The Stone

Once, in hallways of marble cold and dank, echoes sang the call of fear. Darkness spoke of death, and in shadows near passed wisps of souls of those who walk the halls no more.

Find the Stone, the wizards knew, decode its secret lore.  From the stone great wisdom comes, its mystery to unfold.  Light eternal will be yours and darkness be no more.

The Stone contained the secret, but hard to find it was.  It hid cloaked in diagrams and symbols and tangled threads and whispers drifting from beyond.

The legend told, beware the flame and ocean’s depth, for they the strongest are. But earth and smoke support the craft  when used with skill, and can convert the dirt to gold.

The alchymist toiled long and hard, stirring, sipping, adding more, as Panacea he would brew, a broth to stave off ills and age, to ensure eternal youth.

Thus long he stirred, his iron spoon swirling the Stone’s milk 'round the flask, when lo! The spoon began to change.  Its ore, you see, was born of ground, and its heart was made of gold.

The Alchymist, In Search of the Philosophers' Stone
Joseph Wright of Derby, 1771.




160: Mother Love

We have slept here for more than100 years.
Every autumn Mother Nature tiptoes in and
drapes a warm quilt of many colors over us.
It’s going to be a cold winter.


This is my offering for Sunday 160, hosted by Monkey Man,


Beware the Venom Within

Comments on a poem of tragedy and tears are called funny and clever in words of praise, 
When what the poet used were words full of loss and heartache.

Posted words often inappropriate, simplistic, and just plain odd, but because most are kind, 
Folks said thanks, even though these comments of fluff and flowers often felt so incredibly fake.

“Look at me, see me, applaud me, think me special,” every gesture seemed to say.  
“Come and visit, and we’ll all play.  Rally ‘round me, and I’ll reward you. Being here is all it takes.”

Maybe it’s culture, language or upbringing. Benefit of the doubt may be deserved. 
But understanding ends right here and right now when the gentle soul of a dear friend is at stake.  

Be careful with your kindness, fellow writers.  See cyber-stalkers for what they are.   
Don’t encourage; it might come back to bite you. It could be your soul that draws the snake.


Friday Flash 55: You Remind Me of My Wife

From the moment he took his seat in the training room, he sat at rapt attention.  At the break, he came up to the front of the room. 

“You remind me of my wife,” he said.  “She’s a teacher too.”

I smiled in acknowledgment.  And then he went on.

“It must be the implied whip.”

This, a totally true story from my days as a trainer, is my offering for Friday Flash 55, hosted by G-Man at Mr. KnowItAll.

A Moon By Any Other Name

Tonight the glorious full moon smiles,
And shines on everyone with a gleam in her eyes.
She’s gone by many names throughout time, you know,
But no matter what you call her, please say hello.

Harvest Moon to early American Colonials.
Kindly Moon to Chinese now and back then.
Nut Moon if you happen to be Cherokee.
Mulberry Moon is what the Choctaw see.

Blood Moon to Medieval English of yore.
Blood Moon to Neo-Pagans in their September lore.
Singing Moon to the Celtics when she shone in the fall.
But the Dakota Sioux call her by my favorite name of all.

So I look up in the sky at her face so fair
And pay my respects to the Moon When Calves Grow Hair.


I dedicate this to my friend Moondustwriter, who makes both days and nights brighter here in cyberspace.



The journey has just begun, 
each stop along the way a distant invitation.

Aboard the slow-moving train,
the clamor of the future is thunderous.


the young girl’s head rested
lightly on her pillow, 
and sleep eluded her
as anticipation of all that was to come
demanded to be satisfied. 

Is it Christmas yet?  
Will school ever be over? 
Is it my birthday yet?
When can I go for my license?
Next week, I can drink. Legally. 
My vote will count! 
Will this baby ever be born???

the old woman's head rests
heavily against the glass.  
 and sleep eludes her
as she watches the miles disappear,
vanishing into pinpoints of the past.

the track is littered with years, and more than a few tears, 
many new beginnings and a few inevitable endings.

objects in the window are closer than they appear, 
and the view beyond is hidden in the fog.

Clackety-clack  Clackety-clack  

Aboard the speeding train,
the clamor of days gone by is inexorable.

The journey is nigh at its end, 
each stop along the way a distant memory.


This is my offering for One Shot Wednesday.

The Suicide Seat, Part 2

This is the second part of my entry in the current Tenth Daughter of Memory, where the challenge is "Suicide Seat."  If you haven't read Part 1 yet, please read it before you read this.  Thanks!

The Suicide Seat, Part 2

He tells Benjamin the story now, and his heart breaks as he watches the tears roll down his son’s cheeks.  How could he have been so selfish, he wonders, so stupid.

“Take me with you,” Benjamin pleads. 

“I can’t do that, Ben. You’ve got Yale and your whole life in front of you. It wouldn’t be fair.  Come on, let’s go back.”

Neither has much interest in fishing now, and they row back to the lodge.  After a dinner neither can eat, they pack their bags in silence, each lost in his own misery.


“Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned on the seat belt sign. Please return to your seats and secure your seat belts. Return your tray tables and seat-backs to their original upright positions. We are approaching Logan Airport and will be landing shortly.”

Paul awakens with a jolt at the sound of the flight attendant’s voice.  Sleep eluded him last night, as he lay listening to unhappiness invade Ben’s dreams, and he is exhausted.  He knows Ben must be too.  The drone of the engines lulled both of them to sleep early into the flight from Bangor.  Shows how tired I am, Paul thinks.  Despite being in first class, booked as a special treat for Ben, I can never get comfortable enough to sleep on a plane, and this time is no exception. Not enough leg room, what with the bulkhead right in front of us.  Lopsided recline.  Noisy galley, if you can call something with no food a “galley.” The steady parade of people heading toward the restroom.  And of course, the crying baby somewhere behind him.  About the only thing these seats have going for them is that they are next to the window on one side of the 2x2x2 row.  

He shakes himself out of his reverie and nudges Ben awake. 

Their plan originally was to spend a couple of days in Boston before heading home to New Jersey, but now Paul wonders if either of them is up for it.  He looks out the window as the harbor islands appear beneath the plane. He can see the city skyline ahead.  It’s raining, but Boston looks great.  The rain is supposed to end, and Paul decides that a couple more days before going home to reality will be a couple more days for Benjamin to get used to the idea that he has to leave. And if he is honest with himself, it will help him get used to the idea too. God, he will miss his son.  But better that Ben’s dad be a continent away than dead.

As he watches the ground come up to meet the plane, Paul feels a sudden burst of adrenalin that causes him grip the arm rest tightly.  He is not a nervous flier, but he knows that something is wrong.  As he watches, he sees the end of the runway pass just below the plane and move out of sight.  He’s flown into Boston often enough to know they should have touched down by now.  The plane is moving too fast! 

It seems to Paul that way too much runway has passed before he finally feels the wheels jolt down on the pavement, bounce off, and then hit again.  Too fast! Oh, my God, too fast!  We are going to crash!   As the plane tears down the runway, he can feel the brakes attempt to stop the huge aircraft.  The DC-10 is slowing, but Paul doubts if it will slow down soon enough to stop before something else stops it.  Like the terminal or another plane. 

Although it seems like he is watching events unfold in slow motion, they happens so quickly that he can’t even warn Benjamin.  But he grasps Ben’s hand tightly and says, “I love you!”

The plane veers off the runway into a grassy area in the middle of the air field and continues to skid on the wet grass.  Almost before he can register what’s happening, it passes over a taxiway, and comes to a sudden stop.  There is an enormous tearing, screeching, crashing sound, and he sees the bulkhead in front of him begin to move away.  Not possible, he thinks. And then, without warning, he and Ben are catapulted forward, hands still clenched. 


Sure he is having another heart attack, Paul struggles to breathe.  And then realizes he not only can’t breathe, he can’t move either.  And he’s really cold.  Like an avalanche, awareness of what just happened, what is happening now, crashes into his consciousness.  He is in the water, airline seat and all.  Benjamin!

He reaches out blindly to his left, and feels Ben struggling beside him.  He reaches down and pulls the lever on Ben’s seat belt and feels Ben surge away from him.  He unfastens his own belt, and kicks toward the surface, which isn’t far above him.  He breaks the surface of the cold water and coughs up the quart of Boston Harbor he has swallowed, replacing it with a gulp of air.  

A few yards away, he sees Ben, and beyond him, quite a distance away, the plane.  It sits at the edge of the land that is Logan Airport.  Most of it does, anyway.  Its nose is tipped into the water, leaning like a giant bird bent to take a drink.  And through the break at its neck, he can see Boston in the distance.

“Dad!”  He realizes Ben has swum over to him.  “Are you OK?”

“Yes, You?” he answers, silently thinking, I’ve always been pretty lucky, but this takes the cake.

Benjamin pulls on his arm and shouts in his ear, his voice frantic.  “Dad!  Let’s go!  Now!  NOW!!!”


“There was a near catastrophe at Logan Airport today when an Oceanic Airways flight overshot the runway as it attempted to land due to a mechanical failure.  The flight originated in Bangor, Maine and was scheduled to continue on to Los Angeles,” WXYZ-TV news anchor Beverly Michaelson reports.

“The pilots have been credited with saving over one hundred lives by leaving the runway just before crashing into the approach lights at its end.  Had the plane hit the large bank of lights, experts say it is likely the plane would have burst into flames.  The quick-thinking pilots veered just in time, and the plane continued skidding until its nose left the edge of the airfield and crashed into Boston Harbor. 

"The sudden drop from the field caused the plane to break apart just behind the forward galley.  Three passengers were seated in the first row in first class.  One, apparently seeing what was happening, climbed back into the main coach cabin. Two other passengers in that row, a father and son, are still missing.”

Co-anchor Matt Gordon says, “Amazing story.  The passengers have much to be thankful for.  Any word on the two missing people, Bev?”

“I'm sorry to say, no, Matt. Authorities tell me it is unlikely that they will ever be found. It’s presumed they were swept away by the current and out to sea. 

"Interestingly, Matt, some of the people I interviewed told me they avoid taking a seat in that row when they fly.  ‘The Suicide Seat,’ I think they called it.

“And, now, let’s see what Freddie and the weather have in store for the weekend.”


Though I’ve obviously taken some liberties, this story was inspired by the following news event.  It took place nearly 30 years ago, but I’ve never forgotten it. I always wondered what happened to those two missing passengers.

On January 23, 1982, World Airways Flight 30 from Newark to Boston made a non-precision instrument approach to runway 15R and touched down 2800 feet past the displaced threshold on an icy runway. When the crew sensed that the DC-10-30-CF couldn't be stopped on the remaining runway, they steered the DC-10 off the side of the runway to avoid the approach light pier, and slid into the shallow water of Boston Harbor. The nose section separated as the DC-10 came to rest 250 feet past the runway end, 110 feet left of the extended centerline. 2 passengers (a father and son) were never found and are presumed to have been swept out to sea.


160: I'm Still Standing

I’ve lived long
Loved Summer’s bake
Laughed at Winter’s chill.
Time flakes years
Off my rusty face
Yet cannot touch my will.

And so
My iron heart
Time can never still.

This is my entry in Sunday 160, hosted by Monkey Man.


The Suicide Seat, Part 1

This is the first part of my entry in the current Tenth Daughter of Memory, where the challenge is "Suicide Seat."   Part 2 will be aired on Tuesday, 9/21. Set your DVRs.  (Oh, wait, that's right, cyberspace doesn't do DVRs.)

The Suicide Seat, Part 1

As he packs for the trip, Paul thinks to himself that this may be the last time he shares an adventure with Benjamin, let alone something as exciting as this trip in Maine.  In fact, even under normal circumstances, it’s unlikely they’d be doing anything like this, despite the fact that Ben has been talking about it for years.

“Come on, Dad.  It would be so cool. The lodge is way up there in Maine on Matagamon Lake.  They fly you in to the lake in a sea plane and you land on the water!. And we can fish and hike, and there’s even whitewater rafting! It’d be so much fun!  Please?

It did sound great, but it was also a big deal, and he’d been putting Benjamin off for years. But now Paul knows his time to put things off is running out.  This trip will give him plenty of opportunity to talk to Ben, to try to prepare him a little for what is coming.

He tucks the last of his toiletries into the battered brown suitcase and buckles the lid closed.


The flight from Bangor is amazing, the seaplane’s floats tickling the treetops of the Maine wilderness.  Paul is amazed how there can be so much of nothing below, just miles and miles of nature.  They pass over a few small towns and can pick out roads winding through the trees,  but mostly, what they see are many small lakes and acres and acres of trees.  

As the plane dips down over the endless green wilderness and heads toward the lake ahead, Paul has to admit Ben was right. This is pretty cool.  


Benjamin spins around to look at his father.  “What do you mean, you’re going away?” he exclaims in disbelief.  “Going where?”

His swift turn toward his father threatens to overturn the small canoe they are sitting in.  Ripples break the mirror-smooth surface of the lake and run away from its hull in surprise, making for the shore.

Paul sighs.  He had known this would be difficult.  After Liz lost the battle to breast cancer ten years ago, it was just he and Ben, helping each other through the grief of  their sudden loss.  But that was ten years ago, and Ben was heading off to Yale in the fall. 

“I’m moving to South America, Ben.  Buenas Aires.  I leave right after you do.”  Paul hopes his matter-of-fact tone will forestall the emotional reaction he fears is coming.

What??!!!  What do you mean? You can’t do that!  What about me?”  

You’ll be fine. You’re starting your own life now.  You’ll still have the condo, which has no mortgage, and I’ve prepaid your tuition at school.”

Ben stares at him, his jaw hanging in the expression of surprise he’s used all his life.  He looks totally gob-smacked.  As I knew he would, Paul thinks.

“But why?  I don’t understand.” Paul asks, looking now like he might burst into tears at any moment.

Paul reels in his line (the fish aren’t biting anyway), stows his rod in the bottom of the canoe, and begins to tell Ben just how badly he has screwed up his life.  Both of their lives, really.


When Liz died, Paul was overwhelmed: overwhelmed with grief, overwhelmed with the thought of raising an eight-year-old boy alone.  It might have been a little better had there been family to fall back on, but there was no one.  He and Liz were both only children, and their parents had been gone for awhile now.  He and Ben were all that was left of the Richardson family.

Forced to take care of business first, he held himself together long enough to do what was necessary.  After the services, the first thing he did was look for a housekeeper.  After more interviews than he ever thought would be necessary, he finally found Marie, a former nun and retired school teacher, who provided a heaven-made solution (so to speak).  She seemed like an intelligent and kindly woman, she was available, and she was willing to move into the living quarters he’d set up in the former family room off the kitchen.  Marie said she’d lost her own mother when she was very young, and  she expressed real compassion for Ben.  She was perfect.  Paul couldn’t believe his luck.

Once he was confident Ben was well taken care of, he allowed himself to give in to the grief.  Ironically, his partner was willing to pickup the slack in their real estate office, allowing Paul time to get his life back together, when in reality it was falling apart.  He began drinking. When Ben left for school each day, Paul left, too, and drove around aimlessly until the bars opened.

It took a couple of months, during which time his partner was much more patient than Paul had any right to expect, but eventually Paul felt able to return to work. He didn’t stop drinking, though.  Every night, he sat in front of the TV and anesthetized himself with vodka.

It seems to Paul that once he loosened his grip on self-control, his slide into perdition was like a runaway train.

He managed to continue working, though many days he took a pounding headache to work with him along with his briefcase.  Thank heavens he handled the office management and accounting aspects of the business and wasn’t required to meet with customers.  But before long, he was leaving the office earlier and earlier, telling his partner he wanted to be home when Ben came home from school, and would work from there.

He’d had every good intention, but none of the self-discipline needed to go with it.  Soon he was ending the afternoon in a bar.  After a few years of watching both Paul and the business sink deeper into the muck, his partner came to him.  He said he knew Paul was having hard go of it, but he couldn’t allow him to take the business along for the ride.  He offered to buy him out.  Feeling totally incapable of cleaning up his act, Paul accepted his offer and cashed out.  And that’s when the train really picked up speed.

At his favorite watering hole, he met a guy who knew a guy who really knew the ponies.  He placed a few conservative bets and did well.  His bets got bigger, and though he lost some, he also won often enough to convince himself that he had Luck on his side.  Now that he’s sober, he recognizes that for what it was: a booze-driven delusion.

He began betting big money.  He had realized that Angelo, the guy who “knew the ponies,” was a bookie and Paul became one of his better customers. When the horses went stale for him, he started betting on other events.  He seasoned the array of choices on Angelo’s buffet of gambling delights with occasional trips to Vegas. In short, he was totally out of control.

And then one day, he awakened in the ICU at the local hospital with Benjamin sitting at his side.  He had suffered a heart attack, and probably wouldn’t have survived had Marie not found him and called an ambulance so quickly.

It was the wake-up call he needed.  He joined AA and GA, and with the help of some terrific people and his son, he cleaned himself up.  What he was unable to clean up was the enormous gambling debt he had with Angelo.  Reminders became threats and threats became attacks.  The last time Angelo sent his goons, they had beaten him pretty badly and told him he was out of time. Next time was the last time, they warned.  He knew they weren’t kidding.  It was time to get out of Dodge.


(to be continued)


Déjà Vu and a Do-Si-Do

For years, it has been like a dance, back and forth, and a do-si-do.  She's been whirled around the floor until she was dizzy. Each partner grabbed her arm to set her a-spin and then moved on before she could really focus and get a good look at him.  Bow to your partner and allemande left, into the arms of the next one.

The dance went on and on. Even here, she feels like she’s been endlessly riding the music, up and down, around and around the dance floor, her emotions rising and falling with each new appeal. But now the music has stopped.  In a few hours, she will make her final curtsy to the audience that has come to watch her last performance.

As she waits to take the floor for the last time, she is surprised at how silent it is.  She has become accustomed to the sounds of this place, the murmurs and echoes that seem to never stop.  But tonight it is deathly quiet, the ticking of the clock in her head the only sound she can hear.

The minister came this afternoon, and asked if she wanted to pray.  She declined, knowing that praying was fruitless. How many prayers had she said while flat on her back, and how many were answered?  That told her all she needed to know about prayer.

About an hour ago, she was served the dinner of her dreams.  Oh, yes, she’d dreamt about this dinner many times since that first time. As soon as she took the first morsel of lobster, dripping in warm melted butter, into her mouth, she was carried back to the dinner that brought her here.

He was her salvation, her way out of the life.  He talked of love and care and slow waltzes alone under the moonlight.  And she believed.  What he hadn’t talked about was his resentment of all the partners who’d whirled her around the floor in the past.  He never spoke of the jealousy he felt every time another man so much as glanced at her.  He never told her of his lightning quick temper and even faster fist.  She didn’t learn of those things until it was too late.   

She waited until their first anniversary, and then fed him the dinner of his dreams.  She prepared all his favorite foods: succulent lobster stuffed with her pain and perfectly seasoned with arsenic. She served it with a side of potatoes au gratin, delicately sauced with her feelings of hopelessness and just another light touch of arsenic.  And for dessert, he enjoyed homemade strawberry shortcake, topped with a pillow of whipped retribution sweetened with a sprinkle of arsenic.  After gorging himself on her misery, washed down with a bottle of Pouilly Fuissé, he slumped in the recliner in front of the TV, fell asleep, and died.  She did the dishes, finished cleaning up, and called the police.  Through every step that  followed, she found it hard to keep the smile off her face.  She never expressed a bit of remorse, because she felt none.  She felt nothing but satisfaction, and no reluctance to show it.

Now, as she wipes the last of the whipped cream from her lips, she reflects that it had been worth it.  And then she waits, listening to the ticking clock.

Soon enough, they come.  Taking her arm, they escort her down the long corridor, and into the room where she will perform her last do-see-do.  After they strap her to the table, and insert the needle into her arm, they open the curtain to the audience.  She closes her eyes, and a feeling of déjà vu washes over her for the second time tonight.  How many times has she danced like this, on her back while the partner of the moment took his turn with her?  Well, this is the last time.

The audience wonders why she died with a smile on her face.


This was written for The Inferno, where the prompt was "déjà vu."


Friday Flash 55: Cows Rule!

Hi, I’m Swallow. The big handsome guy on my right?  He’s my boyfriend.

Back in April, they were all gaga over a horse. Yeah, okay, Einstein was a tiny horse and he was kinda cute.  But he was a horse.  Cows are better.  Everybody knows that.

Besides, I hold a Guinness World Record.  Nyah nyah

The interview above with Swallow, the world's smallest cow at 33" tall, is my entry n G-Man's Friday Flash 55.

Jars of Delusion

It’s been a while, but tonight Gloria’s feeling pretty good.  She plans to head over to McNamara’s for a tipple of sherry.

Sitting on the stool in front of her dressing table, she turns her head this way and that, admiring her image in the mirror.  After tucking a few errant hairs into the clasp at the nape of her neck, she reaches for the jar of color in front of her.  She carefully smoothes a dollop of Silver Pink Minx over her lips. 

Gloria flashes a sexy little pout at her image.

Looking good, baby. You’ve still got it!

This is my offering for Velvet Verbosity's 100-Word Challenge.  The prompt this week is "jar."


The Memory Beneath the Bed

Watching her dance with joy, he clenches his mind tightly and vows to hold onto this moment. He reminds himself that the day will come when she’s no longer here and he will want to take the memory out like a cherished amulet carried in his pocket and feel its beauty in his hand.

And then, inevitably, she is gone.  Because life distracted him and he forgotten to pay attention, to appreciate her devotion and reward it with his grateful touch, he was taken by surprise by her departure.  Alone, he walks paths they once walked together and he tries to conjure up her presence.  He reaches into the pocket of his mind, but all he finds is a void filled with nothing but lint.

It seems that she was always there, a part of his life for so long.  Learning to “be” without her seems impossible. He expects her to come around the next corner, breaking into a big smile when she sees him.  He sees her out of the corner of his mind, and turns to find emptiness.  

Eventually he forgets to look for her. He's on his hands and knees one day, looking under the bed chair for a missing sock and thinking that he can’t blame her for losing this one.  When he shines his flashlight into the darkness under the bed, he doesn’t see the sock.  Instead, the beam catches sight of one perfect brown curl of hair, laying on the carpet.  Suddenly his mind unclenches and she is there, dancing with joy, and slurping moist doggy kisses all over his face.


160: Nag Nag Nag!

tick-tock tick-tock

The clock nags the minutes away.
The work is due at 12PM.
I’ve got no time to play.
But 160 calls and I can’t say no.
My work will have to wait!


A Muse Suffers Indigestion

Hours, stuffed with minutes, 
Are plumb with to-do lists.

Minutes feel engorged, 
Seconds backing up like yesterday’s onions.

Seconds have no space left, 
Gobbling run amok.

I am suffering the gluttony the muse enjoys. 
She needs to stop her wretched excess.

"But  I like G-Man’s buffet. 
It’s only 55 morsels more. How could it hurt?"


As is obvious, this is my offering for G-Man's Friday Flash 55.

Silence Lies Broken

silence lies broken
stillness split by falling leaves
summer ends in shards


100-Word Challenge: The Corporate Lamp Standard

Suffering terrible headaches from the flickering overhead neon lights in her office, she asked a co-worker where she’d gotten attractive table lamp on her desk. 

“It’s in the supply catalog. Just order one.”

She completed the order request and submitted it.

Late one afternoon, a man with a clipboard appeared at her office door. 

“I’m from Facilities,” he said. “Did you order a lamp?”

‘Yes! Are you delivering it?”

“No, sorry. Rotten luck! That lamp doesn’t meet our Corporate Lamp Standard.”

“Well, what would meet the standard?” she asked.

“I don’t know. We haven’t set it yet.”


True story.

This is my offering for the 100-Word Challenge, hosted by Velvet Verbosity.  The prompt this week "rotten."


Yin and Yang

Witness the mountain
Standing majestic and timeless
Deep at the core, so hard to know
Presenting a picture of power
So solid and strong
Loving the stream that travels below

At his base, the stream flows
Dancing, swirling, lightly skipping
Playful and laughing, tickling his toes
Bubbling with laughter, happy and joyful
Splashing her love on the mountain above
All of her favor on him she bestows

But when the stream runs too wildly
Her touch heavy-handed
Her swelling caresses feeling like blows
She scares him away
With love felt too intensely
She  pushes his heart to a place it can’t go

Yet sometimes it ends
In ways just the opposite.
Sometimes it’s he
Who overpowers with love
Rushing at her with torrents too heavy
Flooding her soul with too much to hold

Here lies the challenge
For the mountain and stream
It’s all about balance, the to and the fro
The grand waltz between lovers
The yin and the yang, the yes and the no
The delicate marriage of the stop and the go



This is my offering for One Shot Poetry.

The Hush

 I can’t remember the last time I could hear anything but the hush that roars within my head.  It lies heavily upon me with the weight of the ocean, muffling all sound of living.  I find it hard to breathe, hard to think with this constant echoing nothing. It fills me like a presence, obliterating everything but itself. 

I remember wishing so many times that I could just have a little peace.  How often did I yell at the Becky and her friends when their play became loud and boisterous.  “Inside voices! I can’t hear myself think!”  How often did I feel like my brain was melting when Greg blasted that Rob Zombie “music” loud enough to rattle the windows?  How many times did I wish never to hear the word “SCORES!” shouted by an over-enthusiastic hockey announcer? 

What I wouldn’t give to hear any one of those things now.  Instead, I hear nothing but my memories, and even they are growing fainter.


Beep…………… Beep……………beep……………beep

Will you stop that incessant beeping?  I was sound asleep and… 

Wait! Beeping!  I hear it.  I hear something inside the hush! 

“Is there any change, Dad?” 

“No, Becks, I’m afraid not.”

Becky! Tom!

“I know it’s hard, Sweet Pea, but please keep it down. Your mom needs to rest.” 

No! I don’t need to rest. No! No! No!  Please, talk to me. Help me!

I feel like I am shouting from the murky depths that have been my home for so long, but they can’t hear me. I’m kicking with all my strength, and I can’t swim to the surface.

“Dad, does her face look a little red?  Why is she breathing like that?  Maybe we should call the doctor.”

“I’m sure it’s nothing, Becky. The doctor is coming tomorrow anyway. We can ask him then.”

Yes! Yes! Tom, call the doctor. Do something! Please! Get me out of here!

If I can hear them, why can’t they hear me?  This is worse than hearing nothing at all. I scream until I can scream no more. I struggle to swim up to the surface until I can struggle no more.  My heart is pounding so hard, I fear it will jump from my chest.

DAD! What’s wrong with her?”


After living with the hush so long, I thought I wanted nothing more than to hear my life again.  I was wrong.


This is my offering for The Tenth Daughter Of Memory, where the prompt is "Silence Lies Broken."


An Apple a Day

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away."

He can't decide if it is this bizarre and totally annoying trend toward vegetarianism and getting more roughage or an increase in the number of people living without health insurance, but he does know it is wreaking havoc with his diet. Don't these prats know that man is a carnivore, perfectly designed for the consumption of meat? Why else have canine teeth and incisors, if not to rend and tear flesh?  Were people intended to eat weeds, they'd be built like cows.  OK, so some of them were built like cows, but that's beside the point.

In days gone by, there were more hunters than gatherers. Man went out, slayed the fatted calf and gored the ox, and brought the meat back to feed the family. Even the women bragged about "bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan." Bacon! Now, that's what he's talking about!  Nothing like a little saturated fat to guarantee a delicious meal.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Bugger!  A bloke could starve to death.

Jack decides he is going to have to start making house calls again.


This was written for Magpie Tales, where the delicious-looking apple pictured above was the prompt.

160: The Golden Glow of Morning

Golden tea steaming
In a daisy-strewn cup
Golden sunlight spilling
Like syrup across the garden
Goldenrod waving in the field behind

oh no


This was written for Sunday 160, hosted by Monkey Man. if you've got something to say in 160 characters pay him a visit.


100-Word Challenge: Achievement

She stood waiting, shivers of fear running down her spine.  And then she heard her named called. The moment had come.

She had been waiting for this all her life.  She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and began.  And then all thought left her mind.  She was aware of nothing, until at last her fingers danced lightly over the keys sounding the final notes of the Prokofiev piano concerto.

The ten-year-old girl smiled and lifted her hands from the keyboard as Carnegie Hall erupted into thunderous applause. She stood, faced the audience and curtsied. She had done it.


This was written for the 100-Word Challenge, hosted by Velvet Verbosity. This week's prompt was "fingers."


Way Out of Your League

Maybe I’m not as young as I used to be.
That’s plain for all to see.
I’ve put on a few miles and lost a few of my guiles,
But, Mister, you still can’t afford to own me.

So come take a look
And admire my class.
Just keep yer mitts off
My elegant…um…rear bumper.

This is my offering for Friday Flash 55, hosted by G-Man at Mr. KnowItAll. Pay him a visit for some more 55 fun.