Flash Fiction Friday – An Annoying Speck

September 19, 2022, prompt: Write a story about mud on the tires in 99 words (no more, no less). The tires can be from any conveyance or serve as an analogy. How did they get muddy, and why? What impact does mud on the tires have on the story (plot) or characters (motivation)? Go where the prompt leads! Click here for details.

An Annoying Speck – by Hugh W. Roberts

It was the tiniest speck of mud on the tyre, but it annoyed him. He couldn’t leave it there on such a special occasion.

“MARSHALL! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” bellowed a voice.

“But sir, there’s–“



A few seconds before setting off, Marshall retook his chance and removed the mud while his leader turned his back.

Then, on the sound of his boss’s bellowing voice giving orders, Midshipman Marshall joined the other 97 royal navy sailors in towing the carriage containing the Queen’s coffin as the sound of bagpipes played.


Images of mud on the tyre of a vehicle
An Annoying Speck

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.


Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love ‘Glimpses.’



28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

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40 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Friday – An Annoying Speck

  1. Ahh, he wanted everything perfect, as it should have been. I am sure there were some watchful eyes by those involved in the funeral and procession to ensure everything was perfect. I watched all the highlights and marveled at the precision of the funeral, like you have shown us in the video. There will never be another sovereign funeral like this again, even with King Charles III’s passing as 20 + years on the throne cannot come close to the Queen’s 70-year reign. One of the most-touching parts for me was the lone piper at the end and I learned every morning he woke up the Queen by piping a song (that song if memory serves me right) on his bagpipes. The bagpipes are so melancholy to begin with.

      1. It was the first time I learned of that piper story Hugh and so I looked in my browser history – it was a story on CNN. I found the story – will send it in a separate comment in case it goes to your SPAM filter. Sometimes my fellow UK bloggers cannot open up news stories, but CNN should be okay. I learned that the Piper to the Sovereign began during the reign of Queen Victoria.

  2. Well done Hugh! Very timely. Though if you don’t mind, a Royal Navy Soldier is actually a Royal Navy sailor. And the navy is always capitalized if named. William J. Miller, Jr., MSgt(Ret.) UASF

    1. Everything was perfect, Janis. I’m always amazed at how well the armed forces look on occasions like this. I only wish their training on how to look after things correctly was passed down to all in society.

  3. This is really good, Hugh! And timely. When we left our previous camping spot, there was more than one speck of mud on our tires as it had rained the night before and our cow pasture had a lot of dirt. This, in turn, made our tires not grip the road very well. Luckily, all was fine. We didn’t even need to use our 4WD. But, our clean car is not so clean anymore. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Liesbet.

      Sorry to hear about the muddy tyres. At this time of the year, I find vehicles get much dirtier because of all the mud and spray from the roads and rain. But, so far, we have had a nice start to the autumn, with it being warm by day and chilly at night. Perfect for me.

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