Flash fiction: Jealous

He wears flashy trainers. Likes Coldplay. Smokes. Any one of those is a turn off, but all three combined? What she sees in him is beyond me. But then, Jessie’s shallow. Must be to find a jerk like Josh cool. Josh and Jessie. Makes you think of soggy fish and chips.

He wasn’t cool in History today. Dipped a hand in his rucksack and… well, seeing how he freaked, it must have been seriously gross. And he snarls at me, ‘I’ll get you for this!’

What the…? Me? Because I sniggered? Everyone did. As if I care what she does. Jerk.


In response to Matt’s Flash Fiction Foray, where this week’s prompt was Labyrinth’s song Jealous. My thanks to Matt for hosting this – not only does it give me a chance to try my hand at flash fiction, but since I’m easing up on the blogging to finish Perfume Island, it allows me every so often to stay in touch.

Flash Fiction: Death of a Bachelor

‘We’re safe then?’ whispered the gangly one.

The fat one nodded. ‘If all goes to plan.’

‘If?’ His beady eyes glared in the shadows. ‘We’re counting on you. A fortune’s at stake. Not to mention our positions.’

‘Yes, yes. It should be over now. But I don’t know -‘ He glanced round. ‘If the you-know-what was strong enough.’

The other flapped a hand in exasperation. ‘Come!’

Footsteps echoing, they scurried through the dark, draughty corridors to the chamber. Timidly, the fat one opened the door. ‘Yes!’

Grinning with delight, the two cardinals danced a sedate jig round the Pope’s dead body.


In response to Matt’s Flash Fiction Foray, where this week’s prompt was Panic at the Disco’s Death of a Bachelor. Although this precise scene is not historically attested, many an unfortunate Pope has met with just such a fate. The most recent was John Paul I in 1978, after only 33 days. He upset more than a few with his plans to clean up the Vatican and though it’s never been proved, it’s more than likely he paid the price. Quite a risky profession all in all.

 

Flash Fiction: Stanley in Love

 

‘You’re sure?’

‘My dear.’ Stan drew closer, eyes glinting. ‘I’ve never been more sure in my life.’

‘It won’t end well for you. But that,’ added Suzie with a smile, ‘is hardly my concern.’

‘Oh, let the future take care of itself. I live for the present.’ He pressed his body against her. ‘You’re just… irresistible!’

Passionately, intensely, they made love. Afterwards, Suzie turned to him, her expression a curious blend of ferocity and joy. ‘I tried to warn you…’

A few minutes later, she belched, wiped her lips and scuttled away, wondering where she might lay her eggs.


 

In response to Matt’s Flash Fiction Foray, where this weeks prompt was the song Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.

Pic’n’Post n° 37

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As announced yesterday, this is the last Pic’n’Post, at least for a good while. When it returns, the format will be different (no, I’m not telling you now…). Mainly because I’m running out of pictures, at least for the Where? – the What? are easier to find. This is borne out by last week’s picture, scraped from the bottom of the barrel, which only attracted one guess. But what a guess that was! Matt, with the Piton de la Fournaise in La Réunion, could not have been closer. He’s therefore the very worthy winner of the final edition of Pic’n’Post in its current format.

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A few more pictures of the very active Piton de la Fournaise, which rumbles and grumbles several times a year, but last threw a big hissy fit in 2006.

Congratulations, Matt!

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You may have noticed that there hasn’t been a picture from the Americas in the whole Pic’n’Post series. The thing is, it’s been a dozen years since I set foot there, and the last time I did, it wasn’t with a digital camera but a camcorder. So I have plenty of wobbly footage that makes you seasick, but no photos. Oh, well. My sincere apologies to the inhabitants of the New World.

Thursday interview: Curtis

Perfume Island Curtis Bausse

Um, Curtis, nice as it is if you to come along to be interviewed, I already have a schedule extending a couple of months. But since this is your own blog, you’ve given yourself the right to barge to the top of the list. I assume there’s a good reason for this.

I’m a narcissist. There’s nothing I like more than interviewing myself.

I take it that’s a joke, right? Actually, what I heard was that you’re stopping Pic’n’Post. Rumour has it tomorrow’s will be the last. Is it true?

Not just Pic’n’Post. The whole blog.

What? No way! But you can’t do that!

Well, it’s my blog, isn’t it? Of course I can.

But why?

I’m in the middle of Perfume Island, the sequel to One Green Bottle. Not the middle, really, I’m three quarters done and I have to get it finished. I did nothing for six whole weeks over Christmas. I got back to Mayotte two days ago and I’ve just got back into the swing. I need another three months of sustained concentration. So the blog, I’m afraid, has to go.

You mean for good? After putting in all that effort?

Oh, no. I hope to be back before the summer. But we’ll see. I’m making no definite plans.

And in the meantime, nothing at all?

There’ll be posts on Curtis Bausse Books. You know,  about writing and so on. A bit more serious, though I’ll keep it light-hearted all the same. And on this one, I might make an exception for Matt’s Flash Fiction Foray. I’ve been doing it for a while and I’m kind of hooked. I’d never done flash fiction before and I find it a great exercise. Like doing a 100 metre sprint as opposed to the marathon of a novel – if you’ll accept the comparison from such a terrible athlete.

OK, so it’s not a complete disappearance. And the sooner you finish Perfume Island, the sooner you’ll be back blogging.

Well, yes, but it’s not a race. I set myself deadlines but it won’t be finished till I’m satisfied.

But you never are, though. Surely that’s a problem?

OK, I mean satisfied enough. It’ll never be to my satisfaction but I’ll get to the point where any changes I make aren’t going to improve it.

I see. Well, I hope it goes well. I’ll do my best to help.

Very kind of you, Curtis. Thank you.

Flash Fiction: Young and Beautiful

‘Not both. You know that. Only Class 1 can do both.’

‘And we’re Class 2.’ Jason spat the words as if they tasted vile. ‘After all our devotion to -‘

‘We should consider ourselves lucky.’ Cindy settled a stern gaze upon him. ‘Class 3 don’t -‘

‘I suppose so.’ He put his arms around her. ‘Decision time, then.’

Cindy twisted away, speaking to the window. ‘I already have. The request has been sent.’

‘What? Without consulting me? Cindy, you know I wanted…’ Jason stood, mouth open, struggling to come to terms with the person she’d chosen to be. Young and beautiful forever. And childless.


In response to Matt’s Flash Fiction Foray, where the prompt this week was the song Young and Beautiful by Lana del Rey.

 

Pic’n’Post n° 36: Where was the picture taken?

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Where was the picture taken?

Unless you were an expert botanist, last week’s picture was decidedly tricky. Nonetheless, brave contestants Matt, Rosa, Thumbup and JoHanna are to be thanked for trying their best. And this is another occasion when the award can only be split. Thumbup wins for her dedicated research which turned up the Coastal Witch-alder, for which she even provided photographic evidence. And JoHanna wins for her beautifully creative answer involving the orchid underground, a container full of dog ceramics and a writer of bodice-ripping novels (check it out here ).

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Actually, it’s a coffee plant, photographed during a walk in Mayotte. If it’s hard to guess from the picture, smelling it would leave you none the wiser, since although the scent is delightful, it’s not at all like coffee.

Congratulations, Thumbup and JoHanna!

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This week it’s back to Where? at the top of this page. Happy guessing!

As it’s a bit difficult, a couple of clues: (i) It’s not Mars. (ii) Big in 2007

Pic’n’Post n° 35: What is the picture of?

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What is the picture of?

I missed last week due to Santa dropping in, so your patience in holding out two whole weeks to get the answer is much appreciated. Thanks go to regulars Matt, Rosa and Thumbup, as well as (relative) newcomers Mitch and Pots of Tea (welcome, both!) for their guesses.

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Morocco quickly emerged as the front runner, but the question was where? A bit of luck was involved this time, since the picture, as Rosa said, could be of pretty much any street in the country. In fact it was Meknes, which makes Rosa the winner (with Rabat) by about 300 kms over runner-up, Pots of Tea (with Marrakesh).

Congratulations, Rosa!

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This week it’s back to What? at the top of this page. Happy guessing – and Happy New year!!

Flash Fiction: The Bridge Over

‘What’ll you do?’ you said. ‘You’ll be all right, won’t you? Promise me.’ I didn’t want to think about it. I said I’d cross that bridge if I came to it. We both knew it wasn’t if but when.

The Clifton Suspension. Where everyone goes. If I make it across, I’ll get over you. But when I looked down, I wanted so much to be with you, I felt dizzy. Then a gull perched near, and your voice in the wind said you’d never forgive me.

I still haven’t got over you. But I’ve been crossing bridges ever since.


 

In response to Matt’s Flash Fiction Foray, which had the song Bridge Over You as the prompt. I wasn’t sure I’d have time to do it, what with Christmas and all, but once I’d seen the prompt, I knew it would be hard to resist!

Pic’n’Post n° 34: Where was the picture taken?

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Where was the picture taken?

Last week’s picture was soon identified as something tech, with a couple of guesses mentioning solar. Thanks go to Matt, Rosa, Dookes, Charlie and Thumbup  for their guesses, and Charlie was the first to say solar panels.  Which indeed is what it is – a plain solar panel, taken outside an arboretum near Tulear, Madagascar. I was quite surprised myself when those weird but pretty reflections showed up in the photo – you don’t really notice them when you’re standing right in front of it.

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Tulear, Madagascar. Solar panels at the arboretum.

 

Congratulations, Charlie!

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This week it’s back to Where? at the top of this page. No Pic’n’Post next week – I’ll be playing with my toys. Which gives you two weeks to mull over this one!Happy guessing!