Thursday 12 December 2019

WEP December 2019 - FOOTPRINTS - DL

It's time for our last challenge of 2019 - the subject as above is FOOTPRINTS

Here is my contribution: 

Sitting on the bench Albert watched the horizon.  His rheumy eyes sometimes found it difficult to focus further out or even in, these days.  The glasses helped; he was amazed that they turned dark at the least sign of bright sunshine.  The things they could do these days, he knew there was a name for it trans something – oh no, that was something else – yes, photogenic.  No, that wasn't right either.  Shaking his head, he relaxed his mind, maybe the word he was searching for would come to him in time.  Time was something he had a lot of these days, although maybe not as much as he wanted.

Sitting on the memorial bench dedicated in memory of his lovely wife, Eileen, his mind opened like a trailer for a film.  Snapshots of his life, their life together and now this third transition, his life on his own. 

Did he leave enough of a mark for generations to come to remember him?  He didn’t live through a war.   He didn’t invent a life-saving medical drug.  He didn’t make lots of money, although he earned a decent enough living throughout his life by working hard and diligently.  His family didn’t go without, they didn’t live in the lap of luxury but they were happy.  He didn’t write a book, direct a film or become a big film star.  He didn’t paint, sculpt or do anything artistic. 

What he did do was love his life, his family and help anybody whenever he could.  He was lucky to be surrounded by family when so many families became scattered, dysfunctional or just too busy.

The seagulls squawked their raucous calls, as he looked up at them whirling around in the blue sky above he gave thanks to – well he wasn’t sure who he could give thanks to or even if there was someone/something out there but that was another thought for another day and another time, probably with the help of a glass of whisky or two. He laughed quietly to himself, he did enjoy a tipple of an evening.

Oh yes, photochromatic, that’s what his spectacles had – they changed into sunglasses all by themselves.  Amazing.

He heard the clock tower strike eleven, she was late again but then when was she ever early?  That would be her legacy in life, always rushing but never on time rather like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland – “I’m late, I’m late! For a very important date!”  She had a heart of gold but time-keeping wasn't in her make-up.

Albert looked out over his favourite scene.  There he was.  His precious godson or as he liked to think of him, his precious grandson.  Not by blood, not by birth but by bonding.   This little boy was the light of his life and he was so grateful Harry and Louise had come in to his life when they had.  They had enveloped him in their love, in their family and made his days not as lonely any more.

That was their legacy, their footprint in time.  They might not aspire or achieve great or notable things in the world but they would pass on their kindness, love, fortitude, morals and downright human decency.  Albert nodded to himself, you didn’t have to be famous, have your name known by all and sundry, so long as those people who were in your life let you love them and they loved you in return.

Harry was making his bid for freedom.  Look at him go.  Those sturdy little legs carrying him far away (always in sight of his mother though) – he was full of life and Albert hoped that would never fade.  

The sky met the sea, the sea met the shingle and Harry’s footprints left a faint mark which would be washed away by the later tide, borne who knows where, perhaps to lands far away, perhaps to the depths of the earth.  Albert waved at Louise who beamed back at him, beckoning him to join them on the beach for a cuppa.  She’d also have something delicious to treat him with, perhaps a chocolate muffin if he was lucky.  

Yes, he did feel lucky.  So lucky. He watched Harry gaze in wonder at the vista beyond his young eyes.  Albert gazed also in wonder at the scene as he slowly, stiffly, rose from the bench, blowing a kiss to his love as he moved forward with his life.


Generations come and go

Leaving footprints in the snow

In the sand

Through the land

Legacies that live on through others

The sisters and mothers

The fathers and brothers

Nephews and nieces

Cousins and sundries

Assorted, blended families

Lay behind love and loyalty

Hidden depths take pride of place

As people move in and out of the human race

Bigotry passes

No more classes

A Utopian dream

Perhaps never seen

Maybe won’t ever exist

Word count: 817

Friday 29 November 2019

Cee's Black and White Photo Challenge: Doors and Drawers

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Doors and Drawers

For more information on this challenge, please visit the Black & White Challenge page.

This week the topic is Doors and Drawers.

Here is my entry:

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Cee's Fun Foto Challenge - Yellow

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Yellow
Create a Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge (CFFC) Post
Joining in with this challenge – this week the subject is YELLOW.

Here is my entry for this week:
Wine bottle hat and scarf

Double yellow lines on road

Yellow statue under bridge

Yellow plane

If you would like to join in Cee’s challenge here is the link:
Please check out my Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge to check out more of what this challenge is about.

Thursday 7 November 2019


Joining in with Friday Fictioneers
Using the photo prompt create a story using 100 words.

Here is the link to read other stories or to join in.

The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.

Photo prompt: Ronda Del Boccio


Anna never knew what to expect when she visited her Gran.  Doris had been living on her own for the last five years.  At first the family were quite worried how she would cope as Stan, her husband, had organised everything, from the money to the grocery shopping.

They stopped worrying after a year as Doris seemed to have a new lease of life.  Now, however, things were in the wrong place with no logic to them.   

It was time to have a family conference, maybe even look in to a residential home for her, if they could afford it. 

Thursday 31 October 2019

Friday Fictioneers - Empty House

1 November 2019

Published October 30, 2019 by rochellewisoff


PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria

The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria

Empty House

Toby came home to an empty house every day after school.  He was 12 years old and quite capable of looking after himself.  He saw the empty food containers, the clean glass and quickly scurried to the kitchen to prepare his lunch box for the next day.

He thought he would just have a rest before he prepared the evening meal when he saw his mum’s leather case on the table.  She was going to be so angry when she got home from her long commute.  He just had a peek at the paperwork.  Two words jumped out – Decree Nisi.

Word count: 100

Expectations - Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner

30 October 2019

The Six Easy Guidelines

1.        A photo prompt topic is to be used as your ‘muse’. They will arrive promptly at midnight each Wednesday morning.
2.        Include the photo prompt and its credits with your story on your blog.
3.        All stories are to be crafted and honed to under 200 words in length.
4.        Each flash fiction piece should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. No serial stories. It is harder to stay abreast of a serial story. (Please keep content PG-13.)

5.        Once you have your post complete, create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. If that is not an option for you, add your post’s link in the comments section.

If you want to join in here is the link:

This week’s photo prompt:


Here is my story.


She heard the heavy iron key jangle on his belt.  Her stomach roiled with anxiety.  Would he be in a good mood when he entered the house?  Would he be angry at something that had happened on his journey home?

Alexander turned the key in the door, lifted the latch, plastering a smile on his face.  Even though he had had a bad day he wanted to be loving and kind to his wife.  It was too long since he’d actually appreciated all she did for him.

There she was, a vision in loveliness.  Her gossamer nightdress floated against her lithe body.  Her curls cascaded down her back, their black beauty shining against the lamplight. 

As she opened her mouth to greet him, he backed away. Her smell was overpowering, the cloying perfume making him gag.  Her bracelets tinkled as she raised her hand to caress his face, her smile was strained, she wasn’t sure of his reaction.
Alexander was not going to let Isabella down again.  He held his hand to his cheek, covering her slim fingers with his strong fingers. 

“Shush, shush, it will be alright.”

A single tear escaped down her cheek.

“I love you,” he said.  

Word count: 200

Saturday 26 October 2019


Joining in with this weekend prompt from

the challenge:

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments. Sammi’s comment section.


Walking in the gloaming, lights begin to twinkle as each household begins to close down for the night.  

Ethereal glows casting their shadows along the street, spotlighted in areas by the lamppost lights beginning to flicker into life. 

The evening contained a surreal aura.

Thursday 17 October 2019

Friday Fictioneers - 17 October 2019

Photo prompt:  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The shop lights illuminated the cobbled paving, glowing bright white and golden, enhanced by the street lights suspended above the pedestrianised area.  Sheila winced at her last mouthful of cold coffee, surprised she’d managed to make it last for an hour.  The dirty looks sent her way by the proprietor of the café told her she must move.  Stealing herself she opened the café door and walked out in to cold loneliness wondering if anybody she saw before her were happy in their lives.  Nobody noticed her which summed up her humdrum existence, stuck in the rat race of corporate business.  


To join in or read all the other brilliant contributors go to:

Here is my story:

Nita loved the smell as she walked in the church, the old wood from the pews reeked from years and years of dust hidden by the polish loving rubbed in by the gnarled hands of the ladies who took pride in making the very uncomfortable seats at least a pleasure to look at.

The aisle adorned with the autumnal leaves intertwined with vines of ivy enhancing added floral touches to the aroma.   

The traditional exhibits were on display, corn dollies, sheaves of wheat, flowers and berries artfully arranged, a centrepiece of a wheatsheaf loaf, only edible for the poor church mice who would nibble at it every now and again.  

Sunlight sparkled through the large stained-glass window, the smaller fan lights reflecting the prisms of colour that lit up the eaves of the church, dust motes danced inbetween the wooden rafters. She would certainly miss these moments.
The secret she’d been hugging to herself over the last few months was approaching D-Day.  The day she left this life behind her for her true calling.  No longer would she be Nita, the daughter of the vicar and his wife, the spinster daughter, although these days 33 wasn’t that old not to be married – or rather ‘in a relationship’ whether it was ‘complicated’ or not.  She was counting the days down until she gained her freedom.  Not the little country mouse that wouldn’t say ‘boo to a goose,’ not the dutiful daughter who made the tea, baked the cakes and helped her parents out in their religious calling.

It helped that her parents had no idea what a laptop was let alone what she did on it every spare moment.  She worked late in to the night most evenings, another life, another calling, freedom beckoned her.  Would she miss her old life?  No.  Would she miss her parents?  Yes and no.  She’d miss their love but not their restrictions.  She’d let them know she was safe a few months down the line.

Nita walked out of the church, through the brass-studded oak door, up the crazed pathway with gravestones either side of her, she lingered under the lych gate, just for a moment, shrugging off the doubt and that tiny voice she thought she heard calling her name.

There was another voice calling her, louder this time.  She couldn’t ignore it as she stopped herself from running home, walking sedately as befitted her character. 
Tim and Catherine clung together.  There had been no sign of Nita for three weeks now.  Tim tried to carry on with his duties but the powers that be made him take sick leave.  Catherine’s grey hairs had now turned pure white making her look 20 years older than her actual age of 50. 

The police had no leads, there were no clues.  Nita’s bedroom was tidy, as neat as nine-pins, nothing disturbed, nothing missing.  Her clothes were still hanging in an orderly fashion in her wardrobe, other items neatly folded and pressed in her drawers.  No diary, no notes, no letters.  As far as anybody knew she had no friends, nowhere to go, she’d made no phone calls from the landline in the house and she didn’t have a mobile phone.

That is where everybody was wrong.  Nita did have clothes with her.  She did have her mobile phone with her along with her laptop that nobody seemed to know about.

The private detective had used his contacts and traced her last steps.  Frank travelled to the next county and the one beyond that and the ones adjacent to those, following good leads, false leads, hopes and let-downs.  The sightings were of a different girl but his instincts were now in play.  He was sure he was on to something.  
Mark glanced across at his girlfriend.  Yes, she was just what his boss wanted.  Naïve and gullible, untouched, unsullied, hard-working.  He appreciated her figure as she bent to wipe the table down after the last customer left his tiny café.  One more week he had to enjoy her laughter, her innocence and then it would be time.  It was such a shame but that was the price he paid.  To keep his own daughter safe, he’d made a pact with the devil.  Only this devil was a human.   A nasty piece of work who only harvested the best.  He trawled the internet, social media and all sorts of places seeking out his prey, vulnerable victims.  He didn’t stop at women, he would take men, young boys, all sorts. 

He was a hedonist, a psychopath, a cruel and sadistic man always adding to his crop but only ever at harvest time.  Mark groomed them by making them feel safe, secure in their new life, an opportunity to take them away from their boring, dull lives.  Then he passed them on, drugging them before transporting them to their new surroundings.  Only occasionally did his own conscience trouble him then he looked at his own daughter safe and sound and coddled in his love.  His one mistake, when she was only a few days old, had cost him and would cost him until the end of his days.

Nita startled as something banged against the café’s window.  She looked up seeing a man loitering on outside on the pavement, peering in through the steamed-up panes.  He opened the door, the bell tinkling prettily announcing his arrival.  He ordered tea and a bacon roll looking deep into her eyes as she wrote his order on her pad.

Smiling at him she scurried away to prepare his drink and food.  Mark hissed at her, unusual for him, hurry up we close in 20 minutes.  She shrank back from his tone, usually he was kindness itself.

Frank checked his phone, the picture of the girl he was seeking had the same bone structure as his waitress.  His gut was right.  He’d found her. Now came the hard part, persuading her she was in danger and she needed to leave with him. 

Word count: 1000 FCA

Thursday 22 August 2019

WEP - August 2019 - The Red Wheelbarrow - DL

It's time for the WEP+ IWSG bi-monthly writing challenge.

Here is my story.

Laura hadn’t slept a wink last night knowing today they were moving in to their new home.  Kevin snored most of the night, nothing worried him, nothing fazed him, he just ‘went with the flow.’  She couldn’t wait to get out of this flat and into a house with a garden.  A garden no less.  She’d been looking online as to what plants she could grow but frustratingly moving in November was not really conducive to producing many plants. 

The promised mown lawn didn’t happen, not unexpected, the bonus was their flat had sold in record time and there was no chain for the new house so the exchange of contracts was plain sailing.   
She shut the 6.00 a.m. alarm off and prodded Kevin.  He jumped straight out of bed and started talking nineteen-to-the dozen about the tight schedule they had to keep today.  Laura smiled to herself, she’d arranged it all, marked all the boxes and had a plan for where each item of furniture was to go.  She’d give the removal men copies of that plan and hoped they would keep to it.

Christmas came and went, New Year they toasted each other in front of the brand-new log-burning fire which was their home-warming/Christmas present to each other.  It was so lovely being in this house.  There was such a nice vibe to it.  They planned and plotted and set out their goals for the following year, a major one being to sort out the garden and deal with the shed at the bottom of the garden.  The key to the padlock had been lost many years ago by the previous owner.  Kevin was going to break the lock and ‘find’ the treasures that were held inside the shed.  Laura was certain all he would find would be rotted floor planks, spider’s webs and probably nests of mice.

Laura was weeding the garden during a lovely spring Saturday morning when she heard Kevin shouting for her from the end of the garden.  She made her way through the uneven path (they really must get estimates from a paving company) to see Kevin grinning like a madman.


A rusty wheelbarrow with a flat tyre balanced precariously before him.  Kevin’s expression was one of utter happiness.  Laura’s mouth gaped open in astonishment.   A rusty wheelbarrow, whatever next? 

‘Can’t you see it, Laura love?  This would make a fine feature in our garden.  You could do all sorts of things with it.’

Dubious Laura walked around the galvanised metal container, her finger nails picking at the flaking rust patches.  Her imagination started working.  Rub down the rust, paint it with anti-rust stuff – Google here she came ‘cos she’d need help.  Perhaps she could paint it.  A vibrant red with a profusion of colourful flowers, some trailing over the edges.  There would be odds and end in there every time you looked you saw something different.  A fairy garden.  A dragon haven.  An exotic paradise.  Oh, the sky was the limit.

Kevin received a promotion at work.  He worked long hours travelling away for a couple of days.  Laura didn’t mind so much now her barrow project was nearly finished.  She’d scrubbed, scraped, sanded, smoothed and painted her wheelbarrow.  A new tyre and rubber grip handles had been fixed to it.  She wanted it ready for the August Bank Holiday so she could unveil it at a family get-together she had arranged.  The garden was neat and tidy, the walkway had been paved and they’d even splashed out and had decking built along the back of the house. 

Laura and Kevin stood at the doorway welcoming family, drinks were poured, seats taken in the garden, whispering started, what was under that tarpaulin?  Who did they think they were?  Somebody famous who was going to do a great unveiling?

Laura heard some of those remarks, she hid her tears as she put the finishing touches to the food. They made sure everybody had food and waited until the plates were cleared and people’s glasses were refilled.

Kevin stood one side of the cover with Laura on the other side.  Kevin made a little speech.  He said how much he loved their new home; how hard they had worked to make it their own little paradise.  He said how much he loved Laura and how he appreciated all the time and effort she had put in to making their home a loving one.  Now he wanted to show his family and hers what a creative person she was.

Together they lifted the tarpaulin and stood aside waiting for – well they thought maybe they would get a few oohs and aahs or maybe even some applause.  That didn’t happen.  As one their families started to laugh, first trying to smother their giggles behind their hands as they pointed and mocked and started shaking their heads in disbelief. 

They always knew this couple were strange but really, a red wheelbarrow with yellow flowers and a full skeleton inside it, they needed to be locked up.  It wasn’t a normal thing to do, no way.  First the cousins looked at their watches, is that the time, we really must be going.  Then the older generation decided they needed to go and get things done and finally everybody left, no goodbyes, no thank you’s, no good wishes, they just left.

Kevin and Laura held each other tightly, murmuring to each other that they weren’t strange.  Not strange, not odd, not mad, not crazy, just artistic, creative, perhaps a little ‘out there.’ 

The family hadn’t stayed for the best bit. The announcement that Laura had been booked for an exhibition in New York. Her wheelbarrow had won first prize in a gardening competition and would be transported to the USA, included in the competition was a two-week luxury stay in a prime hotel in the centre of the city. 

Now the sky really was the limit.  Laura was on her way no matter what her family thought.

999 words

Thursday 13 June 2019

WEP Challenge - CAGED BIRD June 2019

It's time to join in the WEP Challenge for June 2019. 

To see the rules and guidelines please visit:

Here is my entry: 


Her mother looked after her father, she cleaned, did the laundry, did the cooking, did the dishes all without any help.  Hetty would rise early, rake out the embers from the bottom of the Rayburn*, relight the fire and get the water boiler ready for the day.  She would knead the dough for the bread placing it in the bottom oven to prove before baking it later in the day to ensure that there was fresh bread to go with Fred’s dinner in the evening when he came in from work.  Fred did the heavy work, digging the garden, fixing stuff in the house, he was quite the handyman.  She’d relegate him to the shed at Christmas to pluck the turkey, or to gut and skin rabbits so that she could make rabbit pies and Christmas dinners.  He drove her everywhere. 

She knew where the lines were.

He knew where the lines were.

Her daughters should have known where the lines were.

Eileen wasn't going to be like all those other wives, nope, not her.  Her husband would bow to her commands.  He would show her respect, love and admiration.  He would do his share in the house.  She would not expect him to cook, nope.  She would do all the cooking; she wouldn't trust his cooking anyway.  He could do the dishes, put the hoover round when he wasn’t working.  He should help her even when she told him there wasn't anything he could do.

Charles was a good earner, a man with prospects.  She would have a good life.  He provided all the nice things she wanted for the home and hearth.  He would buy her nice jewellery but she would choose it herself, he had no taste, it was much better if he was shown what she wanted.  Not like her engagement ring he sent to her in the post!  OK, so what that she’d chosen it from the catalogue, ringed it, dog-eared the page and left in his uniform pocket as he boarded the train to London before he travelled on to join his ship at Portsmouth. 

He should know what to do.

She knew what to do.

She taught him what to do.

Maggie wanted fun.  Ray was her husband, useless as an earner, always had an eye out for a bargain but didn’t give her enough money to feed them and their three kids.  Maggie worked part-time, field work, bar work, scrimped and made-do until one day, the fun had gone.  Life was a drudge.  She felt caged in until she escaped in to the arms of another.

He was the love of her life.

She was the love of his life.

They both found pastures new.

Now Eileen and Maggie’s daughters and sons lead different lives, some better, some still fighting for release.  All the offspring have different views on life and partners, husbands and wives.  Some tried the traditional route, felt trapped.  Some tried the hippy life, still trapped.  Some even tried same sex partners, caged in.

They were taught to be better.

They thought they had better.

Was it really better?

Who can tell? 

What will their children do with their lives, how will they live with others? 

Is everyone caged in some way or another?   

Will a second, third or any chances come their way?  Only time will tell.

Will we know all their secrets or are they caged in the hearts as well?

*similar to an Aga

A Victim No More

Too nice, she won’t mind

She’s always kind

Too laid back

What does she lack?

Manipulated by another

Abused by others

Too afraid to tell those who want to know

Hidden so deep

Too hard to keep

The tears come and the face dries

Nobody knows the pain inside

Kept inside the strong castle walls

What does she do when she falls?

She makes time for others

Listens to their troubles

Then it’s turned and doubled

In on her to spite her love

Nobody believes her when she says what she feels

Don’t be stupid they say

You are wrong they are right

So, she has another sleepless night

All she wants is to love and be loved

The tears flow when she is moved

Pushing out from the heart and caught

With no forethought

Tossed away like discarded paper

No use for the wrapper

Put the lid on it don’t let anybody see

The pain and love that is a divorcee

Deep, deep down

Unplumbed depths under the sea or space

A mind full of grace

Grinding out the race

Finding a way through the story

That she wrote before she was born

Making the mistakes, choosing free will

Living her life in a wonderland full of illusions

Trying to stop the agony, the pain, the hunger

Knowing she’s not getting any younger

Emerging through a rebirth of love

The second chance coming from above

She grabs it with both hands

And feels like she’s playing in a band

Joy and laughter, contentment and bliss

All sealed with her loving husband’s kiss.

She is a bird flying free

Landing on branches of every tree

No longer caged, restricted or barred

Her life is her own to share

With compassion and care

Kindness and respect, love and hope

Living a colourful life in a kaleidoscope

Of joy and release

Finding peace

No longer in a cage

It took her an age

Now she is free as a bird

Her voice is heard

Far and wide

Her tears have dried

Her heart is full

Word count: 929