Wednesday 7 July 2021

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 207

This week's picture prompt was taken by Svetlana Sewell. She gives no details about where this is taken or when, but I thought it had a story to tell. She has a great selection of interesting photos. Worth a look. 

Another peek at some of the story line I am trying to put together for Tricky's second book. (Last Tricky Tale was on Week 206)

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 cracked an eye open through her pounding head. She was in a bloody bath – literally. Tricky shuffled round, her booted feet clanging on the old metal tub, until she was pulled up short by the chains on her wrists.

She tilted her head back to look at them and her brain felt like it hit the edges of her skull with force. Ow! She could just make out the metal ring in the wall they had put the handcuff chain through.

It was dark and dingy in here … here being an underground cavern of some sort. But the walls were smooth so this wasn’t some dug out hole; it had once been a proper bathroom. She put her hand on it and felt the smooth but damp plaster underneath; a creation that was long forgotten to the time before the shift. Such luxury. Some had tried to recreate it, but never got it this silky. It had no grain in it, and was entirely flat.

As Tricky’s mind came back online, she looked down at all the blood in the bath. Was it hers? She tentatively touched the side of her head. Her fingers came away sticky. Probably. She moved her body but couldn’t find any other large holes, just gashes and cuts, and a couple of finger nails missing.

She tried to recall how she had ended up here. She’d been found – how they’d managed to see through her veil she didn’t know. And then there’d been the interrogation. Oh that’s right, it all came flooding back now. She’d thought Carter had been violent and cruel, but Stanislov’s men had taken it to a whole new level. They’d beaten her about quite a bit but she was made of stronger stuff. And then there’d been Lucien!

She sat up quickly, regretting it immediately as her head screamed, causing her to retch – there was nothing to throw up; she’d emptied her stomach during their torture session.

Dufray was here. She’d heard his cries when he’d realised they had her. She hadn’t fully understood them either. What had he meant by don’t let them take it? What was the ‘it’? Had he meant the Obsidian or something else? But why had they been holding him? He was in with them after all.

None of it made sense, and her head hurt too much for her to try and work it out right now. She had to go within and regrow her energy and heal herself. But when she tried she couldn’t find an energy source. She was underground of course – and they’d placed her in a metal tub.

Shit! They knew more than she thought. Someone had been feeding them insider information, and she was beginning to doubt it was Dufray. 


  1. Laughing Stock

    My dining partner & I were seated right by the kitchen. This was my ideal position but Mrs Spatchcock (she's actually my cleaner but she has a good food knowledge from all her favourite TV chefs & my soon-to-be ex- wife wouldn't know bechamel from bok choy) wanted to be in the window so, as she put it, passersby could see her in her best dress and tiara, eating all the fine food.

    The unique selling point of The Laughing Stock, is the soups & sauces. A stock pot in the basement is kept on a low simmer all day long and has been that way since the restaurant opened in 1967. Vegetable trimmings, picked clean chicken carcasses & myriad bones & offal scraps are added daily & the whole thing topped up with gallons of water.

    I was hoping to see it and had primed Mrs Spatchcock - Madge - to back me up when I made my request. Many critics had asked but they always got the bum's rush off. I ordered two bottles of champagne. The six vodkas I'd had earlier seemed to be wearing off.

    Madge declared the Kidney, Parsnip & Parsley Broth the best she'd ever had while I was flabbergasted by my Oxtail & Banana Boullion with Crunchy Liver Croutons.

    We moved onto our mains. Madge chose a dish they'd been serving since the day they opened, Lobster Thermidor. She declared it 'distinctly Bovrily'. My dish of choice was the most adventurous & controversial thing on the menu. Veal with a pound of Fois Gras. A single mini carrot garnished it. And one wispy pea shoot.

    I polished off the lot, washed down with the last of the Champagne. I ordered a bottle of Claret.

    I asked to see the head chef. He arrived at our table within minutes. Mrs Spatchcock appeared disappointed, remarking on his shortness before he reached us.

    Chef did a low bow 'The stock pot? Yes, you can see it. I'll call our top kitchen porter to escort you to the basement.'

    I moved from flabbergasted to gob-smacked. So easy. We met the porter at the kitchen door.

    'That's more like it' Madge looked up with delight at the woman, all six feet five of her.

    The size of kitchen staff was not something I'd ever considered in the past but I'd always thought Madge was that way inclined.

    She gasped when she saw the stock pot. It was an ancient tin bath, the water level & temperature low. Then, appropriately, she laughed. The kitchen porter took her hand, helped her slip out of her dress and step into the bath. She sank into the murky depths and, with a look of utter bliss, breathed in the meaty, vegetabley steam.


    The kitchen porter, with a toothless grin, produced a back scrubbing loofah.

    I left them to it. I could hear their laughter at the top of the basement steps. I returned to my table. It was time for pudding. I fancied the cheesecake.


    1. Disturbing! Apologies for the late read! Thanks for joining.