SNAKE ON A SHIP

Standing on the room balcony, Archie took a long puff on his pipe.

It was a quiet place of solitude after three weeks at sea with Agnes. She couldn’t stand the smell of his pipe.

He had gone through a lot of tobacco.

Another fine morning. Somewhere off the starboard side were the Indonesian islands.

‘Archie!’ Agnes screeched. He could make out the top of her head sticking out, down and to the right, where the restaurant was located. ‘Bring down my reading glasses, will you?’

He didn’t acknowledge her. He would say he didn’t hear her.

A moment later, he heard her scream. What now, he thought.

By the time he had ambled down, Agnes was cowering in the corner, wafting a pole about, fending off an angry-looking snake. A small crowd had gathered.

‘Where have you been?!’ Agnes glowered at him. ‘This snake dropped out the sky onto my plate. They say it’s a taipan. Deadly poisonous.’

Above the restaurant the small tender boat used to transport passengers to shore was suspended. It had picked up an unwanted guest while in port.

‘Sorry dear,’ Archie called, as the snake reared up. ‘I was looking for your reading glasses.’


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Copyright A Mixed Bag

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Al Forbes. For more details visit HERE.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

More adventures featuring Agnes and Archie can be found here: THE AGNES AND ARCHIE STORIES.

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TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD

The power saw sliced through the panel at the wrong angle.

‘Dammit.’ The latest mishap during the garage renovation.

The myna bird laughed. Definitely a laugh this time.

Three days it had perched, mocking his every calamity.

‘Funny, is it?’ he asked. The yellow beak cachinnated.

He put some seed in his hand. The myna cocked it’s head and hopped towards him.

He grabbed it tight.

‘Think it’s funny now?’ he asked as he turned the power saw back on.

***

Two operations later his thumb was reattached.

There was a flash of yellow and a cackle at the hospital window.


myna-bird
Copyright Douglas M. McIlroy

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

ISN’T IT ALWAYS

Jean-Louis watched the person in the water.

He had piloted his small coal barge for thirty years, travelling back and forth along the canal between Arles and For-Sur-Mer on the coast.

The canal was straight, had only one lock, and passed through farmland and a nature reserveIt was unusual to see anyone on the paths alongside the canal, let alone jumping into the water to meet his barge.

He picked up his pole with the mooring hook attached and held it out to the incoming swimmer.

The man gratefully grabbed the hook and Jean-Louis pulled him aboard.

Merci,’ the man said, having regained his breath. He wore only a shirt and underwear.

‘Pas de problème,‘ Jean-Louis replied.

‘You must think I am crazy.’

‘The thought had crossed my mind,’ Jean-Louis said, taking hold of the tiller.

‘There is a good reason for my strange behaviour.’

‘It is none of my concern,’ Jean-Louis shrugged.

Problème de femme,‘ the man explained.

‘Ah,’ Jean-Louis nodded his head. ‘N‘est-ce pas toujours.’


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Copyright BarbCT

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

Translation:
Merci – thank you
Pas de problème – no problem
Problème de femme – woman trouble
N‘est-ce pas toujours – isn’t it always

MISTAKEN IDENTITY

James stood against the railing, feeling refreshed in his tuxedo.

It had been an arduous fortnight.

Tomorrow, disembark at Alexandria, then a plane ride back home to London.

A woman approached, dressed in an elegant ballgown.

‘Join me?’ she asked, offering a flute of champagne.

A boy ran between them and vomited over the side of the boat.

‘Too much buffet, Dad.’

James looked at his son. Some of the sick had landed on James’ trousers.

‘Sorry,’ James shrugged at the woman.

On the deck above, Phillips stood in a tuxedo, checked a roll of film was safe in his pocket, and sipped champagne.


fridays-moon-ted-strutz
Copyright Ted Strutz

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

You can read more short stories about the spy Phillips here: THE PHILLIPS SPY STORIES.

AUTUMN LEAVES

Archie looked at the overhanging branches from the neighbours overgrown sycamore tree. Every Autumn the leaves fell into his garden, burying the flowerbeds and lawn. Every Autumn he had to clear them.

It had taken him all morning to sweep the leaves up. Now they sat in one big pile in the middle of the garden.

Agnes tapped the kitchen window. ‘Lunch.’

Inside, Archie removed his hat and gloves. ‘You can see your breath out there,’ he remarked. He stretched his back, stiff from stooped exertion.

‘They really should cut back those branches.’ Agnes said. ‘And you should let your son-in-law sweep them up. You’re not getting any younger.’

Archie rolled his eyes. ‘Are Julia and the boys still coming round this afternoon?’ he asked.

‘Don’t worry, they’re still coming.’

An hour later Agnes and Julia stood at the window watching Archie and the children in the garden. Leaves flew everywhere accompanied by squeals of delight.

‘I’ll send Gary round tomorrow to clear the leaves.’ Julia said.

‘Don’t bother,’ Agnes sighed. ‘You’d only spoil his fun.’


2012-09-september-24th-2017

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Al Forbes. For more details visit HERE.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE

You can read more short stories featuring Agnes and Archie here: THE AGNES AND ARCHIE STORIES