Sunday, May 22, 2022

Not this again

‘You’re 34, Callie. You need to think about your future.’

‘Not this again.’

‘You should be married. A child on the way.’

‘My job isn’t to provide you with grandchildren.’

‘I’m thinking of you, not me.’

‘I don’t need a husband and a kid to be happy.’

‘But …’

‘There’s no but. I’m leaving.’

‘But you’ve only just got here!’

‘I’m not spending the weekend being nagged. Bye, dad.’

‘Bye, love.’

The front door rattled in its frame.

‘Why didn’t you stop her?’

‘I warned you.’

‘I just …’

‘Then stop interfering. Soon, she won’t talk to you at all.’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Sister's jealousy

 ‘I’m not having an affair.’

‘Cathy says differently. She knows what’s going on.’

‘She’s lying, Gina. Your sister’s prepared to wreck our marriage because she’s in love with Lonny, who’s in love with Amy, and she wants me to get rid of her.’

‘I want her gone too.’

‘I’m not wrecking Amy’s career for your sister’s fantasy.’

‘It’s for our marriage.’

‘There’s nothing wrong with our marriage.’

‘She’s trying to …’

‘No, she’s not. If our marriage is in danger it’s because of your sister and you.’

‘You’re picking her over me?’

‘No. You’re picking your sister’s jealously over me.’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Perfect synergy

Ciara paused for breath after rattling through the introductions.

‘And you two really are best friends?’ Alan asked Hannah, who nodded in response.

‘Two peas in a pod,’ Ciara said, cheerfully.

‘A chatterbox and a …’

‘Since secondary school!’

‘But you’re polar opposites!’

‘She always says that I’m all the friends she could have had rolled into one.’

‘Always? I think I’m yet to hear a single word.’

‘We’re balanced – introvert, extrovert.’

‘Some might say, mismatched.’

Hannah waggled a finger.

‘And you’ll lead the design review?’

‘She’s introspection and ideas, I make sure it happens.’

‘And does it?’

‘Perfect synergy.’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Something you do

‘What are you doing here, Darren?’

‘I’ve come home.’

‘This isn’t your home.’

‘I’m still you’re husband, aren’t I, Sal.’

‘Only because we couldn’t find you to finalise the divorce. You’ve been gone four years.’

‘And now I’m back.’

‘No, you’re not. You need to leave.’

‘And what about the kids?’

‘What about them?’

‘I’m their father.’

‘That’s something you do, Darren. Daily. Not just genes. You’re no father to them.’

‘Don’t be like, Sal. We make a good team.’

‘No, we don’t. Give me your key and leave.’

‘It’s my house.’

‘It’s a home and you don’t belong here.’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Riding the bus

‘I’m 48. I’ve no job, no money, no partner, and soon no home. I’ve two teenage kids who eat a fridge of food every day. I just don’t know what to do any more.’

‘I hear you, I do.’

‘I never thought my life would turn out this way.’

‘None of us do.’

‘And now I can’t see a life.’


‘Everything is just crowded in on top of me. You know?’

‘I do.’

‘What do you think I should do?’

‘I ride the bus all day.’

‘Does that work?’

‘Better than walking the streets.’

‘I’ll keep that in mind.’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

She's not my mother

 Calum breathed in slowly, replaying the conversation with his father two days previously.

‘Your aunt called yesterday. Your mother’s in the hospital.’


‘So, it’s serious. Cancer. Of the pancreas.’


‘You need to visit her, Cal.’


‘She’s your mother.’

‘No, she’s not.’

‘You might not get another chance.’

‘She hasn’t visited us in ten years!’

‘Which I’m sure she regrets.’

‘Whose side are you on, Dad?’


‘She left us.’

‘So, find out why.’

‘I don’t need to know.’

‘Yes, you do.’


‘Don’t be left wondering.’

Calum rose from the bench and headed for the hospital entrance.

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

He’ll come to his senses

‘Did you honestly think that he’d turned to you after you tried to sabotage their relationship?’

‘I was doing them a favour; it’s obvious they’re not right for each other. The only people who can’t see that is them.’

‘The only person who can’t see the obvious is you. Seriously, Sarah, …’

‘He should be thanking me. I’m trying to save him …’

‘You’re trying to save him for yourself. You just can’t accept that …’

‘It’s Tim that can’t accept the truth.’

‘Sarah, whatever slim chance you had is gone.’

‘No. He’ll come to his senses.’

‘He already has.’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Sunday, April 3, 2022


 The policeman sighed and lent back.

‘Let me guess, he stole your boyfriend.’


‘She made eyes at him?’

‘I don’t have a boyfriend.’

‘So, you ransacked her apartment and sabotaged her audition for no reason?’

‘He chose her instead of me.’

‘So, it was over a man.’

‘No. Yes. A role. It was to work with him.’

‘So, now neither of you have him, someone else has the part, and you’ve lost your best friend.’

‘She has him.’

‘And you have nothing.’

‘It should have been me.’

‘You could have been happy for her.’

‘She could have dropped dead.’


A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Last stand

‘How you doing, Sam?’

The filthy sleeping bag rolled over.


‘Fuck off, I’m sleeping.’

‘It’d be warmer in the shelter … Sam? Why’re you doing this to yourself?’

‘No judgements; didn’t they tell you that in the training?’

‘I’m concerned about you.’

‘I don’t need your pity.’

‘It isn’t pity, Sam.’

‘Fuck off, do-gooder.’

‘It’s already below freezing.’

‘I’m fine here.’

‘It’s going snow later.’

‘Then I’ll make myself an igloo.’

‘Not before hypothermia sets in.’

‘Then I guess that’s how I’ll go.’

‘I can’t leave you here, Sam.’

‘Then it’ll be my last stand; you and the weather.’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Sunday, March 20, 2022


Mark entered the coffee shop, looking perplexed.


‘She asked me for a date.’


‘And what?’

‘What did you say?’

‘I … I … Why would she ask me for a date?’

‘She likes you?’

‘That makes no sense.’

‘Yeah, but stranger things have happened.’

‘She could literally date anyone; I’m a certified loser.’

‘But a nice loser.’

‘A loser’s a loser.’

‘So you’re going to turn her down?’

‘Probably safer than waiting for the punchline.’

‘What if there’s no punchline?’

‘We both know there’s going to be a punchline.’



‘But it’d be cool if there wasn’t.’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Sit-it-out family

 We coasted past a disused factory, then some abandoned office buildings surrounded by weeds.

‘What a waste,’ my father muttered.

‘Wonder what happened to everyone?’ my sister asked.

‘Left to seek a better life, or just trying to cling on to their old one.’

‘And us?’

‘There are those that leave, those that fight, trying to revive a place, and those that just sit it out. We were born and raised here. Its home, but there’s no point fighting a battle that can’t be won. Not unless you’re a billionaire.’

‘We’re a sit-it-out family?’

‘Where would we go?’

‘To Momma?’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Voice of an angel

Anna held the note not wanting the moment to end.

She opened her eyes to find all four chairs turned.

Panic blossomed in her chest.

‘I’m sorry.’

She turned and fled the stage.

*  *  *

‘Is Anna okay?’

‘She’s resting,’ the woman said. ‘It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have entered her.’

‘You’re her aunt?’

‘Yes; her guardian. She’s seventeen, shy, awkward. I thought this might … she thinks it’ll make the bullying worse.’

‘She’s the voice of an angel. She could win this.’  

‘Please don’t broadcast her bit.’

‘But …’

‘I’m begging you.’

‘People will flock to her side.’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

One strike and out

‘You have to help me, Janie.’

‘She told you what would happen.’

‘I didn’t kiss her! She kissed me.’

‘And you kissed her back.’

‘I didn’t.’

‘How long did the kiss last?’

‘A few seconds.’

‘It should have been milliseconds.’

‘But it meant nothing. You have to talk to Chrissy. Tell her.’

‘She doesn’t do second chances.’

‘I’ve tried calling, texting, emailing. She won’t even listen.’

‘And she won’t. That’s her rule. One strike and out. If you cheat, use violence, or give away her secrets you’re history.’

‘Come-on, Janie.’

‘No way; it applies as much to me as you.’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Into a corner

‘I wondered when you’d show up.’

‘You slept with her?’


‘When you knew …’

‘No. Look, the answer’s no. You backed her into a corner, that’s why she lied.’

‘I did what she wanted; I proposed.’

‘She wants to marry the old you. The one before you gave up your dream.’

‘But I did that for her.’

‘She wants you to seek your dream. She’d no choice but to end it. She’d hate herself and you’d probably come to hate her too.’

‘But …’

‘Your dream is her dream. You need to find a way to do it together.’ 

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Once is almost the same as never

‘You’re awake. You want coffee?’


Sandra disappeared from the doorway.

‘About last night …’

‘Yeah?’ Gary answered, tugging on his shirt.

‘I don’t usually … I guess …’

‘You’ve buyer’s remorse?’

‘No, no … I just … could we keep it a secret?’

Sandra reappeared and held out a cup.

‘Pretend it never happened?’

‘I don’t want our colleagues to … well, you know.’

‘Okay.’ Gary smiled ruefully.

‘I don’t mean it never happened. Just …’

‘Yeah, I know. It was a mistake.’


‘But it’ll remain once?’

‘I ...’

‘Don’t worry, once is almost the same as never.’


A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.