Such a Lovely Place

hotel california

The last time they’d tried to escape they’d got as far as the lobby. Glen Eagle, his wife and young daughter had made the mistake of taking their suitcases. They looked like a family about to leave, and with good reason. This hotel was the worst: the dirty rooms smelled, the beds were lumpy and the general noise intolerable.

This time they walked out in just the clothes they were wearing; a normal family on holiday, going for a midnight stroll, out of the hotel grounds and onto the sandy plains beyond.

‘Where are we going?’ asked his daughter.

‘To a different hotel,’ answered Glen, heading towards the shimmering lights in the distance.

The family continued walking in silence. Hopeful.

As they reached the next hotel on the dark desert highway, a cool wind began to blow in Glen’s hair, telling him not all was right. They were back where they’d left, the same manager waiting.

‘Ah! The Eagles. Welcome to the Hotel California. Please sign in. We have only one rule…’

‘Yeah, we know, “we can check out any time we like but we can never leave”,’ said Glen, thinking: Damn! We should’ve left during the overlong guitar solo.

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This was my entry for a competition to write a 200-word piece on the theme of ‘Desert’. I spent 40 days and forty nights working on it.

The Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’ is one of those cultural fossils – I mean it will still be there when mankind has collapsed and disappeared. You can check out the 2-minute+ guitar solo any time you like…

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Hard Egg News does not advocate the use of the Eagles for enjoyment purposes.

A New Vision

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‘Hello, New Age Opticians…’

‘Oh hi, I’m having trouble with the contact lens you supplied me this morning.’

‘I thought we’d sorted this out?’

‘It’s still not right.’

‘So what seems to be the problem now?’

‘It’s making my eye water. A lot.’

‘I see…’

‘No actually, it’s more of an ocean. In fact there’s a dolphin in my field of vision right now.’

‘Oh how lovely… I mean: that is serious. Is it in the left eye or the right?’

‘Neither.’

‘Oh, the third one.’

‘Yes, my mind’s eye.’

‘Then there’s nothing to worry about, Sir, you’re imagining it.’

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Friday Fictioneers (FF) is a challenge open to writers all over the world: write a 100 word story using the week’s unique photo as inspiration. This week’s picture is supplied by Jean L. Hays.

More hows, whens and whats of FF can be found here at Rochelle’s site. (Thank you, Rochelle, for hosting.)

Read more FF stories here.

The Blur of Celebrity

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‘Have you done a lot of these?’

‘Yes.’

‘This is my first, as a stand-alone out-of-focus person.’

‘It’s ‘background artiste’.’

‘Do you ever get recognised?’

‘No, I’m a professional.’

‘Oh. Easy job though, isn’t it? Just stand at the back and look fuzzy.’

‘Hardly! This isn’t crowd work, my dear.’

‘No, you’re right. I used to be in crowds but my agent said I was better than that.’

‘Pah! Agents.’

‘He promised me I was going to be one of those two walking down the passage.’

‘No chance!’

‘I’d love to go foreground.’

‘Wouldn’t we all, darling. Wouldn’t we all.’

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Friday Fictioneers (FF) is a challenge open to writers all over the world: write a 100 word story using the week’s unique photo as inspiration. This week’s picture is supplied by Kent Bonham.

More hows, whens and whats of FF can be found here at Rochelle’s site. (Thank you, Rochelle, for hosting.)

More stories here

Message received

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‘I see they’ve had a reshuffle at Mount Olympus.’

‘Have they?’

‘Yes, they’ve gone all modern. Embracing new technology.’

‘About time, so who’s gone where?’

‘Well, Zeus is still tops but remember that wood-nymph, Skype?’

‘In charge of the toadstools?’

‘That’s the one, she’s been promoted, part of visual communications now; but here’s the shock: Hermes is out.’

‘No!’

‘Well, no one wants a winged messenger these days, not when you’ve got Facebook and texting.’

‘Yes, I suppose not. So where’s he gone?’

‘They’ve put him in a call centre dealing with technical enquiries.’

‘Hermes? Computer hardware?’

‘No, Windows support.’

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Friday Fictioneers (FF) is a challenge open to writers all over the world: write a 100 word story using the week’s unique photo as inspiration. This week’s picture is supplied by Al Forbes. (© Al Forbes)

More hows, whens and whats of FF can be found here at Rochelle’s site. (Thank you, Rochelle, for hosting.)

More FF stories here

Having to make cuts…

I’ve had this short story for a couple of weeks now and don’t know what to do with it. I was aiming for ultra-short fiction but at 36 words this piece seems a little bloated somewhere around the middle. However, owing to the nature of the subject matter, I’m a little hesitant to cut any more.

See what you think…

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bloodbathA Close Shave:

His back twitched and he breathed hard onto the cold mirror, steaming his view. Blood dripped into the bath. He cursed.

The paramedics were dumbfounded
when they arrived:
‘What idiot tries to extract their own kidney?’

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This is based on a true story I read in the ’90s.

If this post messed with your mind in a way you liked
but wished you’d have read it after breakfast because now you feel queasy,
then you need to get Better

Bang and the dirt is gone…

There was a challenge on a writing forum to produce a 50-word story that had to end with the phrase ‘With that – she shot him!’
I don’t advocate the use of handguns nor exclamation marks but here is my effort.

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target‘The .44 Magnum, one of the most powerful handguns, delivers a large, heavy bullet at high velocity at the expense of recoil, so much so that it is considered unsuitable for shooters of smaller, feminine, weaker build.’ He said, handing her the big gun.
With that – she shot him!

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