A Very Special Houseplant – By Andrew Bell

Some months ago, I took over the care of an anthurium or flamingo flower, an exotic house plant which is a native of the tropical climates of South America. It came as a gift to my wife, but very soon, I took a liking to it.
I love its generous display of shiny, waxlike pointy leaves and the flowers, which consist of beautiful salmon pink bracts or blooms; and, sitting on top, a vertical spike of tiny flowers that begin with a whitish colour, but then slowly change to a pleasing limey green.

I also keep a small family of spider plants that all came from the very first plant we had which, for many years, held pride of place on a small table in the hall, by the front door. Spider plants are much less needy but, with just a little TLC are just as pleasing to the eye as the more exotic plants.

Right now, this flamingo flower has no companions. Trying to discover how to give it the care it needs: maintaining the right balance of warmth, moisture, feed and light is still a bit of a challenge, but I know from experience with the spider plants, that, in time, this knowledge will arise by simply taking a few moments to give the plant my undivided attention.

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Brexitch! – by Chris South

I have this itch I need to scratch
But don’t know if I should?
For if I pull the scab off
We might all be bathed in blood!
Yet if I don’t I’ll be annoyed
Until my dying day
It aggravates and irritates
And will not go away.
But sometimes such dilemmas
Are best just left alone
For when we start to pick at them
We dig down to the bone.
Then soon we find that ‘niggle’
Is a chasm deep and wide
A fundamental problem
With division on each side!
So what now can we do to heal,
What remedy, what ease?
Is there salve enough to soothe
Or balm that will appease?
Have we scratched until this wound
Became a cancerous sore?
Rotten now, decaying
And infected to our core?

child – Flash fiction by Kaye Locke

It felt incongruous sitting there on the bandstand steps in the sunny park, half a dozen of their friends messing about around them, oblivious.   Drew was holding her hand the big faux gold chain on his wrist digging into her arm, replicating the pain.  He was sucking on a roll-up and the smoke blew towards her making her cough.

‘For god’s sake Mel, stop makin’ a fuss. I ain’t gonna stop spliffin’ just fer you, so yer can give that up right now.’

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The Test – by Kevin Murphy


A roar of ‘Ah, ha, ah!’ draws a gaggle of girls to stop and peer in the door and window of Jim Pooler’s cobbler’s hut, open to let in a summer breeze. ‘What you laughing at, Snob?’
He holds up his thumb, then sucks it.
‘Good … or bad, eh? Which is it?’
‘I’ve hit it wit’ ’ammer,’ he wheezes, then laughs.
‘Daft ’apporth, thought you were a professional,’ says one. ‘Don’t go dripping blood on those lovely brogues.’
Jim holds up his other hand, gloved by a very smart tan and white shoe. He inspects it and shakes his head.
‘Didn’t know if you were laughing or crying,’ says another girl.
Jim thinks for a second before saying, ‘bit of both I suppose.’ He smiles a sad smile then cheers, ‘I’ll be reet!’ Continue reading

Tonight’s the night!

All the write pieces cover imageYes, it’s time to put on make-up, it’s time to light the lights*…  The official launch of our anthology is just a few hours away, so we’re all busy rehearsing and preparing.  I do hope you’ll be able to join us for this celebration of the talented Retford Writers.  The launch will take place in Retford Library, at 6:00 p.m. this evening (9th May 2019).  The writers will be reading excerpts from some of their contributions, and there will be a chance to chat, buy copies of the book, and enjoy some celebratory drinks and nibbles. Do come along, and of course, if you are an aspiring Retford Writer join our group and maybe your piece will be published in the next anthology!

* thanks to the muppets for the quote!!

All the Write Pieces

All the write pieces cover imageWe are all getting very excited about the upcoming launch of our super dooper anthology which is taking place this Thursday (9th May, 2019) 18:00 at Retford Library.

To give you a taster of the contents, members will be reading some of their contributions to the publication, and there will be time for a chat, some celebratory drinks and of course, to buy a copy (or two!) of the book.

It’s our first joint publication, so a very special occasion for Retford Writers.  Hope to see you there!


Retwords – Retford Writers’ Workshop

2018 – our seventh year arrives

Publishing and publicity will be our new resolution

A group of around twenty aspiring writers from North Nottinghamshire all with a desire to improve their writing techniques.

We do this by sharing our work on a two-weekly basis at Retford Library, – alternate Thursday afternoons 2-4pm.

visitors-to-blog-year-to-septWelcome all our visitors from across the world this last year.

Do please tick a ‘like’ or leave a comment.

Have you got a yen to write – join us!

Some works in progress are shared on-line – on this web page.

All writing styles are used – fact to fiction, poetry to prose, short to long.

So – fortnightly

…and join us online – like, follow, and do please comment. The whole purpose is to receive constructive criticism.

FRANKENSTEIN an Alternative Ending


By David R Graham

Archangel, Dec, 24th 1799,

To Mrs Seville, England,

Dearest Margaret,

I am alive and well, though I had planned it otherwise. Lest these words alarm you, let me speedily explain what has befallen me these last months.

Whilst stranded in the frozen wastes of the North, I entered into a compact with that spawn of the Devil that was the abominable creation of Doctor Frankenstein. May God forgive me, but in my lust for personal glory, I agreed to help manufacture a mate for the creature. Little did I suspect that the creature was playing me for a fool. It concocted its own death. Before my very eyes and those of my entire crew, it was consumed in the flames that were Doctor Frankenstein’s funeral pyre. Then it secretly boarded the ship and I concealed it in my quarters for the duration of the voyage back to Archangel.

Once here, I quickly purchased a suitable building on the harbour, and had it fitted out as a laboratory with all the apparatus and equipment that Doctor Frankenstein had recorded so meticulously in his journal. Then, we set about the gruesome task of acquiring the necessary body parts for the creature’s mate.

Such bloody work was of no consequence to the creature, but, oh God, dearest sister, for me! For me, it was a glimpse, nay, a stark descent into the very bowels of Hell! The places we entered into and the vile acts we committed whilst there, are almost beyond description! How many times was I awash in the gore of human flesh, before my senses could stand it no more!? My very soul cried out in agony and anguish at the terrible depth to which my lust for glory had dragged me.

And the creature knew! All the time we were engaged in our bloody work, it knew the extent of my suffering, and it laughed! It laughed a terrible laugh at what I had become! And in that moment it controlled me! It mastered me! I was powerless! It did not threaten me harm. It threatened, nay, vowed, to destroy all that I held dear in this world if it thought for one moment that I might try to free myself from our terrible compact.

Once the creature had all the body parts it needed, it shut us both up in the cellar and I was forced to assist it in assembling its mate.

When the work was complete, if such a thing might be called complete, it was a horrible adulteration of the human form! What a piece of work it was! It was not express and admirable in form! In apprehension, it was a ghoul! It was the paragon of abomination!

Again the creature laughed its terrible laugh when it beheld my horror and it told me than that it intended to assemble a cohort of such things and use them to wreck a terrible vengeance on the whole of humankind!

Oh, dearest sister, I knew that it meant every word! Just as I knew that it intended that I should continue to assist it in its terrible plan.

I resolved there and then dear sister, to do whatever I could to stop the creature, even if so doing should cost me my life. Indeed, I had already resolved to sacrifice my life in some small recompense for the diabolical wickedness into which I had at first so eagerly sought to participate. I had to find a way to destroy both myself and the creature. But I had no notion of how I might do so.

For days and nights, as we worked to prepare the doctor’s apparatus that would be used to activate and, God forbid, animate, the creature’s vile handiwork, I racked my stupefied brain to try to devise a means by which I might accomplish my final act of redemption.

But I could conceive of nothing! I was doomed! I realised then, as I worked to connect electrical conductors to the copper hustera that, once the vile thing it contained, lived, I would be of no further use to its creator. It was then, in that moment of stark realisation, that I cried out to my own Creator.

Oh, dearest sister in the world, He heard me! He heard my cry and He answered me! On my own I could not have accomplished all that I did!

In that moment, I was overcome by an all-consuming sense of wellbeing! My wretched state fell away from me and I heard a voice say, ‘And the serpent cast out of his mouth a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.’

Thinking that the creature might also have heard the voice, I turned, but it was engrossed in the doctor’s cursed journal, whilst it awaited the gathering storm.

It was then dear sister that I realised that the voice was a revelation!  A revelation dear sister!  The cellar in which we laboured was many feet below the banks of the Neva. I had to find a way to breach the walls and bring the weight of the river in upon us and all that we had engineered!

I then beseeched the creature that I might go to my toilet and eat some food and rest for a  period that I might regain some strength. So engrossed was it in the near summation of its endeavours, that it let me go.

I worked quietly and quickly in near darkness dear sister and I discovered that the cellar was in fact a dry dock. The doors that held the Neva at bay were very large and seemingly impossible for one man to open alone. But on searching further, I discovered a mechanism that controlled the doors. The screw was large and cumbersome, but I grasped it with the strength and determination that only the very desperate of heart can employ. It turned!

The great doors made a noise like that of Satan ascending from Hell! But the doors opened!

Water rushed in!

Aided by the great press of water the screw turned ever faster!

Even above the roar of the water I heard the creature bellow when it realised what I was about!

I spun the screw once more, then leapt away and concealed myself in the darkness!

The creature bound up and grasped the screw and I thought for one fearful moment that it was going to succeed in shutting off the water! But even its inhuman strength was no match for the weight of the river, as it sought to engulf the cellar!

Bellowing its rage, the creature left the screw and I realised that it was bent on rescuing its creation!

I reached the hustera first! I spun the lid screw shut and haul with superhuman strength on the rope that operated the lifting tackle. How I did it I do not know! But I managed to tilt the hustera onto two of its feet until it teetered on the edge of its dais!

The creature was almost upon me! Its maw was agape with wrath! But the sound that came from its throat was drowned by the roar of the water as it rapidly filled the cellar!

I kicked out at the hustera! It toppled over the very edge of the dais!

The creature caught it! But it was unable to prevent it falling and it went down with it into the swirling water!

Such was the weight of the hustera that I was easily hauled up into the darkness!

Far below me, I heard the creature bellowing in fury! It was still alive!

It was then that it happened, dearest sister in the world!

A miracle of miracles!

A single bolt of lightning turned the very night to day! It struck the conducting rod that the creature had placed on the roof of the building and its great power was conducted, in the merest blink of an eye, down the conduit and into the cellar!

Not even that terrible creature could have survived that bolt of power from Heaven! All living and non-living flesh, in that water-filled charnel house, was consumed in an instant!

In another instant, the horror that had consumed my life for many months was at last at an end.

The water found its level and ceased to rise and its roaring was replaced by utter silence.

It was then dear sister that I heard the same voice say, ‘It is finished.’


Your most affectionate brother,

R Walton