#Three Line Tales: Leap

For Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

photo by Eugene Lim via Unsplash


She wasn’t a star, the proof, less than a quarter of the seats were taken, but it meant she wasn’t quite so carefully watched.

When her time was up, she wouldn’t leave by the athlete’s tunnel, she’d leap the barrier and run for the spectator’s exit where they would have a car waiting to race her away to freedom.

Leaping the barrier was easy; only a handful of people noticed the girl in the mauve leotard running past the attendants and out of sight, and none of them heard the shot that got her in the back before she reached the stadium exit.




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.

Escaping the dark

A villanelle for the Secret Keeper’s writing prompt. The words this week are:


painting ©Feliks Paszkowski


Dark falls the night outside this hall,

The stars bestrew its unseen skies,

And fear grows teeth beyond the wall.


Across the moon, a silver pall

The eye can’t pierce, although it tries,

Dark falls the night outside this hall.


Upon the strand, tossed by the squall,

Our barque still floats, it won’t capsize,

But fear grows teeth beyond the wall.


I see the swell of waves that fall

On silver sand, our barque their prize,

Dark falls the night outside this hall.


If only thoughts were not in thrall

To bleak despair and hope’s demise,

But fear grows teeth beyond the wall.


Grey gulls drift, I hear their call,

And wait in hope, the sun will rise,

Though darkest night falls on this hall

And fear grows teeth beyond the wall.

Microfiction #writephoto: Roc

This is for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt.



Together they watched the sun sink across the bay. The mountains looked hazy in the dusky light, purple and mysterious. She gripped his hand with excitement.

“How long before it gets here?”

He returned the pressure and smiled.


“And it will take both of us?”

He nodded. They shuffled closer together as the detonations, muffled with distance, made the ground shudder. Trees bent branches over their heads and the last of the cherry blossom fell about them. The war was rolling like a red, bloody wave over the continent. Nothing could resist it. Nothing and no one. Forests burned. They smelled the smoke that curled and wove its way through the scent of blossom. Nothing would be left. Nothing and no one.

Against the golden disc of the setting sun, the silhouette of a bird floated, black and immense. She breathed a deep sigh.

“The Roc.”

He put his arm around her, needing to feel her presence, suddenly afraid to leave the only world he knew. As if she felt his fear, she turned her head slightly and kissed his cheek.

“Just believe. It will be all right.”

She stood, and waved her arms, slowly, deliberately, and the great bird wheeled about. Raising her face to the golden light, to the approaching shadow, she smiled.

“The new world will be better. You’ll see.”

The air screamed with the whistle of wind in pinions, and the shadow of huge wings enveloped them.





Friday Fictioneers microfiction: Refugees

This is for Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge.

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria


“Which one is it, Baba?” Tarek, the eldest asked. “The big black and white one with the red funnel”

Ammar cast an anxious look at his wife Rima. “It might be,” he replied. “Let’s hope so, shall we?”

Little Amira tugged at her mother’s sleeve. “What are these for?” she asked, pointing at the pile of tatty life jackets Ammar had bought with the last of their money.

Rima tried hard to smile. “They’re for just in case.”

Ammar took her hand and clutched it tight.




Microfiction#Three Line Tales: Freedom

This is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales. The very unsettling photo is ©Jace Grandinetti


He hesitated, willing his muscles to keep still, not break into a run, though the guards must have discovered his empty cell by now.

The prison was a labyrinth of windowless corridors but he had found the way out, could see the outside world at the end of the maze of concrete blocks, and the blue sky above his head gave him hope.

He hesitated at the last section though the sun was breaking out from behind the clouds; the path was too empty, too silent…except for the unmistakable click of safety catches echoing inside each dark side alley.

Microfiction #Three line tales: Run

This is for Sonya’s photo prompt

Photo ©Dominick Martin


The siren woke him, its familiar wail breaking into his dreams, but the stench of burning was what made him leap out of bed.

Smoke obscured the window, and the leaping brilliance of flames, and when the siren stopped abruptly, its clamour was replaced by the unearthly din of thousands of throats screaming.

He ran from the building, not even waiting to dress properly, fought his way through the crowds that filled the streets, the cars swamped in their futile attempt to get away quicker, further, but when he looked over his shoulder and saw what was looming through the smoke and flickering, failing city lights, he knew there was nowhere to run.

#writephoto microfiction: Clandestine

Getting back into writing mode with this piece of flash fiction inspired by Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt.


They told her it would only be for a few hours. Already it seemed like a week. The entrance to the building was cavernous and draughty and few people either came in or went out. It was in a quiet, tree-shaded street in an expensive part of town. They would be looking for her in the tenements and the derelict shops of the poor quarters, they said, not here among the doctors and lawyers.

She shivered, her skimpy jacket unable to keep out the cold late autumn wind, her eyes fixed on the narrow slit in the stone where the post arrived. There was a box beneath to catch it. The servants came down in the morning to sort it and take it up to their respective employers’ apartments. She was not waiting for the post though, as the light dimmed and the short afternoon drew to a close. She was waiting for a package containing her false papers and a little money, enough to get her out of the country. She strained to see any movement outside, struggling to to keep her fear under control.

A blurred shape moved towards the door. She stiffened, unable to breathe. She caught the outline of a man’s face as he looked furtively right and left, before his bulk blotted out all light, and she heard the slither and clunk of the parcel as it fell into the box. The slit filled with pale light again and the man was gone.

Stumbling from her hiding place she grabbed the thick envelope and with trembling fingers, ripped it open. In confusion she stared at the contents: a door key, her door key; a photograph of herself and Stéphane sitting in the park, smiling, from before when they had still been together; and a folded piece of paper. What did it mean? She unfolded the paper. It said:

And now we have come for you.

Microfiction: End of the struggle


Rain slashed their faces and the wind tore at their coats, but she urged her mother down the road. At either side, the ditch had filled and the road was rapidly becoming a raging river. More than once the woman stopped and her chest heaved with the effort. She looked like a dog at the end of its chain, her daughter thought. The downward path had twisted and turned more times than she had counted, and the house was behind and above them, its dark eyes turned to the valley below. She felt its presence even though it was long out of sight among the enraged forest trees, and she feared she would never be free of it.

She felt the rumbling before she saw the car. Her mother stopped in her tracks, trembling with terror. Headlights, a livid yellow, ploughed through the slanting rods of rain and blinded them both. A car door slammed.

“Get in,” he barked, his bulk black and massive against the light. “I said, get in!”

Her mother whimpered, her limbs jerking to obey the command. The daughter overcame her reserve and grabbed her arm.

“No. We’re not going back.”

She said no more, didn’t wait to see the effect of her words, dragged her mother out of the beam of light and past the bulk, the car, the old life. The woman moaned and hung heavy, a dead weight, but her daughter was merciless, like her father. She knew what was coming, couldn’t avoid it, almost didn’t want to. The fist hit her mother in the face and she sunk to her knees. It was what the girl had been waiting for, dreaming of for so long. She bared her teeth in a grin of desperation and desire and pulled the pistol, his pistol, from her coat pocket. The light was in her eyes. He was just a black mass against the headlights. But at point blank range she couldn’t miss.

The sound of the detonation was lost in the first crack of thunder as the storm broke overhead.


The Daily Post prompt is: mountain.

Photo ©Paco Gomez


They said it would be simple. They said just follow the road. There would be sunshine and rain and enough to eat for everyone. Just keep moving, stick to the plan, stay among the trees, climb.

They said there was nothing to fear, no obstacle, no trap. First the oak trees then the pines, the larch and the spruce. Then just bare rock and raptors soaring. The mountain.

We followed the road, then the track through the trees, climbed through the oaks and the spruce, the scented gorse. We moved, bent against the incline, used hands as well as feet, over the bare rock, over the mountain. And just before the pass, before the land beyond came into view, the green valley they had told us of, the air exploded in gunfire, screaming and gouts of blood. And I saw that the raptors that soared overhead were vultures.