Tag Archives: short stories

99Fiction October competition winning entry – “Empty”

99Fiction.net 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!

From: all-free-download.com

From: all-free-download.com


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 : http://99fiction.net/

Pavement Cafe

Original image from homegroup.org.uk

Original image from homegroup.org.uk

I’ve been sitting here awhile. 

My cup is empty. 

No matter, I like watching human traffic.

Foreign students chatter by.

Her!  She passes every day;

fresh long hair, a breezy skirt, so beautiful;

the picture of my love when I promised her the universe.

Now there’s a young man with determination in his stride;

his tie flapping across his chest; his briefcase full of ambition;

I remember those days, before this.

A fretful girl struggles with her double pram.   Are my children all grown up now?

As the world turns a dog sniffs my shoe.

Clink.  Silver hits my cup.  I salute you.

©Anna Ghislena 2013

This was another 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups .  To take part head for this link : http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week107/

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 alltradeart.net

By John McKinstry from alltradeart.net

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: http://jfb57.wordpress.com/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups/

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

World Goth Day – 22nd May 2013

For a long time now, I have opted for heels, jeans and a leather jacket, but I remember the looks I used to get, walking down the road with my backcombed hair, my white make-up and my blood-red lips; studs and lace draped around my waist; and multiple purple tassels swaying around my ankles.  I always felt like I was asking for trouble.  Why?  I don’t know?  I felt proud of the music I loved, Bauhaus; The Mission; The Sisters of Mercy; Siouxsie and the Banshees; Fields of the Nephilim; New Model Army; and if I could wear stuff that reflected that interest then, I was damn well going to do it!  It was exciting!

Was it threatening to other people?  No, I don’t think so.  I was the same happy person under it all; it was only clothes and music; an art form that provided a sense of community, just like any other community in every day, suburban society.  It is strange then, then some people do choose to be threatened by it,  in the same way that a large, unleashed dog is a worry around small children.  They must either move away from it or  regard it with caution or, are confused by it and get angry.

This blog post is a celebration of World Goth Day and also a reminder that we are all born and eat, sleep and breathe, in the same way as each other; no one is fundamentally different to anyone else.  We all value life.


Clothed in rips and bruised tattoos

lies a mother’s baby; a father’s pride.

Sticky with wet crimson, crimped blue waves

hide kohl eyes streaked in pain.

He’d missed the bus by seconds and the next was running late.

Then it happened.

He’d not run nor shouted nor argued.

Just ignore them; that is best.

“Weirdo!” was the hateful, screaming, battle cry,

“Who d’ya think you are!”.

The pavement presses against his cheek;

It’s dead cold.

Warm blood bubbles with dirty grit

inhaled deep down with struggling breath.

What blinkered fist judged so harshly?

Some mother’s baby; some father’s pride?

 ©Anna Ghislena