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



Those Quaint little Traditions – A cautionary tale.

“Come on, gather around the Christmas tree, I want to get a picture of you all.”

The family lined up around the tree. It was an artificial tree that had been in the family for twenty years. Every year it dropped almost as many needles as a real tree would, and as such was now mainly a stack of metal wires with tinsel and baubles all over it and very little green fake leaf left. Every year one of her children asked, “why don’t we get rid of this old tree?” and she’d always reply, “because it’s tradition.”

On the top of the tree sat a Christmas Angel. Well, it would have looked like an angel once, but its wings were bent, it’s halo crooked and it’s face had long ago been scratched away by the Christmas lights, but it was tradition.

The Christmas lights themselves were also very old. Several of the bulbs had gone but they were wired individually so they still worked. The wiring was threadbare and some of the copper wires were showing through, but they were tradition.

It was tradition that made her make all her family line up in front of the tree. It was tradition that she would then have to hunt around for half an hour trying to find the camera.

It was tradition that someone in the picture would be blinking, or making a face, and it was tradition that the photo would languish in the computers memory banks and no one would ever get to see it.

It’s also tradition to have a Christmas fire, only this year it was caused by the faulty Christmas lights and the family only just escaped with their lives.

Some traditions are best not to be kept.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 12/December/2018


50 Word Thursday – The Tradition.

Debbie Whittam has set a challenge to write a poem or story in 50 words, or multiples of 50 up to a maximum of 250 words, inspired by a picture. Here is the picture.




This is my attempt:

The first thing that he did when they moved into the house was plant the tree.

It was just a small conifer sapling, but it meant so much more.

It was grown from seed from the enormous conifer that grew on his dad’s farm. His grandfather had planted that tree back when his own father had been born.

As he planted the tree in the dry dusty soil, his wife sat on the porch and watched him. She was heavily pregnant with their child and due any day now.

The Family Tradition was maintained; new house, new baby, new tree.


See Debbie’s post here if you want to take part in this fun challenge: