I Was Something Else, You Know

(Written for Friday Fictioneers)

Photograph by Claire Fuller

Photograph by Claire Fuller

You are famous – there are those who are awed by you and want to emulate you in every way. Flattering? Of course!

You are famous – killed for being so lovable, set in stone for the rest of eternity, someone steals your identity and parades around pretending to be you. Flattering? No way!

Welcome to the wo-duh-rld of San Claude.

Have you perchance seen that bulge-bellied, red-donning, sack-carrying, bearded man? That’s the crook. Goes by the name ‘Santa Claus’. Hand him o’er to the sheriff the next time you see him.

And the ‘HO-HO-HO!’ was originally my signature laugh.

fat-santa

 

 

The Window Scraper

(Written for Friday Fictioneers)

It has been so many months since I wrote a flash for FF. Glad to be back 🙂

Photograph by Ted Strutz

Photograph by Ted Strutz

 

Scrape! Scrape!

Without glancing at the screen behind her, Stella knew it was Dooz at work again.

Dooz had been given his plastic dental tools as a reward for good behaviour.

Each day, he spent some time trying to scrape the life out of the window. ‘I need some fresh air’, he complained in his shrill voice.

It had been three years but there was not even a scratch on the fortified window.

Stella suddenly felt a tap on her shoulder.

The last thing she heard was Dooz’s icy voice in her ear – “You forgot the door was made of weaker glass missy.”

 

 

 

Finding Joy In A Thrift Store

(Written for Friday Fictioneers)

Photograph by John Nixon

Photograph by John Nixon

“Ermm..how much are the china glasses for?”

“15 bucks for these, 10 for the floral.”

“P-paper cups?”

“Buck a dozen.”

“That Kodak camera?”

“4 – with a film’

“The blue suit in the corner?”

“30 bucks – that’s the least for a slow day.”

“I’ll take the brown jacket in the corner please.”

“Ok. I’ll throw in a bowtie and socks for free.”

“And the…”, the old man blushed, “And the white gown?”

“So it’s a wedding! Whose?”

“Mine”.

Arnie couldn’t wait to see the astonished expression on Edith’s face, providing little comfort for being 40 years late.

Courtesy - Google

Courtesy – Google

 

The Souvenirs

(Written for Friday Fictioneers)

Photograph by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Photograph by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

People collect souvenirs as reminders of the fine moments they have experienced. For Rufus, it was to remind him to be glad that he was alive.

He remembered the little girl who handed him her skating shoes, right before getting buried under a burning beam.

And the other time when a dying old man gave him a silver trophy before breathing his last – “I was the best singer in the county”, he spluttered.

And the golden pram he found in a debris. Ironic how this symbol of birth reminded him of death.

It wasn’t easy being a fireman with emotions.

.

Building A Dream

(Written for Alastair’s Photo Fiction)

18-07-july-28th-2013

Photograph by Alastair Forbes

“Steady now!”, Jacob whispered – his voice hoarse from all the hollering in the previous hour.

The first plank hung in the air precariously. The crane proceeded to sever its ties with the plank. One by one. Each snap of the connecting ropes cut across like a sharp whiplash. THWACK!

Just as planned.

After what seemed like an eternity (but was just a few minutes), all the ropes gave way.

Everyone looked at the plank, half expecting it to plunge into the water like every earlier attempt. Five minutes later (and after most of the onlookers had turned blue from holding their breaths), the plank stood still.

After years of planning, experiments, rejections and failures, Jacob had been successful in suspending the first plank without any support.

Jacob let out a war cry to every person who had ridiculed his idea – Who said you couldn’t build castles in the air?

Out in the Blue

(Written for Friday Fictioneers)

Photograph by Douglas M. MacIlroy

Photograph by Douglas M. MacIlroy

“I’m a bird Mommy”, Jimmy had squealed.

“The airplane is flying, not us!” Julia had replied, her knuckles white from clutching the armrest.

“I know we’re birds Mommy, you and me”, Jimmy had whispered.

Julia was white as a sheet. But she had to do this. For Jimmy. Oh how her boy had loved to fly! And fly he did – straight in to an unfortunate mountain last summer.

Julia held her breath as the countdown began.

“3…2…1…JUMP”

She squealed and skydived right into the arms of the blue sky.

“We’re really are BIRDS!”, she shouted at an imaginary speck thousands of feet below – which looked like her son in a wheelchair.

Drive along Maya!

(Written for Alastair’s Photo Fiction)

13-06-june-23rd-2013

Roy drove like a maniac. Deep furrows on his forehead. Eyes locked in concentration. Vengeance flew in spittles from his parted lips.

It was a regular game – accelerating hard towards the edge of the river and coming to an abrupt, bone-shuddering halt.

Movie style background music always played in Maya’s ears at such times. But today, all she could hear was her heartbeat – thumping overtime. She shivered a bit under her jacket, despite the summer sun.

“Are you gonna kill us you jerk? Slow down. SLOW DOWNNNN”, Maya’s screamed in vain. Roy, unaware, seemed to have transcended into a different world.

They were scarily close to the water now – the waves involved in a dancing frenzy. 15 feet..12 feet…10..5…2…1…

STOP!

Roy hit the brakes hard. He turned to Maya with his boyish smile – but the bloodshot eyes still held a memory of crazy.

“Happy Birthday Maya darling. I’m hungry.”

 

Standing Guard

(Written for Friday Fictioneers – 100 word story)

Photograph by Managua Gunn

Photograph by Managua Gunn

Laila O’Henry twitched under her musty uniform.

Kings had come and gone, but she remained confined to a man’s job. Nobody did a double take anymore to see a female palace guard. Unnoticed, she watched the world change. The quaint city port had metamorphosed into a bustling attraction. Towering castles replaced by imposing buildings. Dreams devoured by ambitions.

And yet the water glistened as of yore and birds chirped the same songs.

But nothing like a bright sunny day, she thought. The caramel light went through her, spreading its warmth. So much better than the cold lifeless nights in a box.

Laila O’Henry was, after all, a different sort of ghost. The one you saw only by day.

The Return

(Written for Alastair’s Photo Fiction)

“It’s been seven years but that vile woman STILL won’t leave your mind. Get out of my house!”, Erica screamed furiously, spit fountains flying around unabashedly.

Two strong forces occupied the room. She, the erupting volcano. I, the calm sea.

I didn’t want to lie to myself again.

Photograph by Alastair Forbes

Photograph by Alastair Forbes

I walked, then jogged and finally ended up running – excited like an eager teenager on his first date.

Our favourite lane. It felt like home. Every leaf and stone seemed familiar. This bend was where we first met, that tree we shared our first kiss under, and those steps led to the church where we…

I felt her presence before she called out. Her perfume made me go weak in the knees, even after all these years. She still looked exactly like the photograph in my wallet.

Lauren – my wife. If only she would have me back.

Piano Man

(Written for Friday Fictioneers – 100 word story)

An artist needs that, he thought. The constant dissatisfaction and artistic eccentricity which gives impetus to the want to prove oneself.

His art never seemed enough… just falling short of touching the aorta – leading straight to the heart.

That day, he played like a man possessed. His fingers blended with the piano keys. His clothes, famously flamboyant.

He crashed hard, just in time to not see his first standing ovation. Firemen found it difficult to separate him from his piano. He was one with his music. Literally.

He wanted a dramatic catharsis. And he got one. With just a ‘stroke’ of luck.

Photograph by John Nixon