The Sound – 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’s
somewhat creepy photo is by the man himself.
Pass the bug spray, Al.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Al Forbes

Click here to hear the author read this story:
The Sound

I awaken with a start.
Normally my dreams are benign, but this one, I know, was not.
I can practically feel it slithering away to some dark corner of my mind, waiting for an opportunity to come back and haunt me.
I sip water from the glass at my bedside, and breathe.
As my body relaxes I realise what wakened me.
There is a sound.
It comes from outside the bedroom
In fact, from my computer.
Someone is tapping on the keys.
I arise swiftly, lifting my gun as I go.
I reach the door of my little study.
It lies open, I look in.
And I am filled with horror.
The person at the keyboard is literally the last person in the world I expect to see there.
I rap the gun against my knuckles to prove I am not dreaming.
And I stare at me.

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The Wall – 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’s
lovely photo of what I think is apple blossom and a wheelbarrow, is provided by John Brand.
Good choice, Al.

Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© John Brand

Click here to listen to this 90-second tale read by the author:
The Wall

It is high, too high to jump.
It is well constructed, with no place for fingers or toes to grip, too smooth to climb.
It is too solid to knock through, at least with the equipment I can muster.
It is, in fact, a wall built for a purpose, which it achieves.
At first glance, anyway.
It is guarded, of course.
Well, not the wall itself, obviously, no one guards a wall, but it is under continual surveillance to ensure it is not breached.
I am unusually creative.
That is one of the reasons I am here, that and my well-documented disregard for society’s accepted standards.
I know what is on the other side.
I know its value, to myself and to many others.
That is why I have to do this.
I am resourceful.
And I have a plan.
I know how to overcome the seemingly insurmountable.
And what to do when I succeed.
I take a deep breath.
I am nervous, naturally.
But I am not afraid.
I move forward.

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Chemin des Dames (2nd Battle of the Aisne)

Some things need to be shared. This is one of them.

unbuttoned or undone

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Le_fanion_du_43e_bataillon_de_tirailleurs.jpg

April 16th, 1917

Abdoulaye N’Diaye is dying, tucked between the bodies of two other soldiers of the 43rd Battalion. He thinks he recognizes Moustapha on his left. The infantryman is missing the top of his face, his guts spilled in muck. Frozen blood partially hides some tribal scars.
But it is Moustapha’s grin.

In a lull between shells, he hears Germans soldiers approaching. Face down, unmoving, Abdoulaye is terrified, frostbitten fingers clenched around his useless gun.
Through the panic, he concentrates on his chest, where the amulet his mother gave him to keep him safe rests. Freezing rain pelts again as he mercifully loses consciousness and stops shaking. His fear and shock ooze into the mud.

Death creeps in slowly with nightfall. Rats gnawing at his legs, scurry across his body to the blinding throbs in his skull and wake him. The dirty mist is full of ghosts and wandering…

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New Boy – 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’s
intriguing photo is provided by Jade M Wong, with enough elements to inspire and confuse a million tales.
This is what emerged from my tortured brain.

Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Jade M Wong

Click here to hear me read aloud this 90-second story:
New Boy

Looking forward to tomorrow, my father asks.
I stare at him in disbelief.
Is he serious?
I am thirteen years old.
This is the sixth school I have attended.
I am the new boy again.
I have the strange accent and the suntan.
I come from the other side of the planet.
I am different.
That is the single biggest crime in my world.
Tomorrow there will be new examinations to be faced.
New conflicts to overcome.
New fights to be fought.
Battles to be won or lost.
I have learnt that it doesn’t really matter if I win or lose, so long as I damage my opponent.
No one likes to be hurt, even the fighters, and there are always a few.
So I have to gouge an eye, or bite an ear, inflict severe pain.
Then there will be time to make alliances, become accepted.
Fortunately it is the rugby season, so I will fit in there.
I’ll be okay, I tell my father.
I know, he says, you are tough.
I shrug, head to my room to prepare myself.
Tomorrow there will be monsters lurking.

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Murder – 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.
This week’s photo by Ms Dalectable herself is unsurprising in its content, she being an acknowledged cibophile and oenophile, but it is delightfully open to a multitude of interpretations.
I thought I’d kill someone, just for a change.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Dale Rogerson

Click here to hear this 1 minute story read by the author:
Murder

In flagrante delicto.
I love that expression, it is so elegant for something that can be quite sordid.
And this was sordid.
My wife and my oldest friend.
Both of whom I trusted implicitly.
So yes, I killed them.
I was angry.
No, enraged is a better word.
Not because they succumbed to temptations of the flesh.
These things happen.
They were both young, attractive and energetic.
So it is understandable, perhaps even forgiveable.
But there needs to be some sort of decorum, surely, some self-control, to show we are civilised.
I mean, they didn’t even finish the pizza first.

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The Tiff – 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’s photo is provided by Al himself, and looks to me like an interestingly different view of the celebrated White Cliffs of Dover.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Al Forbes

Click here to hear me read this 80-second story:
The Tiff

The holiday is perfect.
Our time together has been full of fun, full of laughter, full of adventure.
We have swum, dived, hiked and climbed.
Now, on the penultimate day, we have a tiff.
Not even an argument.
Just one of those silly moments, a word misunderstood, a reply too harsh, an offence taken.
She marches off, hair flying.
I sit scowling.
Minutes pass.
She is out of sight through the trees.
I immediately regret every stupid response.
I follow her, take a few minutes to spot her.
She is standing in long grass, staring out over the water.
I go to her, an apology on my lips.
As I touch her shoulder, I see the wires of her iPod.
She has not heard my approach, jumps, startled.
She stumbles, misses her footing, and I see the cliff edge at her feet.
I grab vainly for her despairing hands as she slips towards the rocks far below.

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Gone Fishing – 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).
Al’s photo this week
is provided by the delightful Jules Paige, a wonderful lady and beloved friend of this scribbler.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Jules Paige

Click here to hear me read this 90-second story:
Gone Fishin’

I love it up in the Trossachs.
The National Park here contains twenty-two lochs, including world-famous Loch Lomond, the 40-mile long sea loch, Loch Fyne, and Scotland’s only lake, the Lake of Menteith.
I like to fish in one of the smaller, lesser-known lochs.
I won’t tell you the name, it is off the beaten track and I enjoy the tranquility.
Back when I was married my wife would nag me for spending my weekends alone in the wilderness.
I guess it is one of the reasons we are no longer together.
But I was happy sitting all day with just the midges for company.
The scenery is idyllic, the grass and trees vibrantly green, the great heather-clad bens reflected in the calm surface of the water, birds in abundance.
Paradise.
And I would sometimes catch a nice brown trout or pike perch.
She would be happy to cook and eat that, as long as I gutted it first.
Funny enough, I don’t eat what I catch now, since she left.
Well, I say ‘left’, probably a better word would be ‘disappeared’.
I am fussy about what I eat.

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