The High Road – Sunday Photo Fiction

AnElephantCant take the high road this Christmas
He won’t be in Scotland afore ye
He stays on the Med
But gets out of his bed
To make up this rhyme and write a wee story

This is a weekly invitation to write a short piece of fiction (c. 150 words) based on a photo prompt (below) provided by Alastair.
Just click on the link to see some terrific travelling tales in response to this week’s excellent prompt.
But please first cast an eye over AnElephant’s potholed party piece.

Copyright Al Forbes

Copyright Al Forbes

The High Road

The traffic seems to have cleared suddenly.
I am making good time but, strangely, do not recognise this part of the motorway.
It is so long since I have been home, maybe they have built this great flyover since I last visited.
Hard to believe, but it is almost a year since I saw her and the two little ones.
But we talk often, I know they are excited, and waiting for their Christmas presents.
But now, abruptly, I find I can hardly picture her face.
I realise that I have forgotten the names of my children.
I do not know the address, or even the town, I am heading for.
In fact, I can remember nothing.
Nothing except that fuel tanker crashing through the central barrier towards me.

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the longest word

goodbye by anelephantcant

goodbye by anelephantcant

I try to list the things we have
she keeps saying what we lack
and tells me that we can’t return
but I keep looking back

I ask her to explain her doubts
she tells me no one listens
I give my word that I’ll stay near
she prefers to keep her distance

I tell her she gives happiness
She tells me I bring sorrow
I ask about the years of joy
She says that time was only borrowed

I swear to her I’ll hold my tongue
I’ll be sensitive and quiet
she argues that I can’t be still
and there’s no way I can deny it

I love her and she knows it’s true
I have given her my promise
she shakes her head and says goodbye
and that word lasts the longest

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Bah Humbug – Friday Fictioneers

AnElephantCant always be energetic
Sometimes he feels kinda listless
Perhaps he is frightened
By all the excitement
AnElephant knows it is nearly Christmas

Once again it is Friday Fictioneer time.
Sultry seasonal storyteller Rochelle throws a party for festive fablers.
And AnElephant offers one extra word as a gift.
The idea is to write a very short story, circa 100 words, based on this picture prompt (below).
That’s it.

Copyright – Douglas M. MacIlroy

Copyright – Douglas M. MacIlroy

Bah Humbug

I hate Christmas.
Everybody goes crazy.
The shops are packed with people buying presents they can’t afford for people who don’t want them.
Often for people they don’t like, who can’t stand them.
It makes no sense.
The streets and the houses are awash with nasty flashing lights.
For a festive feel, they say.
Actually they are just burning up the planet’s resources faster than usual.
And those awful Santa songs.
He is coming to town, kissing Mommy, or asking that stupid reindeer to guide his sleigh tonight.
But I have work to do.
Those presents don’t take themselves down chimneys.

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Home Again – Haibun Thinking

AnElephantCant remember forever
Maybe just 1 or 2 hundred years
But though he is old
His humour’s not cold
His rhymes still reduce strong men and he hopes pretty ladies to tears

AnElephant makes another interminable assault on this great weekly challenge hosted by his friend Al, who is still achieving wondrous things with this site.
Please take a moment to check out this page to see some superb interpretations of the Japanese Haibun, a literary form which explores the relationship between the human experience and nature.
This week AnElephant chooses as his inspiration this painting by his favourite artist, Vincent van Gogh.
Sorry, Phil.

Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

Home Again

Those of you who have read my previous ramblings may be aware of two things about me.
One, I spent much of my childhood in South Africa.
Two, I do not stay anywhere for very long.
I detailed my nomadic tendencies at some length in last week’s contribution to this excellent weekly challenge.
But I failed to say one thing.
I have a simple way of determining what is, for me, home.
It is not where I lay my hat.
That lies in a cobwebbed corner awaiting next summer’s sunshine.
It is not where the heart is.
Because my heart is in many places.
There are people I love scattered across the globe, and my heart is already painfully fragmented.
No, it is where I hang an old battered print in a cheap wooden frame.
I purchased this on the return trip from Durban.
I was in my teens, just.
We sailed, perhaps aeroplanes had not yet been invented.
I saw this picture in a flea market in, I think, Port Elizabeth, and purchased it for the princely sum, in those days, of 1 shilling and nine pence.
Do not fret, there is no way to translate that into real money!
For some reason it caught my imagination.
I had no particular interest in art, being devoid of any talent in that field.
I would like to say I was inspired by the tragic tale of the artist, but I have no recollection if that is so.
Regardless, throughout my life, single or married, whenever I move into a new place, my first act is to place it prominently on the wall.
It is, as shown below, a self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh.
I like to think he looks over me, as he never did for himself.

for the solitary wanderer
there are always stars
to guide him home again

Self Portrait in a Felt Hat by Vincent van Gogh

Self Portrait in a Felt Hat by Vincent van Gogh

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The Jump – Sunday Photo Fiction

AnElephantCant climb up to high places
He thinks it is not worth the hassle
Between him and you
He does like the view
But he considers rhyming hassle with castle to be somewhat facile

This is a weekly invitation to write a short piece of fiction (c. 150 words) based on a photo prompt (below) provided by Alastair.
Just click on the link to see some towering tales in response to this week’s excellent prompt.
But please first cast an eye over AnElephant’s ramshackle rambling.

Copyright Al Forbes

Copyright Al Forbes

The Jump

This has always been my favourite place.
I feel like a giant up here.
I can see the fields of Kent behind me, The Garden of England they call it.
Although there are a few foreign weeds growing there now.
In front of me is the Channel, the English Channel, not La Manche, as the wretched French say.
I used to be happy here.
As a child it was a place of magic and adventure.
Then, later, I would bring her.
We would look at the view and dream our dreams.
I was still King of the Castle.
Even after we were married we still came sometimes, though less and less.
And now she brings him.
Philippe.
Fee-leeep!
Stupid name, what is wrong with just plain Philip?
But, suddenly, it is my favourite place again.
I climbed up to jump, of course.
And then life dealt me a bonus card.
Guess who is standing down there, waiting for her!

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nightfall

nightfall by anelephantcant

nightfall by anelephantcant

I often wonder through the day
Where you go when you get that call
I never ask and you don’t say
I only hope you’re here before nightfall

I’ve loved you from the day we met
It was not just my heart you stole
You took my peace of mind and soul and yet
I hope you’ll return before nightfall

I have no desire to tie you down
Pinned like a butterfly to a sad dank wall
You are always free to move around
But I hope you’re back before nightfall

Because when you’re not here I worry
I want to know you’re safe that’s all
You don’t need to even hurry
But please come home before nightfall

My life is strangely void without you
I feel that I’m much less than whole
I don’t resent the pain you put me through
I want my arms around you come nightfall

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The Birds – Friday Fictioneers

AnElephantCant go down to the woods today
He does not like surprises
He is quite scared
Of teddy bears
When they wear top hats and disguises

Once again it is Friday Fictioneer time.
Queen of the Forest Rochelle brooks no rubbish from her swathe of sylvan story-tellers.
And AnElephantCant see the wood for the trees.
The idea is to write a very short story, circa 100 words, based on this picture prompt (below).
That’s it.

Copyright – Sandra Crook

Copyright – Sandra Crook

The Birds

When I see the birds circling I know something is amiss.
They are over the wooded area near the little footbridge.
She has been missing now for several days, no calls, no texts, no updates on her social media.
Our friends give me comfort.
But the birds make me fear the worst.
No one has searched there.
Well, why would they?
There is no reason to suspect anything is wrong.
But I feel a lump in my stomach, and a cold dread clutches at my heart.
I cannot find my watch.
Did I bury it with her in those woods?

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