Wednesday 25 April 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 52

This week completes a whole year of #MidWeekFlash! I can't believe it's been that long already!

"Happy Birthday to MidWeekFlash, Happy Birthday to MidWeekFlash! Hip Hip Hooray!"

This week's prompt is by Even Liu, a Hong Kong artist who has some incredible art. Take a look at their website here.

I considered something dystopian for this story, but then I noticed the lamp and a couple of voices turned up, and here's what happened. Enjoy.

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.


“He went in there–”


“I’m telling you he did!”

“I know. Ssshhhh! They’ll hear us!”

Robson whispered, “But he’s gone in and not come back!”

“None of them come back!” Jinxy hissed back.

“But it’s not right.”

“What do you want me to do about it?”

“We need to go in after him.”

“In there? You’ve got to be having a laugh.”

“No, really. Look he’s left his lantern, let’s go in and find him.”

Jinxy crossed his arms over his chest. “You’re more stupid than I thought.”

“What?” Robson was confused.

“You think he went in there willingly?”

“What do you mean?”

“His lamps on the ground, right there.”

“Yeah? So? He had to leave it there to climb up.”

Jinxy snorted. “Don’t be daft.”

“What then?”

“Something took him!” Jinxy hissed again.

“No! No way!” Robson looked over his shoulder but the flat desert was empty around him.

“It’s why they grow here.”


“The flowers dumbo! They come to snatch us up.”

“Don’t be daft!” Robson chuckled, but it was forced. He looked round again, his nerves starting to show as his foot tapped. “Flowers don’t eat people.”

“You sure about that? Remember last month when Jessie went missing.”

“Sweet girl.”

“Aye that she was, but there’d been a flower there.”


“By her house, stupid.”

“There’s not one now.”

“No, exactly!” Jinxy’s eyes grew big and round. “That’s what I mean. They come, they snatch someone and then they’re gone.”

“You don’t mean it?”

“I do!”

“Then how come this one’s still here then?”

“Maybe it’s only just taken him! Maybe it’s waiting for more. Who knows!” Jinxy was enjoying putting the chills up Robson.

Robson stepped back. “Best not stand so close.”

“Nah, you’re alright.”

Robson took another step back.

“I ain’t risking it.”

Jinxy laughed. “Don’t be stupid. We’re fine here for a while, it’s too soon.”

“I’m not sure I am the one being stupid this time, Jinxy.”

There was a sudden rushing sound, like a belch working its way up from a deep place, and Jinxy’s feet left the ground as he was sucked up into the open bowl of the flower.

Robson stood wide-eyed for a second then scuttled away, mumbling, “And he always called me the daft one.”

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 51

This week's prompt is a photo taken by Gen Harris. These are her dog and cat.

I thought it was time for something soft and fluffy! 

I had planned on something bigger and more dramatic, but ended up with this simple piece, an imagined conversation about what a cat and dog might discuss on such a day. Having had a headache for over a week now, it has been hard to get my mind to produce much. I hope you all find it more inspiring.

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

Rainy Day

“Hey George, I’ve found a long one. You got one yet?”
“Yeah, over here. Trickling nicely.”
Cassie looked his way, where he was watching the line of rain water running down the French windows too. “Oh yeah.”
“Yours still going?”
“No, mines stopped. Here, how long do you think this is going to go on for?”
“What your trickle?”
“No the rain.”
“Dunno. But they’ll probably take me out in it in a bit.”
Cassie shuddered. “Glad I don’t have anyone forcing me out in it.”
“It’ll be great, still plenty to sniff.”
“Doesn’t it all wash away?”
“Sometimes, but just means I can put fresh down and take ownership.”
“I don’t get you dogs. Why bother? Such a waste.”
“You do it.”
“Do not! I’m a girl cat; we don’t make that kind of stink.”
“But you like sniffing it though.”
“Do not!”
“Do too. I’ve seen you out there when that big red tom from number 16 comes round.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Keep an eye on your trickle!”
“Never left it. Although it’s winding down now.”
“Found another yet?”
“I’m sure there’ll be one along shortly. What about you?”
“There’s something moving out there.”
“There!” Cassie pushes her nose up against the glass. “See it? I’ll catch it!”
“You can’t, it’s on the other side of the glass.”
“No it’s not.”
“Yes it is.”
Cassie tries to nibble at it. “Oh, maybe your right.”
“Why don’t you come with us when we go for a walk?”
“No way! I’ll get all wet.”
“But that’s the best part. Loads of puddles. If I’m lucky, I’ll get a chance to roll in one.”
“Why on earth would you want to do that?”
“Oh it’s great, all over your fur, nice and gritty. Then you get to shake it out.”
“Bleugh, fancy licking all that off.” Cassie licked a paw.
“I don’t have to lick it off; they’ll wash me when I get back.”
“Ugh, how awful. I couldn’t abide anyone doing that to me. It’s not natural.”
“You’ve been washed, I saw you. That time you fell into that boggy patch at the end of the garden.”
“Ugh, don’t remind me. First in that stinking water, and then in that perfumed muck they said would get me nice and clean. My tongue wasn’t right for weeks coated in that soapy stuff. Yuck.”
“How’d you fall in the bog in the first place? I thought you cats had perfect balance?”
“No, nine lives is what we’ve got, and I lost one of them that day I can tell you. I was chasing a blue thing. It landed on the ground. Very pretty it was, would have been very tasty, but when I put my paw on it, it wasn’t ground it was that horrible wet sludgy stuff. That’s how I lost my balance, and almost my life!”
“You’re so dramatic. It’s not that deep.”
“How would you know?”
“Oh I’ve been in there loads of times. I love it.”
“Ugh, you’re revolting. Ooo, look at that another long trickle coming down.”
They both watched the one near Cassie as it made its way down in a stilted fashion. Their peace was broken by a call from the kitchen: “George! Here boy!”
“That’s me. I’ll be off then.”
“See you in a bit.”
“You going to stay and watch more?”
“Nah, I’m going to go curl up on the little boy’s bed.”
“Okay. Later.”

Wednesday 11 April 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 50

This week's photo prompt is from German photographer, Amelie Satzger. She has a collection of photos over on 500px.

WARNING: My tale is a disturbing one. It is not for the faint hearted - but it does end with hope. It is inspired by a true story I read a few year ago about a woman who survived being sex trafficked. It's what I thought of when I first saw this picture. Yes, I know, my mind can get very dark. Sometimes it's best not to follow me down here.

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.


She taps the crack in the glass, hoping it will get bigger, hoping it will open out and maybe a hole will form. If she breaks it completely she might have a chance. She looks round the room, but there is nothing there to help her; it’s empty apart from the blood stained mattress - her blood. She looks at it and feels the sore spots it came from. Sore spots she knows are going to be reopened soon.

If only there was some kind of implement, but they never leave anything. They bring what they use. She stops that thought there. She can’t think about it, she has to block it. If she thinks about it she will scream and cry and won’t be able to stop. She remembers what happened to the girl in the next room who did that. She wants to live. She wants to get out of here. She wants to return to her life. She wants to never go on a blind date again. Never meet someone that no one else knows. Never believe that after three dates they must be trustworthy. Was anyone even looking for her?

She hears a noise in the room next door. They brought in another girl last night. They’re breaking her in. Another one that doesn’t sound like she’ll survive long. She’s stronger than the others, but if she wasn’t strong she’d be dead - like the one they dragged past her room several days ago. They’d left her door open deliberately.

She thought back to the first time they left her door open. She’d tried to get out. Foolish. They played cat and mouse with her, giving her hope, then taking it away. She’s learnt. But it gave her a sense of the house: size, how many others and how many men using them.

This thought jolts her back into action. She taps harder on the crack - the sounds from next door motivating her. She hears the screaming start and then that guttural noise which tells her the new girl might not last long. She resists the tears and sick feeling in her stomach. She puts her upset into what she is doing.

She pushes the glass and the crack spreads. She keeps pressure on the centre point and more cracks appear. A small piece in the middle falls out. It tumbles. She knows she’s two storeys up. She knows this area hasn’t recovered from the civil war and most of the neighbouring houses are empty. She’s going to have to run a long way.

Her breath quickens, she’s created a hole as big as her head now. The noise from next door is covering the sound of the glass shifting. More pieces fall out. Her fingers are bleeding, but it’s nothing compared to the other wounds she has.

A larger piece falls out and smashes below. She holds her breath and waits. If they find this she’s not sure she’ll survive the punishment. She doesn’t hear footsteps; she only hears the grunts and torturous screams from next door.

She climbs out onto the windowsill. She sees a drainpipe next to the window. She shuffles to it, shards of glass embedding in her knees. She pulls at the pipe, it doesn’t move. She dares to put her weight on it. It holds. She starts moving down to the ground, until it is close enough to jump.

Her heart is in her throat, the noise of it hammering in her ears. She lands heavily. The shock makes her pause. She hears nothing but the wind. She stands, testing her legs - then she runs.

She convinces herself she can hear shouts and men running after her, but at every glance back she sees nothing. She runs through the empty streets past derelict houses. She wants to get on the other side of the hills behind the ruined town. She’d had weeks to work out a route from the window.

She reaches the hills and clambers up and over them, adrenaline still feeding her. She sees another town in the distance. She sees lights as dusk draws in. It’s populated. She’ll find sanctuary there. But for now she must stop and rest. She finds a cove hidden by trees. She pushes herself in it and sits, exhausted, shivers running through her as the fear loosens its grip. She’s free. And soon the others will be too.