Tag Archives: Short Story

The Curse of Calico Jack

Calico Jack was the nickname given to John Rackham, a pirate who stalked the Caribbean seas.

For this week’s Friday-Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle, I have added my flavour in a mixture of fiction, myth and fact. So thank you Brenda for the engaging photo prompt, I can taste the fresh pineapple and feel the warm breeze.

More Friday Fictioneers’ tall tales, HERE.

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

The Curse of Calico Jack

Grandma Louise sells pineapples and nutmeg from a shack, where she distils molasses rum. At sunset we swat mosquitoes, and sip from chipped glasses, as she laughs about her pirate ancestors. 

She knows the whereabouts in Barbados of a casket pilfered from Calico Jack by his lover, Anne Bonny. He cursed her to hell as he dangled in Port Royal, and she vanished like a silk scarf in a Caribbean storm.

Grandma won’t reveal where Anne’s ghostly soul lies and the fate of the Spanish plunder.

She just smiles, sipping rum, and nods to her pineapple fields and nutmeg trees.

Dandelions at Night

Dandelions at Night

Mary went to close the bedroom curtains, and looking through the window, she saw her neighbour wandering around in his garden. She glanced at her clock. It was almost ten o’clock at night, and a bit late for planting or pruning. Perhaps he was looking for slugs, it was the sort of thing he might do. Poor Mike, for the past year, he had struggled on his own as isolation didn’t suit him.

In the moonlight, the garden was a monochromatic scene where detail merged into the shadows. She saw Mike was now on his knees, digging with a trowel.
Mary closed the curtains. She would take a hot drink to him and have a neighbourly chat. Everyone likes some company and a gossip, since living on your own isn’t easy. 

Outside, a breeze rustled the branches of the sycamore and blew her dressing gown loose. She pushed open the side gate and closed it with a nudge from her bottom. In her bare feet, she tiptoed across the grass and stood behind him.

‘I know you are there,’ he said and continued digging.
‘Hot chocolate.’
He stood up. ‘Mary! you’ll catch a cold.’
‘It was the wind.’ She passed him both cups and pulled her flimsy gown together and fiddled with the straps.
‘This is lovely,’ he said.
‘Hot chocolate,’ she said, and sipped her drink. 
‘Yes, I know.’
‘Look,’ she said. ‘It’s a bit late for weeding.’
‘Oh, I can’t stand digging out the dandelions when they are in full bloom.’
The knot in the straps of her dressing gown slipped loose. She sipped her drink.
‘The flowers close up in the dark, so I dig up the plants when they’re asleep.’
‘Oh, I see,’ she said. ‘Mike, why don’t you come over for a nightcap when you’re finished?’
‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘I still need to close the shed.’
‘You do that.’ She closed her gown. She took the cups and ambled across the lawn. With a backward glance, saw him watching as she pushed through the side gate with her hip.

In her living room, she slipped a small log onto the fire and then fetched two glasses. She still had plenty in the bottle of her 12-year-old Macallan to encourage him.

She sat down on the sofa and waited.

Charming Tatiana 

Thank you Rochelle for keeping the Friday Fictioneers community inspired to write our set of flash fiction. The variety of stories presented indicates the wide imagination that prevails among us. Click HERE for more stories.

This week’s photo-prompt of a rusted grill in front of a door has sinister implications for me.

Photo Prompt by – Brenda Cox for Friday Fictioneers.

Charming Tatiana 

Tatiana is beautiful only at night, since the sunlight burns her skin.

In the Brecht Bar, her melancholy melodies inflame the passion in the minds of lustful drunks.
It is with these hypnotic charms she turns strangers into raging rampant beasts, who with a puckered invitation follow into the dark alley.
There, Tatiana embraces their aroma of sweaty testosterone and clasps her mouth on their neck, and sucks to leave a hickey.
Strangers disappear every week.

The rusted grill protects Tatiana, so she may sleep throughout the day. She does not fear the garlic breathed villagers who carry sharpened stakes.

Papa’s Poker Addiction

This week for Friday Fictioneers Rochelle has selected a photo from Bill Reynolds of an old Ford truck that has seen better days. I can imagine it is still in use and has had many repairs, and it looks robust enough for all country jobs.

More Friday Fictioneers stories can be read by clicking on the link HERE

PHOTO PROMPT © Bill Reynolds

Papa’s Poker Addiction

Last night, we didn’t hear Papa stop the truck behind the trees.

Mama knew he had lost at poker, and she screamed his name as she ran among the cacti. 

Carlos cheated Papa with a royal flush every week, but still they played on; hopeless.

We had occasional work harvesting aloe for cents, and we survived.

Father Francisco arrived. He cupped Mama’s hands.
Papa had asked for forgiveness and blessing before his act of redemption.

Together we all shuffled with Mama crying to the church and saw Carlos’s newly formed grave.

Smiling, Papa held up a bag full of money.

Married Bliss

I am amazed how the BMW in Liz Young’s photo-prompt does not appear to have any damage, considering the wall and railings are in pieces.

You can read more Friday Fictioneer’s contributions and stories here.

Photo Prompt Liz Young

Married Bliss

She drives wearing high heels, rummages in her handbag and,
at junctions, if she stops, she has to text the kids.
When we are in the car, she will nag at me.
You missed the kids’ school play and games day–-a crime in her eyes.
The traffic accident held me up. I didn’t get home until midnight.
Apparently, I never liked her Mum. Hell! the poor lady died before we met.

You are wearing the wrong shirt, and Martha will comment on it.

Who is Martha?

Enough! I screamed. I missed the brake. 

“See what I mean,” she said. 



Extinction is not a choice–Survivors

My thanks go to Dale for her picture of a flooded patio area, after a heavy rainstorm. Does this happen every year or just occasionally?

Many will suggest climate change as the reason for the flooding. Although climate change has been a constant drift over hundreds of years, we now know how this drift has sped up over the last tens of years. But as a planet of humans, are we heading for extinction?

Extinction is not a choice–Survivors

We stood in a circle and held hands. Everyone understood the ritual; our strength and fortitude were the foundations of the past and our future. 

Greta, believe us; we will not move and live in the forests. Our generations have survived by this lake, our home. 

We are the descendants from Lucy and accept Earth is a living monster of storms and earthquakes with an infestation of a multitude of life. As the environment changes, we will embrace technology and adapt.

Let us honour Mother Earth as she nurtures us.

We pray for humanity since extinction is not a choice. 

Mai Lai and Nasi Goreng

Lovely picture from Brenda, I can just imagine the onslaught of cooking aroma when the alleyway is bustling with people.

More from Friday Fictioneers here.

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

Mai Lai and Nasi Goreng

Mai Lai turned down the alley. I pulled my scarf across my face and followed her.
There was no one around to disrupt my plan.

Foreigners avoided Kai-Tok’s alleys where I had a meeting with a corrupt official.

A container ship from Mozambique was loading humanitarian supplies at the docks, and the harbour agent demanded a bribe to release the shipment.

He was waiting for us with a steaming bowl of fried rice.
My taste buds exploded.

I confirmed the export documents. Thankyou.
Then Mai Lia cuffed and arrested him.

It was the best Nasi Goreng we have ever eaten. 

Absent Fathers

The lovely tray of baked biscuits made my mouth water,
my imagination wafted the aroma of fresh baking through my mind.

Further stories are available on Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast  

Absent Fathers

I’ve made your favourite ginger biscuits for your party.
There is Mum, Dad, Tom, Helen, Bill and you, Samantha.
Oh yes, Buster and Kitty.

Samantha’s top lip trembled and tears dribbled down her cheeks.
Who is going to eat Dad?

You can. They are just biscuits, darling.

Why do they have names? I don’t want to eat our family.
It’s not nice.

They are all dressed up for your birthday, aren’t they pretty?
Mary wiped her daughter’s face. No names then. Just biscuits.

Her daughter’s perception plucked a string on Mary’s emotional violin.
She broke off Dad’s arms and head.

Back to School

This week’s photo-prompt , thanks to CE Ayr, has a sense of isolation and one I am sure many people are feeling in the present atmosphere of Covid restrictions. At the same time there is a sense of peace in the image that I feel when walking along a quite beach early in the morning, preferable on a Caribbean island rather than along a cold, wind swept coast.

More stories from Friday Fictioneers.

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr

Back to School

John relished the solitude of his dawn stroll. He walked and breathed in time with the natural rhythm of the waves as he listened to the soft adagio whoosh of water washing along the sand.
His mind relaxed and emptied of all invasive thoughts as he concentrated on the peace of the moment. 
Mentally refreshed and calm, he felt prepared with emboldened fortitude and leadership expected from a head teacher.

His knees trembled as he watched.
After an enforced break, over excited, chattering children arrived as their pale-faced parents waved anxiously from the gate.
He wiped his forehead and smiled.

The Watchers

Friday Fictioneers

This week’s picture prompt, thank you Dale Rogerson, reminds me of the odd freak snowfall we sometimes get in May.
Also, how sometimes we get caught out by a sudden spring frost that decimates the border flowers planted out the week before.
Weather around the world follows a similar pattern each year, yet nature surprises us with unpredictable events.
Nature loves us, really.

The Watchers

We had held hands on the veranda listening to Spanish guitar music, watching the meteors streak across the night sky.
We had bread with bratwurst dipped in Dijon and drank Pilsner. 
One shooting star momentarily lit up the entire street and Baxter scampered indoors whimpering, Caroline followed to calm our Labrador. 
It was a hot summer with an uncomfortable, sweaty night, but in the morning, I woke to a sharp frost with a snow-covered garden. I saw footprints leading to the rose-bed, then stop.
By midday the snow had gone, as was Caroline and Baxter.
It has been three years.