DEFIANCE

They sat by the sea watching children play on the beach.

‘Alright?’ he put his arm around her shoulder.

The tears slowly running down her face gave him his answer.

It had taken her twenty years to return. Years of pain and guilt. She had been their teacher. They had trusted in her. She was supposed to protect them.

A school outing before the summer holiday began. A visit to the local museum for a bit of history and then a trip to the beach. It wasn’t her fault the terrorists had come that day.

The images still haunted her. They would never leave her. The panic, the terror, the fear in those young faces. The blood. The dead.

Governments fought aimless wars and encouraged segregation and hate. Religions tried to absolve themselves of blame. Terrorists continued to kill with no purpose, never furthering their cause.

She was beyond all this. She had only her memories and sorrow. She wouldn’t let them count her as their victim. She was here. She had not let them win.

This was her defiance.


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Copyright The Storyteller’s Abode

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.

Influenced by events in Manchester this week, my thoughts are with all involved, especially those children and parents affected by this devastating and abhorrent act.

OLD FRIEND

The grey clouds hung low over the surrounding rooftops. Phillips stood next to the gate. His breath formed small puffs of mist. He pressed his hands deeper into his pockets.

‘They sent you.’

Phillips recognised the voice from the other side of the gate. He had last heard it in the bar in Whitehall all those years ago.

‘They needed someone who could confirm your identity.’ Phillips peered through the small gaps in the gate’s bars. ‘Show yourself.’

Travers stepped out from behind the wall. ‘Satisfied?’

‘It’s good to see you.’ Phillips said.

‘And you, old friend.’ Travers replied.

‘Why did you do it?’ Phillips asked.

Travers shrugged. ‘Someone had to. Wars were being fought over false information.’

‘What about your loyalty to our government?’

‘Governments come and go.’

‘To your country then?’

‘What are countries but artificial borders dividing people. Better to sacrifice oneself and prevent nuclear war.’

Phillips knew his friend was genuine in his belief. ‘You know what my orders are.’

‘Can you do it though?’ Travers smiled.

Phillips pulled the gun from his pocket and fired two shots. Travers slumped against the gate.

‘Goodbye, old friend.’


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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.

SPRING BLOSSOM

The pink blossom signalled the arrival of spring. The temperature turned to a pleasant warmth. The skies were blue, the air was fresh. The sense of a new beginning, a fresh start. Optimism and positivity.

Every year the same. The cold, harsh winter left behind. Neighbours emerged from their cocooned houses, smiling and waving. Children appeared in the street again, the sound of their laughter filling the day.

Something felt different this year though.

Beneath the spring blossom the rusting wheelbarrow sat. Left out all winter in the rain and snow, forgotten and damaged. The garden, neglected for months, was overgrown and tired. The climbing plant had covered the old stone ornament, causing it to break and crumble. The veneer of the joyous British garden lay exposed and corrupt.

Elsewhere in the world bombs fell. Children were killed in the streets, their laughter replaced by screams and tears. Turmoil and ineffectual leaders dominated the political landscape.

A stiff breeze blew through the garden. The pink blossom fell from the tree, adding to the debris on the ground.

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Copyright John Brand

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.

This month I am participating in the A TO Z CHALLENGE 2017 – a post each day based on the letters of the alphabet and theme. Find out more about it HERE. As this challenge will take up a lot of my blogging time I may not get round to commenting on everyone’s posts, but I hope to find time to read all your stories as usual, and still be able to participate in Sunday Photo Fiction each week.

GOD BLESS THE CAUSE FOR WHICH I DIE

The St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were over. An old drunk started singing ‘The Dying Rebel.’

‘I never would have thought those songs would be anything but historical,’ said the red-haired woman.

‘I never thought they’d put up a border posts across Ireland again,’ the man replied.

He looked at the woman. ‘We need to make America side with Europe. If they do, Britain has no choice but to concede the North.’

‘And Ireland is one,’ the woman said. ‘Everything is ready?’

‘The car with British plates is parked in the alley.’

He handed her an envelope. She pulled out a British passport. ‘Who was David Phillips?’

‘Attache at the British Embassy. Leave his papers in the car. Park outside the American Embassy at midday. You’ll have five minutes to get clear before detonation.’

‘A British attack on their embassy. Do you think the Americans will buy it?’

The drunk reached his final line: ‘God bless the cause for which I die.’


dublin

Written for ‘What Pegman Saw’, a weekly prompt based on a view from Google Maps. The idea is to write a piece of fiction of around 150 words based on the prompt. Full details can be found HERE. This week we’re off to Dublin.

This is an imagined scenario based on the very real problem that the British exit from the European Union will result in a hard border returning between Ireland and Northern Ireland, putting the still fragile peace process there at extreme risk. Just one of the many troublesome results of this ridiculous British political and economic folly. It should not be taken as a reflection of my own thoughts, sympathies or otherwise about the situation in Ireland, past or present.

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

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INTEGRATION

‘Is it true it was aliens from Venus that designed this place?’ asked Sam, looking at the photograph of the strange building.

‘So the guy who built it said,’ answered Earl. ‘He also said it could time travel, so I wouldn’t trust him too much. Called them Integration structures.’

‘Well, it will do for us until the storm blows over. Remote, no questions asked and no police.’

They carried on driving through the dusty landscape. Just passed the small town of Landers Earl pulled up at the end of a half-mile queue of cars.

‘Wait here,’ he told Sam. He walked to the gate of the Integration Sanctuary Commune, where a harassed woman was turning people away. Earl pushed his way to the front.

‘What’s going on?’ he asked.

‘Sorry Earl,’ Mel said.’I know I said you could come and lie low here, but we’re full up. Seems people are looking for an alternative before the inauguration next week.’


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© Google Maps / Don Darkson

Written for ‘What Pegman Saw’, a weekly prompt based on a view from Google Maps. The idea is to write a piece of fiction of around 150 words based on the prompt. Full details can be found HERE.

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

Wikipedia information on the extraordinary Integration building HERE.