Balsa Wood

Balsa wood doesn’t rot

Does it not?

Apparently not.

How much have you got?

How much of what?

Balsa wood (that doesn’t rot).

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“The album’s on hold. I’ve downsized,” he would tell people. “You’ve been kicked out,” they would hear. “We grew apart, went our separate ways,” he would continue. “You cheated on your wife, she found out, took the kids and rinsed you for everything you had,” they would interpret.

Frank took a deep breath and moved to the kitchen.
“Vacuum the house, wash the sheets, pay the water bills.” His mind was a muddle of chores. “But first,” he thought aloud, “tea.”
As he stirred the brew he recited his list.
“Pay the sheets, water the spare room, tidy the oven.”


This week I’ve attempted to rewrite an extract from a story I’ve been (trying) to write over the last year. The story of down and out, Frank – a failed musician, trying to get his life back on track. Whilst I have a synopsis, characters and a plan, I’ve not made much progress. I really ought to change that.

The photograph reminded me of the sort of space Frank had been left with.

So I hope you’ll indulge me a little – besides, it was fun (as well as a good exercise) trying to edit this paragraph or two down to 100 words.

This piece was submitted as part of Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. 1 photograph. 100 words. Follow the link and give it a try yourself!

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Pretty. Vacant.

“Yeah, eBay, but who ever sends stuff back to eBay? It’s such a faff, you know? I mean it doesn’t matter really, it’s still the same dress I wanted just a bit, well, smaller.”

Her words bounced off his face like piss splashing against a urinal.
He nodded.

“I’ll just wear it. It’ll be fine. I’ll just skip breakfast this week.” She thought for a moment. You could always tell when she was thinking. The rest of her body appeared to shut down, as all resources were sent to the brain.

Her eyes glazed over.
He nodded.

“I’ll probably have to skip lunch as well, thinking about it,” she snorted. “How hilarious,” she said.

“Hilarious,” he replied.

The week came and went.
The party happened.
The dress was worn.

“Oh god, I can’t believe you weren’t there, you’d have loved it. Like, totally loved it. The dress I got from eBay – remember? Well, I wore that and I looked stunning, I mean really bloody stunning. I couldn’t eat anything at the party of course, but who eats at parties, right?”

He’d seen the upstairs kitchen was clear before he’d gone to fill his mug.
He’d neglected to lock the door.

He nodded.

“Right. So I was knocking back the vodka shots, yeah, and I dropped my bag. I tried to pick it up but I couldn’t move. Like, literally all I could do was move my arms like this,” she flailed her arms in awkward circles. He leaned to his right, feigning the sort of smile you reserve for the unwrapping of particularly shit Christmas socks.

“There was no way I could reach it. So this guy, Andy I think his name was,” her body shut down again, “or was it Aaron? Or Alan? Or Andrew? No. I’ve got it. It was Steve. This guy Steve, he comes over and picks up my bag. Hilarious.”

“Hilarious,” he agreed.

“and that’s when I realised I needed a wee,” she said, leaning forward so he could smell the two day old vodka and kebab on her skin masked only by the dowsing of Chanel number four and a half.

“I was busting. I ran to the loo – I say ran, it’s a bit difficult to run in a size 6 dress when you’re a size 12, not to mention the heels I had on! So I’m standing in the bathroom of this house right, and I swear the dress has got smaller, yeah? I dunno if it was where the sweat had shrunk it, or if it was because it had been stored in a cold wardrobe the week before, or what, but I just couldn’t get it up to pee.” She paused for breath.

He stopped washing his mug.

“And?” He asked.

“Well,” she began, “I said I was busting, yeah?”

He nodded.

“I just couldn’t hold it in,” she said. “I was stood in the bathroom with wee coming down my legs and all over the guy’s carpet, with a dress that was cutting off the circulation to my tits. There was nothing I could do. I mean, I tried to kick the puddle away a bit, but that just started messing up my shoes.”

“When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go,” he offered.

She snorted. “See,” she said, “I knew you’d get it. You’re so hilarious.”

“Hilarious,” he nodded.


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My Lollipop

-This lollipop tastes funny.
That’s nice dear. What lollipop?

-This one.
But I didn’t give you a…

-I found it.

Where is here?

-If you look at me, you’d see.
You got it from the floor?


-I was hungry.
If you’re hungry, then you ask mummy or daddy for something.

-I did. But then I found a lollipop.
I don’t think you did.

-But it’s on a stick?
It is. But I don’t think it’s a lollipop, Sweetie.

-What is it then?
That’s a good question. Could you give it to mummy?

-No. It’s my lollipop.

This piece was submitted as part of Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. 1 photograph. 100 words. Often with over 100 people taking part.


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Captain Boris Picklefox

The sirens wailed.

“Thirty seconds until self destruct.”

Captain Boris Picklefox stared, wide-eyed, at the blinking console.
He knew that he knew which button to press in precisely this situation; he’d been shown at the start of his first week in charge of the Galactic Cruiser and every second Wednesday since.

He extended an arm and hovered his hand over the buttons, sweeping from left to right, hoping his fingers would work in much the same way as a dowsing rod.


“Ten seconds until self destruct.”

Captain Boris Picklefox closed his eyes, licked his lips and made his choice.

This piece was submitted as part of Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. 1 photograph. 100 words. Often with over 100 people taking part.


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