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.’

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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.

boysboysboys (Literary Lion)

100 words about fancying another girl
photo by Zach Guinta 

Is this is, Mia asks and you don’t know but you hope not because honestly, it was mediocre at best and if this is actually it, then what is all the fuss about but isn’t it lucky that both of you had your first kiss on the same night and neither was as world-shattering as everybody always claims, at least you don’t have to feel like a freak but Mia looks a bit down and you want to cheer her up because you really, really like Mia so you say, ‘no, it’ll get better.’

Funny, though, you hope it won’t.

Connie Wants to be a Sidekick

100 words about Gwen's new sidekick
photo by Andrew Amistad 

I know these back alleys inside out, I rush through here every day on the coffee run. Yet I’m scared. Turns out they look different in the dark. Unfamiliar.

But I’m here, where she’s been spotted before, so I’m going to keep loitering. With intent. Even though there’s nobody around.

Hang on. Footsteps. Coming from above.

‘Is that you?’

Stupid thing to say. Silence.

‘I want to be your sidekick.’

She comes sliding down a drainpipe.

‘You? What help would you be?’

She underestimates me. Everybody does. I look her up and down.

‘For starters, I could design your costume.’

***

The Saturday Serial is taking a break, but this one wanted to be written today, so here’s story 14 of 31 for Story A Day May.

Cloud Confusion

100 words about mystery photos
photo by André Spieker 

‘Look at my camera roll.’

Terry keeps going on about her photos and I don’t have the heart to tell her I don’t care about her dog. I’m a cat person. So I pretend, again, that I’m interested.

‘What do you think?’

‘They’re not puppy pics,’ I reply. ‘Who are these people?’

‘No idea. I don’t know how they get on my phone, either.’

‘Weird. Maybe the cloud got confused and now your phone is syncing with somebody else’s?’

‘That would be an explanation, wouldn’t it? I like to think my phone lives a secret party life at night, though.’

***

(Story 1 of 31 for Story A Day.)

Off the Record

100 words about Gwen becoming friends with a police officer
(c) Sonya 2009

Befriending Amy has become easier since they’ve started running by the canal.

‘Things keep getting crazier. Funding cuts, homegrown terrorists, …’

Amy pauses. Gwen has an idea what’s next. For someone who’s fearless, she feels unexpectedly tense.

‘And now we have a vigilante. Heard about her?’

Is it a trick question?

‘How do you know she’s a woman?’

‘Something a low-lives she stopped said.’

‘Is she a big problem?’

‘She’s helping, actually. Don’t tell anyone I said that. The official line is to condemn her actions.’

Gwen smiles. It’s too early yet, but when the time comes, Amy’ll pick her side.

***

Click here for all previous instalments of the Saturday Serial.

The Smell of Real Bread

100 words about the smell of bread
photo by Drew Coffman 

Everybody smells them first – the aroma of bread fresh from the oven never leaves them. It’s weird everybody calls us the triplets. I don’t look anything like them; I don’t smell the way they do.

I’d love to be their sister, bread-scented, bag stuffed with baked goods. Unlike the twins, though, I like spending time in the bakery. I help their mother clean after school, when the last of the day’s rolls have gone into the shop. Not that rolls make me smell like them – rolls aren’t real bread.

But it’s okay, I’m used to making do with second best.

Reading Clues

Sat Serial: Gwen suspects Cas is hiding something
photo by André Robillard

‘If your father finds out and shuts us down…’

Gwen lets the sentence dangle.

‘Then what?’

Then she’ll lose this cosy job that pays above average and leaves plenty of time to pursue her superhero ambition.

‘Then what’ll happen to Jackson?’

Cas focuses on her pasta. Not long ago, Gwen would have missed the clues in her body language.

‘He’d want me to terminate the relationship. He’d make me sack Jackson, too. We both know he’ll never find another job, given his – history. Father mustn’t know.’

Gwen nods. She’ll play it clueless until she finds out what Cas is hiding.

***

Click here for all instalments of the Saturday Serial.