Hose Pipe Ban

100 words about a faceless bureaucracy who doesn't care about people
FFfAW week 75 photo prompt (c) Louise 

‘You call this a garden? It’s a small vegetable farm.’

Melanie shrugs as she lugs the hose around to water the beds farther down.

‘To-MAY-to, to-MAH-to.’

‘I believe they’re part of the problem.’

The inspector stabs his clipboard.

‘Did I miss the memo when they made growing food illegal?’

‘I don’t care what you grow. I care about excessive water usage.’

‘It won’t rain. We’ve emptied the last of our water tanks days ago – and we always keep more than we’re required to by law. ’

‘But not enough. You cannot use the hose.’

‘People will starve.’

‘The law’s the law.’

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Souvenir Tattoo

100 words about a Chinese character tattoo that doesn't say what its owner thinks it says
FFfAW week 74 photo prompt (c) TJ Paris 

‘ What does it says?’

‘Superstar.’

‘Seriously?’

‘The tattoo artist swore.’

‘And you believed him?’

‘He makes money from tourists. Why would he lie?’

‘Because he sees you walking in and knows he’ll get away with it. Because it adds to his collection of pictures of Western bimbos who thinks they’re superstars.’

‘He said it’s a traditional character, so maybe you can’t read it.’

‘Superstar. In traditional Chinese? You know, I hope it says idiot.’

‘Shouldn’t you know?’

‘Why? I was born here. And my grandparents came from Hong Kong. Mandarin is as foreign to me as it is to you.’

Sacrifices

(c) Yinglan for FFfAW week 72

Don’t look back. Maxie’s sad eyes are following you; you won’t be able to walk away without her if you look.

It’s a good shelter. She’s a good, attractive dog. She’ll find a new home, no problem.

People do all sorts to muddle through. First, you sold the car, it bought a few months. Meant you could only take nearby jobs, though. Not that there’s many going spare farther away.

By giving away Maxie, you postponed the day when you can’t afford food again, but it will still come. Upside is, you won’t have to watch Maxie starve alongside you.

Bad Cog

100 words about a dystopian near future scenario where everybody is drugged just to make it through the day
FFfAW week 70 photo prompt (c) Nonnaci 

Fifteen minutes since I swallowed the breakfast pill and I’m still waiting for the comfort of its artificial blanket of docility to envelop me. When it comes, it does a shoddy job. How am I supposed to drift off when my feet are cold?

The drugs want to funnel me down the tunnel to alertness and obedience so I’ll do my job like a good cog. I resist. I need my dose upped but I won’t be eligible for ages. I could plead.

Or I could go with rebellion. Wean myself off. De-cog myself from the machine.

Terrifying, exhilarating idea.

Eye of the Beholder (FFfAW)

100 words about an ugly statue
(c) Phylor for FFfAW, week 69 

‘It looks terrible.’

‘Yes, I know. I mean, what’s with the torso? It is so out of proportion, it’s almost comical. And don’t even get me started on those dead eyes. How creepy are they? But you know what bugs me most? That it’s so confused. It’s got the limbs of a woman, the chest and shoulders of a man and the face of a two-year old child. What the hell was the sculptor thinking? And who commissioned this monstrosity – Dr. Frankenstein?’

‘You’re not wrong, I guess. I meant the bracelet, though. Those are the worst kind of plastic beads.’

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.

Hanna and Greg

100 words about a brother and a sister abandoned by their father
photo prompt (c) S. Writings 

They drive in silence until Father pulls into a dirt lane and turns the engine off. They sit in the backseat, holding hands.

‘Food and water in the boot. Brought your sleeping bags? Here, keys. Good luck.’

Off he treks.

‘Now what, Han?’

‘Don’t worry. We’ll drive until we find friendly people who’ll take us in.’

Hanna jangles the keys. Starting the car takes three attempts, turning it around six.

‘You’ll get us killed.’

‘Cut the negativity, Greg.’

‘How do you manage to remain so chirpy?’

‘We can’t let that witch win. We’ll survive and one day, we’ll get revenge.’

***

Story 10 of 31 for Story A Day, inspired by this week’s FFfAW photo prompt.

Atlanta

100 words about a female contemporary Atlas
(c) momtheobscure

‘We’re off shoe shopping. Want to come?’

She inspects her callused, battered feet. Pretty shoes aren’t going to make a difference, are they? Not to mention that her feet have become so flat and wide she wouldn’t find a shoe that’d fit. She says no thanks but mentions she’s glad they invited her.

Not to mention she cannot go anywhere.

But everyone treats her as if she were still a member of the community. They visit her at the western edge to give her the opportunity to turn them down. She doesn’t have a choice, but she appreciates the charade.

***

(Story 3 of 31 for Story A Day, inspired by the week 64 FFfAW photo prompt)

Glaring Mistake

100 words about an artist who made a mistake
FFfAW week 59 photo prompt (c) S. Writings 

He got the eyes wrong.

They are gentle creatures, cows – they were rightly chosen as vessels to convey the message of peace. He won the bid to paint them with his flower and heart-shaped leaf design.

It’s a good design: bold colours, strong symbols. It works, it emphasises the message. If it weren’t for the eyes, it’d be a triumph.

Instead of a gentle, peaceful expression, the cows’ eyes burn with hostility. He got so engrossed in the colourful depiction of love, he made a glaring mistake with their eyes – undoing the message.

And he only notices as they’re unveiled.