Yellow Heart

(100-word flash fiction)

I got up early to make Mummy a marmalade sandwich with a heart hole for Mother’s Day. Daddy called it Yellow Heart.  He said it would make Mummy very happy when she got home.

It’s 8 o’clock and Mummy isn’t home yet, so Daddy made me a peanut butter sandwich. But, I was still hungry so I started to eat Mummy’s sandwich too, when the doorbell rang.

But it’s not Mummy, it’s a policeman with his hat in his hand. Why is he whispering to Daddy while staring at me?

Is Mummy not coming back because I ate her sandwich?

~~~

* Apparently, on SnapChat, Yellow Heart means you are #1 best friends with each other 🙂

I am a bit late this week because a story just wouldn’t form itself and I didn’t want to pull a premie out of my muse’s womb. I finally got one I am happy with 🙂 Thanks Rochelle for hosting this eclectic group of flash fiction addicts every week, week after week. I salute your dedication 🙂

Photo prompt –

PHOTO PROMPT © Kelvin M. Knight

The peak

(100-word flash fiction)

They had climbed the whole day. Yet, the peak looked as far away as when they had started.

Night, a thick furry blanket, fell fast and dark, so they pitched their tent. After dining, Arial left Adam by the campfire to explore a clump of trees.

Her flashlight caught a pair of large, round eyes staring, unblinking.

“Kuuu-koo,” it said.

“The peak is not unreachable,” she heard.

“It seems so,” she said.

“Kuuu-koo,”

“You can change your reality in a blink,” she heard.

Next morning, when they awoke, they were at the peak, looking down at a valley of wildflowers.

~~~

Tried what I think is magic realism 🙂 And also missing the call of the Ruru (Morepork) that I used to listen to until late into the night in NZ.

I can now safely re-christen Wednesday night to Friday Fictioneers night 🙂 thanks to our lovely Rochelle 🙂

Photo prompt –

PHOTO PROMPT © Danny Bowman

 

Ruin

(100-word flash fiction)

They were the power couple. Gracious and hospitable. Every birthday, anniversary and festival was celebrated with partying. They appeared in public smiling hand-in-hand.

He excelled in his career while she was the loving stay-at-home mother volunteering for charities.

They did not know when the rot in their marriage had started to  creep up from the foundation. They were so busy living their perfect lives, they did not see the brickwork slowly turning to dust. Their smiles and celebrations like ivy covering a decaying structure had fooled even themselves.

All it took for the structure to crumble was one mammogram.

~~~

Sadly, it’s a true story. Neighbours of ours, such a nice couple, hospitable and both of them lovely people. Then we moved away and heard she has had a mastectomy.  Followed soon by divorce.

~~~

Tried to get literal with this one, but it came out a bit stilted, I think.

Thank you Rochelle for yet another lovely photo and for so religiously hosting our Flash Fiction addicted get-together 🙂

Photo prompt –

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bulltot

Womb

(100-word flash fiction)

The baby was a gruesome freak. Of nature. Born after years of prayer and pilgrimage. The nurses would bring him for a feed but she couldn’t bring herself to touch him, let alone take him to her breast.

The woman in the next bed sobbed through the night for her perfect, stillborn baby. The small room pressed down heavy and oppressive with the weight of two empty cradles.

Her depleted womb became a bloody battle ground. Disappointment warred with Despair until Guilt started to trounce them both.

Eventually, Self Pity won. Her room on the seventh floor had unbarred windows.

————

A couple of weeks before the festival of Diwali, Hindus celebrate the festival of Dusshera. Prior to that for nine days, Navratri (nine nights) is celebrated, culminating with Dusshera celebrated on the 10th day. In the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, during Navratri, a dance form called Garba is performed during the nine nights. People dressed in colourful attire dance around a clay lantern with a light inside, called a Garbha Deep (“womb lamp”). This lantern represents life, and the foetus in the womb in particular. The dancers thus honor Durga, the feminine form of divinity.

The lit tent reminded me of the lit pot with lighted little lamps around it with the dancers performing during the night. Except that, for the protagonist, there was no light.

~~~

This week’s photo prompt is so lovely, I was loathe to write such a sad story but life is like that. Thanks to Rochelle’s fabulous hosting, we have all gathered for another Friday Fictioneers feast.

PHOTO PROMPT© Jan Wayne Fields

Holi

(100-word flash fiction)

It is Holi. The neighbourhood youth are gathering logs and twigs for the bonfire.

She takes her wedding sari out and weeps into it. Endless pain after years of abuse comes pouring out, soaking the red silk into a dull-blood burgundy.

The lit bonfire is steadily growing.

She takes the mangal-sutra off her neck and tucks it into the soggy sari.

The fire is a roaring beast, flicking tongues of pure flame.

She walks to the bonfire and tosses the sari into it.

Elsewhere, her husband, quite by accident, trips on a naked, high-voltage wire and fries to death.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The festival of Holi begins on the night before when a bonfire is lit and people perform rituals in front of it. The name comes from the mythological story in which the demoness Holika is burnt to death by Lord Vishnu and symbolises the triumph of good over evil. It takes place at the end of winter and a deeper meaning suggests getting rid of all internal, unwanted garbage (the diseased, decaying and dead) in us, so that we can welcome the oncoming spring purged and fresh. Holi – or the festival of colours begins the next morning with the smearing of colour on each other in a friendly, playful, and relaxed atmosphere. The many hues of colour signify the new, emerging colours of spring. It is also harvest season and the time to meet and rejoice, end past conflicts and mend broken relationships.

The mangal-sutra (literally meaning blessed thread) is tied around the bride’s neck by the groom during the wedding.  A Hindu married woman wears it until she dies or becomes a widow.

It’s Wednesday night and time for the weekly Friday Fictioneers fix. Thanks Rochelle for being such a champ and hosting it every week and for faithfully reading ALL our stories 🙂

Photo prompt –

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

Stone-heart

(100-word flash fiction)

She didn’t know when her heart had turned into stone.

She remembered the first walls, built purely in self defense, to shield her sensitive heart. She even decorated them with plastic smiles and forced cheerfulness. But, unknown to her they began to thicken.

She met everyone on the outside, playacting friendliness. Flirting with men, but not knowing how to give her heart away. Because, eventually, even she didn’t have access to it.

Arthur had come, stayed briefly, called her a ‘stone-hearted goddess’ and left.

Yes, she had a heart of stone.

Until, she found the abandoned baby in the dumpster.

~~~

It’s that time of the week when we scratch the FF itch and conjure stories of all form and manner in 100-words all of which presided over by our ever gracious hostess Rochelle. 🙂

PHOTO PROMPT© CEAyr

The bouquet

(100-word flash fiction)

The flowers were sitting on her doorstep glowing in the golden hour sunlight.

“Thank you, dearest Simon,” she smiled at the thought of her at-last-found true love.

She scooped them up as she let herself in. Taped to a stem was a heart shaped card. Her heart fluttered then burst into beam exactly like the light she had turned on.

“You cannot live without me. I will not let it be.” It said in Zac’s sloppy hand.

Behind her bowed head, a bee rose from a half-open bloom and found her neck. She was dead before she hit the ground.

~~~

Nothing original about the story, but hey, the muse deserves a break too 😀

Thank you Rochelle, for another lovely photo and for presiding so ably over the Friday Fictioneers 🙂

Photo prompt –

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

The call

(100-word flash fiction)

The phone rang at the oddest hours. At night when she was asleep.

It was always a child, whispering plaintively, sometimes frantically but in a strange language. She was sure it was a prank, someone mimicking a child’s voice to pester her. The next time, however, an adult shout was heard followed by the sound of a slap and whimpering.

She decided to record the call. She had to wait for two months.

She then spent the rest of the night on Google Translate which translated, “Save me from these people. Help me find my parents. Please come rescue me.”

_____________

I had the good intention of writing a nice, happy story. But my mind got hijacked by a post I read about men stalking and grooming young pre-teens with the criminal intention of sexual predation. We might write what we think are dark and dismal stories but the reality, it seems, is far more unfathomably dangerous than what we can imagine.

However, on a lighter note. I am much grateful to the lovely Rochelle for providing the space and platform for all of us Friday Fictioneers to meet and write 😁

Photo prompt –

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

The chariot

(100-words flash fiction)

The curtained chariot waiting at the edge of the forest had strange markings. It was only after a while that she realised there were no hoof-beats, no shudder, only a gentle swaying.

When she had parted the curtains and looked out, they were gliding through the air, her castle retreating below in the gathering gloom. The swaying had lulled her into peaceful sleep.

She awakened to a sudden noise. Light was streaming in from every window.

The door opened and there he was wearing the strangest clothes and a wicked grin. Opening his arms, saying, “Welcome to the 21st century!”

~~~

A little nonsensical, whimsical, maybe even magical piece for the usual Friday Fictioneers fix shepherded by the lovely Rochelle.

Photo prompt below –

PHOTO PROMPT © Kent Bonham

 

 

 

Firefly

(100-word flash fiction)

She put the last firefly into the jar and closed the lid.

Twilight had quickly turned into night in the woods. Holding the jar up to let the glowing light from her captives guide her she pushed forwards.

Light glowed from windows in the distance. Soon, she would be home.

That’s when she saw it. A huge firefly, meandering lazily to her right.

‘Ah! The prize catch,’ she thought as she stepped towards it.

Her hand closed in on a cold metal object on the other side of which was a sneering face.

“What have you got there, little girl?”

~~~

I have been getting comments about the incongruity of my blog name and the dark nature of some of my stories. Here’s my take on it. Joy, peace, love are states of being and is our essential nature. It’s like the sun, always there, even when we cannot see it. Emotions like despair, anger, jealousy etc are transitory. Like dark clouds that obscure the sun. They come and go but the sun stays like our true nature which is that of joy and love. Therefore, I will always be Just Joyfulness 😀 (Phew! That turned out to be mini-post 🙂 )

Thank you Rochelle for so ably orchestrating the Friday Fictioneers gathering. Thanks to the weekly prompt, I get to keep my writing pencils and wits sharpened.

PHOTO PROMPT © Janet Webb

To read the rest of the stories, click here.