Tag Archives: Boys will be boys

Inspiration Monday – Claim your island

This week’s InMon prompts include the phrase “Capture your island”, which put me in mind of the fascinating post I read here (reblogged by Rochelle Wisoff Fields). And hence, my story below. I hope you enjoy it, your comments and critique are always welcome.


Claim Your Island

“So, you’re Robinson Crusoe. The first thing to do is claim your island.” Gordy pulled a forked stick from a pile of driftwood and pushed it upright into the ground. He would have liked to make a flag to hang from it, but there was no material in the pile. He could strip off his vest and use that, but he might need it for warmth in the night. And anyway, a white vest would look like a flag of surrender: Gordy had no intention of surrendering to anyone.

“You never know what’ll be on the island, so you’ll need a weapon to defend yourself, and to hunt wild goats to eat. Luckily, when you were cast away from the ship, you brought your trusty bow and a handful of arrows.” He unslung the bow from his back and counted the arrows in the quiver he’d carried under his arm. Seven. Or it might be eight. Numbers were tricky like that.

The sun flicked behind a cloud and Gordy was glad of his vest. “It’s not as warm as it ought to be,” he muttered. “You should build a fire before it gets any colder. You’ll need it to cook the goats later too.” He began to gather some more sticks into a campfire. “Or wild boar. Mmm…” The idea made his mouth wet and he spat on the ground. Gordy took a swig from his canteen and wished it was grog that slipped down his throat, not water.

There was a rustling from the undergrowth behind him. Gordy froze. The noise stopped, and he dropped to his knees, carefully stringing an arrow onto the bow and pulling back on the string.

The sound came again. “It must be Man Friday,” Gordy whispered, holding the bow steady in shaking hands.

“George Anderson! Is that you messing about in my log pile again?”

“Man Friday is aggressive,” Gordy thought, wishing the local had used his proper, adventure name, and not the one his parents insisted on.

“Get out here this instant.”

Gordy felt a hand on the back of his collar, then he was lifted several feet off the ground and dragged out of the undergrowth. Face to face, Man Friday was even more terrifying. He stood six feet tall and almost as broad, wearing a bright yellow housecoat, with a washing peg hanging from his fearsome mouth.

“I’ve told you about mucking about in my garden. Get home before I tell your mother!”

“Yes, Mrs Rogers.” Gordy pulled his plastic bow and quiver onto his shoulder and hurried away before Man Friday could flick him with the red tea towel she’d been hanging out to dry. It would have made a good flag, he thought. Perhaps later, he’d stage a raid and capture the enemy’s ensign.



Filed under Inspiration Monday, Writing

Friday Fiction and InMon too – Jokes

In a fit of serendipity, this week’s FF prompt fits so well with one of the InMon prompts that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to combine them. Thanks to Roger for the picture too.

Once again, after the story, there’s a copy of the pre-edit version with a few notes about the changes. As ever, I’d love to see your comments and critiques, and any thoughts on the choice of genre in the heading.

(NOTES IN MY DEFENCE: Double bass is more words than cello; the boys are old enough to know about cellos but probably not double basses; the picture is an inspiration only … and they definitely aren’t guitars!)


 Jokes – Mainstream Fiction

“So, there’s two cellos, right?”


“And one cello says to the other, ‘I’ve got one broken string!’” Pause. “You geddit?”

“It’s not a joke.”


You’ve got one broken string. You’re one string short of a cello!” Matty laughs, and I find myself chuckling too. It’s not a bad joke and he’s right that Luke’s made-up one sucked.

“You don’t even know what a cello is,” Luke throws back. “You thought it was a guitar!”

We’ll have to step in soon, but just for this moment my husband and I share a secret smile, oddly proud of our boys.

Version 1:

“So, there’s two cellos, right?”


“And the one cello says to the other, ‘I’ve got one broken string!’” Pause. “You get it?” [many of the cuts were to remove words as draft 1 was 126. However, I also thought this conversation between two boys should have more casual language, hence the contractions]

“It’s not a joke. There’s nothing funny about that.” [tautology, and a good way to cut words!]


You’ve got one broken string. One string short of a cello, that’s you!” He laughs ,[I felt both boys needed names in their mother’s head, rather than ages.]  a little cruelly [I wanted to reduce the temperature a bit. The boys are arguing, but they are not being nasty to each other], but I find myself chuckling too. It’s not a bad joke for a ten year old and he’s right that Luke’s made up one didn’t work.

“You don’t even know what a cello is,” Luke snipes back. “You thought it was a guitar!”

We will have to step in soon, separate them before it gets nasty. But just for this moment, my husband and I share a secret smile, oddly proud of our boys.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Inspiration Monday, Writing