A short story …

for Friday Fictioneers.




The market was busy with stalls selling hats, fruit, antiques and more. 

I passed a little tent.

‘Enter’ bellowed a voice.  I entered. 

It was pitch dark.  A candle flickered into life. 

‘Sit’ snapped a wizened old lady.  I sat. 

She held out her palm.  Mesmerised, I handed her a fiver.  She stuffed it down her dress.

She produced a tarot card. 

‘Eight of Swords.  Your vision’s blocked, unable to fulfil your wishes’

What nonsense.  I considered demanding a refund but remembering where my money went I changed my mind!

The candle blew out.  I couldn’t see.  I wanted to leave.  I tripped….ouch!


hatsThanks to Rochelle for hosting and to  Jan Wayne Fields for the photo.

Click on Froggie to read what others have come up with!



Finish the story

MSJADELI of Tao Talk has tagged me to write a chapter on Teresa Grabs’ fun challenge, Finish The Story.

Here’s how Teresa kicked things off.


The House on Clearwater Lake

A house sat perched precariously on the edge of Clearwater Lake. It was a house that should not have stood, yet stand it did. It had been there for centuries and locals swore the same couple lived there the whole time. Locals never knew how right they were until the day the rains started.

“It’s just a little rain,” Susan said, watching the couple pile water and canned fruit into their shopping cart.

The couple looked at the checker and smiled politely. “The rain will not stop,” they said, “we’ve seen this before.”

No sooner had the couple left, Susan but dropped her smirk as locals poured into the shop chaotically looking for food. The once spring storm skies have turned …

To be continued


Sadje’s part 2.

….. dark grey and water came down in sheets. People were scurrying away in the downpour with their bags of groceries clutched tightly under their umbrellas. Susan thought that it would be prudent to get some stuff for her family as well, just in case… What am I thinking! She nervously chided herself and yet she bought some bottled water, cans of soup and other supplies and started home. The umbrella she had was too flimsy and inadequate to handle the rain and she was soaked to skin when she reached her place. She met Dan at the door who was getting the kids inside. She sent an inquiring gaze towards him and was answered by a nod. Dan knew something but didn’t want to say it in front of the kids.

After dinner when they had sent the kids to bed, they discussed the elephant in the room.

“Do you think there is something to be worried about, the rain I mean?” Susan asked him.

Dan looked a bit worried but smiled at her question. “You have heard the rumor too?”

“I was there when the Jackson’s were buying water and other foodstuffs in the store today. She said that the rain won’t stop! Do you know what she meant?”

Dan looked uneasy and said…….


Melanie’s part 3.

Dan looked uneasy and said, “Oh I suspect those people are just doomsday advocates. You know, those odd people who go about spreading lies about the coming end of the world!”

Susan frowned, disturbed at Dan’s cavalier attitude. “I don’t know about the doomsday idea,” she began, “sensible people have been telling us about the repercussions of our lifestyles for years and years. What do you think global warming is about, anyway?! All these horrid superstorms, which keep getting more and more severe. I wonder if there isn’t a grain of truth in the Jackson’s statement. Maybe the rain won’t stop this time.”

Dan snorted, but it was a weak uncertain sound. Susan knew he believed the same thing she did. But what to do about it? There wasn’t enough food and water available if the rain kept pouring down, not to mention the flooding that surely would occur and the destruction of life as they knew it.

Susan thought back to old traditions that she had grown up hearing about. Things about appeasing old gods and sacrifice. Maybe it was time for some out of the box thinking. Maybe someone should call Stephen King and ask him what he would do, if he were writing about the end of days brought about by a mega-storm, instead of a mega-virus. Susan shook her head at her whimsical train of thought.

The thing to do right now was to make sure her family was secure. Dan could put together some sandbags and …

There was a tremendous roaring sound and a portion of the side door nearest the small creek, broke apart. Muddy water began to pour into the hall. Susan screamed, out of pure reflex, and Dan and she clung to each other watching the water run. Out of the black night a voice boomed…


Kristian’s part 4.

Making them jump, then stand and stare in astonishment.

“Come on, jump aboard, this is your last chance,” said a man with a long white beard standing on wooden hand made boat.

Susan grabbed her raincoat and her kids and jumped onto the boat and Dan was not far behind. They saw they were not the only people on board, several of their neighbours were there huddled inside the bowels of the boat.

There didn’t appear to be anyone steering or rowing the boat and yet, without rhyme or reason, it appeared to float down the watery avenue that had once been the main street of town.

The boat then sailed out onto the lake towards the island. The lights in the house were lit like a beacon, beckoning them in. The boat pulled up against a wooden jetty and the strange bearded man jumped out and tied the boat securely.

“Come on everyone, we’ll be safe on the island.”

When they arrived at the house, the front door opened and to everyone’s surprise…


Fandango’s part 5.

…there were seven dwarfs standing in a reception line, greeting everyone as they walked into house’s foyer. “Oh my God, they are so cute,” Susan whispered to Dan.

Dan, always the skeptic, said, “I don’t know, Susan. I am not too keen on being ‘saved’ by some random, Gandalf-like Wizard who miraculously shows up at our home, shuffles us onto a crude wooden boat, and then leads us into Snow White’s house to be greeted by the likes of Dopey, Doc, Bashful, Happy, Grumpy, Sleepy, and Sneezy. Are we in the middle of some weird dream or are we dead, having perished when the muddy waters poured into the hall of our home? This whole situation makes no sense.”

Dan walked up to the man with the long white beard and said, “Where are we and what is going on here? We put our lives in your hands and you bring us to this strange house with these little people waiting to greet us. I need a rational explanation for all of this. I demand an explanation.”

The man with the long white beard glared at Dan. “Your cynicism is well placed, my friend,” he said. “We are at a way station, neither here nor there. We will remain here until fate guides us to our next steps.”

“What next steps?” Dan asked.

The man with the long long white beard smiled. “You are about to find out, my friend.” Just at that moment, the front door to the strange house flung open and standing in the doorway was none other than…


StrokeSurvivor‘s Part 6

a small, clean -shaven man. As he gradually appeared in the dim light, Susan could see that he looked younger by some years, but there was no mistaking the family resemblance to her own “escort”. “I couldn’t find any more”, he said. More what? The question was left unanswered.

Susan, fortunately, was starting to think clearly. “We need a roll call”, she announced. “Do we know anybody who lives close by, who isn’t here?” For a while, there was silence. Dan was alerted by a tugging of his sleeve. He looked down to see his eldest daughter. “Mrs Brennan”, she whispered. Of course, old Mrs Brennan owned the beautiful Rose Cottage next to the creek.

Dan took control. “Yo’re right. We have to look for Mrs Brennan”, he said. “That creek will be bursting by now, we have to find her. We might be stuck here with a bunch of weirdos but we’re not in immediate danger. We need to find her and bring her here”. “That’s impossible”, a voice piped. It was Gandalf: “You can’t get off the island”. There were murmors of agreement from the dwarves, but Dan had to try something.

“Who’ll help me?”, he asked. From the rescued party, a man and a woman stepped forward. “We can’t just do mothing”, the woman said. “Okay, we all got torches? Make sure those coats are wrapped well!”, Dan said with an air of determination, before wrenching the door open again. Susan hugged the children. “Dad won’t be gone long”, she said, trying to stifle her own tears.

Outside, the rain was still lashing down. Even Dan’s powerful torch was not much use, and he stumbled twice as he retraced their steps from the boat. Finally, the three broke out of the woods and reached a small jetty. But instead of the boat they had just arrived in, they saw…


New Epic Author‘s Part 7

the house on the edge of Clearwater Lake uninduated by a mud mudslide. Mrs. Brennan was standing on the roof yelling her head off that she needed to be rescued, as the heavy rains triggered a mudslide that knocked her house off its foundation. Luckily, she was able to crawl out from under the wreckage to get on top of the house, before it was ripped apart. The roof was floating in the high waters and Dan couldn’t even guess where the rest of the house was. Dan yelled, “Delores, hold on we are coming to rescue you.” Delores said, “Of course I am going to hold on, but I need to know if you have seen my son Josh, as he was playing in his bedroom when the house came loose and I am afraid that the river may have taken him.” Dan handed his torch to George, man with a long white beard and he climbed onto the roof and told Delores to hold his hand as they were going to jump off together.

Once they were safely on the ground, Dan grabbed his torch back said, “Let’s go find Josh, he couldn’t have gotten too far and something in my bones is telling me that it is this way.” Dan indicated the direction with his torch and then the natural gas pipeline…


My (Li from Tao Talk) Part 8

…..made a horrible screeching sound as the roof floated into it.

A hand reached from behind Dan and grabbed the torch and doused it in the water.

“Look!,” Jimmy, the tall fireman with the short dark curly hair said. Dan and the others looked to where Jimmy was pointing. The natural gas pipeline was broken, with gas escaping with a piercing hiss. The torch could have blown them all to smithereens.

Jimmy said, “Let’s split up, and half of us try to find Josh, and the other half come with me, to the fire station. We have a small fleet of boats all gassed up and ready to go. We don’t know how much longer the rain will fall, but there’s a good chance the island and the house will soon be underwater.”

Dan, Mr. & Mrs. Jones, and Delores set off to find Josh. Jimmy and George headed for the fire station to bring the boats back. They all decided to meet back at the same place in an hour.

The water continued to rise; slogging through it was tiring. Delores kept calling Josh’s cell phone but every time it went to voicemail. She wondered if Josh had snuck out again like he usually did when he was sent to his room. She called Misty, the mother of Billy, Josh’ friend. Misty picked up immediately.

“Misty, this is Delores. Josh isn’t at your house is he?”

“Delores, yes he is. He said you told him he could spend the night because you were afraid the river was going to rise and get to your house.”

“Thank God he’s safe. I didn’t say he could stay at your house but I’m glad he’s there and that you all live on the one hill this town has. Is it ok if I come over and stay with you all, at least until morning?”

“Sure Delores, come on over.”

Delores told Dan and Mr. & Mrs. Jones good luck and headed for the hill. The other three headed back for the rendezvous point with plenty of time to spare. When they got there, they climbed up on the roof and waited for Jimmy and George with the boats as the rain continued…


Keith’s Ramblings Part 9

…to fall from the leaden sky.  They waited and they waited.  What was taking so long?

Delores was exhausted and drenched to the skin by the time she reached Misty’s house atop the hill.

“ Let me have your coat, Delores, I’ll get you a towel and a warm drink”

“Where’s Josh? she asked.

“In the front bedroom with Billy ”  Misty replied.

Delores ran up the stairs.  “Are you okay she called as she ran through the door.  Josh was nowhere to be seen.  She went from room to room.  Where was he?  And where was Billy?  She tried calling his cell phone.  From an open window, she heard a familiar ring tone. Josh’s ring tone.  On the veranda below, a phone glowed in the gloom.

Back at the rendezvous point, they were becoming concerned.  Over an hour had passed. Where were Jimmy and George?

“Look look, here they come!”

Two boats appeared.  However, their relief was short-lived.  The boats were empty.  Jimmy and George were nowhere to be seen.  There was only one thing for it, …

to be continued


Time to hand this story to another blogger and I hope that Christine Goodnough from Christine’s Collection will run with it, add her own personal touch and then tag another person to take part in this story.  Christine is also welcome to finish the story if she chooses to do so.


A story …

for Ragtag Daily Prompt where Christine has chosen ‘disagreeable’ as the given word.



You don’t think things through as a kid do you?   You don’t consider the consequences or effect of your actions.   It’s just harmless fun when you are ten, isn’t it?

Hilda Hodge’s shrieking voice still lingers in my mind.  She always seemed so disagreeable.  Even now I can see her waving her fist as we ran for cover giggling about our latest prank.  After all, what harm could a firework through a letterbox do?  We taunted her repeatedly.  ‘Grumpy Grandma’ we used to yell, ‘Grumpy Grandma’.

It wasn’t until last week that I felt the guilt; realised what we had done all those years ago. 


I work for the local council doing house clearances.  Someone dies and nobody cares, so we go in and empty the place.  We went to Hilda’s dilapidated house.

I pushed open the door, sweeping aside a pile of unopened letters and junk mail.  I stood for a while taking in everything around me, realising that there was more to Hilda than the screaming woman I remembered.  I felt a cold draft.

I was surrounded by fragments of a life I’d never considered.  A walking stick, an empty birdcage, an unwashed teacup. A half-knitted kid’s jumper.  On a dresser, stood several framed photos; photos of children.  One holding a certificate, another dancing in a bright costume to an audience of applauding adults. 

A girl in a wheelchair,  a boy in a bed attached to machines by tubes.

On the floor was a letter.  It was from a children’s hospice; just a few sentences.  Thank you, Mrs Hodges, it said, and below were dozens of children’s names; big, small, wobbly and neat, the way kid’s signatures are.   And kisses. Lots of kisses.

I hope we’ll meet one day Mrs Hodge.  You know, up there.  I don’t expect you to forgive me but I least I can say sorry.


A short story …

for Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt where the given word is Home and the limit, 114 words precisely.



‘Please slow down Daddy’ cried a sad little voice. 

He was driving too fast, desperate to get home.  The tyres protested as he swerved his way along the winding road. 

‘Not so fast Daddy, please’ 

A pigeon flew towards him.  He stabbed the brakes.  The car jerked, bashing his head against the window. 

‘I’m scared Daddy’ 

‘SHUT UP!’ he yelled. 

He skidded to a halt, turned his head and stared at an empty child-seat. 

From his pocket, he took a photo.  A picture of the precious child he lost in an accident.  He’d been to blame, he’d been driving too fast.

A  tear trickled down his cheek.

‘I love you Daddy’ whispered a voice.



A few words …

for Friday Fictioneers


It’s long remained a mystery, the cold spot twixt the trees.  A place that on the warmest days can chill you to the bone.

Some say the Ice Queen’s throne once sat there.  Others claim it’s the site of a dastardly murder committed one winter’s morn when an icicle pierced a victim’s heart.  It’s even said a colony of snow creatures inhabits a frozen warren beneath the forest floor.

But no.  They are wrong.  Only I know the truth.  And you will never know.  Unless you linger long enough to freeze your blood.  Then you’ll know but wish you never did.




fridge-in-the-woodsMy tale has loosely based the picture from Rochelle who is, of course, also the host of Friday Fictioneers

Click Froggie to see what others have made of it!




Some photos …

for Wordless Wednesday


ballroom.regular (1)


A few pictures I took in a nearby wood.

bluebells 018 (950x508)




bluebells 019 (950x384)




bluebells fuji 001 (1)


I wrote this back in 2008


Bluebells chime
with vivid colour
Blossom falls
like soft pink snow
on a fragile carpet
of nodding cowslips

A new sound echoes
at days dawn
A choir of songbirds
sings their song
An overture to
the opera of summer

The first act has begun


I recorded it too. It may not work where you are, we’ll see!  Be warned, it sometimes goes pop half way through – don’t be alarmed!

Click below to join the link party


Thoughts …





And so ends my 6th year of the A to Z Challenge.

This year I decided to write short stories, mostly witty ones of around 150 words which incorporated words which have fallen out of regular use. I had enormous fun doing it and they seemed to have gone down quite well.

Whilst I’m not one for statistics,  I couldn’t help but notice that in my first year over 2000 bloggers signed up to the challenge, but this year just 418 took part. I visited and commented on an average of 34 blogs each day and received an average of just 15 visits in return, two-thirds of the number I had in year one.

My biggest disappointment was the decline in quick-read flash fiction.  Whilst we are told that the largest number of contributors were in the Author/Writing category, most were trying to teach me how to write! 

So that’s the negative bit out of the way! 

On a positive note, I found myself becoming interested in subjects I’d never considered before. I was absorbed by a few continuing stories and amused by some folk’s personal experiences.

So the question is, will I return next year? Right now the answer is probably not. But I’ve said that at the end of every reflections post I’ve written. So I guess the answer should be …  we’ll see! 


saucy-jack.italic (1)


My stories

A   B   C  D  E  G  H  I   K  L  M  N  O  P   R S   U  V  W  Z


A flash of fiction

for the Ragtag Daily Prompt where the given word is Frazzled.


easter-sunday.regular (1)


Hey, guess what today is!


Yes, but what else?

May the third.

Okay, but what is special about today?

I had two eggs for breakfast instead of one.

No, I’ll give you a  clue.  He-he!


No,  not he-he as in him-him,  he-he as in ha-ha!

Now you sound like a donkey.

That’s he-haw-he-haw.  Here’s another clue.

Now you look like a donkey.

Look again.

You just cleaned your teeth?

No, my expression, what is it?

It’s enough to scare a donkey.

Now you are making me cross.

Calm down.

How can I? Grrrrrrrr!

Got it, National Get Frazzled Day. 


I know what tomorrow is.


The day after World Laughter Day! 

But-but-but …….

People are making end of the world jokes like there’s no tomorrow! 


Go on, smile or have you forgotten what today is?

Laughing Smiley-Face Cliparts | Free Download Clip Art | Free Clip inside Animated Smiley Faces Laughing


*today really is World Laughter Day!