My Threenager

Photos of three year old birthday party at skate park. Half pipe cake, and kids on bikes and scooters.
Photographs by Richard Baxter

When my baby was new to me (and the world), I made up two songs to soothe him to sleep. That baby now sings along to those songs (and occasionally replaces any one of the words with ‘poo’ because that’s the funniest thing in the world, right?). Poo or no poo, there’s nothing more touching than hearing him softly sing along: Continue reading

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Atlantis

Photo by Sean Tan, used for three line tales week fifty one, microfiction prompt. Warning of deep water on a pier.
Photo by Sean Tan

The emphasis on political discourse rather than scientific rationale in arriving at 2C was my first experience of the compromises that my degree had not prepared me for; sure, we had the Monte Carlo method to deal with uncertainty in numbers, but no amount of elegant code could model the unpredictability and irrationality of my species.

Months before the inauguration of the Leader of the Free World, my department was earmarked for the puppet show it was to become, strings dangled in wait, to be tied as soon as the acceptance speech concluded; I couldn’t bear to make any more compromises so I resigned and now,  years later, as I wade through my submerged island home, occasionally diving in to retrieve mementos of my sunken world, that decision haunts me more than the sight of a bloated corpse, for I could have been the change that I so desperately wanted to see.

I write this in the hope that if it is found, the world I inhabited is not shrouded in mythology; it happened, we were here, and perhaps our failings can be lessons for whatever or whomever is to come.

 

Inspired by Sonya’s Three Line Tales Week Fifty-One.

Authenticity: A Dialogue

Prisma-goethe gif animated light and dark spectrums by John Roland Penner, used to accompany an article on authenticity
Animation by John Roland Penner

In these increasingly digital yet tactility deficient times, where Post-Truth is the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year; advances in technology are raising questions about what a ‘real’ human is; and, laid-off workers turned out in droves to elect a man who claims he’ll serve their immediate employment concerns while deporting that nice family down the road and denying climate change among other questionable policy stances, discussions on authenticity are needed more than ever. Continue reading

Sound Proof

photo by Steven Wei, used to as a wirting prompt for a three line tale. City towers photographed from the ground up, looking to the sky
Photo by Steven Wei

Gravity’s forceful insistence on my descent was greater than my life force’s argument for preservation.

Like a leaf that had relinquished a connection to its tree, I was floating; perhaps gracefully to onlookers in the towering blocks, a speck in the vast air, screams unheard through glass and concrete.

There was no replay of life in my mind’s eye, neither unpleasant memories nor nostalgic recollections, so I turned to change my view and watched life receding from the sky.

 

Well, one thing led to another and here I am posting in response to Sonya’s Three Line Tales, Week Thirty Two.

Terminal

Photo of ferry terminal at twighlight used as prompt for a flash fiction story
Photo by Charlie Hang

And so I have done it again, ignoring the glaring neon warning as he ferried me across decades to the losses that anchor me to vacant spaces; the chain pulling taut with less and less give as flotsam and jetsam gather and entangle in its rusty links.

On shore, telegraph poles line up like dominos before the fall, the dialogue between my ghosts echoing down the wire; different faces, same conversation.

I bid farewell to thee and seek refuge on my island, for I am the lighthouse keeper.

 

Inspired by Sonya’s Three Line Tale Week Twenty Three.

What Remains

I held the glass before my eyes…

…and wrapped my fingers around it as she had done, awkward angles with my longer fingers bent to conform as I melded our fingerprints, briefly smudging reality, her hand in mine in her final moments.

 

This vignette begins with the opening phrase from hbhatnagar’s Two Phrase Story #38. It was fun using that line as a point of departure. Give it a go, inspiration will strike!

Public Transport

water colour Image of a tram for story set on a tram journey where a man grapples with the prison of mental illness
Image by Graham Lees

“Excuse me, hi, sorry, I don’t want to bother you, have you got a cigarette, can you? Thank you.” Timothy’s eyes were scanning the face of the smoker he’d accosted as though it had a story to tell him.

Cigarette in one hand, he squeezed his free hand into his pocket, feeling the three lighters that he always carried with him. They were the same size and had the same smooth, rounded plastic curves and then the bumpy, metallic, grooved bit that Timothy liked to rub his finger tips against. Before lighting it, he walked back and forth between the two ends of the bench at the tram stop, averting his eyes when the tall man talking on the phone and two women reading their magazines caught him studying their faces. I’m only looking for the sign, he thought, but knew they wouldn’t understand, even though they probably heard him.  Three lengths complete, it was clear now that he was to use the yellow lighter. Timothy fished out all three but stopped when he caught his reflection on the side of the tram stop shelter. Continue reading