Friday Fictioneers: Just now

PHOTO PROMPT © Mikhael Sublett

“Could you hang up this picture ?”


Sands whooshing through the hourglass.

“I don’t want to nag, but you are going hang the picture, aren’t you?”


Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.

“Nevermind. I can do it.”

“Uh huh.”




More swearing.

“What in the name of all that’s holy are you doing? Put the hammer down. I said I would do it.”

“That was 2 years ago!”

“You never gave me a time frame. I’ll do it just now.”

“When will ‘just now’ be ‘now’? When hell freezes over? When the polar ice caps melt? When Brexit happens?”

“Yeah. When Brexit happens.”

“So, never then.”



In South Africa we have three time frames:

Now – meaning right this minute.

Now now – meaning soonish.


Just now – meaning when I bloody feel like it, but maybe never.


We follow and are followed

Another day of grey rain is tracking tears down the window. I suppose it is in its nature to bring about a strange strain of self reflection.

To each a multitude of messiahs

Our disciples cloaked in silk and rags

Hungry for glimpses of some ignoble life

Starving for the scraps of slander

We follow and are followed

A fragile veneer of sepia filters

Cover the momentary mundane

Superb realism in the unreality

Truths built on a multitude of lies

We follow and are followed

Friday Fictioneers: Call a cab

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria

Take a taxi they said.

They go everywhere fast.

They’re reliable.

Everyone uses them.


Including their extended family, a gaggle of geese, a stable of horses and their mother in law.

There’s always room for one more.


It defies known physics.

I was the one more.

The last sardine.

A chicken pooped on my head.

A goat ate my shoelaces.

We set off at a terrific speed enveloped in a plume of black exhaust.

We swerved and careened through the crowds, hooting like a parliament of owls.

The ancient tires squealed and yowled like a convocation of screaming eagles.

Welcome to New York, they said.

I closed my eyes and thought of England.

Friday Fictioneers: Dog days


Every day.

I can’t take it anymore.

Today I will catch him in the act. I will get my revenge.

I’ve had enough of this horrible hound doing a full day’s business on my lawn.

He’s a poop ninja.

I’m going to hide behind this bush and wait for the opportune moment to exact my revenge.

He’s coming closer. He’s past the circle. I’ve got him.

Oh my god! It’s Headmaster Jenkins.

I can’t do it. I’ll just stay really quiet until he moves on.

No. Stop sniffing this shrubbery.

Please no.

Don’t lift your leg.

No. Not on me.

I hate dogs.

Friday Fictioneers: It bites

The sad one:

She played as if she had the devil in her.

She danced across the ivories, her head thrown back and sweat glistening on her brow. She played until her fingers bled, literally.

She played until the audience had quietly filed out of the concert hall. She played until the men came with their white jackets and took her away.

And long after she’d left, the piano kept on playing. It played for years, locked away in the basement. It played until she drew her last breath.

And the devil at the crossroads danced and danced in the moonlight.

The fun one:

Did you know that there’s a piano in the basement?


Okay. Um. Why is there a piano locked in the basement?

I put it there.

I didn’t know that you played the piano.

I don’t.

But, you’re… well, you’re a… a musical virtuoso that can play any instrument in the world.

Every instrument in the world but that piano.


Just that piano.

That specific piano?


A pause…

Aren’t you going to ask me why?

Alright, why?

It bites.

It, what?

It bites.

Pianos don’t bite.

Try and play it.

A pause…

OW! What the… !@#$! It bloody near took off my fingers!

I told you so.

Then why did you tell me to play it?

It gets hungry.

The photo prompt was:

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Friday Fictioneers: Where, oh where can it be?

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria

Where, oh where did my Tupperware go?

Where, oh where can it be?

With its lid long lost

And its bottom long gone

Where, oh where can it be?

Where, oh where did my Tupperware go?

Somewhere far from me?

I have a lid right here

But no bottom in sight

Where, oh where can it be?

Where, oh where did my Tupperware go?

To a galaxy far far away?

Here’s is its bottom

But no lid can I find

Where, oh where can it be?

Where, oh where did my Tupperware go?

Is it lost and all alone?

Useless and lonely with no place to call  home

Where, oh where can it be?

Before I got carried away, I wrote this…

Salt and pepper.

Kanye and Kim K.

Hipsters and artisanal coffee.

Some things just fit together in perfect harmony.

Like Tupperware lids and Tupperware bottoms.

I have plenty of both. None of tops fit the bottoms. I being to doubt that they ever did. They have mutated, devolved and disappeared.

Out of my lovely stacked set of happy burping Tupperware, I have two left. Two. Somewhere in a Hawking-esque alternative reality sit their partners.

My heart bleeds for them sucked into a meaningless existence, reduced to nothing but unfulfilled potential.

Divorced. Purposeless. Lost.

And I, the vehicle of their lonely suffering.

Friday Fictioneers: The big fish


The old men sat in quiet comradery, sipping tall glasses of lager and reminiscing.

“Did I tell you about the time I caught a shark?” asked Jack.

The assembled company sighed. They’d heard it before and didn’t believe anymore upon its frequent retelling.

“I was fishing at the pier, when all of a sudden my line went taut. It was fierce battle between man and beast. My muscles strained, my arms ached, but the same fighting spirit that got me through the war prevailed. After an hour of this, I reeled it in. A foul-smelling man-eater.”

They rolled their eyes. “Your round, Jack.”

Jack Bruce, East London, circa late 1940s

I heard this story quite often at my Grandpa’s knee. I admit, that I didn’t believe it. It was a fishy story. And then I found this photo. Sorry Gramps. You did catch a shark.

Friday Fictioneers: When they came

Photo Prompt (c) Dale Rogerson

I was sulking. A proper adolescent sulk.

I was sitting on the bleachers really aiming for the depths of teenage despair.

Then the light came. And them.

Suddenly, I realized that the world wasn’t really ours.

It wasn’t like the movies.

They weren’t green.

They didn’t come in peace.

They sure as hell weren’t Vulcan.

They came to take overcome.

They came in teams.

They came with an eerie aura of focus and determination.

They came to shoot some hoops. 

They came to play ball.

Find the Friday Fictioneers prompt here.

Friday Fictioneers: To queue or not to queue

PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda

“Mum. Why are we standing here?”

“Because it is a queue and to queue is the way of our people.”

“But, what is at the end?”

“I don’t know. It’s part of the surprise.”

“What if it’s something gross?”

“What if it isn’t?”

“Can I go and look?”

“No! That is not how this works. One must stand in the queue come rain or snow. One must show patience and stoicism in the face of adversity.”

“I’m going.”

“Mum. It’s a mime. Everyone is standing behind a mime. For no reason whatsoever.’

“That is what it means to be British.”

Friday Fictioneers: Pancakes

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll


Pancakes are good.

I like pancakes.

I have everything I need to make them.


I can see the sieve.

I can see the pan.

Fat lot of good that does.

Look, I’m not stunted. I’m not a homunculus. I’m a normal sized person.

What gigantoid genius thought that hanging stuff from a double-volume loft roof would be a good idea?

I’d get a ladder, but the same savant hung it that from a hook in the garage and I can’t reach that either.

The person involved can kiss his chances of pancakes goodbye.

I’m going to Starbucks for a latte.


  • n. A diminutive human.