War and Pizza Store Menu

My entry into this week’s Carrot Ranch 100 word challenge on the theme of pizza.

PETA special – Contains no animal products but please note that wheat screams when it’s harvested.

Four Seasons – Perfect for the procrustinator

Meet Lovers – Could be anything but comes PDQ

Blonde – Toasted open sandwich (they’ll never know)

Neapolitan – Ice-cream pizza you can spoon

Deep dish – Intellectuals special

Frutti di mare – Italian for pretentious

Viagra – No droop, all satisfaction

Hawaiian – Take-away only, for the benefit of sensitive in-house diners

Carbonara – For that burnt crust taste

Pizza Cake – Easy combination of main and dessert

Aussie – with a dozen eggs, half a pig, beetroot, tomato sauce and attitude

OCD – exactly 17 olives

The temptation of Rabbi T.

This piece was written for this week’s Flash Fiction 99 word challenge around the theme of a rabbit on the roof.


Rabbi Tannenbaum trudged through the snow and knifing winds until he saw the diner. Inside, he was greeted by an older blonde woman.

‘Cold enough for ya?’ she said, her smile frozen but her eyes taking in every detail.

‘Could I get something to eat?’

‘Ain’t had no supplies in 2 weeks. How ‘bout a toasted ham or bacon sandwich.’

‘Anything else?’

‘I just made a pie for my husband, Pastor Schicklgruber. We got lucky. Rabbit fell of the roof last night and broke its neck.’

‘Can I just have coffee?’

‘Kosher can’, she said, her eyes daring him.

Tap dancing

This my response to the 99 word Flash Fiction Challenge prompt of ‘tapping’.

He started with a shuffle on the kitchen table, skillfully avoiding the remnant spaghetti bolognaise, wine glasses and tootsie rolls. (Some time ago, ‘she’ became ‘he’ with a ball change when she was living in Buffalo.) Confident of his Shirley Temple rhythm now, he performed a twirling arabesque to the draining board, hoping for a riffle effect but the leftover goose fat cooked his plans. Less than deftly, he shim-shammed across the Hot and Cold, where, alas, he lost his footing and lay sprawled in the sink with a broken ankle, one of the many drawbacks of tap dancing.

Clarice of the light

This piece was written for the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction 99 word challenge, with the prompt word of ‘Clarice’. I have taken my inspiration from the Australian painter, Clarice Beckett. You can learn more about her here.

‘Oh, that Clarice. Fancies painting more than men. Imagine that? Still, she’s done the right thing by her parents. Even if she doesn’t have the sense to come in out of the rain.’

Robbed of her days by bedpans and sponge baths and soiled sheets, she inhabited the fringes of light, the beginnings and endings.

At the end, all of that light was in the shed, rotted and torn by the deniers of her eyes.

Yet the sun rose from her grave and illuminated her beaches and her streets anew. And now the monied hang the consequences.

An image of Evening, St Kilda Road by Clarice Beckett

Right-wing extremist

This 100 word piece was written for the Friday Fictioneers  photo prompt below.


‘What’s with your new display. It’s a little one-sided, isn’t it?’

‘It’s symbolic of my political views.’

‘How so?’

‘Do you see any red there left of centre?’

‘Now that you mention it ….’

‘No tomatoes, no pinko apples, no anti-capitalist red capsicums, no radical radishes. And don’t get me started on those sob-story red onions. I’m not going to provide any oxygen to any fruit or vegetable that’s left of centre.’

‘But aren’t you cutting of half your income to make your point? And surely you can’t assign a political leaning to a vegetable?’

‘Have you voted lately?’


PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Candles snuffed out

This 100 word piece was written for Friday Fictioneers with this photo as the prompt.


The opening of ‘Mme. Tussaud’s – The Musical’ was billed as a turning point in the history of the musical theatre but the cognoscenti, noticeable by their absence from the private boxes, begged to differ and the critics were merciless.

“Stiff and failing to wax lyrical.’ London Times

“Impressive costuming but lacked vivacity.” Washington Post

Producer M. Night Shyamalan vigorously defended his work, explaining it was an experimental work that attempted to explore the seventh sense but agreed the sagging expressions caused by the heat of the lights did not assist in conveying the complex emotions he envisaged for his characters.

A fishy lens


Photo: Dawn Miller

This is my 100 word response to this week’s Friday Fictioneers picture prompt.


Why aren’t you just happy to swim in the pond like all of us other fish?

Whats the point of having an inbuilt fish-eye lens if youre not going to take pictures?

Inbuilt fish, gefilte fish. A load of codswallop.

Do I criticise your fish-net stocking sewing circle?

Anyway, why always that damn barn?

Thats where they keep their fishing rods and I dont want them sneaking up on us.

Idiot, the new owners are vegans.

How do you know?

See any cows or sheep in that field?

I guess not.

Stick to selfies and posting on Fishbook.


Blown sideways

Written for Friday Fictioneers 100 word photo prompt.

We didn’t care that the rain came in sideways, driven by the same scouring winds that had delivered the dust from farms hundreds of miles away for so many summers now and sent our own on a similar journey. As long as there was enough to drown our despair at fly-blown carcasses in the paddocks, 100 year old trees falling like majestic matchsticks and harvesters rusting in sagging sheds because now real seeds only produced phantom crops. We hoped it triggered flash flooding and washed out the roads and cut off the power; that was pain we could gladly endure.

Vivacious veracity

This piece was written for the monthly Blog Battle challenge around the word ‘vivacious’. These pieces are normally meant to be around 1,000 words but any one of the following anecdotes provide a picture.

Mrs. Chasen: [after spotting her son, Harold, hanging from a noose in the living room] ‘I suppose you think that’s very funny, Harold. Dinner is at 8:00, Harold. And do try to be a little more vivacious.’ From the movie masterpiece, Harold and Maude (1971)

It is said, by some, that a man cannot be vivacious. It is also said, by some, that the world is flat. Both opinions lack veracity but the internet allows them to be propagated widely, along with the inconvenient truth of George Washington having been an alien and Donald Trump being a genius businessman.

For the more perspicacious of you, I offer the following anecdotes from my extraordinary life that put the lie to the canard that men lack vivacity.

As many of you know, when I single-handedly won the war with Antarctica (quibblers may suggest that’s because I was the only one who turned up), I donned my dinner suit and danced with the penguins well into the night. I told this story at a dinner party at George Miller’s house one night and my case for plagiarism against him and the producers of Happy Feet will soon launch.

When President Obama invited me to the White House to thank me for my unsung role in designing ObamaCare, based on my unsung role in developing MediCare in Australia (scribblers and quibblers be damned; Barack and I know the truth), I enthralled his other guests with my playing of the Star Spangled Banner, firstly on a gumleaf and secondly on a musical saw.

Ever alert to pending disasters, when the truck carrying all the costumes for ‘Cats’ was destroyed in our recent unpleasantness called the bushfires, I handed over the hose to one of my fellow volunteers (no, no, please, there were many of us) and leapt into action, like a feral cat leaping onto a native bird (but I digress). I gathered together a team of skilled stitchers and we had a gay old time refurbishing the musical’s costumes within hours and I then returned to my duties at the Gates of Hell.

I was an old friend of Fred Astaire’s (he used to sit in playing the drums when Charlie Watts was ill in a mildly successful band I lead using the pseudonym Mick Jagger) and so I was invited to deliver the eulogy at Fred’s funeral. Not only was there not a dry eye in the house, when I bounded onto the coffin and tap-danced to ‘Top Hat, White Tie and Tails’, Ginger jumped up to join me (modesty forbids me recounting who the critics thought was the more vivacious) and soon the whole wake had a fascinating rhythm.

And then of course there’s my writing, including my uncredited role as script advisor for Forrest Gump, Moulin Rouge and Saving Private Ryan (the stories I could tell about Spielberg, including what really went on in those landing craft between takes, will have to wait for another day.)

These days, I moonlight as creative advisor to a host of entertainers who live in dread of losing their vivacity. Confidentiality agreements prevent me from naming names, except for the divine and unpretentious Lady Gaga. (Oh dear, you didn’t really think she came up with that meat dress idea all by herself, did you?)

Finally, I rest my case on the fact that I’m still here when so many of my less vivacious contemporaries have gone to meet their Maker. Unlike Harold, I don’t have time to hang around. Besides, I’ve just had a call from Bill Gates for my help with solving the corona virus crisis (he was impressed with my work on eliminating the last outposts of foot-in-mouth disease). Bless his cotton socks but even he would hesitate to suggest that vivacity is in his blood, whereas my DNA just reeks of it, so I’m the man (and I emphasise man in this context) for the job.


The Devil’s Elbow

This is my response to the Carrot Ranch’s 99-word challenge for this month about ‘wife-carrying’.

Mick picked his way carefully along the narrow track. As he reached Devil’s Elbow Cave, he planned to lay his heavy load down and take a rest. But before he could do that a man and a woman emerged from the cave. The man said “We’ll just relieve you of that burden, Mick.” Mick heard the click of the switchblade and saw the knife in the woman’s hand.

Seemingly acquiescent, Mick rolled the pack off his back, tore the top flap open and out stepped a woman holding a shotgun.

“You call that a wife? This is a wife.”