Sacha’s back with her #Writespiraton prompt.

This week your challenge is to write a 52-word story including these words:

Badger, amulet and coward

Your challenge is to write your story using the weekly theme/prompt and write it in just 52 words…. EXACTLY, no more, no less.

Here goes!

A knock on the door.
Ernest peeked gingerly out of the window.
Oh, great!
Another mob had come to badger him, wanting his help. That was the third this week.
How long could he hide for?
He cursed himself for losing his precious amulet.
Without it, he was nothing but a coward.


WRITESPIRATION #128 52 WEEKS IN 52 WORDS WEEK 33 – The Persistent Dog

Sacha’s back with her #Writespiration prompt!


Your challenge is to write your story using the weekly theme/prompt and write it in just 52 words…. EXACTLY, no more, no less.

The persistent dog

Now it was so tempting to write something about a cute furry animal, barking and barking to get attention… but I wasn’t going the easy route!

“C.mon baby, you wanna drink?”
Turning away from the alcohol fumes, wafting their way over the bar, Tina went to serve the next customer.
Jim asked again, grabbing her hand this time.
She leered at her cheating ex, who thought a quick drink would fix everything.
The persistent dog never gave up.

FRIDAY FICTION with RONOVAN – #8 Boab – Critique Gratefully Received! #ThrowbackThursday


Yes, yes, it is Friday evening, and my usual Friday evening consists of checking out the latest entries into Ronovan’s Friday Fiction challenge from the previous week, and working on an entry for the new prompt.

No clue what I am on about? Please… check it out here!

In short, here is the prompt.

Baob tree

Use the photo above as inspiration. This is a Adansonia gregorii or boab tree found in Australia. I see a lot of possibilities for stories from this one, ranging across genres. This week, don’t worry about word count and let the mind go where it wants.

Oh man Ron! My mind totally wondered!  Nearly 2000 words of wondering! If you do manage to wade through my crazy thoughts, any critique or feedback is gratefully received!

(Just as an extra bit of information, this particular tree is The Boab Prison Tree in Derby, Western Australia, famous as it was reputed to have been used to store prisoners in the 1890’s on their way to be sentenced in Derby! Fascinating but not necessarily true! See, I do sometimes like to research my pieces!)

I had always wondered why the old tree, that old boab tree that we used to pass on the way to Derby, was so fat, so rotund. It was unlike any other tree I had seen. It almost appeared to grow another tyre around it’s ‘middle’ every few days.

In fact, it seemed to echo how I was feeling. I really needed to lose weight. Since the children had been born, there was no more ‘waist’ on me… because there was no more ‘waste’ in our house.

Anything left over on the kid’s plates at mealtimes meant I would graze on the remnants, despising the idea of throwing good food away. It never occurred to me then that I should just serve them less, and offer seconds!

I needed to really sort myself out. So the internet searches started, on miracle weight loss items, or some good diet, that would help me, let the ‘old’ me out of this spongy, fetid body.

I even started asking friends and family what I could do to get back into shape, that wouldn’t involve months and months of diets and exercise. I was lazy, after all. Actually, lazy was the wrong word, I was tired, exhausted from being mum, and working. There was no time left in my day to exercise, to plan and cook ‘healthy’ food, the way all these sensible diets stressed. No, I needed slim and fast!

One day, an old aunt of mine told me something that changed my life.

“Why are you fretting child? Those curves are proof that you are a mother, and you should be proud!” I knew this was true. And my husband echoed these thoughts too. He would regularly say to me that I was all the more attractive to him, for all the lumps and bumps that had come with motherhood.

But that was not enough for me. In my head, I needed to get back to my old look, and fast. So this old aunt of mine, she mentioned something. “Now personally I wouldn’t mess with these things, it’s like some kind of voodoo magic that the tribal people believe in, but if you are intent on doing this, I shall tell you a way to wish yourself thin.”

Well, I was all ears! A miracle method to lose weight? Surely if it was true then it was the world’s best kept secret… or there was something sinister. No, I wasn’t going to think negative. After all, if there was something to help me, I was going to do it!

“You know that tree, the Great Boab? Well, folk say if you eat the monkey bread fruit from it, you immediately start to lose weight. I know a few women from my youth who swore by it, and you know, they were pretty svelte at the time… but there was something about them, almost like a discomfort, so I don’t know… I wish they were around now… I would ask them for you. It didn’t last though, they put it all back on, and then some! But I guess they were happy at the time, and then realised they couldn’t fight reality. I was never one for worrying about my appearance, but I know you seem to have got your knickers in a twist recently about losing weight, so there you are.”

That fat, old tree? Could make me thin? Really? I checked it out on the internet, and there was nothing coming up. I scrolled so many pages on various search engines, without a glimmer of information, then one day, around a week after my aunt had alerted me to this miracle solution, I noticed a link to a pretty obscure website. It was www.aboriginalabdominals.au. Strange… I had never seem this site before, and I was always trying to read up on weight loss sites. Something local, like this, would never escape my notice.

I clicked upon it and there was a cryptic message on the page;

Eat my flesh, and gift me yours
I’ll give you what you need
Your wish will come true
And from you I will feed

I scrolled down and there was a photo of the Great Boab Tree below this verse, and then the poem continued,

Just one bite will change your life
But be sure not to tell
The more you share, the more likely
That you are to swell

There was a picture of the strange fruit that grew on the tree. Then nothing.


My mind ticked over, should I do it? Should I try this monkey bread from the tree? Would it work? I didn’t even know how it tasted, or whether I could even get close enough to the tree. It had been fenced off for some reason.

A few days later I needed to head out to Derby to visit a friend, and came to the bend in the road where the Great Boab was. I slowed my car, and thought, do I do this? Heck yeah! What did I have to lose, apart from all this weight!

It was not busy on the road, and I quickly hopped over the fence, and stood for a moment, transfixed by the sheer girth of this tree. I could almost see it’s ‘tummy’ moving, as if it were breathing, and its whole body was quivering with each breath, like mine did.

It wasn’t a particularly high tree and some branches hung quite low, with the fruit allowing the branches to droop further. I gingerly picked a fruit. It was like a pod, a gourd, and when I pulled it open there was a spongey, bread-like substance inside. Right. It was time to see whether I even liked the taste of this stuff!

I took a bite.

Actually it was extremely bready. I thought carbs were bad for you! A moment after swallowing that first bite, I felt an odd sensation. As I looked down, I swore I could see my stomach shrinking! Seriously! In front of my eyes! Looking around to make sure no one else was watching this, I took another bite, placing my hand on my tummy. I even felt it this time, going down.

When I glanced up, the tree appeared to be moving, or changing. In fact, it seemed to be gaining weight. Huh? Then I remembered that website, and the strange poem.

Eat my flesh, and gift me yours
I’ll give you what you need
Your wish will come true
And from you I will feed

I had eaten its fruit, and it looked like what I felt was leaving my body, was transferring to the tree itself. Was that what the poem meant?

Not wanting to tempt fate, I stored the partially eaten pod in my bag and pulled another from the tree to take home.

Off I sped to Derby, to see my friend.

As soon as I entered her house, my friend commented on my weight loss. What did she know? It was lucky we didn’t see each other often, so she thought I was on some special regime. Little did she know that I left the house, earlier that evening, a few kg heavier, and some magical mystery fruit had cut my bulk in seconds! It was nice to be complimented on my looks by someone other than my husband, so I generously accepted the praise, promising to tell her all about how I transformed myself one day.

Over the next few weeks I nibbled at the fruit, every couple of days. My husband worried that I was ill, why else would I drop weight like this? He hadn’t noticed a difference in my eating, or lifestyle, so illness could be the only thing. But I was so happy! I had been able to wear clothes that had been relegated to the ‘on the 12th of Never’ pile.

More and more acquaintances started to enquire about this diet that I was on, or whether I had a personal trainer, had I been to boot camp? What had I been doing?

Soon the temptation was too much. I had to tell someone. A few of my closest friends were sat with me around a restaurant table one evening, lamenting at their own figures, and wishing they could find a way to lose weight fast. So I buckled, and let my secret slip.

As I extolled the virtues of the Monkey Bread fruit and the Great Boab Tree, something was happening to me. My old skinny jeans, which had only fit me again last week, were all of a sudden far too tight. Maybe I had eaten a little too much tonight. I carried on, explaining what I had been told, what I read and how I had got the fruit. The discomfort I started to feel was unbearable. I excused myself and went the Ladies. As I entered, the first thing that struck me, in the mirror, was my face. It looked swollen. Like I had an allergy or something. But more than that, my stomach was swollen too. What on earth was happening? What had I eaten to get this reaction?

I rushed out and grabbed my handbag, apologising to my friends, stating an emergency at home to get out of there with no chance of being looked at too much, or questioned.

Reaching home, it wasn’t just my waistband that was digging into me, but it felt like the seatbelt was trying to cut me in two! I was expanding. And not just getting a little podgy, but it seemed fat cells were multiplying at an alarming rate around my body! HELP!

And then, something else pinged into my memory…

Just one bite will change your life
But be sure not to tell
The more you share, the more likely
That you are to swell

It had been a warning, hadn’t it? A message telling me not to tell anyone, or else I would get fat again!

I rushed to my laptop to find that website again. Surely there would be something on it to explain what had been happening to me.

But nothing came up.

I checked my history, and there was nothing there. Apparently the domain was available to buy, but no website, no poem, no pictures, no nothing. What was happening?

It was around 9.30pm and the only person I felt I could call was my old aunt. Maybe she could help me. After all, she was the one to tell me about this miracle weight loss secret.

She laughed.

“That’s why you don’t go messing with these things child. I really didn’t think you would go and actually try it! I thought you had more sense, but no. And no, I have no other advice. I told you I didn’t like to mess with these voodoo, tribal things.” And she put the phone down!

I looked down at this expanse of jelly that had reappeared across my belly, and broke down.

Meanwhile, in the outback, the Great Boab appeared to shrink, just a little bit…

Ritu 2016

Well, if you are reading this, I can only assume you managed to finish the piece! Please, let me know what you thought!

#WRITESPIRATION #126 52 WEEKS IN 52 WORDS WEEK 31 – School Trip From Hell!

Sacha’s back with her #Writespiration prompt…

Your challenge is to write your story using the weekly theme/prompt and write it in just 52 words…. EXACTLY, no more, no less.

This week write about the school trip that went wrong.

Here goes!

“Josh? Josh! For goodness sake where is that boy?”
Mrs Smith did her headcount again. It was definitely Josh.
It was always Josh!
She’d been dreading this school trip to the zoo, and with genuine cause for concern, as she turned to spot Josh dangling over the gorilla’s enclosure with a banana…



Sails – #writephoto

Sue’s #Writephoto prompt this week:

windmill at sunset, Brill, Buckinghamshire. Image: Sue Vincent

“I saw a mouse!”
“There on the stair!”
“Where on the stair?”
“Right there!”
“It didn’t by chance have clogs on, did it?”
“No! It was a bloody mouse, you wally!”
Pete smirked to himself. Jane was always such a drama queen, and he had to inject a little humour into their lonely existence.
Since buying the old windmill, and trying to restore it to its original glory, so they could then organise tours around an authentic working old school windmill, Pete and Jane had sunk into a hermit-like existence.
But it had been a tough time. There were no neighbours nearby. They had to drive at least half an hour to the nearest shops in the village, and they were a little too off the beaten track for their friends to visit. Even if they did, there was no guest room for them to stay over, so most people just stayed away.
Sure, they phoned or sent messages once in a while, but it wasn’t the same.
So, when she presented him with opportunities like this, he milked it for all it was worth!
The thing was, there was no one to share the joke with.
This was what happened when you married a young un…
Ronnie Hilton’s 1965 classic was lost on her!


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