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Cold Day In Hell

5 Dec

Written for Friday Fictioneers

5 December 2014

flowers with Ice-Janet Webb (2)

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright Janet Webb


“It’ll be a cold day in hell before I let you leave.” Father’s slurred words interspersed with the snapping of his belt as he swung the buckle at mother’s face. Luckily, in his drunken state, his aim was not as good as usual.

We children crept off to bed, desperate to remain unnoticed until he passed out. Tomorrow would be tears, forgive me’s, kiss and make- up. We’d seen it a million times.

My sister woke me in the dark and I shivered despite the August moon.Wrapping myself in a blanket I looked out the window to see what had her so excited…


Wishing For An Early Spring

16 Nov

Written for :

Sunday Photo Fiction – November 16th 2014

Weird shaped icicles

Harold slid Mam’s rocking chair closer to the window and into the patch of golden sunlight that crept across the polished wood floor. He sat down facing outdoors and watched with child-like excitement as the melting snow and ice formed stars along the gutter’s edge. He took a sip of his tea, closed his eyes and made a wish.

“Star light, star bright..” he chuckled out loud. Mam had taught him to wish upon stars but of course not many of his wishes had come true. No matter how hard or how loud he had made them, Mam would still beat him when the smell of whiskey was heavy on her breath. Now at the age of fifteen his life had finally changed for the better.

Pops had gone on a business trip and while he had been away Mam had deserted her son, leaving in the middle of the night with only her purse. The authorities had been called in but almost four months later she still had not been located.

Harold rose from his seat and made his way down to the basement. Behind a wood pile was a long-forgotten chest freezer. Harold cracked it open and stared in at his mother’s body frozen in the foetal position. “We’re in luck Mam” he whispered “ground should be soft enough for digging in less than a month..”


…No Evil…

17 Aug

Written for :

Sunday Photo Fiction: August 17th 2014

73 08 August 17th 2014…No Evil…

He sits at the edge of the cliff and revisits his childhood, remembering his neighbors the meerkats. Thinking about how they would watch him from the shadows and whisper among themselves, never willing to get involved. “A man’s home is his castle. What goes on in their house is not our concern.”

They would raise the volume on their televisions to drown out the noises and avert their eyes from the bruises. “Poor children” they would say, but they never – ever reached out a helping hand.

He shakes his head, trying to erase the memories. Standing up he takes a deep breath and slowly approaches the edge of the escarpment and shoves the lifeless body of his father over the edge.


Getting The Boot

26 May

Written for:

Light and Shade Challenge Monday 26th May 2014

Image courtesy of wax115 on


As I walked in the door I could hear the voices of my roommate and her boyfriend coming from the kitchen. Arguing again.
If you want us to stay together you’ll do this for me
I told you, I can’t, I still owe my parents for the last time
I mean it, do it or else. You know you’re not much to look at. If I date you it is out of pity. Look at you..who else would want you ? You owe me this.
I’m sorry, but I just can’t help you this time
I cringe as the sound of a hard slap and then punching comes from the other room. I try to move away unseen but I am too late. Paul enters the hallway and heads for the door. As he bends down to retrieve his boots I can clearly see the hand mark on his cheek and what looks like the beginning of a black eye. He tries his best to hide his tears as he walks out in his bare feet.
Embarrassed I look away. Why does he let her do that to him?


1 May

you point your finger at me

call me  “liar”

but your word means nothing

– you mean nothing

I long ago made my peace

I accept that no-one cared

that backs were turned

that ears were covered

that bruises were ignored

that secrets were whispered

If I am a liar

I will be judged

just as he was

standing before God

not you



20 Mar

Haibun Thinking: Week 9 – March 18th 2014

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

Gussy the Goose, Charlotte’s Web (2006)


At the age of fifteen, I discovered my freedom where it had been buried all along; hidden inside me behind the fear and lack of self-worth.
That bitter cold November day, I saw my father for the first time for what he truly was. A cowardly bully who vented his alcohol-fueled rage upon his children. He would often tell us that we were a great disappointment to him and it was his shame that caused him to drink. He abused us because we deserved it.
On that day, he raised his hand to me for the last time. Without a word, I walked upstairs to the bedroom and called the police. Of this I am not proud. What kind of daughter sends her father to jail?
But something else happened that day. I stopped allowing him to victimize me and in some strange way I think he respected me for it.
teenager discovers within
the secret to freedom
independence day
Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free,
“Me & Bobby McGee”


Key To Her Heart

12 Jan

Written for : Sunday Photo Fiction: January 12th 2014

42 01 January 12th 2014

Photo copyright : A Forbes

Key To Her Heart

He knew the moment he met her that she was different from the other girls he had dated. He could tell by the way she looked at him that she was interested but her body language screamed NO. Not that she was prissy, she reminded him more of an injured bird, but he seemed unable to get close.

His pals referred to her as “the ice princess” but something about her kept him coming back. She haunted him in his dreams and occupied most of his waking hours until he had to face the blatant truth. He had fallen in love.

Fearful of losing his chance, he spent a lot of time just listening to her…really listening. It was not so much the things she said but what she did not say that held the key.

A childhood of abuse and misery with no one to love or love her back had made her determined to never let anyone past her wall of protection. She did not know how to love. The gate  remained locked against all predators.

Eventually our Romeo did win his Juliette. He discovered the key to her heart was deceptively simple. Respect.

locked beyond the gate

her heart patiently awaited

the keeper of the key

Ligo Haibun Challenge 04/10-10/10

8 Oct

Ligo Haibun Challenge 04/10-10/10

Stepped on eggshells


The physical scars will heal after a time, unfortunately the repeated injuries to the neck and legs will eventually take their toll. Even the emotional abuse will slowly fade into my memory popping up less and less often until I convince myself ( wrongly) that I am finally over it.

The real torture is the guilt I still carry. What did I do to make him hate me so deeply ? Can anyone hate that much without reason?  Why did Mother allow him to hurt us by ignoring his actions? What was my part in this? So many questions that will never be answered.

I hear others speaking about things they did when they were children and I realize that we were no different, yet we were a world apart. We lived every day in fear of making the slightest error that would lead to a deserved punishment. A childhood spent walking on egg shells.

mother had the strength

to protect one child

pity she had three

Seeking Freedom

21 Jul


When I was young I would sometimes lie on my back in bed, pull the sheet up over my head, and pretend I was dead.

From the safety of my “coffin” I could close my eyes and imagine myself rising above the clouds, my worries falling away below me like raindrops as I drifted up to Heaven.

For a short time I was free from the constant bombardment of physical and emotional abuse.

Back then, I was not afraid to die, I was afraid of living.

looking at my past

I am frightened for the child

who dwells within it


Trifecta: Week Eighty

5 Jun

She never knew the love of a father, that was not the card she was dealt. Hers was cruel and abusive, fueled on excessive alcohol and the desire to hurt. Living with him was a tightrope act with no net.

When he died she asked the funeral director if she could be present at the cremation. He found it a little unusual but agreed thinking that this was her way of saying farewell to her beloved father.

She just wanted to be damn sure he wasn’t coming back. I guess that makes her a freak.

FREAK (noun)

a : a sudden and odd or seemingly pointless idea or turn of the mind


b : a seemingly capricious action or event

archaic : a whimsical quality or disposition