Secrets Well Spent

Posted: March 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

Brogues held together with heavy string, Bridget moved through the starving.
Every man, woman, child and dog smelled of death. There was nothing else to smell of – except dirt and longing.
The potatoes, peas, and onions farmers planted and harvested disappeared on great boats sailing to England.
As did oysters and ham. And a few stowaways.
But Bridget couldn’t sail away, not with two wee bairns clinging to her sleeve.
Nor did she have time to die, although her Sean certainly had.
On his deathbed, her husband whispered, “You’re a resourceful lass. You’ll do fine.”
No need to tell Bridget O’Donnell such a thing.
Two day’s worth of travel later, she slipped into Muckross House, unseen and unheard.
Bridget knew every secret passage.
Staring the proprietor in the eye, she said, “You’ll now be takin care of your children – and me – lest your missus be knowin’ what you’ve been up to.”

Good golly! It’s Wednesday-Friday again. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for being the maestro that keeps our band of Friday Fictioneers in the flash fiction tent.

photo prompt by Shaktiki Sharma

Daily repaired tatters on the tents with rounds of shiny black plastic.
Adds zing he thought.
Truth be told, his circus was falling apart.

The ants protested against pulling tiny wooden carts.
The bears refused to make popcorn.
Daily missed the smell.

Last week the buffalo went on strike.
Lumbered away, grumbling, “No more bicycling for us!”
Didn’t even remove their striped overalls.
Daily had them arrested for stealing.

He had one act left.
The Flying Zambezi Brothers. Red-headed tots that
whizzed through the air without a trapeze.
“Humans are so stupid.”
Daily rubbed his wings together and smiled.




“I gonna go to college and become a writer.” Hands on hips, Sicily cocked her chin and struck a pose. “My pitcher will look spectacular on the back of all my books.”

“College.” Jamar snorted through his nose and cuffed his sister’s arm. “Not me, no way. I gonna be a mechanic and fix rich folks cars. That’s what I gonna do. Be richer ‘en Methuselah, sure enough.”

“Both of youse is dumb as dirt. Ain’t gonna’ happen,” Felicia said. “Ya’ll should do like me. Be a hairdresser to movie stars. All them actors, black or white, wants pretty cornrows and beads braided in their hairs. I’ll be the rich one in this family.”

Inside, listening to her children and watching the hearse move slowly down the street, Celia put a hand to heart. “No sir,” she whispered. “Don’t care what my babies do long as they gots plans.”

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Today Rochelle Wisoff-Fields both provided and posted the photo prompt for the Friday Fictioneers Clan. Our Fairy Blog Mother takes good care of us.


Bent beneath the children’s backs, the grass smelled like spring and hope and freedom.
“What you see in them clouds?”
June, “I sees a angel. Wings spread wider ‘n Papa’s arms stretch when he wants a hug.”
Todd, “A frog wid fifteen fat legs. Cut ’em off so’s Mama can pop ’em in the frypan.”
Rosie, “An airplane. Me flyin’ it.”

Back at home, the house smelled of old grease and unwashed, drunken Papa.
The frying pan sat empty, but the bed was full of Mama, bruised and broken.
“Soup?” Rosie stared at the last cans in the cupboard. “Or beans?”

(100 words)

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Today Pegman took us to Brazil. Thanks for the inspiration K.

At the age of three, Balawandi entered the secret world of snake charmers. Being small, he charmed only small vipers. Ones his father brought in from the garden.
But on his eighth birthday, Father presented Balawandi with a newly-hatched cobra, saying, “Charm him properly and together, through time, you will liberate My World.”
Even as Balawandi transformed from a boney-kneed, wild-haired boy into a strong-shouldered man who turned young girl’s heads, the snake, Zarmin (Lucky), morphed from a sleek black and yellow banded juvenile into a majestic 26-pound coil of olive-green grace.
The two roamed – village to town – acquiring the reputation of being the most elegant snake charming team ever seen.
At last, they were invited to perform for Prince Gulabgir – kidnapper of women, trapper of lives.
The charmers’ rewards? A lifetime supply of live mice delivered weekly to Zarmin’s basket
and the release of Balawandi’s beautiful mother, Meree Duniya (My World).

(Word count – 152)

The idea for this submission came from Lori Nelson-Clonts, one of the wonderful women in my writing critique group. I love the concept of her yet-unpublished novel – “The Good Luck Fortune Cookie” and wanted to share it with all of you. I chopped her story line down to 150-words.


Sitting at the crossroad of this way and that in her life, Akiri pondered her significance in the family business.
Her brother made Okonomiyaki from a two-hundred-year-old recipe.
Her sister played the Binzasara. Music men drove miles to enjoy while eating her brother’s creations and staring at Makiko’s hands.
Mother ran the kitchen. Father counted yen.
For other members of the family, customer interaction was essential.
Meanwhile, Akiri was cloistered in an upstairs room, listening to private conversations piped through microphones hidden beneath tables in the restaurant. Beside her desk, a box held a thousand slips of paper on which she wrote “special” fortunes gleaned from conversations between diners.
Akiri turned declarations of love, admissions of fear, anything, and everything into “fortune.” Nothing was sacred. She often felt like a spy.
Still, before each customer parted Akiri managed to slip hope inside homemade fortune cookies – served free at the end of every meal.

(150 words)

broken-face-liz Photo by Liz Young

“That must have been one hell of a party.”
“Rebecca! Language!”
“Oh, Father, really.”
“Don’t ‘Oh, Father me.'”
“Well, did I have fun?”
“If you consider drinking home brew with stable hands and smoking cigarettes with parlor maids fun then, yes, you had a splendid time.”
“Gosh, no wonder I feel a bit out of sorts.”
“Out of sorts. Do you remember milking Mrs. O’Leary’s cow?”
“Yes, you left the lantern in the shed. When the cow kicked it over all you said was, ‘It’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight.'”
“God, I did have fun!”