The Clock


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Insomnia was plaguing Henry.  He lay sleepless watching the clock slowly ticking towards midnight.  Thoughts of the Doomsday Clock flashed through his mind.  It too was approaching the witching hour of destruction.  What would prove to be the cause of this devastation?  Thermo-nuclear holocaust?  Global warming?  COVID 19?  All made the sense of anxiety worse as they weighed upon him on this milestone of the midnight of his upcoming thirteenth birthday.


Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #54

Hungry Times

parallel lines

OnHorizon at

“These are going to be hungry times,” Randolf said to Simon.

“I reckon you’re right,” the hunter replied to his brother.

“Pa said it was a bad sign when that early frost hit.  These woods ain’t been quite right ever since.”

“Peggy gathered up some nuts a while back, but they is on the small side,” Simon replied.  “Looks like the deer got the message before we did and hightailed.  There ain’t even many acorns this year.”

“There’s some rutting marks over by that oak though.  Must be a boar or wild hog about,” Randolf said giving a nod towards the tree.

“I hope so,” his brother replied. “I don’t look forward to a winter with just corn cake and mule meat for supper.”

“Well then lets stop this jawing and get ourselves a pig.”



The Routine



Daria-Yakovleva at

Mrs. Prince was used to having a lot of time on her hands.  After all she had spent much of her teenage years as a “loner” of sorts.  It wasn’t that she unhappy with her marriage, in fact she was very much in love.  Her husband’s job did take much of his time, however.  It was a good thing then that she had become a creature of routine.

As was her practice, she prepared a pot of hot water, and a mug of fresh mint leaves.  She then laid them out with the books she would read while she waited for her charming husband to return.

Rapunzel then took the throw that had been made from her locks, and settled in for the day.


Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #52

Honour Among . . .


Cottonbro at

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

“Behind Those Doors”



image: New York Public Library at

“Behind those doors lies ‘everyman’s’ portal to the multiverse,” the old stranger told me as he pointed to the foyer of the Liberty.

“Really?” I asked with sincere interest.

“Yes, behind them there doors swashbuckling heroes sail the seas; black hats and white hats quick draw to the death’ and ‘Dirty Rats,’ get their comeuppance in the face of a Tommy gun.  Not only that, but Flash Gordon battles for the security of the galaxy, while Southern sea captain’s ‘don’t give a damn.'”

“Okay, so it’s a movie theatre.  Doesn’t the library do the same thing?”

“No. No indeed,” the stranger continued.  “Here even the illiterate and the impatient can find the magic.  There’s no need to trawl through endless pages.  The story is clear, and even has accompanying music.   Sonny, if that ain’t enough drama for you, I tell ya this place has it in spades.   If you don’t believe me you should see what the owner’s wife Agnes is getting up to with that new usher David in the office.”




Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #50

The Illustrator


Victoria_Borodinova at Pixabay

It was pretty awful in primary school.  Arthur Sullivan was a quiet lad, and never seemed to fit in.  What made it worse was his parents, and his teachers always called him Art.  The class bullies thought that was hilarious, and used to leave miscellaneous art supplies in his desk, or his lunch box.  Trust me, biting into coloured chalk in your ploughman’s sandwich is pretty nasty – talk about chalk and cheese.

By the time he was in junior school, he decided to go with the flow, and began to use all of the free supplies to pursue art as a hobby.  It seemed art was natural for Art.  He kept this fact secret for a long while however, even doing only his semi-best in art class to recognition of his talents.

It wasn’t until his third year of high school that he was found out, and then quite by accident.  He inadvertently mixed up his homework pad with his “home pad.”  When his teacher saw the work she was amazed.  Before long he was a rising star in the department, and even his biggest detractors had to acknowledge the awesomeness of his work.

By seventeen he had secured a place at a major art school, and went on to become a background artist for a major comic book company.  It was there that his supervisor came across one of his private sketchbooks.  Within its pages was a highly developed series of illustrated stories of the mighty Wave, an oceanic superhero who was greater than Aqua-man and Poseidon combined.  The featured serial of this character soon followed, as did the bids for the movie rights.

Art Sullivan had proved to be a power of nature in his own right – The Illustrator!



Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #48

The Loft (Attic) Conversion


The Allisons had saved for two years in order to convert their difficult to access loft into an office for Debera’s free-lance writing business.  It was a major investment, and they knew when it was done they would need to use only basic furnishings until they could save enough for quality replacements.  They were thrilled, therefore, when they saw an advertisement in the local free-paper for a renovations company which guaranteed the lowest prices.   And low they were!  The quote they were given by the Borisov Brothers was only 2/3 that of the next lowest.  Their portfolio photos seemed impressive as well so the contract was made.

For the next four weeks their was constant hammering and sawing, as burly workmen came and went.  At last, Sergei and Alexander summoned the Allisons upstairs to view the completed work.

Debera couldn’t believe her eyes.  The stairs leading into the loft-office ran at odd angles and multiple entryways were evident.  Some seemed to snake upwards, while others seemed not to go anywhere particular.

“I – I don’t know what you think this is, but it’s not what we agreed on,” David said accusingly.  “This is outrageous.”

“Why are you angry?” Alexander said confused.  “You asked for loft to be make easy.  We make easy to get in and out.  Can you not see?  We give you famous Russian steps.”


Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #46

The Sand Trap


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“I am sure the ball went this way,” Harry said.

“Well I told you, you were hooking your swing too far to the left,”  Dan said.  “Now look, you have really messed up.”

“Well, I think it is just a bit unfair,” Harry complained.  “This sand trap does seem to be a bit excessive.”

“Harry, it’s not a sand trap.  You hooked it right off the course.”

“Well then, this is the last time I ever play golf in Dubai,” Harry said and headed back to the hotel and a cool drink.




Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #45


The Pursuit


They say that a Canadian Mountie always get’s their man.  Well, most Mounties anyway.  Then there was O’Mally.  He had been put on the Renault case, but after the suspect did a runner, O’Mally was out of his element.  Witness statements suggested that he had gone northwards, but the fog had prevented them from saying anymore than that.  O’Mally was well aware that he had finished bottom of his class in tracking at the academy, but now even with his trusted bloodhound, Duke he was struggling to pick up the trail.

“Duke, old boy, I hope you can find the a trail soon.  I can’t find a single clue myself.”


Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #44



Devanath at Pixabay

The skirmish had begun shortly after sunrise, and a tremendous battle developed  through the day.  Each side had moments when victory seemed assured only for reinforcements to arrive in aid of their foes.  This give and take over only about a mile of land, in the end, caused both armies to withdraw as the day ebbed away.  Neither general believed he had the manpower or remaining energy to pursue his withdrawing enemy.

As the sun set into the western hills, a column of cavalry of about seventy strong made its way back to its bivouac site from which two hundred had ridden that morning.  Each survivor carried his own emotional and physical scars from the day’s engagement.  Each wondered what the next dawn would hold in store for them.


Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #43