Manic Mondays 3-way challenge – Departing Hope.

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



They met on the beach for the last time and watched the sunset together.

Theirs was not the typical holiday romance. They weren’t young teenagers just starting out in life. They were on a team building weekend. The rest of the team hadn’t really bonded but they did. From the first exercise, the falling backwards and trusting their partner to catch them, they had hit it off. He’d dropped her on the floor, but they laughed so much about it, they were almost thrown out of the conference room.

That evening they had talked and talked about their lives. He was married with two teenage boys. He and his wife hated each other but stayed together for the boys’ sake.

She told about her husband who she had loved desperately, but just before she was due to depart on this team building event, he’d thrown a Jealous fit. She then discovered that he’d been having an affair with his boss for the past seven years after their own team building event in Cardiff. He had the nerve to be jealous of her when she’d been faithful throughout their twenty years of marriage and he was the one who’d broken their vows. It was quite shocking how quickly her love had turned to hate. It was because it made all those years together with him a lie. He was shallow, conceited and controlling but she’d put up with that because she thought he loved her.

Iain had been so easy to talk to. She was scared that letting all her anger, disappointment and frustration out would make him want to run away but he was so understanding. They discussed all their problems and it was so liberating. To have someone actually sit there and listen to you. To offer advice and have someone thank you for it. While the rest of the team went down the town and got drunk, all part of the experience, apparently, they just talked.

His wife, Sheila and her husband, Dave, sounded very similar in her opinion. Both of them had high-powered jobs in the City. Both were selfish, self-centred people who didn’t think anything of having affairs. Iain told her how he found out she was having an affair on Christmas-eve when she told him that her marriage was a sham, she didn’t love him anymore but that for the children’s sake they should stay together. It was just before going out to dinner with her parents. He’d had to pretend nothing had happened. If that had been an isolated transgression, Iain said he would have forgiven her, but it was one of many. He had wanted to leave, but she always used emotional blackmail to keep him there. Controlling, just like her Dave.

‘Dave’ she thought to herself ‘ I loathe you so much.’

That last night, they walked along the beach hand-in-hand. It had been the best evening of her life, but tomorrow they were both departing, back to the UK and their lives they despised.

Iain looked into her eyes, they both had tears in them, knowing it was the last time they would be together in this was.

“Lisa, I know that we have to go back, neither of us is the kind of people who give up on our marriage, but I want you to know I have never met anyone before who I feel so happy with.” The two of them kissed as the sun set beneath the horizon, taking with it their hope for the future.

The End


Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 03/September/2018

FOWC with Fandango — Loathe

Manic Mondays 3 Way Challenge – A Journey through Ignorance.

This story was written in response to Laura M Baileys challenge. See Link:


The Word is JOURNEY

A Journey Through Ignorance

She was almost home. She could see the light at the end of the tunnel of trees that meant safety.

She had been on a long journey, to find out the truth of the world outside the protection of their sacred grove. The World had forsaken it’s principles, all the virtues of honour had been forgotten. Now people just vied for gold. They had lost themselves.

She was being pursued by some of those ultimate personifications of the degradation that the world had found itself in. Thieves, who without any desire to create anything for themselves just sought to take from more worthy individuals. They no longer followed the code of valour. Rather than see a vulnerable young woman in need of protection, they just saw a victim clothed in robes of fine spun cloth, with silver decorating her pale swan-like neck. She had, in her rectitude, chastised them for their wicked ways, this seemed to make them even more keen to follow her and take her belongings. She had managed to escape them but they were not far behind. Once she was home, they would never find her. They were not part of her world, her’s was a world of Magic and splendour long ago abandoned by the world of men. For all she appeared a helpless maid, she was actually one of the Fey, but having left her sacred homelands without the permission of her elders she was forbidden from drawing on the magic of her kind. She had only done so briefly in order to temporarily escape from the clutches of her pursuers. They were not very far behind now. She could hear their uncouth voices.

She paused at the start of the long tunnel of trees because another danger reared it’s ugly head. The shadows themselves were a danger, they could claim unwary souls. The shadows seemed to reach out to her, calling her name. Praying to the spirit behind her people she ran for all her life was worth, ran towards the light and home.

She felt hands try to grab her from out of the shadows, she heard the voices of her pursuers behind, but those voices diminished, the hands disappeared as the golden light consumed her. She was home and safe now.

The End


Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 27/August/2018



Warning: This story isn’t nice – Hush Thy Screams.


I wrote this story in response to the Manic Monday 3 way challenge that Laura M Bailey hosts. See link below:

Hush Thy Screams

She’d just been lying there in her garden, sunbathing, minding her own business, when it happened.

A rough callused hand covered her mouth, a big heavy body pulled her up against it and a voice whispered in her ear “Hush“.

A panic rose up inside her. It was her new neighbour‘s voice. While one hand pressed hard on her mouth, restricting her breathing, his other roamed her body and removed her swimsuit. She felt his hot breath on her neck and hot flesh against her back.

She brought her carefully trained mind under control and twisted her lithe body out of his grasp grabbing the nail file on the table and forcing it into her attackers left eye.

The air erupted in screams, but not hers, his, as he writhed on the floor with blood pouring from his ruined eye-socket.

Hush,” She said to him and kicked him in the groin, her foot making contact with his testicles beneath his hardened manhood.

Her training as a spy held her in good stead but she was sick of having to teach men the hard way that it was ok to look, but not to touch.

It was clear she was going to have to move again.


FOWC with Fandango — Neighbor


Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 20/August/2018




Dirge for the Fallen – Manic Mondays 3 Way Prompt


I wrote this poem in response to the Manic Monday 3 way challenge that Laura M Bailey hosts. See link below:


Dirge for the Fallen

An Angel came to behold the fall

the ultimate destruction

the death of all.

The Angel cried to see death’s touch

Of the scythe stroked earth,

It hurt so much.

Could she have stopped this terrible plight?

With gentle advice

Her wise insight?

She shook her head, she knew, forsooth,

There had been guides

There had been ‘Truth’. 

They did not listen, they would not hear

The words of love

Were replaced by fear

So, grief-filled tears ran down her face

At the ultimate end

Of the human race.



Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 14/August/2018


A Fairy tale retold – The Forlorn Bride


Cyndi-Ella was feeling forlorn as she was being led down the aisle of the church to marry the Prince.

Her eyes were swollen from all the tears she had been crying since she realised she didn’t love him after all. She had just been caught up in it all. The ball, the chase and of course anything to escape that horrible old stepmother of hers. She felt somehow that she had been caught up in a story, a fairy tale and she also felt that she wasn’t in control of her own destiny. The feeling of being trapped and not being able to make your own decisions was the most stifling and suffocating thing she had ever experienced. Even more suffocating than having to sleep in a dusty old cellar in her father’s old house.

Wearing that gorgeous cream silk dress and those fantastic satin high-heeled shoes that her glamorous fairy godmother had conjured up for her, she took another look at her Prince Charming standing by the altar. Yes, he was handsome and he seemed terribly keen on her, but he’d been a bit too obsessed somehow. She wasn’t sure he was quite mentally balanced. He seemed too determined to have what he wanted, whenever he wanted it. Also, if she was entirely honest with herself, she wasn’t at all sure she liked men at all. They seemed far too controlling for her liking. She hadn’t managed to escape from that awful cellar in order to chain herself to a man who was going to rule her for the rest of her life.

Half way down the aisle, she made up her mind. She pulled her arm away from the awkward old Lord Chamberlain, who had been commanded to lead her down the aisle, and ran quickly out of the church calling out for her Fairy Godmother.

She realised it was her fairy godmother who had truly captured her heart. What girl wouldn’t fall for someone who was so stylish and who could give her all the exquisite clothes and shoes she could ever want?

The End




A ghostly family home – Short story.

FOWC with Fandango — Comfortable



It was an old rickety house and no one in town liked it much, but it was home for me. 

It was my ancestral home. Generations of my family had lived in it since it had been built back in 1890.  In fact they still did in a way. Not living of course, but they weren’t quite gone either.

So what if it was haunted? It didn’t bother me at all. They weren’t just ghosts, they were family. 

There was something so warm and comforting to be surrounded by your loved ones. My grandmother still sat in her rocking chair in the bay window knitting something that no one would ever wear and she will never finish. The moths had eaten away at the ball of wool that was still at the back of the wardrobe in Granny’s old bedroom. 

My own Mother and Father still occasionally drifted past. I often bumped into my Mother in the kitchen, which is where she spent most of her life providing meals for the family. My father was usually in his comfy chair by the fire. You could hear the rustling noise of his newspaper.

My Grandfather was mostly seen in the potting shed out back. That was where he was found after his last heart attack. 

The house had become a bit of a local landmark, you could see it from quite a distance, perched up on the hill at the top of the street. The old wooden boards were peeling, they could do with a lick of paint. Some of the roof tiles had blown off in last winters storms. The curtains at the windows were all moth-eaten and straggly with cobwebs hanging from the corners like it was always dressed for Halloween. 

It was nice being left alone. No unwelcome guests or nosy neighbours trying to find out your business. We didn’t even get any ‘trick or treaters’ at Halloween anymore. Not after the last time. I think I scared those poor kids out of their wits; it must have been a shock seeing my old body lying at the foot of the stairs like that. The way they screamed and ran away down the hill was hilarious.

No, some people may not have wanted to live in that house with all its ghostly echoes of the past, but I was comfortable. I was one of them now.

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 30/July/2018


The Wreck of the Shirley-Ann – Or ‘The Devil’s Bet’.


This story was written in response to Laura M Bailey’s

Manic Mondays 3 Way Prompt

and Fandango’s Word prompt: Compete.

FOWC with Fandango — Compete

The Wreck of the Shirley-Ann – OR ‘The Devil’s Bet’

The old shipwreck was a monument to folly. It had stood on the mudflats off of Rookstone head for as long as anyone could remember.

Wise old men and women used it to warn youngsters not to put good competition above good sense.

Old Stefan was the one who told the story best. He was an old fisherman himself but hadn’t put to sea for many a year now. He preferred standing at the bar of the Jolly Roger public house to standing at the prow of a ship nowadays. He was always there come Friday night, with his old blue woollen fisherman’s pullover, holes in various places. His skippers hat on his head and that old pipe in his mouth, spewing foul-smelling fumes.

He loved to spin a yarn or two to any visitors to the town or anyone who would listen, although the locals had learned not to, or they would end up wasting the best part of two hours.

On that particular evening he had a crowd of young sightseers sitting around him. He gave them a good show.

“Arr, you see that old ship that be stuck out across the bay? Wrecked, it was, back when my own Pa was a nipper. It belonged to a proud fisherman by the name of Mad Jack. The ship was called the Shirley-Ann after his beloved and betrothed. One day he was standing at this very bar, in this very spot and boasting as he always did. He swore that him and his crew could catch more fish than any other boat on any day they’d care to name. Two other captains took his wager, sick of his boasting they were. They each swore to give the winner half their years profits. Half their profits to the man who brought in the most fish. They chose the date, the first of October, and having shaken on the deal, none of them could turn back. Despite all their women folk begging them not to be such fools. Shirley-Ann begged her betrothed not to do it, but Jack laughed and said it was as sure as won, and he’d have enough money for them to be wed.

When the day dawned, the sky was beautifully clear and sea was as calm as a summer pond, only there were clouds on the horizon and they were bathed in red. Red sky in morning, sailors warning, and never was it truer than of that terrible day. The three boats each with their crew of six men went out on the morning tide to catch fish. By midday the sea had gone from calm to turbulent and the winds whipped around in the bay something fierce. By the mid-afternoon, the sky was blacker than night and the sea was like old Neptune himself was wrestling giant squid beneath the waves. The other two captains turned back to shore, no longer in the mood to compete, not if it meant risking their lives. Mad Jack laughed at them when they turned their boats to the shore, so the other captains said.

Well it was a mad folly for him to stay out there in that terrible storm, but so determined was he to win his bet,  he stayed too long in those treacherous waters. The boat was dashed against the black rocks of Rookstone head and Mad Jack and most of his crew were killed. Only one man survived, washed up on the shore, Tom Pruitt. He was a young man then, just twenty but already wed and with a nipper. He was my Grandpa.

The next day the wreck was found where it lies to this day, out on the mudflats. The bodies were all washed ashore. Poor Shirley-Ann never wed and died a poor spinster, wearing black in mourning until her dying day.

Let this be a lesson to ye, and learn it well. Competition is all well and good, but never put it over and above good sense. And never make a wager with your life on the line, that’s the Devil’s bet, they call it and he usually wins, because he always cheats.

Now who will stand me another Pint of the best, eh? My throats gone all parched with the telling.”

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 23/07/2018

Silenced – A short story in 85 words

Laura M Bailey at All the shoes I wear is hosting a word prompt challenge on Mondays, see link below.

I thought I would have a go at this one. I have also included Sheryl’s word of the day – Desultory.

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The Silence hung ominously in the night air. It was strange just how loud silence could be. 

As I stared off in the distance, I saw the sudden flaring light.

The mushroom cloud of doom that proclaimed to what was left of the world that the madman hadn’t been bluffing after all. He had meant the threats he had delivered in such a desultory fashion.

This was the silence that carried meaning.

The silence of a million voices that would no longer be heard.