fire fire

(c) 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

From her small balcony, the witch watched the world go by.

Everything seemed quiet but she knew she needed to be on high alert. She relished the silence for a moment longer, but the time had come to prepare for the storm.

A raven arrived with fresh news of another sister attacked by a mob. The sisterhood had worked hard to present witches as valuable members of society. But a little boy and girl had disappeared as if by magic and who else could be behind it but a wicked witch?

‘How bad?’

fire fire

The cawed words made her shudder.

No matter what they did, history always kept repeating itself.


My ability to take a lovely picture and turn it into something dark manifests itself again for this week’s Mondays Finish the Story… Here are all stories for the witch prompt.

Memories of JP

Eiffel Tower, Paris
(c) Sonya, 2011

‘Remember Jean-Pierre?’

Camilla will use any excuse to mention JP – the crazy golf Paris section is one of the better ones. While her brats (wearing Stetsons why?) are trying to tear down the miniature Eiffel Tower, Cami loses herself in a JP memory.

‘I still haven’t seen anything sexier than Jean-Pierre lighting a ciggie.’

I have. I’m itching to tell her, sometimes. She’s right, nobody’s ever looked hotter smoking, but it’s nothing compared to JP taking his kit off.

I don’t know if my confession would ruin our friendship or fuel Cami’s fantasies.

I don’t know which would be worse.


(c) 2015, Marcy B. Ayanian

I’ve gone all rebel for MFtS this week. Here’s what is supposed to be the first sentence: “As her mount shifted uneasily under her, she grasped the brim of her old felt Stetson, gazed upwards and remembered Jean Pierre.” Find out what less rebellious writers have done with it here.

Read a Lot

cemetery, writing horror
(c) Barbara W. Beacham

The cemetery spread along the area known as Devils Abode. It had been a burial ground for as long as man had settled in these parts, but only recently had they begun burying people there again.”

‘How is it?’

Rebecca put down the manuscript. Julie had negotiated an excellent deal for the world rights of their surprise bestseller earlier and Rebecca didn’t want to put a damper to her boss’s triumphant mood.

‘Rubbish, isn’t it? I know it’s rubbish, Bec.’

‘Dry, droning, derivative drivel. Has he never heard of Pet Sematary?’

‘He hasn’t. He doesn’t read. I told him he must read. Does he listen to his literary agent sister?’


Check out what everybody else is writing for MFtS this week.

Trademark Infringement

little Luigi
(c) Barbara W. Beacham

I’ve gone a bit silly for this week’s MFtS – it probably says a lot that I couldn’t move past plumber once I read Luigi… Hope you enjoy:

The family had no idea that little Luigi would grow up to be… 

A plumber entertaining children’s parties. He hadn’t planned it, but kids loved his Super Mario Bros. rip-off uniform. Turned out having a plumber around with some kids throwing all sorts in the toilet helped, too. To him, the kids listened.

Luigi was glad none of his family knew. They’d have disapproved of the clichéd Italian accent. Hadn’t they worked hard to move beyond the stereotypes?

His career came to an abrupt end when Nintendo sent a cease and desist – no doubt alerted by one mother Luigi had turned down when she’d suggested he ‘take a look at her plumbing’.

(You’ll find more MFtS stories here.)

I wasn’t going to lie to my kids but…

(c) 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

‘I see absolutely everything. Do I have to tell you off again?’

It does the trick. They go quiet. A moment later, two sets of eyes peek out into the garden. They have their ‘I’m innocent it was his idea’ expressions on.

‘How can you see, mummy? You’re hanging up the washing.’

‘You have your back to us, too.’

They don’t know that twin toddler boys are the noisiest creatures in the world.

‘I have eyes at the back of my head and I can see through walls.’

I hate myself for the lies, but some days there’s no other way to contain them.


I’ve chosen quite a surprising angle for this week’s MFtS, given that I could easily have gone down my usual creepy route with the picture prompt. I bet you’ll find plenty of creepy stories here.


(c) Barbara W. Beacham

Where did they go?

The red bricks against green hill, the brilliant blue of the morning sky catch his attention. While he’s lost in the beauty of his surroundings, he feels content. What a good decision to come here. Life’s good.

The backpack tormenting his shoulders reminds him it isn’t. He hasn’t trekked to the middle of nowhere to admire the scenery. He chooses a spot by the ruins to make the most of the little shade it provides and pitches the tent.

He’ll prove there’s no need for an intervention. Mel will come home with Myra.

If only he knew where they went.


Written for this week’s MFtS.

DCI Malone on the Case

The team employed the use of Nightshade to get the information they wanted from their captive.

DCI Malone looks up from the statement. It’s gone past eight, no wonder she finds it difficult to concentrate. That and the witness being a pompous ass.

She needs food. And a drink.

When she walks into the Lion, Jim’s at the bar, downing a large whisky. He jumps when she throws herself onto the barstool next to him.

‘Bad day?’

Jim frowns.

‘Jonno, the usual and another one of those for Mr. Sunshine.’

Funny how she’s never noticed that Jim always smiles when they meet. Something’s up and she’s going to get on the case.

It’s a welcome distraction.


On Lynn’s request, DCI Shannon Malone is making a comeback for this week’s MFtS (and it’s completely unrelated to her previous appearance). Find out what other writers did with the picture and the opening sentence here.

The Ferocious Predator

He thought he found the perfect hiding spot.

He was clever, Raven was, much more clever than his two-legged food and cuddle dispensers. It was their fault he had to resort to ambush tactics. If only they played with him when he wanted to play. But they made those funny meows that didn’t mean anything and threw him with a boring, lifeless cat toy.

He got excited when he heard footsteps in the hall. He twitched his tail, focused on the spot where he’d attack. But the feet he was anticipating never came into view. Now he heard chuckling and funny meows.

‘Ah, Raven, you silly kitty.’

(c) Barbara W. Beacham


They are funny beasts, cats. Ours likes to hide under my writing chair and attack my heels when he thinks I don’t know he’s there. So I loved today’s MFtS prompt and I’m looking forward to reading all the cat stories (shonky mobile broadband connection permitting, that is).

Petroglyphs and Aliens

The petroglyphs told the story of an unusual event.

I came to this talk because of the speaker’s reputation as one of the world’s leading alien invasion experts. I meant to run some of my own theories by him. This petroglyph nonsense, however, is making me angry – I’d better sneak out before I heckle him.

Since I brought documentation for my hypotheses, I’m disrupting the audience more than I’d like. The speaker halts.

‘Anyone else?’ he asks. About a dozen others get up, encumbered with big files like me.

Just as the door closes, I see the next slide: ancient aliens. But the bouncer won’t let me in again.


This is my story for MFtS, a flash fiction challenge that comes with a first sentence to go with the picture prompt.

Delphine’s Flight

Delphine always wanted to pilot her father’s plane and when he forgot his keys on her tenth birthday, she knew that taking off would be easy.

Her confidence took a dent when she found she couldn’t see out the window. Then she struggled with the harness – Dad’s first rule of flying said no take-off unless you’re strapped in. Flying a plane turned out trickier than he made it look.

She cried. She wanted to prove she was Dad’s girl more than anything.

Commotion in the hangar woke her.

‘Found the birthday girl.’

Dad grinned at her, but underneath, Delphine saw worry. Would he worry unless he thought she was his daughter? She flung her arms around him and tried to forget her mother’s angry words.


Tried to cram too much into my 100 words (plus opening sentence) for MFtS this week – I hope it makes sense.