The Way You Get Worked Up

By John L. Malone

The way you get worked up towards the end.
I can hear you, the noise of your coming, three rooms away.
Are such outbursts necessary?
Why, even the walls vibrate,
Now you’re really going.
Hope you don’t bust anything.
You’re not that young anymore, remember.
There’s no doubt you give it your all.
Do you enjoy it?
Sounds as if you do.
Now you’ve gone quiet, can I come in?
Yes ! The clothes are done.
One hour, twenty. Wish I had your stamina.
You must be exhausted.

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“I get my material from the every day: an inexhaustible supply.” – the writer

Where Does the Time Go?

By Chris Hewitt

“Sorry, I’m late. Where does the time go?” said Dr Ed, walking into the examination room. “I’m surprised to see you, Mrs. Walters. Is there a problem?”

“Yes, Doctor,” said Susan, rubbing her side. “Since the operation, I get this terrible pain if I walk too far.”

“Are you in pain now?”

“I wasn’t. But just as you arrived—” Susan doubled over.

“Oh, dear,” said Dr Ed, pulling out his buzzing phone. “I think I’ve found the problem and my missing smartwatch.”
Swiping left, he held up the smartphone. “If it’s any consolation, you’ve done twenty-thousand steps this week.”

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Chris Hewitt lives in the beautiful garden of England and in the odd moment he’s not walking the dog, he pursues his passion for writing fiction.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow …

By Michael Mitchell

The librarian takes Banquo’s order for a copy of Macbeth and goes out to the back room. Says he has started the process. “Try next week.”

Next week Banquo follows up. He contemplates the back room, full of monkeys pounding away at typewriters, wall to wall.

The librarian smiles and shakes his head. The monkeys pound on. Occasionally one rips the script from their machine and hands it to the librarian.

Banquo follows up religiously for weeks, but there is no resolution.

The librarian looks up. “Sorry about the delay. Production problems. Very demanding, Shakespeare. Could be ready any day.”

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“(I write) mostly for fun; and to see if I can be any good at it.” – the writer

There Must be Something Nice I Can Say About You

By John L. Malone

Let me see.
There must be some nice things
I can say about you.
Like I stay indoors more often when you’re around,
get in touch with my inner recluse.
I get to read more,
post six or seven poems a week
rather than the usual four.
Less of a slacker.
Red wine tastes better with you.
So too a good roast.
I get to write haiku again on frosts and ice,
shivery, shivery three liners.
And I get to wear my exotic Mongolian beanie everywhere.
Winter I embrace you.

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“I wrote this on our coldest day since June 1922.” – the writer

100 Words Is All You Get

Andrew Atkinson

My name is ‘Pinky’ Rutherford-Gilbert. That’s not my real name; I’m a character in a drabble story, therefore I’m reliant on the author for, well, everything.

Pinky straightened his bow tie in the hall mirror and checked his central parting. Replacing his monocle he addressed his host, “I say, Old Thing, what time do we attach the nose bags?”

Good grief! I’m an imbecile; an upper-class twit in a story that P.G. Wodehouse could have written. Get me out of here, fast!

Clutching his chest, Pinky collapsed at his host’s feet. Dead as a proverbial—

Not that quickly, please author.

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“I’ve been writing drabbles for several years following a lengthy career writing and editing technical and professional reports, which were a great deal less fun.” – the writer

Charlie Makes Himself Useful

By Ben Coppin

‘Can i leave my seven year-old home alone’ Lynnette scrolled Google’s search results until she found the answer she wanted.

“I won’t be long,” she told Charlie. “I’m just going window shopping. Don’t burn the house down!”

But window shopping had lost its shine years ago. Two hours later, heading home, her carrier bags barely fit through the bus doors.

The crowd on Lynnette’s front lawn set her heart racing.

And there was Charlie, his father’s hammer in his hand, his Batman slippers covered in broken glass.

“Hi Mummy!” he said, beaming with pride. “All ready for the new windows!”

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Ben is currently working his way through the third draft of his first novel.

You Used to Call Out

By John L. Malone

You used to call out when we had sex, he said.
You would raise the roof and ululate.
Street lights would flare, power lines fizz
with excitement,
fruit bats rise from their roosts in alarm.
Whole shrouds of them.
Why, even the bed shook as if it were coming.
The very veins in my wrists wanted to pop.
It’s awfully florid, the editor said.
It’s meant to be a romance novel, not a porno.
Can you tone it down a little?

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“I had great fun writing this, reducing it from 120 to 86 words.” – the writer

Smells Like …

By Paul Malone

Gustav was a nuisance at Marionnaud – always pestering Helene the saleswoman with his knowledge of perfume, as if a pleasant smell could mask his stinking personality.
“Here’s a new one,” Helene said. It was her last day, a bitter layoff. The blue bottle didn’t have a label.
“Oh?” He used his chance to lean close. He had no idea her brother worked at the zoo.
“Close your eyes,” she purred and sprayed him liberally in the face.
“For heaven’s sake!” His eyes snapped open; his nose twisted. “It smells like … “
“A Jackass,” Helene said and handed him the bottle.

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Paul wrote this after a visit to Marionnaud, carefully considering if a the €105 asking price for a bottle of Channel Bleu was worth it.

Pedantic Man

By Archibald Hobbs

It came as a surprise to Nigel Cravenly that he possessed a superpower.

Nigel was already middle-aged when Sarah Whittens said that she loved three things: eating, her pretty poetry and her adorable Corgi.

Though she said these words out loud, Nigel just knew that Sarah had not deployed any punctuation in her statement.

So, applying tracked changes to the verbal conversation, Nigel enquired what grape variety Sarah enjoyed with her precious verse and her precocious puppy. Sarah retorted that Nigel should shove his commas next to his colon.

Having discovered his superpower, Nigel wished he had a better one.

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Archie writes “primarily to impress his wife, but would appreciate a wider audience.”

End of the Line

By John L. Malone

I’m sorry, he said, shrugging his shoulders. There’s nothing I can do.
But surely …
I’ve never seen it this bad. Not in all my years. They’ve always responded to treatment. I threw everything at it.
We bowed our heads.
Then I’ll see you to the door. Thanks for trying,
And off he drove in his clean white van, the firm’s logo on the side.
Well, I said, it looks like the end of the line for you. Sorry, old mate. You heard the man. You have to go. Time for an upgrade. A new laptop.

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“I had to say a sad farewell to my dear old laptop; our laptops are friends, too.” – the writer