Top Three Stories – May 2016

a sleeping mermaid
(c) Sonya, 2015

These are my May favourites:

  1. Lady M(ermaid)
  2. Statistically Deviant
  3. The Parasite

And here are yours,  if the stats can be believed:

  1. Chance Encounter on Parliament Hill
  2. Atlanta
  3. Serial Cuppa Maker

Do you agree? Would you have liked to see another story on either list? Let me know in the comments!

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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.

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.

Late Night Mess

100 words about a couple who can't agree if they should move in with each other
photo by Harry Tang 

‘Oops, I don’t think I’ve any clean clothes at yours.’

‘I’ve been thinking… Isn’t it time we moved in with each other?’

‘Why? This works, doesn’t it?’

‘But we spend most nights together anyway.’

‘Yes, most. Not all, though.’

‘Because of logistics. If we lived together, we wouldn’t have to negotiate where to sleep. We wouldn’t have to carry clean clothes from and dirty ones back to our respective homes.’

‘Doesn’t bother me. And I gave you the bottom drawer.’

‘I want more than a drawer.’

‘You know what I want? Sleep alone.’

He watches her disappear into the night.

***

Story 9 of 31 for Story A Day, inspired by today’s Moral Mondays prompt.

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)

Tangent

100 words about having too many projects on the go
photo by Viet Vang 

There are days, days like today, actually, when she needs to remind herself that there are only 24 hours in a day and that she, despite pretending to be a superhero, is, in fact, only human and she needs to eat and to sleep and to take her mind off work because if she doesn’t, she’ll end up staring at the screen for hours without the first clue of how to begin or to continue or to end the story and is there anything more frustrating that this great idea that just never went anywhere, y’know, and… where was she?

***

Written for this week’s Moral Mondays – thanks for the reminder, Nortina!

In Lieu of a Punching Bag (CampNaNo excerpt 2)

100 word excerpt from Scarlett; she's looking for someone to punch
photo by Dan Watson

Same guy who tried to chat her up earlier’s waiting for her when she steps out of the ladies. He’d better try something stupid because splashing her face with cold water didn’t help. She’s still furious.

‘Lost your bodyguard?’

He takes a step towards her.

‘I wouldn’t.’

She has to warn him so she can say he’s been warned.

‘Or what?’

He lunges to grab her. She slams him to the floor. Before she gets to throw a punch, though, Herman stops her. He looms over the guy and snarks, ‘Didn’t your mum teach you never to talk to strangers?’

***

It is, again, entirely coincidental that the Moral Monday’s prompt this week seemed tailor-made for one of my scenes today – cheers Nortina!

USP

100 words about love conquers all
photo by Trina Christian

‘I’m sorry, I don’t know how to do this.’

‘Course you don’t. You’re not supposed to, that’s your whole USP – from what I’ve heard.’

‘USP?’

‘Unique selling point. No ties to family and friends, no emotions – the perfect soldier who’ll do anything for a mission to succeed because she has nothing to live for.’

‘I don’t want to die.’

‘Well, they messed that up, then. And you’ve something – someone to live for now.’

‘I still don’t know if I can do it, Olli.’

‘I believe in you.’

‘I have no idea how relationships work.’

‘Nobody does. We’ll figure it out.’

Check out Nortina’s Moral Mondays challenge and write your own 100-word fable – it’s fun.