Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Lights On the Hill.


Image: Jodi McKinny

There were lights on the hill again. We’d seen them the night before. They belonged to a car, but by the time we reached the spot they were gone.

It was comforting to think there were others out here. We’d been alone for three months now, just the six of us travelling together and at present camped in a lovely spot beside the river.

When the upheaval occurred, it took everyone by surprise. The sudden rise in sea levels flooded every coastal city, and now all that remained were skeletons where only the tallest building existed above the water line.

The surprise was that it actually happened. There had been speculation for years, and no one wanted to believe so when it happened, and many millions perished it meant the end of civilization, as we knew it.

The lights never blinked, never suggested anything like come join us, it was more a matter of stay where you are, and we’ll all be content.


Written for: https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2018/12/10/fffaw-challenge-195th/

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Photo Challenge #242 – The Tin Can Choir


The Opera House was packed, the crowd in anticipation of an event, which in later days would be described as unforgettable.

The Tin Can Choir was performing, and there was an air of expectation amongst the crowd as the choir had been assembled from a variety of recycling plants around the state and their reputation was second to none, mainly as they were the only choir of their kind.

But not all was harmonious within the choir ranks. Jack Daniels, the choir master, was a hard task master and had rubbed several cans the wrong way in his efforts to achieve excellence.

As a result, the Diet Coke had been dropped from the choir for not having a sweet enough voice as well as being a trouble maker. DC as it was known was not at all impressed to find himself excluded from the choir and set out on a journey of revenge.

It substituted the choir masters baton with a magic wand he bought from the local ‘Wands Are Us’ store in the High Street.

When Jack, the choir master, tapped what he thought was his baton all hell broke loose.

The choir members found their voices deserted them. The baritones discovered they were out of tune; the sopranos cracked, and the tenors were unable to get out a single coherent sound.

The more Jack tapped his baton and waved it about the greater the chaos and mayhem around him.

The audience sat in stunned silence before they, having paid large sums of money to attend, became restless and began making overtures of their own, none of which were complimentary.

The choir master sensing a riot on his hands turned to face the unhappy audience and in doing so waved his baton towards them causing further mayhem as the first five rows burst into song, then the side seats joined in, and in the confusion his baton had the entire audience singing the well-known ballad, “If I had a can or two I’d drink each one with you.”

Meanwhile, the choir, which by now was distraught over its inability to sing, stopped to listen to the audience, pounding out the song with increasing amounts of gusto. The choir attempted to join in but to no avail and fell silent as the choir master struggled to gain control.

While all this was happening DC stood in the wings smiling broadly, ever so pleased at the bedlam within the concert hall.

Knowing this was its last time near the choir it felt the twenty dollars sixty it spent on the wand was a very sound investment.

By nights end the audience had sung two more songs and received a standing ovation from the now mute choir. Jack Daniels the choir master, was being led away, his career ruined, his brain addled and was heard muttering as they strapped him into a strait jacket, “I’ll never have a drink again.”

It was as described above an unforgettable experience and the Tin Can Choir went on to greater fame as a clown choir.


Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2018/12/11/photo-challenge-242/

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Wordle #213 – Winny’s Trial.


This week’s words: Trial wrestling regulate nuanced uninterrupted chiromancer* (a person who is supposedly able to predict a person’s future by interpreting the lines on the palms of their hands.) magical carrion effusive input impact dominant

Winny the magical wonder girl was on trial. It had all come to a head when her chiromancer abilities seemed to get out of hand, and her predictions led to some unfortunate results.

Winny had a thing for palms, preferable other people’s. For Winny there was nothing better than an uninterrupted session a client’s hand in her own, reading into the lines and discussing the impact the lines had on the owner’s life.

The trouble began when Herb Massive the local wrestling champion after a series of bad luck went to see Winny to see if she could input anything into his future which was looking like going down the gurgler.

Winny was a naturally effusive person and greeted Herb with her usual over the top enthusiasm. This was quickly defused when she looked at the dominant lines on his palm.

There followed a series of tut-tuts and then a long silence, during which she looked deeply into his palm until finally lifting it and smelling it.

She made some remark that Herb’s hand and palm had the smell of carrion about it and that’s when the trouble started. Herb took exception to his hand being spoken of in that manner and in what can only be described as a pointed if not nuanced reply during which there was a number of effusive gestures none of which Winny took as complimentary.

Winny knowing the moment in which Herb’s temper might be regulated took things upon herself and knocked Herb over the head with her heavy volume of the text, ‘Palm Readings Made Easy.’

Now the trial was taking place, Herb had recovered but wanted Winny, the magical wonder girl, rubbed out.

The trial came to a conclusion when Winny after demonstrating her chiromancer abilities to the judge, convinced him he was going to be the dominant candidate in the upcoming elections and so should get out there on the campaign trail.


Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2018/12/10/wordle-213/

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Sunday Writing Prompt – a touch of Frost – Waking.


She woke with the uncomfortable feeling of knowing everything was wrong.

Her head rested on the ground, there were corn shoots poking her in the face. She realised her pants were around her knees and she sensed an unsightly mess between her legs.

More immediately disturbing was the pain her body was making her aware of. Every inch of her was waking to the terrible knowledge of the violation.

Looking up she saw a myriad of stars and around her a silence she knew all too well.

The silence of desolation, the pervading sense of being alone within the expanse of the universe, leaving her vulnerable and flooded with personal humiliation. It was as if nature in respect of her situation stood back to give her the space she needed but enough to allow her to take in the magnitude of what had happened to her.

She remembered the boy and at that very moment found it impossible to say his name. She had fancied him, flirted with him, and now there was a price to pay.

She wondered what happened to her friend, the two girls had gone out together, always went places together but now she was alone, and the pain was throbbing all over.

She moved onto her side, her body objecting to her moving.

She lay there taking stock of her situation. Not only were her pants down on her knees, her top was torn, her breasts exposed and her hair, which she prided herself on, was a dishevelled mess.

Around her the silenced pulsed, the voices of her parents echoed in her mind, ….’the boy was trouble, he and his lot could never be trusted, don’t be alone with him’… and so they droned on.

She determined she was not going to be rescued and so rearranged herself sufficiently, she hoped, to get herself home.

They had been driving, drinking, having a great time and he had been all affectionate, and she’d loved the attention but when he started to grope and intrude she’d tried to object but it was then he hit her.

She’d been powerless against him. Through the now present pain, she could still felt his weight, his stale alcoholic breath against her ear as he grunted his way into her taking what she’d never recover.

Wrapping her arms around herself she took a tentative step forward, her body ached, her head pounded, and right now she needed to get home.

As she stumbled along, tears flowing and feeling the worst she’d ever felt, inside her, a series of interactions were happening that would challenge her in the years to come.


Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2018/12/09/sunday-writing-prompt-a-touch-of-frost/

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FOWC with Fandango — Pencil


It was one of those sad occurrences in life Charles had to be man enough to face up to.

There was no lead left in his pencil.

It wasn’t such a big deal when he thought about it, as he didn’t have a lot of life left in him either.

The years were slowly ebbing away, and each year the number beside his name rose, but there was little he could do about it.

As for his pencil, he discovered after attending a meeting at the local community hall, that there was something he could do about that. If he so desired.

There was a speaker in attendance that day, a smart looking young man called Hilton.

Hilton was all enthusiasm and excitement and went on at his captured audience about the latest pharmaceutical designed to help men like him.

Around him men sat glumly, there was no joy for them in their age for a problem they’d rather not talk about that suggested they were not the men they might once have been. They didn’t need to be told that, it was obvious to them and their partners and they tried hard on a daily basis to stay in denial of nature’s cruel development.

Most of them remembered their youth, prowling around the town eyeing off the girls and hoping to get lucky. Nowadays it was a case of being lucky to be still breathing.

But Hilton, full of expectation that he was offering every man present an opportunity too good to be missed, ploughed on extorting the virtues of the small blue pills he had for each and every man.

Charles thought Hilton was a mad man. Charles had been single a long time. He was set in his ways. He had no prospects when it came to romance, those days he knew were long gone. His pencil’s surviving function worked ok, most days and a lot at night.

At the end of the meeting, he went home, his sample in his pocket. He thought about it as he wandered along and thought he’d give it a try just to see if it worked and how much lead it might produce. After all, if it did work, his pencil and he would be surprised as neither had celebrated much in recent years.


Written for: https://fivedotoh.com/2018/12/08/fowc-with-fandango-pencil/

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Thursday photo prompt: Onward #writephoto – Breakdown


Breaking down on a country road is never any fun, and in fact, it borders on a nightmare.

It happened to me once when we’d been out for a day with friends and living in the country we had to travel distances to get to our destination through country that was sparsely populated and a long way from anywhere.

On the way home my car stopped running. I had my wife and kids in the back, stopped on the side of the road, my friends oblivious to my predicament as they were travelling ahead of us.

Knowing not much more than where to put the petrol and oil the cars stopping had me worried. This I might add was in the days before mobile phones.

I did as one does in those circumstances and lifted the bonnet to make it appear as though I had a car issue and that maybe I knew what I was doing.

Out of nowhere, a car stopped, and two guys approached and asked me what the problem was. A silly question when you think of it, as I had no idea.

But these two guys listened to me and quickly saw the problem. They knew something about how to get me going again. Within a few short moments they the car going, they had performed some form of magic by shifting one thing to another place and telling me to go to a garage the next day and have the temporary measure they put in place fixed permanently.

Much to my relief, our onward journey continued, and we arrived home to our visitors wondering where we had gotten to.

I’ve often wondered who those men were as they were guardian angels that day.


Written for: https://scvincent.com/2018/12/06/thursday-photo-prompt-onward-writephoto/

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Reena’s Exploration Challenge #66 – The Night

This week’s prompt:



after the sun departs and we are greeted by constellations
or what we could see past the rising light of the city
The elitists of the day go home
A time of opportunities has gone down with the day
But what would the night bring us?
The start of a new journey and to be one with the city
Never in the eyes of a 9-5 type

Source: https://hellopoetry.com/words/buildings/

Like his mum’s teeth, it was at night when he came out.

He liked being out in the dark. He could hide in the shadows, pretend he was someone he wasn’t, avoid confrontation by slipping into the alleys and gulfs of society and no one would notice or care.

The daylight worried him, he was far too vulnerable, visibility was not all people thought it was as exposure brought scrutiny and he never wanted any of that.

So as the night spread itself over the landscape, he’d venture out, walk the streets, watch the nightlife, marvel at the audacity of some, the dress of others, the foolhardiness of the young who thought the dark gave them licence to do whatever they felt they could.

Instead, he watched them all and then moved on, there was a place where he felt at peace, where the space afforded him an anonymous identity, where surrounded by kindred spirits he could sit and talk, share a meal, communicate and feel no threat.

The shelter was busy, it was always busy, the detritus of life all gathered in one place, safe and at ease with itself. He came in the side door and found a seat along the far wall, sat and looked about.

Crazy Annie was across the room accusing her neighbour of wanting to steal her stuff, the usual evening ritual, a form of entertainment at Annie’s expense he knew but enough to give him something to inwardly smile at.

One never smiled in the shelter. You kept emotion to yourself, it exposed you to attention, and no one here wanted attention.

What they wanted was warmth, food and relief from the relentless expectation of living.

So he sat and waited for the food cart to come round. Maned by young men and women the cart was the symbol of acceptance. It stopped by you, and a bowl of soup would be offered and usually some sort of dish involving pasta. Tonight it was a lasagne, and he greedily ate the potion he was given.

Around him were the welcome sounds of mouths devouring their meals, soup being slurped and the satisfaction of polite burps as meals were washed down with gulps of water from the bottles delivered with each meal.

Conversation wasn’t something that was encouraged as that meant you were getting too settled and the shelter didn’t want that, they wanted you to move on, vacant your spot so someone else could be fed.

Once completed it was time to leave, to walk once again amongst the living and see it he could make it home without attracting the attention of the lunatics imbued with enough alcohol to make them feel braver than they might normally be and him as a subject of their bravery. It did happen, and he feared it.

Once home he curled up into his bed, watched the light of a new day begin to poke through his drawn blinds and think to himself he’d made it through another night.


Written for: https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/reenas-exploration-challenge-66/

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