A week or so ago, I revisited an old FF story from September 2015. It was one I felt had more mileage at the time, but never had chance to expand. This week, I couldn’t tell exactly what the prompt picture (copyright Shaktiki Sharma) showed, but a couple of elements caught my eye and the story and character which emerged reminded me of Lauren. So here she is again, probably a little before Gerry put in an appearance, getting to grips with a change of circumstances.
From The Ground Up
What she’d stand on had always mattered to Lauren.
“Flooring matters” she’d say, poking at seventies carpet or yellow lino as her Grandmother might a stained tablecloth.
“It’s not like we have to eat off it.” Ian, ever pragmatic, had insisted only that there was a floor, never mind the style or state of it.
She picked a stale chip off the cardboard carpet now and gnawed on it. Freedom had its advantages, but home comforts weren’t among them. He’d kept it all when she left – stone inlay and subfloor-heating were as wasted on him as she had been.
Today’s prompt comes from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields herself. My story is below it and your feedback is welcomed.
“‘S bespoke,” Lauren’s tiny pride beamed through the word.
Gerry rolled over. “What’s bespoke mean?”
“Err… special, I think,” she replied, not wanting to be caught with education now.
“Sounds like a word that needs more than cardboard over its head.”
Lauren laughed, pointing each syllable of the noise down to avoid sounding like she’d ever had cotton sheets around her where Gerry’s arms and yesterday’s newspapers now huddled.
“I love ya,” Gerry said, “An’ our bespoke home for tonight.”
“Good,” said Lauren, “Because tomorrow I’m gonna raid the art store bin and get us some plastic for a window.”
It’s an addiction, this FF thing, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I’m still battling with time and inspiration, but I can’t bring myself to miss a week or two and let things improve, so here I am. The prompt is from Janet Webb, whose commitment (or possibly addiction!) one of the central columns on which the Fictioneers fortress is built. I strongly suggest you stop reading now and head to either her page or Rochelle’s. You’ll find more thought-out prose (or poetry) there, I’m sure. My offering is below.
Through The Glass, Darkly
“The Johnsons have put their trash out early again,” Brenda grumbled to herself as she wiped down her bathroom sink. She was sick of stepping around the piles of newspaper and cardboard the neighbours had started building every Monday night, long before the Friday collection.
Pulling on her coat a half hour later, she resolved to say something. It was early, but Maggie and Ian Johnson had some explaining to do.
The pile rustled as Brenda approached and she braced herself for a raccoon to emerge. Instead, a head appeared, wearing a dirty smile. “Morning, Brenda,” grunted the hobo.
It’s been a while since I joined in with Inspiration Monday, so this week I’m trying to make up for it by covering two prompts in a single 100 word story: view from the gutter and invisible sky. It’s not necessarily a very unique take on either, but I hope you like it and I’d love to hear your thoughts.
View From The Gutter
I’m underfoot. You can see it in their faces: these people who walk about the city in smart suits and high-rise heels: hurrying to the next meeting, or a lunch date with a married admirer. They barely see me, only to ensure I don’t infect them, drag them down somehow. If they throw something in my cup, it is to avoid having to look at me; to save themselves from the danger of awareness.
And I know how it feels to tower with them, close to the invisible sky: hope and future and promise. Do they even see it themselves?