Swimming with Fishes

FBTF Prompt Image

This is my response to this week’s Flashback Track Friday prompt, where we were challenged to:

Write something which uses fruits or vegetables as a metaphor.

When my brother was in on a racket,
Crossed a mobster he swindled a packet,
But went red as a beetroot,
When he saw his concrete boots,
And found fifty lead weights in his jacket.

This one was harder than I first thought. I actually set the prompt, but I never start thinking about a response until the prompt is live. I saw one or two fruit responses yesterday, so I tried desperately to think of a vegetable.

And I presume beetroot is a vegetable, isn’t it? In any case, it is one of my bete noir foods, guaranteed to make me wretch on sight. I’ve hated it since I was a child, when my parents used to buy that pickled beetroot which oozes bright purple. Ugggh. Double uggggh. It’s right up there with celery, I’m afraid.

For the rhyme, I had the delightful idea of someone from Yemen, taking a bite from an unripe lemon, going red as a beetroot, who should have chosen a sweet fruit… But alas I couldn’t think of a last line. I’ll have to keep that one on the backburner. It’s bound to come to me as soon as I hit “publish”.

And my very first thought, I must admit, was the immortal Prince.

To Ave or Ave Not

clipart showing a jokey image of a nun

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 15 January 2022, disaster.

When Maria, a sister devout,
Found communion wine lying about,
She succumbed, a disaster,
In the morning, still plastered,
And it took her three days to dry out.

Prompt image for the Fandango One Word Challenge prompt


Clipart image of a set of false teeth.

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 14 January 2022, apart.

At the gallery down in Blackheath,
There my grandpa took out his false teeth,
Placed six inches apart,
They got mistaken for art,
And the hankie he’d left underneath.

Blackheath is part of London.

Prompt image for the Fandango One Word Challenge prompt

The Cue Ball

Clipart image of a bald man

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 13 January 2022, moot.

In the barber’s, a fellow called Peter,
Was asked what style of hair would be sweeter,
But the question was moot,
Pete was bald as a coot,
Said, “I’ve really just come to read meter”


Prompt image for the Fandango One Word Challenge prompt

The Accidental Goldmine

Clipart image of a bottle and glass of liquor.

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 12 January 2022, essence.

There was once an upmarket distiller,
To his hooch added pods of vanilla,
While the drink didn’t sell,
With it’s sickly sweet smell,
He’d developed a world-class painkiller.

Prompt image for the Fandango One Word Challenge prompt

Unclean Getaway

Logo for the Fandango Story Starter Prompt

For Fandango’s Story Starter #28, where we build something around the following phrase:

When Frank turned the TV that night and saw the lead story on the late news, he knew that…
Continue reading “Unclean Getaway”

A Healthy Appetite

Clipart image of a slice of cherry pie

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 11 January 2022, cluster.

A gluttonous fellow called Bert,
Chose twelve portions of pie for dessert,
With the pies neatly clustered
He then topped them with custard,
Alas halfway through popped with a splurt!

Prompt image for the Fandango One Word Challenge prompt


Prompt image for the Fandango's Flash Fiction prompt

For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #151, where we write about the image below from Darius Bashar at Unsplash.com.

A picture containing grass, outdoor, nature, smoke

Description automatically generated

20th April 1928

Dearest Aunt Dorothy,

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write, but you can imagine how much effort it has taken to get this place into shape. I finally seem to have found the time to relax now, although it will not be for long, as I shall explain…

The journey here was rather eventful. I spent almost the first half of the voyage seasick – I am afraid I do not make a good traveller. Then, just as I found my sea legs, the ship sailed into a full-on typhoon as we navigated the Bay of Bengal. I feared for my life and your niece might well have ended up with the fishes.

But, either by luck or good judgement, we arrived in Burma. I have never been so relieved to set foot on dry land.

The embassy has been immensely helpful. They found us this colonial house, only ten minutes from the town centre, which allowed Charles to take up his post straight away.

It has taken incredible effort, however, to turn this place into a home, and Charles has been so busy… he is already complaining how short-handed the embassy are… that I have mostly had to fix our accommodation on my own.

Rangoon is a strange place. It is hot here, of course. We knew it would be. We have been warned about the rainy season, but we have not seen any rain yet.

The place is unmistakeably oriental, though, and frankly I miss London, although I will not allow myself to become one of those hysterical women who yearns for home. Fortunately, the embassy staff tend to stick together, and some of the women whose husbands have been here a while have been helpful. We play bridge sometimes when our men are at work, and somebody even lent me a Fortnum & Mason catalogue, so hopefully I can have a few luxuries shipped from home.

One of my first tasks was to hire some assistance. People here are happy to work for the English and, compared to home, they will work for nothing. She has a frightful Burmese name that I can’t pronounce, and so we agreed that I would just call her Anna.

In fact, Anna is due any minute so I will close in a moment.

I just wanted to tell you that the reason life might become hectic is because Charles and I are expecting. Mama knows, of course, but has been sworn to secrecy. But I am far enough along that I don’t mind close family knowing. And I consider you to be close, my dearest aunt. Charles is as proud as punch and I’m just hoping that I can present him with a son and heir. The baby will be born out here and is due in August. We have already made enquiries, and the hospital here, while nothing like home, comes highly recommended.

Anyway, with that news, I shall close. And not a moment too soon – I think I can hear Anna in the courtyard.

I can’t wait to hear how you are, my dearest aunt. Let me know soon.

Yours, as always,


I’ve tried to write this “of the time”. Until 1948, Myanmar was a British colony known as Burma. It’s capital was Rangoon (now called Yangon). Yangon is still the largest city, although the capital has moved to Naypyidaw.

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