Landfall (flash fiction)

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Landfall by Bob Kehl

 

Landfall

 

They left the rowboats on the shoreline and then headed inland carrying chests laden with gold and jewels. Once Anne found a suitable spot she got the crew to start digging. Their last raid had been a surprisingly successful one. Anne thought it prudent they hide what they had taken for now. One day they would return for it.

 

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 59

This was written with the prompt seashore from Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #96.

 

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Kidds Treasure by Bob Kehl

 

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My Life In Darkness, part five (fiction)

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Previous episode

My Life In Darkness, part five

 

5. Journey Into Darkness

 

When I got back from lunch I saw that several boxes of books had arrived so I had to unpack, price, and then shelve them all. Every time I heard the door open I would quickly look in case it was Astrid, but there was still no sign of her. The ache in my neck gradually got more painful as the day went on. I was also beginning to feel slightly feverish. The afternoon dragged on. On Fridays Helen liked keeping the store open longer and I usually had to work till at least six pm, sometimes later. When six o’clock finally rolled around I couldn’t wait to leave and though I was ill Helen didn’t let me go until around seven. I thought I would go home, lie down, and relax to some music. I grabbed my bag and got ready to leave. Helen came up to me.

“You get plenty of rest this weekend; I’d hate to see you get sick. So don’t go out dancing with your friends or anything.” She said to me in her parental voice. She seriously had no conception of what my life was actually like.

I walked out the door and prepared myself for the walk home. I only got a few feet when I heard a car horn honking. There was Astrid’s Porsche only a few feet away from the shop. Astrid got out wearing sunglasses and smiling at me. She seemed to be radiant, almost glowing. I smiled back and walked up to her car, my heart racing again.

“Hi there!” she said. “I was going to come earlier but something came up. Do you want to go for a drive?”

“Sure, though I should probably get home soon. I haven’t been feeling well all day.” I replied. She looked concerned.

“That’s no good. Get in and I’ll take a look at you.” I smiled when she said that and got in to her car.

“So you’re a doctor as well?” I asked.

“No, but I know a few things.” She looked closely at me with a look of concern. “You don’t look that good.” She put her hand to my forehead. Her cold touch felt nice on my warm skin.

“I think I have a temperature and my neck really hurts.” I said.

“You are a bit warm.” Her cool fingers then explored my neck, touching the area where it hurt. Again her touch felt good when she touched the area. “Is this area stinging?”

“Yes. It has been all day.”

“It’s no problem. I’ve got something that should help.” She started rummaging around in her glove box and produced a metallic canister. She unscrewed it and poured a red liquid into the top which seemed to double as a shot glass. “Drink this.” She said.

“What is it?” I looked doubtful at it.

“It’s a medicinal tonic, of sorts. It’ll put some colour in your cheeks, I promise you.” She stared at me expectantly. I slowly took the canister top from her hands. I stared down at it and thought well here goes nothing. I knocked it back in one go. It had a very weird taste that almost made me retch. There seemed to be some alcohol in it, but there was another unknown flavour that I found distasteful.

“Make sure you keep it down yeh?” she said smiling at me.

“That was so awful.” I said still sorting out the mixture of flavours in my mouth.

“Well that’s medicine for you.” She started the car up. “And now we go for a drive.” We took off down the street.

“I’ve got the next two days off so I guess I can go for a little adventure.” I said.

“Good.”

“Where are we going?” I asked.

“Off into the country. We’ll know when we get there.” She replied enigmatically.

It had been a warm day and the evening seemed like it was going to be warm as well. On the horizon to the west I noticed there were dark clouds forming.

“So you said that you had kept mostly to yourself once you returned to Lawrence. That implies that you have maybe had an encounter while living here.” Astrid stated.

“Well yeah.” I replied surprised she had noticed that. “There’s a girl called Jess who I used to be at school with. One night I went to the bar she sometimes frequents and we shot pool all evening. The next thing I knew I was back at her place and she was going down on me. I stayed the night with her and then in the morning we went out for breakfast. After that I called and texted her but she never responded, she just ghosted me, which was disappointing at the time.” I told her.

“That’s a shame. Do you know why she never responded?”

“Well I can guess. When we were at school she had a girlfriend called Cindy. The two of them were inseparable. Like me, Cindy went off to live in the city after school finished and Jess is still madly in love with her and is always waiting for her to return. I guess she was feeling a bit lonely the night I was with her. I don’t think she would ever seriously date me.”

“Why not?” Astrid asked.

“Because Jess and Cindy weren’t really ever friends of mine. They were the only other lesbians I knew of growing up and they knew which way I swung, but they were never interested in talking to me or being friends. I was never part of their social circle.”

“Too bad. They missed getting to know an interesting person.” Astrid said as she smiled at me and gently stroking my hair. I smiled shyly back at her. “I can have a few words with Jess about how she hurt your feelings if you want.” I was quite surprised by her offer.

“Um, no that’s okay. I’m way over it now. But thanks for the offer.” I responded. Astrid looked at me seriously.

“Fine. But if you ever change your mind let me know.” She stated.

“Okay I will.” I replied. “I guess Cindy’s doing better in the city than I ever did.”

“Don’t ever compare your life with others. Everyone’s path through life is at their own pace.”

“Okay.” I answered not expecting that from her.

“Are you hungry? There’s a place that serves good food here. Or so I’m told.” She said. Once she mentioned food I noticed I was ravenous.

“Yeah that would be great.” I answered.

We had been traveling for over an hour now. The sun had set and it was beginning to darken. We had come to what looked to be a bar in a small town. There was a car park which already had a few cars there. The bar was a wooden building that had been painted white and had a few bushes growing around it. There was glowing sign in the window “BURGERS AND BEER”. How original, I thought. The car came to a stop. Astrid put her hand again on my forehead.

“See all is well!” she proclaimed. I had to admit I was feeling a lot better. My temperature had gone down and the stinging in my neck had disappeared. I also felt I had a lot more energy. When we got out of the car my vision was a lot sharper even though it was dark now, and I thought I could hear sounds with a lot more clarity. Maybe it was the effect of feeling feverish and unwell all day and suddenly feeling better, I reasoned. Or maybe it was due to what Astrid had given me. I hated to think what it was.

 

Next episode: The Bar

 

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My Life As A Mouse (flash fiction)

Cute Fur Rodent Mouse Nager Wood Mouse

My Life As A Mouse

 

Ever since a company began briefly downloading consciousness’s into other species the holiday industry has been transformed. Last year I spent two weeks swimming around the Pacific Ocean as a fish. When I returned to my usual body it felt strange for a while to have arms and legs again. This year I decided to be a mouse. I got some strange looks, but they’re quite cute. Though I did spend most of my time trying to find food. One time I saw some peanuts on the floor, as I scurried to them I didn’t even see the cat…

 

Joanne Fisher

 

This was written with the prompt mouse provided by the Carrot Ranch March 7 Flash Fiction Challenge.

 

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Life Drawing (flash fiction)

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Life Drawing

 

I had come to the Institute to investigate all the disappearances. For some reason a noticeable number of employees and visitors had been reported as missing after being seen in the building. Several colleagues were investigating the basement in case people were being trapped down there while I was assigned to check the upper floors. Checking all the security camera feeds yielded nothing. While it did confirm the known missing people had been in the Institute, it didn’t reveal what had happened to them. I resolved to check each room while talking to any staff I came across.

One of the rooms I checked had this kid who had drawn pictures of people on the wall facing the door. They smiled at me and I smiled back. They then raced to the wall with a crayon and started drawing a new picture. I wasn’t sure if they were allowed to do that, but it wasn’t really my place to do anything about it, so I let them be and continued on searching.

On the course of my investigations I suddenly blacked out. When I came to I saw the kid standing before me like a giant with a crayon in their hand. They smiled at me like they were pleased with what they saw. I couldn’t move and could only see the other side of the room which had a door, the same door I had looked through. I suddenly realised in my horror that I had become one of their drawings, like all the others before me.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

This was written with the photo prompt provided by Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge #253.

This was also heavily inspired by H.R.R. Gorman’s I’m Afraid Dave Can’t Let You Do That. Go read it.

 

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The Fantasy Art of Bob Kehl

And now for something completely different….

I recently stumbled across Bob Kehl’s fantasy art on a Twitter post when someone posted three of his pictures featuring female pirates. I was intrigued and looked for more of his work. So I thought I would show here a selection from what I found.

Websites you can view more his art are his website and his DeviantArt site.

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Black Heart Bela
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Pirate Haven Tortuga
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Assassins On The Roof
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Pyrate Blade Master
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The Navigator
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The Pirate Chronicler
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Water Sorceress
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Spirit of the Sea Witch cover
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Cutthroat Kaari Kalou
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Landfall

Anyway I hoped you liked seeing these.

 

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Sirens (poem)

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Ulysses and the Sirens by Herbert James Draper

 

Sirens

 

at night

when the

waves have

lulled me

asleep I

hear your

sweet voice

singing to

me giving

hope in

the darkness

luring me

ashore to

my doom

 

Joanne Fisher

 

On a side note, a couple of posts ago I achieved the milestone of 200 posts on this blog. Feeling a bit bored this afternoon I broke my first 200 posts down into categories:

Poems 65

Flash fiction 51

Articles 39

Serialised Fiction 25

Fiction 13

Recipes 4

Other 3

Poems include haiku, haibun, and sequences. Flash fiction includes all fiction I have written with the aid of prompts and can vary from 15 to 1000 words. Serialised fiction includes Durn, The Inquisitor, and the current My Life In Darkness. Fiction includes stories I’ve written without prompts. Early on in the blog I would post my own recipes, but the focus of the blog changed and I stopped doing that. I had my recipe for Gumbo all ready to go but I never published it…

 

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My Life In Darkness, part four (fiction)

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Previous episode

My Life In Darkness, part four

 

Episode Four: Lunch With A Friend

 

I dreamed of Astrid all night. It was as if she was there with me in my bed while I slept. I woke up to the alarm feeling more tired than when I went to bed, and my neck really hurt. I didn’t want to get out of bed or open my eyes. When I  finally opened them, my eyes were so unusually sensitive to the sunlight peeping through the windows I had to close them for a while. Whenever I moved my head I instantly felt a sharp pain in my neck. I wondered if I had been sleeping in the wrong position and put my neck out. I leisurely got out of bed and sat up for a while slowly opening my eyes again. The pain in my neck was on my right side. It definitely stung. Rubbing it didn’t seem to help and made it more painful. I stood up but felt a bit unsteady on my legs. I sat down again. This is great, I thought, I’ve just met someone new and I might be coming down with something. The fuzziness in my head didn’t seem to want to go away. It was weird. I got plenty of sleep last night, yet I was feeling more tired than usual.

I eventually stumbled to the shower. As the warm water cascaded over me I thought about the previous day and wondered what would happen. It would be nice to see her again, even though I wasn’t feeling my best today. It was my usual rotten luck… While showering I investigated the sore part of my neck with my fingers. There seemed to be two ridges or marks where it hurt. After I dried myself off and put on some clothes, I had a quick breakfast, and combed my hair.  Usually I tied my hair back into a ponytail, but today I didn’t bother, even though the late summer humidity was going to make my hair all frizzy. I looked so pale in the mirror. I collected my bag, made sure I had my phone (which no one ever rang anyway), and left the apartment.

I decided I would get a coffee on the way to work as it might help wake me up. It was a sunny morning and it was going to be another warm day. I had half-expected to see Astrid’s car waiting for me outside, but there was no sign of it. I headed off to work and stopped off at the café that Astrid and I went to the previous day and ordered a coffee to go. I liked to go there as the woman behind the counter was quite cute. She had long straight brown hair and piercing blue eyes. I liked chatting her up, even though I knew she had a boyfriend. Today I just ordered coffee and didn’t really talk to her. Part of me didn’t want to be disrespectful to Astrid, since it seemed we were beginning to date.

“Not talking to me today hun?” she asked. Today she was wearing some chunky gold earrings that made her look a bit like a pirate.

“Sorry I’m not feeling very talkative this morning” I replied.

“Well here’s your coffee” she said as she handed me it. “I hope it helps put some colour in your cheeks.”

“Ok thanks.” I took the cup.

“Ok. See ya hun!” she said with a warm smile. I left the café and walked the remaining block to work.

When I got to the store Helen gave me a surprised look and took me aside.

“You look so pale. Are you ill?” she asked in her concerned tone.

“I don’t know. I’m just feeling a bit off today, that’s all. I didn’t sleep that well.  I’ll be fine. At least I have the next two days off.” I replied. I didn’t tell her about the pain in my neck and thankfully my long hair helped hide the inflamed skin. My explanation seemed good enough for her, though she did keep an eye on me for the rest of the day. For some reason I was causing more disturbance to the radio than usual. I had to keep well away from it or it would be hit by static.

I hoped Astrid would come in to see me, but by lunch time there was still no sign of her. I started to feel anxious and thought about everything that happened last night. Did I do something wrong? I replayed all the events in my mind to make sure I didn’t somehow offend her or piss her off. Nothing sprang to mind.

I was just about to go on my break for lunch when Fuzz came into the store. Fuzz was in my class at school. His actual name is Tony but everyone calls him Fuzz as he always seems to have at least two days of stubble on his face. I don’t think anyone has ever seen him clean shaven in his adult life. He was one of the few people I stayed friends with when I left Lawrence. When I returned we began to hang out occasionally. I think he’s always had feelings for me, but as I’m only interested in other girls he’s learned to accept that. Sometimes we like to hang out in a bar and check out women together. His family is loaded. The Williams family were one of the founding families of our town and still have a lot of influence in it’s affairs. As Fuzz is openly bisexual, he’s the black sheep and lives in his own apartment rather than on the family estate. Despite that I think Helen secretly hopes one day I’ll come to my senses and start dating him. As if…

“Hi lovely. When’s your lunch break?” he asked me.

“Now” I said.

“Can I take you out for lunch then?”

“Sure!” I said with a smile.

“Gosh aren’t you Miss Popular at the moment with everyone taking you out!” Helen chimed in. Fuzz raised his eyebrows.

“Ooh have I missed something?” he asked excitedly.

“I went out for coffee with someone last night. I’ll explain later. Helen’s over-exaggerating as usual.” I said frowning at her. Helen ignored me.

We went to the café as it was close. We sat down at a table inside. Fuzz was looking at me with concern.

“You look like crap.” He said.

“Everyone’s been saying that to me today. I didn’t sleep well is all.” I took a bite of my sandwich. I was so hungry. Again I didn’t mention my sore neck.

“So… who did you go out with?” he asked interestedly as he stroked his stubble.

“Her name is Astrid. She has been coming to the store a lot recently. Yesterday she asked me out and we went for a coffee here.”

“Did it go well?”

“I think so. She drove me home. The weird thing is about a couple of hours later she turned up at my apartment with some food and then gave me a massage.” He looked at me oddly with raised eyebrows.

“Nice, but in a weird kind of way.” I nodded. “So what do you know about her?”

“Not a lot. She says she’s a photographer. She drives a black Porsche with tinted windows. She seems to be well off. She looks to be our age, but she says she’s older than she looks. Oh, and she’s originally from Norway.”  I continued eating my sandwich.

“You could finally marry into some money.” He said which made me giggle while I was eating so I had spit some of the food out. “Nice one Mel. Don’t eat like that in front of her or she’ll be running for the hills!”

“She just sat and watched me eat a whole lot of Chinese last night.”

“Well I wouldn’t want to spend an evening watching you eat, given your table manners, so she must really like you. Is she hot?”

“Long smooth straight blonde hair, pale skin, green eyes, about my weight. Nice long arms and legs. Very smooth skin. She’s got very cold hands though. She’s a really good kisser. I almost had an orgasm when she kissed me goodbye in her car. She just grabbed me and kissed me and the next thing I know her tongue was down my throat.” Tony shook his head when I said this. He was either trying to imagine it or trying to force the image out of his head.

“She seems a bit full on. Thanks for the image by the way. Just be a bit careful and don’t fall for her too quickly.” He advised. I nodded. “Maybe you should ask her more about her past?”

“That’s if I ever see her again.” I said dejectedly.

“Why do you say that?” he asked.

“I was hoping I would have seen her again by now.” As soon as I said that Fuzz laughed.

“It’s only been the morning so far. Maybe she’s busy taking photographs or something. Don’t worry I’m sure she’ll come to see her little princess soon.” He said.

“Maybe.” I offered. He just laughed and shook his head. “What?”

“You’re in love!”

“Am not!” I said

“Am too!” he replied. I just sighed and shook my head, and he continued laughing.

 

Next episode: Journey Into Darkness

 

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