FFfAW: Promises Broken


Promises Broken

The day had promised so much.

Bright skies and a clear forecast meant their shift at the lifeguard station should have been pleasant – with only the usual idiots and accidents to worry them. The crystalline sea had lapped at the beach as if no dangers lurked in its depths. It was a postcard perfect scene.

But they shouldn’t have been surprised. They’d known to always expect the unexpected.

Perched in their tower, they’d watched the holiday-makers frolic below, chatting idly to pass the time – conversations that fled from memory soon after the words were spoken. Their hands had occasionally touched, sparks flying. After months of unresolved tension, the words had finally been spoken. Tonight would be the night.

Their shift had been nearing its end when the screams began. They hadn’t hesitated before running to help.

Afterwards, only the memory of blood in the water remained, events blurring into an incomprehensible mass. All she knew was they’d gone into the water together. And now she was alone.

But the day had promised so much.

Word count: 175

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


This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. This week’s prompt was provided by TJ Paris. Thank you, TJ.


FFfAW: Waiting for the Returning Tide


Photo Prompt – © The Storyteller’s Abode

Waiting for the Returning Tide

“Suzy would’ve loved it here,” Janet said, her gaze fixed on the panoply of vessels bobbing idly in their moorings. “She was always fascinated by boats. Do you remember? They filled the bathtub!”

“I remember.”

“She was such a happy child. And that smile was so infectious. But she was always so desperate for adventure.” Janet halted, ‘if-onlys’ running through her mind as she listened to the seagulls cry. She sighed. “I should never have let her learn to sail.”

“I doubt you could have stopped her.”

“I could’ve tried.”

She lapsed into silence. Peter remained, a reassuringly steady presence at her side.

“We should head back,” he finally said. Rising, he offered her a supportive hand. “Visiting hours start again soon.”

“Hmm. We can tell Suzy all about our outing.” She took a last look at the boats before turning away. “Do you think she’ll ever wake up?”

“We can only hope, my dear.” Peter squeezed her hand as they walked back towards the hospital. “Suzy would say that, eventually, every tide has to turn.”

Word Count: 175

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


This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. This week’s prompt was provided by me. It was taken in St Ives, a seaside town in Cornwall that I visited last year. If you’d like to know more about St Ives, my mum, Millie Thom, wrote a post about the place that you can find here.

TLT: Breathe You In


Photo Prompt – Dominik Martin

Sometimes he could feel her lips upon his, a caress so familiar he expected to see her when he opened his eyes. They used to joke that they needed each other more than air. As he gasped for breath, feeling closer to her than to his mortal flesh, he wondered if they’d been right.

This post is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales. This week’s prompt is by Dominik Martin.

I’m probably not going to be on my blog very much for the next few weeks as I’ve decided to join in with NaNoWriMo again this year, this time working on an YA steampunk fantasy novella. It was a bit of a last minute decision – mainly because I still have last year’s NaNo-novel sitting on my computer, waiting to be edited! Hopefully this one won’t be in quite so much of a mess at the end of the month’s writing…

I’ll try to put up a few photography posts, and maybe a poem or two, but I don’t know whether I’ll manage much else.

Just in case I don’t manage to visit the blog at all, see you all in December!

FFfAW: Crisis Point

This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, a challenge that asks you to write a story of 100-175 words based on the photo prompt below. This week’s picture was provided by TJ Paris. Thank you TJ!


Photo prompt – © TJ Paris

Crisis Point

The library had always been her sanctuary, her escape from life’s hubbub – until her world had crumbled.

Frances groaned, head in hands. Tears pricked her eyes. It was a sensation she’d become too familiar with over the past year. Grief clung, shroud-like, tainting her emotions. The only things she felt with any vehemence were loss and pain.

And anger.

Every action since the day she’d cradled her son’s broken body had been driven by a need for justice. Determined, she’d sought evidence against the company whose equipment had caused her tragedy – and the man at its head.

Sometimes she wondered why she bothered.

It wasn’t as if anything she did made a difference. Nothing she’d found would prove the case against Willis. He was just too rich. Too powerful. What could a single woman do against his army of lawyers? She rubbed her aching temples.

“You can do it, Ma,” Jamie’s voice whisped. His ephemeral scent haunted her senses. She breathed deep, defeat dissipating as she embraced precious memories.

She would not let Willis win.

Word Count – 175

To read the other entries, click the little blue frog.



FFfAW: Celebrations and Sorrows

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


Photo Prompt: © The Storyteller’s Abode

Celebrations and Sorrows

For the third time in less than a week Lili climbed the steps in search of her brother. She knew he’d be there even before his voice carried to her ears.

“She always loved this view,” Raen said.

“We used to play here.” Lili’s voice caught in her throat. “Silveia and I would dream of adventure while you were busy being Father’s perfect prince.”

He jumped, spinning to face her, and Lili realised his words had not been for her. Raen gazed at the baby in his arms with eyes red from weeping. “I was just telling my son about his mother.”

The first time Lili had climbed in search of him her feet had been so light upon the steps. Her news had burbled free in an excited torrent as she hugged him: his son was born.

Two days later she’d sought him again, fear driving her as the midwife’s concerns grew: something was wrong.

This day grief weighed her down.

“The funeral cortege is ready,” she said. “It’s time to tell Silveia goodbye.”

Word Count: 175

To read the other entries, click the little blue frog!


I’ve had a vague story idea for this picture since I picked it out as a prompt for PJ. I knew I had a young woman looking for her brother. I knew it was a medievalesque setting and that they were royalty. I didn’t, however, know why she was seeking him out. The rest of this story was definitely inspired by my recent viewing of Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey!

The picture, for anyone who’s curious, was taken in Corfe Castle in Dorset, UK – a wonderful ruin with lots of fascinating nooks and crannies to explore. It was built in the 11th century on the orders of William the Conqueror. Whilst it would originally have been built mainly out of wood, it was actually one of the earliest castles in England to have used any stone in its construction, a sign of its high status and importance. As happened with the castle in my own hometown of Newark on Trent, it was destroyed in 1645, during the English Civil War, after the Royalist occupants were defeated by the Parliamentarians.

Here are few other pictures that I took around Corfe Castle:


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.


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