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G for Gossip is a Cruel Story: #atozchallenge Fiction

As a co-host, I begin with A to Z Challenge  reminders:
1. Turn off your word verification. It helps no one. You may moderate comments for a while if you’re unsure.
2. In your comment id, link only to your AZ blog, NOT your profile which may have five other blogs.

3. Leave a link to you when you comment.
4. Comment when you visit blogs. Start visiting with the blog below you on the linky list.
5. Make it easy for people to follow your blog and follow you on social media.
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Today’s wonderful photo prompt comes from Julie Jordan Scott and to go with it I have chosen a prompt (in bold at the beginning of the story) by good friend and fellow writer/blogger Michelle Wallace. No particular reason other than that I’m a naive upstart with a taste for challenges, and an unshakeable faith in the capability of a story to write itself! Here goes:

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Gossip is a cruel story that runs on wheels, smashing everything in its path— people, hearts, careers, lives.  

I’m the exception, thought Lisa, , walking through the rolling fields of grass, I’ll live. The afternoon sun kissed her pretty but weathered face much as her husband had done minutes before, when he’d strolled off, sated, for a cigarette. 

This whole picnic was his idea. The wine, the satin sheets, the velvet cushions, the lovemaking under open skies in broad daylight, all in an attempt at leaving everything behind after a nightmarish year.

 She kept walking, her eyes dazed by the sun, her bare legs scratched by the drying grass, her eyes seeking the horizon where sky met ocean, far below.

But as she walked, she saw her girl dancing ahead of her, her gangly thirteen-year-old legs skipping her ahead like a grasshopper, then fading like a mist in the seaside air. Her girl would never walk in this warm grass, never feel this breeze in her hair, never watch eagles wheeling in the blue air, nor hear their piercing cries.

Because her friend had proven to be not her friend, Lisa’s only child had chosen to hang herself rather than face a loveless world. A few facebook messages from a gang of tramps pretending to be a boy in her school had driven that little girl to distraction. Jeers, taunts and gossip had done the rest.

Lisa turned to look for her husband, as she balanced at the edge. She saw rather than heard the surf on the rocks far below.  Her daughter would never know the thrill of kicking pebbles down and watch them melt into the distance, nor stand in awe of that pounding surf that would one day reduce those rocks to dust.

When Lisa fell, it was somewhere between intention and accident. She was not the exception, after all.

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A to Z Stories of Life and Death

If you liked this story you might like some of the stories I wrote for my A to Z last year.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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