Reclamation


PHOTO PROMPT © Randy Mazie

The plants couldn’t read the scrawled graffiti warning not to trespass.  They would have ignored it even if they had been literate. 

Years of human destruction was going to be remedied.  The weeds grew eagerly, forcing their roots under the walls undermining the foundations.  Ivy followed insinuating its fronds into every tiny crevice then swelling to force the cracks wider.  These walls would crumble.  It would take a while, but nature would repossess the land.

The rambling rose raced up the walls, bursting open its splendid blooms as a triumphant celebration of the environment returning to its natural state.

Word Count: 99

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

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Review of Gone by Leona Deakin

This novel has a strong opening.  It drew me in quickly.  However, the idea of a game that people choose to join abandoning their normal lives is difficult to believe.  I can understand people looking for more information out of curiosity, but to leave their life to play a game is unrealistic.  Maybe if I were a psychopath I would understand it!

Seraphine is an interesting character and the description used in the opening scene of the aftermath of the initial event is well-written.  There is a good misdirection in this novel, which I won’t detail here as I do not want to give any spoilers to people who haven’t read it.

I hadn’t anticipated a twist late on, so that was a thought-provoking surprise and there are some interesting touches.

I have read many books recently that are extremely poorly edited and this, unfortunately, was no exception, which is surprising from a publisher such as Penguin Random House UK. What exactly do editors do for their salaries nowadays, because it isn’t editing?  It is little things like a missing hyphen, huge spaces mid-sentence, an asterisk at the start of a sentence for no fathomable reason – perhaps this is still a draft and the editing is yet to be done?

The chapters jump from one character’s point of view to another with no break to indicate the change.  This made me stumble and have to re-read each time.  In other places there were line spaces where there shouldn’t be, which lead to a stilted read.

There is a profound overuse of the word ‘elegant’ at one point.  If this was intentional, I can see no reason for it and again, it interrupted my reading flow.

Worth a read if you can get past the lack of editing and suspend belief over the storyline.

Unexpected Geocache


PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

Peter and Billy crunched over the frosty ground through the woods.  This geocaching lark had been Peter’s idea to spend quality time with his son.  Billy had been keen, but the early rise and freezing temperatures had diminished his enthusiasm over the last ten minutes.  They’d been ‘hunting’ for two hours and Peter decided the next find would be their last.  He didn’t want to discourage Billy from coming again.  It had been fun!

“Wow,” Billy said rushing excitedly to the jalopy in the clearing.  He stopped suddenly, face ashen.

“Dad,” he stammered, “someone’s cached a hand, a human hand.”

Word Count: 100

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

Passionate, or Obsessional Bully?


Photo Prompt © Priya Bajpal

Miss Devine could sense waves of unease flowing from Ella who was fidgeting amid the group of girls stamping their feet, shoulders hunched, arms wrapped around their adolescent bodies attempting to combat the freezing air. She wished there was another way to sort the hockey team members rather than by shirt colour.  She wouldn’t prolong her discomfort.  Ella’s father’s passion for Liverpool Football Club and his antipathy to Everton and all things blue was well-known but the rumoured abuse of his daughter if she dared to wear blue clothing was deeply worrying. 

 “Ella, you’re playing for greens against the yellows.”

Word Count:100

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=810645

Review of ‘From the Edge of an English Summer’ by Michael Wynn

From the Edge of an English Summer

What an incredibly well-written novel! The plot is fast-paced with some very amusing scenes, particularly with Lydia. It’s hard to decide who is my favourite character, but she is brilliant! Lydia is the typically lacking-in-understanding wife of Julian, the narrator.  She is horrified at his leap from corporate banker to the depths of society and is appalled by his new acquaintances.

Set in and around Chelmsford, Essex (with a couple of fictional places thrown in) each character is perfectly built and you have empathy with those seeking justice but also with Lydia who is totally bemused by the change in her husband.  Wordsworth is a complex character who has chosen a very unorthodox way of life.  Julian is trying to establish himself as a writer and to find meaning to his life having worked for years making more money than he knows what to do with. 

Julian blunders into a situation he could never have imagined himself in and bumbles his way through, determined to ‘do the right thing.’  The story takes him into some very sticky circumstances, some of which I am sure he will never let Lydia learn of. 

Wordsworth is the local tramp, who has begrudgingly allowed Julian to befriend him.  They realise there is something amiss with a group of young girls they see each morning and determine to put matters right. Their exploits put them in serious danger and the suspense had me on the edge of my seat, breath held.

For anyone wondering whether to buy ‘From the Edge of an English Summer’ I can highly recommend it!

Mountain High

dales-waterfall

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

We hiked up the mountain. 

“It’ll be worthwhile,” they said.

Backpacks digging in, creating sores where they rubbed.

“It’ll be worthwhile,” they said.

Blisters on toes, walking boots rubbing the backs of ankles.

“It’ll be worthwhile,” they said.

In draining heat, we struggled on.

“It’ll be worthwhile,” they said.

Breath becoming ragged from reduced oxygen.

“It’ll be worthwhile,” they said.

Energy fading, enthusiasm too.

“It’ll be worthwhile,” they said.

Pacing it out, determined not to fail.

“It’ll be worthwhile,” they said.

Reaching the summit, catching our breath.

“It’ll be worthwhile,” they said.

Spectacular waterfall.

“It was absolutely worthwhile,” we said.

 

Word Count: 100

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

Canine Capers

It has been a while since I have participated in Friday Fictioneers, mainly because I have known I would not have the time to comment on others’ posts and for that I apologise.  Today’s offering is a little ditty about the demon beast who came to live with us in April.  The prompt picture is almost exactly the same as the bridge nearby where he likes to go.

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

under-bridge

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

On a hot summer day (to paraphrase the words of the one-and-only Meatloaf) in the slow-moving stream under the bridge, Freddie splashed about joyfully.  Bounding about, clambering at the slippery mountain-like rocks, he was as happy as a pig in the proverbial.  His long leash prevented him going too far upstream; he was only three months after all. 

I felt an outpouring of love for this funny little bundle of fluff who had come into our lives creating mayhem with every tail-wag.

His initial reluctance to go into the water, which my big toe encouraged him to overcome, was long-gone.

 Word Count: 100

From this:

IMG-20180523-WA0000

To this:

20180805_195252

 

Crossed Wires

bowl-and-leaves

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

“Hi Christopher.”

“Hi Mum.  How are you?”

“Fine thanks.  You’ll never guess what Barry’s given me!”

Christopher’s mind wandered to all the weird and useless presents Barry had given his mother and speculated what the latest gift would be.

“Go on.”

“A crystal bowl,” she said breathlessly.

A crystal ball?  Oh God, even more useless than the nose-shaped contraption that dispensed shower gel from its nostrils.  Does he think she’s a gypsy fortune-teller?  Can she not see how insulting that is?

“What are you going to do with that?” His patience was barely concealed.

“Put fruit in it of course!”

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

 

Word Count: 100

Preservation of Solitude

Preservation of Solitude

PHOTO PROMPT © Karen Rawson

Rose jealously guarded her reclusive existence.  For years she’d lived happily in a shack concealed deep in the woods. But today pegging stream-washed clothes on an old rope-line, something was awry.  She moved cautiously towards the object of concern, tense, her hand across her mouth.  Goose pimples peppered her weathered arms.  She prodded the freshly dug earth, inhaled sharply before shuffling into the ramshackle shed to collect her tools.

It was two days later a body was discovered on the far side of the wood in a shallow grave bearing a cross fashioned from branches and scattered with wild flowers. 

Word Count: 100

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

Sudden Realisation

FF 11042018

PHOTO PROMPT © Yarnspinnerr

A cool breeze blew gently across his cheeks.  Bright orange lined the inside of his eyelids telling him it was daylight, but he was unable to open them.  He groaned at the pain inside his head.  ‘What happened?  Where am I?’  He strained to remember.  The fuzziness rendered him unable to focus.  Strong footsteps approached; someone with a purpose.  His cracked lips opened to enquire, but all that came out was an incoherent croak.

“How are you James?”  His body stiffened at the woman’s voice.  His memory instantly cleared.  Unable to move, he trembled as the needle pierced his skin.

Word Count: 100

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

Regrets

stumps

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

That’s all that’s left.  Pitiful for a life of so many years.  His final weeks had been humiliating, degrading, miserable.  She wished she could have changed that.

‘But you could have,’ an accusing voice whispered.  Guilt burned her soul.  ‘Would it have been so difficult to visit more often?  He was always so thrilled to see you; his withered face brightened at the prospect of a couple of hours’ company.  Weary, when you left, but rejuvenated, contented.  Selflessly, he never expected anything from you.  He accepted his lot without complaint.  Too late to change anything now. 

I’m so sorry, Dad.

Word Count: 100

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

New Socks and Petticoat Tails

roger-bultot-art-exhibit

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

“You need to let go of your mother’s petticoat tails.”

“Apron strings”

“Pardon?”

“The expression is ‘let get go of your mother’s apron strings’, not petticoat tails.”

“You’re impossible!”

“Impossibly charming and irresistibly sexy!”

Gemma tried to stifle the smile that was strong-arming itself onto her lips as he wrapped his arms around her.  No matter how infuriating he could be, he was also adorable.

“Nevertheless, you need to gain some independence from your mum.  You’re twenty four; an adult.  You don’t need to consult her over everything.”

“No, but…”

“No, buts Richard, you can choose your own socks now!”

Word Count: 100

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

At Our Age!

Friday Fictioneers 27122017

PROMPT © Ted Strutz

“We’re going round in circles, Ethel.”

“That’s because you won’t see reason.”  Arthur spluttered his mouthful of tea across the kitchen table.

“Me see reason?  How can you think it’s rational to even suggest it?”

“I don’t see what you’re getting in such a lather about.  Bill and Joan do it,” Ethel said.

“Bill and Joan can do what they like.  I’m too old and it’s disgusting to even think of it at our age!”  Ethel sighed.  Arthur had always been an old stick-in-the-mud.  Nothing wrong with a bit of…

Damn, must watch the word count!

Word Count: 100

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

Tarnished Love

lampost-s-pier-sandra-crook (2)

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

I care for you still, but like the old streetlight, my love has decayed.  You seem oblivious to its deterioration.  You’ve nagged, you’ve moaned, you’ve criticised like the unremitting erosion of a coastline, a constant attrition on our relationship.

You are self-absorbed, incapable of feeling contentment.  My every attempt to make you happy has been slapped aside wounding intensely.  Black resentment the resulting effect of thwarted efforts.  I’m no longer inclined to try.

Now I am leaving and no doubt that will be wrong too.  There is nobody else.  No other woman.  I just can’t bear to be with you.

 

Word Count: 100

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

They Were Wrong

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

They said it wouldn’t last, that we were on the rebound. We both knew they were wrong.

On our first date you ignited a spark in my damaged and hardened heart.  In return, you said my child-like enthusiasm for life rejuvenated yours.

We’ve had our obstacles, but overcame them together, flames still dancing between us.

Fifty years on, I look at your crumpled face, my heart fills with warmth.  The soft glow from within pumps out to you, willing you to recover.  Instinctively, I know you won’t.

Your time is near.

I wish it wasn’t so.

My sorrow is unspeakable.

Word Count: 100

 

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.