17/10/2019

THE BIG MATCH - a 100 word story


THE BIG MATCH
“Tell me again how we got into this?” Michael said.
“You know the Boss can never resist a challenge.”
“But for Heaven’s sake – seven-a-side football?”
“We’ll beat them,” Gabe said confidently and led his team onto the field.
With such high stakes it was a hard-fought game but, despite the other team’s dirty tricks, Peter refereed impartially, and the scores were even until the final minute.
Then Uriel fired a shot that flew into the corner of the opposition’s net, the whistle blew, and the crowd went wild, throwing their haloes in the air – the Archangels had triumphed again.
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Just a bit of fun this week - light relief from the final chapter of a rewrite of Rock Fall, Book 3 in my Living Rock series. Now would be a good time to read the first two books, A Volcanic Race and Wolf Pack, both of which are available on Amazon.

Thands to Rochelle for the above photo and for hosting Friday Fictioneers. You can read what other writers have been inspired to write by following the Blue Frog trail from her blog at  https://rochellewisoff.com/

10/10/2019

RELATIVES - a hundred word story


RELATIVES

All the other kids in our neighbourhood had hordes of relatives. Christmas, weddings, christenings and even funerals were raucous affairs that often spilled into the street, sometimes ending in fisticuffs.

Once I asked Mum where our family was, but she yelled, “We have no-one but ourselves,” and then hugged me. She sounded so sad that I never asked again.

After her funeral I drank a large whiskey before I tackled her bedroom. One drawer was crammed with photographs – her parents, perhaps, uncles, aunties and cousins. My family.

 I searched every face but not one was brown like me.
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Families are strange creatures - a tower of strength for some, a pain in the butt for others. Some people, like me, have such a ream of cousins that they can't keep track, others can count their family members on one hand. And there are always secrets, some small, some so enormous that they remain hidden - until after the funeral.
Thanks to Ted Strutz for this week's Friday Fictioneers photo prompt, and to Rochelle for hosting this bunch of diverse writers on her blog.  https://rochellewisoff.com/

03/10/2019

TWO GIRLS TALKING - a story in exactly 100 words

This story has been simmering since yesterday but that was also my husband's birthday, so cake-making had to take precedence. It does seem that if I don't get my story out on Wednesday I don't receive nearly so many comments, but that's life, I guess.
Thanks to Dale for the photo and to Rochelle for running the entire Friday Fictioneers shebang on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/
ps. I do hope this actually IS a baseball pitch - not being American or Canadian I can only surmise!
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TWO GIRLS TALKING                                    

‘How’s the big romance going?’
‘All he thinks about is baseball. Our dates consist of holding hands on a hard wooden bench – I’ve had so many splinters my behind looks like a pincushion.’
‘So tell him you want to be taken out for a romantic meal.’
‘Didn’t you see the photo? It was all over Facebook – I nearly died of embarrassment – a table smack bang in the middle of the pitch.’
‘At least he’d made the effort to carry it out there – and getting the pizza delivered can’t have been easy.’
‘Huh! There wasn’t even a candle on the table!’

26/09/2019

KEEPING UP APPEARANCES - a 100 word story

It's Thursday, so I'm only a day late on parade this week. My excuses are manifold - I am heavily involved in our local Arts Festival, we had a leaking pipe that almost brought down the kitchen ceiling, and the tail end of a hurricane has battered my garden. It's only a very small plot, so tidying up didn't take too long, but the sunflowers are definitely looking ragged in the petal area.

Which leads me nicely into telling you about a bit of verse I wrote a long time ago, about a different garden, and linked this week to Twitter, where one of the vss365 prompt words was 'garden'. You are cordially invited to pop over to my 'VERSES' page and read it.

And finally, welcome to Carole Anne Carr, my 103rd 'follower' - thank you, Carole, for taking the trouble to read my stuff!

Meanwhile, here's this week's story, prompted by a photo on Rochelle's blog,   https://rochellewisoff.com/      
Photo taken by  Na'ama Yehuda.

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KEEPING UP APPEARANCES

‘Take your umbrella, Sanji.’
‘But Mother – it’s so old-fashioned.”
‘A hundred other boys wanted that Government job but you won – carrying an umbrella is expected.’

So Sanji took the despised umbrella, with its curved handle worn smooth by his father and grandfather, and hung it beside his coat.
When the flash flood hit town unexpectedly, the umbrella’s metal tip broke through the office ceiling, the handle hooked a rafter, enabling Sanji and his colleagues to climb to the roof, and its black silken circle sheltered them until rescue arrived.

Eventually Sanji passed the treasured umbrella down to his son.

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Do please leave a comment before you go - on this story and on my bit of verse!

19/09/2019

SKYLIGHT - a story in 100 words


SKYLIGHT
Every day Martha slaved in the kitchen, the outside world only blue sky, scudding clouds, or rain clattering like pebbles. In winter, snow masked the light, reducing her prison to Stygian gloom.
Her mother said she was lucky to be warm and fed, but Martha relished the weekly walk home, the crisp cold a blessed relief from the blast furnace of the kitchen range.
But home was four miles away, and when she twisted her ankle on an icy puddle she was alone. They found her the next morning, her hands frozen around a hambone she had stolen for her mother.
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This week's story is another hurried one. I am heavily involved in our local village Arts Festival, and have to dash off in a minute to lock the church so nobody can walk off with one of the lovely paitings on display. Also my elderly mother has had a few falls in the past week and sitting for hours in A&E waiting for various tests is not conducuve to writing.
Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers and to J Hardy Carroll for the atmospheric photograph that is this week's prompt. You will find other stories by following the Blue Frog from Rochelle's blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/

12/09/2019

BLUR - a story in one hundred words


BLUR
Cataracts.
Operation.
No guarantees.
The words drop like stones. She stumbles home in a blur of eye drops and fear.

The day arrives. More drops so no reading for distraction – nothing to do but wait and worry. Bright lights, a blur of movement, the nurse’s hand a lifeline squeezed bloodless.

She goes home wearing a pirate patch and a relieved smile. Gazes at her unfamiliar reflection, restyles her hair, and walks in the rain without the blur of raindrops on glasses.

Now she’s a veteran. Cataract operation? Nothing to it – a doddle – you’ll be fine!
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'She' is of course me - I had both cataracts done last year and, after a lifetime of -9.5 myopia, I now only need glasses for reading. I could have written another story about having to dot several pairs around the house because I am unused to having to put glasses on for reading! 
I was AWOL last week due to various family matters, but I missed you all so here I am again. Thanks to CE Ayr for the photograph and to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog, from where you can follow the blue frog link to read other stories. https://rochellewisoff.com/

29/08/2019

MICHAEL'S GRANDSON


MICHAEL’S GRANDSON
Michael was a familiar figure around town, racing along pavements at 8mph on his mobility scooter, stopping in the pub for a pint or two. So when he broke down outside Boots there were many willing hands to push him home.
“This machine weighs a ton,” one friend said, “Forget to charge it up?”
“My grandson’s fault,” Michael said, “Plugged his extension lead into my socket without asking – they’d cut his power off for growing pot in his loft.”
“You should make him pay for the electric.”
“Nah – I owe him for a month’s supply as it is.”

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A combination of photos prompted my story this week - one from Rochelle's blog  and one which I took on Monday while shopping for a lawn edging tool with Mum.
Thanks to Linda Kreger for the first one and to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers - Follow the Frog from her blog to read other stories and/or to join in!  https://rochellewisoff.com/ 

22/08/2019

SHARK - a story in less than 100 words



SHARK
“That shark’s head gives me the shivers,” Kirsten said, “Let’s go somewhere else.”
“We only want a quick snack,” Rick said, “You can sit with your back to it.”
He was lifting a toasted sandwich to his mouth when his hand froze and he turned a sickly shade of grey.
“What’s wrong?” Kirsten asked, but he could only point. She turned round to see the glass wall bulging, and powering towards them at full speed was an enormous shark.
There was no time even to scream.

Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers each week on her blog   https://rochellewisoff.com/  and to Dale Rogerson for the photo that prompted this week's stream of consciousness!  I am late on parade this week because last night I had the privilege of my granddaughter staying for a sleepover. She is four and a half - need I say more? <3

15/08/2019

TWENTY-SOMETHING


TWENTY-SOMETHING


Dora had built the perfect life.
Henry returned each evening from the city to a sparkling home and the smell of something delicious cooking. Dora fitted her translating work seamlessly around school runs, entertained Henry’s clients, and did a fortnightly stint at a charity shop.

Then she found condoms in Henry’s car and her world wobbled. She tried to prop it up with his favourite meals, a different hairstyle and a new negligee, but it was too late.

A twenty-something brunette had blown in like a hurricane, reducing Dora’s carefully constructed edifice to a heap of crumpled wreckage.
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There have been some strong winds blowing round here recently, though the only damage we suffered was to a tower of runner beans, which are now propped up horizontally on my neighbour's fence. I have spoken to the plants gently in the hope that the shock will not have stunted the growth of their babies. 

Thanks to Rochelle for the photo of her own minor disaster which prompted this week's stories, and for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/


08/08/2019

BOYS WILL BE BOYS - a story in 100 words


BOYS WILL BE BOYS

It began with boys climbing the fence and diving into windowless rooms, rat-a-tat-tatting imaginary guns at unseen enemies. Later they sneaked in to smoke, swigging from bottles purloined from parental cupboards. ‘Boys will be boys,’ people said indulgently.

Then Craig hit town, all motorbike, money and black leather. The rampant bougainvillea now hid darker secrets, and an atmosphere of danger seeped from the crumbling plaster along with the smell of pot.

‘The police should have stopped it,’ people said when it was too late – after a local boy was found with a needle dangling from his arm.
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Rochelle is on holiday yet she still remembered to leave us with a photo prompt onher blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/  Thanks to Randy Mazie for the photo. One of these days I will work out how NOT to slip into a smaller font after copying Rochelle's blog title! The only alternative I can find is this which is the next size up on my toolbar! Or I could go really large, but that would be ridiculous.
Pleae leave a comment before you go :)

02/08/2019

FLYING VISIT - 100 word story

FLYING VISIT


Jake dropped the bombshell at suppertime. “Mum’s coming tomorrow for tea.”
“Tomorrow?” Alice squeaked, “I’ll never be ready in time!”
“Calm down,” Jake laughed, “It’s only a flying visit.”

Alice spent all evening cleaning, and in the morning she put out fresh towels, baked a cake, and weeded the garden. She was exhausted by the time Daphne arrived.

The cake was a success, and all went well until Daphne was leaving.
“I’ll just pop to the little girls’ room first,” she trilled, and Alice watched helplessly as her mother-in-law ran a finger along the top of the door.

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I know nothing about seaplanes, apart from the fact that my husband has always wanted to fly in one, so Ted Strutz's photo took me in an entirely different direction. Thanks as always to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog.   https://rochellewisoff.com/2019/07/31/2-august-2019/ted-strutz-plane/



I only just caught the Friday Fictioneers plane myself this week, as I have been away for a few days with my mother, who is 94. She walks so slowly with her two sticks that we hired a mobility scooter, and one afternoon while she had her nap I took it for a spin myself. It was fun, but also an interesting experiment being a person in a wheelchair. Some peole moved politely out of the way, others completely ignored me! This is Mum bowling along Eastbourne seafront in a howling gale.




And for sheer over-the-top ostentatious decor, check out the interior of the Victorian Tea Room on the pier!

24/07/2019

CHUFFER TRAIN - a little story in a hundred words


CHUFFER TRAIN
The landing craft circled, its cameras focussed on the train below.
“A primitive form of transport,” the Commander decided, and sent Phtam to make First Contact.
Slightly wobbly on her unfamiliar legs, Phtam walked along the platform and approached the nearest figure. “Good day.”
The man didn’t even acknowledge her. She tried each person in turn with no success. A train chuffed into the station but still no-one moved, and when it left, so did Phtam.
“They’re all dead,” she reported. “Probably a virulent virus.”
The ship left hurriedly – without spotting the sign on a gate --
‘Model Village closed today’.
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Apologies to the real people - if they ARE real - on this station, but Sandra Crook's photo reminded me of a model village on the Isle of Wight which I visited recently with my granddaughter.
Thanks as ever to https://rochellewisoff.com/ for hosting Friday Fictioneers - if you care to follow the links from her blog you can read other stories prompted by Sandra's photo.
PS to Sandra - is that Corfe Castle in the background of your photo?

This is the Isle of Wight model village...









17/07/2019

MARVIN'S EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCE - a story in 100 words


MARVIN’S EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCE

Marvin was waiting for his brother to help move his stall, so when the Thing landed he was alone.
“Who are you?” it demanded.
“Don’t you mean, ’Take me to your Leader’?” Marvin replied.
“That is so last millennium.”
Marvin tipped his hat. “Marvin Brown, purveyor of pretzels and chilli chicken dogs. You look a bit undernourished.”
The Thing sniffed with a nose the size of a small car and covered its face. “Don’t think I’ll risk it, thanks,” it said, and shot back up into the night sky.
“Bloody aliens don’t know what’s good for them,” said Marvin.
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A ten minute, one hundred word story for a very odd photo prompt - my first thought was, who would actually PUT something so weird in the middle of a town? My granddaughter would be scared silly. 
Thanks to Roger Bultot for the photo and to Rochelle for running the weekly show that is Friday Fictioneers. Click on the link to read what other writers thought of the photo - https://rochellewisoff.com/

10/07/2019

DINNER - a story for Friday Fictioneers in 100 words


DINNER
People were enjoying a peaceful dinner when the power failed, plunging the restaurant into darkness.
In the ensuing confusion tables were overturned, glasses smashed, and then the screaming started. One after another the voices rose to a crescendo ... and stopped. Then there was another sound, like a child slurping thick milkshake through a straw, but amplified a hundred-fold.
After a few moments there was nothing but silence.
When the police arrived, three strange tubes were disappearing into the ground, smeared with gore, and the floor of the restaurant was a foul, pulpy mess.
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Not the most pleasant way to make my reappearance after a few weeks absent, but those waving arms look menacing to me! Two weeks ago I was in Northern Ireland visiting my elder daughter and her husband and drinking Guinness. And last week I was painting my bedroom and my desk was inaccessible!

20/06/2019

DELAYED - a story in a hundred words


DELAYED

When my flight is seriously delayed, I phone Ellie.
She’s furious. “How could you? We’re meeting the vicar tomorrow!”
Her shrill voice carries to the woman beside me, who smiles sympathetically. “My boyfriend has to attend a business dinner alone – he thinks I’ve done it deliberately.”
The airline offers hotel rooms and we share dinner – I haven’t talked to Ellie for that long, ever.
We meet again at breakfast, share a cab back to the airport, and part on a promise – once the decks are cleared we’ll meet again.
We have so much more to say.
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Rochelle is the indefatigable woman who runs this weekly beanfeast and you can find her on  https://rochellewisoff.com/   if you follow the froggy link you can read scores of other stories prompted by her photograph.
I have been busy painting the door frames on my landing. It's a small cottage and the three doorframes, which comprise three sides of a square, have only an inch of wall between them. This makes positioning the drip sheet easy, but it's also easy to step back and smudge the paint, and oh! the repetetiveness of the task! Only the light shining on wet paint tells me where I've been and which is still waiting to be done.
Writing and gardening have filled my spare time :)
PS - I may be AWOL next week - we are off to Lisnaskea in Northern Ireland to visit my daughter.

13/06/2019

VISITING MABEL - a story in a hundred words


VISITING MABEL

“You’ve got a visitor, Nan,” Sandra said brightly.
“That’s nice, dear. The kettle’s boiling, I’ll make tea.”
Aileen looked around. A cushion-filled armchair, an iron warming on the antique range, a chenille cloth hiding the table-legs. Sixty years out of date, certainly, but nothing to suggest the old lady was losing the plot.

Mabel put a cup by Aileen’s elbow and offered a tin of biscuits.
“Don’t take the Bourbons – I’m saving those for Gerald.”
She touched the sepia photograph that held pride of place on the mantelpiece.
“His letter from the front last week said he’d be home soon.”
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People have different ways of coping with grief - who's to say Mabel's way is wrong? Dementia also manifests itself in many different ways, and losing forty years is possibly one of the easiest for the sufferer.
Thanks to Rochelle -  https://rochellewisoff.com/ - for hosting Friday Fictioneers every week, even when she's off on a jaunt, and to Valerie J Barrett for the atmospheric photograph.

05/06/2019

SHUTTERS - a story in exactly one hundred words


SHUTTERS

All visitors see are the bright paintwork, the pots of cheerful geraniums leading up to the front door. Nobody notices the shutters down here, the shrubs blocking the steps in case anyone becomes curious.
Two years I have spent here – I mark the days on the wall behind the sofa, hidden from sight.
They tell everyone I died and left them the house. She wants to make it true, but my pathetic son hasn’t the stomach for it.
She will try one day soon. She imagines I am helpless, but even a wooden spoon can be sharpened to a point.
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Thanks as always to https://rochellewisoff.com/  for hosting our weekly jaunt into a flash fiction fantasy world. Follow the link from Rochelle's blog to read scores of other stories, all prompted by Ceayr's photo of a house that doesn't have the dark story I have attributed to it - or maybe it does?

29/05/2019

WHEN MATT AND TRACEY WERE MARRIED


WHEN MATT AND TRACEY WERE MARRIED

Matt and Tracey’s wedding was perfect.
Her Dad mellowed from ‘Don’t bring that hippie round my house’ to ‘He’s a son-in-law to be proud of’.
His mother, who had threatened not to come, was splendid in pink with a huge hat.
His brother’s speech managed – just – not to offend Grandma, the cake was delicious, and her sister caught the bouquet.
They jetted off to the Maldives in a daze of happiness.

The glow lasted till the third day. The islands were so low in the fabulous azure sea that the only way Matt could get a signal was by climbing a tree.
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I wrote today's story in ten minutes, and it came in at exactly 100 words, so I hope it passes muster! 
Thanks to Rochelle for hosting our group of writers and to Susan Eames for the photograph - I am sure a mobile signal was the last thing on her mind when she took it! Sorry, Susan :(

24/05/2019

BLINDFOLD - a story in a hundred words


BLINDFOLD

Nobody wanted to play Cousin Gary’s stupid game, but as we hadn’t seen him for years we let him persuade us.
I should have stopped it when he held Susie a second too long while guiding her hand to pin the tail on the donkey, but I told myself not to be paranoid.
Then it was my turn. Blindfolded, I heard scuffling and a smothered gasp, but even then I didn’t guess, and finished my go before I removed Gary’s woollen scarf.
The expression on Susie’s face will haunt me to the grave.
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I am late on parade this week, due mostly to the lovely weather which has taken me out into the garden instead of sitting at my computer. Having inherited a neglected garden last summer, there is a lot to do. Protecting my spinach from the depradations of pigeons was this week's prioiry!


16/05/2019

WATER - a story in a hundred words


WATER

I am the sprite known as Agua.
Sucked through a pipe and imprisoned in this chlorinated hell.

Every day people invade my space, the crash of their entry vibrating through every cell in my body.

I hide in the corners to avoid their thrashing limbs, but there is no escape.

Only when they leave can I swim in the shade between their hard squares of light, longing for the tree shadows and weed-scented river of home.

One day I will drag a body under and hold it.
Perhaps then they will drain this watery prison and set me free.


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I have always found empty swimming pools eerie, and the unidentifiable swirls in Rochelle's photograph inspired my story this week. What's more, I hit exactly a hundred words first time!
Thanks to https://rochellewisoff.com/  for hosting Friday Fictioneers tirelessly week after week, even when away in the Holy Land - hope you're having a great time, Rochelle!

08/05/2019

THUNDER OF WAR

Jean L Hayes's photograph for Friday Fictioneers looks like a war-ravaged landscape to me, and as I am in the throes of rewriting my next book, I am reprising a story I wrote four years ago that seems to fit the bill. 
Thanks to https://rochellewisoff.com/ for hosting Friday Fictioneers - if you follow the Blue Frog link from her blog you can read other stories.
I am also gardening, of course, and once I put that hat on I can be engrossed for hours!
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 THUNDER OF WAR

After months of hiding in the cellar, trembling at each explosion and venturing out only when driven by hunger, Shira crept away through the ruins.

Carrying her daughter through the broken timbers and glass shards, she dodged from shadow to shadow until they were in the fields.

They dropped flat every time a bomb fell, but when they reached the hills the sounds of war were mercifully distant.

Sheltered beneath a tree, they slept until woken by a crash directly overhead.
The child screamed, but Shira said soothingly, “Hush, it is only thunder. See, here comes the rain.”

02/05/2019

THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET


THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET

Huddled in his doorway, Harvey stared sourly across the street. Why did the sun never shine on him? Over there it was spring, with a hint of green colouring the trees, but on this side the snow still lay in dirty heaps.

He pulled his overcoat tighter and scowled at the people streaming into the synagogue. Their cheerful greetings floated across the sunny street to Harvey’s shadow, families and friends together, emphasizing his loneliness.

A car pulled up beside him and a man got out.
“What are you doing skulking over here, Harvey? Come on – you’ll be late. Happy Passover!”
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It took me a while to come up with a story for Roger Bultot's photo - not being Jewish I couldn't think of anything appropriate - but my story could easily be about any place of worship.
Poor Harvey is clearly suffering from depression - a state in which one can often only view the lighter side of life from ones own darkness.

25/04/2019

RECCE - a story in less than 100 words



RECCE

Asbed scuttled up the shingle like a crab, terrified at the noise it made, and peeped between the seaweed covered beams of the breakwater.
After the filth and fear of the camp the peaceful town looked like paradise. He imagined clean beds, decent food, and freedom. If only...
From the dinghy Karim hissed, ‘Hurry up!’
Asbed sighed and took a photograph. They returned quickly to the yacht and sailed east again – just two men out on a fishing trip.

Back at the refugee camp Asbed’s photograph sold a hundred cross-Channel tickets.
*****
Sandra Crook's photograph could almost have been taken on my short break last week in Folkestone, where there is a vast shingle beach, empty on the cool and foggy morning of our walk, from which on a clear day you can see France.
That family visit, and the glorious weather over the Easter weekend, are my excuse for my absence from FF last week - I hope you missed me.




10/04/2019

THE END OF CIVILISATION - a story in 100 words


THE END OF CIVILISATION

It was deadlier than a nuclear blast – an endless tsunami of sound. Those who didn’t die of embolisms jumped into the ocean in suicidal agony.

Animals, unaffected by the sonic bomb, invaded the towns with astonishing speed – pampered pets fell victim to predators or turned feral.

Within months the cities began to disappear beneath foliage. Pollarded trees hid their scars with luxuriant growth, cracking pavements in their search for water. Unchecked plants climbed telephone wires, reaching though open windows. Mould consumed paper, fabric and, eventually, even plastic.

It was the end of civilisation – but not the end of the world.
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 This is a story written in response to the photograph taken by Roger Bultot and posted for Friday Fictioneers on Rochelle's blog at  https://rochellewisoff.com/  If you visit her blog you can follow the links to read how scores of other writers interpreted the image.

After an early burst of spring in the south of England which brought my new garden to life, we have returned to wintry blasts. Unfortunately the grass doesn't know it's supposed to stop growing, and the lawn mower has been out twice already, and the birds are consuming vast quantities of seed and dried mealworms. Only my vegetable seeds and potato sets are sensibly keeping their heads below ground until the weather warms up - which we hope will be in time for Easter.

Meanwhile, if you're stuck indoors, why not read one of my books? While I work on a third book in my Living Rock series, the first two books, A Volcanic Race and Wolf Pack are available on Amazon, along with Helter-Skelter, a stand-alone historical novel.
I would love to have LOTS more readers and, of course, more 5* reviews!

04/04/2019

NOT LOST BUT HIDING - a 100 word story


NOT LOST BUT HIDING

“You lost her?” Ellie’s mum shrieked. “It’s getting dark and she’s only seven!”
“She just ran off,” Roy mumbled. “You know how thick those woods are.”
“You’re the thick one – now we’ll have to go back out there and find her.”

Ellie didn’t like the woods at night – all those trees looming, the brambles clutching at her dress – and she was scared. When she saw the torches she nearly called out – until she heard his voice.

She didn’t want to be found after all – at least, not by Uncle Roy.
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Ronda del Baccio's photo inspired a dark story this week - my first for a fortnight as I have been on holiday with my daughters and granddaughter. We were looking forward to a week of sunshine but the weather had other plans. One day of torrential rain, another of showers, but we managed a couple of mornings on the beach and a few delicious meals out, so I came home refreshed.

Since my return I have been concentrating on a severe rewrite of the third book in my Living Rock series, and have finally settled on its title - Rock Fall. If you haven't read the first two, now is your chance - A Volcanic Race and Wolf Pack are available on Amazon in print or ebook.

Along with many other writers I am also tweeting a Very Short Story on Twitter regularly, prompted by a word chosen by #vss365. If you would like to read those, my tag is @young_liz.

20/03/2019

HEN PARTY - reprising a 100 word story

HEN PARTY

Why this story? you may ask. Because I'm off to Tenerife with my daughters and granddaughter for a week, and we might see some bright lights while we're there. Also because we fly out at the crack of dawn tomorrow and I haven't finished packing! So here's one I wrote earlier - three years earlier, to be exact. Hope it meets with approval.
Visit Rochelle's blog to read what others have written this week.https://rochellewisoff.com/  and apologies for not visiting many others myself - I will be a tad busy with a 4 year old!



HEN  PARTY

Six of us flew to Tenerife for Leanne’s hen do. The apartment was pretty basic, but it didn’t matter because we were out every night.
In one night-club this creepy bloke bought us all drinks, and when we staggered home in the pitch dark he tried to kiss me. Eeuuw!
He pinned me against a palm-tree – I still remember his long pointed teeth – but then the moon came out like a spotlight, there was a horrible screech, and a black shape flapped up into the tree. When I looked round, the bloke had just vanished.
A real weirdo, that one!

13/03/2019

SOUL MUSIC - flash fiction in only 60 words


SOUL MUSIC

She only stopped playing when her arthritis forced her to, but she still dusted the keys and polished every inch each week.
The piano-tuner still came regularly too. I remember his dog would sit underneath – a gentle creature.
Then the day after her funeral her husband banished me to the shed.
Obviously he doesn’t realise a piano has a soul.
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This week's photograph by Anshu is so sad, and my story was written in five minutes - truly flash fiction! 

06/03/2019

BIKER CAT - one hundred words for Friday Fictioneers


BIKER CAT

Fernando always parked his bike beside his house, out of sight of potential thieves. The engine-warmed seat was Morena’s favourite place, but she usually jumped off when Fernando rattled his keys.

Not that day. She refused to budge, even digging her claws into the leather when he tried to push her off. He laughed indulgently. “All right, five more minutes while I fetch my football kit.”

He returned with his kit bag just in time to see emergency vehicles race past towards the motorway. If he’d left two minutes earlier he’d have been in that pile-up.
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I'm a firm believer in animal's ESP instincts - are you?
Either way, I hope you enjoy my story - please leave a comment if you can before you go to read other stories via https://rochellewisoff.com/  Thanks to CEAyr for the photograph - which reminded me of Tenerife where I lived for 15 years. I am due to return there this month for a short visit to catch up with old friends - and to celebrate a birthday. I am much too old to have them but hey! who cares?

27/02/2019

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS - 100 word story


TWENTY-FIVE YEARS

Twenty-five years we’ve been married, all but a month, and I’m not sure I can face pretending we’re a loving couple at a big party.
We met in that square ugly diner outside town – I served him coffee and doughnuts – and I was pregnant before I even knew his surname. So here we are, trapped by a mortgage and by three kids neither of us can bear to part with.

That was yesterday. Today he brought me flowers. And there’s a lovely dress in the boutique that might fit me. I suppose a silver wedding anniversary deserves some recognition.
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This week's photograph by Jean L Hays didn't inspire me to write anything cheerful, though I have done my best. Other writers have managed better, which you can judge for yourself by going to https://rochellewisoff.com/  and following the blue frog link.

20/02/2019

GILDING THE LILY - a 100 word story


GILDING THE LILY

Lucy’s father took her out for a pizza on her birthday and spoiled her, as usual. A computer game she’s been on about for weeks, a cashmere jumper that will need hand-washing, and a box of make-up.
Lucy saw my expression. “Mum! I am ten now, you know.”
“We discussed this already, darling – no make-up till you’re a teenager.”
“It’s not fair – everyone else wears it.”
“None of your friends do.”
She smiled reluctantly, knowing she’d lost. “Okay – I’ll swap it – Boots have some really cool sunglasses.”
It seems only yesterday she was in nappies.
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Exquisite though these are, I prefer roses au naturel, hence my story today.
Thanks to Rochelle for the photograph and for hosting Friday Fictioneers. To read how other writers interpreted the prompt, go to  https://rochellewisoff.com/  and follow the Blue Frog trail.


13/02/2019

SIREN CALL - a story in 100 words for Friday Fictioneers


SIREN CALL

Drawn irresistibly by her siren call, he scaled the wall with limbs born on a mountainside, clawed digits digging into the cracks like crampons.
For years he had ached to hear a female voice. Gaining the ledge, he began to dance, bobbing his head, inflating his purple throat, putting his all into the courtship display.

She didn’t respond, merely repeating her mating call over and over until dusk, when she fell silent. Night was a dangerous time to be out in this alien place – he slunk away.

Inside the apartment, having switched off the air-conditioning unit, the humans slept.
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This week's photo prompt comes from J Hardy Carroll via Rochelle's blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/  where she has hosted Friday Fictioneers for at least the four years I have been writing Flash Fiction.
Thrilled this week to have sold another copy of my latest book Wolf Pack - 
I hope whoever bought it enjoys it and spreads the word!
If you like my flash fiction you might like to obtain your own copy, in print or ebook. It couldn't be easier - simply click on the cover image on this page which will take you to Amazon. And thanks.
Oh yes - and Happy Valentine's Day, whether you receive roses and champagne, just a card, or simply bask in other people's glow!