Stories by Sarah

Unholy

The autumn chill descended over the town and with it came rot and ruin.  But not from above like the people expected. No, it came from below. 

They had dug the grave too shallow, and the evil sinews of his rotting muscle and bone seeped into the ground, anchoring itself deep within the soil. 

Every crop would fail. 

All the flowers would wilt. 

Grass would die and birds would no longer sing.

The trees would lose their leaves and not regrow them come spring. 

He had stained the cheeks of the earth as unholy ground.

The town; it was already dying too.

The seed of his devilishness would haunt them for decades to come. Though they had rid the town of his physical presence, his hellish influence would continue. He had kept his dying curse – You can never get rid of me…

By Sarah ©2017

Image credit Unsplash



Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday, October 13th, 2017 and Opposing Forces – 14 October 2017
Words: above and below; shallow and deep

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Stories by Sarah

Light Hearted

The bar was dark and dingy and she wondered for the hundredth time why she was here – the place hardly looked full of promising suitors.

But, she had chosen the venue for a reason and with an air of trepidation and excitement she flipped the switch and trialled her new matchmaking strategy.


She looked around nervously, and met the eye of a nice looking man who gave her a mischievous smile; flipped another switch and started to walk across the room towards her…


By Sarah ©2017
Prompt: Only 100 Words, Three Line Tales – Week 89

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Quagmire


Image credit Bryan Minear via Unsplash

She never saw the quicksand until it was too late, and now she was chest-deep.

She gasped as her head was sucked under – reaching out her hand, desperately hoping for someone to see her.

And as her fingertips slid under the slippery muck it only took a few seconds before the pond stilled and no trace of her could be seen at all.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Only 100 Words, Three Line Tales – Week 87

Month Of Mini Writing Challenges 2017, Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

The Castle

There once was a castle in the middle of a field. It loved being the centre of attention. The grass bowed to it in the breeze, and travellers were drawn to it, like a beacon. For many years it was so.

But slowly, a town began to spring up around the castle and the field disappeared. At first, the castle was glad for the company, but in time, the town became a city and the castle was swallowed up by the busy-ness around it. Sometimes, it would still catch a glimpse of travellers’ eyes, but now they hurried past in their vehicles. The castle felt sad that in the midst of such hustle, it could feel so lonely.

By Sarah ©2017



Prompt: Bikurgurl, 100 Word Wednesday, Week 38; and also Sammi Cox, A Month Of Mini Writing Challenges, Day 28
Task: Write a story in less than 100 words that opens with, “There once was a castle…”

Month Of Mini Writing Challenges 2017, Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

One Job

Author’s note: Sometimes my writing is based on my real life experiences. This is one of those stories and is an actual account of a costume I was responsible for, whilst working at an exclusive all girls college a few years ago. 

Oh, how I wish it were fiction…

The girls usually looked like seraphic supplicants, in their polished shoes, ecru stockings, petticoats and navy blue tunics. My job on the dramatic arts team, was to source a neutral, yet eye-catching costume for the production. I didn’t want to squander the funds, and bent over backwards to find a freely-licenced image and reasonably priced t-shirt manufacturer.

The free image and design on the front of the shirts – chosen due to the ‘caring for the environment’ theme of the production…
As I unpacked the boxes, I realised with alarm, the disastrous outcome of my work.
(However it did tickle the amusement of at least one stranger in the crowd, as 150 female students took their final bow, I could hear his guffaws from backstage…)

The unfortunate outcome once the shirt is worn. Especially by someone with breasts!
I had ONE job

By Sarah ©2017

* supplicant (noun) – A supplicant is a person who prays to God or respectfully asks an important person to help them or to give them something that they want very much.

^ seraphic (adjective) – characteristic of or resembling a seraph or seraphim|seraphim:an angelic being, regarded in traditional Christian angelology as belonging to the highest order of the ninefold celestial hierarchy, associated with light, ardor, and purity.

^^ ecru (adjective) – the light beige color of unbleached linen

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #173;

and also Sammi Cox, A Month Of Mini Writing Challenges, Day 25
Task: Write a story in 75 words or less about an encounter with a stranger.


Month Of Mini Writing Challenges 2017, Stories by Sarah

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, a girl opened a book, and began reading, ‘Once upon a time, a girl opened a book, and began reading’, “Once upon a time a girl…”

By Sarah ©2017

 

Prompt: Sammi Cox, A Month Of Mini Writing Challenges, Day 21
Task:Write a story in 25 words or less about a book.

Month Of Mini Writing Challenges 2017, Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Sea Break

The sand squishes beneath my toes. I feel the warmth of each grain. I inhale deeply and, simultaneously both smell and taste the salty air. I stretch my arms above my head and listen to the small waves lap against the shoreline. 

I open my eyes; sigh at the recreated memory, and get back to work.

By Sarah ©2017


Image credit By Sarah ©

Prompt: Sammi Cox, A Month Of Mini Writing Challenges, Day 17; Daily Post Daily Prompt, recreate
Task: Write a 50 word story on the theme of memory.

Stories by Sarah

Due Diligence


Image credit Izaak Standridge

The policemen lined the streets, fully kitted up in riot gear. The sun beat down on the officers, who were diligently waiting; sweating profusely under their heavy protective clothing. Anticipation filled the air and a small crowd of rubberneckers* had gathered.

The motorcade was late. 

Two officers, broke formation to see about the delay. Anticipation turned to disbelief as the two investigating officers informed their peers he had never left the house.

Intelligence had been wrong – the attack wasn’t to take place in the car, but in the cat. As he’d patted his beloved pet, the bomb had exploded them both…

By Sarah ©2017

* rubbernecker (noun) – an overly inquisitive person
Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rubberneck

Prompt: Bikurgurl, 100 Word Wednesday, Week 36

Stories by Sarah

In Miniature


Image credit Matt Palmer via Unsplash

He knew he’d seen something

As he pulled out his magnifying glass, and examined the sparkler more closely, he saw it again.

A world in miniature; and people with tiny hands waving, shimmering light; as they screamed, “Stop! You’re killing us!”


By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Only 100 Words, Three Line Tales – Week 85

Month Of Mini Writing Challenges 2017, Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

1976

“What a an eventful year it’s been,” Linda exclaimed to her husband Frank, as they waited for the New Year’s Eve fireworks.

“Agreed.” Frank replied, in Frank’s way.

“We’ve seen the 1st Mars landing; Fidel Castro become President of Cuba; and the Tangshan Earthquake, claim the largest loss of life from an earthquake in the 20th century. What a mixed bag!”

“Agreed.” Frank replied.

“But I don’t know about this Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs founding some ‘Apple’ Computer company in a garage! I can’t see that going anywhere!” Linda scoffed.

“Agreed.” Frank replied….

By Sarah ©2017


Prompt: Sammi Cox, A Month Of Mini Writing Challenges, Day 15
Task: Write a 50 word story set in the year you were born. You don’t have to declare what year that was 😉

Month Of Mini Writing Challenges 2017, Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Taking Hold

Half spluttering, half laughing, I emerged from under the wave. It had been a big one! I turned to see my husband successfully catching it all the way to shore. I gave him a thumbs up and looked for the next set, swelling further out to sea. 

It was a magical day for boogie boarding. The sun was warm, but not too hot. The water was clear cerulean blue. And most importantly, the tide was full on high. I spied a beauty rolling in and positioned my body ready. Kick, kick. Legs pumping and then elation, as I felt the lift of my board taking hold.

By Sarah ©2017


Image credit Jeremy Bishop

Prompt: Sammi Cox, A Month Of Mini Writing Challenges, Day 11
Task: Write a story in 100 words or less set in the ocean.

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Flood Zone


They’d been warned the house was in a flood zone when they’d purchased the property. The couple weren’t bothered though – the house was on stilts that kept it at least 10 metres off the ground.

They peered out the windows, hearts sinking as the water level continued to rise. The Beareau of Meterology predicted this would be the worst flood in 100 years. The couple had taken precautions – sealing the windows and doors with waterproof tape. But they knew that it wouldn’t be a matter of a few leaks; more likely engulfment of the entire home.

The flood’s peak was still six hours away. The husband and wife deliberated what to do. Evacuation was no longer an option, as the emergency services had told them yesterday.

“I’ve got the dinghy, maybe we can get out with that?” the man said.

She didn’t need to be asked twice. “I’ll pack a bag with some of our valuables.”

They launched the dinghy out the front door. Counting their blessings, the couple paddled for safety.

As they neared the banks they could feel the waves of a large marine vehicle coming up swiftly behind them. To their surprise, they were overtaken by their now floating house…

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt, launch; Sunday Photo Fiction, September 10th, 2017;

Stories by Sarah

Daddy’s Little Girl

Trigger warning – This story contains content about the rape of a minor, and suicide *

She stepped out into the bitter night air. The wind whipped her hair across her face, stinging her cheeks; much like the slap she’d received earlier had done. The rain beat down onto her bruised body and she shuddered at the thought of what she had to do.  She drew her baby closer to her breast.

She thought it might have been different, if she had given it time. That perhaps her family could have accepted it. But she realised sadly, that she should have known better, that no matter what, reputation and pride was more important to her father. It was inevitable that anything less would perforate her from him. She cringed as she recalled her mother’s weak, trembling figure standing dutifully by her father’s side. She remembered her vague hope that she might come to her rescue. Foolish! It all seemed so irrelevant now. They even said it was her fault; that she asked for it, but she couldn’t understand how a fifteen year old girl could possibly do that.

The rain grew heavier now and lightning streaked across the midnight sky, highlighting for a brief instant her ghost-like figure moving through the night. Her baby’s wail was one with the wind and she was tired. So tired.

How did it all start? She could barely remember and didn’t really want to. She had been sent away to boarding school, for a “life-changing Year 9 experience”. Boy were they right! she thought bitterly. From the first day she’d arrived, he had begun visiting her at night. She didn’t like what he did to her, and knew it must be wrong, because he threatened if she ever told anyone, he would kill her. She hated him so much and luckily, when his body was found, they had thought it was a suicide. But still, he had lived on – a new life created inside her.

The infant had no name. She resented it almost as much as she resented its father, but she acknowledged it wasn’t the baby’s fault. People in the town had looked upon her with such pity and disdain, that when she arrived at her parent’s doorstep, she should have expected their disgust too. At first, her mother just cried, while her father shouted names like “whore” and issued her the first of many blows. She smirked as she recalled that before that day, he’d always called her ‘daddy’s little girl’. He demanded that either, she leave or get rid of the child, proclaiming her “a disgrace to the family”. The decision wasn’t hard to make.

In a muted voice, her mother suggested the kindest way, and so the young girl kissed her baby goodbye. The wind howled through the trees and the water lashed against the banks of the river. She looked upwards into the rain and cried to God for forgiveness.

Then threw herself in.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix, 9 September 2017 – Same Same But Different
Synonyms used:
produce – create
puncture – perforate
smile – smirk
young – infant
difficult – hard 

Daily Post Daily Prompt, irrelevant,  sting,

Month Of Mini Writing Challenges 2017, Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

The New Job?

The interview had gone well and my references had been checked. My phone began to ring – it was them!

 I answered, unsure whether I felt hope or fear…

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Sammi Cox, A Month Of Mini Writing Challenges, Day 10
Task: Write a story in less than 30 words that includes the words: hope, fear, unsure.

Month Of Mini Writing Challenges 2017, Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

It Wasn’t Me

I entered the toilet cubicle and cringed. Someone had left behind brown offerings of what appeared to be a chilli or bean lunch. Holding my breath I reached for the flush, but to my horror, the water and contents began to rise. Oh no! I thought, praying for it to stop. Thankfully it ceased filling and I decided to use another toilet. I opened the door and apologetically said to the person waiting, “It wasn’t me!”

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Sammi Cox, A Month Of Mini Writing Challenges, Day 8
Task: Write a story in 75 words or less using the opening line, “It wasn’t me”.

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

City Cycle


Image credit Zachary Staines

It was bad enough these cyclists hogged the road, riding two, three or even four abreast! Sylvie thought, fuming. Now they’re hogging our car spaces too! 

She looked at the eight bicycles taking up two and a half perfectly useable spots; one of which should have been hers! Sylvie glanced through the window of Deja Brew and saw them – muscular thighs clad in Lycra, sporting an array of fluorescent jerseys up top, laughing and sipping on their lattes. 

Smiling, she executed her revenge, and began affixing the signs to their bikes:

“City Cycle – free bicycles for the community”


By Sarah ©2017


Prompt: Bikurgurl, 100 Word Wednesday – Week 35

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Tiny House


Prompt: Only 100 Words, Three Line Tales, Week 84

People had warned them the housing market in Sydney would be tight on their budget – even in the outer suburbs.

But the tiny house movement appealed to the couple, because of its affordability and the environmental aspects of leaving a minimal footprint. 

Disregarding the cynics, they paid $750,000 for their little ‘fixer upper’ and had already gotten to know their neighbours quite intimately…

By Sarah ©2017

Month Of Mini Writing Challenges 2017, Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Winning


Image credit Pixabay

I checked the winning numbers again. I couldn’t believe it! 

Then a wind gust whipped the piece of paper from my hands and carried it away.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt, believe; and Sammi Cox, A Month Of Mini Writing Challenges, Day 7
Task: Write a story in 25 words on the theme of changing fortunes.

Month Of Mini Writing Challenges 2017, Stories by Sarah

The Mosquito and The Spider


Image credit Pixabay 

One day a mosquito became ensnared in a web. The spider, placing one spindly leg after the other, eagerly stalked towards its helpless prey.

“Please don’t eat me,” pleaded the mosquito.

The spider laughed and replied, “Eat you? Don’t you know we spiders are unable to chew our food? No, I’m going to suck you up and drink your liquefied insides!”

The spider waggled his fangs and began to suck the mosquito through his short drinking straw mouth.

Once the lifeless mosquito was drained, the spider began to itch terribly from the inside out. He had forgotten that the enzymes inside the insect caused a terrible allergic reaction. He scratched and scratched until he too, was no more.

Moral – Beware those you think can be sucked dry; for they may have inside knowledge.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Sammi Cox, A Month Of Mini Writing Challenges, Day 5
Task: Write a fable (a story with a lesson in it) in 100 words or less.

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Bent Spoke

The place had an awesome vibe – hop plants peppered the corners; customers balanced on shiny keg stools; glossy wooden countertops supported the many pots and pints being consumed; and the large stainless steel features, including the fermentation vats, were impressive. It was certainly no dive, and I was happy my sister had suggested coming to Bent Spoke Brewery.

I hadn’t been out in Canberra for many years and the city’s sleepy bumpkin atmosphere of the ’90s had disappeared, replaced now, by a funky, vibrant scene. The ‘Brew Pub’ was located in Braddon, just around the corner from where I’d gone to high school. To say the least, the neighbourhood had changed a bit!

“What would you recommend?” I asked my sister, Claudia.

“They’re all pretty good,” she replied, “why not start with a tasting paddle and try a few first, before you buy a pot? It’s really cool, the paddles are made from parts of old bikes!”

I agreed with her recommendation, and went up the bar. It was quirkily decorated with bicycle paraphernalia and I hazarded a guess that the owners may be bicycle enthusiasts. I ordered a ‘Barley Griffin‘ for Claudia and six samples for myself. I cheekily had a sip of her beer before balancing the load, and walking back to our table. 

We sat and drank and chatted for a while. I was thoroughly enjoying my paddle of tasters, all of which were very high quality beers, but one alone, really stood out for me. The Crankshaft

Now, I am a huge IPA (India Pale Ale) fan at the best of times, but this was truly special. It had a floral nose, with hints of citrus and pine; it was medium bodied with a punch of hops and had a solid malt finish. It also had an alcohol content of 6.9%! Talk about cranking all right! 

“I think I’ll get a pot of this one,” I informed my sister, indicating the Crankshaft on the beer menu, with my finger.

“Yeah that one is really amazing, I’ll have one of those too please!” she declared.

I winked at her and sauntered up to the bar, confident in my choice. I returned with two pots of Crankshaft and let the molten amber liquid, tickle my tastebuds and warm my belly. We made mutual noises of appreciation and before we knew it, our glasses were drained and it was Claudia’s shout.

Well, let’s be honest here…you know how this ends – we’re Australian after all! ‘A couple of beers‘ spiralled into three, then four, then, who knows how many! The conversation became choppy and slurred. Memories, in parts, became a little misty. 

But one moment remained clear in my mind. I’d taken a brief spell to use the public conveniences. Unfortunately, these were located externally and only accessible by first, navigating a labyrinth of identical doors and bricked corridors. Getting there was not the issue, so much as finding my way back!

After a trial and error approach at opening several doors (one to a cleaner’s closet, one leading out to an alleyway, and one opening into another restaurant altogether) I saw the bicycle wheel I’d been looking for.

Aha! Success! I thought to myself triumphantly, and headed over to the door.

Now, I’m not exactly sure if I pushed, when I should have pulled; or pulled when I should have pushed; but instead of opening the door, I smacked face first into it! Pain shot through the cartilage of my nose and the wheel made a loud ‘clang’ as metal rattled against metal. The noise resounded around the alcove, until I reached out and steadied the wheel with my hand, at which point I felt warm, red drops falling onto my skin. I realised I had acquired a bloody nose, compliments of the spokes! Holding my hand up, to stop it from gushing, I raced back to the table where my bewildered sister was waiting and wondering:
a) why I’d been gone so long, and
b) how on earth I’d managed to get a blood nose!

Fishing out tissues from her handbag, she handed me a wad, and asked what happened. In a muffled, nasally voice I explained, and she, began to laugh.

“I think you need another beer!” she said, and headed for the bar.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: The Sunday Whirl, Wordle #315