The Order of Things

Image inspired by a vintage lotto card game produced by galt toys, to illustrate a story set in a primary school room 

Read Part 1: Missing Person

Read Part 2: Forrest Trail

Read Part 3: The Droste Effect

The bell rang for recess and the children bustled out of the classroom, leaving me with some peace and quiet, and a mess of watercolours, textas, and butchers paper to tidy. It was then that an otherwise ordinary day was made extraordinary by her arrival.

‘Hi, my name is Sue, Sue Blackmore. We need to talk.’

I couldn’t do much more than nod, my nervous excitement making my eyes fix in a stare, a blink too much to muster in the moment, with all my energy consumed by trembling hands and the array of thoughts her visit sprung on me. Continue reading

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The Droste Effect

watercolour of a vermouth bottle, in the style of droste cacoa, beside a martini, painted in sepia tones, illustrating a story in which the 'droste effect' is alluded to

Read Part 1: Missing Person

Read Part 2: Forrest Trail

Garnishing a Blood Mary with the stick of celery I’d bought at Al’s Corner Produce, I had no idea where I was, or where the hummus or Forrest were for that matter. Swallowed in the dark nothingness, once I’d lost my grip on Forrest, I was alone for what felt like hours. Time enough to regret my meddling that had caused all this. ‘It’ was what I wanted, but now that I was in It, feeling like the same person, but dressed differently, and from all appearances, working at a bar, I wasn’t sure what kind of mess I had created. Continue reading

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?

To Catch a Butterfly

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Ella lit the burner beneath the red kettle which sat poised on the stove top, ready for the after dinner tea that she always made her mother and herself. The oven was only a short stretch from the sink which was filling up and Ella was able to reach and push the arm of the tap down without too much effort. She gently placed the plates with their faded floral pattern and silver cutlery stained with food and age into the sink. It had been a long day, and she was looking forward to putting her mother to bed shortly and getting on to marking the assignments of her grade 9 students. Lost in these thoughts, Ella noticed a stray lettuce leaf that she mustn’t have scraped off one of the plates. The limp green leaf lay still and lifeless, buoyant in the sink of suds. Ella felt the blood drain from her face and a film of sweat coating her. The leaf, dead, still, floating took on the form of Billy. Still but for her right hand reaching into the pocket of her apron, Ella stared at the lettuce leaf and felt for her rosary, chanting the familiar prayers, hoping to push away the thoughts of Billy, her little brother. The kettle let out a desperate scream making Ella jump from the piercing sound reminiscent of an ambulance approaching. Continue reading