Friday Fictioneers : Bonfire

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll


The detective cradles the mug of tea in both hands. His fingers are red, sore at the tips where’s he’s gnawed the skin. The smell of bonfires that followed him in now fills the room.

‘Was your daughter at home all night?’ he says.

I hold his gaze. ‘She went upstairs after school and didn’t come down until dinner.’

He takes in my dishevelled hair, my own bitten nails that I sudden want to hide.

He nods. ‘We’ll need to talk to her.’

‘Of course,’ I say, knowing her suitcase is gone along with half her clothes.

Run, my love.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See here to join in the best prompt I know and to read the other stories.


Friday Fictioneers : The Invisible Girl

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Ann Hall


Frances nestled into her favourite spot behind the jardiniere, in the shade of the dining room curtains.

She liked it there. When she stood up, the fern fronds spilling from the pot tickled her cheeks, smelling of woodland. When she sat, legs tucked, she pulled the heavy velvet curtain to her, becoming invisible. Then she could listen to the parlour maids talk of Mother in sharp, hushed tones, watch Polly wipe her grubby hands on the table cloth.

Today, scuffing feet told her someone was coming. High and low whispers, a man and a woman.

Her mother.

Not her father.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers, the best writing prompt around. See here to join in and to read the other tales.







Friday Fictioneers : Why Poppa made them run

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot


The pall of woodsmoke that had turned day to night was finally lifting. The fires must have burned themselves out.

‘Where’s Poppa?’ His sister Nance was sitting on a fallen log, feet kicking the crumbling wood to splinters.

The sky was vermillion, the sunset turned vibrant by the filthy air.

‘Where, Danny?’

They would need shelter, somewhere out of the cutting wind. Somewhere safe.

Danny looked at his little sister, at those large eyes reflecting the fiery sky. One day he’d have to tell her why Poppa had made them run, but not today.

He held out his hand.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See here to join in and to read some glorious fiction.

Friday Fictioneers : Hearts of oak

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook


When Gloria thought of the oak tree, she thought of Grandfather.

Both gnarled by age and weather, carrying the scars of ancient wounds, of injuries which – no matter the suffering – they survived. They grew frisky in the spring, snuggled to near-stupor as the days grew short and the leaves lay about in golden dunes.

The morning after the storm she knew. When she saw that heart of oak split, scorched black to its pith by lightning. She knew.

At nine her phone rang, grandma with the news – it was sudden, a stroke in his sleep.

Spring would miss them both.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. Visit here, share your own tale and don’t forget to read the others too!

Friday Fictioneers : Down the muddied gullies of the Thames

PHOTO POMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy


They called her Polly-Mynah on acount of her own given name and the bird that needled her shoulder.

Down the muddied gullies of the Thames, neath crumbled eaves and untrusting eyes, one body needs another to keep watch or a body won’t last too long. That’s what Polly-Mynah had. Yes, the body in question had an oily black head, a beak gold as a sovereign and eyes sharp as frost, but he watched for Polly, keen as any madhouse copper.

Even when the creature died she kept his name, like a pining widow twines to her marriage vows.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers, the best prompt in town. See here to read the other tales and to share one of your own.

On seeing today’s pic, I was minded of a novel idea I haven’t yet found the time to write, about a young girl and her pet bird and their adventures along the fetid, treacherous streets of the capital and the unconventional friend they make their.


Friday Fictioneers : Where the pines stand dark sentry




Pines stood dark sentry to the rear of the house, the lake to the front.

Sook’s bedroom was in the roof, chill in the winter, hot in the summer when light rippled across the ceiling, an echo of the broad grey of Loch Giutha.

Joshie’s room was bigger but faced the black pines that groaned in the winds or shivered with unseen creatures.

He could keep his big room. The loft was her turret, the house her castle and if the pines harboured unquiet spirits, the water sheltered merrows, kelpies with manes of weed.

And at night the loch whispered.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers, the acme of writing prompts. See here to join in and to read the other tales.


Loch Giutha does not exist, but giutha is Gaelic for fir tree.

A merrow – like the more familiar selkie – is a Gaelic word for mermaid, while a kelpie is a mythical sea horse.

Friday Fictioneers : Catch a fire*

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll


‘I ain’t going in if it smells of pee.’

The corrugated roof creaked under their weight as Todd edged towards the broken window. ‘Don’t be such a girl.’ He pulled his sleeve over his hand, punched away the last shards of glass.

‘I am a girl,’ muttered Ali, climbing through the hollow frame.

The old factory did smell of pee. And mice and rotten wood. And something else really strong. Petrol?

‘Let’s go,’ she said, tugging his arm. ‘Gettin’ cold-‘

‘I told you once.’ A voice of darkness, husky with menace. ‘No more warnings.’

A match flamed to life.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. Scribble a tale, share and read! See here to do just that.

The title is shamelessly stolen from the Bob Marley and the Wailers album of the same name. Any excuse for a bit of Bob.