The forensic investigators had gone. The security forces had abandoned the scene. Demolition signs and safety warnings adorned the perimeter fence that surrounded what was left of the museum.

I stumbled through broken piles of furniture, shattered glass and mangled steel. Rubble and dust covered everything.

They told me she may never be found. If she had been standing next to the bomber there may be no remains. They had tested all the samples they had lifted. Results were inconclusive.

My daughter was listed as missing presumed dead. I searched on through the wreckage.

My life lay in the ruins around me.

Copyright J. Hardy Carroll

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.

The scenes from Manchester are very much in my mind this week. My thoughts are with everyone involved, especially the parents and children. My apologies if this piece upsets anyone reading it.


They sat by the sea watching children play on the beach.

‘Alright?’ he put his arm around her shoulder.

The tears slowly running down her face gave him his answer.

It had taken her twenty years to return. Years of pain and guilt. She had been their teacher. They had trusted in her. She was supposed to protect them.

A school outing before the summer holiday began. A visit to the local museum for a bit of history and then a trip to the beach. It wasn’t her fault the terrorists had come that day.

The images still haunted her. They would never leave her. The panic, the terror, the fear in those young faces. The blood. The dead.

Governments fought aimless wars and encouraged segregation and hate. Religions tried to absolve themselves of blame. Terrorists continued to kill with no purpose, never furthering their cause.

She was beyond all this. She had only her memories and sorrow. She wouldn’t let them count her as their victim. She was here. She had not let them win.

This was her defiance.

Copyright The Storyteller’s Abode

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

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

Influenced by events in Manchester this week, my thoughts are with all involved, especially those children and parents affected by this devastating and abhorrent act.


Reverend Timpson looked down at the packed pews. His congregation had more than trebled in size since last week. Their fearful faces stared at him.

It had all gone smoothly to start with. The annual church play had been a retelling of the Ten Commandments.

In the final scene Rosie appeared as the burning bush, a green glow behind her.

There had been an unexpected bang as the lightbulb popped, a flash of light and flames rose round Rosie’s feet. She carried on with her lines while Bill, the stagehand, desperately crawled round her dress, trying to beat out the fire.

Awe in the audience changed to fear. Rosie let out a strangled, unearthly shriek. Cries started spreading through the audience.

‘God forgive this blasphemous theatre!’

‘Lord forgive us taking your name for entertainment!’

The curtain was brought down as the panic-stricken audience fled from the hall.

The burnt spot where the event had occurred was turned it into a shrine to mark the miracle of Thornberry Hall.

Reverend Timpson knew he should explain the truth, but business was business and the church roof was in need of repair.

‘Last Friday night we witnessed a miracle, ladies and gentlemen. The Lord sent a message to us all.’

A ripple of ‘amens’ spread through the congregation.


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.


The priest held the heavy wooden chest tightly as the carriage bumped along the path. The coachman whipped the horses, travelling at breakneck speed.

They emerged from the forest and the pace relaxed. Out from the cover of the trees, no-one would dare ambush them now. The wheels rattled as they ran over the cobbled stones onto the bridge that led into the fort.

Just as the priest began to relax there was a jolt, an anguished cry from the horses, and the coach slammed into the side of the bridge before coming to a halt. Still clinging to the chest, the priest looked up.

‘Good evening to you, Father.’ The man wearing a hood said. ‘I don’t think the congregation will be happy that their hard earned offerings are going straight into the Sheriff’s coffers, do you?’

The priest gulped. The man took the chest from him.

‘You can tell the Sheriff that it was his old friend, Locksley of the Hood.’

With that he was gone and there was only silence on the bridge.

© Joy Pixley

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story, in around 150 words based on the weekly photo prompt. For more information visit HERE.

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