WHAT IS YOUR STORY

January 27, day 27 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I thought I would get on today’s post early rather than late. It might give my voice a different tone. I’m not always tired and bluesy. If I was a singer, it would be an asset. It would be an honour to be called the Empress of the Blues. But that title belonged to Bessie Smith. She was a renowned blues singer during the Jazz Age. She rose from poverty with a mighty and strong voice. She was killed in an automobile accident at the age of 43 in 1937. Her grave was unmarked until a tombstone was erected on August 7, 1970, paid for by the singer Janis Joplin and Juanita Green, who as a child had done housework for Smith.

Her life is such an interesting story. We each have our own story to tell. They’re equally interesting. It’s in the way of telling and how we feel about our stories. I see stories in pictures. I see pictures in stories. In the same way, I tell my stories – one evokes the other. When I see the photo of our house in China, I remember playing up on the rooftop. I saw my first ghosts there. It wasn’t that I ‘saw’ but rather felt their presence. I remember my mother telling me they’re our ancestors and not to be afraid. I also ‘saw’ someone standing by our bed one evening. It was more of a shadow than anything. At the time I was still sleeping in the same bed as my mother. It was made of boards, covered with quilts. Our pillows were wooden blocks. I don’t remember them being uncomfortable though. Aren’t childhood memories/stories wonderful?

I used to write flash fiction for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Rochelle is a published author of several books and a watercolour artist. For Friday Fictioneers we write a story of 100 words to a photo prompt. It was a good fit and practice for me. I’ve learned to make every word count and to hone out needless, excessive words. We interact with each other much like on the Ultimate Blog Challenge. You read me, I read me. Then we critique each other – in a positive constructive way. The Dentist is one of my flash fictions that still has the photo prompt in the post. I’ve removed the photo prompt in most of the posts to free up room in my media library.

This is the long and short of my post. Not my best but not my worse. It has a beginning, a middle and an ending. Now I’m off to work on my watercolours. What is your story?

NOW THE MIDDLE

I used to write flash fiction on Friday Fictioneers. It’s a writing challenge presented by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. It’s a story of a 100 words to a photo prompt. My purpose in doing it was to hone my writing skill, to say what I need to without excessive words. Each story had a beginning, a middle and an ending. Each part has equal importance and equal difficulty. Now that I’ve made a beginning, let me see if I can sustain the middle. Maybe by the end, I will haved honed my living skills to a T.

Online challenges are easy to start for me because I choose the ones I like. For the most part, I have completed most of them. Right now I am a little behind with the100dayproject of sewing a quilt block a day. I made up a bit with 2 blocks this morning. Since I’m trying to divorce myself from my iPhone, I left it upstairs. I got over an hour of uninterrupted sewing. That’s one way of freeing myself from that appendage for awhile. It is not an easy task. I get phantom pains. It doesn’t help that I’ve joined a greenhouse and garden online group. It’s a double edged sword. On one hand it is nice to connect, learn and share experiences with other greenhouse gardeners. On the other, it’s distracting and time consuming.

Well, it is almost lunch time. Another beautiful though not as warm day. It’s crazy that it got up to 25℃ yesterday and today’s high is only 11℃. The lows Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are all in the minuses. I’m become very observant of our temperatures since we got the greenhouse. I wonder if it was so erratic other years. I’m feeling more concern about the future of our planet. However, I shall try not to feel hopeless and despondent about the future. I know I am doing my best to lighten my carbon footprint on this earth.

UNDER THE TREE, BY THE POND

It’s Wednesday and snowing big times here in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It’s a good day for storytelling.  What better venue than the Friday Fictioneers. We like to tell stories of 100 words to a photo prompt.  We are hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  Here is my story.

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr
PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr

I sat at the base of the tree, cradled by two roots. I gazed across the pond. Right out there in the middle was where my brother and I got stuck. We were chasing the water buffalo with sticks. We didn’t get very far before we couldn’t go at all. We had to be rescued. Boy, did mother give it to us after! We were soaked and caked in mud.

Those were the good memories. What haunted me still was the memory of my grandmother being publicly humiliated and persecuted by the village under this very tree many years ago.

Click, Clock! Click Clock!

It’s Thursday.  I’ve been missing my 100 words and Friday Fictioneers.  I’ve dusted off my fiction cap and joining in again.  We’re hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  Our mission is to write a story of 100 words inspired by a photo prompt.  Here’s my story to Amy Reese’s photo.  Hope you enjoy.  If you like, you can join in and tell your story.

from-amy-reese
from-amy-reese

My footsteps were so loud.  Click, clock!  Click, clock!  They echoed down the long empty corridor.  I paused and listened.  Was someone following me?  I held my breath.  My skin tingled with anxiety.  Only the thudding of my heart was audible.  Slowly, I turned my head and glanced over my right shoulder.  No one!

I let out my breath.  My shoulders relaxed and dropped.  I started my steps again – slowly and on the tips of my shoes.  The EXIT sign flowed in the distance.  Just then came click, clock.  Click, Clock.  CLICK, CLOCK!  I picked up my heels and ran.

SWEET DREAMS

It’s Wednesday, time enough for Friday Fictioneers and their stories of 100 words or so to a photo prompt.  We are hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  Anyone can join in.  Here is my little story for this week. I admit it is a little sappy but sometimes it is nice to sweet dream.  Life is harsh.

arena
PHOTO PROMPT © CEAYR

The summer night was warm.  The moon bright even through her rheumy eyes. A breeze stirred the hair around her face.  She sighed softly remembering another night.

They were sitting on the Lido Deck on the Carnival.  A bottle of champagne and two glasses between them, the moon and stars above.  There was silence saved for the lapping of the waves.  The warmth of the night wrapped around them. They sat in its protected cocoon, savouring their last moments.  Tomorrow…

Her head jerked.  She sat up with a start.  Where was she?  Oh, she had fallen asleep with sweet dreams.

 

BIRDS ON A WIRE

 

It’s another Wednesday and another photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers to tell their stories of approximately 100 words.  We are hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  Here’s my story of 100 words this week – inspired by this photo, the heat and Leonard Cohen.

grey-day-with-pigeons-roger-bultot
HOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

There was tension in the air.  You can almost feel it crackling like tinder under a match. Her heart raced and thudded.  It felt like a stallion was  galloping through her chest.  Any minute now.  It was coming.  She was sure.

The sky was grey and ominous. Enormous clouds hung over the rooftops.  The telephone wires drooped heavy with crows, gathered and waiting as if for a funeral.

Where could she hide?  Just then a bolt flashed across the sky.  She clapped her hands over her ears as thunder rumbled and shook the walls.  The rain came.  She was alright.

WORDS ON A WIRE

It’s almost Friday, close enough for Friday Fictioneers.  We are a group of writers who like to tell stories of 100 words according to a photo prompt.  We are led by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  Anyone can join in if so inclined.  Here are my 100 words this week.

barbed2bwire2bprompt1
PHOTO PROMPT © Madison Woods

Sarah felt the sting of the woman’s words.  Every hiss and barb.  They tore into her soul. She didn’t matter.

“You don’t talk, Sarah.  You don’t get to talk until I am done!”

She could not get in a word.  Tears clouded her eyes.  She screamed into the telephone.

“You stupid woman!  You stupid cow!  Who do you think you are?  Why can’t I talk?”  It was all in futility.  The woman kept up her barrage.  Sarah slammed the phone down.

Ashamed, she caught her breath and dialed the number on display.

“Ello”.

“I’m sorry I yelled at you”.

CLICK!

 

THE URGE

It is Friday night, a good time for Friday Fictioneers.  We like to tell stories of 100 or so words according to a photo prompt.  We are hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple, author of Say Kaddish for Me, From Silt and Ashes and other books.  Congrats, Rochelle on your book launch.  Here’s my 100 humble words for this week.

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll
PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Dusk had fallen. Night coming fast.  The urge stirred in his belly.  He sucked in his breath. Clenching his abdominal muscles, he willed all to be still inside.  He did not want to give in and lose himself.  A growl rumbled in the back of his throat.  He clawed at his neck.  Hair was growing on the back of his hands.

He glanced upward.  A sliver of moon slid out between the clouds.  Can he hide from it? Can he hang on?  He ducked into the darkness within the walls.  Damn, too late!  He raised his head and howled.

UP THE STAIRCASE

It is Saturday and bitterly cold.  It’s a good time to gather around the Friday Fictioneers.  We like to tell stories of 100 words to a photo prompt.  We are hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  Here’s my story this week.

PHOTO PROMPT © Amy Reese
PHOTO PROMPT © Amy Reese

She stopped.  Her footsteps reverberated in the staircase.  She could hear the echo of other footsteps beneath her own.  She stood motionless till all was quiet except for the pounding of her heart.

Someone was following her.  She took a breath, letting it out slowly.  She climbed a step.  Then another.  She heard the faint sound of feet below her and felt the vibrations of another hand on the rail.  Was her mind playing tricks on her?

Another step.  She reached for the door.  No more stairs.  Next time, the elevator. She felt a rush of air behind her. No…

THE LONG RIDE

Here it is, Sunday afternoon and I’ve finally penned my 100 words for Friday Fictioneers.  We like to tell stories of 100 words or so to a photo prompt.  Our host is Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  Anyone can join in.

melanie-greenwood
PHOTO PROMPT © Melanie Greenwood

She had no choice.  That was her only consolation.  5 hours to the airport.  She started a conversation.  Was she sorry!

She squirmed uncomfortably, willing the woman to shut up and move her fat thigh.  No such luck.  Tears were rolling down her cheeks as she continued the saga of her boyfriend.

Felicia glanced at the skinny dude on her right.  He looked equally uncomfortable, jammed against the door.  But at least he didn’t have the console up his butt.

She shifted again, using her hand on the car ceiling.  A little better.  Two more hours.  One hour and fifty-nine, fifty….