The Lazuli Portals

We've written these Flash Fiction pieces as part of Friday Fictioneers, a worldwide writing community created by Madison Woods and now run by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. 

We (Joanna and Ron) often write two pieces, often with intersecting characters and themes. Anyone can take part!

From 2013, we have a new blog home: lazuliportalswriting


Our latest flash fiction

January 10, 2013

... please remember that our new flash fiction stories will be posted on our new blog at

Our next 'tiny tales' will be published Friday, 11 January.

Hope to see you there!

Joanna & Ron


New Year, New Blog!

January 3, 2013

We have a new blogging home!

From now on, we’ll be blogging and sharing our flash fiction at

We really hope you’ll visit us there, as we’re thrilled to bits with it! It’s fresh and pretty and, importantly for us, far easier to use than the blogs here on the website. Blogging should be fun, not a chore! ;)

While you’re exploring our new blog home, please make sure you sign up to receive our posts so that you don’t miss anything. :)

This website will stay put, so please don’t remove it from your Favourites! ;) Should you wish to, you can come back and read our older flash fiction at any time, as this blog will remain accessible.:)

Joanna & Ron
The Lazuli Portals

{Image courtesy of ponsulak / FreeDigitalPhotos.Net}

Spanning The Globe

December 13, 2012

After his redundancy, Stewart had felt adrift. He had nothing in common with his neighbours, feeling awkward, uninteresting. He didn't like loud music, or crowds, and had no hobbies except reading. Isolation folded around him like a heavy fog. Life had lost meaning. He'd become darkly depressed.

Then he stumbled across Facebook. Gradually, he found groups of like-minded souls. Spanning the globe were others like him, quiet people who longed to reach out and connect with others, who understood the joys and difficulties of being highly sensitive. Friendships blossomed, and support made its way, pixel by pixel, to Stewart's heart.

[100 words]

The final test result in the final country.  When this comes back negative we will have beaten one of the great plagues. Polio will officially be gone. And it’s my job to signal this to the world from this remote valley on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. What started with the idea of a single Rotarian in the 1970’s has grown into a worldwide movement taken up by the UN.

Those that started the campaign to eliminate Polio may have moved on - but millions of children will now be born into a world free from that dreadful disease, thanks to their foresight and commitment.

[103 words]

Image credit and thanks to: D MacIlroy
Stories by other Fictioneers: Rochelle's blog


Does Christmas start in November?

November 29, 2012

Joanna’s story ~

The Christmas lights have been switched on in town. I heard the distant crowd counting down to the moment darkness became light. Nostalgia flooded me: for the small gifts which mysteriously appeared on my bed during the dark, still hours of Christmas Eve. Little presents to occupy me until my parents woke: felt-tip pens, a puzzle book, a handful of chocolate coins.

How times have changed.

Now I am up all night, heaving large, expensive parcels about, working all hours to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Speaking of which, I need to give the sleigh a service, otherwise the reindeer will start complaining. And I'm sure my outfit has shrunk since last Christmas . . .

[113 words]

Ron’s story ~

It’s only November! And now they’ve switched the Christmas lights on. Bah Humbug! I know my birthday has passed, but still, they could have waited until December at least.

Toys in every shopping aisle; decorations spewing from every spare spot; cheesy music assaulting my ears; sis’ says she has bought all her pressies – why so early? What is the rush?

Christmas is fine but really, why not wait until around the 20th! Plenty of time after that for "festivities”!

Still, at least it brings mince pies to the shelves . . .

[90 words]

Image copyright : Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Read all the Fictioneers’ stories here!


Two Tales: Signs and Silliness

November 15, 2012

Joanna’s story: based on characters from The Cordello Quest - Book 1 of The Lazuli Portals series

“Look what I found, Keira!” Jason pulled the jar towards him.
“Batteries!” Keira tapped the jar. “All that energetic potential packaged up, waiting.”
Their eyes met as they both recalled a time of magic and lovelight.
“Energy everywhere, ready for us to direct,” Keira mused. “Maybe this is a sign, Jason.”
“What sort of sign?”
“One reminding us we can use lovelight here, in this world. Every day. Every minute.”
Jason hesitated. “I’m not sure I know what I’m doing.”
Keira hugged him. “Why don’t we chat about what we remember of the quest? I can help you learn. . .”

[99 words]

Ron’s story: he was in a ‘cheeky innuendo’ mood . . .

“No, I can't have used that many!"
"Well," Jackson replies, "I have had a few business trips away recently, Kamina, and you know what you’re like."
Kamina pouts. "Well yes, but I only need help every now and then; I can usually manage manually.”
“Well it always looks like you have had someone in when I come home!”
“What on earth do you mean, Jackson, I always look after things myself!”
“Kamina, you do know that I am just teasing? However, perhaps if we bought a proper vacuum cleaner . . .?”

[89 words]

Image copyright : Sean Fallon
All Friday Fictioneer stories this week can be found here.



Two Tales: The Day Edward Met Helene

November 2, 2012

Joanna's Story

The atmosphere is one of carnival, with the mouth-watering scents of hot dogs and soup trailing through the cool darkness. 

Edward’s happy. He’s just met a girl. He is in love.

In shadow, hugging the ground, two anonymous, ordinary boxes sit. 

Edward shifts position, his heel nudging the boxes. His attention remains fixed on Helene’s sparkling eyes and clever conversation.

Unnoticed, a gleam of light escapes from the box, a genie joyfully fighting free.

“I really want her to like me,” Edward thinks.

The genie-light approaches Helene, spins blue-gold tendrils around her head. 

Helene kisses Edward. She is in love.

Ron's Counterpoint

Lounging in a box – seems like the world is having fun out there.  Months since I have seen anything.

Hundreds of years with the same routine – waiting - then an escape, a moment of glory, and back to wait  - in the dark but hearing so much around.

Not that I can get out to see what is going on or join in. Many powers I have, but none will allow me to lift that lid. 

Hang on – ow that hurt – light – I’m out weeeeee

Not a wish so soon – I do not want to go back –

He’ll regret it . . .

Read stories by other Fictioneers on Rochelle's blog

Image Copyright-Ted Strutz


Two Tales: First Day on the Job

October 18, 2012

Joanna's tale
Shaking with fear, Marnie stepped aboard the bus and took her seat.
She waited anxiously whilst the others boarded. They nodded as they passed her; she acknowledged them with a wobbly smile.
Sick with apprehension, she waited for the driver to start the engine. The bus eased forward. 
Clutching her microphone, Marnie stood to address the crowd of faces.
Could she do this?
"Good Afternoon, ladies and gentlemen," she said, forcing the words out. "I'm your new Tourist Guide."
Expectant faces swam in her vision. No - she couldn't do this!
"Stop the bus!" she screamed. "There's a bomb!"

[100 words]

Ron's counterpoint

How long have I been waiting for this break! 
It seems ages since Bobby died.  He said I should have a holiday on the insurance money after spending so long looking after him.
These seem like nice people; that lady I spoke to in the queue was so friendly.  
Not sure about that guide though - not a word to anyone, and now she is stood at the front not looking at us, and I can see her hands shaking on the microphone. Must be her first time as well.
So what is she going to have to say ......

* * *

As I (Joanna) am in the grip of a nasty flu-like cold virus, I cannot guarantee I'll be able to respond to comments or return visits as quickly as I normally do. I'm sure you all understand! I will catch up as soon as I'm well enough to do so.

Photo credit: Ron Pruitt
Read more stories on Madison Woods' website.



Left Behind

October 5, 2012

The room feels hollow. Jim’s heavy tread approaches; he stands at Martha’s side, a familiar, solid anchor. His hand winds gently around her waist.

“Where do you want to start?” he asks.

She shrugs, her mind blank. “I don’t know.” With Mother gone, the house seems suddenly a stranger to her. “I guess we work out what we want, and give the rest to charity . . .”

“Be happy for her, Martha. She’d want you to be.”

She turns on him. “I can’t believe she left us with all this to do!” Hot tears spring free.

“You’re just jealous, love. You know she’ll love Tuscany!”

Image copyright Raina Ng. 
For Madison's website and to read the other stories, please visit here



The Angel Thinks

September 20, 2012

You stand and stare. You marvel at my gentle curves, my perfect angles, my graceful lines. Your whispers of my wings are like an echo. You recognise my silent strength, my unyielding surfaces. You run your hands over me and close your eyes as your fingers glide and caress. I am chill against your skin; you are heat and fever against mine.

But you do not see me.

I am more than my marbled figure. I exist beyond these confines. I have a spirit, roaming free, unbridled and impassioned, inspiring and empowered.

And so do you.

Come fly with me.

[100 words]
A late addition from Ron :) He admits it was a little rushed, but I felt it was worth sharing :)

Are you in there behind cold outer face?
Is there, inside, real sweetness and light?
Can you feel the touch, the need to know more?
Do you see me out here, my wanting desire?
Oh let's take to flight, on wings soaring higher
Not fixed to the ground, so solid and bound
There’s more in a thought, more is to be done
A wish and a dream takes higher and higher.

Picture credit: Lora Mitchell
Read other stories here.

Two Tales: The Old Mine

September 6, 2012

We're back after our two-week break. We'll probably take part in Friday Fictioneers a little less often, just to give ourselves more time to work on our core business!


The ancient wheel strains forward on its circuitous path, unseen hands forcing the rim into motion. 

More frightful beings arrive, bunching together, combining their power. I hide, quivering, inside the cottage. If they find me, my energy will be poured into the wheel. There is no-one left but me; it's my duty to survive.

I become light-headed - the wheel has quickened, its motion a blur, and the spell has taken me. I walk towards the door, towards their power.

The earth gives way with a startling shriek. The wheel, spinning, descends below ground, cutting and harming as we fall.


Looking up through the spinning wheel into the blue sky I cannot see, but do feel her there.

Will the power of the wheel be enough to draw her energy in?

No. Then I move, and the buildings shudder, small gaps appearing, allowing whiffs to drift upwards.

I can feel her moving. She is losing.

I will have her in my domain.

Photo credit: Piya Singh (Bittercharm).

All stories can be read at this week's Friday Fictioneers with Madison Woods.






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