Sarah Ann Hall

Flash fiction, progress on WIPs, and the occasional excuse for not writing anything.

For Love – gargleblaster#158

with 10 comments


‘For love.’

‘Love doesn’t need you to fight for her.’

‘The woman I desire says I must prove I am worthy.’

‘By beating your rivals to a pulp?’

‘Well not exactly, but -’

‘I’d find a more deserving lover if I were you.’



This is my very rushed and unpolished submission for yeahwrite‘s gargleblaster#158.

The challenge is to write a 42-word story to the week’s Ultimate Question.

This week:

“Tell me something, old friend: why are you fighting?”

Written by Sarah Ann

April 21, 2014 at 9:16 pm

Ligo Haibun Challenge – word prompt – Memories of Nirvana

with 2 comments

This week, the Ligo Haibun Challenge gave us a choice of words to fire our imaginations:

 Saviour/Savior  or Nirvana

This probably isn’t what they meant me to do, but nevermind.



It must be 1991 or ‘92. There are rumours that Nirvana are going to play the Birmingham Hummingbird – an impromptu gig: first come, first served. I don’t know where or how the rumour started, I know only that I am going.

I can’t remember now what day the gig was, maybe a Tuesday, but I have afternoon lectures. Of the group of us going – Stan, Dan, Paul and me – only I have lectures. I am in my first year of university, living in halls in Walsall, a thirty-minute bus-ride from Birmingham, a thirty-minute drive to Wolverhampton where my course is taught. The university provides coaches to ferry us between campuses. The morning one leaves at 8am to get us there for a 10 o’clock start. If I miss the 4.30pm coach back, the next one doesn’t leave until 6pm.

It must be spring ’92 because it isn’t yet dark as the coach arrives in Walsall. I leave my lecture mates disembarking and rush home. I wash and change and learn the lads have gone. It doesn’t matter because these are the days when nothing stops me.

I leave campus and catch the bus to Birmingham. I seem to know where I am going, find the venue easily, and my friends in the queue quickly – Stan is a beanpole and easy to spot. They had a half hour start on me, didn’t want to risk missing this opportunity.

Maybe it’s summer because I don’t remember the street being dark, but then in the UK’s second city, surely there are lights everywhere. Perhaps the remembrance of natural light is artificial.

I don’t know how long we wait. Blue paper tickets relating to another band on another date are thrust into our hands, removed, torn in half, and then we’re in. We disperse, each to our own dancing frenzy. Later, Paul sticks by me and we share screamed observations.

Energetically gyrating sardines give off much heat and the ceiling cries condensation. Head back, I stare at the beaded roof tiles, watch the droplets grow, deform, and drip sweat.

We come home on the bus, Paul and Stan propping up Dan between them. I don’t remember the journey – gone is that heady mood forever. And if we’re all together on the bus, then it must have been autumn ’91 because Paul moved to Wolverhampton after Christmas.

So long ago, in another life, I wonder if it really happened.


memory plays tricks

picking out fine details

others blurry edged




I’ve checked online – and didn’t imagine this. There’s a bootleg video of the gig on youtube – 27/11/91 – part of Nirvana’s Nevermind tour.

Notes on the Ligo Haibun Challenge.

Written by Sarah Ann

April 20, 2014 at 12:25 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 18/4/14 – The Send Off

with 31 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point in time during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.


I didn’t think I’d make it this week, and am taking the opportunity of a very wet journey down the M4 to post this. Thanks to Doug MacIlroy for this week’s photo.


Copyright - Douglas M. MacIlroy

Copyright – Douglas M. MacIlroy


The Send Off (100 words)

‘What shall we do with the drunken sailor?’

‘Dunk him,’ the crew roared answer to the captain.

Seamus, collapsed on the deck, waved his arms ineffectually as he was strapped into the bosun’s chair. Over he went, to come up mumbling.

‘Stick him in the helmet!’

The bestman and ushers wiggled an excited jig as the captain’s lucky charm was secured over Seamus’s lolling head.

After a third dipping Seamus was brought aboard, to be remonstrated with for his lack of fuss and flailing. When the diver’s helmet was removed, seawater was not the only fluid to flood the deck.


Sarah Ann’s Shorts Falls Short – WIP Update

with 6 comments


I think it’s safe to say that the optimism and energy of last August dissipated toward the end of the year. My plans to self-publish my short stories faltered when I read advice that said it was dangerous – a badly written, badly edited self-published book can end a career as well as launch one. I worried, I wobbled, and decided against. But since then I’ve re-read some of my stories, had a rethink, and decided to try again. It’s too easy to be a writer who writes but isn’t read.

Russell over at What’s So Funny had the same idea as me for a cover design. It must have me been discussing it with hubby that created enough morphic resonance for the thought to carry across the ocean. Or maybe, great minds just think alike. I have recovered from Russell getting there first and Plan B is to create an illustrated book with friend and creative colleague Janice Hume. (And I’m not copying kz either.)  Jan has read the first crop of stories I plucked from my hard drive and not gone off the idea of entangling herself with me. So I must continue editing and collating, and wait until she has a gap in her schedule of photography shoots and design assignments, before we put our heads together. Of course, Sarah Ann’s Shorts has had to go as a title and a concept. It’s Hall and Hume now, and we need a new title.



For more info on books to which I refer above, click the links:

Russell Gayer’s The Perils of Heavy Thinking

KZ Morano’s 100 Nightmares


Written by Sarah Ann

April 16, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Every Wednesday – gargleblaster#157

with 21 comments


Within the hour, I am destroyed.

She welcomes me; massages my scars.

Comforted, I allow her to tease apart the healed skin.

When she prods raw flesh, I cannot run, but stay and feel the pain.

And next week, I will return.




This is my submission for this week’s gargleblaster challenge from yeahwrite.

In 42 words, writers are invited to answer the Ultimate Question. This week:

Do you see her much?





Written by Sarah Ann

April 14, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Interpretation services required

with 7 comments

I have heard back from the agent to whom I sent the synopsis and first three chapters of my book. His response:

“I’m so sorry but I just did not fall in love with this. Good luck elsewhere.”

My eternally optimistic self takes this as a positive – the writing wasn’t criticised, he just found the opening to the story underwhelming. However, having no previous experience, I am at a loss as to how to interpret this hand-written note appended to the bottom of my covering letter.

Calling all those with experience of agents, and the doomsayers and pessimists – bring me back down to earth. Tell me what he really means.

Written by Sarah Ann

April 12, 2014 at 2:09 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 11/4/14 – Mayday

with 35 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

Every Friday (or before) the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Visit Rochelle’s site for the rules on how to join in and check out the other stories by clicking on the blue guy.


Mayday (100-words)

Streamers snap. Choirs sing, battling the beeps and whirs of mechanical enticements.

Children dart and squeal in delight.

Adults chatter – ‘Jimmy, get back here!’

The wheezy bleat of an accordion soars.

Feet shuffle over grass; stamp on the dance floor.

Ker-plunk: a coin in a slot.

Pop goes an air rifle. ‘YES! Get in there!’ wins a prize.

Onions sizzle, burgers spit.

The squelch and, ‘Yeugh,’ of a dropped ice-cream.

A joyful cacophony cushions squawking gulls, circling overhead; waiting.




A wave of cordite rolls.


Deaf. Blind. Can’t breathe.


Bones snap, flesh tears, blood flows.

The screams begin.


Friday Fictioneers


I’m not happy with this piece. I know what I was trying to do, I don’t think I acheived it. Let me know what you think.

Written by Sarah Ann

April 11, 2014 at 7:35 pm


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