Friday Fictioneers – After Dark

It’s been a while since I’ve had the time to write anything in response to any of the Friday Fictioneers’ prompts, as posted by the unflagging Rochelle Wisoffs-Fields. I’ve written several pieces in my head but, sadly, they’ve got no further. Now – hooray! – I have.

The following picture is the prompt. My 100-word story follows. If you’d like to read other people’s stories or to have a go yourself, click here.

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogersondale-rogerson4


He booked us into the only hotel in town. It was too late to take the road up-country, he said.

We sat outside, nursing sundowners long after night’s violet-blackness had overwhelmed the sky. In front of us, a hole in the ground yawned even blacker. That’ll be a swimming pool, he said, when the tourists come – because they will.

I was glad the swimming pool and the tourists were still only a hope. Better to pretend no-one else knew about this place.

Your husband not mind you coming out here, he asked, slunking more gin into our emptying glasses.




Flash fiction – Into Africa

Time for another flash fiction piece with the Friday Fictioneers, as hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week, I’ve hit the 100 word target on the nose.


© Magaly Guerrero

Her dress, pink and foamy, would have looked well in a sundae glass. The shoes, though, were serious. Black and heeled, they lent her height that wasn’t hers and a demeanour I knew she meant to keep.

‘Leopards?’ she said, as the shoes took her, arm-in-arm with him, down the veranda steps into the half-dark.

He shrugged. ‘Lions too. And wild dog.’

Watching, I saw how she let him push her up against a tree. And, as they kissed, I smelt what she smelt: Pears soap, leather, sun-saturated clothes and a strong, clean animal scent that wasn’t me at all.


For other 100-word stories following the same photo prompt, look here.

Flash fiction – Homeward bound

Time for another flash fiction effort with the Friday fictioneers, hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Here is the picture prompt:

Dhow in harbour

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria

They stop on the bridge looking down over the harbour. She grips the railings like she might jump. Next to her, he touches a finger to his lips. ‘Salt,’ he says.

‘Which boat would you choose, if you could, to go home in?’ Her voice is dreamy.

He’s thinking of moules et frites in the little café not two hundred yards away. ‘Home?’ It’s almost a foreign word.

‘Yes. Not that one with the cracked keel; it wouldn’t even make it across the Mediterranean. But, oh, look!’ She’s jumping up and down.

He follows her finger.

‘The dhow,’ she says. ‘Of course! What better boat to sail back to Africa!’


If you’d like to write your own 100-word story, click here for more information, or to read other peoples’ stories, click here.







Friday fictioneers – His house

Old houses

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

‘This is your house?’ she says. She’s not imagined something so large, so sprawling hiding among London’s crowded streets.

He nods, and a muscle in his jaw twitches beneath the shaving cut she’s sure he won’t want her to notice.

‘What wonderful parties we can hold!’ she says, hands outstretched, as if already reaching for a cocktail glass. No matter that she has no friends yet. She will make some; for what else could a house such as this be built?

‘Parties? Goodness, no.’ His hand grips the gate, rattles at a lock she hasn’t noticed. ‘That’s what this is for: to keep my wife in and everyone else out.’


If you’d like to have a go at writing your own 100 word story, click here. And if you’d like to read other people’s take on the picture, click here.

Friday fictioneers – After tea


Please forgive me the second blog post of the day; I’m on something of a roll. This piece for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday fictioneers was (once again) inspired by the novel I’m currently writing. The following picture is the prompt. And isn’t it beautiful?


© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

He was leaning back, yawning and kicking his heels against the chair legs. Her eyes detached him easily, away from the crowd of chattering parents and girls, the cucumber sandwiches and the half-drunk cups of tea.

Outside, behind the tea tent, they high-stepped its guy ropes to reach the line of stacked hay bales. ‘We were told not to go beyond these,’ she said, already scrambling up.

When he dropped down beside her, his eyes were restless and his face no longer ruddy.

‘Don’t worry! Who is there to see?’ she said, looking up at the sky and laughing. ‘There’s only God and He won’t tell.’


If you’d like to have a go at writing your own 100 word story inspired by the picture, click here, or here to read other people’s.



Flash fiction – Her beginning


Photograph © Roger Bultot

The air outside her front door was all bitten through with ice but she stood there anyway, sleeveless and bareheaded, listening as he climbed the staircase.

Inside, he crossed to the window. ‘Orchids in the snow,’ he said, laying his hat next to them. ‘I knew this was your apartment as soon as I saw them from the street,’

‘Oh?’ She poured him the drink he hadn’t had time to ask for and drew off his jacket. ‘It’s been a long time,’ she said.

‘Hasn’t it? I’ve fought a whole war.’

‘And I’m just beginning mine,’ she said, watching him unbutton his shirt.


The above is my contribution to this week’s Friday Fictioneers run by the lovely and ever diligent Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to write your own 100 word story inspired by the picture, click here, or here to read other people’s.


Friday fictioneers – This way

It’s been a while since I managed to get down to writing a Friday fictioneers’ piece. This one is inspired by current happenings. I’m not sure if it’s written in hope or fear or some mixture of the two.



Photograph © Dale Rogerson


‘This way, Sir.’ A command dressed up like respect. He’ll understand only half of that.

He talks. ‘Who was the architect for this place? I know a fellow-’

‘No, Sir. You don’t.’

Behind them, the sun is gone behind the barred and bolted door. So, too, the howling crowds. This new light is sepulchral, pooling on the ground. He stamps over it.

‘Do you want to pray?’


‘Yes. Everyone finds their God in the end. Some people like Him to accompany them into the darkness.’

‘Horseshit. Trump’s had this God guy’s back for long enough. He’s on his own now.’

A head shake. ‘This way, Sir.’


If you’d like to write your own 100 word story inspired by the picture, click here, or here to read other people’s.

Friday fictioneers – Condensation


Photograph © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


When she saw him opening his mouth, she pressed her nose to the window and stared at the ponies pulling at their hay in the field.

‘Father’s dead.’

‘Oh.’ The ponies were clouded with snow but their tails dripped and their warm bodies steamed.

‘Haven’t you anything else to say?’ His hand tugged at her arm as if he hoped to shake it out of her.


She regretted the question mark even before the little word had turned to condensation on the glass.


If you’d like to write your own 100 word story inspired by the picture, click here, or here to read other people’s.


Friday fictioneers – After the hunt

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields

Perdy had triumphed on the hunt. She sat outside her tent, arms around the corkscrew horns of an enormous kudu bull. Its blood-clotted nose rested in her lap.

‘What a trophy,’ someone said.

Perdy smirked and looked across at Violet.

‘Jolly well done, darling,’ Violet said. ‘Do you have the right wall for it? Back home?’


‘You’ve not moved in with me, have you!’

Perdy’s mouth twitched in a sort-of smile.

Violet took the smile and turned it into her own. Her fingers caught at mine. ‘Goodness, if everyone who came to one of my parties moved in, there’d be no room for me.’


If you’d like to write your own 100 word story inspired by the picture, click here, or here to read other people’s.

Friday fictioneers – Over the chain



‘Step over it,’ he said, when his daughter hesitated before the chain. ‘No-one must know we’re here.’

‘But Mama-’

Her mother, leaning over her swollen belly like it was the bed she’d been longing for, said, ‘I’ll manage. Do as he says.’

The door gave way with a shove and, with another, gentler this time, the girl was inside the grey space, her nose wrinkling against some smell she couldn’t identify.
‘Bats,’ Mama said, over the chain and already on her knees in a pile of ancient straw that squeaked and rustled. ‘Pull the door closed.’ Her voice came in pants. ‘It’s almost time.’


If you’d like to write your own 100 word story inspired by the picture, click here, or  here to read other people’s.