#Wordle 370




The cat- o’- nine– tails flashing through the night

A distant memory, a crime, yet not mine

Are the Gods telling me of a time long ago?

Or one yet to come?

What crime holds my mind in thought?

I cannot change what has been done

Still, I fear it is yet to come.

Silver chains bind me

To something yet unseen

My back aches with memories long forgotten

Its root grown back in time, a cosmic hand

Some strange design, are they my thoughts

Or from another’s mind?

How many lives do I get, is it nine?

Some back in time

How many left, no one can tell

I fear strange magic is afoot

99 Word Challenge forThe Carrot Ranch Literary Community





The birth of a Nation is hard, as any mother will tell you.

It’s new, shiny and fragile.

It must be nurtured, fed at regular intervals

Like a garden, it needs water, love and guidance.

All easy to say.

You let it grow, wait for the day it can stand

Take the rain. Will it weather the storms?

Yes, if it was built on firm ground

Strength comes with unity

Invisible hands holding everything together

A strong chain will let no rust in

You know what is said about one weak link

Never take your eye off the ball…

©Anita Dawes

#Writephoto: Pillars

Another fabulous #Writephoto challenge, set by Sue Vincent…


Image by Sue Vincent.com

World in White

Snow crunched beneath my feet as I walked towards the church. A string of icicles hung from the lych gate.

A world in white, silent, the snow lay untouched by others. I looked back at my footprints. Melting pools of snow lay behind me.

Unlit houses dark against the white, no sign of life. I felt alone, abandoned in a strange place. I have no memory of passing this way before.

The church door stood ajar, inside I felt warmer, welcomed. The early morning light threw a kaleidoscope of colour across the pews. The tiled floor danced, shimmered with light. With the door being open, I didn’t think anyone would mind if I wandered around.

Three steps beneath the church lay the most beautiful room, lit by the light coming from the tall arched windows. I counted twelve pillars, covered in carvings of cherubs, grapes and strange winged creatures I had no name

My mind told me I should be afraid but I felt at home. As I moved through the space, touching each pillar as I passed, a feeling of having touched them before filled my thoughts. Memories that cannot be mine.

I was there with six others, bare feet and long white dresses. What we were doing there was not revealed to me. I did not run from this place, we were happy. That much was clear from the smiles, the sound of laughter.

These strange blue pillars seemed to hold some kind of attraction that kept us playing here long after we should have been home asleep in our beds.

I couldn’t wait to get back to the B&B to ask about the church. Fresh snow had fallen, stealing my footprints. As I walked through the lych gate, I felt a shiver grip my body. I heard a voice in my head and knew it belonged to my grandmother Sarah. “Don’t look back…”

I knew the tone, she meant for me to obey so I did as she bid. Reaching the B&B, I asked the landlady about the church.

“You’re frozen, come sit by the fire…” She led me to the armchair and I sat.

“You have been outside for hours…” She put a hot cup of tea in my hands and told me there was no church here. “It burnt down more than 100 years ago. We almost sent out a search party to look for you.”

I looked at the clock on the mantle, I had been gone for four hours. I remembered leaving at ten o clock this morning. I told her she must be wrong, I was inside the church.

She patted my hand like an aged aunt and told me again how it burned down, taking six young lives, young girls about to take their first communion.

I could not explain or speak to her. Ignoring my grandmother’s warning, I went straight back to retrace my steps, but I could not find the church. I did find the remains of a graveyard and seven headstones. Tears froze on my face as I read each name. My own stood out like neon, Sarah Wilkes, aged ten…

©Anita Dawes



Jaye’s Journal:10~16th September



This past week has almost been the straw that nearly broken everything.

I mean, you can only struggle for so long, can’t you?

Bang your head enough times and something will break, and I guarantee it won’t be the wall!

I have recently discovered a new way (at least for me) of getting more book sales, but learning how to set it up is sorely testing what’s left of my remaining grey cells.

I managed to finish writing the interview with one of the characters from The Scarlet Ribbon for Lisa Burton, Craig Boyack’s amazing robot assistant. This aired on Thursday 20th.

This week was beset with gremlins and glitches, on the PC mainly. Caused, I believe, by an incompatibility with Chrome. Trouble is, I have run out of options, as I left Firefox for similar problems. There is always Internet Explorer of course.

Sometimes I am really fed up with everything not being quite right, despite working hard to make it so.

Then, Armageddon arrived.

We lost all connections with the phone line and the internet. And we don’t own a mobile phone!

We enlisted the help of Anita’s daughter and her mobile phone, and she managed to convince BT that we needed help and soon. I have to say that even if we did have a mobile phone, we wouldn’t have been able to follow all the instructions that she had to follow. From photographing the different parts of our phone system, (which involved downloading apps) to a series of complicated messages. Our minds were shattered and we weren’t doing any of it!

Somehow, we managed to get an engineer appointment for the following day, and this never happens!

To cut a very long story short, the engineer turned up this morning. When the light on our PC hub turned green, there was a big cheer. But our joy was to be short-lived.

For some reason, I couldn’t log on to our provider. At this point, I wanted to pull my hair out or run down the road screaming. I tried everything I could think of, every troubleshooting programme I could find, but the harder I tried, the more convinced I was that something was trying to kill my brain!

I tried to switch from Chrome to Internet Explorer, but this didn’t work either. I was almost resigned to telephoning BT and asking for help, but I hesitated. The last time I was forced to do that, I ended up more confused than ever.

In the end, I did manage to get Internet Explorer to cooperate and swiftly downloaded Firefox.

Within minutes, normality was restored and the rest, as they say, is history!

(Until the next attack by the ever-present gremlins, that is!)

Signature Jaye (2).png

One of our best Worst Ideas Yet?


As if we don’t have enough to do, we have stumbled into what might possibly be either a brilliant idea, or the worst kind of madness ever to visit our house.

I’m not sure where this idea came from, but for some totally inexplicable reason, we are both equally enthusiastic about actually writing a mystery/thriller book together.

This may not work for a multitude of reasons, for we usually write in such different genres/and the arguments will probably reach hitherto unreached levels/we may end up killing each other!

We have started, and early indications would suggest it could possibly work!

Anita wrote the first section/intro, and I nervously followed. We average about 500 words each, but this could easily change when the musts get going.

Quite apart from being the most unlikely writing partnership, can you imagine what our respective muses must be thinking?

Other writers have done this, and in the past, we have often wondered how it would work. Now we will discover how hard it will be and if it will even work for us. And if we can do it without any of our legendary arguments, it will be a miracle!

Already, the conversations about the direction of the plot have been pretty spectacular, for we have such very different ideas about everything. The fact that I am the thriller writer around here stands for nothing, and my suggestions have not been well received, to put it mildly!

Today’s discussion ended with Anita suggesting that we start again, and this time write a spooky supernatural story.

We could, of course, but I am trying to finish my current WIP at the moment and all of this chaos is playing havoc with my schedule. It is my turn to write the next section, so I had better make it good!

#Wordle 369




In the valley of shadows, I lay her down

A love that could not stay.

As I drive away, instinct reminds me not to speed

Her letters in my back pocket would give the game away.

The only child of a poor Bedouin, cursed at age ten

To never stay for more than a year and a day.

There comes a stage when life’s raffle takes all breath away

Your numbers up, the spirit calls

The buzzer sounds and down you fall.

Before my strength is gone

I will finish what I started.

My words blow across the valley floor

I tell her that I will not leave her there

I will wait a year and a day

Find a way to break the curse.

I promise her we will live together

For more than a year and a day…

Anita Dawes

Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community


99 words isindeed a challenge, but so worth the effort!





What is it good for, not eating.

Throw it at the wall, see if it sticks.

Leave it until it falls off, give it to the kids to play with.

Oh, wait a minute they have already done that.

My granddaughters have used it for school projects

Picture frames you cannot dust…

The Italians love to tell us it has to be Al dente, the bite.

The thought of eating pasta makes me want to run for the hills…

And I know it’s well-loved across the globe

But seriously, why was it ever invented?

Does it grow on trees?

Anita Dawes

#Writephoto ~ Spectral


Lady of the Mist

The broken down gatehouse standing outside our village, shrouded in mist. Its history long forgotten became a place for Tommy, my brother and I to play, let loose our imagination. I became King of the Round Table in that house.

As an adult, I am still drawn there, those old walls hold echoes of my youth. My memory of Tommy, I feel it more in this place than my mind can grasp.

It is 6 am, the mist is still thick, the gatehouse barely visible. The mist has a strange effect on the eyes, almost alive, forever moving.

I stood still about a yard from the walls. I had noticed a movement that didn’t belong to the mist. A woman, almost transparent like a glass butterfly, her long hair swinging to some unheard music. Her dress reached her bare feet, she held her arms high above her head and my heart beat in tune with her dance. A strong rhythm that felt familiar.

If I moved closer, would the veil between us allow her to see me?

My feet moved of their own accord, I was drawn towards her. This wonderful spectre  invited me to dance with her. What brings her here?

Is she waiting to meet someone, a lover who has forgotten that she waits?

How long has she been waiting, my lady of the mist?

The mist was fading and soon she would be gone. Foolishly, I tried to touch her, to hold on to her. The feeling that shot through my arms held a memory that struck my heart. It was me she waited for!

Like the morning mist, she was gone. I stood there barely breathing. We had been lovers in a time long past. Will my lady of the mist be here tomorrow?

Please let it be so, for I will be waiting. I know there are times when the veil is thin. I will wait for such a time when maybe she will see me. Know me through the body I wear now. I wanted to tell her that I would find her again, that we would live, love through a new lifetime.

I walked home alone, knowing it was my turn to wait…



Another lovely photo prompt for #Writephoto from Sue Vincent…

Wordle 368




Wordle 368.jpg


I was sitting in my back garden. Twice this week I had promised to cut the grass, but my mind was away with the fairies. Wishing I were young again, back on dad’s old farm.

Being midsummer, I wasn’t expecting a freak wind to be pulling at my clothes, tugging at my mind and urging me to find something new. As usual, I sat there and did nothing, telling myself I was too old for new adventures.

How many times had I said no to friends when they asked me to join them on some weekend trip? Even after all this time, I wondered what I might have missed.

Rising from my favourite deck chair, I dragged the mower out of the shed and started to cut the grass, knowing Jack would be pleased when he came home from his weekend away. Later that night, I put on the old wrap my mother had knitted, took a glass of wine and went out to the garden. I sat waiting for the sky to darken.

I watched as the new moon made an appearance, then the first star. The darker it became, the more stars I could see. I was picking out some of the constellations that I knew when I noticed a shooting star. I had forgotten that tonight was the time to see the Perseid meteor shower.

I lay there letting these falling stars take me on an adventure, places my physical body would never let me go. That night I travelled to exotic lands that my feet would never touch. Later, lying alone in our bed, I decided I was not too old to visit new places. Rome, the pyramids, even the Taj Mahal was on my list. I fell asleep thinking how surprised Jack would be when I told him. He had asked me so many times to go somewhere nice, that it would make a change from walking away on his own twice a month.

Jack never made it home that weekend. Someone hit his car, sending it off the road. All the things I wanted to tell him stuck like a knife in my heart. I had left it too late.

A year later I booked my first trip away to Rome, the first place Jack had wanted to take me. It was everything he said it would be and more, and as I felt his hand in mine, the knife in my heart fell away…

Anita Dawes 2018

Flash Fiction Challenge for the Carrot Ranch Literary Community…


This weeks 99 word prompt is Epic Workplace…




The cleaning job I had in my twenties holds one sad memory.

Springfield Hospital, a building held together by sadness. The people inside, old, forgotten.

A woman of about eighty, taken for her daily bath, left alone in this cold room. Her arms reaching over the bath edge, pleading to be taken out.

Matron caught me, told me to get on with my work, which I found hard to do.

Now a block of posh flats stands where the hospital used to be.

I wonder what kinds of sounds echo around those walls now.

Do they drip with sadness?

Anita Dawes 2018