They’d been arguing since well before Jamie got sick, and after that things only got worse. Fights broke out over everything – who would take him to hospital, when he should take his pills and how much they should tell him about what was going on.
It had been Amy’s idea to make the cake. ‘I can make anything from flour and sugar,’ she’d boldly declared. Jamie’s birthday was on Halloween and he’d always loved everything about it; the tricks, the treats, the craziness. This year, however was different.
Her husband took a step back and fixed his eyes on her latest creation. ‘The eyes are too close together and the scar below his chin, well, it’s just not symmetrical.’
‘It’s not supposed to be. Symmetry is a sign of beauty and Halloween is not a time for beauty.’
‘Hmm. And don’t you think it’s just a little too green?’
Amy opened her mouth to reply and then the kitchen door opened.
‘Mum it’s perfect, said Jamie.
Amy looked up; her son’s wan face was infused with happiness. She turned to Simon and for the first time since Jamie’s diagnosis she saw him smile.
This post was written for Sunday Photo Fiction
(Great prompt, thanks!)
Rosanna’s feeder hung stationary against a marshy grey sky but no birds came. The neighbouring garden; however, separated by a red cedar fence attracted all manner of birds. Swooping from great heights to land on a bird table in the centre, blackbirds, robins and even the odd green parrot would jostle for position as they pecked, squawked and nibbled their way through countless supplies of bird feed.
Rosanna watched the scene with sadness, wondering why the birds remained absent from her side. It seemed so unfair. Her neighbours were a couple with three lively kids and a dog while she was old and alone. She’d imagined the birds would be company of sorts, but perhaps it was her loneliness that put them off somehow. Nevertheless, every week she would empty and refill the feeder with seeds, in the hope that the birds might eventually have a change of heart.
One day, Rosanna heard a little whimper coming from the back of the garden so she ambled down to have a look. There, snuggled together on an old sweatshirt of her husband’s was a tabby cat and five black kittens, each mottled with white. When they saw Rosanna, they lifted their little heads and mewed in harmony. Rosanna laughed and gathered them up in her apron. And from that day she never felt lonely again.
This post was written for Sunday Photo Fiction
He was an avid reader so they showed him their library. He should be safe in there, they said. But the shelf of books was anathema to Oliver; a haphazard mess of colour, size and genre.
His eyes ran along the titles on the spines. ‘Bird Photography,’ The Forge of God,’ ‘Cydonna…’
‘Not even in alphabetical order,’ he mumbled under his breath and his fingers twitched as he considered how to rearrange the books. As he did so, pinpricks of sweat began to appear on his forehead and his heart rate increased. He relaxed a little when he noticed that a novel by a man called Heinlein had been plonked next to a James Herbert but sighed loudly upon the realisation that a bunch of photography books were on the same shelf.
‘Different genre, different shelf,’ he muttered and began to chant it like a mantra as he emptied the shelves and placed the books in piles on the floor. He was soon so engrossed in the activity that he didn’t see his sister come in.
‘What on earth are you doing, Oliver?’
He glared at her. ‘Just arranging the books.’
She nodded and smiled then quietly closed the door.
‘The OCD,’ she whispered to her husband. ‘It’s worse than we thought.’
This post was for Sunday Photo Fiction
Happy to come third in Sometimes Stellar Storyteller Six Word Story Challenge this week after a long layoff!
After writing quite prolifically (for me anyway!) for the first six months of the year, I suddenly got stupidly busy with work and a cycling challenge, which has since developed into a wonderful hobby, and as a consequence I virtually neglected my writing. I’m terribly prone to procrastination so I need a certain amount of self-discipline and routine in order to get anywhere. It’s damn hard and even once I’ve established a routine, I don’t always find it easy to stick to it. I’m hoping that the dark, cold evenings will be conducive to writing – a period of introversion and solitude is long overdue I think.
Found at the bottom of some stairs (apparently)
There’s nothing more terrifying than waking up in a silent ward without any recollection of how you got there. It’s a natural instinct to stumble free of the starched sheets and stagger off down the corridors, trying every door. That’s what I did anyway
‘At the bottom of some stairs,’ said the doctor when I asked where I was found. ‘Don’t be too hard on yourself, love. We all make mistakes.’
But what was mine? Two pathetic glasses of wine?
Sketchy memories were one thing but total memory loss was another. Twenty years on and I’ve still no idea what happened.
Written for Friday Fictioneers