Category Archives: Fiction

Rumpled Silk Skin

Image from a collection of illusion art at

Image from a collection of illusion art at

The Queen regarded herself closely in the mirror.   Deep lines cut cruelly across traces of beauty as the Botox wore off again.

Gazing bitterly at cold creams and serums before her, she feared that rich men chose to marry younger women, like her only beautiful daughter.

The dead King had played away his fortune of gold thread, just as her father had gambled with her life.

It was time to make a bargain.

“What is the cost this time?” she asked, afraid.

The little man stood there, fingering rings into his chin hair.

“I think we said your firstborn child?”

By Anna Ghislena

In celebration of World Book Day this week the 100 Word Challenge here was prompted by the idea of giving alternative endings to traditional fairy tales.  Click to take part yourself!

99Fiction October competition winning entry – “Empty” is a social network for writers.  They hold monthly flash fiction competitions and this Sunday I received the unexpected news that I had won October’s competition!  Here is my winning piece.  I hope you enjoy it!




Since Lilly had grown too weak to carry on, finding her way back had been a relief.  The house had been “improved” since her youth, and cupboards, staircases and walls seemed misplaced; but with loving remembrance, retracing her path between rooms felt natural.

It was quiet though.  Her heart ached for her children; so much she could not sleep.  She had searched the garden for months, hoping to catch them into her arms once more.

Shrill voices stirred her restlessness, drawing her to the window.

“Look!  Is someone in my new bedroom Mummy?”

“No silly!  The house is empty!”

©Anna Ghislena 2013

If you fancy joining 99Fiction try this link :

Fitting In

copyright: Jane Hewitt

copyright: Jane Hewitt

This was not “being good”.  Karl knew he had gone too far but was it “naughty”?

Endless boundaries, rules and consequences just blurred into time.  So many teachers, punishments, classroom corners and tell-tale-tits; “easily distracted” and “will not fit in”, meant what?  He was desperate.

Under the lake’s NO PADDLING sign, he had decided to do what they told him.  Presented with the struggling rabbit he had hurled it far into the stagnant stench.  All around, children’s giggles of nervous satisfaction alerted panic inside him.

Without thinking, he jumped, sinking into the velvet silt.  Surely, doing so, was “being good”?

©Anna Ghislena 2013

This fabulous photo was the prompt for the 100 WCGU over a Julia’s place this week.  To take part go to:

All Good Gifts Around Us

“Congratulations!” beamed Mrs Taylor, “She mentioned another brother or sister but we didn’t realise it would be so soon!”

My mother looked behind her and back at the teacher who hurried the Assembly guests towards a generous array of vegetables, fruit and tins and gestured at seating arrangements with flapping hands.

Proud of the heavy bundle that I clutched in my arms; tenderly wrapped in cot blankets, I didn’t want to part with it.

“Come now, let me help,” coaxed mother, “be careful not to drop.”

There!  The biggest marrow on display!

“When can we have another baby?” I asked.

©Anna Ghislena 2013

The prompt from Julia Skinner’s blog for the 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups this time was “Harvest”.  If you fancy taking part go here:

Away From It All

By John McKinstry from

By John McKinstry from

The first blissful night in Cliff Cottage .  A prescribed change of scene and an abundance of familiar helping hands; it was to soften first-time parent neuroticism.

Faces glowed with the spread of steaming bowls and dancing candlelight; ears tuned to the comforting swish of waves breaking in the darkness below that calmed the fire popping mischievously in the grate.  The baby slept soundly upstairs.

Satisfied sighs and the chink of silver spoons halted unexpectedly.   As if eyes could listen, all rose towards the ceiling and followed determined footsteps padding across boards towards the infant’s room.

Nothing.  Spoons chinked again.

©Anna Ghislena 2013

This is the first time I have participated in the 100WCGU (100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups) engineered by blogger Julia Skinner.  This entry was inspired by the prompt: “…but where did the noise come from…?”

To find out more or to take part go here:

The Peacemaker

Ok, so it’s not a tale from the mosh pit, but then, frankly, school holidays are Moshing Impossible!  Just a piece of short fiction inspired by the dreaded “sleepover”!



Dawn.  Cautious whispers plan strategies.  Positions for attack are assumed.

Swiftly exposed from warm bunker safety, the unsuspecting target is struck.  Amid nervous hysteria, sugary rations are manually sought and triumphantly withdrawn from their secreted location.  Expectant heavy breathing fills a delay.

Detecting violation, clumsy counter attack is furiously delivered.  Chaos, dappled by new morning sunlight, triggers ugly war, with allies two against one; one who possessed what two others wanted yesterday.

Screams and thuds alert my tired ears.  I shuffle softly to the front line; my intrusion ignored.  Yawning, I click and select the television channel.

Peace falls.


Copyright: Anna Ghislena 2013


Ahh, I can feel it now!  The piss in my hair; the mud between my toes; the rain trickling down my back; the steam rising from the mosh pit; the smell of world cuisine mixed with the tang from the urinals; the grit coating my teeth.  Ahh yes!  Download Festival!  It’s nearly time to pack your bags and stick out your thumb and get on the road from wherever you reside to join Downloaders from every part of the nation and head along to sleepy little old Castle Donnington for the greatest show on earth!

Well, girls, (and boys), sticking out your thumb might not be the best way to travel. I have done it myself and can’t really say I recommend it.  Definitely a slightly worrying experience all round with no guarantee whatsoever that you will reach your destination in time for your favorite band to hit the stage!  However, whether you take the train; taxi; car or even walk to save on all those precious beer drinking, Jägermeister abusing pennies, make sure you are well equipped – and, when I say, “well equipped” it doesn’t mean you, boys.

Lipstick?  Check.

Sunhat?  Check.

Purse?  Check.

Tickets?  Just about.

Handwipes?  Have now.

Tent?  Sure.

Sleeping bag?  Yep.

Wellies?  Of course.

Condoms?  If you must.

Female urinary device?  What?

Basically, if you know about these revolutionary items then you are already a winner.  If you don’t then this is what I am talking about.  Here’s a little snippet from my new book:

“….Girls were better catered for these days though.  They even had the fairer sex pissing like the blokes thanks to fantastic, European inventiveness so that you could choose whether to park your delicate butt on the spattered rim of a stinking shit tardis, only to find the gel soap dispenser totally empty or, stand proud, with a disposable cardboard funnel tucked into your jeans, shoulder to shoulder with swaying festival goers emitting piss loads of weak lager in order to fill their bladders with more.  Disposable cardboard funnels meant that you could probably get away without having to wash your hands at all having touched nothing but the clean white edges of your antibac’d cock extension. The only thing about standing to pee, if you are a girl, Zoe recalled, is that, not being the normal stance to assume, the muscles don’t relax and release quickly, even if your bladder is full and you’re busting, so you can stand there for a while waiting and the blokes around wonder if you have just joined them in the adjacent open cubicle to check out their talent….”     © Anna Ghislena “Rock Harder”

Yes, it does take a little getting used to, but after the first go, its simple!  Don’t be shy!  It’s time-saving; hygienic and liberating!  Squatting above those smelly bowls with your nose against the door while you hold your breath and aim, (badly), before precariously mopping up the splashes, could be a thing of the past thanks to the likes of P-Mate (disposable cardboard funnels); the Shewee and GoGirl (re-useable silicone; comfy and germ free).


I recently discovered that GoGirl (available in delightful shades of either lavender or khaki) is supplied by the Download survival experts “Jims Van”.  With extreme knowledge of the Download experience, they seem to have everything (bar the packed lunch and the beer) that the discerning festival goer and born survivor needs to tackle the elements and enjoy some basic comforts (eat your heart out Bear Grylls!).  In fact, you can pre-order all or part of your kit from them and they’ll have it ready for you to collect as you pass through Donnington.

So, for those about to rock, we salute GoGirl!  Check it out here – there’s a little demo video on Jims Van website, just follow this link and scroll down to the items at the end of the shopping page: