Tag Archives: appearances

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.”





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.


12 Jan

95 01 January 11th 2015

“I’m thinking this was not such a great idea” he says holding back her hair as she spews the contents of her stomach over the railing.

“I just need to get my sea legs” she replies weakly between wretches.

This was supposed to be their romantic honeymoon. A seven-day cruise on the most expensive ship that they could afford. “Maybe we should just forget it? What’s it going to be like when the ship finally sets sail?”

“I’ll be fine, honestly” she replies, her face turning greener, as  Titanic II slowly casts off…

written for:

Sunday Photo Fiction – January 11th 2015

Beings Of Light

5 Jan

Before I begin I would like to wish you health and happiness in this new year.

I an so pleased with this week’s photo. It is no secret that I believe in angels-  both earthly and spiritually. I have two guardian angels to whom I am greatly appreciative..

Written for:

Sunday Photo Fiction – January 4th 2015

94 01 January 4th 2015His Mother was sick with the flu so Alain offered to go the airport in the storm to pick up his sister who was arriving for Thanksgiving. Mom had insisted that he take her car since it had four-wheel drive and he had asked his friend Martin to come along in case they got stuck and needed to push.

It was certainly a “Mom car”. Gas and wiper fluid both full.  the interior clean in spite of the foul weather they had had, and a large pewter angel clipped to the sun visor.

They set off early in heavy sleet which quickly turned to freezing rain. Alain drove slowly and carefully, there was no hurry, Chantal knew they were on their way and would be waiting for them.

Suddenly they saw the rear end of a jack-knifed truck looming toward them. With ice beneath their wheels they were unable to avoid colliding with the trailer as it slid in front of them, seemingly in slow-motion. Then..as if by a miracle, the truck driver managed to straighten out his rig and it barely grazed the car mirror on its way by.

The two young men were badly shaken. Alain pointed to the angel. “I guess she did her job” he laughed nervously. Martin reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out a tiny pink angel and shows it to his friend. “Maman insisted that I take this with me..”

<other fine stories found here


22 Dec

Written for :

Sunday Photo Fiction – December 21st 2014

92 12 December 21st 2014

When I emigrated to Mars in the late fall of 2020 I  discovered my niche. With a large group of like-minded neighbors we founded our own community of Humbug. As the civic leader it was my responsibility to see to it that no Christmas paraphernalia found it’s way in.

Holliday greetings were seen on the same scale as a filthy cuss and subject to a public mouth washing beneath the bright lights of town square. Social media was forbidden to engage in the yearly spat that took place back on earth  between the season’s greetings and merry christmas factions.

With no  brightly lit trees, no tacky light shows to pollute the neighborhood, and no chunky men in ill fitting velour suits; life was good. Until..

The blaring of sirens woke me from my  strange dream. Trying to shake the vision of dancing lollipops from my brain I stumbled to the window and shoved my head out to try and see what the commotion was all about. As I looked toward the sky, a  sleigh pulled by reindeer passed before Phobos and Deimos. “That’s impossible” I muttered to myself. The rest, as they say, is history…

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…


Don’t Shoot ..

23 Nov

Written for :

Sunday Photo Fiction – November 23rd 2014

88 11 November 23rd 2014

As the first rays of light needle their way through the pines, the twitter of an early bird cuts through the forest. I shiver despite the three layers of clothing I am wearing, dampness settling around me like a wet blanket. I have been here for hours in my hiding place, barely moving ; my eyes riveted to the spot where I have been leaving apples and carrots for the last couple of weeks. Now as dawn settles in  I know that my wait will soon be over.

Then I hear them approach, hesitant at first, but the scent of my offerings soon bring them in to full view. Several white tail deer are in my line of sight but they are not what holds my interest. A little to their left stands a magnificent buck. I raise my arms slowly, aim at him and shoot.

The almost imperceptible sound of my Nikon sends the troupe bounding into the woods but I grin like a fool. I finally got a picture of Rudolph.

Click on the blue frog and enjoy !


20 Oct

Haibun Thinking – October 14th 2014

Grown up, and that is a terribly hard thing to do.
It is much easier to skip it
and go from one childhood to another.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald


A young cavalier climbed upon the black stallion and as the carousel began to turn he reached out to grasp the brass ring. Decades passed in ups and downs, an eternal loop without beginning or end, but still his arm remained extended trying to snatch the prize.
As time wore on,  and out of frustration, he began lashing out  angrily at those who love him. He began to let his inability to succeed eat away at his health and his soul. The older he got the further away the ring became.
Sadly, as our rider and his steed head into the sunset years he is still unaware that he has held the prize in his hands since birth. The greatest gift of all, slips slowly through his fingers.
The gift of     family
seeking  his pleasure
in ownership and wealth
a man’s downfall