Sunshine

(100-word flash fiction)

He had come home one day and found them all gone, including his house. There was just a bomb crater in their place.

But his heart refuses to believe they are dead. By day, he combs the refugee shelters, eyes bright with not blinking.

At night, he soothes himself with memories. How little Fatima she would spring into his arms, smile brighter than sunrise, a tinkling santur for laughter.

He hears hopeful stories of boats and stories of death.

Finally, he spots her. The sunshine of his life. On a newspaper page.

Only, in her eyes, the sun had set.

~~~~~~

Tried hard to write a lovely, little sweet story, but my muse is a stubborn one 🙂

Thank you Rochelle, for hosting this weekly party of eclectic flash fictioneers 🙂 And, your photo is lovely!

clouds-above-the-trees

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

Sleep

(100-word flash fiction)

~~~

Her father had come home drunk. Again.

There are muffled thuds coming from her parents’ bedroom. Again.

Tomorrow there will be bruises on her mother’s body and her nose will be bleeding. Again.

She counts the pills. Again.

26. She decides she has enough.

Tomorrow she will put him to sleep. Forever.

Later that night, a sound whiplashes through her skull and cracks open her sleep.

By the time she gathers her senses, her door opens and her mother stands framed in the passageway light. Wraithlike, in her pale, sheer nightgown.

When she speaks, she sounds spectral.

“I killed him.”

~~~

Oh well, here’s the fix for my Friday Fictioneers weekly craving. Rochelle, our able hostess, is to be blamed (for the craving)  🙂

Fiction based on photo prompt below –

broken-face-liz

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

Suspended

(100-word flash fiction)

 

The chair topples on the first kick. As if on cue, she steps outside herself.

 

She is amazed at how the body is wired for survival, as she watches the legs, puppet-like, kick into thin air. Chest straining, by habit, trying to suck in air, so abundant outside. Face crimsoning as blood rushes to her brain. Bells going on inside, screaming ‘Mayhem!’ ‘Mayhem!’

 

She loses all sense of time. And that dreary greyness that had festered inside her like a light-sucking ghost. She crackles with an aliveness her body had never felt. Unimaginable lightness fills her being.

 

The door opens.

 

~~~

Rochelle has posted a lovely image for this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt.

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

Photo  © Ted Strutz

Death poems

On dVerse Poets Pub Gayle sets the challenge :  To write in haiku or tanka style, to the theme of Jisei (Japanese death poems).

Gayle also says, “In ancient Japanese, Chinese and Korean cultures, a practice was used at the time of death to capture the last words spoken. This practice was called jisei (in Japan) or death poem and is the “farewell poem to life.” Jisei was written by monks, samurai, the literate and poets of these cultures. One of the earliest recorded jisei dates to 686 C.E. (Common Era) or in Christian terms, B.C. (before Christ) with the death of Prince Otsu who was the son of Emperor Temmu of Japan.”

 

JAPANESE DEATH POEMS – tanka

 

I hear the sea sing

in my veins, of homecoming.

Save your salty tears

 

for life and its sorry tales,

not me. I am going home.

 

~~~

 

This vain, heavy shell

I no longer need, fading

softly like daylight

 

surrenders to night, sighing

soft promises of return.

 

~~~

 

This shell will return

to its womb. My sinews will

turn into roots, limbs

 

into tree-trunks. And my song

will trill out from the tree tops.

 

~~~

 

Soon, I will be rain,

falling on seeds, springing them

into life. Lusty,

 

fecund, virile, alive. Death

is a mere wisp of a veil.

 

~~~

The revenge of the moths

(100 word flash fiction)

“Come on, we’ve come this far, let’s not falter. We’ve got to find our friend.”

“But, as far as we have found out, these strange arched eating places, they only serve cow, pig, fish and fowl. We won’t find him here.”

“A ‘lil bird told me this one’s different. They serve wildlife meat to only some people. We’ve got to get in and find out.”

“But, what are we going to do if we find they serve wild lion meat?”

“We will poison their food, so that no one eats here anymore. And do the same to all the others.”

~~~

Cecil’s death still haunts me. I need catharsis, I guess.

A bitter tale written for the lovely Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers for the photo prompt below –

PHOTO PROMPT - © Madison Woods

Photo © Madison Woods

Too young to wed

(100 word flash fiction)

Saida’s husband has flopped to his side after heaving his 54-year old heavy, sweaty body on her 14-year one. Through her tears, she can see the moon outside the window emerge from behind clouds.

Fat-belly moon. Like her own growing belly. Wanderer of the skies. It reminds her of freedom. Of her short-lived school days.  Of her once fiery desire to be a teacher.

Yes! Fire could be her deliverer.

She tiptoes across the room to the kitchen. Thick, dark clouds are rapidly obscuring the moon. In the fading light, she finds the kerosene, douses herself and lights a match.

~~~

Can’t say I wrote this story. I only paraphrased a real-life story (or bits from lots of them). Watch the full feature on this National Geographic Live feature called ‘Too young to Wed” by Photographer Stephanie Sinclair and writer Cynthia Gorney. Heart-breaking stuff!

As always, writing for the lovely Rochelle’s photo prompt and joining in the Friday Fictioneers party is a pleasure.

PHOTO PROMPT -© Madison Woods

PHOTO PROMPT -© Madison Woods

The latticed window – Friday Fictioneers

(100-word flash fiction)

THE LATTICED WINDOW

She stood on the road and looked up at the latticed window, seeing it for the first time from the outside, thinking how beautiful it looked.

She had found herself on the inside one bleak, moonless night, a child bride at 13, an elderly man’s fifth wife. 16 years of hell had followed.

She had been imprisoned in the house, not been allowed to step outside, not even when her father died.

That’s when she had decided to escape. The others were fellow prisoners, all married to the jail-keeper. He had to go.

All it had taken was a pillow.

~~~

100-word flash fiction for Friday Fictioneers at Rochelle’s .  Written for the image prompt below –

FF_old-building-staircaseImage copyright  – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Home – haiku

our floating first home
close to heart-beat pumping love
our mother’s warm womb

~~~

earnest and zestful
I prepared your homecoming
but your coffin came

~~~

fragile miracle
carrying us from womb to grave
this body our home

~~~

yet freedom at last
unanchored and unfettered
my spirit wings home

~~~