50 Word Stories: With Regret

And though we welcomed them with arms open, a smile creasing our desperate faces, they shunned us. 

And though we offered food, lodgings, the comforts of home, they spurned our genuine invitations.

And we regretted our recklessness, our hopes and shared loves.

Were they our children? What had we made?

It’s In The Falling

When we are young, the transition from a crawling baby to a scampering child does not come without disaster. There is a certain inevitability about the fact we shall and do fall many times. And, that after it being witnessed by our parents once or twice, it will no longer hold the same fear. There is even less fear for the child. A baby sets its sights on something, clambers up onto its own two feet and lurches for that objective with a single-mindedness that any adult can admire. Yes, they will fall, but that child will just get right on up and try again.

As adults, we do not remember our own trials to a bipedal existence. For all those times we fell, the memories are obliterated. So I ask: when as an adult we fall even once, why is the struggle to stand again so difficult? Where is that childhood desire to regain our feet? Why are we inclined to give up? Is it to learn to keep going and never give up?

I can’t answer these questions with assuredness, but I will try like hell to act like I’m two until someone tells me to stop.

50 Word Stories: Viewpoints

Every elephant carried a suitcase tucked neatly under its tusks. Marching down the high street in one long line, the elephants bowed to each passer by in turn, then wandered out of town.

“Where are they going?” said the adults as one.

“Who packed their trunks?” laughed all the children.

50 Word Stories: Unseen

Why’s it in stories containing ghosts, vampires and werewolves, every torch, lantern and match will flicker out just when the hero needs illumination? Do they put it on the packet: disclaimer: matches may extinguish when most required. Do you know the answer? Because I want to see what’s biting me.

#VignetteSeries – Perkins Has a New Master

Author’s Note: I wrote this really quickly because I was feeling that way out. Perkins always cheers me up.

Poor old Perkin Perkins, he of the forgettable name, has found a new employer. The gentlemen asks far too many questions, however, and Perkins just isn’t in the mood.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing, Plopkins?”

“Mopping up, Sir.”


“Because the floor requires cleaning.”

“And don’t I employ a housecleaner to do that?”

“No, Sir.”

“Why not?”

“You’re economical with your wallet, Sir.”

“That might be termed slanderous, Porkins.”

“It might, Sir.”

“And that!”

“No, Sir, that would be termed indecisive. It’s not the same thing.”

“I ought to tan your backside!”

“That would require copious amounts of energy, Sir.”


“You haven’t got it.”

“You’re only here.”

“Only at the moment, Sir, as I would run if you tried.”

“And where should you run to that I would not find you?”

“The cafe down the road, Sir.”

“Goddamn your insolence! Why the hell there of all places?”

“They sell breakfasts, Sir.”

“Your point being?”

“Mine’s on the floor.”

Who Put The Strange in Strangers?

Here is my second non-fiction piece posted to Medium.


When one feels lost, alone, somehow out of kilter with the rest of the world, there is a tendency towards fear or flight. If genetics have taught us nothing of life, it is that we have a predisposition to a securing of self. We build our homes in our own images some gaudy, some loud, some bastions of celestial peace that’s mine — I think it’s all the beige, others a mess. Some choose the remoteness of sea-smashed crags, some the hive approach in apartments and busy streets, others to pile this garbage called life atop them and hide away. Who can blame them? Not I. They all, however, share one similarity: they keep us safe, even if not in reality, in our imaginations.

When one does not feel safe, one has a tendency to see things in ways the more clinically sane might not. The hooded youth has eyes for our wallet, the gangs hate our choice in sneakers, the moles in our garden have got it in for our carrots; there’s just no end to it. But why?

As I have intimated, genetics must take some of the responsibility and for that, no individual can be blamed. But I would like to think we have ventured beyond the fear of a lion taking us in our sleep, a predatory shark snatching us off our ramshackle rafts, suspecting every last person we see of hating us; they don’t.

Jim Morrison, the Shakespeare of our time claimed people are strange, and we are. I doubt I see things in the same way as any other individual reading this post. That does not mean they are wrong and I am right or vice versa. In fact, it is often only by the common pooling of thoughts and acts that we can attain a true balance. We learn. We adapt. We are the better for it, more rounded, more considered.

So I say again, this time from the lopsided angle of a man overburdened by thinking, who’s putting the strange in stranger? Or is it, instead, who’s putting the anger in stranger? Who sows the seeds of fear that centuries of learning and evolution has tried to wipe away?

As for me, I’d prefer to ditch the st in strange and say each of these supposedly strange individuals is only ever an L away from an ANGEL. Better this, I think, than peeping through our barricades in fear.

I’ll let you decide as I open my windows and breathe.

The End.

Thank you for reading.


Richard M. Ankers

Author of The Eternals Series

The Eternals

Hunter Hunted

50 Word Stories: Waiting For Snow

50 Word Stories: Waiting For Snow
There’s a steel to the morning a cold unblinking chill. Birds fly with flapping scarves trailing, a dog wear’s three fleecy jackets and a squirrel just peers from his drey. Winter has set its sights on the foreseeable and wishes all to know. I do know, now where’s my snow?