Moral Mondays : A dead goldfish in the lap


Image : Pixabay



Gordon’s head felt like it was filled with gravel – the slightest tilt shot spikes of pain through his skull.

There’d been a ton of chapagne last night, then Duggy had forced him to drink something that resembled cough mixture and smelled of creosote. This morning he awoke in the bath covered in glitter with a dead goldfish in his lap.


Oh, lord, no. ‘Sir?’ said Gordon.

The PM was glaring at him across the table, a paper knife sliding through agile fingers. ‘I said, what are you going to do about this?’

Dazed, he said, ‘Wash off the glitter and buy a new goldfish?’

Well – he kept saying he needed to spend more time with his family …


Written for Nortina’s Moral Mondays. See the moral – this week it’s Listen before you Speak – and write a story to go along with it. See here for full Ts and Cs.




Moral Mondays: Do as I say, not as I do

shattered window

Image: Pixabay

‘Do as I say, not as I do.’

Mum said it every time I argued to stay up and watch a late horror movie – each time I stayed out past closing on a school night.

It’s only now, as I lie on the kitchen floor, my wedding china turned to shrapnel on the tiles, I realise her words were coded – a warning.

I struggle out of my foetal curl, stretch my limbs once more to their true shape. And though my jaw pulses and my knees shiver under me, I’m sure of something.

Today I shall finally take her advice.



Written for Nortina’s Moral Mondays. See here for full rules and to play along.


Moral Mondays: I never stopped hoping

Elderly couple

Image: Pixabay


‘Gin and tonic with a slice of lemon – one cube of ice.’ He put the glass on the table in front of her.

She looked up, beaming. ‘You remembered.’

Her pleasure soaked through him, sparking a heat he thought he’d never feel again. ‘Of course,’ he said. ‘I remember everything.’

They swapped stories: marriages and children, grandchildren and widowhood, illness and divorce. As she rose to leave, he took her hand, arthritic fingers knitting together.

‘I never stopped hoping,’ he said.

She reached up, stroking his face with her shaking palm. ‘Neither should you.’


Written for Nortina’s Moral Mondays. See the moral (this week it’s “Better Late Than Never”) and write a story in 100 words or less.

Super fun! For full Ts and Cs, see here.


Moral Mondays : Faith and Mickey, the sun and a seagull

Child's crayon drawing

Image: Pixabay

Faith pushes her forefinger into the tights, so the tip is enveloped in stretchy cloth. She spits ‒ soaking the fabric ‒ and starts to scrub.

Mickey stirs. From the smell she knows he’s wet the bed, but she leaves him – he’ll get up when it’s cold and stings. She doesn’t want to strip the sheets just yet. She wants to make the picture.

Then Mickey is beside her, the strong wee smell making her eyelids flutter.

‘Wet,’ he says, snot swelling from his nose.

‘I know,’ she says. ‘Look.’

The picture’s finished, drawn into the black mould on the bedroom wall – Faith and Mickey, the sun and a seagull.


Written for Nortina’s Moral Mondays. See the moral – this week, There’s No Place Like Home – and write a story in 100 words. See here for Ts and Cs.


Moral Mondays:The babies are crying again

High rise apartments

Image: Pixabay


The babies next door are crying again. Four-bloody-a.m.

They’re twins – twin bullet heads, twin sprigs of straw hair – and you can’t tell which is the boy and which the girl. Their mum Dawn is shouting – high pitched, whiney, split by hacking coughs – and other, smaller voices join in. That’ll be Shay and Ty. Ty’s three and still wears a nappy in the street, heavy to his knees. Shay’s seven and roams the estate shooting cats with his air rifle.

I press my pillow to my ears and promise myself I will never, ever grow up to be like Dawn.  


Written for Nortina’s Moral Mondays. See the moral – this week “Don’t take on more than you can bear” – and write a story in 100 words or fewer. See here for full Ts and C.


How to mix a margarita

Kissing couple

Image: Pixabay


My mum was never a great role model.

Though she did show me how to mix a margarita using lime juice to stick salt to the glass. And how low to wear your top to guarantee free drinks all night – and which style of bra to wear to pull off this neat trick.

The sole piece of verbal advice I remember from her was

‘Never talk to strangers.’

A tiny foot kicks me from within – you rest your hand on my comically distended bump – and I’m so glad I never listened to anything Mum said.



Written for Notina’s Moral Mondays. See the moral, write a tale in 100 words or fewer. See here for the rules my dears.

Dedicated to my mum – who as far as I’m aware, never used her bust to get free drinks, though may well have once known how to mix a margarita. X

Moral Mondays: An ocean wide and dangerous.

Old luggage

Image: Pixabay


He travelled in steerage, though his coat was clean, cuffs neatly turned. Amid strings of laundry, the stench of brine and fights over brandy and women, he sat oblivious, reading Byron, Keats, Donne, spectacles perched on the bridge of a nose sharp as a puffin’s beak.

Timidly, he shared an abraded image – a younger man, also neat, also dark, handsomer than my companion. The handsome man had travelled for his fortune but the Klondike had swallowed him, leaving nothing behind but his brother’s memories.

The ocean may be wide and dangerous – but it seems blood is thicker.


Written in response to Nortina’s Moral Mondays and what a cracker this week! It had me winging my way across the Atlantic to Ellis Island, following a shy man on the quest for a loved one.

To join the fun, be inspired by the week’s moral and write a 100 word story. Full rules here.



Death be not proud

Barn in a thunderstorm

Image: Pixabay

‘You know what to do?’ asks the old woman.

Connie nods, fingers tensed around the cup. The stench of the liquid catches in the back of her throat – vinegar sour, metallic – turning her stomach.

The old woman scuffs to the fire, tosses herbs into the flames. ‘Drink and they will find you.’

The liquid scalds Connie’s stomach. Heat spreads across her skin – hot needles turning to pokers skewering her heart and lungs, stealing her breath. She chokes. Gasps.

A giggle – another. One small body snuggles against her side, the weight of another on her lap.

‘Oh, my loves,’ she says.



Written for Notina’s Moral Mondays, the theme this week being Love Conquers All. Pop along to see the rules and to join in.