Thursday, 15 September 2016

Was It Worth It

FFfAW Challenge – Week of September 13, 2016
82nd Challenge
Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
Week of 09-13 through 09-19-2016

Guide for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
1. A prompt photo will be provided each Tuesday to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.
2. Linking for this challenge begins on Tuesday and runs to the following Monday evening.
3. Please credit photo to photographer.
4. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try and stay within this limit.
5. Pingback to the challenge post in your story's post.
6. This is a flash fiction challenge (stories in 100-175 words or less) and each story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Therefore, no serial (continuation) stories. They become too complicated for our readers.
7. Add your story to the InLinkz Link-up (Blue Froggy button). If you need link-up instructions, please email me at
8. Please keep stories below R rating.
9. Please respect the diversity of our readers and writers in regard to race, religion, and life style choice when writing your stories.
10. Remember, half the fun is reading and commenting on each other's stories.

This week's photo prompt is provided by Jade M. Wong.


It was so beautiful the way it sparkled on her finger.  She knew she was signing her life away but she didn’t care if he was going to buy her jewellery of this quality.

Helen watched her friend get married.  She watched her friend bring up children.  She watched her friend hide the tears.  She watched her friend pretend.

She watched and waited to catch her friend when she fell and she did fall hard.  Picking up the pieces of her life Helen’s friend still wore the ring on her finger.  It was loose now and often disappeared under her finger.  It had lost its sparkle as well.  The gleam had gone from its many facets.  The gleam had also left Helen’s friend.

Was it worth it?  Helen asked her friend.

With eyes that glistened with unshed tears her friend said, yes, of course it was.

Helen didn’t believe her.

Word Count: 150

Wednesday, 14 September 2016



This week the lovely Debb of Inner Sunshine

has given us a new prompt  for this week.
One story on two unrelated photos PLUS use the five words given. (The standard has been to write on one photo with using the five prompt words; for this week we are adding one more picture to the mix.) new kind of prompt!  For this week we will write one story on two unrelated photos PLUS use the five words given. (The standard has been to write on one photo with using the five prompt words; for this week we are adding one more picture to the mix.)

coronation  + flood  + insult  + pin-up  + suicide


Sitting on top of the world, the wheel stopped spinning, the chairs waved gently in the breeze.  Antoinette looked up, shading her eyes from the brightness of the sky.  She remembered his insult as he climbed in the rocking car, after they’d queued up for two hours when she had chickened out of getting in the enclosed, tiny space and being lifted high into the sky.

Rob might look like a pin-up movie star but she was beginning to realise looks weren’t everything.  In fact she wondered why she was still here.  She turned away from the crowds still lining up to enjoy this experience as she tried to stop the flood of tears she felt threatening to fall down her cheeks. 

Antoinette pushed her way towards the public conveniences and hoped that they would be empty so she could cry her eyes out in peace.  There a young girl was leaning against the wash basin, her eyes were red and weepy.  She caught Antoinette’s look, lowering her lashes and hiding her feelings.  The poster on the wall she’d been studying mentioned suicide and how their organisation could help by talking to them confidentially.

Antoinette smiled at the young girl, who gave a watery smile back, nodding her head in acknowledgement.

Melting into the crowd Antoinette decided she would go back to the hotel instead of waiting for Rob.  He could find his own way back especially after those nasty words he had thrown her way a couple of hours ago. 

The hotel room was a calm haven, decorated in peaceful, serene colours with beautiful prints adorning the walls.  Antoinette laid on the bed thinking, her eyes taking in the babbling brook on the painting hanging on the opposite wall.  She wished she was there, somewhere in the countryside, small mountains in the distance, clear water running over large boulders.  She could almost hear the rippling water, tinkling lightly as it sought its way to its destination.

What was she going to do now?  They had another week together on this holiday but she really didn’t know whether she could keep it together and pretend anymore.  She nodded to herself.  These few days had been rather an eye opener and she couldn’t pretend anymore that she really was going off Rob.  His company was grating on her nerves.  Last night in the hotel restaurant he’d made stupid, crass remarks about the Coronation Chicken that was on the menu.  Laughing loudly about the name.  She ordered it to spite him and thoroughly enjoyed every single bite. 

She thought about the young girl she’d met earlier in the day.  She thought about all the things that made her unhappy.  She thought about all the things that made her happy.  She thought long and hard.
She packed her suitcase, took half of the holiday money from the safe, thought about leaving a note, decided against it and made her way to the nearest railway station.

Word count: 492

Sunday, 11 September 2016


AuthorBy Sunday Fiction

Posted in Photo Fiction

The idea of Sunday Photo Fiction is to create a story / poem or something using around about 200 words with the photo as a guide. Please try to keep it as close to the 200 words as possible. It doesn’t have to be centre stage in the story, I have seen some where the placement is so subtle, the writer states where it is.

Once you have written and posted your story, please add the link to the inlinkz froggy icon below and add it to the collection so we can all have a read. Click on the links above. The main object is to have fun. 


War is here again.

Mary wept her heart out when she heard the news.  She was too old to go through this again.  She worried about her children, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren.

Would they survive? 

Would any of them survive?

How did the talks break down? 

So many questions she had.  

If she could she would bang the leaders’ heads together.  She would give them a right old talking to.  This was the trouble these days – the leaders were all men.  Now if there were women in charge things would never have become this dire.  It would have been stopped before it started.

Mothers and wives know how to step in and diffuse situations before they erupt in to such violence.

Violence doesn’t solve anything. 

Nobody would listen to her now. 

The carers in the home thought she was a sweet old lady who wouldn’t say ‘boo’ to a goose, little did they know what she did or what she was capable of.  The subterfuge, the lies, the heart-stopping moments when she thought she might be caught.  On many occasions she had saved the day. 

She was still bound by the Official Secrets Act

Word count: 197

Sunday, 4 September 2016


The idea of Sunday Photo Fiction is to create a story / poem or something using around about 200 words with the photo as a guide. Please try to keep it as close to the 200 words as possible. It doesn’t have to be centre stage in the story, I have seen some where the placement is so subtle, the writer states where it is.
The main object is to have fun.
Here is the link if you want to join in.


‘There is hope,’ he said as he embraced her, enfolding her body into his arms, gently squeezing her against his chest.  She inhaled his smell, the roughness of his tweed jacket, she felt his heartbeat, steady and strong.

Not for us, she thought.  I don’t want this anymore.  How can I tell him it’s over?  I’ve got to move on. I’ve got to flow strong like a river, pushing past barriers and gates.  Taking the sludge and slurry of my life, dumping it, leaving all the negativity behind.

‘We will get through this,’ he murmured into her ear.  ‘We will.’ 

His strength and determination had got them through a lot in their life together but 25 years later, the kids had left.  They had their own lives and only visited when they wanted something, usually money. 

He gave in to them.  He bailed them out many, many times. 

Now she needed to persuade him that she was moving on.  She would invite him to join her on this journey.  She wasn’t hopeful he would. She couldn’t see him upping sticks, leaving it all behind, the comfort and security but she hoped against hope that he would. 

He did.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016


Writing Prompt for Wednesday, August 31, 2016
This week Debb at Inner Sunshine

has given us two photo prompts. 


The cold crispness of the air

Matched her feelings of despair

Black and white no colour to be seen

Stark and bare it was obscene

When would life become bearable again?

It was such a nightmare;

She was caught in a snare

Trapped, frightened, scared, low

Caught as a doe

In the headlights, frozen

On the horizon a light, a beacon

She wanted a dream

She didn’t want to scream

How many days, months or years

When would they stop falling, her tears

Her constant companion in the dark days

Never ending, never ceasing, a black haze

She would shake and shiver

Not with pleasure.

Gradually, oh so gradually

The thaw began slowly

Month by month, day by day, week by week

Trickling back in to her thoughts, she began to speak

To say out loud

To become proud

To stand up tall

She would not fall

Down to the depths, uncontrolled

Loosening the blindfold

The mist began to clear

She began to hear

Sights and sounds

Stopped spinning around

The cold, dark space

It wasn’t a race

Her therapist had said

She was afraid of what lay ahead

Her family strengthened her

Cuddled her, wrapped her in their care

With love and comfort she put one foot forward

And proceeded carefully toward

Building her life, as nature does every season

She would never know the reason

He was taken, his life over too soon


The table was set, the fresh flowers smelt wonderful.  Alice smiled.  There was a time she thought she would never feel happy again. 

Everything was ready.  Right on time her companions arrived. Kisses on cheeks were given and received, a flurry of activity as the ladies seated themselves admiring the flowers, the tablecloth and the setting. 

Fresh lemonade was served, teacakes and serviettes handed out, all enjoyed and complimented on by the group of four women.

Now the informal writing group got down to business.  It was Alice’s turn, as the hostess, to divulge writing from several years ago.  She had gone through her dairies and notepads and painstakingly typed her handwriting up on to the computer and then printed out several copies.

As she passed the copies round her heart started beating faster.  Would they feel what she felt at that time?  Would they think it was over the top?  Would they actually realise it was based on fact and not fiction?  Should she tell them it was fact or should she lie and say it was fiction?

A few minutes later each lady was reaching for a tissue.  Hands were dabbing at eyes, throats were cleared.

Joan looked at Alice, Daphne looked at Alice and Anita joined in the stare.
Alice blushed as the heat rose up from her rib cage, covering her throat in a pink glow, moving up to her cheeks and forehead.

Her three friends stood as one and moved besides and behind her enveloping her in a friendly hug.

It felt good to finally let it all go.

Friday, 26 August 2016

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: August 2016

Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the works they enjoyed most over the previous month.  Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.  If you wish to add your own review to the conversation, please sign on to the link list at the end of my post.  Here is the link:

A 5* book from me this month

So Much Owed


Jean Grainger

Read 3 August 2016


Approx. 364 pages


January,1918 – Dunderrig House, West Cork, Ireland.

Dr Richard Buckley returns to his beloved Dunderrig, disillusioned and damaged by the futility of war. At his side is Solange Allingham, his best friend’s widow who has lost everything she ever loved. 

Richard’s wife Edith is bitter at what she sees as her husband’s betrayal of his country by wearing a British uniform. After giving birth to twins, she withdraws into a silent world, finally leaving her family for strange new bedfellows. 

Solange is obliged to overcome her own heartbreak to become the mother Edith’s children so badly need. James and Juliet are inseparable and incorrigible and the life blood of Dunderrig. As they grow up, they come of age into a world where despite the horrors of the past, war looms large yet again.

From tranquil West Cork to wartime Belfast, from neutral Dublin to occupied France, the twins lives diverge in unforeseen ways as Dunderrig waits anxiously once more for the safe return of its children.

A sweeping historical saga, rich in romance, intrigue and mystery, all against the backdrop of the most turbulent times the world has ever witnessed.



The book starts at the end of WWI when an army doctor returns home to Ireland to his pregnant wife but bringing with him his best friend’s French widow.  The new born twins are rejected by their mother and taken care of by Solange and the housekeeper and her husband.

The children grow into adulthood and along comes WWII.

This was an amazing read, well written, descriptive, well rounded characters.  It lead us back to the days when social niceties had to be maintained, when people were treated differently according to their station in life. 

It is the first book I’ve read concerning the Irish position in the World Wars and that in itself was an eye opener to me. 

The twins have a close bond but a disagreement pulls them apart as they enter adulthood and they go their separate ways. 

The book takes us in to the awfulness of the Second World War and the things people had to do.  

It certainly made me think about the things that people believed and the things that people did during this turbulent time.

A brilliant book. 

Wednesday, 24 August 2016


Writing Prompt for Wednesday Stories 8/24/16

This week the lovely Debb at

Has given us

A photo prompt and five random words to be used – maximum word count of 500 

Photo Credit: Kathryn Hull via Sally Stackhouse.

The five prompt words: leaf, cottage, computer, storm, chisel


The holiday cottage looked so good in the brochure.  Daphne scrolled down and looked at a few more listings but still came back to the property she had first clicked on.

Frank sat down beside her scanning the details of the property, winked at her in his special way and before she knew what had happened he was merrily clicking away on the computerTwo weeks overlooking the seaside down on the South-East coast was booked in an instant.

A holiday by the sea would sweep away all the cobwebs.  Time to take stock and renew their energy levels.  This past year had been quite traumatic in many ways.  The thought of leaving their well-ordered life and having leisure time now they were both retired was quite daunting.  They talked about what they could do coming to the consensus that they would turn over a new leaf and make plans for their future together.

This would include:

No more watching the clock. 

No more alarms ringing loudly in the early hours of the morning. 

No more rushing around trying to fit everything in. 

They could do anything they wanted on any day of the week.

Daphne and Frank entered through the door to their home for the next fortnight. Her spirits lifted.  She could feel blockages in her mind stretching out and disappearing, smoothing the stress out and releasing her.  She let out a freeing breath.

She felt free.

Free to enjoy the sights.

Free to enjoy the coast.

Free to enjoy freedom.

The next day Frank came back in from his morning walk.  This was his regime now, he would walk to a shop, buy a newspaper and return to read it at his leisure with a cup of tea. 

No time constraints.

Discussing what to do with their day they watched the storm clouds rolling in over the cliffs.  That bank of clouds over the cliffs looked quite ominous.  The sound of the seagulls squawking as they whirled above the sea was eerily comforting as they relaxed on the balcony.

Frank pointed out a kayak in the sea.  They watched the pair of rowers trying to control the small vessel on the water that seemed to become choppier as they tried rounding the sea wall of the port.

“They must be very fit to be able to work those oars.” 

Frank agreed with Daphne as he stopped reading and watched them struggle. 

As the weather was turning the couple decided to visit an antiques market held in the old part of the town.  There was so much to look at that they went their separate ways meeting up for tea and cake at the little cafe across the road.

Daphne’s curiosity got the better of her as she spied a package in her husband’s hands.

“It was a bargain, my dear.”

Frank gave her his special wink again as he showed her the vintage chisel set encased in a wooden box. 
She felt no guilt about her purchases.

Word count: 500