Category: Writing



Okay, let me try to explain it again.

The angle on top of the post is carefully calculated to be twenty-three point four degrees – exactly matching the planet’s axial tilt.

I’m coming to that; the coefficient of friction between the glass and the post’s surface is precisely two per cent more than is necessary to resist the pull of gravity when the glass is empty.

Yes, that’s very important. When it’s— Let me finish, please. When the glass is full, there’s more gravity pulling it down than across the sloping surface— Thank you for that. Yes, it’s because its centre of gravity is closer to the centre of the post. The problem comes when the glass’s centre of gravity falls outside the top of the post.

I’m glad you asked that. The angle of the handle is important, as it has an effect on the overall c of g of the glass.

C of g means centre of gravity. I’m just trying to save saying the same thing too often.

Okay, if you prefer. The angle of the handle is important, as it has an effect on the overall centre of gravity of the glass. Better?

Now. Here’s the fascinating part. Every time a fighter jet passes over; which, incidentally, they’re not supposed to do as this is a designated no-fly zone, although these Top-Gun types seem to live as though the normal rules don’t apply to them; but when one does pass over, it sets up a sympathetic vibration.

No, I don’t know why it’s called sympathetic, and I have no idea what it’s actually sympathetic to; not me, that’s for sure. That vibration affects the stiction that holds the glass in place causing the vessel to slide gracefully towards the lower edge of the platform.


No, there isn’t a plane anywhere near.

Why is it wha… Oh, bugger!

This was written in response to Kreative Kue 224 published on this site.

Kreative Kue 224 contd.

Finally, my wife and I have successfully moved ourselves and our dogs from the middle of France to the north of England - well, not exactly the absolute middle or the absolute north, but near enough. We have left a house that was too big for us and sat on an acre of land that needed a lot of maintaining (nearly two hours on a ride-on mower), and moved into a smaller home with a back garden that only takes about twenty minutes to cut with a small electric mower. Finally, six weeks after leaving France and three weeks after moving in here, we have broadband again.  So, without further ado, here's the full, complete KK224.

Kreative Kue 223 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.

Our Day by John W. Howell © 2019

“So when do you think she’ll be here?”

“I thought she would have been here by now.”

“Could it be we missed her?”

“How is that possible? All these people have been waiting, and they would have seen her.”

“Did you ask anyone.”

“Heavens no. I’m embarrassed enough as it is without making a scene. Besides. Look at them. They are all looking down the driveway.”

“Maybe there is another arrival they are looking to see.”

“Please. This is the only thing going on here today.”

“Well, I think it couldn’t hurt to ask.”

“Enough. Do I need any more humiliation?”

“Suit yourself. One last question.”

“Please get whatever it is off your chest. Ask away.”

“Do you recognize any of these folks?”

“Now that I look I can say I don’t.”

“Don’t you think that a bit odd?”

“Put that way, I guess I do.”

“Do you have the invitation?”

“Yes, it is right here.”

“What is the name and address of the church?”

“This is silly. I know where the church is. We had a rehearsal here last week.”

“Humor me.”

“All Saints Church. 39 Pastoral Way.”

“Do you see the name on that sign?”

“Yes. All Saints Chape—Yikes. This is the wrong church. What. . . I put the address in the GPS system.”

“Does the invitation give a time of the service.”

“Y-yes. Two o’clock.”

“Three minutes to go ten miles. Better reprogram the GPS and start moving. You may not live this one down.”

“There’s no one I can call.”

“And admit you went to the wrong church? You might want to hit a tree on the way over there. Maybe it’s your only out.”

“You joking?”

“Maybe a little. Let’s go.”

This week, from The Dark Netizen, a very short tale.

Ten Word Story: Reunion

“School Reunions Are More Fun, When Your Classmate’s A Don…”

Peer Minza, who blogs at, said: “I am sending a little poem inspired by the photo”. Here it is:

In a crowd, I wait alone without a clue
Life tinged with sadness, no hope, no hue
Dreaming in the shades of mystique blue
Eyes can’t believe but heart says it’s true
It’s destined our special moment is due
In that moment, even time stops with you
I’m counting on that rendezvous; are you too??

My effort was


I don’t know why I still do this job. It’s certainly not what I signed up for – at least, not what I believed I’d signed up for. Okay, I get the dark suit, white shirt, neat haircut and all that garbage, but that’s not enough, is it?

Have I ever been asked to run beside the car as it goes through the city streets? I have not. Not that I’d want to for a Volvo. Roller, Bentley, Daimler, maybe even a big Jag. But a Volvo?

Another thing. Have I ever been asked whether I’d take a bullet for whoever it is I’m supposed to be looking after? I have not. Mind you, perhaps that’s as well. I’m not sure I could honestly say I would. It’s not as though I’m guarding senior royals or even senior politicians. In fairness, though, which of that lot – the politicians, not the royals, is actually worth risking your life for? It’s not as if any of them would even risk their job for the likes of you and me who put them there and pay them, is it?

No. I’m guarding what is laughingly called a celebrity. Usually, it’s a singer who can hardly get a note out without electronics, or someone who plays a game, like football or even, these days, bloody computer games. Things we all did as kids for fun, now they get stupid money and fame for doing it.

Of course, I’m bitter. I could have done something like that; we all could. It’s just being in the right place at the right time and probably having a big enough sob story to tell. Trouble is, most of us can’t do that, can we? Most of us lead ordinary lives; no major bad stuff and no major good stuff, either. Ordinary. Not that there’s anything wrong with ordinary. Without masses of ordinary people, there’d be no celebrities, would there? Who’d buy their stuff?

And how many of these people get honours and knighthoods, basically for doing tolerably well the job they’re being grossly overpaid to do in the first place.

No, this isn’t the job I expected it to be; nothing like.

And, while we’re at it, how come I don’t get a wiggly wire thing in my ear and a cufflink I can talk to?

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, 8.1

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 eight, part one.

A few weeks later, Max and I arrived in Dar-es-Salaam. Lindy came to meet us at the airport. It was the first time he and I had been able to have a decent chat in rather a long time.

“Business aside, Lindy, how are you doing?”

“Doing good, Boss,” he said, “should I still call you Boss, you not being my Boss any longer?”

“Given the new arrangement, I think I may have to start calling you Boss. But I think it’s about time you called me by my given name, don’t you?”

“I don’t know if I can do that, Boss. It just doesn’t seem right. How do you manage, Max?”

“Easy,” Max replied, “but then, I have known the old fool for better than half a century.”

“Now you’re trying to make me feel old,” I complained, “but, Lindy, how are things between you and Tanja these days?”

“There was never much between us, Boss. It was always business; a bit like you and Max. You’re close, and good friends, but I don’t see anything romantic going on. Anyway, never mind me, how are you coping, Boss? I was devastated when I heard.”

“Thanks, Lindy. I’ll never fully get over losing her, but I’m learning to deal with it.”

“Will it cheer you up if I give you some of my good news?”

“You can try.”

“Well. You remember Roger?”

“Roger… Roger… No, you’ll have to give me more than that.”

“Roger Crawford.”

“Roger Crawford…” I was having serious trouble with this, though I noticed Max smiling. I looked at her and raised my eyebrows. She smiled back. Then a light-bulb moment arrived, “Wasn’t that the guy who worked as something-or-other with Jaxsons?”

“Yes, he was in charge of administration and we worked together to make the takeover of the pharmaceutical thing work.”

“Okay, what about him?”

Lindy looked at us, stiffened with excitement, clenched his fists and started to shake a little. “We’re getting married!” he all but screamed.

My jaw must have visibly dropped. I had known from the very beginning that Lindy was, as I had told Sophie, as camp as a row of pink tents, that many of his expressions and actions bordered on the effeminate, but it never occurred to me for one second that he was actually gay, especially after all that business with Tanja.

“I never knew you were gay, Lindy,” I exclaimed.

Max and Lindy looked at each other, then at me. Both had furrowed brows.

“Hannice,” Max said, “how could you not have known that since forever?”

“It just never occurred to me. How long have you suspected it, Max?”

“I never suspected it, Hannice. Not for one moment.”

“So how…”

“Hannice. Can I ask you how long you’ve suspected that the sky is blue on sunny days.”

“I’ve never suspected it. It’s just the way it is, it’s obvious, you only have to … oh, I see what you’re saying. Am I thick or what?”

“No, Boss. I’m flattered. It means you’ve always accepted me as I am, without judging or categorising, without putting any expectations on me. And I love you for it.”

“Steady!” I said.

“Not like that, silly. Anyway, I’m true to Roger. Will you come to the wedding?”

“When is it?” Max asked.

“Saturday week!” Lindy screamed.

Max and I looked at each other. “Wouldn’t miss it for anything,” I said, “anything we can do?”

“I was hoping you’d ask, Boss. Will you be my honour attendant?”

“Your what?”

“Honour attendant. It’s like the best man but it can be done by someone of any gender.”

“I’m not sure if I—”

“Hannice!” Max said, “It’s a great honour to be asked to be best man. You can’t refuse.”

“I’m not refusing. I don’t know if I’m ready for this kind of thing yet, and I don’t even know what a best man’s supposed to do in a same-sex marriage. I mean, do you both have a best man, or what?”

“We’ll both have honour attendants, Boss. Roger has chosen one of his old friends from school, but it’s taken me ages to decide. Even when I knew you were coming here I wasn’t sure whether to ask you, Boss or you, Max.”

“I’m surprised you wouldn’t ask someone of your own age group to do it,” I said.

“I could, but you two just happen to be the two people I respect most in the whole world.”

“Then why not have us both?” Max asked.

“Ooh. I hadn’t thought of that. Yeah. We can make that work. Boss and Max, how do you feel about being joint honour attendants?”

“What do we have to do?” I asked.

“Mostly just be there for me. Oh, and if one of you could make a little speech at the reception, it would be terrific.”

“So we don’t have to organise a … I don’t know what to call it – can’t be stag party or hen party—”

“No, Boss. Neither of us is going to get wasted before our wedding. We can spend the evening before together – the three of us – and on the day, one of you will need to pass me the ring—”

“And if I know you, Lindy, the other will need to pass you a hankie!” I said, jokingly.

“You know me too well, Boss.”

Max and I looked at each other. “So, Lindy,” Max said, “HanMax Consultants to the rescue – our first joint project.”

“Can you do the speech, Max? It’s too close to losing Sophie for me to be waxing lyrical about someone else’s wedding.”

“Oh, God, Boss. I hadn’t even thought about that. You must think I’m dreadful.”

“Not at all, Lindy. You’re so wrapped up in your own stuff, no-one expects you to think of everything.”

“But I should have thought of that. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, Hannice,” Max said, “I’ll be happy to do the speech. I wouldn’t mind the opportunity to run it past you, though, and to have you listen whilst I rehearse it.”

“Surely. I could probably write it if you prefer. I just don’t think I’m ready to deliver it.”

“No, I’ll write it. If I’m giving it, It has to be in my voice, not yours. Thanks for the offer, though, all the same.”

“That’s settled, then,” Lindy said, “Max will do the speech. Will you be happy to pass me the ring in the ceremony, Boss?”

“Of course, Lindy. That puts you on handkerchief duty then, Max.”