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.)

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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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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.

# O Brave New World

felicity-jones-as-miranda-in-the-tempestSutton’s Imagine Festival of Arts is taking place right now and this year has H. G. Wells, one time resident of Wallington, at its centre.

Last Saturday I performed this piece, inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest, at a Words Aloud event on the theme of The Shape of Things to Come. (It is definitely best read aloud!)

Leaving her strange magical isle to return to our modern rational world, I give you Miranda, whose future is our present.

# O Brave New World

My Ferdinand, who won my eyes and heart, sweet sleeps beside me, warm within this narrow cot and rocked on homeward seas. And he has told me of his world, tall tales for my delight, but swears he does not lie.

And so I’m told we will be wed, most properly, with promenading and posing and sitting up and down within a feast. And me with shoes, all high, walking first upon the arm of one man – who is my father – then another – who is my sweet husband. We will smile and wave to light boxes held aloft. And then speeches – three, by gentlemen all it seems. But then he told – delight – there will be others too, with high shoes and breasts and rainbow garments – beauteous as mankind and goodlier still. And so I learnt there will be dancing, with man and womankind.

And afterwards, my husband tells of secret love – which we have practised much in preparation.

But then at last to our own square of walls and, within, my gifts of dishwasher, garment-soaker, dust-sucker and – most strange of all – cloth-scorcher. And I who needed none before will call these all my own and if my sweet husband so much as touches these gifts he will say with gentle reverence, What setting do we usually use? or, Where do you keep the Ariel?

And when all my gifts have been well-used, we will in all our finery – and shoes – to Nando’s Court, and there we will locate and capture our blessed faces with light boxes and send them to the clouds. And I, who hitherto have communed direct with clouds, and thanked them for gifts of cool rain or shade when dancing naked on the shore, will learn to sing clouds’ praise more roundabout with, post and face and like and magic book.

With one ear now against the vessel’s wooden wall, I hear the sea. I hear the songs of whales and all the creatures deep within who say that I, who sung the very birds to sleep, have no need of light box and bucket list and captured blessings. But with my other ear I hear my sleeping husband’s heart beat strong and true, within that lovely cage of flesh and bone.

In any case I can but try to sit in my four walls and with my light box tap a womanly greeting to a friend and say: Fancy a coffee? And then at Nero’s shrine I’ll hold her smile, and mine also, and snap it into light and space and cloud and post and tag and all things modern, for our friends and their friends and friends of friends. And all will see that, though fair Miranda no longer sleeps beneath the rising moon and sparkling stars, nor dances with the flitting moths and other creatures of the night, neither does she wail her lungs to empty rage, shouting her loneliness to uncaring waves.

And so with full and hopeful heart I say, farewell sweet isle, its four square walls of sea, and greetings husband, shoes and friends.

M J Lewis 2016

The Singer and the Song

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The Singer and the Song

A present from Banbury fair was expected. But a bright ribbon or a swatch of cotton lawn. Not this.

He sat, gruff and unreadable, before the strange contraption.

‘But how?’ she asked.

Recalling the demonstration, he began to coordinate the movements of his large feet. The sharp needle danced up and down, uncertainly at first, then faster and faster.

In a blur of shining metal her wide blue eyes saw curtains and cushion covers for her tiny cottage, a little extra money; while he saw a comely wife, a companion against loneliness and, god willing, a young mother for his children.

M J Lewis 2016

Welcome to Friday Fiction, hosted by the talented writer and artist Rochelle Wisoff- Fields.

Click here for more 100-word stories, stitched together by creative Friday Fictioneers around the globe. A keen sewer myself, I enjoyed this week’s photo prompt from Sandra Crook.

The Owl and the Pussycat – the Cat’s Story

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The Owl and the Pussycat – the Cat’s Story

Granted my husband sang sweetly enough, but what the rhyme doesn’t even mention is his fowl temper. That and the regurgitation.  And that pea-green vessel? My beautiful face was pea-green maybe, under my tabby stripes.

Moonlight, a wide sweep of sand, a small guitar – it was all very seductive, but it wasn’t long before fur and feathers flew.  So it was twit twoo, toodle-oo and he flitted with a fiver and the runcible spoon – the latter all my invention incidentally.

No use crying over spilt milk; plenty more fish in the sea. And I can always invite the registrar over for dinner.

M J Lewis 2016

Must be the silly season – still in holiday mood and enjoying the last of the summer days as September approaches.

Thanks to all who visit and to our Friday Fiction host, writer and artist Rochelle whose productivity is an inspiration. To sail away, for considerably less than a year and a day, to a land where the Story Tree grows click here. Thanks also to Georgia Koch for the photo.

And I’ve also added this link to Edward Lear’s poem and illustrations.

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