Friday Fictioneers – Debts Paid

Photo supplied by Douglas M MacIlroy

Happy Friday Fictioneers day, AKA Wednesday! Hope you are all surviving lockdown, If you want to submit your own 100 word story based on the photograph, or see others, just follow this link

“A little something to wet your beak on.”


“Glad to see you survived your meeting with Sparrowhawk,” said Tawny Owl, placing Finch’s drink on the bar. “He doesn’t forgive debtors easily.”

Finch didn’t reply, memories of last night circulating like a jerky film reel.


“I have the perfect job for a little birdie like you,” Sparrowhawk had said. “A message to deliver.”

At the described tree, Finch heaved to dislodge and topple the stranger’s nest. Only then did he hear.


Glimpses of broken shell, scattered.

Minutes later, Finch trembled under Sparrowhawk’s gaze, “Message delivered.”


Share Prices are About to Fall


Used with Kind Permission of CEAYR

Please follow the link to find the rules of Friday Fictioneers, and to see more imaginative 100 word stories.

The board of ARK Water Mining stared at Lila, expectant.

“The good news about our discovery is true,” she began, smiling. “I estimate that it will only take twelve months before we profit from our newest water source. If our rivals haven’t found anything by then, we’ll be the sole water supplier. We’re expecting profit margins of at least 500%”

After the meeting, Lila looked outside at an empty lake, connected by dry riverbeds to an ocean which no longer existed. Her attention was seized by a dark mass in the sky, the like of which had been unseen in decades.

A raincloud.

Friday Fictioneers -The Optimist


PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Copyright – Roger Bultot

Of course, the urge to complete a Friday Fictioneers entry would only come upon me this strongly when my university dissertation is due in a week from now… If you also have a desperate need to procrastinate, please follow the link and read lots of of other fabulous short stories or find the rules for completing your own entry.

Jenny stepped onto the rusty balcony for the last time, protectively gripping her coffee. Over the lip of her mug, she surveyed the incoming fog and looked forward to disappearing into it.

This is the first time she would leave somewhere and not fondly think back on it. She wouldn’t miss anything, not the run-down house, not the underfunded exam factory she worked at which called itself a school, not the anti-social neighbours, and definitely not the bird crap on her car every morning.

Jenny used to be an optimist. Somewhere else, Jenny thought, I still might be an optimist.

Friday Fictioneers – A Stranger Calling

Copyright – Roger Bultot

A 100 word entry for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by the super-patient and very talented Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

They told me to go to London and do the job I had been trained to do.

On the flight, I could barely keep still in my seat. My veins seemed to crackle with the energy I’d amassed over the past four years through supplementations, incantations, rituals, and prayers to mysterious Gods who imparted their power to me.

On a neglected rooftop garden, I called for him, master to master.

I made him bow like rushes in the wind, and then I cut him down. I never hesitated, never asked why.

Years later, my power fades. A stranger calls me.

Sunday Photo Fiction – The Professor Vs The Unenlightened

Copyright – Al Forbes

Another entry for Sunday Photo Fiction!

Professor Adams is a small man, but it’s clear he’s used to being looked up to in the metaphorical sense. From his rude demands for us to get out of his office to the way he insults us, everything about him smacks of an ostentatious intellectual who hasn’t quite realised that his knowledge doesn’t make him a saint.

“Don’t you dare touch those. You can’t possibly comprehend their worth,” he sneers as my friends begin to pick up artefacts from the shelves.

I smirk.

“Why don’t you enlighten us, professor?” I walk around the desk, and place my left hand firmly on the shoulder pad of his thoroughly outdated jacket. Maybe his suit is an antique too. “How much are they worth?” I ask softly in his ear, inducing a sweaty sheen on his forehead. He jumps as the cold blade of my knife comes into contact with his neck.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Rumours from an Old Friend

125 10 October 11th 2015

Copyright – Al Forbes

Another entry for Sunday Photo Fiction. I was really struggling this week!

After what seemed to be a fortuitous meeting with an ex-schoolfriend, I was directed to the Ballay Boat Inn. Tommy warned me that the exterior might be off-putting, and he was right on that score. With its lichen covered walls and splintering sign, one could be forgiven for assuming the place was derelict.

Tommy’s mate was the only customer inside; he and the barman stared at me as I entered the pub like I was some other worldly vision. We exchange our introductions and get to the point.

“Tommy says yeh’ve got an interest in the hill.” He gives the barman a look as he says this.

“Yeah. Relative of mine used to own property on it. Nobody seems to know what happened to the building.”

“Ahhhh.” He stares at me even as he drinks deeply from his pint glass.

“Yeah, tried going through the local authorities, they can’t explain it.”

“Out of curiosity, how close were you to this relative? No bad blood, I hope?” Tommy’s friend smirks. “Nothing that… might come back to haunt you, say?”

Sunday Photo Fiction – 2056: Revival of the Demolition Derby

123 09 September 27th 2015

Copyright – Al Forbes

Click the link to take part in the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge.

“Listen, sweetheart, these cars are priceless.” He leers are me as he enunciates the last word, his face pinching like he wants to spit in my face. “They’re the last of their kind left. To scrap these cars is like burning famous artwork.”

The second man takes a friendly tone with me. “I understand you have to do your job, and a demolition derby isn’t to everyone’s taste, but this is history we’re talking about. We’re trying to preserve history!”

I cast a final eye over the dented rusting boxes these men claim to be vehicles.

“There’s a reason banger racing died out. Regardless of the purpose, these cars don’t meet the legal emissions spec. If they’re used, you’ll be liable for a hefty fine. You’ll have to find newer cars to destroy.”

Sunday Photo Fiction – The Most Beautiful Prison

94 01 January 4th 2015

Copyright – Al Forbes

Please check out Al’s page for the rules, and other entries.

I’m trapped in a beautiful prison.

The six walls that surround me are lined with ebony shelves, perhaps ten storeys high. Three are hidden behind silken curtains, and crammed on the shelves are treasures upon treasures. Despite the length of my incarceration, I still discover new things, even now. Strings of pearls, diamonds, filigree gold jewellery, boxes lined with satin, leather books written in languages I don’t understand, china dolls, animals carved from onyx and agate.

Many days ago I discovered a stone angel that seemed warm to the tough, about the length of my palm. It bears a likeness to someone I once knew, a certain prince who was cursed for trying to use his wealth to become a God. My memory of him is obscured and distorted, like someone tried to burn it.

The angel whispers something about a seventh wall.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Equal and Opposite

75 08 August 31st 2014

Copyright – Al Forbes

Sorry that I’ve been neglecting the blog, but I moved to Kent yesterday. Hopefully I’ll have more time for writing now! If you’d like to see the rules or the other stories, click here.

“Who’s the lady at number 17? I never see her talking to anyone.”

She is Karen Hannah. A wretched woman who isn’t welcome in my home or in the homes of my friends.”

“What did she do?”

“What she did is irrelevant. The point is that she got what she deserved. You might disagree with the phrase ‘An eye for an eye.’ You might think it’s unbecoming for ladies like us. Not in her case.”

“Is she really so bad?”

“Let me tell you, that woman did what she did for attention. If she wasn’t, then she ought to know that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Since she clearly has no conscience, we’re simply teaching her that there are consequences to the things she does.”

“Hold on, is this the same Karen who Susan mentioned? The one who… Oh.”


The Scrapheap

58 05 May 4th 2014

Copyright – Al Forbes

See the Sunday Photo Fiction main page for instructions on how to use the prompt and to find other entries.

When the assistant smiles, his greasy skin stretches out over his cheekbones, causing the pores to yawn open. My C.V. disappears below the counter, no doubt onto a pile that will eventually be cleared out into the recycling bin.

Can’t I have his job? I’m sure I deserve it more. I’d look prettier too. This is a lingerie shop, for god’s sake. Nobody wants some shiny-faced, barely-out-of-adolescence male pawing at the underwear they’ve just forked out a fortune for.

“We’re not looking for anyone right now, but if something comes up we’ll be in touch.”

They don’t want anyone right now. Same as the last twelve shops I went into. But when retail is all you’ve ever done, and the place you worked at for almost a decade tosses you out like you belong in a rubbish bin, your choices are limited.

I give him my best smile. I’m not ready for the scrapheap just yet.