Discovery

(100-word flash fiction)

It was a ship with special powers. When the weather was just right, the white sails would turn into birds’ wings, begin to flap and gently lift the ship free from leaden water into the clouds.

There was one condition, though. The women had to sing. So they swayed, their grass skirts twirling in graceful arcs, their voices rising and falling like air currents, holding the ship aloft.

One day, while they were in the air, a young lad (with sharp eyes) glimpsed green through a gap and cried “Land!”

The singing stopped.

The ship descended and Aotearoa was discovered.

~~~~

This is a work of fiction inspired by the various legends and stories of how the Maori arrived in Aotearoa (Maori name for New Zealand which means The Land of the Long White Cloud). The actual stories are far more interesting, intriguing, inspirational and magical.

When I saw the prompt photo, I immediately thought of sails and well, it’s a new year and being the hopeless romantic that I am, there HAD to be singing and dancing and MAGIC 🙂

A VERY JOYOUS NEW YEAR TO ALL MY FRIDAY FICTIONEER FRIENDS 🙂 And a big hug to Rochelle for keeping the tradition alive 🙂

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

HAPPY 2018

I watched the movie ‘The Danish Girl’ the other day and afterwards I was thinking about the difficulties a transgender person goes through even to this day. How frustrating it must be to identify oneself as some one else whilst being trapped in an increasingly alien body. How disorienting to lose connection with one’s identity and not being able to take on another. How painful to suppress this burgeoning identity and try to live a life of conformity.

When it occurred to me that that’s what we all do. R. Buckminister Fuller said, “All children are born geniuses, and we spend the first six years of their lives degeniusing them.”

Google says, the word ‘genius’ has its roots in the late Middle English word gignere ‘beget’: from Latin, ‘attendant spirit present from one’s birth, innate ability or inclination’.

We have genius in us from birth, but very soon society gets about stamping it out trying to turn us into socially conforming people. And we spend the rest of our lives frustrated and despairing, seeking something we have lost connection with, not knowing what, sedating ourselves with possessions, experiences, validation. And tragically, most of us dying with our songs unsung, with our genius buried deep inside.

So, this New Year, I wish for everyone to reconnect with our attendant spirit, our daemon, our innate genius, and let it out to stretch its wings and soar.

TO BECOME THE PERSON WE WERE MEANT TO BE!

HAVE A GENIUS 2018!

Freedom

(100-word flash fiction)

She slid into the still waters stained crimson with sunset.

She felt free as those birds flying towards the horizon. As vast as the ocean in whose lap she now cradled in. Unfettered as the breeze caressing the water. Thousands of miles away with a perfect alibi.

If only she could have tortured him the way he had broken her spirit. Cracked her open and filled her with pain. With slow poison he wouldn’t even know he was dying.

She dried herself, sauntered lazily to the beachside cottage and let herself in.

And found him lying dead on her bed.

~~~

*  Just for the record, I don’t like the ending. It’s so unfair, especially with the #metoo campaign now on. I fought with the muse for a whole day and nothing else was given. 😦 So be it.

** Couldn’t resist the alliteration in the first line. 🙂

Many thanks to our lovely Rochelle for so devoutly hosting Friday Fictioneers week after week 🙂

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

 

Evidence

(100-word flash fiction)

“Another blurry image?” Poirot roared, gesticulating wildly. “How are we going to catch the angry bird thief if you can’t take clear photos?”

“But sir, the bird is in the photo and so is the hand.”

“Haaand? Of what use is the haaand?”

“Sir! For putting the handcuffs on.”

“You need the face for IDENTIFICATION, you imbecile.” Ben maintained a judicious silence.

“Get out!” the boss barked, flinging his cigar at his retreating employee.

Unfortunately, Ben was as bad at escaping as with gathering evidence.

A case was filed. The evidence was searingly evident. On Ben’s bum, a cigar burn.

~~~

More like Frivolous Friday 🙂 Once again Rochelle kindly provides a prompt and we send a collective call to our muses, and all of them provide a different story to each of us based on the same photo. How fascinating!

Photo prompt –

PHOTO POMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

Moonlight

(100-word flash fiction)

He woke up to a feeling of being touched. There was moonlight splayed everywhere, on the floor, furniture, bed and glowing pale on his feet. As he watched, it began to creep up his legs, slowly and imperceptibly. As though the moonlight was a sensuous lover caressing him softly, seductively.

It was when it began to spread up his body that he broke into a cold sweat. Then, as his consciousness began to fade, it occurred to him that the moon had been falling not rising and that thing outside that was shining on his face was not the moon.

~~~

It’s indeed the full moon today. And I’m loving watching it beam down at me, spreading its light over everything. And so how could I hlep but write a story about an almost-moon for Friday Fictioneers. Thank you Rochelle for the bringing us together and to Ted for the photo.

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

 

Iqbal

(100-word flash fiction)

The rain battered the roof sounding like dancing skeletons. Or machine-gun fire. Both reminded him of Afghanistan.

Behind his closed sleepless eyelids rose images of families huddled in shacks, hiding their daughters, their young sons. Their once-proud brows shrunken by war and poverty. Their once erect backs, bent.

Only young Iqbal was different. Orphaned, rudderless, hanging around the camp doing odd jobs, immune to the horrors, always smiling, as though he, impossibly, saw only light everywhere.

For him, the war ended when Iqbal was found dead, hit by a stray American bullet.

Collateral damage, they said. Bloody murder, he thought.

~~~

Ah! Wednesday night and we all gather around the Friday Fictioneers fire, led by our ablest Girl Guide Rochelle 🙂

Photo prompt –

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

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