Saturday, November 27, 2021

Can't take any more

Ciara watched her father slide onto the floor.

Conor cannoned through the front door, halting at the sight of the prone body.

‘What’s up with Dad?’

‘Mum’s asked for a divorce.’


‘She said she can’t take any more.’

‘More of what?’


‘Huh? Dad’s been having an affair?’

‘He’s way too boring for that.’

‘But what about us?’

‘We’re to stay here for now.’

‘Mum’s left?’

‘She’s staying with Sheila.’

‘She didn’t even wait to say goodbye?’

‘It just happened. He asked for the remote and she asked for a divorce, then left.’

‘But she’ll be back?’

Ciara shrugged.

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

That'd be a first

‘Jack, I like you. I could get serious about you, but you need to know that I was wild in my twenties; I’ve no idea how many men I’ve slept with. I’ve been the victim of revenge porn. I’m all over the frigging internet and you can never get rid of that shit. I had a kid, but she died. Leukemia. I’ll never get over it. I can be a bitch at that time of the month. If any of that’s a problem then let’s end before we start.’

‘I’d like to get serious too.’

‘Really? That’d be a first.’


A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

More than off

‘You sure this is the right place?’ Harry asked.

‘Right street and number,’ John replied.

‘Something feels off.’

‘Just keep the engine running and ring me if you spot trouble.’

John stepped from the car, his younger brother in tow.

Harry watched them enter the house.

He caught movement in his peripheral vision.

A side window shattered.

The car lurched forward as two vans turned onto the road.

Harry mounted the pavement, accelerating, but lost control.
The car careened across a front garden, the airbag popping as he slammed into a wall.

‘More than off,’ he muttered before blacking out.

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Ordinary life

“There had to be more than this ordinary life.”

Carter looked up from the note and stared at the crashing waves.

‘Do you think he did it?’ McManus asked, rummaging through the pile of clothes. ‘Or he’s faked it?’

‘He’s out there in the riptides.’

‘How can you be sure?’

‘Because this isn’t an ordinary note. He’d had enough.’

‘You can tell that from one sentence?’

‘It says it all. There has to be more to life than this.’

‘You’re not going to follow him in are you, Sarge?’

‘No. But there’s no harm wishing for a life less ordinary.’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, October 30, 2021


Richard glanced over at the boy, who was staring intently at a videogame.

His eyes tracked back to the report. 99.98 percent match. The boy was definitely his.

He’d found him waiting outside the apartment, along with two suitcases, a box of books and toys, and a DNA test. The note simply said, ‘I need you to take care of your son.’

He was still mulling over the identity of the mother. Trying to explain to the wrong ex-girlfriend might cause further headaches and set a rumour-mill spinning.  

And what was he meant to say to the boy? To Marie?

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Defensive wounds

‘She stabbed herself.’

‘In the neck?’ DS Branigan leant over the body.


The man was sitting on the edge of the sofa, staring at the floor.

‘And her hands and arms?’

‘She slashed them.’

‘Before or after she stabbed her neck?’

‘I … I don’t know.’

‘She cut both hands but there’s barely any blood on the knife handle.’

The man stayed silent.

‘You were arguing?’


‘The neighbours heard you.’

‘She was upset. Suicidal.’

‘And you let her get a knife?’

‘I …’

‘You stabbed her. The hands and arms are defensive wounds.’


‘That wasn’t a question.’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

The last step

Anthony turned to face the river, clutching the railing at his back.

It somehow seemed inviting, the moonlight shimmering on the eddies.

He lifted a foot, leaving it hovering.

‘Is that really the answer, son?’


‘What about your parents?’

‘They won’t give a shit. I’ve failed all of their expectations.’

‘I sure that’s not true. And your friends?’

‘What friends?’

‘How about I be your friend then?’

‘No thanks.’

‘I’m a good listener.’

Anthony stared at the quick moving water.

‘Come-on, son. Climb back over.’

Anthony looked back, held the old man’s gaze and let go of the bridge.

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, October 9, 2021


‘I don’t understand what the problem is?’

‘You!’ Jane whirled to face David. ‘You’re the problem.’

‘I’m the problem?’

‘You’re a self-centred prick.’

‘Is this still about your birthday?’

Jane shot out her hands; David flew backwards off the towpath, landing with a splash.

‘Jane set off without a backward glance.

‘Jane! … Jane!’

She ignored the frantic splashing.

‘I can’t swim!’

Jane turned, hands on hips.

‘Jane! Help!’

‘Put your feet down and stand up.’


‘Stand up.’

‘I can’t swim.’

‘But you can stand.’

‘I’m ... drowning.’

‘I’m not jumping in. Stand up. That’s it.’

‘I …’


A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Different worlds

‘Let me get this straight. At school, she wasn’t your equal so you rejected her. Now she’s a famous actress and you’re a university researcher with a shitty wage you rejected her again because she’s surpassed you.’

‘That’s not what I said. I …’

‘That’s the essence of it.’

‘We live in different worlds.’

‘But both times she asked to be with you. It was her that asked again, right?’

‘I’ve fucked up, haven’t I?’

‘Duh! You over-think everything. How do you really feel about her?’

‘That she could do better than me.’

‘Not you, her.’

‘She’s … lovely.’


A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Whatever it is

‘I don’t believe it,’ Lorna stepped back. ‘When were you going to tell me?’

‘I … I don’t love her, I love …’

‘I saw you, Tony. Kissing her.’

‘It didn’t mean anything, I …’

‘Don’t. Just stop with the lies.’

‘Lorna, please. You have to listen. I …’

‘Stop. This … whatever it is, is over.’


‘I want you to go.’

‘It’s over with Liz. I’ll get a divorce. We can …’

‘You’re not listening. I can’t be with a … a cheat.’

‘I can explain.’

‘No … no you can’t. You were cheating on her and me.’


A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

I'd sooner not know

‘So, what do you think of him?’


‘Simon, who else?’

Cally shrugged.

‘That’s it?’

‘That’s all it can be.’

‘It can be whatever you want it to be.’

‘I think you’re forgetting a few things.’

‘Such as?’

‘The age difference. That I’m a single mum with two kids. His opinion.’

‘He’s clearly smitten with you.’

‘It’s just playful flirting, nothing more.’

‘Are you sure?’

‘The other two issues don’t go away and I’m not interested in a fling.’

‘Maybe he’s not either.’

‘We’ll never know.’

‘At least give yourself the chance.’

‘I’d sooner not know than be hurt again.’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Dress up a little

‘Jesus, Rachel, are you going like that?’

‘Like what?’

‘Like you don’t give a fuck.’

‘I don’t give a fuck?’

‘You could dress up a little.’

‘I’m a single mother with two kids, one with special needs. All I do is give a fuck.’

‘That’s not what I meant.’

‘That’s exactly what you meant. I should try harder to look like a competent mum.’

‘That’s …’

‘I’m not looking for a fuck, okay. I’m going because I have to.’


‘I’m going like this and that’s it.’

‘At least …’

‘At least what?’

‘Turn your shirt the right way out.’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, September 4, 2021



‘Don’t come any nearer.’

‘Let’s talk about this.’ Sarah edged forward.

‘Just leave me alone.’

‘Not until you step back.’

‘If you come any closer I’ll jump.’


‘All you had to say was you didn’t like me.’

‘Look, I …’

‘You didn’t need to out me to the whole school.’

‘I’m sorry.’

‘Now my parents know.’

‘I … I wasn’t …’

‘They think I’m a freak.’

‘Kelly. Please, just step back.’

‘I thought you liked me as well.’

‘I do like you.’

‘But not in that way.’

‘I was scared.’

‘So am I.’

‘Then let’s be scared together.’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Thanks to you

‘If there’s no us, then there’s no point. M.’

Paul looked up. ‘Where did you find this?’

‘On the kitchen table.’

‘And Marina?’

‘I couldn’t find her,’ Sarah replied.

‘Jesus. What game is the silly cow playing now?’

‘What happened?’

‘We broke up.’

‘You mean you dumped her.’

‘It’s been over for a while.’

‘For you maybe, but not for her.’

Sarah’s phone began to ring.

‘Yes? … What? … Are you sure?’

‘What is it?’ Paul interrupted.

‘It’s over now.’


‘They’ve found her at the lake; seems she couldn’t live without you.’

‘She’s …?’

‘Dead. Thanks to you.’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, August 21, 2021


The crows lifted off the beeches.

Jake waited at the gate, Blue panting at his feet.

Eventually a figure ambled round the bend and raised a hand.

‘I thought it might be you.’

‘How are you keeping, Jake?’ Sarah asked.

‘So-so. You?’

‘The same. Just been you, the last couple of months?’

‘And Blue and the cattle.’

‘You don’t get lonely?’

‘Some of us are meant to be alone. You know that.’

‘Sometimes I wish it were otherwise.’

‘You’re getting wistful in old age?’

‘I keep wondering if it’s too late for first love?’

‘First love?’

‘For us.’


A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.