Unwanted Gifts

Roberta hurried out of the front door in her husband’s slippers and shawl. Neither were adequate protection for the occurring downpour, but she marched down the street anyway. One of Roberta’s elderly neighbours was hobbling along the pavement some distance away.  Roberta always forgets her name; the street she lives on is friendly but not that friendly. The old lady started to cross the road, but her foot skidded on a stray piece of gravel as she stepped off the pavement. Roberta, however, was ready to save the day, and roughly grasped Bridget (The name dislodged itself from somewhere in Roberta’s memory) by her upper arm and pulled her up before she could fall onto the road.

Some five seconds later, a silver Toyota dashed around the corner, narrowly missing the kerb.

“Oh!” exclaimed Bridget. She stood for a second in silence, clearly contemplating what could have happened if Roberta had not been there. “How lucky you were here, R-“

“Bridget, we should get you out of the rain!” interrupted Roberta, through gritted teeth. Her slippers are already sodden.

After escorting Bridget to her front door, Roberta returned home and dried off. She made a milky cup of tea and began to confide in Fudge, her placid tabby cat.

“Oh, so lucky you were here, Roberta!” she imitated, with a dollop of sarcasm. “Yeah, lucky for you, you old bint. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my Saturday, and if Dave’s slippers don’t come out of the tumble dryer alright, I’m done for.”

Roberta’s in depth chats with Fudge only started when she started having the visions. The cat wouldn’t think she was crazy, and most importantly, the cat couldn’t tell anyone else that Roberta had gone off her rocker and thought she could see the future. Fudge yawned and stretched across the settee on the opposite side of the living room to the Roberta.

“Okay, Fudge, I know. Dave deserves to have his slippers ruined, the cheating bastard. Though, he might not have cheated on me yet, and we know that we can change what’s in the visions or Bridget would have met her maker this afternoon. So maybe he won’t cheat on me. The vision of him and his ex-wife could be completely out of context?”

In response to this, Fudge stared glassily out of the window.

“Or maybe I’m in complete denial,” Roberta sighed.




59 05 May 11th 2014

Copyright – Al Forbes

For the main Sunday Photo Fiction page, click here.

“I’m going to cut that woman up. Don’t even think I’m joking. The next dinner party she hosts, I’m going to grab a knife and just stick it in her.” Eva finished her sentence with a gulp of red wine.

Kathrine laughed and topped up Eva’s glass, but Alice raised her eyebrows.

“What?” Eva glared at Alice and settled back onto Kathrine’s couch.

“You don’t think you’re overreacting?” Alice asked.


“I know she said some things about your dress, and about the last boyfriend you had, and… actually, you’re right. I’d be the same.” Alice conceded.

“Going to say, I was surprised you were taking her side, it’s not like you two are friends.” Kathrine gave the empty wine bottle a sad shake.

“Well, we’re not enemies.”

“Even after she told everyone about that incident last summer? With the stripper?” Eva asked.

“…She did what?” Alice’s face darkened.

Eva smiled.

“So, anyone up for a YouTube tutorial on how to stab someone?”

Valentine’s Day Quickie: The Tragic Romance of KitKat and Oreo

In the fair land of Sainsbury’s, a foolish KitKat from the house of Nestle did an unspeakable thing. She lost her heart to Oreo of the house of Mondelez. Across the biscuit aisle, she yearned know of the soft centre beneath the dark biscuit. Oreo reciprocated KitKat’s love, and longed to be with her.

Alas, Oreo was betrothed to Dairy Milk. When KitKat saw the promotional materials, it hurt her to her wafery core, and she felt as if she were being snapped in two.

One fateful afternoon, an angel in the form of a determined shopper made their way to biscuit aisle. She had in her hand an eccentric cheesecake recipe that called for the marriage of two very different chocolate biscuits.

As she carelessly tossed them into her basket, KitKat almost exploded with excitement. She lay face down, able to feel Oreo’s curves through the thin foil. She was surprised her chocolate robe wasn’t melting due to the tension.

The moment they were pounded together to form the cheesecake base was ecstatic, and there were a few beautiful hours where they remained as one.

Although they met their tragic end that night, swallowed by dinner party guests, their hearts were satisfied. The diners declared it to be a match made in heaven.

Friday Fictioneers – It’s Not Essex Enough

Copyright-Al Forbes

Copyright – Al Forbes

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for picking out the photo, if you’d like to submit your own 100 word story or read some others, click here.

“Everything is too… pale.”

“Pale?” The estate agent took off her glasses and squinted at the extravagant building in front of them. Robbie gave the glasses a disdainful glance. Had she not realized those geek-chic frames went out of fashion in 2011? He sighed and smoothed back his artificial curls.

“Darling, that man up there looks like he hasn’t even heard of a St. Tropez tan.” He lazily flicked his hand up to the decorative bust. “And just, the whole thing is so white.  What’s wrong with ordinary bricks? I like the colour of brick. It brings out my eyes.”

Friday Fictioneers – Which Aisle?


Copyright – Janet Webb

 If you’re interested in submitting your own Friday Fictioneers story, look here

Trying to use this old computer to upload this blog post was so frustrating, it prompted me to ring up the company who are repairing my laptop and ask them when I was going to get it back. The woman who answered the phone had a very soothing Scottish accent, which calmed me slightly. My stress levels are still kind of unhealthy right now though. And I may have just sworn at this computer after I tried to put this paragraph in bold and it redirected me to BetFred. (WHY!? WHY!!?)

I think of my wedding dress and try not to vomit. In less than a week I’ll be walking down the aisle towards my fiancé, a man who adores me just as much as I adore him. This is simply part of the journey.

“No fairy wings, no tiaras, and definitely no stripper!” I insisted.

They obeyed me, which was as much of a surprise as the baked beans, shaving foam, flour and the foray into the supermarket car park.

I cling tight to the sides of the trolley as they spin me around and think:  Less than a week…

Friday Fictioneers – Would You Like Fries With That Transformation?

ImageTo take part or find out more about Friday Fictioneers, click here. Credit for the photograph goes to E.A. Wicklund. (Anyone else having issues captioning photos?)

I’ve started taking part in the University’s Creative Writing Society. There are lots of talented people there, and I was a little intimidated. It reminded me a lot of when I first started taking part in Friday Fictioneers, and I was really worried my entries would be rubbish compared to everyone else’s. They still could be rubbish. I worry less about it.

“Do you wanna go to Mcdonalds? There’s bound to be a few fries lying around the car park.” Jack asked.

“We can’t live off dropped fries forever,” Karen replied, forlornly.

“Well, what do you suggest? Eating what they eat? …Are you crying? I can’t tell when you’re like this.” Jack lowered his beak.

“We can’t live at all like this forever!” Karen wailed.

You’re the one who was like, I’d love to be a seagull, I bet they have such a great time flying over the oceans! You’re the one who went to the witch! This is your fault!”

Alastair’s Photo Fiction – The Shortest Series


Copyright- Alastair Forbes

A quick submission for Alastair’s Photo Fiction! A bit rushed, unfortunately!

The hand-stitched Prada blazers were off. They’d started out in the foyer of the Savoy hotel and things had become decidedly less sophisticated from there. They battled with the voluminous copies of the Yellow Pages before making phone calls.

“Hey mate,” Jake drawled into his iPhone, in a cockney accent that clashed with his surroundings, “I’m looking for a… a can… candla… candlebra? …You don’t stock those?”

Hours later, they frantically scoured market stalls, sweating as they searched for those elusive items. They begged, pleaded and lied about dead aunts to get discounts. They gritted their teeth as their cars slowly inched down the congested London streets.

When darkness had fallen, they sat in the blue office, tense, their faces stiff with make-up for the camera.

Lord Sugar walked in, sat down, and there was moments silence before he tore into them.

“You’re bleedin’ useless, I’m firing the feckin’ lot of ya!”

A Fairy Tale With No Fairies, Just A Mildly Disappointed Cleaner And A Guy That Looked A Bit Like Neil Gaiman

Once upon a time, there was a girl who worked as a temporary cleaner for her university. She was assigned to work for three days in a hall of residence that was much like the other halls of residence. It was neither grand nor squalid, it was just alright.

On the first day, she worked alone. It was a tiring job, but the time went by quickly so she didn’t mind too much. She cleaned bathrooms and mopped floors and dusted and hoovered, and she was very proud of how nice it looked when she had finished.

On the second day, she worked with one of the permanent cleaners, who was a very kind lady and let the girl take a coffee break at eleven. The girl wiped bathrooms and made beds, and the guests were quite pleased that their coffee sachets had been replaced.

On the third day, she came to work and noticed another temporary cleaner who she hadn’t met before. He was shy but handsome, and he looked a lot like a young Neil Gaiman. When the other cleaners asked if he had done this before, he mumbled, “Oh, erm, I’ve done some shifts on University Park…”

The girl laughed inside, because that is exactly what she told them when she first arrived, in the exact same apologetic tone of voice.

She only saw him once after that. He was carrying a heavy load of linen, and her cleaning trolley was in the way. She stammered and apologized as she tried to move the cart out of the way, but he just smiled at her, and she smiled back. She had hoped to see him again when they clocked out, but her hair was frizzy, her face was red, and she was quite sweaty in her ill-fitting blouse from Primark, so she probably wouldn’t have tried to talk to him anyway.

She got home, and was so (mildly) disappointed that she would never see him again, she wrote a whole blog post about it the next day, in fairy tale form.

And there wasn’t a happily ever after. (Not this time, anyway.)

Friday Fictioneers – Jake, what happened to my bike?


Copyright – anelephantcant

If you want to know more about Friday Fictioneers, click here.

This week, we have more adventures from our friends Jake and Alex, who you may recognize from my earlier piece ‘Friends Don’t Let Friends Sleep In Phone Boxes.’ It seems Jake has not learned anything from his last night out.

Jake stumbled down the unfamiliar street. He’d taken a wrong turn somewhere, but her house must be nearby. She would surely be impressed that he’d cycled all this way to see her. Jake paused. Where had he put Alex’s bike? He spun around. He’d only dismounted thirty seconds ago… or had it been ten minutes? Dizzy, Jake staggered to the edge of the pavement and leaned against a railing. It turned out the railing had only existed in his head, and he found himself tumbling down an embankment.

The next morning, Jake awoke on a bed of dirt and twigs, hung over and very confused.

Part Time Work

Photo Prompt from Alastair’s Photo Fiction Blog.


The town of Farnbury was small, quiet and an inconvenient place to live if you wanted a part-time job. Fortunately, Liam’s uncle had convinced the manager of the nearby mining museum, an old friend of his, to take Liam on as a cleaner.

Liam, grateful for the opportunity, enthusiastically went about his work. He dusted, polished and mopped the floors without complaint. Towards the end of his shift, he came upon a room with a low beam attached to a complicated looking system that contained some large wooden cogs. The cogs looked awfully dusty. Without even thinking about it, Liam grabbed one of his cloths and started wiping away all the accumulated dirt.

An ominous creak came from the largest cog, and it suddenly tipped on its side, causing the beam to snap in two. There was a seemingly endless series of crashes as both cogs and fragments of the beam tumbled to the floor.