#writephoto: I really can’t think of a title for this…

This short story is for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt. Sorry, Sue, went a bit silly this week.


“Could have been a lookout post,” Danny said. “You can see for miles up here, and the sentry would have been cosy, out of the wind.”

His sister looked at him scornfully and ran her fingers over the stone slabs.

“Not even barbarians were that stupid. You think they’d have spent all that energy on a lookout post? It would have been hell to build—each of these stone slabs must weigh tons. What do you think they used to drag them up here? Elephants?”

Danny wasn’t listening. He was standing in the entrance that could have been a man-made doorway and could have been wind-eroded.

“Danny, don’t go in,” Jess said, a note of worry in her voice. “There might be something living inside.”

Danny snorted and pushed past the elder bush growing in the thin layer of accumulated soil on the sill.

“Hey!” His voice was shrill and excited. “Jess, look at this!”

He reappeared in the entrance, staggering beneath the weight of what looked astonishingly like an elephant’s tusk.


Three line Tales: A tale of two puffins

I just might be able to get a three line story out of Sonya’s photo prompt, but for the moment, what springs to mind is a caption.

photo by Wynand van Poortvliet via Unsplash


“An’ I’m telling you, your kids throw any more broken eggshell into my nest an’ they’ll be over this cliff before you can say gannet.”

Twittering Tales: Backwards

This cynical little tale (208 characters) is for Kat Myrman’s Twittering Tales.

Photo by Couleur at Pixabay.com


I used to be a polar bear but the Fundamentalists told me the theory of evolution was a lie and made me go back to being a frog. I’ll get my own back though—they don’t believe in climate change either. Ha ha!

#writephoto: Unexpected difficulties

A short story for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto writing prompt.



Ellie blanked out the voice of the guide as he droned on, and gazed down the empty nave. Rows of columns strode up and down, and disappeared into the shadows of the transept. Where the altar and the choir stalls had been was a yawning space. The rose window that should have shed its coloured magic over the stone flags was dark. Perhaps the day was too dull, too cloudy. Ellie frowned, doubting her eyes.

The party was shuffling into movement again behind the briskly striding guide who was obviously thrilled to bits to be getting outside again.

“Excuse me,” Ellie said, surprising herself. The small crowd stopped. The guide turned, vague annoyance creasing his eyes. “Why is it so empty?”

The guide turned on his drone. “At the Reformation, Henry VIII’s army drove out the clergy and destroyed the effigies—”

“I know, you said,” Ellie interrupted. There was a slight gasp of disapproval. “But why didn’t they do something with it, you know, after, when the new lot took over?”

“Many churches were destroyed, but this building survived.”

Ellie sighed. “But if they didn’t destroy it, why leave it empty so long after? I mean, the C of E got all these old churches, didn’t they? Why not this one?”

The question hung in the air as the guide hesitated a fraction of a second too long. Ellie fixed her eyes on his, sensing he was either going to tell her something extraordinary, or a lie.

“The new church authorities intended to reconstruct the interior, but the work was… never done.”

“Why not?”

Again, the hesitation that even the other members of the group seemed to notice.

“There were…unexpected difficulties.”

Ellie opened her mouth with the next, obvious question, but the guide turned on his heel, rounding up the group, hurrying them outside like an officious sheepdog.

The echoe of footsteps died as the group made its way along the transept and out through the side door. The guide’s voice was cut off as the door swung closed with a sigh, and Ellie turned and peered one last time down the nave. She waited and listened as the shadows quivered and spilled onto the pale stone. A papery whispering filled the hollow silence, rising from the stones, pressing against the vaulting of the roof. She listened and nodded, then made her way to the outside world.

A wind blew through the nave and the big double doors of the main entrance slammed closed. Ellie had guessed the answer to her question.

#Three Line Tales microfiction: Siege

This is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt. I can’t pretend I have a clue what this photo shows, so I just winged it.

photo by Jerry Kiesewetter via Unsplash


The invader was at the gates and the city had been evacuated of the population that had remained to the end despite the attacks that had left their homes in ruins.

The last defenders watched, grim-faced, as the invaders swarmed over the city walls, primed their ultimate weapon and prepared to leave with the rest.

When the last of the civil population had left by the underground tunnel that surfaced in the safety of the mountains, the defenders, shielded against the fiery blast, opened the dragon traps.


Friday Fictioneers: The activist

This short story (105 words) is for the Friday Fictioneers.

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook


Before the Revolution, it had been the home of the local ruling family. Now the main building housed the town hall and a hospital, and the private chapel was now the municipal library. Marianne looked down from a niche, that had once held the bust of some archbishop, on the steady stream of ordinary people on their way to register a birth, get a doctor’s appointment, visit a hospital patient or change their library books.

Time to put a stop to all that, thought the terrorist who called himself a traditional values activist, as he pulled on his balaclava and loaded a clip of ammunition.

Twittering Tale: Picnic baskets

This 258 character tale is for Kat Myrman’s Twittering Tuesday prompt.

Photo by Dan Gold at Unsplash.com


He pushed through the undergrowth and peered at the sign.

Must be this way, he thought, his stomach rumbling.

He hurried along the trail, thinking about lunch waiting at the end of it.

The trouble with signposts is that everyone can read them. Including bears.