50 WORDs

Thrifty Words Challenge #12: Pussy

An old-fashioned engraving of ornately uniformed and mustached Baden soldiers with pointy helmets. Some also have plumes!
An old-fashioned engraving of ornately uniformed and mustached Baden soldiers with pointy helmets. Some also have plumes!
Members of the Political Unrest Suppression Specialist Yeomanry (Photo by British Library on Unsplash)

The RSM shouted his introduction.

You are here because you are the elite and we are a new, elite, specialist force. Welcome to the Political Unrest Suppression Specialist Yeomanry!

Greenaway — because it’s always Greenaway — raised his hand.

Sir. Did anyone check the name with marketing before it was approved, sir?

Copyright © Damian Clarke 2020.

On Medium, Damian Clarke writes for The Bad Influence and An Idea, 97 Things I Learned as a Stay-at-Home Dad and Our Albion. In the outside world, he writes for The Fifth Estate, The Green List, various other publications from time-to-time, and a range of corporate clients.


50 WORD MICROFICTION

Thrifty Words Challenge #11: Late

An attractive Asian woman leans against a wall, staring at us. An inscrutable expression, and maybe melasma, on her face.
An attractive Asian woman leans against a wall, staring at us. An inscrutable expression, and maybe melasma, on her face.
Angela (Photo by Joe Gardner on Unsplash)

I was shipping out — at the door, bag in hand — when someone knocked on the other side.

Angela.

I hadn’t seen her for weeks.

She was standing there, skin a bit blotchy through her makeup, looking tired and afraid.

“What’s wrong”, I asked?

She looked into my eyes.

“I’m late…”

Copyright © Damian Clarke 2020.

On Medium, Damian Clarke writes for The Bad Influence and An Idea, 97 Things I Learned as a Stay-at-Home Dad and Our Albion. In the outside world, he writes for The Fifth Estate, The Green List, various other publications from time-to-time, and a range of corporate clients.


50 WORD MICROFICTION

Thrifty Words Challenge #10: Special

A harnessed, blindfolded man kneels. A a woman pushes her high-heeled shoe into his back and holds his blindfold like reins.
A harnessed, blindfolded man kneels. A a woman pushes her high-heeled shoe into his back and holds his blindfold like reins.
Don’t order the ‘special’ — it’s not what you want… Or is it? (photo by coloringcuties on Pixabay)

I wasn’t sure she liked me until she leaned across the table and smirked,

Don’t order the ‘special’ here!

I looked at her, then the waiter,

I’ll have the special.

She swallowed nervously. He returned to the kitchen.

I heard a muffled voice through the door,

“Cookie, prepare the harness?”

Copyright © Damian Clarke 2020.

On Medium, Damian Clarke writes for The Bad Influence and An Idea, 97 Things I Learned as a Stay-at-Home Dad and Our Albion. In the outside world, he writes for The Fifth Estate, The Green List, various other publications from time-to-time, and a range of corporate clients.

Did you miss last week’s Thrifty Words challenge?

What about the week before?


50 WORD MICROFICTION

Thrifty Words Challenge #9: Greed

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Having consummated, all that was left was to consume. (Photo by Designecologist from Pexels)

Bertie Montgomery was well-raised, of no discernible lineage but obvious privilege. His appetites — all appetites — were voracious. We suspected his attitude to consent was… questionable… but no woman ever said anything to us. Despite his obvious greed, his charm overwhelmed everything. We loved him. We thought he loved us.

Copyright © Damian Clarke, 2020.
You can read more by Damian Clarke here:


50 WORD MICROFICTION

Thrifty Words Theme #8: Youth

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The detectives (Photo by Alex Robinson on Unsplash)

There are times when you see the future.

She was expecting them. She had been waiting years, since she first saw the signs.

Footsteps in the corridor. A polite knock at the classroom door. Flash of a badge.

“Ma’am, we’d like to ask you some questions about a former student.”

Copyright © Damian Clarke, 2020


And feel free to give it too…

Colour up!

I turn and look at the tramp in case I know him from the winter homeless shelter where we help out and he would be offended if I didn’t say hello. I am suited and booted — navy blue suit with mauve pinstripe, crisp white shirt, pale blue silk tie, a bit like I am dressed in this story, I think it’s even the same tie:

As usual, I am late, so eating a cheese and ham toastie that I made as I walked out the door, from some foil in my hand.

I give him a confused look, over the top of my toastie. …


Just as we rely on unsaid messages in our interpersonal communications, we must be careful of the unstated messages our businesses send too.

I spend a lot of time crafting written messages, video scripts and speeches for large and small businesses. Many of them have a clear idea of what they want to say to the world. Some of them are aware of the context of their messages and how their business is, or could be, perceived by an audience. But some give no thought at all to the context in which their message will be received.

Here are a couple of examples from businesses (not my clients) just last week. …


They don’t sell nails by weight any more, and they’re not nails

Surely I don’t need 1000?

It is quite easy to undertake a task without really seeing the magnitude of it until some tiny detail exposes true scale of the project

This weekend I will be building a balcony on top of our kitchen’s flat roof at the back of the house. It’s a great space, and most of our neighbors have already converted theirs with some decking and a few planter boxes.

A VERY architectural, aspirational looking timber deck with planter boxes and a raised covered bit that could not be real.
A VERY architectural, aspirational looking timber deck with planter boxes and a raised covered bit that could not be real.
An aspirational timber deck (Photo: Julius Yls on Unsplash)

We found some half price planter boxes at Homebase last weekend — bought 10 of those. I have ordered the 90 linear meters of deck boards, and the 16 floor joists. …


Sexy muthaf@©ker, sexy muthaf@©ker, shakin it down, shakin it down…

“Do you want to see Prince tomorrow night?” Mrs Albion called to ask.

“Hell yeah!”

It’s not been all work over these last couple of weeks. There was the extended trip to Greece, of course, and last night we went to see Prince.

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Prince Earth Tour, London, 2007 (Picture: Rockfeedback)

We were invited along by someone who is hoping to schmooze Mrs Albion into a business deal — so we watched the purple rainmaker from the comfort of a box in the O2 Arena. …


But you may wish you did

Art

…hanging in a back street near my office

Banksy’s Graffiti extends the double yellow lines from the roadway, across the footpath and up the wall to become a flower.
Banksy’s Graffiti extends the double yellow lines from the roadway, across the footpath and up the wall to become a flower.
The original picture is lost to the mists of time and hacking so here is a Banksy painted on the wall near home. (Photo courtesy of Vicky at banksyrulez.)

Artists, no… cyclists, no… artists, definitely artists

Walking down Charring Cross Road one morning. Someone peeps out of a glass door ahead of me, then retreats, holding the door open.

I hear a clatter behind me, it gets closer.

I look around.

A girl in colorful clothes is riding down the bus lane on an old bike. She mounts the dropped kerb, crosses the footpath and glides straight through the open door into the marble foyer of St Martins School of Art.

St Martins School of Art and Design in Charring Cross Road.
St Martins School of Art and Design in Charring Cross Road.
St Martins School of Art, Charing Cross Road (Photo: TMagazine Blog, NY Times)

The glass door closes behind her.

I walk on.

Teenagers

Walking down Shaftesbury Avenue one morning.

Three teenage girls on the footpath ahead are giggling and red faced, doubling up in excitement and pleasure. Surely only a Robbie Williams sighting or termites down the trousers could cause such excitement. …

About

Damian Clarke

I’m a writer and publisher working in Sydney, Australia and London, UK. I specialise in finance, technology, insurance, property, medicine and sustainability.

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