Tag Archives: prompts

Fat Cat in Cat Flap

This is the sixth story to be generated by the 'September Madness' post and is inspired by a prompt from Tom Gillespie (aka @tom_gillespie). I'd actually written this just before we lost internet five and half weeks ago, so the poor cat has been stuck for a long time!

Although September is over, I'm still going to honour all the prompts that came in (which may take a while :) ). If you want to see the full list of prompts or check out the other stories from that post then click here.


Thomas charged down the garden, bounding up the three steps to the back door. He plunged head first into the kitchen but stopped halfway through.

Something was badly wrong.


Judy leaned down and picked up the saucer of cream. “No Thomas, only water for you.”

Thomas gave an indignant sniff.

“It’s for your own good.”

Judy ignored the mewling and went back to the phone. “Sorry about that, it’s our cat. John’s been over feeding him again so I’ve had to put him on a diet…I know, it’s a real first world tragedy! The silly old thing’s got too fat for his cat flap. He’s jammed in. I tried to get him out but he’s completely stuck…He’ll slim down in a couple of days though.”


Thomas hung suspended from the flap, his chin half an inch from the floor. Dark thoughts boiled behind his narrowed eyes. As soon as he was free, Judy was going to suffer. John would understand; they’d be much happier without her.

The house was quiet, so the scuttling was impossible to miss. His ear rotated to the source of the sound and saliva bubbled around Thomas’ mouth. He’d heard a mouse.

Soon, the delicious morsel ran into a view. Its fur was grey in the low light but Thomas knew it was brown, recognising it from a previous encounter. On that occasion the mouse had escaped, vanishing into its hole a moment before his claws came down on its tail, most of which now sat rotting with the rest of Thomas’ collection under the wardrobe; a frog leg, some feathers and a squirrel’s intestine.

Halfway across the kitchen floor the mouse paused, the silhouette of its nose held high, twitching as it tested the air. Thomas waited for the mouse to turn in his direction and let out an angry hiss. The little creature ran for cover, darting behind the leg of the breakfast table.

Thomas purred with pleasure. The look on the mouse’s face had been priceless! Then he remembered how hungry he was. The purring stopped.

A pair of small eyes peeped around the table leg. Thomas raised a paw threateningly and the mouse flinched but didn’t run away. They watched each other until Thomas got tired. He lowered his paw and his head, what he wouldn’t give for a hot meal and a warm lap.

A few minutes later he heard the mouse again but this time it was coming from somewhere above him. He looked up, puzzled, to find the mouse had managed to get on top of the kitchen table where that lazy slob Judy had left his saucer of cream. Was that the sound of lapping? The mouse was enjoying his cream. This was too much!

With renewed energy he struggled to get free, back legs flailing outside, front paws sliding on the kitchen tiles. It was no use, a furry roll of rat spread out either side of the flap, sealing him in tight.

A corner of saucer edged out over the table, like a porcelain moonrise. It was moving slowly, in incremental fits and starts. Thomas watched, mesmerised by the sight. Eventually gravity got hold of the saucer’s edge, tipping it over. A creamy waterfall flowed for a second before the whole thing slid off, tumbling end over end.

There was a crash. It was loud enough to wake next door’s idiot dog, Oscar, but not enough to wake that potato headed ogre, Judy. Fragments of saucer littered the floor. Thomas couldn’t wait for John to come home. He’d have been down the stairs in seconds to sort things out.

Cream spilled tantalisingly close and Thomas managed to get in a few licks before he noticed the mouse was back. It picked its way delicately across the floor. He growled but it just stared right back. Thomas didn’t like the look on the mouse’s face. It was smiling.

The mouse picked up a thin sliver of porcelain in its mouth and scurried away.


Thomas yawned and opened a grouchy eye. It was still dark in the kitchen but instinct was telling him that something was going on. He scanned the room, high and low, paying particular attention to the little nooks where a rodent could hide. Nothing.

Feather light feet brushed the step outside, and sharpness slipped between Thomas’ toes. He squealed and thrashed but the pain stayed. Exhausted and scared, he flopped down again and prayed for the dawn. Even Judy’s face would be a welcome sight. Thomas decided that if she came through the door right now, he might allow her to stay after all.

The mouse reappeared, still smiling and picked up another shard of porcelain.


When Judy came downstairs the next morning she found a lot of fluid had leaked onto the floor. There were several different types and colours, most originating from what was left of Thomas. She worked quickly despite the shock, keen to clear away the evidence before John got home. The only silver lining was that Thomas came free of the flap on the first pull. Judy told John that Thomas had run away and tried to block the image from her mind.


“It’s been two weeks, don’t you think it’s time to let go?” asked Judy.

John paused by the back door, bowl in one hand, double cream in the other. “He’s still out there, I can feel it.” John ignored his wife’s pity face. “When he’s ready he’ll come back.”

Judy bit her lip and watched him fill the bowl.


(Original prompt: Our cat's on a diet.. she got stuck in her flap last week and we had to leave her there for a couple of days until she slimmed down and we were able to pull her out..)

Pointy Problem

This is the third story to be generated by the 'September Madness' post and was inspired by a prompt sent in by John Wiswell (aka @Wiswell).

If you want to see the current list of prompts or (even better) add your own then click here. Remember I'll only accept prompts that come in before the end of September.


“Where’s my normal doctor?” asked Yaser.

The small, suited stranger smiled apologetically. “I’m afraid they’re not available at the moment.”

“Doctor Evania didn’t want to see me did she?” Yaser flicked his head right, then left. “This always happens. She’s the third one! Is it me? Is it something I said?”

“No, no, nothing like that. Why don’t you come in?”

Yaser cantered nervously in the doorway. “I don’t see how you’re going to do the operation in here.”


“Yeah, I need you to get this thing off of me! It’s driving me crazy!”

“Let’s start again shall we. Why don’t you come in and sit down.”

Yaser trotted in and sat awkwardly on the couch.

“Much better. Now, my name is Doctor Moriba. I understand you’ve been having problems for,” he glanced at his notes. “Six months now?”

“Yeah, yeah, that’s right.”

“Would you mind telling me how it started?”

“Again? I’ve been over this two times already.”

Moriba’s eyes were gentle behind his glasses. “I understand. It must be very irritating for you but I prefer to hear it straight from the…” he coughed. “I’d rather hear it first-hand.”

“Alright, fine. So it was back in November. It was cold last year, lots of black ice. There were all kinds of weirdos about so I was careful. I’d gone to see Janice.”


“Yeah I know, ugly name. Poor kid’s got a tough start there. But don’t let that fool you. She’s a beauty, pure you know, like the ones in the stories, a real princess.”

“I’ve never heard of a Princess Janice.”

“Of course you haven’t, nobody has. That’s not her true name.”

“I see. And why were you going there?”

“You ask lots of questions, I like that, makes me feel like you’re paying attention. Evania never said anything. I’d just talk for hours and hours, trying to fill the gap, keep things nice and she’d just stare at me. Now I think about it she was one creepy lady.”

“You were telling me about your reason for visiting Janice.”

Yaser lifted his head proudly. “I’m her special friend that nobody knows about. I normally stop by every three months or so.”

“But something went wrong this time?”

“I walked the rainbow path through to her room like normal. The nightlight was on which was a shame as I could see the crappy bear pictures her mum had hung up everywhere. Seriously these parents have no class, no class at all. Janice was awake and smiling. She has the cutest smile. She’s going to be a total prince slayer when she grows up. So I go over and lower my head respectfully being careful not to poke her with my horn. And then…”

“And then?”

Yaser’s eyes screwed shut. “She likes to shake it up and down, like a handshake. I’m expecting to feel her little fingers pull my head up an inch, then down an inch and repeat three times. It’s our little ritual. But she doesn’t do that and after a while I look up and she’s giggling and I don’t understand and then I see it!”

Moriba’s pen paused over the paper, waiting patiently.

“She’s put a pencil sharpener on the end of my horn! A frigging pencil sharpener! Who leaves a pencil sharpener with a four year old for goodness sakes! Those things have blades. She could have killed herself!” Yaser tossed his head angrily. “I try everything to get the bloody thing off; jumping, shaking, butter, everything! But it won’t budge. You gotta help me doc, I’m going out of my mind here. I need an operation.”

Moriba said calmly, “Yaser, look up to the top of your horn and tell me what you see.”

“I see a silver pencil sharpener wedged on and…oh my stars, is that rust on the blade? I think I’m going to be sick. You gotta operate now!”

“We did operate. Look again. There’s nothing there.”

“It’s invisible!”

“It’s not invisible. There’s nothing there.”

“Then why can I still feel it?”

“It’s a phantom sensation, caused by the trauma. You’ve convinced yourself that it’s still present even when the evidence tells you otherwise.”

Yaser stood up. “You’re just a bad as the others. If you’re not going to help me the least you can do is give me some medicine for the pain.”

“I don’t think that’s such a good idea. Why don’t we try something else?”

“Not the chant!”

Moriba ignored the eye rolling. “Repeat after me: I am a happy Unicorn.”

“I am a happy Unicorn.”

“My horn is pure and undamaged.”

“My horn is…Oh forget it. I need pills, strong ones.”

“I’m sorry, that wouldn’t be right.”

“Come on Doc, I’ll make it worth your while.”

“No I’m sorry.”

“I can make you live longer. You don’t fancy a few extra years? Or I could help you find your true love. All I need is a few tabs of the good stuff.”

“I’m already married.”

“Doc, I’m not talking about marriage I’m talking about love. Tell you what, you pick who you want your true love to be and I’ll make them fall for you. Who do you like?”

“No, this is completely inappropriate.”

“Kylie Minogue? Angelina Jolie?”

“Please stop.”

Yaser closed his eyes, tilting his head to listen better. “Ah, I’m getting it now! You like them younger. Sorry, I’d just thought given your age that, never mind, Megan Fox it is! She’s yours, just give me the pills!”

Moriba sighed sadly and pulled a bottle from his desk. “Here, take two.”

Yaser gulped them down without water. “Thanks Doc, I think you and I might get on after all.” He turned and cantered towards the door, lurched three paces to the right and passed out.

After Moriba called security he sat down to complete his notes. Delusional Unicorns were the worst liars but he’d check to see if Janice was a princess, just in case.


(Original prompt: I would very much appreciate a flash fiction about a unicorn that got itself stuck in a pencil sharpener and suffering panic attacks over how to dislodge the thing.)

September Madness! (Or The One Year Anniversary Blog Post)

This blog has been running about a year now and it seems that the tradition is to do something about it.

So here’s what I propose:

I’ll write whatever you want for a month.

Anybody who wants to get involved can leave a story idea in the comments section of this post by the end of the month and I’ll turn it into a story.

The rules are you can leave any kind of prompt you like, from something as general as a genre to a specific plot idea. Or if you prefer you can list some words to include or a line that must be said by one of the characters. All comers in all forms are welcome.

Every prompt will be turned into some kind of story. It might be a drabble, a flash, a short story or maybe something more. But I’ll write something for every single one. No ideas will be rejected*.

I’ll post stories on a Fridays. Suitable entries will go into FridayFlash.

Don’t be shy!

*Unless it’s really, really, really sick. And gratuitous. Or likely to get me arrested. Or divorced.


UPDATE (07/09/12): First story is up. 'Now You See It'. (Prompt from Mike and Liz Newman)

UPDATE (14/09/12): 'Dying Wish' is up. (Prompt from Rebecca Bohn)

UPDATE (21/09/12): 'Pointy Problem' is up. (Prompt from John Wiswell)

UPDATE (28/09/12) 'Missing Abi' (Part 1) is up. (Prompt from Dom Camus)

UPDATE (05/10/12) 'Missing Abi' (Part 2) is up. (Prompt from Ray Paterson)

UPDATE (30/11/12) 'Fat Cat in Cat Flap' is up. (Prompt from Tom Gillespie)

UPDATE (11/01/12) 'Limitless' is up. (Prompt from Aidan Fritz & John Xero)

UPDATE (08/02/13) 'Doe-eyed Dictators' is up. (Prompt from Catherine Russell)