CFFC: Water found in Nature
This week’s CFFC topic is Water Found in Nature.
Here is my selection:
This week our topic is Flowers.
Photos needs to be black and white, desaturated, sepia (brown tones) or selective colour.
Here is my choice for this week.
Here is my selection:
DEBBIE STANTON, AUTHOR
writing from the heart, to the heart
This week Debbie gave us these random words to incorporate into a story.
Here is my story:
‘Settle down everybody. Quiet please. Let’s start the lesson.’
Miss Davis waited patiently, catching the eye of every student in her class, subduing them with a look. As books rustled, pens clattered on to the desks, girls adjusted their miniskirts or the buttons on their blouses, the boys smirked at each other raising eyebrows and winking at the shy girls.
‘Ready? Then we will start.’
Thirty pairs of eyes were now trained on Miss Davis, brains just beginning to engage in to gear. Standing in front of her desk she explained that this morning was going to be a creative writing exercise. As she expected, groans and sighs came from most of the group, only a few students seemed pleased with this lesson.
Miss Davis turned back to the chalk board and starting writing six words underneath each other.
‘I want you to use these six words in a story. Don’t use them all at once. I don’t want a lot of ‘and’ or ‘then’ or ‘so’ in your sentences. Do not start with a conjunction. You have ten minutes.’
Calls of, that’s not enough time, not fair, Miss, came but she just stared at them until they all proceeded to write in their exercise books.
‘I don’t know what to write, Miss.’
‘Of course, you do, Winston. You are the class clown – write something with humour.’
Amelia’s raised her hand. ‘How many words, Miss?’
‘As many as you can write in the time.’
Mary-Beth said, ‘I can’t think of anything.’
‘Work it in to your family life or part-time job if you can, Mary-Beth. Please start everyone.’
The classroom wasn’t quiet, you could hear the fidgeting, pens scratching on paper, sighs and huffs and puffs, rolling of eyes, quick peeks at their neighbours’ scrawls. She let it all go. She knew her students would come up trumps at the end. It didn’t matter how good their stories were, just that they let their imaginations flow and they thought of something other than social media or what they were wearing, who was going out with whom and, for some, what on earth they would walk into when they went home.
One by one they came up to the front and faced their class mates as they read out their words. One by one they sat back down at their desks; everybody applauded their classmates’ efforts. It only left Brian to read his out. Brian with the ‘Jo 90’ glasses, buck teeth, acne, acute shyness that it was a wonder he wasn’t bullied. Miss Davis was so proud of this class of students who protected him and were loyal to a fault.
‘Brian, come up to the front and read your story out please.’
Brian reluctantly stood and faced his classmates, he hated being the centre of attention but he did it, he owed these friends that much. Hesitantly he started to speak, as he continued his voice became stronger, he stood up straighter as he grew in confidence.
‘Tony waited in the car drumming his fingers against the steering wheel, his eyes darted all over the place, he scanned ahead, he looked in the rear-view mirror, he checked the wing mirrors repeating the process again and again. It was the longest ten minutes of his life.
Dick and Harry yanked open the rear doors, “GO, GO, GO” they shouted at him.
The van stuttered in to life as Tony crashed the gears and reversed out of the side road, spinning the wheel round and round he made a U-turn, revved the accelerator and burnt rubber as he squealed away from the scene.
Laughter erupted, that was their first smash and grab job. The subject of their crime was Harry’s father who was always on Harry’s case. Now his little corner shop had been robbed. Harry knew that his father had forgotten to fill in his renewal form for the insurance because he saw it on the kitchen table. He probably thought he had time to do it when he got home that night. Serve him right, thought Harry.
Tony parked in a little-known back lane, turned off the engine and turned to the other two. Dick and Harry were sharing out the proceeds of the raid. £250 divided by three – the boys scratched their heads, finally took out their phones and pressed the numbers into the calculator function. Just over £83 each.
Tony looked shocked. That wasn’t worth the risk. He wished he hadn’t been persuaded to take part but he was the only one whose Dad had a van and had taught him to drive. He thought it was a decisive move when they planned it. Excitement had built up along with the nerves but now he was a wreck.
‘I don’t want it. You two take it and get out.’
Shocked looks, glares and swear words were shouted but then Dick and Harry shrugged their shoulders and grinned as they realised it meant more money for them.
Tony parked the car, shaking like a leaf and crept up to his bedroom before his parents came home from work. He thought his guilt would make his heart bleed he felt so bad at what he had done. He couldn’t snitch either, that just wasn’t done.
He just hoped he could somehow redeem himself. He would work on that.’
Brian finished reading and stood with his head hanging as the classroom was totally silent. Spontaneous applause broke out led by Winston. Tears pooled in Miss Davis’ eyes and in the other girls’ eyes, the boys surreptitiously wiped their eyes or coughed away the frog in their throats.
‘Well done, everybody. I’m proud of each and everyone of you. Such lovely contributions.’
The pips started their strident wailing, a scrabble for the door followed as everybody crowded around Brian and cheered and jostled him out of the classroom.
Word Count: 977
This week our topic is Pets or stuffed animals. This week you can show off your own pets, other peoples pets and stuffed animals.
To read other contributions or contribute yourself please go to:
Here is my story:
What was that smell? Saffy sniffed quietly, she was in the library after all. It smelt like a bonfire; smoky ash tickled her nostrils. She looked around, all the other students seemed oblivious to any smells, let alone a smell of soot.
A great wave of fear suddenly paralysed her. She knew what it was. The alarms started screeching their warnings, others rushed out of the building. Saffy was rooted to her chair, her feet felt as though they were stuck in cement. She couldn’t move. She was paralysed. Her heart thumped so hard in her chest she thought her ribs were breaking.
She heard her mum yelling at her.
SAFFY, GET UP, GET OUT OF THERE.
Tears started streaming down Saffy’s face, this was not how her university days were supposed to be. A fire. The building was on fire. She could hear sirens. Oh, thank God, somebody was coming to save her.
Wisps of smoke seeped under the doorframe. The rustle of books as they fell from the shelves and thudded to the ground, igniting into flames, ash particles wafted up into her hair. She felt hot, so hot, she could feel flames licking at the edge of the desk, they would be picking at her feet next.
SAFFY – MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!
She felt her mum push her. On trembling legs, she managed to stand, fumbling towards the door, she reached for the handle. Burning her fingers and palms she opened the door, a red glow greeted her as she stepped out in to the hallway, a fog obscured her vision, she started to cough, stumbling towards the stairs or where she thought the stairs were, blinking furiously to clear her sight, there, there in front of her, stairs, she would make it.
COME ON, SAFFY, ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER. YOU CAN DO IT. I’M WAITING, COME ON!
Her mum’s voice became more and more urgent as she encouraged Saffy to keep going. On the first floor landing she collapsed on to the floor. Hard concrete grazed her knees, the pain bringing her back to her senses. As she tried to stand, strong hands gripped her, hauling her up and half-carrying her down the rest of the flights of stairs, they broke out in to daylight and fresh air. Saffy was rushed to a waiting ambulance where the paramedics treated her burns and gave her oxygen for the smoke she had inhaled.
Two hundred miles away Maggie stood at the kitchen sink, washing the dishes on automatic pilot, staring out of the window she smiled at the antics of her cat who was stalking along the top of the wooden fence.
Suddenly she was engulfed with a great wave of panic. Something was terribly wrong. Fear grabbed her, she grabbed a towel and dried her hands. Standing in the middle of the kitchen she kicked off her shoes, bare toes touched the cold flagstone tiles as she grounded herself. Maggie wrapped herself in a shower of golden light as she reached out to the ether.
Saffy was in danger.
Maggie saw her daughter sitting in the library studiously reading and making notes in her large A4 jotter. She saw the lead in her daughter’s propelling pencil snap and Saffy’s huff of frustration as she clicked a new lead down in to the pencil.
Where was the danger? Maggie reached out, travelling through the ether, touching on sights, sounds, smells and there it was.
She concentrated on Saffy. Calling out to her, Saffy, move, move my darling, move.
It wasn’t working. Maggie took a deep breath, inhaling cosmic energy she tried again. This time she knew Saffy felt her. She called her again and again, urging her to move, one foot in front of the other.
Move, come on, move.
She felt the pain in her hands as Saffy opened the door, she felt the pain in her knees when Saffy fell on to her knees. The granite jolting Saffy back in to awareness. Maggie saw a fireman at the bottom of the stairwell. She pushed him, nudged him forward, she felt his heavy boots on each step, she heard him breathing through his apparatus. His visor was blurry, she saw the scene through a mist. He was trained to use his senses, through his heavy gloves protecting his hands she guided his fingers to the floor on the landing. He hauled Saffy up, half carried out down the remaining flights of stairs and out in to the campus grounds.
Maggie collapsed on to the kitchen floor. Her breathing was ragged as she gulped in fresh, clean air. Tears streamed down her face, smudging her cheeks with grey ash. She wiped the fire dust away and looked at her hands, clean as a whistle. Her head spun with the effort of reaching out, her heart jumped for joy at the safe rescue of her daughter.
Would Saffy ever realise she helped her? Would she talk to her about it?
These questions were for another day. Now she had to fill her car with petrol and travel a couple of hundred miles to make sure Saffy was safe and didn’t suffer any lasting physical damage.
She left a voice mail message for her husband because, of course, he was in a meeting and unavailable, well that is what he would tell her when he arrived home in a couple of days from his business trip. Maggie knew better, she could ‘see’ as well as finding the tell-tale clues on his clothes but that is a story for another time. Her priority now and in the foreseeable future was to get Saffy safely home where she could look after her and keep her safe.
Word count: 960
This week’s CFFC topic is Nature Animals Any animals found in nature such as birds, squirrels, deer, fox, bear, mouse, moose, etc.
Please use all eight words in your story. No photo to write your words around.
Here is my story:
Standing on the banks of the *River Am, her small thatched cottage was just the right size for Marianne in her retirement. It comprised two large bedrooms and she was determined not to let the spare bedroom become the junk room as in all her previous houses. It was to be the guest bedroom with lovely pictures of the sea, decorated in elegant blues and teal colours. The duvet cover had matching pillow slips and the sanded pine floorboards were enhanced with perfectly co-ordinated rugs. A large windowsill held a vase that she filled with fresh flowers from the small cottage garden.
A phone call from her daughter brought good news. She wanted to come and visit with her new husband. It was only six months ago they had married, a small affair due to Covid restrictions but now they were allowed to visit and stay over, Kathryn and Joe were coming for a week’s visit in the summer. Even if the English weather didn’t quite hold up to its promise of a ‘flaming June,’ Marianne was sure they would find enough delights to enjoy along the country lanes and riverside pubs.
She couldn’t wait, counting down the days on the calendar, the weeks flew by and finally the day came. Kathryn had kept her informed by text of the progress of their journey. Marianne couldn’t help being a worrier especially as the motorways were notorious for delays due to road works, accidents or breakdowns and they had a couple of hundred of miles to travel before they reached her. She’d spent all week preparing food, freezing cakes and biscuits, knowing Kathryn and Joe were so busy with their full-time jobs the they didn’t have much time to bake or cook anything more than an evening meal.
Looking out of the window was a pointless exercise as the trees were in full foliage, the hedgerows overgrown, so Marianne opened the leaded glass window and leaned out to listen for the sound of a car engine. There it was, the gentle whirr and hum told her that the time fast approached. Marianne flew out of the front door, arms outstretched as Kathryn got out of the passenger side.
They hugged as if they would never let go – it had been so long without this level of comfort and affection, Marianne felt the tears brimming.
‘Oh mum, don’t cry.’
‘They are my happy tears, darling. This is the best present ever!’
Marianne separated and clapped her hands as she turned her attention to Joe.
‘Come here, son-in-law,’ she ordered Joe.
A shorter hug ensued as she felt a bit strange hugging a male person especially one who was wearing a T-shirt, shorts and sandals.
‘I’m so looking forward to spending time with you and getting to know you better.’ Joe winked at Marianne and smiled at Kathryn.
Oh yes, thought Marianne, this one is a keeper. He is so good for my daughter. It’s about time she found a good man. She’ll be very happy in this marriage; Marianne could feel it in her bones.
Ushering her guests inside, she whipped the tea towel off the plate of lemon drizzle (her daughter’s favourite cake) and started to pour tea out. Eating and talking, laughing and catching up the afternoon soon drifted away. The sun started to set as they sat outside sipping cold drinks catching the last rays of sunshine and watching the twilight descend.
As they prepared for the night, Joe disappeared to have a shower, Kathryn took her mum’s hand.
‘Tell me the truth, mum. What was the result of your last blood test?’
‘They’re fine, dear, absolutely fine,’ came the reply. My sodium was normal, so was my potassium and cholesterol. Blood pressure was also perfect. So, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s all behind me now and as long as I continue to eat healthily and stay as active as I can, I’ve got a few more years in me yet.’ Marianne lightened the mood with a small tinkle of laughter.
Joe re-entered the room, freshly shaved, hair slightly damp, he looked at Kathryn with a question in his eyes.
She nodded. ‘Mum, we have news. We want to move nearer to you. Joe can work anywhere there is broadband and I have transferrable skills. We’ve sold our house and can start looking straight away.’
More happy tears, the joy Marianne felt made this the best day of her life.
*The River Am is a fictional river borrowed from a radio series broadcast in the UK called ‘The Archers.’
Word count: 795