Sunday, September 18, 2022

Thrust, lever, lift and throw

Calum thrust the spade into the sod and turned it. Repeated the process to form a grave-sized hole, then stared at the stars until his sight blurred with tears.

He returned to his digging, working methodically – thrust, lever, lift, throw. A rhythm at a steady tempo, stopping only to wipe the sweat from his brow.

Once the edge reached his waist he clambered out and stretched.

The tears started again as he rolled the body in. He really didn’t want to kill her. She shouldn’t provoked him. Shouldn’t have …

He shovelled the soil back, the rhythm sapping his regret.


A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

No way back

‘What do you think you’re playing at Ryan?’

‘What?’

‘Telling people that we’re dating?’

‘Well, you know … I was planning to …’

‘You’ve heard of consent, right? That both people have to agree? This is the same. You can’t just universally declare a relationship.’

‘I get that. Look, sorry Lorna, I got ahead of myself. Of us. But …’
There is no us, Ryan. There’s never going to be an us.’

‘I said I was sorry. Can we not just …’

‘No, we can’t. Respect and trust, Ryan. You’ve destroyed them both and there’s no way back from that.’


A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.


Sunday, September 4, 2022

The slow reel

 Marie cast the line far out into the lake and started to reel it in slowly. The weather was on the cusp of turning, but that was fine; the rain would bring the fish to the surface. A few moments later, the first drops speckled the surface. Fifty yards to her right a doe and her calf broke the treeline, halting before cautiously edging to the water. The rain was pouring down now. Marie continued to reel the line, not caring whether it lured a fish. That was incidental to process. The deer disappeared into the forest leaving her alone.

 

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Own goals

‘Why did you do that?’

‘What?’ Cassie checked her make-up in a compact mirror.

‘Throw yourself at Ryan,’ Lorna said. ‘You know that Sarah likes him. That she was …’

‘Because it’s fun.’

‘To hurt people?’

‘To see how they’ll react. She fled after one dance. Pathetic.’

‘More pathetic to chase attention by being a bitch.’

‘What?’

‘You need to find new friends, Cass,’ Jane said. ‘We’re done.’

‘Seriously? You can’t take a joke?’

‘You’re the joke.’

‘I’m the one going home with Ryan.’

‘You wish. He’s already left to find Sarah. Congratulations on a masterclass in scoring own goals.’

 

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.
 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Darkness soon returns

‘I served for three years at the front. As a medical assistant. I followed the men into battle and pulled the wounded back to our lines. I witnessed countless deaths. Seen the yellow pallor draw down from the hairline and life leave their eyes. Seen men act inhumanely. There is nothing glorious about war. It is organised savagery. And it never goes away. It scars you for life. There’s no light afterwards, just a dark haunting. We might laugh – suspend our memories for a while – but the darkness soon returns.’ Nina sighs. ‘You lose a much more than friends, comrades.’

 

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

I need to live my own life

‘You made the final of the World’s last year. You could medal at the Olympics.’

‘We both know that’s not going to happen. There’s a new generation coming through.’

‘Let’s not be hasty, Pip.’

‘I’ve already made my decision, Dad. I want to leave with my head held high.’

‘All the work you’ve put in; your dream.’

‘You mean, your dream. I love the sport, but it’s not my job to fulfil dreams you couldn’t realise.’

‘Pip.’

‘I don’t want to finish hating the sport. Hating you.’

‘But …’

‘You’re not listening, Dad. I need to live my own life.’



A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

I don’t know if our love can hold back that much hate

‘Not one person supports our relationship. His manager and record company are petrified his career will implode because he’s dating a non-celebrity. His band and family the same. The fans hate the thought of him dating anyone except them. The press think I’m a gold digger. And my family and friends can’t see a future for us.’

‘And are you?’

‘What?’

‘A gold digger?’

‘I hadn’t got a clue who he was when I met him.’

‘What about him?’

‘He wants us to try.’

‘So what’s the problem?’

‘I don’t know if our love can hold back that much hate.’

 

 

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Heroes die needless deaths

The moment Parker opened the car door a shot rang out.

He bolted to a low wall.

Jackson cowered behind the vehicle, babbling into his radio receiver.

‘Come-on,’ Parker urged.

‘We need to wait for back-up.’

‘She could be dying in there.’

‘And so could we.’

‘You’re just going to let her bleed out?’

‘Heroes die needless deaths.’

‘They save the day.’

‘This isn’t a Hollywood movie, John. That fucker’s killed before.’

‘Will you at least cover me?’

‘No.’

The first shot sliced through Parker’s neck as he vaulted the wall.

‘Idiot,’ Jackson muttered.

In the distance, sirens sparked into life.

 

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Seriously?

‘If you’d like to meet again, then great. Or if you’d just like to forget about it …’

‘Or we could go back to your place.’

‘Seriously?’

‘No!’

‘Oh. Well, it was nice to meet you.’

‘That’s it?’

‘That’s not it?’

‘When was the last time you dated, Ralph?’

‘2009.’

‘You’ve been single for thirteen years?’

Ralph pulled a tight smile.

‘So, why did you ask me on a date?’

‘Because I think you’re the most wonderful person I’ve ever met.’

‘Seriously?’

‘So, I wanted to at least try. It’s fine. I know I’m an acquired taste.’

‘But worth acquiring?’

 

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.


Saturday, July 16, 2022

You don't get a say

‘You’re what?’

‘Dating.’

‘You’re brother and sister!’

‘Not by blood.’

‘You’ve lived together since you were five.’

‘That’s why we know we’re perfect together.’

‘Perfect? It’s incest!’

‘Brian, stop shouting.’

‘Seriously, Cath, our son is fucking our daughter and you’re worried about me shouting?’

‘Technically, they’ve done nothing illegal; they have different parents.’

‘We’re their parents!’

‘Look, it might seem strange, Dad, but we’re twenty-three. We’re not kids.’

‘You’re acting like kids.’

‘You don’t have to like it, but you don’t get a say.’

‘Really? Either you end this madness or I’ll disown you both.’

‘Brian!’

‘Fine. Sally?’

‘Let’s go.’


A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Huffer and puffer

‘Well, did you meet him?’

‘Uh-huh.’

‘And?’

‘He was a bit older than I imagined. And more doddery.’

‘Well, if you’re going to date in your sixties …’

‘But he was charming.’

‘So, it was a success?’

‘It depends how you define success.’

‘Meaning?’

‘Well, you know, one thing led to another. And he invited me for a coffee.’

‘At his place?’

‘So, I thought, you only live once.’

‘So, you …’

‘He was a huffer and puffer!’

‘Maeve!’

‘I thought he’d never stop!’

‘My god.’

‘And then he did.’

‘You … killed him?’

‘Should I call that a success?’

 

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Always a cheater

 ‘I’m sorry, Cathy.’

‘It’s your loss. And I’m glad your true colours have been revealed. I’ve had a lucky escape.’

‘Escape?’ Kelly snapped. ‘He’s too good for you.’

‘You’re welcome to him, Kelly. Just remember: once a cheater, always a cheater.’

‘He won’t cheat with me!’

‘He already. You were the mistress.’

‘I wasn’t …’

‘Leave it, Kelly,’ Eric said.

‘Why should I? She’s the one …’

‘Who was cheated on,’ Cathy said. ‘Don’t try to make out you’re the aggrieved party.’

‘You …’

‘Though you will be.’

‘I won’t.’

‘Enjoy spending every day wondering if he’s cheating on you.’ 



A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

She was his choice

 Sandra closed her eyes and rolled her neck.

‘You’re just going to give up?’ Kate asked.

‘Uh-huh.’

‘Even though you love him?’

‘What do you think I should do?’

‘Fight for him.’

‘You don’t fall out of love because someone else is in love with you.’

‘People are tempted away from partners all the time.’

‘She was his choice.’

‘At least give him a choice.’

‘I’m too tired for this, Kate. I’m not going to throw myself at him or try to undermine her.’

‘Why not?’

‘Because they deserve better. And I wouldn’t want someone to do it to me.’

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Losing him slowly

‘Josie, love,’ Tim shouted from the kitchen, ‘I can’t find the salt.’

‘In the cupboard above the toaster.’

‘Who’s Josie?’ Kate asked.

‘His first wife.’

‘He thinks you’re his first wife?’

‘I’m losing him slowly. He still remembers who I am. Mostly.’

‘I’m so sorry, Lorna.’

‘It seems that she’s his true love.’

‘You know that’s not true.’

Lorna shrugged and twisted her wedding ring. ‘He seems happier when he thinks I’m her.’

‘You’ve been married, what, forty years?’

‘Forty one.’

‘That’s true love.’

‘Josie!’

‘For me at least.’

‘For the both of you.’

‘I better give him a hand.’



A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Only takes once to destroy trust

‘What you mean she’s gone?’

‘She moved out yesterday. We packed everything into a van; then she left.’

‘Where’d she go?’

‘I’ve no idea.’

‘You expect me to believe that? You’re her best friend.’

‘You can believe what you like, but she said if I didn’t know, I couldn’t say.’

‘What about a forwarding address?’

‘Her mother.’

‘I don’t believe this.’

‘I didn’t think you’d hit her.’

‘I … it was only once. I was drunk. I said I was sorry.’

‘It only takes once to destroy trust. And it can never be fully repaired.’

‘So that’s it?’

‘That’s it.’



A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.