Home > Fiction > Friday Fictioneers – Closed for Business

Friday Fictioneers – Closed for Business

Here is my contribution to Friday Fictioneers for this week, ably hosted by Rochelle over at Addicted to Purple. The photo this week was contributed by Stephen Baum.

My problem this week was too many ideas, but none of them “worked”. So for a change I started writing and just added bits now and then until I finished :-).

To read this week’s other stories, click on the blue froggy.



Copyright Stephen Baum


Harold had always suffered from tunnel vision, so it came as a surprise to no-one when he failed to notice the oncoming 0945 Kings Cross to Edinburgh express.

Drifting towards the light, he reflected on his life. People conned. Shops lifted. Speed limits smashed.

Oh, and that chap in the Golden Dragon he stabbed to death with a chopstick.

He wasn’t surprised when he arrived and found it quite hot and somewhat “flamey”. He was surprised to see a sign reading “Closed For Business by Court Order” above the door.

Apparently, there’s nothing Hell could contrive that humans haven’t already done, so it was shut down. It’s a copyright thing.


  1. July 8, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    So what, they send you back? Because Hell can’t be worse than life?


    • July 8, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      I think that’s how it works. “Hell on Earth”.


  2. July 8, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Very clever – and funny – interpretation of the prompt. 🙂


  3. July 9, 2015 at 1:04 am

    A copy right thing, eh? Praise the Lord! 😉


    • July 9, 2015 at 11:49 am

      That’s one way to close the door to the “downstairs” department 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. July 9, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Hah, this is brilliant! 😀


  5. July 9, 2015 at 6:32 am

    Hilarious! And a killer of a first line, not to mention the last. Well done.


    • July 9, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Thanks! It took me ages to come up with a decent ending so I’m glad you liked it.


  6. July 9, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Oops.. so there the sinner’s are confined for ever in the tepid limbo.. just waiting for a train that never comes. Hey that might be even worse than hell, but I think it’s copyrighted too.


    • July 9, 2015 at 11:51 am

      The lawyers will get us all in the end. Then where will we end up? 🙂


  7. July 9, 2015 at 7:47 am

    I love ‘shops lifted’. It sounds like the genius of Benny Hill. I thought of Greek finances, but never a big red bus. 😀


    • July 9, 2015 at 11:52 am

      Ah, Benny Hill. I used to love his shows! Glad you liked it.


  8. July 9, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Looks like hard times are upon us when even hell closes down. Hilarious, Ali. 😀 — Suzanne


  9. July 9, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Ah. We’re committing too many sins on Earth that the flames of hell seem more tame, even out of order! Interesting!


    • July 9, 2015 at 11:54 am

      I bet Hell could learn a few things…


  10. July 9, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Very funny 🙂


  11. July 9, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Dear Ali,

    Clever story with a bit of wishful thinking thrown in for good measure. Good job!




    • July 10, 2015 at 6:40 am

      Dear Rochelle,
      Thanks, I’m glad you liked it 🙂


  12. July 9, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    I’d have loved to see the behind the scenes legal drama behind this copyright scandal. Satan and a bunch of lawyers all together in the same room… would you be able to tell which one was the devil?


    • July 10, 2015 at 6:41 am

      I was originally hoping to do the obligatory “lawyers/hell” type joke but ran out of words.
      Satan is the one on the left – the slightly more respectable-looking one.


  13. July 9, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Good story and very funny.


  14. July 9, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Now that’s a surprise. i imagine him standing outside with the others waiting for the door to open. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
    Wait! Is this hell?


  15. July 9, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Haha–I think my favorite is “hot and somewhat ‘flamey'”


    • July 10, 2015 at 6:42 am

      It’s a shame “flamey” isn’t a word. It should be!


  16. July 9, 2015 at 9:32 pm



  17. gentlestitches
    July 10, 2015 at 1:45 am

    HaHa! So hell is waiting in line looking at a sign that says “you can’t enter” but there is no where else to go. HaHa! Sounds right!


    • July 10, 2015 at 6:46 am

      Can you think of any worse way to spend eternity? 🙂


      • gentlestitches
        July 10, 2015 at 8:34 am

        No I couldn’t!


  18. micklively
    July 10, 2015 at 5:58 am

    There are so many Hell jokes this reminds me of. Abandon all hope! Clever take.


    • July 10, 2015 at 6:47 am

      Thanks! First time I’ve ever started a story without knowing the end.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. July 10, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Excellent, brilliant last line!
    Bravo! Tay.


    • July 10, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      Thanks, I’m glad you liked it! It took me ages to think up an ending – I usually start with the ending and then fill in the rest 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 10, 2015 at 11:33 pm

        I usually start with the ending and then fill in the rest :-)” …
        entirely allowed with the caveat that this approach gets tops only when you can do it in your head prior to sitting down at the writing machine!

        Good day mate, Tay.


        • July 11, 2015 at 5:04 am

          That’s my usual method too so this was a bit new to me. I’ve usually written it in my head while at work, this time I sat at the computer at home (well, reclined) and wrote one sentence at a time.


  20. July 10, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    🙂 Very well done.


  21. July 10, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Brilliant last line, Ali! I wonder where they’ll all go with the gates of Hell closed? Great story. 🙂


  22. ceayr
    July 10, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    This made me smile.
    And I loved the voice.


  23. July 10, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Interesting story and presented with humor – but what can be worse than hell?


    • July 11, 2015 at 4:59 am

      Standing in a queue for eternity waiting for hell to open? 🙂


  24. July 10, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    As always, you are brilliant!
    Tunnel vision!
    Copyright thing!

    (I’m back to writing, this time after extricating myself from seventeen years of teaching public school.)


    • July 11, 2015 at 5:01 am

      I’m glad you liked it! I always try to pop a bit of humour into serious(ish) stories.
      Good to see you back 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. July 10, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Oh, and my new site is: http://magicsurrealist2013.me


  26. gahlearner
    July 10, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Brilliant from beginning to end. Lawyers are the scariest people here and beyond, even hell is scared of them. Can’t stop laughing…


    • July 11, 2015 at 5:05 am

      I’m sure with all the lawyers down there they’ll get this whole mess sorted out sooner rather than later 🙂
      I’m glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Dale
    July 11, 2015 at 4:28 am

    This was great. It is so much fun to see the various takes on one picture… queuing up to enter hell… fitting.


    • July 11, 2015 at 5:05 am

      It is wonderful to see everything from romance to horror all from one photo.
      I’m glad you liked my take 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  28. July 11, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Hahaha! Satan seemingly can’t be thwarted…until he infringes on someone’s copyright! (Probably some big corporation.)

    And I love that it’s hot and “flamey”!

    This writing technique/process worked quite well for you 😄


    • July 11, 2015 at 8:53 am

      Even Hell has problems when confronted with lawyers! I put it in quotes, but I reckon “flamey” should definitely be a real word 🙂

      It was a bit of a chance not knowing the whole story when I started. It worked this time anyway!


  29. July 11, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Haha! I laughed out loud at the sheer irony of it all.


  30. July 11, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    So, clever and very funny. I’m guessing he wanted a break from his hellish existence on earth but no such luck!


    • July 12, 2015 at 8:23 am

      I’m sure Hell will get this little hiccup sorted out soon. They must have some pretty good lawyers down there.
      I’m glad you enjoyed it!


  31. July 11, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Damnation is apparently hot as hell! Loved your story.


    • July 12, 2015 at 8:23 am

      He’s pretty screwed at the moment! I’m glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. July 11, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    It gets more brilliant with each sentence. I think your imagination was in fine working order. So good.


    • July 12, 2015 at 8:24 am

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it. It was quite different to just write sentence by sentence as ideas came to me.


  33. July 13, 2015 at 4:19 am

    😛 How dare Hell close! Or, was Harold so awful even Hell didn’t want him?


    • July 13, 2015 at 11:35 am

      That’s a possibility. “Darn, it’s that Harold. Quick, put up the ‘closed’ sign switch off the lights. Maybe he’ll go away!”


  1. No trackbacks yet.

Speak to me - I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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.

%d bloggers like this: