After the Rain

One type of weather you can nearly always rely on in England is rain. This year has been particularly wet! It might be annoying, stopping me from getting outside to take photographs, but it’s what makes the gardens so green and the growth so lush, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain.

As I arrived home a few evenings ago, the rain (that had been pouring down all day) was just easing off. I immediately grabbed my camera (Canon EOS 1300D) and went into the garden to snap a few pictures.

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As you can see from these first two pictures – taken over the back fence – the weather front was just passing over as the sun was setting. A few clouds trailed in its wake and whilst I was outside a few of them decided to deluge me with sudden, sharp rain showers.

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I was quite fascinated by all the droplets hanging on various plants, flowers and fruits around the garden.

The dragonclaw willow, with its wonderfully curly leaves was a particular favourite of mine.

I then moved on to photograph the geraniums, camellia  and rose bushes, all of which looked lovely bedecked in jewel-like droplets. I particularly liked the rose leaf, where the droplets appeared to glow pink.

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The apple and pear trees were the next things to catch my attention.

A final view that I found particularly appealing was the droplets hanging on two spindly branches near the back fence, with the setting sun creating a pleasant background glow .

droplets on branches

I hope you all liked the pictures – I’d love to know what you all think.

Six Word Stories – Loss, Passion and Murder

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been spotting a number of fascinating stories, all written in only six words.  This week I thought I’d join in. The challenge is run by Ben at A Hopelessly Wandering Mind and each week he gives a theme for your six word story. As I’m joining in at week three I thought I’d put responses to all three prompts in one post. In the future it will be one prompt per post.

Week 1: Loss  Darkness descends, smothering hope. She’s gone.

Week 2: Passion  With inspirational enthusiasm life is consumed.

Week 3: Murder  Bloody secrets long hidden; finally revealed.

If you’d like to read some of this week’s other entries , click the blue frog.

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Cee’s Which Way Challenge 2015: Week #34 – The Old Railway Bridge

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A sedate path idles where mighty engines once roared.  The bridge stands lonely sentinel, holding memories of its glory days in unloved brick-work.


This post is for Cee’s Which Way Challenge. The photograph was taken in Newark on Trent (Nottinghamshire, UK) along the path of the old railway line. The railway itself closed in 1988 and since then has been turned into a path for walkers and cyclists. The bridge was built in the 1850s when the railway line was laid.

I hope you like it.

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FFfAW: What Lies Beyond

This post is for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) Challenge, run by Priceless Joy. This week’s photo prompt was provided by Dawn M. Miller. Thank you Dawn!  The challenge is that you write a story of 75-175 words inspired by the photo prompt below. I hope you like it.

Photo Prompt: © Dawn M Miller

Photo Prompt: © Dawn M Miller

What Lies Beyond

“For centuries we’ve lived in tyranny!” The voice had been bell-like, an awakening chime over the rally. “We’ve huddled behind city walls, believing their lies, for too long. Are we children to believe in monsters lurking in the wilderness?”

With the passionate words of the protest leader echoing through his mind, Marcus stared excitedly through the broken panel at the forbidden land beyond. The covered walkways that connected the city and outlying compounds had been growing increasingly dilapidated lately but he’d never expected to find a hole large to climb through.

“The ruling council wants to keep us living in fear but it is in the wilderness that we can find our freedom!”

Barely hesitating, he scrambled through and dropped to the ground below.

He didn’t see his attacker – merely felt the impact as it forced him to the ground. Sharp claws tore through flesh. Pain ricocheted, an agonised cry wrenching from his throat.

The smug face of the high-councillor swam into view. “Maybe they’ll believe in monsters now.”

His world faded to black.

Word Count: 175


This story was very hard to write in only 175 words! I’ve written and re-written it five or six times, not to mention edited this final version down from nearly 250 words. It was supposed  to have been posted yesterday but, well – that didn’t happen. I hope you all like it. I also hope it makes sense…

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MftS & SPF: A Sister’s Love

This post is in response to both Monday’s Finish the Story and the Sunday Photo Fiction flash fiction challenges, run by and Alistair Forbes, respectively. Monday’s Finish the Story, run by Barbara W. Beacham gives  a picture prompt and the first line and asks that you finish the story in 100-150 words. The given line is in italics. Alistair Forbes Sunday Photo Fiction challenge gives a photo prompt and asks that you complete the story in around 200 words.

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2015-08-24 – Photo taken of an old photo in 2014 – Barbara W. Beacham

A Sister’s Love

The family had no idea that little Luigi would grow up to be anything special.

After all, how could he, with blood tainted by an unmarried, working-class mother? His arrogant relatives rarely missed an opportunity to remind him that they fed and clothed an orphaned by-blow out of charity alone. Even decades later the pain of their disregard stung.

Only Edith had supported him.

Luigi touched gnarled fingers to the faded face of his beloved half-sister, the picture drawing him to days nearly a century past.

“My success was all because of her,” he told the biographer scribbling notes.

Edith’s affection never wavered, despite her mother’s disdain. She’d dried his tears and encouraged his play among the cogs and wheels, uncaring of the smears of grease; she’d praised his strange contraptions. Later she’d used her own allowance to augment the pittance granted to him, allowing him to follow his dreams of intricate clockwork.

Without her he’d never have become one of the world’s greatest horologists.

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An intricate wristwatch – © Alistair Forbes

Word Count: 150

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To read other entries or to submit your own, click the little blue frogs.

               Monday’s Finish the Story                                                  Sunday Photo Fiction

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Cee’s Black and White Challenge: Flowers

This post is for Cee’s Black and White Challenge. This week’s theme is flowers.

This post was going to go up last night. I had a photograph (the first dahlia shot above) all ready to go. Then I thought I’d have a wander around the garden and see if there was anything else that might work well in black and white. By the time I came back inside our internet had gone off! Unfortunately it’s still down and we have no idea when it’ll be back up. I’m currently sitting inside a local restaurant, using their free wifi to post this. The only good thing about not being able to post last night is that it gave me lots of time to go through my new photos and play around with them, converting to black and white, so I have far more pictures to share than I’d planned.

I hope you all like them.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy

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Freaky puppet

Transfixed in disgusted fascination, you can’t help but watch as the grotesque figure dances. It twists and turns, bows and leaps in a skin-crawling parody of life. The eyes stare, a piercing gaze filled with eerie intent. Boring deep into your mind it sets its strings to your psyche.

Dance, puppet. Dance.


This post is in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy. To have a look at the other entries go here. Yet again, I’m a little late.  One week I might actually manage to get an entry up before the new theme is out!

This picture was taken in Whitby a few years ago. From the very moment we saw it this was referred to as ‘the freaky puppet’. I’ve never really liked marionettes – I generally find them all to be quite creepy – but this one was worse than most!

I spent quite a while playing around with the picture, editing it to emphasize its creepiness. I thought I’d share a few of the other edits as well. I’d love to know which version people actually like best. Here’s the original:

freaky puppet original

I quite like that you can see the makeup on the puppet’s face on this one…

And here are some other edits. To see them in a larger size, click on the gallery:

FFfAW: Memories of the Lost

This post is for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) Challenge, run by Priceless Joy. This week’s photo prompt is from Pixabay.  The challenge is that you write a story of 75-175 words inspired by the photo prompt below. I hope you like it.

Photo Prompt from Pixabay

Photo Prompt from Pixabay

Memories of the Lost

She heard it long before she could see it: the blaring music, shouts and laughter bringing back memories she’d rather not revisit. Her footsteps slowed.

“Is that it, Auntie KitKat? The fair?” Sophie swung on Katherine’s hand as she bounced at her side. Only her niece’s puppy-dog eyes could draw her back to such a place.

The sights and smells were unchanged. Brightly decorated stalls and flashing lights were partially concealed by heaving crowds. The scents of candy floss and hotdogs carried on the air. Her chest tightened; breaths growing shallow. Her grip on Sophie’s hand grew reflexively tighter.

“Balloons! Can I have one, Auntie KitKat? Please?”

Katherine was dragged in her niece’s wake but her mind was caught in events eight years past. “Balloons!” her Joey had yelled, running ahead.

He’d been seven years old. She never saw him again.

“There’s a dinosaur!” Sophie squealed.

Katherine barely glanced at the balloons. Her eyes were locked on the skinny youth who glanced between her and the agitated balloon-seller with nervous recognition.

It couldn’t be… “Joey?”

Word Count: 175

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MftS: The Prophet’s Words

Here’s this week’s entry into Monday’s Finish the Story flash fiction challenge, run by Barbara W. Beacham. This challenge gives you a picture prompt and the first line and asks that you finish the story in 100-150 words. The given line is in italics.

Photo Prompt - © 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

Photo Prompt – © 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

The Prophet’s Words

“I see absolutely everything,” Draeg answered, glaring at the man invading his sanctum, “past, present and future. And it is true – the treaty with your people compels me to answer your questions.”

The sun was at its peak when the man arrived, disturbing the most potent dreamtime. From the flouncy clothes and measly bag of tribute, he was obviously a townsman who’d heard tales of the dragon prophet. He hadn’t, however, heeded the warnings.

“I,” the man announced pompously, “am embarking upon an overseas venture. Will it be profitable, Wyrm?”

Draeg huffed a wisp of smoke. His response was carefully worded. “A great profit will be made from the venture,” he said.

The only requirement was truth and truth he spoke. A profit would be made but not by the arrogant merchant.

Finally alone again, he settled back into the dreamscape with a sense of satisfaction. The pettiest vengeance was always the most enjoyable.

Word Count: 150

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To read other entries or to submit your own, click the little blue frog.

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