08/08/2018

GRASS - a story in a hundred words


GRASS

It was strange, the way Barry disappeared.
“Buggered off with his floozy”, Pauline said, but it was the middle of summer and he was a fanatic gardener. I’d seen him out hunting slugs by torchlight, his compost heap was a fragrant delight, and he even had a machine to grind meat bones for his lawn, so him leaving just then was a mystery.
Still, Pauline did her best to keep it nice. “For when he comes back,” she said.
“That lawn is even better than he left it,” I told her, “What’s your secret?”
She smiled. “Bonemeal – lots of bonemeal.”
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This week's photo prompt is thanks to Ronda del Boccio and to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog at  https://rochellewisoff.com/
Again I have only just made it, thanks to Margaret buying me a glass of wine that relaxed me enough after a week of moving-related stress to be able to write! My sinister story-line owes just a little to my frame of mind this week. Mwah-ha-ha!
If you're going on holiday, don't forget to pack a book. My latest novel, HELTER-SKELTER, would make a perfect beach read, and by clicking on the cover on this page you can get your copy from Amazon.



02/08/2018

BUG HOTEL - a story in a hundred words


BUG HOTEL

After a week of unidentifiable noises from the garden shed, the hotel appeared overnight.
Word spread quickly and the bugs moved in – slugs and snails occupied the ground floor, woodlice and ants, beetles and flies took over the middle, and within days the top floor housed a burgeoning colony of bees.
They crept, scuttled and flew, mated and reproduced, and all the while Shirley lurked in the shadows, biding her time, guarding her nest.
Then her babies hatched – an instant army which spread, with inborn skill, a silken sheet over the entire structure.
The bug hotel had become a larder.
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Last week was the first time I have missed a Friday Fictioneers prompt in several years, but I have a valid excuse - we are moving! A local Trust has offered us the tenancy of a delightful terraced cottage and, having given a month's notice on the flat we've lived in for three years, we are in the throes of bringing a 170 year old property up to a livable standard. The previous tenants did some work in it, some of which is useful and some of which is unsafe.
SO we have a lot to do in a few short weeks.
This week's prompt photograph - thank you Sandra Crook for the photo and Rochelle for hosting FF - is a great template for a smaller version I plan to install in my first garden for years, but also brought to mind what I found when I tried to read the gas meter!
Meanwhile, thank you to the seven people who have bought my book Helter-Skelter so far. I have acquired one 5* review, which is a start :)  Please click on the book cover at the top of this page to visit my Amazon page and buy your own copy - I have a cottage to furnish!

19/07/2018

ECLIPSE - a story in 100 words


ECLIPSE
“Fetch another virgin now!” the Chief screamed, “The Sun is dying!”
The medicine man cowered. “But Chief – we’ve sacrificed all the virgins.”
“Get Daxo’s neice.”
“The gods will be insulted – she’s too ugly.”
“That’s why I’m sure nobody’s screwed her.”
The fire that burned Daxo’s neice had been his fault - she was still a virgin because no man saw past the scars. 
“Hide, Petl – they will sacrifice you,” he urged.
“They won’t if I’m not a virgin, Tio.”
“Who?” Daxo gasped.
“You, Tio – quickly!”
Despite himself, Daxo succumbed, and the medicine man arrived just as Daxo saved Petl - and the sun - the only way he could.
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This week's story is condensed from another I wrote last year, with apologies for my lack of  fresh inspiration. We have just been offered a Trust cottage and will be moving within a month - so much to do, so little time, but we're thrilled.
Meanwhile, a quick plug for my latest book HELTER-SKELTER - just the job for a holiday read so be sure to get your copy, paperback or ebook, before you pack your suitcase. Link to the Amazon page at the top of my blog.

11/07/2018

THE SLAVE GIRL - a story in a hundred words


THE SLAVE

 “Who will buy this lovely young virgin?”
“I will,” Petrus said and the hammer fell.

His home was a humble pottery in Stabiae, but a fig-tree shaded the yard, the kitchen was cool, and when Yani gave birth to a son, Petrus freed her.

One day he announced, “I go to sell pots in Surrentum,” and Yani said, “I will come too.”
Petrus stared as she packed all their belongings into the cart. “Shall I bring my wheel?” he joked.
She glanced at the mountain and shivered, clutching her child. “You can buy another – now hurry!”

They were ten miles away when Vesuvius erupted.
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Stabiae was a small village overlooking the Bay of Naples which, like Pompeii, was buried under metres of volcanic ash when Mt Vesuvius erupted.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stabiae
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I took this photograph on our village green at Halloween a couple of years ago - this was our local supermarket's offering to the festivities. Thanks to Rochelle for using another of my photos - I shall enjoy reading what the rest of Friday Ficitoneers thought of it. If you are not a FF contributor, you can find us by following the blue frog link from https://rochellewisoff.com/ - after you've left a comment here, of course.

And - if you click on the book cover at the top of this page, that link will take you to the Amazon page where you can buy my new book HELTER-SKELTER, which is the story of Albie, a boy growing up in Kent, South-east England, between the wars - a completely different genre from my last book, A Volcanic Race. For those of you who bought AVR, I am still working on the sequel and hope to publish it in time for Christmas.

05/07/2018

THE LAKE - a hundred word story for a hot day.


THE LAKE

That summer was a scorcher but the townsfolk were still shocked when Brandon appeared in shorts. 
His boss asked why he couldn’t at least get a leg that looked human, but Brandon said he was hot and they’d have to get used to it.
After work he walked round the lake, wishing he could grab a swim, but knew his stump would be too much.
Until Sadie got caught in the weeds, and he tore off his leg to dive in, then hopped ashore with her in his arms.
He swam every day after that, and at Christmas he married Sadie.
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The photo prompt this week was taken by J Hardy Carroll and posted on https://rochellewisoff.com/  If you follow the Blue Frog link from Rochelle's blog you can read other stories by Friday Fictioneers..

My Big News this week is that last Saturday - just inside my self-imposed deadline of June - my historical novel Helter-Skelter went live on Amazon. 
Publishing this book has been a dream for a long time. Some years ago an agent took it on but she couldn't find a publisher. Many of those she approached said I wrote well, but they didn't want an author who lived abroad and wouldn't be instantly available for publicity purposes!!
Well, now I'm back in England, the book has undergone a thorough edit, and here it is. If you click on the cover image the link will take you to the right page on Amazon.
For those of you who read A Volcanic Race and are waiting to read the sequel, be assured that I am working on that right now. I hope Wolf Pack will be out later this year.

28/06/2018

THAT SONG - this week's one hundred word story


THAT  SONG

That song has made him millions over the years. Wonder what his fans would say if they knew I wrote it?
The summer of ’67, it was, when he was too spaced-out to sit up, let alone write a tune. He found it one day and played it, the band loved it, and it took off. Did he give me the credit? Not bloody likely!
He’s had four different wives since then, all young and thin.

The old goat didn’t even recognise me this morning, pushing the Hoover round the studio.
He’ll remember me tomorrow – I’ll make sure of that.
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Thanks as ever to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/  and for taking the photo prompt this week. 
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And I have exciting news to share with you - my next book will be out on Amazon next week! 
Helter-Skelter is set in the first half of the 20th century, so it just qualifies as an historical novel, and is the story of Albie's search for his gypsy father after his mother abandons him at the tender age of twelve. 
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For those of you who read my first book, A Volcanic Race, and are eagerly anticipating the sequel, I have been working on Wolf Pack at the same time as completing Helter-Skelter. 
For those of you who didn't buy AVR because you 'don't read fantasy', perhaps I can change your minds?The book is definitely NOT sci-fi, and even people who only bought it out of friendship have enjoyed reading it!


22/06/2018

MAGNET FISHING - a story in 100 words

MAGNET FISHING

All you need is a strong magnet on a rope and you can earn quite a few quid in scrap metal, or even a fortune, like that bloke who found a safe full of cash.
The rope must have got tangled and the lad fell in trying to free it, then his dad went in after him and they couldn’t get out.
The canal walls here are slimy slopes. There is a ladder but it’s round that corner – they probably never knew it was there.
Drowned, both of them, in five feet of mucky water. Doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?
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Thanks to Fatima Fakier Daria for this week's photo on Rochelle's blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/  for Friday Fictioneers.
My story is what I imagine a local might say to a visitor or a reporter about a dreadful accident in the North of England which took the lives of a father and son this week.
 https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/magnet-fishing-dead-father-son-huddersfield-canal-river-calder-west-yorkshire-a8404026.html
Image result for magnet fishing accident