Thursday, 27 June 2013


100 Word Challenge – week #95
Posted on June 24, 2013 by jfb57
100 words plus this prompt
….”Pink nails?” she cried…
The link will close next Monday 1st July
If you are new here please read ‘What is 100WCGU?



They arrived as the session was about to start
Juliette and Mary were having a heated heart-to-heart
Mary was flabbergasted, ‘Pink Nails?’ she cried out aloud
Juliette nodded her head vigorously, not to be cowed
She thought it was a perfect name for their new beauty salon
They’d have crystal glass bowls on the counter full of bon-bons
We can't discuss this here and now we have clients to tend to
We’ll be professional and not have a to-do
They hurried off to their respective clients
To sort out various ailments
A massage here, a facial there,
Still seething, they both enjoyed their career.

Word Count: 104 without title

Tuesday, 25 June 2013


WWBH June 19 2013
The rules are simple:

The story must be related to the above picture and include the random words below. 
It must also be under 500 words.

Most important, have fun and don't stress out.

When you're done link your story to the linky at the bottom.
Random Words:






Here is my entry for this week:

Abigail was fuming.  The stupid driver had nearly caused a head-on collision.  He roared off in his souped-up, super-duper car, exhaust growling, down the road through the traffic lights with no thought for anybody else.   No wonder the other car drivers were shaking their heads in disbelief at what had nearly happened.   The line of cars started to move off as the green lights beckoned them onwards on their journeys.
She replaced her pen and pad in the pocket of her white apron covering her black skirt and quickly made her way to the back of the restaurant and in to the kitchen.
‘Hey, doll, you OK?’ the silky satin words came from Roger as he turned and grinned at her whilst fixing the dishwasher controls once again. 
‘You don't want to know,’ Abigail replied trying to smile in return. 
The crescent moon began to shine through the back window, leaving just enough time to grab a quick cup of coffee before the office workers came in on their way home. 
Their little café, with their own speciality roasted beans, made it a pleasant social gathering for their customers to imprint superior tastes in their minds before they returned to their, perhaps sometimes, care-worn lives of family problems and disputes, as they left their hectic jobs behind for a few hours.
Abigail sat still and took the time to savour her coffee. She’d chosen the Coconino Mocha with the chocolate sauce that was her little special treat and indulgence once a day before her feet were too sore and her legs ached and her back felt as though it was on fire.
She placed her empty cup and saucer in the newly fixed dishwasher, wrapped her arms around Roger, gave him a loving squeeze and a quick peck on his cheek. 
‘Stay a while,’ he murmured as he enfolded her in his strong, muscular arms.  ‘You still have a few minutes.’
‘I wish I could but the rush is about to start,’ she replied with a heartfelt sigh.
Abigail stood behind the counter chatting to her colleague, Jane, just as a young lad sauntered in, baseball cap on the wrong way round, chains dangling from his jeans that were hanging down by his crotch.
She went over to his table, pen poised over her pad, looked him in the eye daring him to say something cheeky to her. 
‘Yo, sis!’
Abigail’s left eyebrow arched over her forehead.
‘Sorry, Abby,’ came a mumbled apology of sorts.  ‘Please can I have a Cuppa Jo?’
Abigail nodded her head, patted his hand and turned to fulfil the order.  She returned to his table quickly, placed the coffee down on the coaster.
‘So you’re still in character then, Ben?’ she asked quizzically.  ‘How do you like being an extra on the film set?’
Her 16 year old brother sipped his coffee with relish, nodded his head and grinned as he gave her the thumbs up.
Word Count: 493

Sunday, 23 June 2013


It's time for RFWer's JUNE WEDDING challenge. This challenge is open to everyone - fiction writers, poets, non-fiction writers. You may submit more than one entry, but in two different genres - e.g. one prose, one poem...THIS IS A PRIZE CHALLENGE - A $5 Amazon Gift Card and a 1,000 word CRITIQUE by your hosts will be awarded/announced Friday June 28th on the RFW blog.

For my entry this month I have chosen to relate a true story.

I have permission to use real names and photographs.

(1st August 1953)

June was so thankful to have a few minutes to herself; she had been surrounded by people petting and fussing and talking so much that she nearly yelled at them all to leave her alone.  She let out a heavy sigh as she gazed out of her bedroom window on to a beautiful summer’s afternoon.  
She hadn’t been able to eat anything for breakfast let alone the quick sandwich for lunch that her mother tried to get her to eat.  The butterflies in her stomach were tumbling over each other and rising up in her throat every time she thought about the next couple of hours.
She knew she would spend the rest of her life with Nelson but she had to get through this day first.  He was so handsome and would look so dashing in his sailor’s dress uniform, dark haired, tall and strong, a romantic looking man but that’s as far as it went with the romance. 
He didn't actually propose but said things like ‘when we are married’ or ‘after we are married.’  He’d posted her engagement ring to her when he’d stopped off in Bravington’s the Jewellers in King’s Cross, London on his way back to his ship.  Still you couldn't have everything and he did have prospects, as her father had said when he gave his permission, as a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy.
There was a knock on her bedroom door and her cousin, Ivy, burst through the door full of energy. 
‘Here I am, Ju-ju.  Now let’s do your make-up and make you the blushing bride.’  Ivy’s smoky laughter boomed round the bedroom walls.  ‘Don’t you worry, my dear, Sylvia and Dawn are downstairs, already dressed in their bridesmaid’s outfits and Margaret is keeping them quiet.’
The two cousins shared a smile although Ivy was a few years older than June and already married with the two girls.  They had seen a lot and were still feeling the effects of World War II and the on-going rationing. 
June’s mother, Harriet, had made her wedding dress and Ivy had made both her daughters’ dresses.
June’s bedroom became a flurry of activity to rival the butterflies that were doing all sorts of acrobats in her tummy.  Harriet, Ivy, Margaret and the two little girls left for St. Mary The Virgin church.
Aunt Flo, bustled up to June and whispered, ‘I’ve got something for you to take to ease your nerves.’  June trusted her aunt so she swallowed the proffered pill.  They soon took effect as June’s body became very calm and she seemed to be slightly floating above her body.  She was happy now and smiled and smiled at everyone.
Fred, her father, said, ‘you look beautiful.’  He took her arm and led her out to the wedding car.
June and her father, Fred, arriving at the Church
The church bells were ringing out across the village as June and her dad, Fred, entered through the heavy oak door.   She half walked, half floated down the aisle on the arm of her father and stood next to Nelson, who was grinning like a Cheshire cat.
The ceremony went by in a flash.  She was grateful that Uncle Tom had chosen three hymns but her mouth was so dry she couldn't sing any of the words.   She was also thankful they’d paid for the organist and the choir boys who helped the music along.  She could see the young choir boys fidgeting in the stalls because they wanted to get away early to go to football practice.
They walked to the vestry to sign the register and she quietly said her new surname to herself over and over again.
Her silver sandals peeked out from beneath her satin brocade white dress, with its Peter Pan collar and pearl buttons down the front, tapping gently on the flagstone floor of the aisle as she walked through the church on the arm of her new husband.
June and Nelson stood outside the huge oak door to pose for the first of many wedding photographs.    
Her arm was hooked through Nelson’s arm so only her white cotton glove peeked out in contrast to his dark navy blue No.1 dress uniform.  Her bouquet of freshly cut red roses cascaded down the front of her dress adding a splash of vibrancy to her wedding outfit.

June and Nelson Carter
June kept smiling, clinging to Nelson’s arm as the call came for a photograph with the bridesmaids and immediate family.  Her younger sister, Margaret, who had married the previous March, was now standing proudly by her side as her Matron of Honour with the two small bridesmaids, resting their heavy wicker baskets adorned top and bottom with satin ribbons, full of freshly picked sweet peas.
Family group photograph

The very short trip across the road to the Church Hall for the reception was made in the bridal car as Fred had stated that his daughter was not walking across the road to the hall. 
The confetti and rice were thrown with gusto by the wedding guests over the bride and groom as they proceeded to get in to the bridal car for the minute’s drive to the reception.

The three-tier wedding cake, baked with love by her mother and made with donated food coupons from customers where she worked had been saved for months by family and friends had provided the dried fruits.  It was professionally iced by the local baker and took pride of place at the head table.

June and Nelson will be celebrating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary (60 years) on 1st August 2013. 
They will receive a telegram congratulating them on their Diamond Wedding Anniversary from Queen Elizabeth II.
Although they now suffer from some physical ailments ranging from severe arthritis, mobility problems, asbestosis, diverticulitis and age related diabetes, they are a very independent couple and are looking forward to celebrating their special day with their friends and family including their great-grandchildren at a special lunch time gathering in August.  
Word Count: approx 989 – without title and captions
This wonderful poem was cut out of a woman’s magazine by a family friend and inserted into the wedding card along with a wedding present of brand new linen sheets and presented to June just before her wedding day. 
June has kept the poem all these years and I reproduce it here.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Doll's House

100 Word Challenge – Week#94
Posted on June 17, 2013 by jfb57

This week’s prompt from Julia is:

…the angle was very acute….
As usual you have 100 words to add to those above. The link will be open until 24th June


His tongue lolled out of the corner of his lips
A frown creases his forehead, as he grips
A stubby pencil between thumb and forefinger
The angle was very acute as he places the ruler
Measure once, measure again he heard his dad say
He wished he was here to help him today
The doll’s house would be finished in time
For his daughter’s birthday when she turns nine
He should have started it earlier, keeping it a secret
Hiding all the pieces of wood in his closet
The pink gabled roof was nearly done
He hoped she would love it and have great fun.

Word count: 105 plus title.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013


WWHB 13 June 2013

Here are the rules:

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
4) Link up with your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne)
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.
(Randomly generated) Mandatory words

Potato, magazine, carrot, day, cough

Norman stretched out his back and heard his bones creak and crack.  That’s not good he thought but then what could he expect at 80 years of age.  He was lucky he could still do a morning’s work on his allotment growing potatoes and carrots.
It was a lovely day, a slight breeze but no rain, the clouds had dispersed leaving a brightness that had been missing for quite a while.   He would take a leisurely stroll down to the corner shop and browse the newsstand and see if the current gardening magazine had come in yet.
The shopkeeper, Mr. Brown and his wife had recently taken over their village shop and were desperately trying to make a go of it by adding a personal touch to the shopping experience.  It was so hard competing against the large supermarkets and the internet these days. 
Norman admired the middle aged couple for their hard work and dedication and supported them whenever he could. 
He took his basket with a few items in it, a box of chocolates, a bunch of flowers and his gardening magazine to the till.
‘Good afternoon, Norman,’ said Bill Brown, ‘it’s turned out nice again.  Would you like me to wrap the flowers in some paper for you?’
‘Yes, thank you, if you would be so kind,’ replied Norman.
Glenda Brown smiled as she spoke to Norman.  ‘Flowers?  Who is the lucky lady?’
Glenda was surprised to see the elderly gentleman turn a gentle shade of pink.  He cleared his throat with a little cough.
‘I am rather hoping to meet someone shortly,’ he replied with a smile in his voice.
Glenda nudged Bill as if to say, see you could learn something from Norman. 
Bill surreptitiously winked at Norman.  ‘Have a lovely afternoon.’
Norman tipped his hand at his hat and made his way out of the shop.
It wasn’t far to the river walk, probably ten minutes from the shop as Norman ambled along taking in the sights and sounds.  As he neared the river walk the hum of the traffic lessened to a dull roar rather than whipping by frenetically along the motorway.
It was a little haven of peace on the edge of the old railway and market town that was showing signs of neglect since its heyday in the late 1890’s.   He reached the bench and thankfully rested his weary legs.  He placed the bouquet of flowers next to him and the box of chocolates on his other side.
He closed his eyes and remembered back.  Alice was smiling at him as he handed her the flowers and chocolates.  Her eyes shone with love and he thought he was the luckiest man alive. 
A group of youngsters swooped past him on their skateboards, jolting him out of his reverie. He missed her so much every minute of the day.  He picked up the flowers and chocolates and continued on his way to the small private crematorium.

Word Count: 496

Wednesday, 12 June 2013


100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week#93
Posted on June 10, 2013 by jfb57

…when the judgement came it…
You have the usual 100 words to add to those above to produce a creative piece to link here and share. The link will close on 17th June
If you are new to this weekly challenge, have a read of ‘What is 100WCGU?.

 The days were long, the wait was even longer
She hoped she would feel stronger
Weighing up all the pros and cons
Thoughts snaking around like pythons
Writhing and wrestling each other out of the way
Little or no sleep, trying to get through the day
Talked of nothing else, nothing made sense
There could be no more pretence
They grouped together, huddled in the corner
Batting at her mind, strafing with anger
So when the judgement came it was with some relief
Her emotions overflowed, she let out her grief
A primordial scream cut across her brain
She would never go through that again.

Word count: 105

Monday, 10 June 2013

The Birthday Treat

This week's challenge for 5 June 2013

The Photo from Flikr Commons

The Words:






Here is my contribution:


The waiter brought over the tray holding a cafetiere and two cups and saucers and placed it down on the table in the lounge area of the Georgian country manor hotel.  Isabelle smiled at her husband who took her hand and said, ‘Happy birthday darling.’
Isabelle raised her eyes to the stucco ceiling gazing at the ornate light boss holding a dazzling chandelier.   Her laughter tinkled lightly as she gazed at this man who could still surprise her.  
George’s attention was taken by the old fashioned mahogany bookcases that lined one wall of the lounge.  He pointed them out to Isabelle who stood up to take a better look at the titles on the spines of the books.  
A leather bound Bible was prominently displayed on one of the bookcases.  George groaned inwardly as he saw Isabelle’s hand take down this religious tome.  She brought it back to the leather chesterfield sofa and as she sank low down in to the cushioned seating she opened the fly leaf of the book.
‘Oh look, George, there’s an inscription here.  It’s a bit difficult to read as it’s slightly faded and in old fashioned script,’ said an awestruck Isabelle.
‘Wonderful,’ he heard himself say with a slight tinge of sarcasm.  He poured their coffee dropping a cube of brown sugar into his black liquid whilst he picked up the jug of cream and slowly swirled it in to his beautiful wife’s cup.  
He heard a gasp and looked over to see Isabelle holding a black and white photograph in her hand. 
‘Wow, look at this, George!’ she exclaimed.  ‘It’s got to be pretty old.  It must be to do with that chap who explored the Antarctic surely,’ she mused.
‘Let’s see,’ said George as he fumbled for his glasses from his shirt pocket.  ‘It certainly looks pretty cold there,’ he said once the picture came in to focus.
Isabelle started a running description of the photo.  ‘It’s an ice cave, with icicles dangling from the sides and two men who have obviously walked across the ice from that ship there.’
She turned the black and white photograph over and saw handwritten on the back the words: British Antarctic Expedition 5 January 1911.
‘This photo is more than 100 years old.  Look what those men did without the aid of all this technology we have nowadays.’
‘Didn’t they all die before the fleet of rescue ships found them?’ asked George.  ‘I’ll Google it when we go to our room.’ 
It wasn’t quite what he had in mind for the end of the evening when they retired to their four poster bed but he knew Isabelle would still be wondering if he didn't find out for her although he was almost sure she pretended to be more technophobic than she actually was.
‘I know summit usually means the top of the mountain,’ said Isabelle ‘but this must have felt like the summit of the journey to see something nobody had ever seen before.’

Word count: 500

Monday, 3 June 2013


WWBH Prompt!
for Wednesday 29th May 2013
Here are the rules:
1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
4) Link up with your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) when you’re done via the inLinkz linky below.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

The Words:






The Photo:

Juliette sat in the waiting room impatiently waiting to be called
She watched the second and minute hands of the clock as they crawled
So slowly around the Roman numerals as the time ticked slowly by
She had to get across town to pick Mike up from the gym then her eye
Caught sight of the poster that was curling at the edges promoting a new bar
N O R T H in big bold capital letters stood out so you could see it from afar
North of where? What happened to East, West and South?
Then the dentist was ready for her and before she could answer her mouth
Was stuffed with gentle fingers and tools that pricked and poked and jabbed
The anaesthetic numbed her gums but also sent her into a reverie
For the next half an hour her mind wandered totally carefree

She rode in her carriage along the wet and windy street
A thick travelling blanket was wrapped tightly around her feet
Through the misted, rain splattered windows she surveyed her surroundings
The street light offered up an ethereal glow, lighting up the buildings
Such a shame the old family home was now boarded up, closed tight
Recalling the shame of the recession and how hard her family tried to fight
Their possessions were lost, the bank foreclosed and they had to leave
Her parents and her brothers lost the business and felt so bereaved
As they tried to build up their lives again and recover and start again
She saw them wither and falter but she didn't think any less of them
She knew they would come through and fight stronger than ever before
It wouldn’t be long before they would hold the key once again and open the door

‘Juliette, we are all done,’ said a voice echoing down through the reaches of time
‘Rinse out please.’  She left the surgery with instructions not to eat until dinnertime.
She drove the car smoothly away from the car park towards the old family abode
She turned the steering wheel as they approached the old house silhouetted and shadowed
More than her dream in the dentist’s chair, she espied a poster on the front door that said
‘Opening Soon’ the N O R T H, incorporating a members’ gym, fine wine, bar and dining
Its logo was an old fashioned horse and carriage as a black and white line drawing

It must be an omen Juliette thought as she went to collect Mike from his workout
She told him all about it and he suggested they go one evening and check it out
He understood her need to see the old family pile and what changes had been made
To embrace her and hold her tight as the emotion of her family being betrayed
Her slate grey eyes holding all the pain of her family story from so long ago
That had delivered her family’s final deathblow.

Word Count: 495