Fic: A Lot Lot Rain

selective focus photography of a baby looking through the window
Photo by Juan Pablo Arenas on Pexels.com

George knelt on the sofa, staring out of the window, his toy train forgotten about at the first splash of raindrops.

“Lot lot rain,” he announced.

Fiona nodded, ruffling her nephew’s hair. “Yes. Lots of rain.”

There was a rumble of thunder. George’s eyes grew wide. “What that noise?”

“Thunder.” Fiona got his attention and made the sign for thunder. Their family had been using Baby Sign alongside verbal language for almost as long as it had been invented, a simplified version of sign language with a small core vocabulary and some signs modified to make it easier for children’s hands to copy. “You remember thunder.”

George nodded. “Storm.”

They watched the rain for a while until it began to ease.

“Mama wet?” George asked. His mother had taken his older brother to a birthday party and so Fiona shook her head.

“They’ll be inside now, with the birthday boy.”

“When my birthday?”

Fiona smiled. “Not until April.”

“I have birthday party,” George said in a tone suggested this was inevitable.

“If mum and dad say you can.” Fiona was not about to take the blame for agreeing to a party for a bunch of under-fours and the associated cost and chaos. “I think the rain’s stopping.”

George nodded and slid off the sofa. He ran out to the hallway and came back with his Wellington boots. “Feefee, I want play in puddles!”

Fiona nodded, having expected this the moment the sky had darkened. “We need to put our coats on but yes, we can go outside.”

“Hoo-ray,” George cheered, the way he always did, two distinct syllables. “Puddles!” He jumped up and down as if he was already splashing about in the wet.

As she watched George jump all around the garden, laughing and playing, Fiona almost wished she’d bought her own boots so she could join in. She settled for the vicarious pleasure of enjoying George being carefree, revelling in the aftermath of the rain. 

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Flash Fiction: Foul Weather

Double drabble (200 words). On a wet night a man approaches the meeting point. For this month’s prompt ‘rain’.

black and white man weather rainy
Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

The rain hammered against his black umbrella as he walked toward the streetlight, the collar of his jacket pulled up, his footfalls splashing rainwater onto his polished oxford shoes.

He slowed his pace; it wouldn’t do to hang about too long on a night like this, far from a pub or café, taxi rank or bus stop. It would draw suspicion. Thankfully he spotted his contact approaching, a tall man in blue baseball cap with a green puffer jacket left unzipped, and they reached the designated meeting point together.

The handover was smooth, the small brown envelope passed into his free hand without either man breaking stride. He tucked the envelope into his pocket and continued on his way, taking a convoluted route back to his car, parked half a mile away.

There was a low rumble of thunder and he thought of his half-brother’s cosy suburban home and mundane but well-paid office job. Not the life he’d chosen nor would want for himself but sometimes the waiting, the cold or the heat, the snow or the rain, made the idea of such domesticity desirable and he pondered the wisdom of his profession.

Espionage was not a fair weather job.

Double Drabble:Gratitude

A double drabble (200 words) on the theme of giving thanks.

person showing white mug in focus photography
Photo by Bianca Gonçalves on Pexels.com

To attract more good into your life, first give gratitude for what you have. She’s taken this to heart and spends a few minutes each night and each morning giving thanks.

Today she stands in the garden, giving thanks for that private green space. She’s thankful for her hot coffee. The mug clasped in her hands was a birthday gift from her friend and she’s thankful for friendship.

She’s thankful for the warm sun on her face. Thankful that it will dry her laundry, and thankful for her favourite t-shirt which is blowing in the breeze.

A blackbird hops across the lawn, pecking at the scattered birdseed, and she gives thanks for the wildlife that visits her each day. She always enjoys watching the birds, butterflies, and bees.

Soon she’ll go indoors and check her phone, and she’s thankful for how easily she can keep in touch with family and friends. Then reply to any work emails – and she’s thankful for her job. Later she’ll get milk from the local store and she’s grateful for having the money to buy what she needs.

She finishes her drink, gives one more heartfelt thank you for all her blessings, and goes inside.

Double Drabble: The Journey

woman standing on seashore
Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

The Journey; 200 words exactly

A five minute walk to the bus stop where she waits seven minutes. An hour’s ride to the station where there’s a slight delay to her first train.

That train takes her out of the city but not all the way. She changes trains in Devon, the rail journey taking over six hours before she arrives at Hayle.

She’s travelling alone out of necessity, and she’s anxious every minute but she needs this, this place, this restorative experience.

She shoulders her backpack and begins to walk the rest of the way, following the South West Coast Path. It’s one more mile to the beach; after the distance she’s come that’s nothing and yet she cannot wait to reach the shore.

Her heart lifts as she sees the waves glistening in the sun, hears the seagulls cry as they soar across the blue sky. She smells the seaweed and her steps become lighter as she heads for the water.

She drops her backpack into the soft sand, pulls off her shoes and socks.

One step, two step, sea!

She gives a deep sigh as the saltwater washes over her bare feet. She feels at peace for the first time in forever.

 

Fic: When Fans Collide

black and white photo of a costumed fan at a comic or anime convention with the title text When Fans Collide written on top

Mira loved going to conventions and meeting other fans, buying merchandise, attending the celebrity panels, and joining in with the amazing cosplay; those who liked to dress up as a favourite character could get very inventive with their costumes.

Mira had chosen to dress as Domino from “Deadpool 2” this year, having previously cosplayed as characters including Wonder Woman, Zoë from “Firefly” and, last year, Valkyrie from “Thor: Ragnarok”. She hadn’t gone so far as to add a contact lens as another Dominio cosplayer she’d met at the registration desk had, but she’d carefully applied the white makeup around one eye and fluffed up her hair.

She’d hoped to meet her online friend of three years, and fellow fan, Erica, but at the last minute Erica had said she wouldn’t be able to make it this time, adding a sad emoji to her instant message. Erica hadn’t been to a fan convention before and was anxious about it, so Mira wondered if it was nerves that led her to back out.

“I’ll take lots of photos for you,” Mira had promised. She already had several of the building and a couple with some fans, including the other Dominio, who had gushed over Mira’s elbow-length fingerless leather gloves as more authentic than her own.

Mira browsed some of the stalls full of comics, signed photos, Funko Pops and other figurines, Blu-Ray box sets, and more. She’d got some money saved up especially to splurge on merchandise.

“Sorry,” someone said as they bumped into her. Mira looked up at the woman who was wearing a “Burr shot first” T-shirt and a beautiful dragon necklace.

“No problem. I love the shirt,” Mira said. “Both “Hamilton” and “Star Wars”, what’s not to love? My friend Erica has the same one.” Erica had proudly photographed the shirt laid out on her bed being admired by a plush Pikachu.

Continue reading Fic: When Fans Collide

Fic: A Little Spill

For the allbingo meet-ugly prompt “spill” – Johnny meets a mysterious woman by spilling beer on her.

fic-a-little-spill

Johnny thanked the bartender and took a step back, holding his pint glass aloft to move past the man seated at the bar, and as he turned bumped into someone.

They were also holding a glass. Beer sloshed over the top of both glasses, wetting Johnny’s sleeve and the woman’s purple-clad shoulder.

“Sorry!” Johnny glanced ruefully at his shirt. “I wasn’t looking.”

“Oh, no, it was my fault,” she said. “I wasn’t looking either. Just a little spill. No harm done?”

“Nothing a turn in the washing machine won’t fix,” Johnny said and flashed her a smile. She was close to his age, thirty-ish, with pale skin and deep brown eyes to contrast with his olive complexion and blue eyes.

She laughed. “It’ll dry out for the moment. I’ll go and sit in the sun.”

Johnny watched her move toward the outdoor seating. He sipped at his beer, savoured the cool taste. No-one joined the woman at the table she chose and she didn’t take out a book or e-reader from her handbag, not even her phone. It wouldn’t be interrupting if he asked to join her, would it?

He’d promised himself he’d take more risks this year.

“Hey,” he said, gesturing as he approached the table. “Can I join you? If you’d rather be alone I get it though.”

She smiled. “Sure.”

“Sure I can sit or sure I should go away?” He smiled again.

“Sit,” she said, nodding to the bench opposite her. “You can dry your shirt out too.”

He took a seat. “Thanks. I’m Johnny.”

“Talluah.”

Johnny tried to stifle a laugh. “Really?”

She giggled. “No.” She lifted her glass. “Cheers.”

Johnny clinked his glass against the mysterious woman’s. Despite the initial circumstances he had a good feeling about meeting her.

 

Flash Fiction: Outsider

Abigail is out of her depth at a party for the rich and famous until she meets someone else who seems to be an outsider.
For the allbingo “meet-ugly” prompt “accidental insult”

outsider

“Enjoying the party?”

Abigail shrugged. She’d come out onto the balcony for some air. Even in her short red dress she was hot, the atmosphere inside stifling both from the heat and the company. She was an outsider here, and while Claire could find a way feel at home amongst these people, Abigail could not.

“It’s not really my thing,” she said, lifting one tan hand to sip from the glass of wine.

“Parties?” he asked, before taking a sip from his whisky glass.

She turned her to the speaker. He was tall, broad shouldered, with blonde hair a little longer than was fashionable with this crowd. His suit looked the part but the inexpensive watch didn’t. Abigail had worked in a jewellery store for six months and had learnt more than she’d ever wanted to about watch brands and necklace clasps. He was probably as much out of his league here as she was.

“Not this kind of party. A few people I actually know, some snacks that I like, some music from this century. That’s a party.”

He laughed, came to lean on the railing alongside her. “You don’t appreciate classical music?”

“Sometimes. But it just makes this whole thing seem more formal. I don’t really do formal.”

He glanced around, leaned a little closer. “Can I tell you a secret?”

Abigail frowned, unnerved. “I guess.”

“I don’t really do formal either. You know what?” He tugged off his tie and tossed it over the balcony.

Continue reading Flash Fiction: Outsider

Ficlet: An Unexpected Find

Ficlet about an unexpected discovery, If it inspires you to write a longer work or you want to use it as a Story Starter, that would be amazing, please just drop a link back to this post, thank you!

An Unexpected Find

“What are the red ones?” Em asked, twirling the cellophane wrapped chocolate between her fingers.

Without thinking Joe  turned the box upside down because someone lacking the sense of a not so bright goldfish had designed packaging with the key on the bottom of the box.

Multi-coloured chocolates rained onto the floor.

“Oops,” Em offered, unwrapping the chocolate, presumably willing to play chocolate roulette.

Joe gave a deep sigh. He stared at the box, found the image of the red chocolate and said, “Strawberry Sunbeam. Dark chocolate with a soft strawberry filling surrounding a caramel core.”

Em popped the exotically named chocolate into her mouth and bent down. She and Joe picked up the chocolates, tossing them back into the box. Joe found a toffee lurking under the coffee table, having rolled away in a rather spectacular fashion, and on his hands and knees now spotted the glint of a silver wrapper nearby.

“Which ones are the coconut?” Em asked. “I should have take a photo with my phone. Let me put the lid back on and I’ll that.”

Joe was barely listening. He’d reached under the sofa and snatched up the Star Bright chocolate, a silvery foil wrapped white chocolate with a rum flavoured truffle centre, but something else caught his eye.

“What have you got there?” Em asked as he sat back up, the tiny thing balanced on his palm.

“A key,” Joe said. “A very tiny key.”

“I wonder what it’s for?”

“I don’t know.” But Joe wanted to find out.

This was going to be a bigger puzzle than which chocolate was his least favourite, the peanut and fudge connotation he found terribly mislabelled as “Fairground Delight”.

Flash Fiction: First Steps

first-steps illustration of a dragon reflected in water and the title text shown

A hatchling takes his first steps.  119 words.

He yawned, stretching his neck as far as it would go. He put out one foot, then another, trying to get his balance. He slowly lifted himself to a standing position.

Walking was tricky but he was determined. With each movement, his confidence swelled all the more.

In a few paces he reached the edge of the water and looked down at his shimmering reflection. He was a handsome little hatchling and he spread his wings. They weren’t big enough to lift him off the ground yet but they glistened in the sunshine.

He took his first ever drink of water and, when he was sated, sat on his hind legs and puffed out a small cloud of steam.

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Fiction: Never Annoy a Witch

witch

Never Annoy a Witch

On Monday, Tina trips over her own feet and spills her herbal tea. She’s often clumsy so she doesn’t think much about it.

On Wednesday, Tina gets a flat tyre on her bicycle and has to push it the rest of the way, making her late for work – her boss is not understanding.

On Friday, Tina cycles through what looked like a small puddle but proves to be hiding a pothole almost deep enough to unseat her as she’s thrown off-balance, and soaks her jeans.

On the following Tuesday, Tina almost has a panic attack when she looks up from her phone and sees a harmless, if large, house spider on her knee. The phone and the spider both go flying as Tina jumps to her feet. The spider scuttles off unharmed. The phone screen gets a small crack.

A week later Tina refuses to walk down the pet food aisle because they have reptile supplies, including a bag with a picture of a spider on it. Her boyfriend, who needs to buy cat food, says she’s over-reacting and to be honest he’s getting sick of it.

In fact a few days later they have a huge row and he tells Tina she should just “pull herself together” and to not call him again until she has.

When someone leaves a nasty comment on the watercolours she sells, saying it is “unrealistic and morbid” Tina is hurt.

Tina’s miserable and wondering why this is happening.

 

Morgan knows why Tina’s having such terrible luck.

Morgan and Tina were close once.

Until Tina criticised Morgan’s pencil sketches as not commercial enough and too angst-ridden for anyone to like.

Until Tina told Morgan to shut up about Morgan’s brother being sick, and stop moping about it. That Morgan should “get over it” and stop being so depressing and that Tina was done with them and their awful art.

Never mind that the sketches spoke to those wounded too. That they let Morgan express their pain. That while Morgan could not just “get over it” the sketches were a way to cope.

Morgan raged and wept and could not even pick up a pencil for weeks, cut deep by Tina’s betrayal. Morgan was shocked by the hypocrisy, for darkness exists in Tina’s paintings – the memorial of the drowning victim, the woman crouched in fear as a spider lurked nearby – and that Tina’s no shining example of mental health.

When Morgan did pick up a pencil it was to create something to express the sorrow.

And when that was done, and the moon was waxing, Morgan created a ritual to banish the pain and to raise a shield to bring protection and peace where there was anger and hurt.

Morgan summoned up every bit of pain and sent it out to be reflected back to Tina, where it belonged.

Art can be a mirror.

Magic can be too.

Morgan is a witch.

And you should never piss off a witch.

 


Thanks for reading this #writingwednesday! Likes, shares, comments are all welcome.
(And, by the way, I’m no Wiccan and don’t subscribe to the Rule of Three.)