Visdare

Visdare #88 - Ordinary

It's been an age since I've done Visdare. It was a lovely picture this week. But I've left it too late to think about properly so rushed out a bit of a tale. A reminder that with Visdare there are no winners (or losers - which is handy) and that the maximum word count is 150.
The word this week was '
Ordinary' and the photo was a little unusual - an elephant brushing up against a tea drinking woman - who of course ignores said elephant. You couldn't make it up.

Ordinary


The Patience of an Elephant

It’s not a bad life I suppose, but it’s not proper - I wasn’t born into this. Here I am away from my home living a leisurely life; soaking up the rays, wallowing in water brought up by servants, eating apples and drinking tea. Pretty much the same as ‘Her Royal Elegance’.

I’m supposed to be in the jungle with my family growing up, perhaps having little elephants of my own eventually. But no, Colonel Gordon Foster-Sinclair (the third) had to hunt.

An orphan they call me. They look after me like the child they never had; as if that is ordinary. They call me cute, feed me fruit, which makes me fart (I’m glad to be able to keep my nose along way from my rear).

I despise the Colonel; his laugh, his guns.

Years from now - when I am giant - I’ll take my revenge. An elephant never forgets.


(150 words)

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Visdare #72 | "Broken Porcelain"

Visdare No. 72 was one of 'Rejection' and featured the decaying porcelain face of a doll (maybe I'll post it here later?). Only just in time but here's my tuppence worth, and 150 words to boot!
Porcelain
Photo Source

Broken Porcelain


The top of the cabinet was a roadblock of bottles, tubs and tubes. Potions and lotions branded with sweet, sassy or enigmatic names. All of them suggesting a secret that only their makers knew.

Sylvia sat back studying the mirror, searching for imperfections, happy with this week’s choices. Smooth as a babies bot and as delicate as porcelain.

‘You finished, love?’ Daniel shouted as he came up the stairs.

Sylvia took a breath, ‘Yes darling. Sorry, beauty and youth doesn’t come easy.’

‘Or cheaply,’ he replied, regretting it immediately.

‘Cheap? What price youth? Look at me! No-one guesses my age within ten years. I’m the envy of every friend I’ve ever had.’

‘Underneath,’ Daniel looked at her, ‘are you beautiful really? We wouldn’t know with these smeared concoctions holding your face together.’

‘Beauty is not just youth’ he continued.

‘Are you saying I am not beautiful?’ Sylvia said to the mirror.

Daniel walked out. ‘I’m saying, I’ve no idea.’

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Visdare #71 | "Gone Like Steam"

The prompt this week from Angela's Visdare #71 was another surreal one, the photo below and the word prompt 'Ephemera'

Ephemera

Gone Like Steam


Karen was always there with me, my other more important half, glowing, intelligent and so beautiful it defied my belief that she was with me, but now she’s gone. Almost.

Sometimes I can see her at the edge of my vision, sitting in her favourite chair, in those boots, looking up from a book or pointing at the kitchen.
Coffee time.

If I try to look directly at her she’s not there, but in those instants when I least expect it, when I walk in a room or look away, then my heart rises adrenaline pumps as I sense her breathing, feel her looking at me and see those leather boots. I blush.

Then phut! she’s gone like steam.

On more days now than not these ephemeral visions fail to materialise and I’m starting to believe that perhaps not only was she not always there, but perhaps she never was.

(150 words)
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Visdare #69 | 'The Vigilant Angel'

Angela's Visdare #69 was 'Vigilant', and the pic was of a very elegantly sculptured angel or else a real one. And it was hard not to think of Dr Who and Blink!

angel

The Vigilant Angel

The rock had been forged by immense pressure and temperatures, simple lifeless compounds and elements streaked together in pretty but lifeless colours, created by eons. Yet three hundred years ago this cold moment had been given such life by a man yielding a few brutal tools.

Maria walked past her angel each day in awe of its elegance, its smooth flowing lines suggestive of movement. As the sun crossed the sky shadows breathed a vibrancy even colour into her face. Maria was sure the folds of the clothes would gently billow across the torso revealing and covering the sensuous details of the sculptors genius.

But this angel was now the last in the city. One by one broken by weather, aged by accidents, stolen by collectors, sold as rock garden, their ancient lives destroyed by time and ignorance. Maria must remain vigilant to protect her angel; the irony weighed heavy.

(150 words)
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Visdare #67 | 'Waiting for Death'

Waiting for Death


Two faces at the gate were expectantly gazing out. The cat from its high point was purring warmly and gently shaking like it had swallowed a mobile on vibrate, whilst is old partner beneath her crouched by the weight of years.

It was nearly time.

A content smile pushed back the wrinkles as Marion saw the black figure heading straight down the street towards them.

The silhouette of the hood and billowing cape grew ever larger as the he approached. The tall scythe of the reaper wobbled from side to side with each inexorable step closer.

Ginger meowed feigning interest as he reached the gate, whilst Marion tried to peer through the hood to see the eyes of death. Death swayed twirling the scythe before coughing, clearing his throat for his important words.

A quiet voice struggled through the folds of the hood.

‘Trick or treat gran?’


(147 words) 'Expectantt'
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Visdatre #65 | The Sunshine Boys

Angela's Visdare #65 was 'Golden', and the pic was of three lads kicking back in a mediterranean city.

Sunshine


The Sunshine Boys

Thwarted by angles and physics the sun was usually unable to penetrate the steep urban gorge, but for twenty minutes each evening the sunshine was allowed in. It was here the three children met daily to soak up the solar power at this short magic time.

Raul looked down at his two young pals, ‘Never looks the same this place. All angles, colours and streaks.’

The grey drab street provided a welcome cool oasis from the city heat in the day, but the golden time was what made it most special for the friends before their mothers would begin calling them home.

‘Just feels relaxing to me, quiet and comforting,’ said Luis. ‘Warm and bright.’

Xavi, toying around with a piece of plaster looked up, ‘It’s like a natural cathedral to me. I feel closer to god,’ he said.

Raul kicked him, ‘You're such an idiot!’



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Visdare #63 | 'The Rocks'

Angela's Visdare #63 was 'Poison', and the pic was a lady in a bottle. Contortion.

Bottle

The Rocks


Colin rubbed his arms vigorously as his legs bounced in staccato rhythms.

The floor. ‘Keep looking at the floor,’ Colin said.

His head spasmed violently.

The floor.

Colin’s head was facing his feet, but his eyes were not toeing the line.

The table.

‘Don’t look at the table,’ Colin snapped at himself, but the floor was already lost to him and his head rose following his eyes lead.

The table. Don’t focus on it, look at the legs, not the table top.

‘No!’

But Colin caught a glance at the bottle.

‘Stop it!’ he shouted.

It was hopeless and the bottle started to grow larger, until it filled his vision.

Curved and sensuous the bottle was his beautiful baby. His lady. His mistress.

She called to him.

Seducer.

He knew it was poison but his gorgeous lady was calling him. His siren on the rocks was choosing him.




(148 words)
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Visdare #61 | 'Festival'

Angela's Visdare 61 was the word festival, and looked so up beat and friendly. Yeah, right!


The Festival Experience

Fitzpatrick sat back. The herbal tea had looked innocent enough, though he’d no idea of its content. A strange feeling suffused through his head, then seemed to pulse with the beat of the drums.

Dancers with bright headdresses of feathers and wood carvings were circling him, and he felt like he was at the centre of everything. The carvings seemed to move, to laugh and sing with the dancers.

The tea.

The pulsating rhythm of the music seemed to dictate his heart beat. The festival was something incredible to behold. How lucky?

From nowhere two women appeared beside him and then he saw that he was tied to the chair. His head ached but he laughed. Their voices came to him out of order, then their lips moved. He freaked as a crescendo built.

Then he saw the knife. Such a knife.

It was a once in a lifetime experience.



(150 words)

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Visdare #60 | Patience

Patience? Well it has been a few weeks since I've done a Visdare….

The Five Year Wait

Gustaf could set his watch by the gaunt man who came to his stall. He'd always carefully survey his merchandise, touching each of the clocks and watches as if feeling for life. Seemingly having genuine affection whether it was a ten Deutschmark watch or a golden filigree mantel clock.

When he finished he’d silently put down the last timepiece, turn and nod to Gustaf before leaving the square.

This had been happening for five years. While never spending a thing Gustaf mused the man was both his best and worst customer.

One day the man stopped, Gustaf noticed the tear falling down his cheek. His gaze was on a simple silver pocket watch. He picked it up and the man followed it like a dog following a bone. The inscription read: “To my darling Leonard. All my love, Irina”.

Gustalf held out the watch to the man.

“Leonard, I presume?”


(150 words)

Visdare is a great little photo prompt put up by Angela Goff. Go check it out!!

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"Covert" | Visdare #54

The Football Match

Going back to 1890s Woolwich to watch his beloved Arsenal had seemed a great idea when Danny initially discovered the device. Arriving in Victorian London his first surprise was the volume of mud and shit overtopping his shoes.

        
At the match his excitement was forgotten as he became transfixed by a nearby spectator that looked exactly like his dad. Danny couldn’t just approach the man, so decided on performing a covert operation. After the game he stalked him for hours through the London streets gleaning information to take back home. His brother’s ancient university coat and the hat from the fancy dress hire did a grand job protecting Danny’s face from mud splatters and the bitter cold - the coat also hid his 1970 Brazil top from any prying eyes.

        He was beginning to consider that maybe his dad hadn’t
“run off with some floozy” like his mum had thought.


(150 words)
Visdare #54 'Covert'
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"Misplaced" | Visdare #53

Angela's Visdare this week was brought to you by the word 'Misplaced' and a very creepy Jane Jetson!

JaneJetson
Photo Source


Misplaced



She’d loved the Jetson’s, the black and white era giving way to primary colour future - where all things were possible.

        “
I’m going to be Jane Jetson when I grow up,” Katy had said.

        Now day and night June traced the position of the International Space Station across the sky. Following its course on the internet, always looking up for it when it passed over.

        Each morning June carefully cleaned her Jane Jetson with a damp cloth making sure it was spotless. Its plastic face staring blankly out of the window at mundane reality.

‘I saw the ISS last night, it was beautiful,’ June said, dabbing its cold white cheeks. ‘One day babe you’ll fly in space.’

        As always June spent the day scouring the news, whilst Katy’s mummified remains lay encased within her plastic tomb. June didn’t consider her confidence misplaced, her baby’s resurrection was surely just tomorrows headline away.



(150 words 'Misplaced')

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"Testing Times" - Visdare #52

Another great photo from Angela over at Visdare along with the word "Ingenious". Where will the photo take you on your 150 words journey? My story 'Testing Times' is below:

image
Photo source

Testing Times

All the grand children, nieces and nephews loved visiting the dynamic Uncle Sylvester - he was always "Uncle". He’d lavish attention on every child; draw them pictures, tell jokes, write funny poems, and (best of all) devise games. In short, he wasn’t like other adults.

The "privy climb", held deep in the garden undergrowth, was the simplest and yet quite the most fun for the boys. He’d leave timbers out for the children to clamber onto the redundant outhouses.

Sylvester was sly by name and nature though. The game was his inventive way to nudge the children towards healthy activities. Each night Sly carefully selected the timbers based on the children’s age and height. Any who couldn’t climb were not fit enough and any who broke the timber were obviously well past their recommended BMI.

Sylvester gave prizes to all the children who succeeded. Any that failed got no dinner. Ingenious!



(150 words)
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"Freewheeling" - Visdare #51

Another great photo from Angela over at Visdare for No.51. Where will the photo take you on your 150 words journey? My story 'Freewheeling' is below:

Freewheel


Freewheeling

Paula freewheeled along the runway like she was under some invisible propulsion.

        Alongside her in the car David shouted, ‘I don’t know how she does that!’

        ‘Does what?’ Rob said, as he tried to stop the wind wresting away his cap.

        ‘She’s accelerating. This runway, it’s flat.’

        Rob looked at her feet on the handlebars then shrugged. ‘Must be being dragged by the car.’

        ‘Look at her, never looks like she has a care in the world.’

        ‘Like the world’s one big joke and she’s the only one in on it,’ agreed Rob.

        They both loved her of course. Every man - and a few women - in their town did.

        Paula rocked her head back laughing heartily.

        David saw the reality of her being, pressed the accelerator to the floor and steered for the fuel depot. Rob screamed.

        Paula grinned as the mothership lowered over the airfield. The invasion had begun.



(150 words) Visdare 'Carefree'
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"The Psychic" - Visdare #50

Angela Goff's Visdare #104 this week is brought to you today by the word 'Remote' and this picture by artist Pat Perry. So, 150 words from this… well, here you go with: 'The Psychic'

Pat Perry
Pat Perry - photo source

The Pyschic


The ornate silk scarf Michelle had picked up in Paris was being alternately stroked and scrunched by Theresa. Her eyes closed tight, as she inhaled deeply. Jonathan stood by the door impatiently looking on.

        Suddenly, Theresa pulled the scarf tight and shouted. ‘I can see something.’

        Jonathan stepped closer, but Theresa held out a hand to stop him.

        ‘The vision is coming, resolving itself,’ Theresa said. 'Be patient.'

        ‘Sorry.’

        ‘I can see birches, long grasses... an old shack,’ Theresa said. ‘A trailer in the distance. The place seems remote. Hillbilly.’

        Jonathan couldn’t help himself, ‘Can you see her? Can you see Michelle? Is she okay?’

        Theresa shook her head.

        ‘Not yet.’

        The door rattled open and Michelle walked in.

        ‘Jonathan! Must you do this every time I pop to the shops?’

        Jonathan skulked into the kitchen to help with the bags. Disappointed, Theresa went home for a cup of tea.

(150 words)
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"The Picture in the Drawing Room" - Visdare #49

Today's Visdare #49 is brought to you by the word 'Devoted' and the usual nice black and white:

Devoted
Photo Source

The Picture in the Drawing Room

The drawing room was kept pristine for Sarah, finer than it had ever been when she’d lived there. During the day Frederick avoided the room, saying he didn’t want to appear too maudlin.

But at night, under the flickering flames of the wood fire and candles, when Sarah’s portrait came alive then he really couldn’t be anywhere else. Each evening it was his reading room, his drinking room and usually the room he fell asleep in - before being roused by the cold when the fire flicked out.

Somehow Sarah's features would change through myriad moods. Usually, as Frederick read or wrote, she seemed simply to smile down on her beloved.

When he realised he was tiring he’d look up at Sarah, hoping that as the last thing he saw she would step into his dreams. Sarah was destined to be really close to her Freddie again only while he slept.


(150 words)
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"Calling" - Visdare #48

Today's Visdare #48 is brought to you by this picture and the word 'Beneath' or something like that. Ha ha haa!

Chasm 1
Photo source

Calling


I was inexorably drawn to the stark old mansion with its faded, not unattractive facade. I somehow squeezed through a gap in the timber fence before picking my way through the frost touched grasses.

A swollen back door took a couple of shoulder barges before it fell open revealing a large rustic kitchen. The sturdy table in the centre was surrounded by aged bags and cases and the chairs were draped with decaying mounds of coats. There was no sign of recent visitors.

Then I realised that the house was stifling so I too dispensed with my jacket draping it over a kitchen hook, not thinking to wonder about the heat source - that which called me.

A closed door waited to be pushed and I helplessly relented, to find the decrepit corridor behind it pulsing reds from an unearthly chasm beneath the gouged timbers. It called silently to me.
Welcome.


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"Click, Clack" - Visdare #47

Visdare No. 47 'Contemplating'

Alfred-Eisenstaedt
Photo Source


Click, Clack

The gentle click clacking needles and the robotic looping of the wool had always been the easiest way for Jean to relax and contemplate. It was nice to create a little order out of chaos too.

Click.

The door at the back of the theatre opened and a man crept in. He looked over to Jean, trying to judge the best way to get to her. He tripped noisily over a carelessly dropped handbag.

Clack.

Jean had heard the door and smiled at the subsequent cussing. She glanced at the ball of wool, noting it was coming to an end.

Click.

The man stood before her separated by two neat rows of seats, but she didn’t look up.

Clack.

Last row. Just enough wool.

The man saw wires and the bomb in the bag, no way to get to it without Jean triggering it. He fingered his gun.

Click.



(150 words) Visdare #47 |'Contemplating'
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"Casting Shadows" - Visdare #46

Visdare #46
Another fine black and white photo from Angela's Visdare to bring out so many possibilities.

Shadow Puppets
photo source

Casting Shadows

Carla stepped through the house like it was a museum, touching nothing. It was familiar to her in the way a house would be from a soap opera. It was not a home. At her old bedroom she stopped, looking at the handle, knowing she would not enter.

        Paintings of anonymous landscapes on the wall, of places they’d never been, that meant nothing to the family, still perplexed her.

        Downstairs she found the door to the back-room was slightly ajar. Carla pushed it tentatively and it opened revealing the grand fireplace and, in the middle of the room, the ornate grate. Whenever she’d been in here with a fire blazing she’d watch its shadows play on the walls letting her imagination run free.

        Carla touched the iron grate and felt herself cast back a child again. Locked in the room; her father’s only idea of parenting.

        Finally she cried.

(150 words)
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"Transformation" - Visdare #45

It is absolutely fabulous to see Angela Goff's Visdare challenge back. The photos she selects are always engrossing and she's back with a bang this week with 'Scrutiny'. Visdare has moved slightly and can now be found at http://anonymouslegacy1.wordpress.com

Scruting 10
Scrutiny - photo source

Transformation

Sam stood toe to toe with the iron man. He got so close to its engrained face he could feel the cold on his nose. He stepped back scrutinising its unearthly head and twisted body and he stared into the eyeless face. It was looking back at him he was sure. It forced Sam back onto his heels.

When he stepped closer again he had his hand on his hips mirroring it. As minutes past there was a shift. The iron man was a representation of Sam he was sure. He felt diminished by it, like his soul had been taken.

The world spiralled and his head hurt like cracked ice. He felt so cold as he looked out from the statue at the man. The man had a raincoat on and a silly hat; while he was naked, exposed to the elements.

Sam felt the rust eating into him.


(150 words)
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The Pear Shaped House

Pear Shaped
source

The Pear Shaped House

Jake was rarely wrong - in fact he said he was always right and he wasn’t the kind of child to argue with.

          To begin with other children had been impressed with his knowledge and his obvious ability to be right, even though that meant that those who disagreed with him were wrong. As they grew up together and became more confident they realised that Jake wasn’t always right. In fact he was usually wrong.

          Jake began to lose friends, but he didn’t lose influence as he began bullying to prove he was still always right.

          One day after he’d hit Jamie - for agreeing with the teacher that Paris was the capital of France - he’d gone looking for Stephanie who’d laughed at him when he’d said Dublin was the capital of Germany.

          Stephanie agreed after several punches and some hair pulling that Dublin was of course the most famous of German cities and she couldn’t believe how wrong she’d been.

          When Stephanie arrived home her Aunty Doris was appalled at what she saw. It took a while, but Doris eventually learned the facts.

          That night using one of Jake’s hairs, found entwined in Stephanie’s satchel, Doris placed a strong enchantment on Jake - one he’d never escape.

          Jake’s answers continued to be wrong, but now his fighting began to go awry. He’d painfully hit a tree instead of a child or he’d pick up a thistle instead of a stick. It always ended badly for him, so he stopped fighting and each day he sat meekly at the back of the class, never answering a question.

          When he was older he won a fabulous competition for a new house, he thought his luck had finally changed, but when he got to see it he found even that had gone pear shaped.



(299 words)
Visdare w/e 22 November 2013

From
Visdare's three photo 300 word challenge
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"Parallel" -Visdare #44

Visdare #44 is up and this week the word is "parallel" and the photograph is this one below and here is my little story.

Parallel
photo source

Approximate You

When was the last time you really looked at yourself in a mirror, studying its image of you and comparing it to the real you? Our eyes see the differences of course - the un-mirrored imperfections, the image just an approximation - but our brains do not want to comprehend what that means.

          If you look properly (although that is not recommended) you will see differences, blemishes on one but not the other - that childhood scar still on the mirror image but long gone from you, a liver spot on the back of your right hand yet to show on the mirror
approximate you.

          The mirror spirits have stopped looking properly, their chore of reflection not appreciated - that’s why their copies degrade. If you look in their eyes you’ll see their festering jealousy - of you and your freedom to leave the mirror world. In the dark they plot their escape.


(149 words)

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"Memory" - Visdare #43

Memory1


The Blue Morpho

Hot after her walk the condensation on the glass was gloriously cool to Julie’s hand. She touched the glass to her face, enjoying the water dribble down her cheek. A guttural call of a howler monkey could be heard some where to the right of the balcony. Julie closed her eyes soaking in the noises of the forest while straining to feel even a slight breeze on her wet cheek.

          When she re-opened her eyes she found a large Blue Morpho butterfly had landed on her hand. As she studied it she found herself thinking of her mum - funny how memory works - she remembered how she felt when her mum had told her that a butterfly in one part of the world could set off a storm elsewhere. She’d hated butterflies after that and her mum for telling her. She smudged the blue and grey residue across the tabletop.



Blue Morpho



Visdare #43 - 'Memory'
anonymouslegacy.blogspot.co.uk
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Weekly Flash Fictions

Trifecta 30
http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com
From the Trifectans!: Trifecta
33-333 words - Weekly from Monday to Thursday


Visdare 30
http://anonymouslegacy.blogspot.co.uk
Angela Goff's: Visdare challenge
<150 words - Weekly from Tuesday



MWBB 30
http://thetsuruokafiles.wordpress.com
Jeff Tsuruoka's: Mid Week Blues Breaker
300-700 Words between Tuesday and Friday


Flash Friday 30
http://flashfriday.wordpress.com
Rebecca Postupak's: Flash! Friday Fiction
Word count variable
and sometimes exact!
Dragons welcome.



Looking back I think I actually started with the Mid Week Blues Buster then quickly discovered Visdare after that, which I probably do the most (150 words, you can always fit in 150 words). Since then I came across Trifecta, which is great, and then more recently the Flash Friday Fiction.

All four are fun to do - else why would you do them - and they have a good community of people too.

So don't be afraid if you haven't done it before, if you are looking to put your toe in the water with a splash of flash fiction then give them all a go and see which one(s) suit you best.


…These are my favourites, other writing challenges are undoubtedly out there.
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"Outnumbered" - Visdare #42

The Panorama


Outnumbered1
Photo source

On the day of liberation much champagne was uncorked, but mostly the smart dressed men in the Panorama Restaurant were simply high on the excitement of being there. Below them the allied armies swept through the streets taking in the accolades from the jubilant crowds - ecstatic to have survived through The Occupation.

     
     ‘There’ll be some hard times ahead but at least we can finally see light again,’ said the tallest suited man.

          ‘Tomorrow will be hard enough with the hangover I’m working on,’ said another raising a glass.

           The man to his right - in a suit two sizes too big for him - said, ‘I thought this day would never come.’

          No-one noticed the woman in the smart white suit as she sauntered across to view the main square.

          ‘I thought this day would never come either,’ she said slugging back a little wine and swallowing a small bitter pill.



Visdare #42 - 'Outnumbered'

anonymouslegacy.blogspot.co.uk
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"Transfixed" - Visdare #41

The Butterfly

Ballet
photo source

Maria had worked constantly to get to the top, with her skills and beauty there was some inevitability about her becoming the Bolshoi’s lead. She travelled the world a dazzling star - the newspaper’s who once referred to her as “Maria from the Projects” now called her “the Angel Maria”.

          She’d never forgotten her humble roots and returned one day to where she used to practice her dancing on the sandy floor beneath the flyover. She danced here again by herself a transient beauty - a butterfly.

          People from the project happened across her and soon the word got out causing a sensation bringing ever more residents in to watch her one woman show.

          “She’s from here you know?” said one woman.

          “She can’t be. Look at her.” said another.

          Women and men alike were brought to tears.

          Children stared, transfixed by the woman. The beautiful woman who’d got out, but returned.


(150 words)

Visdare #41 - 'Transfixed'
anonymouslegacy.blogspot.co.uk
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"Oblivious" - Visdare #40


Oblivious
Photo source

Oblivious

Geraldine was one of the characters in the neighbourhood. Ask anyone and they knew her as “the old lady with the lamp”.

          She shuffled along the sidewalk towards the subway with her 6ft mahogany lamp stand - as she did Monday to Friday without fail - today it’s shade protected her blue rinsed hair slightly from the lashing October rain.

          She paid for two tickets - one for "her Henry" as her lamp stand was known. The ticket man wished her well as she tottered down the stairs - he was always amazed that she was there at the same time every day and how she held the stand vertically while looking so frail.

          At her destination the reliable Police Sergeant Finnegan helped her up the stairs.

          'There you go,’ Finnegan said as he released her arm, oblivious to the kilo of cocaine being couriered within the lamp.

          ‘Have a nice day,’ she said.


(150 words)

Visdare this week was the word "Oblivious" and the picture of the woman with the lamp stand above.
Visdare is a weekly - 150 word or less - challenge brought to you by Angela Goff at
http://anonymouslegacy.blogspot.co.uk
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"Adore" - Visdare #39

This week's Visdare is brought to you by the word 'adore' and the picture below.
Adore
Click on photo for Source.

Skeletons


Amrita surprised her beloved Aunt Dolma on her birthday with her favourite irises and cake.

‘You’re such a wonderful niece Amrita’ Dolma said - genuinely touched, ‘You know I adore you child.’

‘I adore you too,’ Amrita said, ‘You’re like my second mum.’

‘Please don’t say that - you’re mum would be upset by that.’

Amrita paused, ‘Whatever happened between you two? Why do you never talk?’

Dolma’s eyes welled up and she whispered, ‘I knew this day would come - truth will out - but I’d have died long ago without these unsullied times together.’

‘Unsullied?’

‘Amrita, your mother is right to hate me - to despise me - for what I did,’ Dolma stopped. ‘It’s only because we’re family that she never told the authorities.’

‘What are you talking about?’ Amrita said slicing the cake.

‘Skeletons my child, lots of skeletons.’

She never said another word.

Later mum just spat out one word - “Collaborator!”


(150 words)
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"Chase" - Visdare #38

The Chase

The man chasing me was huge, fit and younger. It was going to take guile and luck to escape.

I darted down the alley beside the chip shop, if he wasn’t familiar with the area I had a chance. A broken pallet gave me a start over a fence and after unsnagging myself I was in the garden of the Drunken Duck. On the other side of the beer garden I found the gate latch jammed hard, ‘Bugger!’

Minutes later the rusty latch and soggy timber splinters lay on the floor. My hands holding a brick were filthy and scarred, my Sunday trousers torn and covered in slime.

Down the alley I saw him - pristine like he’d not broken sweat. He filled the alley like a butcher’s dog. I was done for.

As his hand came out his high pitch voice surprised, ‘Excuse me mate, you dropped your wallet.’




(149 words - Visdare Challenge ‘The Chase’ 19.09.13)
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"Trajectory" - Visdare #37

The Crunch

‘Shoot for the stars and reach the moon,’ Lord Fotherington-Smythe sat back on the leather seat with a squeak, ‘Tosh!’

Helena looked at him waiting for the follow-up.

‘If you want to get to the moon aim for the damn moon.’

He pulled back the throttle and his bike growled into life.

Helena jumped up and down clapping theatrically,’Go darling!’

Cousin Betty shook her head, ‘Don’t do it you fool.’

LFS took the cardboard from his pocket, ‘See Betty, it’s all a matter of mathematics, the fag packet proves it. Just a matter of hitting 90 at the top of the ramp then... Boom!’

Betty looked at the crude calculations, ‘How many whiskies had you had when you scrawled that nonsense?’

‘Just a matter of speed and trajectory Betty love.’ LFS appealed with his palms out.

The hefty motorbike fell in slow motion with a worrying crunch.

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''Implore" - Visdare #36

Week #36 and the Visdare word from Angela's weekly website update was 'implore'. The picture was this shot of a statue alone in a room with a man walking away.

Arrow1
photo source

Stars

by A J Walker


‘Prove you love me, make a difference,’ Diana implored, ‘Move me.’

Samuel sighed, he hated what he was doing to her.

‘But if I move you to a windowed room, you can be see. We can. This dead-end is ideal for us,’ Samuel said.

‘Not us. You,’ she said, ‘I’m trapped here, chained to this plinth for eternity.’

‘At least we have each other,’ Samuel said.

‘I don’t know what you have. A relationship with a statue by day, a hostage at night,’ Diana said.

‘But what if you were seen?’

‘I am the goddess of hunting, of the mountains and forests. Can you imagine a worse fate for me than this basement?’

Samuel looked at his goddess.

It wasn’t his curse. Not his fault. He recalled that first night finding her sobbing. Every night since she’d said the same words, ‘Let me see the stars.’

One day. Maybe.




(150 words)
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"Fearless" - Visdare #34

Week 34 for Visdare and the word is "Fearless" with it's usual unusual photo composition, which I've added below. My little 150 word effort is called "Last Meal." Enjoy!

Sheep
Photo Source

Last Meal

Lord Fotherington-Smythe, or LFS as he preferred, had met the shaman whilst on a birdwatching trip deep in a south American jungle. Over a long night ingesting strange fungi and odder drinks the shaman had told him that he could help him come back after his death in the form of his choosing. If he could be with him at his death he would plead to the gods of the winds and animals, whilst all LFS would have to do was focus on his chosen beast.

So here was the shaman doing his shaman thing - muttering, screeching, dancing, shaking sticks, throwing strange coloured powders and the like - around the death bed of LFS.

In his cold sweat LFS dreamt of being an eagle gliding high above the mountains. Lording over the land below. Fearless.

At exactly the wrong moment his last meal of minted lamb repeated on him.


(149 words)
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"Undecided' - Visdare #33

It's mid weekish and time for another Visdare from over on Anonymous Legacy Blogspot. The word was 'Indifferent' and the photo was a rather odd posed shot of three ladies in the rain.

Umbrella copy
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I got stuck in quickly and managed to write my 500 words, before I remembered it was Visdare and therefore only 150 words. Doh! Some serious editing ensued! So here is my piece. Fresh air, rain, women, guns and the like.



Fresh Air


Lefty said, ‘It’s that type of rain that gets you really wet. Really wet.’

‘Wet rain,’ Righty replied, ‘Know what you mean.’

The woman in the centre said nothing. Enjoying being out.

‘Couple of guys over by the fire exit looking sus,’ Lefty said.

‘Yes, been four minutes,’ Righty replied, ‘Keep looking at us, but to be fair who wouldn’t?’

‘Indeed.’

The woman in the centre said nothing; enjoying the cool fresh air.

‘They’re moving,’ Lefty said tightening her grip on the gun.

Righty fingering her pistol’s safety.

Geoff nodded at Tim, he was sure and ready. He quickly plunged his hand deep into his pocket. Lefty turned to face him, tensing a little as she watched him pull out his hand.

He was gripping a Parker.

‘Excuse me, any chance of an autograph?’ he said.

‘Why of course!’ said the starlet, ‘Who should I make it out to?’
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"Undecided" - Visdare FF

This week the Visdare word was "Undecided" and had it's usual nice photo composition, which I've added below. My little 150 word effort is called "Fluid."

Glass
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Fluid


Sun streamed through the curtains onto the glass as Jenna stared at it, sensing it dominate the room even more now that it was under a spotlight. She’d always been a glass half empty person, but this glass was most definitely full. Her trance was broken by the kettle whistle and she shook herself into breakfast action.

She supped her tea then dunked a strip of crusty bread into the egg, briefly enjoying her breakfast, transfixed as the yolk oozed down the side of the cup. This moment was all too short as her mind returned to the glass.

The phone rang and she let the machine pick up.

‘Hi Jen. Just checking up. Have you tried it yet? Just drink it, sit back and enjoy the ride. Don’t believe that Daily Mail nonsense - it ain’t addictive. It’s beautiful. Anyway. Enjoy!’

Jenna looked back at the glass. Still undecided.

(150 words)
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"Cheesecake" - Trifecta FF

Cheesecake

Jeremy stood at the fridge pointing accusingly at the plate. A single crumb of biscuit base seemed to make the point even harder.

‘I didn’t take it man,’ Adil pleaded innocently, ‘I was in my room. There is something odd going on here mate.’

‘Something odd?’ Jeremy sarcasmed. ‘It was here 10 minutes ago before my shower and no one else is, or has been, here. So what you suggesting? Beamed up by a passing space ship perhaps, or maybe thrown out the window by a mischievous poltergeist?’

‘Well man, I don’t know, but I ain’t had it, have I?’ Adil sounded sincere and a little annoyed, ‘The absence of proof don’t mean it didn’t happen does it?’ He looked out the window half expecting to see cheesecake splattered across the path.

‘You are having a laugh mate, I’m not believing in something without proof and reason,’ Jeremy explained. ‘Just admit it and go and get me a new one and I’ll say no more.’

‘I don’t even like cheesecake. Show me something, anything, that points at me. The fact that I am here is just a weak argument man. There ain't no evidence.’

Jeremy looked again for even the vestige of a crumb on Adil's shirt and growled, ‘There is no other explanation. I didn’t have it, so you must have. QED.’

Somewhere between the sofa and a parallel universe the little space alien looked on and laughed. It then looked down and wondered whether the cheesecake had gone straight to his hips.



(254 words)

___________

The story is based on the 'Trifecta' word of the week, namely; 'Weak', 3rd definition;

___________
WEAK (adjective)

1
: lacking strength: as

a : deficient in physical vigor : feeble, debilitated

b : not able to sustain or exert much weight, pressure, or strain

c : not able to resist external force or withstand attack

d : easily upset or nauseated weak stomach>
2
a : mentally or intellectually deficient

b : not firmly decided : vacillating

c : resulting from or indicating lack of judgment or discernment

d : not able to withstand temptation or persuasion weak>
3: not factually grounded or logically presented weak 
argument>

- See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/#sthash.wUbSvfYo.dpuf
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More FFing

This week I managed to get in the Mid Week Blues Buster again (warning the odd swear word) as well as Visdare and today Flash Friday too.

Busy. Prolific. Ideas. Death. Drinking. Bombs. Swearing.

MWBB

Flash Friday

Visdare
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"Focusing" - Visdare FF

This week the word was "Focusing" and had it's usual nice photo composition, which I may add later… In the meantime, my little 150 word effort is called "Change of Focus"



Change of Focus

The man who’d committed that mornings atrocity had quickly been identified. A lowly clerk with a vendetta against his boss, both dead from the explosion.

IronCogCo made widgets for toys and was unimportant, as was the boss. Nevertheless the State owned the company and an attack on the company was an attack on the State. It could not be seen an easy target.

When it came to morals I often found myself on the wrong side, but for the greater good the rights of the few were unimportant. So I efficiently poured through the hours of footage from CCTV searching for an alternative culprit. Eventually I found a man who looked appropriately foreign, walking against the commuter tide. By tonight he would be the bomber and we could focus our hate in a more appropriate direction.

The State was right and I was proud to be one of its protectors.
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"Basking" - Visdare FF

This week the word was "Basking" and the picture was this shot of a man enjoying some black and white sunshine in Trafalgar Square (I assume).

basking
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Walla Crag

The Lakes were as damp as they usually were when I visited. In the clouds I saw gran’s smile as I climbed.

‘In each life a little rain must fall!’ I muttered, one of gran’s little philosophical tidbits.

The rain only stopped when I’d passed up into the low clouds themselves. The drifting fog gave me glimpses of limestone walls, sheep, and isolated trees as I continued up the steep path to Walla Crag soaked.

As I ascended through the cloud it thinned quickly to nothing and I found myself standing almost at the crag beneath the deepest azure sky. Beneath me the cotton clouds were spread like a table cloth across the lake and valley surrounded by hill top islands pushing through it. I scrambled across to the crag and sat perched on the ancient bum smoothed rocks, basking in the warmth and euphoria of finding this view alone.
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"Pensive" - Visdare FF

One of my favourite little weekly brain exercisers is of course the Visdare. This week the word was "Pensive" and the picture was this evocative shot of a lady with a lot of draping going on...

Pensive
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The Corner

The stench of cheap cologne and smoke hung thickly around Sarah. She could feel it cling to her clothes, insinuating its way into the expensive silks. Modifying the structure of the cells, turning the soft scarves and shawl into a light suit of armour. After two hours sitting alone waiting for her lover she hoped it was making her invisible too.

While the people around her enjoyed their night out time stretched out feeling like a week. Smiling faces surrounded her like a blanket of stars, with Sarah sat in the centre of the lonely universe.

Her lover elsewhere, probably with his wife, Sarah tried to disappear by playing dead.

Something began to feel different. Perhaps her cells were altering too. She felt on the cusp. She was better than this; than him.

In the two hours she’d sat there unmoved she had come a long way and changed direction.


(150 words)
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"Obscured" - Visdare FF

The word this week is "OBSCURED" and the picture this photo of a man blowing smoke. Ahh, remember those days. My story for it is called 'Un/Realities.'

obscured
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Un/Realities

For just a penny exciting glimpses of beauty and horror flash past in an exciting temporary reality. Escapism for the masses.

David loved his job maneuvering the big manly levers and the chunky knobs, tweaking the views with his smoke and mirrors. His phalanx of buttons were there to add characters to his visual story telling - perhaps dogs chasing their tails for the children, fire breathing dragons, ships rolling in a tempest above watching mermaids, or some sensuous silhouettes for the middle age gents.


His attraction was filled with equipment capable of creating such unrealities that people would inevitably leave in awe. Forgetting, briefly, the problems of their mundane lives, in wonder at the magic.


Alone in the dark surrounded by the thick spotlit smoke David found reality was as obscured to him as to his public. He was lost, no longer able to separate his stories from real life.

(150 words)



Can hardly believe I'm up to my seventh VisDare If you fancy a go then click on the VisDare link, it's just 150 words to create your own bit of magic!

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"Bruised" - Visdare FF

My sixth VisDare was thankfully post Glastonbury. This week the word was BRUISED and the picture was this black & white of a pretty unfortunate young lady. The effort from me is called 'Succumbing to Gravity.'

Bruised
photo source


Succumbing to Gravity

Li softly explored the purpling bruises beneath her eyes and her cheekbone. Her cut lip was rapidly thickening. Her husband, Jonnie, was pounding back and forth in the bedroom, occasionally punching the walls. She could feel his anger rising, scaring her cold. It had never been this bad before.

Next door’s banging stopped and Li knew that they’d called the police.

There were crashes upstairs as some shelves were torn down, then she heard Jonnie sobbing.

She stood in the doorway looking down at him. He looked pitiful on the floor head in hands, surrounded by spilled books.

‘You can’t tell them,’ she pleaded.

‘She needs our help,’ Jonnie looked up at her, ‘I can’t take it anymore. Look at what she’s done to her own mother!’

‘Just one more chance,’ she said, ‘she won’t do it again.’

Dark blood bloomed on her bottom lip before succumbing to gravity.



(149 words)

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"Engraved" - Visdare FF

My fourth VisDare was delayed by Glastonbury and I have only just got it in on time. This week the word is ENGRAVED and the picture was this black & white of a truly interesting oldie. So a another quick effort from me called 'Boring'

Engraved
Photo Source

Boring

I was bored, needing stimulation.

That's how I found myself stood on tiptoes on mum’s bed. I could see a wooden box on top of the wardrobe, pushed to the back away from prying eyes.

It should hold treasure.

A tall stool was dragged in and soon I eked out the box and grabbed it.

Inside there was no gold or jewels, but postcards and photographs. Much more interesting than treasure. Stuff my mum kept.

Kept hidden.

“The past is a foreign country” my mum says and I was keen to travel.

Beneath a cloth lining to protect it, or hide it, was a single photograph. An old man with a face lined and rucked up like a morning duvet. I stared at this engraved face fascinated by its potential stories. Then I noticed his dark eyes boring into me and froze. They were my eyes.

This was my past.
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"Precarious" - VisDare FF

My third VisDare after submitting two last week - "Oak" and "8:49" - is called "Scales". This week the word was PRECARIOUS and the picture was this unusual black & white of someone walking barefoot on a piano:

piano

photo source



Scales

Through the open doors to the garden a sudden gust sent the net curtains shivering, then Penelope saw with growing dread the slow motion toppling of the table with the tank on.

The thick glass stood up to the fall well, but the plastic edged lid came off. Monty was spilled out and his new home was suddenly a lot bigger.

Penelope had just had her lunch and wondered whether the python had eaten. This was a time for action though and she deftly flicked her summer shoes off and climbed onto the piano stool. It didn’t feel tall enough and her only option was to climb onto the beautiful instrument.

With an un-melodic plinking and plonking she moved precariously across the ivories. Trying to be light on her feet in deference to the absent teacher’s piano was difficult with snake induced panic. She had never like scales.


(150 words)


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"Mastermind" - VisDare FF

After finding VisDare just yesterday and submitting a little story to that it turned out I just got in within the week, so the new picture and word has already gone up for this week. This week the word is MASTERMIND and the picture was this black & white of a man wearing glasses consisting of two clock faces. So a very quick effort from me called '8:49'

mastermind clocks
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8:49

Derek liked people. To be precise he liked studying people. He could read about them, or listen to stories about them, all day long. But, he didn’t like talking to them. He craved anything but interaction.

Sod’s Law dictated that every day when he was about his business he would be stopped in the street and asked the time. Being a creative sort he developed a pair of spectacles with clocks on them - he called them clocktacles. Now people could find the time of him without engaging him in conversation.

Whilst being creative Derek was by no means a mastermind and failed to develop a pair he could also see through. On his first outing in the clocktacles he tripped over the kerb outside his home. The paramedics noted that apparently this happened at 8:49.




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"Ornate" - VisDare FF

Newly found a writing website, which runs a little Flash Fiction comp using a word and a photo - called VisDare. So gave this a go today. The word was ORNATE and the picture was the black & white of a grand old hall below. My 150 word effort is called Oak below.

Ornate
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Oak

The oak shelves, columns and balcony on the periphery of the hall were all intricately carved with sprawling idealised exuberance. A false nature remade in wood and stone by so many skilled artisans. Clever ornate flourishes always tantalised when you found something new. In contrast the centre was furnished with great utilitarian tables on a simple marble floor.

Even the most careful footfalls could not avoid creating echoes from the floor, and as I moved a chair the resultant screech was predictably loud.

Despite the space somehow the cavernous hall felt terribly oppressive.

The summer evening sunlight streamed low through the stained glass illuminating the ancient books and dark shelves with splashes of rainbows. It would look beautiful to many people, but I abhorred this room.

I purposely let the bucket down with a crash, then bent down to take out the polish and cloths. It paid the rent.
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