Short story, Uncategorized, wordpress 101


via Daily Prompt: Yarn

My dad could tell a good yarn. He would sit at the back of church and tell stories to make people laugh as they arrived for mass. He would also tell stories to the little people to keep them entertained.

To spin a good yarn means that the story is not all that truthful.  A story that entertains but is not necessarily based on fact.  It leaves the listener asking “really?” Like I said my Dad could spin such a good yarn that people did believe what he said. With the added factor of a bit of gossip mixed in. People were not sure what was the truth and what was not.


Short story, wordpress 101

Close Encounter

WordPress challenge 101, Day Fifteen: Your Voice Will Find You

You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it. For your twist, read your piece aloud, multiple times. Hone that voice of yours!



“Well that just isn’t fair!” Daniella exploded, as she moved closer to the stage. The council seemed pleased, that they were out of reach of this seemingly deranged woman.

“It is just a fact of life. my dear. We have to take advantage of every opportunity in these difficult times.”  The matronly woman tried to placate her, but clearly the expression “my dear” had just added fuel to the fire.

Up went Daniella onto the stage, climbing as if she were a twenty year old rather than the forty-three evidenced on her birth certificate.  There was the scraping of chair legs moving back, as the panel sought safety from the assailant.

Daniella made a beeline for Mr Bridges. Leader of the council. He was a bloated individual in his seventies, and he looked clearly shaken by her arrival in front of his nose.


“This is an absolute outrage” Daniella continued. “The scouts have had access to this village hall for the last fifty years. Who are you to say, out of the blue, that they can no longer use it?”

She was within touching distance of his nose, as she leaned forward hands on hips. He could feel her breath.


He pushed his hands on the arms of his chair and stood up, which forced Daniella to move slightly back.

“I know this sounds harsh, but we really have no other option. In order to make money for the council the Village Hall is to be rented out to the stage school for the next six months.  It will be in use day and evening and will bring in important revenue.”  He was towering above her as he looked down.

“Now, if you would just mind leaving the stage”. He sighed patiently and gestured to the left. “I am sure there are other’s in the audience with questions to ask”.  Moving to one side he addressed the public below.

Daniella wheeled on the man. She grabbed him by his lapels and kneed him hard in the groin.  He crumpled to the floor quickly, in obvious agony.

There was a gasp. Then a roar and then the room seemed to move forward as one body towards the stage. Some went to grasp Daniella, others made a beeline for Mr Bridges as he lay moaning on the floor.


Her friend managed to get to Daniella first and pulled her roughly to one side.  “What on earth possessed you to do that?!  He will now prosecute you for assault I’m sure”. She shook her head incredulously. “ The scouts will just have to find another place to do their club nights.”

She stopped her ramblings and then looked closely at her friend. Daniella was limp and pale and trembling. Not the usual response you would expect, after kicking the leader of the council in the balls!.

“What’s wrong?  Did something else happen up there that we didn’t see?”

“It was him.” Daniella’s words, barely audible, escaped from her dry lips. “It was him.”

“Who, …..what ……? For goodness sake Danny, what on earth are you talking about?”

Daniella spoke slowly and deliberately staring out into space.  “At the back of the gym, when I was nine.” She breathed hard.  “He put his hands down my knickers and then told me not to tell anyone or else my mum would die.”  She paused.

“ I remembered that same stale smell of sweat, that I’ve been trying to forget for years.”


Short story, wordpress 101

Caught in the act

Writing 101, Day Twelve: (Virtual) Dark Clouds on the Horizon

Today, write a post with roots in a real-world conversation. For a twist, include foreshadowing.



“You mean she actually caught them, in the act?”

“Yep, right there under the sheets on their bed. She’d only changed them that morning”. The woman added.

“What on earth did she do” The first woman asked incredulously

“What could she do, she lost it completely.  She was screaming, shouting. She really threw a wobbly”. The dark haired woman was now gleeful in her story.

The listening blond woman gazed open-eyed at her friend. “Did she do anything to the woman?”

“Apparently she managed to pull the sheet off, leaving her totally naked in the bed. Then she threw the water from a flower vase all over her”,

“What was he doing at the time?” enquired blondie.

“He had leapt out of bed and was trying to stop his wife doing anything else.”

The question hung in the air for a while “Was he still naked too?”

“Oh yes, and he received the bunch of roses right where it hurts!”

They were both giggling conspiratorially now.  But aware their conversation might have been overheard, they looked up.


“Is there something I can help you with ladies?  If not, please get on with your work.”

Their boss moved quickly passed them. He of course had heard every word.


As he moved away their laughter burst forth behind him.

Trying to retain some semblance of dignity, he could do nothing but to continue to walk gingerly away.

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Letter of life

Writing 101 Daily challenge, Day Fourteen: To Whom It May Concern

Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What jumps out at you? Start there, and try a twist: write in the form of a letter.



Dear Mr WordPress

I am writing in response to your request to pick up the nearest book, flip to page twenty nine and react to what jumped out. The line that leaped out at me was “The aim of life is self-development”.

It is my experience that this kind of phrase is voiced at times of, or following, extraordinary personal crisis. Whatever is happening to you, it is important to take a moment to take stock and see how this changes your future.  After a period of adjustment many extraordinary and influential individuals have come to the same opinion.  What point is life unless you take it by the shoulders and give it a good shake. There is no point on dwelling about things in the past, there is so much of life in the future to discover and learn about.

Life can be extremely short, but sometimes those short lives can have a major  impact on other people’s lives in the wider world.  I am not talking about celebrities in this regard, I am talking about normal people in the world. For example: the young girl with an incurable disease, raising awareness for research even though it will have little impact on her prognosis. But during the process she meets celebrities and goes on trips and to places that she could only dream of before. She is totally living her life to the full.

Then there is the doctor who is dying of cancer. She finds it very important to share her experiences of care and as a consequence has had a great impact on how care staff introduce themselves. At the same time she finds herself speaking at conferences and on radio and TV. These are things that again, she would never have dreamed of having the opportunity to do, but she is grabbing by both hands and living her life.

Soldiers, who return from war without limbs and who have initially had extreme difficulty coming to terms with the loss. But then they learn to use their new artificial limbs and find that they can have a different life now. Then they find themselves on trips with British royalty doing treks in wild places.  Even with their own limbs they had never anticipated doing such extraordinary things. Their adversity has led them to another life.


Life is for learning and living. We develop as people as a consequence of what life throws at us. Let us not let life defeat us. Let life make us grow.


I am not sure if this was the letter you were expecting. I am very interested to read what the other life learners have sent in response.


With kind regards


Helen Young



The picture of Dorian Gray. p29 of The complete Works of Oscar Wilde Magpie Books 1993


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Rug in front of the fire

Writing 101, Day Eleven: Size Matters

Today, tell us about the home you lived in when you were twelve. For your twist, pay attention to — and vary — your sentence lengths.


Rug in front of the fire


The council house. Yes, that is where I was. Salford, Manchester aged twelve.

As council houses go it was quite nice, I think. But of course being that age I had really nothing else to compare it too. Saying that, I did go to friends’ houses sometimes, but they all seemed to have living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, what else was I supposed to notice? Not all of them were council houses though. But it did not seem to matter or enter my brain back then that it might.

The thing that does stick in my mind though, is the rug in front of the fire. We used to have a coal fire when I was younger. My dad would load it up every morning before work and then we would benefit at night. I would sit or lie in front of it, burning my legs. Sometimes coals would leap out at me or miss and end up on the rug. My mother would go mad.

Then the council workmen came and changed it to a gas fire. The rug in front changed colour; texture and size frequently as my mother desired.  But there was always a rug in front of the fire.

The reason why I remember the rug is that I spent a lot of time there. On my tummy, watching TV, or playing with the house tortoise. Yes, I did say tortoise. Tommy arrived when I was seven because my sister’s guinea pig had killed mine. My dad was being kind, buying this unusual ancient creature for me. Tommy has outlived my dad.  We have had him for almost forty-six years. He is the longest pet I have ever known anyone have. I am certain he will outlive my mother and then he will come to live with me.

Aged twelve, we were still playing on the street, cricket or rounders. The estate was still quiet enough to do that even though we lived on a through road. Not everyone had a car back then.  We would set up our gear in the middle of the street and we would play. It used to annoy some of the neighbours with our shouting and balls ending up in their gardens. In hindsight, it was really only harmless fun. I had lots of friends in the adjoining streets who went to the same school. So there was always somebody to play with. It was quite a community. My mum knew everyone and it took ages to get to the shop sometimes, as everyone would stop to chat.

I go back often. I was actually born in the upstairs front room. My mum is still there in the council house. There is still a rug in front of the fire.



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It is only recently that I have been receiving and giving comments on blog posts.  As a person who has commented on others posts, especially via wordpress101 daily challenge.  I believe I have tried to be constructive, but to offer an opinion that makes the writer think then next time they write.  I have learned a great deal from reading other’s work in this blogesphere.  It has affected me so much I have created this new blog space to write about other things rather than just midwifery.

As a person now receiving comments, well there is something else. I of course like all the nice comments, the favourites and the shares. But when someone has something detrimental to say, the hackles rise and it gets to you.  Recently a fellow writer took great umbrige at a comment about the overuse of one word.  She actually said I was a Troll.   Still very new to the genre but get that a toll is not a great thing to be.   But I have thought about this now. If you don’t want to receive comments on your writing, don’t blog on the world wide web.

You don’t have to accept comments.  You even have the right to moderate the comment so it cannot be seen. But all comments are good comments. They make you think, move on and develop.  I swear I am open to receive.