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Five simple questions

Five simple questions can release the insane back into society. Do they walk amongst you?

My name is Dominic Melvyn, and I am a criminal psychologist. Today, I am at a criminal medical institution where of five patients I was scheduled to meet, I have seen three of them. All the inmates are, I suppose insane. They are in here for their own good, kept away from society as they pose a danger. I am helping in their reformation, pointing them in the right direction until they are able...Read On

2

Ghost

A Halloween photo prompt

It's an old house of history and antiques with a Jane Austin and Bram Stoker feel to it. A bed and breakfast, I could not pass up. It's like a movie in black and white, aged like a fine wine, the creaking floors and the whistling wind are an ambiance to appreciate. I never imagined I would be here alone, nor for a robbery I am not hurt and they are long gone. I am under a sheet looking much...Read On

1

The Long Road Home. Chapter 11.

“Are we in trouble, Maria?” Katarina asked quietly...

Rome. November 28 th 1943   As the sun began to set, Katarina and Maria continued with the task of ensuring that the patients were ready for the big move the following day. According to their orders, ambulances would be provided at first light ready to begin the transfer to the railhead where two hospital trains would be waiting to take them on the long journey back to Germany....Read On

3

Tightrope

on a tightrope with unseen safety net of love below

I tried to tell her to be cautious, to understand it's a dangerous world out there. And with those words to ponder, I let her go. And she flew, cllimbed, and explored, always pushing her limits, on the tightrope, of life. What she and the rest of you can't see, is I am here for her should she fall, should she need a safety net, loving arms extended, just off camera, ready.  ...Read On

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Mercenary meet the parents

Mercenary meet the parents

Mrs. Bucannon appeared to be a sensible person. She wore a simple gown and tasteful jewelry. If she wore makeup, I couldn't tell. She was a blond version of Grace, and her icy blue eyes were looking at me strangely.   A pair of screaming females met Grace at the entrance to the parlor and whisked her off for girl talk. I breathed a sigh of relief as they left the room. Contrary to...Read On

4

The Red Dress

One woman, in particular, stood out from the crowd.

Back in the spring, my husband and I went to visit a 1940s Weekend. There were many people there dressed in the fashions and uniforms of those days. There were vehicles and stalls and it really was a wonderful weekend. An escape from the humdrum repetitiveness of my daily life. As I walked, arm in arm with my husband, Philip, I took in the sights, sounds and even tastes of the Forties....Read On

3

Wishing For Home - Chapter Two Meet the Flints

Danny discovers the hardship of being with the Flints

Approaching the cottage from the long country lane, with the sunlight shining directly on it, it held so much promise. Behind it was an inviting deep wood, and in one corner of the garden hens strutted, clucked and pecked behind mesh. Across open fields, corn gold in the summer lay the farm where Frankie was staying. Rabbits appeared all the time, stoats and foxes could be seen from time...Read On

3

Leather and Lace Part Deux (two)

Leather and Lace

Two personalities reside in this body one is playful and sassy - the other more straight-laced one we will call leather the other we will call lace often competing for love as leather likes a man of strength and lace likes soft hands and an embrace together when entwined passion takes over time and space just as before one being more playful the other still straight-laced when combined...Read On

7

Extreme Mislabelling For Desired Effect

Variety is the spice of life, but laughter is the best medicine...

“What’s with the long face,” I said to my horse-faced son. Okay, that didn’t happen, nor does he have a horse's face, even though he’s the son of a jackass. My daughter, on the other hoof, doesn’t take after me – she is me. She refers to my beloved, Leonard Cohen, as Leonard Colon . Grrr. HEY! Why, oh why, is everything on this site so darn down in the dumps? This isn’t the dark blue...Read On

3

Wishing For Home - Chapter One - School trouble

Danny Rogan finds being in an unfamiliar school hard to take

Danny Rogan, nine years and three months old, was sick of his life. Facing his second fight in a week, he wanted to be somewhere else. Anywhere else, as long as it was home. Games were stopping around the village schoolyard, as boys, and a few girls edged towards them. Eyes hopeful, mouths gaping in anticipation. Max Hindley’s pudgy face was six inches higher than his own, pure sneering...Read On

3

Early warning

A new experience of fear

Early 1940. Siren’s mournful wailing, signalling, Our first air raid. Fearfully looking at me, she switched off all the lights Then she came to hug me close, her body trembling. I’d never seen her like this, so full of fear and worry. “It’s all right,” I reassured her. A distant bang, surely approaching thunder “Oh, God.” Her voice displaying her terror. “Down the stairs,” she urged....Read On

6

Back to School Challenge: Ghosts of the Past and Soon to Come

Back when I was young and blissfully ignorant, I loved the leading up and the first week of school. I would get my birthday money from my great-aunt in Ohio for my birthday and used that to buy my school supplies. The smell of opening up a fresh pack of notebook paper and putting it in my binder is euphoric. Don't get me started on the book bags. The one I picked out had to fit my books and...Read On

4

Bits and Pieces

There’s a moment, a split second where a dream is so vivid, yet it slips from your grasp all at once

Trudging into the bathroom, I flick the switch. The light is dim yet it still blinds my weary eyes,  adding to the miserable feeling that I woke with.  Another dream.  Her.  Steadying myself against the cool ceramic sink, eyes blurry, still exhausted, I try to focus on the figure in the mirror. Heartbreak is written with a single tear sliding down my cheek. When my eyes close I see hers,...Read On

0

The Poetry Lesson

You are far too thin to survive these kinds of things.

"The Poetry Lesson" (inspired by Osip Mandelstam’s “The Stalin Epigram”)   The cell is pitch black except for two cones of stark light, One over a man wearing a sea-green single-breasted tunic, Breeches, polished jackboots, and a peaked cap, Sitting behind a metal desk, And the other over a naked man whose arms and legs are Chained to a four-legged chair with one...Read On

0

Erase

What would you do if you can suddenly have all your bad memories wiped out?

 

10

Lady in the Lake

A rescue leads to a grim inspiration for an artist

I am slumped in a chair, staring at my newest painting. For over twenty-four hours I have been awake, painting in a near-trance for more than half that time. The painting portrays a scene not far from my studio, a shallow bay on Lake Madeline. A woman emerges naked from the water. An overturned canoe floats nearby. The woman’s name is Lily. Memories flood in. ***** Thunder rumbled in...Read On

13

In My Dream

a series of images...

In my dreams, surrounded by luscious green big old forest trees. A light passing through in each every gap of the leaves from a bright full moon above. Flickering lights from fireflies everywhere below. A crow squawking from somewhere afar. A lake in the middle of the forest, covered by a thick mist with cold still air. A snake with its tongue out hissing while slowly crawling into the...Read On

10

Back to School Challenge: Don't Do Nothing

Sometimes, the world’s troubles can be solved with a quote by Albert Einstein.

Thurman appeared to me on a Tuesday, in a wall tile of my newly renovated bathroom. It was a little after six P.M. and I was drawing a hot bath. I perched on the edge of the tub and waited for the water to reach that perfect temperature. I was tired. Worn out. Exhausted. My day had started just like any other day. Alarm at five A.M. got dressed in the dark, scurried out the door...Read On

11

Back to school Challenge: Class Distinction.

“Four inches, Morrison! You know the rule, what should it be?”

“Morrison!” “Yes, Sister?” “Your skirt is too short. Kneel on the desk!” Sister Bernadette, The Carmelite Nun who was head of discipline and religious studies for the girls of St. Mary Magdalene Roman Catholic High School, tapped the desk in front of me with her wooden ruler. Obediently, I climbed onto my chair and knelt upon the flat wooden surface of the desk as commanded. Without...Read On

1

A Special Moment

Elderly man returns to the school he left seventy three years ago seeking a lost memory

Standing at the school gate, Harry Connor cursed softly. Memory, you damned trickster. A tantalising image had shaped in the furred conduits of his ageing mind. A gem of reminiscence teasingly snatched away, evading his grasp. He had made this journey seeking to recall a special face. Now, the school’s soot-darkened bricks and stark arched windows had fleetingly evoked a significant...Read On

3

The Long Road Home. Chapter 10.

“This not joke, Larry. This is life or death, your life or death! If Mahler think you Jew...”

Rome. November 21 st , 1943   “Maria, I'm troubled.” The two sisters were sitting by the window in their room, watching the rivulets of rainwater cascading down the other side of the glass. Every now and then, a gust of wind would divert the flow, creating new tracks. Without taking her eyes from the fascinating scene, Maria asked why. “It has been a week now. Larry is...Read On

9

My Favorite Sweater

Try not to focus on the things that do not matter, you may overlook those that do.

I didn’t even see the nail. It may have been a screw. It didn’t really matter what it was, all that mattered, at the time, was that it snagged my sweater. Actually, now that I think back on it, it was a nail and it was rusty. Clumsily fastened to a tree by someone probably advertising a tag sale or maybe offering guitar lessons. Either way, as I passed by, the mindless head of this...Read On

5

Will's Mother Worries

A 16th century mother laments her son's strange behaviour

I am so worried about Will. Such a disappointment. When I married John Shakespeare, we agreed that we wanted a large family. By the time Will was born in 1564 we had already had two daughters die in infancy. When it was clear that Will was going to survive, we were so relieved, and John used to say that Will became a symbol of love’s labour not being lost. When, at three-years-old,...Read On

4

Something of Value

Young man has first encounter with human loss

It was a slow melancholy song in Harry Turner’s head. Uncle Joe was dying. A sad refrain that reminded Harry of the man he knew. He was a man full of good humour, activity, kindness and love for his family. Now he was dying. The dirge plagued Harry’s mind. He had arrived home from university that morning to find his father in a less than happy frame of mind. “Your Uncle Joe’s unlikely to...Read On

16

Back to School Challenge: Mail Call

Waiting can be rewarding sometimes

The very first day their new grade school teacher told them they were going to be learning to write letters. That was the start of their school year there at the elementary school out in the desert of Southern California.  It was August and still summer. The sun is never, hardly ever, covered by clouds. So hot most of the year. That didn't bother the kids. But now there was no more vacation....Read On

11

Back To School Challenge: In The Pool

Back to school can mean different things, depending on circumstances...

At our local swimming pool, you can clearly perceive the pattern of the school year, especially during the holidays. It gets markedly busier at half terms and the Easter break and even at Christmas (if parents really don’t know what to do with their children on a bad day weather-wise, having steadily worked through all the seasonal movies in the nearby multiplex)! These are brief flurries...Read On

7

Digging In

Ben Cole, avoids any hassle, but, with friends sets out to fight threat to their leisure

Friends in the local pub just couldn’t believe it. Even though, some of them had seen our actions with their own eyes. “Ben Coles in court?” they said, with some amazement, “Mr Easy-going. Mr Doormat. Never.” That, just about summed me up. I’d always hated any hassle and had avoided any confrontation. Couldn’t fight my way out of a meringue pie. Even with my dear lady, whenever a row...Read On

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Editor's Pick

A Warmer Reality

Man in early forties tries to come to terms with his father's indisposition

---“It’s not him, is it, Jack? It’s just not him.” My mother’s despairing words were a mournful poem that reverberated inside my head whenever I visited the hospital. She was so right. The wizened shell inhabited by something totally alien was a parody of the father I had known. Those chafing images implanted in my head threatened to bury the good that had gone before. Sitting there, in...Read On

8

Quest

At some point there will come a time. In a moment not of your choosing. You’ll know when. It was all borrowed time anyway. On loan, never to be owned. The path will grow more narrow. The light will grow dimmer. A soul once uplifting, now heavy and held hostage. Fear is just a lack of information. Your senses seek familiarity. The smell of fresh-cut grass on a Sunday afternoon. ...Read On

15
Recommended Read

And I Left

I couldn't bring myself to ask.

The bar was too noisy and people stood shoulder to shoulder. They were all vying for a place at the bar. Music filled the air and it mingled with the laughter and drunken ramblings of its patrons.  I first spotted him as he entered the bar. His black hair was ruffled and his shoulders were hunkered in. The collar of his shabby, oversized peacoat was pulled up so high his face was...Read On