The Evidence Points To Nurse Lizzy

Teresa’s prompt for today takes us into the realms of detectives, amateur detectives. My detective is a little boy named Kyle. Although, as you will see, his detective work actually proves hazardous.

Your challenge today, should you accept it, is to find your inner detective and write your take on the Mystery subgenre of Amateur Sleuth and see where it leads…or whatever/wherever the picture takes you.

This is a little story about what a little boy finds in the local children’s playground, while he is inspecting the disappearance of the swings.

“What are you doing Kyle?” asked Charlie.

“I a trying to solve a crime!” was the reply.

Charlie was surprised, “A crime? What kind of crime?”

Swing, Children, Play, HolidayKyle put his hands on his hips and declared, “The mystery of the stolen the swings!”

“Did somebody steal the swings?”

“They were here yesterday Charlie. Hayley and me came down here after school and we were swinging on them until it was time for tea. But when we came along after school today, they had vanished. Somebody must have stolen them. I am looking for evidence to see if I can work out who it was.”

“Have you found any evidence yet?”

Kyle pulled out the contents of his pocket and laid them on the ground for Charlie to inspect. Charlie’s eyes opened wide!

evidence“Are you thinking what I am thinking Charlie?”

“Kyle, this is the kind of thing my parents told me not to go near!”

Kyle had a cryptic expression, “That’s because these only belong to Doctors and Nurses. That narrows it down. It was either Doctor Brown from the Sunnyside Medical Practice, or it must have been Lizzy, the school nurse.”

“Nurse Lizzy was off school today. My teacher Mrs Cromwell said that Nurse Lizzy has the flu.”

“A likely story! She probably took the day off school so that she could come down here and steal the swings for herself. Why don’t we go and sneak into her garden to see if she has hid them there!”

What Came After The Cry Of Peace And Security

I don’t like to miss any of Teresa’s writing prompts. But it’s been a long old day! In a long old week, in what is turning out to be a long old month! Don’t worry, I only sound like this because I have been brazenly burning the candle at both ends! Naughty Caramel! The good news (for me anyway) is that I only start work at midday tomorrow, so I can have a little sleep in. Phew!

This is today’s writing prompt from Teresa Grabs:

Your challenge today, should you accept it, is to find your inner survivalist and write your take on the Thriller subgenre of Disaster and see where it leads…or whatever/wherever the picture takes you.

I guess thrillers and disasters are not my genre. I don’t watch them, neither do I read them. Being so ridiculously tired…I was doubtful I could come up with anything. But I thought I would give it a little try. But now it is time for bed!

As Mark stood on the top of Alexander Palace Park and looked out at the scene before him, he wondered to himself. How many disaster movies Hollywood had churned out over the years portraying aliens or comets or dinosaurs being the cause of a global tribulation.

Rope, Bondage, Model, Hands, WomanHe strained his memory, trying to remember a movie that had depicted humans attacking other humans on this scale. Former friends, colleagues, neighbours turning on each other. Even families who could no longer remain united. Propaganda had whipped up large scale of hatred over anyone who did not seem aligned with the agenda that world governments had set out.

Mark thought back to how it all began. After a few rocky years where the authority of many ruling powers seemed shaky, and there were more and more protests, strikes and demonstrations by millions of people on the streets of large cities around the globe, governments finally felt they needed to take action to preserve their authority.

There was a great cry of Peace and Security. It had been agreed that the United Nations would help bring stability to the turbulence as more and more people were protesting against political legislature and government action. To equip them, each government assigned divisions from their army, navy and air forces to bolster the authority of the “peace-keeping” organization.

War, Soldiers, Warrior, Explosion, GunsOne of the first decisive indictments enacted by the United Nations sparked a worse period of trouble than history books had ever recorded. Hollywood had never dared to imagine anything like this.

But there was another thought that weighed on Mark’s mind. Years earlier, he had been off work with the flu one day when his doorbell had rang. After telling the smartly dressed couple at the door that he was busy, he had taken the small leaflet they held out to him. Later that afternoon when he was bored, he had glanced over it. The words he had read were now emblazoned on his memory. It was exactly as they had described in detail. He wondered, where could he find them now?

The Secret Kingdom Of The Gingerellos

What a delightful prompt from Teresa today! I knew this morning that my tale today was going to be one of the adventures my two younger sisters and I would have played out when we were little girls.

Your challenge today, should you accept it, is to find your inner explorer and write your take on the Adventure subgenre of Lost World and see where it leads…or whatever/wherever the picture takes you.

I responded to another of Teresa’s prompts a while ago with their make believe ocean voyages. My little post was called Ay Ay Captain! This is a return to Captain Mandy and her crew of Navigator Melody and Able Seaman Milly (who did everything Mandy told her to!)

After sailing around the island, looking out for signs of human activity, Captain Mandy ordered her crew to anchor the ship just off the secluded bay they had spotted.

Melody, the Navigator, had been studying an old tattered map and excitedly reported to the captain that she believed this island was actually the Secret Kingdom of the Gingerellos.

“Shiver me timbers! The Gingerellos!” exclaimed Captain Mandy.

“Who are the Gingerellos?” asked able seaman Milly out loud.

Spices, Curry, Market Stall, ColorfulMelody replied, “You’ve never heard of the Gingerellos? Well they are a people with ginger hair and yellow skin. They were the Kings of the ancient spice trade and amassed a great fortune. Because they ate so much saffron, tumeric and other spices, they turned yellow and their hair bright ginger. They were very distinctive and very beautiful.”

“Oh…are they called the Gingerellos because they are ginger and yellow then?” asked Milly with a baffled expression on her face.

Captain Mandy enlarged on the history of the Gingerellos, “They ate so much spice that they became illuminous yellow and their ginger hair glowed like flames. They were so dazzling that people couldn’t look at them without their eyes hurting. So the Gingerellos hid themselves away in the deepest darkest jungle on the Island of Ginintuang Pampalasa with the enormous fortune that they had made from the spice trade.”

“Really! Oh wow!” cried Milly.

Gems, Jewelry, Rubies, Jewel“Yes!” cried Melody, “and in their treasure they have diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds! It’s the most amazing fortune the world has ever seen!”

Milly scratched her head, “Do they have pearls too? Mum’s favourite gem are pearls.”

“Of course they have pearls,” answered Captain Mandy, “and lots and lots of gold!”

Milly was thoughtful, “Do you think they are still there in the jungle then?”

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could find them!” suggested Melody.

Captain Mandy stood with her hands on her hips, “Of course they are out there! Come on crew, let’s go and find the Gingerellos and their treasure.”

Children, Girl, Hiking, TrailLittle Milly was hesitant, “But Mandy, aren’t we supposed to ask Mum and Dad before we go into the woods on our own?”

Captain Mandy frowned, “Where is your courage sailor? Come on follow me. I know just where to look for them!”

Taking hold of the hand of her youngest sister, Melody encouraged her, “Come on Milly, we know the woods like the back of our hands. We will find the Gingerellos and their treasure and still be back on time for tea!”

To All The Frogs I’ve Kissed Before

Normally, I look at Teresa’s writing prompt first thing in the morning and think up a story during the day. But when I woke up this morning, my headache was thundering. I was rather hopeless today. So, I have come home and now feel incapable of coming up with a proper short story/flash fiction post. But I wanted to do something inspired by Teresa’s fantastic prompt:

Your challenge today, should you accept it, is to find your inner child and write your take on the Fantasy subgenre of Fairy Tale and see where it leads…or whatever/wherever the picture takes you.

Well…I am shattered. These long long work days are taking a toll on my mental energies. So, I could not imagine a story tonight. Instead I present to you some awful poetry!!! It’s been a while, but I do like to keep my hand in at being a terrible poet!

It’s time for bed, darkest night once more

The house is silent, there’s not a peep

I’ll close my curtains and lock the door

Keep my eyes tight shut and try to sleep

While around my head dance dreams galore

Tonight you won’t find me counting sheep

Rather, all the frogs I’ve kissed before

That one who turned out to be a creep

And oh the one who was such a bore

But then the frog that I wanted to keep

When he left England, my heart was sore

For my fav’rite frog, a love so deep

I don’t think I’ve ever been so sure

With him I am ready to take a leap

Our bond will last, whether rich or poor

Tears of joy Frog Prince Jack makes me weep


From Mountain Man To Cattle Driver

Another great writing prompt from Teresa. I am loving these Western themes and as I knew so little about what a cattle drive was, I had to go and read up about them before I could come up with anything.

Your challenge today, should you accept it, is to hit the dusty trail and saunter up to the campfire. Write your take on the Western subgenre of Cattle Drive and see where it leads…or whatever/wherever the picture takes you.

So, this little piece is the third in a little series of Westerns I have used the characters from my Annabelle Riley series in. This story is set two years after The Preacher Who Moved To The Prairies. The part before that was Winter On The Oregon Trail.

“Darlin’ you’ll never guess who’s come a visit’n us!” cried out Robin as he entered the cabin.

His wife’s face lit up, “Well saints preserve us, if it isn’t Mr Ward blessin’ my eyes. How’ve you been Mr Ward? Where’ve you been? It’s been a whole two year now. Little Sarah is already walking and can say a whole bunch of words.”

Chris Ward took his hat off and nodded to Annabelle, “Ma’am, you sure are a pretty sight for sore eyes.”

“It’s been too long Mr Ward. But we appreciated you sending us a line every now and then,” Annabelle warmly replied.

People, Man, Sitting, Alone, ReadingChris humbly thanked Mrs Grainger, “I’m much obliged to you for the reading and writing tuition you gave me when I was here last. I’ve been keeping my reading up. Reckon you’ll be proud of me when you hear me read outloud.”

Robin had lots of questions for their visitor. He wondered if Chris had returned to trapping up in the Rockies after parting their company a few weeks after Sarah had been born. Chris looked a little awkward at first, but when Annabelle excused herself so that she could go and prepare some food for them all, Chris opened up explained his movements for the past two years.

“You said you were on your way down to Fort Hall when you said goodbye.”

“I went down to Fort Hall. Saw me a group of cattle drivers who had travelled up from Texas heading for the Gold fields. They were the other side of the Snake River. They had been driving the cattle too hard and those beasts were skin and bones.”

“Surely they are not trying to take cattle across the desert!”

Cowboys, Riding, Sunset, Silhouettes“There are easier routes. I realized right then that those cowboys needed a guide to find better trails. So, after they let the poor beasts rest up and fatten a bit, I helped them drive their head of cattle from spring to stream, all south of the California Trail. They paid me off when we reached the Goldfields.”

“So have you been down in California since then?”

“Heck no! I left as soon as I arrived. No place to be lingering when you are carrying a small fortune on you. I headed back east to look into buying beef stock for myself. Figured it could be an investment. I could see there was profit in driving them up to California. I spoke to cowboys in the cattle towns I stopped off at to ask them all about where to find the best cattle.”

 “Jeepers, did you end up buying a herd?”

ch“In the end I did. Only after I wasted a good amount on drinking white mule and gambling. Forgive me my friend but I didn’t realize I was nursing a sore heart over my missing out on the chance of Misses Annabelle. I guess I felt the need to drown my sorrows. But in the end I got myself together and headed out to Texas to buy myself a herd and round up a cook, a wrangler and some experienced cow hands eager to seek their fortune.”

“So were you able to drive the cattle all the way up to California from Texas?”

Chris nodded emphatically, “That herd and a second we drove up twelve month later. We drove them slow so we hardly had any losses. First time round, some of the men thought we were going too slow. But when we got to the Goldfields with three thousand of the fattest cows that have ever turned up there, our beef stock was in high demand. Made quite a name for myself. Second time round, the men did what I told them to, and we made an even bigger taking.”

drive1“Will you do it again?”

“Sure I will. That’s why I came a-visitin’. I thought I’d check if you’d be interested in joining me for the next drive we make. You’d make a lot more than you can from logging in the forests up here.”

Robin was listening with great interest, “Logging is hard work and nowhere near as lucrative as trapping was. Only Annabelle has not wanted me to be away from her and little Sarah for long. She said she couldn’t bear the thought of me being up in the mountains for months at a time.”

“Well I guess that answers it. You’d have to be away from her for at least six month to make the journey down to Texas and up to California before you were home.”

Robin sighed, “We could really do with the money. Maybe I’ll have a word with Annabelle.”

drive2Annabelle appeared carrying two beakers of steaming hot coffee, “Well I’m here now darlin’. You can have a word with me if you like.”

Robin turned to his wife, “Mr Ward was asking if I’d like to join him for a cattle drive from Texas up to California. It would pay a handsome profit Annabelle. We could do with the money. Only it would mean being away from home for several months.”

 “I heard every word dear,” responded Annabelle. She turned to Chris with a determined expression, “If you are able to drive three thousand cattle slow enough to make hardly and losses and them arriving all fat and healthy, then I reckon it’s not too much for a woman and a young child to be making a journey like that.”

Chris looked alarmed, “Life’s hard out on the trail. It’s no place for a lady.”

pran“Well, we are desperate for money, but you’re darn tootin’ not taking my husband away from me. If you can look after three thousand cattle, then I believe you can make sure a mother and child don’t suffer any harm.”

Robin turned lovingly to his wife, “Honey, there’d be all sorts of dangers out on the trail. If you don’t want me to leave you and Sarah, then I won’t. We’ve managed so far on the money I can earn from logging. We’ll find a way to get by.”

Annabelle looked at Chris, “What do you say Mr Ward? Do you think I’m strong enough to make the journey along with our little girl? We sure do need more money than my husband is paid for logging.”

Inspector Rufus Investigates

I am going to be at work all day today and then I am dashing home to get ready for the event tonight. I won’t have much time to get ready, but everything is all laid out, so that I don’t waste too much time. It’s my hair that I am worried about. I have not had a trim for ages, and my hair is really long now. So I need to put it up, but that will take time. Anyway…I am starting this post early in the day…and I think I will have to finish it late late tonight.

Your challenge today, should you accept it, is to go undercover and solve the latest mystery. Write your take on the Mystery subgenre of Furry Sleuth and see where it leads…or whatever/wherever the picture takes you. (Furry Sleuths are stories where a dog or cat solves a crime and is told from their perspective.)

I don’t think I have ever written anything from the perspective of a dog before. I have chosen Rufus, the dog that belongs to Robin’s parents (in my Annabelle Riley series) as the protagonist in this little story.


graingersEarly one morning, Inspector Rufus was patrolling the perimeter of the Inkpen estate, looking out for signs of mischief. It was frustrating at times to have to wait for the two-legged huge pawed creatures who were so much slower than he was. Still, the catering service they provided was second to none, so Inspector Rufus accepted the other challenges that came with an assignment to protect the two-legged creatures.

Inspector Rufus knew every inch of the woods and fields around the house and outbuildings at Inkpen. Not a blade would be out of place without him knowing.

As he was marching along, leading the way for the two-legged huge pawed couple following behind him, Inspector Rufus’ ears pricked at a noise coming from further down the bank. He could see there were creatures down there and he was keen to race down the hill towards them.

“Stephen, let’s take the other path this morning. We don’t want to disturb their peace.”

Couple, Grass, Green, Hill, Kissing“Oh, is that Nick and Anna down there?”

“Come on Rufus this way!” called Fiona, as Inspector Rufus stood alert, ready to tear down the bank towards the couple who were sitting in the grass with their arms around each other.

Satisfied as he detected the scent of his favourite two-legged creature (Nick, the caretaker/manager of the Inkpen estate, who was with his wife Anna), Inspector Rufus continued his brisk pace, trying to pull the female two-legged along more quickly.

There was another smell in the air. Inspector Rufus found it harder to detect the source of this scent. It was not as familiar. As he tugged harder and harder, the two-legged female finally crouched down and released the catch attached to his collar. As soon as he was released, he raced ahead towards the hedge and began to burrow through a gap.

As soon as he appeared on the other side of the hedge, there was a cry of surprise. “Rufus! What are you doing?”

Couple Lying On The GrassRecognising the two-legged creatures who were lying in the grass, he wagged his tail. These were creatures that had just moved into the newly renovated barn. He remembered that his favourite two-legged (Nick) had moved out all sorts of old furniture and equipment, and had been working on restoring the barn. Inspector Rufus had made it part of his regular inspections to go and check on Nick and make sure that everything was going smoothly. He had found evidence of a tiny furry creature invading the barn and quickly addressed that breach of security.

Chris and Natalia were very friendly to Inspector Rufus and often took him out with them on walks around the local village. They liked long walks so that they could explore the surrounding countryside. Inspector Rufus was delighted to guide them, as these tours of the neighbourhood gave him an opportunity to assert his authority as the most important canine in the hamlet.

When Inspector Rufus heard the two-legged creature he had known the longest, Stephen Grainger calling his name, he scampered back under the hedge and bounded up to him. As they carried on walking, it seemed that they were returning towards the house. The woods were giving way to very neat gardens.

Inspector Rufus was aware of how the female two-legged creature, Fiona, was very protective of her flower beds. Early in the mornings, he often had to chase deer out of the garden. The deer jumped over the fence at night and they had a habit of eating the flowers.

R & A“There must be something in the water!” laughed Stephen as he caught sight of his son and daughter-in-law.

Fiona squeezed Stephen’s hand, “It’s great to see them so happy. It will be five years since they were married next month.”

“Five years! That’s flown by. Did I tell you Robin wants to have a little party on the narrow boat Fi? He says he and Annabelle like to do something to do with boats or sailing for any special celebration. He hasn’t told Annabelle what he’s planning yet, so don’t like the cat out of the bag.”

At mention of the word “cat”, Inspector Rufus let out a loud bark. Robin and Annabelle turned and waved over at Stephen and Fiona who were walking towards them. Meanwhile Inspector Rufus’s attention was diverted elsewhere. For some time now, he had been investigating the mysterious arrival of an unidentifiable creature that didn’t seem like any of the other residents at Inkpen.

sarah1The funny creature was waddling over the yawn making strange noises. Inspector Rufus found this creature quite a mystery at times. It let out the most alarming high pitched squeals on occasion. Then there were the array of smells it produced, some of them quite noxious. At first Inspector had assumed this was a four-legged creature without any fur. But things were changing. The mysterious creature was determined to become a two-legged creature despite repeated falls and more of that high pitched squealing.

As Inspector Rufus went to inspect the small two-legged creature, it held out its redundant paws and said, “doggy”.

“Good girl! Well done Sarah,” called Robin. As his daughter tried to stroke Inspector Rufus, he licked her hand. She let out a giggle of joy.

sarah“Mummy mummy look!” cried the little girl holding out her wet hand covered in slobber from Rufus.

Annabelle grinned, “Come on Sarah, let’s go and wash our hands. Then we can make your cakes pink!” Annabelle walked towards the house with her young daughter, who kept repeating, “Pink cakes, pink cakes!”

“Wow, look at her go! She’s going to have better legs than her mother!” called out Stephen.

Robin turned and raised his eyebrow at his father, “We made fairy cakes this morning. They are cooling in the kitchen. She wants to decorate them before you try one.”

Fiona put her arm around her son, “I love to see you smiling like this.”

Robin lent his head against his mother’s, “I couldn’t be happier.” He bent down and patted Inspector Rufus. Stephen, Fiona and Robin followed behind Inspector Rufus, who was headed back towards the house, eager for some water now that he had completed his morning patrol of the estate.

A Lousy Back-Up Plan

I had lots of ideas for Teresa’s prompt today. But in the end, I went with Charlie’s view of colonization of other planets.

Your challenge today, should you accept it, is to explore humanity’s future and write your take on the Science Fiction subgenre of Colonization and see where it leads…or whatever/wherever the picture takes you.

There are so many things I want to write about…and I will write about them, I am sure I will. But sometimes, it is so nice to switch from everything in your life and divert your thoughts to a little bit of fictional writingYou might remember Charlie from another post I published in response to one of Teresa’s posts: When I Grow Up I Want To Be…

“Dad…if humans completely ruin the planet is there a back-up plan?”

“Why do you ask that Charlie?”

“Well, Miss Cromwell was telling the class that one of the reasons why governments spend billions of pounds on researching outer space is that one day we might use up the earth’s natural resources and we will need to find another planet to colonise.”

“Your teacher told you that?” Jacob, turned to his wife and asked, “Lynn, do you think that’s part of the National Curriculum?”

Lynn laughed, “That’s just a bit of speculation. I’m not sure that’s not part of the syllabus. Charlie, did Miss Cromwell explain what she meant?”

Charlie put his knife and fork down, “Well she said that as soon as scientists locate a planet with water and a breathable atmosphere, they will probably send a group of specially chosen people there to try to live.”

“What did you think of that Charlie?” asked his father.

cn“Dad, I don’t think it’s a good idea at all. Aren’t we supposed to be trying to do our best to look after our planet and live in a way that doesn’t cause harm? Aren’t governments and industries supposed to be converting to renewable energies and finding ways to become carbon neutral or even carbon negative and eliminate non-recyclable waste? But if they think they can just abandon our planet as soon as they find another planet that we can live on, won’t the same thing happen all over again?”

Charlie’s mother commended him “That’s a good point Charlie. You are right, we all need to look after our beautiful planet. It’s wrong that so much damage has been done. It’s endangering the lives of animals, sea creatures and birds. With all of the extreme weather that we have seen, many people have suffered the loss of their homes, schools, and their families.”

“And if we did develop better spaceships that could go further and find other planets, wouldn’t it make us like the bad aliens?”

Ufo, Space, Alien, 3D, Blender, Space“What do you mean by “the bad aliens”?”

“Well in all of those alien movies, the bad aliens travel looking for planets so they can use up their resources themselves. They always seem greedy and they don’t seem to care about anyone else except themselves.”

“You know they are just movies though Charlie, don’t you?”

“Yeah, I know they aren’t real. I just don’t understand why my teacher said that humans might need to find another planet after we ruin our planet earth. It’s such a silly thing to say, don’t you think?”

“Why do you think it’s silly?”

csroom“Well, you ask me to tidy my room every weekend. If I didn’t bother cleaning my room and just let all my trash build up and it became dirtier and dirtier, the answer wouldn’t be to ask for a different bedroom, would it? If you have a room or a home of your own, you have to learn to look after it properly.”

“Excellent Charlie. You do a great job of tidying up your room. Your mom and I appreciate it.”

“Dad, I think everyone needs to work harder at looking after our planet. We have such a beautiful home here on earth. I think it’s kind of silly thinking that if we ruin this planet, we can turn to a back-up plan. If people don’t look after this planet, how are they going to be able to look after any other planet properly? It would be a disaster!”