Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve done Julia’s challenge, I’m a bit rusty.
This is what she has to say.
With November well on it’s way, we are seeing many celebrations – bonfire night, Remembrance / Veterans Day, Diwali and soon Thanksgiving. Picking up this theme the prompt for this week’s 100WCGU is a photo of a bush in my garden. For me it signifies the blazing light and colour of the season.
And the photo,
A Somme Rescue
Helen took some coffee to her brother as he worked in their mum’s garden.
‘David’, she shrieked at him, ‘what’ve you done? That was Granddad’s favourite shrub, he brought the cutting from that cemetery at the Somme. Mum’ll be heartbroken, stop.’
He brought the fork down hard on the exposed roots.
‘It’s dying’, he said, tossing the shrub in the wheelbarrow, ‘look in my boot.’
Six healthy young plants made her smile, ‘David you . . .’
‘Propagated enough to share with all the family, yes. Just in time, it wasn’t thriving, high PH.’
A small tear trickled down Helen’s cheek.
My first go at Julia’s prompt for ages, Freedom jumped out at me and my flash fiction wrote itself.
Far more subtle than physical abuse, more a creeping way he had of getting under my skin. He projected his own sick feelings of inadequacy that spread like a virus through any sense of self I possessed. He made me believe that I was useless, with no value or purpose at all.
How could I possibly help when he fell into the bowels of Hades Shaft, a disused mine, on Botley moor?
I’d shown him on the map, but he insisted he had the better sense of direction.
Then as the clouds lifted, I found my freedom and he’d met his maker.
Join in at https://jfb57.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week163/ if you ‘re quick before this weeks deadline!
She held his hand. He was conscious, sitting up and dressed.
‘How do you feel today son?’ she asked.
The young man looked at his mother with empty eyes, with no sign of recognition, totally unresponsive. Every day for fourteen, she had driven the fifty miles alone, not knowing what she would find in the critical care unit, where he recovered from a massive overdose.
She held it together until she left that day, to meet her friend.
Later, it was the smile on her friend’s face, so caring, that broke her. Two weeks’ worth of tears fell at once.
It’s been ages since I’ve entered Julia’s 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups, but this week with ‘the smile’ I just had to join in.
It’s also Julia’s 150th prompt, maybe some people have written 15000 words as a result! You can join in if you visit http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week150/
Friday October 10th is World Mental Health Day, the focus this year is schizophrenia. To learn more visit http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/world-mental-health-day/world-mental-health-day-2014/
Julia was a bit stuck or a prompt this week so she decided it would be, but what is the prompt? Here is my entry.
Philippa watched her rival adjust the jet black wig she wore for the role. Her role, the one she’d always dreamed of playing. Sybil gave her a snooty, sideways look, before the curtain parted. She took her place at the prow of the mock galleon in the centre of the stage and gathered her thoughts as a hush fell . . .
. . . and gathered her thoughts,
. . . but not her lines.
Philippa sucked in her cheeks as she watched Sybil’s discomfort grow.
‘But what is the prompt Philippa?’ whispered the stage director.
‘I wouldn’t need a prompt,’ she laughed as she walked away.
Julia took her husband for a birthday treat a few days ago and it brought back fifty year old memories, so her prompt this week is . . . it was fifty years ago.
Walking to way back when
The 4th year boys played ‘A Life on the Ocean Waves’, on assorted instruments and straggled around the grass, tripping over their feet as they concentrated on their fingers. Heavitree church bells chimed twice, signalling for the headmaster, Mr Knowles, to bellow,
‘Miss Rhiendorp’s girls, line up for the first race.’
I took the spoon, carefully balanced the egg and launched straight ahead. Lesley was right beside me, until she dropped her egg; Jane Sheldon dashed past, but fell over just before the end. I won!
It was fifty years ago, the sports field seems smaller now, I’ve walked its length in a flash of memory.
Go to http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week-136/ to join in!
Julia went around Ireland by horse and carriage last week and so her prompt for the 100 word challenge is ‘the white horses were galloping’
Here is my interpretation.
Circle of Shelter
‘We must reach the menhirs before that Mammatus cloud or we’ll die.’ The white horses were galloping as if they had the wings of Pegasus.
‘Eleanor, you surely don’t believe those druid myths?’
We ran like the wind and fell into the circle, as the first thunder clap sounded. The rain swirled, and lightning flashed, darkness descended, though it was barely noon. Surely the hand of some vengeful God.
We woke to find the horses nibbling the sparse moorland grass, like us, completely dry.
Everywhere outside the stone circle was flooded.
‘It’s no myth Gabriel, the beasts know the circle is shelter.’
I’m very late this week so the new challenge will be out tomorrow. If you would like to read the other entries visit http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week133/
Julia is expecting some sombre entries this week because her prompt is, …when the night demons visit… here is my entry.
Something’s moving in the grass by my feet. It stops for a few seconds and then sets off again. There is a sound, like an army of ants nibbling, every time it halts.
‘Fergus, did you hear that?’
‘Uh, go sleep,’ he groans in the sleeping bag beside me and turns over. On my own then. As I take my next breath my throat dries and closes over, I cough to clear it, and swallow the taste of sulphur. Raising my head an inch, I catch sight of the grass swirling.
When the night demons visit they ride on the back of a snake in the grass.
You can join in with a flash fiction at http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week-131/
I’m going to change the mood somewhat this week. It has been the Easter week-end and although it was not about chocolate, it has become a sweet-fest! So, the prompt is:
… but it has nuts in…
Of course I’m going to be rebellious so . . .
Walk for your treats
SX65378745 head south west, cross the clapper bridge on the North Teign River, a mile to the kissing gate. Follow the path west to a dry stone wall and then three stones from the top, eight from the triangular one you’ll find a map shoved in.
You’ll see that you must retrace your steps to the horizontal tree, the ground is boggy, take your boots off and wade through, then the hairy cows won’t follow you. See a standing stone that’s fallen? Put your hand in the mud and feel around. Got it? That’s your treasure box.
‘But it has nuts in it.’
Join in at http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week130/
Because we put our clocks forward last weekend Julia’s prompt is ‘time marches on’. Here is my entry.
She slithered under the metal bedstead. The object of her desire waited in the dark, dusty space in all its splendour. It had a picture of a dog, and a large winding tube, like a Sally Army trumpet, that she could fit her head into. What could it be she wondered?
‘Get out of there now you naughty girl, I told you not to touch that.’ Surprised, she banged her head on the diamond shaped mesh under the mattress.
That was sixty years ago, now she could plug a tiny gadget into her ears and listen to a thousand different songs. Time marches on.
If you’re really quick you can join in at http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week127/
Julia says, ‘The prompt this week is:
You can take it anywhere you like but only use 100 words.’
Here are mine.
The familiar smell of coach station enveloped me and I pressed my nose against the window hoping to see another self. Nothing. The little belly flutters shifted up a notch, more like a train in a tunnel now. I realised I had to move from my seat, I was last.
There were many black faces in Birmingham coach station, but one stood out.
‘Sis,’ said the big black bear as he wrapped me up. I felt shy as I raised my eyes to meet his, but there was the mirror I’d waited so long for, in the eyes of my newly found brother.