Life and Other Distractions

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Life and Other Distractions

My daughter once built magical cities from wooden IKEA blocks and now studies Architecture. My son pestered his patient teacher with ‘why’ questions: Why did they vote for Hitler in the first place? This month he takes his History finals.

In my empty nest I finally had time to write, but when spring came I stuffed my unfinished manuscript inside a tree trunk. (Who am I kidding, delusional fool – it was barely started!) Instead I meandered for miles by a river, tended a flower garden, volunteered on a farm and trained as a children’s mentor.

Wonder what I’ll do when I grow up?

(Genre: unreliable memoir, 100 words, or so)

Miranda Lewis 2017

Welcome to Friday Flash Fiction, hosted by the talented writer Rochelle and with a photo this week from Sandra Crook. Thanks to all who drop by and especially those who stay to comment.

Please respect the copyright of the author and the photographer.

Here is a link to my daughter’s Instagram of her beautiful final pieces for this year.

A Death in the Family

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A Death in the Family

Strangely death and beauty are often companions. Closed lids hid the milky cataracts of his decayed old age. Pearl-pink pads decorated delicately curled feet. I placed a cheek on his curved back and felt the last of his fur-wrapped warmth.

The grave my husband dug on that dark January night made criminals of us all. No, not my granny, I quipped to a neighbour. Tears flowed freely as we said goodbye and buried the box, securing the lid against foxes.

Alone at last; silent house. I open the freezer, reach deep for the wrapped package and cradle the frozen form in aching arms.

M J Lewis 2017

Welcome to the world of Friday Flash Fiction, hosted by the talented writer Rochelle. Thanks as ever to our seemingly tireless host and also to Liz Young for the photo.

The above is partly true – I’ll leave you to decide what is fiction and what is imagination! Thanks to all who visit and especially those who stay and comment.

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A Fair Wind

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A Fair Wind

The seventh of seven daughters, and all my sisters married, I was promised to a merchant of Moorish extraction in exchange for a cargo of Madeira.

The wine – sweet and rich, the colour of menstrual blood – restored my father’s fortune and I insisted on a male tutor, fair skinned but well-travelled. I mastered algebra and anatomy; the constellations and the continents; theology and food storage.

When my ship comes in I will not be locked in any fine palace, tending a full womb. There will be but two courses to navigate: to sail by my husband’s side or escape.

M J Lewis 2017

It’s Friday and so I’m late for Friday Fiction. I can only plead fantastic gardening weather. All hail to Rochelle, our indefatigable host, and to Fatima Fakier Deria for the nautical photo.

Thanks to all who visit and a huge thank you to those who stay and chat.

I dedicate this piece to all those (children and adults – you know who you are!) who have questioned the part algebra has to play in a well-rounded education.

The Jewelled Locust

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The Jewelled Locust

The room was almost unbearably hot. A ceiling fan stirred the soupy air listlessly.

My grandmother’s face when she turned to me was yellow, skin taught over sharp cheek bones, eye sockets deep pools of purple.

She indicated the box of jewels. ‘For you and you alone. The very best.’

All I saw was the blood and toil of others, wealth won with deception and malice.

Outside, I opened the lid and handed a brooch to the child who guarded the decaying lobby. Fake emeralds, nevertheless valuable.

Unknown to my grandmother my half-sister and I still speak: different box, same lies.

M J Lewis 2017

Very late to the Friday Feast of Fiction this week, but such a stunning photo, thanks to Shaktiki Sharma. Thanks also, of course, to our esteemed host, Rochelle, and thanks to all who visit, especially those who stay to comment.

If I Could Locate My Heart…

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If I could locate my heart…

I pay the taxi and slip along the long drive in unsuitable shoes, suitcase bumping my legs, past snowdrops dusted with snow. So lovely.

(Snowdrops in snow, foxes in gloves; a toad in a hole, a kiss for your two lips.)

The dining room will be cold as a cave. (Puts the mice off! ) You in scarf and dressing-gown, reading the paper.

Gavel opens the huge front door – ‘Morning Miss’ – as if I’ve just nipped out for cigarettes. ‘There’s coffee.’ He pauses. ‘And a fire.’

I hurry up the stone steps past sleeping lions. A fire!

It might begin to melt.

M J Lewis 2017

Here’s my 100 words for Friday Fiction, hosted by the writer Rochelle and this week with a beautiful chilly photo from Sarah Potter.

Not quite spring yet, but signs of it in my garden in the form of a tiny patch of snowdrops. I seem to have gone off on some country house vibe – did see a long drive lined with snowdrops, the house out of sight around the corner, when out walking last week.

Thanks to all who visit and especially to those who come on in and comment. Tea and toasted crumpets anyone?  (Might need UK/US translation!)

Miranda

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Open Wide

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Open Wide

‘My name is Archibald; I’m a dentist from Streatham!’

But the sailors did not listen. ‘Jonah!’ they cried as they tipped him into the swirling ocean.

Down, down, down he went.

‘Jonah!’ mouthed a passing octopus.

‘Jonah!’ gulped a huge blue whale as he swallowed Archie whole.

Down, down, down with no time even to check the state of the whale’s molars.

In a red-roofed cave Archie came to rest. He reached for his phone.

‘Thank god, a signal! Elizabeth I am so sorry.’

Beep, beep; cannot receive you call right now.

‘Think I’d make it that easy?’ sighed God.

M J Lewis 2017

(100 words; genre: dentistory)

As an Anglican Atheist I’ve always loved this particular bible story and somehow saw a whale’s maw (if whale’s have a maw!) almost immediately with this photo.  My dear departed cat was called Archie – he had almost no teeth by the end. Not sure how my brain joined up all those dots, but hope you enjoyed the story.

Come on in for more 100-word stories. A big thank you to Rochelle, our host at Friday Fiction and to Dale Rogerson for the intriguing photo.

Thanks to all who read and especially to those who stay to comment.

Ambitions

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Ambitions

You caught the express train to the city, running down the steps two at a time. A shout to the guard – whistle to his lips – and you jumped on.

My ambitions are simpler.

I sit in the waiting room, listening for the reassuring chug of approaching steam, the slam of doors, the cheery greetings of the porter. I stroke the cat, sip my tea.

Not this train; not today.

I seem to be wearing a hat and veil; my full-length dress rustles as I rise to make my way back through the meadow to the house with the three chimneys.

M J Lewis 2017

Welcome aboard my 100 words of Friday Flash Fiction, hosted as ever by the gracious Rochelle and with a photo this week from the author of many a flash tale himself, C. E. Ayr.

Do come in, sit down and admire the ever-changing view out of the window here.

Thanks to all who visit and most especially to those who stay to comment.