Three Line Tales, Week 123

Welcome to Week 123 of Three Line Tales.

three line tales, week 123: a strange reflection in a puddle
photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin via Unsplash

You’ll find full guidelines on the TLT page – here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write three lines inspired by the photo prompt (& give them a title if possible).
  • Link back to this post (& check the link shows up under the weekly post).
  • Tag your post with 3LineTales (so everyone can find you in the Reader).
  • Read and comment on other TLT participants’ lines.
  • Have fun.

Happy three-lining!

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Quid Pro Quo

‘Sure, I’ll hand over my most precious invention without asking any questions. As long as you help me with an unpleasant chore I’ve to tackle today.’

The way he says it, Gwen knows he’s going to be cruel.

‘Deal. Let’s tackle it.’

He leads her into the storage room.

‘See those cobwebs? They need to go. Here’s a broom.’

Despite the murky light, she sees the spiders – big ones with hairy bodies. The ones she used to be afraid of.

Five minutes later, she returns to the workshop, carrying a box of spiders she’ll set free.

‘Your turn, darling brother.’

***

Story 28 of 31 for Story A Day May. Find all episodes of the Saturday Serial here.

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.

Everything Comes at a Price

They click from the get-go. He says all the right things, he’s good-looking. It’s logical to see if their online chemistry translates.

~~~

100 words about the woman who sold her soul for the perfect life
photo by Désirée Fawn 

‘Careful with the mousse.’

His voice has gone squeaky. She should tell him she’ll say yes.

~~~

‘You have such a charmed life,’ her sister says at their silver wedding anniversary.

~~~

Their first serious argument comes over where to retire to: Spain or France. Both stand their ground until he admits France is better.

~~~

At his funeral, a shrivelled man with hair standing up in hornlike tufts gives her a cheery wave. Her charmed life comes at a price.

***

Writing a story in snapshots when you only have one hundred words to play with – challenging. Did I pull it off?

Photo Studio R. E. Ficul

100 words about Lucifer's soul-capturing photo studio
I love this week’s FFfAW photo prompt, (c) Uday  

This is the place, I know it in my bones. Neither peeling paint nor closed blinds slow me down. I push against the heavy wooden door; it opens without resistance or creaking.

Dancing dust motes light up in the sunshine the closing door allows in. There’s a whiff of ancient egg with base notes of mothball. A shrivelled man, hair standing up in hornlike tufts, smiles at me.

‘Um, I need …’

‘A photo which captures your soul while making you look as if you should have been a film star, yes. Take a seat and sign here while I prepare.’

Books Versus eBooks

100 words about an evil book
photo from Public Domain Archive for FFfPP week #8  

She caresses the battered book; I can practically see her thoughts forming. We’re seconds away from yet another eBooks make poor substitutes for real books argument when she freezes. Her squeal is followed by delighted hand-clapping. Meanwhile, I get shivers down my spine.

‘You won’t find hidden messages in an eBook, will you? Oh, yellow, curled parchment tucked into the lining – promising.’

‘What if it’s a hex?’ I’m trying to sound like I’m making a joke. The hairs on the back of my neck stand and I want to run.

‘Leave it alone. We’d better leave.’

But she isn’t listening…

Crossing the Isthmus

100 words about star-crossed lovers
(c) TJ Paris 

Crossing the isthmus between Grandisle and Wildisle is safe only during low tide; even then, one rogue wave will sweep the intrepid crosser into the sea. It’s winter – aka rogue wave season.

Violette, only daughter of one of Grandisle’s grandest families, shouldn’t be here.

’We gotta stop this, babe. It’s gonna kill me if you die crossing over.’

‘Ringo, darling. It would kill me if I had to spent the nights locked up in my cage.’

‘I’m serious, Vee,’ he says, voice cracking.

She kisses him.

‘So am I. I will keep risking it, if you meet me or not.’

 

***

Oh my, talk about going off-piste – I could explain how I got from this week’s FFfAW photo prompt to this, but I don’t want to keep you that long. I’d suggest you read more stories instead.

What Gwen Needs

GwensDesk
photo by Negative Space 

‘Gwen, darling. Is everything okay?’

What Gwen needs is foundation strong enough to cover bruises. What she doesn’t need is a boss nosing around in her private affairs.

‘I’m fine, Cas.’

She puts her coffee on her desk, turns on the computer and sits down. Cassandra keeps watching.

‘You can tell me, you know. I had an abusive boyfriend once.’

Blatant lie.

‘I don’t have a boyfriend.’

Cassandra sighs. She’s bored. She loves nothing more than a vicarious drama. It’s the reason she runs this business, to experience other people’s struggles second hand.

Gwen may also need a new job.

(You’ll find all instalments at the bottom of the Serials page.)

Street Fighter

It seems I’ve accidentally started a new serial without having it planned out – it might get interesting.

Street Fighter

100 words about learning to fight
photo by skeeze

‘I don’t think that’s a good idea, love. Even the smallest bloke who trains here is twice your size.’

‘Perfect.’

‘Look, I’m trying to let you off the hook. Girl like you has no business here.’

‘Don’t I? Don’t pay attention to the suit and the heels – I’m tougher than I look. You should see my scars.’

‘Only woman I’ve allowed in made me seem small. You won’t last a minute.’

‘Again, don’t let the business casual fool you.’

‘Why? How about you join boxercise at the gym around the corner?’

‘I don’t need fitness. I need real survival skills.’

(You’ll find all instalments at the bottom of the Serials page.)

Spiderman Made it Look Easy

100 words about turning into a vigilante
photo by Patrick Brassard

With great power comes great responsibility. How unfortunate that she’s taken this line to heart. She ought to remind herself that superheroes make it look easy because they’re fictional.

No patrolling the streets for a while. She needs to heal.

Not feeling any fear has its drawbacks – if she continues to get her backside kicked, she’s going to wind up dead soon. She needs to become stronger and faster. She needs a martial arts teacher who’ll show her how to Van Damme. Even Spidey had to learn how to use his powers.

She’ll have to learn how to vigilante responsibly.

(You’ll find all instalments at the bottom of the Serials page.)