Three Line Tales : A brown stain the shape of Uruguay

three line tales week thirteen, red kettle

photo prompt by Dayne Topkin – click here for full res version


Caro’s kitchen was pristine, smelt of lemons and hot coffee with a hint of freshly baked bread which made Neil’s stomach growl like he’d swallowed a live Pekingese.

Neil thought of his own kitchen: the brown stain on the wall in the shape of Uruguay, the smell of stagnant water and mouldy noodles. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d eaten something that didn’t take boiling water and a flavour sachet to prepare.

‘Coffee?’ said Caro. ‘Then you can explain why you ran out on us, dickhead.’

Neil sighed. Well, at least she hadn’t punched him yet.


Written in response to Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales, look here for full Ts and Cs.

We’re both coming to the end of CampNaNoWriMo and this scene is lifted from the world of my novel in progress.

Neil is hopeless, but with the right motivation that will change. And Caro isn’t as much of a kickass as she seems – she has good reason to be furious. And then there’s the small matter of the ghosts …


31 thoughts on “Three Line Tales : A brown stain the shape of Uruguay

    1. Thank you lovely! 27,000 words in – and god knows how many more to go – and I’m loving it. Love the chippy dialogue I have a chance to write with Caro and Neil – Caro has the sharpest tongue! And don’t sound too enthusiastic, or I’ll be sending you some pages to read – you have been warned! 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Chris! I love Neil – he’s a poor, wounded soul and Caro gives him a terribly hard time (partly deserved) but he’s a good man at heart. And he’s going to come very, very good in the end :). Thank you for reading – you’re ver y kind


      1. Haha! She definitely likes to shout and poor Neil bears the brunt of her wrath. But he’ll slowly win her round until she realises he’s not a total idiot 🙂

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      2. But will she make him happy? She reminds me of my sister-in-law, who doesn’t realise what a gem she has in my brother – true, he has strange obsessions, but if you marry a Basil you have to expect that…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I don’t know if they’ll ever make it as a couple – perhaps that ship has already sailed. This is the beekeeper brother, is it? Not that strange an obsession – there are worse 🙂

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      4. I have three brothers. Angus is the beekeeper, Neil is an avid Green Party campaigner, and a vegan. Fenton is a Teddy Boy (yes, I did say Teddy Boy, but he’s not really, because they used to go around with razors sewn into the collars of their drape jackets, get into fights, and cut up cinema seats – and he doesn’t do any of that. He wears the clothes, jives, and used to listen to the music, but now he prefers old blues music). I was talking about Fenton – an adorable, nightmarish man who is obsessed wih tractors, motorbikes, North Devon, our childhood home, keeping everything he’s ever owned (apart from all the things that went up in the fire in his caravan which nearly killed him many years ago), farming, and a whole lot of other things he’s had to give up for his wife. 😦
        They went out jiving together for a while… 🙂

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      5. Your brothers are an interesting lot! Really – you couldn’t write that combination of characters. What a fascinating man Fenton sounds – a rockabilly farmer with a hoarding obsession. I can see his interests might not be easy to deal with, no matter how lovely he is. The fire sounds trautmatic – a life changing experience. Love the idea of them jiving together – my parents in law used to do that. 🙂

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      6. When Fenton’s wife got tired of jiving, I agreed to be his partner. He lives in Southampton (sorry, what did you say? Yes, that’s right, I live in Barnstaple).
        It turns out that phone-jiving just isn’t the same. Maybe we should have skyped 🙂

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      7. I’ve come up with several new art forms in my time. I tried to popularise underwater watercolour painting, silent singing, and syncronised swimming in the Gobi Desert – but they all failed to catch on. 🙂
        I thinl it’s time I stopped filling your comments section with my foolishness – I’m beginning to think there may be a good reason for my messages to be dumped in spam folders, although I don’t think I do this with anyone else…

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Haha! Please don’t stop – I love your ‘foolishness’ – it makes me smile 🙂 Particularly love silent singing – if they can have silent discos, why not silent choirs? Whole auditoriums filled with people mouthing the words to the Halleluyah chorus – love the idea of that 🙂

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      1. I’m just past 11,000, also thanks to camp. Not bad considering I focused for less than 2 weeks. I’ve declared Tuesday “writing day.” If I don’t get to write much else, at least I can get some in then.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s fantastic for a couple of day’s work! I only managed it because I work part time and have a very understanding husband 🙂 Well done you. On such foundations are novels built!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Also, I forgot to mention it’s also thanks to you!! I appreciate your willingness to check into the cabin spot. That accountability really helped. 🙂 Are you going to post bits on the PB site? I want to know what’s happening next! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ah, thank you. Works both ways – having others peer over your shoulder (in the nicest possible way) motivates us all to keep on scribbling. I think I might post more – always great to get feedback, though I’m guessing most people will be hard pressed to do much more than keep to their own word goals and keep their lives ticking over! 🙂 Be great to read some of your novel too, if you feel up to sharing. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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