Another month of Zoom, although the fun of meeting in person is on the horizon for September.
The topic for June was ‘Flash Fiction’. Peter went through the rules with us and then set us all a task:
To write a story of 100 words – no longer and no shorter. The title does not count. It has to be about a WALK of some sort. Finished stories will be displayed on this page.
The Last Walk
The steel door clanged behind her; ahead, the walkway and the wooden steps ascending to the platform.
She hadn’t expected so many people. Her husband and her sister were in there somewhere; just that thought blocked out the baying voices.
A hand on her back pushed her forward, ‘Hold on to the rail as you climb.’
Frightened of stumbling she mounted the platform where a priest and the hangman waited.
‘Prayers can’t save me, thank you Sir.’
As the hood was placed over her head, she whispered, ‘Please tie my skirt. Don’t expose me to the crowd.’
(100 words excluding title.)
He had an empty bottle in one hand and held onto the wooden chair with the other. And there his trademark, lopsided grin, used to charm so many. When she caught his searching look towards her hiding place, she pressed her back against the door. Leave him to it.
She heard him calling for her and risked a glance. He was hands-free and swaying. Maybe, time to make an appearance.
She came in, dropped to her knees; arms outstretched. “Come on, Trouble, you can do it!”
The one-year-old made his first tentative steps across the room to his smiling mum.
(100 words – excluding title)
THE SHORT WALK
It was a life changing walk.
Tom’s shift had finished at midnight at the railway’s wartime ammunition sidings, and he was waiting for his train home at the unlit halt, tired and hungry, but happy.
His daughter was getting married in the morning, an excuse to empty his well stocked hip flask.
Then his train approached, and he automatically walked to the unpainted edge of the platform and took a step too far.
The locomotive cut off both legs.
He awoke in hospital with the overriding pain that he would not be able to walk his daughter down the aisle.
© Bob Reader June 2021
(100 words excluding title)
Encounter on the Bridge
Her dog ran ahead, barking. Then she saw a boy, perched on the bridge parapet, legs dangling.
‘You alright?’ She called.
He turned his head. ‘What the fuck do you want?’
‘Nothing. Just walking my dog.’
‘Well sod off.’
‘That water looks icy.’
‘So what?’ He shuffled forward, tottering on the edge.
She picked Toto up and moved closer. ‘She likes you. She’d love a cuddle.’
‘Very waggy tail,’ he said and swung his legs back over the parapet. He patted the dog.
‘Want to join us?’ she asked.
They crossed the bridge together and walked off down the path.
Karen was lost. She had set off early that morning and drove to a nearby secluded beauty spot. She felt weary, she had been walking for what seemed an eternity. She clutched her phone and packed lunch and continued. Her feet ached, her steps slow and heavy.
She looked around, she was surrounded by dense woodland. Her phone had no signal, she paused for rest. A twig snapped, then another.
‘Where’s my car? Where am I?
Her eyes darted from left to right. She began to move, which way to run? Rapid breathing, then a violent push. She wasn’t alone.
A Fun Walk
The walk had started well. June held Lisa’s hand, as they crossed the vast parkland. They paused to make daisy chains. Lisa pointed.
‘What’s that yellow thing Nana?’
‘A buttercup Lisa, it’s time, let’s go.’
Lisa didn’t move.
‘No, I’m staying here, I’m tired.’
June began to walk away.
‘Come on Lisa, be a good girl.’
Lisa closed her eyes tight.
‘Nana, I don’t like walks.’
‘Look here comes Daddy with Milly.’
Lisa sprang to her toes, running forward. She loved her small dog.
‘Hello Daddy I like walking, come on Nana, it’s time to go slow coach. Hurry up.’
Walking in the garden.
It’s hot. I’m weary. Maybe one last walk round the garden? Deckchair beckons.
Who’s this? It’s mum with the irises she rescued from the tip when I was five. Here comes Eric with my streptocarpus. Great Dad in law. There’s Alan with a basket of apples. Thanks Wingco. Sam’s brought me geraniums. Reminds us of Lake Maggiore. Paeony is looking good Sandra. Hope you are feeling better. Agapanthus from Ed and Tom. Thought you two had split. Ooh, lovely Catmint for my felines.
The sun has gone and I wake. Will I be remembered by my plants when I’m gone?
A gloomy evening as she slowly walked the dog along the usual woodland path. She was tired after celebrating her sixtieth birthday. Suddenly she heard heavy footsteps fast approaching. She glanced round. Recognition. She’d seen him following her suspiciously before when in town. Heart thudding, panic setting in. Too exhausted to run away. Nobody was around.
“Wanted to find you,” he panted. “Our gang killed your lad years ago. I served time. Came out clean thanks to social workers. Been straight for five years. Want to apologise to you as we shot the wrong guy!”
She gasped, collapsed and fainted.
Walk the Walk
“Come on kids,” she said cheerfully picking up the baby and strapping him into the battered pushchair. We’re off to the Food-bank.
“Wonder what they’ve got this week. What would you really like?” she asked six year old Sam.
Her life had changed dramatically when her partner had suddenly left after the birth of their fourth. No explanation. No trace of him. No income. Now totally dependent on the Welfare State and the local Foodbank. She needed milk, bread, eggs, potatoes, rice, pasta and desperately hoped for some fresh fruit and vegetables for the children. They all slowly traipsed out.
I have been sitting in my small study since dawn, working on my theories. My desk is covered with papers, calculations and ideas. It is getting hot in here now, I’ll have a short walk around the garden.
It is relaxing out here looking at the beautiful flowers and trees. It’s so inspiring seeing the growth of the fruit on the trees. How does a flower bloom? How does a fruit form? Would this knowledge help with my studies? Reaching the seat under the apple tree I sit down. The apples drop. Why? How? I shall have to find out.
I love Mummy really but behave much better with my other walkers.
Walking with Mummy, I like to stop, dig my heels in and pretend to faint.
Today she suddenly turned on me” You half witted lump. You bloody stupid creature, I’ll kill you”
My kind neighbour heard.
At lunch time, when I was enjoying my scrambled egg with cheese an RSPCA van pulled up outside my house, followed by a Police car.
Mummy was taken away in handcuffs. I was taken to a Place of Safety in a beautiful basket. I am to be adopted by kind dog lovers.
I am on the road to nowhere; don’t know when I’ll arrive. Is this a journey to a friends house, a walk in the park or is it a metaphorical walk through life, with its ups and downs and twists and turns? What awaits us around the next bend or over the next hill? Will life be kind or will fate deem the walk leads us down a cul- de-sac. A walk is a positive feature of our lives; a time for enjoying deep lungfuls of fresh air, feasting the senses on the sights and sounds of God’s back garden.
Game, set and match
Stella watched the woman get out of her car wearing the same striped summer dress.
It was another hour before Darren appeared. ‘Hectic day. Long committee meeting,’ he said.
He attempted to kiss her but Stella flinched.
‘Funny committee meeting – drinking prosecco and snogging her next door!’
You know I hate tennis, but it happened to be on when I was flicking through the channels. And there you were, right behind the umpire’s chair.’
She indicated the suitcase in the hall. ‘Take a walk, you bastard.’
Silently Darren accepted defeat. No one was clapping.
An Expensive Walk
They were enjoying their daily walk in the local park. Then out of nowhere a big fierce dog bounded towards them, he soon held their small dog’s ear tight in its strong jaws.
‘Andy, quick do something,’ she screamed.
Andy attempted to prise the dog’s jaws open, he stared at Alfie’s torn bloody ear, then grabbed him ready to run.
‘Where are we going? wait for me.’
‘We’re off to the vets.’
The arrogant dog’s owner appeared.
‘What’s Bruno done, what’s all the fuss?’
‘He’s attacked Alfie, will you pay the bill?
‘No, good luck at the vets,’ he grinned.
HIS LAST WALK
His lacerated feet and broken body carried His immovable load up through the steep, narrow streets to the Gate of Damascus, and on to Calvary, the hill on top of which His walk would end.
He lay down His load, and lay upon it.
Rusty Iron nails secured three prisoners to their own wooden crosses, and three strange trees were raised to the sky.
Those who loved them.
Those who derided them.
But He stayed silent.
A spear pierced His skin.
He drank vinegar.
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!”
© Bob Reader June 2021
(100 words excluding title)
Sitting on a pontoon on the happiest day of my life
Today I will achieve my goal after waiting so long.
Watching a boy playing with his smiling father on a hot day spent crabbing.
I close my eyes, as though meditating.
Suddenly, the boy throws his line into the waves and ‘forgets’ to let go.
Father dives in. No boy. Waves crash in. Sky goes dark. Panic.
Mother fumbles for mobile to ring for help.
Pandemonium. I sit motionless. Drinking in every moment, every emotion. Need to memorise everything for the future.
I made this happen.
I AM OMNIPOTENT!