Tag Archives: Short fiction

The Crescent Moon Bear Says No

Julia’s 100  word challenge this week is to take a fairy story and re-write the ending.  I’ve chosen a Japanese folk tale that I love,

The Crescent Moon Bear

‘But the wise woman told me to bring a hair from your throat,’ said Harumi, shaking with fear.

‘She always does,’ the Crescent Moon Bear roared, ‘now clear off.’

‘My husband will die, he’s been fighting wars for years and he’s . . .

‘Traumatised, yes, I’ve heard it a thousand times.’

‘So you’ll help, please? I’ve brought food.’

‘Look, plucking my hair hurts, I know you’ve been through hell to get here, it’s a test. Just be patient and loving. Eventually your husband will get better. GO!’ he shouted so loud that Harumi jumped, ‘leave my food behind, or I’ll eat you.’

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In the original, the bear gives the woman a hair from the crescent moon on his throat. When she arrives back down the mountain the wise woman throws it away and tells her to be patient with her husband.

Join in at http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week124/

 

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups Week# 76

Julia says the prompt wrote itself after last weeks. As I only just wrote week 75 I decided to continue where I left off.

On Time part 2

She was entranced by you from the start; my daughter, usually so reticent, actually allowed you to take her hand. In the café Macey giggled with a child on the next table, and you, well you didn’t seem to know who to look at first.

            She is mine isn’t she? You asked, squeezing my hand. If I’d wanted to keep it secret I would have. I caught Macey looking from you to me, and back again, wondering.

You gradually moved into our lives from that day, but I can’t help asking myself what’s beneath the surface? Did you choose both of us or Macey?

http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week76/#comment-14662

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups Week# 73

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I’ve missed the challenge for a few weeks but hope to get back to regular entries. This week Julia’s prompt is ‘the notes from the piano‘ and here is my attempt.

Gap Year
They picked up the notes from the piano, each scrabbling to get the one with their name on.
Joanna
I know you’ll miss me little sis but that’s no excuse to flunk your A level’s, be good and maybe in your gap year…

Josh, pack it in right?
Dear mum
Beth and I are going to India. I’ve had all my jabs. Try not to worry, I’ll be fine. See you in a year; I’ll skype you.
Lots of love

Daddeeee please could you look after my fish? And drive my car sometimes? With love from your big girl xxx

CPW’s Picture prompt

Last week I went for a lunchtime walk with Crazy Polish Woman who complained that my blog is full of photos and not much writing these days. I explained that I have to keep my best writing for the course I’m studying, and to build up a body of work, but I do try to do the 100 word challenge most weeks, because flash fiction isn’t too trying.

Back at my desk she emailed me this picture, with the question ‘What is happening here?’

Desktop

The picture, by Charles Sims is called ‘and the fairies ran away with their clothes’ . But this is what I think is happening, what do you think?

Small Saboteurs

Now my love I want you to listen carefully.

You see these pretty little creatures at my feet? Well they are my small saboteurs and they lived with me for a long time. In the beginning they smiled and told me I was a silly little girl. But gradually they started to change. They said I was stupid, a hopeless case and that I would never get anywhere in life, and I believed them and became just that, hopeless.

Next they said I was ugly, and that I was getting fat. And so I never smiled, I screwed my face into a frown, turned my mouth down and ate and ate until I thought I would burst.

Worst of all, was when they told me that no one would ever love me. So I made sure that no one would, I behaved very badly.

Still my small saboteurs told me how bad I was, they all shouted at once and gave me such a headache that I shouted back, ‘Stop it, shut up and go away,’ I was very angry. They fell silent and huddled together, so I quickly put them in my hat and locked it in my drawer.

I felt a little better right away, and the very next day I met a handsome man, who said that I had a pretty smile. I smiled at myself in the mirror, turning from side to side, and saw that I had a tiny bit of prettiness, so I smiled wider!

The handsome man was always kind to me, and before I knew it, he said that he loved me and wanted me to be his wife. I was so happy that I forgot all about the small saboteurs, and then along you came.

So I want you to know that if ever a saboteur speaks to you, they speak untruths, and you must never believe them. I’ve taken these creatures out of the drawer and I’m going to drop them in the old well one by one, never to be seen or heard again.

 

 

 

 

Miss Christie Revisited

A few months ago I had my 25000th blog hit and I asked the person that ‘hit it’ to write a guest post for me. It was a busy time for her, but she has kept it in her mind and then recently she was inspired by a post here at Lucid gypsy. She is Sharon, or New Pillow Book, and her blog A Number of Things is an eclectic mix of poetry, photography, writing and just good fun. She takes part in several of the challenges and is a regular and supportive visitor. She made me laugh with Pie of Newt and I love her travel themes. She blogs most days, but not in a flashy way, she has a quiet unassuming style but also a strong voice.

When I posted about Agatha Christie’s Home recently, she said  `Dittisham is a perfect name for a village in a Christie mystery! Aside from that, your photos are so lovely. For some reason, I especially like the one of the moored sailboats dotting the river.’ So I challenged her again and she came up with this very clever and thought provoking flash fiction. Enjoy, and she would love to read any comments :-)

Death in Dittisham

Enid checked to be sure that her stocking seams made a straight dark line up the backs of her legs. She peeked through the curtained doorway. There were only a few customers at the tables in the tearoom. “It’s quiet for now,” Mavis said. “Just as well you’re here, though. We’re expecting two busses of trippers today.”

“Shame they won’t have a chance to talk to Mrs. Mallowan.”

Everyone who worked in Dittisham knew who Mrs. Mallowan was: Agatha Christie, the famous writer. Of course, many of the trippers thought she was “Miss Christie” or, sometimes, “Mrs. Christie”. They all knew that the big house across from Dittisham was hers, though. That was part of the reason they visited, and their visits were what kept the Pink Petunia Tearoom open and kept Enid and Mavis employed.

Not that Dittisham was really the placid English village it seemed at first glance. But wasn’t that how any good Christie story started out, with a world that wasn’t at all what it seemed to be?

“Mrs. Mallowan? Oh, lots of them don’t want to see her,” Mavis said. “A nice chat with old Miss Marple, or a glimpse of that funny Belgian fellow, and they go home happy.”

But just then the first wave of trippers poured into the tearoom. It was hours before Enid and Mavis had another chance to catch their breath. “Regularly run off my feet,” Enid remarked as they leaned against the wall in the back room, tables emptying at last.

“It’s better than Micky D’s.”

“One party asked me where they could stay the night. I recommended Bertram’s Hotel.”

“Oh, get on with you, do.” The two girls wiped down the tables and tidied up before setting off in opposite directions for home. Enid liked walking through this silent Dittisham by herself. It seemed so real. She wondered if she and “Mavis” would convince the characters in a real Christie story. The light was fading, but she knew all the back streets and shortcuts. Sweet-smelling flowers, a friendly cat on its nightly prowl, a huddle of – something – under a bush. She crossed the lane and bent over the crumpled object.

And then she was running, running, all the way to the police station on the green. PC Jackson looked up in surprise as she burst in. “Now then, Enid, what’s all this?”

“Oh, Jim!” she panted. “It’s Miss Marple!” He gaped at her. Stupid, I’m being stupid, she thought. He wasn’t PC James Jackson any more than she was Enid Green. He wasn’t a policeman at all. This wasn’t England, and the 1930′s were eighty years gone. This was only a sham Dittisham, ChristieWorld, nothing but a specially built tourist attraction filled with actors working on their English accents. She loved it, and now she had to destroy it.

“Miss Marple?”

“Look, Matt, phone the real cops. It’s Miss Marple. I mean Mrs. Milewski. She’s dead.”

* * *

100 Words for Grown Ups – Week# 67

Julia decided that as the recent challenges have been sombre, this week she would try to lighten things up. The prompt . . . I really tried not to laugh . . . made me think of my afternoon.

Hysterical Boredom

 Doodling. That’s what kept me awake through a two hour VAT seminar. I wondered what the senior manager sitting behind me, thought of the back of my head, and then wondered if other people think about such things.

The doodle began as high pressure straight lines, and slowly became a gentle floral design, based on the PowerPoint presenting auditor’s dress.

I smiled sleepily when she joked about VAT on Tulisa’s autobiography and a war game for X Box  When she talked about contraceptive products and autopsy fees, without drawing breath, I really tried not to laugh but it was a tax too far.

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups Week# 66

THE SILENCE WAS DEAFENING. Ah Julia I like this prompt, I always observe the silence. Those who have followed me for a long time, will know how moved I was when I visited Gallipoli, and may have read my poem.

11 am November 11th

The silence was deafening. But I heard the first whisperings in my head as I stepped out of the car; Anzac was like an echo chamber full of young men.

Tell my wife I love her, kiss my little girl, tell mum my savings are in a box under the floor, dad I’m sorry, Mary forgive me? I didn’t confess Padre.

Yes, I’ll do my best. One at a time, I’ll make a list.

They always laughed when I said I hear voices, keep taking the medication, they said. Now, finally, I’ve found my vocation. Spirit messenger.

Come and join in  with the challenge here,

http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week66/

100 Word Challenge For Grown ups Week# 62

You know sometimes I think that I can’t get any dafter and then I surpass myself! Julia’s prompt this week is …it can’t be that time…. and as usual we can add another 100 words , making 105 this week.

Out of the dark

I feel squashed. I’ve tried pushing those hard bits, but they don’t seem to move now. It’s even difficult to stretch my legs and kick properly. We’ve both got hiccups, and I’ve been upside down for ages with my head in a vice, perhaps she’s been drinking?

Wait a minute.

Oy, I do the shoving, stop pushing on my behind! Agh, I don’t bend that way, let me just . . . put . . . my . . . arm . . . down.

That’s better.

What’s that now? Surely it can’t be that time already. It’s bright out there. I’ll need some sunglasses.

 

Join in and read more at http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week62/

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups Week# 61

I missed Julia’s challenge last week – she wanted humour and I couldn’t think of anything :-) but I was determined to join in this week. The prompt is ‘I woke with another headache’  and my story is based on a dream I had way back, when Shakespears Sister were in the charts, do you remember them?

Shakespears Sister 

‘Come on here’s your costume’, Marcella Detroit handed me a regulation black swimsuit and cap, just like when I was at school. I hesitated, but she shoved me into a cubicle to change. She indicated that I should follow her up a metal ladder, leading to a high diving board, where Siobhan Fahey, the other Shakespears Sister was waiting.

‘We’re not diving from there’ I said panicking. ‘Course we are, it’s perfectly safe’ Marcella replied. I knew it was suicidal, at the bottom there was only a foot of water. We looked like sleek black seals as we jumped.

I woke with another headache.

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups Week# 59

Julia has chosen this picture for her challenge this week. A photo I have seen before and wondered, whatever would make someone walk to the edge, never mind sit there? How would you get back up again?

So I think it would have to be a very desperate reason.

Long Drop

That morning he’d found her cowering in the barn, her face turned eggplant purple, and an ugly gash to the back of her head. His brother-in-law had stirred when Ray took the gun from his belt, and pulled a blade, as he used the hay bales to push himself up. He crumpled instantly, blood sprayed from his mouth, it took just one of his own bullets, shot from Ray’s steady hand.

He listened until he had heard both a heavy thud and an empty metallic clatter. That’s taken care of it. I’ve covered my tracks and she’ll come to no harm again.