The One That Got Away

So this week’s challenge from is to use the word ‘pluck’ and the definition ‘to move, remove, or separate forcibly or abruptly’.

I still think about you. Everyday. Sometimes for hours at a time. Or just until it starts to hurt too much.

I miss you. To the moon and back. To infinity and beyond. More than you could ever know.

I miss your smile, and the feel of your hair all tangled across my face in the mornings, and the way you smelt after a shower, like strawberries and mint. I miss your touch, and the things you’d do to me in bed, and the way you looked naked – vulnerable, but still the most beautiful being I’d ever seen.

Sometimes I follow you. And him. When you’re together. I’ve sat behind you on the train going into the city (why were you going there?! You hate the city), and I’ve even been right behind you in the queue at Starbucks. Right behind you. And you were so wrapped up in your new life, you didn’t even notice me.

What made you leave? I wonder every day. Was it my bad dress sense? Was it my embarrassingly bad jokes? Was it because I couldn’t seem to get promoted? Was it because I bought you an iPad instead of some sort of jewellery for your birthday? Was it because you’d already met him?

Maybe I’ll never know. But I do know one thing.

If I could pluck you from his arms and make you mine again, I’d be the happiest man alive.


Death by Sardines

This week’s challenge is to use the word ‘companion’ and the definition ‘one employed to live with and serve another’.

Mrs Paxmore was the absolute bane of my life. Employer, landlord, slave driver, and general pain in the arse.

Ferrying the rich old dear back and forth to the Co-op, and the bingo hall, and to afternoon tea with her equally tedious friends was not what I had in mind as a career. I had dreams of a high-rise office, a nice heavy pay packet, and holidays to Dubai, not to a caravan in Eastbourne.

When I saw the advert in the paper for a ‘companion’, I immediately thought of my all-time favourite book, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. The character Mrs de Winter looks up the dictionary definition of a ‘companion’ and finds it means ‘a friend of the bosom’. I quite liked the sound of that. It sounded cosy and friendly and in my desperate-for-a-job state, I could hardly pass it up.

After six months of making endless cups of tea, and sardines on toast, and cleaning Enid Paxmore’s shit off the toilet bowl, I’d had enough. I Googled the definition of ‘companion’ for myself – ‘one employed to live with and serve another’. Not quite the cosy little job I was expecting.

I needed to get out. But with minimum wage and nowhere to go, I was trapped.

And then I discovered old Mrs Paxmore’s medicine cabinet.

‘Must have choked on a fish bone’, the doctor decided.

Or so I heard from my new flat in Dubai.

Romance and Sauce

This weekend’s challenge is to write between 33-333 words of erotic fiction. This isn’t usually my thing, but thought I’d give it a go!

And as he kissed me in that spot, I gave him my lips, my sighs, my moans, my breath, my body, my heart, my everything.

And then it was over.

Everything was quiet again, and yet nothing would ever be the same. We would never be the same.

For we were each others now, for evermore. 


I haven’t posted in over a month…didn’t realise it’d been quite so long! But lots has been happening, I have a new job (a writing job!), and I’ve been busy looking for somewhere to live/celebrating/preparing to start in a few weeks. Anyway, this week’s prompt is the word ‘remember’ with the definition ‘to keep in mind’.

Grandmama lived in a house full of strange things. Well, they were strange to me, who lived in a house where cleanliness and order were more important than anything else. ‘Use a coaster’, ‘No cuddles unless you tidy up’, ‘No trip to the theme park unless this house is dust free’. Yawn. Grandmama’s house had the best squishy armchairs, one was green and one was purple, which as a five-year-old amazed me. I was used to cream and chrome, and nothing else. 

Grandmama was quite a character. Batty, totally batty. Could never quite remember my name, being the youngest of twelve grandchildren. Peter, Susan, Derek, Cathy, John, Barbara, Marie…oh never mind dear, just bring me another toffee. She sucked toffees constantly, and I often had to pop them in her mouth, as she was so busy knitting. Knitting tea cosies, and hats for her ornaments, and totally mental Christmas presents for all us grandchildren. My personal favourite was the knitted toothbrush warmer I got one year.

Ornaments covered every surface…sheep and maids, and ladies in fancy dresses, and foxes, and princesses, and hedgehogs. I was allowed to play with them, and spent hours of my childhood dreaming up stories full of damsels in distress being rescued by woodland animals. Lamps, and endlessly ticking clocks, and vases of wilting flowers filled any space that was left. The first time I saw a dead flower, I thought it was the saddest thing I’d ever seen. I was used to empty shelves, and artificial flowers. I cried about that first dead flower for days.

She used to say to me ‘all these’ll be yours one day my dear, I’ll be sure to remember you in my will’. I was so excited to own those little sheep. I didn’t like to think of her dying, but like all old people, her time eventually came, and I was very sad. Even sadder than I was about the dead flower. 

I cried all through the funeral, but a few days later I remembered about the will and asked my parents if I could have the sheep now. But they’d been sold. Turns out Grandmama had left a great big pile of debt along with a dozen knitted hats for plastic hedgehogs and a half-knitted turban. I cried even more. More than I did for the dead flower and Grandmama’s funeral put together.

Thirty years on, I look back on those days at mad old Grandmama’s house, with the fondest of memories. She might not have left me those little woodland animals I was so excited about, but she did leave me with a whole host of happy memories. And love. And that’s all that matters.



The Hot Air Balloon

This week’s challenge from is to write a piece including the word ‘ass’, with the definition ‘often vulgar, a postpositive intensive especially with words of derogatory implication e.g. fancy-ass’.

Dear Mr H. A. Bloon,

Last Thursday, I treated my wife to a ride in your hot air balloon as a late birthday present. I assumed that we would have a lovely day in the air, assessing the sights of our local countryside.

How wrong was I?

The balloon’s ascend into the air was extremely turbulent. My wife felt somewhat queasy, and your assistant failed to assure us of our safety.

Once in the air, we tried to relax and enjoy the assorted colours of the large balloon, but our relaxed state was soon shattered after discovering that the balloon’s driver was asleep.

And as for the view? Instead of the rolling hills of lush, green, countryside we were expecting , all we could see was miles and miles of assembled protestors on some sort of march.

Frankly, the balloon ride was appalling. My wife’s birthday was ruined. I knew I should have bought her that watch instead. Be assured, my wife and I will not be travelling in your fancy-ass balloon again.

Yours sincerely,

A.S. Shole.

The Leprechaun Story

I haven’t joined in with a challenge for ages, as I went on holiday, and work and things have been getting in the way! This week’s word is ‘rainbow’, and we’re asked to use the definition ‘from the impossibility of reaching the rainbow, at whose foot a pot of gold is buried (an illusory goal or hope)’.





Those are the only colours I can remember now. Apart from the greys, browns, and blacks of this room. And green of course, my t-shirt is green. It’s a boys one, but I don’t mind. At least it’s mine. I don’t have anything else anymore.

I remember being taught a rhyme to remember the colours, something about Richard of York going into battle. I wish I could remember it all.

I used to have a book with a  picture of a rainbow in it too. It was pretty, and I remember spending hours daydreaming about it. There was a leprechaun in the story too, and a pot of gold that he could never quite get to. Gold! There’s another colour.

My favourite colour is green. Because of my t-shirt. But I don’t like black. There are too many black shadows in this room. And black insects. And when Mr brings my food, he’s always wearing a black mask. Black is my scary colour.

I don’t like red either. Red was the colour of the van that brought us here. Oh, by the way, ‘us’ is me and Mum. I haven’t seen her since we got here. I hope she’s OK. I hope Mr is feeding her too. I miss her lots. I miss her reading the leprechaun story to me.

Sometimes, thinking about the leprechaun comforts me. He didn’t have a Mum around to help him either, and he did OK. But if I was him, I wouldn’t have bothered about that old pot of gold.

I spend hours and days dreaming about what my rainbow prize would be. I’d live the rest of my life in black and grey, if I could just see my Mum again.

Cleo, Bowling, and Lessons to be Learnt

This week’s Trifecta Challenge is to use the word ‘turkey’ in a 33-333 word piece, using the definition ‘three successive strikes in bowling’. Check out the other entries at

Cleo was a bitch.

A show-off.

A know-all.

She should have been more careful about who she was so eager to make friends with.

I first met Cleo when I moved to London. I’d just gotten my first admin job, and we were to share a desk. No sooner had I got out a pen and located the kettle, than she suggested a trip out to get to know each other. Bowling. To me, bowling was for ten year-olds. The sweaty shoes, the slush puppies, the obligatory turn on the dodgems? Not for me.

But, I was kind of desperate for new friends. I had to leave my last village in a bit of a hurry, you see. Rumours were beginning to get out of hand.

I was useless at bowling. But I have to say I was pretty chuffed with my double strike. And yet in what was to become typical Cleo fashion, she had to go one better. And then proceed to tell me that three strikes in a row are called ‘a turkey’. Who even knows that for Christ’s sake?! I should have known it was a sign of things to come…

I don’t know who she was trying to impress, but it wasn’t working on me.

She was constantly shoving something in my face. A new Chanel bag, a new convertible Mini, a new super-perfect boyfriend. Always going one better than everybody else. Always knowing the answer to everything. Always being right. And basically just being an annoying bitch.

It turns out Cleo should have been careful who she was trying to impress. Those rumours in my last village?





After a few months, I suggested a bowling re-match.

It’s amazing what damage a bowling ball can do.