Microfiction #writephoto: Waving

This is for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.



I can see him at the end of the tunnel, gesticulating, but he is too far away to hear. Part of me wants to run back, ready to forgive. Perhaps he’s changed his mind. Perhaps he’s in trouble. It’s crazy. I know what’s back there, and the only possible escape is down here, deep inside the dark earth. He told me himself, before he threw his fist at me again for something unimportant I’d forgotten to do.

I hesitate, running over in my mind the countless times I have run from him and his anger, yet knowing that he hates himself for it, says it’s like being stuck down a well and nobody can hear him to help him out. I take a step back to the entrance. He’s waving his arms wildly now. His voice is rising—he’s calling my name!

I make up my mind. I’m going back. I shout too, his name, putting into it that one word all the words I want to say, want him to hear. I scream, but nothing hits my ears, deafened by the screech of death. In the blinding light of the explosion, I see him one last time, his arms waving, in farewell.

Microfiction #Three Line Tales: Run!

For Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

photo by Christian Widell via Unsplash


Green evening falls on the field, tempting, full of cool grass smells, short, sweet grass, the best kind.

Hiding in the long stalks, I watch and sniff the smells, waiting for the last two-legs to go and the grass to be empty, hunger pinching belly, ears listening, this way, that.

I slip through the dry stalks onto the fresh green nibbling grass, even though ears hear the two-legs shout, because hunger is strong, then ears scream—dog!

Microfiction: White death, the final installment

In the end it wasn’t the government sorted out the problem. I don’t think there was much government left that hadn’t flown south. Dad was worrying about how he would get his job back if the plant didn’t reopen. Our water was just about finished, and Mum was all for just boiling the water to kill whatever it was growing in it. Billy thought about it and went up on the hill where he used to sit on summer nights and look at the stars.

I don’t know whether he made contact with the stuff with the white tendrils, or whether they contacted him. Either way, he came back down from the hill with his face all lit up.

“They did it,” he said. “The people in the stars. Killed everyone except a few. The chosen ones.”

“Like in the Bible?” Dad snorted. “Bollocks! Who’d choose us?”

Billy shrugged. “We knew not to drink the water, didn’t we? So? They chose us.”

Dad thought about it, and I could see that his sense of social justice, that was usually quite well hidden, was peeking out. “So they killed everyone except the ones who didn’t drink the water? Without telling anyone or even giving them a warning?” Billy nodded. Dad exploded. “But where’s the justice in that? What did the Smithson’s do that was so bad to deserve dying with all that white stuff all over them? What did we do that was so much better?”

“Nothing, Dad,” Billy said gently. “It wasn’t anything to do with how ‘good’ anyone was. They’ve done this before. You know, Noah, the Flood, the plagues in Egypt, and all the wars and floods and famines and plagues we’ve had since then? They did it. Nobody said it was fair. It’s just what they do.”

Mum began to get excited. “So if it’s all over, does that mean everything will get back to normal again? Except that there’ll be…fewer of us, of course.”

“I suppose so,” Billy sighed.

I caught his eye. I was beginning to understand.

Microfiction #writephoto: White death

This short story is for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt. It is inspired by Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt which inspired this story.


June snow filled every hollow. The world was a ghost; fruit hung frozen on the trees. But we’d been here before, no need to panic. Provision had been made and there were enough reserves to get us through. A few days, the weather people said, and the sun would be back, the snow a memory. They were right in a way. About the sun and the snow.

It was Billy, my kid brother, who discovered the real killer. Well, around here, it was Billy. No doubt the world was crawling with scientists who discovered it before and better than Billy, but thanks to him, we suspected something and took precautions. He was fishing in the lake. Broke the film of ice and sat there, wrapped up in his winter coat like a trapper in the frozen north. A bit of cold didn’t bother Billy. What did bother him was what he saw wriggling in the black water. Not fish, nothing he’d ever seen before. He dipped a can in the water and brought some of them home. By the time he got to the house they’d all but disappeared. Like Alka Seltzer, Billy said. All we could see was a mass of filaments like white hairs and they were getting fainter.

“Whatever it was, it’s dissolving,” Dad said and went to pour the water down the sink. Billy stopped him.

“They’re not dissolving,” he said. “They’re getting longer and thinner. Soon we won’t be able to see them, but they’ll still be there. Miles and miles of the fuckers.”

“Billy!” Dad snapped. “Go wash your mouth out!”

Billy might be only a kid, but he’s the smartest one in our family.

“I don’t think we should drink the water any more, Dad. Not until we know what that stuff is.”

So we stocked up on bottled water, a whole lake of it, and eked it out while there were people dying all around us, white tendrils crawling all over them.

The sun’s back now and the snow’s all gone. The government says they’re putting stuff in the water supply to kill off the aliens. But we’re holding on a while longer. There’s snow forecast again next week. Dad’s going into town to the supermarket. Everywhere’s very quiet. Doesn’t seem to be anyone around. There should still be plenty of bottled water left.


If you want to know what happens next, read on.

Microfiction #three line tales: White death

For Sonya’s Three Line Tales.

photo by Joel Filipe via Unsplash


We had been prepared for an alien invasion for decades, telescopes raked the night skies, and the SDI had been enlarged to cover anything coming from space too.

The vagaries of the climate with its summer snowfalls and winter droughts meant that no one took any notice of the snowstorm that blanketed the whole of the northern hemisphere for a week in June.

Neither did we notice that among the snow flakes were tiny white capsules that fizzed and swirled like aspirin in water, dispersing into hair-fine filaments, undetectable by the naked eye—undetectable until they started to grow inside their hosts.

Microfiction #writephoto: Intruder

This short story is for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt.



Rooks have always filled the big trees at dusk, the ash and the poplars that crown the high land. There is no more perfect site to survey all that moves in the fields around, the meadow sloping to the river on one side, and the wooded valley on the other side of the ridge.

On this mild early summer evening, the fields are hushed. The sun slants coolly through green branches and fills the grass with tiny spiked shadows. There is no wind, just the barest breath of a breeze. The poplars flutter their silvery spades of leaves and the light flickers.

Rooks return to roost, beating their ragged wings slowly and purposefully. The black birds circle, hesitant, eying the familiar branches, the tumbled jumble of twiggy nests, and their raucous voices become plaintive and anxious. None braves the foliage. The circles close in and widen again, and the sky beats black. Whatever is hidden from my sight among the branches, whatever hangs amid the fresh, bright greenery drives them away, sure as eagles. I take a step closer, and already the hairs rise in warning on the back of my neck.

Microfiction: Gone

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers.

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter



It would have been a perfect place to work, looking out into the garden, windows open to the breeze and the swaying branches of overhanging trees. The wisteria perfumed it in spring, roses in summer. You put my desk where the light fell in dapples and waited for me to charm the words into stories. It would have been perfect. But you went away, and left your touch in the soft grain of the wood, your face framed in the fluttering leaves, your voice in the breeze. Perhaps another could have borne it. Not I.