This story was prompted by a photo kindly provided by Amy Reese at Friday Fictioneers, , which is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

For reasons that I hope will be understandable, I found I was unable to invent a wholly fictional story in relation to this prompt.  Rather than abstain, though, I’ve submitted a fictionalised story that was “inspired by real events”.  I also hope I haven’t broken any rules by embedding the prompt in the story, or by including another photo that featured in the aforementioned real events.

To read other stories and add your own, please follow the link: .


Coco Cay, 8 January 2016

Him: ‘Wow – double rainbow, right on the beach.  Take a photo, quick.’

Her: ‘You take it, Mister fancy camera.’

Him: ‘Disk’s full.’

Her: ‘How?’

He shrugs.

Her: ‘’What have you been photographing?’

Him: ‘Stuff.’

She raises an eyebrow.

Him: ‘Potential photo prompts … for flash fiction.  Here’s one I want to send in.’

IMG_7402 (2)

JS Brand

She shakes her head.

Home, 13 January 2016

Him: ‘Look, I’m logging on at Friday Fictioneers.  I’ll show you the new prompt.’

Her: ‘It’s Wednesday.’

He ignores her and scrolls down, ‘Oh, c’mon …  Amy beat me to it!’


Copyright: Amy Reese


Her: ‘Amy?’

100 words (not including photo acknowledgements)

OK, the two photos aren’t identical and might not be close enough to match up in a game of Snap, but I think Amy’s would win in a game of Top Trumps.  Before I saw Amy’s picture I thought the one of the “stairs to nowhere” could yield dozens of story ideas, but any that I had quickly evaporated.  There’s no saying that Rochelle would ever have used the photo if I’d sent it in, but I’m pleased that Amy’s picture was published, as it has triggered lots of great stories.

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Waste not, want not

This story was prompted by the photo below, provided at Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers: .

I found it particularly hard to keep anywhere near the word limit this week, but eventually weighed in at 175 words.  I’m sorry if the editing process has left you wondering what the story has to do with the photo.  Fingers crossed, you’ll understand why it reminded me of a particular type of TV show.

Click here to see other stories and add your own: .

Photo prompt kindly provided by Etol Bagam.

Waste not, want not

Maintaining Sodborough Hall cost a fortune.  The Earl’s ancestors had missed numerous commercial opportunities.  Then along came reality television!

At Home With the Aristos had been a nice earner, before the Countess’ disappearance.

The Earl grew desperate, until he caught an episode of Posh Pap.  A chirpy dealer paid peanuts for a pile of heirlooms, before wiping them with a damp cloth and reselling them at a massive profit.

One phone call brought Garry to the Hall.  ‘No cameras’, the Earl had stipulated, ‘Treat this as a recce, but bring cash just in case.’

Soon they stood beside a stack of junk/treasure.

‘500’s my best offer,’ said Garry.

‘Ten grand,’ countered the Earl.

‘650, and you’re ruining me,’ Garry responded.

‘What if I throw this into the mix?’ asked the Earl, producing a shotgun.

‘I don’t have enough for a Purdey,’  Garry tapped his pocket.

‘Pity,’ said the Earl, before squeezing the trigger.

Two hours later, gun cleaned and cash counted, the Earl went to see whether the pigs had finished their unusually generous supper.

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Flying on the Ground

This story was prompted by the photo below at Friday Fictioneers, , hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

The photo was provided by Melanie Greenwood.

To read other stories and add your own, please follow the link:

Copyright Melanie Greenwood

Flying on the Ground

‘You’re gonna help me, Fartbreath.’

Alone with Schwarzkopf in the I.T. classroom, I didn’t argue.

He continued, ‘I think Layla will put out for me, if I can back somethin’ up.  I told her my dad owns a jet …’


‘So, your dad works at the airfield.  Get me inside, so I can take a selfie.’

‘You’ll need fake i.d.’

After logging on, Schwarzkopf yawned and left me to finish off. When he collected his airport pass, he looked pleased.

I was more pleased with the next day’s headline: Threat to Airport Security Thwarted.  Computer Reveals Student’s Terrorist Links.

 100 words

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Speed trap

This story was prompted by the photo below, provided at Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers: .

If the reference to Wayne Rooney doesn’t mean anything, it’s linked to the British media’s obsession with celebrities (including professional footballers) and their body parts  (

Click here to see other stories and add your own: .


Speed trap

We were going to get away with it.

‘So,’ said Big Cop, ‘You’re studying medicine … and your homework was to make amphetamine?’

‘No comment,’ I said.

‘How much have you made?’ asked Little Cop.

‘None, yet,’ Kevin answered, ‘Ronan says the instructions must be wrong.’

‘Objection,’ I shouted.

‘Overruled,’ said Big Cop, smirking, ‘Can you prove you’re medical students?’

We pointed at the skellington.  It was my idea to buy it.  Genius.

‘You won’t mind doing a little test then?’ Big Cop asked.

They’d never catch me out, but I wasn’t sure about Damon.

‘I’m the one doing medicine,’ I said.

‘I’m doing medium studies,’ Damon added.

Nice one, I thought.  They won’t want their cock-up in the newspapers.

‘Where are the metatarsals?’ asked Big Cop.

I pointed at Mr. Bones’ foot.  Thanks Wayne Rooney.

‘Your turn, Carl,’ said Big Cop, looking at his partner.

‘Show me a scapula,’ said Little Cop.

Got you now, I thought, turning towards the utensils.  We’ve only got a fish slice, but that pillock won’t know the difference.

 175 words

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Home Is Where The Hurt Is

Happy New Year to anyone who chances on this post.

This story was prompted by the photo below, kindly provided by Al Forbes at Sunday Photo Fiction: . It’s my first story for a few weeks, following a self-imposed digital detox (which wasn’t as tough as I’d expected).

This link will take you to other stories and let you add your own:

137 01 January 3rd 2016

Home Is Where The Hurt Is

‘Mum, Dad, wake up,’ I sob.  They just lie still on the floor, with their eyes half-open.

The other day, when Dad gave me the lamp, he looked happy, so I didn’t tell him it wasn’t really a lava lamp, like I’d wanted.  Anyway, it was better – there was like a little world inside, where I could go when they started fighting.  Just make-pretend, but it felt good, safe.

When I was in bed last night, Mum started shouting that Dad was useless and he should go out and get what they needed.  Then she said he shouldn’t have sold their method drone, or something, to get that stupid lamp.   But I thought, it’s not stupid, and I tried to think myself inside it and Dad sort of crept in and got hold of it and went out and the door slammed.

I went to sleep but after a bit they was talking and Dad said, ‘It’s good stuff,’ and Mum just sort of mumbled. I thought she’ll be better now and I fell asleep again.

Now I can’t wake them up, but I know they’ve had their medicine ‘cos the needle’s sticking out of Dad’s arm.

‘Where’s my lamp?’

200 words

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Are you a little horse? No, I always talk like this

This story was prompted by the photo below, kindly provided by Al Forbes at Sunday Photo Fiction: . I think there was also some subliminal influence from watching re-runs of Everybody Loves Raymond.

I apologise in advance for the corny humour, but I couldn’t help myself – I went to my first pantomime of the season at the weekend, and it was a veritable pun fest. Besides, if you read the title and still clicked, you knew what you were letting yourself in for.  I won’t apologise for including old jokes (not from the pantomime) – they’re so ancient that this can’t possibly be plagiarism (which is bad); I prefer to think I’m recycling them (which is good).

Incidentally, I’m desperate for someone to use a photo of two sheep as a prompt, so I can use the title “Old Ewes Telling Jokes”.

This link will take you to other stories and let you add your own: .

133 12 December 6th 2015

Are you a little horse? No, I always talk like this (200 words)

‘What’s so funny, Frank?’

‘Can’t a guy laugh in his own paddock?’

‘Not if he brays like an ass.  What’s tickling you?’

‘If you must know, Marie, I just got this joke I heard in the bar last night.’

‘From the barman?’

‘No, from Stan.  A cop turns up at a mansion and he’s got this old gorilla with him.’

‘Sounds stupid.’

‘Let me finish.  He says to the butler, “I’ve got news about the burglary”.  So the butler says, “You caught the burglar?”.  Then the cop says, “No, but I brought the silver back”.’

‘I don’t get it.’

‘Silverback … it’s a play on words.’

‘Oh … like the barman’s joke?’

‘What joke?’

‘When you walk in the bar, he always looks at you and asks, “Why the long face?”.’

‘Why would that make me laugh?’

‘It’s a horse joke.’

‘It’s not funny.’

‘Not any more.  He says it every damn time.’

‘Only when I’m with you Marie.  You’d give a long face to a Care Bear.’

‘No, Frank, I know that one … the bear takes a long time to give his order and the barman says, “Why the big paws?”.’

‘Have you been eating fermented hay again?’

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Worth the try

This story was prompted by the photo below at Friday Fictioneers, , hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  To be honest, it was also triggered by Rochelle’s own post, which I found to be beautiful and heartbreaking.  My story is based on a real event and it felt quite good to put it down on “paper”.  I’ve gone way over the word limit at 197 words, but I found it hard to keep to that.  Sorry.

The photo was kindly provided by Roger Bultot.

Worth the try

‘The dad you remember is in there,’ Dr Khan had said, ‘with his memories.  Stimulate them – with pictures, sounds – it might draw him out, even for a moment.’

So it seemed like serendipity when work took me past the site of HMS Ganges, the former base for naval cadets.  I’d lost count of how many times I’d listened to Dad’s tales of his time there.  Or not listened.

Some landmarks remained among the rubble, like Faith, Hope and Charity, the steps where Dad’s pal George collapsed and died during a training session.  The poem If on the gymnasium wall.  And, thankfully, the mast where Dad had once been the “button boy”.

From the hundreds of photos I took, I selected the best and made a DVD, with tunes like Heart of Oak in the background.

At first, when I played it, Dad didn’t seem interested.  He sat, rotating his thumbs, the way he did when his mind was elsewhere.  Then his thumbs fell still and the energy moved into his eyes.

When the film ended, I looked at Dad in anticipation.  Nothing, for ages, then he spoke, ‘I never went to Ganges.  That was your Uncle Jack.’


HMS Ganges was a real training establishment for naval cadets, which operated in Suffolk, England until 1976.  If you’d like to know more about its history, please try this link: .   The cadets regularly took part in “manning the mast”, with one lucky (?) individual taking the role of “button boy”, i.e. standing at the very top of the mast, 143 feet high, on a disc about a foot wide, and saluting!  The ceremony can be seen at .

Click on the link to add your own story and read other people’s.

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One way trip

This story was prompted by the picture below, posted at , for the seven days commencing 1 December 2015.  Many thanks to PricelessJoy for facilitating the site.  The photo was provided by To add your own story and read other people’s, click this link:

The sights and colours Spencer woke up to were amazing.  What was the dealer thinking of, selling pills like that so cheaply?  He tried to look round when the voices came, but couldn’t move.  So what?  He’d never had such a feeling of wellbeing.

‘Kid musta come round, way he’s staring at that crazy poster.’

‘Don’t be fooled by the eyes.  They’re open, but he’s as good as dead. Remember, no more ‘n one pill for the next one.’

‘Dead, huh? There’ll still be a market though?’

‘I don’t deal with those kinds of people.’

‘Your loss.’

‘What about the girlfriend?’

‘Woke up fine.  Even fought back a bit.’

‘I hope you didn’t –’

‘No way.  “Bruise the fruit, lose the loot” … right?’

‘Good man.  She in the container?’

‘With the rest.  Yeah.’

‘Get the truck started.  I’ll deal with lover boy.’

(143 words)

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This story was prompted by the picture below, at Sunday Photo Fiction  Photo provided and site facilitated by Al Forbes. Click here to add your link and see other people’s stories: .

132 11 November 29th 2015

(200 words)

When Mum told me Kevin was taking me to the seaside again, I said I wasn’t well.

‘Fresh air’s good for you,’ she’d said. ‘Anyway, you love the sea.’

Truth was, I did like walking along the cliffs.   The treats were good too.  I didn’t like what happened afterwards in the shelter.

Today started the same as usual.  A ride on the bus, then fun in the arcade.  Ice cream, with lots of sprinkles.  A walk on the cliffs till we reached the point, downhill from the shelter, where Kevin always stopped to look over at the bird colony.

‘Right, you know what to do,’ he’d said.  I ran to the shelter and checked carefully that there was no one around.  The old tyre was there, like before, its rubbery smell reminding me of other visits.

Looking to see whether Kevin was ready, I got the tyre into position, making sure it would serve its purpose.  Something must have caught Kevin’s attention, because he squatted and lowered his head, still with his back to me.

I put my weight behind the tyre and hurled it down the hill with as much force as I could manage.

My aim was perfect.

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On the Beach

This story was prompted by the photo below at Friday Fictioneers, , hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The photo was kindly provided by Sandra Crook. PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

On the beach (99 words)

Margaret jerked awake as hot goo struck her forehead.  A fulmar squawked overhead.  Even with a hangover Margaret knew waking up on a beach wasn’t normal.  Her 65th birthday party must have been a riot.

She pulled her phone from a sand-filled pocket and dialled Roger’s number.  No answer.  Where the hell was he?

Margaret called Rita and told her where she was.

‘You almost got your wish then?’ Rita asked.


‘When you blew out your candles, you wished you could wake up next to Cliff.’

Margaret looked up.  ‘The birthday genie must have misheard.’

‘Roger obviously didn’t.’


Firstly, an apology – I’m sorry about the corny joke, but it was in my head and I had to get it out.

Secondly, supplementary information.  Any Cliff would have done for the purpose of stirring up Roger’s jealousy, but the one I had in mind was (Sir) Cliff Richard, who most British/Commonwealth readers will know as “The Peter Pan of Pop”.  Sir Cliff is adored by his female fans in the UK, many of whom have remained loyal to him since the 1960s or earlier.  American readers might not be aware of Sir Cliff, who never really made it big in the US, even though he has sold more than 250 million records worldwide. Billboard magazine has described him as the biggest thing in British rock & roll before the Beatles .

On the Beach was a 1964 UK hit single for Cliff Richard with The Shadows.

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