Tag Archives: short stories

Flash Your Fiction!

Opportunities to participate in various writing competitions or flash fiction challenges pop up frequently throughout the year, giving everyone an opportunity to flex their grey matter, whether a literary genius or novice writer. Yup, I’m looking at you!

Colleen Chesebro, the Faery Whisperer, has kindly shared an active flash fiction challenge from Charli Mills at Carrotranch.com, which I’ve posted below.

Why not take up the challenge and see what you can free from the depths of your imagination?

Here is the prompt:

January 3, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a character who looks back. It can be a metaphorical reflection or a glance in the rear-view mirror. Who is looking back, and why? Go where the prompt leads.

Send a link back to myself in the comments or to Charli at carrotranch.com and share the love of writing with everyone you know.

Here’s my attempt at the flash fiction challenge…

Shadows grew as the winter sun faded behind the neatly packed houses. Children scampered in for tea and street lights twinkled to life. She sighed, unclenching her fingers and loosening her jaw. Another day – gone. Still no sirens, no-one searching for her. She was one of those shadows, forgotten from the light footsteps skipping home for tea. Her skeletal fingers traced the remnants of light filtering through her cramped prison. Sun-kissed skin, now wrinkled, stretched and cracked at the effort. Yes, she was now just a memory of the little girl who once lived at No. 15.

Now it’s your turn! Share your thoughts – its always great hearing from you.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday 30th July 2018 – Margot Kinberg, Hugh Roberts and #Reviewer Linda Hill Book Bag | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the first of this week’s blogger daily and a small selection of posts that I have enjoyed. The first post is from crime and mystery writer Margot Kinberg on the subject of Happy Endings and how those who read crime (murder stories) still have an expectation of sorts, despite the circumstances. Certainly I…
— Read on smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-30th-july-2018-margot-kinberg-hugh-roberts-and-reviewer-linda-hill-book-bag/

Kennings At Monday Coffee

Have you ever heard of a Kennings poem? Continue reading

Halloween Special

Dearest Reader,

‘Tis with great regret I write to tell you that I have been attacked this night; from the darkness came the spirits of writers past, claiming back the awful stories kept hostage in my grey loft. Surrendering to their threats, I write this message from within the crypt where my dearest memories reside.

Stars dare not cross this sky. Light flails and gasps as the shadows suffocate said emerging spectrum, swallowing its presence with their hollowed souls. Soft gossamer drifts from the ceilings, reminding me of a tale once told many years ago. There was a girl, probably thirteen years or more, who was driven from her home by the vulgar associates her mother entertained. Left to fend for herself, she soon stumbled into an avenue only fit for those who enjoy the benefits of dark nights and full moons. Unbeknownst to this girl, her tantalizing scent and throbbing pulse was all she needed to reside with these pale strangers. Summer came and went and soon autumn set in. She was the subservient messenger for her new found family. Their delicate frames and sharp canines were enough to keep her in check and if she felt an inkling to leave the fine establishment she now called home, the claws of the young, hairy cousins were enough to change her mind.

Halloween approached with the swiftness of death, calling out to all who supported the shadows and skulked in the basements of the decrepit surrounding buildings. At the request of the almost porcelain elders, who sat at the high table all day and all night in the attic, she sifted through the cupboards and larders, searching for something festive. Soon she found a linen closet well equipped for the romantics. Soft gossamer in gold and silver swished through her fingers, drifting on invisible air towards the uneven floorboards under her naked feet. Excited, she ran through the house, hammer and nails in hand and soon the rooms felt like Bedouin tents awaiting pale concubines to perform the sensuous dance of the seven veils for their blue tainted captors. All the residents were pleased with her efforts and promised her light for the first time in that year. Candles were carefully lit and placed around the property, highlighting the gaunt ceilings now chipped and flaking; the gnarled door handles barely capturing the soft light emanating from the waxy tall spires of light. Sadly, that was the last thing the quiet residents saw as the gossamer caught aflame, sucking up the heat with great fervour. Before anyone could escape, the crumbling residence was engulfed, the screams of the girl the last thing passers by heard.

To this day, if you listen carefully, gossamer cries through your fingers as it slinks away, flittering like candle flames from your fingers.

Alas, dear readers, my gaolers have returned to torment me further. They say my stories lack a certain scary quality befitting the day. Apparently, pulling my fingers back and tearing my toe nails is deemed appropriate torture for such a crime. My only solace is knowing that my ears have not been touched, unlike the little boy from No. 16. When he was three, his mother decided to teach him a lesson about listening to her. She decided to scare some sense into him and chose the Halloween night when all the other good children were happily celebrating the existence of witches and ghouls, and gorging on sweets. This tall witch herself, decided to take her dear littling out trick or treating, but with evil intentions, wandered closer and closer to the forest just behind the houses.

Once out of view from the other parents, the nasty woman persuaded her son to follow her into the forest, whereupon she left him for the foxes and wild pigs to devour. The poor child tried to listen out for the direction of her footsteps to find his way out of the labyrinth of statuesque trees looming above him. She laughed and darted to and fro, in and out of sight, calling to him to listen better. What horrible torture for a child so young. Now, deep inside, we all call for the woman to fall to her just desserts, but it is with sadness I tell you what happened next. The wild pigs were not interested in the morsel crying out in front of them. They saw fit to chase and eat the harpy screaming to her young one to follow and listen. The young boy watched his witch of a mother serve a greater purpose in life. Horrified at the sight of her being chewed to nothing, the boy collapsed. The pigs, sensing the youngling’s need for guidance, revived him and led him deeper into the forest where the animals congregated on special occasions. It was decided that they would watch over the child until he was old enough to leave the forest and join the evil mankind who tortured their young. This was never to be. The child stayed young, forever reliving the halloween night.

To this day, if you leave your window open at night, you will hear the cries of the child as he cries for his mother who tried to teach him to listen. Some say it is the cry of the tawny owls, but now you know better.

 Thinking of the youngling never growing old, never leaving that forest, brings to mind certain spirits we were told about by our grandparents when we did not behave: the tokoloshi. To some Afrikaans people, it means, little spirit. To me, it meant little demon! Whenever my grandmother found me doing something naughty (which was often) she would tell me that the tokoloshi would come and teach me a lesson. It terrified me to think that something tiny could reach me and torture me, but to be honest, these spirits holding me down now have similar qualities. I guess our fears never leave us, no matter how old we are and the myths surrounding our childhoods follow us into our old age.

In this welcome, I will bid you farewell. Listen out for the gossamer and the cries of the babe in the woods and think kindly of me, dear reader, for warning you before they come to get you and your half stories awaiting to be told.


Wine o’ clock

I love long lines of traffic, moody children complaining in the back and the scowling sky threatening to cry out to the world below. Love the stress of trying to balance a workday with after school clubs and meetings for four different children preparing for their new year in a new class (two at new schools!). Love the plucky looks of parents eyeing out my dog hanging out the back window as I park because he’s decided to make himself sick and nearly die, and me spending sleepless nights watching over him then going to work.

Yup. It has been fun. 

Suffice it to say, I am declaring it wine o’ clock and all my worries be damned! As I pour my glass of Shiraz and slip into my oversized pjs that don’t match but are the most comfortable clothes I possess, I feel bubbles of excitement fill my body. The thought of a night of relaxation with XXX on Sky (yes, of course I love Vin Diesel but not in the way you would think – I want to be him, not be with him!!) and my secret stash of Turkish Delights just waiting for me, I plan on forgetting the pending appointments for the week ahead, the deadlines on books I still haven’t finished writing and my start with the Open University where I will be studying a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. 

Yes folks, the future may be bright and filled with opportunities, but just for tonight, I’m taking a break. 

Please, be kind and leave reviews for my books. I will try to keep posts flowing on my blog but they will be intermittent (as they have been for the past few weeks). Apologies if I miss your posts. I will try to keep up but a few will fall through the cracks. 

If you need me, send me an email or contact me through my social media sites. I’m still around, just focusing on not drowning under children, work, studies and pets! 

Hugs to you all. 

Sacha’s Weekly Writing Challenge

Hi and welcome to my entry for Sacha’s Writespiration 2017.

2017 brings 52 challenges over 52 weeks.
Your challenge is to write your story using the weekly theme/prompt and write it in just 52 words…. EXACTLY, no more, no less.

Submit your entries in the comments or on a blog post and I post them the following week with the new prompt. You have until Sunday to enter.
This week I want you to:
Write about the girl that wore the black hood.

Here is my entry:

Rage coursed through her black hooded body, heralding the return of emotions. 

“I’m still alive,” she whispered, barely audible for Tom and her sister to hear. “You buried me alive.”

Their intertwined lips and bodies crushed out rational thought – their turn to burn for lies. Carefully raising her hoodie, her eyes flamed. 

Monday Coffee and a story

Welcome back to Monday Coffee.  Take a seat and pour yourself a glass of something while I line up the story for tonight.

Our main course tonight is a simple dish of glad-I’m-better served with a side of sickness left over from the weekend. After spending most of it in bed with a horrible cold, I am happy to announce that my voice is back, albeit a little huskier than usual, and I can now walk without tipping over like a drunk! My wine of choice is a rather old medley with warm undertones and a rich flavour of butterscotch. I don’t know if you’ve tried it before – it’s called Cavornia Cough Medicine. Have a swig. It goes well with the coughed up lung.

Now that the main course has been digested and all germs are out of the way, let’s get to the sweet part of our meal: the story.  Today’s little tasty treat is based on my favourite – death. I favour it because it’s a constant. You can be more sure about death than love, politics or taxes. And it never lets you down when it says it’s coming to get you. So, with the mood set and taste buds tantalised, I present…

 “I will be with you forever.” 

The biggest lie. The lie that constantly sent me over the edge whenever I heard it.  There he lay, weak and expiring, his watery gaze upsetting. Where once lay a virile Adonis slaying my fears and chasing rainbows with voracity, a fragile fallen warrior smiled in his place; the toothless grin repeating words that aggravated me the most: “I will be with you forever.”

“You lied, you fool. I’m going to be all alone. You will die and I will be left here without you. Why Auri? Why?”

His laboured breath slowed, the steady rhythm broken by an intermittent rasp. My heart skipped.  A release of adrenaline shot through my muscles, making me leap from my comfortable armchair facing his bed to a sentinel position next to his frail form. Dry mouthed and shaking, I reached forward to touch his cold hand and checked his pulse.

“Auri?” I whispered. 

Only his raspy breath answered. 

“Auri?” My voice trembled.

A slow smile spread across his thin lips. “I’m still here my love. I’ll never leave you.”

The clocked ticked away the seconds it took for me to grit my teeth and contain my anger. This man, this incorrigible giant had filled my world with his presence for over fifty years. Our family had only consisted of the two of us, children being out of the question. But we were enough. 

With the world as our playground we had travelled and drunk in the beauty and wonder around us, never stopping long enough to miss the people we met along the way. Too engrossed in ourselves, was the common accusation thrown over our lifestyle, but we didn’t care. Ours was a life of greater depth and purpose, allowing ourselves to stay almost innocent in our love for those around us. After all, it’s hard to disappoint someone if you’re never there!

The ticking seemed to slow, mimicking the sickening rasp of his hollow breath. Trickles of smoke slipped under the door, dancing between the relics that showcased our life, our love. Shadowed plumes puffed clouds of grey across pictures of Auri and me climbing mountains, dancing on sunset beaches and carrying a myriad of exotic animals.

My eyes filled as Auri’s limp hand slipped out of mine. His stillness left the room empty and I could feel the agony of being alone creep stealthily towards me. Anguish engulfed my heart, wracking heaving gasps as I refused to replenish my spent breath. I choked on my tears, feeling the burn of the thinning air. 

You see, the sickness caught us by surprise. We had no time to think of cures or plans for the future. We never did anyway. Our lives were lived for today. And so, when his diagnosis pin-pointed only a few weeks to live, I had to come up with a plan of my own, something to stave off the darkness. It was working.

Fingers wrapped around us, covering us in a shroud so beautiful and mystical. It’s deadly beauty hid the loneliness that would have awaited me once they found Auri’s body. Slowly, I climbed into bed next to him, holding  him as I had done for so many of our years together. I could feel his cooling body yield to mine and we lay in silence. Even the clock dared not disturb our peaceful slumber. 

As the room grew warmer, I smiled and kissed him for the last time. Flames licked at the walls and made the paint squeal. All the memories we shared were going with us in my specially planned funeral pyre. The house was ours to burn and with no dependants to fight over the ashes, we would exit this world as we had entered it, rich in love not money. 

My eyes felt heavy and as they drifted closed, I swear Auri was there, dancing among the flames, beckoning to me. 

He didn’t lie after all – he was waiting for me in forever.

Thank you for joining me for Monday Coffee with a story. Join me tomorrow for Book Tuesday where I will be showcasing one of my children’s books and a book review of a crime romance.

Have a great evening.

Book Tuesday

Hello and welcome to Book Tuesday. I’m in the middle of a crime fiction at the moment, which promises to be good. So, instead of a book review for this week, I thought I’d treat you to a short story. My inspiration for this story comes from the cruelty we show each other. I’m taking you back to the school room and using an example of temptations our children face these days. Let me know what you think of it. Continue reading

Book Tuesday

Glimpses by [Roberts, Hugh W.]Welcome to Book Tuesday. This week, I have a rather special book to share with you. A fellow blogger took the time and effort to create this little gem and shared a collection of his short stories from blog posts over the last few years.

The book is called Glimpses by Hugh Roberts and covers thrilling bite size stories to send shivers down your spine and titillating tingles from the scintillating tales.

When trying to choose a story to highlight, I found myself hard pressed to choose just one. So, instead, I have decided focus on a collection of stories in the book that link together, giving the reader a different perspective into the lives of a family celebrating a wedding.

The Bridegroom, The Wedding Dress, The Stag Party and Mother of the Bridegroom is about Jonathan, his fiance Sarah and their intricately involved friends and family. The Bridegroom introduces us to Jonathan and we meet him on his wedding day, as he prepares for what should be the happiest day of his life. But, things are not as they should be. The happily ever after we are expecting is shattered and we go on to meet Sarah in The Wedding Dress, feeling her happiness as she prepares for her special day. One message, one picture is enough to shatter her dreams, leading to dire consequences and another twist to the tale.

Reliving the Stag Party, we find out why Jonathon feels uncomfortable when his groomsmen decide to enjoy the party more than their groom, discovering that his true feelings lie elsewhere and not in the arms of Sarah. Matthew, his best man and best friend, is nowhere to be found when Jonathan’s temptation leads him astray; then again, they all seem to have something to hide after The Stag Party.

They say mother-in-laws can be downright vicious, even deadly. Well, Mother of the Bridegroom is certainly not someone I would want to tangle with. She has killer looks and a temperament to match! This treacherous tale ties the knot and fastens the bow on the three previous installments, finishing off the fine details of a wedding gone off the rails. Just how far will she go to teach her daughter-in-law, Sarah, a lesson and what is the twist in her own tale?

I hope I haven’t given away too much from these stories. They are full of twists and have a great plotline. Bear in mind, these are just the few tales from the book, Glimpses, and there are many more to enjoy. Given enough time, I would rattle on about the other stories I have enjoyed in this book filled with surprises.

Hugh’s book is available from amazon. Please leave feedback on which story you liked the most and don’t forget to give Hugh a review to let him know how much you enjoyed his book. Every review helps the author.

Glimpses by [Roberts, Hugh W.]

Thank you for joining me. See you next week.


Book Tuesday

Hi and welcome back to Book Tuesday.  I hope enjoyed my guest blogger last week, Lance Greenfield, who gave us a glimpse into his favourite childhood book.

hughThis week, we will be covering a genre I absolutely adore and I will be focusing on short stories by a fellow blogger. Many of you will recognise this blogger from his contributions to various blogs, his weekly photo challenge and of course, wonderful short stories that keep us entertained. I am talking about Hugh from Hugh’s Views and News and the genre is horror.

I can’t remember how I met Hugh, but I have been fascinated by his style of writing ever since our first encounter. From straight up comedy to the most grotesque horror, Hugh keeps you on your toes with his beautiful descriptions and fantastic twists woven into his fantastic tales. Whether he tells the story of marriage, or weaves his way through Christmas, Hugh has a way of bringing characters to life. He can even make your lipstick scary!

Hitruth apps largest story posted on WordPress has been The Truth App, a story that makes you think twice about using Ipads!
For those of you who prefer a murder mystery, he has written a four part series called Murder At the Vicarage, a wonderful whodunnit to sink your teeth into.

Please click on the highlighted titles to read the stories – they are definitely worth it.

For this week’s Book Tuesday, I would like to highlight one of Hugh’s earlier works, written in January 2015.  He entered a writing competition for NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge and had less than eight days to submit a short story of less than 2500 words.  

Needles came to life!

“Brief Synopsis: Deborah Gore treated herself to a trip to Delhi, India, for her fiftieth birthday saving herself thousands of pounds in dental and optical treatment by choosing to have surgery performed by Doctor Sinhah.

Four weeks later, back home in the UK and with her confidence at an all time high, she is woken up in the middle of the night by hunger pains which are giving her a craving to eat whatever she can lay her hands on.”

As an animal lover, this story scared the fleas off me!  The straight forward tale of an older woman on holiday seduces you into thinking that this might just be an ordinary tale. As it moves along, something does not feel right. By the time you reach the gore, it’s impossible to stop reading, hoping that the story will pan out and everyone will live happily ever after.  Ha! Ha! Well, you will have to find out if it does! I love the epilogue – the story begins again, sending you down a similar story line, leaving you wanting more.

Please click on Needles to find out what I am talking about and take a gander through Hugh’s wonderful collection of short stories.  Not all are gory.  Not all are horror. Some have such a gentle, humorous reflection on life and though today’s focus is horror, I would be remiss if I did not to mention that there is more to look forward to in Hugh’s collection of Short Stories.

I look forward to reading more of this wonderful blogger’s work and the promise of a book in the near future.  I hope you enjoyed taking the journey with me.

Have a great evening.