Flowery Words

Minne, Minstrel, Middle Ages, Costume

Image by Reinhard Thrainer from Pixabay


From poet’s lips flowery words seem to flow

But it’s but the bards’ illusion

The spells that seem in an instant cast

Are more than mere effusion

The word-play is by practice learned

In hours of verbal profusion

So simple then it does appear

Whether “ad hoc” or an allusion

But if by the flow you are won

Be sure to pay on its conclusion




Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge: Poet’s lips






Lightning, Storm, Weather, Sky, Thunder, Strike, Bolt

Image by sethink from Pixabay


Things had not gone the way the novice band of adventurers had hoped.  They had been sold tainted rations by an unscrupulous merchant who had sensed their greenness.  Later they had their ponies stolen by the companions of a rogue who had enticed them to leave the beasts behind as he led them to “a secret cave,” where he abandoned them in the dark.  They had barely escaped the huge bugbear, who dwelt in the cavern’s dark recesses.

Battered and beaten they trudged back towards town only to be beset by a party of goblins.  The greenhorns battled valiantly as they made a slow fighting retreat towards a decrepit looking cabin they had spied in the distance.

Now barricaded inside – arrows spent, and weapons and armour damaged – they waited for the final onslaught that would mean their demise.

“Do we have anything left?” Hiam the archer asked his companions.

“My spells are all depleted,” Erin the cleric responded, “though I still have my staff.”

“My axe haft is broken, but I will battle on with this table leg,” Regnald the Barbarian said, holding the piece of broken furniture aloft.

“What about you, Tillian?” Erin asked.

The magician looked downcast as he said, “No, I used all my spells too.”

“Do we have anything else? Anything at all?” Hiam prompted.

Tillian dug through a deep pocket in his robe, and then sheepishly said, “I do have this old scroll my uncle gave me.”

“What does it do?” Regnald asked.

“I really don’t know,” the would-be wizard admitted. “He just said it might be handy.”

Just then, they could hear the battle cries of the goblins as the prepared for another assault.

“Just read it,” Hiam and Erin said almost in unison.

Tillian unrolled the parchment and in a loud voice called, 

“Let there be storms

Let chaos fill the air

Let woe befall those

Who ill to me declare”

Suddenly there were tremendous explosive crashes from outside, and the entire cabin seemed to shake as thunderous booms echoed across the countryside.

When the world again fell quiet, Erin cautiously peeked out of the cabin at a scene of utter devastation.  Trees were shattered, and charred remains of the goblins littered the approach to the party’s shelter.

Tillian looked out over Erin’s shoulder and said, “Uncle Merlin never said it would do that.”


Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge: “Let there be storms”


Dangerous Thoughts

Book, Pen, Notebook, Diary, Desk, Writing, Office


Dear Diary,

I was thinking.  Hey, I am one smart guy.   Really smart.  And the people “in charge,” are stupid, really stupid.  Very stupid indeed.  I would have called them inept, but stupid is a good word.  A terrific word to describe them.  In fact they are losers, they are amazing in their loser-ness, true losers.  I am a winner, I am use to winning, I have been winning my whole life.  So since I am a top guy, really smart, a winner, I think it would be an amazing thing if I was in charge.  I would be tremendous at it.  Yes, it’s time for me to do some more tremendous, like really amazing winning.

Tuesday Writing Prompt: Dangerous Thoughts






Restaurant, Cafe, Einstein Restaurant


Brian sat quietly, alone at a booth in a wayside diner.  It was a Tuesday, and that meant it was Ruby May’s famous chicken fried steak today.  Brian didn’t know what it was about it that made him look forward to it so much.  Maybe it was the balance of black pepper and the hint of cajun spice, or maybe it was just that he like the chance to get out and the see Ruby’s welcoming smile.

“Hey, Darlin’,” she would say, “The usual?”

“Yes ma’am,” he would reply and then begin to sip on his coffee, while he waited for his steak, and those creamy mashed potatoes.

Today was a little different than normal.  As he was sipping his coffee, a couple of young men and two young women took their seats in the booth across from him.

“Sooo – Freddy, this is your cousin you told us about,” a busty blonde of about twenty-five said.”

“Yea, this is Keith,” Freddy said.

Keith was in his mid-twenties.  He was wearing jeans and a T-shirt with the word “Army” across the chest.  Normally, Brian wouldn’t have taken much notice, but there was something about the young man who was carrying on the upwards side of thirty extra pound, and the Bronze Star ribbon pinned to his T-shirt that drew Brian’s attention.

Alice, Ruby’s assistant came and took the drinks orders for the foursome, and as soon as she left,  Keith started to regale the enthralled women with tales of his exploits on “secret missions,” and daring raids.

The scenarios discussed were all too familiar to Brian, and led him to momentarily drift into his own memories.  He was brought back to the present when Keith pulled out an iPhone with an Air Force cover and placed it on the table.

“Yep, only been back in country a few days,” he said.  “Hope you ladies won’t mind if I get a call and have to leave suddenly.”

“Oh no,” the blonde said. “Heroes have to do what heroes have to do,”   The redhead nodding her head in agreement.

Slowly, Brian used his arms to help swing his prosthetic legs from under the table.  He then took his crutch under one arm, and his coffee in the other hand, and moved towards a distant table.

As he went, Lance Corporal Brian Johnson said, “I knew a hero once, but he died pulling me from the humvee,”  No other words needed to be said.




Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: Once


Company Discipline

Black Cinema, Suspense, Man, Knight, Old


Artie Capello grew up on the mean streets.  At ten, he was arrested for stealing fruit from the stand in front of the corner store, and subsequently found himself in Borough Children’s  Home.  There he was found to have an uncanny aptitude for math, and he was taken under the wing of one of the tutors, Angelo Giliotti, a distant relation of the Taliferro Family.

Angelo made sure the young math wiz finished high school, and then college, getting a degree in accountancy.  Through it all, Artie never got past he feeling of needing to “make it on his own,” no matter what means were necessary.   For Artie, Artie needed to be number one.  Criminality was not outside the possibilities he would employ.

Angelo’s motives had been far from altruistic as well.  Just as Artie was graduating from university, Dino Taliferro, chief lieutenant to Bernardo “Big Bernie” Taliferro came around on his annual recruiting drive for “the family firm.”   Artie’s skills and ambition seemed a perfect fit, and he was soon working as one of the family’s bookkeepers.  His main job was the launder monies through the family’s many construction firms rather than to disclose the “less savoury” true origins of the funds.

Artie’s ambitions soon got the better of him, however.  Within months he was siphoning off a percentage for himself, always recorded into the ledgers as the purchase of housing shingles.  He reasoned that no one would be the wiser – for such relatively small amounts would be hard to notice, especially among the purchases of building firms.

He couldn’t have been more wrong.  Big Bernie didn’t get to the top by being careless.  He regularly had “legitimate” accountants scrutinise the books, and then report back to him any irregularities.

It was late on a Thursday evening, just as Artie was closing up shop for the day, when “Little Paulie” and Tito “Bouncer” Teppista arrived at the office.  The two had come to “politely question” the errant accountant about the shingles orders.  Before he knew what had happened, Artie found himself being held over the ledge of the building by his ankles.  Big Bernie had ordered that they take care of the fiddler, on the roof.


Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: Fiddler on the Roof



New Beginning

Monochrome Photo of Woman Leaning in Front of Vanity Mirror

Photo by Vinicius Altava from Pexels

Standing in the mirror Katherine faced the middle-aged woman staring back at her.  Her once mahogany hair had become streaked with gray where the red highlights once had been, and more recently become chocolate brown with the help of a bottle from Super Drug. She looked into what she thought were sad brown eyes, edged with fledgling crow’s feet, and wondered how life had turned out this way.

She briefly smiled when she caught a glimpse of the little tattoo above her left breast. Her friends back in college had thought it was a sign of rebellion, or an attempt at non-conformity. But Kath (that is what everyone called her) didn’t know the meaning of rebellion. She was a people-pleaser, and had been as far back as she could remember. No, the little bird tattoo was a wren, which she had got in a moment of self-indulgence. It was a reminder of the dad she had loved so much, and who had always called her Kather-wren, or just Wren, a special pet name shared only by the two. But he had gone to the South Atlantic in ’82, when she was just 15, and never returned.

School and then college had gone by all to quickly.  Then came the hasty marriage and an even hastier divorce.  Several other equally bad relationships had followed.  Her people-pleasing seemed to always land her with unsuitable partners, if not outright users.  But now she had made a decision, – she was going to live for her.  Today was going to be a new beginning!




Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge:  Use the phrase “standing in the mirror, she….” in a piece of prose or poetry

I Never Knew

Detail of The School of Athens -Wikipedia

Sticking to the theme of philosophy, Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda from Go Dog Go Cafe challenged us to write a piece using the words, “I never knew.”   What a great prompt to get philosophical with!


I never knew –

Such depths to ponder –

I had no clue –

As my mind did wander


Is it all just shadows on the wall?

Did Plato make – any sense at all?

Are ethics just a thing we make?

A response to society’s past mistakes?


I never knew there was so much to take in –

I’m finding it hard to even begin –

Aristotle, Spinoza, Hobbs, and Hume –

Makes me want to hide in my room


But big questions I’ll find – even there –

Is time relative – or the same everywhere?

Does the image I see in the mirror –

Make my understanding of self any clearer?


I never knew

How hard it could be –

So I’ll just give up –

And watch TV




Tuesday Writing Prompt:  “I never knew” 







Care, Human, Old, Love, Seniors, Health, Disease, Age


It was the big annual promotion drive at the Eucalyptus Acres Retirement Community.  The open house event featured spry elderly residents playing tennis, taking Salsa dance lessons, and having a lively and highly social life.   Visitors, and especially the media and perspective future patrons, were shown what a quality life old age could be in facilities like Sydney’s Eucalyptus Acres.

An anonymous note had been passed to a journalist at the close of the previous year’s event.  It suggested that not all was as it seemed in the complex.  With that in mind, the investigative reporter, Nancy Howard kept her eyes open and her cameraman close as she attended this year’s do.

After getting the usual shots, and taping the chief executive’s promotional speech, Nancy slipped quietly down a side corridor.   There she found that the hallway was shorter than its twin in the other direction, and in fact seemed to end abruptly with heavy curtains blocking the way.  Nancy, cameraman in tow, pulled back the drapes to find a day room filled with the most feeble and emaciated people she had ever seen.  Yes, behind the curtain were the Wizened of Aus.



Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: The Wizard of Oz

Simple Instructions

Junction, City, Aerial View, Urban, Road


Kim and Davis were really struggling.  They had taken the Number 3 bus from the airport as the hotel had told them too, and they got off at the eighth stop once they got into the city proper.   It had all seemed so easy.  The email had said they would only need to cross the street, and the hotel would be the tall blue building on the right.  The problem was, there were no blue buildings.

They crossed the street, baggage in tow, and began asking for directions.

“Do you speak English?” they asked a man of about forty, who responded only with a negative shake of the head.

“Do you speak English?” they again asked; this time to a matronly looking woman who was waiting for the Number 4 bus.   “A little, she responded.”

“Great,” Davis said, “Do you no where the New Palace Hotel is?”

“New Palace?  No.  This I do not know?” she responded.

As a thirty-something man in a business suit approached, Kim blurted “New Palace Hotel?”

The man stopped in his tracks and said in clear but accented English, “Okay, go left at the crosswalk, and then stay on that street for 42 blocks, then take a right.”

“Thank you so much,” Davis said, and the two began the journey, counting off each crossroad.  At last they came the the 42nd street and turned dutifully right.  To their dismay, they were welcomed by a sign which read not “New Palace,” but rather “Tourist Information Office.”



Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: 42nd Street