Sing for your supper


Life can be quite boring
Just sitting in the nest
And so we practise singing –
It’s what we do the best

We’re meant to be a full quintet
But two of us aren’t ready
And so we sing a trio
A bit like Ed, Edd n Eddy

In quiet times soft melodies
We spend the long hours voicing
But when our folks appear with food
We switch to loud rejoicing

Hopefully the other two
Will finally awaken
And then we five can give full voice
When Dad brings home the bacon.

This was written in response to Kreative Kue 255 published on this site.

Kreative Kue 256

Kreative Kue 255 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

John W Howell is the author of the John Cannon trilogy of My GRL, His Revenge, Our Justice and Circumstances of Childhood, co-author of The Contract, and blogs at Fiction Favorites.

Light the lights by John W. Howell © 2020

“Well, we finally made it to Broadway.”

“Oh, my goodness. What a trip it has been.”

“You are so right, sister. We have come a long way.”

“Did you ever think we would be here one day?.”

“Not even in my wildest dreams.”

“When I was a little girl, I used to dance and sing and pretend to be on Broadway.”

“Me too. That’s amazing. We had the same thing going on.”

“I used to put on shows for my family. I even had a cardboard sign with Broadway written on it.”

“Oh, that sounds cute.”

“I would charge my family a penny for the show.”

“Hahaha. I would probably have had to pay my family to attend, so I never mentioned a price.”

“So now we are here. What is the first thing we should do?”

“We need to find an agent.”

“Yeah, and then some auditions.”

“How about an apartment?”

“And some food.”

“Uh, ladies?”



“I think we better get jobs.”


My effort was

Homeward bound.

“I cannot believe that you brought Mum out with … TAXI! … all this lot going on.”

“How could I not, Elena? It’s Mum’s birthday after all. We always bring Mum out for a nice meal on her special day.”

“Didn’t you notice that … TAXI – Oh for pity’s sake – TAXI … all the restaurants and everything are shut?”

“Yeah, I kind of heard they might be, but you always hope, don’t you?”

“Is that what you live your life on? Hope?”

“Ain’t nothing better.”

“TAXI! Where in the name of all that’s sacred are all the taxis? … Glory be, Louise, you’re not hoping, you’re wishing.”

“What’s the difference?”

“Let me explain. You hope for a sunny day, an empty road to cross, an open eatery. All these things you can reasonably expect to happen. Not necessary they will, but they can. You wish for a lottery win!”

“Can happen.”

“Yeah, right.”

“Can too. People win all the time.”

“Against odds of seventy-eight gazillion to one, yeah. You can’t live your life on those odds.”

“Why not?”

“Cause you’ll go through life disappointed. Like I am at there being no effing taxis.”

“So how are you going to get Mum home?”

“How am I going to get her home?”

“That’s what I asked.”

“How am I going to get her home? How are you going to get her home, more like it.”

“Why is it down to me?”

“Because it was your idea to bring her out on the one day the city’s locked down on account of the election.”

“Tell you what I don’t get…”


“I don’t get why the city’s locked down for the election. Never is usually.”

“Don’t you watch the news channels?”

“Nah. Boring.”

“If you had, you’d have known that they’re expecting big trouble. Riots in the streets they were talking about. Advised every business to close down for the day, board up if they could.”

“I didn’t know about that.”

“It’s been all over the news for a week or more.”

“So where are all the rioters? Same place as the taxis?”

“Looks like maybe you’re not the only one doesn’t bother watching the news channels. Looks like the rioters didn’t watch, either.”

“Taxi drivers did — ouch!”


21 June 2008

On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.

Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries next Monday.

Sunday serialisation – Knight after Knight, 17.2

Knight after Knight250

In Knight & Deigh, Hannice Knight suffered a back injury that left him without the use of his legs. Sophie Deigh, physiotherapist and recent widow, devoted herself to supporting him.

As Hannice’s body recovered, he became ever closer to Sophie, and soon they found themselves in a relationship they had neither anticipated nor intended and for which neither was fully prepared.

A bump in the Knight followed Hannice as he juggled business, hedonism, marriage and ultimately parenthood.

Knight after Knight is the third and final part of the Hannice Knight story. Starting after the marriage of Hannice and Sophie’s only son, David to Jess, the only child of Jason and Noelani Reeves of Hawaii, it traces the Knight family’s progression through the generations.

Knight after Knight. Chapter seventeen, part two.

Over a three-year period, Knight Overbock Partnership enjoyed reasonable success.

Although we were only called on by Knight Global for two more jobs, both of them tested and stretched Susie to her limits and resulted in promotions and salary increases for her. One of these jobs coincided with Hannah’s university holidays and she, too, gained a deal of experience and growth in her knowledge and capability. Apart from those two jobs, we carried out follow-on audits on a number of projects that Max and I had started, and were called on to perform management development consultations for a number of new clients.

By the end of that period, Henk and I were beginning to feel that it was time to slow down. Susie had, on occasion, expressed a desire to return to head office where there was an opening for her in a junior management role and Hannah was becoming, as Jess had predicted, disenchanted with the business and itching to get started on a real career.

“Whilst we’re all together,” I said at what turned out to be our last weekly meeting, “I, that is we, Henk and I want to thank you both, Susie and Hannah, for all your work. As well as keeping two old men in check—”

“Not always easy,” Susie said, “but at least we never had to fend off unwanted advances. We appreciate that.”

“Thank you, Susie. I can’t deny that there’s a lot to enjoy about having two attractive young women with us whilst we’re working, and we feel a great affection and protectiveness towards you both. However, we appreciate and respect more your professionalism and your capabilities. The time has come, I regret to say, for Henk and me to admit that we’re not getting any younger and it’s probably time for us both to retire. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you; you’ve both been hinting for some months that you want a change of direction. We can’t offer you that. What we can do is to release you, Susie, from your secondment. I’ve spoken with David, and he assures me that there’s a role for you in head office as manager of the internal audit department he’s setting up. Your developing forensic accounting skills will be put to good use.”

“Can I just ask, Hannice, will I still be able to keep Ms Matham’s stuff?”

“Of course, Susie.”

“What are your plans, Hannah?” I asked, “I know you told me recently, but my memory’s letting me down more often these days. That’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to retire – before I forget that I want to!” That gave everyone a laugh.

“I said I wanted to go into Dad’s business and work my way as far up the hierarchy as my abilities will take me. Well, I start next week on Susie’s internal audit team!”

“And are you happy with that?”

“I should say! I love working with Susie and I enjoy the work.”

“I thought you were getting bored with it,” Henk observed.

“Not the work as such, Henk. I was getting bored with the long gaps between jobs.”

“What about you, Susie? Are you happy to have Hannah in your section?”

“Mostly, yes—”

“Only mostly?” Hannah asked.

“Well, you’re too much competition for me, aren’t you?”

“How? You know so much more then I do.”

“I wasn’t talking about work.”

“Okay,” I said, “so you’re okay working together. The rest will sort itself out, and I don’t imagine either of you will have trouble in the other department.”

“So what now?” Henk asked, “What do we do about our client list?”

“Here’s the exciting part,” I said, “David has offered to have Knight Global absorb KOP as a going concern, so our clients will become his clients. The paperwork is ready for our signatures whenever we can go in to sign it.”

“But if Knights are acquiring KOP, who will run it?” Susie asked.

“You will. The new internal audit department I told you about is basically KOP reinvented. You will manage it with Hannah as your deputy.”

“So just the two of us, then?”

“I think it’ll be too big for the two of you, but that’s for you to negotiate with Finance. Your first job will be to establish an outline business plan along with the main accounting managers and from there, set out what people you think you’ll need.”

“That’s a big ask, isn’t it?”

“If you’re telling me that you don’t think Hannah and you, between you, can do that, perhaps I should ask David to rethink his ideas.”

“It was his idea?”

“Whose did you think it was?”

“We’d assumed it was yours.”

“Seventy per cent David’s, twenty per cent Jess’s and ten per cent mine.”

“In that case…”

“Glad to hear it, kids. You can call on me if you need any help, but my money says you won’t.”

We closed the meeting and, as if you hadn’t guessed, enjoyed a glass of sherry each. At our suggestion, the two girls left for head office straight away, leaving Henk and me alone in Knight Towers.

“End of an era, Hannice,” Henk said.


“What are you going to do with yourself?”

“Rest. These last few months have been something of a struggle. I’ll have myself checked over at the clinic and see what level of activity they recommend. You?”

“Back to Amsterdam. I want to be around my people for whatever time I have left.”

“You’ll be around for years, yet, Henk. Promise me one thing, though. Promise me you’ll say something nice about me at my funeral.”

“What makes you think you’ll go first?”

“Just a feeling I get. I’ve been thinking about Sophie a lot these past few weeks; more than I had before. You can’t have missed how Hannah seems to be looking more like her grandmother every day. I’ve lost count of how many times recently I’ve had to stop myself calling her Sophie instead of her real name. It’s all becoming too hard. I don’t hold with any of that life after death stuff, you know that, but wouldn’t it be great if it were true, and I could look forward to seeing my Sophie again.”

“Now you’re getting maudlin, my friend. Stop it. You’ve got years ahead of you yet.”

“Yes, I had, old friend. And ”

And that was the end of KOP and probably, although I didn’t accept it at the time, the end of my working life.