365 Ficlets – Day #40 ~ “Piper at the Gates of Dusk”

Jake leant back against the groyne and slipped his feet out of his shoes. He loved the feeling of the crushed shells that made up the beach under his feet. Hundreds of years of shellfish farming here had led to an entire beach made up of seashells.

The sun was sinking over the Isle, like a giant flaming orange that was slowly being lowered onto the land. There, in the quiet, Jake took out his pipe and began to play.

Sometimes when he went through this ritual, day trippers who had forgotten to leave earlier in the evening would stop and listen to him as he cast the melancholy laments of his own composition onto the offshore breeze, but not this evening. It had rained almost all day and the town had been spared the usual July influx of tourists and sun worshippers that would come from as far away as London to eat oysters and blister in the sun.

As he played, the sun continued to sink and all of his thoughts turned to Odette. The music came out of him as if it had its own anima and he felt at peace once more.

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365 Ficlets – Day #39 ~ “My Smile is my Make-up…”

Jo smiled at her, a mask of well meaning lies. The thing was that Jo was filled with jealousy and she did not know how she was going to cope with this situation, let alone all of the other ones that were to come.

She had never thought that Amy’s modelling would bother her. She had seen Amy’s portfolio, but they had been curled up on the sofa together, the morning after they had first made love. It was exciting to see these beautiful pictures of her new lover in all her glory. Now that she was here, a photographer and his assistant looking at her, and talking about how to make her look more sexy, and Amy taking delight in the process, the motives of the shoot and the result; it was a shock.

Men and women all over the world were going to see these pictures and be turned on by something that Jo felt should be for her alone. She knew that she had to get over this or hide it from Amy. Amy wanted to do this, loved doing this and she was so happy that Jo seemed so supportive, and Jo felt so lost and so scared.

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365 Ficlets – Day #38 ~ “Shooting Nerves”

Amy held her breath, trying to ignore the cold, rough floor against her shoulders and her buttocks. When she had seen the location she knew that the photos were going to be striking, but her heart had sunk a little when the impending discomfort had dawned on her in the next moment. Still she had sat in icy streams, even posed in the snow; these were not the most extreme conditions that she had endured. Her thoughts were interrupted by Darius;

“That’s fantastic, Amy, thanks so much. Why don’t you get up and get warm for five to ten? John’s got a brew for you, and I’ll get the lights set up for the next shot.”

She had never worked with Darius before, but she liked the work he had sent her and the general buzz amongst the other models she knew was that he was respectful and yet a fun guy. She shrugged on the robe that John brought over to her, with a mug of tea, and quickly flashed a look at Jo; she was smiling at her, and that felt good. She was glad to have brought her; her support in this meant the world.

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365 Ficlets – Day #37 ~ “Dead Bang”

Tom steadied himself again and went back to thinking about his breathing. In is down, out is up. In is down, out is up. On the third cycle, as the sight was in place he held his breath and gently began to squeeze the trigger. Bang! Immediately afterwards he heard the clang of the plate target; another good hit. Time to move.

The searching group were only ten metres to his left as he slid away into the longer grass towards the third hide point he had scouted on the walkthrough before. All of the aspirant snipers had to find their own hides and their own routes between them before the test. It was as important a part of their skillset as actually being able to make the shot, if not more important. A good scout sniper can enter a forward position, kill the enemy and then leave, unmolested, ready to do so again the next day, and the next.

They never even saw him, and now he was in position again. He checked the wind, using the pennants on the radio antennae, adjusted his scope, in and out and hold and squeeze.

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365 Ficlets – Day #36 ~ “The Blame Game”

I looked down at her in that bed, connected to machines that beep and breathe and tell the doctors what they call ‘her vitals’; “I put her there” is all that I could think.

If only I had been more careful, if only I had been paying more attention, if…

I felt Louise’s arm around my shoulder and she squeezed me in that way that says “it’s ok, I’m here”. I let my head fall onto her shoulder and closed my eyes, hoping that I would wake from this horrible nightmare when I opened them again.

She led me out into the corridor and sat me down on one of those moulded plastic chairs designed for ease of storage and economy of production as the important driving forces; comfort being almost ignored. A hot, black coffee appeared in my hands, and then she sat beside me and locked her eyes onto my face.

“My daughter would never blame you for this, and I don’t either, so please stop blaming yourself. It was an accident; no blame.”

I wanted to believe her, but my Sara was almost dead, and I was not, and I was driving.

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365 Ficlets – Day #35 ~ “The Bargain”

Robin licked his lips and then ran the tip of his tongue along his teeth, enjoying the sensation of their slight sharpness. He turned to his guest;

“So you would like me to help you with this… problem? I am amused that you would come to me for assistance in this Rodrigo; surely our blood has been in conflict too long for your pride to stand it.”

Rodrigo showed no weakness in his face, but Robin could see the indecision behind his eyes; the desire to simply get up and leave rather than dance with him.

“You know that there is no way my family can deal with this slight; your brother has long been protected by those even more powerful than you.”

Robin nodded and decided that his old rival was probably prepared to offer almost anything to get his daughter back. Besides, Robin had no love for his brother and to see the Queen’s champion brought low would amuse him no end, as well as settle an old, old score.

“You know what I desire, my old enemy. Pay that and I will bring Persephone to you within one week.”

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365 Ficlets – Day #34 ~ “B.A.S.E.”

Leland paused on the edge, enjoying the suspense that he was prompting in the people behind the fence. He knew that there were some people who would never understand why he was about to throw himself off a cliff, but he also believed that a lot of those ‘safe’ behind the fence would want to jump as much as he did, if they could.

He looked down, checking that he had remembered the launch point correctly; that the landing was in the same state as when he had visited in advance. All was as he remembered it. He took three large strides back and looked around; people were starting to pull out cell phones. He needed to get on and jump before the Police showed.

He took a deep breath and launched into a run, and then he was free. For just a second he was flying, his forward momentum carrying him away from the cliff and staving off gravity. He tucked up as he began to fall, turned a triple, and then opened up, arms and legs outstretched, as he pulled his chute. Hanging there he was at peace, surrounded by silence.

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365 Ficlets – Day #33 ~ “Anticipation”

Nicola smiled a private little smile as she re-read the last sentence of the email;

“When I see you, I am going to kiss you; you can stop me if you want to, but if you don’t I will keep kissing you until we have to stop for food, sleep or both.”

He was very sure of himself, she thought. Still she knew that he had every reason to be; every time she read that sentence she could feel her whole body answering him. She found herself not only imagining the kiss, but what would come after if she had her way. She would lean back against the wall and push his head down between her legs. If that was the kind of thing that he liked then she was not going to deny him anything else; he could ask her for anything and she would be glad to give it to him. She already knew that she wanted him. She already knew that in a relatively short period of time that she could love him. Now she needed to be reassured that there was no selfishness in him as a lover and then the spell would be complete. It promised to be a good weekend.

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365 Ficlets – Day #32 ~ “Southbound on the Bakerloo”

Serena looked at him again out of the corner of her eye. He was looking straight ahead, lost in his music, now that he’d said hello. She turned her head and looked at him. She had felt his eyes upon her, day in, day out, until he had noticed her ring and then he had not really looked again. It was rare in her experience for a man to be so respectful of her status.

He was nothing special to look at. Overweight, scruffy looking, long hair and a beard that were clearly personal choices, rather than the best use of his features. She was intrigued by his reasons for standing to her left every morning, and always acknowledging her, rather than treating her like a ghost as most passengers did. She made an announcement and then resolved to watch him for a clue.

As the train came to a stop she realised that there was a door that was almost always just a person’s width to her left; she always stood on the same mark. He did not look back, just boarded the train; he was saying ‘morning’ to be polite, nothing more.

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365 Ficlets – Day #31 ~ “Last Stop”

Walter stared at the simple metal table in front of him. He had wondered when he first came into the room why they would have a table made of metal in there, but then he saw that it was bolted to the floor, and then they shackeld him to it with the handcuffs and it all became clear. Wooden tables are easier to smash than metal ones.

He flipped through the typed statement that had been left in front of him; they had been smart enough to secure his left hand, leaving him his right hand to write with. Stupid pigs – they never even asked if he was right-handed. Still he was not going to sign this fiction, so it really did not matter. They had left him some smokes and a coffee, so he lit one up and settled back to try and enjoy his alone time; it would not be long now. He drew in a large lungful of smoke and gave the customary, defiant eye-fuck to the one-way glass mirror that the detectives were hiding behind.

He heard the commotion start as he was dimping out the cigarette; clearly James was here. Time to die.

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