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.