Emp'uh'uh of the empire

The Emp'uh'uh

The Setup

At a writing meet up I had 20 minutes to write something based on the word 'empire', so I turned to my trusty Rory's Story Cubes app while the others chatted. I 'rolled' 4 cubes on my phone to act as prompts, and they helped me write 'The Emp'uh'uh' that night. I seem to remember one cube was a dragonfly, another a cat, but I can't remember the others. Normally I photograph them to remind me. Sometimes the writing goes well and I was pleased with my imagination in this one. See what you think...

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The wheels on the bus ...

The other day Writers & Artists Yearbook posted on Facebook "Writing exercise time: write a short paragraph to accompany this image." Here's one for you.

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Murder. No mystery.

The runes were cast and these are what the gods came back with - a black cat, a lightning bolt, a light bulb, an eye, a question, a footprint, an abacus, a compass and a magic wand - see the picture! I did my best with this meagre material... so here is my offering!Read more


Photo prompt kills!

The rain was falling in rivulets down the windows by the time the car pulled up outside the police station.
Redundantly Jacobs intoned "We have arrived madam".

The family's faithful retainer opened and held the car door for me. The rain was pouring off the peak of his black chauffeur's hat. The drab pavements were flooding like a levee had broken.

I gathered my mackintosh around me and pulled its hood down while Jacobs unfurled a large black umbrella and raised it over our bowed heads. I heard the doors locking as we made an unsteady journey to the opened door of the precinct building.

"Miss Lois, please come in," said Inspector Henderson. His grizzled hair was wholly in keeping with the tone of the afternoon.

I felt myself shake my arms and coat Like an Alsatian freshly in from the lake.

"Very bad weather we're having in Metropolis today, Miss Lois."

"Please, just Lois." I said.

"Yes, Miss Lois" he said in his soft Irish brogue "Here, let me take your coat."

I unwrapped myself from the soaking raincoat, and drew some fingers through my hair, by way of making myself feel more presentable. But he didn't care. We were only here for one reason.

"This is Mr Harper" he inclined a nod towards a short dumpy little man with a few remaining strands of hair glistening on his head. The little man had sharp blue eyes similar to those of a mynah bird we once had caged in the kitchen at home. Gordon continued, "He's my most trusted forensic man. He'll take you through to the morgue and help you with the identification. I should warn you that it will harrowing for you Miss Lois."

I swallowed heavily and felt heat waves running through my scalp "I'm prepared" I lied through my clenched teeth.
A sharp astringent smell irritated my nostrils when Harper opened the door of the morgue. I coughed slightly and felt for a tissue in the pocket of my skirt.

"I'm going to lift this sheet, and all you have to do is nod if you recognise the face. Do you understand Miss Lois?"

"I do."

He lifted the sheet and I saw Clark's closed eyes in his waxy lifeless face...


Tommy's tale

It was getting very late and everyone was dispirited after the last announcement given personally by the nervous station master who had since retired to his snug office with the small but bright fire in the grate.

"Unfortunately due to the heavy snowfall there will be no trains until tomorrow mid morning by which time the line is expected to be clear enough to allow passage through." were his words. "I'm sorry to say that, because of the weather, you will have to make the best of the accommodation we have here..." he had waved around somewhat feebly, at the confines of the simple waiting room, they were situated in. "At least there's a fire, and plenty of logs to feed it with", he had said.

After the station master had hurriedly left there had been some grumbling but they all agreed there was really nothing they could do. There was no hotel or guest house open for miles as it was winter, and this was a thinly populated suburb and not a skiing resort of any nature. They must make the best of it. So some tried to make rudimentary sleeping arrangements, chiefly consisting of finding a corner to prop themselves up in, or annoy their neighbours on the seating by falling on them every few minutes as they fell asleep.

A thickset man, in his 50's, a salesman he'd said, decided to try and cheer things up, in his own oblique way it must be said, by coming out with a few stories of things that had happened to him, in his travels on the road.
One or two others became interested and reciprocated with their own tales, but after a while they seemed to be drying up, until a well-built blonde woman at the back in the darkness of the railway station's waiting room said in a low voice to a man who may or may not have been her husband, as far as the listeners knew.

“Tell them Tommy. It might help.” she said. Her partner, who was probably in his early 60s, seemed reluctant to go forward, but eventually he moved towards the light and speaking hesitantly at first, said, “I’ve an experience to share." He looked around at the expectant onlookers. "My sister thinks it might be good for me if I tell you my story. She calls it a story, anyway. But it won’t make the snow disappear and I don’t think it will make the train come any sooner.”
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The Elephant of Doom

Steve Wilson

(no relation!) recently published another of his brilliant books "The Element of Death" which I'm currently reading. Steve's tale gave me an idea for a title. Perhaps my story doesn't quite live up to the title, but who cares.

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The Morning After the Night Before

Lauren brought in 6 paintings to inspire. The one that "spoke" to me was "Rooms By the Sea" painted in 1951 by Edward Hopper [many thanks to the Emyoku Project for this reproduction]. And this is the piece I wrote...Read more


Just like Conan Doyle?

Don't deny you always wanted to write like Conan Doyle? Me too. So I gave it a go.Read more


Adolphus and Me

About

What if a fascist group rose to prominence in the United States, sometime round about now? Huh? What would YOU do?Read more


Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and ClydeI wrote this when I got a homework request for something biographical in a college class. It was inspired by a BBC 2 Timewatch programme I watched about Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.

Admittedly both were killers, but anyone's death, especially in violent circumstances, is poignant, so I tried to make this an emotive piece. Read more