Game, Set, Match

Photo of a woman whimsically dancing on wet tennis court- used as prompt for three line tales microfiction
Photo by Sam Burriss

As much as she hated needles, Lynne was game for another dose, high spirited for 9 in the morning because Frank was home doing the vacuuming and once their respective chores were complete, they’d join the Senior Spartans on their monthly lunch outing. With the cold infusion slow dripping like a hipster’s coffee- into the orifice forged by the nurse’s ‘… little sting’- there was nothing to do but look around the room, make small talk with the nurse and other patient, or- as was mainly the case- look down at her gnarled hands, driftwood garnished with the ring Frank had given her 55 years earlier- hands that had changed Noel and Fiona’s nappies, held a glass to toast each child’s wedding, cooked countless shepherd’s pies- now too set in their ways to do as Lynne instructs. No way they’d hold the arm of the hoover much less a tennis racket these days, at least not long enough to raise much dust. 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.

La Porte de La Magie

Painting 'La porte' by Henri Duhem used for a microfiction writing prompt
La Porte by Henri Duhem, 1937

I tip toed through the field, not knowing if there were tiny creatures underfoot, like chickens, rabbits, or even my cat. Maybe the Jains have a point. The higher vantage made me appreciate that life is still life no matter how small or seemingly invisible. I had the tractor in hand. It looked just as a toy vehicle should in my palm; even the weight seemed to feel about right. It didn’t take many paces to get to the gate at the edge of the forest that had given away just how out of wack my world was. That same gate that my grandmother and I had unlatched and walked through countless times when I was barely as tall as the highest post- we’d look for fairies and magic dragons. The posts now looked like matchsticks lined up in those promotional books of matches you don’t see much of nowadays. Of course I couldn’t fit through the gate. I paused right there, peering down at the forest and wishing to reverse the magic my grandma had made me believe.

179* words inspired by Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge #5. It is also a part 2 to this story, although I hope it can stand on its own.

*Shaved off 4 words with an edit following Jane’s comment about repeated reference to ‘hand’.

Field of Dreams

Photo of a tractor in a field used as prompt for flash fiction story
Photo by Emiel Molenaar

The paint crackled and warped, and the wheels were on the verge of exploding as the Matchbox® tractor shot up to full size. Doubting what I had witnessed, I reached out to touch the imposing machine; hot to touch, moments after contact I felt a tingle and smelt something reminiscent of burning hair before I too began to grow and grow. With our scale restored, doubt crept back in, in the absence of some landmark to confirm it as dream or reality, until I shifted my gaze and noticed the ankle height hedge of old growth forest.

 

Story inspired by Sonya’s Three Line Tale Week Twenty-FourI had a moment while drafting this where I asked myself what the point of it (writing and sharing a story here) is, in light of events of the past 24 hours. Is it frivolous and pointless and shallow? Not to say that in the last 24 hours (let alone the last 40 billion years) there have not been other tragedies, large or small, but I am sure you know exactly what atrocity I am talking about. My conclusion? No, it is not pointless because in sharing something, anything here and connecting with people in even a very small way, it can make a difference to one, two or maybe many more lives- it is in the comments, in the encouragements and in the sharing that we have one of many reminders in our day about our shared humanity, a chance to understand that we are not alone in our life struggles, that others also have their own world of problems but also hopes and dreams and needs and desires. The community here is a very tangible way of creating world peace- I am so glad to be a part of a beautiful world here on WordPress – a microcosm of what is possible, if we let it happen, in the wider world.

 

Postscript: okay, 40 Billion is a lot. I missed the mark by about 34.5 billion years in terms of the age of the world and I was way off when considering the couple of hundred thousand years humans like us have been around, not to mention the much shorter period of ‘civilisation’ (6000 years). But this isn’t about numbers, is it?

Provenance

Photo of lemons in a crate at a market stall for a flash fiction story on observing strangers
Photo by Erol Ahmed

After 35 years at the market, I can pick the state of relationships.

On the happy end of the spectrum, couples purchase their produce, smile and keep moving, hand in hand.

Then there are those showing signs of a rift, impatient eye rolls as their other half asks after the provenance of the lemons.

 

Inspired by Sonya’s Three Line Tale #15.

 

 

Shared Space

Image of a bird beside a parked car on a roadside next to a swatch of grass. Used for a poem about the ecological impacts of roads and expanded development.
Photo by K E Garland

You cruise on design modelled after my flight

Aerodynamic, beats walking through traffic

My wing spans effortlessly

I look down at arterials carved through my forest(ry)

Arteries, feathers, blood, beak, and bone

A sacrificial offering

For your carbon fuelled emitting

Omitting thought

For me and my kind

Forcing me to concede

My home

No longer

Mine

Mined

Mind if we stand still?

For some

Time

Space shared

There’s a sign

Ominously announcing

No park(ing)

Concrete ideas in place of green trees

Before risking the wrath of the no park(ing) inspector

You ignite

My heart and your pistons

Pounding

Reciprocating engines

A primal reaction

We take flight

Oh,

What a feeling!

 

Poem inspired by the image posted by my friend and fellow blogger K E Garland. Kathy regularly posts inspiring quotes (kwotes), images, ideas and thought-provoking, consciousness-raising articles. Thanks for the inspiration Kathy, particularly when I was so close to posting two back to back posts from my travel through the tumbleweed series, if I didn’t get new inspiration! Kathy and I have previously collaborated on a post with tips on maintaining goals and new year resolutions.

 

 

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