50 Word Thursday #78 – Without due Caution.


And the words:

“She launched herself at their leader.” – Lorraine Heath’s When A Duke Loves A Woman

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday challenge, hosted this week by Deb Whittam:




The lake was beautiful and tranquil, an oasis of peace in the middle of a busy zoo.

You could hear in the distance the occasional roar of a lion or the chatter of monkeys, but that didn’t detract from the stillness of that place.

Then a gang of youths appeared, shouting at each other, boasting and taunting.

On the edge of the lake swam some baby swans. One of the kids picked one up and then threw it at one of his friends who caught it.

The Mother swan came out of nowhere and she launched herself at their leader, squawking loudly with a frantic beating of her wings.

Now it’s an empirical fact that Mother swans have been known to kill to protect their young.

It’s a shame that those kids hadn’t known that or maybe they would have shown more caution and then they’d still be alive today.

[150 Words]


I have also included the following word prompts:


FOWC with Fandango — Empirical


50 Word Thursday #76 – A Secret from the Past


And the words:

“Sometimes, it’s not your secret to tell.” ― Stephenie Meyer, New Moon

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday Challenge. Click on the link below to take part, you have until Wednesday to post your own story.



I grew up on the coast but it wasn’t a popular stretch of beach, the weather was far too changeable. The waves were too rough for swimming. Sometimes a group of surfers would come and use the beach, but mostly it was just dog walkers who trod that lonely stretch of sand.

It was commonly said that the beach was haunted. Everyone in that part of the world knew the tale of a woman found strangled on the beach but how her ghost still walked the shore on quiet nights calling out the name of her lover. It had been nearly a hundred years ago, but still, that legend haunted me. I felt some strange connection to the story, possibly because the name the people heard her call out was the same name given to me at birth, Lawrence.

It was my Uncle who gave me the opportunity to explore the past. He was a mad scientist who had discovered the secret of time travel, although you could only go backward through time never forward.

Sending me back to find out what had happened to that woman murdered on the beach had seemed the only way to stop thinking about it.

However, I found out more than I could cope with.

I could never share what I had discovered, sometimes it’s not your secret to tell, but it had been my fault. It was me who was responsible for that woman’s death and why her ghost called out my name.

[250 Words]


I have also included the following word prompts:






50 Word Thursday – Strange Allegiances



And the Words: “Nobody can be held responsible for the pranks of destiny.”
― Joan Lindsay, Picnic at Hanging Rock

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday challenge. If you want to take part, you have until Wednesday evening (GMT) click on the link below:



There were a few of us in the wedding party and we decided to make the most of our time together before we all went our separate ways.

It seemed apt to take them to the quiet spot where Alice and I had met, on a walking tour. This was where it had started.

The gorge, normally dry had been transformed by the recent rains into a watering hole.

Alice enjoyed swimming and I knew she could not resist the sight of that cool water on that gloriously hot day.

It was two days after our wedding and already I had begun to think it wasn’t worth it. Sure, she was an heiress and was simply rolling in money, but she was one of those clingy types.

My cousin, his wife, my friends John and Laura and Alice’s Uncle George made up the rest of the gathering. We all looked on as Alice waded into the inviting waters.

There is no honour amongst thieves, so the old adage goes, and I have the distinction of being one of the best. Up to that point, I’d only indulged in the odd bit of bribery and blackmail, but if this paid off, I’d get my hands on a goldmine. My Allegiance was to myself alone.

I remember we were tucking into some cooked chicken when Alice started screaming, needless to say, we were too late.

Nobody can be held responsible for the pranks of destiny, at least that’s what the Judge said.

[250 Words]


I have also incorporated the following word prompts:


FOWC with Fandango — Apt






The Day it Happened – Written for Esther Chilton’s competition

Esther Chilton has issued an invitation for people to submit a short story beginning with the line “I didn’t know what had happened. Not at first. And then I knew.” 

Click on the link below if you want to take part.



The Day it Happened


I didn’t know what had happened. Not at first. And then I knew.

It had started so innocently, the sun shone through the chink in the bedroom curtains almost like a nagging partner informing me that I should have been out of bed hours ago.

I untangled myself from the duvet that as usual, I’d wrapped myself up in for comfort.

Time to start another day. Another day like all the others, and yet how wrong I was.

This was not like any other. This was unique.

I went downstairs and turned on the kettle to make my morning beverage, slave to my caffeine fix, to give me some motivation that I could not conjure up without.

With a touch of shame, I drew back the curtains in the front room almost expecting a neighbourhood committee standing there tutting at the late hour, but there was no one.

Not a soul.

Not one of the many dog walkers who usually used the road as a cut-through on the way to the park. Not one of the usual joggers, skaters, cyclists or other keep-fit fanatics taking their daily exercise, making me feel like I should be joining them. No one enjoying this sunny day. 

A wave of intuition came over me. I felt the compulsion to switch on the television and in doing so I joined the rest of the world who were already glued to the screen watching the events unfold.

I had been oblivious, wrapped up in my own self, a symptom of my mental state but the world had been busy while I wasn’t looking.

There was an expression on the news announcers face that told far more than her words could. The talks had broken down. Those peace summits that people cling to like the man hanging off a cliff reaching out for a blade of grass. He knows the grass will not save him, yet he reaches out for it anyway, desperate. No one had expected them to work and yet now those expectations had been fulfilled, it was like a hammer blow.

It was the smell of the burnt toast that broke me from my entranced staring at the screen.

I was on the way to the kitchen when it had happened. The blinding flash and the force of air that knocked me flat on my back.

As I came to, I didn’t know what had happened. Not at first. And then I knew.

As my consciousness began to fade, I knew.

This was the day it happened. The button had been pressed.


By Kristian Fogarty



50 Word Thursday #73 – The Lady’s Revenge


And the Words: ‘So which one am I supposed to be?’ I said. ‘The shooter, the maniac or the idiot who hid the body?’ – The Killing Floor by Lee Child. 


This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday Challenge. If you want to take part you still have until Wednesday evening, click on the link below to take part:



It was a typical day in the medieval re-enactment village. We were standing in line waiting to be dressed up and assume one of various characters. The man in front of me was given a chain mail shirt, a sword and a shield emblazoned with a lion rampant.

When It was my turn, I stood before a buxom lady dressed as a tavern wench, I couldn’t help but make a comment about her heaving bosom that brought a bloom of colour to her cheeks. I made reference to a nice pear, which is my favourite kind of innuendo. Apart from her blush, she didn’t react to my joke but treated it like plain blather. I suppose she’d heard it many times before.

‘So which one am I supposed to be?’ I said. ‘The shooter, the maniac or the idiot who hid the body?’ Asking about what character I was to be assigned.

The lady looked me up and down and tapped her lip with an impatient finger.

“Well, the role of the village idiot is still available, I think you’re more than qualified,” she said and handed me a cap with bells on and an inflated bladder on a stick.

[200 Words]


I have also included the following word prompts:



FOWC with Fandango — Innuendo




What do you see # 31 – A Beacon in the Night

This story was written for Sadje’s What do you see challenge, click on the link to see the post:

What do you see # 31 -25 May 2020


He’d been wandering through the woods for hours now and was beginning to feel the full heft of the backpack on his shoulders. His stomach grumbled and called out for sustenance, the acid churning as he recalled the meagre breakfast he’d had such a long time ago. The campsite should have been around here somewhere but he’d passed up the opportunity to ask the few people that he’d encountered. Now he had to admit that he was lost.

The fog had descended before nightfall, initially, gossamer threads illuminate by the light of the setting sun had become a dense mist that had made the isolation of being lost in the woods feel even more foreboding.

Why did he decide to take that shortcut through the woods? If he’d kept to the road he would have probably been there by now, warm and cosy in his tent.

Just then, he saw a light in the distance, a beacon of hope. He scrambled through the trees and found a path heading straight to this golden beam.

Stumbling over the last few steps, he saw the wooden house nestled in a clearing, it looked derelict and empty but the light from the upper window shone brightly like the morning sun.

Desperation took hold and he didn’t even stop to think what type of person would choose to live in such a secluded location.

As he opened the door, the sight of row upon row of empty backpacks lining the hallway made him realise he’d made the biggest mistake of his life.

The door behind him swung shut and he heard a click of the lock.

The shining light from upstairs suddenly extinguished and he was alone, the sound of his quickening breaths echoed through the silent blackness.


Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 25th May 2020


I have also included the following Word Prompts:



FOWC with Fandango — Shortcut








50 Word Thursday #72 – Games Devils Play – A grim tale of Lockdown

A cautionary message: This story is a bit unpleasant and I apologise if this is just too dark.

It was written for the 50 Word Thursday challenge, this week hosted by Deb Whittam. Click on the link to take part, the challenge ends on Wednesday:



And the words:

“She had thought it a game.” – Madeline Hunter’s A Devil of a Duke.

Games Devil’s Play

They had been chatting online for weeks. Of course, she’d been chatting to quite a few guys while this stupid lockdown was happening. She enjoyed playing the game, chatting guys up and sending them pictures. Her friends said she was fickle and only doing it for attention, which she supposed was true at first, but then he’d come along.

Somehow, he’d been different and more intense. He’d chased her, he seemed to know how her mind worked and they talked about the things they wanted. He seemed to be the man of her dreams.

She’d been overcome by the emotions that his words had created inside her. She found herself dreaming about him, what he’d be like.

She fantasised about the intimacy that they would enjoy together.

Tottering on the precipice, she’d finally given in to his suggestion and agreed to meet up, breaking lockdown.

As she waited on the deserted pier, the wind made her shiver. It had been a glorious day, so she’d worn a short skirt and a light cotton blouse. Was it the wind or the fact she was alone yet she felt someone staring at her?

Suddenly she caught sight of him standing just inside the hut where the pier train was stored. He beckoned her over and she dashed across to him.

Then he grabbed her hungrily. She had thought it a game but now reality came crashing home when he forced her to the floor and there was nobody to hear her scream.

[250 Words]


I have also included the following word prompts:



FOWC with Fandango — Fickle



50 Word Thursday #71 – Empty Tradition


And the Words: “Oh dear, a marriage specialist,” says Nancy. – In Sight of the Lake by Alice Munro.

This story was written for the 50 word Thursday challenge, click on the link below if you want to take part in this challenge, you have until Wednesday:



It was blustery as Nancy walked along the seafront, the smell of sea salt wafting over her.

The University was in the distance and so was St Hilda’s church where she was supposed to be, at that moment.

A gust blew the lace veil from her head and she saw it float away out of reach.

A pink blob was running towards her from the church. It was her Bridesmaid, Carol, wearing the dress that her Mother-in-Law had chosen. That Woman had completely taken over. It was her choice of Bridesmaid dresses, her choice of venue, and instead of Barbados, Margaret had insisted they go to their country house in Scotland as it was a family tradition. What made her really mad was that her fiancé sided against her. The two would converge on her and before she knew it she’d given in.

Carol called out “Nance, what’s wrong? They’re waiting, you know?”

“I can’t go through with it. It’s not my wedding, it’s Margaret’s.”

“But what about Gav? You can’t just leave him there. You don’t want to go through life a nomad, all empty?”

“Oh dear, a marriage specialist,” says Nancy, to herself.

Carol was carrying the rucksack she’d given her with her comfy shoes in it.

“let me have those shoes.”

Taking off the white stiletto’s she rubbed her feet and put the other shoes on.

“But you can’t just walk off” Carol whined.

Hurling the stiletto’s into the sea, she turned and shouted: “Just Watch me!”

[250 Words]


I have also included the following word prompts:




FOWC with Fandango — Empty



50 Words Thursday #68 – With a Nuance of Subtlety



And the words:

“As she watched, Miss Tonks drew a pistol,” – M.C. Beaton’s Colonel Sandhurst to the Rescue


She’d travelled halfway across the globe to find him again. She’d nearly caught him in Buenos Aires, but he’d given her the slip.

In Berlin, she’d almost made contact but pulled back before revealing herself, only to discover who he’d really been working for all along. She realised that he’d told her a tissue of lies, a patchwork quilt of fantasy that she’d believed and had shared her secrets with him. Now she’d realised that he must be stopped before those secrets could fall into the wrong hands.

Finally, she’d caught him again, outside the Swiss embassy in a quiet part of Rome. There, in a colonnade, her man waited patiently and smoked a cigarette, the smoke formed snaking tendrils into the air and the smell just reached her in her hiding place. She saw a side entrance to the Embassy open and a figure in black walked towards the man she had tracked across the world. With bravado, she stepped out of the shadows and as she watched, Miss Tonks drew a pistol.

Within moments, her target had been despatched and then with a nuance of subtlety that was her trademark, she turned back in the shadows and disappeared.

[200 Words]


This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday Challenge, this week hosted by Deb Whittam, click on the link to see her post:



I have also incorporated the following word prompts:


FOWC with Fandango — Globe





50 Word Thursday #67

It’s time again for that brilliant creative writing challenge, the 50 Word Thursday challenge.

I am taking it in turns to host this challenge with Deb Whittam of the blog Twenty Four. Click on the link below to see her post about the results of last weeks challenge:


So, now to this weeks challenge:

The Rules:

  • Find the muse within the photo or line provided and follow where it leads. It can be a story, anecdote, poem. Anything!
  • The Story must be between 50 and 250 words, in 50-word increments. (so 50, 100, 150, 200 or 250 words)
  • Link back to this post with the tag 50WordThurs so that everyone can find it, or post your response in the comments below.

So here is the picture for this week:



And the Words: “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


I hope you enjoy this week’s challenge. I will gather together all the entries and publish a results post on Wednesday.

Have fun. 🙂