Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

#FridayFictioneers – 31/8/18 – Apple Pie

with 32 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.

When I saw this week’s prompt my immediate thought was seeing things from a different angle. I feel the below is far too ‘tell’ rather than ‘show’ so would welcome advice on improvement.

I actually wrote this Thursday but have been unable to post thanks to connection problems. Apologies for reading and commenting late in advance.

Thank you Rochelle and Nathan for this week’s great photo.

 

© Nathan Sowers

 

Apple Pie

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

Seen from the outside they were the perfect family – mum, dad, 2.4 children, as the eldest, Owen, carried more round his middle than he should.

Keith and Sally taught in the same school; held barbeques on summer weekends for the neighbours; volunteered at all the school fetes. The kids were well behaved, did well in their own schools, were polite to everyone, and didn’t hang around on street corners with their peers.

Candy was a clumsy tomboy who often sported bruises. Owen had an underactive thyroid. Sally was shy.

Seen from the inside, living with Keith’s unbridled temper was hell.

 

 

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OLWG#64&65 – Afternoon Stroll

with 4 comments

I struggled for a long time staring at last week’s New Unofficial On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts and got nowhere. Then I looked at this week’s and had a way in to the characters in the story below.

Thank you Thom for being patient with me again.

 

Afternoon Stroll

Brains and Darlene, lifelong friends and members of the local painting group, are chatting as they walk to class.

‘It’s true what they say, you never know who your friends are until it’s important.’

‘Brains, what are you muttering about?’

‘I don’t know who you are anymore, Darlene.’

‘Just because I confessed I don’t like the Beats.’

‘Just because – ’

‘It’s ancient history, Brains. They are ancient history. And weren’t they just a little bit over-rated; establishment boys with contacts?’

‘Over-rated? Establishment? I – I – ’

‘Oh stop being so melodramatic.’

‘But I’ve known you since high school and now it seems like I’ve never known you.’

‘Brains, with all your brains, I thought you would have known we are not set forever. Our brains are fluid and malleable until the age of 24. And hell, I never liked the beat poets when we were in school. I didn’t get poetry. And it isn’t something I’ve grown to love. Unlike blue cheese. I didn’t like that in school, but I can’t get enough of it now.’

‘You’re comparing Kerouac and Burroughs to cheese.’

‘Nope. But if that helps you understand, go for it.’

‘You know, Darlene, in the desert, no one can hear you scream?’

‘Who you quoting now? You know I don’t remember anything apart from telephone numbers and cake recipes. It’s the differences between us that make us interesting to each other. The differences are why we’re friends, and have been the last 30-years.’

‘Brains, will you stop staring at me like I’ve gone mad, or you have. We disagree on one thing, about some measly unimportant writing. We agree on a lot more, like Mrs. Hogan’s flapjacks are the best whatever Lavinia says. And we agree that the jumped-up director of last year’s Christmas show did nothing to promote the underdeveloped characters on the stage.’

‘Okay, I’ll give you that, but honestly, Darlene, you don’t like Ginsberg and Snyder and Corso?

‘Nope. But you and I both know Elizabeth Fratelli’s rendering of sunflowers looks like a bowl of custard, and Miriam Cole’s watercolour of the playground looks like it was done by a kid rather than being a picture of kids.’

‘She said, if she squinted, ‘just so’ you could make out every house in the village in that painting.’

‘Her ‘just so’s’ really get me down. I don’t believe a word that woman says anymore. She said if I added vanilla one drop at a time ‘just so’ to my scone mix, it would cook better than ever.’

‘Did it?’

‘Those were the biscuits you had last week, Brains.’

‘Oh.’

‘I think ‘oh’ about covers it. Damn I’ve just remembered, Mrs. Hogan is away this week.’

‘No flapjacks.’

‘Exactly.’

‘Shall we delay our arrival and pop into Munchkins?’

‘Just what I was thinking. Which just goes to show.’

‘What?’

‘That we know each other really well. And that this beat thing is just something best forgotten.’

‘Go easy with that, Darlene.’

‘I don’t mean you need to forget your poetical heroes, or whatever they are. I just mean we don’t need to talk, or argue, about them again. It’s much more fun when we agree to bitch about Lavinia’s awful taste in smock-skirt combinations.’

‘That it is. That it is.’

‘So, what you planning on getting in Munchkins? Flapjack? Cupcake? Iced bun?’

‘Cinnamon whorl.’

‘Really, Brains? I mean really.’

‘It’s true what you said earlier, Brains. Sometimes you never really do know your friends.’

 


#64 prompts were:

  1. beat poets
  2. go easy with that, Darlene
  3. in the desert

#65 prompts are:

  1. you never know who your friends are
  2. if she squinted, just so,
  3. the underdeveloped characters

 

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

 

Written by Sarah Ann

August 30, 2018 at 7:42 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 24/8/18 – Codicil

with 40 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.

I have been working through the Open University’s free Write What You Know course this week and been encouraged to keep a notebook. As I looked at this week’s prompt I saw each of the lanterns as a beginning, the germ of an idea.

Obviously the below story is not autobiography, and I have an idea of the character writing, but who do you imagine behind this voice?

Thank you to Rochelle for hosting and Carla for this weeks photo.

 

© Carla Bicomong

 

Codicil

(Genre: literary fiction; 100-words)

My doctors say I have weeks, so I’ve burnt my notebooks – to protect characters I created, to preserve stories I might have told. Some will say it’s selfish, but are the everyday observations of an author that important? Just because I once jotted of toast-rack clouds stacked in a marmalade sky doesn’t mean it has to be read. For then it is defined forever. It cannot be unseen or something another observes and records for the first time.

Not that I need explain, I’ve destroyed my rambling perceptions of the world so others might experience things anew, and for themselves.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

August 24, 2018 at 10:15 am

#FridayFictioneers – 17/8/18 – Spot It, Gotcha

with 27 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.

This week’s prompt had me thinking of before and after photos, once grand houses falling into disrepair, and then I returned to observing differences.

Thank you to Rochelle and Yvette for this week’s photo.

 

© Yvette Prior

 

Spot It, Gotcha

(Genre: crime fiction; 100-words)

As a child I played spot the difference and achieved perfect scores in seconds. I moved from pictures to words, found fault in text and layout, and lost the joy of reading. With film I was a continuity assistant’s nightmare, and frequently frustrated.

I watch moving pictures all day now, observe crimes play out and track perpetrators in masks and hoods. Their eyes betray them, their shape and slant. Sometimes an earlobe, the position of a mole. I follow until the boasting phone call; the satellites triangulate; provide a home address. Police arrest, take photos. I play spot the similarity.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

August 17, 2018 at 1:17 pm

OLWG#63 – Morning Misunderstanding

with 8 comments

Please find below a short story as my response to this weeks New Unofficial On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts. I’m not sure the title of my short story fits, and I wish I had more than 25-minutes to develop these characters. I’m intrigued to know what Spencer has done so may have to work with him again.

Thank you Thom for the prompts.

 

Morning Misunderstanding

Maisie Grainger spots a young man she hasn’t seen in the district for a while.

‘Good morning Spencer. You’re up and out early.’

‘Yeah. Got things to do.’

‘You out running before breakfast?’

‘You know me, Mrs. G. I’m always on the run. I’ve just got to pick up a few things.’

‘You’re such a good boy. I was talking to your mother just the other day and she was telling me how you’ve been away doing good things. Africa was it?’

‘Something like that. Look I –’

‘Oh don’t let me keep you. Me and my gassing. I just wanted to let you know how much we all think of you. Keep up the good work.’

 

Spencer watches Mrs. G toddle towards the newsagents. His energies drain, shoulders relax. He looks at Mrs. G’s house, full of riches he knows having been spoiled there as a child with ginger cake and home made strawberry ice-cream. He looks at her retreating back and knows he can’t do it.

He was only supposed fly in, say hello Mum, and be off again before they started looking for him. But Mum had insisted he stop the night. ‘It’s years since I’ve had you under my roof. You know how much I love to watch the way you sleep.’

And he had given in, because that’s what good boys do. But she hadn’t had any money to give him so he’d scoured his memory banks wondering where he might gain enough funds for the next leg of his adventure. If only Mrs. G. had still been in bed, he’d have been able to creep in and take the silver tazza her husband got as a retirement gift. But she’d been up and she’d treated him nicely, dammit.

Time to say goodbye to Mum and head-off before the wooden-tops arrived and carted him away yet again.

 


This week’s prompts are:

  1. you’re early
  2. always on the run
  3. the way you sleep

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

Written by Sarah Ann

August 16, 2018 at 6:49 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 10/8/18 – In Plain Sight

with 28 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.

I looked at this week’s prompt and wrote a story, which was pants, and then wrote a second, which I would have loved to have re-edited. I’m sure the below has many holes – let me know.

Thank you to Rochelle and Ronda for this week’s photo.

 

Ronda Del Boccio

In Plain Sight

(Genre: general fiction?; 100-words)

I’m a killer queen, I sing at the top of my voice. Not that I need to draw attention. I come from central casting of the Village People: leather waistcoat, shorts, cocked hat. I dress to fuel the stereotype. People look at me as we cross paths, but they do not see, disregard my bulging groin.

On a busy city street preparing for a ceremonial parade I add colour, an incidental to talk about if they don’t observe the main attraction. The singing poof fondling himself in the street. Never the assassin reaching for a weapon. Never the queen killer.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

August 10, 2018 at 10:09 pm

OLWG#62 – 100-word stories

with 5 comments

For this week’s New Unofficial On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts I’ve gone with the tried and tested and written 100-word stories to each prompt.

Thank you Thom for the fun 🙂

 

Mad Jack

Sylvia arrived at her brother’s house expecting to go to lunch to celebrate his birthday. The door was opened by his flatmate.

‘Jack’s gone to Brighton to play Jacks.’

‘What?’

‘There’s currently an international Jacks’ competition on there.’

‘And?’

‘He’s a champion.’

‘Jack told you that?’

‘Yeah.’

‘Do you believe everything he tells you?’

The flatmate shrugged. ‘Don’t you?’

‘I’m his sister. What do you think?’

‘He said they used to play Jacks in Egypt with a wooden ball and the toe bones of sheep.’

‘Yeah, I read that online too. But then I was expecting a good lunch today.’

 

Conversation In the Piazza

‘What’re you lookin’ at?’

‘You.’

‘Why?’

‘Can’t I?’

‘You’re obviously physically able to. I asked why?’

‘I don’t suppose saying you’re an attractive woman is the right answer.’

‘Is there a right answer?’

‘There must be something you want to hear.’

‘Only ever the truth. I am tired of people second-guessing what they should say. What happened to answering a straight question with an honest answer?’

‘People got hurt.’

‘Lies hurt more.’

‘You’ve been hurt before?’

‘You have to ask?’

‘I’m looking at you because you’ve a very attractive female figure.’

‘You’re a very perceptive and gracious pigeon. Thank you.’

 

Childhood Reflections

Grandpa and grandma were the best. Most kids say that I’m sure, but mine truly were wonderful. Gran baked constantly. I would wake or go abed to the smells of scorching butter and sugar. I use her recipes daily. Grandpa taught my sister and I how to turn wood, to work with the beauty of grain. I learnt everything from him and so became the cabinetmaker I am.

But every perfect carpet has a flaw. They taught us to fear the dark, with vivid, arresting stories of bogeymen, phantoms and ghouls.

I’m 47 and still sleep with the light on.

 


This week’s prompts are:

  1. Jacks
  2. what’re you lookin’ at?
  3. they taught us to fear the dark

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

 

Written by Sarah Ann

August 9, 2018 at 10:20 pm

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