A Mother Suddenly Appears

Did you hear the one about the comedienne who was paranoid that everyone was laughing at her? No, seriously! She got in such a state that she couldn’t get up on stage anymore.

She’d start off by saying ‘hello, Birmingham’ (or wherever she was) and her eyes would widen when everyone started to laugh. By time she’d finished saying telling them her name amidst peals of raucous laughter, her nerves were shot and she had difficulty finishing her set.

Each joke had them roaring louder and louder – some of them even weeping with the funniness of it. You think that, as a comedienne, she’d be happy, but inside, all she could think of was getting off the stage, running outside, getting into her car and driving until there was no more road to drive on.

In the end, she couldn’t even get on stage. It had gotten so bad that her pre-stage fright had her chewing her nails until her fingers bled. And after that, she was just a health-hazard with little trails of blood following her around as she tried to avoid the spotlight.

And the worse thing was that she wouldn’t – couldn’t talk to anyone about it. She used to have a friend. His name was Bill and he had these lovely eyes the colour of the original Fairy Liquid. But he’d gotten into the habit of abusing her by feeding her chocolate. So she’d left him. There’s only so much chocolate a type one diabetic can take.

Since she’d left Bill, she only had her mother – an overbearing woman who had the habit of cruely mocking her only daughter.

Oh wait – do you think that maybe this was the problem?

Seeds of Newness

Here are three phrases what I just made up that have never been used in the history of the internet ever, ever, ever:

  1. “your righteous teapot”
  2. “temptress in sedition”
  3. “plantation straps hanging”

Your challenge, should you choose to accept, is to include these three phrases in a story of your making, which should not be more than 300 words long.

Write, my little chicklings, write. Post your tales on your blog and pingback here, or just put a link in the comments of this post. I can’t wait to read your offerings, my sweet, sweet dumplings.

Crescent Moon #writephoto

dark silhouette of a tree against a cloudy sky. The horizon is lit by the gold of dawn, while a crescent moon hangs above the tree

The world, as we’d known it, ended. I’ll not tell you how. It was horrible. That’s all you need to know.

Theres not that many of us left. I’ll not tell you how many. I mean, how the heck should I know? But we’re all hungry. But not that hungry, if you know what I mean.

There’s a king in England. Or so they say. News isn’t the most reliable thing. They say it’s Harry. And that his mom and dad and his brother, Willam is dead. And his wife too, thankfully.

But above him, Trump’s Emperor Elect over everybody. The whole world. Or what’s left of it. The elect part’s a laugh, but no-one finds it funny anymore. Not since he went bonkers. More bonkers.

He passed a law. Marriages were made illegal. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it was something Empress Melania said. He always was a bit tetchy. A bit sensitive.

So – the new law. Here’s how he put it: kill one, it doesn’t much matter which, or both’ll be killed.

And he’s fierce in the way he holds to it. He has all these stormtroopers you see. Bloodthirsty buggers one – all of ’em. And he set an example too. Live on TV. Who’d have though that a skinny thing like Melania would have had so much blood in her.

I loved my wife. Even after all she did and said to me over the years – and it was plenty. But I love life more. Wife or life – there wasn’t a choice really.

Pity she got to me first. She says that the poison she put in my soup – that one bowlful I was going eat before I slit her throat – will kill me in another couple’a minutes.

She told me she’s going to bury me under a tree at dawn. She even showed me which one. Says she’s going to do it after she’s uploaded proof of the kill to Trump. She’ll keep the heart for DNA too. Proof’s important she says. Prevents misunderstandings.

She says that it’ll be a beautiful sunrise. And she figures that there’ll be a crescent moon too.

Well ain’t that freakin’ fantastic.

This story was kindly prompted by Sue Vincent.

The Opposite of Fear

You ever wake up in the night knowing that you need to pee but then lie there for a drowsy minute or two debating with yourself whether you can make it until the alarm goes off? Yeah, me too. And last night was one of those occasions.

Anyway, after a while I got up and padded downstairs (less chance of disturbing the sleep of others down there) in my almost altogether-as-naked-as-the-day-that-I-was-born state. I’ll say nothing about morning wood right now – it’s not at all relevant.

So, a couple of minutes later, with my business in the small room concluded, and my hands smelling of nettle and vanilla (yeah, don’t ask) I headed back towards bed. But for some reason, instead of turning left to go up the stairs, I turned right towards the front door and peered through it into the night-shrouded garden, down the drive towards the road.

It’s not entirely dark at night. Even if it wasn’t for the street lights, I could still have seen, by the light of the stars and the moon, the silhouette of the man standing at the end of our drive looking towards me. Staring at me.

‘He can’t see me,’ I thought. ‘No way he can see me.’

Then he waved. Nothing dramatic – just a little, sarcastic wriggle of the fingers he’d brought up to his face. And the funny thing was that I still wasn’t scared. If anything, I felt the opposite of fear. I was safe and warm and in my house behind a locked door!

It wasn’t until I heard a slight sound behind me and turned to see you standing there watching me that I started screaming. And the weird thing was that I couldn’t stop. Not until you took a pace towards me and gathered me into your arms and held me and stroked my head and murmured something low and comforting, the way wives do when they find freaked-out people wandering the house in the middle of the night.

By the time I’d pulled myself together enough to look out into the dark garden, the figure was gone. Perhaps he hadn’t been there at all. Perhaps I’m making all this up. Perhaps.

Still, I’ll make sure all the doors and windows are locked tonight and maybe I’ll think twice about getting up to go to the loo. I mean, it’s not as if bladders can burst, right?


Isn’t it odd how there’s so much movement in the world! All that swaying of trees and dropping of rain and stuff like that.

The world must be very strange from the point of view of a rock. I mean, rocks have been around for a long time, right? Rocks are the original inhabitants of this world. So why shouldn’t we take their feelings into account? Rocks are important.

Some people call these things ‘waste thoughts’ and they say that we should work to get rid of them. Give them to God. Wash our hands of the whole kaboodle. But I’ve just realised that they are the stuff that stories are made of. And why should I throw away my stories?

Do, yeah – once upon a time a rock looked up and saw something moving and …

Leaving the Smoking Ruins

Finally made myself leave the house.

Told myself that it was going to be destroyed in 30 seconds with me in it if I didn’t leave.

Started the countdown.

30 ran

29 upstairs

28 to

27 get

26 my

25 coat

24 ran

23 downstairs

22 whilst

21 putting

20 my

19 coat

18 on

17 ran

16 to

15 back

14 door

13 pulled

12 left

11 boot

10 on

9 pulled

8 right

7 boot

6 on

5 grabbed

4 bag

3 put

2 alarm

1 on

0 boom!

Just managed to get out a bare microsecond before the blast ripped me apart.

It was raining and so, spotting the umbrella in the ruins by the back door, I grabbed it and put it up.

Then I locked the door and waked away.

A Life in the Day (22-23)

I’m writing this half an hour early because all I did for the first thirty minutes of this hour was read and have a cup of tea, and all I’m going to do in the second half-hour is brush my teeth and read. If something unexpected happens, like the house falling down, I’ll tell you in the morning.


A Life in the Day (21-22)

I washed the pots and did some tidying up and thought about life and the allure of distractions.

I started writing stories in 2015. Since then I’ve written loads of them, and plenty of other stuff besides. The reason I started on that course was to wean myself off of the distractions: movies, books, music etc.

It didn’t work.

Instead of taking time from my distractions and giving it to writing, I’ve taken time from other parts of my life and given it to writing. All the distractions are still here.

So, like I say, I washed the pots and, instead of perching a movie on the window-ledge, I thought about life.

Can’t say that I came to any particularly deep conclusions, but at least I didn’t distract myself from myself (if you know what I mean). One thing that I did conclude is that movies degrade my mind. They put me in a state where I don’t have to think, and they keep me in that state for hour after hour. It’s like turning off my mind. That can’t be good for me. Or anyone!

So I didn’t start watching another movie. I read an eBook instead. I figured out how to read my Kindle stuff in an internet browser (it’s quite easy; just search for ‘kindle in browser’ and it’s the top hit). Books are, so they say, different to movies in that they don’t turn off the thinking (as much). The mind is needed to visualise the scenes created by the words apparently.

So, yeah; not perfect, but at least I’m not being a total cabbage-case. And hey – I’m writing too!

On a totally different note – here’ a bubble that I discovered hiding underneath a pan on the counter-top:


A Life in the Day (20-21)

Day turns to night and I look up from this screen to see that shadows have crept into the world. All that’s left, now that the movie is done, is to wash the pots and have that cup of tea. Then perhaps I’ll stare at the wall (or the computer screen (which amounts to the same thing (in terms of what it represents))) for a couple more hours, before going to bed.

And then I type the word ‘solemn’ for the first time ever.

A Life in the Day (19-20)

The evening is the most uneventful time of my day. I sit and watch movies and eat snacks. This one is no exception.

The pots are still in the sink unwashed and my bum is still on the chair. The only thing that has changed is that my belly is now full of Doritos, a Nakd bar and grapes. I think that all I need now is a nice cup of tea to round it all off.

Oh, and the movie, Deception, is still playing. Surely the twist must come soon.