#Flash4Storms – Arrow In the Bow

Sarah Brentyn of Lemon Shark is running a Flash Fiction Challenge to aid victims of the recent hurricanes in the US. The challenge is to write a 50 word piece of flash fiction on the theme ‘Help’, and share it in a post, with the hashtag #Flash4Storms in the title. Sarah will donate $1 for every piece of flash fiction posted, to a maximum of $50. Here’s my attempt:

She stood at the edge, looking down. The drop seemed long enough for her purposes, and she closed her eyes, anticipating the darkness she craved. She lifted her arms, rising onto her tiptoes, an arrow notched in a bow. She felt a hand grasp hers. ‘I’m here. Let me help.’

If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

#writephoto – Enigma – Your Fault

Sue Vincent’s #writephoto challenge runs every week, and is a prompt based on one of her wonderful photographs. Here’s my response to this week’s image:

‘This is all your fault.’


‘Don’t you ‘humph!’ at me. We wouldn’t be in this mess if you hadn’t insisted on staying till the last minute. As if you had any chance, fighting against that lot. We should have left when I said, when we saw the first smoke on the horizon.’

*incoherent muttering*

‘Don’t think I can’t hear you, muttering under your breath! The least you could do is answer me. You drive me absolutely crazy, you know that? And now we’re stuck here and you won’t even talk to me?!’

*quietly* ‘I didn’t know this would happen.’

‘Oh no, of course you didn’t! You had all the ideas, didn’t you? Stay here, you said. It’ll be fine, you said. They won’t use magic, you said. Fat lot of good all those ideas are now, aren’t they?’

‘You were the one who had to look back-‘


‘You heard me.’

‘Are you seriously saying to me, are you seriously suggesting, that this is somehow my fault? That my wanting to take a last look at our home as we fled in fear thanks to, if I might remind you, your insistence on staying, is somehow to blame for this?’

‘Well, if you hadn’t turned around when you did-‘

‘How on earth was I supposed to know that their druid would be right there? I mean, really. As if I could have known. And our druid – completely useless. I said, didn’t I, I said when they hired him he was no good. And he just disappears at the first sign of danger-‘

‘Well, he couldn’t exactly help it-‘

‘Oh, just because his magic wasn’t as powerful as their druid’s. You get what you pay for, that’s what I always say, you get what you pay for. And mark my words, that council of ours were lining their pockets instead of spending money on a decent druid and now look at us. Turned to stone for goodness knows how long! And you!’

*wearily* ‘What have I done now?’

‘Well, you couldn’t even get petrified facing me. It’s like you did it on purpose, turning away from me like that! What am I supposed to do now, talk to the back of your head?’

*sighing* ‘Well, it’s not like you’ve much choice now is it, dear.’

‘Well, I still think you could have been a bit more considerate. I mean really, am I supposed to spend eternity stuck like this?’


‘I asked you a question, Arthur!’


‘Arthur? Arthur! Answer me!’



If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

Writespiration – 52 Weeks In 52 Words – The ‘Ex’ Factor

IMG_0715It’s Thursday, and I usually do a door post today. However, I’m not feeling any of my door photos this week, so I’ve decided to take on a short writing prompt instead.

Sacha Black has a great series running called 52 Words in 52 Weeks. Each week this year, she’ll be setting a writing prompt, giving us exactly 52 words to write a response – no more, no less. This week’s prompt is, in true Sacha-style, ‘That moment you see your ex with their hot new bit and you look like a turd’ LOL.

Here’s my response:

I hitched up my track pants, hugging the ice cream tubs closer, not caring about the cold.

A girl came down the aisle, giving me a pitying smirk. Bitch. All long legs and glossy brunette hair.


I turned, my heart lifting at the familiar endearment… to see her in his arms.

If you want to add a response of your own, you have until Sunday to enter – hop on over to Sacha’s blog to read last week’s responses.

If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ,  Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon.

Writespiration – 52 Weeks in 52 Words – Lost Things

IMG_2112The fabulous Sacha Black has set a rather good writing challenge for the year. Each week this year she’ll be setting a writing prompt, which you have to respond to using exactly 52 words.

This week’s prompt is: Lost Things. Here is my response:

‘D’you like lost things?’


‘Lost things.’ He smiled, gesturing at the old books, dusty hats, faded postcards. Ornaments filled cabinets, gold lace spilled out of a wardrobe door. ‘All these things belonged to someone once. Now they’re lost.’

I stared at him.

‘Sometimes the people who come here are lost, too.’

Now, it appears there’s another little part to this story, which came to me in response to another prompt. All being well, I’ll share it sometime over the weekend. Happy Friday, everyone!

If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ,  Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon.

Monday Motivations Flash Fiction Challenge – Love Hurts

Wedding shot

I know it’s Wednesday, but this is my response to Esther Newton’s Monday Motivations Challenge. This week, we were challenged to write a 50-200 word piece of flash fiction incorporating the following three lines:

He was in love

The glass smashed to the floor

Just how was he going to get out of this one?

And here’s mine:

Love Hurts

He was in love.

At least, that’s how he felt. His heart fluttering in his chest, his eyes dazzled with stars. He staggered with the force of it.

She stood at the bar, oblivious to the strength of his feelings. Her bottom, in short denim shorts, was shapely, and her bosoms, he knew from watching her walk past, were full, with a pleasing bounce.

He felt weak. He tried to lift his drink, but the glass smashed to the floor. Then, incredibly, he followed it, gasping like a stranded fish as he writhed on the sticky carpet, pain running down his arm.

Everything went blurry, but he wasn’t sure why. It was only his fourth drink, for God’s sake! There were faces around him, and all through him love pulsed with a staccato beat, his breath stuck somewhere in his chest. He heard someone say,

‘He’s having a heart attack!’

Oh. So it wasn’t love. He should have known better, really, a man of his age. He thought briefly of his long-suffering Enid, waiting at home. He’d told her he was going bowling, another lie in a layer of years.

Just how was he going to get out of this one?


If you’d like to enter the challenge, you have until the end of the week, so head over to Esther’s blog and add your link 🙂


Writing Challenge – Life or Death

If you like participating in writing challenges, Esther Newton often posts them – they are always interesting, and can be as short as six words long (a lot harder than you might think!). Her Monday Motivation for this week was to write a story of no more than 150 words, including the phrase ‘It was a matter of life or death.’

Here’s my attempt:

IMG_2947Well Heeled

It was a matter of life or death.

Well, socially, at least. The shoes glittered as they turned on the little pedestal, faceted stones catching the light, smooth leather straps gleaming.

They were gorgeous. And far too expensive. But she could think of so many places to wear them, now that she was moving with a new crowd. And she really needed to keep up.

She bit her lip. So she’d have to eat baked beans for a month. She’d probably lose weight anyway, always a bonus. Binky had grabbed her round the hips the other day, squeezing and shrieking with laughter. ‘Oh darling, are you sure you want another profiterole?’ She had joined in with the laughter, blushing as chocolate oozed soft on her fingers, wishing she could throw it into their smirking faces.

Decision made, she picked up the shoes.

‘Do you have these in a size 6?’


#writephoto – Mine

Sue's Mine photo

Sue’s chosen another great shot for her #writephoto challenge this week, and here’s my take on ‘Mine’:

‘Funny place for three holes. D’you think that’s where they hung the prisoners?’ His voice echoed up through the topless tower as though we were at the bottom of a well. I tilted my head, wanting to show him how much I knew about this stuff. Still not quite at ease with him, our relationship something new.

‘Well,’ I said, ‘the big hole – there could have been something there. Like a display of weapons, or something. The two smaller holes, I don’t know-‘

I felt his hand push hard on my shoulder, then he was up on the old wooden platform, the timber creaking alarmingly under his weight as he made his way, sure-footed, to the holes. He turned, winking at me, whisky brown eyes crinkling.

‘Only one way to find out,’ he said. Then he placed both hands inside the smaller holes, putting his face up against the larger one.

Then he jerked, screaming. I screamed too, the sound sending pigeons flying up, flap of wings against ancient stone. I scrambled to get on the platform, my hiking boot catching on the edge, banging my knee in my haste to get to him.

Then he started laughing.

‘Ass!’ I laughed, too, though more out of relief than anything else, sitting back and rubbing my knee. He jumped down, still chuckling.

‘Come on.’ He held out his hand. I took it, feeling that connection, the electricity I got from him and no-one else. He pulled me to my feet, then into his arms.

‘Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.’ Then he kissed me, and I knew.

He was mine.

For more entries, or to add one of your own, head on over to Sue’s blog 🙂