Photo Challenge #386 – There was Someone Beside Him.

He’d been sitting there a while before he realized there was someone beside him.

It was a girl, dark haired, nose ring, heavy eye makeup and like him looking down.

“Where did you come from?” he asked.

“Through the window, same as I imagine you did.”

He sat there and continued to look down. He had enough on his mind without the distraction of person out there with him.

“It’s a long way down,” she said, ‘won’t be much of you when you hit the ground.”

“That’s the idea,” he replied. “I’m not much now so what difference will it make?”

“Hmm, but what if you get halfway and decide you don’t want to hit the bottom. I mean it would be a difficult position to be in. I can’t imagine you’d be in any position to get off, so to speak.”

“I’m not changing my mind. I’ll be doing a lot of people a giant favour. And what’s it to you? Are you gonna jump too?”

She was quiet for some time, her legs dangling over the edge like mine.

“You know what I find particularly sad?” she asked. “When it’s over, they will most likely scrape me up, cart me away and some poor police officer will go my mum’s and tell her what I’ve done. She’ll cry when she hears the news, and then she’ll sit real still and that’s when she’ll start to wonder who I was. She go to my room and find my note, then she’ll cry some more and then she’ll close my bedroom door and most likely never open it again. Out of mind out of sight.”

“Mine’s a similar story, I’m the black sheep of my family so they won’t be missing me, more likely relieved, and my mum will break the news to the family and they will be quiet for a time before life will return to its chaotic self.”

“It’s getting cold isn’t it. How about a coffee to warm us up?” she asked.

He thought for a second before looking at her and agreed. Together they climbed back through the window and caught the lift to the bottom floor where the café promised warmth and comfort.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2021/10/12/photo-challenge-386/

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge Challenge – When I was Young.

I’ve done stupid things in my life you know.

You?

Yes, it’s hard to believe I know. When I was young and my hormones were raging.

You have a list of them?

Oh yes, I was once in love with Gus Low. He lived on the farm next door. He had his own plane and all that. I was young and fickle and so I decided to show Gus how much I thought of him. We had an old cart and with our our draught horse, Nelly, we scoured our creeks finding stones to create a love heart. I built it on top of Sugarloaf Hill where I knew Gus would be flying over.

How did it go? Was Gus impressed?

I’ve no idea. Dad made me return the rocks, said I was using up valuable grazing land, so that was the end of that.

I would have been impressed if I saw it.

No, you wouldn’t, you’ve hardly a romantic bone in your body.

Written for: https://crispinakemp.com/2021/10/06/crimsons-creative-challenge-152/

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What Do You See Oct 11 – Temptation.

It couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Marge had heard I had been unwell and turned up with a box of donuts. My blood sugars had been raging of late and the doctor had warned me that too many highs could be disastrous for me.

So here I was confronted by a smiling neighbor, gift in hand and so concerned for my well fare that she thought a box of poison would be just the thing to cheer me up.

I smiled back, politeness was always my go too with my neighbours.

She meant well and I appreciated the gesture but I didn’t have the heart to tell her my situation.

I nibbled at one before putting it down saying I was feeling much like eating when in truth my body was craving the sugar hit.

She was okay with that and said she’d be going and I ushered her out the door.

I returned to find the donuts just where I had left them.

In temptations way.

I had to get rid of them as the desire to eat them was fast becoming overwhelming. Such a waste I thought.

Maybe one would be okay but I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist just one.

No, I picked them up and threw them into the backyard where the magpies had a right royal feast.

I felt pleased with myself for my actions and at the same time disappointed I hadn’t at least eaten one.

So, it was back to bland for me as I cut up some low-fat cheese and got out the low salt low carb crackers.

Written for: https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2021/10/11/what-do-you-see-103-october-11-2021/

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Tale Weaver 12.08.2021 – Dream a Little Dream… The Gurglepf.

I was walking along our street eating an ice-cream and when I finished I dropped the wrapping on the path not thinking as always about littering and so forth.

“Would mind picking that up please?” said a voice. I looked around but saw no one and moved on. Sometimes I do hear voices in my head but this time it sounded like just the other side of the hedge.

‘Please pick it up, we keep a clean and tidy place around here and you are just making our job all that bit harder.”

I stopped and began to think I wasn’t hearing a voice, but there was an actual voice, not my consciousness playing up on me.

I looked over the hedge and then saw the source of the voice.

“My goodness but what are you?” I asked. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

“I’m a Gurglepf,’ it said, “I like to keep things tidy and you are not helping me at all.”

“A Gurglepf? I exclaimed, ‘what’s a Gurglepf when he’s at home?”

“Well I am glad you asked. We Gurglepfs have been around a long time, mostly we keep to ourselves and you don’t notice us. We don’t always come across as the most glamourous of creatures but we are very clean. So, pick up your rubbish!”

I was struck dumb by what I was seeing and hearing. I looked around and suddenly everything appeared very unfamiliar. Home I knew was just along the street but the street was not as I remembered it.

“I think I might be lost,” I said to the Gurglepf, “I’m sure home is just along the way.”

“Oh dear,” replied the Gurglepf, “I was hoping that might not happen. People who meet us do have that phenomime occur to them. You’ll have to breathe in deeply three times and turn around. Sounds silly I know but it works. Why? I don’t know.”

I felt a pang of panic as I sucked in the breathes and turned around.

I closed my eyes as I knew if I didn’t nothing might happen.

I opened them with a jolt as I looked around.

I was in my bed, the blankets wrapped around me, and my singlet soaked from perspiration.

It was a dream I thought with great relief.

The next time I walked past the hedge I was careful not to drop anything though as I passed I was sure there was a rustle from inside it.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2021/08/12/tale-weaver-12-08-2021-dream-a-little-dream/

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Three Things Challenge #688 – The Ghost

Today’s three things

ROSE
GHOST
NICE

It’s 3am and the floor boards creak as they do at this time.

The grey haired lady floats across the floor

Tonight, she clutches a rose, a nice blood red one,

She glances over at me no doubt wondering who I am

What I’m doing in her house.

For a ghost she gives me the slightest of attention

She obviously has better things to do and more desirable places to be.

Written for: https://pensitivity101.wordpress.com/2021/08/12/three-things-challenge-688/

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August 5: Flash Fiction Challenge An Open Door

August 5, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about an open door. It can be literal or metaphorical. What is behind the door? Who is seeking and why? As the writer, how will you manage the discovery? Go where the prompt leads!

Freedom! That’s what lay beyond the opened door.

If only I could be brave enough to take that step.

The shackles that bound me were growing tighter, pulling me into a dark abyss I knew would be my end.

I had long harboured the desire to escape, find my own way. Threats kept me in my place. Financial ruin, public humiliation, alienation from my family.

So, I labored within the confines I allowed to be imposed on me.

But one day, the shackles fell, the door opened, I turned my back on misery and looked into a new world.

Written for: https://carrotranch.com/2021/08/06/august-5-flash-fiction-challenge-2/

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Crimson’s Creative Post #143 – Hemmed In.

He told me he was feeling surrounded, hemmed in, corralled.

It wasn’t always like that he said. Where once he’d been one of a few houses, nowadays there were houses all round him.

Every week he observed a new house being pegged out on the land around him.

His view out his back window had gone. There were three houses there now.

The people were okay; it wasn’t them, but the feeling of being crowded in.

It was peaceful thought, no rowdy children, no noisy neighbours. He was glad he’d built a sturdy fence around his place.

He couldn’t blame people wanting to live where he did. It was a beautiful place, though not as it once was, but that was progress he said.

He was learning to live with change, after all the local shops were still there and he appreciated access to the butcher, the baker, and candlestick maker.

Written for: https://crispinakemp.com/2021/08/04/crimsons-creative-post-143/

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Reena’s Xploration Challenge #193 – Spell Bread!

“Shhh! It’s your turn now”

The small boy visited his elderly neighbour each day.

They would sit on her garden seat admiring the goings on of nature around them.

The old lady was a font of information on all topics, garden and the universe. In later life the boy was to appreciate the lessons she taught.

But would happen most days the boy would grow hungry and would ask the old neighbour if he could have a sandwich.

To get one he had to spell bread.

It took him a few goes and eventually with her help he mastered the word. She always had a loaf of white bread on hand and would butter it generously and smear a light coating of fish paste, roll the bread over and hand it to him.

This ritual went on for some time, he became an expert of spelling bread and eating it.

One day he asked her for a sandwich and she again asked him to spell bread.

Having done so she then handed him the butter knife and looking at it he stepped back as this was a new routine he wasn’t so sure about.

He protested as he hadn’t ever made the sandwich before to which she said: Shhh! It’s your turn now.”

Written for: https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2021/08/05/reenas-xploration-challenge-193/

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Tale Weaver 05.08.21 – The World After

Jim’s mother was asking him if he was ready for school.

He came out of his bedroom, his uniform all neat and tidy and stood before his mum.

She adjusted his tie and then helped him put on his face mask. He’d grown used to the new mask she made him wear. He was used to it, the way it enclosed around his face, and he was pleased that he could breathe easily through it.

The mask was necessary these days as the virus threat was well and truly a part of their lives. Everyday, there were reports of virus mutation, and the wearing of masks was mandatory.

Jim, stood still as his mother made sure the mask was fitting snugly. The new mutations could get into not only one’s mouth and eyes, but evidence was growing of the virus infiltrating the body through the ears.

Jim looked out at his mother through the mask, a clear plastic-like covering over his face, the mask fitting neatly under his chin in which a filter had been fitted to allow him to breathe easily.

This was life nowadays; his mother often told him of the days of her youth when masks were not something anyone bothered with, viruses were about but not life-threatening as they were now.

So, it was off to school, a place in the centre of the town where the students met in front of computer screens, the teachers in some remote location, and it was difficult to tell where they actually were.

Today was a special day as the Principal in Chief was to address the students. The big central screen would be revealed, and they would sit to attention while the Principal in Chief addressed them. Jim found it boring most days and anticipated falling asleep at some stage.

Knowing what the day had in store for him, he set off. His street was a short distance from the school, and he walked along passing abandoned houses, their occupants long dead from the virus, the yards showing neglect as the population had dwindled considerably in the past year as a particularly virulent strain of the virus had taken hold.

Jim and his parents had been vaccinated and so were relatively safe from the virus, but there was no telling when a new mutation might appear, and so Jim was required to wear the mask as a safeguard, as was every other kid in his school.

It was a way of life; Jim knew no other, it was how things were.

The shops in the main street were also decimated, boarded up, falling down only the general store remained selling all that was required. Choice had long disappeared.

Jim turned into the main gate of the school, his mate Bill waiting for him, and they walked into the classroom discussing their latest video game achievements. 

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2021/08/05/tale-weaver-05-08-21-the-world-after/

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Tale Weaver:. A Question of Perspective. Alice the Evil Witch

 It was never easy being lumbered with the job of an evil witch. Her mother had told her that one daughter, in the family, had been ‘blessed’ with the task of evil witch over the ages.

After all, her mother argued someone has to do it; someone has to balance out the good witches, which, as mother put it, were a dime a dozen these days.

To make things worse, she had been named Alice, and whoever heard of a wicked witch called Alice. There were all Grizellas, or Gertrudes or Lucindas, never an Alice. She couldn’t believe she could be in any way convincing being Alice, the wicked witch, it just didn’t work.

Never the less once her mother had given her the handbook for Evil Witches, she was left with not much else to do but get on with it.

So, she dished a liberal share of plague and pestilence, conjured a storm or two and one of her favourites, if there was such a thing, was the sudden wind storm just as picnickers were settling down to a nice afternoon out.

In her travels around her territory, she came across some folk who were more than deserving in bad luck or just plain maliciousness.

One such body was Henry Haughty a land owner on the edge of town. Henry, she observed, treated his staff poorly, cheated on his wife and beat his children. He was a nasty piece of work, and ordinarily, as a wicked witch, she should have embraced Henry as one of her own and praised him for his evilness.

But Alice had a soft spot in her heart and saw that Henry was indeed evil, and it upset her that his family and employees were so mistreated.

One day she witnessed Henry being particularly nasty, and that tipped Alice over the edge.

Henry’s wife awoke the next morning, dreading the day ahead, and found no Henry but instead a large ugly toad looking at her from the end of her bed.

Henry’s wife, Agnes, didn’t like toads, disgusting warty creatures that they were, and took to it with her millet broom sweeping it from her home and into the family cesspit.

It was a quiet day after that, and Agnes celebrated with her children their first day free from Henry.

Alice seeing what had occurred, felt there was something good about what she had done and wondered if it would be ok for her to throw in the occasional good deed after a hard day of fire and mouse plague.

She was sure her mother would have something to say, but hey, Alice thought, it’s my life, I can live it my way.

Having reached that conclusion, she set out with a basket of poisoned apples to see if she could something about the insufferable Snow White who was doing far too much good at quelling the exuberance of the seven dwarfs. As it was, people were gossiping, and it was time Alice put a stop to it.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2021/07/29/tale-weaver-29-07-21-a-question-of-perspective/

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