Oct 2013

"Sometimes Only a Boo Will Do" - Trifecta

          Trifecta 101 Trifecta Writing Challenge
          33-333 words using the following prompt (third definition):


          1 (interjection)
          used to express contempt or disapproval or to startle or frighten

          2 (noun)
          a sound that people make to show they do not like or approve of someone or something

3 (verb)
          to show dislike or disapproval of someone or something by shouting “Boo” slowly

Sometimes Only A Boo Will Do

(extract from “
Booing and Other Improvised Expressive Devices - A Handbook” - 2013)

Chapter 3.1

The Use and Laying of I.E.D.s


Whilst booing sounds childish to many it is noisy and surprisingly effective. As the well known quote goes:

A boo is three quarters of a boom, so simple maths show that four people booing is equivalent to three booms...

This is why booing was one of the "Original Three" actions classified as an effective Improvised Expressive Device (I.E.D.).

Bear in mind that there is no easy retreat from a boo - you can’t boo quietly and you can’t hide it was you - the reddening face, curled lips, creased up eyes and heaving chest is usually a giveaway (not to mention the finger jabbing which often accompanies it).

This means that the booee - and any of their representatives - are likely to see you were at least one of the booers booing. There will be no doubt about it - you will be marked down as a booer.

So if you decide to boo you’d better mean it.

          An example of a time you may want to use a boo:

          You come across a politician just down the street from you - he’s spouting lies and other crap in front of the cameras and sycophantic supporters. He represents you. You pay his wage. You pay his expenses.

You can’t just walk away - it’s at times like these that you need an effective I.E.D. so lay one on him thick.

          "Boooooooooo! BOOOOOO!"

* the other two of the Original Three were ‘Farting noises’ and ‘Sarcastic laughing’ which are covered in Chapters 5 and 7 respectively.

(269 words) @zevonesque

"Howlin' For You" - MWBB

Out of the Bottle

On Friday night Susan and Natasha were in the Old Red Lion in Soho as usual. Susan was in one of her playful moods.

          Susan knocked Natasha’s elbow, ‘What do you reckon?’

          Natasha followed Susan’s eyes, ‘You’re an odd one Suze,’ she said giggling, ‘This place is full of attractive men and some look pretty well... well you know.’

          ‘Well off?’ Susan said.

          ‘Well, yeah,’ Natasha said, ‘May as well catch yourself a nice meal or two while you’re relatively young and pretty much single.’

          ‘Hey you know my feelings on that,’ Susan said, before draining her glass, ‘Anyway you know I like the quirky ones.’

          ‘You off then?’ said Natasha as Susan walked away from the bar towards the unsuspecting man.

          James looked taken aback as Susan barred his path towards the bar.

          ‘Excuse me, Miss,’ he said.

          ‘How very formal,’ Susan said, looking directly into James’ eyes, ‘Sir.’

          Susan was taken by his eyes. They were so intense. So unusual.

          James smiled, ‘I’m just going to the bar. May I get past please Miss.’

          ‘Why of course, in a while,’ she said holding out her hand, ‘Susan.’

          The next day she sent a short text to Natasha “His name is James and he’s an animal. I’m in lust. Think he is too. Not sure bout the size of his wallet but we aint been eating! Suze. x”

James had been a good boy for several years. It had been tough to begin with, but his perseverance paid off. Keeping his head low. Locking himself away. A very good boy.

          His first night out for three years was to celebrate his birthday - and to test whether he could get out there again properly in public - without mishaps.

          He had a big dish of beef chow mien at Lee Ho Fuchs and then headed with not just a trace of trepidation to the Old Red Lion. He had reasoned a nice old Victorian pub should be much safer than a bar packed like an old cattle market. The reasoning was solid, but there was no accounting for Susan being there.

          She’d pounced on him. Pounced. On him!

          Susan was all over him. Loved his eyes, she’d said in the taxi back to his. When she was there it was evident the eyes were not that important as the lights were soon off. Although it had been three years he’d thought he hadn’t missed nights like these. But Susan had reawakened him. The animal within him.

          In the morning Susan made James a cooked breakfast which he wolfed down. He couldn’t remember when he last felt this alive, but he was also a little worried about where it may end.

          ‘Want to see me again?’ Susan said.

          ‘You want to?’ said James, trying to hide his excitement.

          ‘Oh yeah!’ Susan said as she knocked off a crumb of toast from her top lip.

          James looked at the shirt she was wearing, ‘That my shirt you’ve got on there?’

          ‘Err yep. Don’t you remember tearing off my blouse last night?’ Susan said holding up what was left of it.

          ‘Did I do that?’

          ‘Oh yeah. And that howling during our first... well, you know.’ Susan grinned. ‘Such an animal.’

          James realised he didn’t remember much from the night and it worried him - a little.

          Susan had let the genie out of the bottle - well the hairy-arsed werewolf.

(566 words) @zevonesque

Mid Week Blues Buster #36 - this week's Mid Week Blues Buster from J Tsuruoka was a ballad "Howlin' for You" sung by Black Keys.


"Memory" - Visdare #43


The Blue Morpho

Hot after her walk the condensation on the glass was gloriously cool to Julie’s hand. She touched the glass to her face, enjoying the water dribble down her cheek. A guttural call of a howler monkey could be heard some where to the right of the balcony. Julie closed her eyes soaking in the noises of the forest while straining to feel even a slight breeze on her wet cheek.

          When she re-opened her eyes she found a large Blue Morpho butterfly had landed on her hand. As she studied it she found herself thinking of her mum - funny how memory works - she remembered how she felt when her mum had told her that a butterfly in one part of the world could set off a storm elsewhere. She’d hated butterflies after that and her mum for telling her. She smudged the blue and grey residue across the tabletop.

Blue Morpho

Visdare #43 - 'Memory'

Christine - Trifecta Week 100!


Christina looked at the blank magnolia wall opposite her bed and could feel her rage slowly dissipate. She’d always left the wall blank so there was nothing there to hate - to focus on. Her breathing was returning to normal and she swept her hair away from her flushed face. As she did so she noticed a little blood on her thumb and went to instinctively lick it away, but a powerful smell of nail varnish remover made her recoil.

          Strewn debris of beauty products, china cups and trinkets beneath the drawers and shelves testified to the fit of anger that had hit her home like a tornado. The broken bottle of nail polish remover had glugged its last into the old carpet. That was Christine for you.

          Her alter ego was not well known these days, Christina effectively kept her to the house - most of the time. All her friends knew Christina as a bubbly and exciting young woman - just last week Susan had said her epitaph would read “Always up for a laugh” but when Christine came calling you wouldn’t want to be there.

          Christina had wanted to give her other self another name, to separate herself from her actions, but she only changed one letter to show how close the two were. Her life was always on the edge Christine was a simple vowel away and could appear at any time.

          The whirlwind damage had now left Christina with no mirrors or photograph frames with tell tale reflections. Without a mirror she wondered how she would know if she was Christina or Christine - how would she know when it was safe to take herself outside?

          An open window let in the autumn breeze and the rippling curtains made her shadow dance on the magnolia wall - a phantom battle flickering between good and evil.

(305 words) - Trifecta 100 "Phantom"

What Makes You Scared!? - Trifextra


Teeth 3
Photo Source

I’m scared of people with teeth - precisely, those that seem to have too many massive glowing ones, filling their head with that false man-made white. There’s something decidedly wrong with those people.

(33 words)

This was from the quick Friday Trifextra prompt - looking for a 33-word explanation of what scares you (or your character).

This weekend's challenge is 
community judged.

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Weekly Flash Fictions

Trifecta 30
From the Trifectans!: Trifecta
33-333 words - Weekly from Monday to Thursday

Visdare 30
Angela Goff's: Visdare challenge
<150 words - Weekly from Tuesday

Jeff Tsuruoka's: Mid Week Blues Breaker
300-700 Words between Tuesday and Friday

Flash Friday 30
Rebecca Postupak's: Flash! Friday Fiction
Word count variable
and sometimes exact!
Dragons welcome.

Looking back I think I actually started with the Mid Week Blues Buster then quickly discovered Visdare after that, which I probably do the most (150 words, you can always fit in 150 words). Since then I came across Trifecta, which is great, and then more recently the Flash Friday Fiction.

All four are fun to do - else why would you do them - and they have a good community of people too.

So don't be afraid if you haven't done it before, if you are looking to put your toe in the water with a splash of flash fiction then give them all a go and see which one(s) suit you best.

…These are my favourites, other writing challenges are undoubtedly out there.

"West" Mid Week Blues Buster

Mid Week Blues Buster #35
This week's Mid Week Blues Buster from J Tsuruoka was a ballad 'I Am Going to the West' sung by Connie Dover (great voice, bit of a boring song).

Going West

Sue was looking out the window at the familiar view, the wheelie bins were strayed across the narrow footpath like an urban assault course.

          ‘Life is a young person’s game,’ Greig said.

          Sue was still feeling stunned.

          ‘It’s a great opportunity,’ she said, ‘Fab job and a bloody house thrown in. What’s to stop you?’

          ‘Yeah, it’s great,’ he said before taking a sip of coffee, ‘You’d be a fool not to take it.’

          Sue turned and faced the kitchen wall mouthing a swearword.

          ‘A house. A job. A great job in a great place. It’s what we wanted,’ she half shouted, ‘Plenty of time for you to find something there.’

          Greig shrugged and the silence lingered between them.

          He slurped his coffee to break the silence and palpable tension, ‘Look, I’m settled here. I’ll find something here, eventually. But I’m not going to up-sticks to move out west now. I’m past all that. It’s a young person’s game.’

          Sue looked at him not bothering to hide her anger, ‘You’ve said that already.’

          She’d been excited before telling him moving to the US - to Cali-for-ni-A! - and now she felt like she’d been punched in the solar plexus by a heavyweight.

          Later that day Sue went around to her friends in a terrible state and told her all that had happened. Fiona then told Sue what she wanted to hear, along the lines of: “too good for him” - “he’s an idiot” - “what is he thinking” - “dickhead” - “better off without him” - “let’s get drunk!” and after a couple of bottles of wine she did feel a bit like it could end up being a good thing.

          Meanwhile Greig rang his dad, ‘Cheers for doing that. She’ll do a good job for your business. She should never find out anyway.’

          ‘She bloody well better son!’ Greig’s dad said, ‘Trust your new woman is worth it.’

          ‘Oh yeah, she is,’ Greig said, ‘Maybe we’ll be both be over for Christmas.’

(330 words) MWBB


"Outnumbered" - Visdare #42

The Panorama

Photo source

On the day of liberation much champagne was uncorked, but mostly the smart dressed men in the Panorama Restaurant were simply high on the excitement of being there. Below them the allied armies swept through the streets taking in the accolades from the jubilant crowds - ecstatic to have survived through The Occupation.

     ‘There’ll be some hard times ahead but at least we can finally see light again,’ said the tallest suited man.

          ‘Tomorrow will be hard enough with the hangover I’m working on,’ said another raising a glass.

           The man to his right - in a suit two sizes too big for him - said, ‘I thought this day would never come.’

          No-one noticed the woman in the smart white suit as she sauntered across to view the main square.

          ‘I thought this day would never come either,’ she said slugging back a little wine and swallowing a small bitter pill.

Visdare #42 - 'Outnumbered'


Early Demise of a Hedonistic Archaeologist - Trifecta #99


It is the
99th ever Trifecta Writing Challenge so to celebrate such a special occasion the challenge is suitably different - instead of 33-333 words on the 3rd definition of a word the challenge was to write about any of the words on the 99th page of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Well forget that, how about trying to throw most of them in instead? Here goes with a story of the early demise of a Filipino archaeologist - with a Russian grandmother - and a penchant for the odd vino tinto and a cheap cigar on his road to Babylon…

The Road to Babylon

When I was a bouncing baby on the Babuyan Islands

sat in my stretch forever

babushka rocked back and forth reminiscing about the Steppe,

I remained
babyish never playing with other children.

babysitters explain my later lurch

Bacchanalia, together with my love of

baccy, this caused my


When I passed my
baccalaureate I

celebrated with

then headed to
Babylonia - a Bachelor archaeologist.

Concern with bathroom cleanliness was easily put to the
back of one’s mind,

sadly returning
back to haunt me,

as now I’m dust blowing through Mesopotamia - simple
bacillary ignorance.

(99 words)


"Transfixed" - Visdare #41

The Butterfly

photo source

Maria had worked constantly to get to the top, with her skills and beauty there was some inevitability about her becoming the Bolshoi’s lead. She travelled the world a dazzling star - the newspaper’s who once referred to her as “Maria from the Projects” now called her “the Angel Maria”.

          She’d never forgotten her humble roots and returned one day to where she used to practice her dancing on the sandy floor beneath the flyover. She danced here again by herself a transient beauty - a butterfly.

          People from the project happened across her and soon the word got out causing a sensation bringing ever more residents in to watch her one woman show.

          “She’s from here you know?” said one woman.

          “She can’t be. Look at her.” said another.

          Women and men alike were brought to tears.

          Children stared, transfixed by the woman. The beautiful woman who’d got out, but returned.

(150 words)

Visdare #41 - 'Transfixed'

"A Beautiful Morning" - MWBB #34

A Beautiful Morning

A thin mist was drifting slowly across the low Cotswold hills giving them an ethereal quality. The watery grey sky was transitioning ever quicker through blues as the sun rose above the eastern hills and began to kill the mist. The sky was dotted with the large black flecks of jackdaws as their harsh calls were punctuating the quiet dawn. In short it was a stunning morning - one of those days which made you just happy to be alive.

          “Beautiful isn’t it?” the man said.

          “Stunning,” Daniel said, “Feel privileged to see it.”

          “Indeed, sir,” the man said following the flight of a jackdaw across the sky.

          Daniel could feel the sun begin to warm up the October morning, but it was still very cold and he couldn’t help a shiver.

          “That’s Raven Wood over there isn’t it?” Daniel said nodding over towards the copse at the base of the hill.

          “No sir, that be Hangman’s Copse,” he said, “Don’t know of any Raven Wood around here.”

          “Hangman’s Copse! Of course it is,” said Daniel.

          “Sorry sir,” the man said - looking like he wasn’t sorry at all.

          “There is a distinct lack of my brother in the landscape,” Daniel said scanning the horizon.

          “Yes, I’m sure you must be getting a little troubled by now sir,” said the man as he fondled the rope, “but we did say 8.30am so there’s still some time sir.”

          Close to the copse Daniel could see a river sparkling with little sun’s - it made him think again of the cut glass goblet he had stupidly stolen. He’d never seen such a thing of beauty and it had been a stupid spur of the moment mistake trying to capture it. So now he found himself on this beautiful morning awaiting the hangman’s noose.

          Daniel’s beloved Jenny had gone to get his brother - and the payoff for the hangman - twelve hours ago. Christopher only lived an hour away and alarm bells were now beginning to ring.

          As Daniel’s hope deflated a single magpie hopped along the track towards him and then flew up on to the nearby gatepost. It seem to look directly into his eyes and then from somewhere he thought he heard someone say sorry.

(371 words)
MWBB #34 - the song prompt was ‘Gallows Pole’ by Led Zeppelin

Stolen Time

Shortage of Writing Time

Nightmare day today - went for milk this morning when I saw Joe Anderson in his hard hat on Cairns Street (two blocks down) - and the corner shop was shut too - then it all went down hill from there -
check out my comments if interested. Grrr!

Had a couple of ideas yesterday/last night on re-doing two of my stories and was looking forward to getting my teeth into them today. Hashtag FAIL.

Maybe later. Maybe tomorrow.

Zombie for Love - Trifecta Week 98

Zombie for Love

Georgia had that dress on with the simple 60s cut and bright flowers - Sarah loved that dress but had to admit that with Georgia’s long blonde hair she looked the archetypal flower child. Still, Sarah thought it would better suit her.

          ‘Cheers!’ Georgia said clinking Sarah’s glass.

          ‘Bottom’s Up,’ Sarah said, ‘Here goes nothing.’

          Georgia took a sip of her lager as Sarah slugged back half her Zombie.

          ‘Donnie’s due in an hour - when I’ll be suitably relaxed,’ Sarah said knocking back the other half, ‘I’m going to make the move on him, he’s just not going to do it.’

          ‘You need a little lubrication to make that move too?’ Georgia said.

          ‘Hell yeah!’ Sarah said, ‘Still, these are gorge just taste of fruit.’

          ‘You’ll regret it tomorrow,’ Georgia said.

          ‘Risk-reward strategy babe!’ said Sarah.

          By the time Donnie walked in Sarah had defeated four Zombies and was feeling rather fuzzy. She could feel a grin grow across her face like a slow spreading dawn. He looked lovely - in a foggy sort of way.

          ‘Hi Georgia,’ Donnie said air-kissing her cheeks, ‘Hi Sarah, you two enjoying yourselves?’

          ‘Hi Donnie,’ said Sarah, ‘you’re looking love-er-lee today.’

          ‘Thanks,’ he said, ‘You both okay for drinks? Looks like I’m playing catch up.’

          As Donnie stood at the bar Sarah found herself blinking erratically trying - but failing - to clear her vision. When Donnie returned with a bottle of Blue Moon her ears seemed to be fogging and throbbing too - which she couldn’t shake. The last thing she remembered was trying to give Donnie the biggest most obvious of come-on smiles.

          In the morning Sarah woke up to a banging headache and the light sound of snoring. She could feel the warmth of skin against hers - she couldn’t remember a thing but at least her plan had worked.

          Sarah’s eyes then fell on something familiar draped over the chair and her stomach suddenly went queasy - it was Georgia's flower power dress and handbag.

333 Words - Trifecta 8 October 2013 “Zombie”

Nice to get to name check a
Green on Red song!

The weekly prompt.  Using the THIRD definition of the word, as always.  

ZOMBIE (noun)

usually zombi

a :  the supernatural power that according to voodoo belief may enter into and reanimate a dead body
b :  a will-less and speechless human in the West Indies capable only of automatic movement who is held to have died and been supernaturally reanimated
c :  a person markedly strange in appearance or behavior
 :  a person held to resemble the so-called walking dead; especially :  automaton
3 :  a mixed drink made of several kinds of rum, liqueur, and fruit juice

  • See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/

With Friends Like These

With Friends Like These

I took one sip and agreed it was just “gorg!” Georgia had said it would count as one of my five a day, so why not have two?

          ‘Go on, it’s really just a fruit punch with a teeny bit of a kick,’ Georgia said.

          An hour later and I was well passed my five a day and feeling pretty good about it.

          Donnie arrived and seemed to look a bit concerned about something, I think I saw him talk animatedly with Georgia before he came over. I gave him a big sloppy kiss on his smacker.

          ‘So, you’ve been on the fruit punch then I believe,’ Donnie said to me as he tried to peel the glass from my hand.

          ‘Yep, and they are love-err-lee!’ I said trying to suppress a burp.

          ‘You do know it’s not just fruit juice though don’t you?’

          ‘Of course, silly!’ I said grinning widely, ‘it’s got just a wee bit of a kick too.’

          ‘A wee bit? Why do you think it’s called a Zombie?’

          ‘A what?’

          Hic. Giggle. Burp.

          ‘Well it does taste lovely,’ Georgia said from somewhere behind me, ‘but perhaps you shouldn’t have any more love.’

          What a condescending cow.

          Donnie turned to Georgia, ‘What have you been drinking anyway while you’ve got her in this state?’

          ‘Oh I’m on the lager,’ Georgia said raising a half pint glass, ‘You wouldn’t catch me drinking that loopy juice.’

          I peered out at Georgia struggling to make her face out clearly - the room had suddenly fogged up. I was preparing to say something really witty or vicious - or preferably both - to Georgia.

          I don’t remember what happened after that and I’ve a couple of odd bruises I’m struggling to explain.

(252 Words)

(originally written for Trifecta but dropped in favour of the Zombie for Love story)


MWBB #33 and Flash Friday

A very quick burst of brain juice produced two rapid Flash Fictions this morning for Mid Week Blues Buster #MWBB and Flash Friday Fiction #FlashFridayFic

          MWBB #33 was using the Everything But The Girl song 'Missing' and as usual is for a story between 300 and 700.

          Whilst Flash Friday Fiction was a photograph of a drinking fountain with a prohibition notice on it. A nice short one this week - had to be
exactly 150 words.

Both MWBB and FlashFridayFic are paste in to the website - rather than link through - but for a change I've reproduce them below:

The Library Fountain

Libraries had been getting progressively strangled by governments for years. As they were starved of funds for books and building maintenance many of the customers stopped coming.

          Dingly Dell Library was seemingly bucking the trend with increasing numbers coming through the doors many keen to stay all day and enjoy the ambience. Some stayed so long they would fall asleep there and were difficult to get out. There always seemed to be a queue at the drinking fountain, which seemed odd to the librarians as it wasn’t as if the building was hot - the boiler needed replacement.

          By Thursday the local press were there reporting on queues waiting to get into the library. It was all very perplexing.

          On Friday afternoon and the “Class 2C Incident” the mystery was solved. The plumber who’d connected the tank at the Vodka distillery across the road to their water fountain was never identified.

The Dry Valleys

There’s some ignorant man sat opposite me - in your seat - looks constantly like he is about to pick his nose. I want him to so that I can look at him with disdain. He is in your seat - today.

          Two years ago you sat there and we talked as we always did - “soul mate talk” you called it. I sometimes have our conversations over in my head again, sometimes I tweak them a bit, sometime I invent new conversations too. Who am I kidding? I do it every day.

          Our last real conversation - two years ago today - had been about our favourite deserts, I’d said had to be the Chilean one - the one with the Nazca Lines and all that hokum - but you trumped me with the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica. They sounded properly fascinating them and I’d agreed that on our fantasy honeymoon the desert part of it would be spent in the dry valleys.

     He did it! - the ugly man thought I didn’t notice but he just picked his nose - I look at him with superior superiority through the window’s mirror reflection - in your seat.

     Over that last week we had sorted out our fantasy honeymoon destinations in terms of the tropics, cities, national parks, sporting events (because I loved you) and finally deserts. And then you left me without a word.

     Having this daily commute doesn’t let me forget you. We met here, we talked here, we gradually fell in love here, we realised we were soul mates here, how it was just meant to be - even though we both said we didn’t believe in any of that clap-trap I’m sure we both secretly did.

         Each day since I have sat in the same seat opposite yours - ignoring the morons who take the train with me. Most days we’ve talked.

     God I miss you Simon.

         It’s a special day today - two years since the McMurdo decision - so ’m going to walk past your house and talk with you there for a change. Where ever you are. Perhaps you can tell me why you left me here - alone. We were soul mates, strike that - we are ARE soul mates.

         Tomorrow if I’m strong enough I may visit your grave, but that would be like admitting you really did die in that crash. If I did that then I’m afraid that I wouldn’t be able to have these conversations with you anymore. And I’d miss that.

409 words

MWBB #33 “Missing” Everything But The Gir

"Oblivious" - Visdare #40

Photo source


Geraldine was one of the characters in the neighbourhood. Ask anyone and they knew her as “the old lady with the lamp”.

          She shuffled along the sidewalk towards the subway with her 6ft mahogany lamp stand - as she did Monday to Friday without fail - today it’s shade protected her blue rinsed hair slightly from the lashing October rain.

          She paid for two tickets - one for "her Henry" as her lamp stand was known. The ticket man wished her well as she tottered down the stairs - he was always amazed that she was there at the same time every day and how she held the stand vertically while looking so frail.

          At her destination the reliable Police Sergeant Finnegan helped her up the stairs.

          'There you go,’ Finnegan said as he released her arm, oblivious to the kilo of cocaine being couriered within the lamp.

          ‘Have a nice day,’ she said.

(150 words)

Visdare this week was the word "Oblivious" and the picture of the woman with the lamp stand above.
Visdare is a weekly - 150 word or less - challenge brought to you by Angela Goff at