The cafe began to feel like her only real home. Lily had a room in a shared house, but her housemates were not what they had seemed when she first signed the lease. She couldn’t exactly move either, as affordable accomodation in her university town was in short supply. So, her life revolved around going to lectures, and nursing a coffee at the cafe in her off time until she was forced to return to her noisey room, and the mess generated by her partying housemates.

Weekends were even worse as there were no classes or lectures to attend. But Margy, the owner filled the gap for her by offering her a job behind the counter on non-school days. To her surprise Lily really enjoyed it. She liked the banter with Margy, and the other barista, Kate, as well as the interactions with the customers.

Just as she was preparing to finish her second year of uni, Margy’s son David came to the cafe and the two hit it off instantly. Before long the two were a couple, and by the time she was about to graduate they announced their engagement.

Then to her surprise, Margy announced she was giving the cafe to them as a wedding present. The cafe had indeed become a home, and she and David would carry on the coffee dynasty.


First Line Friday


A perfectly brewed cup of tea can’t fix everything. Even after those smooth, sweet, creamy sips have calmed your nerves, the underlying misfortune will still be there. Angie found this out when whe went to tell her mum about her break-up with David.

“And I tought we were soulmates,” she sobbed. “All the while he was playing around behind my back.”

“Tisk tisk, Sweetie,” her mother said. “How about me putting the kettle on?” Which of course was the appropriate English response in such situations.

As Mum poured the tea, Angie spilled-out her heart.

Mum listened patiently, and occasionally gave knowing “hmms” or “tisks.”

“How about another?” Mum asked, and puffy-eyed, runny-nosed Angie sniffed and nodded.

This time Mum had brought out some chocolate digestives as well, and they dunked and sipped, as Angie seemed to finally have unloaded all that she was capable of.

“How are you feeling Sweetie?” Mum at last asked.

“Shattered, but a bit better,” Angie said honestly.

“It will take time, Love,” Mum said passing Angie a tissue and the last biscuit.

Angie nodded, and then gave a feeble smile.

A perfectly brewed cup of tea can’t fix everything, but along with a couple of biscuits, it sure does help.


First Line Friday

The Rat Race

Safe, Bank, Safe Deposit Box, Security, Vault

The rat ran and he chased. If keeping up with the Jones was a struggle, and keeping up with the Kardashians only a dream, then keeping up with William Ratiker was an impossibility. This guy was unreal. He had one of those waterproof, bullet-proof lives, and he succeeded in all that he did. The problem was that “the rat,” came about most everything immorally, if not down right illegally.

Ben Willis had been an officer in the “Fraud Squad” for eight years, and for most of that time he had been trying to nail Ratiker. But, the Rat always seemed a step ahead. Ben was hoping that today was going to be different. He had finally found a hole in one of Ratiker’s alibis. Ben wasn’t going to merely chase this time, he was going to let the Rat run a maze of Willis’ creation. He would just wait for him to incriminate himself, and then he would have him.

It only took a couple of phone calls, and a little disinformation as to what Willis knew already to get Ratiker to go straight to the safe deposit box where the evidence Ben needed would be found. When Ratiker arrived Willis was waiting for him, warrant in hand. The rat indeed ran, but this time Ben was waiting for him.



First Line Friday

Darker Than The Fog

The damp fog refused to burn away, eating up their street until the suburb became still and their house an island. This was no tropical paradise, however, but a bleak craggy isle buffeted by waves. Fog or no, the island home had its own issues, and marital discord and strife made for an unpleasant existence. I say existence, as it was no life. Living always on a knife-edge, perpetually walking on proverbial eggshells, had taken its toll. Now with the creeping fog making escape from the island home difficult, it would only be a matter of time until the damp of the surrounding fog would be the least of their problems.



First Line Friday


“Leave me alone,” she snapped, juking around around him on the sidewalk and hurrying away with a quick clack of heels.

“Missy, you really should listen to what I have to say,” Harold called after her.

Turning, she spat, “And why should I? You’re just a servant.”

“Exactly, a servant. Your father’s servant, and he said that you need to come with me now back to the house, or he is going to cut off your allowance again.”

Missy sighed, and then crossed her arms and pulled an exaggerated pout, before slowly following him back to the limo. Sometimes she hated being a billionaire’s daughter.


Distance Learning

Still Life, School, Retro, Ink, Table, Desk, Study

Gigi assembled her planners, her calendars, her pens, pouches, and post-its before her on the desk and stood over them like a general surveying maps. Useless, she thought to herself. If she were indeed a general she would have called a retreat. What good was all this stationery in a world of e-Learning?

Pushing it all to one side, she opened her laptop and scrolled to find the tutorials for Google Classroom and Google Forms. She also cleared away some clutter from behind her desk to give a more professional background to Monday’s upcoming “live” lesson. It was going to be a long weekend, and General Gigi now knew how Napoleon must have felt at Waterloo.



First Line Friday

Keeping With The Times

“What, were you expecting a cauldron?” Peggy asked with a chuckle as she and her neighbour Helen walked into her immaculately kept stainless steel kitchen. Helen had moved in about a month before and the pair had chatted over the fence a couple of times. Helen had been struck by her new neighbour’s dress sense, really Gothic she had thought. But now for the first time Peggy had invited her into her home.

“I really wasn’t sure what to expect,” Helen mumbled.

“No worries, have a look around if you like, while I feed Mr Tibbles,” Peggy replied.

Helen looked at the shelf of alphabetically-arranged bottles bearing labels such as Bat Wings and Choke Weed. Each one was in a familiar shaped glass container with industrially printed labels with the logo and branding – Mccormick Speciality Spices.

“Do you mean you get this from Tesco’s next to the cinnamon?” Helen asked astonished at the sight.

“No, no, they have to be ordered from a catalogue. I think there’s one in the top drawer next to you if you want to have a look. And there’s the cat taken care of, so do you want me to brew something up for you?”

“Um – like a love potion or something?” Helen asked unsurely.

Peggy laughed. “I guess that could be arranged, but I was thinking more along the lines of a tea or a coffee.”

“Oh, sorry. Tea please. White and one sugar.”

“Coming right up,” Peggy said with a smile. “A love potion? So tell me about him?” Peggy teased.

Helen flushed and then said, “Just some guy at my new job.”

“Uuuh, tell me more,” Peggy said placing a steaming mug next to her new friend.

“He’s cute, and oh, you know,” Helen said blushing again.

Peggy walked back into the kitchen and took four of the bottles from the rack and set them on the counter. She then took the cover of a Ninja Multi Cooker.

“What are you doing?” Helen asked.

“Getting you that love potion,” Peggy said with a mischievous grin. “With the super cooker it will be ready in no time.”


First Line Friday: “What, were you expecting a cauldron?”


Armor, Coat Of Mail, The Middle Ages, Uniforms

The dice tumbled and the table leaned forward with held breath.

Three months of adventuring had led to this moment. The party was now on the brink of obtaining untold riches.

Rania (Alice Martin) the Thief had just moved to the door of the treasure chamber and inspected the lock.

“This will be simple,” she said confidently shooting a smile at the rest of the party.

“Be careful,” Dillonian (Henry Dillon) the Mage warned.

“I’m always careful,” Rania retorted. “I place a wedge at base of the door and gently slide it in to avoid vibration. I then use my listening cup to monitor the mechanism as I insert my pick.”

“Make an ability check,” the Game Master (Will Fox) instructed.

“Um – Nat One,” Alice said with obvious distress in her voice.

“Rocks fall, you all die,” Fox said coolly. “Again next week?” he said stuffing a Dorito into his mouth.


First Line Friday: The dice tumbled and the table leaned forward with held breath.

Black Dog

The black dog followed them home. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. All was exuberant and campaign headquarters and initial results from the swing districts seemed positive. How could it all have gone wrong? After all champagne corks had popped, and their candidate had already proclaimed victory. How could the media say the outcome was any different? So they trudged home through the bleak November cold, shadowed by that damned black dog.


First Line Friday: The black dog followed them home.

The Red Badge of Adolescence

Dominic bowed his head to hide his face. And why should the best looking and most popular guy in the entire school do such a thing? Was it because he had failed to complete that pass in the game last Saturday? Was it because he was cheating on Sally Hood with her cousin Chloe? Was it that he had cheated on Mr. Allan’s Geography exam? No, it was because he had the most swollen red pimple of all red pimples on his nose.


First Line Friday: Dominic bowed his head to hide his face.