The Serve and Protect


It is a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.  I am a guard at a maximum security specialist facility.   For six hours a day I pace the rails and monitor the inmates below.  Oh, some of them look bright and friendly with their garish colours, or unobtrusive in their tell tale stripes, but don’t let that fool you.  There are some seriously shady characters down there.  They are hedged in by shark infested waters and our concrete walls and iron railings.  If they had their way they wouldn’t let you see the light of day.  So, I will not shirk in my duties.  I will not allow “parasol peril” to be loosed on society.  No – never on my watch.


Crimson’s Creative Challenge #37


shadows on the wall


Were they being followed?  Neither could be sure, but there was that uneasiness of feeling, like they were being watched.


Stan stopped and listened, Julie clenching his hand tightly.  Nothing.


They took a few more steps, was that an echo of their own footfalls or was it someone or something keeping pace with their movements?


“I knew we shouldn’t have come this way,” Julie whispered.


“But do you want to go back past whatever’s there?” he responded.


The clouds parted for a moment and a shadow of what seemed something human briefly fell upon the building they stood near.


Chills felt upon spines –

Trembling apprehension for

Shadows on the wall




Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, July 24th 2019, shadows on the wall

The Cat


Related image

Aaron Katz was a bit of an exhibitionist.  Okay, he was handsome and well built, and often had the attention of young women when he went to the beach or the gym.

All except for Molly Johnson.  This irritated Aaron.  She was kind of cute, and no doubt clever, but she was “nothing special.”  So, why did she ignore him?

This really troubled him.

One day she sat reading on a beach towel with her nephew.

Aaron laid his towel down only a few feet from hers and began to slowly strip down to his Speedos, flexing every muscle he could in the process.

She glanced up over her sunglasses and then returned to the book uninterested.

He next dropped into the sand and did several push-ups before jumping up and running his fingers through his blonde locks.

Again, hardly a reaction from Molly.

Aaron decided to go for his “fail-proof” surfing exhibition.    He grabbed his broad and ran into the waves.  As he crested a huge curl, he flipped to do a handstand, and called to the beach, “Hey, Molly.”

She glanced at him and then returned the story.

Aaron came ashore and flopped down on his towel and said, “What’s up with you anyway?”

She turned so the Dr Seuss book’s cover could be seen by him and she read the words  “Look at me. Look at me now,” to her nephew.  Then she added the line, “Katz don’t need to have hats to be obnoxious show-offs.”

(248 words, 23 Minutes)


Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: The Cat in the Hat

The Dream


Couples from around the world participate in the mass wedding ceremony at a Sun Moon University in Asan, south of Seoul, South Korea,

AP photo

“I was sitting on a throne like thing, and hundreds – no, thousands of people were gathered in front of me.  The women were all in white, and they were all looking at me.  They were waiting for me to say something,” I explained.

“Interesting,” she responded. “So what did you do?”

“I didn’t want to let them down, so I stood up and said something about how wonderful it was for them to have all come, and that they were truly terrific examples for people in today’s world.  I exhorted them to show love and commitment to one another, in the same way they were showing it to me.”

“Sounds a like a really interesting dream,” my therapist said.

“Really?” I asked.

“And what do you think it means?” she asked kindly.

“I guess – I guess that, I dreamt I was the Moon.”


(144 Words)



dVerse Prosery 2

The Foundations

Digging, Man, Work, Working, Sewage


Ivan put down his shovel and wiped his face before taking a large gulp of water.  He looked around him and congratulated himself on the progress he was making.  Breaking apart the platform of the old rail station had been back breaking work, but the digging of these new foundations was even harder, especially when his trench broke through that old sewage line.  By the time he had finished that section he was anosmic.

Oh well, he mused, back to work.  

An hour and half later he started to dig the perpendicular trench and was just about to get to the point where the trenches converged when he saw a young man approaching him with a shovel over his shoulder.

“Who are you?” Ivan asked.

“I am Peter, and the foremen sent me to help.”

“But I don’t need any help,” Ivan said. “Did he say if there was anything specific that you were supposed to help with?”

The young man took out a hand-drawn diagram and pointed to a section with large rectangle which was drawn with red and white stripes.

“I am supposed to help dig these twenty metres,” he said.

“Metres?” Ivan questioned, pulling out his own diagram.  “Metres, damn!”

Ivans’ morning of success had been barmecidal.   He had spent the entire day  measuring in feet not metres.  It was enough to make him scream.




Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: Wordle #143


1. Who Are You
2. Break Apart
3. Water
4. Anosmic- absence or loss of the sense of smell
5. Stripes
6. Scream
7. Shovel
8. Barmecidal- giving only the illusion of plenty; illusory:
9. Station
10. Help
11. Converge
12. Specific

The Smoldering Lotis


Han Lo had never been much of a monk.  He had been lax in his martial arts exercises, and he could never meditate without his mind wandering.  It was no great surprise then, that he was the least adept of those who finished the training.  He did, however, pass and earned his grey robes.

The problem was that the Abbot couldn’t find a single job for Han Lo to do within the monastery.  He was and abysmal cook, and was so poor a gardener that his fellow monks said, “he could make a waterlily die of thirst.”    They played on that idea and many called him “The Smoldering Lotus.”

In time Han Lo was offered the opportunity to become a travelling monk, bringing comfort to the people of isolated mountain communities.  The position was in reality just a last ditch attempt by the Abbot to find a way to employ the inept monk.

The problem was that Han Lo wasn’t particularly good with people either.  So when he came into the mountains, he hid the nature of his assignment.  Rather than visiting the ill or grieving he told the mountain elders he had been sent to do a remarkable thing.  He was to be their protector from dragons.

Han Lo was satisfied with the ruse.  After all no dragon had been seen in those parts for a thousand years.  He just set back and accepted the daily offerings from the community, and occasionally made dramatic shows of poorly executed Karate, explaining they were special moves designed for battling the fire breathing beasts.

Then one afternoon word arrived that the village of Win had been burned to the ground, and the few surviving refugees described the huge lizard like beast that had meted out the destruction.

The elders all gathered at Han Lo’s door demanding he do something.  It being his “calling.”

Reluctantly the young monk agreed, and said he would first need to gather some things.  Looking around his cottage all he could see that looked impressive was a small wooden box from the table next to his bowl and chopsticks.  He picked this up and tucked it purposefully into his robe.

The entire population of three villages gathered to see the “Dragon Fighter” head into the hills.

Han Lo quickly learned that there was something else he was not good with – heights.  As he travelled the narrow pathways upwards he noted the sheer drops flanking his passage.  With one eye closed to try to minimise the view, he continually repeated the words: “You do not need wings to fly,” in an attempt to calm himself.

At last Han Lo crested a peak to come face to face with the dragon.  The man had absolutely no idea what to do next. He then remembered the box he had picked up from his table.  Though he was sure he was about to die, he gambled all.  Opening the wooden box he grabbed a handful of its contents and threw it into the face of the beast.

As the pepper hit the creature it reared, and then gasping let out a huge sneeze, blasting a massive flame skywards.  Han Lo then rushed forward and dumped the remaining pepper into the dragon’s nostrils.  It again sneezed, though its flame was greatly diminished.  As it prepared to sneeze again, the monk dodged out of its path, but a small stream of ragged fire singed his robes.  The dragon continued to sneeze uncontrollably and the continued convulsions extinguished the last of the beast’s flame.

Gaining its composure, the dragon tried to squash Han Lo, but the monk jumped on the creatures back to avoid the fall of its foot.  Much to Han Lo’s distress the dragon began to fly. “You do not need wings to fly,” the young man repeated to himself.  The dragon tried to shake him off, but in the end settled to the earth exhausted – right in the centre of the village square.  Panicked villagers scrambled, until they saw the charred form of Han Lo sliding off the creatures back.  The men ran forwards and collectively bound the beast.

Han Lo was a hero, and renouncing his vows established his own dragon fighting business – Smoldering Lotus Enterprises.



Sunday Writing Prompt “5 by 5”


Choose an Opponent:

Mythical Being 

Choose a Business Name:

The Smoldering Lotus 

Choose a Container:

Wooden Box 

Choose a Personal Mantra:

You do not need wings to fly

Choose a “Weakness”:

A skill that is lacked but necessary for the task at hand 





The Foreign Minister: A Dunes War Tale

Alfonso Sagasius was brooding over the injustice of the uproar over his verdict, when his clerk knocked the door.


“Please enter,” the judge called.


The man opened the door and said, “My Lord, the Foreign Minister is here to see you.”


“Show him in,” Sagasius instructed.


A moment later Lord Blackridge, the Foreign Minister, and the Lord Chief Justice entered the chamber.


Sagasius courteously offered them a seat, and then sat down himself.


“Alfonso, my friend,” the Chief Justice began, “My Lord Blackridge has some important things to say to you and I think it is best for you to hear him out before you respond.”


“I will, Lord Digby,” Sagasius responded quietly.


“My Lord,” Blackridge began, “far be it from me to interfere in matters of the judiciary.  These are troubled times, however, and so there are weighty circumstances that must be considered.  The matter of the merchant, Zabrinsky, is one such circumstance.  The man is married to the sister of Count Branov, who in turn is the cousin of Czar Blad.


“Yes, I am aware of this,” Sagasius interjected.


“Good” the Minister continued.  “The war with the Sultanate has thus far gone well.  We have achieved several victories, but the outcome is still far from certain.  We have firm control of our own southern border, but out manpower is not limitless.  If the Ice-landians reneged on their pledge of neutrality and allowed the Ralulee passage through the Eastern Passes and transit of their lands, our entire eastern frontier would be at risk.  Worse still, if the Czar chose to ally with the Sultan, then even with support from the Nordlanders we would almost assuredly face defeat.”


“Do you see the dilemma we are in?” the Chief Justice asked.


“But Zabrinsky defrauded hundreds of our people,” Sagasius objected.


“We are not blind to that,” Blackridge responded.  “We are not even asking you to reverse your verdict.  What we need to avoid is a lengthy appeal, or the worsening of our relationship with the Czar.”


“What do you want me to do then?” Alfonso asked bitterly.


“You have not as yet passed final sentence,” the Chief Justice said. “When you do, you can uphold your integrity and speak of Zabrinsky’s callous actions, but then say that in regards to his sentence, that you must honour international agreement as well as King’s Law, and you in light of the man’s diplomatic appointment are obliged to expel him to his sovereign’s lands, but no further sanction will be meted out to him in this kingdom.”


“I trust that about handles it,” the Foreign Minister said standing and extending his hand to Sagasius. “I believe it is appropriate for me to say that King Hector will be most grateful for your decision.”


Sagasius shook his hand and then showed the two out.  He then sat heavily in his chair and again cursed a pox on all politicians.



FOWC with Fandango — Grateful

The Appeal: A Roseman Tale

Image result for wigged judge

image: Quara

Alfonso Sagasius KC paced his chambers.  This was all quite wrong, he mused.  Decades on the bench and the Judge had never had a single decision challenged before.  The king himself had said that he was, what was the phrase?  That was it, “It is Sagasius who puts the just into justice.”

Now, he was being questioned – scrutinised. Why? Because I sentenced a foreigner.  The man hadn’t even been credentialed as a diplomat until the trial had begun, and then only because he was the brother-in-law to a minor nobleman. 

A pox on all politicians!


Weekend Writing Prompt #115 – Judge

Winni’s Visit

Image result for messy teenage rooms


There was definitely an elephant in the room, and rather than risking Winni flying off the handle, as she so often did, it seemed sensible to give the matter of her now three month long “weekend” visit a wide berth.

When she first arrived at her sister’s door, a hastily gathered shopping bag of belongings at her feet, it was easy for Susan to bury the hatchet of their teenaged squabbles and to comfort her grieving sibling.   Susan had never thought much of Winni’s boyfriend Roger.  He was a waste of space:  he was a bit of a peacock – always strutting his stuff, and he was penny pinching as well.  Surely he was at fault.

But three months on, the curtain was being drawn open.  It was Winni that seemed to be perpetually going off half cocked.  And the lounge which she had transformed into her “bedroom” was a bomb site.

Susan thought about for a few moments and then decided that a few more days wouldn’t break the bank.  She shrugged and left the room.  After all why rock the boat?



Saturday Mix – Mad About Metaphor, 20 July 2019: Give a wide berth.

Education Policy

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image; Historic Loxton

In anticipation of becoming Britain’s next prime minister, Boris Johnson sent a fact-finding team to Australia.  He had heard there were some great new initiatives “Down Under,” and wanted to see if they could enhance Tory education policy.

He had given the team leader clear instructions as to which institutions to visit.  No, the new pupil centered approach form Adelaide wouldn’t do.  No, his team needed to go to Loxton.  That’s where Britain’s educational future would be found.


What Pegman Saw: Loxton, Australia