#tuesdayuseitinasentence: When the blaze started

Silhouette of a chair in front of a fire

Image: Pixabay


I relax my hands, let each finger settle before I speak. ‘Where were you when the blaze started?’

The boy’s fifteen or so, judging by the greedy, grabby little buggers my daughter’s smuggling into her room these days. He’s not said a word since uniform bundled him into a squad car and he had nothing on him when he was charged – no wallet, no phone – only that single slip of paper.

He’s thin – long bony wrists, spidery fingers with the nails bitten so low blood crusts the tips. Eyes are large in his face – bush baby big. Abused by family, maybe, or a gang standing in for family. So many used people out there.

Sitting either side of him are a bulldog of a woman from Social Services and a legal aid solicitor who looks one Scotch away from the grave and smells of dirty linen and pickled onions. A dream team. Poor kid.

The boy doesn’t speak. I don’t expect him to.

I heave the sigh of the world weary lawman. ‘Just tell me why you have a note in your pocket with the address of the warehouse on North Street and the time the fire started.’

The paper bugs me. No casual arsonist carries a note telling him where and when to start a fire.

Then I feel it – the slightest tremor, passing through the table tickling my palms like static. Windows rattle in their frames. Then the floor is hopping under my feet, my heels knocking. Bulldog woman stands up, looks around as if the blank walls will tell her what’s happening.


It’s the boy.His voice is lower than I expected, as if reverberating through a broader chest. He looks at me properly for the first time and he’s terrified, but most of all, he looks sad.

‘I’m sorry,’ he whispers.

Written for My Loving Wife’s #tuesdayuseitinasentence. Take the prompt word – today is BLAZE – and write post around it. See here for full Ts and Cs.

#tuesdayuseitinasentence: That tissue paper life

Brightly coloured handbag

Image: Pixabay

Catherine knew she was lucky the day she married David.

True, there had been little passion between them, there time in the bedroom the definition of propriety – lights off, socks on, do your duty and think of England.

But there were other benefits to being Mrs David Campion that added zest. The flat in Kensington for one and the detached house on Sandbanks, within earshot of the surf and its own beach. She’d loved jaunts to the continent in the Aston – oysters and Bollinger and trips to Cannes for the festival.

Now she stood on her Mother’s coconut matting, smelling boiled cabbage and liver, her Gucci luggage and the clothes on her back all that was left of that tissue paper life.

Mum appeared from the front room, arms crossed over her sagging chest. ‘You know what I say, our Cath?’


A steely eye fixed her. ‘Cath. If you’re going to squeeze oranges, you’ve got to expect pips. Kettle’s on.’


Written in response to My Loving Wife’s #tuesdayuseitinasentence. See the word, use it in a post. Brought to you today by the word ZEST

#tuesdayuseitinasentence: Cut / Fell / Splat

Crevasse with climbers

Image : Pixabay



She stared down at the Scrabble board. ‘XERIC?’ she said.


‘That’s not a word.’

‘Yes it is. Look it up.’

Cream tiles littered the green and pink landscape, his AILERON soaring over double and triple word scores, the glacial MORAINE and CREVASSE stretching across the steppe of cardboard and plasticised paper. All she’d created so far were a few stunted nubs – CUT, FELL and SPLAT.

She refused to give him the satisfaction of reaching for the dictionary only to find he was right – as he always was.

She smiled. ‘I have something for you.’

Slowly, she produced a



Written for My Loving Wife’s #tuesdayuseitinasentence. See the word – this week was XERIC – and think of some other words to put round it. Full Ts and Cs here.

#tuesdayuseitinasentence: Close your eyes darlin’ boy

Shotgun cartridges

Image: Pixabay


A waft of cigarette smoke tells me Dan’s here. He smokes Park Drive – no filters – old man’s fags, though no one would tell him.

‘Where you been?’ asks Pete. He’s been shuffling on the spot for the last half hour, kicking up the dirt where the grass used to grow when people still cared about making this place nice. Years ago.

Dan lights a fresh Park Drive. ‘Mind your own,’ he says, crushing out the old fag with a twist of his boot. ‘Ready for this?’ He looks from Pete to Si to me and we just nod, though I want to be home watching the match with my dad.

We show what we’ve brought – a cricket bat: a length of pipe: a table leg.

Dan smiles, pushing back his coat.



‘God, Dan.’

Hidden in the folds of wool are short metal poles attached to a wooden stock. Bile rises, burning my throat. ‘Dan …’ I can’t say any more, and I need to pee so bad it hurts.

‘Let’s go,’ he says.


And there’s blood all over me, though I’m not sure whose and it’s sticky and I think of my bed and my mum and she’s laying a cool hand on my head, saying ‘Hush. Close your eyes darlin’ boy’.

And I do and I sleep.


Written in response to My Loving Wife’s #tuesdayuseitinasentence prompt. Hear the word, use it in a sentence – or many. Today’s word is WAFT. For the rules, go here.

Life’s most important lesson


Image: Pixabay


As a child, you never considered the end. The hours were too long, full of half-glimpsed butterflies and doll tea parties and Kia-ora at the cinema.

Even later, life bulged: student bars serving cheap Guinness, back-combed hair – soft bristles against your cheek.

Then the family tree began to change shape – a prune here, another there, until it looked different. A pollarded oak.

Soon each morning began the same: a battle to quell the notion that an unexplained lump, a tickle in the throat – a cough – could speed your  end.  No one lives forever – until now, surely. You will be the exception, the miracle that proves the rule.

Still, one golden dusk, He comes for you.

Slips a kind, bony hand in yours.

You fight but not for long – your body’s weak, tired out by a lifetime chasing butterflies.

Finally, you’ve learned life’s most important lesson.


With thanks to My Loving Wife at A Word Adventure for her Tuesday Use It In A Sentence.

Today’s word is QUELL.

Pop along to A Word Adventure for full rules and to join in.

The disappointed bank robber


Image: Pixabay


He’d selected the bank, supplied the gun, the ski masks – stolen the getaway car – but she still wasn’t keen; some people are so hard to please.



Couldn’t resist A Word Adventure’s Tuesday Use it in a Sentence challenge- a one sentence story including the word KEEN. Why not pop along and join in?