At Least She Has a Job to Complain About

100 words about hating your job
(c) Ron Pruitt

The sparkling motorcoach leaves the lot and turns towards the passenger terminal. It arrived late, they were short-staffed and had to clean up the inbound passengers’ mess in record time.

She feels a spark of satisfaction over achieving the almost impossible.

It doesn’t last long – as the vehicle vanishes from view, she wonders how many minutes until another piece of gum is discarded in between its seats, until a spill of soda makes the floor sticky again and until someone misses the mark on the toilet.

Cleaning busses ain’t pushing a rock up a hill, but it ain’t far off.

***

Been a while since I’ve joined Friday Fictioneers, but this week’s photo handed me a story on a silver plate, so how could I resist? Find all stories here.

Lepidopterophobia

100 words about the fear of butterflies
This week’s FFfAW photo prompt is provided by TJ Paris.

Those differences between Nina and me – you know, the ones we’d agreed to overcome – flared up again on the walk home after Sunday lunch.

I spotted the monster long before she did. You know how I almost know they’re there before I see them? So I tried to make her look anywhere but at it. Didn’t work, obviously. She saw it and went: Wait, I need to take a picture. Isn’t it pretty? I stayed on the path; she told me to come closer. That’s when it burst out of me.

‘Vile fluttery things. They’re nothing but overrated, colourful moths.’

What a Fool

100 words about summoning a faerie
(c) 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

Not knowing what to expect, he made his way into the dark of the forest.

The instant he stepped in, the sun went away; the forest was all dimness and cool. He held his hands out – it seemed important not to run into a tree – and walked on. He specialised in making a fool of himself, but he’d come here to change that. No matter the price.

While he snailed into the trees, he listened. The old, fir-green-eyed woman had said that if he couldn’t hear the bells, he would never find them. He checked his pocket for candle and matchbox. At the first tinkling of bells, he lit the candle to summon a faerie.

***

Show me a picture of a forest, like the one for this week’s MFtS, and I see faeries

Etymology

100 words about the meaning of the life of riley
(c) 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

‘Now this is living the life of Riley.’

‘Who the heck is Riley?’

‘Dunno.’

‘Then how do you know that this is living Riley’s life?’

‘I don’t. It’s just something you say.’

‘But why? What did the guy do?’

‘Never mind. Don’t get up. You’re ruining my chilled-out Sunday afternoon.’

‘I’m not. You are. I’ll have to look it up, otherwise I can’t relax.’

the letter r on a Macbook keyboard; 100 words about friends arguing
(c) 2015, Sonya

‘I can’t relax with you typing on that old, clunky keyboard of yours.’

A FEW BEATS OF SILENCE, PUNCTURED BY KEYSTROKES

‘You know where it comes from? American soldiers writing letters home from the front in WWI. Probably propaganda So, none for me, thanks.’

***

This is my very late story for this week’s MFtS (you know, moving etc., so it may take me a while to read all the stories).

The Zoologist’s Favourite Tiger

tiger, Jae Jae; 100 words about escaped zoo tigers and lions
That’s Jae Jae, not Cinta, actually (c) 2014, Sonya

‘Body, throat ripped out. Another one, many others. Bite marks from tigers and lions. Have they ganged up? They must have, neither group could have taken out this many soldiers on their own. Remarkable development.’

I stop recording. They didn’t sent me to Regent’s Park for research – I set the big cats free when the water rose, I have to get them back into their enclosures again.

I didn’t think they’d work together.

A low growl in the tall grass – Cinta. But when she shows her face, I know the stun gun isn’t going to cut it, despite my modifications.

Weather Magic

Stonehenge; 100 words about summoning a storm
(c) 2011, Sonya

Ali decides it’s ready for Gwen to see. He’s waiting for the right kind of sky – thunderclouds in the distance, the promise of lightning with a hint of ozone.

If he’d mastered weather, he’d only need to inject some heat into this damp August. Since he didn’t, he has to settle for a cloudy evening.

When Gwen sees the circle, her face darkens.

‘Recite rule number one,’ her voice rumbles.

‘Do not speak of our magic.’

She points at Ali’s miniature Stonehenge.

‘Actions, Alistair, speak louder than words.’

It seems Ali has found a way to summon a thunder storm.

***

I wrote this a couple of months ago for the Luminous Creatures Summer of Super Short Stories, where it came third. I will get round to writing a sonnet (the tenth and final Writing 201 assignment) over the weekend, I hope – you see, I’ve moved again. If you’re a long-time reader, you may be thinking, ‘my, she moves a lot’. If you are, spot on. It looks like this might be the last move for the next twelve months, though.

I tell you all this because I’m behind on replying to comments. It may take a while, but I’ll get round to it.

I Miss the Days

I miss the days when I neither knew nor cared what my food contained.

100 words about food; elegyI dream of pizza or pasta and a Becks

or a burrito and an ice-cold Corona.

Sushi’s fine as long as I bring my special soy sauce.

I once loved sashimi and nigiris and makis and edamame beans

But it’s all I eat when I eat out and I’m so bored with raw fish.

I crave peanut butter and apricot jam on toasted wholegrain bread as a comfort on bad days

and lemon drizzle cake most days.

I miss the days before I was diagnosed coeliac.

Wrong Side of Jack

‘If I’m brutally honest, I came out of mercy,’ she mumbles over her burger. ‘You work hard. You deserve to go further. I thought, well, I’m the boss’s daughter, being seen with me might help you in the long run.’

100 words about a serial killer; murder ballad
(c) 2015, Sonya

Her cursed words douse Jack’s ardour. But within minutes another fire burns in his heart. His hunger returns. He murmurs soft words to flatter her, to lure her to his lair.

He’d promised himself he wouldn’t do it again. He didn’t plan on hurting her, but if he’s brutally honest, torturing him with those words, she deserves being torn asunder.

Faces (a found poem)

100 words about faces; found poem; Tintern Abbey
Tintern Abbey earlier today.
(c) 2015, Sonya

I want to talk to you

But my face… my ugly crying face.

This is how I feel tonight, no joke,

It’s my porcelain doll face,

It’s stuck like this.

I learnt how to make a smiley face on my own, look at this bright beautiful golden tint. That’s what I call talent!

I can’t stop my face from showing what I’m thinking. Pisces cannot hide how they feel. Though they may try, the truth is written all over their face.

Make your expression a welcoming gift: avoid dour ‘screen face’ from staring down at your phone.

Talk to me.

***

This is a found poem. I tried to do something with the Tintern Abbey leaflets I picked up, but there wasn’t enough stuff in there I could use to cobble together one hundred words. So I went on Twitter instead and searched for face, copied a lot of tweets and then rearranged the words and chopped most of them off.

It’s a weird one, but I like it.

Oh, just so you know, I am in full holiday mode now, so it may take some for me to reply to comments. I’ll get round to it, promise!