Law enforcement cast a dragnet deep into the seething underbelly of the city- putting quite a damper on her usual late night activities. There was dope to be peddled and women to be pandered, but every junkie was a plant, and every john an informant. On every street corner resounding cries for normalcy could be heard.

“You know what’s wrong with this world? Nobody cares about the little guy anymore. Some idiot decides he’s gonna go for the big money, snap up some rich guys kid, but does he stop ta think about what that’s gonna do to the guy in the street bustin’ his ass just tryin’a make a livin’?”

“It’ll blow over. Stuff like dis always does. Remember a couple a years ago when dat guy, what was his name? Took a pot shot at da president? Ha! Dis berg closed up tighter dan a drum! But we bounced back. We always do.”

“So we got some time off. Wadda ya say we go fishin’? Rocco’s been tellin’ me about a sweet little number over in the Dockside Marina. Dual 500 HP outboards, depth finder, tuna towers. Owners in Hong Kong or something. That little babies just sittin’ there waitin’ for some action.”

Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge photo prompt. OK. So I been watching too much film noir…



Photo for sale on Ebay

From the time I were just a button nose little kid, I knew ours was a family full of secrets.

And I ain’t talkin’ ‘bout secrets ever body in the holler knows but keeps tight lipped about, like mama an’ deddy bein’ first kin or when a candles burnin’ in the kitchen winda we got whisky for sale.

I’m talkin’ ‘bout Deddy’s secrets- secrets that if they got out, Deddy said he’d see to it me and mama’d ‘breathe like fishes’- and even as little snot nosed kid, I knew what he meant.

Mama went to her grave keepin’ Deddy’s secrets- unless’n that’s what put her there.

An’ that’s what I’m aimin’ to find out by keepin’ Deddy trussed up down cellar, just like he done all them women he picked up sittin’ on barstools, filled full a whisky, and painted up like harlots- the ones he called Jezebels and told me n mama he been hand picked by the lord to wipe off the face of the earth- ‘cause they was sinners of the worst kind, and it was through him they was fixin’ to escape hell.

He ain’t been down there nary a week and already hes cryin’ like a church boy, and I can tell it won’t be long now, ‘cause Deddy might could’a reckoned his bein’ picked out by the lord made him special, but truth be told- he ain’t no wheres near as special as me an’ mama- least not when entrusted with a secret….

Written for Denise’s Six Sentence Stories prompt word: Escape, utilizing the phrase prompts provided by Tnkerr’s OLWG (whisky for sale, button nosed kid and when entrusted with a secret) and Misky’s Twiglet (breathe like fishes).


The photo is mine

Eli had always found his family’s toadstool quite adequate. Arched door at the base. Circular stairway, opening into the great room. A cook stove, a table, a couple of sleeping palettes.

That is until he fell in love with Miaska.

Miaska came from drier ground. Her people lived in hollow trees. Their furnishings were not limited to what would make it up the stairs. They had separate rooms for cooking and individual shuttered sleeping hutches. Why Miaska’s hutch even had a knothole window!

How could he, a simple wizards apprentice ever compete with that?

No matter how many times Miaska assured him she would be happy living under a broad leaf if it meant they could be together, Eli just couldn’t shake the feeling that he would be doing her a great disservice by taking her as his wife, only to subject her to living out her days in a damp, windowless toadstool with not even a small room to call her own.

Eli lay awake for nights on end wrestling with his own thoughts, trying to decide whether or not to propose to Miaska. He became distracted in his work. One afternoon when he mistakenly used a newt’s eye when the spell clearly called for a gnat’s eye and nearly caught the Master’s wand on fire, the Great Master sat him down.

“My Son,” the Great Master always addressed him as Son when he was preparing to enlighten him. “It is not necessary for me to employ any great feat of magic to ascertain the root of your distraction. For I was once young myself. Yes. Young and very much in love.”

Eli’s eyes widened as the intensity of his interest increased. He had never heard the Master speak of his own youth, let alone admit to any frailty of emotion such as love.

Sensing that he had garnered the interest of his young apprentice, the old man settled his walking stick between his knees, grasped the crowning crystal with both his age gnarled hands and rocked gently as if deep in the clutches of a beloved memory before continuing.

“Yes. Love. Her name was Adeline.” The Master paused reflectively and Eli saw the shimmer of a twinkle come to life in the old mans eyes. “Oh, she was beautiful. Tresses of gold. Eyes like the summer sky. Skin.. Well, suffice it to say she was a rare beauty. She came from the north. From the Winterlands with her father, whom I might add was a viable wizard in his own right, but I digress.”

“They came in search of Hollyhock. Quite common in these parts, but virtually unattainable in the frozen north from whence they came. In those days, Hollyhock was widely used by practitioners of necromancy. Although her father was not a particularly skilled necromancer, he had been called upon by an ancient tribe of Natives, humans that is, who’s own medicine man failed miserably when it came to conjuring the dead, and they found themselves in more or less an immediate need to seek direction from their ancestors as their young people were abandoning the old ways in vast numbers, which was wreaking havoc during the summer hunting season as there were no longer enough strong young braves to bring down the number of bison required to feed the ever growing population of their tribe. It seems they had taken to procreating in great numbers in order to make up for the number of able bodied men that saw fit to..”

“Master! Please!” Eli boisterously interrupted, his voice wavering with both fear and frustration. “Adeline! I must know what ever became of your great love for the beautiful Adeline!”

Bolts of lightening quickly erased any twinkle that may have ever shimmered in the Grand Master’s eyes as he leveraged his bent frame against his walking stick, and pulled himself into an erect position.

“Hollyhock. Poppycock. The woman was a tramp. Threw me over for some sorcerer from Schenectady.”

The Castle Ignormarte

Just as we were resigning ourselves to the fact that we would not lay eyes on our destination before nightfall, The Castle Ignormarte swelled up from the sea, back lit by what was left of the days light.

Our guide, Igor, dampened our enthusiasm almost immediately. “Despite the grandeur of her architecture, Ignormarte doesn’t offer the finest in modern sleeping accommodations. A good nights sleep here in the relative comforts of the ship will serve us better than any make shift sleeping arraignments we could throw together inside her walls in the dark of night with only a few flashlights between us.”

His advise, although sound, met up with much rebuttal. The most adamant of which was supplied by Lawrence Ferguson, Esquire. An attorney at law from New York City who’s long winded argument in favor of going ashore tonight served as all the enticement I needed to sneak away to my quarters in search of silence.

The gentle lapping of the waters against the side of the vessel must have lulled me to sleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow because before I knew it, I could hear the familiar din of tin pots and plates, from the galley, alerting me to breakfast being prepared.

I dressed quickly, filled with anticipation for what the day held out before me, and by-passed the dimly lit galley in favor of stepping out onto the ships deck to have a first look at The Castle Ignormarte, even before I had my coffee.

With the sun not yet peaking over the horizon, and the ship enveloped in a thick English fog, Ignormarte was no where to be seen. Somewhat deflated, I retreated to the galley in hopes that I was not the only one awake at this hour so we could get breakfast underway, and start out soon on the final watery leg of our journey to The Castle Ignormarte, despite the fog.

As if to further thwart my desire to get the day underway, I found myself alone in the ships galley, save the cooks cat meandering betwixt and between the empty pots that sat cold upon the top of the cook stove, the din of a tin lid slapped by the swish of her tail being what I had had heard earlier and mistakenly thought was breakfast being prepared.

“What time is it?” I queried aloud, causing the cooks cat to look at me expectantly as if for an answer, while I surveyed the galley for a clock. Finding none, I went back to my quarters, and switching on the light was promptly met by my own unwound travel clock, stopped dead at 11:57.

Overwhelmed by the climbing number of obstacles I seemed to have been faced with already this morning, if it was indeed morning at all, I decided to slip back under the covers until I was sure of anything at all.

I must have drifted off to sleep again, as I was awakened by a deep throaty purr and the distinctly familiar feeling of a cat kneading the blanket with which I covered myself.

Fleetingly wondering if I had left the door open or if the cooks cat had followed me into my sleeping quarters unseen, I opened my eyes only to find myself at home, on the chase in my own room- a copy of ‘The Castle Ignormarte’ written by none other than Lawrence Ferguson, Esquire, laid open to a photo of the fabled Castle Ignormarte, back lit by what was left of the days light.

This was written for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto Thursday photo prompt using the nonsensical word ‘Ignormarte’ as supplied by Michael on Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver series.

The Girl

Photo Courtesy of Dale Rogerson

The girl’s a live wire
from woven hair to mani’d
tips- she’s electric.

The girl’s on fire
magazine covers smokin’
Youtube links burn bright

The girl’s hot copy
glam pix or sordid romance
media laps it up

The girl is burnin’
flaming tongues set her ablaze
‘spec’ fuels the fire

The girl’s a train wreck.
Her every move on trial.
Bruised and battered, once
shooting star- snuffed out. John Q
Public? Drunk on her demise.

This chain of Haikus ending in a Tanka was written for Tanka Tuesday #synonyms only for the words: Pretty and Ugly. My choices are italicized.

The photo that served as my inspiration for this piece was provided by Friday Fictioneers.