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A Drabble, My Way

And now, the time is here

To find the words to make a story.

In just a hundred words

It should not be too rude or gory.

A start, something inside,

A cunning end is what is called for.

But finding what to write

Just makes my head sore.

I’ve looked inside my books

To get a glimpse of inspiration

But all I have achieved

Is one blank page and much frustration.

I tried to fill my head

I gave my son a game of Scrabble.

But still I could not write

A decent drabble.

Oh no, I cannot write…

Lost in the Labyrinth

I go down several paths. The walls all look the same. I come to a dead end. I go back, and then up and down steps.

I’m running out of time. How do I get out of this maze?

I sprint down a long alley. Another dead end but with deep water. Thank goodness I didn’t fall into it. I return and follow more paths before reaching a large square.

Such relief! My husband’s waiting. Breathless, I say, “Sorry I’m late. I couldn’t find my way.”

He smiles and mutters, “I said you’d get lost wandering about alone in Venice.”

The Call

His fear was palpable. This mattered so much, too much for a man to bear.

He'd been waiting for four minutes already. Four minutes feels so much longer when all you're doing is waiting, and an eternity when you're waiting in anticipation. A growing anticipation so frightening that beads of sweat were visible on his forehead.

It was all about what happened next. Everything rested on it going well. His life was in the hands of a total stranger, and he knew it.

As the hold music stopped his call was answered, and a voice said "Welcome to Universal Credit."

The Last Time

My broken arm ached, but I ignored the pain and pushed on. Using one hand, it took some doing to fasten Dad’s swivel vise on the kitchen table and sight his Vietnam-era M1 Carbine on the back door, at chest height.

I glanced at the clock. 3:18am. Maybe twenty minutes left. I loaded the M1 with ancient ammo and prayed it wouldn’t explode when fired. Then I waited.

The Harley rumbled into the driveway. I gently stroked over the stitches above my lip and put my finger on the trigger.

He’d never use me for a punching bag again.

Crazy Life in England

I walked out of my parents’ house, in which I had grown up many years ago, to find my best friend from South Africa was now living next door. But, it would seem, not for long.

Her two sisters (surely she’d had only one, and a brother?) were removing her belongings, asking her which she wanted to keep and what could be discarded. What was going on?

They told me that Tracey’s dentist had insisted she needed to be placed in a residential care facility. What? Tracey was only forty-eight.

Then I woke up from another of my stupid dreams.

Flying High

Mabel adored flying. Everything about it seemed magical. The g-forces on take-off always set her tummy aquiver, followed by the serenity of level flight. She would gaze in wonder as familiar landmarks sped by beneath her, and then marvel as new lands unfolded.

Landings always carried a frisson of danger, but the worst bit was the long overland drag home afterwards. Still, it was a price worth paying for such adventure.

Mabel positively squirmed in pleasurable anticipation of the next time the gardener would pick her up with the other slugs and fling her on to the adjacent allotment.

What A Scream

It was piercing, shiver-promoting and eerily close. The sort of scream that denotes heart- and soul-wrenching wretchedness. Pure horror. Unambiguous terror.

I traced the source of the shriek quickly – it came from me, quivering me. The vision in front of me was awful but I could not avert my eyes, no matter how hard I tried.

What is the worst thing that could happen to you? Have you the nerve to explore and confront this? For me it was right there, coldly staring back. A void, a blank page – completely unencumbered by words.

And I only needed exactly one hundred.

Andrew Atkinson Merits

8 most prolific4 most esteemed

Mother Knows Best

Her body ached as the waves flowed over her, the cold water soaking every portion of her body.

"I suppose I’m one of the lucky ones," she thought. Mother had told her not to. She was always right… somehow. How had she known?

That evening, she noticed the scar near her mother’s mouth. Then she realised why.

“You’ve done it too!” she said. The shame she felt dissipated.

“And I’ve been in pain ever since,” her mother responded. “I never listened to my mother either.”

Years later, she warned her own child.

“Remember, little fish should never play with hooks.”

Book Circle

Three bookworms sat around an enormous tome lying on the table and contemplated its depths. It had tested their intestinal fortitude and, frankly, had given them all a bit of a bellyache.

But, being book club night, they were expected to give their opinion on it.

Wriggling awkwardly, the first muttered, “Stale.”

The second primly declared, “Having delved into its pages, I can only say I found it completely tasteless.”

They awaited the thoughts of their companion, who wiped her mouth and burped.

“Pardon me. It was a bit stodgy.”

So unsatisfactory. Every book they’d consumed was riddled with holes.


Edna slowly opened her eyes and tried to focus, gave up and closed them. Something felt wrong… the luxurious drifting sensation she usually felt on waking wasn't there.

She tried to snuggle further down under the quilt, but there was no quilt. She felt cold, icy cold in fact.

Edna opened her eyes again and saw that she was not in her bedroom. She was in a crumpled heap on a cold, hard floor.

Bewildered and frightened, she began to relive the last hour. A flashback came as she saw the cast-iron frying pan, again hurtling towards her head.

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