Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not.

Posts Tagged ‘loss

OLWG #33&34 – The Concert

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I’m still catching up with the New, Unofficial Writer’s Guild prompts and posts. As Thom reminds us each week, practise makes perfect. I’m not happy with my vignette below – it’s too disjointed and jerky – so any constructive criticism on what to cut/ where to add etc, will be most gratefully received.

 

The Concert

Felix looked out disconsolately from the park bandstand. The mist hung mid-fall: the bottom three feet of air showed dewy grass and slick tarmac; above, the moisture swirled thick and grey. It looked more like smog, or the smoke of battle, than the sea mist Felix knew it to be. The salt pricked his skin and stung his eyes.

The fundraising concert, for returnee soldiers, had been planned for months. They had chosen an early summer’s day, betting on a dry, hopefully sunny, weekend. They thought they had accounted for all eventualities. They’d been wrong it seemed.

The town’s band had had to recruit new members following the outbreak of war, with men going off to fight and die. They had had to recruit when it was over too, as whole men didn’t return. Missing limbs and shattered minds did not pretty music make.

Ex-band members had been approached to share their favourite tunes for today’s event, to make them feel included despite their incapacity to take part. Felix hoped those who’d asked for music suggestions had been diplomatic. Felix’s deputy could be an insensitive fool and many were the complaints after Steven led band practice in Felix’s stead.

Their preparations might come to naught, as the landscape remained completely obscured, and no sightlines existed. But all around him Felix could hear them gathering; the dragging feet, the chesty coughs, of men both alive and dead moving slowly toward him. He too had gone to war, and come back physically unscathed. His scars lay deep, his fears for the future voiced only to those he still trusted with his life.

There was still time, he mused, turning away from the shadows to unpack his baton, and paint on the smile with which to greet the brave and foolhardy, the new and luckier older ones. The sun might burn through. She might yet be strong enough to warm the earth and banish the ghosts for another day.

 

 

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The prompts:

#33

  1. One of my favourites
  2. What could go wrong
  3. bandleader

#34 ghosts in the fields

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

The rules:

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

Have fun

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Written by Sarah Ann

January 29, 2018 at 3:29 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 19/1/18 – Indubitable

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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’m not at all sure about the below story. The idea is sound; I feel I failed in the execution as I’ve not had the time to edit I’d’ve liked. Critique away.

© J Hardy Carroll

 

Indubitable

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

Adele was born ten minutes before Sue.

They shared school, friends, clothes, growing pains, boyfriends.

Love and marriage divided them when job and husband took them to different ends of the country. Post and phone united them as they relayed new experiences in food and music. Some believed they communicated telepathically, which explained how Sue knew Adele was pregnant before she did.

Throughout life they found it almost impossible to argue, always knowing what the other thought and why.

Now, as Adele holds Sue’s hand, watching her fluttering eyelids, she wonders how she’ll survive when Sue’s chest ceases to rise.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

January 19, 2018 at 8:39 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 22/12/17 – The Crystal Caves

with 25 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.

Thank you to Rochelle for hosting and Björn for this week’s photo. Happy Christmas everyone. I will get round to reading and commenting, but imagine I’ll be even later than usual over the coming days….

 

 

The Crystal Caves

(Genre: you decide; 100-words)

‘Twas a spectacular sight: light shining, bouncing, dancing.

Health and safety dictated: Everyone entering the cavern must wear a hardhat.

Visitors were counted in and out by hats returned.

‘There are 15 missing this month,’ Sergei said.

‘We must stop people going in.’

‘We don’t advertise. I’ve taken the signposts down. Word about its beauty still spreads.’

‘We’ll close; lock the gates.’

‘People would break in, take souvenirs. It might take more of them.’

‘At least I wouldn’t know how many had gone.’

Erica finally understood her parents’ reluctance to expand the generations old family business, and mourned their disappearance.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

December 22, 2017 at 4:17 pm

OLWG #24 – George – #amwriting

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It’s prompt 24 for the New, Unofficial On-Line Writer’s Guild, and I played it safe this week with a 100-word cheery (?) tale. Somehow this week’s prompts felt as if they should stay together.

***

 

George

George slumps into his chair, head resting against an antimacassar thickened and stained with grease. The chair is an island in a sea of filth. The house hasn’t been cleaned since Maggie. There’s been no tidying, sweeping, or cooking. George moves about by sliding across the ever shifting rubbish strewn everywhere. Sometimes he’s sure it moves of its own accord. He doesn’t care.

There’s been no laughing since Maggie either. That he misses. The keen edge of his spirit was blunted by her passing.

Pills in hand, George cradles whiskey in a glass, his staple sustenance, and longs for release.

***

 

This week’s prompts are:

  1. Whiskey in a glass
  2. The keen edge
  3. Antimacassar

Use these prompts to write anything you like and would enjoy writing. Or ignore them and write whatever strikes your fancy. I like that idea too.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

November 16, 2017 at 4:04 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 8/9/17 – The Long and Winding Road

with 37 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.

My last Friday Fictioneers story in July took a song title for its title. On seeing this week’s prompt, I immediately thought to use another – all credit to the Beatles this time.

Having not written a word for over a month, I’m a little rusty, so criticise and comment away on the below.

With thanks to Rochelle for hosting and Danny Bowman for this week’s photo.

 

 

The Long and Winding Road

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

She stands by the grave alone, broken; then shuffles away.

They made a good second marriage: she looked after his children; he provided for them all. The sun shone. It wasn’t until the children made their own ways that the clouds gathered. Bitterness became blame, and blows rained.

At the lychgate she pauses, considers looking back, but fixes her gaze forwards and increases her pace.

He is buried beside the house, as dictated; his children’s house. She is leaving both. She has her life to live, desires to fulfil.

By the time she reaches the road, head high, she’s running.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

September 7, 2017 at 8:08 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 21/7/17 – Mothers’ Ruin

with 21 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’m very late to the party this week and have struggled with the below. I showed it to hubby who suggested a couple of minor changes. I don’t think either of us thinks this works. Perhaps I’m trying to squeeze too much in?

With thanks to Rochelle and Kent this week.

© Kent Bonham

 

Mothers’ Ruin

(Genre: general fiction: 100-words)

Sally smiled as she threw Rick her car keys. He was a sensible boy. It wasn’t his fault his parents had moved to the middle of nowhere during his first year at university. It was only fair they should lend him their car to go to see his friends in town.

Squeal, screech, thud.

That’ll be another bairn flattened, Irina thought, shuffling along. When would the young learn sense? How long before humans and hedgehogs lived in co-existence?

As the sun went down, Irina’s array all arrived home safely.

Less than a mile away, Sally’s cottage bathed in blue flashes.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

July 23, 2017 at 9:45 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 2/6/17 – Retrospective

with 24 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.

On seeing this week’s photo I knew immediately what I was going to write about, as the below stems from something that happened to a close friend. Unfortunately, work and travel have meant it’s taken me a while to get it down.

With thanks to Rochelle for hosting and Karuna for the photo.

 

© Karuna

Retrospective

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

I thought I’d outsmarted him.

Forty years on, I can’t remember why he did it.

I can feel my impotence, anger, sadness at watching my young life’s possessions go up in smoke. I stood rooted, fists clenched, chest tight, tears falling. In my head I asked why over and over, but said nothing. Father had explained the misdemeanour that caused my toys’ destruction. My psyche forgets.

Digging the foundations for a new extension, we unearthed the precious things I’d buried to keep from him. The past flooded back to taint the future.

But I will not let him win again.

 

 

Written by Sarah Ann

June 2, 2017 at 7:10 pm

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