Friday Fictioneers: Hollow Debt

I couldn’t get anywhere when I looked at Madison’s photo prompt for the fictioneers and was going to give it a miss. One more look tonight and suddenly I’d done in in ten minutes. What do you make of the photo? there’s still time to enter, photo by Lura Helmstree

Twenty years since I last saw it and I still clean jumped out of my skin. It had decayed and sunk into the hollow, looking for all the world like some strange mystic fungus. I could still picture how it was back then, each week the flesh got blacker and the rancid stench warned me I was close. He was supposed to be a devil worshipper, so I always wore a cross, and carried garlic when I went to pay the debt for mom. Then one time mom, Aunt May and Aunt Wilma went together and he was never seen again.

100 Word Challenge For Grown Ups Week# 53

Julia has given us ‘would seven prove to be too much’ and another hundred words to play with for her challenge this week. Will you join in this time? It’s fun and a good way to see how briefly you can tell a story. Try here,  and now for my entry.

Fiacre’s Seven Seeds

‘Will I be able to look after them all?’ Fiacre counted the seeds in his hand.

‘Ah, would seven prove to be too much? That’s the question I asked myself when I was your size’

‘What if they grow too big for my vegetable plot grandfather?

‘Let’s leave your little garden for a moment child, come, look to the east.’ A vast cultivated valley spread a green carpet as far as the boy could see. ‘The great creator gave my grandfathers grandfather seven seeds. Tell me, are these crops too much, too much too feed our people?

‘Grandfather, will seven seeds be enough?’

Friday Fictioneers: Twin Shells

Madison’s 100 word flash fiction challenge this week is this lovely shell photo, which she credits to Susan Wenzel. This is my entry.


Shells Divided 

Ibiza 2002, they met at a club of course, it had a huge scene back then. They chatted, danced, and then strolled to Matthew’s hotel. A few hours later they caught the sunrise on Es Cavellet, hand in hand.

Gatwick 2012, he headed for departures, tummy fluttering. Ten years ago they’d vowed to bring their shells back to the island. How he had longed for tonight, 10pm outside El Chiringuito.

Mumbai 2012, Rahul pulled a small white shell from a drawer, turned it over in his hands, and dropped it into the bin.

Whatever happened to that funny English guy?

 Check out to join the challenge and read the other entries.

100 Word Challenge For Grown Ups Week# 52

Julia seems to think that the challenge she has set this week is easy, maybe you would like to try it out, it certainly wasn’t easy for me. I couldn’t find words to go before together the flames and I think i have cheated because altogether can only be one word? Anyway here goes.


On the day before I became a widow, I caught the London train for a weekend with the girls. Oh how we laughed that evening, fuelled with cocktails, sharing the events of the last year. New jobs, new grandchildren, and Stella’s new romance with Paul from Woodleigh comprehensive, he wouldn’t get away this time. Paul’s ex-wife had moved to my village, she could be the one I see walking the schnauzer.

Over breakfast we saw the BBC Devon news.

‘The bodies of a man and woman were found in the bedroom of the middle cottage; all together the flames destroyed three homes.’

Link back to Julia’s see the other entries.

Five Things They Don’t tell You about Getting Older

When you’re young, skirts and trousers with elasticated waistbands are just ‘old lady clothes’ and you take it for granted that they need the comfort, while knowing that it will never happen to you. Wrong. Elasticated waistbands are manufacturer’s way of making some money from older ladies who are not catered for by designers. They fail to cash in on the silver pound, sticking instead to the young, slim or even emaciated because they make their clothes look better. What they fail to take into account is that even really slim women change body shape with age. You can be small but still have a bug tummy, no waist, no bottom and that hip spring – the difference between waist and hip measurement – decreases from about twelve inches when you are twenty five and a size twelve or fourteen to about six inches when you are fifty even if you still have thirty eight inch hips! So your choice is  whether to  buy skirts or trousers that fit your waist and balloon out like a parachute around your hips, never, ever do your top buttons up, or . . . elastic and crimplene.

Your eyelashes start to disappear, what happens is that they grow inwards. They creep down through some special internal follicles until they reach your upper lip and chin where they multiply like cell division and burst out forming a lush growth to warm your face in winter.

Old ladies can’t wear pretty brassieres. Pretty ones are aimed at young women whose breasts have not yet become matronly. Matronly bosoms appear around your late forties. Oh yes they do, even if you always wore a 34A you will suddenly need a 36F, and the wide straps that go with bras in those kind of sizes. Woe betide those of you who successfully seek out The Thin Strap, because you will have deep chasms in your shoulders. Nope, to contain your new found pitta breads you will require inch wide straps and side scaffolding.

Now, we expect to gain some lines on our faces don’t we? They are lines of wisdom and character of course, and a way of keeping the beauty industry going with our futile attempts to stay young. But what is this crepe like thing happening to my forearms? No one told me about that. And why don’t the magazines recommend that you wear gloves twenty four seven, to stop your hands looking like some haggard witch’s? Because they get paid to advertise hand cream!

Granny shoes. How could they wear such ugly things? This generation didn’t invent ridiculous – oops I mean delicious – heels, platforms and wedges that you need a mounting block to climb into. No, I had them too and could walk miles, dance all night and then walk home again in them. I didn’t live in them, I loved flip flops too. They were never as lovely as the ones around now. I have some gorgeous jewelled and sequined ones, in fact several pairs; I keep buying them in the hope that some will be comfortable enough to walk miles in. If I try that, the impact of every step I take resounds its painful way up through my calves and knees, leaving me hobbling slowly the next day. So, it’s nice comfy cushiony soles for me, little heels on occasion, but even then they would have to be Footgloves. What’s happens to our feet? Well apparently we lose subcutaneous fat from our soles as we get older, who knew that? What I do know is where mine went. Around my middle.

If anyone can warn me of any other little surprises I have to look forward to I would be deeply thrilled to know. Meanwhile, where is my foot spa, my feet are killing me.

Friday Fictioneers

Madison has posted a challenging photo prompt this week and this is my contribution. If you would like to visit her to read the other entries go to

Running Water

‘There you go my dear, now all you have to do is turn on the tap and you can have running water whenever you want.’

‘Turn it on whenever I want? That’s lovely.’

‘Now how do you manage about baths? You’d qualify for a council grant at your age.’

‘Oh I just fill the copper up in July, that’s my birthday I’ll be ninety two you know, and it doesn’t take long to fill my hip bath. Now lad I’m going down the garden to get some water from the well, so I’ll show you out at the same time.’

Friday Fictioneers: Grapevine

I’ve missed Madison’s 100 word Friday photo prompt                             for a couple of weeks but this time I’ve made it. This maybe a little dark, so I’m sorry, I don’t wish to offend. The photo seems innocent enough, but look closely, see how the tendrils can wrap around and strangle.



The vine, its naked now, stripped of its treasures, its small Riesling bullets. The master likes to watch while we crush them in the old way; it’s his tradition to make something special for himself. And as he watches, he finishes last year’s reserve.

It started off well, he was in good humour, but as always, it turned to bad. I thought I would die last night; drown on crushed grapes, I prayed to the Lord to take me. Grapes filled my nose, ears, eyes and mouth, while he filled me.

He doesn’t know where I emptied his night water today.

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups# 50

Week 50, but Julia has focussed on the weather instead of a golden anniversary, with her prompt, … the rain turned the road into a river… 

and here is my entry. There will be more over at  and maybe you would like to join in.

Bridge Memories

It could only be ugly, you only have to see how they built that block of flats over Whipton way. Eight stories high, where do they hang their washing?

‘Come on mum. Let’s join the crowd and walk across for the first time.’ I didn’t want to, horrid concrete.

‘Look Shirley, see how lovely it was, back when I was a girl. Your dad and me did our courting there, fifty years ago.’ 

‘Huh, every year in St Thomas, the rain turned the road into a river’ she said barely looking at my photo, ‘Now there’s the flood channel and this new bridge. I won’t be long then.’

Photo is from where Wolfpaw has discussed the copyright.

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups Week# 49

‘This week is another simple prompt but please forgive me for making it topical to us here in the UK.

….Murray was just about to serve for the Championship when…’

says Julia, over at pop across to join in!

Schizoid Match

Murray was just about to serve for the Championship when they arrived. The voices. All three this time and they were arguing like mad.

‘He has to have new tennis shoes; he’s going through the toes of last year’s.’ Tut.

‘I need shin pads, for Saturday, we’re playing Westchester.’ Get out of my head Aidan.

‘Listen, listen, no-one ever needed this stuff, need is about hunger, a roof over our heads.’ Dad shut up.

‘Murray will put the roof over our heads one day, the boy is gifted.’ No pressure then mum.

‘Ha, even he doesn’t believe that.’

The racquet thudded to the ground. You’re right dad I don’t.

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups # Week 48

I missed last weeks challenge. I used the excuse of being away, but actually it was just too difficult. This week Julia has returned to her more usual prompt of a few words . . . I blamed it on the dog  . . . much more my scene. If you would like to join in, or read some of the other entries, pop across to

Meanwhile here is my entry.

A Bit of a Tickle

‘Forty years, that’s how long I’ve known her. I never thought she’d leave me. There’s not a day we’ve been apart. We never wanted kids – decided it would be just the two of us.’

‘Sorry mate, I’m not one for weeping, never had cause, we’ve always been so happy.’ The man, who looked far too young for that kind of work averted his eyes and muttered ‘No worries.’

‘She had a bit of a tickle, touch of allergy she said. I think I’ll be following her; I can’t live with this guilt you see. Passive smoking causes cancer. That cough, I blamed it on the dog.’