The Wisdom of Morvik



The Wisdom of Morvik

Rejoice! The warriors of the tribe, who have wandered many moons, lost and desolate in the far citadel, have returned. Behold the bounty of strange gifts they bear!

Now I the elder, in ritual robes, solemnly unseal the book of myths and intone the powerful magic of the ancients.

‘Right. So take side A and crosspiece b and screw C1…’

‘Crosspiece B? That won’t work.’

‘Are you questioning the holy runes or my authority as elder and interpreter?’

‘Just shut up and give it here!’

And so the eternal struggle for kingship continues over the building of the IKEA wardrobe.

M J Lewis ©2016

Yes folks, Morvik really is an IKEA wardrobe. And indeed my husband and daughter are attaching wardrobe doors upstairs as I write. (I’m not daft – I’m keeping well out of it.) I did almost call this Game of Wardrobes, but that would have given it away too soon.

Many thanks to Rochelle our host at Friday Flash Fiction and to Kent Bonham for the intriguing photo.

Click here for a soundly constructed cupboardful of stories, or should I say a cupboardful of soundly constructed stories.

Telling Tales



Telling Tales

‘Scraps of cloud hung in the windows of the ballroom; webs of trapped butterflies covered the chandeliers. In place of a gown the fairy princess wore a rosebush in bud and as she turned in the bridal waltz, roses bloomed and droplets of blood spattered her satin slippers.’

The one about the two slit boys was scarier.’

‘Shh – footsteps.’

‘Nah – doesn’t fit the story. Try another one. How about..’

‘No, really. Listen!’

‘Shit – cut the light.’

I put my lips next to his ear. ‘The rotten stairs – ninth and tenth.’

We huddled together in the darkness and counted one, two…

M J Lewis©2016

And that’s your 100 words for this week.

Many thanks to Rochelle our host at Friday Fiction and to J Hardy Carroll for the atmospheric photo. For more stories click here, if you dare.

Was a bit unfocused this week so confess to reading around a bit. Those two boys from Derelict by C E Ayr definitely stuck in my head and seem to have crept into one of the stories within this story.

If they could see me now


If they could see me now

Maria felt fantastic, her slim body swathed in soft layers of turquoise silk.

‘If it weren’t for the ambassador’s reception, I’d ravish you now, Darling.’

Maria giggled then stopped mid-swirl as the supervisor’s voice boomed down the corridor outside.

‘Quick Maria, the wardrobe!’

Mr Klein, the supervisor, surveyed the room – surfaces buffed to a reflective sheen, cushions plumped.

‘Well done, Evie. But where’s Maria?’

‘We ran out of polish…’

He tutted indulgently. ‘Well never mind. Get along now.’

Alone, Mr Klein opened the vast wardrobe door.

‘Holy Moly!’ That red lace number was crying out to be tried on.

M J Lewis ©2016

Spring is here at last and I’m looking forward to tulips and blue skies – we all need a bit of colour somewhere in our lives. Hope you enjoy this bit of flash fiction silliness. I worked in a hotel one summer, in the kitchen making starters. My hands smelled of prawns and avocado for the entire summer.

Thanks as ever to the amazing Rochelle and to Marie Gail Stratford for the photo.

Head-in-the-clouds Inventor requires Feet-on-the-ground Assistant


Head-in-the-clouds Inventor requires Feet-on-the-ground Assistant

For the boss of a company worth millions he was unprepossessing.

Half of what I say is rubbish, half genius. Work out which is which and the job’s yours.

So started the most exciting week of my life. I’d never laughed so much or drunk so much coffee; we ran everywhere. On Friday he declared his undying love.

Now that really is rubbish, I said as I left.

I work in a library now, sipping herb tea at my desk and dreaming of what might have been and what indeed is still to come, in just a few weeks’ time.

MJ Lewis ©2016

So here we are on a Wednesday evening at Friday Flash Fiction, weighing in – as you might expect from a Maths teacher – at an exact 100 words (titles don’t count, right?).

Thanks to Rochelle, our seemingly indefatigable Friday Fiction host, and to Emmy L Gant for providing the amazing photo. A dramatic storm over Paris – and I happened on what I think is a rubbish bin. Such is the serendipity and tolerance of Friday Fiction.

Thanks to all who visit.

(PS Large fingers, small phone – I seem to have liked my own post. Ooops! Very embarrassing!)

No Title


No Title

Monday: Forgot my husband’s name. Surprisingly easy to cover.

Tuesday: Couldn’t remember the route to work. Somewhat trickier.

Wednesday: Stayed home.

Next day: Somewhere a wardrobe door swung drunkenly on broken hinges; a bookcase toppled, spilling its entire contents.

Another: Curtains sleepwalk from open windows.

And another: I am kneeling in the garden, someone‘s gnarled old hands holding my trowel. A young man bearing a beautiful mauve flowering plant is crossing the lawn.

He turns the label towards me and I read, ‘Phlox Paniculata, Purple Kiss. Names are so important don’t you think…’ He indicates the sticky label on his pullover. ‘Henry. What a considerate young man you are. Your family must be very proud.’

He grins. ‘Especially my Grandma.’

The wardrobe door gently closes; the bookcase temporarily rights itself. The windows are secure, the curtains still as I smile into his handsome face, recalling momentarily the first day I held him, rosy and new: my very own grandson, Henry.

MJ Lewis©2016

(Flash fiction 160 words)

Lost and Found?



Lost and Found?

Decades ago a face would have been reconstructed physically, painstakingly layered onto the skull, the techniques of theatre and make-up artistry as much in evidence as science.

Today the construction is in a computer program, the one running on my office computer; although of course the small skull itself is still handled, each tiny bump and indentation carefully calibrated.

I am in the canteen. I cannot move from my seat. Next to my office computer is the faded photo of my baby brother, with his halo of sun-bleached toddler curls. My boss is pushing open the swing door. I exhale slowly.

M J Lewis©2016

An atmospheric and provoking picture this week at Friday Fiction, thanks to Erin Leary, who gives us her hundred-word story and an explanation of those odd stumps. Thanks are also due, as ever, to our wonderful host Rochelle.

My story was written in a spirit of experimentation, to see if I could find something hiding deep in the swamp of my imagination and take myself in a different direction – I don’t usually add to the Friday Fiction body count! So what happens – I seem to have written about family, loss, love…in other words the same old themes.

Thanks to all who visit.

The Best Holiday Ever

The Best Holiday Ever


The Best Holiday Ever

Chateau or Tepee? Mountains or beach? No contest; the half-term my sister was born and it rained all week.

Dad away, on business he said, we shut the curtains and had an indoors holiday. Mum lovely in peachy slip, wild curly hair and pink lipstick; sister swaddled like a tiny milk-bottle. Porridge for lunch, baked-beans for tea; silly games, daft jokes.

And nighttimes, floating off to dreamland on the wide, high raft of the big bed as my brother sang a lullaby, so sweet the tears trickled down our Mum’s cheeks and onto the dark head suckling at her breast.

M J Lewis ©2016

This is completely fictional (and I have strayed far from the prompt!) but I will say, in this wild wide world of extremes and excitement, tucked away in my store of memories are many of the simplest pleasures of life.

Thanks as always to the amazing Rochelle. For a stroll on the sandy beach of Friday fictional delights click here. Thanks to C. E. Ayr for the photo.

The Spinet and the Music Stool


The Spinet and the Music Stool

They were the words every lover dreads: I’ll always cherish our time together.

The spinet wanted to bellow out his misery, but his strings just gently vibrated with sadness. She was much younger; he’d always known their time together would be short, a song rather than a symphony.

But the new walnut pianoforte, with his rolling bass and piercing climax of high notes, his seductive dynamic range – it was too much.

Take care my love, whispered the spinet in moderated tones. May your heart be filled with happy tunes.

And his own heart broke within him with a jarring twang.

M J Lewis ©2016

Coming along very late to the party this week due to internet problems. I appear to be still in a Hans Christian Andersen mood – not sure why.

Thanks to Rochelle, our busy host at Friday Fiction, and to Jan W. Fields for the photo this week. For more musically inspired 100-word fiction click here.

The Little Ecstasy Girl



The Little Ecstasy Girl

Christmas Eve: nobody was buying; the crowd was high on holiday happiness and the bouncers were on to her.

She shivered on the steps, not a single pill sold. Just one, then she’d dare to go home. She felt warmer almost immediately. She looked up – velvet and diamonds. One more and the stars began to sing, the purest most beautiful sound she had ever heard. She lifted her arms and swam towards the light, her whole being vibrating with their brilliance.

Christmas morning: the husk of a girl lay curled on the steps, frozen fingers clutching an empty bag.

M J Lewis ©2016

With thanks to our own shining star at Friday Fiction, Rochelle and to Amy Reese for the photo prompt. Thanks as well to a certain Hans Christian Andersen. (Have never had a Danish visitor – that would be nice!) To visit a constellation of stories click here.

Love: the theory and the practice


Love: the theory and the practice

Watch people at airports you said, to understand attachment: the tears, the hugs, the love.

You included us all: the nervous teenager, the would-be psychiatrist, the lonely middle-aged woman. You encouraged us, challenged us. I learnt that conformity is hugely overrated; that normality is an entirely subjective concept; that you preferred Vygotsky to Piaget, mountains to beaches; that you loved your husband dearly.

And I discovered first-hand that feelings are feelings, however predictable the transference of years of suppressed affection to my Psychology tutor. So, just as Freud valued insight over happiness, my mind expanded as my heart still aches.

M J Lewis ©2016

Happy January to all who visit and a huge thank you to Rochelle as another year of a Friday Fiction begins. Anyone else returned to work after the break to find they’re already playing catch-up by the end of week one? Ah, so not just teachers then (but that’s a true story for another time). Thanks also to Melanie Greenwood for the photo.

My one and only resolution for 2016 so far is to learn and write a different form of poetry each month; January has been declared Miranda’s sonnet month. Here’s a really inspiring and useful site I’ve enjoyed visiting. Not as serious as it sounds by the way – my first sonnet is about a guinea pig and begins:

He raises noble snout and sniffs the air