Tag Archives: Abuse

FF – Painting Over The Cracks

With apologies for being a little late this week, here’s my story for the Friday Fictioneers. I was reminded the other day of an old favourite from a few years ago, so if you read this one and want more from me, click here.

For now, here’s the photo from Roger Bultot, that inspired today’s entry. Your feedback is always welcome.

roger-bultot-flower

Painting Over The Cracks

The view was dreary, so Mom picked dandelions to fill the apartment with colour and painted our rooms with cans the store threw out for being mixed wrong. Mine was “Resplendent Ruby”, but it came out green. When it snowed she showed us the beauty in each flake, and bustled us out on ‘adventures’ to scavenge the Clearance shelves for dinner.

For years, we bought it – credulous before our benevolent dictator’s relentless positivity. But even a kindergartener knows food isn’t good just because it’s in date. And that you don’t call Daddy “gentle” just because the bruises don’t show.

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FF – Next Stop

Its Friday! And I’m catching up on Friday Fiction. This week’s photo is from Shaktiki Sharma. It was hard for me t make out the image on my little phone screen, so I went with the old “say what you see” motto and the story below was created. Your comments are welcome.

Whatever you’re celebrating at this time of year, even if it’s ‘just’ Friday, I hope it is happy and peaceful for you.

shaktiki-2

Next Stop

The view from the bus was uninspiring – leering neon as unappealing as the darkness. People loitered around the shadows, but she fought the urge to fear them. She was safer among these strangers than she had ever been with Mark.

She clutched Eloise’s weary hand in hers and strode across the street towards a flashing Vacancies sign. The room rates posted below it were hourly, with a discount for the whole night. It was no place for her, and certainly not for Eloise, but her shoulders lifted slightly as she stepped inside.

“Come on,” she whispered, “Our new adventure awaits!”

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FF – Freedom

Rochelle’s own picture for our prompt today, and while I’m here CONGRATULATIONS to our great leader who recently retired from the job, ready to focus on the career!

There is a beautiful cacophony as I type – Dominic is grumbling at his jungle, which is singing back to him. About five of Sebastian’s toys are also singing / talking, an he is giving a running commentary on the game he’s playing with them. I cannot hear myself think, so this story is influenced by that, together with the fact it’s written in five word bursts in between dealing with one or other of them! The story stands alone, or as part of the series here and here.

rainy-night

Freedom

Whenever a black sedan pulled into the lot below, Sandy felt sick. And in the rainy dusk, every sedan shone black. She turned back into the dinghy motel room.

He won’t come, she told herself. He doesn’t know where I am.

And if he did, he wouldn’t be in his own car; more likely he’d fly like she had, and rent one.

He could be driving anything.

She turned on the radio. Music drowned out the rain, the tires splashing into the parking lot, even the sex nextdoor, but it didn’t stop the voice in her head.

I’ll find you.

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FF – Preparations

Sorry for my absence last week; I hope not to make a habit of it! This week’s story, inspired by The Reclining Gentleman‘s photo, could almost be a prequel to one I wrote months ago, but hopefully also stands alone. I’d love to read your thoughts.

trg3

Preparations

“You’re doing the right thing,” Irene smiled gently at her friend.

“Am I? Every time I think I’m choosing the tunnel with light at the other end it turns out to be headlights on an oncoming train.” Sandy brushed away the tears. “What if I leave him and it’s just worse?”

Irene didn’t say anything.

“It could be worse though,” Sandy insisted. “He never hurts the kids.”

“Hitler never hit his dog.” Irene picked up the bag and slung it over her shoulder. “Next time, bring me stuff for them and then you’re ready. I’m going to miss you, babe.”

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Friday Fiction – Behind the Facade

I nearly didn’t get to contribute something for C.E.Ayr’s FF prompt today. Although the boys gave me a hands-free naptime, I had to use it to mow the lawn and then the cat decided to take advantage too. Plus the prompt said a whole lot of factual stuff to me and not a lot of fiction. But eventually Pepsi decided it was time for a wash, so I started typing and this is what came out. My story is under the prompt – feel free to skip the random non-fiction musings that precede it. EDIT: Oooh, I forgot – language warning!

The first thing that sprang to mind from the picture was how much it fits the FF motto (from Henry David Thoreau) “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see”. I also wondered whether the mural preceded the dilapidation of the building, and whether it was put there as a sort of graffiti or an official attempt to prettify the neighbourhood. And I wondered why there aren’t more things like this around.

And then I went back to the Thoreau quote and I started thinking how what might be true for writing prompts isn’t necessarily true for everything. Take the Seaworld debate, for example, where what you see is an amazing and fascinating whale show, but what you’re looking at may (or may not, I’m not trying to open a wound here) be torture and animal cruelty.

Which got me thinking about the wider scope of that too. At the weekend we saw a snapping turtle by the banks of the lake where we happened to be walking. Jon and I were probably more excited than Sebastian, because he couldn’t really be expected to understand the novelty of the situation. He’s seen turtles in the zoo, roughly that close, and he’s never been on a lakeshore walk and not seen a turtle, so how could he know this was special. Even I don’t know how special it is – are snapping turtles a fairly standard occurence in Ontario’s cottage country? Or were we extremely lucky to find one? (Here’s what Ontario Nature says about that)

All of which ponderings didn’t lead me to a story. Luckily, the old “start typing and see what comes out” trick did. 😉

demolition-4

Behind the Facade

Isla smudged “mardi gras” across her eyelid and blinked at the mirror. Not a bad job, considering she hadn’t worn makeup in almost two decades. It wasn’t really her colour anymore; she might have felt more comfortable with a subtler shade. But comfort was for cowards and prisoners. Tonight, Isla was wearing a dress that came up too far on the leg, down too far on the cleavage, heels that said she wasn’t walking and mardi-fucking-gras eyeshadow.

“You can put lipstick on a pig,” said her husband’s voice, but she couldn’t hear him. Six feet of earth saw to that.

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Friday Fictioneers – Surface Tension

Last week’s literary references seemed to go down well with most of the Fictioneers – anyone would think you were a bunch of readers as well as writers. I have never been a big fan of poetry, but there are some that I have learned and loved, and both Ozymandias and For Whom The Bell Tolls fall into that box for me. Another favourite verse is referenced this week, although this literary theme is purely accidental! Thank you to Rochelle for guiding us, and Santosh writer for this week’s photo.

As ever, your comments and critique are welcome and constructive criticism is strongly encouraged. Thanks to the early commenters, the story below the pic is version 2 (v1 appears below it for posterity). I hope it’s clearer now, but you are welcome to disagree.

On a personal note – no baby yet, but hopefully not long to go. 😉

ff_santoshwriter-1

Surface Tension

Danny was everything to Ellen: he nourished her, feeding desires she’d never known she had. When they were apart, she felt parched by his absence and when he returned, she drank him in with unquenchable thirst. To Ellen, it was love.

But her mother saw a man who minimised his exposure: who shared Ellen’s unshakeable fixation… with himself.

She saw, and she worried, but having spoken once, she held her tongue to avoid a schism. And she watched her daughter drift away, hoping only to still be in sight when Ellen stopped waving and realised she was drowning.

VERSION 1:

Surface Tension

Danny was everything to Ellen: he nourished her, feeding desires she’d never known she had. When they were apart, she felt parched by his absence and when he returned, she drank him in with unquenchable thirst. To Ellen, it was love.

But Jennie saw a man who minimised his exposure: clinging with that same unshakeable fixation, to himself.

Jennie saw, and she worried, but having spoken once, she held her tongue to avoid a schism. And she watched her daughter drift away, hoping only that she would still be in sight when Ellen stopped waving and realised she was drowning.

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Friday Fiction – Beyond His Shadow

Normal service resumes, folks. I am home, I am sane, and I am writing fiction with a dark side (SPOILER ALERT: someone even dies)! I hope you enjoy this story, and I welcome your critique and your interpretations, whether good or bad.

This glorious photo, courtesy of Sandra Crook, goes to show just how much the bitterness of winter can also be its beauty. Toronto is finally warm (by which I mean positive temperatures. +2 feels balmy after a few months of -20somethings) and sunny, the snow is melting and we can walk down the street without having our faces ripped off by the wind. I am fortunate not to suffer from anything as extreme as SAD, but the Winter definitely takes its toll on my mood, and I can’t wait for Spring to get its boots on and come out to play.

frost-on-a-stump-sandra-crook

 

Beyond His Shadow

When the dust settled, everything was almost as it had always been. Life revolved around the gaping hole where the old man used to stand as though a real dust, an embodiment of his presence, coated everything. I went shopping and felt his hand on my arm; I heard his voice on the train, on the phone, in my dreams; I lay awake in bed, waiting for his hand on the doorknob.

My father’s grave weathered seasons of frost and rain, tenacious weeds and beating sun. And I weathered grief and relief by turns, learning to live beyond his shadow.

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