Wednesday 28 August 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 122

This week's picture was taken by Chilean photographer Gabriel Guerrero Caroca He only seems to have an Instagram page, and it seems to be managed by someone else, I can't find a direct website. 

And this picture also seems to have been coloured somewhere along the line as I can only find black and white versions. I think the artist has changed IDs on accounts and there seem to be a lot of broken links. But I like this slightly coloured version, it gives it more life, so I am going with it.

And no matter how hard I try it seems Tricky wants me to write her into this tale too. It's her third story - her first was on Week 77, and she second on Week 119. A character this persistent means I might have to write her story ... there might be a novel, if I can delve deep enough to work out exactly what she is up to and what she has her hands on! 

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.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

Scrying Crow

She rushed along the gutter by the fence and watched the crow land on the post. Goddammit, would they NEVER leave her alone?!

She stopped, unsure whether to continue, but as usual she was in a hurry. Maybe she could shoo it away, although she knew better. Maybe an enchantment, but then he’d know she knew what he was up to and a whole song and dance would ensue, and she didn’t have time for that; she needed to get to her cottage and now. All these bloody distraction ... she had better things to do with her time than appease him!

But the second she thought it, she knew that in fact she didn’t. In fact her entire existence was now about doing just that. It was her own fault; she’d thought she could get away with stealing it and no one would care – wrong!

And now he was sending crows to spy on her even though she had gone to him and returned it and grovelled for her life. It’s what building trust was all about. Ha! She wasn’t fool enough to trust anyone, it’s what had kept her alive this long – but it seemed neither did he.

She needed to blindside the bird somehow. It was misty, maybe she could use that. She brought her arms together under her cloak and began moving her fingers in rhythm to the words she was muttering. If the bird saw her doing this she’d be in trouble and probably not make it back home.

She felt the air thicken, the fog swirling in, tighter and tighter. She could still make out the bird, but could it see her? There was a caw and a flutter of wings. Ha! She’d done it.

A nice little trick – she was full of them. She giggled to herself. Tricky by name Tricky by nature. Oh he wouldn’t be happy, but balls to him.

Now back to the cottage to unravel this wonderful new package she’d come across. He didn’t know about this one, and she wasn’t going to let him either. This would be all hers, and might … just might … give her an opportunity to kick him off his high and mighty stool. He might like to think he was sitting on a throne, but this little bag of delights had revealed the legs under it and she planned to kick them out really hard!

With that thought in mind, she gave a little skip and scurried along the field track with more haste. She needed to get to her shack on the lake. It was the only safe place and the sooner she got there, the sooner she could start.

Wednesday 21 August 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 121

This weeks picture was taken by Slovakian photographer Vladimir Simicek and distributed or owned by Getty Images. Bumper cars abandoned in the empty town of Pripyat near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine.

This one wrote itself. I love it when that happens.    

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.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.


She’d been so excited; her and her best friend Marie getting ready to go to the fair. Depeche Mode, People are People, 12 inch vinyl on full blast in Marie’s bedroom. Hair, make-up – the works.  It would only be there a few days, so they wanted to make the most of it.

She still remembered the butterflies seeing him standing there between the cars of the Waltzer, spinning them faster and faster, making the girls inside scream. He’d laughed as he’d watched them. She couldn’t wait to be one of those girls and have his eyes on her too.

He hadn’t looked much older than her, only a couple of years, sixteen or seventeen maybe. His dark golden tanned skin from working outside had aged him a little. His dark hair and complexion off set by violet blue eyes that caught you like lightening and drew you in. They’d made her stomach jump every time they’d rested on hers, which ended up being quite often.

He hadn’t just laughed when he’d spun their car faster, he’d hung on and winked and chatted, asking her out, asking her to meet him on his break. She hadn’t hesitated.

And there’d been no time for lots of dates and getting to know each other, he’d only be there for a few days; they’d spent their time exploring each other’s mouths and upper bodies behind some the rides and caravans.

He’d wanted her to go further, but she hadn’t been ready. How she regretted that now.

Now? She was bought out of her reverie to look at the view in front of her. It hadn’t changed for decades, except for the undergrowth slowly taking it over. No one had dared to touch it after what had happened that last night.

She’d rushed along that night, having wasted time buying a special present. If only she had been earlier – even five minutes earlier – he might not have been there, he might not have been anywhere near where the cars had landed.

They hadn’t been the Waltzer cars – he hadn’t been working on them that night, he’d been covering for his friend on the Meteorite. If he’d been on the Waltzer he might have stood a better chance. No, he’d been working on a ride that had sat directly opposite the Octopus, so when a couple of its arms had worked loose he’d been in full view.

She wondered if he’d seen it happen, watched it in the slow painful way that disasters seem to unfold, as it had for her when she’d arrived on the scene to witness the devastation: the smashed and broken rides, the fires, the screaming people, the chaos, and blood ... so much blood.

And she’d rushed to what had remained of the Waltzers, and he hadn’t been there. And she’d run from ride to ride, hoping to see him, hoping to hear him, hoping that he’d be alive somewhere and trying to help others.

But he hadn’t been. He’d been crushed under the weight of a car that had worked free of the arm as it had collapsed, landing squarely across the Meteorite. They’d said he wouldn’t have suffered; they’d said it had been instant.

A tear rolled down her face. The abandoned twisted remnants in front of her stood as memorial of that fated night. There was talk from time to time of cleaning it up and putting a proper stone monument in, but no one wanted to face it; too much had been lost that night; too much of the town was buried here.

Wednesday 14 August 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 120

This week's picture prompt is taken by Bing Wright, a Seattle based Photographer. There is actually a series of broken mirror photographs, but this is still my favourite. You can see more on his website

A little bit of an emotional one for me personally this week. 

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.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.


As she pondered the next chapter of her book, her thoughts were interrupted by a crunching sound and the words ‘oh shit’ filtered up from below. By the time she had gone downstairs to see what was going on, her husband had moved the broken mirror outside. The sun had started to set and the golden colours were reflected in the shards like a rainbow, with deep red at the bottom moving up to light blue at the top.

She couldn’t help feel that this was prophetic in some way. It summed up how she felt about her life: There was so much beauty and so much to be grateful for, yet somehow it didn’t work. It was full of sharp splinters that didn’t quite fit and obscured her view, giving it a warped, malformed, broken appearance. She could see it all in its different segments, but she couldn’t embrace it as a whole. It was missing two vital components: love and joy, which she believed would bring much needed cohesion and clarity.

She’d moved here with her husband so full of hope, and maybe a little too much expectation, but within a few short years she’d found herself stranded with no social life and no support, just a husband who danced round her like she was something to be feared.

She’d withdrawn and isolated herself, working on the inside instead, but much like the mirror she couldn’t bring the pieces together, even though each part held something valuable.

And now she was torn between continuing to try to make the picture whole, or throwing the whole thing in the bin.

The mirror had given her the answer.  

Wednesday 7 August 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 119

This weeks picture prompt was taken by Sergey Nesterchuk, a Ukrainan photographer. Sadly he doesn't say where this is. 

This week I have returned to a character I created in my story for Week 77 called Tricky. I enjoyed returning to her and might have to ponder on a bigger story for this one. Could even be a book in it. If I can fully work out what Tricky's full story is - some more gestation is required I think. 

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.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

Tricky Trickster

I scuttled along the jetty, eager to get inside, ever conscious of prying eyes. Some might call me paranoid but I knew better. I know what lurks in the dark, and in the shadow – and also in broad daylight. 

He’d taught me that much. I thought I’d been wise when I’d sought him out to return his potent creation. The Great Magician they called him, but that was purely a facade. He’d since been overcome by his own power and started using it for control, over everyone. I’d hoped for a piece of that, or even collaboration, but he wasn’t having any of it! I might be Tricky, I might be the old crone that conjured, I might wield more power than most, but he thought I was a gnat pissing in the wind compared to him! 

He’d sent his spies to keep an eye on whatever I was up to. There was no place I could hide from him, except in my own shack. He might be talented, but so was I. 

I’d moved my little house into a place out of time, more difficult than a simple invisibility enchantment, but less easy for him to break through. He hadn’t managed it yet. 

He’d tried; haha, oh yes, he’d tried. It didn't use to look quite so run down as it did now, with it’s crumbling brickwork and crooked roof. And trying to get any plants to stay alive around it had become quite impossible. His continued attempts had drained much of the life force around it, but he hadn’t managed to gain entry – not yet. 

As I snuck into the only door it possessed at the side, I relaxed a little, relieved to have finally returned and find my little hovel in one piece, still containing the few items that mattered to me. 

And he’d love to know what they were. He thought them something exceptional, something that he needed, and I let him think that. I mean, why not? What’s life without a bit of fun or taking risks? Although some might call me a fool - in fact I might call me a fool! Why was I letting him think there was something to have? What did I hope to gain from it? Respect that’s what! 

While he thought I had something he didn’t, I was worth something to him. He gave me room, he even gave me power. Haha! They didn’t call me Tricky for nothing. I knew how to be a trickster. 

But the question was, how much longer could I keep playing with him? I smiled to myself. A bit longer I think.

I opened the chest at the back of my little cottage, and pulled the bed linen off my treasure. I carefully lifted the glass and peered into it’s round spherical surface. It was cloudy, but there were sparks. Soon, it was saying, soon all would be revealed. The clock was ticking for him.

Tuesday 6 August 2019

Review: Evil Under The Sun, by Agatha Christie

Evil Under The SunEvil Under The Sun by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

By the time I was fifty pages in I was gripped, and no murder had taken place! Agatha Christie really is the master of building tension and keeping the reader on the edge of their seat.

In this book she sets the scene, introducing the reader to all of the characters, giving them time to wonder who will be murdered and who will be the killer. This is a Hercule Poirot novel. He is also on holiday at this elite hotel, on an isolated island, which is a private island and so not open to the public. This means only so many people can be the murderer, surely, thus it can't be that hard to guess who done it - wrong!

Christie has a particular art for the red herring, giving the reader so many options it makes it difficult to discern among all the possibilities and in this novel, multiple loose ends to try and include. I thought I had an idea, as I often do when reading her novels, but as usual, I was wrong. It's always someone who you thought had a cast iron alibi, and from a perspective that has not been seen yet.

This is the type of book that keeps me coming back for more. Good character development, and a story line that moves forward at a fast pace keeping you glued to the last page.

View all my reviews