Tag Archives: Death

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.

“Surviving Childhood”

16 Sep

Written for:

Sunday Photo Fiction: September 14th 2014

Rail track taken in colour and adjusted to sepia via the after touch menu on the camera to age the image


Surviving Childhood

My siblings and I were born to a mother who made a tobacco company rich. Pregnancy did not deter her from her favorite pastime,  our infancy  spent in a haze of smoke. When we were kids mom would send my sister and I out for the day. We each carried a sandwich filled with peanut butter and jelly and a mason jar containing koolaid. We never worried about peanut allergies or sugar intake back then. Our days  filled with exploring the woods nearby, nobody feared being kidnapped by sexual deviants, everyone knew who the “creepy” neighbor was and we always avoided him. We played on train tracks that were heavily doused in d.d.t. to keep down the weeds. We pulled chunks off of the salt licks in the farmer’s fields and ate them and played with the mercury we got by breaking open thermometers. We rode our bicycles without helmets, sometimes three to a bike, yet we managed to survive. But now my sister is gone. Not the results of a damaging childhood but at the hand of someone who thought he could drive, eat his lunch, and chat on his cell phone all at the same time. A multitasking God, so to speak. My sister, rest her soul, wiped out by an idiot.

…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.


Gone Fishing

13 Jul

Written for :

Sunday Photo Fiction: July 13th 2014

68 07 July 13th 2014

Henry rowed his boat out to his favorite spot in the middle of the cove. At seventy-five years old it took him a little longer each time he came. No matter, he figured he still had a few good years of fishing ahead of him. It was his fondest wish to catch ” old George” reportedly the largest bass ever seen in these parts. He had never spotted it himself but had heard the stories of fellow fishermen who had almost landed the brute.

Suddenly his pole bent in a large arc as it caught on something far below. “No freaking way..” he thought excitedly as he slowly reeled in his prize. It took monumental effort to turn the handle yet strangely enough the fish did not put up a fight.

Suddenly his catch bobbed to the surface causing him to jump back in horror and nearly fall in the water. He found himself face to face with the bloated body of his wife who he had  tearfully reported missing a month before.

“Damn” he said to himself ” I knew I should have used a heavier stone..”

Angel Yard

26 Jun
I watch as pedestrians purposely avert their eyes as they pass the alley, as though  ignoring the blood stained wall can erase the horror of what happened to me here. Some may whisper a tiny prayer but if most were asked they would tell you that they are thankful it was no one of importance.
The foul deed, as yet unpunished, did not touch them. Besides, one less street urchin is not such a bad thing is it? At least the little beggar’s worries are over.Homeless children are, after all, expendable.
My murderer is watching too. His attention focused on a little red-head clutching her Mother’s hand. He licks his lips in anticipation. I was just the appetizer


Wendy’s letter

22 Jun

Written for:

Sunday Photo Fiction: June 22nd 2014

65 06 June 22nd 2014

photo copyright: A. Forbes



Dear Mommy

last week when you left for work and did not come home daddy said it was cuz you have gone to live with god in heaven. Why did you have to go? Was it cuz I was bad and left my dirty clothes on the bathroom floor? I am sorry. Daddy looks sab  sad and crys a lot now and he is always getting mad at Penny and me. I think it’s cuz he misses you. We miss you too. My birthday is next week and you promised to make me a princess cake with sprinkles. Can you please come home soon?

Love Wendy


The Hanging

25 May
Written for :

Sunday Photo Fiction: May 25th 2014

61 05 May 25th 2014

I sat quietly on the peak of the jailhouse roof and waited patiently for him to appear. This moment had been five years in the making and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Hector scraped his plate with the plastic fork to get the last morsel of the steak and eggs he had ordered for his last meal. He had taken his time eating but he knew he could not hold them off forever. His hanging was inevitable.

The priest had come and gone away empty-handed. There would be no confession. They may have convicted him of the crime but he fully intended to take his secret to the grave.

Finally in the brightness of the noonday sun the prisoner appeared on the gallows. A hood was placed over his head and the noose was tightened. It was over in seconds.

I looked down to where my parents sat holding hands and crying. Their child’s murderer had finally paid with his life but my bones will never be found.





21 May

Written for : Friday Fictioneers

23 May 2014

PHOTO PROMPT Copyright - Erin Leary

PHOTO PROMPT Copyright – Erin Leary

Watching the morning mist rise from the brook, I try desperately to swallow the lump in my throat that threatens to choke me. The aching in my chest so intense I think my heart will explode. I struggle to regain my composure. “He was just a dog” I tell myself angrily fighting back tears.

But he was so much more than that. My best friend and confidant. My motivation to get out of bed on days that I would have spent beneath the covers feeling sorry for myself.

My eyes shift to the mound of freshly turned earth and I weep.

This story written in honor of our beautiful grand-dog who passed yesterday after a nine month battle with lymphoma. Rest in peace dear Oden. You will be missed.


Tan Renga Challenge # 35

17 May

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #35, Managua’s “let the ravens come”

  Credits: Raven
Here is the haiku by Managua which is our first stanza (5-7-5) of this Tan Renga.
let the ravens come
let them smile as they pick the flesh
from the battlefield

Managua of “Fresh From a Hermit’s Forest

tan renga:

let the ravens come
let them smile as they pick the flesh
from the battlefield
let life’s blood like river flow
as death rattles fall silent


Heir To The Throne

30 Apr

Written for: Friday Fictioneers

2 May 2014

Copyright - Renee Heath

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Renee Heath

The Queen’s labor had gone on all evening and into the wee hours of the morning. Her attendants lost count of how many candles had been lit but streams of cooled wax attested to the long night. Finally the child arrived. The doctor rushed out to seek the King..

Sire, you must go to your Queen immediately. The birth was long and difficult. She has lost a lot of blood and we are not sure we can save her.

What of my newborn son? My heir to the throne?

Sire, the child is a girl

Then they both shall die