Beautiful : Sunday Photo Fiction



It’s a weekday morning.

I knock our wedding photo to the carpet in my rush to silence the alarm.

We struggle for a place in the bathroom and race to be first to use the toilet.

Then, downstairs, a gulp of tepid coffee.

Occasional glances, quick smiles, no time for toast or conversation.

Then we’re off!

Different bus stops to different offices.

She texts.

“I’ve a surprise for u this evening”

The day is sluggish.

The more I think about my surprise, the longer the minute hand takes to reach quitting time.

My colleagues seem hell bent on detaining me but I manage to escape to the bus.

She texts again.

“I hope ur not late. I’m waiting”

I jump off the moving bus and scamper home.

When I open the door a grunting alien greets me.

I protest.

“Not what I’ve been fantasising about all day hun.”

Slimy dangly tentacles quiver as it nods its head.

It’s a cheap costume but I follow it upstairs to the bedroom.

Muffled giggles from within as we fall towards the bed.

I reach out to pull off the mask.

My heart sinks as I realise it’s not a mask.

Sunday Photo Fiction is back on my blog again. Time to regain my writing habits.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Spaceman

© A Mixed Bag 2012

It was Halloween.

The doorbell rang.

Andy wasn’t expecting anyone.

He turned up the volume on the TV.

The doorbell rang again.

‘Fuck me it’s not the moment!’ he shouted, but paused the TV and went to the door.

He’d give whoever it was a piece of his mind.

He yanked the door open, almost unhinging it.

There was a Spaceman on his doorstep.

‘What the …’ he started to protest, but the spaceman brought a heavy glove to Andy’s chin, knocking him back into the hallway.

The Spaceman then took one of the many tubes hanging from his spacesuit, coiled it around Andy’s neck and deftly strangled the life out of him before unzipping his spacesuit.

A wooshing sound filled the hallway and a lithe dark haired woman stepped out dressed in a white blouse and denim jeggings.

She bundled Andy into the spacesuit, then hoisted him onto the couch before resuming the programme on the TV.

She waited until the coast was clear before letting herself out.

The Spaceman Murderer had struck again.

Sunday Photo Fiction is a wonderful weekly Flash Fiction challenge.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Secret Code


Secret Code

Johnny’s a Hotel Manager, and every day I pass in front of his hotel.

We have our own secret code.

We take the week of the year as a base and add a letter of the alphabet.

As he knows what time I pass, he arranges to flash on and off some lights in the rooms facing the street.

The guests just think it’s a test.

Last week he spelt out ‘adore’ with 26+1, 26+4 etc from Monday to Friday.

I’m excited to discover this morning’s letter, but as I pass, I see three sets of lights, 26+19, 26+15, 26+19.

My heart skips a beat.

I call him, as I double back at the next roundabout.

It goes to voicemail.

As I get nearer, I see armed policemen falling out of unmarked vans, and the entrance cordoned off.

I abandon my car in the middle of the road and run to the nearest policeman.

“What’s happening?”

“They’ve taken hostages Madam.”

I bend in two and eject my breakfast.

The idea of Sunday Photo Fiction is to write a story with the photo as a prompt in around 200 words. The photo doesn’t have to be centre stage.

Sunday Photo Fiction – The Chalice

The Chalice


I’m uneasy with skulls. Although I trained as a nurse, neurosurgery was never my thing.

Give me a pus filled wound or invite me to an operating theatre to see open heart surgery any day of the week

The sight of blood doesn’t worry me at all.

Even human excrement is ok as long as the room is properly aired.

I looked to the mantlepiece and winced

It was time to draw a line and make a stand, so I turned to Simon.

I scraped up some courage and attempted to be polite and reasonable.

“Skulls are creepy and repulsive,” I said.

“Your chalice, with it’s macabre spinal stem, aggresses me beyond words and I refuse to share my mantelpiece with it any longer.”

“What’s this obsession with magic and the occult?  Please keep your Aleister Crowley books in your room and take this chalice as well. I don’t want to see them again.”

Simon grabbed the chalice from the mantelpiece and slouched back to his room.

I poured myself a stiff vodka and heard the usual chanting.

I sighed.

I suppose he’s going to go gothic next.

Sometimes it’s hard bringing up a teenage kid on your own.

This is my entry to this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction.

Sunday Photo Fiction – The Three Bears


The Three Bears

My husband was not an easy man to love.

These days, for the slightest of reasons, he would make my blood boil.

One single misplaced remark and once again, I felt all the muscles of my body contract and my face boil, while my teeth clenched and my lips curled inwards between them.

Time to retreat.

I rushed up to the bedroom and threw myself on the bed.

I yearned to throttle the last dregs of life out of him. Put my hands around his grimy throat, squeeze through the stubble and feel his Adam’s apple collapse and break like a brittle, meatless chicken bone.

I’d smash the voice box that had uttered such vile words and if I was lucky, really lucky, I’d rupture his windpipe and watch his lips turn blue and his body fall limp and lifeless as all the air in his body escaped.

I was still struggling to breathe when I heard giggling from my little Elsie’s room.

I got up and went to the doorway and saw her playing with her Teddy Bears.

My heart skipped a beat.


I took a deep breath.

It was time for a brisk walk.

I must learn to retake control before it’s too late.

From our host – “The idea of Sunday Photo Fiction is to create a story / poem or something using around about 200 words with the photo as a guide. Please try to keep it as close to the 200 words as possible. It doesn’t have to be centre stage in the story, I have seen some, where the placement is so subtle, the writer states where it is.”

Sunday Photo Fiction – The Lights

The Lights

With thanks – © A Mixed Bag, 2013

I felt better in the anonymity of the shadows.

It wasn’t cold but an unexpected shiver disrupted my thoughts.

I was getting too old for these late night excursions.

I looked up to the three bright lights above for inspiration.

Musketeers, Wise Men or Tenors?

Was that my tummy rumbling? I must be hungry.

I should go home, but first I must finish … what … I don’t know.

A woman with an interesting face appeared out of the shadows.

She seemed familiar. I think I’ve met her before.

“Dad, are you alright?”

Of course I was fine. What was this woman thinking?

“Dad, it’s Mary.”


She seemed to know me anyway.

Why did she think I was her Dad?

She took my hand, and I felt its warmth.

She gazed deep into my eyes and smiled.

“Come on Dad, let’s go home.”

It felt good to stop thinking.

I gripped her hand tight and followed.

Sunday Photo Fiction is a great weekly Flash Fiction challenge that I’m always happy to participate in.

Sunday Photo Fiction : Healing



I watched my darling little Lily arrange, and rearrange, the stones and trinkets around my favourite silver Buddha statue on its little tray.

I hadn’t noticed the tray in a while; too busy with my sadness and too ashamed of my anger.

“Light the sticks?” she pleaded, softly and wide-eyed.

“Sure,” I replied, and lighted two Joss sticks, inhaling slowly in anticipation.

I’d forgotten their intense and spicy aroma and closed my eyes instinctively, intensifying the pleasure.

As my eyes opened, Lily was still lost in her thoughts, pushing the little, polished stones with the tips of her tiny fingers.

She hummed a wordless little song as she smiled.

Such a sweet illuminating song that reached out to my troubled soul.

Suddenly, by surprise, I felt full of love, and from the deep dark recesses of sorrow and pain, I allowed some warm happy tears to rise and flow, and the healing commence.

I’ve written some dark stories these past few weeks. On seeing this week’s prompt (© A Mixed Bag) I was reminded of other things.


Sunday Photo Fiction : Fair Game

‘The idea of Sunday Photo Fiction is to create a story / poem or something using around about 200 words with the photo as a guide. Please try to keep it as close to the 200 words as possible. It doesn’t have to be centre stage in the story, I have seen some, where the placement is so subtle, the writer states where it is.’


© A Mixed Bag 2016


Fair Game

Henri turned his attention from his lifeless prey and returned to his workstation.

He wiped the wooden block scrupulously clean, then set out his implements one by one, stainless steel gleaming under the spotlights.

He caressed the handle of each knife, the cold steel soothing his fingertips. He contemplated the cuts, bruises and burn marks on his hands, remembering when the knife had slipped or the mallet had missed its mark.

In the heat of the action, the deadline was crucial. Everything had to be ready on time.

Henri wasn’t ruthless, but in his pursuit of perfection, his passion rendered him single-minded. Everything had to be just right. Each incision had to be precise.

He deftly worked his knives on each breast in turn before carefully placing the breasts on a plate. Then he carefully arranged the vegetables and stacked the rosti potatoes.

He took the blowtorch and seared the turkey breasts carefully.

When he was totally satisfied, he barked his order from the pass.





Sunday Photo Fiction : Romance

This week’s Sunday Photo Fiction marks the return from a four-week vacation to New Zealand and back and I made the decision not to write while I was away and to take a break.

This week’s entry is a short poem for a change. I inputted the photo and this is what came out.



It could be said that romance buds in Spring,

blooms in Summer,

matures in Autumn,

and takes refuge in Winter,

but that’s just looking through a convenient poetical window.

In reality, romance doesn’t wait for the seasons;

It waxes and wanes spontaneously,

as it wishes.