Saturday, 17 December 2016

The Plastic Cat

Image result for black plastic cat

                It comes down every Christmas.

Dad says it fell from Santa's sleigh during the great storm and I believed him, until that year Hissing Sid at the Black Bull told me he'd had won it in a game of Rummy.

I hate the plastic cat. I don't why why we still put it up. 

Dad says it reminds him of Mum because she fussed over it like it was a real cat. It sits on the mantelpiece and looks at me. He's never like me, because he knows what I did to Mum and why nobody ever found her body.


                                           (C) Ally Atherton 2016

Written for this week's 100 word challenge over at Thin Spiral Notebook. Hosted by Tara Roberts. Give it ago. It's a great way to meet other writers.

Writers' Soapbox. A Facebook group for all writers.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016


Image result for gum

I'm not going to find it rummaging through the top drawer in the kitchen, full of weeping batteries, silly string, short fuses and take away menus. Everybody has a drawer like that but it doesn't contain the thing I am looking for.

I'm not going to find it, either, in a convenience store and the postman isn't going come knocking on the door asking me to sign for it.

Only you can give it to me. But you're stuck inside my head. Like a small piece of chewing gum.

Stuck in Nineteen Eighty Four with your hands around my neck.

                                         (C) Ally Atherton 2016

Written for this week's prompt over at Thin Spiral Notebook, hosted by Tara.

Give it a go. It's fun and a great way to meet other writers.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Black Friday

                    Don't they look ridiculous?

All dressed up like a dog's dinner.

The language is terrible,

you should hear the words that they come out with.

All because they want something and they don't want
anybody else to have it. I'm sick

of the drama and the tantrums. 

The snot rolling down from their upturned noses. 

I'm happy when I can put them back where they belong.

Back into the cellar. Out of sight and out of mind. 

They've had their daily exercise and so have I. Nothing else to argue about except who will be the next to stop breathing.

                                          (C) Ally Atherton 2016

Written for this week's  100 word challenge, hosted by Tara 

over at 

Thin Spiral Notebook

Monday, 7 November 2016


Image result for ghost eyes

There's somebody writing the story of your life right now.

It's a thick book and it's getting thicker every second and every minute. He never stops. Even when you're sleeping he's measuring every inch of drool, every single thought and every tiny undetectable rapid eye movement. Each sigh, each gasp, as you stumble, pigeon toed and wade knee deep through the subterranean world of your dreams.

Close your eyes and you may hear him. 

Exert yourself. Spin around, somersault, throw out a well timed kick and you may successfully catch him in the balls. Because he's naked.

They all are.


                                           (C) Ally Atherton   2016

100 words written for this week's 100 word challenge, hosted by Tara over at Thin Spiral Notebook


Sunday, 19 June 2016


Being the first human being ever to be born with X Ray vision I would have made a wonderful brain surgeon.

My fame would have travelled far and wide. One day you would have found my eyes staring at you from the surface of a ten dollar bill. When I am dead and buried somebody no doubt would build a statue of me. Somewhere suitable. Times Square. Miami Beach. Or perhaps somewhere out of harms reach like Zocalo or next to a rusty well in the middle of the Yemen.

But brain surgery isn't for me. I prefer to keep my talents to myself. Why waste it when I can enjoy it?

You can't beat sitting on a warm beach with a good book, a cold beer and several hundred scantily clad women walking around totally oblivious to the fact that I can see everything. Some days I prefer a busy tube station. A hospital forecourt. Nothing gets in the way. No coat is too thick. No scarf too tightly stitched.

Who the hell wants to be a statue anyway? School girls giggling at your triple chin. Sea gulls forever shitting on your fat bald head.

                                                                         (C)  Ally Atherton 2016

Written for this week's Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge


Saturday, 18 June 2016


                         'Who's a good boy?'

He was fed up of forever being dragged around by that bunch of muppets. After you've experienced one haunted castle too many, enough is enough.

He was getting old and weary. Thin and hungry. And all the weirdos ever fed him were those silly little snacks that wouldn't fill a house fly. The bastards.

Fed up of chasing grown men dressed up as werewolves it was time for Scooby to retire.

'Who's a good boy?'

Well this gullible idiot obviously. He jumped up. It was all over in a flash.

He went straight for Shaggy's neck.

                  (C) Ally Atherton 2016

100 words written for the the 100 word challenge hosted by Tara at

Thin Spiral Notebook

Why not give it a go and check out the rest of this week's entries?

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Karaoke In The Forties


At Grandma's house you had to sing to let everybody know you were on the toilet.

I remember the outside loo with the cut up squares of newspaper hanging from a string on a nail that somebody long ago drilled into the cold damp walls. But most of all I remember Granddad's lifeless body lying on the floor after Grandma hit him with the coal shovel.

Is there anything worse than dying in the middle of a crap whilst you're singing The White Cliff's of Dover?


The war didn't kill him. Grandma did. Granddad loved Vera Lynn way to much.

                                                                               C) Ally Atherton 2016

100 Words written for this week's challenge over at Thin Spiral Notebook 


Check out the other entries and why not give it a go? It's a great way to discover new writers.

Sunday, 5 June 2016


This morning I turned the rain on.

Nothing major. A small gentle drizzle. It's a great way to wake up.

Mrs Palmer turns the snow on every morning. I think she's turning into an Eskimo. One day I'll wake up to find an igloo has replaced her two up two down house and her cat has turned into a reindeer.

We have too many choices. Sometimes I can't get anything done because I'm too busy deciding to have a sunny day or a rainy day and sometimes you can't beat a thunder storm to start the day with a bang.



                                                                                      (C) Ally Atherton 2016

100 words.

Written for the 100 word challenge hosted by Tara over at Thin Spiral Notebook.

Please check out this week's other entries and why not give it a go yourself?

Thursday, 31 March 2016


                            Image by Oscar Delmar

In the summertime I used to hold buttercups to my skin to see if I liked butter.

Now they've locked me in the yellow room for using the forbidden letter.

I'm yellow from top to bottom. The oxygen I need is thick, yellow and chokes me. Even my sleep is yellow. You might not think it sounds like the worst punishment but yellow is the colour of hell. It slowly slips into your mind, your body when you're not looking.

You become yellow. It becomes you.

Never use to the forbidden letter. Don't even whisper it. They'll know. You'll die.

                                                                         (C) Ally Atherton 2016

100 Words written for the 100 Word Challenge hosted by Tara Roberts over at

Thin Spiral Notebook.

Take a peek and maybe join in. It's fun. And it's a great way of connecting with other writers.
This week you have to write 100 words without using the letter A.

Saturday, 26 March 2016


I once had a bear called Jack.

When I first got him he whispered in my ear that his main purpose in life was to be the keeper of all my secrets. I was dubious at first so I wrote a list so that we both knew where we stood.

1   I shall whisper my secret once and once only. No repeats.

2  You shall never reveal any of my secrets to a third party as long as we both shall live.

3  You are my bear and nobody else's. You are the keeper of my secrets only.

He kept his word but as I got older he grew fatter with all my secrets until one day his stomach came open and my secrets fell out. I did the best I could but it was too late. My secrets were all over the neighbourhood. They developed a life of their own and I couldn't stop them.
                       Jack didn't die but I think he saw a little glimpse of Heaven. He was devastated and has never spoken to me since. Even though I sewed his stomach back together again he is no longer capable of holding my secrets. I whisper them into his ear and they come back out again. I now have nobody to keep my secrets. I have to keep them myself but I am putting on weight and no matter how much I try I can't lose it.

It's the secrets. They are building up inside and are preparing for the big day when my stomach will burst open like Jack's. I'm waiting for it to happen. Jack is too but is too scared to say anything. Maybe I will also catch a little glimpse of Heaven.


                                                         (C) Ally Atherton 2016

289 words written for the Light And Shade Challenge. Check it out and maybe join in the fun.

Saturday, 19 March 2016


                                 A red ticket is all you need for an erotic dream.

I made it to the front of the queue.

'Erotic dream?'


'Add a blue ticket and you can have double the pleasure.'

I handed over my blue ticket.

I couldn't wait to get home and for the day to draw to an end. The anticipation was unbearable. And then I saw her in the queue.

My wife. Head down clutching her red ticket.

What a bitch. Was I not good enough for her anymore?

And was that a green ticket I spotted in her left hand?

Triple pleasure.


                                                                          (C) Ally Atherton 2016

Written for the 100 word challenge over at Thin Spiral Notebook, hosted by Tara Roberts.

Take a look and join in. It's fun. This week's word is 'Dream.'

Tuesday, 15 March 2016


When I had my mid-life crisis I decided to make a stand
the monstrosity that is time itself.

I threw away all my clocks and endeavored to live my life
to the rise and fall of the planets.
My life changed in many amazing ways until the day I got fired from my job,
burned the pot roast
and forgot all about the little orphan that I had hidden in the attic.

I will never forget the look on his tiny face or the pain
in my crotch
when he kicked me where the sun doesn't always shine.


                                                                            (C) Ally Atherton 2016

Written for the 100 Word Challenge hosted by Tara Roberts over at Thin Spiral Notebook.

Take a look and join in. It's fun.

Writers' Soapbox. A Facebook group for all writers to support and help each other.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016


Many years ago when working as an undertaker I would nail bodies to the inside of their coffins as a precaution in the unlikely event of a zombie apocalypse. It was my duty as a member of the human race. 

But never underestimate the strength of an angry zombie. The banging could be heard for miles and I was the one they came for. You see they were too late. There weren't many of us left. Only me and a few others hiding in our basements. And I am the reason they are hungry. 

I should have used more nails.

                                                                           (C) Ally Atherton 2016

100 Words written for the 100 word challenge over at Thin Spiral Notebook

Hosted by Tara Roberts, this week the prompt is 'Duty'. Pop along, give it a go. It's also a great way to meet other writers.

Writers' Soapbox. A community of writers over at Facebook. Feel free to join.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The Day I Discovered A Time Machine

it was a challenge


my first act was to change the settings


I couldn't find out too much

If I land in a world where I'm six foot under

I'd rather

not know about it

Then I had to do something


the habit I developed


betting on every horse race I could


I want to do something special

and the desire

to get rich beyond my wildest dreams


be what it's all about.


so much I could be doing. So many places

So many people I could be bringing back from the dead.


                                                                           (C) Ally Atherton 2016

100 words written for this week's 100 word challenge hosted by

Tara Roberts over at Thin Spiral Notebook

Try it, it's fun and not as easy as it looks. It's also a great way to meet new writer friends.

Also feel free to join Writers' Soapbox. A community for writers on Facebook.

Thursday, 18 February 2016


When I was seven I lived in a paper house

I'd walk to my paper school every morning and into

my paper classroom

Never underestimate the benefits of a good 

quality paper school teacher

Mrs Grime 

taught me everything 

I knew and nothing that I didn't need to know 

She was the one that told me how to 


when Mum didn't come home 

That was the day I learned that paper cars 

are stupid 

because there's nothing 

to protect you when one paper car hits another paper car

That was the day the paper 


and I stopped breathing

                                                                              (C) Ally Atherton 2016

100 words written for the 100 Word Challenge hosted by Tara Roberts

over at Thin Spiral Notebook.

Pop along and give it a go. it's not as easy as you think!

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

It's Finally Happened

All my life everybody always said I'd be late for my own funeral.Well now I am, it's finally happened. Everybody was right. Take a bow, have a slice of cake, come and collect your winning ticket. The name on that ticket is Arthur P Ramsbottom. The author of this unfortunate piece. Because I'm dead. And I'm late, my funeral has started without me.

Since I was a small child I have collected excuses. While other kids were collecting football stickers and beanie dolls I was soon learning the value of stuffing implausible excuses into my pockets, whenever I got the chance. As I got older my pockets grew deeper and my excuses more elaborate. I got to the point where I had one for every occasion, But sometimes it got me into trouble. I was often guilty of mixing up excuses and I'd pull out My Alarm Clock Didn't Go Off This Morning instead of I'm Sorry The Train Was Late or My Mother In Law Has Died instead of I Had A Dentist Appointment, The problem was I had too many excuses and that was my downfall.

And now here I am. Late for my own funeral and I've made a dreadful mistake. I've never round to making up a suitable excuse for this one. I can't very well say I'm Sorry The Cat Got Hit By A Car or My Phone Battery Died. They're all waiting for me in the church and I'm not going to make it. I was looking forward to the elegy. To the vicar telling everybody about my life and all the stupid things I've done.

I wonder if he'll mention the time I fell off a ladder while trying to catch a glimpse of Nelly Perkins in her underwear. I was in a neck brace for weeks.


                                                                      (C) Ally Atherton 2016

305 Words

Lucky Dip

'You get a free drink with your burger.'

Ollie put down the money and chose a can of Fanta.


'No problem kid, now you get a free chocolate bar with your drink.'

Was this guy serious?

'Go on choose one. Or I'll have to choose one for you. I won't take no for an answer.'

'This must be my lucky day' said Ollie.

'Just choose one kid.'

He chose a snickers and put it in his pocket. He paid and took his burger.

'Wait a minute, there's one more thing.'

'Really,' said Ollie, 'I think you've given me enough.'

'Not quite,' said the guy behind the counter, 'you get a free death with your Snickers. Come and choose one.'

'No thanks,' he said and went for the door, but it wouldn't open. He pushed harder. It wouldn't move.

'Free death. Pick one. I won't take no for an answer.'

The guy was crazy.

'Just let me out please, the door's jammed.'

'Choose one kid. Accident, natural causes, murder or lucky dip.'

'I really have to go,' said Ollie.

'Come on choose one or I'll choose one for you. I won't take no for an answer.'

'No. How does this thing open?'

'Last chance kid. Accident, natural causes, murder or lucky dip.'

The door flew open and he nearly ended up face down on the pavement. He plucked out his keys and ran to the car. He didn't feel like his burger any more.

He reversed out of the parking lot and saw the guy from the take away stood in the doorway. What a jerk, As he sped away he heard him shouting something and he was pretty sure what he was shouting.

Lucky Dip.

He began to sweat. Maybe it was hot in the car.

His arm began to tingle. Or maybe it was his imagination.


                                                                      (C) Ally Atherton 2016

308 Words

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Dreams With Jagged Edges


                        I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.

                                                                                 Thomas Jefferson

The hardest part about being a dream catcher is in  the breaking and entering.


           I can't walk through walls. I don't have a magic key. I don't have a teleportation device. My amazing power is restricted to pulling out one dream after another without snapping the bastard and if they wake up I'm screwed. I can't tip toe to save my life. There's always a disagreeable floorboard, a squeaky toy or an unholy cat to deal with. And sometimes, no matter how careful I am, they wake up.

           And then I run. I'm terrible at breaking and entering but pretty good at getting the hell out of again if I need to. You've probably seen me out of the corner of your eye at some point and if you haven't I'll probably get around to you at some point. It's not theft. Not in the strictest sense of the word. I'm taking something you can't deal with. Something that needs to come out before it gets stuck, like a gumball or a small piece of ham. And once it's stuck there's no telling what it will get up to or when it will return. Some dreams never come out. Recurring dreams they call them. But they're not. They are stuck. Lots of people are walking around all the time with dreams stuck in their heads. You can usually tell them a mile off. There's that far away look that they get in their eyes for a kick off. Or the way they grind their teeth. Or sometimes there's nothing to really grab hold exactly but you can tell there's something not quite right about them, inside them.

           But most of the time I get in there and out again with the dream fully intact before they can wake up completely and realise that they had a dream in the first place. Some dreams are long and sticky and some are short and stubby. Short and stubby dreams are the one's that don't make any sense. Like you're driving to work and then find yourself being attacked by a plate of spaghetti. The long and sticky dreams are future dreams. Things you want to do but can't or things you don't want to do but are worried you may have to.


           But dreams with jagged edges are the ones I have the most difficulty with. They don't want to come out for the love of money. They kick and scratch and sometimes I have to leave them in. Dreams with jagged edges are the ones that hold our deepest secrets. Things we can never tell to another living person. I've known some dreams with jagged edges that would rather kill me than come out.

They don't want to be carried away by me or anybody else because they are enjoying themselves too much and don't want to come out because it's raining inside and they love the rain and they are the only ones that know how to turn it off.


                                                                       (C) Ally Atherton 2016

500 words written for this week's Light & Shade Challenge. Take a peek and join in if you are feeling creative.


Saturday, 6 February 2016


                      'Okay has anybody got any ideas?'

I could see in their eyes there wasn't one idea between them.

Above our heads things were being smashed. 

                        'C'mon think! We need to think!'

The cellar door burst open and they came down the steps.

It was me and the girls against the rest of the world. 

A gun was pointing at my head. We'd have to fight our way out.


I was grabbed and my hands tied behind my back.

                       'Oh my God he's killed them all.'

What was he talking about? One of the girls giggled, I'm sure she did. 

100 words written for the 100 word challenge over at Thin Spiral Notebook. Hosted by Tara Roberts.

Take a look and join in if you feel creative.

Sunday, 31 January 2016


People are clumsy in the morning.

I stumble and fall over everything. The bed sheets, my shoes, invisible cats. Everything. I notice the writing on the back of my hand.

One Hundred Days

That's all I have left.

There is nothing peculiar about this morning. My wife is doing the dishes. She has three thousand and four days on the back of her hand.

I walk down the stairs. We have thirteen steps. That's seven point six days for every step.

I am becoming a mathematical genius in the short time I have left. My wife has broken a cup.

100 Words written for the 100 Word Challenge hosted by Tara Roberts over at Thin Spiral Notebook. Check it out and maybe join in the fun.