The Only Way to be Sure




Copyright J Hardy Carroll

Helen stood muffled against the wind and dark memories; peering through the iron railings, at the desolate house beyond the naked trees. Rain lingered on the windows like tears on the faces of the bereaved.
She fancied she saw a figure moving inside, a flicker of light tracing its progress. She heard terrifying screams as an evil hand knifed the innocents asleep in each room.
Holding her head tightly against the pain and noise, she asked herself unanswerable questions, “Who was I? Am I really changed?”
Weeping her distrust she raised her hand; this time the knife was for her.

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

The Ramifications of Murder and Parenthood

Inspector Tandy is my detective creation who features in numerous short stories and one novel to date. This is one of his shorter cases.






PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast

Inspector Tandy studied the broken fob watch and scanned the field. “Hit so hard it stopped time.”
“And shattered his internal organs,” replied the doctor examining the body.
Tandy ruminated, “Why come here to kill him?” He wandered to the ridge where the field fell away.
A lamb tottered from the dip, its mother bleating alarm. Another movement behind him caused his smile to flip over.
“Get out!” He called to colleagues as he ran, knees pumping and lungs bellowing their finest performance.
Nonetheless, the ram’s horns connected, Tandy sailed over the fence, landing sorely, dignity dissolved but case solved.

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

I Don’t Like Spiders and Snakes but that Ain’t What it Takes to Love You – Jim Stafford






PHOTO PROMPT © Shaktiki Sharma

“Your mother can’t get downstairs. She says there’s something on the banister looking at her funny.”
Gerry pulled a slowworm from his trousers and a disgruntled snake from his jacket. Sludge and Sylvia were safe.
He went to investigate. “That’s Kafka, my locust. He’s looking at her funny because he has compound eyes. You see…”
“Skip the optometry lecture, please.”
“Dad, the football’s starting, it clashes with mum’s soap; you sure you want it sorted just yet?”
A bellow boomed from above, “If you have thoughts of eating tonight, squash that bug!”
Dad smiled, “Tempting son, but we’d better cooperate.”

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.


Birth, Hope, Beginning

First of all apologies to everyone for not commenting last week, I was abroad in one of those foreign countries without the equipment to do so, I shall make amends this week. Below is my offering for this week, I know what I was trying to do but I’m not sure I achieved it, so be as constructive or brutal as you feel appropriate.






PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Blazered children gather in playgrounds like rattling rooks milling against a pale sky before tumbling to warming fields of emergent worms and leather-jackets.
A short-trousered season of raw knees and mucky hands grows from eggs and pencils; vibrating hedgerows glow with nascent green, classrooms gleam with new term paint.
Buds unfurl along the lane trudged with jam jars on strings, full of fizzing tadpoles.
Armed with whittled sticks for hunting and fishing, pens and rulers for Miss Bryan who scolds like the woodpecker at the chatter, children throng to school, pink-tinged skeins glide into feeding grounds; the world starts again.

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here

Amateur Assassins

january-snowfall-nighttime Photo prompt courtesy of Sarah Potter


The landscape gave the impression a confectionery chef with a cause, had turned rogue. Garden hedges resembled iced muffins, and old tree stumps, a tier of wedding cake.
“We’ll have to wait for the thaw,” proclaimed Kurtz.
“Why?” asked Rudy.
Kurtz sighed as though addressing a simpleton, “The idea’s to do the job cleanly. Not leave tracks.”
“Evidence is only as good as its interpretation. I came prepared. Try these on.”
Kurtz examined the oversized socks with paw prints on their soles and the gloves with bladed fingers.
“Tomorrow’s headlines: ‘Warlord savaged by bear!'” Rudy declared triumphantly.
“In bearless Britain?”

Written for Friday Fictioneers- a 100 word story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle.
Read the other entries here.

Chapter 21 – Deceit’s A Warm Blanket

what-have-i-done-2 Alison hesitated on the doorstep, quaking at the rigour of her own rules.
“Darling, how were your friends?” Stuart beamed.
She winced. That lie again.
“I’ve something to tell you,” they exclaimed together.
A “You go first” standoff followed, before Stuart led her to the sofa.
“I’ve been diagnosed with kidney disease. It will deteriorate. It’s likely I’ll need a transplant.”
Her eyes moistened. He held her tight, “Don’t worry, it’ll be alright. What do you have to tell me?” He asked lovingly.
“Nothing,” she cried, “I was thinking of joining the WI, that’s all.” Deceit returned like welcome succour.

A tale of love and conscience written in 100 word chapters. If you wish to read prior episodes open the category, “The Whole of the Moon”

Chapter 20 – Breaking Up is Hard to Do

leaving-home-2 John inserted his key almost apologetically. Amy greeted him, hair towel-turbaned. “There you are.”
He expected more. “I had to go away.”
Her laugh held no humour, “To get your head straight?”
She turned the hair dryer on full. After a brief blow through, she flung it down.
“I’m moving out.” He knew anything he said would be weak.
“It’s not working. Is that what you want to hear?” She railed.
“I love you…” the words seemed to come from outside him.
“And it’s not me, it’s you.”
The rest was weighted silence as he helped her load her car.