Monthly Archives: October 2014

An Egretful Morning



The egret showed up on my porch at the oddest of times.  I laughed at the thought, as egrets on the porch are a rather abnormal event.  Perhaps the dampness brought him inland, I considered as the petrichor of the morning shower wafted over me.  He seemed to be captivated by the teapot, turning his head to the left and the right curiously.  Then he tapped at the lid.  I was surprised to hear a tap back.  Slowly, the lid lifted and there it sat.  Extraordinary!  A tiny hedgehog had curled up into the floral, ceramic pot.  What would occur next?

The hedgehog stretched and then rolled out of its makeshift bed like a roly poly and found its feet.  The egret nudged it with his beak and the hedgehog responded to this intrusion by turning his back full of tiny quills his direction.  The egret tilted his head one last time, curiosity satisfied, took an odd hop before taking to the air.  He spiraled above for a moment before following the contrail back to his wetlands.  The hedgehog, however, seemed less concerned with outer spaces as he become quite interested in a pile of treasures left by my nephew.

He attempted to climb into the bed of the small, yellow dump truck but it tilted up landing him on his back.  With some chubby kicks of his little legs, he flipped back over and backed up to reconsider the pile.  Something else caught his eye and he picked his way through the pile.

I laid my book down and reached for my glass of lemonade when I heard a WHAP! A scraping and a struggle pulled my attention back to the pile where I saw that the poor creature was indeed in trouble.  The butterfly net had tumbled over the top of him and the quills were finding themselves wrapped into the threads.  “You’ve gotten yourself into a bit of a pickle, haven’t you, little mister?”

Scooping up the net, I gave it a couple of stern shakes.  The hedgehog came free and tumbled the short distance to the floor.  He seemed stunned at first.  Then, backing away from the pile, he decided his visit had been enough adventure.  Seeking escape, he slipped through a small hole at the edge of the porch.  Perhaps I will leave the teapot outside more often.  It certainly shook away the lonely strings of my morning.

This was written in response to:



Grim Undertaking


They grimly looked upon their list. Gathering souls normally was a joyful event. However, tonight the troop of death angels knew it was time to visit the children’s hospital. They considered their approach. Sometimes their form was frightening to children. “We could dress like grandparents,” suggested Mac. Mac’s generous grey hair would lend well to the task. Still, they decided something else was in order. Tonight, they would dawn the bright colors and makeup of clowns. Dressed and ready, they opened the door that would cross into the human dimension. Soon, the troop of clownish grims found themselves walking down the gleaming polished floor of the children’s hospital. The surgical wing led them to their first soul. They gathered around him and shared giggles and laughs. As the surgeons approached, he grew serious. “I’m not waking up, am I?” Mac grinned, “Of course you are…and you get to see Him.” The boy smiled as the gas overtook him.

This short piece of flash fiction is submitted to Flash! Friday with the inspiration of the following picture.Circus Clowns visit sick boy

“Circus clowns visit sick boy” from the Boston Public Library.

The Red Dress


Red Dress

The smoke seemed to part as she walked into the room, her presence drawing the male attention her direction.  She was a throwback to bygone time when women had curves.  Full lips dressed her smile in velvety softness.  Her dress (yes, she wore a dress) hugged her curves in delicious rose red silk.  Of course she wore red, Mike thought.   The other women in the bar were forgotten, clouded illusions in her presence.

Ember Leon spotted him in the corner and narrowed her eyes in intent.  She knew he was there for her, even as he chewed the pipe thoughtfully.  He watched her movements, her approach like a cat hunting its prey.  He knew he was caught in her trap but the prize she dangled before him was well worth the risk.

Mike reached for her hand as she joined him in the booth.  Her voice greeted him with deep notes of promise.  He knew the promises were empty, still he could deny her nothing.  She slowly removed the gloves from her hand as he ordered her drink.  When it arrived, she slowly drank the rum and coke and it seemed as if the tendrils of her words ensnared him as the alcohol wound its way through her body, loosening her inhibitions just a wee bit more.

He found himself wrapping his arms around her, dancing to the slow ballad, and as her lips brushed against the pulse of his throat, he knew this was a bad idea.  Yet, he followed her out the door.  She looked back, encouraging him with her smile.  “Mikel, dearest…you know you want to finish this dance.”  He was gone, lost in her spell, and she wove it well.

Their steps carried them to the edge of the walk where an unpaved path carried them further from the lights of town.  The smoke that shrouded her before was now replaced by mist.  He continued to trail after her, trusting her perhaps a bit too much.  Still, she offered him a dream.  And he wanted to slip into that trance with her.

The cabin seemed to appear out of nowhere, simple in design and not very spacious.  He reached for the catch on the door and held it open for her.  She stepped inside and he followed.  He was surprised when she struck a match and lit a lamp rather than flipping a switch.  The lamp revealed little about the house and kept the light closely bound.  She led him to an iron bed where her kisses guided him down to the quilted surface.  As his eyes closed to take in her touch, the unfamiliar coldness entered his soul.  He opened his eyes and realized she had stolen his heart.

Days later a body was recovered at the end of the trail.  The cabin had faded into the charred foundations as daylight flooded the wood.  The siren of the woods had taken yet another victim, feasting on yet another heart.


497 Words


This was written in response to The Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 2.23.  The songs involved in this inspiration include Cory Chisel and the Wondering Sons “Home in the Woods” and the Eagles “Witchy Woman”.  I hope this warmed you and chilled you.

Red Dirt Alice


Red Dirt Alice

(NOTE: This is a submission for Finish That Thought 2-13)

The day it all began, the sky was gray. Rain danced across the shiny red surface of the car. The cell phone chirped awake and Clara glanced down to see the all too familiar area code 580. She edged to the side of the road and picked up the cell. Her sister’s voice crackled across the airwaves. “Clara? This is Kit. Have you heard?”

“I guess not. What’s up?”

“It’s Tracy…she’s…well, she’s gone.” Tracy rarely made a move without telling four other people of her plans. If travel was involved, there would be an itinerary, a map, or something that would provide some idea of her whereabouts.

“Have you checked her desk? She probably has something in her planner.”

“Of course I checked it,” Kit clipped out in irritation. “She disappeared, I’m telling you. It’s as if she was abducted by aliens.”

“Okay…so how long has she been missing?”

“72 hours.”

Clara sat up straight. “And you are just now calling me? Okay…I hear you. I’ll catch the next flight back home. Keep me in the loop.” Hanging up, she called her travel agent and soon found herself on a flight back home. By morning, she glided down the red dirt road in the rented Beamer.

The farm house stood out against the back drop of the hay fields. Her sister Katherine stepped out on the porch as she pulled to a stop. Soon, they hugged each other close and Kit filled her in on all of the news, or lack thereof. Ten years prior, their mother had vanished. Before that, their grandmother disappeared. It was happening again and no one seemed to know why. Her father sat at the kitchen table, looking through boxes of papers. More papers laid strewn about the floor.

“You know she is going to be pissed if she sees this mess,” Clara could not help but state.
Kit looked up sharply and echoed, “If…”

Clara pushed papers aside with her feet as she shuffled through the living room. A breeze blew through the window and lifted the corners and rustled a few more papers until one caught her eye. Reaching down to pick up the document, she was struck by the age of the leaf. It didn’t fit in this scene at all. Trying to make out the writing on the page, she read, “Crimista conlea amblia traversa…Kit, what is this?” Kit rustled through the piles and looked over Clara’s shoulder. “Hmmm…I saw her with something old…” Clara looked up as her sister’s words faded only to realize the entire room was fading around her.

When her feet found solid ground again, Clara looked around. The world around her was black and gray. It looked like the farm house but…different. The letters were backwards. It was as if she was in the back side of the mirror. Did her sister go through the looking glass like Alice?