Merry Christmas – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
Today’s delightful photo by Sarah Potter helps me to forget the carnage of last week here on FF.
My beautiful Muse advises me to write something uplifting, and I can refuse her nothing.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Sarah Potter

© Sarah Potter

Click here to hear me read this 1-minute story (with Eros providing background music at the end!):
Merry Christmas

The little town is pretty in the snow.
This is a nice neighbourhood, full of young families.
I love the happy lights, savour the strains of joyous music from the homes opposite.
I look at her laughing face, and my heart is full.
But the cold is beginning to bite.
I curl up in the doorway, huddle under my newspapers.
My fingers, poking through the holes in my gloves, hold her photograph inches from my eyes.
Each time the lights flash, I see her again, as radiant, as lovely as ever.
I will die with a smile on my lips.

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Dragons -Sunday Photo Fiction

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 the picture (below).
This week
I am delighted to see that Al has treated us to one of his own photos, cute and not quite terrifying!
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Al Forbes

© Al Forbes

Click here to hear me read this 90-second story:Dragons

I have always loved dragons.
And not just Puff, who is clearly in a league of his own as far as lovable fire-breathing lizards are concerned.
I long ago wrote a sequel to his song, because no one that fabulous should be left in a cave for eternity.
People laugh at me, but others too, I feel, get a bit of a raw deal.
Like Smaug in The Hobbit, killed as a precaution, after just doing what dragons do, stealing and hoarding wealth.
And what about the poor unnamed beast butchered by the bloodthirsty St George while already in captivity?
This in the name of Christianity, according to the tales.
Even the king of whimsy, Lewis Carroll, has the Jabberwock decapitated.
Now I am a nice guy usually, pretty easy going, slow to anger.
But some of my business competitors find it amusing to mock me as soft, because of my
affection for these scaly monsters.
Mine is a ruthless business, so I have been known to respond unpredictably.
I believe in irony.
So when some tough guy says that dragons don’t exist, I just smile.
And drop him with a splash off Alligator Alley.

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Revenge is Sweet – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
Today’s somewhat macabre photo by Liz Young is perfect for allowing me to express my thoughts.
I have recently been the victim of what I believe to be somewhat unfair attacks by two ladies I had previously considered friends.
They are about to discover that no one has sharper teeth than Sound Bite Fiction.
Bwahahaa!
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Liz Young

© Liz Young

Click here to hear me read this tale of terror:Revenge is Sweet

The two imprisoned ladies stare balefully at each other.
We shouldn’t have teased him, says the purple-haired pygmy.
It’s all my falut (sic), replies the poutine-bespattered Canuck.
A handsome rogue enters.
He is even more gorgeous than his interview photograph, the pair agree.
Until he speaks.
Hoots mon, he says, it’s a braw bricht moonlicht nicht the nicht.
The ladies scream in terror.
Aye, lassies, he mutters in his almost unintelligible brogue, it’s the death of a thousand Scots words fur ye.
Anything but that, they shriek in unison.
Anything, he grins, questioningly.
The two captives confer briefly.
Then they smile at him.

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The Loch Ness – Sunday Photo Fiction

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 the picture (below).
This week Al shows us a curious photo by Sascha Darlington.
I have to apologise for being some 30 words over the count this week.
Having already been to Nice airport today, and having a pressing engagement with a rugby match, France v Scotland, a little over an hour from now, I have had insufficient time to fine tune.
Sorry, everyone.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Sascha Darlington

© Sascha Darlington

Click here to hear me read the story:The Loch Ness

What was the name of that film?
An old Hollywood movie, a light musical, set in Scotland.
Well, in what Hollywood considers to be Scotland, at any rate.
About a village that appears every hundred years, with a pretty girl who wins the heart of an unfortunate Yank.
Gene Kelly, maybe.
No matter.
This café, called The Loch Ness, reminds me of it.
It is, somewhat bizarrely, an Irish themed café/bar, with this most Scottish of names.
It is also, equally strangely, almost never open, despite sitting in a prime position on the picturesque port.
I notice it often on my wanderings, and wonder how it survives.
Then, apparently, it closes down.
The signage disappears, the doors have a more permanently shut look.
I am totally unsurprised.
Then, to my astonishment, it reappears just two or three doors along the quayside, in an equally prime spot.
The doors, of course, are not open.
Then, as I pass by late one afternoon, the door is thrown wide, and a charming young lady smiles at me.
You are a Scot, aren’t you, she asks, beckoning me inside.
Baffled, I enter.
The interior is bedecked in tartan and shamrocks.
I laugh, ask about the mixed theme.
She smiles again, says that in another hundred years they will be the same country.
I see that she has closed the door.
And the smoke is swirling.

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Grandma’s Chair – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
And she does the most wonderful interviews.
I am grateful for your time, patience and kindness, my lady.
Today’s brilliantly conceived photo by Ted Strutz made me think of salmon fishing and the Three Bears.
But the leap was too great, so I wrote about something more comfortable.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Ted Strutz

© Ted Strutz

Click here to hear me read this 1-minute story:
Grandma’
s Chair

Grandma’s chair sits empty now.
No one ever dares to use it.
She ruled the world from that chair, like some Highland Cleopatra.
She was a dour woman, rarely smiling, even at the youngest of the grandchildren.
But she smiled at the traveller who mended her pots.
Every three or four weeks we’d hear the creak of his caravan’s wheels.
Then she’d stand, smooth back her hair.
If Grandpa noticed anything, he didn’t say.
But the traveller’s black eyes would flash at her.
One day Grandma wasn’t in her chair.
We haven’t seen the traveller in the six months since.

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Bottle of Water – Sunday Photo Fiction

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
the picture (below).
This week Al
shows us a photo by J Hardy Carroll
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.
There is no reading this week, my limited oratory skills do not stretch to a conversation.

© J Hardy Carroll

© J Hardy Carroll

Bottle of Water

Do you want some water?
I am just talking to someone.
I am getting water. Do you want a bottle?
I am just talking to this guy.
Do you want water? (Two bottles of Highland Spring, please.)
What is it? I couldn’t hear you for the traffic. I was just talking to that guy.
I just asked if you wanted water. Here.
There was no need to get so excited, we were just talking.
What?
You don’t need to be so jealous!
Jealous? I just asked…
That’s him there. Look, he is living in a cardboard box, and you get all uppity.
How you doing, man? Here, you look dry, have some water.
I don’t think it’s water he wants.
It will do him more good than anything else.
He still thinks you’re crazy, you know.
What? Why?
For being so possessive.
I. Only. Asked. If. You. Wanted. Water.
Calm down, no need to get all uptight.
Do you ever listen to yourself?
I don’t need to. I have to listen to you!

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The Bath – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
Today’s photo by Roger Bultot would normally induce a shiver, but I am just back from Scotland so I am immune to cold!
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Roger Bultot

© Roger Bultot

Click here to hear me read this 1-minute story:
The Bath

I am not really a bath person.
Probably because I am so impatient, maybe even impetuous.
I prefer to shower.
I only decide to have a long soak when my aches become too much for me.
And today is icy cold, painfully so, depressingly so.
But I am warm here, my old bones are at ease, and my troubles seem much less important.
At this moment I can hardly remember her face, her hair, her beautiful brown eyes.
Well, I am starting to drift a bit now.
And feeling the effect of the wine.
The water is a pretty pink.

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