Jan De Vries had been a gem sorter for his entire adult life.  In fact, August would mark his thirtieth year in the trade.

It had been a rather run-of-the-mill day at the Exchange when the new hire, Daan Van de Walle called to attract his attention.

“Meneer De Vries, I think you should see this,” the young man said with air of excitement.

“What is it now?” the master sorter asked dismissively.

When he reached Van de Walle’s table, the apprentice handed him a stone.  Jan put his glass into his eye and scanned the gem.  “Yes, it is a flaw,” he announced.

“Yes Sir, it is, but please look closer,” Daan said as he handed him a magnifying glass.

In nearly three decades, De Vries had never heard of such a thing, much less witness it.  But it was irrefutable.  There before him was a discovery that would change our understanding of the world. There encased in the stone was a tiny channel and in the channel was an even smaller ladder.




Maybe Horton was right!


Sunday Photo Fiction



Leading the Way

Image by Cheryl Holt from Pixabay

There was an air of excitement as the convoy of eleven cars and SUVs arrived in the parking lot.  Many had been looking forward to this event since last year.  There would be singing, games, and of course – food.

Angel’s mom had made mac and cheese; the really yummy type with ham in it and the cheese all thick and gooey.  It was Angel’s favourite.  Tonya’s mom had made brownies, that were soft and chewy.  There were no nuts in them though – Tonya hated nuts.  This was also really good because James was allergic to them.

As the families began to unload coolers, and folding chairs from the vehicles, Charles started to sing Jesus Loves Me with a lisp, he having lost not one, but two front teeth the night before.  Several of the children giggled at this, only to be shushed by Sister Taylor.

“He’s doin’ a lovely job,” the Church Mother said, “You go ahead a sing, Sweetie, it’s lovely.

“Everybody ready?” Tonya’s mom asked the gathered families.

“Looks like it,” Someone responded.

With that, Angel and Tonya, the Pastor’s grand-daughters, ran across the little bridge.  They knew just the perfect spot for the annual Sunday School picnic.



Daily Writing Prompt #27: Realistic Fiction


Day Zero

Image by Fabien Huck from Pixabay

Hector Cummings stood on the hill top overlooking the metropolis.  He had been a wiz at CalTech and landed himself a lucrative job in Silicon Valley.  But he had become more and more concerned with humanity’s impact on the planet.  He saw a mass extinction event as unavoidable, but just what species would fail to make the cut?

After months of consideration, he made his decision.  Humans, or at least their technology, would have to go.  Two things therefore began to fill his time.  The first was the stocking up of a remote cabin in the mountains, and the second was the writing of an ultimate piece of code.

He then gathered a like-minded group of conspirators around him using the dark web.  Among these were a disgruntled NASA engineer, and a hacker extraordinaire who had previously broken into government systems.  They set today, 29 February 2020 as Day Zero.

An hour ago, Hector had triggered his code.  Now power plants were shutting down, and satellites were falling from the sky.  He now watched from his hilltop as a new age dawned.




Daily Writing Prompt #22

Visiting Granny Proctor

Wine, Red Wine, Glass, Cup, Drink, Wine Glass

Image by daves19387 from Pixabay

Ellie hadn’t seen Grandma Proctor for three years, as she had been studying at a university on the opposite side of the country.  But, now that she was home, it was time for her to try to reboot the relationship.

When she had been younger, Ellie had always thought visiting the old farm strange.  After all she was a suburban girl, and the weather worn barns, and muddy paths through the pastures were unfamilar.  But she did love her granny and she always enjoyed the freshness of the meals, and the smooth “same day” milk.

Now at 22 she was visiting her for the first time on her own.   There was no buffer of Mum.  Nevertheless she boldly stepped out of her car, just avoiding the cowpat next to her door, and strode to the house.  Giving a gentle knock she was greeted with a call, “Come in Ellie, no need to be formal.”

Ellie stepped into the front room, and was given a firm embrace by her granny.  “Come on into the sitting room,” the old woman said.

The pair spent hours in recollection of Ellie’s childhood visits, and Ellie answered multiple questions about her studies and he future plans.  As they talked they sipped on Granny’s special “home-made” wine.  It was very tasty and had a smoothness on the tongue, but a slight bite in the belly.  Yet, its curious flavour eluded her efforts to Ellie was quite taken with it, and drank perhaps a bit more of it than she should have.

“Granny, what is the wine? Elderberry or something?” she eventually asked.

“No Darling, its a special blend of my dandelion brew mixed and bottled with Tesco Supermarket Value Red.”



Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: Curious Wine – Katherine V. Forrest

The Lunch Box

Lunchbox, Tin, Ninja Turtles, Lunch, Box, Metal, School

Image by groovy_giggle_girl from Pixabay

Dillon was quite proud of his Ninja Turtle lunch box, and while it may have seemed a bit retro to some of his classmates, it served him well.  You see retro was kind of Dillon’s thing.  He didn’t like change.  So using his dad’s old lunch box gave him a sense of security.

For the month of September, he was happy with the predictability of what Raphael, and Donatello would provide him: one ham sandwich on white white bread (crusts removed), a Babybel cheese snack, an apple and cinnamon granola bar, and a seedless navel orange.  Every day, he would return home, with his box empty and his belly content.

Then it happened, on October third he came home ill-tempered.  Mum noticed that there was also some weight and a dull thump in his Turtles-box.  On examination, she found the box empty say for a tangerine.

“Dillon, Honey,” why didn’t you eat your fruit?” she asked.

“Because it wasn’t right,” he replied.

“Not right?” she asked.

“It’s not an orange,” he observed.

“Sorry Baby, but oranges are not the only fruit,” she said in an attempt to win him over.

“Well they should be,” he insisted.



Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson

The Farm Scheme

Real Estate, Land, Development Of


I really didn’t know what i was getting myself into when I agreed to be co-opted onto the local council.  It seemed the right thing to do at the time, a kind of ‘civic duty’ fulfilled.  But wow, how could I have been ready for what followed?

My first meeting was about whether we should allow a co-operative farming venture to be set up in some disused land on the side of town.  It seemed positive enough, a kind of allotment scheme writ large.  Cheap affordable veg for the local community, and the clearing away of what had become a fly tipping site.  Better still it would involve several of the homeless people of the town, who largely felt themselves to be ‘outside’ the community. Win-win I thought as I cast my vote in favour.

Little did I expect, that the council then selected me to be one of the Councillors that would coordinate the venture.  My opposite number would be Herman Grant, Councillor and local green grocery.  It quickly became clear that this lone ‘no’ voter on the scheme was not going to cooperate, no matter how beneficial the scheme might be.  After all, it was going to hit him squarely in the bank account.

He made no waves in getting volunteers to clear the site.  He approved funds to have it fertilised.  He even agreed to the list of plot holders – not once showing aversion to the would be farmers named.  Then the penny dropped, the only crops he would approve for the site were olives, lemons, and other Mediterranean type produce.  Each would take years to grow, if they grew at all in England.

Well, so much for the dream of community cohesion.


The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS August 17/19: co –


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

Where The Sidewalk Ends


Image result for sidewalk

image: Seattle Curbed

Terry and Carl were going for an adventure.  They were for the first time going to be allowed to go to the park without adult supervision.   The rules were clear though.  They were to stay together, and keep their phones turned on.  They were to stay on the pavement, and when the pavement ended on the north side of the street, they were to look both ways and then cross to where the sidewalk continued on the south side.   Where the sidewalk ends, they would find themselves directly opposite the park, so they were to cross back to the north and enter the park.

“Yeah, yeah,” Terry said to Mum. After all it was only seven or eight streets away, he thought.

“Okay,” Carl piped in afraid that Mum would change her mind, if he didn’t seem to be listening.

The two set off and came to the end of the north pavement.  The houses ended on this side of the street as well.  There was a dirt path worn into the verge, however, where others had continued onwards rather than doing the double crossing that the sidewalk dictated.  The path ran along the road side for about a block, then veered through an orchard before entering the park through a hole in the fence that someone had made.

Carl was just getting ready to cross the street when Terry said, “Don’t be a baby.”

“What do you mean?” he asked his step-brother.

“I mean, it’s shorter to go straight, and that you don’t always have to do everything your mum says.”

“She’s your mum too,” Carl challenged.

“Step Mum, and my real mum would let me do it.”  Terry then started down the dirt path.  Hesitantly Carl followed.

As the path curved inwards towards the apple trees, it seemed to get longer and longer before them.

“I don’t like this,” Carl said. “Let’s go back.”

“You go if you want, baby,” Terry said scornfully.

Carl reluctantly continued on.

After what seemed to be hours, the pair saw a fence before them.  It was not the chain-link one that they remembered seeing from within the park, however.  This one was made of wooden panels, and a gate was at the centre of the path.

Terry marched up to it and lifted the latch, and the step brothers looked with amazement at what stood beyond.  It was not the small municipal park with its swing sets and slide, but a flowering meadow, with hills and waterfalls in the distance.

Carl quickly turned around to leave, but when he did the path was gone, and only a dark scary forest was behind them.

The two boys entered through the gate . . . .




(452 words, 22 Minutes)

Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: Where the Sidewalk Ends

Where The Wild Things Are

Forest, Wild, Wilderness, Trees


Diego was sure that he was on the right path.  He had remained on the old cobbled road eastwards until it gave way to the well worn dirt pathway.  When he came to the crossroads he had deliberately taken the fork that kept the mountains to his left.  So why was the trail taking him into a dark woodlands?  The Abbot had not mentioned that anything of this sort should be part of his journey.

The sun was dropping low in the afternoon sky and he needed to make a decision.  Should he go back to the crossroads and try again, or push onwards?

In the end he said a prayer for guidance and then felt compelled to continue on the route he had already undertaken.  The papers he carried were vital to the Order, and he could not risk a delay.

As he journeyed into the ever darkening wood, he felt as if he was being watched.  Then at the next turning, a black-clad figure sat on a stump cleaning his pointed nails with a dagger.

“Greetings Brother,” the man said without looking up. “Welcome to my wood.”

“Your wood, Señor?” the messenger asked.

“Why yes, my wood indeed.”

“Then Señor, can you tell me, am I on the right path to San Sebastian?”

“No, I am afraid you are not,” the fork-bearded stranger said, giving a cruel smile.

“Which way should I go then?” Brother Diego asked pleadingly.

“That Brother, is up to you. If you hand the papers you carry over to me, I shall show you the way.  If not, I am afraid you are on your own, here where the wild things are.”

“Never,” said the holy man.

Suddenly the dark figure vanished, as did the trial.  Diego stood alone in the wilderness.


(299 words – 23 minutes)




Daily Writing Prompt

The Revolution

Pexels from Pixabay

“We really have to make a stand,” Aaron said full of conviction.

The others in the room gave a nod of agreement, but inwardly were full of fear at the prospect of standing up to the authorities.

Jacquelyn was excited however.  The prospect of resisting the arbitrary searches of her quarters by the Administrator’s henchmen thrilled her.

She slowly rose to her feet and with a trembling voice shouted, “To the barricades.”

With that Aaron, Jacqui, and Felix began to lug the lounge furniture from the day room of Peaceful Acres Care Home into the street.  They placed the first red chair in front of the staff driveway, and then slowly hobbled back to collect another chair.

Some revolutions start slowly.



Sunday Photo Fiction – June 30, 2019