#BlogBattle ~ Wretched

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#BlogBattle: Wretched


July 2020 Blog Battle

The word this month is:


(Dictionary definition)

Living in misery
Attended by misery and woes
Inferior in performance or quality
Very unpleasant: deplorable

For the past two weeks, it has been a case of all the above, since Anita, the head of our family had a nasty heart attack. She also had pneumonia, which was complicating matters even further, but due to the corona virus lockdown, we were not allowed to visit her in the hospital.

So for seven miserable and wretched days we worried our socks off at home, wondering what was going on and how Anita was feeling.

On the third day, we managed to acquire the number of the telephone, which was conveniently right next to Anita’s bed, which enabled us to speak to her and find out how she was feeling and what had been happening. This contact was a godsend for all of us and went a long way to keeping us from self-detonating!

Anita is back home now, but the misery is still present, although not as intense as it was before, as she is still very ill. She has extensive damage to her heart and as yet no way of knowing the exact prognosis. There is a waiting list for the MRI which will ascertain the damage, but until that day arrives, wretched will unfortunately be the order of the day…

BlogBattle ~ Liberate #Poetry

#BlogBattle: Liberate

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Share your work. Read that of other writers. Blog Battle is a monthly writing prompt to inspire writers and entertain readers.


June 2020 Blog Battle

Our contribution for this month!

Image by Pixabay Poem by Anita Dawes

Basic Rules:

The Prompt Word will be given the First Tuesday of Every Month.

Post your story by the 30th of the Same Month.


  1. 1000 words max (give or take a few)
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. Any genre that fits within PG-13 (or less) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the randomly chosen word(s) and/or be centered around the word meaning in a way that shows it is clearly related.
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. Put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section
  7. Please tweet and otherwise share your battler buddies’ stories across social media.
    1. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting all the stories so we can cross-share.
  8. Have fun!

#BlogBattle ~ Brooch #Fiction


#BlogBattle: Brooch



Not so cheap.


A handful of dress jewellery brought at the Portabella market.

I liked the look of the brooch, faux pearls around the edge and a faux sapphire in the centre. Ten pounds the lot, a bargain, I thought.

I decided to pay quickly and take a closer look when I got home.

The toothless smile from the vendor sent shivers down my back, the look in his eyes none too pleasant. As I hurried away from the stall, I had the feeling something was following me. I turned a few times but nothing untoward could be seen. I would rather there had been, the unseen worries me more.

Always had a vivid imagination, my mother often said. As a writer, I need a good imagination, so I didn’t knock it. This feeling often brings on a new story.

I jumped on the 49 bus, half an hour and I would be home. I sat opposite a very old woman wearing shabby clothes. She was staring at my bag.

I thought I heard her say, nice brooch.

Again my mind skipped off on some speed dial imagination. It so often runs like water. Not all can be held in mind. It’s a case of catch what you can, write it down or lose it.

I must have dropped the strange feeling on my doorstep for I felt better once inside my cosy flat. Thomas, my ginger cat, welcomed me home. I scratched behind his ear and went to make coffee.  I checked my purchase to find that the brooch had a small nine carat gold mark on the back. Jesus! I had found a treasure…

That night I placed it on my bedside table after writing down all I could remember about my day.

I hoped to sleep like a baby but awoke in a cold sweat. The old lady from the bus had stepped into my dream. She told me that the brooch belonged to her mother and that she wanted it back. It was the same voice I heard on the bus. How could she have known the contents of my bag?

How could I give the brooch back to her mother, I’m sure she must be dead, judging the old woman to be about eighty years old.

It was my half-day. I decided to take the brooch back to the vendor, hoping he could tell me more about it but not looking forward to the toothless smile. I walked up and down but couldn’t find his stall. Maybe it was his day off.

I asked around, no one seemed to know who I was speaking about.

One chap said, ‘we have never had anyone like that working here and I’ve been here for over ten years. I’m sure I would remember the person you describe.’

Now it seems I am stuck with the brooch. Maybe I should throw it into the river, like some ancient votive gift to a God, hoping he or she could spare me from a ghostly visitor trying to retrieve her brooch.

Maybe I shouldn’t worry. Ghosts cannot hurt you, can they?

It is gold after all…


©anitadawes 2020


By Shifting Sands the Castle Stands… #BlogBattle @RachaelRitchey



#BlogBattle is a weekly short story/flash fiction challenge using a single word for inspiration.


By Shifting Sands the Castle Stands

The golden legend of Moreka

Tells of a stolen castle

That cannot be found by outsiders.

One chance, you could step within its fabled walls.

The faith of an innocent,

Childlike belief may one day get you there

After following the clues that change daily

Shifting landscapes, the teasing glimpse

Of a distant turret to keep you hoping

That one day you may step inside its golden gates.

When the mist is light, the road ahead short

Remember, each step you take turns your head around

The legend states it can be found

By one who has a clear day to see

To run, to grab the one chance given

To one who sees the golden gate shimmer…

©anitadawes 2020

#BlogBattle: Vivacious #Poetry




To look into the face of a sunflower

Is to see creation, full of wonder

The need to dance, to smile for no reason

Other than their sheer beauty.

I also think of Vincent van Gogh

The dark places his mind took him

A fevered mind that tore at his flesh

How hard it is to capture perfection in oils

If he could see them now, he would know

He had captured those smiling dancing faces

for those of us who have eyes to see.

The moment he put paint to canvas

His sunflowers will forever smile at those who pass by

Daring you to feel anything

other than joy when leaving the gallery…

©anitadawes 2020

#BlogBattle ~ Bucket #Poetry




They say at my age of 85

The days of wine and roses are over

They may be right, however

I live ten minutes from the beach at Southend

Each day I insert myself into the world

I sit with my toes in the sand

Watching people with their children

Playing let’s bury dad

This it seems, leads to a great deal of laughter

I count the days lucky

When a stranger stops to speak awhile

A gift from the Universe

This morning, I have risen extra early

I want to see the sunrise

With luck, I will have the beach to myself

As I walk barefoot along the sand

I am drawn towards two abandoned blue buckets

Sandcastles forgotten, weekend trippers

Long gone home

I sit holding one of the buckets

With no spade to fill it, I use my hand

I turn it over and instantly felt transported

As if by a time machine to my 8-year-old self

The first time standing on sand

The sight of the sea, so large

I remember thinking it had no end

It was rolling away from me to touch the sky

I know better now, as I wait for the sunrise

Wondering how many more I can fit into my life

Before I am called to that blue hour I see before me…


#BlogBattle ~ Innocent

Read. Inspire. #BlogBattle





Excerpt from CrossFire, by Jaye Marie

Ann Taylor had made a remarkable effort with her appearance. Her hair was clean and brushed, her clothes also clean and in good condition. Nothing she could do about her nerves though, her hands clutched at the sleeves of her cardigan and her face was as pale as death. She came across as a weak, ineffective woman. Not someone you would ever suspect of harming a child. But Ruth knew only too well that appearances could be misleading and this woman was not as innocent as she made out.

Ruth thought back to her time in prison and all the different women she had shared her existence with. You would think all criminals would look the same, whether they were male or female. She had learned the hard way not to make any assumptions when dealing with them. Some of the hardest and roughest women were the ones who ever showed her any kindness at all. Women like Ann Taylor were usually the worst and best avoided.

‘Do you know why we have brought you here today, Ann?’

Ruth thought she would ease her way in, rather than accuse her straight off, for triggering any hostility wouldn’t get them anywhere.

The woman stared at Ruth, her pale, colourless eyes searching for clues. ‘Nah… but I ‘spect you’ll get to it pretty quick…’

Ruth indicated a brown paper bag on the table beside her. ‘We found a pair of work boots at your house, Ann. According to your husband, they’re not his. Are they yours?’

Ann Taylor glared at Ruth. She seemed to be enjoying the interview, her arrogance showing through the previous nervousness. ‘Dunno, can’t see them can I?’

Ruth undid the bag and placed the dirty boots on the table. Most of the mud had dried and fallen off, but still didn’t seem like the kind of boot a woman would wear. ‘Are these your boots, Ann?’

Without looking at the boots, she shook her head. ‘Nah, I don’t think so.’

Ruth looked at Snow, but not for confirmation. She wondered why he was choosing to stay silent. What was the point of sitting in if he wasn’t going to contribute? Not that she cared, one way or the other. She had only looked at him to signify inclusion.

She looked back at the woman. ‘Are you quite sure, Ann?’

The woman shrugged her shoulders and refused to speak.

‘For the benefit of the tape, Ann Taylor has refused to answer.’

Ruth decided to read out the coroner’s report, detailing every bruise and damage to the child’s body. When she read the part about the boot imprint on the child’s back, she slid the photograph across the table in front of the mother.

‘Did you do this, Ann?’

When the woman didn’t answer, Ruth decided it was time to play the ace card, and she looked forward to it. This cold-hearted bitch of a woman was about to be arrested, but not before Ruth had enjoyed herself. ‘Are you aware that the person who wore these boots would have left significant DNA inside them?’

Ruth paused, watching as the realisation sunk in.  ‘And are you also aware that we have tested your DNA and it has been proved that you are the owner of these boots?’

The fear and shame were beginning to show on the woman’s face, and Ruth watched, wondering what she would do now. She didn’t have to wait long to find out.

Ann Taylor’s face seemed to implode, as the terror of being found out took effect.  ‘I swear I don’t remember that part… I know I were angry, but when she fell over and banged her head, I thought she was dead…’

‘So what did you do then, Ann?’ Ruth knew what had happened next, but not which one of them had done it.  ‘Were you aware that Amy was still alive when you dropped her into the canal?’

The horror was all-encompassing, as the woman realised the enormity of what she had done. She looked around the room, just once, before she started screaming…



#BlogBattle: Harp #Poetry


November 2019 Blog Battle

Our word this month is:


You can start writing at any time, but make sure you post your story by the 30th of the month to have your story shared here and on social media.

Once you’ve posted your story to your blog, put a link to it in the comments section, and we’ll add your story to the Battle Stories Line-up post.

Make sure to check back and read some of the stories of your fellow battlers. Leave comments to encourage these writers, and share each other’s stories!



From the Heart

I was waiting for mum to tuck me in, tell me my bedtime story

She never read from a book, at times I wondered if she could read

The best stories come from the heart she said

Tonight, I want to tell you about the sacred willow tree

The fey folk make their harps when the moon is full

The goddess making sure that enchantment graces the strings

Building a mystic bridge between heaven and earth.

One night, when the full moon hid behind dark clouds

the chief harp maker discovered his golden harp had been stolen

This harp was never designed to be played by human hand

Should they be foolish enough to play the magic strings of the twilight harp

Like that moment between dark and light

They will find their souls struggling to stay in their own world

So, be careful when buying a second-hand harp

The music you play may be too painful for heart and soul to hear

You may find yourself in the land of the fey…


#BlogBattle: Clone




October 2019 Blog Battle

Our word this month is:


You can start writing at any time, but make sure you post your story by the 30th of the month to have your story shared here and on social media.

Once you’ve posted your story to your blog, put a link to it in the comments section, and we’ll add your story to the Battle Stories Line-up post.

Make sure to check back and read some of the stories of your fellow battlers. Leave comments to encourage these writers, and share each other’s stories!

Basic Rules:

The Prompt Word will be given the First Tuesday of Every Month.

Post your story by the 30th of the Same Month.

                                                                  #BlogBattle: Clone


All from a Single Cell

Things I dislike about being a twin

I wonder if our egg split in the right manner

I’m right-handed, she’s left. Yes, I call her she

We have odd eyes, one blue one brown

She is like a ghost I cannot shake.

When I look in the mirror

I know I am looking at the exact copy of her

Two for the price of one

A cheap way of getting a twinset

I’m sorry if I have offended anyone

Be honest, how many of you

would like having a shadow

Follow you even when she’s not there, she is

Whenever I pass a shop window

See my reflection, I see her

If you put the two halves of us together

You would make a perfect whole

I guess that’s why a certain person in history

Had the likes of us studied, if you can call it that.

Glad I wasn’t born then

I’m sure that not all twins are like me

There must be a few who like having a spare self

Someone who knows your thoughts

Finishes your sentences

Likes everything the same, not me.

I want to be single, separate from her

That I know will never happen

Unless I do something about it

There have been times when

I could have let her step into traffic

She doesn’t always look before stepping out

I must pull her back and spend

the rest of the day asking myself why.

The older I get, the darker my thoughts

Yet somehow my hand always manages

to save her, keep her close by

A subconscious bond I cannot break

I guess I am stuck with my eternal shadow