TLT: Is This Just Fantasy

three line tales week 37: swing with chairs in the background
photo by Ben Rosett 

Throughout the ceremony, the groom ignores
the angry rustling coming from the oak still carrying his swing
because if he doesn’t look, he can keep pretending the dryad to whom he once gave his heart doesn’t exist.

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Lunch Break Encounter

100 words about lying when someone asks how you are
photo by Samuel Sosina 

‘How are you?’

{

tired

anxious

unappreciated

terrorised by your to-do list

sick of doing all the hard work your obscenely overpaid boss then takes credit for

hungry but on the latest diet

dating the wrong man but it’s better than being lonely

not reading enough books, not going to enough live gigs

and look at the time, lunch break’s as good as over – in a hurry again

}

‘Fine.’ You force a smile. ‘Just fine. Yourself?’

A pause, a slow intake of breath and you wonder what kinds of truths she dismisses as unsayable before she, too, settles for the lie.

This is not a chat-up line

100 words about meeting your grandfather unexpectedly
photo by Ken Wu

‘Hello sweetheart.’

‘Yikes, grandpa. Chat up someone closer to your age.’

‘I’m not chatting you up. That would be illegal.’

‘Yeah? I might be eighteen.’

‘I’ve been watching you for a couple of days.’

‘Watching me? It’s getting worse by the sentence.’

‘I am your grandfather. Paternal grandfather.’

‘No, you’re not. I mean, you look old enough, but you hardly give off the responsible adult vibe. Also, my father’s father is dead.’

‘Is that what Jamie told you? How did I die?’

‘Dunno… Crap, you look just like him, though. If Dad were old and a hippie, I mean.’

‘See.’

***

Story 7 of 31 for Story A Day.

Better Late

100 words about better late than never
photo by Taylor Davidson 

He comes home way past dinner time again and acts as if it’s okay he ignored my calls all night.

‘Soup might still be warm if you’re lucky.’

I don’t know why I’m even talking to him.

‘Sorry, honey. Work meeting ran over.’

To the pub? Does he really believe I can’t smell the booze on his breath?

‘Better late, right?’

There’s nothing different about tonight, with one exception.

‘Yes, better late.’

I’ve dutifully swallowed his lies for weeks, but I can’t leave standing up for myself until late turns into never. Tonight, I take my bags and start over.

***

(Story 2 of 31 for Story A Day, inspired by this week’s Moral Mondays prompt: better late than never)

Cop-Out

100 words about fake amnesia
photo by Lyndsey Burk 

I do remember; every crappy little thing and how they’ve gained critical mass to come to define me. Everybody thinks I’m the jerk who created this situation. They’re not wrong.

The accident was an accident. I didn’t look for that kind of cop-out. But I’m good at grasping an opportunity when one presents itself.

The therapist shows me a picture of my wife.

‘She looks nice. Do I know her?’

‘Doesn’t she trigger anything?’

Late-night shouting matches, the ultimatum I thought was a scare tactic, her filing for divorce.

‘No.’

I do remember everything.

I just make everybody believe otherwise.

Faked It

100 words about a fake sex tape featuring a famous actress
photo by Krista Mangulsone

The video is so pixelated it’s impossible to tell if this is us or not. I know it isn’t. Fake me’s voice might fool everyone else, it’s not fooling me.

Like everybody, I loathe the sound of my own voice. I hate film premieres when I’m forced to sit through my latest blockbuster and pretend I enjoy it.

Whoever’s behind the tape, they know about the affair. Still, these are actors playing other actors in a sterile hotel room. They’re not us. Her voice doesn’t grate on me like my own does.

I smile at the journo.

‘It’s a fake.’

***

This is one of these stories I suspect may be too long to fit into 100 words. What do you think?