Now Concentrate!

Image result for grenade training ww2


“You must pay attention! There is no excuse for getting this wrong,” the sergeant scolded.

“Yes Sergeant,” the squad of recruits shouted in unison.

“First, make sure that the lever is fully depressed, and that your grip is tight.”

“Yes, Sergeant.”

“Next, with the other hand remove the safety clip and discard.”

“Aye aye that, Sergeant,” they chorused.

“Then with the other hand pull the pin.  Do not try to be some type of John Wayne and pull it with your teeth, because Uncle Sam doesn’t want to pay for your dentistry.  Use your hand.  And whatever else you do at this point do not let go of the lever.”

“Yes, Sergeant!”

“Finally, facing the ‘enemy,’ lob the grenade overhand and take immediate cover yourself,” the NCO instructed. “Now first group up to the sandbags, and let’s do this.”

The men took their positions, and the sergeant straightened his eye patch.


STORY STARTER CHALLENGE #16:  “You must pay attention!”



The Getaway


Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

“Okay Boys, this bike share scheme is perfect for us,” Leo said to the others.

“How so, Leo?” Mugsy asked.

“Don’t you see, there are hundreds of identical bikes all over the city, so anyone  describing our getaway will say ‘they were on yellow bikes.'”

“Yes, but don’t they all have GPS trackers?” Big Tony asked.

“That’ the beauty of it,” Leo explained. “Gus, Rudy,  Little Tony and Mugsy start off from different points, nowhere near the bank. Me and you do the job, and hop on the bikes each going in a different direction.  We then met up here (pointing at a map), and here.  We switch bikes with Little Tony and Mugsy, and change direction, and they will be tracking the wrong guys  – that don’t look like us, nor have anything on them.  Then just to be safe, we switch again here with Rudy and Gus.  It’s perfect.”

“What if they work out the switches?” Gus asked.

“They never will, at least before we have made it to the van.”

“One question Boss, should we use my phone or Mugsy’s for the app?” Little Tony asked?

(190 words)


Sunday Photo Fiction – March 17, 2019

Alfonso Sagasius KC: A Rosemans Tale (Part Two – The Trial)

rosemen cover


Order, order!  All rise,” the clerk shouted as Lord Justice Sagasius entered the courtroom

“Be seated,” Sagasius said quietly, as he shuffled some papers before him.

“The Crown vs. Talco Remmie,” the clerk announced.

Remmie was led to the dock, and the charges including theft were read out to him.

“How do you plea?”

“Not guilty, My Lord,” Remmie responded.

“Very well,” the old judge replied.  “You may proceed.”

The clerk called out, “The Crown calls Senior Constable Fuller.”

Brian Fuller of “The Lasts,” was not very experienced in the High Court, in fact few in the Ninth Precinct had ever had to deal with much more than magistrates.”  He took the stand, and repeated the customary oath.

“Senior Constable,” a lawyer began. “How did you come to be involved with this case?”

“Well, I was . . .” Fuller began.

“Please address the bench,” the lawyer reminded.

“Sorry,” Fuller stuttered and then continued. “Well, My Lord, I was on my way from the First Precinct to the Alley House, when the lady there in black came running up to me saying she had been robbed and ruined.”

“And how did you respond?”

Fuller looked down at his notebook and read, “The lady said she had been robbed, and I asked was it her purse or something. She then said no, it was her whole life-savings, and she had been conned and swindled.  I then said to her that ‘it sounded like a civil matter to me,’ but she was hysterical, so I wrote down that it were Talco Remmie who had done it.”

“And was there any evidence that Mr. Remmie had perpetrated this so-called ‘swindle?'” the lawyer asked.

“Yes My Lord, The lady said it was so.  That’s my evidence,” Fuller replied.

“Would the Defense like to question the witness?”

“I don’t think that will be necessary, My Lord,” the other lawyer responded.

“Thank you Senior Constable?” Sagasius said.

“The Crown calls Mrs. Isabella Temple,” the clerk called.

Isabella Temple took her place and repeated the oath.

“Mrs. Temple,” the lawyer began.  “What was the nature of your relationship with the accused?”

“I thought he was my friend,” she responded.

“Was there anything romantic in this ‘friendship?'” the lawyer continued.

“No, not romance.  I enjoyed his company, and he seemed a good lunch and theatre companion.”

“Would you call it a relationship?” the lawyer asked.

“No My Lord, merely friendship.”

“How did he get access to your bank?” the lawyer asked.

“I sent a note to allow him enough to pay his back lodging fees,” she said.

“And how much did he draw from your accounts?”

“Twenty three thousand in silver, My Lord,” she said beginning to weep.

“Did you authorise such an amount?”

“No, I made it clear in the note, that it was just for the lodging fees.  Mr. Silver should have known that,” she retorted.

“Is this the note?” the lawyer asked as the clerk handed a piece of paper to Mrs. Temple.

“It’s my signature, but not my words,” she said weeping all the more heavily.

“Thank you, Mrs, Temple.”

The defense lawyer took a sheepish look up to the bench, and then said, “I have no questions, My Lord.”

And that was that.

Sagasius went to his chambers, and returned a mere twenty minutes later.

“The Defendant will rise,” the clerk called out.

Judge Sagasius cleared his throat and then began.  “Talco Remmie, In all of my years in jurisprudence, your case I found to be one of the most despicable.  You have used falsehood, and false friendship to deceive the vulnerable.  You have removed the means of an innocent with whom you had forged a trust to care for her daily needs.  You have victimised Mrs. Temple both financially and emotionally.  I therefore find you guilty of all charges.”

“Do you have a statement before your sentence is announced?” the clerk asked.

“I,  I am sorry I took so much,  Remmie said.  “I am so sorry.”

Sagasius then straightened in his seat.  “Talco Remmie, I have entered a guilty verdict, and I am also informed that you, while in Harbourhead, have attempted a similar deceit previously.  I therefore am going to give the maximum sentence permitted by the law in such cases.  You, Talco Remmie, shall be transported to New Farmington to work at hard labour for a period of no less than thirty years.  If you return to the kingdom, before the the said thirty years, your life shall be forfeit.”

All then stood as the judge returned to his chambers.

*                                  *                                 *

Later that evening Alfonso Sagasius KC sat at the dinner table of his elegant home.  Across from him sat Isabella Sagasius Temple.

“I hope you can find some comfort now that his is all over,  Little Sister.”

“Oh Alfie, I really did love him.  That’s what hurts the most.”

“I know, Issie, and I have made him pay for that.”





Alfonso Sagasius KC: A Rosemans Tale (Part One -The Remmie Case)

Fandango’s Challenge: Order


Alfonso Sagasius KC: A Rosemans Tale (Part One -The Remmie Case)

rosemen cover

Alfonso Sagasius had been on the bench for nearly thirty years.  He had been the youngest judge in the kingdom when he was first appointed by King Gomez.  In his entire time as a lawyer, and then as a member of the judiciary, no one had ever questioned his integrity or his judgments.  In fact, shortly after ascending to the throne, King Hector is reported to have observed that, “It is Sagasius who puts the just into justice.”

As Sagasius looked over his upcoming cases, he nodded as he saw one in particular,  The Crown vs. Remmie.

*                                    *                                    *

Talco Remmie was a dashing adventurer of about thirty.   He had a penchant for rich food, and even richer widows.  He had arrived in the capital from Harbourhead a few months before, and took lodging in an affluent boarding establishment near Parliament.

Remmie frequented the more high class salons and restaurants of the city, and after a week of so in the capital saw an attractive woman in her mid-fifties dining alone on lobster and sparkling wine.  She was dressed in black, and had the clear melancholy of one recently widowed.

“Madam, you look so sad sitting here all alone,” he said, employing his most charming  smile.  “Would you like some company, and someone to share your thoughts with?”

She, being a courteous individual, did not seem ungrateful to such a kind gesture, so motioned to the seat opposite her, which Remmie politely took.

He had an incredible ability to ingratiate himself with people, and she was soon pouring her heart out to him.   He was attentive, and looked compassionately into her tear damped eyes.  He being the gentleman slid a hand towards her arm and gently patted her sleeve.  After she seemed to have said all that was in her heart, he rose and bowed.

“Madam, I am so touched by your struggles and Mr. Temple seems to have been a wonderful man.  Which, if I can be so bold, is only befitting for such an amazing woman as yourself.”  He bowed again and departed.

Three days later, Mrs Temple returned to the same eatery, and spied Remmie sitting at a corner table.  She approached him, and with a shy smile asked if she might join him.

“Of course, Madam,”  he said rising to pull a chair out for her.  “And how have you been, Mrs. Temple?”

“I have been much the same,” she said.  “And do please call me Isabella.”

“I am so sorry to hear that you are still under a cloud,”  Remmie replied with honeyed kindness in his voice.

“I did find our previous chat uplifting,” she said.

The pair again spent an afternoon in conversation.

Their lunches together became more regular after that, and this kind handsome young man made her feel less alone.

After two months, they began to share other engagements together.  They dined in fine restaurants, and he accompanied her to both the opera and to the Theatre Royal where he shared her private box.

She felt alive, and soon began to provide him with little gifts.  She did note, however, that he seemed to only have two suits of clothes.  At one of their meetings, therefore, she announced that she would on the morrow take him to her late husband’s tailor to be fitted.

Though he feigned objections, he was provided with two of the most exquisite suits that the kingdom had to offer, and soon after their shopping excursions became more regular.

Then at one of their lunches, he sat uncharacteristically quietly.

“Whatever is the matter, dear Talco?” she asked.

“Oh Isabella,” he said despondently.  “I may soon have to leave the city.  My funds have been exhausted and my lodgings bill is past due.”

“Nonsense,” she said taking out a banker’s book from her handbag.

“No Isabella, I couldn’t,” he protested.

“How much is it that you owe?” she asked innocently.

“I really can’t say for sure,” he responded.

“Well then,” she continued scribbling on a piece of paper. “You take this note and book to the High Bank and tell Mr. Silver to take care of it.  I insist.”

That was the last she had seen of him, at least before his arrest.




Alfonso Sagasius KC: A Rosemans Tale (Part Two – The Trial)

The Arrival


Image result for pb2y coronado

The word was out, there was going to be a special delivery to Sandy Bay straight from New York and in time for Christmas.

The Nutts Corner tower had reported that the PB2Y was only about twenty minutes out, and servicemen gathered by the lakeside to eagerly await the “special delivery” Coronado.   All had hopes of the great things to come.

As the seaplane completed its moorings, several of the appointed ground crew rushed to process the cargo, and the treats therein.

“Smitty, what is it?” Petty Officer Hendricks shouted from the pier.

Seaman Smith stood in the hatchway, and with an exasperated expression said, “Typewriters.”

(106 words)



What Pegman Saw: Rams Island

The Wait

Early Winter by Serge Grechanyuk

The Snow Line they used to call it.  It was a border of sorts between the ice fields and glaciers above, and the timber lands below.  Henri had stood there in the same place ten years before when the Ice Hordes had struck downwards in search of food. The Woods Men had met them of course; and after nearly three days of battle the border had not moved.  Ten thousand brave men of the forest had perished, and an equal number from the heights.  And for what?  Okay, the timber lands had been preserved, and the ice dwellers retreated back to the mountain strongholds, but was holding them back really that important?

Henri remembered how Andre, his captain, had rushed forwards to intercept one of the fur-clad invaders before he could swing his large axe at the then young Henri.  “How could I have just stood there like that?”  Henri questioned as he once again began too berate himself.  He saw the mountain men swarming down pass, and he had just froze.  He didn’t raise his sword, or even take the shield off his back.  Andre saved him, and then was immediately cut down by two other members of the horde.  That was the last that Henri could remember of  it.  When he came to himself again, he was lying among the dead and wounded.  The battle had ended, and he was unscathed except for a walnut sized whelp on his head.

But now, ten years on the weather was again as it had been a decade before.  Harsh winds and early snow had ruined crops, and hindered hunting in the mountains.  Would they come again?  Would the men of the forest be able to once again resist them?  Was he up to the challenge?  All this was weighing on his mind, as he glanced back at rows of young forest men, to which he was now the captain.





Here the battle began…and here it ended. Years have passed, time and weather eating away at the memorial banners and even the metal on the blades that were once wielded in protection of these lands. Wielded by honorable men that once fought beside him. Years have passed, but in his mind, the battle goes on. How he managed to survive when so many of his brothers fell, is a bitter miracle he’s still trying to understand. He gazes into the distance, up into the snowy hills from where the enemy once crashed down upon them like a raging torrent. The landscape is quiet once again, but will it remain so? And for how long?

Whole Nut Macadamia Fat Bombs

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Most of my previous Fat Bomb recipes used nut butter and chopped or blitzed nuts.  Wanting to get a wider variety, I experimented with using whole Macadamia nuts as a crunchy core to each bomb.  It uses 100% cocoa powder, and coconut oil, and is about as low carb as I have managed so far.


  • Macadamia Nuts 16 -21 shelled unsalted (depending on size of ice tray/candy mould)
  • Stevia  1 – 2 rounded Tbs (to taste)
  • 100% Cocoa Powder 1 rounded Tbs
  • Coconut Oil 2 1/2 rounded Tbs


Warm the coconut oil to a liquid.  Add the cocoa, and sweetener and mix until all totally dissolved.  Using a small cube ice tray, place one nut in each space.  Spoon the cocoa mixture over each nut, and place the tray in a refrigerator. When set, remove the bombs from the tray and place in a bowl.  Store in the fridge until needed.



Examination Interruptus

The assessment schedule had been published, and the morning of the exam had arrived.  William had woken with a sense of dread.  “I’m not ready,” he thought to himself.  “I wish there was a way around taking the test today.”

He frantically revised his notes while on the bus, but felt no more prepared by the time he arrived at school.

“Tom, are you ready for History?” he asked his mate when they met in the corridor.

“No,” Tom replied. “I started to revise, but I had football practice.”

“I’m not ready either,” Will rejoined.

As they passed their History room, they couldn’t believe their luck.  The exam answer sheets were on the front of the teacher’s desk.

Tom dropped down to “tie his shoe” right outside the room, and William went to take a closer look.

“Are the test papers there?” Tom said lowly.

“No, just the blank exam booklets,” his companion replied.

“Come here quick,” Tom said. “I have an idea.”

The two traded places, and Tom took the pile of official answer sheets and hid them behind a file cabinet.

The two then quickly made their exit.

Later, as the more diligent students were reviewing their notes, the teacher arrived with the test questions.

“Sally, will you give each person a blue answer booklet please?” He requested.

“Where are they, Sir?” she replied.

“Right at the front of my desk,” the teacher said.

“They’re not there,” she observed.

The teacher and several of the “best and brightest” spent the next ten minutes searching for the required forms.

“Okay everybody,” the educator said apologetically, “we are going to have to postpone this until next week’s class.  I really don’t know what happened to them.”

“Result!” Tom said out loud, then looked rather sheepishly down at his notes.

“Everybody, get out your workbooks, we will go ahead with the next topic,” the teacher instructed.

Later in the day,  the teacher returned from lunch to find a neatly stacked pile of exam books stacked in their original position on his desk.



Based on true events!

The Haunted Wordsmith: School Story Genre

Terms and Conditions Apply

three line tales, week 163: a special deal

photo by Artem Bali via Unsplash

You get twelve for only the price of a dozen –

That’s a great deal you should agree –

Offer limited to one per customer  – between

Three thirty and half past three


Don’t forget to bring the coupon –

Printed on a paper of your own –

We wont accept it if the barcode won’t scan –

So be careful when printing at home


So hurry down and join the queue –

Don’t forget to search for other bargains in store –

Don’t be late and let the person before you –

Take the last one from the display by the door




This was inspired by Three Line Tales, Week 163.  It was my immediate reaction, but I will post a proper 3 line piece to the challenge later.