Friday, 2 August 2019


'It's an elephant' announced Joey.

'Tis not it's a castle with two turrets', said Mikey.

'It's definitely an elephant' Joey insisted, 'look there's it's ears, eyes and one tusk'.

'That's not a tusk it's a window and there's a light on. Elephants have two tusks so why's it only got one,' said Mikey.

Julie listened to her five year old twins arguing over the photograph. She'd spent ages looking at it, trying to think of something to write. It was a writing prompt after all. Unfortunately her mind was still a blank, but at least she knew now that Joey needed his eyes testing. It was definitely a photo of a castle.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Flat white

Photo by Mauro on Unsplash

Lorana swore under her breath as the contents of the cup she was holding turned green and started to bubble up.
She quickly  emptied the cup, grabbed a clean one from the stacks in front of her and tried again, this time it worked and she passed the flat white to the customer with a sigh of relief.

Being a witch wasn't as easy as people assumed, Lorana couldn't just work a spell to become rich and gone are the days when the neighbours would pay money for a love potion or a curse.

Lorana had to work for a living just like everyone else. But finding work wasn't easy, nothing with computers as her magic had a tendency to fry them.

At first the job in the cafe had been great, the cafe had been run by the same family for years. The fittings were so old they had come back in to fashion and called retro. There was an old fashioned pushbutton till, urns of boiling water for hot drinks using instant coffee and tea bags. Gas rings for frying bacon, eggs and sausages it had been hard work but at least nothing could go wrong.

Until, that is, Jason arrived on the scene, fresh from college and determined to turn his grandparents cafe into the IN place to be.

He was happy with the retro look of the cafe, he loved the old fashioned till but not the urns. The urns had to go, they were replaced with a state of the art coffee machine and Lorana was expected to become a barrista.

Lorana tried, she really did but the harder she tried the more stressed she became. The more stressed she became the less control she had over her magic.

She knew Jason was watching her carefully and that made things worse.
Eventually after a few weeks when the situation still hadn't improved Jason asked Lorana to stay after work for a chat. Lorana's heart sank, she knew he was going to sack her. She struggled through the rest of the day with a heavy heart.
Once the last customer had left and the doors locked Jason leant against the coffee machine and looked at Lorana.
 'I've noticed you seem to have a problem with the coffee machine' he said.
Lorana nodded miserably. 'Let me show you something' said Jason.
'Its no good' she blurted out.
Jason held up his hand, 'Just watch'.
He took a cup and filled it with black coffee, hot and strong. Lorana was about to point out that black coffee should be made in a glass as, but he put his finger to his lips. He pointed his finger at the cup and concentrated, the tip of his finger started to glow. 'Flat white' Jason murmured and the black coffee in the cup turned instantly to a flat white!

Saturday, 13 July 2019


Like a lot of the homeless he doesn't make eye contact, he's not begging so he doesn't need to interact.

He did beg to start with hoping someone would take pity on him but now he doesn't bother, all it ever got him was another kicking.

He smells horrible and he knows it but he's past caring. He used to keep himself clean, tidy and well groomed, though he was never a fashion victim, he'd never been attractive enough.

He's cold, his coat is threadbare and offers little protection from the rain and wind.
He is small and skinny so he just tries to make himself as small as possible and tries to ignore the traffic roaring past in front the dark corner he has squeezed him self into.

He's heard that there is now a policy of moving the homeless on and out of the area, maybe someone important is visiting the area or maybe the general public have complained. He moves further back into the dark recess where he is hiding.

He used to have a good life, a home and someone to love. He's not even sure why it all went wrong, it wasn't booze or drugs, but go wrong it did and look where he'd ended up.

He's close to giving up, he can feel his body shutting down, he has had nothing to eat or drink for ages now. Maybe one morning he just won't wake up, he's hoping that it happens soon.

He finally falls asleep through sheer exhaustion, vivid dreams disturb him. Then it isn't a dream, bright lights, shouting, someone grabs him, drags him out of his dark corner and shackles him. He is thrown into the back of a van with a dozen others, he sits quietly, some of the others are aggressive and noisy, some quiet.

The journey seems to take hours but eventually the van reaches its destination and they are all dragged out and thrown into individual cells, bare apart from a small hard bed.

He sits in the corner unmoving, frozen now with fear. What will happen next? Does he even care any more.
He's offered food and drink but refuses it.

He's dragged into another room, prodded and poked by someone in a,white coat he is made to shower, asked questions that he ignores. Eventually he is returned to his bare cell.

Time drags, he eventually accepts the food and drink he is given but he still refuses to make eye contact or answer any questions.

Eventually he is moved out of his cell, what new terror awaits him now.

A few minutes in the fresh air and then a precarious walk to some steep steps. At least this place is warm and there is something to sit on other than the cold tiled floor.

He sits very still waiting to see what happens next, nothing happens for sometime though someone is sat beside him. She asks no questions, she just sits, very still and very quiet. Time passes, everywhere is quiet and darkness falls.

Eventually he moves, stealthily and slowly, nearer the woman sitting next to him. She smiles but still says nothing. Closer and closer he edges until he is right beside her. She moves her arm and he wriggles onto her lap and her arms wrap round him.

'Good boy' she whispers, 'good dog, you have a new home now you're safe'.

Friday, 12 July 2019

New story

This is a piece of Flash fiction I've written in response to a writing prompt by Lyssa Medana.

She knew as soon as she walked in to the office that she was going to enjoy this job. It was the sign hung over water cooler that made it so. One of those stupid signs that read You Don't Have To Be Crazy To Work Here But It Helps. The casual use of the word crazy immediately lessened any feelings of guilt she might have had.

There were twelve of them in the team altogether and she immediately picked out the most likely ones.

There was the kooky one, Maybelle, who thought that cackling like a banshee made her kooky. Her desk almost invisible under mounds of hideous knick knacks, mooning gnomes and rude sayings. No room for any work to be done on her desk.

The mother hen, Joan, massively overweight and smelling of BO. Smiling fatuously, her desk was covered in photos of kittens. Always ready to listen to everyone's problems and offer advice but no time to do the job she was paid for.

The couple, Dan and Angie, eyes only for each other and no conversation beyond their planned wedding day. All their time was taken up with making lists and browsing pinterest for wedding ideas.

The letch, Peter, incapable of talking to any woman face to face, he talked to their boobs, all the time his hand in his pocket, constantly juggling what she hoped was his small change. 

People were so stupid, no one questioned why a temp had been taken on when there was barely enough work to go around. They all talked about the hatchet man from head office that was due any day, they all thought they were safe as they convinced themselves they were working hard. Pah, they had no idea what hard work was.

Still she'd made an effort to look as though she fitted in, no one would ever suspect her, she was small, quiet and self effacing. She changed her appearance from job to job, different hair colour or style, different makeup. She happily took on all the tasks the others didn't want to do, none of them realising that they were edging closer to losing their job.

Usually her decisions were based on facts, which members of staff were productive and which weren't but this time her judgment was clouded by that bloody sign.
As soon as she knew definitely who'd hung the sign above the water cooler the list would be complete and would be emailed to Head Office.
She hated that sign with a bloody vengeance, years of being pointed out at school as the girl who's mother was crazy.
Suffering from post partum depression wasn't the same as being crazy, she knew that now but she still hated that bloody sign.