Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in his picture (below).
When I saw Al’s fairly unambiguous photo today I laughed, because it reminded me of an incident a few months back, before the Mediterranean sun roused herself from winter slumber.
And I rambled on rather lengthily, sorry.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and see what others have written.
It is cold today.
I am inside the little café in the square.
I lean on the counter, scribbling furiously.
I am in the zone, the story is flowing.
I become aware of a shadow at my shoulder.
I look up, a smile already forming.
I know a lot of good people in my little town on the Mediterranean.
A stranger is trying to read what I am writing.
My smile stays, but doesn’t reach my eyes.
Can I help you, I ask, in French.
What are you doing, he asks in return.
I look meaningfully at the pen in my hand, then at the paper in front of me, covered in words.
I am knitting socks, I say pleasantly.
He shakes his head, staring at my illegible scrawl.
Which is in a language he clearly does not understand.
That is incredible, he says, amazing, unbelievable.
I grunt, shrug, already bored with him.
My eyes and thoughts go back to the page.
You must have a beautiful heart, he continues, that is fantastic.
No, I respond curtly, it is just writing, it is what I do.
I am really impressed, he enthuses, I have never met a writer before.
Are you trying to wind me up, I ask, less pleasantly.
No, no, he insists, this – he indicates the spidery hieroglyphics that fill the pages spread before me – this is awesome.
The word he uses is ‘énorme’, literally ‘huge’, but used colloquially in this sense.
Be nice, I tell myself.
Thank you, I say to him, then turn back to my story.
Are you writing a novel, he persists.
I am not writing anything, I tell him.
He looks at me in astonishment, the question in his eyes.
Too many interruptions, I say.