April 11, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the phrase “beggars can’t be choosers.” You can play with the words, alter them or interpret them without using the phrase. Give it any slant you want — show what it means or add to its meaning. Go where the prompt leads!
And this is our contribution…
Years ago when I wore second- hand clothes
Worn out shoes
Sleeping in a room with no heat
Blankets as thin as rice paper
I made my way long ago,
I am happy
Some I know are still searching
Most days, he sits at the corner of Waitrose
Playing his clarinet
I hear the coins drop into his open case
At his feet as I pass
Today, I would give him a choice
Between a sandwich and coffee or a two- pound scratch card
I walked home eating the sandwich
Without waiting. I hoped he made the right choice.
Prometheus stole fire to give to mankind.
For this the great Titan was punished by Zeus
tied to a rock so an eagle would eat his liver
which would heal overnight
to be eaten again the next day.
Until a hero comes. Hercules to the rescue.
I have thought of Prometheus as my hero
his punishment did not fit the crime.
Now he is mostly forgotten,
we sit on the beach, toast our marshmallows
the fire taken for granted.
Fire can take a forest, leaving burnt ash
yet it will grow again like Prometheus liver,
magic in the flame…
My school was buzzing today, the nuns were all running around like deranged penguins. We were to receive a special throat blessing from the Bishop and were to address him as Your Eminence if spoken to.
The blessing involved two large candles joined in the shape of a V.
Sister Margaret held my hair away from the flame as the candles were placed around my throat and I have never suffered from a sore throat since.
Not bad going for 72 years.
I have wondered whether it was the blessing or just good luck
It still puzzles me today…
Sacred water, the giver of life
we do everything with it
bathe, clean windows, wash cars
Leave a bowl out for the birds
Christen our new borns
As children, we splash in it
laughing and screaming getting soaking wet
We go boating on a summer afternoon
hand held over the side
Gentle water slipping through our fingers
Hidden trails of water beneath our feet
The Hindu God of Oceans, Varuna
Salty water, secret life below
Water is calm and violent
we cannot do without it
It sustains all life, take time
to bless the magic that falls on us…
Clearing out the attic
I found Grandads chisels
carefully wrapped in cloth.
He is no longer with us
But I remember him telling me
Always look after your tools.
He was the same with all his tools
Paintbrushes must be thoroughly cleaned.
Unwrapping the cloth, five chisels
as good as the day he bought them
Rosewood handles, each blade sharp
as the last time he held them.
I could feel him beside me
nudging me to find the wooden train set
he made for my twelfth birthday.
I found so much more, I rediscovered
My grandfather, his lost wisdom…
Our cat Merlin loves to bring us gifts
I wish he would leave the mice outside
I told him the other day, it was the wrong kind
Jaye needs a new mouse for the computer
Of course, he didn’t take any notice of me
He loves to catch butterflies in his mouth
He lets them go unharmed
Maybe he likes the flavour of them
I have no clue, as I don’t speak cat too well.
After buying a new mouse, Merlin stopped
bringing his gifts for a while
was he trying to tell Jaye that
her mouse needed replacing?
Life has a way of twisting around
like a stick of barley sugar
The cosmos handed me one that day
a while ago Jaye decided
to retrieve our floppies with a reader
She saved four out of twelve of my books
We took the remaining ones to our local shop
The boys there are brilliant, they saved five now
All on new shiny discs
So I only lost three of my books
Even so, I was devastated
They’re gone forever, to some floppy heaven
Thank God, Jaye now uses USB’s
and backs everything up
Technology, what can you say?
February 14, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about valentines. It can be Valentine’s Day, the exchange, love for another, romance, or friendship. Have a heart and go where the prompt leads!
I touched her hand for the first time today
my fourteen-year-old heart sank into my boots
as she flinched away
A look of pain on her face
as if I had burned her with a hot iron
The Valentine card left on her desk
I later noticed it in the class bin
torn in half
I wondered if she was the kind
that didn’t believe in love
Later that day, my heart was doubly wounded
when I watched her kissing a girl.
They thought they were hidden by the tall trees
my love for her would never be returned…
Yesterday I visited our Farmer’s Market
where I noticed an old man wearing a sign
Beware! God is around every corner!
So from now on, I am going to walk a straight line
I have no wish to bump into God.
I’m sure he’s looking for me.
Probably has a tin full of sins with my name on.
The worst one I can think of is using His name in vain
“Oh God.” comes out of my mouth at least a dozen times a day.
I’m not saying it’s easy to keep on a straight path.
Corners are everywhere…
Two weeks holidaying on top of the cliffs, overlooking the sea and ragged rocks of Cornwall. Sea mist rolling in, invisible hands unfurling a white carpet across the bay between the cliffs either side. Nature’s magic moment.
This morning, the mist cleared quickly, there between the sky and the edge of the sea sat an island that didn’t belong there.
How can the mist have carried an island into view like something from Gulliver’s Travels?
No, wait. I believe I am looking at Avalon, the island where Arthur was carried by the blind ferryman to heal, while Merlin watched…