The Embankment

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Life had never been easy along the embankment. Eel-fishers and boatmen made their lives in the cramped dwellings clustered there. That was in the “good old days,” before the river began to silt over.

Now the channel is far from navigable, and even the poor fishermen and boatmen have moved away leaving the embankment to those even more unfortunate and downtrodden. The houses are increasingly rundown and only those with no other place to stay will even attempt to dwell there.

That’s why it’s called student accommodation.


Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #86

As The Cogs Turn

Smartwatch, Gadget, Technology, Smart


Lost within the world’s malaise

A mere cog within the system

Corporate giants above us blaze

Their advertisements to ensnare us

“I am a person – individual,” we declare

As we don our jeans identical

Our genes we claim make us – us

Though we,  like a watch digital –

Are faceless




Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge: faceless




“Is this wood enchanted, Darren?” Miriam asked.

“No.  It’s just a wood.”

“What about that huge oak?”

“No.   It’s just an old tree,” he replied.

“Is that pretty little well over there enchanted?”

“No, but I always found that the water from it was particularly nice.”

“That fairy ring must be the place,” Miriam said pointing to the circle of red-capped mushrooms.

“Not that I’m aware of,” he replied.

“Darren Weaver, I’m starting to think that you brought me out here on false pretenses.  You said you were going to show me an enchanted place.”

“And I will,” he assured her.  “It won’t be much farther now.”

At last they came to a small clearing which held a rather unremarkable moss-banked pond.

“We’re here,” he announced.

“Here?” she asked, scrunching her nose.  “It doesn’t look enchanted to me.”

“Look in the pool,” he instructed.

“All I can see is my reflection,” she said.

“And what could be more enchanting than that?” he said handing her a daisy.




Cat Girl

Child, Play, Happy, Kids, Childhood, Joy


Deidre loved cats.  In fact, love was an understatement when regarding her attitude to anything feline.

Her older brother, Donald despaired of having to take his sister anywhere.  He was often late to school when he accompanied her, because she would stop to stroke some stray she had met along the way.  Going to the mall was no joy either, as he could seldom pry her away from the pet shop in order to do anything he would like to do.

It was with great trepidation that he agreed to keep an eye on Deidre when the family made an outing to the zoo.  Mom and Aunt Harriet told him that they would give him ten pounds for his efforts though.

Donald grabbed her hand and pulled the resistant eight-year-old to his favorite exhibit, the monkey house.   Donald was just winding up the howler monkeys into a fever-pitch when he noticed that his pain of a little sister had wandered off.

He knew exactly where to find her, however, and made a bee-line to the cat house.  As he entered the building,  he heard a joyful squeal from Deidre.

There was no time to inquire to what this exclamation, which was delivered in a very rapturous tone, referred however, as he noted that his sister was on the wrong side of the glass in the leopard enclosure.




Page & Line Challenge #1: “For this challenge, grab the book you’re reading or a random book off your shelf and turn to page 182 (or location if you’re using an ebook). Scroll down to line 16 and write a story using that line somewhere in it. Be sure to share the original line along with the book and author.”

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens



She’s Always A Woman: Lyrical Pronouns

This week Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday challenge was to write about a song containing personal pronouns.  Billy Joel’s She’s Always A Woman does just that.  She, her, me, and you all feature in this 1977 hit from The Stranger album.

She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child but she’s always a woman to me
She can lead you to love, she can take you or leave you
She can ask for the truth but she’ll never believe you
And she’ll take what you give her as long as it’s free
Yeah she steals like a thief but she’s always a woman to me
Oh, she takes care of herself, she can wait if she wants
She’s ahead of her time
Oh, she never gives out and she never gives in
She just changes her mind
And she’ll promise you more than the garden of Eden
Then she’ll carelessly cut you and laugh while you’re bleeding
But she brings out the best and the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself ’cause she’s always a woman to me
Oh, she takes care of herself, she can wait if she wants
She’s ahead of her time
Oh, she never gives out and she never gives in
She just changes her mind
She is frequently kind and she’s suddenly cruel
She can do as she pleases, she’s nobody’s fool
But she can’t be convicted, she’s earned her degree
And the most she will do is throw shadows at you
But she’s always a woman to me.
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Billy Joel
She’s Always a Woman lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group





François pointed to a spot on the other side of the valley.  He and Alexandre had set out from their two cabin base-camp three days before.  They were now hopefully in the home-stretch of their return journey.

Things had not gone well for them.  They were only an hour out when they surprised a mother bear tending he cub.  The dogs went wild, and Tacheté had barely escaped a mauling.  He shot off into the woods, with the other dogs on his heels.  The intrepid trappers had little choice but to follow them.

It took several hour to round the dogs up, and by then night was beginning to fall.  Therefore, they were forced to make a make-shift camp for the night.  In the night, snow began to fall.  Because of this and being in unfamiliar surroundings, they wandered the next day, and now into the third.

“I am certain it is on that side of the valley,” François said, as Alexandre shook his head unconvinced.

“Are you really sure you even want to go home?” Alexandre asked.

“Why would you ask that?” came the reply.

“Well, the last thing you said to Sophia was, ‘I am taking the dogs for a walk, I’ll be back in a couple of hours.’  You will be in la merde, my friend.

“Hmm,” François said after a moment.  “Have you ever considered visiting Montreal?”


Daily Writing Prompt



Letters and Such Like

Hunter Morgan was mighty proud of the new home he had built in the Willamette Valley.   He had arrive in Oregon from Mason County only a few weeks before.  He immediately set about building the house that he would share with his new wife, Mariah, a fellow Kentuckian he had met on the Little Train on the trail.  The couple now stood before the completed structure.

“What’ja think, Riah?” the farmer asked.

“I think it’s perfect?” the eighteen year old replied, giving him a big hug.

Hunter went to the wagon that had been their home, and took a chair and carried into the house.  He then returned and carried his bride across the threshold, and sat her down on the chair, before returning to the wagon to carry in their possessions.

As he brought items in, Mariah began to assemble them, and put things away.

Hunter brought in the final chest, a straw packed box of dishes that had been given to them by Mariah’s parents.  When it was opened, they came across a framed sampler that Riah had stitched a few years before.

Though Hunter couldn’t read, he could recognise most of the letters, and especially the ones which were in his name.

“Riah darlin’, you is right clever.  I have the perfect place for this.”  With that he took the frame and placed it with pride of place above the mantelpiece. “There, now we can always see your letters and such like.”


Daily Writing Prompt




Trip of a Lifetime

Hobbiton, Door, Fence, Movie Set

Image by Emma Farley from Pixabay

Howard could hardly believe his eyes when he saw the advertisement for “the ultimate Tolkien experience.”  The holiday package was being offered by a company called Gandalf Excursions based in Australia, and it featured an all-inclusive deal at an incredibly reasonable price.

With images of vacationing in some ideal Hobbit Hole in New Zealand, Howard rang the number and booked the very next opening with the agent.

The flight to Christ Church was long and tiring, and it may have been the fatigue of the first leg of the journey that made it so he didn’t wonder why his connecting flight was on a seaplane.  Although he didn’t want to miss a single moment of the experience, exhaustion got the better of him once the transfer was made, and he quickly fell asleep.

He woke to the revving of the plane’s engines, and he felt the shutter as the aircraft bounced on the waves as it landed.  It maneuvered into its moorings and the Tolkien fans were ushered onto a rickety wooden dock.  As they looked on in disbelief, clouds of thick yellow-green sulfurous smoke drifted across the bleak volcanic landscape.  Black sand and pumice ash covered the pathway to the rusty World War Two vintage Quonset huts that would serve as their accommodation during their stay.  A badly painted sign at the end of the dock read, “Welcome to Mordor.”


Travel Thursday #1: Your challenge today is to conjure up the best or worst trip imaginable and write a story or poem sharing it with the world.

Bird of Knowing

Idiophone: Bird of Prophecy (ahianmwen-oro)
16th–19th century (CC0)

Ahianmwen-oro – Messenger Bird,

The sound of you shaken –

Brings prophetic word.

In ritual acts, you bring from the sky,

Glimpses of the fate – empowering the king –

His people to bond, and even time – to defy.

With ceremony and trust –

The rhythmic bronze bird –

Helps shape history –

As its people are stirred.




Daily Writing Prompt: Ahianmwen-oro

Museum Link




The Find

The team at the Institute of Hellenistic Studies marveled at the tiny shard.  It was typical of the terracotta fragments within their collection, though the micro crystals of silicon within it were finer, and more evenly distributed than in most samples.  The decoration pigments were also nothing outstanding, but the piece had brought together experts, as well as the curious, from around the world.

“Doctor Patel, can you tell us more about the discovery?” Professor Johnson of the Institute asked, as the assembled scholars and academics viewed the overhead projection on the vast screen.

“Ah, yes, It was found on the second day of our survey in Sector Twenty.  It was found in what was by all indicators dry stream bed.  My support geologist came across it while taking sedimentation samples.  It is purely serendipity that it was found.”

The room erupted into muttered conversations, and not for the first time since the discovery had been announced.

Oxford’s Professor Browning called out, “Doctor Patel, can you clarify for us exactly where Sector Twenty is?”

“Yes, it is located in the Isidis Basin, not far from our ISRO* Mars 2 landing site,” Doctor Pavel replied.



Daily Writing Prompt Feb. #2

* Indian Space Research Organisation