Under Pressure – Daily Prompt

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You could tell, just by looking at them that they were all of the same bloodline.Same open expression, same physique, same tilt of the head when listening with undivided attention. You could be forgiven for thinking that they weren’t quite human, really. Someone, somewhere, had possessed incredibly strong genes.

So, time passed and everyone knew what to expect of the Meyers. You’d met one, you’d met them all, so it was said. It almost became folklore, that saying.

But then, then The Tragedy happened. And then, then their individuality was revealed in all its, well, unique glory, despite the circumstances.

Mother was a rock. She was the one they all turned to, the one they leaned on, the one that remained calm in the face of unspeakable horror.

Father broke. He wouldn’t, or couldn’t stop telling everyone how horrible everything was, how they would never recover, how he couldn’t see a way back from the edge. In short, he just wouldn’t shut up.

Granny remained in her rocking chair, demanding tea and toast and a drop of sherry in the evening as if nothing had changed. To be fair, she was as deaf as a post and impervious, so for her, nothing had changed really.

The Children, normally squabbling over the slightest perceived wrong, united, held fast to and supported one another as if sensing that they were stronger together. As a unit, they kept away from Father, not wanting his instability to puncture their carefully crafted strength.

And Sister? Oh she was the sly, crafty one in all of this. Like Janus, she had two faces, the dutiful daughter to all intents and purposes when she was being watched. At nightfall, under cover of streets as mute and dark as the dead, she would slip out and take her chances with anyone that would give her the glad eye, young or old, man or woman. This was freedom and she feasted on it.

The Meyers? Each as individual as the flakes of snow settling on this iron earth. Don’t underestimate them. Especially Father. I don’t think he’s as cracked as he likes you to think.

Survival of the fittest, right?


Here’s my entry into the latest WordPress Daily Prompt – today’s word is Diverse. Please do check in here to read other entries – why not take part?

The image above is of an art installation in the Memory Void (one of the empty spaces in the Libeskind Buiding at the Berlin Jewish Museum). The installation was created by Menashe Kadishman and is called ‘Shalechet’ (Fallen Leaves). The steel faces (more than 10,000) are a memorial to the Shoah (Holocaust) and completely cover the ground. Visitors are asked to walk on the faces creating an eerie clanking sound.

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Liz, who reviews books, considers herself to be a plain woman. Not ugly, not even mousey, just not pretty, and certainly not striking. She is unremarkable in every way. Except… the books that she reviews are what, back in the day, Uncle Joe would refer to as bodice rippers, whilst winking in that oily way of his and digging her in her teenage ribs, revelling in the red heat that would rise on her cheeks like a hormone-induced tidal wave.

Strangely, once Uncle Joe discovered that racy literature was her bread and butter, he left her alone. Sometimes, she would find him in the kitchen with Mother and sense that the privacy she had unknowingly breached consisted solely of his unadulterated opinion of her eminently unsuitable job. Not a career mind, just a job, whilst she waited to settle down and produce babies for a grey accountant in the City.

Liz had taken up the Argentine Tango not long after reviewing her first book for Forbidden Fruit. She knew, self-aware that she was, that in the heady environment of swirling skirts and impossibly intimate leg flicks, she truly came into her own. She had found her métier, at last.

Little did Uncle Joe realise that she had spotted him once, not quite hidden at the back of the dimly lit audience at the Meppersley Wood Working Men’s Club. as she swirled, cavorted and leaned in to the tight body of Pablo, her dancing instructor and on-again, off-again fervent and temperamental paramour.

She had seen the sheen of sweat on Uncle Joe’s brow and temples, watched with satisfaction as his cheeks glowed with desire. He had failed to recognise her as he lusted after her full breasts and sinuous, writhing hips.

Oh yes, she is a plain woman in every respect, except that is, on the dance floor.

The Cast – Five Sentence Fiction

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I can’t sleep – my brain is churning, cogitating, processing, analysing, digesting.

Who are these people?

What do they look like, where do they live, do they drink tea or coffee, do they smoke, do they have families, do they have an agenda, and if so, what?

I wish they would reveal their secrets more easily, I wish they would pour out their life stories, without me having to reel them in like so many wriggling, writhing salmon.

But on the other hand, pinning these people down – it’s at least half the fun.

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Here is my latest entry into the lovely Lillie’s Five Sentence Fiction, where she has provided this gorgeous photo for us as this week’s inspiration. Please do visit here to read, read, read some more! No two pieces will be the same…