Batts in the Belfry (flash fiction)

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Batts in the Belfry

 

A guy I knew had recently converted an old church into a living space. After giving me a tour of the place, we ended up in the old bell tower.

“I found this area was very cold in winter, so I decided on getting some insulation installed, so now there are Pink Batts lining all the walls here which helps keep this place snug and warm.” he commented.

“So you’ve got Batts in the belfry then.” I replied and we both laughed.

“Very witty. By the way I’m actually a vampire.” he unexpectedly announced. He opened his mouth revealing his fangs.

Due to his excellent soundproofing, my screams were not heard.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

Pink Batts are a brand of insulation here. I have no idea if they’re also available in other countries.

This was written with the prompt Day 3 – Bats in the Belfry provided by Sammi Cox’s 13 Days of Samhain.

 

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©2020 Joanne Fisher

Surprise Visit (flash fiction)

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Surprise Visit

One evening there came a knock on my door. It was a succession of loud thumps that rather surprised me. I crept to the door with my heart pounding in my ears, and tentatively opened it. To my shock there stood Janelle, a friend I hadn’t seen for a long time.

“Hi Samantha!” she said in a slightly deeper voice than I remembered her having. I opened the door fully.

“Hi Janelle. It’s been a while.” I replied. I noticed her skin was a strange green colour, and bits of it looked like it had fallen off recently. She smiled at me and I saw her teeth were a mixture of yellow and black, some of them had gone. “So what happened to you?’ She gave me another nauseating smile.

“I died apparently. I woke up in a coffin and dug myself out. Slowly bits are falling off me.” she said. She grabbed one of her fingers, and it broke off like she was snapping a twig which almost made me retch. “Apparently I’m a ghoul now. Good thing I wasn’t cremated.” She suddenly laughed.

“How terrible!” I replied trying to keep the rising bile in my mouth.

‘It’s not that bad really. I do have this insatiable hunger for flesh, but aside from that I’m fine. The good thing is any flesh will do, even if it’s rotten. So I’ve got that going for me!” she laughed out loud again. I found it an uncomfortable dry cackle of a laugh. I felt even more nauseous, if that was possible.

“So why have you come to visit me ?” I asked while dreading the answer.

“I haven’t seen you for ages, so I thought I would look you up and say hi. I just wanted to bring you grave tidings!” she said and suddenly started laughing again. Undead or not, Janelle could never resist a pun.

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt Day 2 – Grave Tidings provided by Sammi Cox’s 13 Days of Samhain.

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©2020 Joanne Fisher

Cindy Gets Home (fiction)

Cindy Gets Home

Cindy landed on the ground with a thud. She sat up rubbing the back of her head. Babradon hadn’t warned her about the rough landing. She wondered where she was this time and spotted a middle-aged woman walking a fox terrier. Cindy walked up to her.

“Excuse me, where am I?” Cindy asked. The woman looked at her as though she was crazy.

“You’re just outside the town of Lawrence.” the woman told her before hurrying off and occasionally looking behind her. She was home! Finally! Now all she had to do was walk back to the farm…

Within half an hour she was at the front gate. She walked down the driveway to the homestead. As she approached Jess ran out the door and grabbed Cindy in her arms.

“Where have you been? You’ve been missing for days! People are out searching for you. I’ve been so worried.” Jess blurted out quickly as she hugged Cindy tightly.

“I can’t breathe!” Cindy got out. Jess relaxed her hold, and looked into Cindy’s eyes.

“Oh sorry! I’m just so relieved to see you. I really feared the worst. Let’s get you inside.” The two of them walked into their home with Jess leading the way. Cindy sat down on the couch in the living room while Jess kneeled in front of her. “Where have you been?”

“I got stuck.” Cindy replied.

“You got stuck?” Jess frowned. “What do you mean?”

“I got stuck in Faerie.” Cindy clarified. Jess sighed deeply and shook her head.

“Not this again.”

“I knew you wouldn’t believe me so I brought you back something from the Faerie market.” Cindy dug into the pocket of her jeans and produced a delicate silver bell and handed it to Jess. She looked at it moving it around in her fingers.

“And what did you use to trade for this? Magic beans?” Jess asked.

“I had a letter from Melissa. They were quite happy to exchange it for that.”

“You exchanged a personal letter from a friend for this in some market stall? Why did Melissa write to you?”

“She wanted to apologise for sleeping with you.” Cindy replied.

“Melissa had no need to apologise to you. When we had sex, you and I weren’t back together. You were still in the city.”

“I know.”

“So why all this jealousy with Melissa? Surely when you were in the city you dated other woman?”

“Yes.” Cindy answered.

“And I did likewise when I was here on my own. Who I slept with then is not really your concern. I don’t ask who you slept with in the city do I?” Jess asked while searching Cindy’s face.

“No.”

“So why all this jealousy regarding Melissa? Are you afraid we’re going to hook up again?”

“I do worry about that.” Cindy admitted.

“She has her own girlfriend now, that tall pale blonde, and I’m sure they’re quite happy together. You have nothing to worry about.” Jess reassured her. “I think you should be more worried about your delusions.”

“My delusions?”

“Speaking to fairies and visiting fairyland.”

“My grandmother could see the fairies and speak to them. I’ve inherited her gift.” Cindy told her.

“Yes your grandmother told everyone that she spoke to the fairies, and she was nuts. Everyone knew that. I don’t want to see you go the same way.”

“I wish you’d believe me.” Cindy implored her, but Jess looked at her concerned.

“Your delusions are getting worse. Now you’re disappearing for days. What’s next? One day you don’t come back at all? You’re covered in dirt, your clothes are all ragged, and you really smell. It looks like you’ve been sleeping in a ditch for several days. For all I know that’s what you’ve been doing.” Jess informed her. “I want you to get help.” Cindy rolled her eyes.

“Okay.” Cindy replied, hoping this would appease her.

“We’ll talk more about it tomorrow. Right now you need to get out of those clothes and have a wash.” Jess told her softly. “I have some phone calls to make.” Jess gave her another long hug and left, Cindy slowly got up from the couch and walked to the bathroom. Maybe it would be better if she just kept quiet about Faerie from now on. If only Jess would believe her.

Joanne Fisher

This story follows The Other Portal.

This ends an 10 part story thread of Cindy’s adventures in Faerie, 11 if I ever write the Faerie market story…

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©️2020 Joanne Fisher

Dark Forest (Flash Fiction)

Dark Forest

Lucy dreamed she was lost in a dark forest and chasing her were these tall creatures with long nails as keen as razor blades, and when they grimaced at her their teeth were serrated and ended with a sharp point. They surrounded her in the blackness. Monsters in the dark.

Lucy awoke, but instead of waking in her familiar bed, she found she was still in the forest.

“I must be still dreaming.” she told herself as she realised she had been trapped by these things. One of them laughed. It was a noise that set her on edge like fingernails on a blackboard.

“Yes you were dreaming, and now you’ve woken up in our world.” the one that laughed replied as it approached her licking it’s lips with it’s extended tongue.

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt Day 1 – Monsters in the Dark provided by Sammi Cox’s 13 Days of Samhain.

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©️2020 Joanne Fisher

New Zealand Election Results

Today was there was a General Election here, though I had already voted. Labour was expected to win, but the real question was whether they would win enough votes to govern alone or would they still need a coalition partner, such as the Greens?

The last three years Labour was in a coalition with the Greens and New Zealand First. The government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic gave Labour unprecedented levels of support and at one point during the year they had over 60% support in the polls, but of course there was no way they could maintain that level of support.

With over 98% of the vote counted the results were:

Labour 49.0% (64 seats)

National 26.8% (35 seats)

ACT 8.0% (10 seats)

Greens 7.6% (10 seats)

Maori 1.0% (1 seat)

New Zealand First 2.7% (no seats)

There’s some other smaller parties, but I won’t list them. Here’s a site for the results: Election results

These results are provisional. Once the special votes have been counted the numbers may change a little. Traditionally special votes have tended to favour the left, so Labour and the Greens may still increase their seat totals (only by one or two seats though).

As Labour has 64 seats out of 120, they are able to govern alone, should they wish to. They may still ask the Greens to govern with them, but I’m not sure how likely that is.

Jacinda Ardern’s Election Night Speech.

New Zealand’s Electoral System is Mixed Member Proportional or MMP for short. If you want to know more check out What is MMP? It is usually extremely unlikely for one party to be able to govern alone with this electoral system. In fact it’s designed for coalition governments.

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©️2020 Joanne Fisher

Chores (flash fiction)

Chores

It had been a busy day for farm chores, Cindy thought. Aside from doing the housework, she had been planting new rows of carrots, checking how the corn was doing, getting rid of weeds, and clearing land for a new project.

Now it was mid-afternoon and she decided to sit in the sun for a few minutes. Just as soon as she had, Jess appeared.

“It’s alright for some!” Jess said with a disapproving look. “If you’re not doing anything, you can always help with the fencing.” Cindy rolled her eyes, but slowly got up and followed her wife.

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt chores provided by the Carrot Ranch October 15 Flash Fiction Challenge.

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©️2020 Joanne Fisher

The Tryst (flash fiction)

The Tryst

Princess Nylah rode to their meeting place. She dismounted her steed. It remained motionless, it’s white horn catching the sunlight. She walked to the ruins hoping they were here.

“My lady!” a voice said once Nylah walked through the doorway. Nylah quickly turned and saw Selene was standing there dressed in her dark street clothes. She had short dark hair and a thin frame which allowed her to squeeze through the smallest gaps.

“We haven’t got long. My father wants me to meet a suitor. As if I would want to marry them. I’d rather marry you.” the Princess declared. Selene smiled.

“I don’t think your father would want that. If I was caught in your rooms again I’d be back in his dungeons.”

“But you’re the thief who stole my heart.”

“I can give it back.” Selene offered.

“I want you to keep it.” Nylah replied as they kissed.

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 150

This was written with the photo prompt provided by Crimson’s Creative Challenge #101.

Thanks for the donation Padre!

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©️2020 Joanne Fisher

Pizza Time!

I was feeling a little down today, so to cheer myself up I decided to make pizza. I didn’t have much in terms of ingredients, just half an onion (which I chopped up finely), a few cloves of garlic, tomato paste, a red pepper, some salami, and of course cheese.

I started making the dough fairly late (after 5 pm), and as I let it prove I then got the toppings ready (I took a photo but it turned out blurry). When I kneaded the dough a second time I was really pleased how it felt as it had that nice silky smooth texture to it that dough should have.

As I’ve only moved here recently, I’m still getting used to the oven, and it tends to get hotter then I’m expecting. The oven was on the usual temperature I use to cook pizzas and within 15 minutes it had slightly burnt the first one. I was lucky I checked it when I did. I think I’m still going to have to experiment further with using this oven. I lowered the temperature and the second one came out looking quite good (see first picture). In both pizzas I was pleased how the pizza base turned out. It had a good texture to it.

Best pizza I’ve made for a while 😋

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©️2020 Joanne Fisher

Things I Don’t Understand

Since my previous post The Hunt Begins has utterly failed I thought, after three years of blogging, I would take this time to ask a couple of questions I still have.

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How come some people can do posts that appear on my feed multiple times over several days? Do you have to upgrade your membership to do this?

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I have 860+followers, so how come my posts only average around 40-60 views?

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How come you can’t properly block people here? I tried blocking someone a couple of years ago and I found, though I couldn’t see their posts anymore, they could still see mine and still comment on my posts, which wasn’t what I was aiming for…

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Why bring in this clumsy and annoying new Block Editor? The previous editor had nothing wrong with it and was fairly user friendly. I’m still having difficulty with new one and can’t seem to do line spacing like I used to. If I put a poem up, it merges all the stanzas together and I have tried to fix that, but to no avail. Why fix something that isn’t broken WordPress?

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©️2020 Joanne Fisher