Why?

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PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

A dust-covered beetle scuttled across the floor.  Cold air blew in from the broken window and a fallen timber creaked as it strained under the weight of the debris on top.

Outside bulldozers approached, music blaring, wheels bouncing over bumpy ground and men shouting instructions.

Mary watched, smearing a tear across her cheek.

It should have been a happy evening.  It had been… until, abruptly, it wasn’t.

She remembered her daughter’s excited face when she had given her the tickets, her anticipation at the unexpected treat, her enthusiastic chatter with her friend.

Her beautiful, innocent daughter gone forever, for what?

Word Count: 100

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

Monday Morning Blues

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PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

“Double espresso, please,” Anna exhaled heavily.

She’d arrived at work earlier and parked her car.  As she got out, something caught her eye on the river next to the office, or more accurately, in the foliage covering the bridge.  She’d gone to investigate and called to the man climbing up the shrubbery.

“What are you doing?  Are you stuck?”  He didn’t answer.  She frowned, annoyed.

His arms hung by his side, belly exposed where his T-Shirt had ridden up.

It took a minute for her to realise he wasn’t climbing.  He wasn’t going to be doing anything anymore… ever.

Word Count: 99

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

The Sadist

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PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Broken, abused, defeated!

That’s how I felt when we split.  He wasn’t content with being unfaithful like most husbands.  That wasn’t enough; he tried to destroy me.  He almost succeeded.

We shouldn’t have married.  I never loved him and he obviously reciprocated that absence of emotion.  I’d ricocheted from a failed relationship into his merciless life. How I wish I’d listened to those who dispensed warnings.  Instead I suffered years of cruelty bestowed by him.

How different my life could have been.

Thankfully, broken things can repair and my strength has returned.  I’m contented now.

Happiness is a gratifying revenge.

Word Count: 100

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

The Gendarme’s Lot Is Not A Happy One

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PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

Hugo dragged on his Gauloise.  He’d left the hotel room swiftly and was looking at the beautiful facade.

How could such a monstrous act have been committed in such a picturesque building?

Years working for the police had hardened him to acts of depravity, but what he’d witnessed sickened him.

The activities in that room had been evil; blood saturated the sheets and the girl’s hair was a dishevelled, congealed mess.

How could anyone view children as sexual beings?

He threw the dog-end into the gutter and strode back inside.

For the first time ever Hugo considered not following procedure.

Word Count: 100

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

Jenny’s Sister

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PHOTO PROMPT © Magaly Guerrero

Sitting at her bedside, it didn’t seem possible the figure before me was the same person I used to squabble with over space on the dressing table.

When Granddad died of cancer, he was skeletal; barely making a dent in the sheets, but Jenny was bloated beyond recognition.

At her funeral, one of her friends said in her broad Essex accent “Oh my Gawd. You must be Jenny’s sister.” I’d heard that often before and deeply resented it.

“No, I’m Chloe!” I’d always wanted to scream.

Somehow knowing it would be the last time was unsettling and profoundly sad.

Word Count: 100

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

Unexpected Date Night

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PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

“Let’s have a date night,” my husband said.  “I’ll arrange everything; you come home and get ready for a treat.  Wear something sexy.”

I hid my surprise.  Things hadn’t been great for a while and he’d never organised anything special.

I spent time preparing, anticipating a romantic meal somewhere classy.  A squirt of expensive perfume and I was ready.  Excitedly, I went downstairs.

***

I surveyed the bedroom the morning after; the takeaway pizza stinking its greasy fumes and the dregs of the bargain booze in the bottom of the glass.

I fastened the suitcase and headed out.  I deserved so much more.

Word Count: 102

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

There’s a Shadow Hanging Over Me

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PHOTO PROMPT © Jellico’s Stationhouse

I’ll never be able to compete with his lost love.

She died.

She’s still here in everything we do, everywhere we go.  Whenever we socialise, the air is weighty with her presence and memories of a former life.

I know he loves me.

The home we share still bears her mark; the things they bought together in happy times.  It’d be easier if they’d divorced, despising each other.

Knowing they didn’t want to part, that he would still be with her now if he could, is difficult to live with.

I know he loves me, but he loved her more.

Word Count: 100

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

Lottery Win… or Loss?

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PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria

When we won the lottery, we bought a grand, new house in Cheshire and furnished it expensively.

We splashed out on a yacht and journeyed to exclusive and affluent resorts, spending giddily.

We were living the dream; no money worries, doing things we’d always fantasised about, laughing like newly in-love teenagers.

He doesn’t know I saw them together.  Beautiful, vacuous, calculating bitch!

Silly old goat really believes she fancies him.

She can’t give you what we’ve had all these years.  How can you be so gullible, so conceited, so insensitive?  

Oh, how I wish I’d never bought that damned ticket.

 

Word Count: 100

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

Woodland Manoeuvres

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PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

He tensed at a rustling sound behind him.  He was motionless except his eyeballs, which darted rapidly covering all directions.  His heart drummed vigorously, but he kept his breathing steady.  Prostrate in the undergrowth unwilling to divulge his position, he grew cold.

A crunch to his left warned him of a passing being.  Muscles taut and senses fully alert, he held his position.  He was uncertain yet whether it was wolf, bear or psychotic murderer, but he was equipped and prepared for any event…

“Christopher, time to come in now darling.”

Any event, except his mother calling him to lunch.

Word Count: 100

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

A Lifetime of Love

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PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast

Jane watched as Bobby suckled her breast.

She rejoiced when he rolled over the first time.

She clapped gleefully when he took his first steps.

She wiped a tear from her eye when she left him on his first day at school.

Tears again, when he graduated.

She hugged him and his fiancé when they announced their engagement, thrilled at his choice of bride.

She held him close before he went to Afghanistan.

Now she watched, inwardly weeping, as his pregnant wife spoon-fed him after the bullet left him less capable than the day she had given birth to him.

Word Count: 100

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

 

It’s Not Purely Academic

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PHOTO PROMPT © Shaktiki Sharma

Karen was a little different.

Some girls are part of a gaggle, always huddled together, giggling, chatting, falling in and out of friends from day-to-day, but Karen was often alone.

Mrs Davey looked out of the window and sighed.  Karen has a beautiful nature. Children can be so cruel.

At the bell, the children trooped back in.

Mrs Davey asked the TA to supervise the class and quietly took Josie outside.

Next playtime, Josie made a beeline for Karen and tucked her arm in hers.

“Would you like to be my friend?”

Mrs Davey gave her an almost imperceptible wink.

Word Count: 100

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

My New Dawn

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PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The sunbeams dancing through my window-pane quietly rouse me.  I listen to a dustcart drawing nearer.  It’s early, but I’m keen to make a start.  I make myself a promise: I’ll not linger over previous unhappiness.  He had my past, but he’ll not affect my present or future… ever.

Today I’ll buy curtains to keep the early morning sun out.

I can do whatever I want.  I stretch languorously, the things I need to achieve today parading through my head.

No point lying in bed thinking about it, I get up and start living my life the way I want.

Word Count: 100

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

 

 

Escaping the Cold

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Photo Prompt (c) Sarah Potter

She stuffed the last things in her case and closed it.

Bending down, she kissed his head.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, absent-mindedly brushing his fringe out of his eyes. She couldn’t remember the last night of unbroken sleep. Her head felt so grainy.

She heaved her luggage outside and asked the driver to stop at a cashpoint en route.

***

She shivered as the plane taxied to the runway. Her heart was hammering. It wasn’t only the cold she was escaping.

She felt a tear spill from her eye as the last image of her dead son flooded her mind.

Word count: 99

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

 

A Policeman’s Lot

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PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

Inspector Crow finished his report, stretched and sighed heavily.   Teenager Rachel, a runaway, trying to escape a life of physical abuse, had run recklessly into substance addiction, prostitution and ultimately more physical abuse.

He’d seen it before and wondered, pointlessly, how to prevent another tragedy.  He was tired of mopping up the consequences, weary to the core of troubled lives ending in violent deaths.

The problem, as he saw it, began at home.

If only her mum had been strong enough to intervene.

If only her brother hadn’t abused her.

As he left his desk, his phone rang.

Another case…

Word Count: 100

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

 

Where Do They All Come From?

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PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

We are hardly ever together any more.  If we see each other, we grunt a brusque “alright?” and continue our detached lives.

Although we still sleep in the same house, we have separate rooms.  We are strangers.

When necessary, we put on a united front, presenting ourselves as a couple, laughing and joking, but seldom connecting.  I wonder how many we fool and how many other people are in the same kind of sham relationship.

I see my mates at the pub every night in order to escape the loneliness at home.

It isn’t what I imagined when I proposed.

Word Count: 100

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