FFfAW week 74 photo prompt (c) TJ Paris
‘ What does it says?’
‘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.’
‘You remember my friend Janice?’
‘Course I remember her, Nan.’
‘Her daughter, she’s a lawyer and she could use some help. Lot of unfair dismissal cases and such. It’s not human rights, but it’s a start.’
‘Nah, human rights, that’s so five years ago. I was young and stupid.’
‘Idealistic, I’d call it. Didn’t you study law to help people?’
‘Well, I didn’t know the options then, did I? The internship I did earlier this year, the firm want me back.’
‘The internship you hated because it was so tedious?’
‘Tedious. And unpaid. You should see
my starting salary, though.’
This is a story about a girl who received a
piece of advice she didn’t like. One of her creative writing teachers said: Creativity loves boundaries.
No, said the girl, I don’t like boundaries. I don’t want to make anything off limits. I want it all.
But all is quite a lot. Sometimes, all staring at the girl proved too much.
Maybe, said the girl. Maybe I’ll try a boundary.
One hundred words. I’m going to limit myself to 100 words, said the girl. See how it goes.
Bumpy is how it went, at first. Now, though, it’s going well.
‘This is it?’
‘I said wait till you see the inside.’
‘But this is it? It’s surrounded by concrete. Looks like one of those chain pubs. Don’t say it used to be a pub.’
’It wasn’t a pub.’
‘Don’t lie, I’ll be able to smell.’
‘You ready to go in, then?’
‘There’s no privacy. Anyone can walk all around it.’
‘Let’s go in.’
‘Don’t you see it would be a waste of time? I don’t like it.’
‘You ought to see the inside.’
‘One glance. Won’t take more… Oh, wow! This is unexpected. Look at the fireplace. I love it.’
Moral Mondays and FFfAW.
I’m a bit late for this week’s Moral Mondays, but I think I scraped in just in time
They high-five, chuckling.
‘I’ll admit to not believing they would fall for it.’
‘You sold it, mate. You did well.’
‘Aw, thanks, man. But this is down to you as well. More so, even. You make the news, you form the nation’s opinion.’
‘Don’t play modest. You started it.’
’Suppose I did.’
‘The immediate future ain’t gonna look rosy.’
‘Pretty bleak, in fact, I’d imagine.’
‘Your next move?’
‘Lie low for a bit, swoop in like a superhero to save the day as and when.’
‘Bless ‘em. They think they’re free now. Idiots.’
Here’s something a little bit longer – a story of mine which was one of five winners of the 1000 Words flash competition in December 2014. Since 1000words.org has disappeared and my story with it, I’ll put it up here. In a way, the success I had with it encouraged me to start the blog. so it is relevant.
photo by Anders Jildén
‘The ground is frozen. I’ll burn more calories than I’ll bring home,’ he protests when I ask him to go digging for roots.
‘It’s that or starvation. Go right to the edge where the sun’s been warming the ground the longest. Should be softer there.’
I hand him the hammer and one of the nine-inch nails. They’re coming in useful, the nails. I insisted we take them when he said they’d be nothing but ballast.
He puts the tools into his pouch and slouches off. I stoke the fire and put another log on. I retrieve the blowgun. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’d better take care of the bait first. I wait for him to get settled by the edge. When I hear the pings of hammer hitting nail, I go after him. I pick up a rock. I never take my eyes off him, stay behind his back.
‘Sorry. I can’t keep feeding us both.’
He doesn’t have time to turn around before I bring down the rock. He slumps, tumbles over the edge and lands on the plateau beneath.
I fetch blowgun and nails and wait for the birds.
‘Mrs. White, with the lead pipe, in the conservatory.’
Can’t have been Mrs. White.’
‘Must have been. I asked, remember. Nobody has her.’
‘Of course nobody has her.’
‘Then she’s in the envelope.’
‘Didn’t you listen?
They killed her.’
‘Some suit, with an email, at Cluedo HQ.’
(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.
photo by Štefan Štefančík
It was the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last.
I don’t know if I’d said anything right away if I’d known. I mean, who was I going to tell? And what?
To tell the truth, I didn’t believe it had happened. I dismissed it as a Technicolor nightmare, fuelled by a recent SciFi movie binge.
The second time, I felt again as if I’d woken from a bad dream. Doubts began creeping in, though. I searched online and found others reporting suffering from identical dreams.
Tonight, we meet, brought together by a real-life Agent Mulder. He believes our theory that we’ve become lab rats for a hostile alien species.
opening line for this week’s WP Discover Challenge? Of course I’m in.
FFfAW photo prompt week 71 (c) Louise
A step-by-step guide:
Define your outcome.
Identify a suitable target.
Highlight areas which lend themselves to maligning.
Do field research: Encourage people to speak their mind, buy them a drink if necessary.
Identify overlap between areas you highlighted and your field research. This is
Your Message (tip: if writing copy isn’t your strength, hire a professional – you must get it spot on).
Your Message into the world and watch the sheep flock to your side.
Small print: Be advised the Scarecrow Method has side effects, some of which cannot be easily reversed upon reaching your outcome.