Sam rubbed his tired eyes and focussed on the blinking light. All was calm but winds from the dark ocean were starting to gain strength and rumbles from the sky spoke of a storm. He looked down at the net lying on deck and his heavy heart sank. Three days and only a few fish to show for it. His skin was grainy from the salty air. He craved a shower and a cold beer. The beacon was getting brighter as the winds pushed his drifting boat towards the land. Sam submitted to defeat and allowed his mind to think of Amy. She would be waiting and tonight, he could do with some comfort.
Here is my Friday Fictioneers. This picture instantly reminded me of a lighthouse. I have never actually been inside one but the spiralling staircase made me think of that. So loosely based on that interpretation I came up with my story. I have been working on my short stories and editing and not really blogged in a while or taken part in this weekly tradition. Better late than never.
If you want to take part, head over to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and have a go.
Here is my latest Friday Fictioneers installment thanks to Madison Woods and Jan Morrill for supplying the picture.
As usual I am not sure on what I’ve produced, but a little pressed on time roday and I know I won’t get to spend time perfecting it tomorrow. So here it is, in a raw state.
If you want to take part in Friday Fictioneers then head over here
The man gave each of us a map and a deadline of two o’clock sharp. It was now one fifteen. I had misplaced my team an hour before and was completely lost. The blue sky and heavy sun teased my useless sense of direction and cast shadows against the white city walls. I looked down at the map littered with lines, discovering little correlation between where I was standing and where I needed to be.
My mouth felt parched and my head throbbed. I popped the tiny foil circle on top the carton of cranberry juice and cursed as the red liquid shot out of the straw and on to my light yellow top. Using the map to blot away the stain, all hope of completing the mission was lost. I screwed up the ruined piece of paper and shoved it into my bag. The work’s annual team building exercise, yet another resounding failure.
I found this very difficult, sometimes you have too much going through your head to make into a story. When I saw the picture I immediately thought of my grandad so this is ever so slightly autobiographical.
If you want to take part in Friday Fictioneers, visit Madison Woods to view the picture, write 100 words and post it back on her blog.
Last of the Summer Vines
It was the end of summer and the rain had been falling heavily for months. Jean and Bernie walked through the orchard as the thick grass tickled their bare ankles. It was a place the season had forgotten and now it belonged only to them. The apple tree their granddaughters used to climb cowered under the weight of the early crop, beneath it a rusting lawn roller surrounded by rotting fruit.
“How are the vines Bernie?”
“No harvest this year” he sighed, examining the intertwined branches.
She wrapped her arm around his “Ah well, cider it is this Christmas”
Jerry sat in the chair and waited for the man to come over with the needle. The room was covered with art work of dragons, Chinese symbols of mythology and girls etched in different characters. From each year since Jack was born, Jerry obtained another tattoo.
He had twelve, all over his body. None of them could be seen without him bearing skin. His brother hated them, branded him as common for succumbing to the clique that he had managed to avoid. However Jerry was an addict. His hair-line had been receding for a while and he loathed that every time he looked in the mirror, an old man was staring back. His face was rough from the years of working outside and lugging around heavy loads. He also laid blame on his sister-in-law and nephew. They caused him no end of hassle, the stress was hard to bear and there were times when his temper got the better of him. He knew he had to control his urges but it was becoming more difficult.
Since Jerry could remember, the anger had always been with him. It was unexplained and irrational. The violence that had gone alongside it seemed as natural as eating and breathing. He wanted to hate himself but he didn’t. There was no remorse nor was there any pride. It was just what he did. When he was ten years old he remembered beating up a bully in the playground who had singled out Bill. His brother would come home in tears, unable to defend himself. Their mother vowed to go into school and sort it out. However Jerry had sorted it before she had the chance and the lad never bothered Bill again. In fact he never bothered anyone, too afraid to be in the same room as Jerry.
He looked at Jack sometimes and saw Bill in him. Jerry did think a lot of Jack, to say that he loved him would be too much, but he was certainly fond of him. At the same time he saw him as a liability. Even though he had taught him a lesson for his snooping, Jerry was worried that unlike his father, Jack was clever. His mind was always ticking, always thinking about what was going on around him. His morals led the way he acted in life and although he was weak, he was not malleable and easy intimidated. Jerry feared that one day, Jack would turn his back on the family and turn them in. He would certainly have a lot to say which is why he had to keep a very close eye on him at all times.
“What we having this time Jerry” asked the burly looking man, arms covered in tattoos and ears full of studs
“A scorpion” Jerry handed him the picture he had sketched himself “Got a spare patch on my back, think it could go there”
The man nodded and studied the picture “No problem”
Jerry could feel the ink penetrate his skin and he breathed a sigh of relief. As the needle went in, the evil flowed out and for a few hours he felt no anger.
I missed last week’s Friday Fictioneers so was looking forward to taking part again. I have written this on my lunch break at work so if it’s a little round round the edges then that’s why. I actually managed to keep it down to 99 words this time. Happy for feedback/critiques if you’re willing to give them.
Here is Madison Woods 100 word challenge if you want to take part.
Step by Step
With each tentative step, Liz felt the back of her heels sting. She perched on a rock and removed one walking boot at a time, carefully inspecting the offending blisters. Liz had already hiked twenty five miles but her feet looked as though another step would finish them off. She adjusted the heavy bag weighing down on her shoulders, wincing as the straps cut into her collar bone.
“Ten miles to go” she whispered, trying not to cry as she examined the steep forest path.
“Come on Liz, you beat the big C. This is a piece of cake.”