The first one was a surprise. The second too. The third produced a snigger. The fourth a chortle. The tenth, a flinging down of the spade.
‘Whatever’s the matter, Henry?’ said Beatrice as she rushed into the garden.
‘It’s these bones. They’re flipping everywhere.’
Beatrice looked at the ever-increasing pile. ‘I see what you mean.’
‘Any idea what they might be?’
She picked one up and rubbed the smooth surface with her fingers as though it were a genie’s lamp. ‘Ostriches.’
‘And how did ostriches end up buried in a Scottish garden?’
‘I’m sure there’s a logical explanation, dear.’
Henry remembered the odd comment made by the estate agent when they purchased the house.
‘You won’t be able to plant anything there, sir.’
Poppy-cock, thought Henry, but he suddenly realised that the previous owner must have owned an ostrich sanctuary and buried each dead bird in the garden.
There was no choice. He’d just have to keep digging until he’d got rid of the whole damn lot!
And so he continued while Beatrice went to stay in a hotel ‘until he came to his senses.’
He never did and six months later was admitted to a mental asylum, where he was often heard counting. 1,567, 1,568, 1569…
Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Week #24– 2016
The opening sentence for the May 19th Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: “This can’t be that hard.” Please use this sentence (or this thought) somewhere in your flash.
The Things that Daddies do
This can’t be that hard. Daddy plays the piano every morning and he says it’s easy. He zips his fingers along the keys creating the most beautiful songs and music, and people clap and sing along and tell him how wonderful he is and what a talent he has. He tells me that I must take after him as my fingers are as thin and lean as his, and that that’s a sure sign that I have the gift.
I started lessons last week. With an old lady called Mrs Bradford, who says ‘good, dear,’ ‘more slowly, dear,’ and stuff like that. She gave me a piece of chocolate cake afterwards and said I’d done well.
I want Daddy to teach me, but he says he can’t as he’s my dad and dads don’t do things like that. Dads do things like take their boys fishing and climbing. Only he doesn’t do those things either. I’m hoping that if I practise and get as good as he is, then he’ll do those things that he says that daddies do.
Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Week #21– 2016
The opening sentence for the April 7th Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: “What is that peculiar smell?” Please use this sentence (or this thought) somewhere in your flash.
The smell of Spring
It had been a while since they’d ventured outside – the winter had been particularly gruesome this year and neither meerkat cared much for rain, so when the dark clouds finally dispersed and blossom appeared on the trees, they were relieved.
‘What is that peculiar smell?’ said Toby.
Reginald stuck his little brown nose skyward and sniffed. ‘I’m not sure. It’s kind of familiar but I couldn’t tell you what it was.’
‘Hmm,’ said Toby. ‘It’s peculiar but not unpleasant. I would even say it’s verging on nice!’
And when Toby said that, Reginald looked at him in surprise as Toby seldom said anything positive. The two of them sat there for a while thinking, watching the clouds drift lazily across the sky until a perfect azure sky remained, and in that sky a shining golden sun.
‘The smell is stronger now,’ said Reginald.
Toby nodded and there was silence as they absorbed the new season; the warmth of the sun on their fur and the bright light of the heavens above.
‘Got it,’ said Reginald eventually. ‘It’s the smell of spring. It’s finally here!’
‘I think you’re right,’ said Toby and a big smile spread across his face.
Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Week #15 – 2016
The opening sentence for the March 31st Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: “Stop saying ‘It’s just the circle of life’…” Please use this sentence (or this thought) somewhere in your flash.
Nothing matters till now
The calmness belies the danger. I lie on my back, wiggle my toes & stare out into the cloudless sky. Here I can forget everything. The past; the future; the present even. The beach is distant. A few waves away; people mere stick figures. Nothing matters. Until I feel the current and I’m caught in a rip; now survival is all that matters. Survival.
Forgetting that I came here with no cares, no worries, no insurance, I struggle frantically against the tide, the wave, the force that is wrangling, dragging, trying so desperately to upset the life that I’m supposed to live, the life I now might not live. I wish people would stop saying, ‘it’s just the circle of life; people live, then they die.’ I’d like to think this but can’t, as I’m not ready to die yet. I’m too young. Here for just two weeks then home to start the life I’m supposed to live, the life that’s been vaguely mapped out for me, the life that I hadn’t given much thought to till NOW.
Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Week #14 – 2016
The opening sentence for the March 25th Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: This week’s’ challenge is an apology for the difficulty of last week’s challenge… Please include the words “a blinding light” somewhere in your flash.
I’d only been there for three days when I first attempted the ‘jump.’ They say in Calais that you never forget your first one, but I firmly believed my first would be my last. I figured that the others had just been unlucky, and those who were still there after a few months, very unlucky! I was different though; things had always gone well for me.
So as we set off towards the motorway on that chilly November evening, I felt strangely optimistic. When we began to smell the sea and hear the rumble of traffic after a couple of hours, I laughed and picked up the pace a little, but my friend, Zidane, merely raised his head slightly and said, ‘you won’t make it tonight, you know that don’t you?’
I opened my mouth to reply but decided against it. The poor chap had been there three months already – he was bound to feel defeatist.
A few minutes later the motorway appeared like a blinding light out of the darkness. I felt a rush of excitement as I half walked, half ran towards it.
That was six months ago. They say you never forget your first attempt.
Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Week #13 – 2016
Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Requirements: The opening sentence for the March 18th Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: “This was the first time I had ever had to sign for a letter addressed to Occupant.” Please use this sentence (or this thought) somewhere in your flash. Create a flash fiction story using the photo prompt and only 200 words.
It simply appeared one day. No one knew why. It reminded me of the poster for Psycho, yet the woman was smiling, unlike Janet Leigh. I wondered if it was an advert for something, but opposite a deserted park was hardly the ideal location. The paint smelled fresh and was sticky to the touch, and what was weird was that every day a little more was added to the scene; a dark figure, an orange window, a little blue umbrella outside a street cafe…
As the picture took shape I began to imagine life inside it. I dreamed of living in a world of primary colours, where people and things could be painted into existence and one day, when I ventured nearer to check out the addition of a streetlamp, I found myself there, in a world of glorious technicolour akin to that of the Wizard of Oz. I only knew this when I heard a knock and realised I was in the house. I opened the door. A young postman in a bright red uniform was standing there. He handed me something. This was the first time I had ever had to sign for a letter addressed to Occupant.
Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Week #12 – 2016
“What an odd place to put a bin.”
“Bins can go anywhere though, that’s the nature of bins. There’s always rubbish around, stuff people want to get rid of…”
“Yeah, but this is the middle of nowhere. There’s no point plonking a bin where nobody is likely to be.”
“But we’re here.”
“True, but we’re just passing through. No one usually stops in the middle of nowhere.”
“But not for long. “
“Long enough to dump our rubbish though.”
“Yes, but still. It’d make more sense to have put the bin in that village we just passed through. What was the name?”
“I can’t remember, anyway, people don’t usually want a bin cluttering up their main street, and didn’t that village win ‘Britain in Bloom’ last year?”
“I guess you’re right. One minute. I’ll just pop this stuff in the bin.”
1 minute later
“You’ll never believe it.”
“The bin’s full! Who in their right mind would stop in the middle of nowhere?”
Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Week #11 – 2016