Duck and Run

This is a story for Sunday Photo Fiction, .  It was prompted by the photo below, kindly provided by our host, Al Forbes.

To see other people’s stories and add your own, please click on the link:

Duck and Run

“Will this funny thing take us to the ducks Grandad?”

“This funny thing is the DUKW. We’re doing a D-Day tour.”

”It doesn’t look like a duck.”

“It’s yellow.”

“Most ducks aren’t really ye- … can it swim?”

“Oh yeah. It’s better in the water, like the other ducks. It’ll take us on the Thames.”

“It looks old.”

“Built during the Second World War.”

“Was that the war to end all war?”

“No, that was the First World War. According to HG Wells.”

“The Time Machine man?”

“That’s him.”

“I suppose he couldn’t really see into the future then.”

“Anyway, I wanted us to ride in a DUKW ‘cos my dad drove one in the war.”

“This one? On D-Day?”

“Maybe and no. He was in Operation Husky, you know, to free Sicily from the Germans and Italians.”

“I thought Sicily belonged to Italy?”

“You know what, after this, maybe we should go to the Imperial War Museum, learn some stuff.”

“Dad wants to go to Sicily on holiday.”

“It’s beautiful. You’ll love it.”

“Mum said ‘no’, too full of refugees.”

“Tell you what, do you really want to go on this ride?”

“You’ve paid.”

“Never mind. Natural History Museum?”

200 words


Posted in Flash Fiction, London, Online Writing, Things kids say, War | 9 Comments

Summer of 69

This is a story for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, .  It was prompted by the photo below, kindly provided by Grant-Sud.

To view other people’s stories and add your own, please click on the link:

Summer of 69

Smiley face. This must be it. Arthur knocked before he lost his nerve. Michael the man mountain opened the door.


“I’m looking for a happy ending.”

“Basic or deluxe?”


“You got that kind of cash?”

Arthur pushed a bulging envelope into Michael’s grasping hand.

“You a cop?”

“C’mon, too old,” Arthur said, “69 last birthday.”

Michael steered Arthur past cubicles that released smells and sounds which aroused curiosity but nothing else. They stopped at a door marked “EXIT”.

“Hey, I paid,” Arthur complained.

“The sign keeps out undesirables. You’ll get what you’ve paid for.”

“From you? I thought it would be a nice lady.”

“Relax, I just clean up afterwards.”

Michael eased the door open.

“Go on. Destiny’s waiting.”

Arthur breathed in deeply and stepped through the door. His feet felt thin air. It didn’t take long for him to hit the dumpster 10 floors below, but he had enough time to curse the cancer for having metastasised and to thank Michael for doing what the doctors wouldn’t do.

174 words


Two Three Four Five Six apologies this time:

  1. Given the subject matter, I know the title is a bit smutty.  I always try to use a song title and this one seemed to fit, not least because I only discovered recently that Bryan Adams was singing about sexual awakening and not just about learning to play guitar etc.
  2. I know the 69 in the title should be preceded by an asterisk (no, that’s not code for something else – who’s being smutty now?), but Arthur was 69 years old, not 1969.
  3. By calling a ‘skip’ a ‘dumpster’ I’ve been a hypocrite, because I hate it when British writers use American English terms even in books published in the UK.  My pet hate is ‘gurney’ for a hospital ‘trolley’.  My excuse is that we Brits have watched so much American TV that we all know what a dumpster is.
  4. I’m sorry if any Americans are offended by my suggesting they might not know what a skip is.
  5. I’m sorry if I’ve offended readers who are neither British nor American and who are probably fully aware of the meaning of skip/dumpster, trolley/gurney, tap/faucet etc
  6. I’m being presumptuous.  As I’m late to the party this week there’s a good chance no one will read this story anyway.


Posted in Crime, Euthanasia, Flash Fiction, MaSSAGE | 13 Comments

I Can See Clearly Now

This is my second story for this week’s What Pegman Saw,  It was prompted by the picture below (which I didn’t find myself, but lifted from the excellent story by Pegman co-host Karen).  Thank you Karen.

To see other people’s stories and add your own, please click on the link:

I can see clearly now

Bert and Ken gelled from the start of this touring holiday for singles. Gazing up at the mighty cascade Bert was intrigued by his new friend’s enigmatic expression.
“Penny for ’em,” Bert said.
“It reminds me of my Lois, my first wife.”
“She liked waterfalls?”
“Hated ‘em, wet and noisy, she said, like the dripping tap I never fixed. When we went to Jamaica; she didn’t even want to visit Dunn’s River Falls … too many tourists. So we went at night.”
“You think we should get back to the coach?”
“Woman was like a sodding waterfall, though. For 25 years she subjected me to a torrent of insults. Poured cold water on every idea I had.”
“I’m sorry, Ken, I shouldn’t have pried. I see why the waterfall reminds you of Lois.”
“No you don’t, Bert. I didn’t tell you how she died, did I?”

146 words


I posted two stories because they popped into my head almost simultaneously. One started off cutesy and light, the other (this one) was meant to be a bit darker. On the screen, they both ended up somewhere in the middle. After I’d posted the first story, I couldn’t bring myself to scrap this one. It features a married couple about whom I’ve written before and I thought they had unfinished business.

Posted in Domestic Dysfunctionalism, Flash Fiction, Tourism | 17 Comments


This is a story for What Pegman Saw,  It was prompted by the image below.

To see other people’s stories and add your own, please click on the link:

pineapples picture jpeg


“Grandma’s right,” said Lily, “this pineapple is moricious.”
“From Mauritius, sweetheart,” Grandpa answered, “Moricious isn’t a real word.”
“You sure?”
“Sure I’m sure. You’re confusing two words – moreish and delicious. They mean_”
“I know Grandpa. They describe how you feel about whisky.”
“That’s right, but I’m a grown-up, remember.”
Grandpa chinked his glass against Lily’s beaker, before pouring himself a refill.
“Is conflating a real word?” Lily asked.
“I suppose.”
“I think that’s what I did – conflate, not confuse.”
“’Sides, my teacher says language is revolving all the time. I just revolved moricious.”
“I’ll drink to that,” Grandpa belched, reaching for the bottle.
“Is ‘to die for’ the same as moreish?”
“More or less, probably.”
“I bet that’s a spression that grown-ups revolved. It’s stupid.”
“Whaddya mean Lily?”
“Well, you like whisky a lot, Grandpa. But you wouldn’t wanna die for it, would ya?”

145 words

































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Posted in Flash Fiction, relationships, Things kids say | 8 Comments

Stool Pigeon

This is a story for Friday Fictioneers, It was prompted by the photo below, kindly provided by Douglas M. MacIlroy (who has a workshop that leaves me green with envy).

To see other people’s stories and add your own, please click on the link:

Stool Pigeon

All Officer Doran wanted, after a tough shift, was a quiet drink. So he wasn’t happy when the bird on Mickey the barman’s shoulder muttered, “Who smells pig?”

“Knock it off,” Doran muttered back.

“Careful, Joey’s got family connections,” the barman sniggered.

“Oh yeah – Partridge Family?”

“Nah, the Starling family.”

“Pour the whisky.”

Mickey filled two glasses.

“Screw you, copper,” Joey chirruped, before hopping onto the bar and dipping his beak into both drinks.

Doran seized the bird and eyeballed Mickey.

“You’re coming to the station, Mickey.”

“What the hell did I do?

“Serving alcohol to a mynah. C’mon.”

100 words

Deepest apologies – this is a terrible piece of wordplay. I tried to pen a shape-shifting tale about an army officer, so I could work in the line, “how strange the change from major to mynah” (from Every Time We Say Goodbye, almost). I’m not cut out for sci-fi, so I gave up. Hence this hastily written effort to raise a smile.

Posted in Anthropomorphic ramblings, Crime, Flash Fiction, Police Procedural | 24 Comments



This is a story for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, .  It was prompted by the photo below, kindly provided by BarbCT/Gallimaufry.


To read other people’s stories and add your own, please click on the link:



A canal cruise had been perfect for their honeymoon – no sunburn or exotic food – just the two of them on a cosy narrowboat, savouring the romance.

Ken decided a return visit was the way to celebrate their 43rd anniversary. He booked a two-day break (Lois wouldn’t leave the dogs for longer) on a canal with no locks (jumping off boats was unladylike).

Soon after “sailaway” it rained; Lois stepped inside. She mustn’t have heard Ken ask for his kagoule. He soldiered on. Ken had plans – dinner at The King’s Head, a bottle of Grenache (Lois’ favourite) on the boat and then he would give her the eternity ring.

Ken moored where the King’s Head should be. He woke Lois.

“It’s a Chinese restaurant now. I’ll get a table?”

“Get a takeaway. The usual.”

Forty minutes later, Ken shuffled back, to find Lois snoring loudly on the sofa.

Ken prodded her. No response.

He put the meals in the oven, tripping over an empty Grenache bottle on the way.

“Ken,” Lois mumbled.

“Yes love?”

“The toilet’s blocked.”

175 words


Posted in Domestic Dysfunctionalism, Flash Fiction, relationships | 9 Comments

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

This story is for What Pegman Saw,, and was prompted by the image below.

To see other people’s stories and add your own, please click on the link:

Littleton (2)

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

Luke saw the pothole too late and the car slumped. He crawled on, looking for somewhere less scary to stop. A weary-looking house with colourful hanging baskets reminded him of Nanna’s. Here would do.

He was staring at the ruined tyre, when someone spoke.

“Problem, son?”

Luke looked round to see doppelgängers of Grandpa and Grandma Walton sizing him up.

“No spare,” he answered, “Just a stupid aerosol. I’m supposed to be flying home to England. I’ll never reach the airport now.”

“Relax. There’s plenty old tyres out back. She’ll look after ya while I fix this.”

Grandma took Luke inside and brought coffee and cake.

Thirty minutes later, Grandpa came in, wiping his hands on a rag.

“You’re good to go, friend.”

“Thank you,” Luke said, opening his wallet.

“Forget it. Helping you cost me nothing.”

“Don’t be crackers. I should _”

“Crackers? Get outta my house you sonofabitch.”

150 words

I suspect this story might need an explanation. For Brits, “crackers” is a slang adjective meaning daft, silly, or mentally ill. Depending on the context it could be used as an insult, but Luke wasn’t being rude. He just wanted to say, “Don’t be daft, you’ve done me a big favour, I’d like to show my appreciation.”

Over here, as a slang noun “cracker” means something good or a very attractive person.

Cross the Atlantic and …

Unfortunately, Grandpa thought Luke was calling him white trash and insulting him by offering to pay for his time.

I suppose the title could have been along the lines of Two Nations Divided by a Common Language but, as usual, I’ve opted for a song title. There are many versions and purists will probably prefer Nina Simone’s.

If you click on the link you’ll be taken to my favourite, by Gary Moore:




Posted in America, Flash Fiction, miscommunication | 7 Comments

Open letter to the President

This is a submission for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers,, and was prompted by the photo below, kindly provided by Elaine Farrington Johnson.

To see other people’s stories and add your own, please click on the link:

Open letter to the President

Dear President Trump,

You said you could be a great president.

Prove it. Do what none of your predecessors has done.

You can’t make what happened in Vegas stay in Vegas.

But you could make it STOP with Vegas.

Do it soon Mr President. Please.

Yours sincerely,

A cock-eyed optimist


50 words

Although I always try to use a song title for my stories, I’ve only added a link to a song once before, when the theme and lyrics seemed appropriate. I’m doing it again.

Apologies for using a clunky url link, but I don’t think I can add videos.

Roy C

Posted in America, Flash Fiction, Las Vegas | 13 Comments

Lazy Lies

This story is for Sunday Photo Fiction,, and was prompted by the photo below, kindly provided by our host, Al Forbes.

To read other people’s stories and add your own, please click on the link:

Lazy Lies

Constable Idle liked the village; it didn’t generate much police work. When, rarely, a crime was reported, he took pride in keeping it off the books. Occasionally the rural bliss was disturbed when locals chose to report crimes to town coppers, who were happy to file reports because it would fall to him to investigate them. He hated that even more than a blip appearing in the negligible crime rate that suggested he was doing a great job. His mission was to have every unwanted report written off as ‘no crime’.

Recently he’d written off the alleged theft of a sheep with a short note, “Fox footprints were tracked to a lair, near to which scraps of wool were found. Request ‘No crime’.”

Now two geese had been reported stolen. The sergeant was a young college lad, so this would be laid to rest without difficulty. Idle wrote, “Enquiries with the Wildlife Trust show that skeins of migrating geese have been seen over Brompton on the last three nights. The missing geese must have joined them. Request ‘No crime’.”

The report bounced back, endorsed by the Sergeant, “I liked the fox story better. See me to discuss your potential migration.”

200 words


Posted in Crime, Flash Fiction, Lies, Police Procedural | 14 Comments

Mystery Blue

This story is for Friday Fictioneers,, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  It was prompted by the photo below, kindly provided by J Hardy Carroll.

To view other people’s stories and add your own, please click on the link:

Mystery Blue

“The company’s been good to me and Mom,” Dad used to say, “but you’re too bright to be factory fodder.”

So, now I have my Ph.D., I guess he’d have been surprised to see me toiling in the plant where they spent their working lives. Still, I got to set up my own lab.

He’ll never know, what with dying six months into retirement. Mom’ll pass soon, so I have to keep busy.

When she’s gone, I’ll have a body of work to show those bastards up in D.C.

They should have banned asbestos and closed this place decades ago.

100 words

In case the title’s puzzling, I usually use the title of a reasonably well known song. I’m guessing Mystery Blue won’t be in many of your music libraries, but this song about the dangers of asbestos seemed appropriate. The lyrics were written by Dean Harnett after his friend’s father died of mesothelioma. The music was composed by Peter Oats, who lost his mother to lung cancer when he was a child. Her illness was thought to be related to asbestos.

The song is pretty moving. If you want to hear it and watch the accompanying, potentially upsetting video, please follow the link:


Posted in Corporate crime, Flash Fiction, Industrial disease | 30 Comments