Echoes of Long Ago Games

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listen

can you hear them?

echoing

fleeting peals of laughter

the joyful reflections of childhood games

of long forgotten adventures

held in the space’s fabric

memories existing in gossamer insubstantialility

absorbed by the earth

food for the

soul

Under the Tree House

The garden of our new house has a couple of features that immediately sold the place to me. There is both a tree-house and a summerhouse. And there are numerous signs that they were both favourite sites for children’s games in the past – including wax crayon scribbles and abandoned toys.

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As the youngest person now living in the house is my seventeen-year-old nephew, the garden no longer echoes with the sounds of children’s laughter. But the tree house and summer house both remain great places to photograph.

And to dream…

Pod

The summerhouse, now generally known as Pod, has become my place for writing. I can often be found sitting down at the bottom of the garden, with a cup of tea, a notepad, and a far away look.

Pod Door

Update: Since I started writing this post earlier today, we’ve had visitors – one of whom was a five-year-old boy. The garden seemed to welcome the sound of childish laughter, again. He rescued the seal (who is now called Super Seal) from the cargo netting, and before he left he insisted that I put him safely inside the tree-house for the night so he could keep warm.

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FFfAW: Time to Leave

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Photo prompt – The Storyteller’s Abode

Time to Leave

The boats were full, despite the lateness of the day.

Ingrid paused, her foot poised on the gangplank as she looked back at the town. Her throat tightened as tears threatened to fall. How could she leave? The place was central to all of her memories: she’d married Jimmy in the church on the market place; borne her children in the local hospital. She’d walked those streets with steps both weighted with sorrow and made light with joy. Even the thought of leaving chilled her.

“I’m afraid it’s time, dearest,” Jimmy said.

Unfortunately, she didn’t have any choice. The town that had been so bright with life would soon be darkened by death. These would be the final boats to leave. On board, men and women clung to each other, their fear and sorrow almost palpable. Despite the exodus having begun days earlier, many had hoped the situation would change. Now, with ash clouds obscuring the sun, all hope was gone.

Ingrid gripped her husband’s hand and stepped on board.

Word Count: 175

If you’d like to read the other entries, click the little blue frog.

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This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. This week’s prompt was provided by me. The picture was taken in York a couple of years ago, when we visited for the Christmas market. It was an incredibly cold day, and we were amazed to see the boat trips still going on – though at least no one was sitting on the open-air top level.

As always seems to be the case when it’s my own prompt, I found it really hard to write a story this week! Luckily, I did manage to come up with something in the end. This was inspired by a programme about Pompeii I was watching.

I hope you like it.

FFfAW: Unexpected Consequences

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Photo Prompt – Grant-Sud / Flooded Out With Books

Unexpected Consequences

Adrugian gazed wearily over the arid landscape, the insistent beat of the sun sapping energy he could ill afford to lose. He knew the villagers below didn’t understand why he traipsed so often to the heights. He’d seen the looks they exchanged. He’d heard their snide comments. Unfortunately, the truth was something they could never comprehend.

He sighed, tossing a pebble over the edge and listening for its faint spolsh into the distant trickle of water. Sometimes it seemed only yesterday he’d learned to skim stones, standing at that very spot. Back when the river had filled the canyon to brimming. Back when the rains still fell.

They’d been so young, then. So naive. All they’d wanted was to halt the devastation of the spring floods. They hadn’t realised the effect their rituals would have.

Now, only he remained…

Adrugian gasped as sudden pain tore through his chest. He slumped backwards, shadows darkening his gaze. He knew his time had come, but a smile formed as he took in his final sight.

Clouds gathered above.

Word Count: 175


This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. This week’s prompt was provided by Grant from Flooded out with Books.

To read the other entries click the little blue frog.

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I’d like to both thank and apologise to everyone who has visited my blog recently and left either likes or comments. Whilst I’ve been trying to put together posts, I unfortunately haven’t found the time to respond to comments or to visit anyone’s blogs. Sorry! Hopefully, now the kids are all back at school, work will quieten down somewhat and I’ll finally manage to catch up. I have to admit that all ll I’ve wanted to do with my free time over the Christmas holiday is curl up with a book!

Just to warn everyone, though, I am intending to get stuck into editing the novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo during January, so my blogging might not be as frequent as it has been in the past.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, whatever festival you were celebrating.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

As it’s nearly midnight here, I’m afraid seeing what everyone else has written will have to wait until tomorrow morning…

Night night. 🙂

FFfAW: Preservation

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Preservation

Loreli scratched at her temples where the threads made contact. After nearly twenty years of treatment she should be used to the sensation by now, but they still made her skin crawl.

After all, while she knew she’d visited the clinic for years, it wasn’t as if she could really remember it…

“How much longer?” she murmured. The doctor would hear, no matter how softly she spoke. Each sound within the room was caught by the sensors, just as every pulse of energy along her synapses was caught by the threads, copying her memories into crystal storage.

“Not long. You’ve been active this week, I see.”

She had. Her sons had visited, their young children in tow. Loreli smiled at the thoughts and feelings dancing through her mind as she lay back.

The session could continue as long as necessary.

The details of her own boys’ early years had been lost to the initial ravages of her illness. Through the crystal and its itchy threads, at least her memories of her grandchildren’s childhood could be saved.

Word Count: 175

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This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. This week’s prompt was provided by Jade M. Wong.

CWW: Paths of Memory

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tread softly along paths

gentled by hazy memory,

strolling amidst recollections

of yesteryear’s cares

where lost loves and old pains

fade into ephemeral touches,

phantom fingers brushing

against present preoccupations

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This post is for Cee’s Which Way challenge. The photos were both taken on a misty November morning on the lanes around the village.

Here are a few other pictures of the lanes in November. Don’t forget to click on the gallery to see them at a larger size.

I hope you like them.

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TLT: Walls

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His memories crowded close: an impenetrable barrier denying access whilst holding him back from the world. But he was sick of being imprisoned by the past. Caed knew it was time to tear down the walls – from their rubble he could build a marvelous palace in which to celebrate a bright future.


This post in for Sonya’s Three Line Tales. This week’s prompt is by  Jace Grandinetti.

As with last week’s TLT, I’ve again written a snippit about one of the characters from my Nano novel,  meaning that the words can be included in my word count. Yay! With these fifty added to it, my current total is 26,567 words, meaning I’ve narrowed the gap between myself and the current par to only 5,100 words. I will catch up eventually!

As I’ve mentioned before, due to the amount of time I’m putting into NaNoWriMo, I’m spending far less time on the blog this month than I usually like to do. If I haven’t responded to your comment or visited your blog, thank you and sorry. I will try to visit you at some point soon. 🙂

Thanks for reading.

SPF: Memento

This story is in response to the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alistair Forbes, that asks that you write a story / poem of around 200 words using the photo as a guide.

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Memento

She’d always wondered what was kept in the garage.

Frances clutched the key to her chest, curiosity battling with trepidation as she stood before the door. As a child she’d spent hours sitting outside, inventing stories as to why her father spent so long within. She’d imagined him as a spy, storing top secret documents; as a scientist, building a time machine behind unassuming walls.

Now her father was merely a memory and she had to accept there were far darker possibilities than those she’d once considered. Frances shook her head, chiding herself. There was only one way to find the truth.

Hand trembling, she turned the key.

Her breath caught in her throat. Shelves lined the room, all filled with achingly familiar objects that set long forgotten memories dancing. She reached out to touch a photograph; trailed fingertips over an old toy. The picture had been taken during a childhood holiday –  her mother laughing as she splashed in the sea. The toy had been her favourite, thought donated to a charity shop many years past.

Tears filled her eyes as she viewed the precious mementos of her father’s life. The truth was more beautiful than she could have imagined.

Word Count: 200

If you want to read other entries or upload you own, click on the little blue frog.

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FFfAW: The Lingering Ache

This post is for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) Challenge, run by Priceless Joy. This week’s photo prompt was from pixabay. The challenge is that you write a story of 75-175 words inspired by the picture prompt below. I hope you like it.

Photo Prompt - from Pixabay

Photo Prompt – from Pixabay

The Lingering Ache

It had been years since he’d last ridden a bike.

Benjamin sighed, wishing the flimsy contraption leaning against the wall would simply vanish before his boys arrived downstairs. Their neighbour had offered him the bicycle after she’d heard Ollie and Lewis begging him to join them on a ride. His excuse that he didn’t have one had been neatly sidestepped by her generosity.

Anxiety coiled in his stomach and he rubbed at his aching temples as memories of blinding headlights and a dizzying, agonising impact overtook him. Six months of his life had been lost to unconsciousness. Over a year had been spent regaining full mobility after he’d finally awoken. The lingering ache of his injuries continued to bother him even now, years later.

He’d sworn to never ride a bike again.

The boys’ excited voices reached him long before they tumbled out of the doorway and he pasted a smile onto his face. Only one thing could persuade him to put his feet onto the pedals again.

He couldn’t bear to disappoint his boys.

Word Count: 172

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FFfAW: Memories of Home

This post is for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) Challenge, run by Priceless Joy. This week’s photo prompt was provided by Vanessa Rodriguez. The challenge is that you write a story of 75-175 words inspired by the photo prompt below. I hope you like it.

Photo Prompt: © Vanessa Rodriguez

Photo Prompt: © Vanessa Rodriguez

Memories of Home

Dana’s hand tightened on Jacob’s as she caught sight of the grapevines striping an undulating landscape.

“Oh Jake, this is…” Her voice caught. Tears gathered, threatening to overflow, and she brushed them away, leaning into Jacob’s support as his arm wrapped around her. “How did you know?”

“I know you,” he murmured in reply.

The ephemeral sweetness of ripening grapes carried on the breeze as they walked between the vines; sunlight warming skin. Dana breathed deeply, reawakening memories of carefree days among the carefully tended plants of her grandfather’s vineyard.

She’d taken it for granted, assumed it would always be there. How wrong she’d been.

How wrong they’d all been.

The impact of the asteroid had choked Earth’s beauty beneath a cloud of ash. Firestorms consumed the land. Whole populations were lost, only the lucky few already off-planet surviving. Dana was one of those few. As was Jacob.

Now the holographic chamber was the closest to home they’d ever get. At least with Jacob’s realistic simulations they could pretend – even if only for a while.

Word Count: 175


In case you were wondering, yes, the holographic chamber is based on the Holodeck from Star Trek…

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