Friday Fiction: In Which Tarquin Toffsworth Comes To A Sticky End

For those who don’t know, Friday Fictioneers is a challenge to write a 100 word story from a picture prompt. It’s hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, and anyone can play. Thanks for hosting, Rochelle! Check out the link at the end of my story to see what other fictioneers did with this week’s prompt.

The hardest thing about this week’s challenge was deciding whether to write “wasp nest”, “wasp’s nest” (as in The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest) or “wasps’ nest” – it was an apostrophe catastrophe!


Wasp nest
Copyright Janet Webb

In Which Tarquin Toffsworth Comes To A Sticky End

Tarquin Toffsworth evicted his first tenants aged twelve. He found a wasps’ nest, enticed the residents outside with jam, then terminated their tenancy with his shoe.

A single wasp survived. Her name was Jemima.

Years passed. Jemima was long gone but her legend lived on. Tarquin, now an unscrupulous property tycoon, leant nonchalantly over the balcony of his thirty-fifth floor penthouse. Jolene, Jemima’s great-great-great-great granddaughter, took vengeful aim. Tarquin yelped, clutched his buttock, over-balanced and fell to his death.

A passing treacle truck broke Tarquin’s fall. Jolene swooped, landed and licked.

‘So it’s true,’ she buzzed. ‘Revenge is indeed sweet.’

(100 words)


Never heard of treacle? It’s a sweet sticky syrup!

Need more Friday Fiction? Click the blue frog to read more stories from other fictioneers!

75 thoughts on “Friday Fiction: In Which Tarquin Toffsworth Comes To A Sticky End

    • Thanks Paul. He started off as a Reginald (which is bad enough), but then Tarquin came to mind. I actually used to know someone called Tarquin, but he wasn’t an unscrupulous property developer, he was a hippy!


  1. Sweet! And absolutely perfect. I agree that Tarquin’s name is excellent as is falling in the treacle, something that always seems very Jeeves-and-Wooster-ish to me. As for the pesky apostrophe, “wasp’s” for one, “wasps’ ” for more than one (or even “wasps’s”). 🙂



    • Thanks Janet. I seem to write very English stuff on here – sometimes without realising it. For instance, I didn’t know they didn’t have treacle across the pond. How do they cope without it?
      thanks for your lovely comment and the fabulous photo 🙂


  2. What the buzz! A treacle truck indeed. Had me looking that word up.
    Tarquin was flat as a pancake and in my Aunt Jemima’s syrup (I had a very wasp-ish maternal side).
    Great, creative, fun filled stinger of a tail. Congrats.


    • Thanks Amy. I had a lot of fun with this one – although I started with 150 words and every one of them precious! It was a tearful time in the cutting room!


    • Thanks Rochelle
      I wasn’t sure I was going to pull it off this week. It’s probably a little too much story for 100 words, but it looks like I’ve succeeded. Yay!
      I’m off to read yours now.


    • Thanks Doug.
      I think there’s a little too much story for 100 words here, but I’m glad it worked in the end. Cutting was painful – I started with over 150 words and wanted to keep them all! I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else makes of this prompt 🙂


    • A Winnie-The-Pooh inspired title. I loved that book when I was little (with the E.H. Shepard illustrations not the Disney ones!)
      Glad you enjoyed my silly tale!


    • Hi Jules – I was going to add several more greats in for comedy value (as they’re hyphenated they only count as one word!), but I realised people would have forgotten the beginning of sentence by the time they got to the end so I managed to control myself.
      Thanks for commenting 🙂


    • Wow, thanks Sandra. I have to say – neither do you!
      I didn’t think I was going to pull it off this week, I’ve crammed far too much story in there – you should have seen the length of the original version! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂


    • Hi Anne
      Glad you liked it. Not entirely sure about reviving Tarquin though – future Tarquins may not appreciate it!
      thanks for commenting


    • Hi Trudy.
      Between you and me, I was trying to work that pun into the story but couldn’t make it fit so I’m glad to see it in the comments 🙂


  3. What wonderful fun!!! Love the clever name you chose. In my book, you take “First Prize” this week for best “revenge” story. Thank you for visiting and reading my “Honeycomb.”


  4. What a neat take on the prompt-sounds like something I would think of-I like to study insects, spiders, reptiles, plants, whatever. I will follow your blog and invite you to follow my blog as well. best wishes, beebeesworld


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