Murder In Picnic Wood #flashfiction

May 27, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes tiny flying insects. Think about how the insects shape the scene or add to the action. Go where the prompt leads!

Murder In Picnic Wood – by Hugh W. Roberts

Swatting away the tiny flying insects from around her, Mary turned to her husband and demanded they headed home.

“It’s too hot, too humid, and these insects are bugging me.” 

Laughing at what he thought was a joke, Micheal picked up a can of insect repellant while the persistent nagging carried on. 

“Use it! Use it!” demanded Mary.

Two hours later, Michael opened a can of cold beer in the garden of his now nag-free life. ‘I must buy more insect repellant,’ he told himself. 

Twenty-three miles away, the tiny flying insects feasted on what remained in Picnic Wood. 


Photo of a daisy flower with a small black fly on the white petals
Image Credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join in.

Diversity with a Twist Banner showing some coloured straight lines and pens on a white background

Click on the ‘Diversity With A Twist’ image to read my post ‘How To Write Yourself Into A Piece Of Fiction Without Knowing It’ on my new column at the Carrot Ranch

Copyright © 2021 – All rights reserved.


67 thoughts on “Murder In Picnic Wood #flashfiction

        1. I hadn’t considered that it was deliberate from his last statement. Or maybe something else entirely – like the guy who fell backwards into the Grand Canyon taking a selfie.

        2. You are the king of open endings. Are you about ready to do another Story Chat? How about in October again? There aren’t any universal holidays before then are there? I think you should do another October story as an anniversary post.

        3. I think that’s it (Holiday wise) until Halloween. If you have enough stories to continue Story Chat that will take us up to October, I’d be delighted to write a new story for October.

        4. Yay, whoopee!! I’m jumping up and down with glee! 🙂 That will mark our big year anniversary. I consider this your project as well because it would not have happened without you. I just host and take care of it. You birthed it. 🙂

  1. That’s definitely a Hugh story. The insect repellent can had another use. I’d not previously considered it a murder weapon for humans. Well done, Hugh.

  2. Fantastic, Hugh! I love your phrase “the garden of his now nag-free life.” Makes me wonder if anyone could invent the “anti-nagging” spray. Or the “nag-repellant.” 🙂 That spray in the story must have been extremely strong and efficient!

    1. I’m sure an anti-nagging spray would be a best-seller, Liesbet. Either the spray was very poisonous to more than just insects, or Michael used the can itself to quieten Mary. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which version he used. Or maybe you have one of your own?

      1. I was going for the very strong contents inside the spray can, initially, Hugh. But now I think he might have stuffed the can in her mouth to stop the nagging and that – most likely – led to her demise. I think you would do well writing murder mysteries!!! Ever tried your hand at those?

        1. My first short story collection, Glimpses, contains a murder mystery. It’s called ‘The Bridegroom’, and the three stories after it (The Wedding Dress, The Stag Party, Mother of the Bridegroom) are a continuation of the story. I also wrote a silly murder mystery in my second collection, More Glimpses, called Murder In Evershot. The Bridegroom story went viral after I published it on my blog, so it demanded a couple of sequels.

          I may write more (if the right prompts motivate me).

        2. I remember those stories, Hugh. They were among my favorites in Glimpses and More Glimpses, especially the four-part one. I was more wondering if you’d consider a full-length mystery novel. It would be unique, though, as your (murder) stories always have a twist to it. This will be harder to do in longer stories, I think.

        3. I have a full-length on the go, but it’s been tucked away in a drawer for a long time. You may remember I did a feature last year with the first chapter and got lots of great feedback from everyone (including you). However, I don’t seem to have any desire to write a novel. My passion is still with short stories and flash fiction. Murder/mystery will always remain one of the genres I will write, though.

        4. Yes, I do remember your story (and the first chapter on the bus) and I hope you’ll edit and publish it in due time. Sounds like you’ve found your niche and what you are good and comfortable with! 🙂

Join the discussion by leaving me a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.