Category: Stories

100 word story: Tower Block Blues

We look down on a city that doesn’t see us. Somewhere below is work, cash in hand, no questions asked. The notes slip through our fingers, a few groceries, the rest hush-money for a little snatched sleep in a sublet flat.

Folk keep to themselves up here where walls have ears and let in water. Out of the Loop we live for today with no thought of tomorrow, in a world apart, all corners cut and services slashed to the bone.

But now they’ve shrouded us in stylish cladding against the rain and cold. Small mercies. It cost us nothing.

 

Image result for grenfell tower before fire

 

Image: The Sun

100 word story: Restless Soul

Her world was gorgeous. She had only to sit back and enjoy it. But somehow it wasn’t enough.

Could life be more enjoyable, she wondered?

The thought took hold, eroding her pleasure in nature. She craved complication, obsessed with the idea of something somewhere just out of reach. Simplicity gave way to sophistication. Freedoms fled before fascisms of high fashion.

No longer did she love everywhere, learning from others to place one thing above another. The rare and novel drove the familiar and commonplace from her heart.

Meddle with the natural order, she began to demand. Bring me new things.

Image result for industry versus nature

Image: Flickr

100 word story: Birth of the Blues

Deep in the hold, gripped tight by the billowy roll and rock of a sleepless ocean, the cargo stirs. Weight shifts on creaky deck-boards, seeking balance and rest. Chains shake and rattle, testing their limits of free play.

Dark day bleeds into endless night. Hitherto random sounds start to take shape and gather to a shared syncopation that can seize time and turn hours into minutes, minutes into seconds. And any second now, you may sense the steady Rhythmic pulse of six hundred hearts beating as one.

Far above, the slaver’s fiddle can’t help but fall in with the beat.

Image result for sunset from rigging

Image: Schooner Bill of Rights

100 word story: Ain’t Big Enough for the Both of Us

Tombstone was a one-horse town.

This was no metaphor. Sole equine-licencee Mayor Hiram N. Firam rented out Ol’ Lightnin’ to anyone fool enough to ride her. Nervous townsfolk accepted his transport monopoly after a thousand mystery posters appeared, painting alternative scenarios of horse-manure up to their rooftops.

Several brave souls claimed the only ordure was on the posters until Judge Firam ruled that metaphor was banned under the new Plain-Speaking Ordinance, which also proscribed foreign words and public pronouncements of more than 140 characters.

When folk headed for the hills they were greeted with huge signs advertising the officially-authorised Hiram Hideout.

 

Image result for horse poo

Image: http://horseandhound.co.uk/news/finally-472393

100 word story: Cryptic Grave Inscription (CGI)

carry us with you wherever you go
our candle of being condensed to a glow 
distilling our essence of laughter and tears
down the ways of the world and passage of years

give our love to those unborn
who glimpse their future in your eyes
which wondrous dreams of night made wise
uplifted to the light of dawn

though generations live in you
no heavy burden do you bear
transmission is a breath of air
and kindness to a child your cue

The robot delegated to explore the once-inhabited third planet pressed Translate but only got squeaks and whistles.

Image result for weathered tombstone

Image: Dreamstime.com

100 word story: Green Pastures

Far overhead invisible monkeys chatter, showering them with droplets. Parakeets fly screeching parabolas in green gloom, iridescent feathers flashing through watery sunbeams, between venerable trunks dripping with creepers. Huge glistening ferns shroud a furious tangle of greenery carpeting the forest floor. Distant roars remind them of big beasts in search of blood. Here and there pools bubble and steam, magical cauldrons of fresh life to replace the dying.

“It’s all so … ”

“Lush?”

“Oh yes! How clever of you!”

“Not really. It’s up there.”

The sign read: Thank you for visiting Lush World Incorporated. Contributions invested in our next geothermal dome.

 

Image result for jungle light

Image: THE CIRCLE OF LIGHT – Obsidian Portal

100 word story: Rite of Passage

When they took off his blindfold he was surrounded by cloaked and hooded figures within a moonlit woodland glade. One who held a finely-carved staff began to speak.

“Know ye the secret?”

“I do,” he heard himself saying.

“Repeat it here.”

“Don’t get it right, get it written.”

The staff became an ornate pen which he accepted gratefully.

“Welcome to the Craft!”

He found himself lying on his desk, the old ballpoint still in his hand. All a dream, then, and his sheet of paper still as white as virgin snow!

He set off across it like a man inspired.

Image result for footprints in the snow

Image: MC D’alton