Both Sides of the Story - the gym weights

The Gym (London 1993): "Come on, Winnie, push." Winston arched his back and strained against the bar. "Push!" The muscles in Winston's arms and chest burned. He closed his eyes, let out a primal roar and fully extended his arms. The weights rattled for a moment before Winston steadied the bar. "Yes!"

A Council Flat (England 1993): The sound of the twins fighting in the bedroom filled the flat. Their screams drowned out the drone of sport on the TV and the sizzle and bubble of dinner on the kitchen cooktop. "For Christ's sake, Ruth," Stu bellowed over the TV, "shut those bloody kids up, will you!"

Bosnia and Herzegovina (1993): The explosives devastated the peace of the valley. Tibor had covered his ears, but the thudding explosion set off the bells in his head again. He dropped his hands as dust and grit rained down on him and his men. When the dust cleared, it revealed the shattered farmhouse.

Westminster (England 1993): "Madam Speaker, I —" Baxter groaned and lifted his pen. He stuck the end in his mouth and sucked on it, searching for a better opening line. He crossed out the first words and started again. "Madam Speaker, the —" His pen froze again. "Damn it, why won't the words flow?"

The Australian Writers' Centre ran a 29 Word Story Challenge on 29th August 2019. The rules were: The story must contain exactly 29 words, begin and end with the same word, and include the names of at least two countries. With a lucky hyphenation, my repurposed We Need to Talk was spot on 29 words.

The golden sand squeaks in soft protest as Megan presses her body into the beach towel. A gentle breeze carries the taste of the sea and cools the sweat tingling her sun-baked skin. Distant gulls crawk and nearby waves roll onto the shore in a relaxing rhythm. Megan sighs. And then the phone rings.

A faded photo of my dad from the 1970s inspired this microfiction. He had a faraway look in his eyes and a Mona Lisa smile on his much younger face. As art lovers have done for centuries with Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, I wondered what was on my dad's mind when the photo was taken?

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