99-word story – Serendipity

“Sir, we’ve analysed the results of the Serendipity Stick.”
“Well, what have you found out about this couple?”
“Well, the stick says that their meeting and falling for each other was approximately 80% fate, 10% chance, 5% inevitability, 3% drunken luck, and 2% for…”
“For what?”
“2% for the moon, sir. Apparently it’s in waxing crescent phase. That always implies new growth.”
“New growth?”
“That’s right, sir. New growth. It’s all the rage.”
“Is that so? I have a somewhat simpler explanation. None of your scientific mumbo-jumbo.”
(snaps stick and hits the other man with it)
“It’s love, dumbass.”


May each of you be hit with the serendipity stick 🙂



Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/dragonoak/5892635331

99-word story – The Desert

I stumbled on through the desert, so close I could taste it, feel its nectar sliding down my parched throat. Days wandering dusty wastes, every breath clogged with abrasive sand, would soon pay off. One more forsaken hill, one more desolate dune… It was relentless. Ever-shifting, numbingly monotonous, beneath an unforgiving sun.

One more dune to go… Too far. I collapsed from exhaustion, rolling without resistance to the base, my world tumbling with it. I cried salt tears, utterly broken. Defeated.

Then, lying there in the dust, I finally found what I’d really been searching for all along.




Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/colfrankland/8369256554

Written for: https://carrotranch.com/2016/07/21/july-20-flash-fiction-challenge/ on the theme “surprise in a desert”

99-word story – The Farmhouse #2

Note from AL – I started this as a one-off 99-word story a few weeks ago – https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/99-word-story-the-farmhouse/ -, but some people were interested in hearing more, so this is a continuation. Each installment, if there is further interest, will be exactly 99 words 🙂

Georgie Goodman slumped before the mirror, sobbing. She’d gone to such an effort this evening, not that her good-for-nothing husband had even noticed. She’d tried, really tried, to re-connect with him. He’d been so distant these past few months, his mind always elsewhere, not even wanting to share a bed with her, and when he did he just stared at the bloody wall.

Mascara streaked, in heavy black tears. She tore off some cotton wool to clean herself up, wiping away the make-up.

“What was that?!”

The wall rumbled deep, and removed its make-up too. There was a door…



99-word story – The Train

The train slowed from an imperceptible crawl to a palpable stop. “Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of East Midlands trains I’d like to apologise for the delay.

“Unfortunately, the driver has lapsed into a deep malaise… Is there perhaps a poet on the train?”

I leapt to attention.

“If I may be so bold as to show it,
I am, indeed, sir, a poet!”

Everyone in the carriage burst into a spontaneous, enthusiastic and prolonged round of applause. An old couple started dancing in the aisle. A middle-aged mother swooned. An angry man wept into his tattoos…

One day…




Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/12287146


99-word story – Christmas Dinner

I know it’s the middle of summer, but this is a mix of two prompts from my friends Meg (“Plonker!”) and Judy (“knickers!”)… the story itself is true enough!

Family Christmas dinners were awful… So dull. So polite. All please and thank yous, with the same routines every year.

In the kitchen, the turkey wasn’t quite cooked, and Millie was getting tense, despite (because of) Peter’s attempts to help. “No! You… Plonker!”

In the living room, Ella raised an eyebrow. This was most unusual!

Something could be heard falling, clattering from the hob.

“Oh… Knickers!”

Two eyebrows.

As dinner was served, Millie spilled red wine on the carpet.

“Oh… SHIT! “

Ella’s face didn’t move a muscle, but inside she rofld, she danced, she cheered.

Best. Christmas. Ever.



99 word story – Zombie Forks 2

Luke flailed wildly against the fresh zombie. Weakened by hunger, he didn’t even have a weapon this time. Heart thumping, he backed up, heading for the kitchen – searching for a knife, anything… nothing. No knife block. Cutlery drawer?

He grabbed the first metallic item and swung, eyes closed, at the zombie’s head. It speared in through its ear. The zombie dropped to the floor, inanimate again.

Steve burst into the room with his club. “You ok?” He took one look at the scene and burst out laughing. “Use the forks, Luke!”

Luke dropped to his knees, sobbing, utterly drained.


This is the second one today from my friend Sandra’s “zombie – fork” prompt 🙂 Apologies to all the nice Steves out there. A couple of them have done you a real disservice!



Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/albercik/3066168639

99 word story – Zombie Forks 1

“Do you know what I hate about zombies? Obviously, apart from the whole undead-risen-eating-my-friends thing?” Steve was in full flow, playing to the crowd (of one).
Not again. Faith sighed, eyes on the road. If I ignore him, will he shut up?
“No manners. No pretty please or thank yous. They never wait in line. They don’t even use knives and forks, let alone napkins!”
Faith lined up the approaching zombie in her sights, whispered “Excuse me!”, and splattered its brains across the asphalt. She didn’t know what was worse.
An eternity of this, or another day with him.
Written for my friend Sandra, who sort of prompted me to write using the prompts “zombie” and “fork”… I actually wrote two! So, if anyone else has some burning idea for a story or a prompt, feel free to lob them at this chimp like a banana!
Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/cipion/14919716673

99-word story – Human Needs

Things have been tough since we arrived, but my people try not to make a fuss. I think that’s why we fit in so well, despite the green skin. And second heads.

There have been some… misunderstandings… along the way. Apparently your dogs are not snack food. We learnt that lesson the hard way. Now, we keep our hungers hidden.

Its’s the least we could do, after you took us in; gave us shelter.

But you really have no idea how delicious you taste…

I’m not asking for forgiveness.

All I’m asking is that you respect my human needs.



Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/jdhancock/3653177703

Written for https://carrotranch.com/2016/06/29/june-29-flash-fiction-challenge/, on the prompt of “human needs”. I twisted the prompt a little 🙂

Inside My Head – 99-word story

“Have you noticed something about all of your stories?”

“Eh, who said that?”

“I did. Well, you did really, seeing as I’m the voice of your inner head.”

“My inner head?”

“Yeah, the inner one. The one that comes up with the good stuff. The one that ignores the cat videos, and memes about Game of Thrones.”

“But I like-”

“I know you do. I’m you, dumbass.”


“So… have you noticed something about your stories?”

“You mean like how they’re all wonderful flights of imagination and fancy?”

“Inner head lies. Sorry. I meant, how they lack dialogue.”




Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/c_r_i_s/14986197789

99-word story – Rush

It had started with the small stuff, little baggies tightly wrapped to give you a taste. They’re just the gateway to the hard stuff, where your miserable dealer ramps up the price because they know you’ll do just about anything for your fix.

You feel the call, the throb, imagining the sickly-sweet touch on the tongue, the rush as it hits that sweet spot, the emptiness as all other thoughts leave your head, and there’s nothing but the tide roaring through you…

Mike snuck down the alleyway, tearing the wrapper off the dark chocolate bar. He had a problem…


Postscript – I wrote this story yesterday. Today, in my news feed on FB, this story came up. Truth and fiction, eh? http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/can-you-really-get-high-snorting-chocolate