50 Word Thursdays – Skim Like a Swan

“You’d better hurry.”

Natasha Tarpley, The Harlem Charade


This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday challenge, this week hosted by Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith. See like below:


Now, you may be thinking that Thursday was a while ago, but it isn’t too late to have a go at this challenge, entries must be in by Wednesday before a new challenge goes out this Thursday.

Here is my story for the prompt:


He was proud of his student. At first, he was like the others, doubting their abilities and failing to push their limits.

It had taken a while to remove those doubts from the young man’s mind. Once he’d cleared his mind, only then did he become teachable.

He had to prove to the boy, that all things are possible. He could learn to run like the cheetah or fly like the eagle. It had taken many years, but he did not regret that huge donation of his time.

He watched his student take the lead in the Olympics Hurdles. He’d learned his lessons well. He could run the cheetah, soar over each hurdle like an eagle and even skim over the water like a Swan.

After the young man had passed the finishing line, he jogged over to his trainer. The old man had been a hard teacher so he was shocked to see tears in those eyes.

“Thank you for your lessons, Master.” He said, bowing respectfully.

His trainer did something he had never seen. He smiled as a tear fell from his left eye and said “You’d better Hurry or you’ll miss your award ceremony. Your first Gold.”

[200 Words]


I have also included the three things challenge prompts:


Today’s prompt: limits, donation, eagle

and the Word of the Day: Teachable.



Friday Fictioneers – A Remnant of Grandeur.

PHOTO PROMPT © Anshu Bhojnagarwala


Walking down the street, the Piano merchant stopped and stared appalled.

A grand piano stood there, looking forlorn and in danger of falling apart. Someone had filled it with soil and various plants, mainly daisies and lavender.

It broke his heart to see this once impressive instrument that must have produced fine music, invoking a wonderful spirit of harmony and beauty, reduced to being a plant pot.

Moving closer, he saw above the keys what he knew would be there, the name ‘Erard’. It was on a Piano such as this that the great Beethoven and Liszt once played.

[99 words]


This story was written for the Friday Fictioneers Challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to take part, please click on the link below to see her post:

15 March 2019

I have also incorporated the following word prompts:


Today’s prompt: merchant, danger, lavender



A Public Scene – A Multiple Word Prompt Story.

man couple people woman
Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

“I Delate you for the shameless hussy that you are!” He shouted at her through the letterbox.

The neighbours gathered round to hear the latest slinging match. The two moved in just a year ago and it had been constant drama and arguments ever since.

“I know he’s in there with you!” He screamed.

The window upstairs opened and his wife emerged, a pink satin dressing gown wrapped around her slinky shoulders.

“Will you keep it down! I have had it up to here with your petty jealousies. You used to be my Knight in shining armour but that soon fizzled out. You just couldn’t live up to the promises. That’s it, I want a Divorce!”

“I know Steve’s up there with you. You gave me your pledge that it was all over. Well if you want a Divorce, you can have one. You can have the house but I want the car, the Wifi, The Umbrella and of course, I want custody of Oliver.”

“Oh, No you don’t, you are not having custody of Oliver. You can’t have him.”

“Just watch me”. He smashed open the front door, forgetting that they always kept a spare key under the mat and ran into the house.

He emerged ten minutes later with a bright orange Umbrella tucked under his arm, the Wifi box held by its cable between his teeth and carrying a large aquatic tank.

Inside the tank was a small Octopus, swimming around, appearing to enjoy the ride.

His wife screamed from the window “Nooo! Bring back Oliver, he’s my Octopus!”

With everything he’d been carrying placed in the back of his car. He drove off into the sunset.

The neighbours applauded. Shakespeare had nothing on these two.


Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 13/March/2019



Today’s prompt: divorce, umbrella, octopus



FOWC with Fandango — WiFi





Twittering Tales – A Man on a Mission.

Photo by Pexel2013 at Pixabay.com


He turned up the collar of his raincoat and finished off his cigar.

The train’s brakes squealing as it stopped on schedule.

Throwing the end of the cigar on the floor he put a lozenge in his mouth and boarded the Orient Express.

He was on a mission and it was time for action.

[274 Characters]


This story was written for Kat Myrman’s Twittering Tales Challenge:

Twittering Tale #127 – 12 March 2019


I have also included the following word prompts:


Today’s prompt: lozenge, mission, raincoat



Night of the Living Nanny – A multiple Word Prompt Story.

people lurking around on snow field near mountains
Photo by Samuel Walker on Pexels.com


The world had rapidly gone downhill. The human race and life as they knew it was coming to an end.

Global warming and climate change were not going to cause the end of life but something else entirely that no one could have predicted. In a way, Climate change was to blame. It had caused the Avalanche in the remote skiing resort of the Swiss Alps that only the very wealthy set could afford to go to. The Avalanche had revealed the hidden cave that had been covered for centuries, millennia, even.

The thawing had released the virus into the air, scientists have since confirmed. Initially, one young lady had become infected while on holiday in that exclusive resort. Then she’d returned home to Chelsea in London to her job as a Nanny looking after the children of the nobility. Inadvertently she has passed the virus on to all her colleagues as they gathered in the park to gossip about the bad habits of their employers.

For some reason, the virus only affected young women of the wealthy set, something to do with their genetic makeup and centuries of inbreeding.

The Virus had turned all those Nannies into Zombies!

He was keeping watch from the upstairs window of the farmhouse. A report on the radio had said the horde of zombie nannies was heading this way.

Loading his spare rifle, he handed it to his son, David.

“What do I do, Dad?” he asked

Glancing back down the drive he saw them. Thirty or forty black shapes pushing prams and heading slowly but relentlessly towards them.

“Just fire when you see the reds of their eyes, son.”


Disclaimer: This story was only a bit of light-hearted fun, so please, if you happen to be a Nanny or a Zombie, please don’t take offence. 


This story contains the following word prompts:


Today’s prompt: report, nanny, zombies



FOWC with Fandango — Watch



Hard times at the Studio – 50 Word Thursday

“Funny little thing, aren’t you?” Chris Hall, A Sextet of Shorts


The Cartoon studio had fallen on hard times.

Budget cuts had to be made.

They closed the studio canteen. No more brunch.

Studio bosses decided to hire out their stars to the Circus.

The Circus owner tutted to himself at the gathering of assorted characters.

“What a collection of misfits,” He thought to himself.

Gazing down at a weird blue creature that sort of looked like a bird, he said “Funny little thing, aren’t you? Well, we’ll try you out on the Sword swallowing, here you go” he handed Gonzo a broadsword that was nearly as tall as he was. “Practise of this.”

Then he came to a bear wearing a hat. The bear jumped in front of him and shouted at full volume “Wacca, Wacca, Wacca!”

The Circus Owner said, “We’ll fire you out of the cannon.”

Next, he came across a feisty pig wearing a dress.

“Do you have something for glamorous Moi?”

“You can be our oracle. That way you can wear a veil.”

Miss Piggy stormed off.

Finally, there were just a frog and a pink panther.

“How are your heads for heights, boys?” He said pointing to a tightrope about a Mile off the ground.


[200 Words]


This story was written for the 50 word Thursday challenge, see link below:



I have also included the following prompts:


Today’s prompt: oracle, brunch, volume


50 Word Thursday – The Results!

So, Fire the Cannon! The contest is over for another week.

In collaboration with Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, I am continuing the 50 word Thursday Challenge that was hosted by Deb Whittam of the blog Twenty Four. Deb has decided to call it a day with the challenge and move on to other things.

Teresa and I both thought it such a shame and have agreed to try keeping it going, taking it in turns to play host.


The Challenge was to write a story or poem in 50 word multiples up to a maximum of 250 words in response to a photo prompts and a sentence.


And here are the words:

“They travelled in comfortable companionship, talking about their daily lives.” – Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith

Here is my post from last Thursday:


We had a really good selection of entries this week.


50 Word Thursday – Left to Right




50 Word Thursdays 9 –Friends for Life

How Do Women Do It?

From The Diary of a Country Bumpkin:

Four friends went on a trip, they travelled in comfortable companionship, talking about their daily lives. Good friends can lose touch for years but it doesn’t matter. One of them said, “I killed my wife, I’ve been in prison. “Oh,” said the others and continued to look at the view.



50 Words Thursday # 9



And not forgetting this one by Fandango!




I recommend you have a read and check out these great tales.

Thank you to everyone that took part.

I feel it has been a fantastic achievement.


Now I am passing the baton on to that guru of writing challenges, Teresa, the Haunted Wordsmith and I’m off to relax with a nice cup of tea and a shortbread biscuit.




Today’s prompt: shortbread, cannon, guru




Space Encounters of an Awkward Kind.

This story was written for Teresa, the Haunted Wordsmith’s Genre Challenge. See the link below:


The idea is to write a story in the chosen genre and using the picture below as the inspiration.

Genre: Space Opera

Space ship interior hallway. There is a staircase leading up on the far left, two elevators, and a large sky painting in the middle of the hallway's back wall. The floor is pink and black carpeting with shiny black tile bordering.

They bumped into each other in the transporter lounge on the Intergalactic Space Cruiser. Of all the people in the galaxy she wanted to see again, he was the last one, unless of course, she’d seen him in the hands of the Assassins guild.

“Perolla? Is that you? After all these years! How are you?” He called out to her, a big stupid grin on his face and his arms open wide.

Surely he should know she’d never want to see him again, not after what he’d done. So that was nearly a century ago. Men and women were so different. As they say, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. Certainly, after the International Separation Act had been passed by the Senate that had become a fact. They had decided the two sexes were better off living on different space colonies, only interacting when strictly necessary.

“Fyndor! What are you doing here? This vessel is reserved for retired senators and civil servants not swindling uranium dealers.”

“Well, what are you doing here then? Are you still an exotic dancer? Are you part of the entertainment team?”

“No, you nerfherder! I’m the former Senator for the Delta Quadrant and I’m supposed to be enjoying a cruise around the Spider nebula, that was until you turned up.”

“Are you still bearing a grudge about what happened, when was that, 89 years ago? Come on, Perolla, let it go, for goodness sake!”

“You nearly had me killed! I had no idea what that package contained that you asked me to look after for you. Rigellian Blood Moss is a banned substance in almost every quadrant and when your friends showed up I had to shoot my way out!”

“Look, I said I was sorry. I had no idea the Patrellian Mafia was so close on my trail.”

“Anyway, I suggest you leave. As I said, this cruiser is not for the likes of you. I am going to summon a Stormtrooper and have you removed!”

“No, Perolla, you won’t be able to do that. You see, I’ve had a change of career since last we met. I’m a Senator now. I’m also here to enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation on board this cruiser. You’re going to have to put up with me for a while, I’m afraid.”

“What? What system, quadrant or planet would be stupid enough to have elected you as their Senator?”

“Oh, A little obscure planet by the name of Earth.”

Earth? That cultural desert. It made sense. They had a history of electing total idiots.

“Look, Fyndor, I suggest you keep as far away from me as possible while you’re on board this vessel.”

Just then, another voice interrupted their conversation.

“Perolla? Fyndor? I’m so glad to find you together. I arranged for this little meeting in the hope you two would set aside your differences.”

Perolla turned to find Chancellor Rikart strolling towards them, grinning like a schoolboy who’d managed to play a fantastic prank on his schoolteacher. She felt like she was the victim in this case.

“You had something to do with this, Rikart?”

The Chancellor had been her apprentice in the Civil service and when she’d retired she had done her level best to see him reach his present rank.

“Easy, now Perolla. Don’t go getting mad at me too. You two know more about the Patrellian Crime Lords than anyone I know, I need you both to work together, with me, if we are going to win this war and establish peace again in the galaxy.”

“If that’s an order, Chancellor, I will, as always, do my duty” she replied, through gritted teeth. This was not turning out to be quite the peaceful voyage she’d expected.


I have also included the following word prompts:


Today’s prompt: uranium, moss, dancer



FOWC with Fandango — Victim





The Adventures of Jeremy – The Awful Auntie.

pile of assorted title book lot selective focus photographt
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com


The Easter holidays were not turning out as Jeremy had hoped.

He’d thought he would have ample opportunities to play in the park. To explore and engage in various misdeeds and adventures, but his Mother had put an end to that with one announcement.

“Jeremy, Jennifer, I have some news for you. We’ve got a very special guest coming to stay for the Easter Holidays. It’s Great Aunt Tabitha!”

Jeremy couldn’t help but feel totally crestfallen.

Great Aunt Tabitha was his Mother’s aunt and sister to Granny Dawes who had died when he was six. Granny Dawes had been cuddly and kind. Great Aunt Tabitha was the complete opposite. She hated children, particularly boys and on one of the rare times he had spoken to her, she delivered a long speech about how in her day children were seen and not heard, while waggling a long bony finger. She was very theatrical and self-centred and always spoke with plenty of waffle, as though delivering lines in a play. She absolutely had to be the centre of attention.

“Now Jeremy, remember what we talked about? No running off and hiding in the park. I don’t want to give any reason for Auntie to get upset. Just stay in your room and only speak when you’re spoken to.”

“Yes, Mum” he replied.

The day arrived sooner than he wanted, its strange that days you particularly dread arrive so much sooner than ones you are looking forward to.

He heard his dad’s car pulling up outside, back from picking Great Aunt Tabitha from the station. Then she burst in like a dark storm, her tall large frame covered in purple wool. She was carrying a very large and ugly carpet-bag.

“Jane dear! How lovely for you to invite me. Thank you so much. You know how awful it is when your Maid suddenly ups and leaves for no reason at all! She left me bereft! How kind of you to put me up for a while.”

As she spoke she handed over her large bag to his Mother who buckled under the weight of it.

“Goodness, Aunty, what have you got in here?” his Mother asked.

“Books, dear. Lots of books. I’m currently reading ‘ In tune with the infinite‘ by Ralph Waldo Trine but that won’t last me long. You know how I just love to devour books! I have a rapacious appetite for the good novel!”

Jeremy stood in the shadow of the hall and thought about this for some time. He had heard of those things called ‘fad’ diets but he’d never heard of anyone eating books before.

Jeremy and Jennifer were made to stand in front of Great Aunt Tabitha and bow and curtsey. He tried to imagine he was a great Knight being presented to a Queen, but to be honest she reminded him more of a Dragon that needed to be vanquished than a Queen. Queen’s should be elegant and beautiful and very nice. Not loud and bad-tempered, throwing hateful comments around like a javelin.

“Now, go upstairs and play,” His mother told them “I’ll call you when it’s time for tea.”

As he climbed the stairs, he heard his Great Aunt announce loudly, “You know, my dear, Children are all right in their proper place, but you can’t have children and a nice quiet life, they are just diametric! Totally opposed.”

Jeremy stomped his feet on the stairs.

Jennifer was amusing herself with her doll’s house while Jeremy was drawing a picture of St.George and the Dragon. The Dragon itself was purple, the same colour as Great Aunt Tabitha’s shawl. He drew and chain around its neck the other end held in the hand of St George. The Dragon tamed. Just as he was putting finishing touches to his masterpiece, his Mum called up the stairs.

“It’s time for tea. Wash your hands and come down to the table.”

As Jeremy washed his hands, he couldn’t help think about his Aunts strange comment about eating books. He wondered what book she was going to have for tea. He knew they had a copy of Robinson Crusoe that would make an ample meal, or War and Peace would be good.

As he arrived at the table he was rather disappointed to find they were only having fish.


Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 28/February/2019



Today’s prompt: finger, waffle, javelin



FOWC with Fandango — Chain








The Lost City – A Picture Challenge.

They made their way through the dark forest. The smell of pine needles and rotting leaves permeated the air. The forest was cut off from the world by impregnable mountains, but they had flown into the valley in a hot air balloon in search for the lost city of gold.

“I say, Carstairs, shouldn’t we be heading more eastwards?” said Carruthers stopping to pull up his socks to protect his ankles from the insect bites, the trials of going abroad.

“Now don’t act, hic, like you know, hic, the way any better, hic, than I do” Carstairs replied, hiccupping like he always did when agitated. “Damn these blasted hiccups.”

They managed to cross a river making a raft of fallen logs, then stumbled through more tangled branches.

Then they emerged in a clearing and found themselves surrounded by crumbling ruins. They’d found the lost city, now to find the treasure.

[150 words]


This story was written in response to a challenge. The rules of the challenge are:

The challenge is to write a piece of historical fiction about this picture.

• 150 word limit

• Try not to use the words tree & green.

• Tag 3 people to use the same genre of writing and this photo to create a post.

Sadje from the blog, Keep it Alive, challenged me, see her post here:

Mystery History


The three people I’ll challenge are:

Freshly Baked Secrets


Winter Haibun


I have also included the following word prompts:


Today’s prompt: socks, balloon, hiccups