You know that song, ‘99 red balloons’, it’s always been a favourite of mine. For me, Denise Burdock, to be able to tame all those balloons, maybe even have 100 at my command; floating in the summer sky, now that would be an achievement. My parents would surely be proud of me then?
“That’s just the silliest thing I ever heard!” The neighbour, Mrs. Gordon’s daughter said when I shared my idea with her. She sounded every bit as much like a miniature Mrs. Gordon. She even placed her hands on her hips the same way.
“Tiz not, Harriet Gordon!” I replied, trembling with jangles of emotion. “I got five already!”
“Duh, Dandelion” Harriet’s mouth and nose twisted all out of shape with the sneering way she said my nickname. “In case you hadn’t noticed yours are yellow, not red.”
Tears prickled down my throat as Iflounced off towards the river, clutching my five balloons by their strings. I sat down on the bank, my green and white-spotted wellies crinkling as I rocked. The tears spluttered onto my cheeks and I stared out across the water allowing the doubts to bubble inside me. Was it silly? Should I let go of the string and release my balloons?
A tear splopped onto my yellow summer dress and it was then that my mind recalled our teacher, Mrs. Gilbert’s words: ‘Dare to be different. Hang onto your dreams’ she said.
Clutching tighter onto the string and wiping my cheeks with the sleeve of my green cardigan I shouted defiantly “They’re not yellow, Harriet Gordon, they’re ochre.” (270 words)
How about you?
What story does this image conjure in your writerly mind?
I can't access my blogger from my own computer but it works fine on my husband's.
However, trying to contact blogger to ask for help is equally frustrating. It is coming up with 'you can't access blogger in your own language!' written in my own language!!! This is the screen I get when I call up my blog page:
Instead of :
Can anyone help me? I have run Bullguard, Spybot and Malware on my computer and all seem to things things are hunky dory.
Of the six followers who put forward their names for the butterfly scarf random.org choseHilaryMelton-Butcher
Congrats Hilary and please email me with your address.
Of the four followers who put forward their names for the novel, random.org chose Angela Felstead.
Congrats Angela and please email me with your address.
Of the remaining 4 who commented but did not specify a prize
the DVD will go to Ellie, who was the only one of the 4 who was UK based, so it will be compatible with her machine.
Congrats Ellie, I'll let you have your prize when we next meet up.
HEALTH UPDATE: Have had a more precise diagnosis, so meds changed and symptoms back to square one. You'll have to bear with me, as I'm feeling ghastly again. I will get back to those who have commented as soon as possible and visit some more of you too. Thanks for being so supportive.
My heart sank down into the depths of my body when I saw Aiden coming towards me. His eyes were shining with a scary eagerness as he crushed into the chair beside me. His thick winter fleece and black wool hat made him look more like a hiker than a student.
“Hi Elise” he said, his deep voice filling the vast, virtually empty auditorium.
“Hi Aiden” I replied scanning the room for my friends and the gorgeous blonde-haired, blue eyed Jamie, who looked like an angel and read aloud in tutorials as if his voice were Heaven sent.
“Thought I was going to be late” Aiden boomed in my ear.
“Looks like everyone else is late!” My nervous laugh sounded girlish and trilling.
Aiden grinned back. When my friends arrived they took one look at our ménage a deux and chose seats nearer the front to give us some privacy. With wide, frantic eyes I grimaced and beckoned to them that they should join me, but they seemed too engrossed in conversation.
“Look, Aiden. Do you mind if I join my friends, only I have some stuff I need to share with them.”
“Uh, no!” he replied his face momentarily blanched with disappointment.
I gathered up my things and bolted from the seat, sinking gratefully into the vacant chair beside Sally. She saw the relieved expression on my face and smiled sympathetically, turning around to gape once more at Aiden who shrank down into his jacket like a no-neck monster, studiously examining the white board. I shot Sally a warning glance. While I didn’t fancy Aiden I didn’t want to hurt him either. Then my attention was drawn to Jamie as he entered the room. He smiled in my direction making my heart flutter and sing. I smiled back with pure adoration shining in my eyes. Soon the auditorium had filled and Mr. Clarke’s lecture began: Chaucer’s Olde English
As class ended and everyone filed out I watched Jamie hurry through the door without looking my way. Disappointment clawed at my insides.
“Bye Elise” boomed Aiden beside me, as he hurried past.
My heart stretched with a strange horrified lurch. It was lovely being admired, but oh how I wished it was Jamie, instead. As Sally, Jenn and I filed out of the room I then remembered my gorgeous pink, woollen gloves.
“My gloves!” I shrieked and ran back into the room. Taking the steps two at a time I hurried up to where I had been sitting with Aiden.
“Lost something?” Patrick said as he stood, still packing his rucksack.
“Yes my pink wool gloves. Have you seen them”
“Yes Aide had them as he was leaving. Didn’t he give them to you?”
My cheeks flushed crimson. “Thanks” I said hastily, hurrying out to join my friends, my heart now hammering loudly in my ears. Aiden was no-where to be seen. An unsettled feeling lingered with me for the rest of the day.
Later that evening, at home when the doorbell rang, I answered. Aiden stood on the threshold brandishing my gloves.
“You forgot these” he beamed.
“Oh, thanks!” I laughed nervously, my mind screaming accusations at him and warnings to me.
“I have some magic to show you” he said taking out his phone and snapping my photo.
“That’s not magic!” I blurted, my face now several shades of red.
“It is to me” he said.
In my utter embarrassment I lost my manners and closed the door in his face; my insides squirming like chilli pepper snakes.
The summer sunshine blazed through the opened doorway as Reg stood on the narrow staircase, inhaling deeply. The forbidden cigarette tasted all the sweeter in the relative darkness of this hidden sanctuary. The intoxicating taste masking the earthly smell of damp soil and stone from the surrounding walls, as it enveloped his nostrils and licked curls around his taste buds and throat. He closed his eyes, savouring the moment, sighing.
“Reginald!” came the unmistakable shriek of his 80 year old mother’s crumbling voice.
Reg’s heart pounded beneath his grey gabardine as he stubbed out the cigarette.
Carla "tagged" me and I'm delighted to play along. I must answer the following questions and "tag" three other bloggers.
1. If you could go back in time and re-live a moment, what would it be? The first time I had a piece of my writing published in a national magazine.
2. If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be? That my father didn't get Alzheimer's.
3. What movie/TV character do you most resemble in personality?
I guess it would have to be Amélie Poulain (played in the film by Audrey Tautou) a young woman who grew up isolated from other children. She develops an unusually active imagination to ward away the feelings of loneliness. She decides to change the lives of those around her for the better ...
4: If you could push one person off a cliff and get away with it, who would it be?
That would have to be a nasty neighbour of my relatives who has been the bane of their lives for years.
5. Name one habit that you want to change in yourself? Worrying too much
6. Describe yourself in one word.
Kind (or so hubby tells me) apart from wanting to throw said nasty person off cliff!!
7. Describe the person who named you in this meme in one word. Inspiring.
8. Why do you blog? Answer in one sentence. I love blogging, the comments, the friendships/support and being able to have my say and present my posts and writing creatively and finding others who share my interests who inspire, inform, amuse and entertain me.
9. Name three people to send this meme to and inform them.
So,Blogger threw a wobbly. It took way longer than the hour they said to fix and they lost 2 posts and all the wonderful attached comments, so I have withdrawn my Friday post to reschedule it for later and will re-post the missing two with the comments inserted.
Rules: 1. Minimum of 55 words, maximum of 777 words. Story only please, no poems :) 2. The tale should be in sync with the photo and original. 3. Link back to Thursday Tales http://talesthursday.blogspot.com/ 4. AND Link to the image SOURCE.(Please don't forget this, it's their effort too that has inspired you after all!) 5. Post it anytime and share your post link by inserting it into Linkey widget. Enter the link ONLY AFTER you write/post your week's tale. 6. Try to read the others who have joined the linkey before you. An image can get different views! 7. Once the linkey expires, the post URLs will be shared as links.
‘Life Support’ by Madeleine Maddocks He could hear a persistent tweeting somewhere to his left or was it bleeping noises? Then he remembered an accident. A tractor and a ditch. His lips were dry, as if they had been roughly stitched together across his face. The worst hangover ever would account for how his eyes felt. Someone must have ripped them out and sewn them back, all crooked and mismatched, into holes that were smaller than normal. He dare not open them, though he imagined the worst; feeling as he did so stiff, as if he were a scarecrow with a pole shoved somewhere unmentionable. (100 words)
‘The Catch’ by Madeleine Maddocks Their plan ought to work. The rain had stopped hammering down on their brimmed hats. It was no longer caressing their necks like slippery mermaid fingers. Now the water was calm. The two boats were in position, the net creating rippled patterns on the surface of the water where it lay.
“Catch hold of the net firmly now.” Joe ordered. “We can do this. We can be fishers of men!”
They were so engrossed in their task that no-one noticed their quarry, behind them, quietly wading away to shore with the crab baskets from this morning’s catch in his hands. (100 words)
COMMENTS: jabblog said: I enjoyed both of these hugely! Wonderful twists on the prompts:-)
The Golden Eagle said: What a last line about the scarecrow. :D Love these flash fiction pieces!
Rachel said: Oh, I love that last line, a pole shoved somewhere unmentionable! Unmentionable indeed!
Lynette Killam said: Oh, these are both wonderful, Madeleine! The scarecrow story cracked me up, it's so funny...and I like the line of tension that runs through the second. The rain "caressing their necks like slippery mermaid fingers" is just a brilliant choice of words. Well done...:)
Old Kitty said: Absolutely fabulously lovely reads - thank you!!!!!! I have a soft spot for the scarecrow though!! Oh dear - to the last line!! :-) Take care x
Sharon Sullivan-Craver said: I visited your blog and find it absolutely refreshing. But then I love to read other blogs. I am a newbie. I do have several manuscripts. One in the process of editing and two more on the tablets. None published as yet, but I have faith and persistence..Ha ha , that's just me. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks everyone. Glad you enjoyed the wry humour in these and the twists in the tales.:O)