Tag Archives: Neighbours

Friday Fiction – The Newcomer

The Fictioneers have made the press again, and happily so, the Daily Post – proof not only that Madison had a fantastic idea and carried it through well as our founder, but that Rochelle’s leadership continues to take us from strength to strength. I’m proud to be part of such a great and supportive group of writers.

Rochelle has given us one of her own pictures this week, and what jumped out first was not the criss-cross porch or the roman-style columns, but the green grass and tree beyond. We’ve just returned from a weekend at Blue Mountain ski resort, to a Toronto still in deep-freeze, and green has always been a colour that soothes my soul. I may have to stare at the picture a little longer, take in some virtual Vitamin D and pray for spring. But in the meantime, a story – one that I hope is, if not clear, then explicitly unclear. I welcome your feedback – good or bad.

balcony

 

The Newcomer

They watched it going up from behind twitching curtains or open stares. Everyone had an opinion, none of them good.

But it rose as surely as the sun, and when it was finished – when the builders had gone and the surrounding ground turned from dirty mud to lush lawn – they flocked to the door carrying flowers and fruit, greeting the new neighbour with smiles and good wishes.

He, for his part, returned the smiles, accepted the gifts and called everybody “friend”. And so, with a wink, and the turning of a blind eye, he might have appeared welcome.

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Friday Fiction – Through The Glass, Darkly

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.

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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.

“Ian?”

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Friday Fictioneers – Spirit Lamps

I had to have a good think about this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt (Rochelle’s own photo) – the lamps seemed somewhat incongruous to the background. And then it came to me, and I’m very pleased to introduce the Fictioneers to Melanie. She is one of my go-to characters and one day I’d love to write her a longer story, but for the time being you can see some of her other adventures here and here. InMon followers will know her already. As it’s part of Mel’s whole life story, this is more a snippet than a “story”.

As ever, your feedback and constructive criticism is welcome, and the previous draft is provided only for those who like that kind of thing. No need to read it if you don’t!

lamps

Spirit Lamps

Sometimes, Mummy makes me take a casserole to Mrs Mwanna. She has these lamps. They are really old, and when I look at them, they make me think of Tinkerbell, but Mrs Mwanna calls them her “spirit lamps”. She says that they bring her closer to those who have passed over.

I once asked Father Andrews whether he used spirit lamps. That was before Mummy said not to talk to Father Andrews about Mrs Mwanna, because it makes him angry. And Father Andrews isn’t meant to get angry because he’s the conduit to Our Lady, and she never gets angry.

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First Draft [not many changes, only really to cut the word count and mess with the theology a bit!]

Sometimes, Mummy makes me take a casserole to Mrs Mwanna across the road. She has these lamps. They are really old, and when I look at them, they make me think of Tinkerbell, trapped in a lantern. But Mrs Mwanna calls them her “spirit lamps” because she says that when you light them, it brings you closer to those who have passed over.

I once asked Father Andrews whether he used spirit lamps. That was before Mummy told me I should try not to talk to Father Andrews about the things Mrs Mwanna says, because it makes him angry. And Father Andrews isn’t meant to get angry because he’s a priest and that means he’s our conduit to the Lord Jesus, and Jesus never gets angry.

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