Written in the Sky

Image result for cassiopeia


“There’s a big “W” in the sky,” Tilly said looking up in wonder.

“That’s Cassiopeia,” Aunt Helen replied.

“Cassiopeia?  That’s a funny name,” Tilly said mulling it over in her mind.  “Do you spell Cassiopeia with a W?”

“Not exactly,” her aunt explained.  “You see a long time ago there was a beautiful queen named Cassiopeia.  She was really, truly beautiful, but she was also brash and conceited.  She was so caught up into her own looks, that she looked down on the beauty of others.  She even went so far as to brag that she was more attractive than the goddesses or the sea nymphs called the Nereids.  This angered the Sea-god Poseidon who was married to one of the Nereids, so he sent a sea monster to punish her for vanity.   In the end she was cast into the sky as a punishment.”

“That’s terrible,” Tilly said.

“Yes, but Queen Cassi got the last laugh,” her aunt observed.  “See she’s still with us,  her name in the sky.”


Her Name in the Sky

FOWC with Fandango —Brash


A Loof

Image result for loofah

image: Amazon

Barbara entered the office to see Alice sitting alone deep in thought rather than joining the others at the coffee urn.

“You seem rather aloof today,” Barbara commented casually.

“And what is that supposed to mean?” Alice snapped. “Do you think I am abrasive or something?  Well I am not on of those stupid beauty products you and Tina are always going on about.”

“Aloof, not a loofah,” Barbara tried to explain.

“I don’t care how you pronounce it.  I can’t be bothered by such frivolous things like the rest of you silly women.”


FOWC with Fandango — Aloof

Guileless Spirit

Dreamland, Angel, Fairy Tales, Woman

Image by Jonny Lindner from Pixabay 

Bewitching presence,
Darting up through nature’s realm.
Pure spirit aglow –
Guileless apparition soars –
In an innocence complete.

Tanka is a classic form of Japanese poetry related to the haiku with five unrhymed lines of five, seven, five, seven, and seven syllables. (5, 7, 5, 7, 7)



FOWC with Fandango — Guileless

The Hope-Giver



Lord, or was it King, Leonas led the remnant of his people down the wilderness road in search of refuge.  It was a giant responsibility for a twenty-three year old.  Yet, leadership was thrust upon him.  The attack had been sudden and unprovoked, but King Hilyan, his uncle had responded quickly and though doomed, he had bought time for the young Lord Leonas to lead away the women, children, and the elderly.

He had and his thirty men-at-arms had formed a blind on a hilltop to allow the column of refugees to gain the long East Road out of the kingdom.  It was from that vantage-point that Leonas had seen his uncle, his older brother, and his cousin Prince Phinis fall.  Now it was up to him; the people’s fates were in his hands.

“Lord Leonas,” an aged widow called. “How long until we find sanctuary?”

Speaking with a regal reserve, the youth responded, “Soon, brave lady, soon.”

She smiled, and took her grandchildren by the hands with a renewed strength.

In his heart he couldn’t be sure he could keep such a promise, but it was his duty to provide hope, and perhaps someday to bring his people home.

(200 Words)


FOWC with Fandango — Reserve

50 Word Thursday #36

Your Daily Word Prompt – Giant

Your Daily Word Prompt – Remnant


Bed, Four Poster, Luxury, Bedroom

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

For some blogging is like being nude –

You expose your hidden self.

For others it’s like when the lights come on –

You try to evade with stealth.


Some blogs are factual, others mere jest,

Some rude, erotic, or obscene.

Some try to keep their words romantic,

Always wholesome and clean.


There is no saying which blog genre’s best –

Like this very post – which is beyond my usual daily-three,

I guess it must be romantic then –

What else could a four-poster be?



FOWC with Fandango — Nude


Argument, Angry, Silhouette, Boss, Client, Dispute

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay  


Why is it that some instigate, incite, and connive?

Creating rifts and obstacles, so many just contrived –

They feel they are entitled to bring upon others pain –

Then they act all contrite; and innocence then they feign.


Why is it that so few build-up, encourage, or cheer?

Helping others surmount their worries or their greatest fears.

Giving just a moment to rectify misunderstandings great or small,

Aiding others in their wants, and open hurts so raw.


Why do we pass by silently, when these things we see?

Ignoring chances to speak up or aiding others to agree –

Be it politics or relationships, do we really need to divide?

I leave that with you now,  it’s for you to decide.






Inspiration Call: Word Prompt Wednesday – Why?

FOWC with Fandango — Instigate

FOWC with Fandango — Surmount

FOWC with Fandango — Raw

FOWC with Fandango — Rectify


Eleven Across

Into the Jaws of Death 23-0455M edit.jpg

Normandy Landing – Public Domain

There was definitely something abnormal in the Daily Telegraph.   “Gold,” “Sword,” and “Juno,” had all appeared in the crossword answers in the spring of 1944.  Then from the second of May until the eve of the invasion of France, the crossword answers including “Utah,” “Omaha,” and “Overlord,” appeared in quick succession.

MI5 was convinced that this had to be far more than a coincidence.  Were military secrets being fed to the Nazis, and where was the leaking of code-names coming from?

The crossword designer Leonard Dawe, the headmaster of Strand School was detained and interrogated.  He was determined to be innocent of espionage and released.  He was at a loss, however, as to how so many code-words appeared in his own puzzles.

Was it his compiling technique?  He often called students in and had them feed him words which they found interesting, to which he then decided appropriate prompts for the crossword.  It never occurred to him that his boys spent a lot of their leisure time hanging about near the American and Canadian army camps which were nearby.  Had the students inadvertently overheard soldiers bandying about secret words?

After his release Dawes called the boys in.  Ronald French was then asked where he had got these code-words from.  The lad then showed his headmaster his notebook.

“Don’t you know what you have done?” the man challenged. “This is wartime.”

“But the Yanks use the words all the time over at the camp,” the student replied.

“They may well do so, but we Englishmen know better.  We should never, I repeat never, share what we’re told not to talk about.  Now we are going to burn this notebook, and I want you to swear on the Bible, that you will not divulge any more of these words!” 

“Yes Sir,” the boy relented. “Not another word.”


*Based on true historical events. The Telegraph crossword contained the following in the run up to “Operation Overlord, 6 June 1944:

  • 2 May 1944: ‘Utah’ (17 across, clued as “One of the U.S.”) – code name for the D-Day beach assigned to the US 4th Infantry Division.
  • 22 May 1944: ‘Omaha’ (3 down, clued as “Red Indian on the Missouri”) – code name for the D-Day beach to be taken by the US 1st Infantry Division.
  • 27 May 1944: ‘Overlord’ (11 across, clued as “[common]… but some bigwig like this has stolen some of it at times.”) – code name for the D-Day landings.
  • 30 May 1944: ‘Mulberry’ (11 across, clued as “This bush is a centre of nursery revolutions.”) – temporary portable harbours used during the invasion.
  • 1 June 1944: ‘Neptune’ (15 down, clued as “Britannia and he hold to the same thing.” –  codeword for the naval phase of the invasion.)  


Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: What We’re Told Not To Talk About

FOWC with Fandango — Abnormal


Beyond the Hype

Girl, Model, Woman, Hair, Beauty, Portrait, Women

Image by Oliana Gruzdeva from Pixabay 

Aunt Elsa tossed the copy of Vogue onto the coffee table shaking her head dismissively.

“It just isn’t right,” she observed.

“Excuse me, what’s not right?” I asked.

“These highfalutin magazines, with the sickly skinny models tell’n us how we should look.  That one on the cover there, eyelashes up to her eyebrows and a mascara line almost to her ears.  It ain’t natural, and God help ’em if they get caught in a rainstorm, or did any real work and got sweaty, their man wou’n’t even recognise them,” Elsa ranted.

“That’s a little harsh, don’t you think?” I challenged.

“You think?” she continued. “Take them there Kardashians, and the like.  It’s all false like those magazine eyelashes.  And they think they have all the answers on how to be a woman.  It ain’t the make-up or the “love” advice.  You are born to it or you ain’t.  Take me, ain’t I a woman?  And nobody ever had to tell me how to do it.”

With that she stood and and adjusted the shoulder strap on her overalls and slid on her rubber boots.  “Better be gett’n back to the afternoon milking,” she said.  “But thank you for the coffee.”



FOWC with Fandango — Highfalutin

Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: How To Be A Woman

Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: Ain’t I a Woman?

The Mercenary

image: DNDspeak

Venar was desparate.  The Bronin Brothers had raided his farm stealing the livestock and taken his daughter hostage.  Venar had been given one week to bring them 500 silver pieces or she would be ravaged and mutilated.

“How can I raise such a sum,” Venar pleaded, “You have taken my animals.  I can’t even bring in the crops without my mule.”

“Why is that my problem Raynin Bronin?” asked dismissively.

“You have seven days,” added his brother, Gerwin.

“How do I know you won’t harm Liza?” Venar questioned.

Five days had passed and he had only been able to secure thirty-four pieces of silver, and that at the cost of his best plough and much of the firewood he had gathered for the winter.   The Bronin’s had his daughter, and even if he tried to rescue her, there was only one of him and three of them.

Finally he had, against his better judgement, decided to go to the Lusty Troll Tavern to seek a mercenary to aid him.  The timber framed building had seen better days and he noticed that plaster was missing in several places on the tavern’s facade.  Inside he found a dingy, single room with sawdust and straw on the floor, all of which was dimly lit by tallow candles.

He hesitantly approached the barman, and explained his plight.

“And how much can you afford to spend for such help?” the tavern-keeper asked.

“Twenty-eight pieces of silver,” Venar said. “But I don’t have it with me,” he added quickly after giving a quick glance at the surrounding drinkers.

“I think you will need the services of ‘R’,” the barman said giving a nodding gesture towards a muscular man at the end of the bar.  The warrior had small cold eyes, and a scar disfigured his left cheek.  The man looked disinterested with the farmer’s presence in the tavern, but gave his attention to slender, blonde woman sitting to his right.  She was attractive, and her hair was pulled back into a braided ponytail.   Venar couldn’t help seeing why she seemed to draw the warrior’s attention.

Pulling his own gaze away from the fine featured young woman, Venar studied the warrior more closely.  Yes, there they are, the farmer thought,  as he counted the six small skull tattoos on the huge warrior’s bicep.  He has killed six men.  Just the kind of fellow I need to defeat, or at least frighten the Bronins.

“How should I approach ‘R’?” Venar asked the inn-keeper.

“Rayna,” shouted the barman.

At this the blonde woman slid off of her stool and approached Venar and the tavern-keeper.

“What is it?” she said as she sized Venar up.

“This Gentleman needs your special kind of assistance,” the barman said with a wink.  “Twenty-five silver for you, and a commission for me.”

Venar at first thought that the tavern-keeper had gotten it all wrong.  He hadn’t come in for that sort of thing, he had a wife at home, and  . . . .  Then his eyes fell on the nineteen small skulls tattooed upon the woman warrior‘s forearm.


Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: The Woman Warrior

FOWC with Fandango — Tattoo



The Facility


image: buffymegaxover.fandom.com

The representative of the Kirk looked on with admiration as Matthew Hopkins, Witch-finder General continued the the tour of his facility near Manningtree, Essex.  If only we Covenanters could be so efficient, the dour Presbyterian thought to himself.

“And here you see the “awake room,” Hopkins said proudly.  “We find that the Satanic Whores” need their dreams to commune with the Dark One.  Once we deprive them of sleep their evil powers fade, and once in the presence of the true light they become repentant and confess.”

“And what is this wee pool,” the Scotsman asked.

“We find that dunking stools are of only limited value, so we have this deep troth.  We throw them in and since they have rejected Christian baptism, the water rejects them and they come sputtering to the surface.  It is a very accurate test of a witch,” the Witch-finder stated, as the Scot nodded.

“And here you see the inspection hut.  Notice that there are plenty of windows, so the light will reveal even the faintest witch-marks, ” Hopkins continued.  “We don’t want any mistakes.  Just think, what if an evil hag escaped because we missed a wart, or an innocent was executed because of a little dirt?  We are thorough here!”

“I don’t see any burning posts,” the Kirk-man observed.

“No, we English do things a little differently from up north, and on the Continent,” Hopkins said. “Unlike in your facilities, the witch doesn’t burn in this one.  We hang them, they will burn soon enough when they arrive in hell.”


Apologies for the historical inaccuracy.  Hopkins (Witch-finder General) was a real Puritan man who terrorised East Anglia in the period of the English Civil War.  The methods described are fairly accurate, as is the fact that English “witches” were not burned.  But he (Hopkins) never had a purpose built facility, nor is their any evidence that the Scots ever visited him in his persecution of outcast women.

Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: The witch doesn’t burn in this one

FOWC with Fandango — Dirt