Tale Weaver – #294 – Epic Fail – 24th September – The Family Dinner

 It started out as another family dinner, the kids and families coming over to celebrate the birthday of the youngest grandson.

As the girls were all working, I decided to cook, and they would come with one dish each, a potato bake and a salad.

I had decided to cook the meat on the BBQ and have everything ready when they arrived.

I had purchased a new fire pit and was keen to show it off and so while we sat around and admired it and my good taste in such things as dinner warmed in the oven.

When darkness fell, I called them all in to sit around the table, and dinner would be served.

To my horror and for reasons unknown to me, I had set the oven to bake not warm.

The dinner wasn’t ruined but was a sorry sight.

I’d turned the sausages and rissoles into elephant’s arse, somewhat crunchier than I intended and no amount of tomato sauce was going the remedy the situation.

My daughter’s potato bake was not as we imagined though I have to say we did make the best of it. The little kids picked away at the softer bits, and we all joked about my obvious encroaching senility.

The dessert had been purchased from the cheesecake shop, and so was the highlight of the evening.

It came as no surprise when at the end of the evening as we discussed the next family dinner, the suggestion was made for all of us to chip in and buy takeaway.

I still don’t understand how I managed to stuff the dinner in that way.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2020/09/24/tale-weaver-294-epic-fail-24th-september/

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What do you see # 48 – 21 September’20 – The Lane.

Image credit- Mohammad Hoseini Rad@ Unsplash

 It had been one of those days where the end of it couldn’t have come fast enough.

The oppressive heat had sapped the life out of everyone and every beast. Even Arn’s delivery truck had given up for the day and lay stationary in the lane behind his shop waiting for a better day and a day it felt was worth the effort of ticking over its motor.

Along the lane shop keepers sat in the evening light hoping to catch any sort of breeze that would make life slightly more bearable.

The heat was forecast to continue for the rest of the week and was not a prospect any of the workers looked forward to.

Mr Johnson had found himself a spot in the middle of the lane, in the middle of the old gutter, once used to drain all the shit and refuse from the surrounding houses. He didn’t care, like everyone else he was exhausted and good sit down was all he craved.

His bookkeeper Madge Green lounged against the shop wall and complained about the heat, saying she didn’t know how she was going to sleep on such a hot night.

Eventually, Mr Johnson got up, took his chair and went inside, took a cold drink from his fridge and announced he was sleeping on the top floor as he thought there might be a cooling breeze up there.

He disappeared, and the lane went back to being its well-lit oppressive self.

Written for: https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2020/09/21/what-do-you-see-48-21-september20/

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Sunday Writing Prompt.- The Weekend Shop – 20th September

Image Google Images

 Its midnight Friday night and all is quiet.

The blinds on the shop window in the High Street suddenly rise, and a dull yellow light shines on the window display.

A weathered hand reaches out and flips the closed sign to open.

The Weekend Shop is now open.

Friday through midnight Sunday.

Inside the figure of an old man can be seen shuffling towards the counter of a store that seems to have more dust than goods to sell.

Dan, the old man, wipes the accumulated dust from the counter and looks out into the darkness beyond his shop window.

He knows that before long, the customers will start to roll in, they always do.

It’s becoming more and more of an effort to open the store, knowing he won’t get any break until midnight Sunday.

He’s not getting any younger, but he knows he is the only one who sells what his customers want and so he understands the necessity of opening.

He spends Monday to Friday stocking up on the rare and valuable items demanded of him.

The bell tingles and his first customer enters. It’s Elise who is always first, she is polite, asks for her order, fondles it and places it in her shopping trolley. She pays him, nods her thanks and makes her way out into the darkness.

He doesn’t know much about the people who frequent his shop only that they are regular and they pay well.

This is the routine for the next several hours as there are folk who only come out under cover of darkness and scurry away well before the dawn.

As the first light penetrates the shop window, a different clientele arrives.

These are couples, shrouded in hoods and long dark gowns who peruse the shop, handling the stock, muttering to each other often in a language Dan doesn’t understand before approaching the counter. One customer slides a piece of paper over, and Dan sees he requires something he doesn’t have, but he immediately promises to get it. The customer leaves, and outside the store Dan sees him climb into a flash car which disappears into the city.

This is how the weekend goes, a steady stream of business, of people more often than not hidden behind hoods and dark glasses, some wearing odd-shaped hats and smelling of substances he rather not know about.

His till makes a steady ringing, his is a cash-only business, so he has no need for cards, he likes to see the colour money.

Late Sunday night and his final customer, Miss Agnes, arrives and she is the only customer who engages him in conversation. Miss Agnes seeks craddic berry, a rare Irish berry that Dan struggles at times to purchase but has since discovered he can freeze and so sometimes has to sell her some of his frozen stock. She doesn’t mind as she explains the berries keep her young and agile. “You wouldn’t know, would you?” she tells him on a regular basis, “that I’m one hundred and fifty years old. It’s the berries that do it.”

Dan has tried the berries, but he hasn’t found they worked so well on him. Worked well on his bowel is all he can say about them.

He wipes over the counter one last time, and as the clock strikes twelve, he brings down the blinds on the front window and flips the open to closed.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2020/09/20/sunday-writing-prompt-the-weekend-shop-20th-september/

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September 17: Flash Fiction Challenge – The Three Mice

September 17, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story of mice. It can feature any variety of the little critters in any situation. Are the the character or the inciting incident? Use any genre, including BOTS (based on a true story). Go where the prompt leads!

 There were three of them. John, Jack and Jeano. They lived happily behind the pantry in the old farmer’s house.

The farmer’s wife disliked them and was ever vigilant to do them harm.

She didn’t care that they were blind and so just felt their way around.

She ambushed them one Saturday morning and cut off their tails.

They ran in circles, why they asked why?

There was mayhem and chaos, the farmer’s wife chopping and chasing, the mystified mice scurrying to and fro.

They found refuge behind the pantry, and there they plotted and planned a rightful revenge.

Written for: https://carrotranch.com/2020/09/18/september-17-flash-fiction-challenge-2/

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Reena’s Exploration Challenge #153 – Thoughts and Words


  1. How do my thoughts get processed into words?
  2. Or do my words spur thoughts?
  3. How do they interact?

 Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit. (One of my mum’s favourite quotes).

Thoughts are often just flashes in my mind as they travel from one side of my brain to the other. They don’t linger long enough to form into words, but every so often, like with this prompt, those thoughts become words even though my mind is undecided as to which words it might select as appropriate.

Its what makes the process so deliciously attractive. The interaction of thought and word and the sometimes conflict they play out does, in the end, produce something you can be pleased with.

It doesn’t mean one wins over the other because so often we write our thoughts down, we believe we are hitting on a winner only to find the words inadequate, and so we go back and edit our work, asking ourselves can we say this better, is this thought a legitimate one or am I just fooling myself.

Our thoughts will scream at us, “No, that is not what I am thinking, that word only tells half the story, re-write, re-phrase, think man think.”

And so the struggle continues, and there is a part of us that repeats this daily, we don’t seem to grow tired of the effort required I think because we are energised by the process, at least I am.

Written for: https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2020/09/17/reenas-exploration-challenge-152-3/

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September 16th #1MinFiction Challenge


It had been a long night, he was tired and there was no let up in his head of voices telling him what to do.

He had to get away and so he settled in the street, oblivious to all around.

Just a break was all he needed as a portly man stepped over him and a gaggle of school girls skirted his perimeter.

Written for: https://cyranny.com/2020/09/16/september-16th-1minfiction-challenge/

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Tale Weaver – #293 – Making Sense of Nonsense – 17th September – Suddubsome.

 It was one of those days you remember. It was a Tuesday; stuff seems to happen on a Tuesday, do you ever notice that?

He came into town on a Tuesday. Tall and lean, sitting high in the saddle with a gun on his hip that looked custom made not like the K-Mart ones the rest of us wore cause that’s all we could afford.

He stopped outside Benny’s Wellabarraback café, looked around and ran into the Barney the town drunk.

“Sorry, Mister,” said Barney, “I didn’t see you there.”

“Got a bank in this town?” the stranger asked.

“Ah don’t rob it, Mister, I got all my savings in there and it ain’t much cause I’m not much you know.”

The stranger looked down on Barney and pushed him out of the way as he made his way into the café.

“I’ll have a half-strength skim latte on soy,” he said to Gladys the girl barista. “Oh and make it hot, not luke warm, I hate my coffee luke warm.”

“Yes Sir,” answered Gladys as she set to work.

The café door opened and there appeared the wide frame of Lester Ley, the town Mayor.

“Mr Suddubsome I believe, welcome to Weelabarraback. We are honoured to have you here with us.”

“You got my money? I don’t start work until I see the colour of your dollars.”

“Got it right here,” replied the Mayor handing over a brown envelope.

“Good man,” said Suddubsome, “Now, who we got to deal with first?”

“Well I’ve written out a list, and if you’d be so kind as to do each one discretely, I’d appreciate it as we don’t like a lot of noise and fuss in this town.”

“That’s a long list; you really got this many grievances?”

“Oh, there’s some low life’s in this town. A good clean out is what it needs. Now, do you think you could have the job done by mid-day tomorrow?”

“I’ll have it done by midnight tonight. You haven’t got the Undertaker on this list have you; we might be needing him.”

“No, no he’s one of the few upstanding men in the district. Invaluable to the town.”

Suddubsome sipped the last of his coffee and got up to leave. “Might have a word with your town drunk, he’ll give me a feel for the place.”

“I would waste my time on him, most of the time he doesn’t know what day it is.”

“Then he’s my kind a guy.”

Several hours later, Suddubsome knocked on the Mayors office door.

“You were right, Barney doesn’t know what day it is, but he does know the dirt on you.”

Several hours later, the Undertaker came to the Mayor’s door. He was a grim sort of man in a very grim sort of way. A tape measure slung over his shoulder; he began the work an undertaker does.

Suddubsome, money in pocket, rode out of town, content he had put in a good days work, and it was still Tuesday.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2020/09/17/tale-weaver-293-making-sense-of-nonsense-17th-september-suddubsome/

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What do you see # 47- 14 September’20 – Painting the First Time.

“You can do this,” she said as he looked at the page, the paints and inside his nerves jangled in fearsome expectation of making a complete fool of himself.

“But I have no artistic ability. I have trouble colouring in between the lines, let alone making something from scratch. It will look infantile.”

“Everyone has artistic ability; we just manifest it in different ways. Not everyone can be Picasso. And you have to start somewhere. Consider it another means of expression.”

It was her reassuring smile that gave him the most worry. She’d see soon enough the limit of his skill if you’d call a few splodges on the page the full extent of his ability.

He took up the tube of blue, blue he thought was neutral enough to maybe hide his deficiencies. He squeezed out a blob and with his brush spread it over the page in much the same way, as he would butter his toast.

“I see,” she said, “keep on trying, and don’t think of the paint as something you might eat.”

Written for: https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2020/09/14/what-do-you-see-47-14-september20/

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #97 – The Boy Fishing.

“You’ve heard of the fool on the hill,” said Crisp looking down on the boy fishing in the sunset, “well, this is the fool on the lake.”

“You’re being a bit harsh, aren’t you?” I questioned.

“He’ll never catch anything out there, the water is too quiet,” answered Crisp, “everyone knows quiet water means the fish are asleep.”

“I think that’s a load of nonsense.”

“Well, watch and see if he does catch anything.”

 So I did, and he didn’t.

I wondered at that moment if I could bottle this quiet water and sprinkle it over a sleeping Crisp, a quiet day with her could be something of an asset.

Suddenly she jolted me from my reverie.

“Dream on,” she said, “I know what you are thinking.”

Written for:  https://crispinakemp.com/2020/09/16/crimsons-creative-challenge-97/

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Sunday Writing Prompt – 13th September – Cards

It was once the cards were on the table that he knew just where he stood.

The odds were not good, his chances slimming as the minutes ticked by.

He looked around and realised the cards were well and truly stacked against him.

It was co-operate or most likely perish, and that scenario he didn’t embrace.

He was the number one counter-espionage agent; he had skills and a reputation to uphold. The nation would be depending on him to come through with a victory at whatever cost to himself.

His immediate problem was the handcuffs; then he estimated there was an issue with getting to the toilet and the very likely outcome of wetting himself, which he knew, would not go down well with his mum when and if he made it home. His mum was a stickler for good hygiene practice, and wetting one’s pants was just not on.

The cuffs were tight, they cut into his wrists and were stopping the blood flow to his hands, and he could feel them less and less.

He knew he needed to draw an ace from somewhere and up his sleeve was always a possibility even though his captors had removed his shirt anticipating such a move.

He had to think quickly, not an easy path to take for a man who thought less and less because he found the more he thought about any situation, the worse it got and right now thinking about his problem wasn’t helping, in fact, he was feeling the tinges of depression circling him.

Then a break. A guard entered, held up a bottle of water to his lips, and he drank eagerly. As he did, he brought up his hands between the guards legs and crushed his manly bits. The man went down clutching at what he hoped was not the end to his manhood, as our hero shifted and seized the keys from his belt and in a flash had the cuffs off and was making for the door.

The cards he felt at that instant were shuffling more in his favour as he had played his ace; the guard was still on the floor caring little about him and lot about his himself.

It was unfortunately at this point that his house of cards began crumbling about him and everything went black.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2020/09/13/sunday-writing-prompt-13th-september-cards/

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