Carrot Ranch Literary Community ~ #Poetry

May 23, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase “well’s gone dry.” Is it a real well or a metaphorical well? Why is it dry? What is the consequence and to whom? Go where the prompt leads!

I had planned this pilgrimage for a year
A sacred well, 140 mile walk
Could take a week
My father told me about it
To drink from it, brings good luck
I need some
The trek hard, my feet blistered
My back broken
The scenery beautiful
So many birds I had never seen
Camping at night, early morning pilgrims
Walking down, their faces grim
I thought little of it, except the walk had been tough
Then a couple told me the well's gone dry
I continued, disappointed, however
I was still hoping to hear the whisper from the well…

©AnitaDawes2022

Sweet Water… #Poetry

Sweet Water

On knees of broken glass
I crawl towards the sea
My home, my family lie beneath the waves
The pain of having legs drives me on
I reach the sweet water, my life
Letting myself sink into darkness
The pain gone, my tail restored
I find my kingdom as I left it
Father, cross at my foolishness
Will the memory of pain
Stop me returning to the land?
He will try to call me back
I will feel a different kind of pain
The loss of his love
I am water, he is land
We cannot be...

©AnitaDawes2022

The Pompey Bookshop… #shortstory #Fiction

The Pompey Bookshop   

“I love the smell of this old place, don’t you, Fred?”

“Yer, it smells of death, all that paper and the old trees whispering. You found anything good to read yet?”

“Not so far. Quiet, here comes one now. I wonder what she’s looking for. Watch out, she’s coming your way, to the esoteric stuff. She’s looking for a little magic…”

“Let’s give her some then, drop a book on her.”

“I can’t do that, Fred. It might hurt her, besides, she’s troubled. Can’t you see the sadness in her eyes? Can’t you feel it?”

“Yer, yer. I thought we could have a bit of fun for a change.”

“Trouble with you Fred, you are a good ghost. You don’t hear too much about good spooks these days. Maybe we can help her out. One of these old trees might be of use. This one for instance, How to Find your Own Bliss.”

“Go ahead then Jim. Poke it out, your best at that, but don’t be too heavy-handed. Don’t want it dropping on her head, remember?”

Jim did his best and the book moved slowly, sticking out about two inches, but the woman didn’t notice it had moved.

“Damn…” Jim said.

“Now what?”

“If I push any harder, it’s going to fall…”

“Let me help, I’ll play with her hair to make her look up. You push.”

Alice touched the top of her head. Must be her nerves, she thought, it felt like fingers playing with her hair.

Jim pushed, and the book fell at her feet. Picking it up, Alice read the blurb on the back and decided to take it. She continued her search, her fingers brushing against the spines, the pages inside rippling at her touch.

“You can stop playing with her hair now, Fred. You’re messing with the pages. They’re getting all excited, thinking they might be read. They don’t know how lucky they are. Luck, maybe that’s what she needs. After all, that’s what this Bookshop is all about, helping people find what they need.”

“Good idea. No pushing this time. Look, she’s still stroking the spines. She’s coming up to the one with the green spine, that one will make her hand tingle…”

“Which one are you on about, Fred?”

“That one, Luck Made Easy. It’s a big book, so will need both of us.”

“Ready? Now…”

 Alice snatched her hand away from the book, her hand stinging.

“Now see what you’ve done. You’ve come on too strong…”

 “She might not be brave enough to touch it again. She must believe in stuff like this, or she wouldn’t be here. Make it glow, Fred!”

“It’s almost closing time; Mr Pompey will be looking to see if the shop’s empty before lights out.”

The book had moved out of line just a bit and was glowing. Alice found some courage and pulled it out. She almost ran to the till.

“You’re our last customer of the day, Miss. Have a good evening.”

Alice’s thank you was barely a whisper as she made her way to the door.

“Good job done there, Fred…”

“Let’s hope so, Jim. I reckon she‘ll find just what she needs between them old leaves. “

 “Night, Fred…”

“See you come morning. Jim.”

The Bookshop didn’t sleep. The leaves between all the book covers were too busy whispering their stories to each other all night…

©AnitaDawes2018

The Grey Squirrel ~ #FFFC #Shortstory

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #162

The photograph is from Anita Creations at DeviantArt.com.

For the visually challenged writer, the photo is of a woman with a pensive expression on her face as she sits upon a large, mossy rock deep inside a forest.

She was starving and very cold.

Her feet hurt, bleeding in several places from stumbling on the sharp stones scattered about in the woods. She didn’t know why she ran to this place every time her life became too hard to bear.

There were no answers here; she knew that. No help either. Just the soul-shattering proof that she really was lost and far beyond help.

She had been here so many times, always ending up feeling far more alone than ever. She strained her ears, hoping to hear a bird song or the stealthy movements of a passing creature, but there was nothing.

Maybe today, there would be a breath of wind to move the branches above her head, letting her know the world was still out there.

But this place seemed as dead as her soul.

As she stared at a large oak, the fallen leaves around the base of the tree began to move. So, something did live here, or were they merely visiting, like she was?

A small grey squirrel appeared as she watched, his tiny hands clamped around an acorn. He suddenly stopped, his fluffy tail twitching. He wasn’t looking in her direction. Did he know she was watching him?

He slowly turned his head and stared at her. His dark, beady eyes seemed to twinkle, and she wondered what he thought of her. He slowly nodded his head as if he heard the question, possibly acknowledging another lonely soul?

This thought caused her to look away in shame, and when she looked back, the squirrel had gone. That was when she realised he wasn’t lonely. He had a purpose.

Something she needed to find…

Jaye

The Sunday Whirl ~ Wordle #542 ~ #Poetry

Hidden noise we do not hear
Yet sinks inside our head
Like the secret noise inside a shell
We take no notice of the sound
Of bare feet on vinyl
We lead strange lives
Hand in hand with superstition
Burying shoes and witches bottles
Under the threshold 
to ward off evil and protect the house
Amidst the strange and wonderful
Like Nero, we play our invisible fiddle
Letting the world spin around us…

©AnitaDawes2022

Don’t Listen… #Poetry

My new elderly neighbour
over the fence one afternoon
Asks, can I sing you a song?
My husband, standing in our patio doorway
Mouth open, a giant O
Silently screaming no, flapping his hands
Too late, I had already given my permission
How was I to know she came 
from a long line of ancient sirens?
My husband clapped his hands over his ears
My mind floated slowly into a dark space
I could see nothing
Her sound, amplified into unspeakable beauty
My husband dragged me indoors
before she could end her song
I was ill for three days
Late afternoon, I still hear her sound
My mind sways towards something unknown
that I wish I could catch
She has never asked again
Now there is a sale notice on her house…

©AnitaDawes2022

A Dead Mouse…

Image by Shutterbug75 from Pixabay

Last week I had one of those days when whatever could go wrong, did.

I shouldn’t really complain, for considering what the last two years have chucked at us I don’t think I have had a computer malfunction of any kind. Fate probably didn’t want to push its luck any more than it had already. Why it waited seemed a little odd at the time, but for the first time in ages my old invincible self was in attendance, and she was most welcome.

Shortly after switching on the computer, I noticed the cursor was missing.

Nothing surprises me anymore these days.

For all of five minutes I thought it had been stolen, only to realise that the light on the mouse wasn’t on either. Obviously, the mouse had just died. RIP mouse.

Still remarkedly cool, calm and collected, I raked out the old laptop, plugged it in and tried to continue reading our eternal list of emails.

But …  a small irk was making itself known.

It had been so long since the laptop had last been used, some of the passwords were out of date. No problem said I, reaching for my computer notebook where all my passwords are stored, but the minute I opened it I knew I had another problem. So many of the entries had been changed, altered or removed, leaving utter chaos and unreadable scribble.

By now my mood was deteriorating fast. Coming face to face with one of my own muddles will always do this to me, so invincible walked off in a huff!

I had an appointment with the dentist that day, so thought I would see if anywhere local had a mouse. I plotted the time and route of all the jobs I needed to do and set out. I checked WH Smith’s first, but they had no mice. Pretty much everything else for computers though. I detoured to the computer shop just around the corner from the dentist, only to find a note on the door saying, ‘Back at 11.’

After the dentist, I went back and bought a new mouse. He recommended a cordless one, but I haven’t had much luck with them.

This should have been the end of the story, problems solved and all that, only it wasn’t.

I hate the new mouse.

It has a loud click; the wheel squeaks and it seems to argue with direction. Also, I find I am having to double click everything! Looks like this mouse is heading for the graveyard too!

Two and Twenty… #Poetry #Acrostic

Image by Pixabay.com
Two and twenty blackbirds
Wings on fire
Ending life in a flurry
Never thinking twice
Turning back to the beginning
Your life on the line
Time sparks turning red
Wind blown life on embers
Enough to start again
Never turning back to see
Tiny new-borns flying free
Your life recounted making three
Tiny blackbird wings outspread
Wing and a prayer, nothing is ever truly dead
Over land and sea, you’ll see them fed…


©AnitaDawes2022

Don’t Call me Crazy… #Poetry

Image by naturepic from Pixabay
When I tell you the great redwood
Is white as snow, a ghost
Don’t call me crazy
When lightning strikes the ground
And angels wings can be found
Don’t call me crazy
When I tell you I see 
Merlin’s face in the cloud
Don’t call me crazy
Arthur stands with sword in hand
Where lightning is found
Don’t call me crazy
When the Lady of the Lake
Calls the light of the world 
to her hand
don’t call me crazy
she had in mind a world renewed
old magic recalled
don’t call me crazy
find an angels ring, wear it well
your life now stands beside the tree
reborn, your thoughts with me
don’t call me crazy
I wear the ring by lightning made
I walk with angels when day is done
Don’t call me crazy
Like the tree, they live inside out
The ring I found
Keeps me from going crazy…

©AnitaDawes2022