Response – JSW Prompt “Winter” 9-21-2017

Feel free to join in and respond to the prompt. Please try to keep your response under 300 words. If you reply, I will re-blog your post to my site (sometimes I am slow, but I get there).

Winter, Stanza I

He turned to look at her.  “Well, yeah, where else would I be?”

She hadn’t moved and he wasn’t sure if she wanted to hit him or throw her arms around his neck. To occupy his mind, in the meantime, he flipped the two pancakes on the griddle.

“You,” she accused, ‘were leaving.”

He considered a moment.  Glanced over at her.  “When you kick me out.”

She cocked her head. “What do mean when I kick you out? Not only did you tell me you were ‘so out of here,’ you also told me you wouldn’t be back.”

He flipped a pancake, focusing on his task.  “I lied.”

Sinking down into one of the chairs round the table, she ran her hands through her hair. A sign she was upset, as if he needed one.

He moved over to sit beside her. “Look, we had a fight, we both said things we didn’t mean. At least, I said things I didn’t mean…” Hoping she might jump in, but she didn’t.

“It was stupid fight and…. I’m sorry. I messed up.” He glanced at her face, seeing the tears in her eyes. “I mean it, Ra, I messed up.  I don’t want to be anywhere but with you.”

The tears fell.

“Can we…. try again?”

“I…” Something like pain, not sadness, crossed her face.

He took her hand.  “Don’t say anything yet.  Just think about it, okay?”


“Maybe I could say something about it?” A voice asked from the hall.

They both looked. A man stood there in sweat pants and nothing else. “You must be Daniel,” he said, stepping forward to offer his hand.

Daniel rose, accepting the hand. What he would not accept was the victory in the other man’s eyes.

“You gonna make breakfast for me, too?”


“Come on, babe,” Darren said, sliding an arm around her waist. “Or should I leave you two alone to work things out? Whatdaya say, Dan, need to work things out?”

“Actually,” Daniel replied, stepping back, avoiding Ra’s eyes, “No, I think… I think things are pretty well worked out.”

“Daniel,” Ra said, grabbing his arm, “please. Let me….”

“Explain? I think I get the point. We argued last night. I left. You hooked up with lover boy there.”

He wasn’t going to show the ripping, tearing, motions slicing right down through the middle of his heart. Turning away, he grabbed his coat, jerking it on as he strode through the door.

“Dan, wait!’ she called, hurrying into the cold after him.

Their breath wove frozen words they would never speak, hieroglyphs vanishing into the cold like exhaust from a car vanishing into the night. In the end, there was nothing to say.

Driving away, Daniel pulled out the two tickets he’d purchased for London.  Wanted to rip them up and throw them into the snow, but he didn’t.

He didn’t know how long it took a broken heart to heal, but he guessed a long time. Looked like he would be traveling alone.

For awhile.










JSW Prompt 2-28-2017




He calmed himself with effort. “So, what you are saying is this can’t be a crisis because you are TOO busy?”

“No, I am simply saying we can’t have a crisis. This may be a crisis but, because I am too busy today, you will simply have to schedule it in for another day.”

“Oh for God’s sake! Just when I thought there was no way for you to get any more conceited you come up with this shit.”

Thomas frowned.  “You know I don’t allow cursing in my office.”

Another long breath. Count to ten. Twenty. Forty. “Apparently you don’t allow much into your office. Certainly not anything practical.”

“Just get out and let me attend to my scheduled business.”

He stormed out, smile crossing his lips as soon as  the door closed behind him. Now for part two.


Friday Fictioneers 19 August 2016



Photo provided  by  C.E.Ayr 

It had been years since they’d found the wasp’s nest on the beach and taken it home. They were stars in their own orbit, blind to the rest of the world. Until they weren’t.

“Look, each chamber is separate, yet conjoined. We are the center  and each separate chamber is another aspect of our lives. Maybe your divorce is here and my first crush is here.”

“What happens when we run out of chambers?” he’d asked

She smiled sadly and never came back.



The opening sentence for the April 7th Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: “What is that peculiar smell?”  Please use this sentence (or this thought) somewhere in your flash. This challenge is open until 11:00 pm Friday night, April 15th, 2016.

To learn more, click here.

“What is that peculiar smell?”



“Hush.” A whisper. “He can hear you breathe.”

A head cocked. “So why,” in just as quiet a whisper, “am I worried about being quiet?”

“Because I’m tired of listening to you talk.”

“Oh!” Then a few second later. “Well, you didn’t have to be rude.”

“Trust me, that wasn’t rude. You’d know rude if I was rude.”

A few moments later, “So what was that?”


Ignored. “What was that?”

“What was hush?”

“No, what was that if it wasn’t rude.”

“Oh, me being polite.”

Snort. “You’re bonkers.”

“No, not me.”

“Yes you. Bonkers.”

“Would you…” Voice raising to a squeak then falling silent, paw over mouth.

“Hush now.”


“He can smell you.”


“Uh-oh…” Hurried. “It’s been  nice chatting but I’ve gotta…Run!” Diving back into the den with a squeak.

Jaws closed around a neck. Crunch.




Friday Fictioneers 4-1-2016

 cityPHOTO PROMPT © Marie Gail Stratford

He’d come to the city to find himself, but lost himself instead. There was no freedom in cold steel and asphalt. He stood atop the Marriott, looking down at the city imprisoning him. What he was doing here?

“Freedom,” Jeff offered, “is a word that lives inside you.”

He glanced back. “What does that mean?”

“Whatever you want.”

Was freedom flying until he hit ground? But which moment, freedom?

“Go home,” Jeff urged.

“I don’t have a home.”

“Home’s inside you, too.”

Jeff was right.  Home was inside, just like freedom.


“Waffles and jam?”

He smiled.  “On me.”

Where Did We Go Wrong?

“We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?”
William Golding, Lord of the Flies    

If I asked a hundred different people, I suspect I would get a hundred different answers to Mr Golding’s question. Pretty scary, if you ask me.

The real scary part is the fact a child is asking the question. So why, when they did everything they’d seem the adults around them do, wasn’t it working? If you haven’t read Lord of the Flies, you definitely should. Then again, I can’t imagine anybody who hasn’t read the book – or maybe it’s me being the William Golding fan I am.

What could possibly go wrong when children struggle to create their own society? How about everything.

The failure is not theirs. It is ours, the adults. Society is broken. I know many of you might not agree with this statement, but I can’t look at the world around me without knowing we are broken. How did we lose so many people into nothingness? Into drugs or gambling or drinking or any other activity meant to dull the mind and body against the world. Where are we that these things are necessary to dull the world? Where are we when it is acceptable for people to starve?

I’m not one of those ‘good ole days’ people. I know society has been breaking for as long as we’ve had a society. Or, to put it another way, society has been broken ever since one human raised hand against another.

War break society. Hatred breaks society. Drugs and gambling and drinking break society. Children beaten and abused break society. Women raped; beaten. Millions of dollars spent on wars and elections instead of housing the homeless, feeding the starving. One neighbor killing another over a sliver of land. One child killing another over shoes.

So, let’s not blame the children. Lord of the Flies shows the creation and breakdown of a society. Look at the long haul. It’s truth.

Society is broken because the first somebody, somewhere, raised a hand in jealousy or hatred or fear. And it continues to break because we can’t undo the cycle. So where do we start?

We start with the children. We don’t hate them or hit them or starve them or abandon them. We feed them, body and soul. Above all else, we love them. We teach them empathy. We teach them love and compassion and understanding. We teach them hate is wrong. Jealously is wrong. Killing is wrong.

Most of all we teach them they are loved. They are valued and valuable to the world. We teach them that, no matter what color or creed or race or gender, they matter.

I don’t know if this will solve the problem, but I know we have to try.

JSW Prompt 1-28-2016



Just Start Writing Prompt –  I’ve been doing these prompts since I started my blog. Feel free to jump in and add your own post. You can put them in the comments or create a pingback. Depending on how many respond, I will post them on my site.  If you decide to join me, thanks and have fun.



Quote For The Day 1-22-2016

Writing fiction is a solitary occupation but not really a lonely one.  The writer’s head is mobbed with characters, images and languages.

Hilma Wolitzer

Daily Post – Reason to Believe

Reason to Believe

“Well, Jane,” he said, walking into the break room in that salmon pullover I hated.  “What do you believe?”

“My name is not Jane and what do I believe about what?”

He cocked his head, almost smile tugging his lips. I hated that look; it made something inside me burn. He had a thing, a thing I didn’t understand, an I-can’t-stand-this-thing-but-I-don’t-even-know-what-it-is-thing. Yeah, that’s what he had.

Seemingly totally unconcerned with my glare, he moved to pour himself a cup of coffee. Moved is actually a thousand miles from what he did.  He stalked.  He prowled.  He glided. And all the time, watching me from the corner of his eye,  laughing.

I wanted to throw up my hands and have a fit.  I hated how he always got to me!  How the hell did he always get to me?

“Well,” I said slowly.  He never let me get away without answering.  “I believe you are an arrogant son of a bitch with no morals and no scruples and no…. concern for anybody else.”

He laughed, leaning back against the counter, long legs crossed at the ankles, body fit into his clothes as if they had been made on him. Off the rack, my ass.

“Morals and scruples,” he mused, watching me over the rim of his mug. “And no concern.  Pretty ugly.”

“As are you. And let me add, arrogant,”

“You said that one…”

“…a sexist pig, a prig, a conceited, egotistical bastard…and….”

“Keep on, Jane,” he  goaded.  “Don’t hold back.”

His words had the opposite affect; they shut me up.  I felt like crying but I didn’t know why.

He looked at me for a long moment, something unfamiliar in his eyes, and then he set down his mug.  “Thanks for the chat, Jane.  We’ll never speak of it again.”

Turning, he walked out the door.

Why did I want to cry?  Why did I want to pick up his mug and just hold it because it had touched some part of him?

The dullness was like a razor across his skin. He’d promised to make her hate him and he had. She hated him.  And now, she was safe.