50 Word Thursday – The Travelling Troupe

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

“We never stop anywhere very long.” – DARREN SHAN, A LIVING NIGHTMARE

This challenge was written for the 50 Word Thursday challenge, this week hosted by Teresa, the Haunted Wordsmith, see the link below to her post:



The Travelling Troupe

The travelling entertainers were packing up. Gathering their flags that only yesterday flew proudly in the summer breeze, collapsing the Punch and Judy stand that rolled into a bundle that fit in their tiny caravan. Violette sat on the wooden steps and stared out to sea.

Only yesterday the beach had been filled with people, laughing and playing. Children had sat and watched their show, not just the Punch and Judy, but their juggling, acrobatics and dancing. It was the same at every beach they had been to. They would perform and the crowds would laugh, applaud and throw coins. When the crowds departed, they combed the sand eagerly for every coin. They couldn’t afford to be spendthrift, their caravans hadn’t had a lick of paint in years, all the money went to keep the troupe fed.

In the early morning light, a little girl who was walking with her parents came running up to her.

“Where are you going? I saw your show yesterday, why are you leaving so soon?”

Violette smiled at her, then glanced at her parents standing apart and frowning.

That was the reason they were always prompt to move on.

“We never stop anywhere very long,” Violette said to the girl, “But we may be back again next summer.”

The girl ran back to her parents and they walked off.

Violette knew well the consequences of remaining too long in one place. The crowds that were entertained one day could quickly turn into a mob.


[250 Words]


I have also incorporated the following word prompts:



FOWC with Fandango — Spendthrift


What do you See? – A forgotten birthday


This poem was written for Helene Vaillant’s ‘What do you See?’ challenge. Click on the link below to see her post:

What do you See? May 28/2019


He was feeling rather sad and low,

And sorry with his lot,

Because although it was his birthday,

His friends, they’d all forgot.

He kicked his bedroom door ajar,

And banged upon his drum,

despite this being his special day,

he sulked and sucked his thumb.

He stalked about in a dreadful mood,

Like a scorpion with a sting,

He shouted at the postman when,

He failed to deliver anything.

In a fit of hurtful rage,

he presented an ultimatum

in a letter, he sat down and wrote,

I wouldn’t dare recite it out verbatim.

It clearly showed how out of sorts

And neglected he really felt,

Oh! what truly miserable hand

It was that fate had dealt.

And as the day had nearly closed

he entered the dining room,

and there, beside a papaya

he hadn’t wanted to consume,

he saw a birthday present,

wrapped up and tied with bows.

He heaved and sighed and then he cried

The tears ran down his nose.

Then jumping out of the shadows,

His friends sang out three cheers

And then quite prompt, they did applaud

Nearly deafening his ears.

It made him feel quite bashful

And filled with deep remorse,

He had doubted they

would remember his day,

When they clearly had, of course.


Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 31/May/2019

I have included the following word prompts:


Today’s prompt: scorpion, drum, papaya

FOWC with Fandango — Verbatim





Multiple Word Prompt Story – No rest for the Wicked.


“Where are you off to at this hour?” She asked. She exuded waves of dreary, grey, disapproval. There was something about the way she stood wrapped in her old cardigan. The way her spectacles sat on her nose. The set of her shoulders. This was not a woman who approved of fun.

“I’m just going to have a look around. I love exploring a new area. I’ve never been to this part of the world before” I responded. I realised that her demeanour had reduced me to the level of a young boy again, making excuses for something when I did not really have to. I was an adult on vacation and this person was the landlady of the guest house I had decided to stay in.

“The door is locked at 10pm every night, so be back prompt She demanded.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This was my holiday and If I wanted to stay out until the early hours of the morning, then that should be allowed. Who was this busybody giving me a curfew?

“Don’t you have a spare key?” I asked politely.

“No. Ten pm sharp,” she said, crossing her arms underneath her bosom and giving me a glare that any hunted animal would recognise from its predator. An eagle could have taken lessons from her in how to stare menacingly.

“Well, how about I just take my luggage and find somewhere else to stay?” I retorted, beginning to lose my patience.

“Ha! You could try. I run the only guest house in these parts that takes in people out of season. Why anyone would want to come to this place in October is beyond me. Have a look around, if you don’t believe me. Be back by ten pm though.”

I strode out of the open front door and walked along the street. There was one other guest house on that street and a hotel on the main square but both had signs stating that they were closed.

The small town was deserted. Apart from a few pigeons playing amongst the rubbish and autumn leaves, there wasn’t any sign of life.

I sat down on a park bench to have a brood over my current predicament.

Why did I decide to spend a couple of days in this empty town? Just because my grandfather had been born here. He’d chosen to leave it behind when he was just a lad and now having seen it he could see why. He’d sprinkle the ashes in the churchyard, say a quick prayer, then go back and grab his stuff and drive home.

I walked across the park, a few squirrels were still jumping around gathering acorns and conkers in the dimming evening light. The church loomed large on the far side. A large building for such a small town, built of grey stone blocks with a steeple that towered above. This was the place. The iron gate squealed as I pushed it open. The sound was strangely comforting, like a familiar old tune. I could still smell the incense left over from the last service. It had been a long time since the smell of frankincense had assaulted his nostrils. It took me back to my childhood when I’d been a choirboy. So long ago now.

I didn’t want to go into the church. I turned instead and walked into the graveyard. The old stones were leaning at all angles with moss and lichens obscuring the words on them. After a brief search, I’d found the one I was looking for.

“Here Lyeth Jacob Nathaniel Crain, 1881 – 1938. May his soul be at rest.”

Whoever carved this did not know the family secret. They could never rest. Not ever.

Pulling the wooden box out of my pocket and turning the old key, I tipped the ashes onto the grave.

Maybe now I could rest a bit easier. For now, at least. Before the hunger came again.


Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 17/October/2018

This story was inspired by the following word prompts:



FOWC with Fandango — Prompt