The pink blossom signalled the arrival of spring. The temperature turned to a pleasant warmth. The skies were blue, the air was fresh. The sense of a new beginning, a fresh start. Optimism and positivity.

Every year the same. The cold, harsh winter left behind. Neighbours emerged from their cocooned houses, smiling and waving. Children appeared in the street again, the sound of their laughter filling the day.

Something felt different this year though.

Beneath the spring blossom the rusting wheelbarrow sat. Left out all winter in the rain and snow, forgotten and damaged. The garden, neglected for months, was overgrown and tired. The climbing plant had covered the old stone ornament, causing it to break and crumble. The veneer of the joyous British garden lay exposed and corrupt.

Elsewhere in the world bombs fell. Children were killed in the streets, their laughter replaced by screams and tears. Turmoil and ineffectual leaders dominated the political landscape. The politicians in chaos and crippled by weak leadership.

A stiff breeze blew through the garden. The pink blossom fell from the tree, adding to the debris on the ground.

Copyright John Brand

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Al Forbes. For more details visit HERE.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

This month I am participating in the A TO Z CHALLENGE 2017 – a post each day based on the letters of the alphabet and theme. Find out more about it HERE. As this challenge will take up a lot of my blogging time I may not get round to commenting on everyone’s posts, but I hope to find time to read all your stories as usual, and still be able to participate in Sunday Photo Fiction each week.


The temperature in Bergen was a couple of degrees colder than Oslo, and situated on the west coast of Norway it was exposed to a biting wind blowing in from the Norwegian Sea. Sand stepped out of the airport terminal building and walked over to the man leaning against the car.

‘Bakke?’ Sand asked.

Bakke nodded. He was wrapped in a parka and hat pulled down low over his forehead. He looked at Sand, wearing his thin windcheater. ‘Never been to Bergen before, Sand?’

‘First time.’

They got into the car and drove round the one way system to get out of the airport and were soon on the highway, leaving the coast behind them.

‘You think your man Dag Moen is here in Bergen?’ Bakke asked as they crossed the bridge that straddled the fjord.

‘A hunch,’ Sand answered. ‘If I wanted to find out about a case from twenty years ago, who would I ask?’

Bakke laughed. ‘There aren’t many detectives left from that long ago. You’ll have to ask the Squirrel.’

‘The Squirrel?’ Sand repeated.

‘I’ll take you there first.’

Half an hour later they parked at Bergen‘s main police station. Bakke led Sand down to the basement. In the corner of a large, dark storage room was a small cubbyhole office. It was occupied by an elderly man, bald with thick glasses and a hearing aid.

‘Herb Ekorn, this is Anders Sand. Sand, meet The Squirrel, the keeper of our archives and old cases. If you need information, Herb here is the one who will have squirreled it away somewhere in here.’

‘What do you want to know?’ Ekorn asked, peering at Sand. Continue reading “S IS FOR SQUIRREL”


Sand sat at his desk. Three days had passed since the televised press conference. Dag Moen had disappeared. He hadn’t surfaced or shown himself, he hadn’t messaged or threatened. He had simply vanished.

After the plea for the public’s help, the police had been inundated with reported sightings, leads and information. A special unit of officers was set up to sift through the hundreds of calls. One by one they were ruled out or dismissed. Not one of them turned out to be a solid, usable lead.

Brit Moen and Gerd Bøe had been released, they had nothing to hold them on and no more to learn from them.

Gabi had been discharged from hospital the previous day after a couple of nights under observation. She wanted to return to work straight away. Pedersen refused to let her. She had agreed to take the rest of the week off before being allowed to come back for desk duty only.

Sand leaned back. He had poured over the reports from the old Eckberg file, from Dahlia Solberg’s murder and even the case files on Bjarne the dead cat. He knew them all back to front and off by heart. There was no clue as to where Moen could have gone to ground. No hint at what he would do next in order to get to Sand, his ultimate aim. Continue reading “R IS FOR RING”


‘The Ace of Spades is death. What does the Queen of Spades represent then?’ Pedersen asked. He was driving Sand back to Oslo. They were following the ambulance that was carrying Gabi. She had suffered a bullet wound to her shoulder but it was a clean wound, straight through. There would be some physio to rebuild muscle but no lasting damage.

Sand was using his smartphone. ‘According to this the Queen of Spades is considered to be a sign of high intelligence. It is representative of a practical, logical and intellectual judgement. It constitutes someone who makes plans ahead of time.’

‘So Moen sees himself as the Queen of Spades?’ The playing cards that Dag Moen had left with Sand sat on the dashboard of the car.

‘He told me everything was part of his plan. He certainly thinks he is smarter than we are.’

‘So far he has been. What do we do next?’

‘It’s time we stopped waiting and reacting to him. We need to upset his plan. We need to get out in front of his next move.’

‘How do we do that?’

‘By prodding him with the only thing he has ever cared about.’ Continue reading “Q IS FOR QUEEN”


Agnes pulled off her heels and rubbed her aching feet. Should’ve gone for the flats. All evening traipsing round the Museum of Art at the new exhibition entitled ‘Interactive Art’.

Archie struggled in the door with the massive canvas he had purchased. He came through the door sideways, carefully maneuvering round the corner. He took a confident step forward to grandly show off the abstract work.

His foot tripped over Agnes’ discarded shoes. Archie stumbled forward, teetered for a moment, then plunged headfirst towards the fireplace.

Agnes looked at Archie’s head sticking through the canvas.

‘Interactive Art, right enough,’ she said.

Copyright Magaly Guerrero

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

This month I am taking part in the A to Z Challenge 2017 – a post each day based on the letters of the alphabet and a theme. You can visit my A TO Z CHALLENGE 2017 page here to read the story.

As this challenge will take up a lot of my blogging time I may not get round to commenting on everyone’s posts, but I hope to find time to read all your stories as usual, and still be able to participate in Friday Fictioneers each week.