Friday Flash Fiction – Fall Guy

This time I was determined to get to the end of the book. Last time I was out by chapter three, without my name even being mentioned. Then there was the time I was the lead character in the sub plot, all was going well until the editing stage…

The clothes were uncomfortable, it was my first historical drama, but I was determined not to let my author Hermione down, together we would prove there was more to the plot than Guy, or Guido as he liked to call himself.


 Chapter One, December 1604: sluggish, all that tunnelling while Thomas Percy swanned around upstairs scheming.

Chapter Two, March 1605: I thought things would get more exciting with the lease of the cellar, but who ended up lugging all the barrels of gunpowder?

Chapters Three to Six: Hermione digressed, a whole summer and autumn of waiting, hanging out with the two Roberts and John Wright, but at least I was still on the scene, strolling around Seventeenth Century London, helping to give the novel a bit of context.

Chapter Seven, November 1st 1605: it turns out I’m going to be the one to give the plot away, straight to my priest for confession. Turmoil for my character, not going to let my friends down, but I do have a conscience. Then Hermione goes and makes the priest an agnostic spy who has no compunction in breaking his vows.

Chapter Eight, November 5th 1605: I was tempted to tell Guido to go home, why should he get all the blame?



Guido and I were the only two to make it to the last chapter, me the forgotten chap alongside Guy Fawkes. I gave in after only half an hour in the torture chamber, my fate was not made public. The longest chapter ever written, I thought I’d never get off that rack, now I’m wondering what is going to happen in the Epilogue.





Frost and Fireworks

It’s that time of year when writers look forward to getting more writing done. Northern Hemisphere days grow shorter, helped by the man made device of putting the clocks back to Greenwich Mean Time. My Australian relatives are now eight instead of seven hours ahead, making that very modern tradition, Skyping, more complicated. All our traditions at this time of year go back further than we imagine; from Diwali to Bonfire night it is light we cling to. Imagine our ancestors in the long nights; when they looked out of their huts or caves they would see nothing but impenetrable darkness – no Kurling up with a Kindle for them.

Halloween, Monday October 31st, the day after the clocks went back, was a day  of brilliant sunshine, winter had never felt further away. Enjoying an outing to Kingston Lacy, a National Trust owned house and grounds, the sun was blissfully warm on my face, the autumn colours beautiful. On Friday we had a journey to make from south coast to east coast; it rained heavily all day long, it was hard to tell when dark day turned into early evening, but the car lights shining in the teeming rain had a certain beauty of their own. Saturday found our family gathering freezing in the garden for fireworks. Anyone too cold used the excuse of going back in the kitchen to comfort scared dogs or children. Sunday brought bitter but exhilarating winds on the beach.

Back home, Monday night brought the first frost in our area.The weather had changed so much in one week, but this was not a surprise; accurate satellite weather forecasts are broadcast endlessly and even before you get out of bed you can look at you smart phone. If mine  says ‘Bournemouth Rain’ I know it will be a good writing day, even if it clears up later there will not be time to get out in the garden to plant spring bulbs before it gets dark again.