Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: The Great Dachshund Escape #amwriting #flashfiction #pets #fiction


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

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Credit: Louise – The Storyteller’s Abode

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I was sitting on a ferry boat, on my way to a speciality grocery store, when I heard yelling and screaming from behind where I sat. A fifty-some couple were engaged in a physical and verbal sparring match with Peppy the dachshund literally in the middle. 

Margo, refused to give Peppy up to her ex-boyfriend, Simon.”He was my dog before we started going out, and he’s my dog now that we’re breaking up.” 

“That’s not fair, he’s part of my family now. Peppy sits by me most of the day because I work from home. He should be with me in the week. You can have Peppy on weekends,” Simon countered.

Margo scoffed and was about to jab Simon in the chest when Peppy managed to squeeze his way out from between both owners. 

They chased him down the steps and down to the plank where people walked onto the ferry. Peppy jumped in the water, the plank in the process of being removed, and swam to shore before running away. 

I wonder if Margo or Simon ever saw him again? 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

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Photo Prompt: Poetry – Ballad – “Jolly Sailor Bold” (Reworked) #amwriting #poetry #mermaids 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this prompt, focusing on having a Refrain in a song/poem/prose; some kind of repeating phrase. Also, I’m including and reworking lyrics to “My Jolly Sailor Bold,” from Pirates of The Carribean Four: On Stranger Tides, using Disney’s words as a Refrain or chorus and my own for the verses.

See HERE for original lyrics. 

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Credit: http://www.devianart.com by Isismaathapy.

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Once there was a lass and she, 

Didn’t fit at home, said Mum:

“Be gone girl,” so she went, roamed, 

Wandering the earth, she’d hum. 

—-

They say she was a fey girl with, 

Eyes gleaming like stormy seas, 

She cared little much for love, 

Little much did life, her please.  

—-

One evening in the moonlight, 

Her fair voice sang a song.

A mournful melody cried, 

For her jolly sailor longed.

“My heart is pierced by Cupid

I disdain all glittering gold

There is nothing can console me

But my jolly sailor bold.”

—–

They say he swam away, 

In shipping built his good name. 

His ship sailed around the world, 

He recalled his love, her games.

—–

She watched for him each sun –

Set, she went about each day.

Crying sadly for her sweetheart, 

Sailor she feared lost and astray.

—-

He thought nothing of her tears,

No thoughts of her at all;

Coming home he brought a wife,

 A final jump made girl fall

—-

Mermaids saved the young girl, 

A woman-fish swam so free;

Sang out to foolish sailors, 

“Come join me in the sea.” 

—-

“My heart is pierced by Cupid

I disdain all glittering gold

There is nothing can console me

But my jolly sailor bold.” 

—-

“Jolly Sailor Bold” sung by Gemma Ward

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved

Photo Challenge Prompt: Dream World #flashfiction #amwriting #photochallenge


Thank you to MindLoveMiseryMenageria for the picture prompt:

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Unknown

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Marvin couldn’t believe this place he’d woken up in. He was eight-years-old in this world, but he wore a space suit. Not the fake dress-up clothes space suit, but an authentic one as the astronauts who flew to the space station wore. 

He was on a planet which wasn’t earth. It was night and the blue-grey sky was alight with stars which lit Martin’s path on dark-green grass like terrafirma. 

Marvin wanted to feel the grass but he knew if he did, he wouldn’t be able to breathe on this planet.

 The most fascinating feature of this environment was that the sea was one with the sky. Marvin wasn’t sure how this was possible, but earth-like sea creatures floated above him. He laughed as a blue whale swam past, stars glittering around the creature.

Marvin was amused to see starfish stuck in the sky, as if they were actual stars. Marvin reached for a starfish and the world he was in dissolved around him. 

When he awoke, Marvin was thirty-eight-years-old and lying in a hospital bed. His wife Lorna sat by his bed, grasping his hand: 

“Marvin you’re back. It’s been a scary forty-eight hours.”He couldn’t speak, it hurt to move. 

In truth, Marvin was disappointed to see Lorna, to be alive. What kind of accident was he in which he was hurt so awfully?  He was painfully drowsy and Martin allowed his mind to slip back into his dream world. 

He was a boy once again and in his astronaut suited hand, he was holding a starfish glowing bright orange and wriggling. He felt such hope and peace in this dream world.

Marvin did not struggle with his drowsiness, to stay in the real world, where Lorna and severe pain waited. 

As he drifted off to explore his dreamscape, he heard the beeps of his heart rate go flat.

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

24. How Was Last Night For You: Escaping Talise, A Wicked Sea Witch 


Please read Chapter 23 here.

Chapter 24: Escaping Talise, A Wicked Sea Witch

Nina wanted to scream but the hand covering her mouth made it impossible for her to make a sound. She could barely breath she was so afraid of who had captured her. The man held her solidly against his his chest. Perhaps, Malcolm was still bewitched by Talise and keeping Nina trapped in the water for Talise to find?

Nina started to struggle against the man holding her captive. He had them both propped up against the boat where Nina had decided to hide from Talise. Nina splashed and pushed against the man’s chest, but he wouldn’t let her go. Talise was chanting her spell so loudly, her words could be heard throughout Adare’s Harbour.Had she noticed Nina had disappeared?

Nina kicked against the man holding her and attempted to use her elbows to injure him. She tried to knee him where it would hurt but then the arms holding her dunked Nina in the water a moment, before bringing her back up to the surface of the Sirene sputtering.

A familiar voice behind her said: “Shhh.” Nina turned her head minutely, enough to see a man holding a finger to his full lips. Nina peered over her shoulder to get a peek at the man. Maybe this man was trying to help her and he would aid her in escaping Talise?

Nina whispered so quietly she wasn’t sure the man could hear her, “Who are you? Is it Malcolm? John?” She whispered the last name hopefully. A kiss to her temple reassured her.

Nina wanted to jump for joy but she remained completely still and calm. She whispered to John, “I missed you. You wouldn’t answer your phone.” Behind her, John chuckled. His lips moved to Nina’s ear kissing the tip of it.

“My Nina,” John said in a hushed voice. Nina wanted to shout in happiness but she knew the perilous position both she and John were in. She snuggled against John in the coolness of the water. John kept Nina afloat in the Sirene, leaning on the boat.

He released his tight hold on Nina so she was able to turn in arms and face John. She peered into John’s sapphire eyes beneath his sopping dark brown hair. Nina brushed wet hair off John’s forehead tenderly and gasped seeing how purple the circles under John’s eyes appeared. John regarded Nina tiredly with a soft smile but she noticed how much John leaned on the boat for support and how his eyes kept shutting.

“John,” Nina whispered,”Did you swim the entire way back from Talise’s cave? You look exhausted. I don’t know how you were holding me so tightly when you look as if you’ve had every ounce of strength zapped out of you. You need to sleep.”

“Miles to go before I sleep,” John quoted Blake, smiling at Nina. “You’re wearing the necklace from the Farmer’s Market.”

“Of course,” Nina said quietly, “I never take it off. You know that. It seems as if attempting to save me from Talise alone, hasn’t been working for you John. I think it’s better when we collaborate; if we face Talise as a team.” John grinned but his face appeared wan.

“I got her dagger, Nina,” John whispered. “She’ll want me because I have her dagger. I injured her with it. She’s not letting on, but it’s why her spell isn’t working right now. Usually, I think she could use the Sirene’s Lake water and kill you no matter where you were in the Lake. But Talise can’t find you in the lake, her magic isn’t powerful enough.”

“She doesn’t want to kill me John. Talise wants us to suffer to be a part. She’s been considering this for the three-months I was healing from my head and you weren’t feeling as if you were cursed. She wants to change me into a mermaid and bewitch you permanently, so you have little free will.” Nina murmured.

“Talise wants to use us each to taunt the other, knowing we can never be together. If you’re human and I’m a mermaid, you’ll die and I’ll have hundreds of years alive without you. Only when your dead, will I be able to walk on land as mermaids sometimes do.” Nina whispered, tears escaping her pale blue eyes.

John looked aghast.”Talise – Tia is awful. I can’t believe she was special to me at one time. When I was twenty-five-years-old, I actually thought I loved her. I even told her I lied to my brothers, that I actually cared about her. Talise doesn’t believe me. She has past issues, about a guy named Ethan, her beloved husband. He cheated on her throughout their entire marriage in the 1800’s.”

“I know,” Nina said hushing John’s words with a finger to his lips. The tears dripping from her eyes stung her chilly skin.”There’s something worse though John . . . Talise said we can’t break the curse. If you sacrifice yourself for me, you’ll die. I’ll be alone, saved from death or a fish tale but without you in my life.”

John, with great effort, kissed Nina, exploring her mouth with his own, before pulling himself back up against the boat. “I had figured the curse might be that kind of curse.” John murmured tiredly.

“What kind? You mean not the kind that exists in fairytales where good always wins?”

“Yes, my Nina. That kind. The type where evil lives to thrive and destroy another day.” John sighed. He was freakishly pale.

“I’m sorry Nina. I have to end this whatever the outcome. I have to finish off Talise. It’s the reason I went to get her dagger. I will thrust it through her heart. She said she would do the same to you. I have to ensure that never happens.” John gazed at Nina determinedly.

Nina could see John gathering himself together for one last fight, ready to leave the boats where they both hid and declare his presence to Talise. But suddenly, the water around them began to froth and bubble.

Waves rose and separated John and Nina, carrying Nina far out to the middle of the Sirene, past all the yachts, sailing boats and any kind of boat a person might have kept at the harbour in Adare.

Nina was pulled out to where she could barely swim because the swells of waves kept burying her in the Sirene’s water, which Nina was choking up. She was having trouble catching her breathe.

Nina glanced at John before she was carried under the waves of the Sirene, under the water. He was leaning against the boat one minute, then feverishly swimming out to Nina with all his might. He struggled because he was so worn out and Nina noticed John’s strength was fading fast. There was only so much swimming a body could possibly do in one night.

Talise in rage, appeared behind Nina. She was  a mermaid, hag, and sea witch with fierce neon green eyes and teeth which were sharp and pointed. Nina never pictured a sea witch or a mermaid having such fearsome teeth.

Talise laughed darkly, holding Nina against her frightening yet frail appearance. Nina knew better then to think Talise weak. She reached her hand to Talise’s wrinkled arm, which was putting Nina in a choke hold, and dug her long oval pink nails, into Talise’s arm wound. Nina poked and pried at Talise’s injury until Talise cried out in pain. She pushed Nina under the water to make Nina stop further injuring Talise’s arm.

Nina wouldn’t end her hold on Talise’s arm wound, even as she felt herself struggling to breathe underwater. Briefly, her hand lifted from Talise’s arm when Talise pulled Nina up above the Sirene Lake’s water.

“Stop it you little bitch,” Talise told Nina. She grabbed Nina’s hair plunging Nina’s face into the water, regarding Nina as she would a gnat, as Nina drowned.

Talise pulled Nina’s face out of the water and close to her mouth and sharp teeth. “Behave Nina,” Talise warned and held Nina against her.

“I know you swim poorly, but don’t worry I have a tail and can swim for us both. We’re going to be great friends you and I Nina, as I’ve said. John is a blip. No good for either of us. What’s that they say, ‘ho’s before bro’s.'” Talise cackled at her own lame humour.

Nina didn’t find Talise funny at all.”Leave him alone. Don’t you dare touch John. I will hurt you and I will find a way to kill you if dare lay a finger on him.You’re injured Talise. I’ll stop at nothing to use that weakness against you.”

Talise smiled flashing her pointed teeth.”There’s that spirit John adores. Watch him struggle in the waves, he’s been swimming for hours and hours, he hasn’t much strength left.” Talise remarked.”As he drowns, I’ll get my dagger. I’m ending this here and now.”

Nina watched John fight and attempt to swim in the water which was still frothing and bubbling around him. She began to cry, fearing she was watching the man she loved drowning

In a moment, there were lights in the middle of the Sirene Lake. A sailing boat came thrusting through the water shining light on Nina and Talise in the water. The boat’s name was written in huge navy letters across its side. It’s name was Faith. Something Nina desperately needed at present.

Another light from Faith fell on John and a lifesaver was thrown out towards him. John grabbed unto the lifesaver gratefully, his sapphire gaze glued on Nina, beneath his darkly bruised under eye skin.

Talise screamed in rage, terrifyingly ugly. She had become a freak of nature, of even folklore. Nina began digging her hand into Talise’s arm wound, scraping out chunks of flesh as Talise’s elbow grip around Nina’s neck increased until it was asphyxiating Nina.

Nina thought she would pass out. In the haze of her mind, somewhere between breathe and death, Nina saw Jordan swimming out to meet John. Jordan and John were both the light provided by Faith, John’s sail boat.

The weather wasn’t stormy but nor was the Lake around Talise gentle. Her magic was powerful enough to make the middle of the Sirene rough. It must have been around 3:00 am, Nina thought judging from the time she was bewitched into leaving her condo. She wondered what Talise thought about Nina being able to break her bewitchment spell.

Nina dug her free hand into Talise’s face scratching and attempting to gouge Talise’s glowing eyes. Talise shrieked trying to asphyxiate Nina again. When Nina wouldn’t cease digging her fingers into Talise’s arm wound and face, Talise bit Nina’s shoulder.

“Ahhh…” Nina cried out. The pain she felt was searing and could be felt by her entire nervous system. Instantly, Nina’s gaze flew to her shoulder, a blackish-green substance oozed out of ferocious bite marks. “Poison…” Nina whispered to herself. Her body was shuddering from the pain and the toxin from Talise’s mouth; the poison was causing Nina lethargy.

Nina had to have screamed loudly because Nina saw John thrust something at Jordan. Jordan grasped the dagger John had stolen from Talise. It was what Talise most wanted. Through haze and mental fog, Nina saw Talise’s eyes grow wide as she spotted the dagger Jordan held.

Talise smiled and told Nina: “I’m going to get the dagger back now Nina. It’s mine. I killed the evilest sea witch for it. I’m killing John with it. I shouldn’t have changed my mind about killing you. My bite is poisonous and the toxins have entered your bloodstream. You’ll die as John will and probably his meddlesome brother Jordan as well.”

“You won’t kill John. Part of you still wants him. Part of you loves him, it’s why you want to control him. To make him your perfect boyfriend. The husband, you never had because let’s face it Talise your a dumb childless witch and no one wants to be with someone like you. Someone who would sell her soul, for revenge.” Nina’s voice was surprisingly loud, it hurt her own ears.

“Get your soul back Talise. It’s the only way you can go back. You could have a normal life and meet someone new.Better then Ethan or John. But once you kill with that dagger, I’m guessing you can’t go back…” Nina’s voice faltered.

Talise observed Nina as the poison made Nina weak. Nina’s body was shuddering and turning rigid. Talise was noticeably quiet as she thought about what Nina said. The pronounced wrinkles on her forehead folding deeper. ” I can’t be saved. I made my choice. You know nothing about Ethan. John could never take his place, not know. I can’t take the risk of another man like Ethan or John. I can’t just start all over again . . .”

“Every woman, every girl, starts over again in the world Talise. It’s how relationships work. It’s why we’re the stronger sex, why we can handle having kids. Because we can handle the pain of having our hearts broken again and again first.” Nina’s voice was barely a whisper, she was fading into light.

Then, Talise was pulling Nina’s body through the water, weightlessly, towards John who clung to the lifesaver.  Jordan held onto his own lifesaver, the black dagger in his hands ready to plunge into Talise’s heart. Archaic symbols glowed red on the dagger as Talise grew nearer to its presence. To John and Jordan Talise was terrifying, yet the tumbling water around them had ceased, and Talise’s eyes had dimmed to a muddy-green.

Nina faded out of consciousness.There was colour here. Beautiful and brilliant waves and patterns of colour everywhere. It was overwhelming at first. The colour folded Nina’s body in its vividness and she felt as if she could finally sleep. Recalling John’s words from the Robert Frost poem as she drifted: “. . . And miles to go before I sleep.” Perhaps, Nina’s miles were done.

Please Read Chapter 25 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

3. How was Last Night For You – Difficult Thing to Admit


Read here for Chapter 2.

Chapter 3: Difficult Thing to Admit

John held Nina’s hand as he opened the door to his grand house. A white sparkling stone face on the outside of the house glittered in the sunlight. Nina walked into the entrance and she felt the slick expensive wood floors. She saw a large living area with comfortable grey couches that bounced when she pushed her hand against their solidness. The living room had light blue accents but was mostly masculine with its light grey furniture and dark charcoal walls. Nina spied two comfortable wing-backed chairs facing a slate fireplace. A thin TV glistened black over top of the mantel. It was a fitting piece for a single man’s domain.

A soft blue-grey sky through walls of windows was transparent over most of the living room and kitchen. Below she saw a well manicured backyard with a large patio and stone pathways. The windows inside spread past a granite bar with four stools, into a kitchen with pristine white cupboards and a butcher block counter top. John seemed to have only the best appliances in his kitchen including a wine fridge and a second oven. There was also a Tassimo instant coffee maker. Nina smiled because she had the exact same one. Nina could smell the delicate but heavenly scent of chocolate chip cookies in the air. She wondered who baked them, a housekeeper?

Nina removed her shoes and John beckoned her to one of the soft grey coaches. They were made of the softest dove coloured suede leather. Nina bounced awkwardly on the sofa before becoming settled. John’s main floor was huge and open concept. Nina felt quite small in the great room. Though walls that were windows enhanced the feeling the space had of being open, it was a dreary day outside and little sun shone in the house.

John felt as if he needed to explain his problems to Nina. But she wasn’t quite ready for whatever fantastical story John had to tell her. The whole situation felt unbelievable to Nina. It felt like a Dark Brother’s Grimm fairy tale come to life.

When John had taken off his jacket and removed his watch, he sat beside Nina on the couch and smiled at her a bit nervously. Nina looked over at the Tassimo Coffee Maker, “do you think I could have a tea John? I’m kind of craving something warm right now.”

“Oh yeah, sure what kind would you like?”

“Green tea or Chi, if you have it.”

“Yeah, I have green tea. I’ll get you one and make myself a coffee too.” John braced his hands on his legs and got up. His tall body brushed Nina as he went into the kitchen and she shivered at the contact. She saw John grin as he passed her. He felt it too.

” Can I get some honey in that tea, John please.”

“Yeah I have honey. Do you want milk?”

“No, I’m fine with honey thanks. I need something a bit sweet.” John touched her arm tentatively when he sat down and handed her her tea. Nina took a small sip and placed her tea on a coaster on a coffee table in front of her and John. John set his coffee down as well. He appeared apprehensive and kept looking at his feet. It was a different side of him Nina thought. So far, he had only been confident and sometimes brash.

John put his arms around Nina’s shoulder and stroked her gently. “Nina, would you like to here my story . . . would you like to know why I am cursed?” He wouldn’t look Nina in the eye when he asked her this. Perhaps, it was because is story was fantastical. He took a drink of his coffee and swallowed slowly while Nina waited for John to say whatever it was he had to say.

Nina was a kind person and she felt sorry for John. She moved closer to him on the couch and felt the now familiar pull of herself towards him. For John to trust her with something like this in his history was a huge deal. ” Are you sure you want to tell me, I mean you don’t know me that well John.” Nina looked at John with huge soft-blue eyes.

John starred back and said:” I’ve never trusted anyone more than my own family to know the story of how I became cursed, Nina.” John took a deep breathe in, ” the fact that you might believe I am cursed to begin with, demonstrates to me I can tell you the facts without you freaking out or thinking I’m crazy.”

” Well, I might freak out,” Nina admitted. But  John barely heard her.

“I need to tell you this Nina, I need to tell you because I think, the way I feel about you already, well I think you can help.” John looked at Nina with hope in his bright eyes  His knuckles were white and his forehead wrinkled in consternation. ” I need to tell you my story because other people suffer because of me Nina. Other people get hurt and it drives me insane. I need to share my burden if you can help. Is that too much of me to ask of you? I’m no good, but your still here anyways.”

Nina gulped down her tea and burned her mouth. She held her hand to her lips. Her throat felt raw.  Her voice was small as she admitted to John she’d like to hear his story. ” I feel like I’ve been waiting to hear your story since the night we first meant.” Nina said, “so please tell me and don’t leave me in suspense.” She noticed John had a bit of a tremor in his hands as he took her right hand into his own. She felt fireworks and sense of foreboding when John touched her. But she needed to hear why he was cursed if she continue any kind of relationship with the inauspicious John.

John smiled at Nina and looked down at the floor. Nina looked at his face and noticed how tired and weary John looked. She decided to have pity on him even though his ‘curse’ story was a bit unbelievable. John looked at Nina with piercing eyes and with a ragged voice began to tell her his story. He halted several times to check Nina’s reactions. At times he looked ashamed and other times he looked as if what he was telling Nina hurt him.

Please read Chapter 4 here.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.