#FlashFiction Challenge from @Charli_Mills

In response to the Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge: Symptoms

Symptom: change in voice. Diagnosis: pharyngeal cancer.

He knew it.

The crossing turned green and pain jolted up as he stepped forwards.

Symptom: jarring pain from little toe. Diagnosis: broken toe.

Staring at the answers from dr.net, he gave little notice to the standstill traffic picking up around him. What about that strange itchy bump?

Symptom: lump under left buttock. Diagnosis: fungal infection.

That couldn’t be right.

Head bowed to his phone, he heard the crossing signal and stepped out onto the road. Nothing more could be said about him now, except…

Symptom: Self-absorbed in minor ailments. Diagnosis: Hypochondriac.


I decided to go back and use some of Charli’s old prompts. Since I haven’t done this prompt before, I figured there was no harm 😉

March 18

To see other entries of this challenge click here.



Children’s Book Review: the Gift of the Quoxxel



This was a delightful read, the kind where the reading experience is just as fun as the plot. As you can probably tell by the book cover, this story screams ‘quirky’, and I don’t think I could adequately describe the book any more than the blurb (see below). It reminded me a little of Terry Pratchett’s tongue-in-cheek style (which I love) so I was so glad I decided to read this (after receiving a request from the author).

The ending was a little disappointing, but I suspect it’s being set up for a sequel, or at least another book set in the same universe. Although kids of 10-12yrs will love this book, it’s my kind of read too J

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

If you are interested in reading this book, the author is accepting requests for those interested in posting a review. You can contact him at richard.p.titus <at> gmail.com

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Author Goodreads Page.

Amazon buy link.

The Gift of the Quoxxel, by Richard Titus (author and illustrator)

Book Length: 121 pages

Humorous Fantasy (Children’s Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

King Norr of Nibb was not content. He longed to know of the world beyond his tiny, island kingdom. Why travel elsewhere, said his people. What place could possibly be more perfect than Nibb?

What frustrated Norr even more, outsiders never came to Nibb. Foreign ships approached, hesitated, then sailed away. Why was that?

And that wasn’t the only mystery.

Who was the little girl who sang, but would not speak?

What kind of monster lurked in waters along the shore?

Had Dr Hinkus been devoured by woolly drumbkins?

And most importantly, what’s for lunch?

Drearily perfect Nibb was about to turn upside down. As King Norr often said, it’s enough to give one “haddocks.”

Weekly Haiku Challenge: What’s Love Got To Do With It?

“Fifty Shades of Grey…

Why’s it on Valentine’s Day?

That is just messed up.”

“Each to their own, yeah?

We’re free to like what we like.

You’re not forced to watch.”

“I don’t really care.

For me, Valentine’s is just

To eat cheap choc’late.”


In case you were wondering, I agree most with the final opinion 😉 Don’t even need to be in a relationship to reap the benefits of Valentine’s Day!

Thanks again to Ronovan for this week’s haiku challenge: Force and Free.


Flash Fiction: Delusional Dialogue

“It’s like my skin is covered in little ants.”

“That’s prickly heat. You haven’t drunk enough water and now you’re overheating.”

“What? I’m not a computer.”

“Go have a shower, drink half a litre of water and then eat some sugar. If you haven’t developed a migraine after that, you’re good.”

“How can you live like this? You don’t even have air conditioning!”

“This isn’t that hot. The fact that you’ve managed to experience heat stress is more to do with you than the heat.”

“This isn’t that hot? I’m sweating in places I didn’t know I could sweat! It’s like every part of my body is an armpit.”

“So go have that shower.”

“Ugh. I think there’s a bug running behind my knees but it turns out its sweat tricking down! How can the backs of knees sweat?”


“I’m a ham, baking in my own glaze.”

“Are you just going to complain or are you going to do something about it?”

“Actually, I think the heat is making me more creative.”

“That’s not creativity – that’s delusion. Seriously, you need to cool yourself down or else you’re gonna suffer some brain damage.”

“Heat can do that?”

“Heat, and me. Go have freaking shower already.”

Flash Fiction: Dinner Dialogue

“If I can make it, I’m not going to order it.”

“That’s ridiculous. Can’t you just enjoy eating out?”

“If I order Spaghetti Bolognese and I know I can do better, I can’t enjoy it.”

“We are in a five star restaurant! This is absolutely no judgement on your cooking but I think their spag bol will be better.”

“But what if it isn’t? Then it’s just overpriced disappointment.”

They’ve used five different mushrooms and it’s topped with shaved truffle!

“That won’t make it good though; just expensive.”

“Look, I understand where you are coming from, but the whole point of this menu is ‘gormet-izing’ regular food. Just order what you want.”

“Right, and I want the calamari.”

“You hate squid!”

“But if this is meant to be the best of the best, then the meal should make me like squid.”

“You’re setting yourself up for failure.”

“Excuse me mademoiselles, have you perused the menu?”

“Yes, I’ll have the calamari and chips.”

“And I’ve got to order the spag bol so my friend has something to eat.”

“…Excuse me?”

“Oh, the Spaghetti Bolognese.”

“You spent the past five minutes arguing against me when you’re just going to order for me anyway?!… oh, that was quick.”

“How’s the squid?”

“…Okay, I guess.”

“I knew it.”

“Hey! That’s my dinner!”

“No, the spaghetti is. You’re lucky I don’t like it.”


“You’re bloody welcome.”

a-chasing wifi, a limerick (almost)

Under the black high sky

My laptop’s covered in mites

They creep and crawl

Over it all

Because I’m chasing wifi.


All the frightening noises

Can’t tear down my boldness

Even the plague

Can’t make me afraid

Not gonna get my Asus. (okay, so the rhyming is pretty loose)


That storm had to knock it out

Making me run all about

Searching the camp

For a little amp

That IT guy is a lout.


Can’t get it in my donga

Oh f*** it, nothing rhymes with donga…

Being out in the raw natural night is NOT a conducive environment for creativity, much as I tried to prove otherwise…

I’m going inside now. Goodbye world! If something major happens I’ll find out next week.

Flash Fiction: Cat Dog Dialogue

“You’re not helping them, you know.”

“What do you mean?”

“Giving them all that attention, all that affection. How do you expect they cope when they go off into the world and you’re not by their side?”

“I don’t understand what you’re saying.”

“Of course you don’t.”

“You actually believe leaving them on their own and acting cold is helpful?

“It prepares them for what awaits.”

“You can’t pretend they don’t need companionship.”

“I don’t.”

“Then why are you talking to me?”

“I am merely trying to help.”

“You are helping: yourself. You need attention just as much as they do – you just can’t admit it.”

“Don’t be absurd. Look, this isn’t about me – I am concerned for our housekeeper. I see him come in every evening looking depressed and you brighten him up to an unsustainable level before he leaves again and the vicious cycle repeats.”

“It could be that my affection is what gets him through the day.”

“You think too highly of yourself. He’s headed for a breakdown and you can’t see it. I’ve read research of these symptoms – optimists cannot sustain themselves as pessimists can.”

“You’re making that up.”

“No; it’s true.”

“Well, I don’t believe you. I’m older than you aren’t I?”

“Not for long.”

“What are you saying?”

“Cats live longer than dogs. Everyone knows that.”

“You know what else everyone knows? Dogs live happier than cats.”

“Happiness is an unrealistic expectation.”

“Only for some. Do you really think people are better off acting like you?”

“Haven’t you noticed how they act towards each other? They do act like me. They know what works.”

“Unless they think it’s easier to pretend than admit they don’t know. If they were honest like dogs, maybe they’d be happier.”

“You forget.”


“Cats are honest too.”

Mini Story: The Adventures of Trying to Drink Tea in Spain

The Spanish love their coffee. Every morning on our tour when we go down to breakfast there is a pot of hot coffee and another one of hot milk on our table. It doesn’t matter that we didn’t ask for it. It doesn’t matter that we never drink it – the coffee is always there, waiting for us.

I’ve looked for tea. I don’t understand how there can be so much food for the breakfast buffet but there is never an urn of hot water. I have found tea bags, but no urn. There is a coffee machine. I could have all sorts of Nespresso, complimented with George Clooney’s picture, but if I want hot water it seems to come through like a coffee percolator. Trickling, teasing, and taking as long as possible. First thing in the morning, it is enough to test all limits of my mind, body and spirit.

I’ve asked for tea. If they can make a pot of coffee, surely they have some super boiler in the kitchen that could provide a pot of tea? I’ve found that nine times out of ten, the waiter will nod curtly, or smile, or maybe just look at me and it all gives the impression that they have understood my simple request, albeit in English, before wandering off. I wait patiently, then not so patiently, and then I see the same waiter milling about topping up fruit bowls that don’t need to be topped up. Then I sigh and go back to the coffee percolator.

I have learnt that unless the waiter gives a reply in English, then they will just ignore me. Even if they can’t understand English, couldn’t they have just sent a waiter that could? This is an indulgent first world problem, I know, but without my cup of tea I can’t handle anything in the morning. In fact, I can confidently say that without my morning cuppa I become truly detrimental to society.

One of the last hotels we’ve stayed in, there was an urn of hot water. But because we were part of a tour, they seated the whole group away from buffet, up the stairs and around the corner. I was so happy to be able to drink as much tea as easily as I pleased. Ignoring the conveniently placed pots of coffee on the table, I went down to get my cuppa, but found there were no cups next to the urn. I had to go back up the stairs, around the corner to the set table to get my teacup which was, as always, much too small. Then back down again to the urn to fill up a meagre cup, which I’ve drunk by the time I get back to the table.

It’s not that the Spanish don’t have tea. It just doesn’t seem to occur to them, despite tourism being a major industry here, that tea drinkers are a numerous and cranky lot when they don’t get their tea. Of course, everything would be easier if they just bit the bullet and added simple tea & coffee making facilities in the room, just like we have as standard across Australia and is even becoming reasonably common in other parts of Europe (indeed, my friends! We are slowly winning the battle!). A little kettle and a handful of teabags is all we ask. Por favor. Please.