Tag Archives: Luke and Matty

Friday Fiction – The Link

On this occasion, you will forgive  me, I hope, for one or two things: a little sentimentality, a couple of my favourite recurring characters, and an interpretation of the picture that is both incredibly literal and heavily metaphorical. Three days into my own mother-of-two adventure, I’ve somehow squeezed in time for Friday Fiction (thanks to Grandma who is ironing, hubby who is gardening and simultaneously-sleeping boys) not least because I want to thank Rochelle for her lovely message on the FF homepage.

For those who missed it, the announcement of Dominic’s arrival is here. I now have my very own Matty and Luke. Thanks to C.Hase for a picture that couldn’t be more evocative for this week. Now, though, a story. Of sorts. c-hase

The Link

Matty threw his arms out to the sides for balance, then jumped expertly to the next link on the old anchor chain.

“The slimy blackness of the serpent oozed up, then disappeared under the ripples for mile upon mile,” Luke intoned, studying the links undulating in and out of the sand.

I half-watched one, half-listened to the other and thought about two mornings, eleven and nine years ago when life-giving cords from me to each of them had been irrevocably cut, and replaced by something longer, stronger and invisible to the eye: a mighty chain stretching endlessly into our futures.


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Friday Fiction – What’s In A Name?

Another week into my own personal challenge to move away from Illustration and follow more closely Inspiration for my FF stories. Rochelle leads the way; I’ve got a long way to go to catch her. This week’s photo is from Douglas MacIlroy. I recommend both their stories to you without having read either; and many of the others besides. If you read mine, I’d love to receive your comments, thoughts and critique. Thanks!


What’s in a name?

I could hear them playing – Matty’s laughter carried and I was proud of him for finally letting his little brother borrow his new plastic lightsaber.

“Use the force, Luke,” he intoned like a monastic chant. I daydreamed over our naming discussions – the jokes that we should have two more: John and Mark, or have them re-release “When Will I Be Famous?” when they were older.

It wasn’t until I stood up that I saw the young padawan blindfolded and cowering as tennis balls pelted through the air at him from Stuart’s stupid serving machine, the coveted lightsaber prone beside him.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

Friday Fiction – Good Parenting





This week’s FF picture, courtesy of Lauren Moscato by way of Amy Reese put me instantly in mind of two of my favourite recurring characters. It being April 1st, I should probably have come up with something more foolish, but Matty and Luke stories always seem to arrive fully formed, and I can do little more than transcribe (and cut; this one started out >150 words). I hope you enjoy, I welcome your comments either way though.

Technically this story comes with a LANGUAGE WARNING.


Good Parenting

“Look,” said Luke, “A magic portal!”

“Or the builders fucked up,” Matty replied.

I nearly put the car through a window. “Matty!”

“Uncle Jason says it means made a mistake,” he sounded innocent; I couldn’t see his face.

“It does, but it’s not something we say in polite company.” God, I sounded like my mother.

“What’s polite about us?”

He had a point. Luke had a finger halfway up his nose and I’d just beeped some idiot pedestrian.

“Our language,” I said, burning and burying good parenting, “And the fact that my sons don’t answer back if they want McDonalds.”


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

Friday Fiction – On The Shoulders Of Giants

I must be pregnant, or a stay-at-home-Mum … Oh, or both 😉  Each week I think I’ll write a story about something other than parent-child relationships and every week, I mull the prompt over, dismiss a bunch of other ideas and land back in the family. Here’s another one where the appropriate response might be “they’ll be asking to borrow the car keys next”;  I hope you like it and welcome your comments either way. In fact, I’ve written about Luke (and his brother, Matty) before; theirs is one of my favourite fictional families.

Rochelle continues to challenge us with fantastic prompts. This week’s comes from Ted Strutz – a long time Fictioneer whose writing I haven’t seen for a while. Are you still with us, Ted?



On The Shoulders of Giants

“Dad,” Luke paused in The World’s Great Inventors, “When Bell invented the telephone, who did he call?”

“Actually, three men were working on telephone inventions back then. Bell just got there first,” I said.

“So he called the other guys?”


“Also, when Edison invented the lightbulb did he have to wait for someone to invent the switch? And electricity?”

Surely only yesterday this little philosopher was riding on my shoulders and asking about Thomas trains? “Look up Isaac Newton next,” I said, inspired by the memories. “He had something to say about how inventions can’t be seen in isolation.”


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Friday Fiction – Car shopping

As for previous weeks, please accept my apologies for not having much time this week to read and comment on other stories. We’re over halfway there, folks, and December is on the horizon! I have so many things I’m putting off till then, I fear it will still be a busy month, but hopefully a little less crazy!

As for this week’s story I know I shouldn’t prejudice you with my thoughts, but I’m not sure about this one. I had a lot more to say and perhaps with more time and effort, I could have fitted it in better, but see what you think. The picture is from Claire Fuller, other stories can be found through Rochelle.


Car Shopping

“What do you call a Skoda with two exhaust pipes?”

It was Matty’s favourite joke, and I knew the answer, but I scratched my head anyway.

“A wheelbarrow!” He ran off through the showroom, cackling wildly.

“He’ll be mortified,” said my husband, Jack, leaning on our first choice. “But that joke’s anachronistic; they’re good cars.”

“I know, but you’re not the one who’ll have to persuade him to get in it every time.”

“Hey, Mum! How do you double the value of a Skoda?”

“I blame your brother,” grumbled Jack.

“Me too,” I sighed. “Fill up the petrol tank, Matty.”


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

Friday Fiction – Broken Telegraph

A quick (but heartfelt) Welcome Back to Rochelle, and Thank You to Claire Fuller for hosting and photographing respectively.

This week’s gorgeous photo made me think of many things, including the wonderful poem Ozymandias, which I urge you to read if you haven’t before. In eschewing skin-disease and Neptune, I eventually settled on the wonders of myth and legend, but a few iterations later, this story is another step removed. If the last line doesn’t make sense for you, click on the link to read about the reference Mummy is making. As always, I welcome your comments.


Broken Telegraph

“Mike says Simon told Adam that Danny’s brother saw Luke climb the old oak tree and fight off an eagle to steal her egg, and then climb back down with it in his mouth, and now it’s going to hatch and he’s going to have a pet eagle. Like Harry Potter.”

The breathless report was delivered along with Matty’s backpack, all before he was through the school gate.

“Harry Potter had an owl,” I mused.

“Mummy! Luke’s a hero! And a thief! Aren’t you going to punish him?”

“Well, let’s find out what happened first. Three-and-fourpence won’t help the advance.”


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

Friday Fiction – Testing Spelling

Maybe it’s the grammarian in me, but one thing jumped out of this week’s FF prompt, copyright to and courtesy of Randy Mazie. And it gave me a chance to reprise three of my recurring characters. If you like them, check out their previous exploits here, here and here. However, this story is designed to stand entirely alone. I welcome your honest feedback.


Testing Spelling

“Next one: Trespassing.”

Matty chewed his lip. “T…R…E…S…S?”

“No!” Luke shouted through the wall. “One S, then two!”

“Shut up, Shrimp!”

“Boys,” I warned.

“I’m helping,” Luke said from the doorway.

“You’re not. I can do it.” Matty is sharp as a tack, but he’s not as academic as his little brother. It drives him nuts.

“Luke, back to bed.”

“Think of trees, passing,” Luke whispered. “Then take out the extra e.”

Matty glared at the door as I pushed it closed. “T…R…E,” A longer pause for the e, “S…P…A…SS…ING!”

The muffled sound of proud applause came through the door.


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A World Of… continued

Apparently, the boys haven’t quite finished their argument…

“Anyway, it’s not an elegra… whatever you said,” Matty continued. “If you put the words together, you get el…gi…ti…zeli … elgitizeli!”

I was inclined to agree, but Luke is clever. And a perfectionist. If he’d picked a name for the creature he’d drawn, he’d have his reasons.

“No it wouldn’t, stupid.”

“Don’t call your brother stupid,” I said automatically, feeling stupid too.

“Those are all the head ends of the words,” Luke continued. “It’s got the middle of a tiger, so it needs the middle of the word. El…ra…ge…br…on.” He spelled it out slowly.

“Explain it to me like you’re talking to a four year old,” the guy in Philadelphia says. If he’d met my youngest, he’d have said “Explain it to me like you’re a six year old”.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

Friday Fiction – A World Of…

Short on time this week, so I’ll just say thanks to Rochelle and EL Appleby for hosting and providing the picture respectively. As regular readers will know, feedback is always welcome, and as long-term followers may notice, these boys have been around before.

ADDENDUM: If you have time, there’s a bit more of this story here


A World Of…

“It’s an elragebron.”

“It’s a world of ridiculous is what it is.”

I can hear the boys arguing again. Luke’s been drawing so it’s probably about that. Matty likes to tease him when he gets home from school, and I’m worried he’s being bullied, and taking it out on his brother. My husband says it’s just what boys do.

Matty’s new phrase makes me laugh: ‘A world of’ whatever. I mustn’t, though. I must be the serious parent and discipline him for being mean. Then I catch sight of the picture. And it is … it’s a world of ridiculous.


Language note: I didn’t see the tail at first, so it was going to be an elragra. Of course, inspiration not illustration and all that, but I think the new name works too. For those who can’t work it out:

ELephant giRAffe tiGEr zeBRa liON


Filed under Friday Fiction, 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