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.


The St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were over. An old drunk started singing ‘The Dying Rebel.’

‘I never would have thought those songs would be anything but historical,’ said the red-haired woman.

‘I never thought they’d put up a border posts across Ireland again,’ the man replied.

He looked at the woman. ‘We need to make America side with Europe. If they do, Britain has no choice but to concede the North.’

‘And Ireland is one,’ the woman said. ‘Everything is ready?’

‘The car with British plates is parked in the alley.’

He handed her an envelope. She pulled out a British passport. ‘Who was David Phillips?’

‘Attache at the British Embassy. Leave his papers in the car. Park outside the American Embassy at midday. You’ll have five minutes to get clear before detonation.’

‘A British attack on their embassy. Do you think the Americans will buy it?’

The drunk reached his final line: ‘God bless the cause for which I die.’


Written for ‘What Pegman Saw’, a weekly prompt based on a view from Google Maps. The idea is to write a piece of fiction of around 150 words based on the prompt. Full details can be found HERE. This week we’re off to Dublin.

This is an imagined scenario based on the very real problem that the British exit from the European Union will result in a hard border returning between Ireland and Northern Ireland, putting the still fragile peace process there at extreme risk. Just one of the many troublesome results of this ridiculous British political and economic folly. It should not be taken as a reflection of my own thoughts, sympathies or otherwise about the situation in Ireland, past or present.

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



They had been waiting for three hours in the airport terminal. The departure boards were full of yellow-highlighted rectangles reading ‘DELAYED.’ The fog looked thicker than ever out the window.

The children were climbing on the seats again.

‘Joe get down from there and let go of your sister,’ Claire said.

The kids ignored her. Pete gave a look of apology to the serious-looking woman sitting opposite them.

A loud groan grew around them. The yellow rectangles turned to red – ‘CANCELLED.’ An announcement came over the loudspeakers. Pete managed to pick out the phrase ‘return to your airline check-in desk to make alternative flight arrangements.’

There was nothing else they could do. Pete grabbed the carry-on luggage and Claire rounded up the kids. They joined the disgruntled crowd heading back to the check-in area.

The woman who had sat opposite them remained. What should she do now? The explosive belt strapped underneath her clothing gripped tightly to her sweating skin.

She had no instructions for this eventuality.

© Dawn Miller

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.


The new Buckingham Palace looked exactly like the old one had from the air. The last remnants of the construction site had almost gone, only a large fence remained, to be removed before the official opening next week.

The pilot brought the Boeing 787 Dreamliner round in another long circle over the city as he waited for clearance to land. The Mall was still closed off, Green Park and St. James’s Park remained eerily empty. This was his first flight here since the day the old palace had been destroyed.

He thought back to the large crowds that had spread out as far as he could see below him that day. They cheered and celebrated as King William had been crowned.

He remembered the flash and fireball emanating from the palace, spreading like a wave, engulfing the thousands of individual specks, before the roar of the explosion reached him through the sky. He remembered having to correct the plane as it was hit by the turbulence, minor at that distance. His was the last plane to land before the airspace was shut down. He was in the sky long enough to glimpse through the smoke and flames and see the black hole were the palace had once stood.

Next week the monarch would be able to take up residence in the centre of London again. He banked once more and began his descent into the airport.

© A Mixed Bag

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

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