Tapestry

Horatio Smith spends every day telling fibs. This habit is woven throughout the fabric of his days, weeks and months just as threads in a tapestry form a picture. Indeed, if you follow each of the stories Horatio tells, it will tell you a great deal about the man who lives in the attic in the house at the end of the street.

We don’t have time to unravel the entire warp and weft of his fabrications today. No. Horatio is in a great hurry, which is unusual for him. A man who is six feet tall and spindly is not built for speed. He is designed for lounging, for unfolding himself gently and deliberately from his old wing-backed chair, which is positioned just so to the left of his fireplace. In his fertile imagination, the grate burns merrily with logs that have been gathered from a nearby wood and seasoned to perfection. In reality, a two-bar electric fire takes pride of place in the Victorian grate, its electric cord snaking around the chimney breast to a socket which is fixed slightly askew to the plaster-clad wall. Oh, and by the way, there is no ‘nearby wood’. If you peer out of Horatio’s grimy dormer window, all you can see for miles are rooftops. His is not a rural retreat. Continue reading “Tapestry”

Suspended – Friday Fictioneers

Here is this week’s entry into the weekly challenge brought to us by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Here are the rules: Use the photo as inspiration, write a hundred(ish) words – and share! Here goes this week’s – and I welcome your comments again!

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Copyright - Janet Webb

Copyright – Janet Webb

Suspended

The boy tugs his mother’s sleeve, demanding attention.

“Mom! Look at the lady!”

“Hush, Ryan – oh!”

Claire picks up her son, pressing his face into her neck, trying to protect him, yet unable to tear her own gaze away from the horror above.

The woman in the red dress is suspended from the fire escape, arm muscles straining, fingertips loosening, loosening…

“Aieeeeeee!!!”

The scream resonates, bouncing off buildings.

Claire squeezes her eyes shut, wants to block her ears, holds her little boy closer, closer, waiting for the inevitable thud.

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“And… Cut! That’s a wrap! Great job everyone!”

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Click the blue froggy to read other writers’ offerings – and enjoy!



The fabric of this land

Old mine workings near Pontrhydygroes, Ceredigion - copyright Freya The Writer

Old mine workings near Pontrhydygroes, Ceredigion – copyright Freya The Writer

Touch the walls, feel the past reach out to you. Push away the stone, the plaster, the layers of paper upon paper and molecules of paint. Hear the voices rise from the earth, seeping between flagstones, carried on the air, drifting through the sightless windows. Feel the door’s rough grain, its paint bleached and crackled by the elements, year after year.

Step back, take it all in.

The mountains, bleak and sparse, each tree a skeletal surprise, a victory against the wind, the rain and unforgiving sun.  Notice how, at one side, the roof has triumphed over the elements, sheltered by the nearby slope. Here, a solitary sheep nestles, chewing the grass, untroubled by the wind. Turn your gaze back to the roof, see the sudden break in its spine, slates snapped, shattered and tossed to the ground. Like the broken ribs of a long dead animal, the rafters are exposed, silvered by the biting wind.

Now look away. Look out into the distance.

Tear up your romantic notions of this country idyll. The industrial roots of this land burrow deep into the earth. Still your thoughts long enough to hear them skulking and slithering, grasping hold of the boulders beneath your feet. They will not be silenced – they refuse to hide. See the heaps of spoil, punctured by wooden pilings, markers of tunnels and structures abandoned long ago. Open your eyes and heart to the rusted iron carcasses resting, now dormant as the streams continue roaring ceaselessly in the valley below.

Here broods an industrial land, exhumed by man’s hand.

Here is a land of secrets, laid bare if you care to look.