The State We’re In #writephoto #flashfiction

another prompt from Sue Vincent here


Cloud burst

Intelligence takes many forms and each form thinks itself more intelligent than the others. When a gaseous puff-stream called A’bush found she had been allocated to train up Mani Clump, a newly employed solid from the glutinous-claybeds, her form sagged visibly, creating a nimboid denting in her normally pert cumulo-curvation.
‘Why me, boss?’ She hissed wearily.

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Just because I’m old doesn’t make me ossified! #shortstory

Charli Mills from the Carrot Ranch prompts us thus this week

August 17, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a fossil or uses the word in its variant forms (fossilize, dino bones, petrification, gastroliths, ichnofossils, etc.). Dig into your imagination and go where the fossil record leads you.

The Archaeologist was fixated with fossils as a child. We hunted for sharks teeth that fell out of the cliff at Reculver in Kent.


Reculver this year, same beach though a different sort of foraging

He scoured the recent mudslides hoping for an ammonite or bone but never had much luck. He did secure the top prize for geekery that was available in the 1960s, namely a Blue Peter badge, for writing and telling them their piece on the Dinosaurs in Crystal Palace park was misleading since they failed to mention the Victorians had mistakenly given one dinosaur a horn on his nose whereas the bones should in fact have been his thumb. I was beyond jealous.

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A year ago I revisited those rather brilliant models with Elizabeth Barnes and her family (she blogs at Autism Mom and is well worth a visit). Her son is as much a dinosaur aficionado as the Archaeologist was. I began to explain the error with the thumb. The Navigator listened politely before listing another dozen errors, leaving me yet again off the pace. In future I will stick to safe topics and just enjoy the models for what they are.

In the name of experience

‘I thought about Jerry Slade today.’

Mary nodded. ‘The school friend who died?’

‘That’s the one. We had this teacher -Mr Fossick – called him the Fossil, he was ancient. He was great, never took himself too seriously but we knew when to behave.’


‘He surprised us all the time.’


‘Today I surprised this trainee; I knew stuff he thought me too old to know.’

‘You’re only in your 40s!’

‘Makes you realise how easy we pigeonhole people whether their age or whatever.’

‘I wonder what the youngsters call you?’

‘Magnetic. Magnetic North.’

‘Not your personality then?’

If you want to keep up to date with Mary and Paul North, click here

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Post Brexit #noirwednesday

Here’s a new prompt to me, from Steve Tanham at Sun in Gemini

Steve T noir

It’s not dark exactly, but anyway here goes…

Post Brexit 

Sergeant Theakston mopped his brow. ‘How’d that get there?’

Constable Bould looked at his notes. ‘According to Miss Prism – she lives at number 37 – it was there when she went out this morning for the milk. Appeared overnight.’

‘A house can’t ‘appear’ overnight, Bould.’

‘No Sarge.’

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Higher, Faster, Stronger #TeamGB #Olympics

To celebrate the day we surpassed the Chinese in the Olympics medal table (accepting it can’t last but still…) and to acknowledge the joy I experienced working for the Olympics in 2012 in London (the pictures are from then), here is a sonnet I wrote 


Team GB 

Improbable arcs, they shape with simple grace,

Higher by far than Herculean gods.

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In a flash #carrotranch #flashfiction

August 10, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about something or someone that is transient. It can be a fleeting moment, a rogue vagabond, or ephemeral like trending hashtags. What is passing by and how can you capture the passing in a flash?

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I’ve been focused on insects this week. They loom large in my youth, those ephemeral flappers that captivated my father and created a bond between him, my brother and I as we wandered far and wide after an elusive fritillary or secretive skipper.

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Revenge #writephoto #shortstory

Another prompt from Sue, here

sue vincent cage

Revenge is best served…

Teagan McSprout hated Irvine, her husband. Partly it was his condescension, which she had been blind to before their marriage by a combination of witty one liners and a genetically forked tongue that made their love-making a four-dimensional experience.

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Clash of Egos #microfiction #shortstory

Another prompt, this one from Jane Doughtery using this pictureJane D rainbow ‘Clouds? Are you ready for the Parting?’

‘Yes, St P.’

Saint Peter checked the three screens. Looking good, he thought. ‘Sun-Dazzle, ready to flood with Ethereal Splendour after the Parting of the Clouds? Big J wants Exceptional Awesomeness today.’

‘Er, St P. While we’re ready I’m not sure we should go yet.’

‘Big J is out of make up in 5. He’ll want to go at once.’

‘But, St P, he won’t be happy.’

‘Course he’ll be happy. Massive Cloud Parting, full Bicentennial Dazzle, a 4G Rainbow, tumultuous crowds, glowing upturned faces…’

‘That’s the trouble. No crowds.’

‘No crowds? You’re kidding? Jehovah makes a special appearance to bring comfort to Nations and someone’s forgotten the crowds?’ Saint Peter looked at the left-hand screen; Jehovah was having his hair dried into a tsunami of grey waves, his final preparation. He had no more than three minutes. ‘Ok, ok. What can we do? Can we shift the Parting? Is there anywhere we can go with a decent crowd of gullible people prepared for a big appearance?’

‘Well, there’s one spot, but I’m not sure I should suggest this…’ The Director of Partings tapped nervously on his teeth. ‘Big J might not like it.’

Saint Peter growled into his microphone. ‘If you want to avoid pushing snowflakes out of a dumpster for the next 1000 years, matey-boy, you’ll set this up NOW.’

‘Don’t you want to know where?’

‘He needs crowds, and he needs them NOW.’ Saint Peter paused. ‘You really are worried, aren’t you?’

‘It’s just, well, Big J likes to be the centre of attention right? The Man?’

‘Course – no one out egos the Boss.’ The silence had an unnerving profundity. ‘Come on, spit it out. Where are these crowds?’

‘The Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Sure they are gullible, no crowd has ever been more so; it’s just I’m not sure who’s got the biggest ego.’

Saint Peter took a deep breath. He picked up the Golden Phone. ‘Boss? I think we need to talk postponement.’

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