Mountain Tension

(c)  A  Mixed Bag 2013

It hadn’t helped that the beds in the Waterfront Guest House had mattresses as hard as stone. A lack of sleep put me in the wrong frame of mind to be scaling the heights. But I was caught between a rock and a hard place.

The mountain, known locally as ‘Mike Dropz’, is named after the unfortunate Michael Shay Love. On his maiden flight, Mike had suffered an unexpected wardrobe malfunction with his wingsuit and hit the water at terminal velocity. The local Lake News headlines splashed ‘Shay, Hell No!’ and ‘Wave Goodbye’.

Mike’s body was dredged from the lake and entombed on the peak. It was a tasteful ceremony, with a Bavarian Oompah band playing ‘Love on a Mountain Top’. It brought a tear to many an eye, although that could have been the biting wind.

At the halfway point between ground and peak, I briefly lowered my head in tribute to Mike. I had made his suit, after all.

Clipping my safety harness to the overhead fixture, I sat down on the plush leather seats for my mid-morning Kaffee und Kuchen. Riding a luxury cable car in the Bavarian Alps is definitely the better way to travel.

This story is inspired by the photo supplied by Al Forbes of Sunday Photo Fiction, 3rd December 2017.  For more details click the logo.

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Happy Daze

 

 

The idea came to me in one of those dreamy half-asleep moments. June, my girlfriend, told me me to go to the meadow and find the Happy Tree. She said if I put last year’s diary through the round ‘time portal’, then everything that happened last year would change for the better.

Now, this took some believing, but last year was a stinker! I had that messy break-up with May. It still haunts me. Things got slightly brighter, earlier this year, when June appeared.

So I did it! Following June’s instructions, I dropped my 2016 diary through the portal, and came back 24 hours later.

Wow! Here was my diary returned – but totally different. The writing style, contents and cover had all changed. June told me that was all part of the magical process.

I must have been wrong about meeting June. Because the diary says I met her last year, and it was the best year of my life. I’ve read through three times from cover to cover, and gradually it’s all beginning to make sense.

June has suggested we now try with next year’s diary. She wonders if there might be an engagement on the horizon.

 

(200 words)

This story is inspired by the photo supplied for Sunday Photo Fiction, 25th June 2017.  For more details click the logo.

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Swarm Wishes

 

 

 

“Hello, I’m Joe Blauflasche. As head of the Botanical Department, and Assistant Groundskeeper, I’d like to welcome the press gathered here today. It’s not often that we get to say that at Old Chuffing Community College.

I guess you’re here about our little science project. It all started when an ordinary house-fly flew inside the microwave as I was warming up my coffee. It should have been incinerated, but instead, it made a remarkable recovery. Within seconds, it had managed to peel off a sticker from the cup and place it on my loyalty card. That’s when I knew we were onto something.

We soon had a colony of the ‘Superflies’, as I like to call them. And how quickly they learned. On the fly, so to speak.

They were very keen to try out our extra-sensitive keyboards. A swarm of them typed out the complete works of Shakespeare from memory. Quite impressive, but we were hoping for something a little more original. There’s time for that, once we can find a way around our current dispute.

It’s rather embarrassing. They currently have us locked out of the college, but we’re waiting for a negotiator to fly in. They’re asking for full access to the bins, and unlimited cloud usage. Watch this space!”

 

This story is inspired by the photo supplied by Al Forbes of Sunday Photo Fiction, 30th April 2017.  For more details click the logo.

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Frills and Swoon

 

“You really think that delivering a political speech from a Juliet balcony is a wise move, Jenkins?”

“Yes Prime Minister! The hand-holding with the President went down very well with our older-demographic focus group. You aren’t doing so well in that area, and we don’t know how many elections these voters have left in them. This set-piece just ramps up the romance. It’s for those who like their fiction with a little ‘Frills and Swoon’, so to speak. Now is the time to strike. Oh, I didn’t mean ‘strike’, Prime Minister. We’re all very much against those!”

“Quite. And what will the content of my speech be?”

“Content? Oh that’s not important! We’re pulling some old stuff together. You know, the ‘Let’s Make Britain Great Again’ stuff that always goes down well, coupled with a couple of topical references. Oh and it helps if you speak with a haughty, condescending tone. It will remind them of the ‘Good Old Days’, when pensions were worth looking forward to. Let’s not get too political. That’ll get them switching off in droves. Think Romance! So let’s practice with this rough draft shall we?”

“Mr Speaker, Parliamentary tradition forbids me from using your name. But what’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…”

 

This story is inspired by the photo supplied by Al Forbes of Sunday Photo Fiction, March 19th 2017.  For more details click the logo.

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Dragon Baby Gone

 

dragon

Photo: © Al Forbes

 

Young Gemma was distraught. Her recently arrived baby dragon had flown the perch that her dad, fireman Sam had made for it.

It’s not every day that an exhausted baby dragon flies through your bedroom window. But a few days ago, that’s just what happened. Sam had reluctantly agreed to it staying a few days to recuperate – he wasn’t a monster – but he had wondered what would happen when it started to grow? There were already some minor scorch marks on the carpet and curtains.

Sam had positioned Baby, as the dragon had been named, so it could sit next to the window. Nobody wanted to put Baby in the corner.

Sam had been leaving Gemma’s window open slightly wider than usual – to make sure Baby got plenty of fresh air. But he looked genuinely as shocked as anyone to find Baby had left the building.

A couple of days earlier this would have been unthinkable, but after two days on the milk and cookie diet, Baby looked as good as new. The spark had returned to its eyes and it began to look restless.

There was no consoling Gemma. Until Sam had the bright idea of searching online. It turned out that Baby was actually a mature female Miniature Norfolk Brown. At this time of year they return to their ancestral home to give birth.

It wasn’t a surprise, a few days later, to see Baby return with her hatchlings. Sam had a word with his Boss, and now the whole dragon family live in a purpose-built enclosure at the Fire Station. They help with the training drills, in return for milk and cookies. And Gemma gets to visit at the weekends.

 

This story is inspired by the photo supplied by Al Forbes of Sunday Photo Fiction, February 19th 2017.  For more details click the logo.

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To view other stories written for this challenge, please click here.