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.

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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.

Things My Grandmother Taught Me

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Things My Grandmother Taught Me

Lavender sprouted from my Grandmother’s fingertips and lilac nodded around her backdoor.

‘Let us pray,’ she’d say as she knelt, trowel in hand. ‘Amen, and one for the squirrel,’ was my cue to heave her up. Once we tumbled right over, her stick-thin frame cushioned by my stocky little body.

Today I’ve brought all her favourites – purple crocuses, alliums, tulips. I stick the fork into the rich soil and she raps on the window.

‘Who the heck are you?’ she hollers across the lawn.

The best thing about spring bulbs – you can plant them in hope or despair; they’ll bloom anyway.

M J Lewis 2016

It’s Friday already so I’m late for Friday Fiction. Thanks as ever to our talented host Rochelle and to C. E. Ayr for the beautiful photo. For more prose, purple and otherwise, click here. 

Purple is one of my favourite garden colours, so my brain took me straight out into the garden. But hoping somebody writes, or has written, a story about the creation of Henry Perkin’s purple dye, Mauveine. If nobody’s done so, might have to do it myself. It did create a sensation at the time, not unlike a version of tulip fever.

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A Talented Generous Man

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A Talented Generous Man

Over canapés at my lover’s funeral, I met his wife. He’d played first violin to my cello. Our affair was the fiery passion to the soothing harmony of his marriage. An open secret in the orchestra – and she’d never even suspected.

‘So sad, ‘I said. ‘Such a talented generous man.’

She sighed. ‘That old excuse. You knew about his mistress? What a cliché – the local piano teacher.’ She met my frozen gaze. ‘Sorry, I’ve shocked you. The whole village knew – it was an open secret. I worked it out about nine years ago. See that sweet little girl over there?’

M J Lewis 2016

Whoops! Absent for a while from Friday Fiction and then I produce this sordid little piece. Or maybe it’s high camp – depends how you take it. The truth, the whole truth is sometimes not as lovely as we’d like.

Thanks as ever to our talented host Rochelle and to fellow Friday Fictioneer Bjorn Rudberg for the photo.

Sixties Childhood

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Sixties Childhood

I’m old enough to remember those callers to the house who have now disappeared – the knife-sharpening man, the fizzy-pop man. Mostly men it seems, though once a traveller-woman persuaded my mother to part with a lovely summer dress.

After the brooms-and-mops man had called my mother would give me the sweet little sample tins of polish and I’d buff up the miniature piano in my dolls house.

Oddly the sitting-room in my doll’s house– polished piano, too many pictures on the walls and a large clock, made out of an old watch– very much resembled my real sitting-room today.

M J Lewis 2016

Welcome to all who visit Friday Fiction and a particular thanks to those who stay to read and comment. Thanks as ever to our host, the writer and artist Rochelle and also to the Friday Fiction regular and writer, Claire Fuller who supplies the photo this week.

(Please note all Friday Fiction photos are copyright and should only be posted in conjunction with Friday Fiction or by permission of the photographer.)

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The Imposter

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The Imposter

I suspected my father was an imposter the day he accepted and smoked a cigarette. We were staying with distant cousins at their strange lakeside house. That my mother would behave differently was predictable – lipstick a deeper pink, laugh shrill. But my father.

Back home he still wore his old summer shirt, with the open weave that looked like a dish-cloth, but I kept vigil through eight-year-old eyes.

Later, at a faraway airport I watched as my new husband clasped my father’s limp old hand in easy greeting and realised that it was I, all along, who had been the imposter.

M J Lewis 2016

Welcome to all who visit Friday Fiction and a particular thanks to those who stay to read and comment. Thanks as ever to our host, the writer and artist Rochelle and also to the Friday Fiction regular, C.E.Ayr who supplies the photo this week.

(Please note all Friday Fiction photos are copyright and should only be posted in conjunction with Friday Fiction or by permission of the photographer.)

Data Retrieval

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Data Retrieval

Artefact MJL108F is obsolete and fragile, but is believed to be saturated with valuable data. It is therefore vital that retrieval precedes elimination. So far she has failed to cooperate.

‘Tell me about your last position.’

Before the Era of Adjustment MJL108F was a government Mathematician, but she usually rambles on about her garden and her grandchildren. Today she unrolls a tiny scroll of paper and runs her bony fingers over the strange symbols.

‘You will consent to the procedure?’

Her moist sparkling eyes meet mine.

‘No, but I’ll teach you. You strike me as a particularly persistent young woman.’

M J Lewis 2016

Welcome to all who visit Friday Fiction, hosted by the writer and artist Rochelle. Thanks to Amy Reese for the photo.To visit a shiny store of stories click here.