A Matter of Taste

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

Kane sat miserably at the table. The restaurant was closed business but he could hear the clatter of the kitchens as they got ready for the evening.

The ghost of Auntie Brenda had stood over him while he laboriously pressed his only white shirt and tried to get him to smarten himself. He had done his best, and now was sitting at a table in a restaurant where a normal meal would cost the equivalent of two week’s rent money.

“I bought this restaurant fair and square.” Mr Jervis said. “And I thought I was buying the recipes.”

Kane tried to ignore the ghost sniffing at the side. “Wasn’t anything written down, sir?”

“There wasn’t a scrap of information.” Mr Jervis tapped his fingers on the immaculate damask tablecloth. “I’ve gone over old purchasing invoices, but the old…” He caught sight of Kane’s expression. “The former chef did a lot of the marketing himself. There’s no clue there.”

The ghost nodded. “And I never let the staff know all the secrets.”

“The staff don’t know the full recipes either.” Mr Jervis said.

“I can see the ghost.” Kane said. “I can ask him for the recipes, if you like, sir.”

“That’s why you’re here.” Mr Jervis snapped. “I need the recipes. The restaurant was sold for a song after he died and now I know why.”

“I’m not surprised if you look at the standard of the bread order.” The ghost sniffed. “And that last lot of cabbage was not fit for the pigs.”

“The ghost says that there were issues with the bread and the cabbages.” Kane said. “Sorry sir.”

“Dammit, Jo said that I shouldn’t scrimp when it came to the bread.” Mr Jervis stood up and started pacing. “And I’ve changed back to the suppliers already.”

“I could give him a few pointers, as he proves himself.” The ghost watched Mr Jervis with a maliciously satisfied expression.”

“Umm, I think the late chef will be willing to give some information over time.” Kane said. “But I can’t make him do anything, sir. Sorry.”

“What’s the point of hiring a ghostbuster if you can’t them to bust the ghost.” Mr Jervis grumbled, then noticed Kane’s expression. “I’m going to have to be nice to him, aren’t I.”

“At least he’s not interfering, sir.” Kane said.

“I’m not interfering yet.” The ghost drifted over to the table. “And the first thing he can do is update those menus. I updated every six months. I’ll give him some new ideas.”

Mr Jervis sank back onto a chair as Kane passed on the information. “He’s going to be running the restaurant, isn’t he?”

The ghost looked up from the menu that Kane had opened for him. “Just because I’m dead doesn’t mean that I’m going to give up. Now, you need to get rid of the duck on the menu. It’s been here for a few years. Perhaps some partridge…”

Kane started taking notes.

Writing Prompt 12th August 2019

The reason I’m posting this prompt because I like writing a little flash fiction. It’s something I treat as going to the gym for my writing muscles. If you want to join in, that’s brilliant, but there’s no pressure. If you want to leave a comment with a link, that’s great, but if you don’t feel ready to share yet, that’s also great. Or you could decide that you had a good session at the ‘gym’ and want to submit it somewhere, or use it as the basis for other work, which would be amazing. It’s up to you how you use this prompt. The only thing I would like to insist on is that you enjoy yourself.

Here is a picture and a quotation. The challenge is to write something that is sparked off by one or both of them. It doesn’t have to be directly related to either, just the story you hear when you see them. It’s limited to 500 words (or less, lots less if you need to, or a little more, and I don’t check), and you should try and finish it by next week. It can be prose, poetry, fact or fiction – just have fun.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice

Anon

If you wish, leave a link in the comments and I will drop in, read and comment, and I encourage everyone to do the same. I’ll also be sharing stuff on Facebook and wherever else I can think of. There are no prizes and no end goal, unless it is to have fun writing. I hope I get to see some awesome stuff sparked by this. Good luck!

Writing Prompt 5 August 2019

The reason I’m posting this prompt because I like writing a little flash fiction. It’s something I treat as going to the gym for my writing muscles. If you want to join in, that’s brilliant, but there’s no pressure. If you want to leave a comment with a link, that’s great, but if you don’t feel ready to share yet, that’s also great. Or you could decide that you had a good session at the ‘gym’ and want to submit it somewhere, or use it as the basis for other work, which would be amazing. It’s up to you how you use this prompt. The only thing I would like to insist on is that you enjoy yourself.

Here is a picture and a quotation. The challenge is to write something that is sparked off by one or both of them. It doesn’t have to be directly related to either, just the story you hear when you see them. It’s limited to 500 words (or less, lots less if you need to, or a little more, and I don’t check), and you should try and finish it by next week. It can be prose, poetry, fact or fiction – just have fun.

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

All power corrupts but we need the electricity

Anon

If you wish, leave a link in the comments and I will drop in, read and comment, and I encourage everyone to do the same. I’ll also be sharing stuff on Facebook and wherever else I can think of. There are no prizes and no end goal, unless it is to have fun writing. I hope I get to see some awesome stuff sparked by this. Good luck!

Not Alone

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash 

I double checked the locks. I checked the windows and closed the curtains over. I pushed furniture out of place to block the door. Tonight is the last night. Tomorrow I will go back to my family, go back to my friends and beg them to forgive me, beg them to let me back into their lives.

As the darkness falls, I can hear them singing. Whatever they are, they surround this house, the place that was supposed to be my refuge, away from anyone who could hurt me, away from Steve.

But the strange singing and the tapping get worse every night. The haunting voices are getting closer and climbing the ivy and the outhouse roof. I feel so alone. I hope I make it to morning.

Writing Prompt 29th July 2019

The reason I’m posting this prompt because I like writing a little flash fiction. It’s something I treat as going to the gym for my writing muscles. If you want to join in, that’s brilliant, but there’s no pressure. If you want to leave a comment with a link, that’s great, but if you don’t feel ready to share yet, that’s also great. Or you could decide that you had a good session at the ‘gym’ and want to submit it somewhere, or use it as the basis for other work, which would be amazing. It’s up to you how you use this prompt. The only thing I would like to insist on is that you enjoy yourself.

Here is a picture and a quotation. The challenge is to write something that is sparked off by one or both of them. It doesn’t have to be directly related to either, just the story you hear when you see them. It’s limited to 500 words (or less, lots less if you need to, or a little more, and I don’t check), and you should try and finish it by next week. It can be prose, poetry, fact or fiction – just have fun.

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

To love at all is to be vulnerable

C S Lewis

If you wish, leave a link in the comments and I will drop in, read and comment, and I encourage everyone to do the same. I’ll also be sharing stuff on Facebook and wherever else I can think of. There are no prizes and no end goal, unless it is to have fun writing. I hope I get to see some awesome stuff sparked by this. Good luck!

Water’s Not the Worst of It

Photo by Meg Barnett on Unsplash 

“Are you sure about this, Mr Easton?” Kane said, looking down the dark steps. “And he won’t listen to you?”

Mr Easton shook his head. “It’s not that he won’t listen to me, it’s just that he thinks I shouldn’t be doing what he called ‘mechanical operations’ as I am a ‘man of the cloth’. I don’t think that dying has helped him become a calmer person.”

“He wasn’t calm when he was alive.” Vic said. “He was a terror. You had to grow a thick skin around him.”

Kane looked at the old man hunched next to him. “And you knew him when you were an apprentice?”

“Yep, sixty years ago, give or take. He was a bugger then and he’s a bugger now and there’s no way I’d go down that hole.”

Kane looked down into the dark cellar. “How bad can it be?”

“If we don’t it fixed soon, there will be structural issues.” Mr Easton said.

Vic nodded. “He could hear the start of it, went down to find the leak and hit his head on the doorframe and died.”

“I think it is a classic case of a spirit unable to rest until something has been put right.” Mr Easton said.

“It would have been put right years ago if he’d let someone get to it.” Vic said. “But he would never trust another man’s work. He wasn’t that good himself, though.” A tea cup flew off the draining board and smashed into the wall next to Vic’s head. “He had rubbish aim as well.” Vic said. “And I’m waiting outside in the car.”

Kane took off shoes and socks, then picked up Vic’s heavy metal toolbox, handed Mr Easton the lamp, and made his way gingerly down the stairs.

The cellar was cramped, with paint flaking from the walls and water flowing over the stone floor. Mr Gomersal was sitting on one edge, a translucent half smoked cigarette stuck behind his ghostly ear. He looked over the tool kit.

“At least it isn’t all this new rubbish.” He said, looking at Mr Easton. “This the lad?”

“It is.” Mr Easton said, “No-one else will come down.”

“When I was a lad people took work where they could take it, and none of this complaining.” Mr Gomersal said. “Right, lad, you do as I say and we’ll be fine. I’ve worked out what the problem i. Now get a wrench, not that one you idiot, that one. That’s it, now pick it up, it won’t bite you.”

“Yessir.” Kane picked up the wrench and looked at the oozing pipe.

“Can you see where the bolt is? No, not that one, you idiot, the one behind it. Bring the light closer so you can see what’s in front of your face. Yes! Give the lad a cough drop, he’s found it!”

As Kane struggled with the rusted pipes, he decided that being ankle deep in cold, dirty water was not the worst part of it.

Weekly Writing Prompt: 22 July 2019



The reason I’m posting this prompt because I like writing a little flash fiction. It’s something I treat as going to the gym for my writing muscles. If you want to join in, that’s brilliant, but there’s no pressure. If you want to leave a comment with a link, that’s great, but if you don’t feel ready to share yet, that’s also great. Or you could decide that you had a good session at the ‘gym’ and want to submit it somewhere, or use it as the basis for other work, which would be amazing. It’s up to you how you use this prompt. The only thing I would like to insist on is that you enjoy yourself.

Here is a picture and a quotation. The challenge is to write something that is sparked off by one or both of them. It doesn’t have to be directly related to either, just the story you hear when you see them. It’s limited to 500 words (or less, lots less if you need to, or a little more, and I don’t check), and you should try and finish it by next week. It can be prose, poetry, fact or fiction – just have fun.

Photo by Meg Barnett on Unsplash
Please give credit if you use this picture

To know is nothing at all; to imagine is everything.

Anatole France

If you wish, leave a link in the comments and I will drop in, read and comment, and I encourage everyone to do the same. I’ll also be sharing stuff on Facebook and wherever else I can think of. There are no prizes and no end goal, unless it is to have fun writing. I hope I get to see some awesome stuff sparked by this. Good luck!

Book Review: Dread Uprising by Brian K Fuller

Disclaimer – I don’t know the author, and I read the book through Kindle Unlimited, without being asked. This is a book I thought looked interesting and decided to read

First thing that I noted is that this is a chunky book. I usually read on my phone while waiting for my son, and most of the books I have been reading don’t take that long to read. If you read this in paperback, however, it’s over 400 pages long! It didn’t feel too long, though. As a writer, I’m aware that sometimes things can be trimmed or padded. It can be a difficult call to make. Objectively, I’m sure that there could have been some cuts made, but I enjoyed all I read and I didn’t feel anything dragged. The conversations, the descriptions and the action scenes all contributed to the story and the development of the characters. It was a well-paced, satisfying read.

And speaking of things dragging (or not), I thought the pace throughout was good. It was varied and interesting, with some great action sequences. I am a sucker for a good fight scene, and I think that these were great. You never lost track of who was doing what, which is testament to the skill of the writer, because these fast paced, detailed scenes with plenty of characters can be hard to track.

It wasn’t just a series of action scenes, though. The characters were distinct, interesting and well drawn. I loved that the characters developed through the story, changing and responding to changes in a believable way.

The plot is modern day fantasy, where Ash Angels battle Dreads, the forces of Good versus the forces of Evil. The setting has a well thought out, consistent and subtly complex background. At first it seems to ignore the theology that comes with the concept of Angels, but the implications are addressed as part of the plot. I should add that the plot has plenty of twists and turns, and some amazing surprises. I’ve had to be careful to avoid spoilers, because it’s worth uncovering the layers as the story progresses.

I am going to risk being a little controversial. I would say that this is a masculine book, as in there is more focus on the characters and the action than on relationships. This does not mean that the relationships are treated poorly, and that the interactions between the characters are not well drawn, just that romance is not the main focus.

I really recommend this intense, well paced, action packed story and I shall be dipping in to the rest of the series. Here’s a brief taster from the prologue:

The shot hit to the right of his forehead, tearing away part of his skull. Even that wouldn’t keep a Dread down. She took a quick bead on the pale face of the Dread next to him, a chunky biker with a devilish grin. But before she could pull the trigger, the glowing red radiance around him blasted outwards like the dawn of an evil sun, and a demonic haze washed out her vision – Spirit Shock, a dark gift some Dreads possessed. Everyone in the field called it ‘Getting Torched’. Everyone who survived it.

Dis

Photo by Mauro on Unsplash

I was desperate. This was the only thing I could think of to get me out of this mess. I looked around the attic. This had taken the very dregs of the money I could scrape together. If this didn’t work, I was sunk.

I took a breath. The book had to be right. I’d found it in the box of old cookery books that I’d hoped to flip. That hadn’t worked either. Everything I had tried had turned to dust. This was my last throw of the dice.

I looked around again. All the chalk marks were exactly as the book had shown. I had copied them again and again, just to be sure. The coloured candles were just as shown, the incense was correct, and I’d set it out exactly as specified.

I felt tension run through me. How bad was it to summon a demon? It wasn’t like I was going to worship it, I just needed to get out of this hole. I swallowed. What if I’d got it wrong, what if the demon controlled me? What if I was responsible for evil? All the books and films of evil being unleashed on the world ran through my mind. I ran through my mental checklist. No, I had followed the instructions to the letter. It had to be alright.

What would happen when the demon appeared? For a moment I almost forgot to breathe. I hadn’t thought of that. What was I supposed to do with a demon? Did they understand the stock exchange? Could they find buried treasure? I looked down at my notebook and my hands were shaking.

“What am I supposed to do when the demon comes?” I didn’t realise I had spoken out loud until I heard a step behind me. I whirled around. He was there. He made me think of some sort of aristocrat, tall and slim with finely carved features, piercing blue eyes and thick red hair, trimmed and combed away from his face. The shirt looked like silk and the jeans looked tailored. I swallowed. 

“I believe it is customary to offer a guest a drink, even if that guest has replied to a summons.” The smile was mocking and his eyes knowing. “You can call me Dis.”

Weekly Writing Prompt: 15th July 2019

The reason I’m posting this writing prompt is because I like writing a little flash fiction. It’s something I treat as going to the gym for my writing muscles. If you want to join in, that’s brilliant, but there’s no pressure. If you want to leave a comment with a link, that’s great, but if you don’t feel ready to share yet, that’s also great. Or you could decide that you had a good session at the ‘gym’ and want to submit it somewhere, or use it as the basis for other work, which would be amazing. It’s up to you how you use this prompt. The only thing I would like to insist on is that you enjoy yourself.

Here is a picture and a quotation. The challenge is to write something that is sparked off by one or both of them. It doesn’t have to be directly related to either, just the story you hear when you see them. It’s limited to 500 words (or less, lots less if you need to, or a little more, and I don’t check), and you should try and finish it by next week. It can be prose, poetry, fact or fiction – just have fun.

Photo by Mauro on Unsplash
Please give credit if you use this picture

Without a dream to light your way, the world is a very dark place.

Marrion Zimmer Bradley

If you wish, leave a link in the comments and I will drop in, read and comment, and I encourage everyone to do the same. I’ll also be sharing stuff on Facebook and wherever else I can think of. There are no prizes and no end goal, unless it is to have fun writing. I hope I get to see some awesome stuff sparked by this. Good luck!