From flash to trash: The Car Wreck


‘Double trouble’, they called us. If I was ‘Double’ on account of my size, then Lexie was definitely ‘Trouble’.

She’d always led, sashaying past the bar, eyes like headlights on full beam, lashes batting like hummingbird wings. Her backside swayed – a hypnotic pendulum in zebra print leggings.

We never paid for a drink – ever.

Today she wore those same leggings, the same spike heels. But now the tarantula lashes look too heavy for her lids. The headlight eyes have clicked off.

I didn’t say ‘Hi’. She didn’t look up from rolling her cigarette.

I fled that car wreck life. I worry nothing will save Lexie from a tragic Last Act.

Hello my lovelies. This was my lastest Micro Bookends entry (Double/ Act – photo of a scrap yard) and this was the result. A salutary tale on continuing the follies of youth way into adulthood – you know who you are! Pleased to say, I was given an honourary mention – nice one.

Micro Bookends: Sleeping Beauty


Sleeping Beauty

Under the leer of a new moon, inky slithers melt into life.

A mermaid licks salt-crusted lips, flicks her scales and dives, breaking through the waves of skin that roll across your chest.

The rose unfurls its petals, nips at flightless doves, thorns snatching at banners declaring ‘Stella’, ‘Gloria’ ‒ ‘Mum’.

You wanted ‘ink’ ‒ to be a man. Now the pictures that smother your skin smother you.
They weave and warp to form a tattoo where you never felt the sting before – your throat.

You dream of the needle, of the sea, of Sleeping Beauty cradled in her bramble nest. You stir, gasp, swallow.

Ink is your final breath-taker.

Another day, another photo of a semi-naked, heavily tattooed man on my blog. Ah, well, such is the way of the world.

This was my second entry to last week’s Micro Bookends challenge – you know, Undertaker, man with big, scary needle – and parp-parp-parp-parp-parp-parp! (How do you do a decent trumpet blast in words?) …

My Sleeping Beauty WON! Winner! Winner! Winner! Hang out the damn flags!

I was very surprised and totally delighted that my third attempt at the competition was succesful, especially as I’d read the other submissions – these folks are just too good. Thanks to David Borrowdale who runs Micro Bookends and to Jessica Franken last week’s judge and worthy former-winner.

If you’d like to read my author page on the site (and who wouldn’t – it’s very good) then click here.

And I shall see you anon 🙂

Micro Bookends: the bedpost tattoo


The bedpost tattoo

Under the leer of a new moon, she watches Guy sleep. For hours, he’s lain blue-lit by the moon, gold-lit by her torch.

Memories fall through her mind like knives, murdering each old, fond thought. Her fingernails once scratched at his bicep as she counted and recounted the notches on his bedpost tattoo.

He laughed – swore, ‘no more women, baby, not since you’.

Finally, he groans, disturbed by the torchlight or his own dark thoughts. He twists, rolls over, arm thrown up to cover his face.

The torchlight shivers as she counts…

As she runs through the cold, cruel half-light, he is transformed, renamed. No longer Guy, but Faith-taker.

Another week, another Micro Bookends challenge. This time, we had Under as a starter and taker at the end. Maybe the whole word – Undertaker – inspired me, beause both of my entries were … towards the darker half of existence. Just to make a change, eh? Oh, and the photo prompt was of a tattooist, so maybe that helped!

For more flash-based fun, tune in tomorrow, when I have a lovely snippet of news to share. 🙂

Micro Bookends: In the billow of the storm


Soap flakes flutter against my face.

My brain tumbles. Do I mean soap flakes or snowflakes? Whichever – one flake melts. A prism caught in my lashes, the droplet cuts daylight into rainbow ribbons.

I lie in the billow of the storm. Wonder how my wintry body came to be here, broken on stony steps.

I’m sure I should get up, get warm. But I stay snug in the cold as flakes melt to music, prickling ice rippling into liquid melody.

My heart slows to a backbeat. The refrain sweeps skyward, carrying my end song past clouds to the heavens.

And there it flies – my own blizzard opera.

Welcome once more. Everone have a good day? Feeling chilled? Managed to put the dog back together again? You clever thing. They’re more complicated than they look, aren’t they? All those slithery tubes and yellow lumpy things that don’t seem to fit anywhere.

Anyway, thank you for coming back for a second helping of last week’s Micro Bookends challenge.

And some grand news with this one – parp-parp-parp-parp-parp-parp-parp-paaaaaarp! (That was a trumpet blast, by the way) I won Third Place! Very chuffed as it was only the second time I’d entered and some grand writers submitted to the comp.

Anyhoo, hope you enjoyed this second helping of frostiness.

Micro Bookends: The scold’s opera

Soap box out again, Dad lectures up a storm.

My eyes drift to the window: fresh snow, a white crust awaiting a christening of boot prints.

‘Are you listening, Daniel?’ singsongs Dad.

Without another thought, the door’s ajar and I’m slipping into wellies, the breeze skipping snowflakes across the kitchen floor.

Dad’s voice – bass becoming alto – calls ‘Where are you going?’

Do I stay for the lecture? Or snap that crisp shell of ice, weight pushing me onwards through the downy cushion until frost hugs me up to my knees?

Coat forgotten, I plunge into knife-sharp air.

I leave Dad to prepare his next sermon – the scold’s opera.

I rather enjoyed the challenge of Micro Bookends the other week – so much so I went back for another bash! Here is one of my attempts – first word SOAP, last OPERA and the photo was a snowy doorstep and absolutely nothing like the picture I’ve chosen above.

If you chaps can meet me here again tomorrow, I might have something else lovely and chilly for you and it is not a Mango Solero, a Fab lolly or a chocolate Feast. Or is it…? No, it isn’t.

It’s actually another snowflaky post and it WILL be here, cos I’ve already scheduled it.

Micro Bookends – Flash, ah-ah!


Fear hits him like ice water.

Together they’ve performed this trick a thousand times – hearts tripping, swift as trapped mice.

Today, the audience are bewitched. Her arm brushes his; her crushed rose scent consumes him. He loved to inhale her – now sweet rose mingles with rotting teeth.

She lays her neck, pale as the moon, on the stock.

He removed the safety blocks from the frame after the dress rehearsal. There is nothing left but to raise the blade and watch it fall.

The audience fidgets. She shifts, uncomfortable. He trembles, drops her note – her discovered secret – in the basket.

‘… one stolen kiss sent my soul flying …’

There are a lot of flash fiction sites out there. A dizzying number, enough to turn a girl’s head.

But last week I discovered Micro Bookends. Each Thursday, the site posts two words (last week it was fear and flying). The challenge is to write a story of between 90 and 110 words within 24 hours. You have to bookend the story with the given words and include a reference to the picture prompt given.

It’s a big ask and really, really hard if you’re unsused to such small word counts, as I am. But if there are a huge number of flash fiction comps, there are a larger number of talented people and the quality of the entries is scarily high. Last week’s winner – by Marie McKay – was a cracker. Read the top three and honourable mentions here.

Above’s my own entry – not mentioned, honourably or otherwise. Despite my lack of success and being totally overshadowed by some terrific writing, I’ll have another crack and will share the results here – you lucky people!