Wednesday, 18 December 2013


December bloghop.You are welcome to submit any of the following – flash fiction, poetry, non-fiction or playscripts to a word count of 1,000 words – artwork and photographs accompanied by your written inspiration in creating your work/s. ..

Here is my fictional story


‘Tell me again why we are hosting Christmas with all your family.’  Dan’s arms were folded across his chest; his legs apart, his feet firmly placed on the ground.  His stance was as aggressive as I’ve ever known him. 

‘Well,’ I began looking at his angry face.  The scowl was ferocious, his eyes glittering hard with anger.  ‘What do you want to do instead?’  I’d put the ball firmly back in his court.  I didn't have to explain it again to him.  Every year was the same, all the family came to us, we cooked the big dinner with all the trimmings, we pulled crackers, wore the silly hats, told the silly jokes out of the crackers, drank the wine, cleared up and then distributed the presents from under the tree to the recipients.  Then we had a cup of tea and then we started all over again with laying the table ready for high tea. 

I was fed up with this argument every year.  Christmas was traditional.  Family came over and then they went home after eating all our food and drinking all our booze.

‘We could go away.’  The stance was still there but his eyes had relaxed a little bit.

I nodded.  I looked at the pain in his eyes.  One day I would give in and do what he wanted.  One day it would be too late to have a traditional Christmas.  One day we would be on our own when the kids wouldn’t want to come round and we’d have to go to their houses.  One day out of 365 days.  

One day of the year that everybody’s hopes were high, emotions became fraught with cooking turkeys, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, vegetables, chestnut stuffing, sausage stuffing, vegetables, roast beef, two gravy boats and feeling stuffed then forcing down Christmas pudding or sherry trifle, cheese and biscuits on offer, coffee and mints or a liqueur to round off the meal.

‘Scotland maybe or a luxury cruise,’ Dan wouldn’t let it go.  ‘A winter wonderland, snow in the Highlands, roaring log fires.  It would be good for us.’   He wasn't going to plead but he would make it seem romantic.

I tried to stifle my laughter.  I had a vision of Dan in a kilt, Dan trying to play the bagpipes, Dan eating haggis (yuk).  I could probably enjoy it.  In fact I know I would enjoy it if I could get rid of the guilt feelings of leaving my family over the festive period.

‘We could take in New Year as well.  That would be a sight to see, New Year’s Eve in Scotland.  What do you say, darling?’  Dan opened his arms and held out his hands, palms up, inviting me in to his body.

I went willingly enough.  We embraced with all the love we had for each other.   I disengaged myself from his arms and walked into the kitchen.  

‘OK Dan.  Next year we will go away, just you and me.’  

I started opening cupboards, gathering up flour, sugar and mincemeat to make mince pies.   From the corner of my eye I saw him begin to relax.  

Christmas day came, the sun shone brightly, there was a nip in the air but no snow.  Dan and I worked hard all morning, shoving the turkey in the oven, peeling potatoes ready for roasting, peeling and chopping vegetables and putting the Christmas pudding on to steam for a good four or five hours.

Midday the first flurry of guests arrived.  Coats were taken and hung, kisses exchanged, drinks in hands and conversation started to flow as the excited kids told grandparents what they had received in their stockings.

Food and drink was consumed, dishes cleared, wrapping paper littered the lounge floor.  A deep sigh of relief could be felt in the room.  No arguments, no presents disliked, all the kids behaved as did the grown-ups.  

High tea, gammon, salad, cold meats, pickles, salad, cheese board, chocolate blancmange rabbits, mince pies, sausage rolls and more alcohol passed everybody’s lips.  Paper plates, plastic cutlery thrown away, a nice easy meal to clear up.

Sitting around the cleared dining room table the cards came out, Uno was played and enjoyed with some entering into the competitive spirit of the game more so than others.  The little ones tried to play with a lot of help from the adults. 

Eventually the couples began to leave, thanks were given for a lovely time, the house emptied and Dan and I were left on our own. 
‘I thought that went very well.  One of the best Christmas day’s we’ve had so far.’  I grinned at Dan as I tried to cuddle him.  His body was stiff with contained rage.  

‘You didn't hear what your mother said, then?’

‘Oh don't start, Dan.  Let’s just go to bed and we can rest and chill out tomorrow.’

Dan harrumphed and started turning all the lights out and making the house secure. 
Another year over, another traditional Christmas saved.  So next year might be different for us, I hadn't forgotten my promise to Dan.  Next year we would start some new traditions just for ourselves.

Word Count: 866

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

WWBH Market Day

1)Write a story using both photos.
2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.
3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne)
4) You have the next week to post.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow!

Tuesday 17 December 2013


Sammy jostled Susie as they ran down the steps to the parked car.  Their dad was sitting in the driver’s seat sipping his drink. The children quickly belted up, grinned at each other and started singing.

‘Hey guys, give me a chance,’ their dad spoke through a hidden smile.  He placed his drink back in the cup holder in the side of the door. ‘We’re still waiting for your mum.’

‘She sent us out to annoy you, Dad,’ Sammy chuckled.

‘I bet she did,’ replied Dad.
‘Where are we going today, daddy?’  Susie’s small voice piped up from the back of the car.

‘A magical mystery tour,’ was the cryptic reply.

‘You always say that,’ Sammy pouted and then caught his dad’s eye in the rear view mirror.

Sarah opened the passenger door and plopped down in her seat.  ‘All set, everyone?  Then let’s go, Jim.’ She pointed her finger out of the windscreen.  ‘Make it so!’

‘Aye, aye, captain.’  The car purred gently down the drive on to the main road.   

Half an hour later and after several frustrating minutes finding a parking space, the family piled out of the car.  Down below in the town square they observed the multitude of colourful canopies sheltering the market stalls.  People were milling around like little ants scurrying about their business.

Susie grabbed her dad’s hand; Sammy took his mum’s hand as they walked down the hill to the market place. 

Sammy felt the coins in his trouser pocket; they were hot and sticky where he held them tightly.  Grandma had given them a couple of pounds each for this day out, he was under strict instructions not to buy any rubbish.  At ten years old he was thought to be responsible enough to keep and spend his own money.

Susie would have to ask her mum if she wanted to spend anything because at five years old she was too little to know the value of money.  Sammy was going to see if he could find something pretty to buy for his Grandma for Christmas, some embroidered handkerchiefs she liked to use.  He wondered if he would have enough to buy other presents.  

He was beginning to understand when his mum and dad said they didn't have enough money for some things.  When you had a few coins in your pocket once you’d spent them then they were all gone.  

What he didn’t understand was why his parents didn’t actually use money but used a piece of plastic card.  His dad had many different ones and always had to think quite hard which one he put in to a machine before he bought anything. 

His mum and dad stopped at a stall and looked at the lovely things on display.  His dad put his arm around his mum and said, ‘perhaps next year darling.’  His dad patted his mum’s swelling tummy where the new baby was growing.  She was going to be their last baby his dad had said yesterday.

Word Count: 500

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

WWBH Short Story

1) Write a story using both photos.
2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.
3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne)
 4) You have the next week to post.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow! Remember: the blog hop is about creative writing and community, so feel free to invite a friend to join in!

The weekend was lovely and homely
Family were well behaved and chatty
It was what she needed as they picked berries
Ripe and juicy autumnal fruits to make Perry

Time to return to the city came all too soon
The Board meeting was set for noon
The confidential folder she’d seen in his drawer
Had worried her all week and now furthermore

She had a nasty inkling of what it contained
It pulled and pricked at her like a muscle sprain
For her to win the much coveted and competed for role
Acting innocent like a secret spy, an undercover mole

She’d befriended colleagues, made tea and coffee
Cooked homemade fudge and some toffee
Her tongue had become twisted with untruths and lies
She weaved her web, caught and trapped numerous flies

Her family always loved her no matter what
They were ignorant of life in the jungle of concrete
Walls and boxes, stairs and elevators, secret corners
Smiles were snide, words were spoken without honour

 Brilliant white teeth, fake tans, false nails, dyed hair,
The facade was maintained day by day with ultimate care
A professional veneer, a shield of protection, guarded
The brain was over worked, the body tired and jaded

She knocked on his office door, firm and authoritative
Entered, waited, sure the verdict would be vindictive
The folder lay on his desk in full view nothing covert
He cleared his throat; blue eyes stared at her direct

She kept her demeanour, sat straight and elegant
He started to speak, a low deep rumble, the voice fluent
She understood his words but comprehension took longer
As they sank in her emotions became stronger and stronger
She restrained herself from whooping with joy and glee
She wanted to shout hoorah, she accepted breathily

Her work colleagues cheered as she came out of the door
They’d all suspected the outcome long before
She was perfect for the role, her promotion long overdue
She was the only one who didn't have a clue

Now the fun would begin as she moved to a different continent
She would miss her family and friends in lands that were distant
Working hard, playing hard, living her life to the full
The wonder of travel, seeing new places had a magical pull

It would see her through the next five years
There would be some heartache, some tears
The company would reward hard work and toil
She would give them her soul, her life, her all.