The Princess without the Pea

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The Princess without the Pea

Camping with ancestors you call it: corridors, attics, cellars; god knows how many bedrooms.

Mornings Gavel carries scalding tea up creaking flights to the bedroom, where we lie buried under heaps of eiderdowns. Through ice-frosted glass I look out over snow-blanketed fields to the far horizon. Not a soul.

Each afternoon I neglect to pack my suitcase.

Dinner is sardines with champagne in front of the fire, scent of mothballs rising from my stole, once owned, you claim, by a duchess who ran away with the under-groomsman.

Far away in a suburban cul-de-sac, a phone rings into the silence of my spotless house.

Miranda Lewis 2018

Welcome to Friday Flash Fiction!

We have not had real snow this year in London, for which I feel both grateful and jealous. Thanks to Dale Rogerson for the lovely photo and to our host Rochelle who travels the world of Friday Fiction through all seasons, all weathers.

Thanks to all who stop by to read and most especially to those who stay to comment.

For anyone interested this is a companion piece to this Friday Fiction, written almost a year ago. I’m not a quick worker!

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Happy New Gardening Year

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Happy New Gardening Year

A trip outside the post-Christmas fug to the compost bin reveals green shoots in sodden soil: the promise of snowdrops, the loveliest of flowers. The days lengthen, the world renews itself despite our dulled perception it is otherwise.

To plant a garden is to open oneself to sweet celebration – spring tulips and forget-me-nots, summer lavender and roses – but also disappointment, failures, the need to shrug and carry on.

For whatever, after summer will come the dying days of autumn – pruning, leaf gathering, the fragrant harvest of rot and decay. Until, once more, that long deep sigh of winter.

Miranda Lewis 2017

I’m either very late to Friday Fiction or just in time to wish Friday fiction contributors and all who visit a very happy and productive new year. May your adjectives be apt and your adverbs few. Thanks as ever to our host Rochelle and to Ted Strutz for the photo.

And of course, good gardening. My resolution for 2018 – lots of flowers (always!) but more vegetables too.

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In the beginning was the sheep…

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In the beginning was the sheep…

How far back to go? To fleeces washed and combed, dyes of blackberry and onion skin? Or further still, to grass and rain and starlight, the endless chewing of the cud?

Come now, past carding, twisting and beyond to the clacking of the needles – eyes bright behind perched spectacles –  those numerous episodes of Midsomer Murders.

Oh joy in the unwrapping! Behold the snugness of the fit. Glory in the crowning splendour of the pom-pom!  ‘Thanks Grandma!’  Then, miracle of miracles – the first soft flakes of snow.

Praise Christmas knitters everywhere and peace to woolly hat wearers near and far.

Miranda Lewis 2017

Welcome to Friday Fiction hosted by the talented writer Rochelle. Thanks also to Bjorn Rudberg for the great photo. Thanks to all who visit and most especially to those who stay to comment. Hats off to Friday Fictioneers gathered here. Please visit and comment widely!

Underneath the Chestnut Tree

 

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Underneath the Chestnut Tree

(Genre: historical fiction)

Amy arrived at the barn flustered, cheeks flaming almost to the colour of her hair. The lambing man’s face in contrast was grey with exhaustion.

For once her words were bold, urgent.

‘The meadow, courting corner; ewe caught in the hawthorn hedge.’

His thoughts were muddy with lack of sleep.

‘Courting, caught?’

‘Under the old Chestnut. She’s birthing a lamb.’

It was the word lamb that did it. He rose, shaking himself to wakefulness.

‘Pass me them sacks,’ he said.

He took her hand and pulled her with him into the yard.

‘You’ve the hands of a midwife at any rate.’

Miranda Lewis 2017

Welcome to Friday Fiction and hello again after a bit of a hiatus. Thanks as always to our host, the writer Rochelle, whose own story can be found here, along with all the rules of play and Friday Fictioneers from around the globe. Thanks to Sandra Crook for the photo. (Realised I could have put a crook in the story, Sandra! Take the shepherd’s crook as read.)

(Please respect photographer’s and writers’ copyright. Join in, read and comment on other stories, but please do not use the photo for any other purpose than Friday Fiction.)

Under the Clouds

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Under the Clouds

The morning after my son’s graduation I noticed a small grey cloud floating somewhere above my left shoulder. Seasonal September blues? The last child all grown, yet barely grown?

Or none of these? Like the clouds my worries are more often there than not; both gather and clear to their own rhythms. But do not assume all worriers are pessimists; there are as many patches of blue as mighty storms.

In the garden, the first fat drops of rain. All futures are uncertain, all tracks unclear, sometimes in many places. My son will follow his own path whether I worry or not.

Miranda Lewis 2017

(Genre: Metaphorical memoir)

By the end of this week I will have attended a graduation, a funeral and a wedding celebration. Perhaps a little worrying and philosophical musing is understandable.

For more stories (that probably read a bit more like stories) click here.

Thanks as ever to our host Rochelle who rounds us all up and keeps us all going along that 100-word track of Friday Fiction and to Danny Boweman for the photo.

Camping for the Bourgeoisie

 

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Camping for the Bourgeoisie

The first year we bedded down in a tiny tent, the baby nestled between us.

Ten years later we’ve acquired:  three more children; a huge canvas castle; tables and chairs; three-ring gas cooker and ‘compact’ fridge; bikes and sand toys; tablets, board games and teddies. Fairy lights and bunting are inessential but fun. A bubble machine, bat detector and barbecue inspire admiration and envy in equal measure.

One day we’ll pack two mugs, a good knife and a hammock and head for the hills. In the meantime, I just have this load of washing to finish and a groundsheet to air.

(Genre; unreliable memoir)

Miranda Lewis, 2017

It’s been a while since I took part in Friday Fiction. Being under canvas when this week’s photo (copyright Jan Wayne Fields) was posted by our esteemed host, Rochelle, I couldn’t resist.

Camping is a strange beast. Once a cheap option for the shy, the adventurous, the lover of nature it has become a huge industry. It’s also a great way to people watch – on a busy campsite you can see almost everything that usually goes on behind closed doors (and probably hear everything you can’t see.)

To go right inside all those yurts, tepees, wigwams and tents of the world click here.

Here’s a comment form my friend Natalie who linked in from my facebook page. (Aren’t I just the social media butterfly!) This made me laugh: ‘Your story could be about my family. We started with all four of us in a little 2 man tent for a night in Poole. Ten years later we had a trailer tent with double mattresses, electricity, a fold out sofa, gas BBQ, fridge, gazebo…the works!’

Sheep Walks into a Diner (two)

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Sheep Walks into a Diner (again)

A play for three characters: Squirrel, Sheep, Waitress

(100 words of dialogue)

Setting: A diner.

Squirrel: Two sheeps?

Sheep: Two sleeps, not sheeps. Anyway the plural is sheep.

Squirrel: I know that.

Sheep: And you thought I didn’t? Shh! It’s that waitress again, the one who looks at us funny.

Waitress: What can I get you?

Squirrel: The nut-burger please.

Sheep: Is the mango smoothie vegan?

Waitress: Sure.

Sheep: Anyway this article said two periods of sleep, not one long one, used to be much more common and even today some folks are probably programmed for more than one sleep.

Squirrel: And?

Sheep: Well it all makes sense, only I’m programmed for…

Squirrel: Four or five sleeps.

Sheep: There speaks the guy who dozes away half the winter.

Miranda Lewis (2017)

It’s been a while, but here we are back at Friday Fiction, hosted by the writer, diplomat, cat-herder and generally delightful purple-clad Rochelle.

And it would seem (possibly to some bemusement) we are back in the diner with my good friends Sheep and Squirrel. To those of you not acquainted they are just your average inter-species couple trying to get along in a world that is not always kind.

Thanks to all who visit and most especially those who stay to comment. For more stories try here. Thanks to Dale Rogerson for the photo. (Please do not use the photo for any other purpose than an entry to Friday Fiction.)