Hack and stories

Those of you who know me will be aware I tend to get distracted by trivial issues (meticulous and details-orientated, that’s me). True to form, I have an ongoing irritation about buying black binbags: they’re not the right size, or they tear, or they’re awkward to tie… Of course, the obvious solution is to try a few types, pick the best one and stick with it. However (my most-used qualifier), binbags come in rolls, with the details on the wrapper. By the time you’ve torn off the wrapper, tried a bag or two from the roll, and stored it on the shelf with a load of other part-used rolls, you’ve lost track of where it came from. I’m not quite at the stage of keeping each roll in its own labelled box.

They’re different, but I don’t know where the ones I like came from…

Yesterday, I had a “Dur!” moment while thinking about how to keep the torn wrapper attached to its corresponding roll. How about leaving the wrapper on, and pulling the bags from the inside of the roll, the way you might do with a skein of knitting yarn?

You know what you’re getting here – what’s not to like?

Perhaps this is something really obvious that everyone has been doing already. More likely, nobody else is bothered. But I just thought I’d share my idea in the hope that someone other than me finds it useful. If you’ve been doing something like this forever, please let me know in the comments!

And if you want to be even neater…

Just one book review since my last post: Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
And now for some stories.


“How was the date?”
“Awful! On the surface he’s affable enough.”
“Ugh, when you delve deeper, he places an inordinate value on filthy lucre rather than harmonious interactions with his fellow inhabitants of the planet.”
“He didn’t pay, right?”

Image by Naji Habib from Pixabay


Hacking through his enemies, Throg roared with glee.
A whimper came from a tiny shed. His pace slowed. His battled-scarred hands shook as he reached inside.
“Mr Fluffykins! You’re unharmed!”
Before leaving, he checked everyone was dead. He had a reputation to keep.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay


My neighbour’s a keen gardener. Each night a spade scrapes on soil. A new sapling appears the next day.
His verdant forest has nearly reached our boundary. The foliage moves when there’s no breeze.
On quiet nights, the rustling leaves sound like distant laughter.

Image by J M from Pixabay


As the cabbie unloaded my bags, teenage voices came from the window.
“Where’s the mop?”
“Idiot, not under the sink.”
“Help me look.”
“No way. This stack of dishes is huge!”
I smiled at the cabbie. “Change of plan. Cafe Serene, please. They do good breakfasts.”

Image by Achim Thiemermann from Pixabay


The shouts faded. The thief’s steps slowed. Sweating, he clutched his aching chest.
The street looked odd. Faded. Great. He was lost.
Time to spend some loot. He raised a shaky hand. “Taxi!”
When the black car stopped, Al said, “I want to go—”
“Elsewhere,” said Death.

Image by Carmen Janosch from Pixabay


Hushed phone calls and furtive absences are bad enough, but stray hairs on his collar are the final proof.
Strong coffee will hide the taste.
After a sip, he coughs. “I have a confession.”
“I know.”
“You do?” He smiles. “You’ll love her. Pure bred Persian.”

Image by SUA SON from Pixabay


Hoofbeats pounded outside.
In her boudoir, the queen perked up. Action! Dropping her tapestry, she grasped her heirloom sword.
“I’m home early!” called the king. “Was your day nice and quiet?”
Damn. She leaned back, a hand on her swollen belly. “Yes, dear. Was yours exciting?”

Image by Dorothée QUENNESSON from Pixabay

If you enjoy my little stories, you might be interested in my longer pieces including a trilogy of paranormal steampunk adventures. See my books page for further details, including a freebie.

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