17/05/2018

GRANDMA'S BOOTS - a story in a hundred words


GRANDMA’S BOOTS

I loved Grandma’s cottage – after school I’d lie on her rag rug while she told the story of each scrap, eating buns hot from the chipped yellow stove. She made soup with vegetable peelings that Mum would have thrown away, never bought new clothes, and mended her own boots.
‘Embarrassing’ Mum called her, but she couldn’t stop me loving her.

Then one day there was no smoke drifting from her chimney, no smell of baking.
Mum bought a frock to bury her in and burned her old clothes, saying they weren’t fit for the jumble.
I hid her boots in my wardrobe.
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Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/  and to Courtney Wright for the atmospheric photograph. The stones on which the boots sit reminded me of the cottage my daughter and her husband are renovating in Northern Ireland - they will know exactly where I saw Grandma's stove!
Like many of you I have been busy writing, working on Wolf Pack, the second in my Living Rock series, and also preparing to publish another book in a completely different genre - historic drama/romance. Helter-Skelter is the story of Albie, his search for his gypsy father when his mother abandons him at the age of twelve, and eventually of his army service in the first months of World War Two.
Look out for Helter-Skelter by Elizabeth Young soon on Amazon.

10/05/2018

THE BURGER VAN - a story in a hundred words


THE BURGER VAN

Music was so unlikely in that dingy street that the night ladies paused in their negotiations to gather round the hatch.
Dale served everyone burgers and coffee, each burger-wrap and coffee-cup printed with a girl’s face.
“My daughter,” he explained.
They curled their lips. “What did you do to hurt her?”
He looked beyond them at the towers of wealth. “I turned my back when she needed me most. If you meet her, ask her to come home.”
He drove away, and the wind blew discarded cups into a corner where a ragged bundle huddled unseen.
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I can't get excited about cities - nasty noisy rushing places that hurt my soul - so this week's flash fiction was bound to be down-beat. Thanks to https://rochellewisoff.com/ for posting the picture prompt taken by another Wisoff - read Rochelle's blog for the full story, and follow the link from there to read others.
I have been busy working on the latest draft of Wolf Pack, the next book in my series. If you haven't read Book One yet, the link to A Volcanic Race is at the top of this page.


03/05/2018

THIRTY-NINE STEPS - a 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers


THIRTY-NINE STEPS

The villagers called Seth simple, but his mother was a witch – if he wanted to build his staircase, no-one was brave enough to stop him.
When he carried log after log up the hill they mocked. “Those steps are far too big!” and “Who wants to go up there?”
Seth simply smiled. “You’ll thank me one day.”

Then the rain came – first a downpour then a deluge. The stream became a river, Old Jake’s cottage washed away, and the villagers retreated uphill.
Each over-large step held a family and, until the flood receded, there they stayed - scared and soggy but safe.
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There are a few people in parts of England who would have welcomed some steps to higher ground a few days ago, but the sun has now returned. Thanks as always to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on https://rochellewisoff.com/  and to Karen Rawson for the photo prompt.
Her photograph also reminds me of a trip many years ago to the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, where heavy rain turned a trickling stream into a raging torrent within half an hour, underlining the valuable lesson - don't mess with Nature.
I am feeling happy this week, as I and my novel A Volcanic Race have been given a lovely write-up on the Subscriber Spotlight pages of Writing Magazine's June issue. The article has already nudged one friend into buying a copy - click on the image at the top of this page if you would like to follow suit.


26/04/2018

SNOW ANGEL - a 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers


SNOW ANGEL

With the temperature twenty-five on the beach, the last thing we expected was snow, but after a night of heavy rain the mountain shone brilliant white.
After lunch we hired a car and drove up to look. It was magical but freezing, and we weren’t dressed for snow.
Driving back round never-ending hairpin bends, my foot slipped on the pedal and we slid towards a vertical drop.
Two feet from certain death we stopped, with the bonnet touching a snowman.
Or so I thought, until our snowman spread its beautiful wings and soared away over the sunlit void.
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Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog https://rochellewisoff.com/ and to Jan Wayne Fields for the photo prompt. You can read other stories by following the above link.
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When I lived in Tenerife, the sight of snow on the mile-high Mount Teide was an annual treat for the eyes. Once the Cabildo had cleared the very steep and winding access road, locals would drive up there to play in the snow, even enjoying barbecues, before building snowmen on their bonnets and driving down - the winner being the driver who got the furthest before the snowman melted! 
There is so much more to Tenerife than the average tourist sees - it is hardly surprising that my adopted island inspired my Living Rock series of books. If you would like to buy A Volcanic Race, the first in the series, click on the cover at the top of this page.

19/04/2018

CHAIN GANG - a 100 word story

CHAIN GANG

We needed six kids holding two chains each, and one to start us off.
Big Carl would grab his chain and run like crazy while our skinny legs struggled to keep up. Muscles screaming, hands burning, round and round, faster and faster, till Carl yelled ‘Now!’ and we lifted our legs and flew.

I let go once, and my loose chain took Carl’s tooth out. Skinned knees were nothing compared with the shame.

Thirty years on, Carl’s big heart gave out. When we wedged our shoulders under his coffin, all six of us were certain we heard him shout, ‘Now!’
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Douglas M Mckillroy's photo is probably of something much more industrial than a children's ride, but this is how I've interpreted this week's Friday Fictioneers' prompt from Rochelle, our glorious leader. Go to her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/  to read other stories from our group.


What glorious weather we're having in England this week! And it's more of a treat because it's a rarity. Needing some photos for a book cover was my excuse to take the day off and get the bus to Brighton, where I managed to squeeze in lunch, a bit of shopping, and a stroll along the seafront with an icecream in my hand. The kids' rides on Brighton Pier might have influenced my choice of story!


12/04/2018

UNTIL THAT NIGHT - a story in a hundred words


UNTIL THAT NIGHT

It was our dream house thirty years ago. Children raced round its rooms, their laughter bouncing off the walls, and the house itself smiled. Perfect.
Until that night we left a window open.
Now we creep around in silence, brittle as glass, afraid of breaking our fragile union. Happiness has vanished – in fact we barely speak at all – and the house sags around us for lack of love. The window stays open – there’s nothing worth stealing now.
He wants us to leave – ‘move on’ he calls it – but what if she returns and I’m not here?
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Friday Fictioneers is a group of roughly 70 writers who produce a 100 word story each week from a photo prompt. This week's photo is by Yarnspinnerr and posted on Rochelle's blog https://rochellewisoff.com/ - thanks Rochelle.
I am celebrating - quietly - having reached the end of the latest draft of Wolf Pack,   the second book in my Living Rock series. To read the first book click on the link at the top of this page.


04/04/2018

AND BREATHE - a 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers


AND BREATHE

Dee hoisted Petey out of his high chair and smacked his nappy-padded bottom. He wasn’t hurt but it shocked him into taking a breath – when he held it that long it frightened her.

Petey grew into a self-willed teenager, ignoring Dee’s admonitions to stay away from the tidal pools, and his gang often bunked off school to go swimming.
One blustery day Martin misjudged his dive and the whirlpool dragged him down to certain death, but Petey took a deep breath and jumped after him.

The others counted two long minutes before he dragged Martin ashore, unconscious but alive.
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Dale Rogerson's photograph of lights made me think of whirlpools - such is my weird imagination! Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog https://rochellewisoff.com/  from whence you can follow the link to read more short stories and see what other writers made of the prompt.