2016 A-Z Blogging Challenge – 26 April. V is for Venice


“Venice. Are you sure?”

My assistant glances at her clipboard, and her glasses slide down her nose. She pushes them up, squints at the paperwork. “That’s what it says.”

I regard the passenger waiting to get on the aircraft. Eight feet tall,  green skinned, four arms, each one tipped with a sharp claw. It smiles at me. Or, I assume it’s a smile. Difficult to say these days now the Interplanetary Spaceport has opened. You get all sorts through here.

I catch its eye, just the one. Address it directly. “Venice.  You want to go to Venice?”

It nods. “Yesss.”

I move sharply sideways trying to miss the slobber. I don’t miss the wistfulness in its voice.

“Yesss. Home. Venus.”




A-Z Blogging Challenge – 25 April. U is for Unknown


Unknown. Or rather Known Unto God.

I place a flower on the grave. Put my hand on the flat ground. Whisper. “Thank you.”

I move to the next stone. Read the inscription, same as the previous one. Same as the hundreds of others in this cemetery of the fallen. “A soldier of the Great War. Known to God.”

And to me. I place the flower. Rest my hand on the ground and wait. A voice comes to me, a sigh in the wind. I smile. “Hello, Thomas. Thank you.”




2016 A-Z Blogging Challenge – 23 April. T is for Torrid.


“Torrid. It’s torrid, I tell you.”

Gran and I exchange a glance and a smile.  Grandad’s always getting words wrong. Whether he does it deliberately just to make us laugh I don’t know. But his hearing’s getting worse so maybe it’s that.

Gran pulls him closer so her mouth is near his ear. “Don’t you mean horrid, Frank?”

He gestures at the TV, and I glance at the monkeys on the screen. Oh my,  they’re definitely full of the joys of spring.

“As I said, with all that going on, it’s definitely torrid.”


2016 A-Z Blogging Challenge – 21 April. R is for Raspberry


“Raspberry. Blackberry. Strawberry. Cherry.”

“Raspberry. Blackberry. Strawberry. Cherry.”

“Raspberry. Blackberry. Strawberry. Ch…”

“Beccie, honey. That’s a bit annoying. Can you think of something else to sing while we drive to Grannie’s? It’s a long way, you’ll probably get bored of singing that. How about we have a different song?” Please. Anything else.

“Ok, Mummy. Red lorry, yellow lorry. Red lorry, yellow lorry. Red lorr…”



2016 A-Z Blogging Challenge – 15 April. M is for Munch.


Munch. Snort. Gobble. Pigs will eat anything.


I lean over the fence, scratch that long back, the bristles stiff against my fingertips. She grunts amiably, stops chewing. Just for a moment.

It’s a hard life being a farmer these days. Pig feed isn’t cheap. And you can’t get swill for free like you used to.

Just as well I have another source of grub for them.

Being a serial killer would otherwise clutter up the place.