Tag Archives: Contentment

Friday Fiction – Looking up, looking down

After reading Rochelle’s great looking back post on Monday, I had a new burst of excitement about thinking outside the box for this week’s FF prompt. It comes courtesy of David Stewart. You can decide whether I succeeded or whether I’ve just been watching too much of the BBC’s adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s The White Queen. I’d love to hear your feedback.

And if you like this view of the world, you might also enjoy an old IM piece it put me in mind of:

https://elmowrites.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/inspiration-monday-only-the-poor-can-afford/

copyrightdavidstewart

Looking up, Looking down (Genre: Historical Fiction)

“When I am a man, I shall be a blacksmith,” the boy announced, gazing out of the carriage window.

“When you are a man, Edward, you will be King.”

“And cannot a King do whatever he wishes, Mother?”

The Queen sighed and pulled the drapes across. “A King must do as his duty obliges.”

* * *

“Look at the pretty carriage, Father. May I ride in a carriage one day?”

His father paused, hammer aloft. “That’s no place for us, Ned. You’ll be a blacksmith like me and Grandpa.”

Ned picked up the tongs and smiled at his dreams.

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Friday Fiction – Whiskey Tales

You know what it’s like when you get an idea stuck in your head? And no matter how wrong it is, it just won’t go away? Obviously, if the idea is “rob a bank”, you’d do well not to exorcise it by exercising it, but I’m hoping the same isn’t true of story ideas, because that’s what happened to me with this week’s FF prompt. For those with the time / patience, I’ll explain more after the story, but for now I can only beg your understanding.

Thanks to Sandra Crook for providing the photo, and Rochelle Wisoff Fields for running the show. You can see lots of (less tenuous) other stories inspired by this photo by clicking on the little blue guy on Rochelle’s page.

sandra-crook

Whiskey Tales

“You go places, you see things. Sometimes they ain’t good things. I saw a man kill his dog once.”

Alice only half listened. Whiskey Tales, her father called them: half true, half whiskey. The man called Ryder waved his arms as he described the dog murder. Dog-o-cide? she thought. Caninicide? She’d wanted to go to High School, where you learned that kind of thing. But instead she poured the whiskey half of the tales. Tails, she smiled.

Ryder flailed towards the empties gathered at one end of the bar. Her father noticed and pulled the tray to safety. “Easy, Ryder!”

 

* * *

Drafting Notes (or What’s that got to do with the picture?!)

It all started with an error. I looked at the picture and thought about the Easy Rider poster (blame my Saturday morning writing group, where one of the stories referred to it this week!). That led me down the path of the bad pun which forms the “punchline” in this story. It was only after I’d written it that I checked the poster and discovered that the niggling doubt at the back of my mind was right – the Easy Rider motorbikes were 2 wheelers. Anyway, the damage was done.

The second prompt for this story was my reaction to Sandra’s photo. She’s given us other pictures in the past and the first line of this story is a tribute to Sandra – she goes places, and she sees things. She’s also kind enough to take photos and let us use them as prompts.

Once I realised my mistake about the bikes, I was tempted to bin this story. However, I’ve developed a soft spot for Alice, so I can’t. She’s trapped in the world of her father’s bad jokes – they’re even rubbing off on her. She’s frustrated but not, I think, totally unhappy. I hope that both she and I can keep learning the lesson that happiness isn’t having what you want, it’s wanting what you have.

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