About trishsplace

Australian wife and mother, born in Dublin, Ireland. Wishful writer (that is, I don't work at it enough!). Light and conversational tone. All thoughts my own.

Friday Fictioneers – Attention

 

#fridayfictioneers #flashfiction

Photo by Krista Strutz

It takes all my attention

to stay on the board

and avoid water traffic.

It also takes my board

Legs

Life.

That shadow stretching over me

Providing welcome shade

Is not a friendly cloud.

It turns out to be

A motherfucker freighter

Making mincemeat out of me. [47 words]

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for continuing to set this 100 word or less challenge. It is a commitment appreciated by many. Other 100 word stories can be read here.

MLMM Wordle #257 – Vision of Hell

Yves is our host for the Monday MLMM Wordle. You can read other entries or join in here

Words for today are: basking, crumbs, tongue, maybe, lifetime, last, luminous, original, mix, pretend, cicatrix, proprioception (definitions at end)

***

I am soft, no longer resilient

Basking. My country safe. Protected by law; manners.

A luminous lifetime playing pretend

I presumed to be unmarked by cicatrix.

Proprioception in play, surefooted in the world

Into the mix came pandemic.

My sense of the original, became the maybe

Freedoms cut; tongue licking for crumbs.

At last, I dreamed to once again travel

One more year; I look to the horizon.

I’ve been kept safe. My country strong

Courage departed, I’m now the fainthearted.

Visions of hell coalesce

 Dream of travel, less and less

Psyche doomed, coward looms.

No joie de vie is left to me.

***

(Inspired by this photo, category 1st classified ‘nature’ in the Drone Photo Awards 2021)

Extra Galactic, by Martin Sanchez

Extra Galactic by Martin Sanchez

To assist, some definitions: 

Cicatrix – scar of a healed wound (such as a scar on the bark of a tree, mark on a stem after a leaf or other part has become detached)

Proprioception – perception or awareness of the position and movement of the body

Sunday Whirl Wordle #518 – Arise

Use some or all of the following words in a piece of writing. Forms of words are fine. The challenge is to use as many of the words as possible. 

***

Snow carpets the land where roost, pink footed geese.

Kneeling, touching, shoulder to shoulder, living the cycle.

Down the line, arriving late, tears flow and wheels turn.

Winter to spring, candlelight to sunrise, flowers bloom.

Too many are lost on this annual trek.

Breathe, lift, rise. Move forward with joy, survive for the rest.

***

(Inspired by a photo from the Drone Photo Awards 2021, photo of the year, Pink footed geese meeting the winter, by Terje Kolaas)

Many thanks to Brenda Warren for this week’s Sunday Whirl. Click the link to join:

https://sundaywhirl.wordpress.com/

Sunday Whirl Link

Friday Fictioneers – la belle France

Photo Prompt Sandra Crook

Photo prompt @ Sandra Crook

So incongruous.

To finally make it to France and yet, not how I imagined it.

Romance, history, tragedy. Architecture. Hot blooded and glorious men.

So far, the airport. Escape via industry. Hop onto the freeway.

Wrong way traffic.

Drivers screaming obscenities.

Magnificently dressed women, dragging poodles.

Choking dogs, barking profanities.

Traffic. Rainclouds.

Refugees. Anger.

Masks.

I cannot find the fabled belle France – culture, fashion, beauty, history.

At least here is a moment to smile. Could be in any village of the world.

Traffic jam une cause de véhicule agricole.

C’est la vie. [94 words]

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for continuing to set this 100 word or less challenge. It is certainly a commitment appreciated by many. Other 100 word stories can be read here.

Fandango’s Story Starter #10 – Kindness

Kindness. The killing kind.

Times were tough since we lost Tom. If he could have chosen, he would still be here.

He would have waited until we were financially secure. Until the kids had left home.

Instead, he succumbed to the flattery and praise of another. His ego was stroked. With the disclaimer, ‘but it is all for us’ he was led astray. He disappeared, lost to us.

In the name of kindness, a long sickly sweet trail of it.

“Tom,” the malingerer said. “I have the perfect plan. I will set you up. You will live like a king and bask in the gratitude of your family.”

And Tom, the ever faithful, ever gullible said, “Yes, I will follow.”

He didn’t ask where will you take me. He adhered to the adage act first, think later. And, never look a gift horse in the mouth.

Of course he did. He was the epitome of the anti-procrastinator. Never put off … you know the deal.

But he was blind, or blinded, caught up in the mirage of an easier life. A blessed life.

As though his life wasn’t already blessed.

Co-founder of a non-profit to help disenfranchised children, at risk teenagers, drug-addled young men, ex-cons. A vision to eradicate the terrible scourge of poverty-related criminal activity. A vision that brought in heavy hitting donors, with a little cream off the top for the visionary.

“It hurts no one,” said Tom, late at night into his wife’s ear. “We wield a sword of righteousness and rightly reap some reward for our efforts. We won’t be greedy, just enough to free ourselves and set the kids up for life.”

“Tom,” I would say. “Please, we have enough. We have you. “

“Oh, piffle,” he would answer, rolling away from me. “You have no imagination, Maree. Charity begins at home. I will make us safe, while helping those kids.”

But the beast in the machine of corporate charity was addictive. The cream too rich, the fawning sycophancy too compelling.

Then questions, consequences. The fall from great heights, headline news blazoning notoriety. And my Tom left holding the can. Deer in the headlight, Tom. How they have fallen, Tom.

And the only way out, at the end of a long tail of white.

Alone in a room, Tom.

Wrapped in a white jacket. Entombed in padded room.

My hair stood on end. A shiver raced down my spine. A lump came to my throat … when I first saw him trapped in that place. I couldn’t face him. Just watched from behind the two-way glass.

We had enough, I thought. Before walking away. [439 words]

Thanks to Fandango’s Story Starter for the prompt.

Simply 6 Minutes – Goodbye

cat-jumper-too-small-650x819

This is fucked up!

Seriously, I can’t breathe and all because you are excited about having your own version of Angry Cat to show off on socials.

You used to love me.

You used to pamper me with the best titbits, quality cat treats.

I had the best seat in the house, curled in front of the fire. First dibs at your lap.

But no, now I’m a conduit to online fame. Fake friendships, fake love.

We used to celebrate a true love.

Yeah, sure I’d offer you my butt sometimes. But I’m a cat, we affect disdain.

But you knew, you knew. It was all a front.

How much is fame worth to you, woman. How much is your soul worth?

Will it be your children next? Will they have a worth measured in likes and retweets too?

You want an angry cat? You’ve got one, friend.

As soon as you’ve freed me from this corset, I’m out of here.

I’ve heard there is a world out there where people love their cats for themselves, not for what you can get out of them.

I have a heart too, wicked woman. I have a heart.

And it is broken.

The last photo you’ll have of me will look like those Lucky Cats, but I won’t be beckoning you in.

I’ll be waving you – bye bye!

And you will miss me. [231 words, 6 minutes]

***

https://christinebialczak.com/2020/07/14/simply-6-minutes-writing-challenge

  • Set up a timer or sit near a clock so you can keep track of the six minutes you will be writing.
  • You can either use one of the prompts (photo or written) or you can free-write.
  • Get ready and write for 6 minutes, that is it! Can you write a complete story? Can you think of a new Sonnet? Can you write 400 words? 400? 500? There are no restrictions on what kind of writing you do, but you should try to be actively writing for six minutes.
  • After you are done writing, include your word count and then post back to this page #Simply6Minutes or include your link in the comments section. Pingbacks are enabled.

Three Things Challenge #708

Today’s three words are poke, tap and press

* * *

“I could poke holes in your logic all day,” I said to Father Joe.

“Logic and faith,” said my girlfriend. “Do they go together?”

“I know that faith can seem illogical,” said Joe. “But trust in God does not in fact negate the application of reason. And reason depends on logic to come to understanding.

“Faith creates freedom to tap into deeper understanding. It buffers and strengthens in a world where logic rules, and reason often wanes.”

“I used to have faith in the press, Father,” I said. “I used to have faith in justice. It was how I was raised. Facts, laws and rules were the foundation of a good life.”

“They play a part,” said Joe. “In the modern world, do they work? So many are depressed, despairing at what is truth. To the believer, the only truth is God. Faith keeps us strong.”

“I wish I knew who to trust, that’s for sure,” said my girlfriend.

I looked at them both, traditional priest and modern woman. Two good people. Entirely different ways of walking the world. Two people I trusted.

“I thank you for your faith, Father,” I said. “I’m glad that you’re holding hard to a belief that encourages you to reach out and help the lost.”

“My son, I’m here for you both. When your first child arrives and you look at this world in despair you will then be ready, perhaps, to be inspired by faith,” Joe said.

He anointed us both, before ushering us through the old wooden doors, out into the unreasonable, illogical world of man.

Three Things Challenge is set daily by #pensitivity101

We are presented with three things that may, or may not, be related. Simply read the prompt and see where your creativity takes you.

You can use one, two or all three words in your post, there are no restrictions regarding length, style, or genre apart from keeping it family friendly.

Remember to tag responses with 3TC, #threethingschallenge or #TTC and add the logo if you wish.

Friday Fictioneers – Illusion

#fridayfictioneers #rochellewisoff-fields #flashfiction

Photo by Penny Gadd

Bonnet up to cool the hissing engine. I abandoned the car.

Melting bitumen grabbed sandals. I cried at their destruction and tip toed into the bush.

A glance at my phone confirmed; dead zone.

A line of trees promised respite, perhaps water. A stream, shade and a place to rest.

To await a passing Samaritan.

Blessedly, I found a cool oasis. Passive and shallow water. Glorious willows, abundant shade with water so clear I could catch dinner.

A rudimentary fire pit. Recently used. Cooling embers. Blood.

A rustle behind me. I grabbed the long bone. [95 words]

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for continuing to set this 100 word or less challenge. It is certainly a commitment appreciated by many. Other 100 word stories can be read here.

 

Simply 6 Minutes – Wilbur

#simply6minutes

“In your food, Wilbur. Your face is always in your food.”

Hey, give me a break, I think. I’m a dawg.

She talks about me all the time. On the phone. To the big man, Billy.

“That dog,” she says. “He costs me a fortune. I spend more money on his food, than for the rest of this family.”

I eat too much, I’m a pig. I don’t eat enough, I’m ill. I push food around in my bowl. Apparently, I’m fussy.

“It’s like having another kid in the house,” she says. “I’m always worrying.”

Well, don’t worry, I think to myself. You need to enjoy life more, you know. Like dawgs do.

It’s that time of year when all the talk in the house is about Halloween.

“It’s coming soon,” say the kids. “MUM, will you make me a costume?”

They’re as excited as puppies and mum is as tired as an old bitch whose tits are stretched to the max.

You want to comment on my eating habits, I think. Well, I’ve the best idea for a costume. Ironical, I think you’d call it.

I’m gonna join in. I’m part of the family, and this family does Halloween.

So, I spend many days nutting out the best way to nudge bread off the breakfast table without being yelled at. I need to wait for the perfect distraction.

In a comedy of errors that could only be written, it happened. Baby threw up all over Mum. Small boy banged the spoon in his bowl, sending breakfast everywhere. Big girl laughed and laughed until small boy threw his spoon at her. Too busy to notice.

I stood on my hind legs and with my wet, black nose, pushed. And a lovely, thick piece of bread fell at my feet.

Carefully (but quickly) I grabbed it with my teeth and hustled to my basket.

It was tricky. I’ve a clumsy mouth. But gently I nibbled in the right places, until I was satisfied. Then voila, I was ready for Halloween fun.

The household had calmed, baby was sleeping, small boy was building in the corner, big girl was watching cartoons. Mum stood nearby, making her second coffee of the morning. She glanced my way.

“Wilbur,” she said, she was smiling. “Your face is always in your food!” [6 minutes, 386 words]

https://christinebialczak.com/2020/07/14/simply-6-minutes-writing-challenge

  • Set up a timer or sit near a clock so you can keep track of the six minutes you will be writing.
  • You can either use one of the prompts (photo or written) or you can free-write.
  • Get ready and write for 6 minutes, that is it! Can you write a complete story? Can you think of a new Sonnet? Can you write 400 words? 400? 500? There are no restrictions on what kind of writing you do, but you should try to be actively writing for six minutes.
  • After you are done writing, include your word count and then post back to this page #Simply6Minutes or include your link in the comments section. Pingbacks are enabled.

Weight it out

“You never shut the …”

“What are you on about?” I scream.

I have had enough. The never-ending struggle. Surrounded, on duty, twenty four seven.

I ride a horror wave of despair that undulates, heaves, thrusts, leaving me nauseous. In this two bed flat I’m one of five, but I’m alone. I wear the weighted hat of responsibility. It pummels me to stagnation. Disciplinarian, toastmaster, cheer squad. Lover.

It doesn’t stop, as I paint with the kids. Background noise, a constant. Fuggy air, it never clears. Mid-winter, in a flat.

“You didn’t close the …”

“Shut the EFF up,” I tell him. Master of the house. Head honcho at work. Now, at home. All the time.

My three jobs down to the one I can do from home. I can barely deal.

One shared computer. Me trying to work, himself sorting rosters and options for takeaway, or home deliveries, or some other way to bring in income. The office space now a war zone.

I need to escape. Spiders in my brain climb walls, thread-like fingers invade crevices, electrify neurons, send me psycho. I’m pushed from the inside out.

I retreat to the only room that locks. The loo. I perch. Feel walls press. Hands to my ears, I block external sound, and free my soul to scream.

A banshee cry bounces, echoes inside my skull. A giant squats on my chest.

Another panic attack. Second one this week. The shift toward insanity, the slippery slide.

Knock, knock.

“Fiona.”

“Leave me alone,” I whisper.

“Mummy, mummy. I need poo-poo,” cries Clara.

I squeeze my head between vices masquerading as hands, to minimal effect. I want to pulverise, obliterate.

“Mummy.”

“Fiona, you need to …”

I breathe deeply. And again. Force oxygen past gritted teeth. And again. Air wheezes through lungs, empties into stomach. And again. Chest relaxes, arms loosen. Again. Eyes open. I can do this.

Stand. Pull hair back.

“Mummy. Gotta go now.”

I open the door. Clara rushes past, undies half off.

I feel Simon’s concern.

“You left the browser open,” he said.

“Yes.”

“Red Balloon. I saw. Oh babe, to think of me in the midst of this …”

I shrug.

“I’ve always wanted to drive a V8.”

“Sorry babe. We can’t afford it. Next year, maybe?” I disappoint.

“Sure. Sure. No worries. Coffee?”

“That’d be good.”

What I can’t say. I bought that gift six months ago. Today I requested a refund.

Four laps at Bathurst vs survival. [412 words]