Young and Impatient

100 words about an impatient young mermaid
FFfAW week 68  photo prompt via Unsplash 

‘Give it a decade and Manhattan will be ours. We have waited this long, why the sudden rush?’

‘Mother, please,’ Marina pleads.

It’s her only wish. Mother remains unmoved.

‘It’s so unfair, Delphine. Why won’t she let me? Shelley goes, all the time.’

‘Shelley tried once and got caught. You know she likes telling tales. She doesn’t know the safe way out.’

Marina’s eyes light up like an anglerfish.

‘Do you?’

I hesitate for a second. She’s only thirty-three and I may regret this.

‘No word to anyone. Including Shelley. Up there, you follow my lead. Happy Birthday, baby sis.’

***

Story 31 of 31 for Story A Day May.

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Spoil the Child

100 words about an abusive father
photo by Henry Lo 

She has learnt to endure Father’s punishment without so much as a flinch – if she flinches, whimpers, cries, he’ll get angrier.

But she’s inherited Father’s anger. The first time it flares up when she finds a bruise on her baby brother.

The second time, it makes her fling herself at Father’s fist as he’s about to hit her brother again. The look of shock on his face is almost worth the pain of the beating she takes in return.

She doesn’t want there to be a third time. She will have to talk to someone before she turns into Father.

***

Story 30 of 31 for Story A Day May, using this week’s Moral Mondays prompt.

The Parasite

100 words about a vampire's victimThis is your worst nightmare.

Him, with a new girl. You see the resemblance between her and your former self – a full-blooded whirlwind bursting with youth and life.

Had you been honest with yourself, you’d have seen tonight coming. He left you a husk of your bubbly self. You’re as pale as he is, as close to death before he’s had a drink; you can’t provide the life-force he needs any longer.

New Girl may think this is what she wants. Didn’t you? She’ll come to regret her choice soon.

If only you could muster the energy to warn her.

***

Story 29 of 31 for Story A Day May.

Three Line Tales, Week 16 – Round-Up

three line tales week 17: orange rope

Maybe this week’s photo prompt wasn’t as tricky as I thought, after all. Here’s the crop of tales it inspired:

Great job again, everyone. See you all back here on Thursday, I hope.

Quid Pro Quo

‘Sure, I’ll hand over my most precious invention without asking any questions. As long as you help me with an unpleasant chore I’ve to tackle today.’

The way he says it, Gwen knows he’s going to be cruel.

‘Deal. Let’s tackle it.’

He leads her into the storage room.

‘See those cobwebs? They need to go. Here’s a broom.’

Despite the murky light, she sees the spiders – big ones with hairy bodies. The ones she used to be afraid of.

Five minutes later, she returns to the workshop, carrying a box of spiders she’ll set free.

‘Your turn, darling brother.’

***

Story 28 of 31 for Story A Day May. Find all episodes of the Saturday Serial here.

What else would they do, anyway?

100 words about gun dealers
photo by Steven Lewis 

Another dingy motel, another deal.

She counts the money and checks whether it’s all real. All he does, meanwhile, is play with his Glock while putting on his tough guy face.

Nothing missing – she gives him the tiniest of nods. He pushes the crate towards the buyers. They wait for the buyers’ taillights to fade into the horizon before they hit the road, going in the opposite direction.

Briefly, she allows herself to wonder how long it’ll take until reports of a mass shooting in this area hit the news.

But it’s too late for her to develop a conscience.

***

Story 27 of 31 for Story A Day May.

Three Line Tales, Week Seventeen

Welcome to Week Seventeen of Three Line Tales.

I’ve gone for another tricky one – I’m looking forward to what you come up with for it.

three line tales week 17: orange rope
photo by Wynand von Poortvliet – click here for full res version

You’ll find full guidelines on the TLT page – here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write three lines inspired by the photo prompt (& give them a title if possible).
  • Link back to this post.
  • Tag your post with 3LineTales (so everyone can find you in the Reader).
  • Read and comment on other TLT participants’ lines.
  • NEW: If you want your post to be included in the round-up, you have until Sunday evening to publish it.
  • Have fun.

Happy three-lining!

The Thing About Calligraphy

Everyone has chipped in because the class is quite expensive. Which is why I feel I need to make an effort. And believe me, it is an effort. I don’t want to take my time and execute my strokes in a mindful fashion. I know they meant well but this is the worst present ever.

‘Still illegible,’ one of the nurses remarks. ‘Aren’t you halfway through by now?’

That’s just the thing – the one thing I’ve learnt in the last few weeks, incidentally. Calligraphy practice doesn’t have much of an influence on penmanship. My handwriting is as bad as ever.

***

Story 25 of 31 for Story A Day May.

Statistically Deviant

100 words about a Kafkaesque dystopian future
photo by Roman Mager

‘Barely average, your numbers. Not good enough.’

I shouldn’t give in to my anger and I know it.

‘With all due respect, sir, my numbers are bang on average.’

The body language of his bodyguards changes – subtle movements, meant not to alarm. One of them will have a hand on his firearm.

‘And average is not good enough. Government policy is government policy.’

A policy that doesn’t make sense. A policy that sets everyone but the best up to fail.

I used to be on board with the official line. But what self-respecting statistician could get behind everyone above average?

***

Story 24 of 31 for Story A Day May – today’s prompt is genre and of course I’ve gone with dystopia.