Thursday 26 September 2013

100 Worder Tribute

100 Worder
Roger Noons


A large glass of Verdejo, from Rueda

Now in her late seventies, she has retained her beauty. Bunned, silky, silver hair; flawless skin untouched by chemicals other than moisturizer, covers majestically-formed bones. A finely proportioned figure, no hour glass, but balanced for poise and bearing. When she enters a room, the eyes of women as well as men follow her. When she smiles, the earth ceases its rotation, if only briefly. Her voice, now a trifle husky, still has enough eloquence and melody to remind me of all those years ago, when I would watch her singing, on a black and white, twelve inch television set.

About the author
Roger is a regular contributor to the CaféLit site and a couple of his stories have been selected for the Best of CaféLit 2012.

Tuesday 24 September 2013

100 Worder If Only

100 Worder
Brian Lux

If Only

Irish Coffee

I’ve served this mansion for generations, and am still an object of appreciation, carefully polished so the lustre of my carefully matched wood glows.
      If only I could speak, what revelations could be revealed to the guests arranged round my perfect oval form. I listen to new conversations as another dinner party is in progress, but I can see as well as hear.
      Two arms surreptitiously descend and hands briefly link in an exchange of affection. Two legs slowly extend and feet entwine in a silent dance of passion.
      If only I could speak, because those two legs are male.

About the author
Brian Lux, well past the first flush of youth, realised a dream when Court of Foxes (8-12 years) was published in 2008, by Discovered Authors. He has written short stories in several genres with varying success, but gets his kicks from school workshops. He is the treasurer of Llandudno Writers, and leads a creative writing group for U3A

Monday 23 September 2013

100 Worder Hot Air

100 Worder
Patsy Collins
Hot Air
Take away coffee

Ah! That’s good. I needed this cigarette. Had to work for it mind, struggling down all them stairs; it’ll be worse going up again. 'Course smokers must go outside even if, like now, it’s raining. There's no consideration.

All the fuss is just a lot of hot air. Forty a day have done me no harm. Nor Sonia. Having a lightweight baby actually made things better for her.

Shall I have another ciggie? I think I’ve got time. No, the disapproving nurse is calling me. Way people carry on you’d think I was to blame for my son’s chronic asthma.

About the author

Patsy Collins is a regular contributor to CaféLit and has been featured in The Best of annual. She has had several books published including novels and a collection of Patsy's short stories is available as an ebook here and at special low price: LINK

Friday 20 September 2013

100 Worder The Bookseller

100 Worder

Susan Eames

The Bookseller

Bloody Mary

'What happened to your hands, buddy? What's your story?'
The bookseller's eyes flickered.
'Landmine was it? Tell me your story.'
'I can help you tell the world.'
'When Khmer Rouge start killing, world close eyes.'
'They tried to kill you?'
The bookseller frowned. 'You with your questions and well-fed stomach. Pocketful of dollars. You want to help? You too late. World too late. Family all gone in Killing Fields. I don't want your help.' He held out arms which ended in ruined purple stumps. 'I lose my family; my hands. But listen: I not broken! That my story, buddy.'

About the author
Susan Eames left England over twenty years ago to explore the world and dive its oceans. She has had travel articles and short fiction published on three continents. Until recently, Susan lived in Fiji, but is currently exploring new possibilities.

Wednesday 18 September 2013

100 Worder Bare

100 Worder
Helen Laycock
A teacup empty but for dregs and a tidemark

Like puppets, shadows polka'd up the walls and across the table as the stumpy candle flickered in the jam jar, its veins spilling into a waxy puddle.
               Edward stared at the paper in front of him. It was dying. Parched, jaundiced and, undoubtedly, jaded, it curled self-consciously, like Eve covering her nudity.
               His pen reclined, nonplussed, in the criss-crossed cushion between thumb and forefinger.

Forty-three days he had sat like this. For forty-three days he had floated in the vacuous space inside his skull. A moth clicked against the glass. Swooped. Erupted. Still Edward was unable to write anything.

About the author

Helen Laycock has written nine books for children as well as having put together two compilations of short stories and a collection of humorous poetry for adults. In addition, she has work included in an anthology produced by her online writing group.

Several further pieces are due to be included in forthcoming publications as a result of competition success. This is her second 100-worder for CaféLit.

Tuesday 17 September 2013

100 Worder Panic

100 Worder
Alan Cadman

A Double Scotch … as quick as you can!

I feel alone and scared. Nothing comes out when I open my mouth to scream. No one down there is concerned. Even the office workers, only a few feet away from me, aren’t interested. I grip the rope with both hands and realise my safety helmet won’t be of much use if I fall. I’m suspended in a cradle from one of the tallest buildings in London, 30 St Mary Axe; better known as the Gherkin. 
               I must be the only professional window cleaner who’s developed a fear of heights … at totally the wrong moment in time.

About the author
Alan has been writing short stories for six years. Before that, he was the editor of a civic society newsletter for seven years. When he first started writing fiction, his published work was rewarded with complimentary copies from magazines. His first cheque arrived on Christmas Eve 2009.

In 2011 he made the short list for one story and became a prize winner for flash fiction. Alan also won first prize, of £100, in a poetry competition in 2013. The last three accolades were awarded by the same best-selling UK magazine for writers. Alan’s work has been read out on Internet radio and his stories are now published in hard copy magazines and e-zines.

Friday 13 September 2013

Visiting My Penfriend

Charlie Britten

Visiting My Penfriend

Tea in a Glass with a Slice of Lemon

When I asked him for directions, he flinched as if I'd hit him. Seeing as he was wearing blue workman’s overalls and was in the act of sticking up a poster, I’d presumed him to be a railway employee. Abba blond, I rated him ‘ten’ on the ‘drop-dead gorgeous’ scale. 
               ‘Over there,’ he said, jerking his head to the right and without meeting my eye. In an instant, he was gone. 
               I’d arranged to meet my cousin, Dominik, at the main entrance. For fifteen minutes I’d been pacing up and down the concourse beneath Gdansk Glowny Station looking for it, my pink, plastic flip-flops, purchased from Colchester Woolworths three weeks ago, chafing between my toes. My first impressions of Gdansk, seen from the train window, weren’t good: tower blocks looming like oversized tombstones, skeletal cranes lunging from the skyline, grimy pipes running alongside the track, and blackened industrial buildings with chimneys belching acrid smoke which irritated my nostrils, even from inside my carriage. 
               I wasn't supposed to be in Gdansk.


Dad, who’d fled Krakow in 1939, had done everything to dissuade me from taking a holiday in Poland.
               ‘But Dad, it’s 1980,’ I protested.
               ‘Poland still Communist,’ he said. 
               ‘But I'll be all right staying with Aunt Magda in the Tatra Mountains.’
               ‘For sure, Tatra Mountains very beautiful.’
               He agreed eventually. I’d spent the last fortnight with my mother’s sister, in the south, the nice area of the country. Dad knew nothing of my Polish penfriend. My mates did, but, coming from a school of ‘Janets’ and ‘Janices’, they presumed my ‘Jan’ to be like their French ‘correspondantes’, a foreign replica of themselves, into ‘Blondie’, ‘Fleetwood
Mac’ and maxi dresses.
               Only the Estonian girl, Eeva, guessed. ‘He’s a boy. Right?’ she said.
               We never got on, Eeva and I, both of us children of World War Two refugees, with one foot in England and one further east. Driven by our families, and from within ourselves, to achieve everything, we trampled over each other, to be in the choir, orchestra, hockey team, tennis, chess team … and, oh yes, of course … for academic awards. Now, at the end of our school careers, the greatest prizes were boyfriends. I supposed she thought I'd got one up on her.
               Wrong there, Eeva, although you were right about one thing. In Poland, ‘Jans’ are male, as is probably the way in Estonia. Did Eeva wonder, as I did, about what was in her blood and how her different life might have been? I never used to – until Polish John Paul II became Pope eighteen months ago.

Last Christmas, hungry for contact with the real Poland, I asked my cousin, Dominik, to write to me. ‘Sorry,’ he wrote back, ‘Useless at letters. Too lazy. But my flatmate, Jan, he’ll do it. He loves the music of the Rolling Stones. He wants to know if you can send him records.’ 
               It was all innocent. Honestly. I had a Stones LP for him in my pack, bound with sellotape in layers and layers of brown paper. Dad didn’t know about Jan, of course. Or my being here in Gdansk. He’d have got the wrong idea too. 

When my father vocalised ‘Communism’, the word curdled the air. 
               ‘There must be dissidents,’ I’d said to him many times.
               ‘In USSR and in Czechoslovakia,’ he replied. ‘Not in Poland. Polish Army put down Prague Spring.’


Now in Gdansk I’d found proper dissident. I devoured what he’d left behind. Plain and monochrome, the poster cried ‘Solidarnosc’ with ink blotches inside the Ss and Os.  It told of crane driver, Anna Walentynowicz, sacked for distributing pamphlets, and a planned strike by the Gdansk Shipyard workers calling for her reinstatement. Tomorrow. Dad didn't approve of strikes either, something we’d seen a lot of in Britain during the past few years. 
               ‘Communists,’ he’d say, shaking his head at the television.


               ‘Dominik?’ Although I’d never met him before, I recognised his face from family photographs on our mantelpiece. When he kissed my cheeks three times, I felt like a proper Pole. 
               We chatted for several minutes about the weather; I'd expected Poland to be cold but this summer was unexpectedly warm.
               ‘We must find Jan,’ he said at last. ‘I told him I’d meet him at 17:00 hours.’
               ‘Oh … yes … I suppose.’ 

Casting one last glance at the spot where my dissident had stood, I followed Dominik’s confident step through the labyrinthine concourse to the station exit. Red and white trams hurtled along the wide street, alongside pavements thronged with workers in blue overalls, their heads and shoulders bobbing up and down as they walked. 
               Then I saw a ray of gold, the summer sun catching his Abba blond hair. My dissident again, stepping towards us and carrying a pink rose. 
               My heart leapt. Yes, it was him. Definitely. My stomach somersaulted.
               Nearer and nearer he came. But I was in Gdansk to meet – not him – but Jan, my penfriend.
               Dominik raised his arm. ‘Jan. Over here.’ 

Moments later, he stood next to us. With an old-fashioned bow, he offered the pink rose to me. 

About the author

Charlie Britten has contributed to FictionAtWork, Every Day Fiction, Mslexia, Linnet’s Wings, CafeLit, Radgepacket and the Copperfield Review. She writes because she loves doing it.

All Charlie’s work is based in reality, with a strong human interest element. Although much of her work is humorous, she has also written serious fiction, about the 7/7 Bombings in London and attitudes to education before the Second World War. 

Charlie Britten lives in southern England with her husband and cat. In real life, she is an IT lecturer at a college of further education.

Charlie’s blog, ‘Write On’, is at

Wednesday 11 September 2013

100 Worder Once

100 Worder
Roger Noons
A glass of champagne which I fear may lose its bubbles

The clock on the bedside table read 00.17 when the telephone rang. Assuming it would be a reveller calling to wish me Happy New Year, I lifted the handset.
    ‘Look out the window.’
    ‘Put down the phone, walk over to the window, and look out.’
    ‘I don’t understand.’
    ‘For once in your life, do as you are told.’
    Shaking my head, I returned the phone to its cradle. Gazing out, I saw nothing until there was a flash. I heard the report followed by breaking glass. I fell backwards on to the bed, and then came darkness.

About the author
Roger is a regular contributor to the CaféLit site and a couple of his stories have been selected for the Best of CaféLit 2012.

Since opening the call for 100 worders Roger has really risen to the challenge and over the coming weeks his will appear regularly!

Tuesday 10 September 2013


Susan Eames


Cafe Cortado

Antonio was taking an order when he spotted her.
               She skirted the barriers where small children were playing hide and seek between people’s legs. She looked pinched with distress. He watched her sidestep a sour-faced woman in a flowing caftan and no-nonsense Birkenstocks to stare up at the flight arrival monitors. She visibly relaxed and grinned at Caftan Woman who glared back at her.
               Antonio felt a crackle of excitement as if an unknown destiny had just tapped him on the shoulder. He returned his reluctant attention to his customer; a woman tanned to an unwelcome shade of mahogany and wearing a red halter which showed way too much creased cleavage.
               A couple waddled over to the cafe, looking for a free table. Unsuccessful, they waddled off again, their shorts bunching up between their thighs.
               Maybe the Pinched Girl would come to the cafe? If so, she would have to sit at the bar counter. All manner of opportunities for dialogue presented themselves to Antonio. With a jaunty step, he delivered coffee to the Mahogany Woman.
               'Graaa …cias.' She winked and jiggled her wrinkled bosom at him.
               He controlled his gag reflex and fled to the safety of the counter, his former jauntiness snuffed out.
               Antonio turned his attention to the fidgeting crowd who were waiting for the arriving passengers. Where was she?
               The Pinched Girl walked towards the barriers as if she wore shackles. Antonio felt a twitch of pity. Who had she come to meet that could cause her such anguish? He strained to catch her eye. Any second she'd look at him and destiny would answer.
               A crumpled man trudged through the barriers. They embraced. The Pinched Girl threw back her head and laughed. Antonio sighed.

The fat couple returned and sat at a recently vacated table. They craned their necks expectantly towards the bar counter. Antonio went to take their order.

About the author
Susan Eames left England over twenty years ago to explore the world and dive its oceans. She has had travel articles and short fiction published on three continents. Until recently, Susan lived in Fiji, but is currently exploring new possibilities.

Friday 6 September 2013

100 Worder A Great Idea

100 Worder

Susan Eames

A Great Idea

San Miguel

'It's a crazy idea,' said Chunky.
               'It's a great idea,' said Titch.
               Chunky's rucked up t-shirt revealed a milk-white paunch. 'I'm not hitchhiking again. Remember the Spanish lorry drivers wouldn't pick us up? Called us no-good Hippies.'
               'Our hair was long, man.'
               'Remember the Moroccan border?'
               'The doe-eyed chick?'
               'She had a great bum.'
               'Wonder what she looks like now?'
               'Fat. All those Mediterranean types turn to fat.'
               'Maybe she's got a daughter.'
               'Two daughters!'
               'Those chicks really dig mature men.'
               They looked at each other. Chunky hitched his jeans over his bum-crack. 'You're right; it's a great idea, man.'

About the author
Susan Eames left England over twenty years ago to explore the world and dive its oceans. She has had travel articles and short fiction published on three continents. Until recently, Susan lived in Fiji, but is currently exploring new possibilities.

Thursday 5 September 2013

100 Worder The Orange Fields of Tix

100 Worder

David Hook

The Orange Fields of Tix

Jasmine Green Tea

I lay in orange grass watching our sister planet Tiux rise above the horizon, its icy ring system glowing pale pink. Our twin moons high in the sky, one full the other a crescent; their glow ethereal through a veil of cloud.
The combination of the three always spellbinding, however, tonight my attention is drawn further afield – beyond our solar system and into the depths of the cosmos.
I lay here and wonder if we are alone in this universe or is someone, somewhere, out there looking up at the stars and asking that same question? Surely there must be?

About the author

David Hook lives on the very edge of Epping Forest. He hasn’t written much for many years, having a crippling fear of grammar and punctuation, but a friend encouraged him to submit something after having one of her own pieces shown on CafeLit.

Wednesday 4 September 2013

100 Worder Windows to the Soul

100 Worder
Steven Chapman

Windows to the Soul

A Hemingway Champagne

When people ask me about the day we met, I always mention her eyes.
            They were the reason I introduced myself to her in the first place. Azure coloured with flecks of gold. I couldn’t look away as we spent the night talking and laughing.
            Now here we are sixty years later, her eyes as beautiful as ever; the only part of her that hasn’t rotted away.           
            She’s looking at me now, speaking volumes with those eyes.
            I take a pillow from the hospital bed and lower it towards her face.

A tear spills from those beautiful azure coloured gems.

About the Author

Steven Chapman is a horror and thriller author, who has been abusing the English language since 1984. He enjoys nothing more than a good blood-curdling tale and spends far too much of his time reading, watching or writing horror. Most days he just sits inside polishing his chainsaw and praying for the Zombocalypse. For more information on Steven, and his work, please visit

Tuesday 3 September 2013

100 Worder Cold Heart

100 Worder

Helen Laycock

Cold Heart

A puddle of milky tea

'Mrs Radley, you really should open your windows more often. Look at the flies.'
            I opened a window.
             'And get some air freshener. It smells so—'    
            My face contorted.
            'You'd feel a lot less lonely if you made a bit more conversation. Sometimes I feel as though I'm talking to myself.'
 I flicked the duster along the back of Mrs Radley's chair.
            Specks settled on her soft white hair. I swiped along the arm and around her mottled hand.
            Mrs Radley was grinning at me. Her dentures were on her chest and a bluebottle was regurgitating on her left eyeball.

About the author

Helen Laycock has written nine books for children as well as having put together two compilations of short stories and a collection of humorous poetry for adults. In addition, she has work included in an anthology produced by her online writing group.

Several further pieces are due to be included in forthcoming publications as a result of competition success.