After The Rain

5 Sep


She used to love to write. Poetry and short stories were her outlet, but that was before the storm.

A private message; someones “friendly” criticism.  “Embarrassing drivel ” they said…

The floodgate of self – doubt washed away her confidence leaving a path of devastation. She folded in upon herself and waited to die.

But..unexpectedly .. the sun came out one day. A beautiful warming glow.

Dare she write again ? The hurt still so evident. It will never be like before; reconstruction is , after all, just masking the damage hidden below. Scars never heal but they remind us, not of the pain inflicted, but of the strength it took to heal after the rain.171-09-september-4th-2016

Winter Blues

3 Mar

Written for

Sunday Photo Fiction: March 1, 2015

copyright - Joe Owens 2015

photo copyright – Joe Owens 2015

Winter Blues

Percy and his friends shudder visibly and try to turn their backs to the biting wind. On this seventeenth consecutive day of sub-zero weather, everyone’s nerves are frazzled. What possible reason could their leader have to call a meeting out here this morning? Has the cold affected his brain?


Paulie clears his throat and the flock falls silent

“I imagine you are wondering why I have called you here today..”

The ensemble coos in response

“I have made an amazing discovery” he says proudly puffing out his chest. “I have found a way for us to escape winter. See that warehouse across the street? I have been spying on them . Everything they have shipped out this week is headed to Mexico. We are going to stow away in one of their crates.”

With tears of joy they all fly over and manage to squeeze into a large box of oranges. All that is, except Percy.

As everyone knows, there are leaders and there are followers and fortunately Percy was neither. He sat on top of the “share an idea” sign and watched as the truck carrying his mates left the garage and headed north for Canada.



25 Feb

Our assignment:

Your prompt: drawer

Today’s form: ode



Inside my mind a chest of drawers

with treasures found within

like lady’s linen handkerchiefs

well-worn and dearly loved

the lingering scent of her perfume

her laugh like summer rain

the memory of her warm embrace

that brings my heart such pain

I keep her under lock and key

where she is safe from harm

and though our visit bittersweet

I’ll always love my Mom

Choose Your Own Adventure

23 Feb

Written for

Sunday Photo Fiction: February 22, 2015


Photo Copyright – Joe Owens 2015

Choose Your Own Adventure

“Do you remember those books you were always reading when you were a lad?” Mama asked between fits of coughing that left her spent.

“Choose your own adventure” I reply, raising the head of her hospital bed just slightly to help her breathe more easily.

“Sometimes life’s like that” she whispers. The setting sun sends a cascade of pinks and oranges flooding through the window and I barely notice her doctor come in and inject the contents of a syringe into the I.V.

Mama raises my hand to her lips and gently passes away. The heaving of her chest has stopped and the furrows of pain across her brow disappear as though by magic.

I look up at the doctor as he walks silently toward the door and I suddenly understand. Choose Your Own Adventure .. if you wish to die with dignity turn to page nine.

Waving Farewell

15 Feb

Written for:

Sunday Photo Fiction – February 15th 2015

Waves engulfing a lighthouse

“A perfect storm” the newspapers all touted. “It will be the storm of the century” the grim-faced announcer told his captive audience.

On the mainland, buildings are boarded up and residents  evacuated to higher ground. The lessons learned from the great tsunami in 2011 have not been forgotten.

When the word came in that we were to leave our post at Lion’s Head lighthouse but that one of us would have to stay behind to monitor wind speeds and the incoming tides, my decision was made in an instant.

I gathered my four colleagues together and told them to get their gear together as quickly as possible and make their way to our home office which was several miles inland. No amount of arguing would get me to change my mind.

They all shook my hand and hugged me  before driving away, honking the horn as they turned the bend for what would possibly be a final goodbye. Their words echoing in my head as they disappeared over the horizon. “Hero” they said “Brave and selfless”.

If they only knew how far from the truth that they are.  I have no fear of the imminent killer waves, for I know that death will be much quicker and merciful than from  the cancer that is eating away at my brain one painful day at a time. I am a coward.


“Statue” Of Limitations

8 Feb

written for:

Sunday Photo Fiction – February 8th 2015

Statue of Boudicca (Boadicea) in London, UK

“Happy Birthday lovey, ain’t she a beauty?” Martin says, pointing to the statue that has arrived in front of the house on a flat-bed truck.

“What in the love of Pete were you thinking? When I asked you for a statue for my garden I was talking about a small gnome or perhaps a wee frog..not THAT monstrosity. Take it back to where you got it.”

“But honey” he whined “I really like this one” he sticks out his bottom lip defiantly “we are keeping it and that’s all there is to it!”

“Don’t push your luck” she snapped back

Two weeks later the chariot and rider are lowered on to the freshly turned soil of Martin’s grave.

“Don’t you think it’s a little ostentatious?” queries the eldest son

“Not at all” replies the new widow “it’s just what he wanted.”




The Waiting Game

1 Feb

Sunday Photo Fiction – February 1st 2015

Posed skeleton in a shed

Héctor Miedo chanced a glimpse out of the cabin window. ” I know he’s still out there, I can feel it in my bones” he says squinting his good eye to get a better look.

His mates sigh in unison. They have been hiding in this  god – forsaken cabin for centuries now. None of them bold enough to challenge their captain. He was once known to have cleaved a man to his brisket for simply implying that he could perhaps suffer from irrational fears, after all..what danger could the Michelin man actually pose?

“Perhaps” the captain says , his voice quavering, “we can wait a little longer to be sure..”

Just outside the window his nemesis waits patiently …



Story Time

26 Jan

Written for:

Sunday Photo Fiction – January 25th 2015

A book shop that is no longer there

Feeling alone and sorry for herself on the eve of her eighty – first birthday, Lillian wandered aimlessly up and down streets where she normally never went. As she walked past a used book store the sight of a calico cat curled up in the window napping enticed her to go in.

It was not what she expected. No musty smells nor a speck of dust anywhere. Shelves of neatly displayed books were flanked by large wing back chairs and over-stuffed sofas, many of them occupied by patrons; their faces hidden behind their reading.

In a far corner a child waved to her . Somehow he seemed familiar so she approached him. As she got close to the boy her heart lurched in her chest. Standing before her was her brother Edward who had drowned when he was but a wee child. In his hands he held a dog-eared copy of The Velveteen Rabbit.

“Please Lilly, don’t be afraid” the boy begged, his eyes filling with tears “I have been waiting for you for such a long time. Won’t you please come and read to me?”

From behind their books her parents smiled..


The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams




18 Jan

Written for:

Sunday Photo Fiction – January 18th 2015

A pre-Victorian building that is now one of the major banks in the UK.


It is an unremarkable building, no different from the others around it, but since moving here three years ago it has intrigued me.

Pedestrians will cross the street to avoid passing before it but when I questioned my neighbors about this behavior they became close-mouthed and simply said that I should do the same. A couple of braver souls referred to it as a cult, once they got you in there would be no chance of escape.

Not being overly superstitious I refused to detour past. Walking along the property with abandon, I could hear a light tapping as I passed by. After about a week of this, I ventured a peek..most of the curtains were pulled back and the inhabitants stood smiling at me as they tapped pencils on the window panes. How Bizarre!

As the days turned into weeks I began to bravely wave my hand as I sauntered past and they, in turn, would return the greeting.

One rainy afternoon as I returned home from work I stopped dead in my tracks. An elephant (yes I said elephant) beckoned me from an upstairs window. Unable to resist, I boldly made my way up the walk and knocked on the door of Alaistair’s Home For Wayward Writers.

Meet The Parents

14 Jan

For: Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright - Jan Wayne Fields

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Jan Wayne Fields

Meet The Parents

“Are you sure the table settings are spotless? he asks, watching for his parent’s arrival.

“Absolutely”she replies from the bedroom “I washed and polished everything by hand.”

“Good! Make sure you put on the dress I chose for you and I want your hair done up in a bun; not hanging messy on your shoulders. Please go easy on the make-up and for heaven’s sake NO perfume, my parents are very particular about that.”

“Anything else your majesty?” she snaps

“No, nothing. You’ll look perfect, they are going to love you as much as I do.”