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Recent Drabbles

The Fort

She looked at the pile of cardboard boxes with a shiver of delight. She had enough to build a castle!

Placing the first box against the wall, she stood back to consider her next move. Another box joined the first one, and after a couple of minutes she had a very passable flat-roofed fort.

With a look of satisfaction, she got on her knees and crawled through the gap she had left as a doorway. Sitting with her back against the wall, she clasped her arms around her raised legs.

That should keep her safe tonight. Even if it snowed.

Bag of Tricks

George paced the floor, checking his watch again. He saw Rose every fourth Thursday. Sometimes his loneliness was overwhelming, but seeing her brought brief joy into his life.

Supposing she let him down? But she always came on time and he paid her well. And she always had her bag of tricks.

The doorbell finally rang and George eagerly opened the door for her. Rose smiled at him as he escorted her into the bedroom. She opened her bag, pulling out the tools of her trade.

“Well, George,” she said, holding the hair clippers. “Number two or number three today?”

Anne Deborah Taylor Merits

13 most prolific6 most esteemed13 top drabblist


Listlessly, she watched the sunrise.

Hot air singed her skin. Thirst clawed her throat.

There were stones scattered about, none big enough to cast shade.

She lifted one and placed it flat. Then a second and third. She chose big, square rocks, building a crescent foundation. Her hands bled. Dust entered the blisters. She heaved and ached.

Finally, she had a big enough dome.

She put the last, circular rock in place - a capstone - and crawled inside.

It was the closest thing to home since she'd been cast out.

She sat, skin cooling, and decided she would live.

Knitting Away

Pearl one, knit two. The rhythm had a calming effect. My friends and I waited, knowing this was going to be a special day. There was a slight chill in the air but none of us noticed. There was a buzz of excitement as we waited, patiently knitting away.

Today would go down in history, would be marked by our social gathering. There were more of us than usual and the children played at our feet, unaware of what was about to take place.

The date was 16th October 1793, and Marie Antoinette was about to get her just desserts.

Anne Deborah Taylor Merits

13 most prolific6 most esteemed13 top drabblist

Thief's Reward

Tomma was the best thief in the city. It was mad to hire her just to steal a stone.

She regarded her hard-won prize. It had striated markings and an unusually even, ovoid shape. Pretty, but hardly worth her fee.

Tomma chanted the spell and sent a message to tell her employer that the item was ready for collection.

A loud crack filled the air. A fracture that hadn’t been there before split the stone. Another crack and its contents grew clear.

Tomma’s heart clenched. A stone might be a crazy thing to steal. But a dragon’s egg was suicidal…

The View

He loved this view. Lush grass in the foreground and a herd of goats to graze it. Their silver bells gleamed in the sun. Higher up the valley, a cluster of wooden houses formed a small settlement. Many were bright with window boxes of flowers. Beyond them loomed a conifer forest, a dark blot on the landscape. Above the trees, the alp glistened with crisp snow, even at this time of year. A picture postcard view.

He blinked. The hillside collapsed and the chalets were washed away. Goats disappeared before his eyes.

Rain! Pavement artists hated having to start again.

Kath Middleton Merits

1 most prolific2 most esteemed7 top drabble

Missing the Point

Mildred hummed a tune as she rinsed out the orange juice carton. She filled it three times with water. The second time the water ran clear, but the third time was to satisfy her the carton was properly clean. Leaving the tap running, she reached for the milk carton, and repeated the process.

The tin of soup she’d had for lunch was more stubborn and it took a good couple of minutes, rinsing it over and over with the crystal clear water which flowed generously.

Finally she was done, and she dropped all the cleansed containers into the recycling bin.

Jonathan Hill Merits

4 most prolific3 most esteemed1 top drabble

Addressed To Her

Amy stared at the bundle of letters in her hand. There were about fifty of them, loosely held together with a large elastic band, and all addressed to her.

Slowly she slid the top envelope out from the band and looked at the postmark. It was dated nearly ten years ago. With a shuddering intake of breath, she flicked through the rest of them, acknowledging they had all been posted within a six month period. All addressed to her.

So he had written to her after all. How different Amy’s life would be had someone not kept them from her.

Pleading Eyes

“Choose one. Choose which of your daughters is going to die. Right here, and right now. If you don't choose... they both die.”

He couldn't be serious. The hoodied boy didn't look capable of this but the gutted carcass of our labrador proved otherwise.

Chloe and Beth sat frozen on the sofa as they stared in turn at me and the intruder. The intruder who held a bloodied machete in one hand and a huge gun in the other as he stood straddling what, until a few minutes ago, had been our family pet.

So I chose.

“Kill us all.”


I turn the key to the door. Instead an engine roars to life, startling me into reality. The now surrounding me like a heavy cloak.

I look around, not recognising my surroundings or the vessels that I'm nestled in, seemingly captain of the ship as I hold the key. At that moment, the radio hums to life. A familiar song – The Spice Girls. A band I remember, but from when? Five years ago, fifteen?

Preoccupied with the date, I don't notice the movement. Then the history of my memories no longer matter. Only two time frames remain. Before and after.

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