Postcard from Hispaniola


(150 words)

Hello Darling, Well they were right when they said the recipe for a great marriage is to live in different countries! Missing you and ‘the babe’ though. Looking forward to our ‘meeting’ in the Autumn! As the pic shows, I’m in Port-au-Prince. Splashed out on a Caribbean Cruise, don’t be cross! Someone said, ‘You can live to be a hundred, if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred!’ At this rate I’ll be dead at sixty! Still, my heart is true to you, never fear! Trust it’s still the same with you? Haiti’s crazy, a place where a black cat at a crossroads stops everyone, but a red light doesn’t! How are the shows going, you don’t phone or message me. All that practice that used to drive me nuts finally paid off. You show ‘em girl! Tarquin xxxx

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Dream of a Stone Horse

stone horse
Despite leaving early, we’d climbed the trail alone for hours. “How’re you feeling Sue?” I asked.
We came upon an ancient shrine with a small stone horse. I stroked its weathered features and whispered, “we need water… Dhanybhaad!” I imagined it standing under the cold stars, desolate, longing to live and breath.
A bald, red-gowned man appeared on a magnificent grey horse. “You want eat and drink?”
“Yes please!”
A saddlebag yielded bottled water, bread and chicken. We ate ravenously.
He smiled and rode away. Looking back at the shrine, I gasped. The stone horse had disappeared…


Tests, more tests… Get me out of here!
A young doctor, pimply and onion-breathed, shone an intense white light into my eyes. “No response I’m afraid, amantidine doesn’t seem to have helped.”
Damn you! I can hear you, see you!
Matthew and Sarah stood nearby, exchanging glances, feigning concern.
“Coma varies considerably. In your brother’s case I’m afraid there’s nothing else we can do.” The doctor hesitated. “It’s difficult I know but after all these years, perhaps it’s time…” He coughed, embarrassed, under orders. “These are the forms…”
They murmured affirmation, faux distress etched on their faces.
Wait, no!…

What the Devil?

Arranging her music, Eloise sat at the piano in her uncle’s empty chateau. Nearby stood an ornate antique desk. On impulse she opened a drawer; beneath photographic magazines, an envelope.
Inquisitively she looked inside it – photographs, and what photographs! A woman, naked save for a mask, straddled a creature, black-haired and cloven-hoofed. She recognised her aunt’s curly auburn hair and the gap in her smiling teeth.
A tap on her shoulder made her jump. Wheeling around, she found herself face-to-face with a pair of burning red eyes beneath long curved horns. “Welcome Eloise, let us mate!”

Femme Fatal

Eighteen hundred hours. OK, go, go, go!
Ten metres away across the dark, moonless sand, a lone sentry stood. Behind me, black parachutes, like water holes in the desert.
Orders were ‘no shooting’ – ours not to reason why!
Running softly, knife at the ready, I ran the few paces. At the last moment the sentry turned, revealing a strikingly pretty face. I hesitated. Somehow she launched a flare.
“Bitch!” I stabbed her through the heart and her shirt turned black.
Behind, someone screamed as shrapnel ripped their guts out.
In the now-lighted scene she lay, wearing a smile of triumph.


Dumb, they called them. Hah! He stroked her soft blue-scaled cheeks, hearing her purr in response, long silver hair falling over her prominant chest. Six months on this godforsaken mining planet – maybe time to surrender!
It wasn’t lust, he reassured himself, the creatures demonstrated love, so why resist?
The act over, he slept, waking to the burning light of twin suns. He reached out but she‘d gone – for now, back to her kind.
Given the choice of returning to demanding wife and commitments on Earth or staying on this planet of accomodating females, albeit unintelligent, maybe he’d stick around…

Don’t Mind the Police!

“Police state, that’s what this bloody place is becoming!” Arthur complained, looking up at the mandible poking incongruously from beneath a peaked cap.
The policeman’s protruding eyes swivelled down at him and Arthur noticed the creature’s diaphanous folded wings twitch.
“Look out! Mantra.” said Stan, his companion.
“We are honest, we love the king,” they chanted mentally, feeling the familiar burning sensation as their minds were read.
The policeman seemed satisfied and his towering figure turned away.
“I wish they’d buzz off back to their own planet,” muttered Stan.
“They say they were ‘invited’ here, that’s the problem.”
“Interplanetary immigrants!”

The Suspect

“Police were here last night…”
“Girl was attacked, back of Robertson’s…”
“So maybe you know something?”
“Where were you last night?”
“Round Alex’s.”
“Doing what?”
“This ‘n that, playin’ x-box, nothin’ really…”
“Anyone else there?”
“Isn’t there a chip shop near Robertson’s?”
“Sorry to trouble you again, sir. This wallet was found at the scene – it’s empty. Is it your son’s? He was seen nearby…”
“Sorry officer, I don’t recognise it.”
[son enters hall]
“I was wiv a mate, we just got chips. Hey, that’s my dad’s!”
“Mr Sullivan…?”
“Ah, umm…”

Life on Mars

Evidently it was morning. Soft and warm, Svetlana moved beneath the quilt, brain fog and dream memories clearing. Time to make the checks!
Pulsating hot and cold streams of water vitalized her, then, pulling on the cumbersome suit, out through the airlock into frozen red desert.
Passing through the modules she checked air pressure, water reserves, radiation levels. Suddenly aware that today was exactly one year since landing she felt the pain of crushing solitude. Her throat constricted, hot tears flooded her eyes.
Huge letters on the first dome, now covered with orange lichen, showed just M-.-S ..O-E.

The Final Mystery

sherlock_holmes_in_public-domain“Evidently the intruder gained access here,” said Holmes, tapping the high brick wall behind the Midland Bank.
“But how…?”
“Look carefully Watson, I opine these holes were made by metal studded clogs!”
“But where the Devil would a fellow get those?”
Holmes took out a magnifying glass and looked carefully at the marks.
“One and five eights between the studs Watson. Don’t you see – the Bridlington quartz mine!”
“Good Lord Holmes! But…?”
Before Holmes could reply, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle suffered a fatal heart attack and so this mystery remains the only one unsolved in the entire Sherlock Holmes canon…