Tag Archives: Fear

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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Friday Fiction – Windows To The Soul

In haste … two boys asleep and a million things Mummy should be doing 😉

Sorry for my lack of involvement last week – I posted my story but I’m still getting to comments and haven’t read more than a couple of others. I’m hoping for better this week, but I’m still getting used to this new life, so bear with me.

Your thoughts on this week’s story are as welcome as ever. I read and appreciate all comments, even when it takes me a while to reply. Prompt courtesy of Madison Woods (it’s an old one – my previous response is here.)

moths

Windows To The Soul

It looked at her: unblinking eyes, piercing through the heavy parcel of air between them. Patience stared back.

“I see you,” she whispered. She wanted to turn away, but another body at her back held her in place. All around her, the half-light heaved with hot, hungry breath. They had entered this ship so many individuals, but already they breathed as one – a single mass of despair.

Except the eyes that bored into her. Those eyes held none of the panic, none of the fear, none of the pain that had filled them minutes before. The eyes were at peace.

slaveship

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Friday Fiction – The Date

I’m delighted to be able to fit in a Friday Fiction story this week. It’s proving a crazy busy month – I was away for a while and now I’m back Sebastian is proportionately clingy; I’m running up to NaNoWriMo, which I am both participating in and helping to run (in Toronto); and I needed to find a bit of slack in the schedule. As a consequence, I expect the irregular posting to continue for at least the next 6 weeks, and I hope regular readers will be patient and stick around for my return. Thanks or your support!

Over at FF HQ, things are far more clockwork, Rochelle runs a tight ship and The Reclining Gentleman provides this week’s prompt. My story follows and your comments, as always, are invited.

trg-1

The Date

We’re meeting on the pier, so I can’t “Dress nice” – Mum’s only piece of advice for snaring a boy – because I’m wearing my ugly, blue anorak so I don’t freeze or drown or in some other way die. And I didn’t spend hours on my hair, because if I wear a hat it’s ruined and if I don’t, it’s still ruined.

So I turn up looking like something the cat dragged in and I stand there trying to pick him out from the bird spotters, muggers and perverts. And right until he arrives, I almost wish he wouldn’t.

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Friday Fiction – The Fallen Hero

It’s happened again. The story I thought I was going to write isn’t the one that came out onto the page (screen). Still, the muse knows best. Perhaps she, like me, read this interesting article last week. Rochelle posted our prompt (John Nixon’s photo) a day early this week, but I decided to stick to the schedule and respond today.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Fallen Hero

As a child, I ran through this forest with my brothers. I played in its branches, battling demons and spiders with only a wooden sword, made-up spells and what Grandfather called my ‘pluck’. I was hero and conqueror.

Now the wisdom of age has descended and I am the damsel in distress I never was then. I creep past the writhing trees, afraid of their shadows and my own. I fear the men who might lurk here, and their intentions. And I keep my own children on a leash: stay in sight, don’t wander off.

Where did the hero go?

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InMon – Hatching

A long story for this week’s InMon entry, but I included two of the prompts (unattended children / midwife), so perhaps you’ll forgive me. One of my aims for this year is to vary the length of my writing more, so this sneaks in around 1000 words. If that’s too long for you, I understand. I’ll try to go shorter next time to mix it up!

Hatching

“How long have they been there?” The nurse held piece of yellow paper in front of her mouth, but Joey could still hear what she said.
“Three hours,” the other nurse replied. This one wore a paler blue. Joey wondered if that made her the boss of the other one, or the opposite way around. “They’re very well-behaved though, barely a peep out of them.”
He was being well-behaved, Joey decided. He and Kirsty had been deposited in the waiting room by their father after he picked them up from school early. He hadn’t seen Mummy since this morning, but she was here too. In that room across the corridor. Kirsty said it was because the baby was eating its way out of her tummy, like when a baby chick pecks open the egg and hatches. She said Joey had done the same thing when he was born and Mum was OK after that, so she would be OK again.
But Joey didn’t like to think about the baby eating Mummy’s tummy. It made him feel sick. And that was why he was being good, really, because if he stood up or moved, he thought he might be sick all over the clean carpet.
“How’s she doing?” The pale blue nurse looked straight at him, but she was too far away to be talking to him.
He couldn’t see the dark blue nurse’s face because of the paper, but it didn’t sound like she was smiling when she spoke. “Epidural’s in, but I don’t think baby wants to come out.”
Epidural sounded bad. And it was in. Joey tried to picture the baby pecking Mummy’s tummy. What would be in? Surely out would be better than in.
“Shall I see if they’ve got any biscuits?” Kirsty’s voice roused him from his thoughts. She’d been sitting next to him, swinging her legs and reading out loud all the posters on the wall. “Breast is best,” she said as she stood up, then she giggled. “We’re not allowed to say Breast at school, because it’s rude. I’m going to write that in my news book on Monday. I’m going to write ‘We went to the hospital and had a baby brother and breast is best!”
“Yes please,” said Joey, ignoring all the stuff about breasts and news books and baby brothers.
“What?”
“Yes please, I’d like a biscuit.”
“Oh.” Kirsty turned away and ran over to the nurse’s station. He heard her asking about biscuits and then the pale nurse took her hand and led her away. He wondered if he should follow, but the dark nurse was coming towards him now, so he sat up straight and tried to look well-behaved.
“Hello, Joseph. My name is Britney. I’m your Mummy’s midwife.”
“Mummy hasn’t got a wife,” Joey said. “Mostly only Daddys have wives, except Ian Pilbury’s Mummys. They are wifes and he hasn’t got a Daddy except in Hawaii.”
“Right,” said the dark nurse. “Well, I’m a special kind of nurse and I’m going to help your Mummy have your baby brother or sister.”
“What happens to the baby’s beak?”
The dark nurse looked a bit confused, but before she could answer, an alarm went off on her belt and then the whole room seemed to be shouting “Code Pink!” and the dark nurse, who wasn’t Mummy’s wife, stood up really quickly.
“I’m going to have to go, Joseph. Can you sit there nicely until your sister gets back?”
Joey nodded, but the dark nurse ran towards the same room they had Mummy in, and he suddenly needed more than anything to know that Mummy was OK. He followed the nurse and slipped through the door behind a man in a white coat.
The room was small and bright and there were loads of people all gathered around a really tall, thin bed. Everyone seemed to be busy, but nobody was saying very much. He couldn’t see Mummy, but Daddy was standing by the top of the bed, and the pale blue nurse was there already. Worst though, he could hear Mummy. She was puffing and panting like she’d just run in a race, only really loud and occasionally she shouted out, like she was angry.
Joey stood close to the door and wished he hadn’t come. But now he was there, he couldn’t leave. “Mummy?”
No one heard him. They were all busy with Mummy and the baby chick that didn’t want to come out.
“Mummy?” he called louder, but Mummy’s breathing was getting louder and now one of the doctors was barking orders at the baby chick, like “push” and “breathe” and “easy now”.
Joey suddenly felt a hand grab his hood and pull him backwards. He stumbled for balance and looked at his attacker. Kirsty was there in front of him, blocking the doorway.
“We shouldn’t be here,” she said. She looked kind of whiter than normal, and her eyes were red. “Come and have your biscuit.” She took his hand and led him back to the chairs.
There was a plate of biscuits and two plastic cups full of juice waiting on the little table, next to the toys that belonged to the hospital.
“What’s happening?” he asked, when they were sitting down again.
“Mummy’s having the baby. We just have to wait here a bit longer.” Kirsty pulled a police car out of the toy box. “Why don’t we play with this?”
“Is she going to be OK?”
Kirsty looked over at the door to Mummy’s room. They couldn’t hear her now, or see the nurses and doctors crowded around her. “Yes, it won’t be much longer now. Come on, Joe, you be the police car and I’ll be the burglar trying to steal something.”
Joey did his best to play, but Kirsty kept looking at Mummy’s door and he kept thinking about the doctor shouting. They had nearly used up all the toys in the box when Kirsty stopped playing at all and smiled. Joey turned round and saw Daddy coming towards them with a blanket in his arms.
“Kirsty, Joey, meet your baby brother, Issac,” he said smiling. “Then we can go in and see Mummy.”
He crouched down so that Joey could see the baby’s face. It was red and scrunchy and really really small, but it still looked like a person.
“Where’s the beak?” Joey asked.

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Friday Fictioneers – Dreams

Next week being Christmas, I might be skipping FF to celebrate. Sebastian, bless him, found a present this morning and opened it, so he’s obviously ready! I’m close… just one more thing to buy, I think. Whatever you’re doing, even if it’s not celebrating ancient rites or a Christian festival, I hope you have a great couple of weeks and a happy day on the 25th.

As usual, the Friday Fictioneers are hosted by Rochelle and many other responses to the prompt can be found through her master page over the next few days. Our picture comes from Jean L. Hays, who holds the copyright. [I’ll link her site later if I find it, please feel free to send me a link if you have it].  I hope you like my offering; I welcome your critique and comments.

dolphin_01

Dreams

She dreamed of backyard swimming, of friends splashing in the pool. When the dreams grew tired from overuse, she added dolphins. In desperation, she imagined a lazy river and waving to her mother who wore a pretty dress and a wide-brimmed hat.

The hat was necessary, to hide the face she could no longer properly recall. The swishing water drowned out the voice she couldn’t bring to mind. The garden, she knew, no longer looked anything like the one where she had played. Before she agreed to help Him look for his dog. Before the room. Before the nightmare began.

***

Click here if you don’t think it can happen

 

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Inspiration Monday – Frozen tears

Yesterday, I did something a bit different for FF, today I’m similarly stepping outside my comfort zone for InMon. It’s a historical fiction piece. I’m not sure I’m terribly proud of it, but I’m going to throw it out there and see what y’all think. I always welcome feedback, especially constructive criticism.

Burning-cross2

Prudence looked out into the darkness and held her breath. Rain pounded the window, then instantly froze, streaking it with frozen tears that blurred her vision. But she could still see them: the lights of their torches dancing through the gloom.

There had never been such a harsh winter, even her Grandpappy said so and he’d come over right near the beginning. Most people stayed home: wrapped themselves in brand new blankets or huddled in front of previously-ornamental fireplaces. But Pa hadn’t had no choice. He couldn’t be late to the white folks’ house where he worked.

She watched those burning branches and she knew the night hid hoods and capes. Prudence prayed into the darkness that Pa had gotten through before they started their gathering. She watched as the torches formed a gently bobbing circle around a larger, brighter light. From this angle, she couldn’t see, but she knew it was a cross.

They were all praying to the same God, but Prudence hoped she was the one He listened to. She dropped to her knees, where she could no longer see the flames, and prayed that the cross wouldn’t become a crucifix tonight.

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