His first batch

vijaya sundaram

Photo prompt courtesy of Vijaya Sundaram

Midnight. Vera heard him outside, dragging something down into his new shed.

She didn’t believe his story that it was for potting up plants. Vera had watched every episode of Breaking Bad. She knew that evasive husbands with locked sheds and deliveries in the dead of night were up to no good.

She flinched at muted gurgles and rattles from the shed. Police sirens made her rigid with fright.

When it blew, she raced outside, fearing the worst. Eric staggered out, a sticky, bleeding mess. The shed was wrecked.

‘Ginger beer,’ he spluttered. ‘For Christmas. I wanted to surprise you.’


My story for Friday Fictioneers this week is prompted by a childhood memory of my father’s home-brew plant in our laundry. Yes, it exploded. There was no real damage, just an awful lot of cleaning up to be done. My father made a few successful, and delicious, batches of ginger beer about that time and I think only one of them exploded.

I’m sure the TV series Breaking Bad is generally well-known, but just in case you haven’t seen it, here’s the whole series in 3 minutes.

 Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, who hosts Friday Fictioneers, where writers contribute 100 word stories in response to a weekly photo prompt. You can find them all here.

40 thoughts on “His first batch

  1. Ha! This reminds me of a true event that happened to my oldest brother and his buddy. They were cooking moonshine in a small building. They had placed their condensation worm inside a tub of cold water, with the end running back up over the side (instead of out the bottom). The pressure built up and blew the top off the cooker and the door open on the shed. They both came stumbling out, scalded by hot mash, and one of them had their eyebrows burned off. It woke up the neighborhood.


    • What a story! It sounds like a movie scene. I hope the eyebrows grew back. Glad to have brought back some childhood memories, Russell. (Although maybe you would rather not have remembered this.) Thank you for sharing the story anyway.


  2. Hehehe, what a sneaky twist. This reminds me of our first steps making home-brewn beer. We didn’t have exploding bottles, but more than one ‘beer-shower’ until we learned how to properly bottle-ferment. 😀 Cider-type wines and beers are tricky stuff.


  3. Dear Margaret,

    At least he had good intentions and we all know what road is paved with those. 😉 Entertaining story…and video. I never watched Breaking Bad, although it was really popular. Now I don’t have to.




    • Thanks, Rochelle. Glad you enjoyed it – and you saved some viewing time as well. My husband was a great fan of Breaking Bad, and I was too at the start, but I sort of lost interest. It was very popular.


  4. Hahahahahaha! Probably a little too much ginger in that fizz. BTW, that’s my favorite drink in the world. I make something like it at home, a fizzy ginger lemonade made from real ginger roots boiled, fresh lemon juice and a little honey. I have never seen Breaking Bad (I miss the days of AMC’s classic films!) but I loved that description at the beginning. GREAT!

    Bravissimo! 😀


    • Thank you for that kind comment, Kent. I’m so glad you liked my story. Your home brew sounds delicious, and I agree that you can’t beat a cold glass of ginger beer. I hope your brewing efforts have been explosion free.


      • They have actually been easy. You just cut up and boil ginger root in a pot on the stove for a few minutes. Then pour it into the blender and whiz it up, pass it through a sieve. Put in the fridge and squeeze some lemons for juice. Then, pour a shot glass full into a regular sized glass, add sparkling water (cold), squeeze in some fresh lemon juice and a spoonful of honey. A terrific summer drink!


    • I’m not sure it could actually explode with as much force as I’ve described – literary licence?? Glad you enjoyed the story, even if it was a little over the top. Thanks, Bjorn


  5. Haha! That’s great Margaret. Love the film noir that turns into failed home brew – great. I remember mu dad making wine at home in huge demijohn bottles, a plastic float on the top to let the fermenting air out. The house always smelt … yeasty. Thanks for sharing a really enjoyable story


  6. Good story, Margaret. That was funny. I was sitting in an office once where I worked part-time in college. Someone brought in some jugs and sat them on the other side of a partition. I heard pop, pop, then saw a dark liquid seeping out under the partition. There was an overwhelming fruity smell. Someone’s homemade wine, a gift to the office, had blown up. Good writing. 😀 — Suzanne


    • Oh no. That was a shame. My story seems to have triggered a lot of home-brew memories this week. I hope your exploding bottles didn’t cause any damage apart from the messy floor. Thank you for your nice comment, Suzanne – I’m glad you enjoyed my story.


    • I’m happy you liked it, Vijaya. Your lovely photo does seem to have sparked a lot of war and disaster stories this week. Thank you for your encouraging comment – It’s good to know that the pacing and ending worked. I like to get those things right if possible. And thank you for the picture.

      Liked by 1 person

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