Honour Among . . .


Cottonbro at Pexels.com

Carrie stood mouth agape as she tried to make out the faces in the negative images in her hand.  She really knew she needn’t bother because she was certain of the identities.  She remembered the day, and even the hour when the photos must have been taken.  How could I have been so stupid? she thought.  I could have at least been a little more discrete.  

“I ah, I thought you were working for me?” she finally said to the private investigator.

“Yes, Ma’am I was, and am,” he replied with only a hint of a smile.

“But you were supposed to be following my husband, and catch him with his mistress,” she said with a confused tone.

“Well, I did as you said and followed him on the evening he said he was bowling.  That lead me to the house in the background, that you can see on the first three photos.  He went inside, and I went into the park in photo four, to see if I could catch a shot of whoever came out.  About ten minutes later the gentleman in the photo arrived, and then the lady in photos five through nine.”

Carrie had been caught on film having an intimate rendezvous with her brother-in-law, Steve.

“Now Missus, I do have the pics I took with your husband and his ‘friend,’ which I am more than happy to hand over to you for the agreed price.  But, these others, might just cost you a little more.”




Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #51

Leading the Way

Image by Cheryl Holt from Pixabay

There was an air of excitement as the convoy of eleven cars and SUVs arrived in the parking lot.  Many had been looking forward to this event since last year.  There would be singing, games, and of course – food.

Angel’s mom had made mac and cheese; the really yummy type with ham in it and the cheese all thick and gooey.  It was Angel’s favourite.  Tonya’s mom had made brownies, that were soft and chewy.  There were no nuts in them though – Tonya hated nuts.  This was also really good because James was allergic to them.

As the families began to unload coolers, and folding chairs from the vehicles, Charles started to sing Jesus Loves Me with a lisp, he having lost not one, but two front teeth the night before.  Several of the children giggled at this, only to be shushed by Sister Taylor.

“He’s doin’ a lovely job,” the Church Mother said, “You go ahead a sing, Sweetie, it’s lovely.

“Everybody ready?” Tonya’s mom asked the gathered families.

“Looks like it,” Someone responded.

With that, Angel and Tonya, the Pastor’s grand-daughters, ran across the little bridge.  They knew just the perfect spot for the annual Sunday School picnic.



Daily Writing Prompt #27: Realistic Fiction


Duet about a Duo: Knopfler and Taylor Sailing to Philadelphia

Sea, Lake, Water, Ocean, Ship


This week’s Song Lyric Sunday challenged us to write about a duet.

In 1763 Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon were appointed to survey the boundary between the colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland.  Their survey became the symbolic border between the northern and southern American states and their ideologies.

In 2000 Mark Knopfler (a Geordie like Mason) and James Taylor released their song about the pair of adventurers.


I am Jeremiah Dixon
I am a Geordie Boy
A glass of wine with you, sir
And the ladies I’ll enjoy
All Durham and Northumberland
Is measured up by my own hand
It was my fate from birth
To make my mark upon the earth
He calls me Charlie Mason
A stargazer am I
It seems that I was born
To chart the evening sky
They’d cut me out for baking bread
But I had other dreams instead
This baker’s boy from the west country
Would join the Royal Society
We are sailing to Philadelphia
A world away from the coaly Tyne
Sailing to Philadelphia
To draw the line
The Mason-Dixon line
Now you’re a good surveyor, Dixon
But I swear you’ll make me mad
The West will kill us both
You gullible Geordie lad
You talk of liberty
How can America be free
A Geordie and a baker’s boy
In the forest of the Iroquois
Now hold your head up, Mason
See America lies there
The morning tide has raised
The capes of Delaware
Come up and feel the sun
A new morning is begun
Another day will make it clear
Why your stars should guide us here
We are sailing to Philadelphia
A world away from the coaly Tyne
Sailing to Philadelphia
To draw the line
The Mason-Dixon line



Imperious He Stands

Egypt, Pharaoh, Ramses, Old, Monument

Image by Maatkare from Pixabay 

Imperious he stands,

Master of the lands,

Above all – who fall beneath his gaze.


Born to power and privilege

All bow before is visage

The very sight of his splendour does amaze.


There is really none that doubt

That he deserves all his clout

And none would withhold from him their praise.


For he – palace born

Bringer of dusk and morn

Illuminates all with his divinely given rays.


Master of peace and war

From river to delta shore

Powerful enough to set whole worlds ablaze.


With false beard upon his jaw

His very word – becomes the law

So all strain to catch his each and every phrase.


Where e’er Pharaoh does stride

Whether in Memphis or countryside

His wishes are fulfilled without delays.




Weekend Writing Prompt #141 – Imperious: in 123 words













Pantheon: A Clogyrnach

Pantheon, History, Monument, Architecture

Pantheon by Jacques GAIMARD from Pixabay 


Pillars rise to the gods on high
Farbic of faith reaching the sky
Worship’s erection
Place of reflection –
Affection –



A clogyrnach is poem. This Welsh poetic form is typically a six-line syllabic stanza with an ab rhyme scheme:

Line 1: 8 syllables with an a rhyme
Line 2: 8 syllables with an a rhyme
Line 3: 5 syllables with a b rhyme
Line 4: 5 syllables with a b rhyme
Line 5: 3 syllables with a b rhyme
Line 6: 3 syllables with an a rhyme




Saturday Mix – Clogyrnach (pronounced: clog-IR-nach)


Acadia Coast_compress80

Phillip Wyant 2020 Acadia Coast

The longship was being tossed furiously as the winds drove it towards the breakers.  It was all the sturdy sea-kings could do to – to bring the high prow-ed vessel safely onto the cobbled shore.  The cove that they had been driven into was unfamiliar, and primeval forest surrounded their landing site.

“This doesn’t look like Greenland, Leif,” Thorgunna said coldly, her arms crossed across her chest.

“Well . . .”

“Well – nothing!” She snapped.  “I said ask that nice Inuit for directions.  But did the mighty Knows-Everything Erikson do as I asked? No! Of course he didn’t.”

“But . . .”

“Yes, Butt! You really are an ass sometimes,” she said dismissively. “This is the last time I go on a trip with you that I don’t plan.  Don’t look at me like that, you know I’m right.”

Thus unfolded the little-known story of how Newfoundland was discovered.








A Tale of Two Veggie Options

It’s Veganuary and vegetarian and vegan options seem to be everywhere in the UK.  This is a tale of how to, and not to go about entering the veggie market.

Gregg’s bakers made a major breakthrough last year with the introduction of their vegan sausage roll.  They therefore entered 2020 with a much publicised launch of a vegan steak bake.  Queues formed hours before the shops opened, as many people wanted to be one of the first to try this product.  Gregg’s had their fingers on the pulse.

I personally have a mixed take on the vegan steak bake.  Let me explain.  I bought one a couple of days after the launch.  It was early in the day, and the bake was hot and the aroma mouth watering.  The pastry lived up to Gregg’s traditional “96 layers of light and crisp puff pastry” standards, and the Quorn “steak” really did have a meaty flavour.  The gravy was thick and really complimented the other ingredients.  I really enjoyed it.

The bakes have 380 calories each.  There is 24 grams of fat (12 g saturated),  30 grams of carb (1 g sugars), and 9.5 grams of protein.  This is 28 calories fewer than the meat version,  though the fat is roughly equivalent.

The first one was so good, that I stopped in again a few days later, but one my way home from work.  Here I found that the “shelf life” of the product is not great.   The second bake was only moderately warm, and the gravy had become almost gelatinous.  The flavour of the “steak” as well had become more Quorn and less “beef.”  It was not bad, but it was far from being as luscious as its cousin earlier in the week.

All in all, this is a good product, and another feather in Gregg’s cap, but be sure you get it when it is fresh and hot.

The second tale is that of Burger King who have released the Rebel Whopper.  This plant based product is to be avoided by vegans and vegetarians (and even we pescatarians).  The veggie patty is cooked on the same equipment (and even alongside) the beef burgers.  Add to this that it is topped with egg based mayonnaise.  Meat eaters who have tried them find them surprisingly meat-like, but they are not for non-meat eaters.  One would think that the Burger King corporate bosses would have learned from the USA’s Impossible Whopper, where the cooking method even led to court cases by vegans.  But no, here in the UK the company has followed the same path.

So is you want to keep your Veganuary going, then Gregg’s is the place to head, not Burger King.  Unless you are in Barton Mills, Suffolk where the two shops are under the same roof.


Writers’ Conference

Image result for meeting free images

image freepik

“Our ratings are really dropping.  I think the public considers our stuff too predictable,” Melling said.

“Are you suggesting that we’re too old fashioned?” Hayes inquired.

“Not so much ‘old fashioned’, as stale,” Melling responded.

“Our stuff dropped them dead in the Palladium,” Hughs interjected.

“Yeah, but that was thirty years ago Artie,” Melling said.

“What if we make it a bit more rude,” Hayes suggested.

“Dropping ‘F bombs’ isn’t Alan’s style, and you know that.  There has to be more grit, without it being dirt,” Melling said.

“What if we take our old gags, and give them a modern edge?” Hughs asked.

“Yeah. How?” Melling asked.

“Like, um, a vegan goes into a pub and asks the barmaid – ‘Do you serve veg here?’ The blonde could say something like “wheel them in and we will see what we can do.'” Hughs suggested.

“That’s just offensive,” Melling said.

“I’m not trying to be funny Melling, but you have turned too P.C.” Hughs said.

“That was obvious,” Melling snapped.

“What?” Hughs asked confused.

“You not being funny.  That’s why we are having this meeting.”




Daily Writing Prompt #24: Comedy



The Silken Temple: A Butterfly Cinquain

Pupa, Cocoon, Butterfly, Chrysalis

The Dwelling Place.
Silken Thread Chrysalis –
Miraculous Transformation
Within its Mysterious Depths.
Former Caterpillar
Now Prepared For
The Sky.


The Butterfly Cinquain form is described as a nine-line syllabic poem with the pattern of two, four, six, eight, two, eight, six, four, two.

Pardon the cheesiness of writing a butterfly cinquain about butterflies.




Tale Weaver #259 – Temple



Neighbourhood Watch

Binoculars, Researchers, Young People

Image by Frank Wittkowski from Pixabay

Danny Walsh leveled the binoculars that he had gotten for his twelfth birthday.  It was certainly the same nefarious looking couple that he had seen over the past several days.  Today, however they were in a silver coloured sedan , and not in the blue SUV he had noticed them in since Monday.

Danny had first grown suspicious of them when they arrived the preceding Saturday and parked, but didn’t get out.  Unfamiliar cars were a rarity in his quiet suburban street, so the men caught his attention.  What made it even more intriguing was that they had parked as he came in from scouts at about nine p.m. and they were still there in the same place when he went to walk his dog, Groot the next morning.

When they returned the next evening, he decided that the watchers needed watching.  He soon worked out that the ne’er-do-well’s were casing that nice Mister Benedetti’s house.

Danny became more vigilant as they shady pair made further arrivals, and Danny began to take notes on their comings and goings.  He hoped to get enough evidence of their foul motives that he could turn them over to the police.  His only problem was that the school holidays were going to be over soon.  It was because of the time restriction that he decided to act.

He lowered his binoculars and placed them in his rucksack.  He then slowly approached the car from behind.  As he came alongside the rear bumper of the vehicle he stooped down as if to tie his shoe.  He then proceeded to take an air horn from his pack and blasted it until it ran out of pressure.  The entire neighbourhood looked out of windows and doors to see what the commotion was about.  FBI agents Taylor and Kolinsky, not knowing what else to do – their cover being blown (literally as well as figuratively) drove off never to return.


Daily Writing Prompt #23: Amateur Sleuth