Tag Archives: 100 word story

FF – When…

Photo credit Sandra Crook

When…

Sylvie sat at her desk, ignoring the quadratics that swirled across the books there. “When I grow up, I’ll never do Maths again,” she said to the man singing on her radio.

At college, she told her friends “When I leave here, I’m going to travel the world,”

“When I get married, I’ll put my feet up,” she said, elbows-deep in suds at the job she got afterwards.

Now she tries to calculate the bills, ignoring the sink full of dishes, staring at the calendar photo of a place she’s never been. “When the kids leave home,” she sighs.

Extroduction

There’s a path going up that hill in the photo, and it caught my eye because it looks really challenging. This last few months we’ve done a lot of just getting through, but I’m also aware that while the view from the top of that cliff is probably stunning, but it’s the climb that makes the experience memorable and worthwhile.

There are loads of songs that try to capture this sentiment, “The Climb” being one of the more famous. The link below is another. And as a mother, I’m used to being told to enjoy the moment, so I know how deeply upsetting that type of advice can be and how important hope is. That being said, I hope we can all learn to live in the moment, even when we don’t enjoy it. After all, tomorrow never comes.

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FF – Doing The Right Thing

Photo credit © Starsinclayjars

Doing The Right Thing

“They haven’t cut the straps.” Luke kicks disapprovingly at the third discarded mask we’ve seen in the one mile walk to school.

“Huh?” I’m not really listening. I’m wondering what we’re going to do on Monday. The third strike day of his first ‘normal’ school year since Grade 1.

“Animals can get tangled in them and die.”

“In the discarded mask?”

“Yes. It’s serious, Mom.”

One of us is missing the point. “You want the careless idiots who drop their mask on the side of the road to carefully cut the straps first?”

“It’s environmentally caring.”

“Ah, environmentally caring littering.”

Extroduction

Today’s photo put me in mind of a song from my childhood, The Bedstead Men, by comedy duo Flanders and Swann. You can enjoy it on the link below (2:25 for the relevant verse). It occurred to me that 80 years on, the specific items listed in the final chorus would have changed considerably, and in the last few years, one piece of litter has taken over from the prophylactic as the most ubiquitous: the single-use mask.

I toyed with the idea of amending the lyrics for our times, but at 352 words, it’s a little over the limit and most of them wouldn’t change. My own Luke recently took on board an important lesson about mask disposal, and my own Matty is currently sprawled on the couch with ‘flu … likely to recover just in time to miss school for yet another strike.

And so today’s snippet was born. If you enjoy stories featuring the fictional Luke and Matty, you can find more of them here.

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FF – Aunt Selina’s Church

Melanie’s back! This photo immediately brought to mind the phrase ‘through a glass darkly’. I’ve used that before for a prompt, so I took a different part of the same verse for Melanie to muse on this week. If you enjoy her thoughts, you can find others here.

Aunt Selina’s Church

Before Mummy got sick, she wore a pretty dress and spoke at Aunt Selina and Puncle Eter’s wedding. They go to a weird church. Their priest smiles a lot and when they sing, they clap their hands and dance around.

Mummy said 1 Corinthians 13, but she changed it. She said “When I became a woman, I put childish things behind me.” Father Andrew wouldn’t like that, but their priest nodded and smiled.

And then, at the end, when he said “I now pronounce you husband and wife,” everybody cheered. Loudly.

I liked their church; I wonder what God thinks.

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FF – Practice makes Perfect

Thanks to Bill Reynolds for this week’s photo. One part stood out to me.

Practice Makes Perfect

“Why do I have to practise every day?” he used to ask me, torturing that guitar just as I was torturing him. He loved being able to play, hated the process of getting there. If he could make it play the notes that was enough for him. Why should he practise again and again just to add timing and emotion?

Practising became playing, and playing eventually became gigging and riffing. One day, he’ll have a kid of his own who wants to be able to play but doesn’t want to learn. I wonder if he’ll torture them with practice too.

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FF – One of Everything

Photo copyright belongs to our leader, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, this week.

One of Everything

Jim’s One Of Everything store at the end of our street was always Mum’s favourite place. She’d drag us in there to find ‘something to brighten our lives’. Sunshine would’ve been better. And empty space. But Mum preferred the niknaks she found at what we preferred to call “Lots of Nothing”.

Eventually, Jim got round to asking her to move in, and she didn’t have to buy the stuff any more. The house got less cluttered after that. She started selling those niknaks instead of buying them, and the sunshine came back. To her face, and to all our lives.

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FF – When Doug Stopped Play

Melanie had opinions about this picture, but they were depressing and a bit repetitious, so I thought Luke and Matty might be interested in the playground instead. Unfortunately, Luke and Matty, much like my real life boys, lived through a pandemic, and the sight of a rain-soaked playground gave their Mom a very different memory you can read more about here. Still miserable, I’m afraid, but then – is there anything more forlorn than an empty playground?

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-19-ontario-april-16-2021-new-restrictions-modelling-1.5990092

Photo copyright, Roger Bultot.

When Doug Stopped Play

Even when it poured rain, we went across to the park every day. Rain never stopped play. I remember getting annoyed about it, but I bought myself raingear and handwarmers, and longed for them to be old enough to send over without me.

They’re old enough now, but we all sit inside and look out at the street instead. On rainy days, there are puddles Matty longs to jump in, and mud they would happily dig through; when the sun shines, the slides glow, calling the neighbourhood children to flout the rules, risk the world’s new Big C…

and PLAY!

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FF – Inside and Out

Since Melanie had a rerun last week, she has more to say. Hopefully, one day, a whole novel’s worth, but for now, she’s just commenting on the weather!

Photo copyright: David Stewart

Inside and Out

Church is always calm on the inside. Even when it’s stormy outside and the rain is soaking everything. Inside it’s quiet.

Not me. I get stormy on the inside. Like when I stood at the front and my tummy squiggled like breakfast was shouting to get out, but I couldn’t even say the Amen and Father Andrews sent me to sit down.

Then Sarah winked at me and my insides started giggling, but Father Andrews was watching so I made my outsides look like Our Lady.

I look at her sometimes and I wonder. Is she stormy on the inside?

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FF – House Move

Photo credit: Alicia Jamtaas

House Move

(A true story)

“Label all the boxes,” I said, for the hundredth time. “We need to be able to find things when we get there.”

I passed around Sharpies and glared at anyone who suggested they might get to it later.

Of course, a computer is only as good as its programmer and a label is only as good as its writer.

So I stand here, in front of a wall nearly high enough to keep Donald Trump happy, and every single box is labelled. I should find my boots no trouble.

Except a full 24 of the boxes are called “Basement: Misc”

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Stuck On You

Photo copyright: Trish Nankeville

Stuck On You

“It won’t come off!” Matty shakes his leg, increasingly annoyed at the bur stuck there.

“I know how that feels,” I say, laughing. “You used to cling to me that way.”

“I did NOT!”

“You always wanted to be carried, even when you were too big. I think you just wanted to sneak in those extra hugs.”

He’s too big for hugs now. Wouldn’t dream of embracing his mother in public.

“Well, how did you get me off?” He’s tugging at the seedpod again.

“I waited. And you grew up.”

“I’m not waiting until this thing turns into a tree!”

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FF – Promises

Photo copyright: Lisa Fox

Promises

When Dad died, I sobbed about who’d walk me up the aisle. He wrapped me in a bear hug and said, “I’ll be there.” I didn’t even have a boyfriend, but my brother’s promise was what I needed.

Haven’t seen him in years; it’s Joe who holds my hand now.

But today, Joe’s inside and I’m out here alone, smoothing out my train.

There’s a shout from the lake and a boat roars into view. I don’t know what Joe or our priest will think about his attire, but we keep promises in our family. That’s gotta count for something.

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