Kreative Kue 337

Kreative Kue 336 asked for submissions based on this photograph:


John W Howell is a multiple nominated and award-winning author who blogs at Fiction Favorites. Details of John’s books can be found on his Amazon author page

The Identity by John W. Howell © 2021


“I need to speak softly since I don’t want to disturb it, and it looks dangerous.”

“Understood. I can hear you fine. What do you see?”

“Hard to explain. I would like to get closer but may spook it.”

“Well, do the best you can from there. Don’t take any risks.”

“Okay, so the first thing I see is hair.”


“Yeah,  KInda creepy. Looks like it might be all over its body.”

“That gives me the willies. Why don’t you just get out of there?”

“I’m afraid to move. Although it looks asleep, it might be faking.”

“Why do you think it’s asleep.”

“There’s no movement.”


“No, I can see breathing but other than that, nothing.”

“You think it’s poisonous?”

“Really hard to tell. The face doesn’t show signs of any fangs.”

“That isn’t always a sign.”

“Yeah, but it lacks the kind of mouth that would typically be associated with a poisonous creature.”

“Describe it”

“From here I can only say it has teeth and makes noise when it sleeps.”

“Sounds like your average house human to me.”

“They aren’t dangerous?”

“Tell me it’s laying down.”


“It is a hibernation ritual called a nap. When they get up they could be dangerous especially if there is a newspaper near.”

“I don’t see one.”

“Still I would get out of there. You have waterspout work to do.”

“Yes sir. Getting right on it.”

My effort was:

It’s okay to groan (again).

We’re a harmless bunch, really. Spiders, I mean. Okay, most of us. Some have nasty bites and things but only a few.

Did you know, of the seventy-odd thousand species of arachnid on Earth, more than forty-five thousand are spiders?Think about it. More than forty-five thousand species ranging from the tiny Patu Digua, which is just over a third of a millimetre at full stretch, right up to the Goliath Bird-Eating Spider which has a leg span of twenty-eight centimetres.

They reckon there are more than twenty quadrillion spiders alive on the Earth today. That’s about three million spiders for every human. Perhaps it’s no surprise that they’re scared.

You would have thought, though, that with those numbers, and taking account of the fact that spiders have been around on Earth for 380 million years, we’d be better organised, wouldn’t you?

Let’s talk about what we’re good at. Weaving webs. As far as I know, the biggest single web ever seen was twenty-five metres across. It was made by a Darwin’s bark spider and crossed a river in Madagascar.

Just think about that for a while. Twenty quadrillion spiders weaving webs up to twenty-five metres across. What does that give you?

Damned right. A worldwide web!

[Now would be a good time to groan.]


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 on 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 time.

Sunday serialisation – Andrea 7.2

Andrea cover300

Andrea – in search of space, picks up where Making Merry left off.

Fresh from her work on Project Prodigialis, Rear Admiral Andrea Smithson takes command of the Terra II project.

The largest in-system luxury cruise liner had been refitted and recommissioned in the Royal Space Regiment fleet as HMDSV Colin Pillinger. Its mission? To identify, locate and survey a habitable but uninhabited planet which can be populated over time to take pressure off Earth and its resources.

For the cast of characters at the start of the project, click here

For a brief list of acronyms and initialisms used, click here


Andrea – in search of space. Chapter seven, part two.

Once inside, Patsy told Tarquin to close the door and sit cross-legged on the floor. Of course, he did exactly as she had told him. Long before he had joined Deep Space Ops, Patsy had planted in him some EPHS commands that ensured she had total control over him any time she needed or desired it. Half an hour later, the two emerged from the side room. Neither gave any indication of what had been happening inside the room, although various members of the bridge crew had, by then, drawn their own mistaken conclusions.

Meredith was doing the Admiral thing – inspecting and talking with all the bridge crew. Whether she was taking any notice of their replies was open to conjecture as was the question of whether what she was asking each of the officers amounted to anything more than an oft-repeated performance. She stopped when she saw Patsy and Tarquin re-enter. She turned to Andrea and asked, “Time for lunch?”

“Of course,” Andrea said and guided the party towards Ishmael’s ready room, which adjoined the bridge. On cue, a group of masked, socially distanced stewards brought in a selection of sandwiches and savouries, and hot and cold drinks. Meredith moved towards the table on which these delicacies were placed just as Ishmael entered the room.

“Ahem,” Ishmael coughed to attract the Admiral’s attention.

“What is it, Commodore?” the Admiral asked.

“Masks may be removed in this room, Admiral, but social distancing must be observed and, critically, hands must be sanitised before touching any of the food or utensils.”

“Yes, of course they must,” Meredith said with a totally un-admiral-like sneer, “Come on, people: hands, face, space and all that bloody palaver.” Turning to Tarquin, she said, “Captain Stuart-Lane. How do you think this oh-so-tight, figure-hugging suit makes me look?”

Tarquin started to open his mouth, blanched, winced a little and finally said, “Very much the Admiral and Commander of the Royal Space Regiment, I should say, Ma’am.”

Meredith turned to Patsy and said, “Well done, Patsy. Well done indeed. Happy, Andrea?”

“Always,” Andrea replied with the sweetest of smiles. Turning to Tarquin, she asked, “How are you getting on with Miss Nambeesan, now she’s on your floor?”

“Well, cracking, actually. She’s a real corker, that one. Can’t say too much yet – a bit hush-hush – but I’ve had Daddy take some of the money from my trust fund and transfer it to her account, so she can use it to help her parents, or maybe a stonking great holiday for the two of us when we get back to Earth.”

“How much money? If you don’t mind me asking, that is.”

“Not at all. Just a few thousand.”

“A few?”

“Five or six. I can’t remember exactly.”

“That should buy a nice holiday.”

“Well, it will build up.”

“What do you mean, it will build up?”

“You didn’t think it was just once, did you?”

“I think we all did, actually,” Meredith said.

“Gosh, no. That’s not how we Stuart-Lanes work. Daddy set up a monthly transfer.”

“Of five or six thousand?”


Meredith turned to Andrea and whispered, “Looks like one of us made a bad decision, somewhere along the line.”

Andrea smiled weakly.

“So,” Patsy said, “Have you and Nusha… you know… done it?”

“Heavens no, she’s not that kind of girl. Though I did kiss her once.”

“Where?” Patsy asked, coquettishly.

“In the cupboard behind the officers’ mess,” he replied with a naughty-boy grin.

“Not where on the ship, stupid boy. Where on the Nusha?”

“On the cheek, of course. Left upper, as I recall. Wouldn’t do for a chap to be trying to do anything more forward than that with a proper lady.”

“Oy!” Andrea exclaimed, “You can consider yourself on a warning, Mister.”

“Why? What have I done?” Tarquin asked, clearly shocked by his boss’s outburst.

“You know very well what I’m talking about. You may live to regret certain things you have said and done.”

It was apparent that, although much of Tarquin’s public behaviour had changed, he himself hadn’t changed one iota. Still the same entitled, amoral rich kid, still no empathy or understanding of other people’s feelings. Clearly his future was to be in politics – right-wing, of course.

That an atmosphere had developed around the lunch table was beyond dispute, as was the understanding that a certain First Officer was in it, front and centre, up to his locker [that’s Davy Jones’ locker – a sunken chest]. The party broke up soon afterwards, the majority of senior officers having concluded that Lieutenant Nambeesan, Head of Administration Services was, in fact, something of a gold-digger and that, as such, she and Tarquin deserved each other. It wasn’t helped by the fact that the said Lieutenant was, with the sole exception of the ship’s commander – oh, and the visiting admiral, of course – the single most desirable woman on board and that, by common consent, Tarquin was, his family money apart, the polar opposite of that.

Limericks from prompts 20

© Can Stock Photo& damedeeso. Used with permission

Limerick, a popular form of short, humorous verse that is often nonsensical and frequently ribald. It consists of five lines, rhyming aabba, and the dominant metre is anapestic, with two metrical feet in the third and fourth lines and three feet in the others. Encyclopaedia Britannica

A series of limericks produced in response to various prompts. 

Where any prompt contains exactly five letters, I may attempt an acrostic limerick based on that word (or a pair in the case of ten-letter prompts).

Let me know what you think.



for Kristian (

As a boy I was somewhat athletic,
My whole life was active, frenetic.
Back then I was agile,
But now, I’m just fragile,
Cantankerous, moody, splenetic.


for Kristian (

I’ve never been on a blind date,
And I carry too much body weight.
I may well have tarried
But I’m happily married.
That’s something I can celebrate.


for Kristian (

A-shopping I went with my chum,
Black Friday, one hell of a scrum.
I took a great leap
To grab something cheap
And ended up flat on my bum!