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.


  1. Replies
    1. Really like this. I want to read the full story. Thanks for joining

  2. Canal Boat, by Terry Brewer, 678 Words. @Stories2121

    It is a canal boat on the Thames but it could just as well be a hermit’s hutch, on a small island in a small lake, reachable only over rotting planks. A hutch no one saw let alone visited.

    My canal boat on the Thames is where I close myself on weekends after a week in the City. It’s where I spend my time writing. Self-pitying, rarely-revealing prose about myself and my fate. Repetitive prose no one will read let alone care about. As I were in that hutch somewhere in the Midlands.

    I am a fool. Writing that line a thousand, a million times will not alter the fact. Yet it is what I do. Write “I am a fool” a thousand, a million times.

    It was a big deal. A very big deal worth celebrating and about half the department went to one of those Canary Wharf pubs that cater to City Boys, though at thirty-eight I was no longer a City Boy. We requisitioned an area for ourselves and our drinks.

    I’d noticed her before of course. American. 5’ 6” or so with a round face, olive skin, and almond eyes. Her black hair long and loose and her navy skirt short and tight. A Harvard B-School degree. But now she was next to me and I could make out, just, her perfume. She must have dabbed it on after we arrived.

    Small talk. What’s it like growing up in New York? Where do you vacation?

    She rose to go to the loo. She “stumbled” and I reached for her waist to stabilize her. Holding her a second longer than necessary. Both of us noticed. Apparently they’re used to this sort of thing; the stalls just big enough and private enough for quick hookups. She said, “on the pill” and I was in her. Over in a flash.

    I had no experience at this sort of thing. It was less than a month later. That flash played over and over in my head. I hadn’t slept well the entire time.

    It was Sunday morning. I was up early, as usual, and had taken the dog out. I put on water to make coffee and sat with my cereal and The Guardian. The dog curled up in her bed after eating, snoring. Normally I have music on lightly but not today. It didn’t seem like a music-on-lightly morning.

    I heard her flush and a minute later she walked into the kitchen. She clipped her “morning” when she saw me. She looked away as she took down a cup and poured coffee for herself. She turned to me. “Refill?” I shook my head.

    “Tell me what it is.” Always so reasonable. Which made it harder for me to tell her what it was. But I told her. Her eyes got steely. A hardness I’d never seen before.

    “OK. Go to her then. Go upstairs, pack your suitcase, and Do Not Come Back.”

    She stood, grabbed the car keys, picked up her bag, and left.

    After three nights at a hotel, I got a sublease on the canal boat. The rent is exorbitant but I find the light rolling of the boat on the River a comfort. It helps me sleep. Insofar as I can sleep, it helps me.

    So another Sunday. Another tale. I find I cannot, when I write, blame my wife. If I wanted to, I could not blame her. She is not perfect. She is human. She is more perfect than I deserved.

    The morning is appropriately cloudy but with a forecast for clearing skies after noon. As I write, there’s a tapping on a window. I pull the drape aside. My wife. I cannot read her. I wave and go to the door to see what she wants. What more she wants.

    When I reach her, her eyes are not steely. They have their usual softness.

    “Come home. You get one more chance.” As I reach for her, a glint of light blinds me for a moment as I again see the sun.

    1. Oh lucky man. Good story. Like that. Thanks for joining.

    2. You wanted a story from the last one. Here it is.


    1. Brilliantly spooky. Good stuff. Thanks for joining.

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  4. Tricky seems like an intriguing character. Your story really fit the picture well. Well done.

  5. Here is my attempt at the weeks picture. A Demon's Trap hope you like it.

  6. Hi Miranda, here's my offering for this weeks' prompt :)

    1. Great twist at the end, liked that.

      Here's a clickable link for other users: The Monster in the Cabin