‘Just a Minute’

He tells himself it’s only for a minute.

Just a minute. A minute’s not long. That’s not breaking any rules.

Just one delicious minute.

To savour.

To chew over and enjoy and feel deep down in the hot, dark places he keeps secret.

Just a minute.


Creeped myself out a little writing this one – random word prompt was ‘minute’.

‘Jug’ and ‘Backpack’

Another double header of 50 word flash as I ride the twin waves of renewed creativity and free time. The random word generator threw up two everyday objects as subject matter today. Having had the first feature directly I decided that the second would be only be implied – and it’s been interesting to see how that has impacted on the tone. Things that are great about 50 word flash fiction no. 167 – experimentation!



‘What’s in the jug?’ The youngest says. He pulls it over to look inside. Dad is mid-bite, Mum is mid-sibling-fight. It spins about itself tempting anyone to stop it, as if it knows no one can. Then the table; a lake, orange. Sighs then laughter. Lunch over.



Ideology fades, fanaticism abates. He is left with nothing in that final moment. Only then does he wonder what, if anything, he will feel. A woman smiles at him from the opposite side of the bus. She strokes dark hair back from her child’s face.

He feels nothing.



‘Flamenco’ and ‘Like a Bomb’

Two for the price of one today as it’s been a while.

By way of explanation: my priorities at the moment are pregnant fiancé, already existing child, preparing for the arrival of the second, finding a new job, cat (he’s very persistent) AND THEN writing.

I have been writing (honest) but its been on a couple of (as yet) private longer form projects and with such limited time to write the blog side of things has been downgraded in priority.

Anyway I’m still here, alive and kicking (and writing and reading).

Until the next time.

(Both stories written from random word prompts).



She just dances. The guitar is staccato, her skirts undulate and flick, fingers snap. He tries to lose himself in the motions but for him each click is that of a clock bringing him closer to oblivion. There is no profit in this course of action. Yet he is stuck.


‘Like a Bomb’

Like a bomb. Incandescent with rage. Wrenching, tearing fury that twists and skitters away, uncontrollably, like the hot innards of a ruined machine, destroying all it touches, spreading flame and discord in its wake.


(A note on the above – I’m normally quite strict in 50 word shorts, in that it must be 50 words exactly, but I really liked this one as is and felt it said exactly what I wanted, so I left it.)



One long mile, there and back, all because of a moment’s forgetfulness in the shop the day before.

She falls through the door in a flurry of snow and bitter cold; her guests cheer their heroine. Morning cups of tea all round and hers the sweetest of all.


Random words – morning tea/mile.

Just a quick one today and finally a free day tomorrow, so hopefully some more to come and I’ll be catching up on other people’s stuff too.

Flash in the pan!

(I know ‘a flash in the pan’ is technically a bad thing, but there are only so many ‘flash’ related expressions out there).

Tonight I have concluded, as promised (never let it be said that I am not a man of my word – pun not intended) my experiments with 50 word shorts, inspired by ever increasing numbers of random word prompts. The first two can be read here and here.

Today it was eight, nine, and ten random words that had to feature. Suffice to say eight, with Satan AND metal detector in it was not easy at all, nine was almost gifted to me fully formed, or so it seemed, and ten really pushed me to be as economic as possible.


dictionary/user experience/toast/refugee/poverty/metal detector/nurse/satan

A poverty of choices for breakfast so toast it is again. The dictionary says I’m crazy. I prefer to think of it as an ‘alternative user experience to life’. Now I’m off to find Satan with my metal detector (despite what the nurses say!)



Two old boys, faces like slack elastic, just sitting on the porch bench, drinking, guns in their laps. Their own little private carnival. Let them quail come to us they say.

Suffice to say the quail are safe in the woods but them old boys are happy none the less.


Indian/court/nail varnish/rollercoaster/ shopping centre/ pasta/ sandals/ invention/concert/copyright

We missed the concert and ended up in the shopping centre food court. She had Indian, I had pasta. Then she ended it. She was wearing sandals and I just stared at her green varnished toes.

I swear I was invented and copyrighted with unique skills to fuck up relationships.



The Prophet, fuelled by little else than divine words to find His people, wandered for seventeen long weeks until he stumbled upon their little village.

When he looked upon their own bodies, as emaciated as his, he felt the kinship that He had spoken of and although he was near delirious with exhaustion his God assured him that yes; These Were They.

Had he not been he may have noticed the distinct proportions of the knucklebones that adorned their necks or the hungry look in their eyes when they told him their would be a great feast in his honour.


Random word job again today: prophet and dinner.

‘The King’s Ankle’

Yugens rolls the first pebble in his hand. Below the crowd wait in hushed expectation. Each holds a stone. Each is eager to dispose of the tyrant just as he has disposed off so many of them.

‘Why are you smiling?’

The King looks up at his oldest adviser. ‘I have an itch on my ankle,’ he replies.

Yugens cannot help but smile himself at the irony of it.

‘Do it then,’ the King says.

‘Goodbye old friend,’ Yugens says quietly. He places the first stone over the King’s chest.

The rest soon follow.


Random word generator: ‘pebble’ and ‘ankle’.


He’s saved it to last. Why this he’s not quite sure. If he’s honest he can’t even remember her having worn it.

The detritus of their failed relationship burns softly in the fireplace.

Was she wearing it the night they met? Or is it just something unworn, unremarkable, unloved and left behind in the rush; the hurried, jagged rush to termination. Like me he thinks.

Then he realises he just compared himself to a scarf. Some small part of his melancholy lifts. He smiles for the first time in a long time.


I used the random word generator again for this one – the words were ‘fireplace’ and ‘scarf’.


Continuing adventures in flash fiction.

Carrying on from yesterday I present my next two 50 word shorts.

The idea is simple – I use a random word generator to generate the words and then have to use them in a 50 word short story. The only rule I really have is that it has to be exactly 5o words. One to five wasn’t too tricky, but six and seven really ramped up the challenge.



She wishes she had eaten more for lunch or maybe broken her rule about afternoon snacking. The canapés are scarce and two of them have featured capers. She hates capers. The conversation is all paranoia about China and the size of their bonuses. All she can think about is chips.


cape/lasso/user interface/thermostat/verb/stampede/boxing 

‘Easy’ his wife said about the cryptic user interface. Stampeding kids disturb him; that verb doesn’t do it justice. They are whoops and capes and his robe tie as a lasso. Suddenly the game is boxing. The living room is the arena. The thermostat is forgotten.


I (foolishly) said I’d try and make it to ten…I’m certainly going to try but keeping them the right side of nonsensical? We’ll see.

Flash, bang, wallop!

Things got a little out of hand today. One 50 word short turned into five.

However there is a bit of a twist. Using the same random word generator I worked successively with one to five words to create each story. Five was definitely a bit of a head scratcher.

Tomorrow I think I will try six to ten…but for now here you go.



They would have you believe you’re one gear in the great machine.

But They are lying. You’re muck. Gristle, bones, hair and teeth. You’re nothing more than a residue to Them.

It’s your job to jam the machine and fucking stop it!



Arald leaned heavily on his broadsword. The corpse of the beast dissolved at his feet.

The heavy stone slab slid up into the roof through means arcane to reveal the pedestal and the legendary treasure it held.

But no! What cruel jest from the Gods was this? A pair of scissors!



I’m dying. The stiletto has punctured my lung and I cannot shout for help.

I wish the stars in their majesty were the last sight of my life. But my head lies on its side. All I can see is a snail, oblivious and happy with its leaf.



The ranger hut is abandoned. Old files line one shelf. On the table a solitary binder.  A radio sits beside it. I absently thumb the ‘talk’ button on the microphone and let the silence speak for me.

Then I continue north leaving just a thumbprint in the dust.



Frank is beating Terry with a broken off car aerial. Frank’s companions know better than to tell him he’s shooting the messenger.

Then Frank will worry about the judge. And the bribe. The stadium will get its planning permission. Things always work out for Frank.