Photos Speak Louder #FridayFictioneers

Photos have always drawn me in. I’m no good at taking them and I’m not interested in photography. I like to think about why someone took a photo, the landscape and people in them. The capturing of the moment, the memory.

There are some that believe photos capture the soul. I’ve not come across anything like that, just a lot of nameless faces and changed places.

What I believe is that each photo holds a story within. It’s my destiny to uncover these stories, no matter what they might be.

 

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2019/10/09/4-october-2019/ with thanks).

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Brisk

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Autumn’s carpet lay at my feet. The trees above were almost bare having been forced to shed their coats by the strong winds. The sky was grey with rain promising clouds which would add to the water all ready on the ground.

It was the kind of brisked day I liked to go walking through the woods on. The cold reddened my skin, making me feel more alive then the summer’s heat had done. There was also so many different smells to be enjoyed; earth, wood, nut, rot, fire, damp and pine. There was nothing like the scents of autumn!

I could imagine my old dog going crazy through the crisp and crunchy leaves, chasing birds and squirrels. She would also find conkers and acorns to chew up then the biggest sticks to demanded me to throw.

My wife too would have loved this. Autumn was her favourite kind of year and she would cook the most wonderful of foods; stews, soups, hotpots, apple pies, pumpkin pies, fruit pies, ginger biscuits and so much more. She said autumn was her season and you couldn’t beat it.

Alone I now wandered, walking paths once filled with happiness. Autumn makes me both happy and sad, able to forget the hurt and remember more deeply. Out here, I can pretend my wife and dog are just over there, playing in the leaves and laughing amongst the trees.

 

(This story was inspired by the below ASMR sound video)

Another Monday

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The alarm went off. She rolled and turned it off. There was no need to get up. The alarm was set to indict it was morning. Not that it mattered because she fell back to sleep and didn’t get up till lunch time.

It was a strange curse of insomnia; she didn’t sleep at night but in the day she had no problems.

She blamed it on the six months of working night shifts at a warehouse. That had been  two years ago but being ill had thrown her body clock out of the window.

Time was of no importance now. She did things when her body and brain said to. It was like being on autopilot. She didn’t care, it was easier this way.

Afternoon TV helped to keep the demon thoughts at bay. Some days if she was up to it she would go out for a walk or to the shops but most of the time she’d order stuff on the internet.

Laying in bed, she realised it was a Monday. Adults would be going to work and children to school. She would be here, tried from her sleepless night and illness, wondering how many more Monday mornings she would wake up on.

Non-Fiction Announcement -Virus Attack!

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Hi everyone,

Some of you might have noticed that in the past week this blog has been failing in it’s goal of a new story each day.

I’ve been really ill with a virus. I spent 3-4 days in bed then the rest of the week just taking it easy and trying to recover. I’ve barely been able to read or watch TV and movies, so writing has been far from my mind.

I’m feeling better enough now to try and pick things up. I’m lucky that Word Press let’s you back date posts, so I can fill in the days I’ve missed and avoid triggering my OCD! This is going to take some time and of course I’ll be writing the stories for this week as well.

Please bare with me whilst I try and do this.

Thanks for your understanding, Hayley.

Read

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I opened my book, slipped the leather marker out of the pages and looked at the chapter heading. Straight away I remembered where I was up to and eagerly began reading.

The phone rang. I looked up and listened to the shrill tone. Abandoned my book with a sign, I got up to answer it.

‘Hello?’ a man’s voice with an Indian accent asked, ‘I’m calling from your internet provider. We are going to cut your internet off.’

‘I don’t have the internet,’ I answered.

‘You don’t?’

‘I’m eighty-eight! I’ve no interested in such things!’

He hung up.

I put the phone down and went back to my favourite armchair. I curled up again and picked up my book. Where was I? Even without my bookmark jammed in between the pages, I could easily tell.

I begin reading again. I got through a few pages but then the door bell rang.

I rolled my eyes and got up. It was a delivery man asking me to take a parcel in for next door. That all sorted, I got back to my book.

I only had a few chapters to go and I really wanted to know if the soon to be married young lovers would discover they were actually brother and sister!

The sound of crows crying loudly, brought my head up. I looked out the window and saw two crows fighting over the bird food I had put out yesterday. They were having a right go at each other.

I wasn’t a fan of big birds, so I went out and scared them off. I waved one of the walking sticks at them and the crows got the message. Black wings beat loudly and flew over the fence. I looked at the darkening sky. It was going to rain soon and it was getting colder.

I went back in, heard the clock chime and realised it was almost time for something to eat. I put one of the frozen ready meals in the oven and whilst it cooked I made and lit the fire.

The crackling of the flames on the logs and the smell of fragrant smoke were comforting.

I eased back into the armchair and began reading again.

The timer went off and I had my meal. After I got a cup of tea and tried once again to finish my book.

The door bell went – next door come to get their parcel.

The phone rang – my daughter checking up on me. Reminding me about the trip to the garden centre tomorrow.

The fire needed other few logs.

I drank my tea, read my book and finally relaxed as it was night now and nobody would disturb me. I could finally finish!

Or not….two chapter to go and lulled by the fire, I fell sleep.

Friday 13th

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It was one of the days Henry dreaded most; a Friday thirteenth, the unluckiest day of the year. He debated if it was even worth getting out of bed. He could call in work sick and just stay here where it was safest. 

No, the boss will know I’m lying, Henry thought, he overhead me talking about today for sure. 

Henry got up and avoided doing anything that might trigger the bad luck. He didn’t look into the mirror, he didn’t walk on any cracks as he headed to work, he didn’t go under any ladders or scaffolding and he prayed no black cats crossed his path.

At work he didn’t speak much and just got on with his accounting spreadsheets. He didn’t take his breaks or stop of lunch, Henry just wanted the day to be over. He ignored his colleagues asking him to come out for drinks or food or dancing. He mumbled he was busy tonight or he wasn’t feeling well.

He left work on time, a rarity for him, and hurried home. Once there, he undressed and got straight into bed even though he was hungry and his favourite quiz show was on TV.

If I can sleep through the rest of the day, everything will be fine, Henry thought.

However, he couldn’t sleep and within an hour had got up and was making something to eat. He had soup and crusty bread whilst watching the end of the news. Seems a few bad things had happened today; but then didn’t they everyday?

As soon as he had finished and tided up, Henry went back to bed and read for a few hours. He felt safer in his bed, nothing could happen here.

He heard it start to rain outside and a cat begin meowing loudly. He tried ignoring the child like crying yowls but the noise was cutting through his concentration.

Henry got up, went to the window and looked out. At the house across the way, he saw an outside lamp on and underneath, on the front door step was a black cat!

Henry clutched his chest and stumbled backwards. Was it okay that he had only glanced the cat? The creature hadn’t crossed his path or touched him or even looked up at him. Perhaps, the cat wasn’t all black?

Henry clung to that thought and got back into bed.

Everything is going to be okay, he started repeating.

He checked the time and saw it was almost ten o’clock. Three hours to go till Friday thirteenth was over.

Henry picked up his book again and tried to get back into it but his mind kept wondering. He got up again and looked out the window but the cat had gone.

‘I don’t know if it was all black or not,’ Henry said aloud, ‘but if it lives in that opposite house then I must have seen that cat before and I know there’s no black ones around here! Unless…they got it recently….’

Trying to get rid of his thoughts, Henry got back into bed again and pulled the duvet over his head. He tried to convince himself nothing was going to happen and somehow he fell asleep.

In the morning, he awoke to his alarm going off. Henry struggled out of a deep sleep and turned it off. Sleepy, he looked at the date and saw that he had made it through the unluckiest day of the year.

Tantrum

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The toddler was screaming the house down again. Marley had had enough. She went upstairs and from her bedroom drawers pulled out the little cloth bags of fragrance she kept in there with her clothes. It was an old habit from being brought up by her grandmother.

Marley entered the nursery and picked her daughter up. The toddler thrashed around but then Marley held the lavender scented backs to the child’s nose.

A few minutes later, her daughter stopped cry and screaming.

Marley let her hold one of the bags then placed the toddler back into the cot. Marley dropped the other bags around the now calming child and thought; peace at last! 

Autumn Stores

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The squirrels were stealing nuts I’d put out for birds then burying them around my garden as a winter storage.

Broken Tree

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The storm had brought a few trees down but as Ken stood before an oak that most have been over a hundred years old, he felt sad. He hadn’t seen the tree in it’s summer or autumn glory but he could imagine the heavy burden of colourful leaves. Moss and climbing plants covered the trunk of the tree which now lay on it’s side.

Ken took his axe and other tools and began chopping branches and the trunk down. He never felt happy about such work and not because it was hard going but because he was finalising the life of a piece of nature.

At least, the tree would have a second life and carry on being enjoyed in a new way.

In his workshop next to his cabin on the edge of the woods, Ken turned the fallen trees in to tables, chair and other handmade furniture. He sold his pieces to shops across the country and to people who ventured out to visit him.

Seeing his work being loved and knowing he had in someways saved a tree, made Ken feel satisfied that all his hard work had been for good.

 

Mock Scarecrows #CCC

The farmers’ children had been tasked with making and putting up some new scarecrows. Looks like they didn’t get very far…

 

(Inspired by; https://crispinakemp.com/2019/09/04/crimsons-creative-challenge-43/ with thanks).