The Last To See Him – The Murder Mystery Continues

I started writing a murder mystery some time ago, this is the next instalment.

If you want to read this story from the beginning click on this link:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/the-start-of-it-a-short-story-with-familiar-characters/

The Last To See Him

It was quite early in the morning when the telephone rang. Alice had only just brought in the breakfast tray consisting of a soft-boiled egg, toast, some marmalade and the compulsory cup of strong tea.

Placing the tray down on the bed next to Lady Patterson, Alice went and answered the phone.

It wasn’t every day that Audrey Patterson took breakfast in bed. In fact, she would usually have been up, washed and dressed by now, but she had slept badly and her head was being rather a pain. Her mind kept going over and over the events that had taken place. The murders of her friend, Claudia Halifax and her Maid, Elsie, had affected her badly. She had sworn to catch their killers, or it may well be that the killer of Claudia and of Elsie were one and the same.

Continue reading The Last To See Him – The Murder Mystery Continues

A Fools Journey – A Wanderlust

A Fool’s Journey

It was a challenge I couldn’t refuse. To travel to the most distant corners of the world in a hot air balloon, it sounded like an amazing adventure to me.

Continue reading A Fools Journey – A Wanderlust

A short story – Their Song.

She sat upright on the sofa, as was her habit. Her mother had always made her sit upright and at moments like these, she was grateful. It helped keep her together, keep her from slumping down into a heap. In one hand she grasped the photo frame. It was an old photograph of her husband and no one would have recognised him from it, but she remembered. In her mind, he hadn’t changed, not until the very last.

She had put on the old record. It was an old song, but it had meant so much to them both. It had been their first dance at their wedding, and just last year at their golden wedding anniversary they’d danced it again, not quite a deftly, but with just as much love in their eyes. It was their song.

Johnny Mathis’s golden tones rang out from the speakers, singing “Chances Are”.

She held the photograph to her heart and said a final goodbye.

This story was written for the Word of the Day: Chances and the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Song

What Do you See #110 – The Wisdom of the Soul

My Blogging friend, Sadje of the blog, Keep it Alive, is posting a picture challenge. Click on the link:

Rules;

  • You can write a post on your blog and create a pingback to link to the original post.
  • Write an original story, poem or a caption.
  • There is no limit to words or format but keep it family-friendly.
  • If you post a response before next Sunday, I will be able to add it to my roundup post.
  • I will do a round-up next Sunday before the next Prompt is posted.
  • It is always helpful if you can give your post/story/poem a title.
  • Paste a link of your post in the comments section so that I don’t miss anyone in the roundup post.

The Boy was so proud of his new laptop, he’d worked hard to save the money for it and he couldn’t wait to show it to his family.

“Look what I’ve got Grandma”

“That’s fine, but does it make you happy?” She replied solemnly.

“Oh, Yes and It is full of knowledge and wisdom. It said that life is too short to spend it being unhappy, you should only do things that make you happy. Isn’t that very wise?”

The aged grandmother looked up and smiled.

“It is true, you should be happy, but it is even better to make others happy because if you only make yourself happy then, when you’ve died, where has all your happiness gone? Whereas if you make others happy, then your happiness lives on in those you have made happy, and you live on in their joy.”

The boy put down his computer and gave his wise old grandmother a hug.

“That’s a good start,” she said.

The Empathy of Aliens – A multiple Word Prompt Story.

I wrote this story back in July 2018. So much has happened since!

I hope you enjoy this story.

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/04/three-things-challenge-4-july-2018/

Declaration, freedom, fireworks

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/07/04/your-daily-word-prompt-mellifluous-july-4th-2018/

Celebrate

Celebrate

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/04/independence-2/

Independence

FOWC with Fandango — Fireworks

Fireworks

The Empathy of Aliens

‘When did it all go wrong?’ General Anderson asked herself. 

‘We started off trying to defend our freedom and independence but somehow along the way we have lost ourselves.’

She didn’t voice those concerns out loud. She was sitting at a desk and opposite her was a representative of the enemy. This alien species that had come from nowhere to take over the earth, or reclaim it, so they said. They were tall and willowy with huge heads and pointed craniums. They claimed to have come to earth 6000 years before and had taught the earthlings about agriculture, farming, irrigation and how to build great monuments. They claimed to have taught the Mayans, the Egyptians and other ancient civilisations all their secrets. 

Continue reading The Empathy of Aliens – A multiple Word Prompt Story.

50 Word Thursday #57 – The Old Devil of Thorneycroft

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And the words: “One of the hardest things for boys to learn is that a teacher is human. One of the hardest things for a teacher to learn is not to try and tell them.”
― Alan Bennett , The History Boys

I wrote this story some time ago for a 50 Word Thursday challenge, but I thought it fitted the word of the day, which is Grade.

Does it make the grade?

GRADE

Thorneycroft had been famous once, challenging other schools, like Rugby and Winchester for the honour of sending the most alumni to Oxford University. Unfortunately, times had changed and the school closed, leaving behind a wealth of objects to commemorate a century of learning. Now it was a museum, a monument to the past, open to the public for a negligible fee. One of the visitors shuffled along the forgotten corridors and breathed in the aromatic aroma of wood, polish and chalk dust. Heaving a nostalgic sigh, the man walked back into the main hall, filled with statues, his walking cane echoing around the hall and clicked against the marble tiles. Then he stopped and looked up at the statue of a man enrobed in black with a flat-topped mortarboard hat upon its head. The sculptor had excellently captured the bushy beard and even the foreboding glint in those eyes. He remembered that face all too well. He’d been a strict disciplinarian, a bit of a devil, but in an age where caning boys had been the norm, he’d never resorted to physical punishments. He’d been feared but nevertheless was the mainstay of the school. Recalling his last meeting with the man now immortalised aptly in stone, he’d asked him why he’d been so hard.

One of the hardest things for boys to learn is that a teacher is human. One of the hardest things for a teacher to learn is not to try and tell them,” he’d replied smiling.  

[250 Words]

This short story was written for the 50 Word Thursday challenge, click on the link below to see the post, it’s not too late to take part in this challenge, which finished on Wednesday.

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2020/01/30/50-word-thursday-57/

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/your-daily-word-prompt-mainstay-february-3-2020/

FOWC with Fandango — Century

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/rdp-monday-aromatic/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/devil/

A Multiple Word Prompt Story – Bonfire Night

When I was growing up, we never really celebrated Halloween. We had another end of Autumn/beginning of Winter festival that we celebrated instead. It is still celebrated today, but not anywhere near as much as it used to be. It is called Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night.

I should really be posting about this in November, because bonfire night is on the 5th of November and there is a little nursery rhyme that we are all taught so we don’t forget.

“Remember, Remember the 5th of November

With Gunpowder, treason and Plot.

I See no reason why gunpowder treason

should ever be forgot”.

 

http://www.rhymes.org.uk/remember_remember_the_5th_november.htm

 

Growing up, the Schedule of events would always been the same.

We would gather at one of my many uncles or aunties, I was part of a very large extended family, my mother was one of eleven children. I had many cousins ranging in age from adults (well Jane was only 19 but when you’re six, THAT’s OLD) down to 5 years old. I was one of the youngest, but my cousin Simon was six months younger and Danielle was the youngest at 5.

First we would all help build up the bonfire. Cardboard and old bits of wood were piled as high as we could make it.

Then the fire was lit.

I remember my Auntie Vickie would give us all a potato each, which she’d grown on her allotment, and we’d wrap it in Aluminium foil and bury it near the fire.

Next thing, we would set off the fireworks. We never had expensive fireworks then. They were mainly small ones, called pinwheels, that were nailed onto a wooden post and span round, like a Catherine wheel, but smaller.

I remember being told off for being too rash with my sparkler, waving it around rather carelessly. I loved the smell of the gunpowder. Even to this day, I go for a walk on Bonfire night just to smell the phosphorous in the air.

We would also have a ‘Guy’ which was a human effigy. I used to make mine out of a pair of my dad’s old overalls stuffed with newspaper. My mum would put sparklers in the arms so when we threw it on the fire, the sparklers would light and it would be really exciting, it would illuminate all the faces of my family standing round the fire.

When the fire burned down a bit, we would rescue the potatoes and eat them with lashing of butter. Other culinary delights would be toffee apples, usually made from apples that had gone a bit soft dunked in toffee (which is a bit like caramel but more buttery and it goes hard in the cold). Sometimes we would have Candifloss, which is known as Cotton Candy in the US.

I remember it was always cold on Bonfire night. We rarely had snow, but your breath would always steam up, even standing near the fire. We would drink hot cocoa or warm ribena, which the grown-ups had Tea, or Coffee, or sometimes Mulled Wine.

Finally, after all the excitement, we would play board games, like monopoly or snakes and ladders, which was a good way of calming down after the fireworks.

I remember so many happy times. Now days, I hate fireworks, the loud bangs, I feel shellshocked. Most of my family have gone now, I don’t see many of my cousins any more, but it’s nice to reminisce.

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/three-things-challenge-07-sept-2018/#like-2759

Today’s things are: cotton candy, Snakes & Ladders, pinwheel

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/rash/#like-403

FOWC with Fandango — Schedule

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/your-daily-word-prompt-illuminate-september-7th-2018/#like-581

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/friday-rdp-coffee/#like-806

 

 

 

 

 

Manic Mondays 3-Way Challenge – The Ice Witch of Norway.

I thought it was time to repost this short story I wrote a couple of years ago on returning from a trip to Norway. The Word of the Day is Horrific, so I hope this story fits the bill.

HORRIFIC

This story was written in response to Laura M Bailey’s challenge. See Link:

https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2018/10/15/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-witch-witchy-bewitched/

You may also wish to read my previous entry for the 3-way challenge:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/manic-mondays-3-way-challenge-so-hungry-are-the-damned-a-dark-poem/

Screenshot_20181014-105816_Google

The Ice Witch of Norway

There was a Witch who lived in a simple hut in the mountains of the far north of Norway.

The Winters were long and harsh and ravaged the land between October and early May.

During the Winter months, the people huddled together in their wooden houses around the fire and prayed for the Spring.

The Witch lived alone in the hill and seemed to delight in the snow, dancing and capering on all but the most terrible snow storms.

People started to believe that this woman was responsible for bringing the winter that she seemed to enjoy so much.

It was her fault that the Winters were so harsh. It was her fault that the lambs and kids born early would perish in the late winter frosts.

After one particularly bad blizzard, the menfolk gathered in the beer house drinking the last of their precious brew.

“Something has got to be done!” Cried Olav Harkensson.

“She was out dancing again last night,” agreed Nils Thorssen, “There were lights flashing in the sky, bright greens. She was casting a spell. Bringing this storm down upon us, no doubt”.

As the menfolk talked and drank, they began to grow braver and more stupid. They no longer feared the magic that the Witch could bring down upon them. This winter had been particularly bad, it was nearly May and it was still not showing signs of departing. Eventually, they grabbed torches and pitchforks and went to find the witch.

The blizzard had passed but it was still snowing lightly as they climbed up the mountain path onto the high plateau where the Witch lived. Her hut was built near the steep side of a mountain, near a frozen waterfall and the snow-covered meadow that she danced in.

She must have sensed their presence because the door opened and she strode out, tall and proud to meet them.

Her long red hair caught in the wind and flapped around her white face. Her dark wool cloak also flapped like a banner in the cold icy air.

Defiantly she stood in front of her simple hut.

“What do you want?” She shouted in a clear voice that carried and echoed around the valley.

Olav Harkensson, who was the self-appointed leader of the group, stepped forward.

“Leave this place, you foul Witch and take this accursed Winter away with you!”

The Witch threw back her head and laughed.

“And what if I fail to acquiesce to your request? What will you do then?”

The angry mob drew back from the glare of her eyes. Some people made the sign of the cross across their fur-clad chests. A young firebrand by the name of Magnus Vigmir ran forward, either braver than the rest or drunker and threw his flaming torch at the Witch’s hut.

Despite the snow, the timber caught alight quickly and within a short moment, the hut was ablaze.

Boldened by this move, the men rushed forward brandishing their pitchforks.

Before they could reach her, the Witch wrapped her black cloak around her and transformed into an enormous raven.

The mob shouted in horror and clung to each other in fear like little boys.

The raven flew around them and the Witches voice called out.

“Fools, You Fools! It was not I who brought the Winter. The Winter clings hard to all the lands this far north, but I summoned the Spring every year followed by the Summer. I could only do this for a few months before Winter returned to claim what is rightfully hers. Now I will leave to find somewhere else to call home.”

The Raven flew away to the west and was never seen again. The Spring never came that year and the people either perished or moved further south and closer to the sea. To this day, that valley in the far north of Norway is known as the Valley of Eternal Winter.

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 16/October/2018

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/10/16/your-daily-word-prompt-acquiesce-october-16-2018/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/10/18/rdp-thursday-blizzard/

Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea – Finale.

A few days ago I reposted a story I wrote  about a woman on holiday, called Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea. See here:

A multiple word prompt story – Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea.

Well it didn’t seem finished and a few people told me that it needed some more, so I wrote part two here:

Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea – Part Two

But it still wasn’t finished. So here is the finale.

Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea – Finale

Jane walked down the street from the apartment complex to the main part of town. She heard a couple of guys wolf whistle as she went past. She smiled to herself. Her fifty-year-old body may not be as slim as it used to be, in fact curvaceous would have been a kinder description, but clearly, she still had it. Then she heard footsteps behind her. Angela was walking a long behind her wearing a white sarong dress over her black bikini with a black wide-brimmed hat. She wore stylish espadrille wedges on her feet that gave her extra height. Jane felt a pang of jealousy as she realised the wolf whistles hadn’t been for her at all but for Angela’s stunning twenty-something year old figure instead.

Angela walked up to her and gave her a warm smile. “Hi Jane, are you headed into town too? Do you mind if I join you?”

Continue reading Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea – Finale.

Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea – Part Two

A couple of days ago I wrote a short story about a woman on holiday, called Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea. See here:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/a-multiple-word-prompt-story-sun-sea-and-a-cup-of-tea/

Well it didn’t seem finished and a few people told me that it needed some more, so here is part two.

Part Two

Jane opened the door to her apartment. To her relief her husband had managed to wake up, all by himself and judging by the sound of the shower was preparing himself for the day ahead. It was twenty minutes past ten and he’d been asleep since eleven o’clock last night. She had heard practically every snore. She was beginning to worry that he’d gone into some kind of hibernation. She’d always suspected he was at least half bear, he was hairy enough from the neck down. When they’d met he had a good head of hair too, but that had since deserted his head like snow deserted the mountains in summer. He claimed that thirty years of marriage to her had caused it to fall out.

She walked over to her open suit case and took out her travel kettle. She knocked on the bathroom door. “Who is it?” Her husband called out. Who does he think it is? She wondered.

Putting on a bit of an accent she replied “It’s Lolita your Spanish maid can I come in and squeeze your bottom?”

Continue reading Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea – Part Two