Chain Gang

I’ve been out of the link for a few weeks and missed a couple of my usual prompts. However things seem to be calming down and I can get back to normal again. The Sunday Photo Fiction is one of the prompts I’ve missed. A weekly 100 – 200 word story based on the photo provided, the stories are great to read but it’s even better taking part, get yourselves over.


Looking out to sea, the smell of freedom was almost tangible, Simon could taste it. He watched as the waves lashed back and forth, black against black. Then the pace slowed, almost to a breath, a lingering sigh of sorts. A heady scent of seaweed and fish, of power and salt hit his nostrils.

He could smell the brewing storm. For a second he closed his eyes savouring its release. The pull of cold steel around his ankles broke his repose. A guard stood above him, twisting a heavy booted foot through the chain. Under the shackle, he felt his flesh ripping; he bit his lip but didn’t flinch. He wouldn’t give them that.

Back at the barracks huge rivets were set into the wall beside the bunks and each man was linked to a heavy chain bolted to the floor. Simon laid still on his bunk listening to the others. Their talk was raw and crude and never broke the surface. He rolled over, pulling an extra length of chain.

This morning he’d found the bottle with the message buried under the stones. His men were coming. Six months of hell, thinking of nothing but revenge. The bastard son of his father would pay dearly for his newly stolen title. Simon De Montfort, known to some as ‘The Black Pirate’ was the rightful Earl of Claybourne. He’d soon be breaking skulls instead of rocks.

Hidden Scars


I follow this path, this wearisome road,

Repeating the burden, increasing my load,

Tomorrow revisiting the mistakes of today,

Repacking mortar so the walls don’t give way,


 The anger of circumstance, the life that I lived,

Rejected possibilities, the chances I’ve missed,

The rise of self-loathing that comes to the fore,

Fighting small battles but never joining the war.


First there’s excitement, the taste of the new,

Then comes the fear, not knowing what to do,

Followed by voices that increase in my head,

Mounting anxiety and the feeling of dread.


I’ve loaded the barrel and lined up the sight,

I’ve pulled the trigger and I aimed it just right.

The hole in your heart that I planted there,

Is my one validation that no one should care.


For I see through the eyes of a woman alone,

And carry the scars of the life that I’ve known.


Always With You

Find me in the shadows,

When the rain begins to fall,

Hidden in the moonlight,

A shape against the wall,

Sense me in the darkness,

And know that I am there,

Watching from the edges,

There is part of you I share,

Feel my hand upon you,

To lead the path you take,

I’ll walk with you forever,

In every step you make,

Hear my voice in whisper,

You never need atone,

For I am with you always,

And you’ll never be alone.


Big Girls Don’t Cry

Oh my, Friday Fictioneers not on a Wednesday but a Tuesday, has the world gone mad….. No matter the day 100 + eager participants stumble to create little snippets of flash, 100 words (give or take) hosted by the creative talents of Rochelle Wissof-Fields. Get yourselves over, it’s addictive.


In the clearing, the other girls danced up a storm. Jenny sat and watched, her hands lying nervously across her thighs. They were already dripping sweat and a visible stain appeared on her skirt. She bit her lip, knowing the others would say she’d peed her pants again.

Then she remembered granny’s spell and slowly whispered “Big girls don’t cry, they get even”

Jenny fastened her cardigan, wiped the moss off her skirt and walked away smirking. She looked back over her shoulder at the newly grown barks all twisted and warped, “Sometimes being ‘stick’ thin isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, girls.”


When I was young I dreamt as a child,

Longing for adventure, to be brave and be wild,

I dreamed of a Knight upon a white horse,

Who’d capture my heart and show no remorse,

Or a handsome ship captain with pirates to slay,

We’d be searching for treasure in lands far away,

And I’d never be bored and never confined,

For following my heart was my only design.


But when I grew older I dreamt as a woman,

Childhood adventures real life couldn’t summon

No white horse came charging to break down the gates,

No maiden was rescued, she sits and she waits,

And the handsome sea captain is far out at sea,

Still slaying pirates, he’s not looking for me.

Those dreams I once had of smitten romances,

Now clouded by pity and the many lost chances.


The dreams of the woman are blighted because,

I still want the dreams of the child I once was.


Underneath The Bed

Can you hear the whisper,

It’s carried on the breeze,

The faintest touch or shiver,

A feeling of unease.


Something in the shadow,

A hint of what’s to come,

A seed in a mind that’s fallow,

An echo of a rising hum.


Can you smell the aroma,

The change that’s on its way,

The scent of alarmed emotions,

A taste of what’s at play.


Something in the darkness,

A movement to ignore,

The sound of worry rising,

A threat I can’t explore.


Can you see the Gremlins,

Hidden beneath the bed,

Can they see me trembling,

Do you think that they’ve been fed?


I’ve been drowning in a sea of real life for the last few weeks and haven’t been able to catch all my usual prompt addictions but Friday has arrived and calm is somewhat restored so here is this weeks Haibun Thinking Challenge. Haibun is a Japanese literary form that combines one or more paragraphs of your written narrative (prose) with a concentrated (short) poem – the haiku. Hai stands for haiku, bun stands for prose. It’s a great way of getting your creative juices flowing, why don’t you follow the link and have a go.

This week’s film prompt is

Golly, did I hear you say you would be free if you could?

Gussy the Goose, Charlotte’s Web (2006)

Watching from the window, her face pressed tightly against the glass, a misty layer of breath trails against the pane. The cool moisture, like ink beneath her skin, as she fuses swirl after swirl with her fingertip, before blowing a little harder widening her canvas. Outside, the rain is still falling; rivulets of water that run down the side of the road and splash almost knee high off the pavement.

She taps at the raindrops from the inside out. She’s calmer now, her breathing steadier, almost normal. All that shouting, the noise, the pain in her head that brought on the blackness. There was no noise now. The stillness was insistent; continual, unyielding, almost suffocating her in darkness. Veiled echoes of blackness swam in her ears. She felt like she was drowning in a sea of shame; a tearful reproach against the blood red stain on the floor behind.

She wrapped her arms around her chest and shivered. A comforting sense of release enveloped her senses. She moved back from the window, stepped over his body and went to the kitchen. Taking out a mug from the cupboard she spooned in a teaspoon of instant coffee and plugged in the kettle. She picked up a damp wash cloth and swiped over some crumbs on the drainer. Her foot hit the pedal bin and she dropped the cloth into it. Spotting an empty can of tomatoes she reminded herself to get another few tins when she went shopping.

She sat  at the table, warming both hands around the mug and studied the body lying prostrate in the lounge. For twenty four years she’d dreamt of this. She’d prayed every night before she went to bed and woke every morning praying God had been listening. This morning she’d finally realised that God had enough on his plate and she’d have to create her own miracle. It was a shame about the knife though. She’d have to get rid of the whole set now. They were sterling silver and razor sharp, could cut through meat like butter. Even toughened old boot leather she thought. Anyway better get on; they’re coming to lay the concrete at 3.00.


A woman scorned,

Is a miscalculation,

Death is set in stone.




Cross my heart and hope to die,

I will not tell and I will not lie,

I will not run from fear and pain,

I will not walk away from blame.


I will not dream beyond my means,

I will not look for what’s unseen,

I will not hope for more than now,

I will not cry, I’ll make that vow.


I will not watch the world go by,

I will not question when or why,

I will not walk when I can run,

I will not talk if it could be sung.


I will not leave before you go,

I will not close that final door,

I will not morn when you are gone,

I will not grieve for what went wrong.


Cross my heart as I watch you die.

Promises made as I say goodbye.

The Other Side

I’m running late this week, somehow real life has got in the way, damn you…..  Any how, time for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. A 100 word flash fiction based on a weekly photo prompt. Get yourselves in, the waters lovely, follow the link to join the other 100+ swimmers every week.


Photo Copyright : Adam Ickes

Over the bridge or not, was it really her choice to make? The light slowly ebbed as a faint brush of lips touched on her forehead, then another on her lips. People moved forward hovering above, every one a whispered goodbye.  Each kiss to her forehead, her cheek or her lips stole a fragment or moment from a lifetime of memories; each one taking away a smile or a look, a joy or heartache. Their heads bowed in reverence as she took her last breath.

Dancing barefoot across the old wooden bridge, she smiled, for she knew she had made the right choice.