Tuggin’ The Heartstrings

#41 – Foreseen

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The red of her nail shone in the glaring light beneath the crystal ball.  With a flourish, the teller skimmed her fingertip across the glass, the faintest whine as the nail tripped the gleaming sphere.

Anabelle rolled her eyes, her arms folding in petulant disregard.  Silently she counted the crass theatrical fluff of the performance: the costume-jeweled headscarf, the obvious LED light stand under the ball, the vague smell of a smoke machine.  She tutted.

The fortune teller looked deep into the ball, her face flickering in shock.

“Lemmie guess: tall dark stranger?” Anabelle spat.

“No,” the teller whispered.

“Cancer.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Promo image by Gioia Fabbri via Unsplash.

Today’s story title was suggested by fellow short story blogger RockieRoad276.  Thank you so much – I’m looking forward to more fab stories from you.  You too can follow them by visiting rockieroad276.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/amber-short-story/

Suggest your one word title and I’ll write a story about it: it’s easy.  Just pop the word in the comments or tweet it to me @timaustin2k with the word and the hashtag #onewordonestory.

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#32 – Hands

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“This,…”  Becky’s Mother stroked a finger over the young girl’s palm.  “Is your life line.”  She smiled, her blue eyes fixing on her Daughter’s.  Becky giggled, pulling her hand away.

“Tickles, Mummy!”

Mother and Daughter laughed together, their summer hats flapping gently in the breeze.  Below them, the surf crashed against the legs of the pier.  Gulls soared above, calling a lament as they swept out to sea.

“Becky!”

The girl’s Father was calling her.  She looked towards him.

“Who are you talking to?”

She turned to look at her knelt Mother.  Her smile faded.

“She always loved it here.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Promo image courtesy of Wil Stewart via Unsplash.

Today’s one word title was suggested by the lovely Becky Danks – avid bookworm and reviewer.  You can find her on Twitter at @BeckyD123.

Keep your one word titles coming in – I can’t do it without you!  Pop your suggestion in the comments section below or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.  Go on, what’s stopping you?

Remember to like the OWOS Facebook page and join me here tomorrow for “Petrichor”.

#29 – Violin

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Mr. Funaki pinched his fingers so softly together, his wrist turning, the violin singing a long, fragile note that rang through the auditorium.  His heart soared with every trill.  His breath sighed and twisted at every gleaming, crystal-sharp echo that swept through his chest and swam high against the rafters.  The instrument was perfect: its dance so delicate that the tiniest fracture would form in his mind and shine like the sun.

Tears stung his eyes as they flicked open, gazing at the silent instrument in its case.  He lay his swollen, arthritic hands to his lap,… the memory fading away.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image courtesy of Providence Doucet via Unsplash

Today’s title was suggested by composer and violinist Adisha Kariyawasam.  You can listen to some of his work on Soundcloud here.  You can find him on Twitter at @adisha_kari.

Please explore the blog and read a few more stories.  If you like them, share them.  And if you want to suggest a one word story, tweet me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory now.

Before you do, pop a Like on the OWOS Facebook Page and I’ll see you tomorrow for “Window”!

#25 – Onesie

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Maria peered down into the fridge, her finger slipping easily through the icing of the birthday cake.  Her mouth curled up gently as she smoothed the mark flat.

“Soon.”

Drawing out a fresh bottle of Prossecco, she kicked the door closed and brushed down her rabbit-eared Onesie with a smile. Oven on, toys wrapped: everything was ready.

Three more bottles sat empty on coffee table.  The hissing from the open oven door calmed her nerves and Maria yawned as she returned to the couch. Again she read the greetings cards scattered on the floor. 

I’m so sorry for your loss.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image courtesy of Michał Parzuchowski via Uplash.

Please keep following the Blog for more stories – remember: new stories every morning.  Oh, and articles, reviews, videos and audio stuff,… it’s gonna get busy!  (If you’re not on WordPress, Like the OWOS Facebook page or follow my Twitter @timaustin2k).

Today’s word is the second suggested by Dr. Abby Astle who I’m sure was expecting a cheery tale.  There’s not so much drama in a cheery tale.  Sorry Abby.

If you want to join in and suggest your own word, pop it in the comments below or tweet it to @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

See you tomorrow for “Lollard”.  Oh, and come back a little later today for a surprise!!

#24 – Breath

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I’m sure my eyes are open but,… No.  Oh god, no!  Please, PLEASE,.. no!  Sadie!!  Sadie, where are you?! I can’t,… the water,… shit,… it’s in my mouth,.. SADIE!  Don’t talk: stay calm, reach out.  God, the water!  So cold, Jesus! I wasn’t driving fast,.. just a deer in the,…

The seatbelt won’t unlatch.  It won’t,…. There she is,… oh God,… I can’t,… water over my eyes,… sinking,… sinking,…

I’m sorry, Sadie.  For so much.  I wish you could hear me.  Don’t go.  Please.

Squeeze my hand.  It’ll be okay.  I’m with you, Sadie.  At least this time,…. I’m here,…

..

(c) Tim Austin 2016

Today’s word, “Breath” was suggested by the magnificent Mel Churcher who’s book, “A Screen Acting Workshop”, is my bible.  Thank you for the word, Mel!  You can buy the book here and follow her on Twitter @MelChurcher.

My very good friend Lorraine (who suggested “Ache”) is running the London Marathon on Saturday – please offer some support for Shelter, her chosen charity by clicking here: https://www.justgiving.com/Lori-Bannerman.

Please continue to suggest words by popping them in the comments or tweeting @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.  Share the story Facebook and Twitter, and come back tomorrow for “Onesie”!

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#17 – Expectation

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Benjamin peered through the window, wide eyes looking out into a star-specked sky.  The boy smiled as he carefully scanned the horizon: tonight he would see Father Christmas.  Outside his door, two figures were kissing in the dark, their giggles muted by the touch of their lips.  They made no sound as they printed a soot-covered shoe to the floor.  They were careful to make no sound as they crept away, hand in hand.  Still Benjamin waited.  And, as his eyelids fluttered closed, he knew,… he just knew,… that tonight he would be the boy who saw Father Christmas.

(c) Tim Austin 2016

Today’s word was suggested by Jemma Cross – Acting Coach, Director and proud Mum-to-be.  You can find her over on Twitter at @JemmaGross.  If you want to donate a word, please pop it in the comments below or tweet it to @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory. 

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Come back tomorrow for “Ooze”!

#16 – Lost

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The teddy bear gazed up, a drip of water splashing against its matted face.  Far above, the world passed by: hundreds of shoes clattering an endless thrum, their shadows flickering through hesitant light as it sank through a metal grating.  Voices echoed from a world of sun, raised in laughter and joyful whispers.  Below, the bear bobbed and twisted in the grey water of the sewer.  The arms that once held it were gone.  The lips that once kissed it were gone.  Only the eyes that beheld it remained, gazing down, tears falling – her last warmth striking against the bear’s fur.

(c) Tim Austin 2016

A bit of a sad ‘un.  Something similar once happened to me.  Still miss that Panda.  Still, if you’ve liked it, please let people know and link it on your social media using the buttons below.

Today’s word was donated by prep school teacher and blogger TinyGrayCells, who’s blog of Classroom Reflections can be found by clicking here.  If you’re a teacher or a parent, I thoroughly recommend it!

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#13 – Burden

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“No! ” James was angry now. Why did she keep saying that? Why did she keep insisting?  Frail fingers reached for his, grasping: weak like a child.  Her pale grey eyes were begging. “Stop it, Mother.  Please,… just stop.”  A machine whirred and hissed as the old woman struggled to speak.  James closed his eyes, a tear spilling against his cheek.  The forms he clutched crumpled in his fist.  “I never loved you.” Her thin voice was desperate.  James turned and arranged the flowers in the vase.  Without another word, he dropped the ruined forms into the trash.

(c) Tim Austin, 2016.

Enjoy this story?  Please share, re-tweet and pop it on your Social Media.

This story is powerful to me personally for many reasons.  I apologise if it causes any upset in the reading – this is the kind of thing that occasionally swims in my head.  

A massive thank you to Emma Wallace – a kind and very beautiful soul – for suggesting this word.  If you’ve a word that you’d like me to turn into a story, pop it in the comments or tweet it to @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

Come back tomorrow for “Archive”.

#10 – Rainbow

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The rain melted with Helen’s tears as she looked up into a yawning maw of scorched grey clouds, wheeling and turning in a tempest far above.  Were she able, she would have joined the thronging mass of blackening mists and lost herself to their fury. The green of the grass stretched bright as a challenge to the clouds above and she lay back, torn between worlds.  She waited, water soaking through clothes and shivering her pin-pricked flesh.  And there it was: the sunlight against the clouds – freedom in a prism of colour, her troubles tumbling free in laughter.

(c) Tim Austin 2016

Thanks to the tenacious Emma Rucastle for suggesting the word “Rainbow”.  Emma is a theatre producer and director based up in the North West of England – you can reach her at @elaru on Twitter and at http://www.elartproductions.co.uk/ 

Got a word?  Get in touch!  Pop it in the comments or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.  Follow, share and get involved!  I can’t do this without you! 

Don’t forget to hit that follow button for tomorrow’s story: Knife!

# 7 – Ache

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Tarmac flew beneath Stephen’s feet, the last mile inching to a stuttering, shuffling end.  He was in hell.  The heat was scorching against his face and his fuzzy owl costume sloshed with sweat.  A ball of pain welled and burned in his chest, his limbs leaden and gummed in treacly fatigue.  But now the finish line was in sight, the roar from the crowd dull and distant in his ears.  There she was: her watery gaze peeking over the top of her cannula, her banner waving over her wheelchair.  Stephen the Owl: Marathon runner, couch potato.  Hero.

(c) Tim Austin 2016

Today’s word, “Ache”, was suggested by the beautiful Lori Bannerman – Performance Poet, Storyteller and Liver of “The Dream”.  You can find out more about her at http://bardicatheatre.com/

I’m always searching out new words to write about: if you have one, put it in the comments or tweet it using the hashtag #onewordonestory.  See you tomorrow for “Orb“.