Flash Friday Fiction

Flash Friday and an AH roll...

This weekend it was my turn once more with Voima to judge for Flash Fiction Friday. It was a tough one to fit in as I was working all but Sunday, and on Sunday I was at my parents for part of the day for their - almost a very large - anniversary.

I was pleased to complete the judging in good time and V and myself were pretty close with our initial picks and the top five or so were easy enough to pick. I had some IT issues as well as the time issues so unfortunately our results didn't get posted until Tuesday which I apologise for. It was nice to see that Team 8 had picked their second new winner. Though I was well surprised Holly hadn't won before. Check out the picks and the
winning tale here.

On the train home from my parents, after selecting the FFF places, I sketched out a very quick story for
Angry Hourglass which I typed up on my return home. It was quite a silly piece - but with the photo it asked for it. Still, was surprised to get a 2nd place for it. Brilliant! The piece is reproduced below beneath the photographic prompt:


Two butts and a Maybe
A.J. Walker

I love you more than… Well, words are more your thing than mine. Sometimes. But let’s just say- more than a big bone.

I thought I had you trained though. That we understood each other after I had those telepathy lessons with Gary the Yorkshire born Chihuahua – who seemed to have it made in her place. Admittedly she was a little confused by her name.

Still, after those lessons things seemed to improve. I mean you stopped giving me that vile pink tinned stuff that smelt of corpses and rancid butter around that time and gave me that other posh nosh stuff that smelt of beef stew and dumplings. That was much better; though I have a sneaking suspicion it’s the same recipe just a little tweaked. I am thankful for the tweaks and culinary finesse in any case.

Then you started taking me on walks, proper walks, when I wanted them. Not just when you felt like it, or the weather dictated.

Everything, thanks to my newly learnt Garyesque telepathy was coming up roses. Or at least Pedigree Chum.

So, when I told you the energy I was getting from the proper diet and exercise was making me a bit… well, frisky and that I wanted to see more butts, well I was expecting to sniff out some mighty fine opportunities. Butts. Dog butts.

But no. No you imbecile. I’m here tied up by a bloody trashcan with ‘Butts’ written on it. Telepathy is too good for you. Wasted. Telepathetic.

Cigarette butts. FFS. No idea what ‘FFS’ stands for but I reckon that’s right. FFS.

Butts: dog’s butts!

It’s quite cute though that aluminium can. Says ‘butts’ on it too, which is turning my head a little. I can see my silvering reflection. If I squint, and I am, it could be a mighty fine lady dog looking back at me. Woof!

Okay, I’m not sure this is right, or wrong. But who decides that? It’s not you woman. Butts I said. Clearly!

Right, tin-can tease are you ready for some high pitched Chihuahau action? I’ll be gentle. Though maybe a little manic… Prepare to be boarded!

(360 words)


Recent Flash Challenges

Recent Weeks

I've been quietly prolific over the last month or so with entries all over the place in
Flash Friday, Angry Hourglass, Microbookends, 3Line Thursday and even Luminous Creatures.

Been getting a few honourable or special mentions and even runner up places. So not been doing bad at all.

As these all get posted on the respective websites I will post a few of the stories up here shortly for posterity.


Highfalutin Flash! Friday

Last Friday I submitted my by now traditional double effort for Flash! Friday Fiction. I actually found it quite a tough one with the picture of a burning plane (the aptly named Hellcat) crashing into an aircraft carrier (the USS Enterprise) and the requirement for one of the main characters being a lawyer. But once I'd had my ideas they rolled off pretty quickly.

No winner again but at least one of the two (Widdle) got a Special Mention thanks to the use of "humour, 'highfalutin' and a heavy cheese session" (again). Huzzah! I should use Highfalutin more often.

Click on the picture below to go through to the FFF and read some/all of the fab stories from the Dragon followers.

Burning Hellcat crashing into the USS Enterprise - the FFF prompt Vol 3-22

To Boldly Sue Who No One Had Sued Before

“I’ve heard you’re the best in the business.” Benny said. “I want to hire you.”

Harry smiled. “What business?”

“Ambulance chaser.”

“Ha, I don’t like the terminology, but yeah best in California.”

Benny held out his hand which Harry shook firmly.

“You been in an accident then?”

“Oh, yep. Not my fault. I want you to sue them for me.”

“Great. Any witnesses?”

“Oh yeah, many.”

“Will they remember the accident?”

“I’d say so.”

“When did it happen?”

“A week ago, on the 1st December.”

“Do you have the details of who was to blame and the vehicle registration?”

“It was Admiral J.T. Church, he moved the runway.”

“The runway? Is that a foreign car?”

“No the runway, on the USS Enterprise. Just when I was due to come in. Such idiots.”

“You were parking on a ship?”

“Not so much parking as landing. I mean, how dangerous?”

“So, you’re a pilot.”

“Of course.”

“But, an aircraft carrier? The whole point is that they move isn’t it?”

“That’s what they seem to be using as their defence. But it wasn’t really implicit during training. It seems almost negligent to me to expect us pilots to land onto a moving ship. Isn’t it?”

Harry sighed. “No win, no fee?”

“Fair enough.”

(210 words) 8 May 2015 Story 1 of 2

Widdle Finishes One Enterprise and Begins Another

“Barnstable, Barnstable & Fletcher, Inc” was actually just Eric Widdle, but he thought the business sounded better with a few more names; none of them being his.

The strap-line on his advert read “your nightmare could be your opportunity”. He’d come up with it himself one night after a heavy cheese session. He didn’t like the idea of paying for some high falutin’ ad agency to come up with something corny, when he could do it himself for the price of some oatcakes and a slab of Danish Blue.

He was just starting out in law after his mishap on the USS Enterprise. It hadn’t been his fault of course. A lens had fallen out of his glasses just as he was lining up the landing. Then it all got fuzzy; until he woke in hospital.

The headlines had been quite hurtful and he still didn’t know where his parents had moved to. He understood that divers had now found most of the Enterprise.

The navy had been good paying for him to do the correspondence course in “Law for Beginners” whilst he’d been bedridden. The whole crew had signed a card to him too. He still couldn’t quite work out the handwriting, but was sure it said something nice.

(210 words) 8 May 2015 Story 2 of 2 - Received a
Special Mention


Writing, Still

Just to assure you - as I am sure you've been worried - but I am still writing. Haven't been putting anything up here for a while though have I? Well, that coincides with having to take on a ridiculously long houred job.

But I have still been submitting stories on
Flash Friday Fiction, Microbookends and the like. I had a third place in Microbookends the Thursday before last, which was nice with such a rush job. Still, it is one of the badges I need to get my hands on.


Talking of badges I have submitted stories every Friday in January and every week bar one in February so I have the new shiny '
Ring of Fire' badge. Huzzah! It's a pretty big club and is full of wonderful people of course - check them all out on the Wall of Flame.


Flash Week: Microbookends, FFF and AH

Well, I didn't have a really prolific week last week. Started some or thought I'd do a few more - like Finish That Thought and Thursday Threads - but in the end last week just saw me finishing Microbookends, Flash Fiction Friday and Angry Hourglass. The latter two are the ones I am keenest to try and do come what may!

Microbookends I couldn't format as I wanted as I wasn't sure how to put it into the correct HTML code as I wanted it presented in four columns. I had to present it as a single column instead. Ho hum. Anyway the way I wanted it to look is below. The piece as ever has to start and end with the prompted words - in this case Peace and Prize - and be between 90 and 110 words.

A-Z of War and Peace: X and Make Up


I managed to get
Flash Fiction Friday done. And was quite happy with it. Though someone pointed out that the last minute addition of the footnote had taken me over the word count. Which is a shame because it didn't need the note - though I quite liked it. (more ho humming).

As for the
Angry Hourglass I've no ho humming. Just up against some very talented guys and gals (very very well attended by the Flash Dogs).


Flash! Fiction Friday - Judging

Poised Pen - Flash! Friday Judging

Rebekah at Flash! Friday asked Poised Pen writing group to review the stories for Friday 21st November 2014 so Catherine and I were tasked with the judging. It was an interesting experience for me as my first try at judging. Think it will affect how I write my stories a little in the future. Most notably with such short stories it was noted how much a decent title was important. An ill thought word, line or title can jar quite noticeably and can be the difference between a yay or nay!

We were half expecting a lot of the
Flash Dogs to double up on entries so were relieved to find it was a relatively quiet week with only 64 stories to read. There was a lot of death, lots of dogs, no dragons, a few references to HMV and some interesting tech. Of course there was some blatant nods to Liverpool with Beatles and Liverpool FC getting a few mentions. One even used Hey Jude as the title - the number one when I was born - suspect cyber stalking!

So on Sunday we agreed on the Winners, Runners-Ups and Mentions, then Catherine did her magic with the detailed reviews (a lot more correct than mine would be - not sure a geologist has the right words).


The stories for Week 2-50 were based on the photograph of Caruso with a phonograph (above) and as a nod to the Flash Dogs needed to include a puppy. Woof!!

results were sent on to Rebekah on Monday morning (UK time) and hey presto! there was a new winner and he's Flash Dog too. Woof woof!! Well done Chris Milam.


Flash Fiction Friday double header

Flash! Friday Fiction - Stories x 2

Flash Fiction Friday is one of my have flash comps and last week (10th October) as part of the Flash Dog challenge I had to write two - yes two! - stories instead of one. The picture was this one of some poor ill child being visited by some creepy clowns (all clowns are creepy you know!). Here are my two stories inspired by the photo. Both are 160 words short.


It’s All About Timing

There is nothing quite so soul sappingly depressing as a clown with self confidence issues apart from perhaps a whole troupe of them.

The troupe from The Great Tortellini Circus found themselves in one of the many Jacksonville’s when they had all reached rock bottom together. Smaller paler imitations of themselves looked back from the mirrors in the make up tent, their faces painted thick with smiles splattered wide across their cracked white faces wouldn’t fool anyone, least of all themselves. They were all now officially not nearly as funny as toothache.

They knew they had to get out of the rut. Perhaps they should just get fired out of the state by the giant canon. At least that may get a laugh from the audience.

When Tortellini went in for surgery, after the accident involving the lion and the broom handle, the clowns finally tried to run away from the circus. They were too far gone to recognise irony.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

The four men stood before young Charlie Dunnings, who had recently had his appendix removed. He laughed at them, which they appreciated. The art of laughing at clowns was a dying art.

Charlie laughed and laughed as the clowns squirted flowers in their own faces, beeped horns and slipped on imaginary banana skins. He laughed until his sides hurt.

The nurses would drive out the men who seemed taller on the way out of the ward, buoyed by their time with him. Clowns everywhere heard about Charlie and his wonderful powers, he healed their bruised egos with his laughter. Queues of unsure clowns lined the hospital waiting to see him. They really were funny, Charlie proved it; and it was cheaper than paying for therapy.

Once Charlie had his medication correctly adjusted he no longer laughed at the ridiculous sad men. When he asked one of them ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ they stopped coming.


"A Blurring of Gods"

A Blurring of Gods

Nature carved these caves; with acid.

Ancient man used them, modified them. Made them safe, then comfortable. Turned them into homes.

Then they became sacred. Places to pray, to marvel at this world. Paintings; splashes of heaven on the very earth itself. Carved now by man, not be nature, in a blurring of gods.

Then the earth shook with a violence. And man left these sacred holes disillusioned, shocked at god’s anger at his temerity to create.

Generations passed and time smoothed the jagged edges to roundness, leaving the pockmarked cliff like a decaying beehive.

Now the gods were fighting, lightning flashing brighter than daylight, shadows dancing and mocking throughout my temporary shelter and the ground shook gently with the rumbles.

Trapped by dangerous torrents I chip away absently at the cave wall modifying the space. Perhaps I should bring paints and grand ideas next time. Start the cycle again. This concert of earth, gods and man.

Creation, destruction. Creation.

(160 words)

A story from Flash Friday Fiction (August 15th 2014).

A Tale and the Ale | Flash Fiction Friday

A Tale and the Ale - Flash Fiction Friday

I've been doing Flash Fiction on and off for about three years now and more consistently over the last year. Recently I've largely been doing Visdare and Flash Friday Fiction. Last Friday I wrote a little rushed story for Flash Fiction Friday called '
The Race'.

I started writing it in the Belvedere pub and finished on my return before going to bed, having had a couple of pints of Hank (Tiny Rebel Brewery) and one Trapper's Hat (Brimstage Brewery) And lo! I only went and won it this week.

The next day I also took a minute and a half of my jogging time around Prince's Park. So
Trapper's Hat and Hank are now my best writing and running buddies!

Anyhow if you fancy reading my little story it's over on the Flash Friday site so pop on over by clicking on my beautiful winners badge ;-)

And if you're going to give it a go this week I'd thoroughly recommend a nice hoppy ale. Or two.



"Dreams" - Flash Friday

Loved this weeks beautiful haunting photo for Flash Friday Fiction "Patience' - 14 Feb '14 (140-160 words). My story for it is 'Dreams' below.


Borba’s dreams were now inevitable and they were clearly eating him up. He visibly shrank daily in front of his investor’s eyes.

        He was building a Las Vegas in the middle of the most inhospitable African desert. A monument to mankind showing the mastery over the world he lived in. It was his dream, to be his legacy.

        But now his dreams were killing him. Each night the same voice spoke to him.

        ‘Go from here.’

        ‘This land is sacred.’

        ‘Do not build here.’

        Night after sleepless night. Incessant.


        Fine imported marble and grand glass edifices had risen up, some incredibly high, dazzling iridescent above the shifting sands of the dunes. They were heralded around the world as a modern Wonder.

        Slowly, almost imperceptibly, but inexorably the desert moved in. One by one Borba’s buildings were gobbled up by the sand as the desert patiently took bites from man’s monumental folly.

        Borba had played dice in a loaded game.

(160 words)

"The Competition" - Flash Friday Fiction Vol 2-9

The Competition

Brothers Gargol and Rygol were playing the ultimate game of Civilization. They each started with a sparsely populated planet, which they named after themselves. They were permitted a little prodding and pruning every four years, when they could also introduce selected technology to assist their population.

Gargol was doing rather well he thought. His was a pretty and self contained planet, if not particularly dynamic. The people were happy with their lot, particularly once he’d introduced wine and beer technologies.

Rygol was envious of the general happiness observed on Gargol. There seemed to be a lot more aggression, even wars, on his planet. He mused that it may have been how he’d engineered the population. In 1896 he’d reintroduced competitions on Earth to find who were the fittest, fastest, strongest then he’d spirit away the athletes to his planetary stud - several years after their success, when no one would notice their disappearance. It had seemed like a good idea.

Flash Friday Fiction 7 February 2014

"Spengler's Holiday Car Hire" - Flash Friday

Car Wreck
Car wreck (public domain photo) for Flash Friday 31 January 2014

Spengler’s Holiday Hire Car

Despite the primitive roads Spengler was loving the car’s smooth ride. There were hardly any other cars on the road, which meant the main issue was avoiding pedestrians. His car was certainly a spanking head turner bringing crowds whenever it slowed. The guys who’d sorted it had done a top job.

        An hour later, outside the Western Mutual, the vehicle began to judder unsettling Spengler. The man he’d picked up to take to the station seemed unphased, but he’d probably never been in a car before.

        The red LED pulsed on the dashboard, a little out of keeping with the 1920s vehicle.

        ‘Hi Spengler here,’ he said into his cuff. ‘What’s up?’

        ’Transformation field is failing,’ his other cuff reported. ‘Sorry, we’re going to have to take you out of there.’

        A loud Phutt! and the driver’s seat was empty.

        The front wheel disappeared and minutes later the rest of the car would be a memory too.

        Spengler would return.

(150 words) 31 January 2014

"Owl and the Arrogant Giant" - Flash Friday

Wawona Tree Road - Photo from National Parks Service

Owl and the Arrogant Giant

For 2000 summers the giant Sequoia stood resolute in the forest. It had seen many things, its age bringing wisdom. Animals - even minor gods - began to seek Sequoia’s regular counsel. The owl god accepted this, secure that the ultimate wisdom was his.

        One day though the only wisdom being sought in the forest was from Sequoia, and owl beseeched the tree to bow to him. Age though had bred great arrogance. Angrily owl vowed to kill Sequoia that very day. The giant swayed laughing, confident in its eternity - owl could not fight its might.

        While Sequoia slept the owl conspired with the Thunder-Bird sending back messages in time with the wind. In summers past, lightning struck Sequoia bringing fire; spring and autumn rains washed away the soils; and each winter, snows weighed heavily. Unbidden, men drove a tunnel through its damaged base - just because they could.

        Owl - once more the wisest in the forest - hooted when snow felled Sequoia.

(160 words) Flash Friday Fiction 10 January 2014

"Patricia" - Flash Friday Fiction


Stephen smiled with content as he sat beneath the cloudless sky above his valley. In the dark of remoteness he felt its pulse of life.

He sensed he was coming out of his body - like a film zooming out whilst he shrank to a vanishing point beneath the emptiness flecked with dots of bright matter. Stars and galaxies in a speckled dance of life and death played out above him on a enveloping black sheet.

He reached out and touched Patricia, his old trusty telescope; an ornament now, he hadn’t used it for years, as his eyes then body failed him.

The myriad images he’d seen through Patricia splashed through his mind like a slideshow; the rings of Saturn, Jupiter and its moons, Luna itself, countless galaxies and nebulae. He’d spent months scanning nebulae, hoping to see the birth of a star - never succeeding, always expectant.

That night at his peaceful passing somewhere a star was born in glorious fury.


Flash Friday Fiction (weekly 140-160 word challenge)

(160 words)

"Coffee Stop" - Flash Friday Fiction


Coffee Stop

A contented smile spread across Jennifer’s face, the steaming coffee was gorgeous and the mug doubled as a hand warmer. Outside the cafe the world appeared a white wonderland glistening in the wintry sunshine. On the edge of the frozen lake, beyond the road, a lopsided snowman seemed to be looking at her.

She was half way home for Christmas and it was the same stop every year, it was as traditional as the tree and crackers. She swore the snowman was always there, but she only ever went home at Christmas, a sense of duty.

‘Do you want a fill up love?’

‘What?’ Jennifer looked up at the waitress, ‘No, thanks. Better be off shortly.’

‘Long way home? In these conditions everywhere is a long way.’

Jennifer laughed. Perhaps she should go home more often, maybe when the road was safer, the journey shorter and it wasn’t duty. She could check then if the snowman was still here too.

Flash Friday Fiction
(160 words) Word: Duty Pic: Snowman on lake

'The Practical' - Flash Friday Fiction

The Practical

After an hour Miss Robertson’s class were getting fidgety.

          Tina tentatively raised her hand. ‘Excuse me, Miss Robertson?’

          The teacher, leaning on a drinks table, looked across to her. ‘Yes, Tina?’

          ‘Miss, this is down as a Practical, yet we’re reading this book - again. Is it not time we moved on?’

          Miss Robertson - almost - smiled.

          Behind Tina, Tom slumped to his desk.

          Sylvia slid off her chair.

          David’s eyes bled.

          ‘Class, what Chapter did I ask you to read?’

          Bob swore, then muttered, ‘Chapter 5 - Identification and Treatment of Poisons.’ He threw up.

          Unfortunately there were no graduates from Robertson’s School for Spies in 1913.

Flash Friday Fiction

It's Flash Friday so usually there's one injury, a death or maybe two, sometimes there be dragons. But today I've killed off a whole classroom of students… ha ha ha!

"Green" - Flash Friday Fiction


Dave’s head felt like it had been rattled between a couple of walls. His heart was exploding in his ears and his body felt mummified. He lay still as he could hoping stillness would make it go away – he couldn’t really be as bad as he felt.

          Dave wasn’t sure if it was seconds or hours that he lay there.
         He noticed something in his hand. Eventually it came to him that it was a big plastic token – green on one side, red on the other – he’d taken from a restaurant.

          The restaurant. The Argentinian meat feast place. In Buenos Aires. That was it, he was in Argentina. Things were coming back.

          There had been a conference.

          His head throbbed as he thumbed the counter.

          Dave remembered leaving the restaurant and going to some bars. Dancing – he never danced.

          There had been cocktails and rums. Lots of rum. No wonder his head hurt.

          Sand. The token felt like it had sand on it.

          Raul. He’d met someone called Raul. Said he was a real life cowboy.

          The token was gritty. He span it in his fingers. It reminded him of the drinking. Green all night. He’d just not stopped.

          Raul had said he’d take him to cowboy country if he wanted, but Dave had a plane to catch.


          Raul had dared him to spin for it. Red and he would give Dave his snake boots and cowboy hat, green and he’d take Dave to cowboy country.


          He could feel wind blowing past his ears. He wasn’t in his hotel.

          There was sand in his nostrils.

          He battled to open his eyes through the brightness.

          There were mountains, but not a building in sight. He was a long way from Buenos Aires and a million miles from Swansea. There was a horse coming down a road with a cowboy on it.

          At least there was nothing green – he hated green right now. And rum.

Flash Friday Fiction 300 words (+/- 25 words)

@zevonesque 325 words

There is always trouble - Flash Friday Fiction

Wrong Turnings (150 words)

‘Sometimes wrong turnings turn out to be the right ones,’ Sara said.

‘Okay, I like exploring let’s have another five minutes and see what we find,’ Jon said.

‘Then we’ll turn back,’ said Sara.

The children came to the edge of great fracture through the rock. It was starkly beautiful, impassably wide. They threw pebbles down it and judged it to be bottomless.

They walked along it for a while, marveling at its form. Then they saw the bridge, it was stocky yet ornate. They couldn’t see where it came from on their side of the fracture, but could see a gateway on the other side.

They looked at it for a while, both wondering who built it and where it went to.

‘That’s a faerie bridge,’ Sara said confidently.

‘That’s not no faerie bridge,’ Jon said as the sound of marching echoed ever louder through the crevasse becoming thunder.


This was for Flash Friday Fiction and had to be exactly 150 words. It is strange though, there's usually fear, death, and very odd things going on when it's Flash Friday Fiction

"The Mirror" - Flash Friday Fiction

Continuing the mirror theme from Visdare this morning here's a story for Flash Friday Fiction taken from their "Old Car" prompt (requirement was 240-260 words).

The Mirror

Harry Sadler was a traveling salesman with a lovely new car - it was comfortable for long distances, had room for his products, it went a fair lick and seemed to stay shiny. But there was something not quite right about it that he couldn’t place.

          The mirror sprite could not believe its luck when it found its way into the rear view mirror of an executive car - it was a happy little daemon. Mirror sprites feed of the energy of souls and as everybody knows the eyes are the window to the soul.

          As Harry ate up the miles the daemon would feed. Every time Harry looked into the mirror it fed a little more growing ever larger and stronger.

          One day outside Maryport Harry suddenly felt ill. A migraine sent flashing images from a nightmare across his vision. At one point he even saw an evil grinning face in the rear view mirror. Frightened he stopped the car and moments later he felt something inside snap. The daemon laughed as it sucked up the last vestige of Harry’s soul.

          Days later the body was found in the car and the official report said “probable heart attack due to a sedentary lifestyle.” There was no mention of the blank eyes fixed on the mirror.

          No-one wanted a car the driver had died in so it was left to decay in an unused lot outside Maryport. The daemon had taken it too far, but it could wait until some unsuspecting soul came along. Some days it heard children playing nearby.

(260 words)

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.

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

Flash Friday #42

Escape from Mount Vernon

‘Harsh’ Hattie Flumberbatch had ruled the Mount Vernon Helping Hand with a rod of iron and a soupçon of electricity for almost five years. The anniversary was to be celebrated on Friday with cake for the disparate inmates and a compulsory after work party for those staff unlucky enough not to be working.

The Oddfellow’s home was set up in the 19th Century with laudable intentions, but had evolved through unsavory into something evil. To be sent there was tantamount to a sentence of hard labour with additional sadism guaranteed - many volunteers were as likely to be sent there on another day.

Ms Flumberbatch loved her job though - the stench of burning flesh in the morning made her feel alive and when ‘the Ride of the Valkyries’ was piped through the home and the familiar odour hit her nasal passages it made goosebumps bloom throughout her body, whilst the inmates would become introverted whenever the music was played, conscious of its meaning.

So it’s no surprise that twenty planned to make their escape that Friday. They would make a run for it just after the strawberry sponge cake was distributed - when the entire home would be focussed on compulsory enjoyment.

The secret entrance to the passage - hidden behind the statue of Freud - had only recently been discovered. The escape went like clockwork (Freud would surely have had something to say about the group funnelling down the back passage) then. after five hundred yards, they could see the light - their escape almost complete. It needed three of the bigger guys to push at the ironwork cover but eventually it shifted. When they’d finally struggled out into the moonlight the twenty staff jumped with joy.

Hattie sat alone at the bar with a drink - absently playing with an electric socket - planning the things she’d do to tomorrow to make herself feel better.

(310 words)
Written for Flash Friday #42 - 20 September
Based on picture of 19th Century Oddfellow's Home in Springfield, Ohio. Word requirement: 290-310 words.