Friday Fictioneers : Ariadne leaves the maze

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot


Ariadne wove along the tangled path, through nodding rosebay willowherb and scabious, nettles snatching at her skirts.

Her mind wandered ahead to the hive, the warm, sweet buzz of the comb then back to him, his warmth. He was often sweet but always tinged sour with beer or sweat, hard words, hard hands.

The sound reached her first, a thousand singular insect voices weaving to form a low hum. The brown cloud enveloped her as she drew close, furry bodies bouncing against her hands, her cheeks, welcoming her.

‘He’s dead,’ she whispered.

She turned and followed the path back home.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. Join in, read and share here.

At first glance there may seem no connection between my story and the prompt photograph, but the shapes in the net reminded me of a honeycomb, which led my mind to bees and the tradition of telling them when someone in the family dies. To read more about this tradition take a look here.


What Pegman Saw : On the fifth day


On the fifth day, the first snows of winter fell, deadening Artur’s mood along with the city. The traffic grew muffled and sluggish along with the dark slick of river – even the smoke from the refinery’s chimney grew leaden with the cold, sitting hunched over the rooftops.

He spent the next three days anxiously watching the snow settle and harden, the ploughs turn the roads into grey-walled canyons. Then despite his careful planning, the promises he’d made to himself, the waiting became too much.

Buka darted ahead when he opened the apartment door, the little terrier leading the way, following his nose along the beaten snow path between lines of garages, until they reached the One. At the padlocked door, Buka held back, sniffing, cautious, fuzzy tail drooping.

For a moment, Artur paused, key in hand. Then he heard movement inside followed by wet cough.

Artur smiled.


On Saturday, Pegman wandered to Talnakh, in Krasonoyarsk Krai, Russia, where I found this little scene and wondered what was drawing that dog towards the locked hut …

Do join in if the Muse moves you – share a story and read others here.






New Year, New Book! Launch Day for Under Stone

And for the New Year, a cracking new release for me to share. The lovely Helen Jones has today released the fourth book in her Ambeth Chronicles – Under Stone. All the books are available on Amazon, so if you haven’t read the first book that’s no excuse to miss out on all the mystery, magic and adventure. Happy reading all.

Journey To Ambeth

What better way to start the new year than with a brand new book? Under Stone, the fourth instalment of my Ambeth Chronicles, is now live on Amazon! Get your copy here.

‘Help will come to you, Alma, you will not be alone.’

Accepting her new powers hasn’t been easy for Alma. Nor has finding out the truth about her father. And she’s still not sure about the prophecy, or about going back to Ambeth. But the Dark are gathering, Denoris on her trail. Deryck hasn’t forgotten about her either… Events past and present converge on a small Welsh town as Alma, and the Dark, choose their path. Who will reach the Cup first?

I’m thrilled to be starting the year with a new title and, for those of you who are new to Ambeth, Oak and Mist, the first book in the series, is 99p/99c to download…

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Three Line Tales : Midnight on the Champs Elysees

three line tales, week 100: a ferris wheel in Paris with soldiers patrolling

photo by Manu Sanchez via Unsplash


‘Are you ready?’ His voice is smokey in the darkness, profile sharp against the setting sun.

How can she ever be ready to leave her mother, already sagging under the strain of occupation, her little sister Adalie, all scuffed shoes and knees and lights in her eyes, her hair? How can she leave them, knowing they might break without her?

Still, Marielle takes one last look along the Champs Elysees, at the distant bow of the Arc de Triomphe. One day her city will be free again. She hopes she will live to see it, but if not … ‘For Adalie,’ she whispers and follows him into the night.


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Word’s Three Line Tales.

When I saw this photo of soldiers on the Champs Elysees, I was reminded of a famous, chilling set of photographs of Paris – taken by Heinrich Hoffman – of Hitler gloating in front of the French city’s beautiful landmarks at the beginning of the occupation. And so my mind drifted to the Resistance, to people like Marielle.










Friday Fictioneers : Ernest’s last adventure



Ernest Blower was not an academic man.

If he wished to learn the progress of the war, he would pass the evening paper to his daughter to read aloud. Literature, algebra, trigonometry – all were foreign worlds to him, as frightening and unfamiliar as the jungles of Borneo or the far face of the Moon.

No, Ernest’s gift lay in machinery, which he seemed to know by instinct, as if he had been turned on the same lathe, burnished from the same metal.

His own mechanism seized when he was 64, in his workshop, oil can clasped in his gnarled fist.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. Come write a tale yourself – see here to read the other stories.




What Pegman Saw : Chasing magic


When my brother and I were small my parents ran a hotel, a prim little place of net curtains and china figurines on the promenade at Broadstairs.

The summer holiday was their busiest time of year, so rather than have us under their feet, we were sent on the long train journey to my grandparents who owned Santa Land Christmas Theme Park outside Inverness.

Our Augusts were spent, paint brush in hand, helping Grandad return the glow to the cheeks of the fibre glass Father Christmas, riding on the backs of concrete reindeer, watching the swallows soar to and fro over Santa’s Grotto.

We’d return to the seaside as the candy floss booths were closing their shutters, as the teacup rides had been laid to doze beneath sagging tarpaulins.

A feeling from those times stays with me – of knowing the world contains magic, but only for other people.


Written for What Pegman Saw, a prompt using Google Street view images.

I am labouring under the mankiest of colds, so please forgive the rough nature of this story – all creative cylinders are NOT firing today.


What Pegman Saw: Buckhorn Iowa

What Pegman Saw is one year old already! Time has most definitely flown. This week he visits Buckhorn, Iowa, so write a tale and share on the blue froggy button. Thanks to Josh and Karen for hosting such a wonderful prompt


For our one-year anniversary of What Pegman Saw, we take you back to where we started: a ghost town in Iowa. Buckhorn hasn’t been a town since the 20s, but there’s still plenty to explore. As always, feel free to use Pegman to go wherever the story takes you in 150 words or less. Karen and I want to thank all of our wonderful writers who participate in this prompt. You’ve helped make it an exciting and rewarding thing to do every week, and have written some killer stories in the process. Well done, everybody, and thanks for stopping by.

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For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.
If you’d like to suggest a location to Pegman, we’ll use it as soon as there’s room.

Thanks for keeping in touch. It’s a big world out there.

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