Three Line Tales: Big Yellow Taxi

three line tales, week 34: yellow car in Havana

photo by Wolf Schram – here’s the full size version


‘It’s quite a collection you have there.’ Dr Hobson leafed through the last pages of the scrapbook, knowing they would be the same as the first – photos ripped from magazines, from books, downloaded from the internet, the images striped light and dark where the printer must have run low on ink.

The walls were pasted with the same pictures – endless chrome hub caps, flat bonnets and voluptuously curved bumpers, a clamour of yellow. ‘Sammy,’ she said, then, ‘Sammy,’ dragging his stare away from the few spots in the room naked of picures. ‘Sammy, why do you collect taxi cabs? Do you think you can tell me?’ At the word ‘taxi’ she had his full attention for the first time since the guard had unlocked the cell door.

He levelled that gaze at her – blank, icy – the one spread across every tabloid front page around the globe. ‘Because at some point in life we all have to leave, Dr Hobson,’ he said.


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Word’s Three Line Tales – and yes, I know I’ve technically disqualified myself by using three paragraphs instead of lines, but I’ll tag along just for fun. See here to join in and to read the other, wonderful stories.

Friday Fictioneers: Away for the holidays

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot


The house was dressed for Christmas, marble staircase aglow with lights, candles scenting the air with smoke and wax, the hint of church and austerity at odds with the excesses to come.

Soon gilded guests would fill every glittering corner, the best food and wine would flow from extra staff in midnight black and starchy white, with eyes cast down, seen but never heard.

Meg stopped at the front door, carpet bag knocking her shins. He would be waiting, collar too tight, elbows pressing through his threadbare jacket.

She had everything, but was nothing without him.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the (glorious) photo and write a 100 word story to go along with it. See here to join in and to read the other super stories.

FFFAW: Just one step

                         This week’s photo prompt is provided by Joy Pixley. Thank you Joy!


Another stairwell same as the last, floors interlocking over her head like a wooden puzzle box. The handrail was rough under her palm, the grain snagging her skin – like stroking a shark.

Looking up made her head spin, floor and ceiling flipping until it seemed she could reach out a toe, walk on the underside of the stairs. She imagined gravity tugging her hair, making it stream from her scalp in waves like upturned seaweed, her clothes tumbling in layers about her face, the effort of holding up arms heavy as pork joints.

Just one step was all it took, she was sure. If she just had the courage to try.

She slipped of her shoes, hoisted herself up on the rail, toes gripping at the air. Hollows above and below sucked at her, pulling her up, tugging her down.

Just one step.


Written for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. See here to join in and to read the other tales.






#tuesdayuseitinasentence: The revenge of the fur coat


Image: Pixabay

‘Wow,’ breathed Michael, staring at the carnage.

He had been the perfect host – pule and caviar canapes; Dom Perignon 2006; Charbonnel et Walker chocolates; an ice sculpture of himself, towering over the congregation, a frozen collosus complete with ridges of slick hair and rictus smile – a frighteningly close likeness, his PA Imogen had said; floral displays of strelitzia, orchid and gloriosa lilies that soared to the ceiling; a ten piece, tux-clad band (smooth jazz, classy but easy standards, nothing experimental or hard on the ear) and the finishing touch – a point of perfect irony – tame mink, necks wreathed in pure gold chains, walked through the chittering throng by supermodels wearing floor length coats of the same glossy brown fur.

An evening that would be remembered for decades to come – the oppulence of Michael Philip O’Connell.

But Michael discovered too late that mink are vicious creatures who resent the close proximity of their murdered and skinned brethren and aren’t afraid to lash out at the nearest bare-toed supermodel in pin sharp revenge. And supermodels become dangerously unsteady when they have expensive mustelidae (not rodents – Imogen had made a point of telling him) gnawing on their painted and polished extremities. And who knew that ice sculptures of billionaires are surprisingly top heavy, even when nudged by girls with rope-skinny arms (he thought Imogen had muttered something about it being the fault of his oversized head, but he’d been distracted by the caviar smeared across the floor like a bankrupting dirty protest, so he could have misheard). And who knew that jazz trumpeters bled so freely when a hundred weight of strelitzia fall on them?

As the screaming rose in pitch and the polished floor grew slick with melting ice, pule and blood, an unopened bottle of Dom Perignon rolled towards him, hitting the left toe of his Canali shoes. He picked up the bottle and a chunk of ice that had skidded along with it – the tip of his own nose if he wasn’t very much mistaken. He twisted the cork, easing out the last millimetres with his thumb and pushed the ice nose into the bottle.

As the champagne bubbles popped on the roof of his mouth, he was already planning his next birthday – perhaps a yoga retreat in Nepal? He’d ask Imogen to arrange it – once she’d stopped laughing.


Written for Stephanie at Word Adventures’ #tuesdayuseitinasentence. Use the prompt word – today it’s HOST – to write a post. See here to play along and to read the other stories.








Spider Time

Dew drop spider's web

Image: Pixabay

Ripening they hang, mottled berries in Autumnal hues.

Their dew-beaded threads span brown twigs and evergreens, cross every path and doorway. Webs ping and snap under my outstretched hand, their pulpy occupants beating retreat on hooked feet. Some tangle stringy sticky in my hair, span my shoulders, eight legged passengers hitching a ride before their tickling makes me shoo them away.

One web in the front garden, butressed by fuschia and skeletal fennel, contains the biggest. The size of a grape, she bounces on her silky hammock, growing daily, warping the threads around her.

I wonder what happens when the spiderlings come. Does she pop, spread her feathery flesh for the young to feast on? Do they skitter free, leaving her shunk, wrinkled, from grape to raisin in the dash of their hair’s breadth legs?

It’s growing dark, street lights blinking on, sucking every colour but orange from the day and anyway, dinner calls.

I leave her to the speckled damp, the rocking breeze, her patient waiting.






‘Oh, what a tangled web we weave … ‘

TLT week 33: a ball of orange wool

photo by Philip Estrada – you’ll find a bigger version here


One lie found out – one dropped stitch in the perfectly constructed weave of my deception – and the whole thing unravelled.

Now I watch my life from the outside, a tangled mass of knots, threads too twisted for anyone to make sense of – even me.

One more knot to tie and then I’m done. I hope it’s strong enough to hold my weight.


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Word’s Three Line Tales. One literal entry yesterday, a metaphorical use of the prompt today. See here to join in and read the other tales.

Three Line Tales: For my daughter-in-law Julie

TLT week 33: a ball of orange wool

photo by Philip Estrada – you’ll find a bigger version here


Doreen’s knitting flowed over her knee in neat stitches the colour of regurgitated carrot, the yarn shimmering as if spun from finely shredded plastic bags.

She saw me looking and said, ‘For my daughter-in-law, Julie,’ her lip curled as she spoke the name, the smallest bead of spit glistening on her chin. ‘The one who had to have granite worktops in her kitchen and said my backside was shaped like a Space Hopper.’

I eyed a shapeless panel, scratchy as hessian. ‘You mean the one with the terrible psoriasis?’

She nodded and smiled. Revenge, it seems, is best knitted and purled.


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales, though of course it isn’t three lines – and I’ve been doing so well recently! See here to join in the fun and to read the other stories.