Tuesday, 29 October 2013


Unlike most junkies, they were lucky. The music and films meant money. A stream of royalty cheques, alleviated any supply problems, and provided all the trimmings of a privileged life. No need to be on the streets. No reason to steal. No cause to worry about the next taste, or the one after that. Suppliers were always on hand. Despite this, they were junkies, and I came in second by a long way.

They loved me, but they loved the junk more. I had everything a child could want. Everything that is, except parents. High fashion, cutting edge, heroin chic, the press said. Never showed the ugly side, the sordid underbelly. The hours wasted, the days lost. Too strung out to do anything. Too high to care. No conversation, hugs, smiles, glances. Even a boo in the face had zero effect. Absent, except in the brief periods between when the drugs wore off and the craving began. That’s my memory. That’s my childhood, and that is why I left.

They called me back. They pleaded. I found it hard not to listen. I would believe their promises, and I would go back. Wishing it would be different, knowing it wouldn’t. The cycle repeated. The word rehab, was just a word. An expensive holiday, nothing more. The pain would become too great to stay.
 After leaving and returning far too many times, I left, and forced myself to ignore their pleas. I was, with much effort, able to shake off the bonds and begin my own life. I cut them off. Now, many years later, the pain has faded into a memory. I have my own family, my own children. We share laughter, hugs kisses, sadness and tears. We love. We live.

I read the headline again. “Rock star couple, victim of tainted drugs”. Panic wells up from deep within. Gulping lungfuls of air, I begin sobbing unstoppably. All the years, believing they were dead to me, and only now do I really know.

333 words written for Trifecta Challenge: Week 101, incorporating the word boo:

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


The whole family is there. My babushka, old, withered and regal, perched next to my baccy chewing grandfather.  Aunts, uncles and cousins, parents and siblings, we are more numerous than I remember. In Sunday best, we know the baccate display is just a teaser. A Bacchanalean feast of Babylonian proportion is about to happen. A pair of Bacchantes, begin singing, over the sound of a Bach Cantata. The new baby is proudly carried in by his Godfather, my bachelor uncle. Resplendant in a pale blue Babygro, our newest addition has absolutely no idea that all this is for him.
99 words written for Trifecta: Week Ninety-Nine. The bold words are from the top part of the prompt:

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Sleep Baby Sleep

"Tell me again. Tell me"

The expression "to sleep like a baby," was definitely not for you. That old gem just didn't apply. You would not sleep at all. For six months, you squirmed, you cried, you fidgeted and burbled, but you certainly didn't sleep.

"And then"

I was going mad. I loved you so much. You were beautiful, but the last thing you wanted was sleep. All night and all day, you were awake. Sometimes happy, but mostly not. You'd cry until I held you, and when I did, you wouldn't stay still, or keep quiet. "Sleep like a baby", my foot. I tried everything. Nothing worked. I was losing it. I was going mad. That is until....

"Until what"

So simple looking back. If only I'd known at the time. Those first six months. Oh my god. Those first six months.

"What did you do?"

A spoon of absinthe in the milk.

"You put absinthe in my milk".

Your milk! Huh no. The absinthe went in my milk. After that little zombie, I slept like a baby every night.
Written for Trifecta Challenge week ninety eight at:



The prompt this week is the word zombie I and the context:  

Tuesday, 1 October 2013


I had a real dilemma.

Copyright - Rich Voza
The journey up to now had been straightforward. As planned, I’d left in the night. First, following the road. Two wide lanes, and a well defined sidewalk narrowed, then became a tarred, and ultimately a gravel strip, I continued. As dawn approached, the road petered out, but I still had a track to follow. Even when it wound down a steep hill and into an open valley, I had a clear path, and I stuck to it. But now, I had a problem. I had no answer. I can't continue.

Which door do I choose?
100 words written for Friday Fictioneers.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Playground 2013

Grazed knee, torn shirt, bloody nose, he walked away. 

Into his time machine. Destination 2133 and back. Facing them again, now armed and ready.

Grazed knee, torn shirt, bloody nose, he walked away.....

Written for http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com

Trifextra week eighty-six at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/2013/09/trifextra-week-eighty-six.html

Thursday, 12 September 2013


“I know who he is. I know.”

“He had a mask. Covered his face. How’d you know?”

“I do,” the child repeated. “Selfies!”


 “Yeah, selfies. In the cloud. He took my phone.”
Loosely based on a (reputedly) true story.(see here).
The prompt for this piece is the word Mask, using this definition:

Monday, 2 September 2013

Customer Service II

Ensorcelled by her décolletage, he knew he must focus if he was to achieve the outcome he deserved. Her dress and prodigal cleavage; all too obvious in the way they were on display. Exemplary maybe, but only to the unsuspecting. He knew they were deployed as devices, to distract, deceive, debilitate. That would not dispel the slew of unresolved issues he still had to fight. Behaviour, vainglorious and arrogant, was no excuse for the way he had been treated; for what they had done. To add further insult, they use sex as a distraction. So cheap. So obvious. It just typified the depths to which they would stoop. He was fractious and ready to fight. He’d had enough. Now was his time.

“Good afternoon sir. How may I help,” she pouted.

The way she looked at him. Her face, her lips. His eyes drifted downward as his mind went blank..........
150 words written for Monday Mixer. The piece incorporates all the words below.

Things:          1) slew             2) exemplar         3) decolletage
Verbs:           1) typify            2) debilitate         3) ensorcell
Adjectives:    1) prodigal       2) fractious          3) vainglorious

Originally written in error in 100 words, it has been expanded to meet the criteria for the prompt. Error pointed out with thanks to . 

Customer Service

Ensorcelled by her décolletage, he knew he must focus. Her dress and prodigal cleavage; all too obvious. Exemplary devices, to distract, debilitate and dispel the slew of unresolved issues. Their behaviour – vainglorious and arrogant - was no excuse for the way he had been treated, or for what they had done. This cheap use of sex as a distraction typified the depths to which they would stoop. He was fractious and ready to fight. He’d had enough. Now was his time.

“Good afternoon sir. How may I help,” she pouted.

The way she looked at him. His eyes drifted downward...........
100 words written for Monday Mixer. The piece incorporates all the words below.

Things:          1) slew              2) exemplar         3) decolletage

Verbs:           1) typify           2) debilitate           3) ensorcell

Adjectives:   1) prodigal       2) fractious           3) vainglorious

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Three Strikes

Strike one.
He faced back into the field as the pitcher started his wind up.
The ball whistled past his shoulder before he even began to swing.
Strike two.
This time, he was ready. This time he wouldn't miss.
The pitcher was on the mound. The ball… curved through the air towards him.
He swung.
The sound of….
As he walked back to the bench, head down. Dejected, looking at his shoes.
Three strikes and you’re…. 
The words resonated in his head.
Slowly, his scowl became a smile.
You’re a…
Maybe baseball just wasn't his sport after all.
Written for Trifecta: Week Ninety-Two, using the word Turkey in the slightly unusual context: three successive strikes in bowling.

Monday, 26 August 2013

The Browser

The bookshop was huge. Rows and rows of books arranged on shelves in a slapdash manner.

“You’ll need this,” a man said, slipping a thick volume into my hands.

Before I could react, he disappeared, and I was alone among the bookshelves.

I started opening it.

My movement actuated something. Darkness. A strong wind. I was moving; fast. Everything was in a state of flux. Then the wind died. The darkness lifted. I made out a small figure.

“Approach” it chirruped.

 “I was just...”

“Opening the book”, it responded.

“Yes, and...”

“You’re going to cook for us”, it continued.


“No buts. You know the rules. Your continued journey is predicated by the quality of the meal you cook.”

I looked down. I was still clutching the book. “Compendium of Gustatory Delights”, read the title. Opening it, the words jumped out at me: “Chapter one - Recipes for Time Travellers.”
Exactly 150 words written for Monday Mixer, using as many of the words (at least three) below as possible. Feedback welcomed.

Things:          1) flux              2) luminary         3) compendium

Verbs:           1) predicate     2) actuate           3) chirrup

Adjectives:   1) slapdash      2) gustatory       3) ethereal

Monday, 12 August 2013

Choosing Your Tooth

1: Select a type
2: Choose attributes (up to 2)
3: Add accessories
Types Attributes Accessories
Eye Holy Brush
Sabre Decayed Floss
Gear Capped  Braces
Permanent Crowned Polish
Milk Straight

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Flight 33 is Departing........

(:33 words of advice for travelers:)

     Fly carefully
     Not off the handle, on the wall, or in the ointment
     Pigs might, but not you
     Half or weight, never Spanish
     Go fishing, not into a rage
     And of course time

The prompt is the word fly, the context:

Sunday, 9 June 2013

The Optimist

An optimist knocks over a glass of milk. Realising it was only half full, he doesn't cry. He lives happily ever after.
3 sentences written for Trifextra week seventy one at http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/

Thursday, 30 May 2013

The Ball

Copyright - Janet Webb

Standing in her underwear, she stepped into the glass shoes. Not pretty. Not pretty, and soooo uncomfortable. Price to pay, to bag a prince. This time, the room is tidy. Immaculate. She’d stuffed all the junk away. Hidden it. Bit of doing, it took. But, if he’s going to stay the whole night, everything must be purrfect. Last time, it was so messy, the jerk just left. Didn’t even stay for one drink. The mice. They’ll be here any minute. Any minute. Quick, no time. The dress. The dress. Where’s the dammed dress. Tablets. No tablets tonight. Nooo tablets. Tonight.......

Written for Friday Fictioneers.

Monday, 27 May 2013

I Confess

I confess
It was me
Avalanches, earthquakes, floods
I’m sorry, but
It seemed like fun
And so
I didn’t care
I couldn’t stop
Oh, one last thing

That was me too
A 33 word confession, written for Trifextra Week Sixty Nine

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Dan Pedantic

Dan Pedantic
Man unromantic
Obsessive, compulsive
Never impulsive
Wakes every day
Same exact way
Shower, shave, sit …
Stand, flush, brush
Floss, rinse, dash
Calm, never frantic
The daily antic
Of Mister Pedantic
Exactly, precisely 33 words (not including the title).

Thursday, 16 May 2013

I Told You....

"I told you so. I told you so. I told you so."

His voice resonated in my head. So much I hated his whining, especially when he was right.... Again.

"I told you. I told you", his nagging voice was relentless. "I told you that if we kept going, eventually, we'd get to the edge of the world. And just like I told you, there'd be a fence to stop us from falling off. I told you. I told you. I told you..."

And in that moment, I loathed him more than ever. If  I could have killed him, I would have. But what chance does a six year old girl have against her eight year old brother.

Aqueduct -Sarah Ann Hall
Written for Friday Fictioneers photo prompt.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Perfect Moment

She sauntered out of the room, deliberately, swaying her hips, as she aimed for the exit. She knew that all eyes would be on her. Exactly to plan, she’d created that perfect moment of distraction, which allowed her partner and accomplice to dump the bag of flour onto the prime minister.

Trifecta writing challenge week seventy seven. Written using the word DELIBERATE with the definition:
"slow, unhurried, and steady as though allowing time for decision on each individual action involved <a deliberate pace>

Monday, 13 May 2013


Copyright-Ted Strutz
Each day, from morning to night she is there. Behind the counter she sits, only moving to serve drinks and collect glasses. I am also there every day. I know her well, but I hardly know her at all. We spend so much time together, but we don’t talk. She brings me drinks.  I leave money on the counter. I would like to talk to her, but a state of equilibrium prevents me from acting. We make no effort at communication, but we understand each other. We know this place. Alone in space, we are two satellites sharing one orbit.
100 Words written for Friday Fictioneers.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013


He appeared from nowhere.

“Always look for opportunities”, he said. “They’re everywhere.”

“How did you get here”, I asked.

He looked up and smiled “When one door closes, another opens.”

Then he disappeared.

photo (c) @RogRites 2013

Saturday, 27 April 2013

The Technicality

Using-hyphens-like-this-is-a-way-of-gaming-the-system. Despite being widely practised, such devices are not in the spirit of fairness, and should be discouraged. Playing by the rules, whatever the result, is much better than winning by a technicality.
33 words (ex hyphens) written for Trifextra week sixty five. www.trifectawritingchallenge.cim


Tuesday, 9 April 2013


Arch Enemies, you and me
Life’s purpose is
Creating tension to hurt, to wound, to maim
Hating one another, until
Empathy between us
May over time grow, and
You become my friend


Using the definition "an inexplicable or mysterious transmutingfor the word Alchemy

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Advice About Animals

Crocodiles should be stored
Out of children's reach.

Don't leave butterflies
In the refrigerator.

Have honey handy
For hunting bears.

Don't play with tigers
In the dark.

And keep spiders
Away from flames.

33 words of advice. For the Trifextra week sixty-two challenge. www.trifectawriting.com


Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Texas Rain

The Texas oil industry is said to have started with the Lucas Gusher in 1901. For some 10 days, until it was capped, 100,000 barrels a day spouted from the ground. It is said that from that time US oil production tripled overnight.

My grandfather worked on that oilfield. He was a rigger. He stood atop the great gantries that were used to position the drilling equipment. He was the king of the universe, hanging on, hooking and unhooking cables, barking directions to the drivers and the haulers.

We asked him to tell us the story again, about that day. We were very young. No more than nine or ten. We would sit on the floor listening. He would settle back into his armchair, close his eyes and begin recounting. He would describe how it was, sitting on top of the boom, eating his sandwiches with the crew boys, when the well blew. He remembered the sound, the terrific bang, then the rushing the whistling, the noise. He would recount how the oil spouted up over 200 feet into the air. He described how they were completely covered in the thick black sticky liquid, even the men in suits with clipboards who had come down from head office. He told us about old Billy sitting right next to him, ending up head first in the cooling trough. On he would go, keeping his eyes closed as he remembered the day.

Then, he would get to the end. He always finished the story the same way. “...and that was the second best day of my life. The second best day of my life, was the day we had rain in Texas."

Lke clockwork, we would say “tell us about the best day of your life grandpa, tell us..”

He would slowly open his eyes. “Another time,” he’d say,”another time.” And with a wink that was only visible to us kids, he’d look across the room towards my grandmothers knowing smile.

Written for http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/2013/04/trifecta-week-seventy-one.html?m=1

www.trifectawriting.com week seventy one on the following definition of the word rain:

"to take a lot of money in bill form and toss it up in the air. This is most effectively done at a strip club for the effect of raining one dollar bills on the dancers (and it makes them feel so pretty), or to snub a hater by throwing money into their face that then falls to the floor like rain (use this when paying a debt to a punk bitch who keeps asking for their money to the point that they are ruining your friendship or when dumping someone who has been bankrolling you for a while now that you're making money).


Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Poor Thing

“.... trapped under the rubble, was no choice but to amputate.”
I’d recounted the events so many times.
“Poor thing”, they always said.
“Poor thing - no way.  Lucky me. Could’ve been both legs.” 
33 words written for Trifecta: Week Seventy.
Using the word prompt lucky with context producing or resulting in good by chance : favorable

Trifecta Writing:

Thursday, 21 March 2013


I miss him.

Every day, he comes. Same time, same place. Pushing his worldly possessions in a shopping cart, he stops by the fountain. From the cart, he extracts a little folding chair, which he opens and places next to him. From his pocket comes a slice of bread. Then, sitting down, he meticulously breaks the bread into tiny pieces. These are spread in a gentle arc about him. The grass instantly turns into a carpet of birds. For a few moments, it is a sea of beaks, feathers and claws. Then, just as quickly the birds evaporate, and it is green again. With no time wasted, he folds the little chair and packs it back into the cart. Off he goes, purposefully pushing his world in front of him.

Then one day he isn't there. Nor the next and the next.

What has become of him. His humbleness has managed to infect me profoundly. A man with nothing, but always enough for the birds. I think of him often. I miss him. I hope he is happy.

Who will feed the birds.
Using the word infect with the context:

Monday, 4 March 2013

Five Minutes

Five minutes
Five minutes, shit
What do I write
I've got to get something out
Thirty Three words
There must be something
or just stream of consciousness
Written with just 5 minutes before the deadline for Trifecta - Trifextra week Fifty Seven. A bit indulgent, but I challenged myself at the cusp.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Doctor Doctor

A Doctor doctoring
Is better than
A doctoring Doctor
Especially when
The doctoring Doctor
Practices doctoring
Additively adding
Spreading and scraping
Such Doctor is not
Fit to be doctorer
If I am doctoree

Using the word Doctor with context:
b : a blade (as of metal) for spreading a coating or scraping a surface

Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Fence

Painted white, and in perfect repair, the fence was what drew me in. The building, like all those in the area was dilapidated. Cladding gaping, glass panes missing, broken downpipes, sagging roofline, the surrounds a jungle. The fence was by no means new. Plants and weeds had tangled around the palings, but the paint couldn't have been more than a season old. No fading or flaking. The gate, locked with a simple padlock, showed no sign of wear, and the shiny hinges were free of rust. Too low to bar entry, I leaned my bicycle against it and climbed over.
Copyright-Janet Webb
Written for Friday Fictioneers,

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

No Entry

It wouldn’t open
I knocked
I rang
I kicked, pushed
Got a sledgehammer
A drill, a crowbar
It wouldn’t open
Possibilities exhausted
I couldn’t get in
Someone said
Use the back door

Written for Trifecta Writing Challenge Week 65 using the following definition of the word Exhaust:

Saturday, 12 January 2013


Hand in hand, the lovers ran. As fast as they could, knowing this was their only escape.

Falling in love left her no choice. Fearing the anger of her father, Penelope knew she must run away before he found out.

Although it pained to leave her father, mother and sisters, being with her love outweighed all else.

But Zeus had spotted them. They could no longer be trusted. As punishment, and, a signal to her sisters Penelope would be frozen. No longer taking human form, she was left with her lover, a monument, and warning to the remaining nine muses.
Written for Friday Fictioneers.


Based on on the prompt at: