Sunday, 30 December 2012


Go away
Get out
Get the hell out of here
Fuck off
Piss off
Scram, scoot, skedaddle
Just go
Am I talking to the wall or something.


Door slams.
Written for Trifextra week forty eight.


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas Present

“For Johnny?”
“We got him a scooter.”
“And mummy?”
“We bought her some perfume, and new slippers.”
“Yes – hers are worn out. Do you think she’ll like these.”
“They’re purple! Her favourite colour. What about Brad?”
“Brad won’t be here this year. He’s still overseas. I sent him a food parcel and a beautiful jumper.”
“I thought he was going to be back for Christmas.”
“No, he’s doing an important job. He’s got to stay. We’ll see him soon.”
“I wish he was here.”
“Me too Pushki. Now, enough talk. Let’s finish decorating the tree and set the table.”

Copyright-Scott L. Vannatter
Written for Friday Fictioneers

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Virtually Pure

The cost for bad thoughts, cheating, lying, blasphemy, not paying taxes, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Insert generic sin. The currency, clearly defined. Our Fathers and Hail Marys. I sit behind the screen and listen. Make a price. Give penance, absolution, heal. Transaction done. Next please.

"Father, I have sinned...

Of course you have. Cut to the chase. You want the numbers, the price. No need for ritual or form. It’s all the same. I've heard it before. You've done it before.

Maybe we should simplify. Modernise. Get with the program. Time to put up a list, or a website. www.confessmysins.somethingorother. Period since last confession; click: Sins committed; menu: Number of repeats; click: Terms and conditions; check box: Disclaimer not necessary: Submit button; click: Are you sure; yes/no; click: Moving graphic: please wait; processing.

That will be two Hail Marys and one Our Father. Come back soon.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Gatekeeper

“He betrayed me”

“Betrayed you? How.”

“I trusted him. I made him the gatekeeper. His sole duty was to show the way. He was to lead them to the gates. He was to point them towards the place where they would spend eternity. For that his reward... to remain mortal.”

“And what happened.”

“Not only did he not fulfil his duty. He actively worked against me. He pointed them towards the land of the living. He thought he could rescue them. He sent them back.”

“And where is he now?”

“Now and forever he will only show the true direction.”

100 words, written for FridayFictioneers.

Monday, 26 November 2012

The Grump (in homage to My Favourite Things)

Scowling and snarling and loudly complaining
Bitching and howling not a moment of peace
Grumpy and gnarly I moan when I sing
Grumbling is one of my favourite things

When the world scowls

"In 1959, Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote the music for the Broadway production, The Sound of Music.  One of the most famous songs from the musical is "My Favorite Things."  Since its inception, the song has been covered by countless artists, and we're asking you to follow suit.  Give us a few of your favorite things, in whichever form you want, in 33 words exactly."

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


Once mere objects, held back to spare the environment
How you have evolved
Become markers of time, reminders of events past
You held the force that controlled light and sound
You let us see and speak, hear and listen
Then, you were spat out, your flesh consumed
You, who held the power to move gadgets, gizmos, machines and devices
Now, just monuments to consumption, symbols of usage
No longer able to provide, you are empty, spent
Oh little cylinders, dormant in your cage, filling space
What history you posses
What memories you hold
What moments were captured by your spark
100 words written for Friday Fictioneers.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Her World

This post is for Trifecta: Week Fifty-One (Anniversary Challenge). The first paragraph was written by Joules, and was the first-ever Trifecta response, one year ago. Below it, I have written 100 words. My team mate Kat will write the concluding part. 

"Charts and optimal dates and preferential temperatures. One line or two. As if she could summon whatever it is that makes up the human soul as easily as she could a cab on a busy New York avenue.

Her mind wandered back to that moment so many years ago. Despite her nervousness, she had known then that whatever the outcome, it would be all right. It was her destiny.

She opened her eyes. One line….. Gazing out of the floor to ceiling windows. Her office on the thirty third level, views across the park, the skyscrapers, the city. Today, this was her world. She had created an empire. Offices in seven countries, thirteen cities. Four hundred people. Appearances on TV, quoted regularly in the press. Success, money, recognition. Fate had been good.

She opened her eyes. Two lines…..

To see what happens next, click here:

Monday, 12 November 2012


Teenage boy
Beautiful angel
In his dreams
Desires him
She takes the lead
His rational part
The odds are split
Back in reality
He freezes
And with inaction
The chance is gone
Written for Trifextra: Week Forty-One.

Andy Rooney created something called “The 50-50-90 rule: anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.” 

Memory of Winter

Every year, I look forward to this day. Not that it’s the first cold day, or the first day where there is ice. It is, however, the day I celebrate. Usually it is a weekend. On a weekday, I’d be rushing off to school. I always hope for a bright sunny day. When I open the curtains, everything is obscured by a blanket of ice. I place my forehead and hands against the window. The warmth from my body on the smooth cold pane creates little holes, through which I see the world outside. I now know it is winter.
100 words written for Friday Fictioneers,

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Colony Colony

Eleven ships carrying animals, tools, clothing, grain and other supplies set out on an eight month voyage. The supplies are sufficient to last two years, plus the journey time. Also aboard are approximately 1,300 passengers, about two thirds of whom are convicts. The rest are officials, soldiers, the ships crews, plus a few wives and children. The destination is Port Jackson. The landing signifies the beginning of a mass transportation movement to start a prison colony. The aim is to relieve overcrowding in the jails back home. The year is 1788. It is sixteen years after the HMS Endeavour landed on the east coast of Australia.

Eleven ships carrying animals, tools, clothing, grain and other supplies set out on an eight month voyage. The supplies are sufficient to last two years, plus the journey time. Also aboard are approximately 1,300 passengers, about two thirds of whom are convicts. The rest are officials, soldiers, the ships crews, plus a few wives and children. The destination is the Gale Crater. The landing signifies the beginning of a mass transportation movement to start a prison colony. The aim is to relieve overcrowding in the jails back home.  The year is 2028. It is sixteen years after the Curiosity Rover landed on the surface of the planet Mars.
Written for Trifecta Challenge, week fifty. The word is YEAR (noun), used in the context:

Tuesday, 30 October 2012


He dresses her up and sends her out
Tells her who to sleep with
Day after day
He takes her money
She gets scraps
She is a working girl
He is a whore

Thirty three words written for Trifecta Challenge week forty nine. 
The word is WHORE, used in the context: a venal or unscrupulous person

Friday, 26 October 2012

Sixteen Years

He entered through the unlocked door. She was not home. The money they had put away together had given her this beautiful house. She had created a new life. A life with someone else, not with him. It had taken some doing, finding her. Time changes both appearance and memory. She had a new name now, but it was definitely her. Some things never change.

They had done everything together. Even when it ended, they would stick together. How wrong had he been. She got witness protection, access to the money, In return, he got sixteen years.

He was back.

100 words ritten for Friday Fictioneers using the above picture as a prompt.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Three Wishes

Three Wishes

Three Wishes

Three Wishes

For a life

Debt free, no obligations, no ties

I bet the house on Three Wishes

Paying 1000 to 1 for a win

But she came second
Written for Trifextra: Thirty-Eight

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Shades of Black

Putting the white coat on, over black T shirt and jeans, while the nurse read: “Mrs W. In ward 6 needs her dressings changed. The boy downstairs is still complaining of headaches. You’ve got the two kidney transplants in recovery. The interns are in the kids ward . They’ll need more babysitting than the kids will. Oh, and there’s a new one in the corner room. Came in overnight. Don’t have any details”, his mind wandered. Hopefully it will be a routine day, and he’d be done by noon.

But it was not to be a routine day at all he realised. It was in fact his last day at the hospital. Finally he’d be finished forever. He was not cut out to be a doctor. He hated the hospital. He hated the people who worked in it and he hated the work itself. He’d finally mustered the wherewithal to resign. The words of the hospital director still resonated. “Change your mind now or you’ll never come back.” But he felt liberated. He wasn’t changing his mind. And he certainly had no intention of coming back. He headed for the corner room.

He examined the man lying in the bed. Sound asleep. They must have given him a sedative. Hopefully, it will last at least another hour or two, he thought. Unusual that the patient was wearing the same sort of black T shirt and jeans as he was. They should have put him into hospital gear, but he didn’t care. He picked up the clipboard at the foot of the bed. Odd. The whole top section was blank. Admitting physician: Blank. Time of admission: Blank. Presenting symptoms: Blank. Blank. Blank Everything: Blank. He continued. Patient Name: Not blank. James Black. His name. DoB: it couldn’t be, could it.... Then, below, in neat script: “Time of death 09:33”.

The voice of the director echoed inside his head. “Change your mind now or you’ll never come back”. He looked at his watch. It was 9:32.
Written for Trifecta week forty seven using the word BLACK in the context:

Thursday, 11 October 2012


I was taking the four of them; my two, and the two from across the road. They were a little unit. They did everything together. There was five years between the oldest and the youngest, but they spent most of their spare time together. Like brothers they were. They had been excited about Halloween for weeks.  Jake, the youngest, didn’t quite understand. He was dressed as Robin Hood, in green tights and brown T shirt, his toy bow and arrow slung over his shoulder. He had also brought along his fluffy lion for company. Sam and Oscar both had black face paint and plastic fangs. A fake dagger protruded from a bloody wound at the side of Oscars head, while Sam had drawn stitches on his face and bare arms. Simon was in a completely different league. DEATH in person, he was a fantastic version of the grim reaper. Complete with scythe and hood, and a black cape partially covering a very realistic looking skeleton. Slightly taller than the others, there was nothing to say that underneath the costume was a thirteen year old, at that awkward boundary between childhood and adulthood. We left the house and joined the throng.

Later, I followed the boys up the stairs and through the front door. We’d had a good night. They had collected a substantial haul, and had a great time of it. Tired and exhilarated, they were eager to get home, and take stock. The three younger ones walked ahead of me, Simon lagged slightly behind. He came through the door after a few seconds, and pulled it firmly shut. He appeared much taller in his costume, and much more solid. I walked into the living room.  A shiver went down my spine, as I registered four, not three boys in the room. I scanned their faces, my heart beating faster as I took a mental roll call. Definitely Jake, Oscar, Sam and Simon. From behind me, a voice cut the silence. “It’s time”
Written for Trifecta Challenge week forty six, using the word DEATH, in this context:

"capitalized : the destroyer of life represented usually as a skeleton with a scythe"

Monday, 8 October 2012


A pedestal of roots leaves tree canopy to cover the sky.

A pedestal of roots; leaves; tree; canopy; to cover the sky.

A pedestal, of roots leaves tree, canopy to cover the sky.
Written for Trifextra week thirty six.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Class Reunion

Today, he stands at the fringe.
Then, he took center stage.
Conversation flows.
He remains silent, uneasy.
We hated him.
Feared his fists, his words.
Oh sweet irony of time.
Thirty three years.

Written for Trifecta writing challenge week forty five.
The word is UNEASY. The context

marked by lack of ease : awkward, embarrassed <gave an uneasy laugh>

Friday, 21 September 2012



“What do you mean?”

“I’ve always focused on realism. My previous sculptures were always lifelike. That’s what I am known for.”

“So why the change in style?”

“I started this as a sitting figure. My model was a young woman who worked at the gallery. She posed when it was quiet. Over time, we became lovers.”

“And she inspired you toward the abstract?”

“No, not at all. It was my wife. She discovered my infidelity, and took to the work with a sledgehammer. With only one day before the opening, this was the only way I could salvage something.”

Written for Friday Fictioneers.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


A child runs, trips, falls
Knees grazed, palms hit asphalt
A moment of silence, then tears
Blood begins to seep
Crying uncontrollably
The world collapses

With a sweeping motion
A woman scoops, lifts and holds
Uninterrupted movement, and the child
Enfolded in her ample breast
Blanketed and comforted, now calm
I am that child
Safe in mothers arms
Trifecta writing challenge week forty three. The word is ample, the context:
buxom, portly <an ample figure>

Monday, 17 September 2012


We are a circle
Inside we know. It’s our world, our life
Outside is unending, we explore, we learn, but never conquer
And the circle itself
Is the border between us and forever
Written for Trifextra week forty two

Thursday, 13 September 2012


Worst are the ones who don’t notice. They are downright dangerous. If I am lucky, they only inflict partial damage. Usually though, I have to rebuild from scratch. When they do notice, they generally leave me alone; unless they are children with sticks. Then it’s game over. They won’t stop until every element is destroyed, every thread is broken and I have exited the scene.

So you ask, “Why don’t you choose a different location, where they won’t see you, and you aren’t under constant threat.”

But a spider has to eat, and where there are humans, there are flies.
Written for Friday Fictioneers inspired by the image:
spider web

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Radical Trading

He had a gift. He could – without effort – assimilate what was going on around him, and translate it into financial outcomes. In news that others ignored, he saw price signals. A fire on the west coast meant that, in coming months, apples, or wheat, or something else would be in short supply. Adverse weather meant that electricity prices would increase. Hurricanes were good for construction companies, and bad for agriculture. Global conflict was linked to the prices of oil and gold. He had an ability to pick these linkages, and to use them to make money.

In the beginning, he used his gift as an enabler. Trading the markets meant that, with minimal effort, he could generate enough income to support himself and his comrades. The irony of the term struck him. Back then, he truly believed in the communist system and its ideals. It was the type of society he wanted to create. Trading was the way to fund his aspirations, and a way to triumph over the very system he wanted to bring down. He saw no contradiction in starting a company, and in using the system he despised to provide the resources, to allow him to pursue its downfall.

In those days, whatever he generated filled an immediate need. He did not want wealth. He wanted freedom. He wanted to change the world. Without having to worry about food, shelter and all the basics, he could spend his time changing the world. Trading allowed him to do this. He was respected as a provider, and he proudly took on the role.

Gradually it all changed. Saving the world became less relevant as he turned toward generating more and higher returns. Comrades disappeared, and clients took their place. What was once a means to an end, became an activity of itself. Back then, Radical Trading was a name he was proud of. It reflected his ideals and outlook. Today, the name of his large and very successful hedge fund, felt hollow.

Written for Trifecta Challenge week forty two. The word is radical, the context

Saturday, 8 September 2012


The last strains of sunlight
lingered in the corners,
grasping every available point
of refraction. She slid her
fingertips along the glass
wondering if this was all there
ever was. Or could be.

The last strains of sunlight
Now replaced by darkness,
blanketing inside and out
In emptiness. Still she stands
palms on the window
waiting, watching but not knowing what
ever was. Or could be.
The second verse completes Trifextra challenge for week thirty one.

Friday, 7 September 2012


Phase one is completed. Time to wait for the signal to begin phase two.

I don't miss home. I have everything I need. I know I won't be here for too long. I also know that I will not be noticed. The locals will just say I am some old hermit living in an abandoned cottage.

Little do they know that behind the rustic exterior of my temporary home is a fully functional remote battle station. One of thousands, ready, armed and waiting.

When my masters give the signal, phase two will commence, and the earth will finally be ours.
Written for Friday Fictioneers.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Infinite Bandwidth

Content, too much
Choices, too many
Life is a ticker
Streaming across the bottom of our consciousness
News, stock quotes, anything
As long as it fits into a soundbite
The cycle of data
Where gossip becomes innuendo, becomes truth
The absence of information
Matters little, when available now
In any format on any medium
Instant download, instant message
Instant gratification
Written for Trifecta Writing Challenge week forty one, using 

Sunday, 2 September 2012


In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about computers: control; alt; delete.

Written for Trifextra challenge week thirty one:

Friday, 31 August 2012


Everyone said I was lucky. They moved me into the apartment,after the second fall. They told me I’d get used to it, that I’d love it. Theysaid it was nice. Look at the view, they said. There were carers who would comeand see me every day. They would bring me food. There were lots of other people.I’d soon make new friends. There were doctors and nurses, 24 hours a day –every day. It would be great.

What did they know. The clouds change. It gets light, itgets dark. Time passes, but it’s not my home.

100 words created for Friday Fictioneers based on the picture.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Dinosaur

written for Trifecta week forty.
They said he was a dinosaur. He was out of date, past it. They moved him into a small cubicle at the end of the corridor and left him alone. The only reason they let him stay; well, he had built the plant, singlehandedly, from nothing. He was one of the first to automate all the processing, so that it could be run from a central control room. He had done that, when all other plants were run manually. Also, they liked having him around. They could measure how great they were, by comparing the way he did things, to their way. He had no time for computers, the internet and mobile phones. He did everything manually, with calculator, pen and paper. He was a visible monument to their triumph. So it was fine for them, as long as he kept to his cubicle and left them at the controls. They knew what to do. They could keep the plant running better than he could. There was no room for history.

But how wrong they were! When the cooling system blew, the electricity went and the backup generators failed – all at the same time. They were left flapping like fish out of water. They had never seen a situation like this. It wasn’t supposed to happen. It wasn’t in the manuals. No power, so no access to the online -----databases. Under the weak glow of the emergency lights, they sat in stunned silence. When he came walking out of that cubicle at the end of the corridor, his footsteps echoed in the silence. He entered the control room. Silently, they lowered their heads and moved aside, as he assumed his old position.

The word is dinosaur in the context:

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Menage a Menagerie

Trifecta Writing Challenge Trifextra week thirty.

"This weekend we want you to write a 33-word response using the name of an animal as a verb."


Rabbit away at a task
Or bear it and grin but don't ask
To bee or to fly
In the end I should try
Not to duck
Or you'll call me a goose

Thursday, 23 August 2012


Today, I watch the mist rolling off the hills. Yesterday I watched smoke machines pouring vapour across the stage. Now, I’m up at daybreak to start the day. Then daybreak signalled the time to go home. Now, clean air, sunlight and days outdoors. Then, a room full of cigarette smoke, strobe lights and darkness. My companions are birds and insects. Then I had my fans and my crew. I have silence and space, when before I had the beat and the crowd.

It would have killed me, so I left. I dream of returning. Will it kill me to stay.

Created for Friday Fictioneers, 100 words based on the picture.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


Thirty Three words written for Trifecta week thirty nine.


Of glass, of stone, of ice
Also made of gold
Warm or cold, felt or less
It can ache and burn
Be in your mouth or on your sleeve
It is your heart

The word is Heart:
personality, disposition <a cold heart>

Thursday, 16 August 2012


I returned to the village. The water had subsided. Everything was gone. The people, the livestock, the houses; all gone.
I knew what was going to happen. I knew that the skies were going to open. I knew that the land would be inundated. But when I tried to tell them, they drove me away. Called me a heretic, a madman, a prophet of doom.
I had come to save them. I had come to warn them, but they didn’t want to hear. They couldn’t listen. And in the end they made me go.
Now this is the only sign.
Photo by Lura Helms
Created for friday fictioneers. 100 words based on this picture:

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


Written for Trifecta week Thirty Eight:

I was originally going to reuse a piece (Shells, to which I unashamedly direct the reader) written a few days ago, for Friday Fictioneers (to which I also unashamedly direct the reader), however I decided that really I should write something original.

I have not written a piece like this before, so criticisms and comments are welcomed:


Home to work. A lifetime in less than an hour, and this is just one day.

Dog walking person or person walking dog. The same each day. A vertical triangle: human, lead and ground, an apex of white fur and claws. Going nowhere, going everywhere.

Pavements and alleyways. They walk side by side, man and dog. Companion, confidant and friend. All purpose, a place to start, a place to end.

Trendy cafes, the boardwalk. A dog shaped accessory, perfect accompaniment to the morning latte. Newspaper, headphones music, perfect isolation.

No dogs, just concrete and skyscrapers. A throng converging, a human conveyor belt. Funnelling into offices, shops and restaurants. Destination reached.

It is all part of my home, my city and my life. I am proud.

The word is home
b : habitat

Saturday, 11 August 2012


For the trifextra challenge:
1 word
3 uses
33 words
To celebrate the landing of Curiosity.

Mars god of war
Searching for new battlefields
Turns to the planets
If there was life on mars
He could stop for a while
But emptiness mars all hope
So his journey continues

Friday, 10 August 2012


Holding the shells in my hand I feel sad. They are beautiful, but their emptiness, makes me sad. I think about the inhabitant, now gone. Maybe some poor hermit crab will find shelter.  But it will only be transient.
I am that hermit crab. I come to the beach because I have no home. I spend my days wandering the streets looking for food, water, a place to sleep. The beach is one of the few places where I can be happy. I can forget about my dismal life. But now the beach has made me sad. Where can I go.

Created for Friday Fiction based on the picture Shells

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


Panic. The landing was perfectly on schedule. Yet the feelings welled up from his very core. Spreading from the pit of his stomach. Upwards and outwards right to the tips of his fingers and toes. The skin on the back of his neck. His hair stood on end. His mouth was dry.

The flight itself was uneventful. Started on time. No delays. Nothing unforseen to interfere with the journey. The landing was a little rough, but that was not the cause of his anxiety. The door was now open. He knew that finally he had arrived. Taking a deep breath he descended the ladder. Terror turned to elation as he uttered the words:

“That’s one small step for man........

Written for trifecta writing challenge:  incorporating the word "flight"