In the library old men play at chess; polite handshakes, gently murmured notes of victory and defeat.
I take the long way home, darkness at five o’clock. Empty pavements, October roses, soft tread on leaves that smell of childhood. Past lighted sitting rooms, bonfire night poster tied to railings. Could be the sixties but for the old hospital newly converted; cars sit in ambulance bays, fitted kitchen where once the night nurse penned a love letter in a circle of soft light.
You never wanted to be an old man, gave up chess; never owned a dressing gown.
Well, you got your wish.
Miranda Lewis 2018
I love this time of year. The garden has (almost) been put to bed, clocks have gone back and ’tis the season for night walking and glancing into lighted windows – for the melancholic, to be fitted in between Hallowe’en and the first, way-too-cheerful Christmas trees going up.
As it’s Wednesday welcome to Friday Fiction hosted as ever by the writer Rochelle. Thanks to Jeff Arnold for the photo, to all who visit and most especially to those who stay to comment.
And if you fancy a quick melancholic read my novella, Dream Girl, is still staggeringly good value at only 99p. Who says nothing stays the same?
Tidying Up After
You left early, mid-sentence; grass uncut, the bird table you were attempting to mend face down on the patio. Mind you, you tidied away that last bottle to the very last drop.
Back home, I have taken to washing up teaspoons, burning old postcards, composting diaries. Don’t be alarmed; I am but a finger’s stretch closer to the shadows. I won’t say anything significant, at least until I’ve cleared this cupboard.
My partner on the other hand is accumulating wood and screws, enough to open a hardware shop. Or build an arc. Or in the event, our coffins. Now that’s tidy.
Miranda Lewis, 2018
(Genre: unreliable memoir)
Welcome readers and writers to Friday Fiction, hosted by the indefatigable, inestimable Rochelle, with thanks to Ronda Del Boccio for the photo prompt. Now you might be thinking it isn’t Friday and this isn’t really fiction, but on the other hand it is 100 words.
Thanks to all who visit and most especially those who stay to comment. To graze on a whole pasture of stories click here.
The Café of Impossibilities
It’s down an alley between the shops, around a corner that isn’t always there. You push open the low door and a soothing murmur of conversation greets you. The coffee is frankly mediocre, but Amelia looks great at – what was it? – thirty-eight to your careworn fifty-five. Amelia who always knew the importance of trivialities, who cheered each tiny triumph. In a quiet corner your dad forgets to drink his tea; your fingers itch to stroke the old cat’s fur. But too soon you’re out in the crowded street and that isn’t really the back of Amelia’s head disappearing from view.
M J Lewis ©2015
Here is my contribution to Friday Fiction, presided over as ever by the amazing Rochelle. The sweet-peas are blooming out in the garden, or tennis is on the telly if you prefer to stay inside behind gently wafting curtains. It is indeed a lovely British summer. Thanks for visiting wherever you are. (And to whomsoever stopped by from Mongolia only this week, multiple thanks.)
Thanks also to Stephen Baum for this week’s photo.