ANTS - 100 word fiction


“What do they look like to you?”
“Ants,” Jin said instantly.
“That’s the standard answer,” the examiner replied, “You’ll have to do better if you want to be allowed to land on this planet.”
Jin tried again. “A migrating herd.”
“They’re not migrating – they’re not actually going anywhere.”
“But they are animals and there’s a lot of them.”
The examiner sighed. “I’m looking for a much simpler word. Look at them again and what’s your gut reaction?”
Jin realised she was trying to help him and the penny dropped. “Food.”
“Finally!” she smiled. “Pack your weapon and let’s go.”

Thanks again to  http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  for the photo that prompted this story, which I wrote in a tearing hurry because I should be packing!
We are off the England tomorrow for two weeks to help my mother celebrate her 90th birthday and to catch up with children and grandchildren. Fortunately my daughter here will water the garden, because the little rain we've had isn't enough.



This is the official crest of the Royal British Legion, of which there are branches all over the world - even here in the Canary Islands. The actual branch is in Tenerife  and we have less than 20 members, but our Welfare Officers cover the entire archipelago. They have occasionally had to fly to other islands to assist an ex-serviceman or -woman in difficulties.

The Royal British Legion is a charity that exists solely to aid British ex-Servicemen and their dependants, and the poppy is sold in memory of the poppies that sprang up after WW1 on the devastated ground over which so many thousands of young lives had been lost. BUT it is important to remember that the RBL caters for ALL ex-service personnel, not just WW veterans - there are still men and women being injured and killed today, and they or their dependants need our help.

This year 2014 is the Centenary Year of which much has been made on the media, but for anyone who doesn't know what it's all about by now - 1914 was the start of the Great War, which subsequently became known as World War One. It was billed then as "The war to end all wars" - would that this were true!

My husband Don has been Chairman of the Tenerife branch of the Royal British Legion for the past twelve years but is now about to hand over the reins to some (slightly) younger hands. It is fitting that Don's last act as Chairman was to oversee the 2014 Poppy Appeal in which we hope - fairly confidently - that we have again won the Noel Rogers Trophy for the branch which raises the most money per member. Last year we raised around eleven thousand euros - yes, you read that right - 11,000+ euros!

I took the following photographs at our Remembrance Service which was attended by around 450 people, including the British Vice-Consul Helen Keating, a representative of the Tenerife Government, Jesus Morales Martinez, many ex-servicemen living out their retirement in the sun, some who fly out specially each year to join us, and hundreds of people of many nationalities including British, Spanish, Belgian, French and German.
You had to arrive early to get a seat

An ex-Royal Marine conducted the service

I read the Act of Commitment in Spanish

Isn't this a beautiful setting? Westhaven Bay holiday complex in Costa del Silencio, Tenerife. The Belgian owners make us welcome every year in memory of the help given to their country by Britain in WW2.

The Last Post and Reveille still give me goosebumps!

Having no Cenotaph, we cast a wreath on the waters in memory of those lost at sea.

Helen Keating, British Vice-Consul, with a group of Marines
A lovely surprise - the local Spanish under-16s Rugby Team turned up!

Duncan wasn't the only Scot but his was the only kilt.

Jesus Morales of the Tenerife Cabildo, Helen Keating, Vice-Consul, Paul Grey, RBL Vice-Chariman, and Don Young, RBL Chairman, standing beneath a Standard 'liberated' from Gibralter, which we all thought was too good a photo opportunity to miss!
Meanwhile back in England my younger grandson Leo carried his Cub Group Standard in procession through the village. There is hope for the future if the youngsters are taught what the results of war really are.


BROTHERS - a 100 word story


Jake could beat Billy every time in a fist fight, but Billy was smarter and was always talking Jake into trouble. Once Jake came in from the woods covered in dirt, crying, “Billy made me dig a tunnel but it collapsed and I got buried.” Billy just shrugged.

Years passed and Billy’s saloon parked beside Jake’s truck proved Billy had the better job, but the brothers still got drunk together after work. 
Until one night Jake staggered home alone.
“Where’s my Billy?” Mam shrieked.
Jake just shrugged. “We were drinking in the quarry and a heap collapsed – Billy got buried.”

Word count = 100

Thanks to http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  for this week's photo prompt. My first thought was to write about a race but then this darker idea took over. I hope you like it - and please leave a comment to prove you've read it!



The cycling tourists have landed, with their skintight team outfits and paper-thin wheels, and we residents groan.
In our view they should be handed a leaflet at the airport informing them in no uncertain terms about the rules of the road and how to be courteous to drivers and pedestrians. It would also help if the policia fined a few of them for their misbehaviour.

For drivers, the solo cyclist breaking the speed-limit in a personal challenge isn't a problem - it's the teams which spread out to cover the same area as an articulated lorry and trundle along at 20kph, chatting as they go and swapping places indiscriminately. They clearly don't give a damn about other road users or any pedestrians at the side of our pavement-less roads.

They leave their homelands in the Frozen North and come for the Tenerife weather, which is understandable, although we have never seen them wearing this little - at least, not yet. Anyone undressed like this could end up with sunburn in some very delicate places!

They also come from flat countries such as Holland to practise 'el bici' on mountain roads such as ours - and you have to admire their stoical masochism -

 but when you meet that same lone rider hogging the centre line at walking pace, after you've already shifted down to second gear, you can be stuck behind him* for hours. There are few passing spaces on roads carved out of a mountain.

*Sorry, but it's always a man.

They also fly in from foreign parts for views such as these, and who can blame them for that? Mount Teide is beautiful.

So if you come to Tenerife to ride a bicycle, please remember we live here. And check your brakes - our mountain is the highest in Spanish territories, and the roads are steep!

Please leave a comment, but I am already aware of the typo in the link - I could find no way to change it once posted! 


THREE LITTLE INDIANS - a 100 word story


We didn’t have Facebook when we were young, we wrote letters, and we arranged our annual reunion by telephone. Gradually our numbers dwindled until there were only three of us – me, Jan and Betsy.

This year I arrived first and ordered our champagne, but when Jan arrived she was alone.
“Lunch for two,” she told the waiter, “But you can pour champagne for three.”
It was obvious he thought we were just two crazy old women as we toasted the empty chair, and then we proved him right by flinging Betsy’s glass at the wall.

Shame about the window.

Thanks again to Rochelle for the photo prompt which sends about a hundred writers across the world into a Flash Fiction Frenzy.
Read the others by following the blue froggy link on her blog.



It's been hot week on The Rock with temperatures up in the 30s - just when we thought it was safe to turn off the fans and get out the blankets!
Unfortunately the heat also tempted people to take risks in the sea, and an elderly man became the eighth drowning victim of the season.

On Saturday morning the sunrise was gin-clear and the Tenerife branch of the Royal British Legion's Poppy Launch party was hot hot hot.
We raised 375 euros with our efforts, so it was, as they say, worth the sweat!

but this morning there is cloud and a hint - not a promise, mind you, just a hint - of rain to come.

Many locals would welcome it - looking at these cat-tail grasses and succulents releasing their feathery seeds into the atmosphere, it's no wonder we're all sneezing!

And of course, Hallowe'en is almost upon us. It took me aback to stumble upon this sight in a Chinese emporium in Las Galletas - a nasty reminder of the dreadful murder in a similar shop a couple of years ago.

I bought a witch's cloak - much more suitable at my age - and a huge bag of sweets for the trick-or-treaters.
 Happy Hallowe'en!


BUFFALO - 100 word fiction

We have a busy couple of weeks ahead of us - my OH has been Chairman of the Royal British Legion Tenerife Branch for the past twelve years but is retiring this year. Before then he hopes that our members - all 17 of us - will win the Noel Rogers Trophy for the most Poppy Appeal money collected per capita. We have won it seven times in a row - last year we raised over €11,000. - and other branches haven't even come close!
So, with the Official Launch this Saturday, poppies to distribute, collecting boxes to round up, the Remembrance Service to organise, and the AGM to attend, the OH is a bit stressed, and my writing has had to take a back seat.
Therefore I wrote this week's 100 word story in a coffee break half-way through shopping for groceries. Thanks as always to Rochelle for the photo prompt.


Each photograph identified a building on the skyline but Buffalo ignored them. He climbed over the barrier to the beach where, with wavelets lapping his boots, he could open his memories.

Instead of buildings, trees and totem poles scraped the sky; tendrils of smoke pinpointed his village and their nearest neighbours a mile away; kayaks bobbed on the lake and water-birds soared.

Then a siren burst his dream and a patrolman said, “No-one’s allowed down there – go home.”
“I fished this lake before you were born,” Buffalo said, but he went.

Overnight all the photographs were obliterated by tribal symbols.

Please leave a comment - I promise to anwer them all!