Living on edge : Mondays Finish the Story

This weeks Mondays Finish the Story challenge is the featured image (© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham) and the first sentence is “She lived a life that some would describe as being on edge.” Once again I’m happy to have the opportunity of adding my entry to all the great flash fiction entries that you can find by clicking on the link.

Living on edge

She lived a life that some would describe as being on edge. You could tell just by looking at her. She was continually tense, nervous and extremely irritable.

As she entered the room she seemed to bring life’s tensions with her. Bustling in with short rapid steps, making the shortest route to the sofa.

Paul cleared his throat to speak but she snapped angrily.

Reaching into his trouser pocket he grabbed his lucky nickels as if reaching for inspiration. They slipped noisily to the floor and hearing her yap once again he glanced towards the sofa and saw her trembling and panting noisily, tail tucked and hidden behind her.

He pushed the button under the ledge of his desk to signal he wasn’t to be disturbed.

Outside the office, a red light shone just beside the sign – Paul Gallant : Pet Behaviour Counsellor.

The Vulture and I : Mondays Finish the Story

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham
© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

The Vulture and I

I watched the vulture looking at me hungrily as I lay on the ground bleeding and injured. Holding my hand flat against my right side I pressed hard, trying, but not succeeding, in stopping the flow of sticky, red fluid. It was seeping unhindered through my shirt.

Looking back to the vulture, I attempted to shout, but no sound came out of my weary body. Head spinning, tongue glued to the roof of my mouth, jaws clenched with excruciating pain, I felt the inexorable encroaching darkness, and the inevitable extinction of my life’s spark.

A surge of sharp pain brought me back momentarily from the brink, and reaching into my left pocket I took out my revolver, aimed squarely between the vulture’s eyes and squeezed the trigger. I was already in the tunnel as the bullet hit, contemplating the irresistible, bright white light.

(126 words)

Another inspiring prompt from Barbara this week for the Mondays Finish the Story challenge. The first sentence is imposed and the story should be completed in less than 150 words.

Please spend some time looking at the other entries!

The Woods : Mondays Finish the Story

Not one but two stories today as it is also Mondays Finish the Story! The photo prompt is below and the story must start with “Not knowing what to expect, he made his way into the dark of the forest”

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham
© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

The woods

Not knowing what to expect, he made his way into the dark of the forest. He felt acutely misplaced and awkward. Woods were the substance of fairy tales or of Robin Hood and belonged firmly in the realm of stories or films.

The shoes in which he was so comfortable on the sidewalk or at the office felt so out of place far from the concrete and tarmac of the city. The soft and humid carpet of pine needles enveloped and caressed his feet and he was surprised at the sensation.

But he had no time for pleasure and certainly no time to reflect or compare. Only time to get where he needed to go and precious little of that.

When he got to the other side of the forest, the plane would be waiting for him on the runway and he would take off to begin his life anew.

Keeping on the path he half-walked, half-ran, as fast as he could.

Click on the prompt below to see the other entries and perhaps your own?

The Postcard : Mondays Finish the Story

© 2015 Barbara W. Beacham
© 2015 Barbara W. Beacham

The Postcard

Now this is living the life of Riley.

Olivia read the words on the freshly delivered postcard and turned it over to see a photo of a cat sprawled out and content.

She knew she had to act rapidly.

Rushing upstairs, she threw a few things into an overnight bag and was out of the house in less than five minutes.

Hurrying, she pulled up the collar of her coat, slipped the grey hood over her head and put on her sunglasses.

Glancing furtively on both sides of the street, she noticed the black unmarked van, and the woman opposite talking on her mobile. Without drawing unnecessary attention to herself, she turned her head to avoid detection by the CCTV cameras, and slipped into an alley.

The game of cat and mouse continued, but Olivia knew that they were just playing with her. Her capture was imminent.

I like flash fiction challenges and to have the first few words imposed and a photograph to inspire makes the challenge very stimulating. The is this weeks Mondays Finish the Story. The link below will take you to the other entries. Why not join us?

The Island : Mondays Finish the Story

It’s time once again for Mondays Finish the Story and this week Barbara has provided the image (below) and the first sentence “Few knew about the castle hidden inside the island.” My job is to write between 100 and 150 words to complete the story based on these two elements.
Here it is!


The Island

Few knew about the castle hidden inside the island. Josh had learnt from another inmate while he was last doing time.

“You’ll see, its perfect!”

“The only way to get onto the island is by private boat!”

It was exactly what Josh needed. Somewhere to hide while the storm blew over. No communications, no CCTV, isolated and perfectly secluded. The perfect hiding place.

He pulled harder on the oars to make the little rowing boat go faster and looked behind to make sure he wasn’t followed.

His arms were aching as he approached the shore of the tiny island. Looking up he could see the stone tower on top of the hill.

He hid the boat in some bushes, slung his bag over his shoulders and climbed towards the tower.

A uniformed soldier guarded the entrance.

“Ministry of Defence. What is your business?”

No-one had informed Josh that the castle is, in fact, a decommissioned army base. (149 words)

The Witch : Mondays Finish the Story

The Witch

From her small balcony, the witch watched the world go by. She sat in full sight of anyone that happened to pass by.

Her long, unkempt hair rests uneasily upon the grubby shawl that adorns her bent and ungainly form.

Her hooked and crooked nose erupts from her face that is covered in warts and festering pimples.

Her twisted and deformed mouth display just blackened stumps.

She really is an archetypal witch.

She looks down to the street below where a man points to the oncoming traffic and gives a friendly wave.

She scowls as several tour buses pass slowly by. The Guides point to her balcony and the tourists point upwards with startled expressions.

As the last coach disappears she gets up, rips off her wig, spits out her dentures, removes her false nose and reaches for the packet of make-up removal wipes.

Smiling sweetly she recounts her well earned dollars.

Not bad for an hours work.
This is my entry to this weeks Monday’s Finish the Story written in a howling wind from my cabin aboard the Caribbean Princess trying to avoid a storm off the coast of Newfoundland, heading to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

From a Hilltop

© Barbara W. Beacham, 2015
© Barbara W. Beacham, 2015

The Cemetery spread along the area known as Devils Abode.

A narrow road skirted the perimeter and afforded access to a green hill beyond.

During the short drive: Dad drove in silence; Mum fixed the road ahead; and I was alone with my thoughts on the back seat.

I hadn’t wanted to come, but they were adamant.

“It’s time.” Dad had insisted.

At the summit, he stopped the car beside a sign which read, SCENIC VIEW, and we all got out and made our way to a footpath, that led back down the hill.

Suddenly, overwhelmed, my eyes welled with tears.

“I can’t go down there.” I sobbed.

Dad laid both hands lightly on my shoulders and I looked up at him pleadingly.

I turned my attention to Mum whose eyes were puffy and bloodshot.

She reached into her handbag and extracted a white handkerchief.

“Come on Son.” She whispered softly.

“It’s time to say goodbye to Molly.”

Read all about Mondays Finish the Story here. It’s a challenge of 100-150 words from a photo prompt (above) and the first few words “The Cemetery spread along the area known as Devils Abode.” I hope you enjoy this weeks entry although it is a little sad.


Mondays Finish the Story : Uncertain Origins

Photo taken of an old photo in 2014 © Barbara Beacham
Photo taken of an old photo in 2014 © Barbara Beacham

Uncertain Origins

The family had no idea that little Luigi would grow up to be such a successful businessman.

The choice of Luigi was a mystery as his Dad was a Yorkshire Postmaster and his Mum confectioned dresses for the villagers to supplement the family income.

No Italian connections whatsoever.

He didn’t eat a pizza until the age of 13 and liked neither pasta nor ice-cream.

At school he was regularly taunted: “Mamma Mia itsa Luigi!”

But he never rose to the bait and bided his time patiently.

His revenge came much later as a trader.

“Imma gonna make you an offer you canna refuse!” he would say with his mock Italian accent.

(99 words)

This is my entry to Barbara Beacham’s Mondays Finish the Story. It’s a great way to start the week!

Don’t forget to read the other entries by following the link above!

Mondays Finish the Story : Memories of Grandad (Number 42)

It’s Monday and time for another Mondays Finish the Story, organised by the wonderful Barbara W. Beacham. The photo prompt is below and the story must commence with “I see absolutely everything

Copyright © Barbara W. Beacham
2015  © Barbara W. Beacham

“I see absolutely everything.”

“I thought you couldn’t see very well Grandad.” I said; looking up uncomfortably, at the sunken skin where his left eye had been. It made him look so stern but I knew differently. He wasn’t wearing his patch today.

My school friend Sam; had told me that Grandad was a retired pirate, but I’d protested. I knew that he’d been wounded in the war.

I clambered onto the sofa beside him and he tousled my hair affectionately.

He continued whittling: the dark centre shape resembling more and more some sort of eye.

In my childishness I couldn’t help idly speculating.

(100 words)