Pesky Neighbours – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is a flash fiction challenge which asks us to write a story in no more than 100 words from the photo prompt kindly provided by the host, Rochelle Wisoff Fields. To join in with the challenge, or find out more about it, just follow the link to Rochelle’s blog.

Here is this week’s prompt . . .


Photo prompt © Douglas MacIlroy

and this is my story . . .

‘Reckon you’ll like it here, Ve?’ Jim flashed his wife a lop-sided grin as he sat down opposite to her. ‘At least there’re no pesky neighbours to meddle in other folk’s business…’

Vera shrugged. ‘House i’nt bad … but I can’t go anywhere, with them big dogs prowlin’ about. An’ there’s nowhere t’ dry me smalls.’

‘But board and lodgin’s free.’

‘Of course they’re free, yer blithering idiot! Who’d pay t’ be stuck out ’ere on their own?’

‘Ah, Vera, love… If yer hadn’t knifed that old gossip, Mrs. Burke, you wouldn’t be sampling this newfangled isolation centre.’ 

Word Count: 98

If you’d like to read other entries, click on the little blue frog below:


About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
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78 Responses to Pesky Neighbours – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Sammy Taaffe says:

    I can smell the hot pot from here… Love the dialect.

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Sammy. 🙂 I can never resist sneaking a dialect or accent into my stories. How clever of you to detect the Lancashire one here. I love hot pot! I’m a Lancashire lass, through and through, married to a Yorkshireman! Neither of us speak with the dialogues, but I’ve been around both most of my life and have picked up a thing or two. 🙂

      • Sammy Taaffe says:

        I wish I was so impressed, but I had a little cheat. I have family in Yorkshire so I’m quite used to having an old pot now and then. Although more recently I’ve spent my time in Devonshire so I’m now more accustomed to the pasty than anything else.

      • milliethom says:

        A well travelled man, then. We lived in Crediton for a while. I love the south west scenery – and the ice cream down there is yummy!

      • Sammy Taaffe says:

        I’ve pottered around here and there, but it was Plymouth that caught me in its net. I went for the uni, but it was the sea air that wouldn’t let go.

      • milliethom says:

        So you’re still in Plymouth? It is lovely down there. That whole stretch of coastine is gorgeous. I’m not surprised you were smitten.

      • Sammy Taaffe says:

        Oh no, moved away last year. Residing in Worcestershire at the moment planning my next move. 🙂

      • milliethom says:

        Nice to travel about, while you’re still youn. I’ve lived in various places in the UK – all in Nottinghamshire since 1979 though. 🙂

  2. Francesca Smith says:

    The use of an accent is great and I could hear them talking as I read the story.
    I did not see that ending coming though… and I’m intrigued, why she killed her? And why are they so calm?

  3. ansumani says:

    LOL. Good one with great dialogue.

  4. Very cute Millie. So…. what happens next… you have to tell us….

    • milliethom says:

      Ah, well, next could be either ‘The Great Escape’ or even ‘Alien Abduction’! I hadn’t thought of a ‘next’ Tony. Another conversation with dialect like that would ,perhaps, be overdoing things and no one would read it! Thanks for giving me a giggle. 🙂

  5. Excellent Millie! I also loved the accent you used. The ending was great. She killed the old gossip. Haha!

  6. Creatopath says:

    Loved this part – If yer hadn’t knifed that old gossip. I’d hate to be stuck out there. Great idea for an isolation centre.

  7. luckyjc007 says:

    Vera is quite fiesty. I wouldn’t want to get in her way and apparently Mrs. Burke pushed her patience too far! I love Jim’s sense of humor. Great read Millie.

  8. adamjasonp says:

    Oh, ha-ha, free lodging at a place like that. 🙂

  9. plaridel says:

    i guess jail will be better. free lodging, food, medical coverage, etc.

  10. Nan Falkner says:

    I love the dialogue – it’s great. Wonderful. Nan

  11. Dale says:

    Oh… just leave us hanging! Good job!

  12. Well she has no one to blame but herself! lol

  13. Bekki Hill says:

    Lovely voices. Reminded me a little of Tarantino the way they were and the attitude to what she had done. Excellent!

  14. scrapydotwo says:

    Strange but interesting. Wonder what the old neighbor gossiped about to make them hate her so much?

  15. Margaret says:

    She sounds like someone who needs to be kept in isolation. What a perfect place for her. A surprising ending, and entertaining dialogue.

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Margaret. 🙂 Vera is a rather unbalanced lady, I think – best kept well away from the rest of society. I’m glad you liked the North of England dialogue. Dropped letters all over the place is the norm up there.

  16. Sandra says:

    She got off lightly then. Must be that old Lancashire charm. 🙂

    • milliethom says:

      Oh, we Lancashire folk can turn it on when necessary. We just make sure the clogs and shawls go away first! Thanks, Sandra. 🙂

      • Sandra says:

        You’re talking to a Rochdale lass here… 😉

      • milliethom says:

        Really? I’d no idea you were from ‘up north’. I know Rochdale quite well. Some of my father’s cousins lived there and we visited quite often when I was young. I know the town is very different nowadays, but so is Southport – as everywhere else, for that matter. Thank you for sharing that, Sandra. 🙂

      • Sandra says:

        Fenlander now. 🙂

      • milliethom says:

        Well, that’s not far from where I am now – midway between Newark and Lincoln. I knew you spent your summers on the canals in France, but somehow imagined you to be from the South of England. No idea why I thought that!

  17. Sue says:

    Great story and dialogue. I love that while Vera seems like she would domineer over Jim, he actually knows exactly how to handle her.

  18. subroto says:

    Great dialogue and a clever twist at the end that changes everything.

  19. Gossips are insufferable and need sticking in isolation centres themselves 😉 Never stabbed one, but I’ve been known to tell them off most vociferously.
    I love the dialect, Millie. It’s not easy to write, but you do it very well.

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Sarah. I grew up surrounded by people with a Lancashire accent, although Southport itself, where I lived, didn’t share it, We obviously still had the northern vowel sounds, but not so much of the dropped letters and suchlike.

  20. draliman says:

    I’m not sure if that place is better than jail or not. At least in jail there’s somewhere to dry your smalls! Liked the dialect 🙂

    • milliethom says:

      Jail is probably a lot warmer, too – much better for drying smalls. Haha. I’m too nesh to last five minutes anywhere really cold, like that. Thanks for the nice comment. 🙂

      • draliman says:

        I had to Google “nesh” 🙂 I’m always cold at work so I guess I’m “nesh” too!

      • milliethom says:

        I know the word’s generally used in the north. My Mum (from Liverpool) used to use it a lot whenever Dad complained about draughts! I’ll have to look up it’s derivation – it could be Norse. It’s a funny little word. 🙂

  21. Norma says:

    Absolutely entertaining Millie. Loved the use of dialect in the story. Mrs Burke might have gossiped something bad to have raised Vera’s temper. Plus that isolation centre is very cold…not for normal people like us. Makes me wonder how did Vera punish the gossip lady.

    • milliethom says:

      Ah, well, Vera knifed the old gossip in my story. I didn’t say she’d actually
      killed her, though. And what Mrs B. did to deserve it, I left open to speculation. I imagined she’d gossiped about something Vera and Jim had been up to – something illegal, like growing cannabis in their garden. lol Or … perhaps either Vera or Jim had had an affair and Mrs B. had been spreading the stories about. Could be anything, really…
      Thank you for liking the story, Norma. 🙂

  22. Sounds like a great spot to ponder .. But just maybe there are stars to,watch, and yes the dialect is marvellous,

  23. Amy Reese says:

    Ha, this is a great idea for punishment. No more neighbors to deal with now. Great dialect, Millie. It was very believable.

  24. Dear Millie,

    No pesky neighbors, but I think he’d better keep any sharp objects away from her. Well done.



  25. amiewrites74 says:

    I love the use of dialogue, it really enhances these colorful characters. No need for her to worry about meddling neighbors now!

  26. Ellespeth says:

    Newfangled isolation centre…:P Now that was funny, Millie! I can picture these two characters and hear them talking. The title is just perfect – and already had me laughing.

    • milliethom says:

      Thanks, Ellespeth. I was just trying to write something that wasn’t sci-fi and this couple just popped into my head. Don’t ask … I’ve no idea why! 🙂

  27. An unexpected ending! ‘There’s nowhere t’dry me smalls’, great line 😄You manage to create characters larger than life – a gift with so few words. I really enjoyed it.

  28. Best punishment ever, but somehow this punishment can be good (at least she got to see the beautiful view) 😛 Great story Millie! 🙂

  29. phylor says:

    Better not be a gossip when Vera’s around. 😉
    The dialect made the characters come alive!

  30. You Northerners! We behave ourselves down South!
    Rosey Pinkerton

  31. Sonya says:

    Heh, very nice. She can’t really complain too much, can she?

  32. Margo Carey says:

    Wonderful story. Love the dialogue and the twist is superb. Thank you.

    • milliethom says:

      Margo … I sincerely apolologise for having missed your comment from so long ago. All I can imagine is that it was made during one of the times when we lost internet connection for a while – which we do quite often in our small village! I’ll try to get over to see your blosspot as soon as I can. Millie.

  33. Great dialogue! I enjoyed this week’s story. : )

  34. When the criminal justice there says isolation, they mean isolation. She better learn to control her temper in future. Good dialogue, Millie. Well done. 🙂 — Suzanne

  35. Wonderful use of dialogue to carry the story. It’s sharp, realistic and clever. Nice job!

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