True Colours

This piece was written for Weekly Min Min Prompt for March 10, 2023, ‘paint it black’.

When David Warren (inevitably nick-named Rabbit) invented his device, the initial response from the airlines was less than whelming. ‘Experts’ placed it only slightly higher than the perpetual motion machine, a flying car powered by ice cream, and an electronic worldwide network for sharing cat pictures on the scale of likelihood of being feasible.

So for trade fairs and product pitches he introduced some novelty features.

When it was first switched on, a jack would pop out of the top of the box and shout ‘Houston, we have a problem’. When the ‘Print Report’ function was activated, the end of the cylinder would open and eject the local newspaper. The bottom section concealed a drawer where you could store useful things for an emergency, like a pad and pencil so you could hastily write your will and a copy of the Common Book of Prayer and a cyanide capsule, in case you felt a bit squeamish at the thought of dying in a plane crash.

When his invention finally got the recognition it deserved, he made it available royalty and patent free and he promptly disappeared from aviation history. Of course, unimaginative manufacturers totally ignored his one and only request: ‘Paint it black’.

Footnote: David Warren was very real. I’ve made up the purportedly amusing bits.

The black box: an Australian invention that nearly didn’t happen (

Bags of wind

This piece was written for the weekly Min Min Challenge prompt of ‘spy balloon’.

It was with the greatest reluctance imaginable that the Speaker finally gave the nod to that notorious force of flatulence, the Honorable Member for Bullamakanka, Mr. Wilson (Horse) Pucky.

In what can only be described as an orderly stampede, other Honorable Members bowed and nodded towards the Speaker and fled to attend to more urgent matters, such as signing Christmas cards to constituents.

‘Thank you, Mr. Speaker’ bellowed Pucky. ‘Now, I do not wish to alarm Honorable Members or the public at large, Mr. Speaker, but it has been drawn to my attention that a new scourge has emerged in our skies, one that threatens the very fabric of our society. I have been inundated with complaints about a balloon joy flight operator in my electorate, Mervyn’s Pervin’ Tours.

Customers of this nefarious operation have been seen hanging out of the basket to film people going about their private business in that sanctuary of sanity, their own back yard, and having the resulting videos posted on YouTube. One young person of female persuasion has had a promising career in kindergarten teaching ruined by her desire to gain an all-over tan. And a man innocently digging in his veg patch is now helping Police with their enquiries into the disappearance of his third wife.

Mr. Speaker, I call on the Prime Minister to immediately authorise the Air Force to swat these spy flies so that we can again barbecue our chops and vegie burgers in peace!’

Sample entry for Min Min Weekly Prompt

I’m posting this story of mine to test the system and get the party started.

Solitude has its own rewards

Keith turned his gas bottle on and lit the flame under the wok. When his campfire meal was ready, he gave some to his German Shepherd, Arfer. He had just poured himself a glass of cabernet sauvignon when a SUV towing a white caravan pulled up some fifty metres away.

A middle-aged couple emerged and shouted to Keith ‘Great spot you have here’.

Keith looked at them coldly and said ‘Why did you stop here?’ They both looked perplexed and she said ‘Well, we saw strange lights in the sky and it got scary.’

Keith said ‘Just don’t go chasing them or you’ll never come back.’

The man said ‘Come on mate, you’re scaring the missus. There’s no need for that sort of talk.’

Arfer stood up, bared his teeth and growled menacingly. The couple moved rapidly to their vehicle and took off.

Keith picked up his well-worn leather-bound journal, pumped up his lamp and said ‘Arfer, what do you think of this passage? I think it has a sort of timelessness about it but that may be beyond your sense of the aesthetic.’

Keith read the passage in his sonorous voice. When he’d finished, Arfer revealed nothing.

Keith said ‘You’re right, it needs work. Time for bed.’

He turned off the lamp, burrowed into his swag and, as he drifted off to sleep, he noticed the Min Min lights and heard Arfer laughing in his sleep.

Launching the Min Min Weekly Word Prompt

Hello to all my loyal followers. Today I’m launching a brand new weekly prompt site, Min Min, and I’m hoping you will be a regular contributor. I am doing this to provide a community for international writers to submit short responses to a weekly prompt (word/s, quotes or photos).

It will be a home for fearless writing for fearless readers. No trigger warnings need to be provided and there will be no diversity quotas. Wit, humour, satire and irony will be applauded in the heavens. The guidelines are here.

Comments will be encouraged because that’s where the real payoff is for writers. Forget hitting ‘Like’. If you like a piece or a piece didn’t appeal to you, write briefly about why or why not. Contributors will need to leave their preciousness at home but they will also be encouraged to say what they think in a generous and thoughtful way and/or be funny.

Looking forward to your contributions.

Write away right away!

Note: A big thank you to C E Ayr and Jenne Gray for their thoughtful and humorous contributions to my thinking on this project.

A Private Viewing

Thought I’d share this moving piece that marries friendship, illness and art together beautifully.

Fictive Dream

by Mike Fox

The envelope is small, plain and white. My name and address are hand-written in flamboyant italics, and the sender has used a fountain pen. I’ve fallen for this before—vote seeking councillors or dubious local businesses aping the personal touch.

But an envelope that someone has taken the time to address personally is like an appeal to your better nature, not to mention whatever hope you have left for the human condition. So I pick up my paper knife—lignum, a present—and carefully slit the top fold.

The letter inside consists of one pale blue sheet, creased perfectly in half. It is lined and margined, like the writing paper my grandparents used. Above the script, adjacent to the sender’s unexpected address, sits a cartoon goblin, with the words “self-portrait” printed in capitals underneath. Josie, in what could only be a retro moment, has taken the trouble to get in…

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Quarry Light by Edie Meade


Limestone country, where the quarry growls in heat thunder over the fields: we’re driving to find the place Dad wanted his ashes interred. Tonight Mark and I bring the boys to a cabin so quiet we can hear the electric lines of the high pylons hum through the easement.

We take a creekbed for our evening walk. Limestone bears fossils and slips of gray clay, mayapples, mint and touch-me-nots alive with damselflies. I know them like old friends – comfortable even decades later because they represent the nothing-times, those stick-digging days when little needed to be said.

At nightfall, we walk back to the cabin along an access road white with crushed gravel. The kids rush through puddles made by over-payload dump trucks. Frogs hop out ahead, unafraid. None of us are afraid, somehow, out here. Quarry light brings a lingering, thick sunset and I realize how much beauty there…

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Stunning piece from Jenne, a Six Sentence colleague.

Tales from Glasgow


This challenge is produced by GirlieOnTheEdgewith the following simple rules:
Write six sentences, no more, no less.
Use the current week’s prompt word –BOARD


In her anger she does not know what mischievous hand has given it to her, but sitting in the dark corner of the café, the woman cradles the Kalashnikov in her hands, knowing it is strong – much stronger than she herself is – and she is afraid of its power.

A murmuring arises from the gun and fills her ears and she feels a reverberation that takes over her whole body.

When it stops, she sees, lined up in front of her, world leaders gone mad with power and greed, freely orchestrating war for profit.

Her trigger finger itches, presses down, sprays the leering faces with bullets, but even as one falls, another rises to take its place…

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