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.

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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.

The Light Box Installation

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The Light Box Installation

Logicians were happy that the dimensions of the light box conformed to the golden ratio. Angelicians saw that the celestial angels were honoured. Farmers praised the promise of longer growing days to come.

The artist was happy that her work had been generously sponsored by the Technologians, who were more than happy to use its image of connectivity in seasonal advertising.

The Light Box blazed forth through twelve long nights and was also a convenient beacon for lost travellers.

The following year it was shipped to another city and erected over a nightclub infamous for stag and hen dos.

M J Lewis 2016

Happy New Year to all who visit and a huge thank you to our host Rochelle for yet another full year of (seemingly) indefatigable encouragement and support to the Friday Fiction gang.

Thanks to Shaktiki Sharma for the fantastic photo. (Please do not use this image for anything other than a genuine entry to Friday Fiction or with the permission of the photographer.) For more enlightening tales click here.

Sheep Walks into a Diner

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Sheep Walks into a Diner

(A radio play for three characters)

Sheep: Over here by the window, like a Dennis Hopper painting.

Squirrel: (Hooves on lino, chairs scraping.) Edward Hopper.

Sheep: Sorry? Anyway, I was thinking of pink for my fleece this Christmas.

Squirrel: Gods preserve us under glass cases.

Sheep: You really have absolutely no idea what it’s like for me do you.

Squirrel: I am officially vermin.

Sheep: But not part of the food chain.

Squirrel: Well some might disagree. And that nutcase president hasn’t helped – spitting image of the European red.

Waitress: What can I get you folks?

Squirrel: The pecan pie please.

Sheep: Is the chocolate milkshake gluten free?

Squirrel: You know what, pink would be lovely.

M J Lewis 2016

Here is my contribution to Friday Fiction – a cheeky 100 words, not including title and character names, but does include sound directions. For a world of fiction (probably, but not definitely, less surreal than mine) click here.

Thanks and best wishes for the holidays to our host Rochelle. Thanks also to Roger Bultot for the photo and to all who visit.

And a happy midwinter to all!

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Words in Progress

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Words in Progress

Thursdays I’m on the front desk with Miriam who has never read a book in her life, but has a 99.9% rating for library fine collection.

An elderly man approaches. Please let him ask about a book.

Man: I think I left my scarf in the library.

Miriam: You’ll need to describe it Sir.

Me: It’ll be one of those things you wrap around and around your neck. (Opens drawer.)

Miriam: (Hand on drawer.) He’s supposed to describe it first.

We are surrounded by a sea of words, a wide wondrous ocean of love and learning, and I am drowning in banality.

M J Lewis 2016

Love your library! I am lucky enough to have two wonderful libraries nearby where I can work, relax, socialise and READ. I also spend not-so-idle moments watching and listening.

Welcome all to Rochelle‘s Friday Flash Fiction bonanza, with a photo this week from Lucy Fridkin. (Please note the photo is copyright and should only be used in conjunction with Friday Fiction or with the photographer’s permission.) To sail away on a sea of fiction follow this link.