Losing my way

The image shows a winding road, overhung by branches of a big tree. You can see greenery on both sides of the road and wildflowers.


An open road
so many possibilities
but without you
I have no direction.

The way ahead
beckons
but without you
I am lost.

We always trod
life’s path together
but now, without you
I don’t know which way to turn.

~~~~~~~~

Image credit: Free photo
The image shows a winding road, overhung by branches of a big tree. You can see greenery on both sides of the road and wildflowers.

Written in response to Sadje‘s What Do You See #135 photo prompt

The Jade Camel #17

Previously

Gary paced the floor in front of his girlfriend, Gina, struggling to regain his composure after speaking to Joey – the moment the interview had ended he’d grabbed his jacket and sprinted back to their flat, ‘I have to get the camel off Joey!’

‘Aye, aye, what’s the shouting about?’ Bob entered the sitting room breathing heavily, having taken the stairs two at a time, followed by Fingers, his pet monkey, ‘we only took a little detour to fetch that paper for me Nan.’

‘Bob, mate, I need your help… it’s about the camel,’ Gary grabbed his friend’s arm, ‘we have to hurry!’

A moment later, Gary and Gina piled into Bob’s van, ‘assuming we get the camel back, we need to make a plan to get rid of it, we can’t dump something like that in the trash,’ she shouted, gripping an agitated Fingers as they sped off.

Bob pulled in behind a large midnight-blue car; the man who was leaning against its glossy bonnet calmly lit a cigarette with an elegant silver lighter and turned towards them, a malevolent glint in his blue-grey eyes.

‘One thing at a time,’ said Bob, ‘we have to get past him first.’

next episode


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: DUMP, TRASH, REGAIN
Denise Farley of Girlie On The Edge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: DETOUR

More #SixSentenceStories here!

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Photo credit: illustration from a book somewhere on my bookshelves which has mysteriously disappeared🐪

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Broken Reflection

The image shows a person holding a piece of broken mirror in which their face is partially reflected.

In those days
when young and impressionable
I pinned my heart and hopes
on false promises
delivered by your silken tongue.


On that day
in the heat of the moment
I was carried away
in rumpled sheets
transported by your touch.


Alas, those champagne dreams
were soon shattered.


You stole a little piece of me
all that’s left
a bitter-sweet memory
a broken reflection.

~~~~~~~~

Image credit: Amine M’Siouri @ Pexels
The image shows a person holding a piece of broken mirror in which their face is partially reflected.

Written in response to Sadje‘s What Do You See #134 photo prompt

The Jade Camel #16

Previously

Ceridwen gazed out of the open window watching the pink May blossom float like confetti over the path outside her flat and inhaling the yeasty smell from Cain’s Brewery, which was carried on the same soft breeze; Cullen, purring on her lap, stretched out his front paws, kneaded her thigh for a moment, then curled up again, his purr drifting to silence, only to be replaced by a louder, throatier purr as a sleek, midnight-blue Silver Shadow glided to a halt outside; a vehicle which was definitely out of place in the neighbourhood.

The driver’s door opened and an immaculately dressed silver-haired man got out, carefully adjusting his white shirt cuffs a precise half-inch beyond his grey-wool sleeves as he watched four strange squat little men descend from the car.

Ceridwen craned forward and Cullen sprung from her lap, jumping onto the window sill to observe the scene below.

As the four little men gathered around him, the silver-haired man stared upwards, his gaze meeting Ceridwen’s; Cullen’s tail began to twitch.

The first of the strange little men advanced to the front door and applied a doughy finger to the bell labelled five.

A low growl stirred in Cullen’s throat.

next episode


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: DOUGH, KNEAD, YEAST
Denise Farley of Girlie On The Edge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: CONFETTI

Join us at the #SixSentenceCafeAndBistro for more stories

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Photo credit: illustration from a book somewhere on my bookshelves which has mysteriously disappeared🐪

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The lightning tree

The image shows a crooked tree with bare branches. In the background stars in the sky can be seen forming streaks in a circular fashion.

We called it the lightning tree. Stunted and blackened it stood resolute, stark against the moon-bright night, while shooting stars circled wildly over the soft, velvet plain. Here we farmed, here cattle roamed over long-stemmed grass and here we were happy.

but drought-stricken land
thirsted for seven summers:
grass withered, we fled.

The lightning tree still stands, its final branch fallen, the stars the only witnesses. Finally, the rains return, falling softly, pattering on the parched land, washing over sun-bleached rocks and the desolate dried-up plain.

the ground drinks deeply
yellow and pink flowers bloom
but no-one will see.

The lightning tree still stands, but no-one sees but the stars.

~~~~~~~~

Image credit: Tasos Mansour @ Unsplash
The image shows a crooked tree with bare branches. In the background stars in the sky can be seen forming streaks in a circular fashion.

Written in response to Sadje‘s What Do You See #133 photo prompt

Bob makes Scouse (a Jade Camel out-take)

a jade camel figurine

‘Home cooking? eh mate, you kept that talent quiet,’ says Gary, inhaling appreciatively as he peers around the kitchen door.

‘It’s me Nan’s recipe*,’ Bob squints at the temperature control on the oven and turns it down a notch, ‘this my way of thanking you and Gina for letting me and Fingers move in, now that Lucy’s off with that Pierre on a cruise ship,’ he wheels around, not an easy task for a man of his build within the confines of a cramped kitchen, ‘whoa, Fingers, gimme that!’ he addresses the mischievous-looking monkey who’s edging closer to the stove top, waving a wooden spoon in the air.

Then Bob catches the changing expression on his friend’s face, ‘is it the story?’ he’s referring to the latest episode in their author’s Six Sentence Story serial, ‘I said to be careful what you wish for, didn’t I?’

Gary shrugs, ‘yeah, it’s brought it all back, beating up that guy, then afterwards with Gina… you know,’ he stares at the kitchen wall, remembering.

‘But it was me who really wanted a part in her new little story, babe, not you,’ Gina, who’s just appeared on the landing, wraps her arms around Gary’s waist, ‘remember, that’s all in the past; what you did was all the fault of the camel, all you have to do is go with the flow of her story, okay?’

‘And get rid of that camel,’ Cynthia’s voice drifts up from the hallway.

~~~~~~

This has been my second offering this week for Denise’s Six Sentence Story Challenge where this week’s prompt word was control. It’s also another window on the world that some my lead characters inhabit. As some of you have already discovered, they lead lives beyond the confines of their book.

*Nan’s recipe for scouse, a fine old Liverpool tradition (as described by Bob):

You take a couple of large onions, some nice big spuds, a tray of stewing steak and a couple of fat carrots, maybe a bit of swede, and a beef Oxo cube – make up about a pint. If your minted, you can use more meat. If you’re feeling adventurous, add a bay leaf.

Peel the veg, slice the onions, chop the spuds into big chunks, same with the carrots and swede. Trim the steak and chop into chunks.

Get a large casserole dish that’ll go on the hob and in the oven, lob in a lump of lard, or a splodge of oil. Brown the meat in batches and put on the side. Now fry the onions until they’re going brown, but don’t let them burn. Throw the meat back in. Add the carrots and the stock. Stir, put the lid on and slide into the oven at about 300F / 150C / Gas Mark 2. Check each hour to make sure it doesn’t try out. Top up from the kettle if you need to. It’ll probably take about 3 hours for everything to go nice and soft.

Nan serves with beetroot or pickled red cabbage. I prefer thick-sliced white bread with butter.

I cooked this last weekend. Maybe a dish to add to the chalkboard at the SSC&B?

The Jade Camel #15

Previously

Joey, flush with his wad of winnings, tucked into the Philharmonic’s lunch-time special, a steaming bowl of meaty scouse*, congratulating himself on his escape.

He’d only just started on his second glass of stout, when he remembered he was due to sign on; he gulped the smooth liquid down, just as the original antique clock hanging above the bar was beginning to strike two: he was already late.

Gary, the counter supervisor, hadn’t been amused, so much so that Joey had found himself staring back at him across a sticky Formica table in Interview Room One; Joey looked down at his bitten fingernails, ‘sorry, I must’ve left me card at home’ he muttered.

To Joey’s surprise, Gary slid his UB40 across the table, ‘listen Joey, I brought you in here for a warning, but it’s not about being late,’ Gary’s grip on the table edge tightened, ‘it’s about the jade camel, trust me, mate, you’re better off without it.’

Joey held up his hands, ‘if that’s all, I’ll be going.’

Gary, rapidly losing control, flew round the table and grabbed Joey by the lapels, ‘I mean it, mate, it’s like it’s cursed; bad people are coming after you for it.’

next episode


*I’ve an idea one of my characters will be sharing their recipe for this iconic Liverpool delicacy sometime soon

Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: ORIGIN, BEGIN, START
Denise Farley of Girlie On The Edge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: CONTROL

Many more #SixSentenceStories here – why not bring your own?

Three Things Challenge and Six Sentence Story logos

Photo credit: illustration from a book somewhere on my bookshelves which has mysteriously disappeared🐪

Different Worlds

The image shows shows a well-dressed young man of African descent sitting on stairs. His hands are gripping the railing and he is staring intently at the camera.

living here
in the same building
you don’t stop
we don’t talk

torment lurks within my soul
you just don’t see it

sitting here
alone on the stairs
you’re aware
of my gaze

sorrow lies behind these eyes
you just won’t see it

existing
in separate worlds
minds don’t meet
hearts don’t open

but then, behind the façade
I see your sadness

~~~~~~~~

Image credit: Caleb Williams @ Unsplash
The image shows shows a well-dressed young man of African descent sitting on stairs. His hands are gripping the railing and he is staring intently at the camera.

Written in response to Sadje‘s What Do You See #132 photo prompt

The Jade Camel #14

Previously

Aurora’s carmine lips formed a determined line, as she received Patterson’s latest up-date; she favoured him with an ice-blue stare: ’and when might I expect the camel’s return?’

The suave, silver-haired man spoke smoothly: ‘a plan is being put into place.’

On the south-side of the city, in the DHSS Office on High Park Street, Gary glared across a yellowing Formica table-top at his subordinate Reg, a short, squat individual whom he’d never taken to, waiting for his response.

‘It was just a favour, like, for a mate; Joey Moran’s got something of his and me mate wants it back,’ Reg shrugged, ‘said it was valuable – even showed me a picture of it – I dunno what’s so special about a little curled-up camel statue, it looked more like a turd to me.’

‘Your mate has Mr Moran’s UB40 but he doesn’t know his address, so you took it upon yourself to look it up in the office records?’ As Gary spoke, dread rose from the pit of his stomach – a curled up camel – his fingers gripped the edge of the table-top, purple veins standing out on the backs of his hands – surely not that same evil little statue?

next episode


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: YELLOW, PURPLE, BLUE
Denise Farley of Girlie On The Edge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: TERM

More #SixSentenceStories here!

Three Things Challenge and Six Sentence Story logos

Photo credit: illustration from a book somewhere on my bookshelves which has mysteriously disappeared🐪

Summoning the Sun

The image shows two young girls standing outdoors looking at a book which both of them are holding jointly.

our night-time terrors
evaporate with the dew
dispersed by the sun’s first pink rays

greet the day
with sweet voices raised
welcome in the dawn

each new day
let’s summon the sun
with a song
~~~~~~~~

Image credit: Ben White @ Unsplash
The image shows two young girls standing outdoors looking at a book which both of them are holding jointly.

Written in response to Sadje‘s What Do You See #131 photo prompt