Erasure

Image of Andrew McCall's solid light sculpture You and I - Horizontal II (2009) at Australian Centre for the Moving Image
You and I – Horizontal II, Anthony McCall (2009). Photograph by Richard Baxter.

Read Part 1: Missing Person

Read Part 2: Forrest Trail

Read Part 3: The Droste Effect

Read Part 4: The Order of Things

Read Part 5: Rift Valley

Chaos: When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future. Edward Lorenz

Every news channel was streaming the very little details of the case that were known, each trying to get a more ‘exclusive’ angle than their competitors.

Channel Z8 was running an interview with a local grocery store owner.

‘I’ll never forget when that girl disappeared. What was it seventeen, eighteen years ago? Whole life ahead of her, and boom, suddenly gone, just like that. I’d been watching the cricket when one of my customers mentioned her remains had been found. What I want to know is- how the hell did she end up in Siberia of all places? Long way from schoolies week on the Gold Coast…’

The journalist probed for as much anecdotal fluff for the news piece as he could get  ‘You say you knew Eckles? Can you describe him Albert? Can I call you Al?’

‘Yeah, call me Al. He was just like everyone else in the neighbourhood- nothing unusual in his purchases, milk, eggs, bread, fruit, knew enough about sport to keep up a conversation. But he did have a strange tendency to disappear for long periods of time…’

Fiona rolled her eyes at the familiar face getting his 15 minutes of fame. He was milking it, and the journalist was relishing this ‘exclusive insight’. Switching the channel, she saw news item after news item on the same rolling coverage of the case that was set to change the world. Continue reading

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Rift Valley

sketch of train tracks winding along a coastal scenery to illustrate a story set on a transiberian train tripRead Part 1: Missing Person

Read Part 2: Forrest Trail

Read Part 3: The Droste Effect

Read Part 4: The Order of Things

My last terrestrial memory is that of zooming plains through the dirt-speckled windows of the cabin we shared. Crossing the mass of land, and multiple time zones, it was my unwitting farewell to life on firm, solid ground, although I didn’t know it at the time.

I had gone along with Liam’s suggestion to take the trip, guided by a strong sense that everything I would be doing was destined to unfold, that I only needed to go with the flow, so to speak. We shared our second-class quarters with a soldier on his way home from a posting in Moscow, and a grieving widow heading to Irkutsk to collect the body of her fisherman husband who’d met his end while navigating the cruel seas. In that confined space, I’d learnt a lot about my Russian cabin mates, with crude sentences pieced together from the weathered Lonely Planet, and the outpouring of human emotion born of rowdy card games and shots of vodka. Liam however, remained a mystery. Continue reading

Eternity

Photo of a cat walking along a port microfiction prompt sonya's three line tales, flash fiction
Photo by Timothy Meinberg

Slinking with a swagger,

he’d dressed right for every occasion:

dappled patches for climbing trees,

streaks stripping paint from balancing beams,

sunburst polka dots of little girls

who dared come close,

and at home in the hessian tones of the captain’s embrace.

 

Content in all his coats save for the blues of the glistening sea-

he’d failed to shake those drops off when disembarking number nine.

 

Aquatic hues

haunt the patina of his bronzed likeness,

unravelling his immortal coil between the

here

and

there;

he never sleeps- perchance to dream and lose his footing.

 

Inspired by Sonya’s Three Line Tales, Week 70 and after the initial concept, inspired further by a ferret down an online rabbit hole that made me stumble and trip on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I do not claim to have read Hamlet in its entirety but was pleased with how parts of his soliloquy worked with my idea.

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.

Splitting Heirs

Frayed oraange rope, writing prompt for flash fiction
Photo by Wynand van Poortvliet

She always said family is strengthened by sticking together through life’s twists and turns.

As the matriarch, she’d kept us close with her stories, recipes that could not be recreated by anyone else, and hugs that spoke volumes where words failed to capture the nuances of shared joys, sorrows, or more often, everyday moments that would have otherwise gone forgotten if not infused with her love.

Now her home spun twine is unraveling, edges frayed from the tug-o-war over everything she’s left behind.

a life quest of love

ties woven in her heart’s loom

pulse of the bloodline

cardiac arrests the rein

a legacy unravels

 

Prose inspired by Sonya’s Three Line Tales, Week 17, tanka inspired by RonovanWrites’ Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge #98 (quest, rein).

After coming up with the title, I looked it up to see if one of the other 7billion people on the planet had thought up that combination. Yes, apparently not much original thought remains (I’m kidding), there is a film of the same name that has received an 8% rating on rotten tomatoes, ouch! Have you seen it?  Would that rating stop you from watching it, or would you happily put aside 1 hour and 27 minutes of your life for a little Rick Moranis?

Letter X

photo of a wrought iron mail box with a motif featuring a rider on horse back prompting a flash fiction story
Photo by Kirsty TG

It was a lovely quirk of fate that living at number 24, my mailbox held the promise of his kisses, scrawled on a receipt, or a postcard he’d bought on a whim in his travels, or a torn out page from a book of poetry, with the familiar ‘xxx’ in his swirling longhand.

We had a game where he’d send me a message with a separate envelope for words beginning with the same letter of the alphabet, like a jumbled whole word version of alphabet soup, and I’d have to make out his intended sentences and sentiments.

The fun was in the stealth operation of checking the mail boxes in my street, from houses 1 through to 23, then 25 and 26, never knowing which letters would feature, hoping the occupants didn’t catch me in the act, or worse still, check their mail before me.

 

Prompt courtesy of Sonya’s Three Line Tales, Week 16, although for me this is week 3 of participating. If you’d like to give it a go, follow the link for details. Okay, so perhaps very long sentences to fit into 3 lines. I hope you took a breath if reading aloud.

Smoke & Mirrors

And in a puff

‘…we can secure a loyal customer base.’ He said, to rapturous one-handed applause as the mirrored ball room filled with their collective smoke.

 

Opening ‘phrase’ provided by Dr H’s Two Phrase Story #42. After a couple of consultations with the doctor, and lengthy discussions with my online medical team last week, I have decided to abandon grammar all together and yeah.