Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #FFFC

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #116

The image is from agevla77 at DeviantArt.

For the visually challenged writer, the image shows a man dressed as a clown with a sad expression walking outside in a wintry storm.

His sad, painted face
The only colour in a snow-covered field
He shines out, like a strange fallen star
Calling out for help
Running from the circus
From his cruel ring master
Joey’s only wish is to find a place to call home
To wash his face clean
To let his heart love and be loved
He has run many times, washed his face
Only for the paint to return
Leaving him with only the circus to call home
Where he remembers selling his soul to be…

© Anita Dawes 2021

#Whatdoyousee ~ #Keepitalive ~ #WDYS ~ #Poetry

What do you see # 80 – May 3, 2021

Image credit; Alka Jha @ Unsplash

(For the visually challenged reader, the image shows Sphinx in the desert of Giza, Egypt)

The Sphinx, a lonely reminder of an age
Long gone from the sands of Egypt.
Secrets yet to be revealed.
God, give me a way to look back, to watch the building,
to hear the conversation, to know the truth.
Buried for so long, it’s back to tease us.
To stir the mind, to wonder at the many secrets
Hidden beneath hot sand.
Time will push them out…

© Anita Dawes 2021

God’s Fingers…

Image from

I had been walking for a while, and it seemed like a lifetime.

The woods all around me were quiet, almost brooding in the gloom. Weak sunlight struggled to find a way through the dense canopy above me.

The damp air smelled old, musty, full of life lived. Life that lingered among the trees, much like me today.

How much further had I to go?

The rambling, overgrown path seemed to indicate the way to go, but was it the right way for me. Would it lead me home?

I needed to rest awhile, more to determine my future if this path was yet again the wrong one for me, so I found a mossy bank with a friendly tree to lean against and made myself comfortable.

Did I want to leave the peaceful security of these woods, take the obvious path and take my chances?

I knew that this path was possibly the wrong choice, the last of a long list of mistakes in my life.

I looked around, hoping to see a better way, but the woods intended to keep their secrets. The filtered sunlight was making me sleepy – maybe I could postpone my decision for a while…

© Jaye Marie 2021

Fandango’s Challenge…

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #115

The image is from Harrison Haines at

For the visually challenged writer, the photo shows a man wearing a fleece hoody walking through snowy woods and casually carrying a shotgun on his right shoulder.

Faceless hero, or menace?
I could not tell
The snow blinding my vision
The sun gave him an eerie glow
as he walked towards me
My heart beat a tattoo against my ribs
I turned to run when I heard the shot
that crossed over my left shoulder
In front of me, I could see a fallen wolf
His hindquarters badly mauled
His mouth a mass of white foam
As if he had eaten a bag of marshmallows.
A hero after all…

© Anita Dawes 2021

#writephoto ~ ~ #Poetry

#WRITEPHOTO – The Secret in the Stone

The Secret in the stone – Image by KL Caley

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a stone or a tomb with a key-like inscription but no words upon it.

Earth holds many mysteries
None more so than the stone I stand before
It does not belong here.
It’s one half of a door to an ancient mausoleum
a copy. Now hiding a secret bound by time
they lie beneath, arms entwined
they no longer dream in colour, their hour has passed
they wait for a certain kind of magic
that he can bring when he returns
to wake, to walk the cliffs they once called home
for now, their bones lie cold, wrapped in earth
the monk’s chatter, asking if they can bring back a legend
to hold the people together, to give them more
than the dry crumbs that life offers
so many years later, we stand and wonder about the dry bones
that lie beneath the cold black stone…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Dead of Winter ~ Journey 4 ~ The Old Road @teagangeneviene

Our Review

This is a mysterious, yet terrifying instalment of the Dead of Winter as the story really starts to heat up.

Emlyn’s life is being pulled in so many directions, none of them easy to understand. Something is happening, something she doesn’t understand.

Emlyn is unsure of her safety. She is to accompany the Deae Matres on a journey, one they are not telling her about, or what is to happen to her when they get there. She discovers that The Binding happened during a time when the night walkers were driven to the Realm of the Dead. Emlyn’s strange powers are growing stronger, leading to some weird journeys between the worlds. The white wolf becomes a friend, something she welcomes.

Will she ever return to the life and world that she loves?

#Whatdoyousee ~ #Keepitalive ~ #WDYS ~ #Poetry

What do you see # 77 – April 12, 2021

Image credit; Andrew Morris @ Unsplash

( For the visually challenged reader, the image shows a lantern sitting on the wet sand of a beach. There are fairy lights inside the lantern)

An age-old magic lantern, full of mystery
Stories long forgotten, of wishes made.
A land where people hide from evil genius.
Grown from mind in need of magic
Of miracles, of wonder, to be carried to a land
Where blue horses roam on desert sand
Where angels sit and chat with wings folded
Time to pray another day they say.
The Lord is patient
He will not mind your prayer delayed
It shall be answered in a time that is planned
By mind conceived before the pure light
Of our spinning world that shines through dark space
Out from old lanterns, remembering
The lady of the lamp, Nightingale
From patience made to soothe my savage mind
With light that sprang from before time began…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Review for Girl in the Walls by A J Gnuse #GothicRomance

Girl in the Walls: A thrilling fiction debut, the Gothic novel of 2021 Kindle Edition

She doesn’t exist. She can’t exist.

‘A uniquely gothic tale about grief, belonging and hiding in plain sight’ Jess Kidd, author of Things in Jars

’Those who live in the walls must adjust, must twist themselves around in their home,
stretching themselves until they’re as thin as air. Not everyone can do what they can.
But soon enough, they can’t help themselves. Signs of their presence remain in a house.
Eventually, every hidden thing is found.’

Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her. And home is where you stay, no matter what.

Eddie calls the same house his home. Eddie is almost a teenager now. He must no longer believe in the girl he sometimes sees from the corner of his eye. He needs her to disappear. But when his older brother senses her, too, they are faced with a question: how do they get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists?

And, if they cast her out, what other threats might they invite in?

Our Review

When I began to read Girl in the Walls, I wondered why anyone would want to live in a house without anyone knowing, or it was even possible. I knew all about hollow walls and the spaces in the attics and cellars, but how would someone survive, having to eat and drink in secret?

I loved how Elise listens to everything and how she finds comfort in knowing what is going on around her.  The way that old clock with all its different sounds helps her to keep track of the time.

This story made me more conscious of the noises in my own house, all those noises we usually ignore, telling ourselves it’s just the building settling or the timbers contracting.

Elise’s story is devastatingly sad but beautifully written, describing the desperate lengths a child will go to find a safe place. Elise’s story grabbed hold of me like the poor lost child she is, insisting that I stay with her and read every word.

Jonah Traust, a villain in handyman’s clothing, obsessed with the notion that houses have secret occupants, terrified me as he hunted for the mystery presence in the house. I was on the edge of my seat as he systematically homed in on the poor child.

Elise is determined to stay hidden when the levee breaks after a storm and flood waters attack the house. Traust perishes, battling on in his search, and I could breathe again.

I worried for Elise. How would she survive if the house did not?

This story is both terrifying and upsetting. The fate of Elise, this helpless child, will haunt me for a long time…