The Wisdom of Morvik

 

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The Wisdom of Morvik

Rejoice! The warriors of the tribe, who have wandered many moons, lost and desolate in the far citadel, have returned. Behold the bounty of strange gifts they bear!

Now I the elder, in ritual robes, solemnly unseal the book of myths and intone the powerful magic of the ancients.

‘Right. So take side A and crosspiece b and screw C1…’

‘Crosspiece B? That won’t work.’

‘Are you questioning the holy runes or my authority as elder and interpreter?’

‘Just shut up and give it here!’

And so the eternal struggle for kingship continues over the building of the IKEA wardrobe.

M J Lewis ©2016

Yes folks, Morvik really is an IKEA wardrobe. And indeed my husband and daughter are attaching wardrobe doors upstairs as I write. (I’m not daft – I’m keeping well out of it.) I did almost call this Game of Wardrobes, but that would have given it away too soon.

Many thanks to Rochelle our host at Friday Flash Fiction and to Kent Bonham for the intriguing photo.

Click here for a soundly constructed cupboardful of stories, or should I say a cupboardful of soundly constructed stories.

Telling Tales

 

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Telling Tales

‘Scraps of cloud hung in the windows of the ballroom; webs of trapped butterflies covered the chandeliers. In place of a gown the fairy princess wore a rosebush in bud and as she turned in the bridal waltz, roses bloomed and droplets of blood spattered her satin slippers.’

The one about the two slit boys was scarier.’

‘Shh – footsteps.’

‘Nah – doesn’t fit the story. Try another one. How about..’

‘No, really. Listen!’

‘Shit – cut the light.’

I put my lips next to his ear. ‘The rotten stairs – ninth and tenth.’

We huddled together in the darkness and counted one, two…

M J Lewis©2016

And that’s your 100 words for this week.

Many thanks to Rochelle our host at Friday Fiction and to J Hardy Carroll for the atmospheric photo. For more stories click here, if you dare.

Was a bit unfocused this week so confess to reading around a bit. Those two boys from Derelict by C E Ayr definitely stuck in my head and seem to have crept into one of the stories within this story.

If they could see me now

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If they could see me now

Maria felt fantastic, her slim body swathed in soft layers of turquoise silk.

‘If it weren’t for the ambassador’s reception, I’d ravish you now, Darling.’

Maria giggled then stopped mid-swirl as the supervisor’s voice boomed down the corridor outside.

‘Quick Maria, the wardrobe!’

Mr Klein, the supervisor, surveyed the room – surfaces buffed to a reflective sheen, cushions plumped.

‘Well done, Evie. But where’s Maria?’

‘We ran out of polish…’

He tutted indulgently. ‘Well never mind. Get along now.’

Alone, Mr Klein opened the vast wardrobe door.

‘Holy Moly!’ That red lace number was crying out to be tried on.

M J Lewis ©2016

Spring is here at last and I’m looking forward to tulips and blue skies – we all need a bit of colour somewhere in our lives. Hope you enjoy this bit of flash fiction silliness. I worked in a hotel one summer, in the kitchen making starters. My hands smelled of prawns and avocado for the entire summer.

Thanks as ever to the amazing Rochelle and to Marie Gail Stratford for the photo.

No Title

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No Title

Monday: Forgot my husband’s name. Surprisingly easy to cover.

Tuesday: Couldn’t remember the route to work. Somewhat trickier.

Wednesday: Stayed home.

Next day: Somewhere a wardrobe door swung drunkenly on broken hinges; a bookcase toppled, spilling its entire contents.

Another: Curtains sleepwalk from open windows.

And another: I am kneeling in the garden, someone‘s gnarled old hands holding my trowel. A young man bearing a beautiful mauve flowering plant is crossing the lawn.

He turns the label towards me and I read, ‘Phlox Paniculata, Purple Kiss. Names are so important don’t you think…’ He indicates the sticky label on his pullover. ‘Henry. What a considerate young man you are. Your family must be very proud.’

He grins. ‘Especially my Grandma.’

The wardrobe door gently closes; the bookcase temporarily rights itself. The windows are secure, the curtains still as I smile into his handsome face, recalling momentarily the first day I held him, rosy and new: my very own grandson, Henry.

MJ Lewis©2016

(Flash fiction 160 words)

The Little Ecstasy Girl

 

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The Little Ecstasy Girl

Christmas Eve: nobody was buying; the crowd was high on holiday happiness and the bouncers were on to her.

She shivered on the steps, not a single pill sold. Just one, then she’d dare to go home. She felt warmer almost immediately. She looked up – velvet and diamonds. One more and the stars began to sing, the purest most beautiful sound she had ever heard. She lifted her arms and swam towards the light, her whole being vibrating with their brilliance.

Christmas morning: the husk of a girl lay curled on the steps, frozen fingers clutching an empty bag.

M J Lewis ©2016

With thanks to our own shining star at Friday Fiction, Rochelle and to Amy Reese for the photo prompt. Thanks as well to a certain Hans Christian Andersen. (Have never had a Danish visitor – that would be nice!) To visit a constellation of stories click here.

Love: the theory and the practice

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Love: the theory and the practice

Watch people at airports you said, to understand attachment: the tears, the hugs, the love.

You included us all: the nervous teenager, the would-be psychiatrist, the lonely middle-aged woman. You encouraged us, challenged us. I learnt that conformity is hugely overrated; that normality is an entirely subjective concept; that you preferred Vygotsky to Piaget, mountains to beaches; that you loved your husband dearly.

And I discovered first-hand that feelings are feelings, however predictable the transference of years of suppressed affection to my Psychology tutor. So, just as Freud valued insight over happiness, my mind expanded as my heart still aches.

M J Lewis ©2016

Happy January to all who visit and a huge thank you to Rochelle as another year of a Friday Fiction begins. Anyone else returned to work after the break to find they’re already playing catch-up by the end of week one? Ah, so not just teachers then (but that’s a true story for another time). Thanks also to Melanie Greenwood for the photo.

My one and only resolution for 2016 so far is to learn and write a different form of poetry each month; January has been declared Miranda’s sonnet month. Here’s a really inspiring and useful site I’ve enjoyed visiting. Not as serious as it sounds by the way – my first sonnet is about a guinea pig and begins:

He raises noble snout and sniffs the air

Miranda

Counter Encounters

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Counter Encounters

Awake since four, Melissa rocks her sling-snuggled baby from one tired leg to the other. Her voice is weary, inaudible. The middle-aged man behind scowls, inspects his watch.

Tea please, a pot, she repeats.

Simon: tall, clumsy, seventeen; his first day. His hands have been shaking all morning. Teapot?

Tell you what, I’ll bring it over.

Melissa smiles gratefully. Thanks!

Her baby yawns and catches the divine scent of his mother, the rainbow dancing on her lovely brow, the soft undulations of her voice. Mmmm! he sighs and, Ahhh! Has he said this aloud?

The man grins. Sweet little chap.

M J Lewis ©2015

Image copyright Anita Klein.

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Depending on your time zone, the New Year approaches or indeed has already begun. As we always tell our own children, have fun, look out for your friends and make sure everyone gets home safely.

All the best for a super-productive 2016 to Rochelle and the whole keyboard tapping/pencil scribbling eclectic collective of fellow Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Jean L Hays for the reflective photo.

Miranda

And if your after a quick (40,000 word) read for the new year, Dream Girl is still only 99p (or an equivalent price worldwide). That’s about the cost of half a cup of coffee. And as Tracey kindly suggested, here is the US link.

dream girl cover right size

 

The Night Visitors

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The Night Visitors

Though I say so myself, we’re a crack team: Tabby and the Ginger Ninja.

Midnight, Christmas Eve and I’m helping out with the washing-up – a late supper of scrambled eggs and mackerel – when Ginge takes a shine to the stuffed robin half-way up the Douglas fir dressed-to-kill in the corner. He’s clinging to the trunk, swiping a left hook, when the whole thing starts to topple. There’s a splattering of baubles, a shower of tinsel and we’re away before anyone can yell, ‘Timber!’

Bless my ruff and whiskers, Ginger has that robin nestled safely between his canines. What a team!

M J Lewis ©2015

If you’re reading this in bed on Christmas Eve and wondering about those odd noises downstairs, you’re probably okay – more likely Father Christmas knocking back the sherry than Tabby and Ginger up to no good.

A peaceful holiday to all who visit. Thanks to our host Rochelle and all the other folks here at Friday Fiction and to Scott L. Vannatter for the photo.

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Finders Keepers

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Finders Keepers

Living alone has its advantages. Autumn mornings I rise at the grey light of dawn and tramp up the field, mist-swathed, droplets of water glistening on my musty greatcoat and feral hair.

In the drip, drip of the copse a mewling beckons from beneath brambles; I reach in to retrieve a box, within it something compact, sweet-smelling.

A vehicle is climbing the rough track – gears shifting, headlights. I dart back through the gap in the trees. As I jog the mile to my cottage, I secrete the box snug inside my coat and its warmth begins to penetrate my breast.

M J Lewis ©2015

Compliments of the season to all Friday Fictioneers, of whatever faith or creed, from this C of E carol singing Atheist.

Actually Christmas here has been temporarily suspended whilst my partner and I recover from the flu, and at the same time try and ensure our children don’t come home to a festive virus. Didn’t know it was possible for your hair to hurt, along with most other bodily parts at various times during this long week.

Thank goodness for Rochelle and all these stories from around the world to keep me entertained whilst housebound. Will be visiting but – apologies – possibly not commenting due to lack of energy. Thanks also to the multi-talented Rochelle for the photo.

 

dream girl cover right size

Dream Girl is still available on Amazon at the shockingly low price of 99p

The Dorset Giant

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The Dorset Giant

He hides in full sight, his noble profile surveying the vast ocean. He has seen blood on this beach, the bludgeon and greed of the smugglers’ grim craft; ship wrecks and battles of sea and sky.

Today he yawns a dripping cave and winks a grass-fringed sleepy eye to the toddler who plays on the sand below. The seabirds bring him news of his cousins the clouds, his brethren the rivers and valleys, but for now he slumbers. For he knows, all this will pass and one day he will rise again and reclaim the land that is rightly his.

M J Lewis ©2015

Dorset is truly heaven on Earth, so thank you Sandra for your photo for this week’s Friday Fiction, and thanks to Rochelle for educating us, entertaining us and uniting us all as ever.

If you’re ever down Dorset way check out the Moonfleet Manor Hotel, not that I can afford those prices. The novel of the same name (Moonfleet by John Meade Falkner) is the classic smugglers tale, but I prefer the gothic brilliance of Daphne Du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn. (NOT the awful Hitchcock film!)

One day I will return to Dorset as a seagull and live on chips and cream teas. Click here for more fiction from around the globe.