This is a submission for Friday Fictioneers, , prompted by the photo below, kindly provided by Sarah Potter.

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


Severe mental impairment it says on this letter. I’m not mental. I’m 86. I have the odd wotsit, but Mam always says I’ve a marvellous memory.

If they come for me they’ll get a shock. Nearly 84 but strong as an ox. Boxed in the army. They treat me like a cripple. She wants to get somebody in to fix the lean-to. Like I can’t do owt anymore. I could lift that sideboard over my head.

So I told her, tell your bloody fancy man to stay away. I’ll do it tomorrow. Pass me the remote.

Alzheimer’s be buggered.

100 words




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Forever Young

This story is a submission for Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers, , prompted by the photo below, kindly provided by Pamela S. Canepa.


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

Forever Young

Jack woke, in total darkness, when the pellets of icy water struck his face. He tried to sit up, but his head met something hard. Where the hell was he?

He wriggled sideways, but his left arm was trapped. He remembered staggering out of the bar, but surely he hadn’t been drunk enough to fall asleep in a dumpster again?

Jack shivered. Oh yeah … the game. Mikey had said they should go to the creek, like they did as kids. After their swim, they’d dressed at the top of the slope. “C’mon,” Mikey had said, “let’s make a dam.”

They’d felt like carefree teenagers, rolling boulders down the bank, until Jack heard the rumbling and looked round to see an army of rocks hurtling towards them.

He knew where he was now. With his free arm Jack found his phone. No signal. Shit! It would be OK, though; Mikey would have gone for help.

Mikey had been luckier than his friend. The first boulder to reach him had smashed his skull, killing him instantly.

175 words

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Spellin’ it oot

This story is a submission for Sunday Photo Fiction, hosted by Al Forbes.  It was prompted by the photo below, provided by C E Ayr.

09 C E Ayr 04 June 2017

Click the link to see other people’s stories and add your own:

Spellin’ it oot

We wernae even catchin’ a bus, we jist kem doun tae get wersels a piece.  On ham, if ye need tae ken.  The ham wiz mingin’ by the way.

Aun the way oot this auld wife sez tae me, “See yon pair, thayme wi’ next tae nae claes on? They’re no statues, ken?  Ah seen them winchin’ an’ ah sez, ‘Get a room’, an’ the wee lassie sez, ‘Away an’ bile yer heid, ya mawkit auld coo.’  I wisnae havin’ that, so I turnt the pair ae them to bronze.”

“Aye, right”, I sez back, smartarse that ah am, “Leave me alane, y’auld munter.  Yer bum’s oot the windae.”

An’ wi’ that, she turnt me intae a bloody caution sign.

Then she sez, “Be guid an’ I’ll turn ye back the mornin’.”

“The mornin’s mornin’?” I sez.

“Naw, the mornin’s efternun, fer yer cheek,” sez the auld wife.

Still, it cuidae been worse – poor auld Tam nivver said a word and she switched him intae that seat … think of aw thayme manky bahookies on top ae ‘im.  It’s orange anaw – it disnae suit a guid Catholic lad.

189 words


As this wonderful statue is located in Glasgow’s Buchanan Bus Station, when I tried to think of stories I found myself doing so in (my version of) a Scottish dialect.  I’m not a Scot (I know this is probably a statement of the obvious), so I apologise to all Scots and, in particular, to Irvine Welsh who puts the Edinburgh dialect onto paper with great skill.  In my defence there were many Scots around when I was growing up, so I think I usually understand Scottish English even if I can’t write it.   I know there are loads of dialects across Scotland and that my narrator probably uses a mixture of them.  Let’s pretend his da’s joab meant they flitted a lot.

Posted in Flash Fiction, Magic | 2 Comments

Crying in the chapel

This is a submission for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers,, prompted by the photo below, which was kindly provided by Ioniangaphics.

Please click on the link to see other people’s stories and add your own:

Crying in the chapel

The chapel

Father of the bride:  “I’ll kill the sonofabitch.  Nobody leaves my girl standing at the altar.  And where’s that no-good father of his?”

The mortuary

Sheriff: “Neither of these two’s your boy, then?  Strange, ‘cos his clothes was in the car when we found it. Sons, huh?  He’ll be nursing a hangover somewhere.”

The forest

The bridegroom was too weak now to shout for Zack and Danny. It was hours since they’d driven off.    What kind of best man cuffs you to a tree and leaves you out in the  cold while he goes to buy more booze?

100 words

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Thank you for showing interest in Pretty Little Thing

I just wanted to say Thank You to everyone who downloaded a copy of Pretty Little Thing over the weekend.

If you go on to read the book I’ll be even more grateful.  Perhaps I should have mentioned that the dialogue contains some strong language, which I believe was essential in this particular crime story.  If profanities in print make you feel uncomfortable, please don’t read the book.

I’m not schmoozing for reviews, good or bad, but if you have any comments that you think would help me to improve this book or to produce better work in future, please let me know.  I’m happy for comments to be made here, but if you’d prefer to make them off-blog, my email is .   I have thick skin, so please don’t pull your punches.

Once again, thank you for your interest.

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Nature or nurture?

This week, What Pegman Saw takes us to Cirque de Navacelles, suggested by yours truly. Thank you to K Rawson for posting Pegman each week and for accepting my suggestion.

I’ve opted for a picture of this chap in a natty jumper, giving the Google Maps driver a taste of his/her own medicine.  It hasn’t directly influenced the story though.

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


Nature or nurture?

Never again, Jim thought.  OK, it was him who’d suggested taking their son and his family on holiday.  Still, they could have made more of an effort.

Ruth had supported the idea but, instead of joining them today, she’d gone shopping with Marie.   “You can bond with Jamie”, she’d said.

The precarious drive into Navacelles hadn’t been helped by Jamie’s frequent gasps or the worried looks he kept throwing at his children.

In the village Jamie had said, “Remind me why we’re here, Dad.”

“You loved it when you were little.  Remember?  We didn’t see any people, just tiny dogs.  I said the villagers turned into animals when strangers came.  You thought it was magical!”

“It’s full of tourists.  The kids would rather go swimming.”

Jim grunted and started the nerve-jangling drive back out of the crater.

Moments later, a small voice piped up, “Grandad, stop.  I saw a unicorn.”

150 words


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Who is the Fairest?


This submission was prompted by the photo below  at this week’s Friday Fictioneers, .  Many thanks to Rochelle for facilitating the site and providing the photo.

Please click on the link to view other people’s stories and add your own.

Who is the Fairest?

Bill paced the pavement while Babs used the rear-view mirror to perfect her look.

He rapped on the window, “Come on, we’re late.”

“Don’t you want me to look good for your friends?” she asked, still looking into the mirror.

“Let’s go.  Use the mirror in your bag.”

“I left it.  You rushed me.”

“Take this then.” Bill bellowed.

He tugged at the door mirror, tearing it loose but unable to pull it free.  In frustration he kicked the wing.  Someone tapped on his shoulder and he turned.

“Look, I’m in a hurry.” Bill said.

“I’m not.” the policeman answered.

100 words

Posted in Flash Fiction | 47 Comments

Free to a good home – Pretty Little Thing

In 2015 I put out a novel, Pretty Little Thing, on Amazon, with the ASIN B0143LMDF6.  It will be available free this weekend, from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 May.

Adios with new lettering, title lifted copy

People have bought the book (REALLY!), but so far only one of them has posted a review.   She* gave it 4 stars and said very positive things, which I admit gave me a warm glow for a day or two.

Unfortunately I have no idea whether anyone else has actually read the book in whole or in part, or what they thought of it if they have.  If you have a gap to fill on your e-reader and the inclination to try a piece of crime fiction by an unknown writer, please take advantage of this one-time-only** offer.

If you download the book and read even part of it, I’d love to know what you think.  You can be as brutal as you like!

Yes, I’m needy.  More importantly, though, I’m trying to decide whether to leave the book on Amazon as it is, to give it a radical rewrite, or to kill it off in the way that someone did with the character in the title.

The book that I finished and published is very different from the one I’d written in my head.  If you’ve come here by way of a flash fiction blog or similar, you won’t need me to explain that phenomenon.  Plus you’ll probably understand why I’d benefit from some help in deciding whether I should give Pretty Little Thing some TLC or just let her go.

Thank you for looking.

JS Brand



Posted in Flash Fiction | 6 Comments


This is a submission for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers,, prompted by the photo below, which was kindly provided by Yarnspinner.

Please click on the link to see other people’s stories and add your own:


Soon darkness would fall and their lights would appear.

The signal was just how they’d described it – furniture aligned with precision, a pristine square of green, plants like soldiers on parade.

Everything would have been ready months ago if the neighbour hadn’t kept holding parties in the garden.  She couldn’t alert him, so every night she sneaked out and rearranged everything.

Afterwards, she’d reassure them that she really wanted to come, but someone was getting in the way.  The advice was always the same – “keep trying, Alice, your diligence shows us we were right to select you.”

Last night she couldn’t hold back tears of frustration, even though they might have rejected her as weak.

“Don’t worry,” the voices answered, “this shows us you’re strong.  You know what to do.”

She knew.  It was easier than expected; who would be wary of that silly woman next door?  She’d arranged his body with perfect symmetry.  They were pleased.

Soon they would be here to take her away…

167 words

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My life is in that phone!

This story is a submission for Sunday Photo Fiction, hosted by Al Forbes.  It was prompted by his photo below.

Click the link to see other people’s stories and add your own:


My life is in that phone!

An alien spaceship, close to Earth

“So, neutralising these communication devices is the key to conquering Earth?”

“Communication is a minor function, Commander.  Earthlings use them to send messages, but it’s mostly babble.  Millions amuse themselves by watching movies of cats.”


“Highly intelligent creatures, without opposable thumbs, but seemingly capable of influencing Earthlings through telepathy.”

“What else do Earthlings do with these devices?”

“They use them as memory aids, recording names, appointments and so on.  Some photograph themselves constantly, to remember what they’ve done.”

“They must have terrible memories.”

“The devices’ main function is to act as power packs.  Earthlings use them to recharge themselves.”

“I thought they ate food to provide calories.”

“They do, but we’ve observed Earthlings in eating places and food is a minor element.  They stare into their devices, ignoring each other, except to send texts across the table.”

“Do all Earthlings use them?”

“Most do, the ‘phonies’.  A few ‘primitives’ still talk face-to-face, even making conversation with family members while eating together.”

“We could overcome the phonies easily, then.  And the primitives?”

“Mostly older and frail. Easily bribed with cake.  Do we attack, Commander?”

“No, Kark.  I don’t like the sound of those cats.”


200 words

Posted in Flash Fiction | 6 Comments