Petard Hoisting – Sunday Photo Fiction


Copyright Al Forbes

Dirty-British-coaster-with-a-salt-caked-smoke-stack…” explodes old Rufus, liberally spraying his fellow passenger’s laptop with spittle.

Alarmed, the man hurriedly changes seats, fishing frantically for a handkerchief.

Rufus grins, man-spreading luxuriously, until a bespectacled student nudges himself into the newly vacated seat.

Butting-through-the-channel-in-the-mad-March-days…” continues Rufus, his accompanying vigorous elbow thrusts soon despatching the student to the outer deck.

Rufus resumes his louche-like sprawl, grinning, but almost immediately a blue-rinsed matron plumps herself down beside him.

He rolls his eyes.  The ferry is busy tonight.


Rufus is cut off in full flow, as a wrinkled hand squeezes his knee conspiratorially, before beginning a slow and languorous journey towards his crotch.

“Lovely…” his new companion purrs, “a soul-mate.  My turn now… let me see… “By the shores of Gitche Gumee, of the shining Big Sea Water…”

Rufus, horrified beyond belief, edges closer to the window.

This is nothing though.

Rufus only knows the last verse of “Cargoes”.

Mrs Dangerfield, on the other hand, once won a prize at junior school for reciting the entire 298 lines of “Song of Hiawatha.”


If you don’t know your John Masefield or Longfellow, this will probably mean nothing to you.  This is an old story of mine, suitably edited and embellished for Sunday Photo Fiction.  If you have 200 words to spare, give it a try, why don’t you?

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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19 Responses to Petard Hoisting – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. Iain Kelly says:

    He’s met his match. ‘Man-spreading’ – wonderful phrase!


  2. ceayr says:

    I don’t know if this is karma or come-uppance, but it made me laugh.
    Superb as ever, Sandra.


  3. Excellent dialogue here. Reciting the entire Song of Hiawatha won the prize for many a schoolchild, too.


  4. I know people often comment that they laugh out loud but I really did when I read this! Brilliant.

    Click to read my PhoFic!


  5. James says:

    Tantalizing and horrifying at the same time.


  6. JS Brand says:

    Terrific story, but now I can’t get the image of a randy Hyacinth Bucket out of my head.


  7. Varad says:

    Now to beat a hasty retreat. Good one, Sandra. I’m pretty sure every travel has its share of Rufuses.


  8. pennygadd51 says:

    Good for Mrs Dangerfield! You made me smile, Sandra. Now I know how I can use all those verses of John Betjeman that I learned as a teenager!


  9. Susan says:

    Like everyone else, I thought this a treasure. Loved the name “Mrs. Dangerfield” as it fit her character perfectly. She is not one to be messed with. And poor Rufus… I bet his man-spreading days are over.


  10. haha the horror maker lives the horror. I love it.


I'd love to hear your views; it reassures me I'm not talking to myself.

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