had for awhile.’

Carrying on my muttering, I took the saved plant inside.

 

(Inspired by; https://fivedotoh.com/2020/03/09/fandangos-flash-fiction-challenge-56/#like-41130 with thanks).

 

 

Desert #WhatPegmanSaw

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Sand lay for miles with nothing but dunes. Wind flapped the tents that the travellers were sleeping in. Their camels were all tied together, burden free for the night.

Hymn listened to the sand shifting. She was exhausted but too restless to sleep. Her body ached from hours of camel riding. No one said it was easy crossing the desert but she needed to do it. There was nothing left for her back there. The war had wiped everything away and forced the survivors to flee.

There was no safety in the desert, Hymn knew that but what else could she do?

 

(Inspired by; https://whatpegmansaw.com/2020/03/07/wadi-ad-dawasir-saudi-arabia/ thanks).