Breaking the Rules

photograph courtesy of Paul Miltiaru press HERE to see his beautiful photography.

feet

 

 He could walk a coastal hike

Take the road atop a bike.

Sail o’er the seas of old

On a ship that’s made of gold.

He could fight a hundred men

Chase a lion from his den.

He’d be a champion of men

The countries Olympian.

But let him walk along a street

Without shoes upon his feet

He’d  bring shame and despair

On the townsfolk living there.

You can win a Quadrathlon

but never flout a road sign.

Photo of British quadrathlon team courtesy of Wikipedia.

Which rule did you break?  (Other than a parking or speed signs )

sign

I flouted the rules of propriety with the above, as I thought one way, was my way…

The First Stand For Equality

The painting borrowed is a Princess picking lice from a troll. Jane Dougherty’s picture prompt press here to join in or read the responses.

picking lice from a troll

 

.The people of the kingdom thought it a pretty job being a Princess, opening buildings dancing with Princes. But behind the scenes under the castle but above the dungeons… this princess had her work cut out.

This place was where the true ruler lived if an agreement hadn’t been sought… if a truce hadn’t been struck, well it doesn’t bear thinking of. As with most Kingdoms, for a kingdom to become such,  the good has to prevail… hence the truce. In the throne room the king sits with his queen, they feel at ease, the princess is getting her training and  in turn keeps them safe. They have their kingdom so to all intents and purposes… all is good with their world; until.

Princess Romana,  takes off her crown slumps to the floor she crosses her arms. *thinks* why am I the one working so so hard, they sit atop their thrones being fed sweetmeats and dancing while listening to lively music, laughing at the jester’s amusing words. She scratched her head and shuddered… “yuk” she cried, looking at her hand crawling with lice; she ran to her chamber. Romana tugged at her braids and fought with her sash as her ladies, both gloved and aproned, pulled her a paraffin scented scolding bath. “Leave… all of you”  she scowled and clutched a bearskin to cover her pride. Once the water was bearable she eased herself beneath its depths. Tilly the maid, her friend and confidant pushed the huge oak door to see if it was safe to enter. Submerged beneath the stinking water with her nose like a reed poking up for air Romana sobbed. An hour later after being lathered and scrubbed until her skin was rough and raw, her hair combed with the finest of combs, and handfuls of her blonde hair had been gathered from the floor she still whimpered. Tilly stood her on a turning plinth and stroked soothing balm into the skin of Romana, and stroked her forehead until the shuddering stopped and she slept.

By the time the princess had cried silent tears and the bath removed from her room and scrubbed, the court had heard of her misfortune and demanded an audience with the king. On his knees before the king the lord trembled “Oh mighty ruler king of this land, I come on the say so of your court, I beg you to see through the impudence of my words and know they nieve as they are come from the love and caring we have for you and the kingdom.”  The King bellowed “Get on with it! But be aware, I will not be some weak minded pushover and though the executioner has been resting for many a year he is at my call”. The King sat stiffly and his fingers tightened on his sceptre as he frowned at the quivering shape before him. “We, your Royal highness, have learned today of the Princesses distress, we believe that time has come to put a stop to the distasteful tasks she undertakes. She one day will be queen and she too will have to subject her child to the same degrading filthy task. Lord, we beseech you enough is enough this cannot continue. We have knights trained and willing to fight. We have archers son’s of lord’s ready to fight for the princesses hand. All we ask is for our wonderous lord to think on the suggestion. Not waiting for an answer bowing to his knees eyes on his feet he slowly reversed himself from the great throne room.Once calmed the King summoned his wife his mother and his knight commander, over supper they talked, demanded and finally agreed that the Queen as was her duty would speak to the girl.

A pale unhappy Princess went to her mother’s chambers to seek comfort. The queen had agreed this task would be hers and hers alone. “Romana it has come to the attention of the court and indeed the land, of your unhappiness. She raised her hand to still her daughter. The knight commander has arranged for a challenge to be thrown down to the King of Trolls”.Romana gasped…”Yes, he who you groom and feed and care for in the undercroft;  below the banquetting hall. The knight who thwarts the troll will win your hand. Before she could get any further the Princes shouted.  “He will not! I refuse to be treated like a prize in an archery tournament”.The queen gestured her to sit, her high colour disturbed her greatly.” Let me explain” the queen said.  A truce was made when you were conceived that the child born of my loins would live until marriage to serve and groom him the king of Trolls. In return, the kingdom would be free of rampage and disease. Once you married, the fruit of your labour would take your place… so you could rule in the knowledge that you and your kingdom would be safe from The trolls evil”.Feeling pleased with her description the Queen relaxed, until…

“You mean I have been picking lice from his coat, wiping jam from between his toes,  spooning mucus from his nostrils, and picking the flesh from his teeth every day since forever, because the king was stupid enough to agree!” The Princess was incensed she strode up and down screamed and tugged her clothes, the queen thought she had gone insane. “Take me to father now” the queen twittered and trembled she pitter-pattered behind her furious daughter to the door of the throne room. Suddenly Romana slowed, looked thoughtful and taking her mother’s arm and guided her up to the solar. Romana had formed a plan she would not be a prize, only for the man she loved and certainly wouldn’t want to be seen as weak by those who one day would be her subjects. Her mind turned over her idea as she embroidered with the queen, as she stitched she planned and all the time she contrived to show her mother that she had changed her mind and agreed.

Some nights later, while the knights drew straws in the banqueting hall the thunder rumbled, Romana’s plan came to fruition. She collected the great helm with a huge spike a top, a hat she had the blacksmith’s son make in secret; and paid him a handsome sum. She lured the Troll undercover of darkness. They went by torch light up past the merlon to the parapet. The stupidity of the Troll amazed the Princess, he believed she had brought him there to gaze at the bridge where underneath his family lived. She convinced him they would be hoping to catch site of their great masterful Troll to bow before him this night, and so they could see him clearly he was to wear a helmet with a mighty spike fit or so she said for a king. The thunder made him jump, but she patted his hand and led him on. Once at the highest point, he leant out over the parapet at the princesses insistence. Just as he did a crack of lightening struck with humongous force. Romana fled just as the spike conducted the force into the hapless Troll, an almighty bellow shook the battlements people ran to the courtyard to gaze upon the sight of a burning bellowing beast tumbling into the moat. The heat sizzled and left the moat dry with the only remnant being the spiked helm embedded in the earth beneath the castle. Romana became the first woman to have the power of a king, and women’s rights movement was born, and today on this blog it is recorded as ‘The First Stand For Equality’.

helmet-1383111__340.png

.The Great Helm.

Above is a vague likeness to the one used in my true fairytale the pictures are by way of pixabay. Of course, the actual one had a spike and we, unfortunately, have no recorded evidence as cameras smartphones or other photographic sorcery was at the time deemed evil. Thank you for reading your comments will be waited for in anticipation.

 

 

The Empty

Sue Vincent’s  picture prompt once again challenges us… press here to join in or to read some fabulous responses..

Remnants of yesterdays bonfire smolder on the bank, barbed wire posts too damp to burn are propped at angles like skeletons legs. The wind whips my hair across pinkend cheeks, wipes drops from moist eyes as I trudge aimlessly across the empty landscape. A gnawing in my abdomen makes me tremble; my hands shake as I recognise my own emptiness.

An hour passes me by, legs heavy and joints begin to ache as I work my way home. Lifting my foot to plant it firmly in the kissing gate where we stopped and kissed last night; the irony of it makes my lips twitch and my chest tight. In the emptiness I succumb to tears; self indulging, long overdue by my reckoning.

Last night around the fire we had talked, loved and hoped. We hoped that three weeks late was a sign, we had held each other tight, talked until wishes were invisible to the moon.

This morning I woke to his whistles as he cycled to work. A fleeting smile at my lips soon vanished as the dull drag in my gut became apparent. Tonight I will have to tell him we were wrong. Smoothing my palm over my cheeks I take a deep breath, kick off my boots and straighten my back. Today will go so quickly here in the empty.

A Rosy Pairing

press to join in. Sue Vincent’s  picture prompt.

Here is this weeks photo. All.entries to be in by March 22nd.

Stalactites hung like chandeliers from the roof of our cave, the formation split it into two rooms. Since his leaving I had made it welcoming, sweeping the animal waste in a pile,  hanging a lantern from a  root that pierced the ceiling. The rosy welcoming glow was encouraged by the minerals in the rock that cast a sunset; perfect for this night. Animal skins shone silver on the vine that provided cover.

My heart bounced in my chest, as his shadow fell on the ridge. I trembled and perspired at the shape of him. Picking up the mewing bundle I stood at the entrance and thrust it towards his broad chest and said… “Your  gift” With his huge hands he twisted the neck, a crack of splintering bone was heard. A gasp left my throat and I wiped my eyes with trembling fingers. With swift strokes he skinned and gutted it, throwing the debris aside. Taking me roughly in his arms to the inner chamber he reminded me what we were together for.The calf spat and cooked on the fire  as we writhed on its soft skin. Now I was his, I had successfully filled his needs and his belly .
I remember my son asking what it was like when we lived in caves. Though I am not quite old enough for that, I think maybe my story would have fit.I bet you thought that bundle was something else… leave me a comment I am dying to know  😀 😄 😮

Auschwitz 1.

Arbeit macht frei” (work set’s you free)

 

Beneath a winters sun a biting wind blew,

Where nobody saw and nobody knew.

With tears in the eyes of our guide

Shock on our faces no-where to hide.

I couldn’t remove her words from my ear

The ones no decent human wants to  hear.

Watching through a fog knowing the reality

It slid beneath flesh and warped earth’s polarity.

Ramming evil home, planting it deep

like marrow into the bone.

Escape was not made for here,

corrections happened and slaughter… its clear.

They walked towards death one by one,

Without the fear of what was to come.

When water became gas, to help them cope,

they sang the  Hatikvah, their song of hope.

I see piles of  hair when I try to sleep,

the discarded shoes torn from innocents feet.

I see their faces before me as I softly weep,

Brush crematoria soot from a tear stained cheek.

This place bore witness to pure evil that time,

it can not be erased from the depths of my mind.

At the shooting wall I picture them standing that day,

Singing hopeful  prayers they refused to face away.

The Nazi machine, its power so strong,

kept the furnaces burning all night long.

Hundreds were cremated day after day,

Not fast enough to clear the piles of decay.

First their status then their pride

Ripped them apart nowhere to hide.

For all the souls that gather there,

Their fortitude, their pain and despair.

I beseech you all, to stand and see

the shooting wall… just like me.

The rose was placed on one of the beds that held six bodies in the barracks of Auschwitz one. Poignantly positioned, by someone paying respects on March the second 2017.

A  piece of me shifted that day, my eyes clouded and my heart cried. I thought long and hard before posting this and though I hope you leave me a comment I will umderstand if you don’t.

Wearing A Smile.

The prompt for ‘A Scribble Of Writers’ is the picture below. The picture belongs to Margaret press to here to ask for use of the picture or to join in with the scribblers.

City life is fast and furious, not a soul knows your name once you’re out of context. Heads down watching feet, wrapped up on a dark street. Christmas is only Christmas until midnight, then it loses its glow. Sales hit the high street stores and only a few twinkling lights remain, as the remnants of the day disappear.

 “This year will be different” I said,  pulling the collar up on my red Christmas coat, I stand tall, I feel like a super hero wearing this. I march down the main street, buildings in shadow, frost in the air, me on my toes. I trail plumes of white from both nose and nostrils; a determined stride soon warms the soul. *Thinking* this year I will make it different. I take time to notice the faces and smile at each figure I pass; regardless of no forthcoming response. “Nice evening, seasons greetings” I call; with a skip in my step. 

Our eyes meet so I nod,  a twitch of his lips makes me feel great. Ten steps more and I see her, she looks about eighteen, tying her belt, checking her phone, brushing away hair with her hand as she walks, then bam! “I am sorry” she said scrambling to her feet, she pulled me up while rubbing my cashmere coat with her cold thin hand. “No problem, no bones broken”. Are you okay? Late for something are you”? I said concerned. Her bottom lip trembled as she mumbled a sorry once more. “Look I am fine, let me buy you a drink,  there’s a wonderful teahouse around the corner, we will both feel better for a hot cup of tea”. She stooped, grasping her bag from the pavement; wide eyed, she swallows and nods. 

 The tea was hot and the fondant cakes comforting. She wipes her mouth with a serviette and quietly tells me her story. I nod and smile, shake my head in… I believe all the right places. Her story was one most of us knew and had experienced, girl meets boy and it doesn’t quite work out the way they hoped. We shared the bill and clasped hands for a second as she continued on her way,  and I on mine. 

On return to my flat, in this loneliest of cities, my keys rattle and echo through the hall. On the surface,  all  was just as I left it … but everything had changed. I felt good, invigorated from the walk, and worthwhile. My face is still wearing its smile and my red coat didn’t lose its glow the day after Christmas.

Giving others a greeting, acknowledging  their presence, throwing out a smile or simply listening, takes but a fraction of our time but can change so much. Let me know if you agree in the comments… I love to hear your views. 

The Connection

wall

She sat, on a low wall three bricks high. A wall that once was tall was a crumbled remnant beside the main road. She wore wrinkled long socks, one higher than the other they offered no protection against the easterly wind; that bitter December day. Her ditsy floral skirt flicked against the already chaffed skin; leaving pink welts. A grey knitted cardi hung from her shoulders, the sleeves fisted in her hands as she waited. Flat barren fields of East Anglia solid from the morning frost were inviting her gaze; eyes glassy, and wide.

I notice her many times as we flashed by on the way to Norwich. Each time we’d go I would see her, with pain in her shape a stillness about her. Once we stopped at the village shop while I waited I asked her story. The postmistress said, ” She’s about forty a local she is… not been herself since her daughter… some says she were taken and others say different.” Slowly she shook her head as she stamped my letters. “Only six she was, her girl. Where she sits, it’s where she waited that day and every one since, for the school bus to bring her; she never came home”.

One occasion I stopped, pulled the car into the lay-by. I walked over and took a space on the rough wall alongside her; leaving a gap of two bricks between us, a respectful gap I thought. I gazed across the flat land as she did. “Hello, are you… Are you okay”? I felt a tug, a connection; fleeting though it was. She sat unmoved, undaunted by my presence. I felt the cold from her, saw the fogged breath, I could taste her sadness. An overwhelming urge to reach her enveloped me. Determinedly I unzipped my parka; putting it beside her, untied my wool scarf and wriggled my fingers free of the gloves. “Please, your skin is blue, take these, they’re for you.” I shouted, as the wind whistled by my ears and bit the end of my nose. The pile almost touched her chest; I began to tremble, a feeling of despair, soaked into me. Her eyes flickered as I put the clothes in her lap. “I don’t need them, can you hear me”? A pat to reinforce the point made her flinch and with a straight back but without a second glance I returned to the car. She hadn’t moved as we passed her, the bundle propped on her lap her glassy eyes staring forward; there she sat.

That day, the clouds gathered so swiftly that everyone around the conference table stared at the snow. The CEO said “Due to the change of weather we will take a working lunch. The sooner I get you home the better”. I remember hoping she had put the clothes on, I wondered if anyone would relieve her… because of the weather. I couldn’t get her out my mind, her eyes, the liquid that refused to drop but puddled in her lids as if scared to fall.

On the return journey we stopped next to the wall. I remember the wipers swished, the flakes came hard and fast, but she wasn’t there. Pleased to think her in the warm I began to feel better. In the spring my job took me once more to Norwich. We stopped, there, amongst the grass which grew in the crumbled brick, wedged between the cracks was bunch of brown withered flowers tied with a bright woollen scarf. The connection had forever made its mark.

 

This is for the bloggers bash competition. here

capture-bb-comp

I hope you like my flash fiction. All comments are more than welcomed.

 

 

Ham!

Linda’s prompt for #Socs  is  Ham!  To join in or read some

fantastic responses click 🔜here🔙


I once laughed til I cried

over a song about ‘spam’.

Was surprised when  given a book

Called ‘Green eggs and ham’.
I was thrilled when  cooked

Chips,  beans and ham,

for the first time,

by a visiting man. *wink wink*.
You never know what form

memories will take,

or how we inadvertently

nudge them awake.
A smell of lavender

Reminds me of Gran,

reading the rhymes… you guessed it

From green eggs and ham.

The taste of pig does it for me

It rumbles my stomach

until i fill it with tea….

Anyone for a sandwich?

A whimsical ditty … My husband listened (as they do) and said “You do know you’re weird… dont you”?

Comments welcomed and responded to promtly.

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The Bird Was Witness.

 

ALERT! This flash does contain two swear words, I do not wish to offend therefore am letting you know before you read. This is a refreshed  #flash from Nov 2016.

Photograph by permission of Derrick J knight. Thank you once more.

blackbird-photo-by-httpsderrickjknight.com_.jpg.jpeg

bird sat high on top of a telegraph pole, its black shape stark against the sky, I watched it through the steam on the window. With my palm flat against the glass, I cleared a better view; while my novel was clenched snug under my armpit. Sitting in the window seat reading I could zone out the sounds of the room and breathe easy.

Then it started… “Ange, Ange, come here now! come to me bitch”. I looked at the bird looking back at me and placed my book on the windowsill. The card game was getting rowdy, ”Angie” he shouted, warily I approached, “What Tom, what do you want? “ He grabbed my waist and tugged me into his lap, laughing, that sneery false laugh I grew to hate. Fear ran up my neck as he made a show of me in front of his mates.

He looked at them and pinched my chin as he forced my head to face them. Tom wrenched my hand between my shoulder blades. “Here boys, have you ever seen such a miserable cow… eh eh?” his grasp was cruel, his breath thick with stale booze and cigarettes. I felt the spray from his mouth warm as he spoke against my ear. Tom released my arm and pretended to tickle, but he dug and prodded with force, my cheeks flushed and prickles ran up my spine. My legs jerked as he stabbed his fingers deep between my ribs. The table caught by my ankle shifted, cards scattered as it righted itself with a thump. I struggled, kicking my denim clad legs in retaliation his fingers jab jabbing painfully; as his temper deteriorated.

The mood instantly changed, Stan leapt up threw his hand on the table, he kicked a spent chubby and took the Iou’s in his calloused hands and tore them; throwing the pieces like confetti in the air. “Fuck this you knob”, he booted the table over…”I’m off” he shouted. Pictures rattled as he banged the door. Mark and Des were worse for wear, swaying, they glanced from one to the other and back, both stumbled to the door in pursuit.

One swift movement had me flat on the floor with a swaying Tom above me. “You fuckin bitch, you just had to, didn’t you? Each word was punctuated with a kick and a gob from his mouth. The first one caught the bone of my hip the second connected with my thigh as I struggled lobster like across the carpet. A flurry of pokes, punches and kicks came thick and fast, he crushed my lips into my teeth with a direct punch. Stubbies bounced and rolled about like Otters at play, I spat two teeth onto the carpet which got his attention, it gave me a chance to swallow some air.

From the corner of my eye, I caught sight of the bird, me looking at it, it looking at me. Ashamed at this spectacle being seen. Me, a weak victim, small and helpless. Somehow the thought made me gather myself. I grabbed a bottle and scrambled to my feet. Holding the neck with cramped fingers I drew my arm out to the side. I remember screaming “No” He lunged forward teeth barred.  I screwed my eyes tight and swinging right to left the bottle connected. Phlegm hit full in my face and mingled with the tears and blood that dripped from my jaw. As if I was a character in a novel,  in slow motion the bottle cracked him below his left ear and flipped from my grasp. His eyes bulged, snot flew from his nose as he fell back. Stretching myself forward fingers splayed I tried to grab him before he fell, but only caught air. His head thudded against the leg of the upturned table and he dropped. Blood puddled behind his head and a lone trickle dribbled from the side of his gaping mouth.

Unable to look, I turned my head to face the window. I could see him, the bird, looking at me. He seemed to bob his head like a gentleman does when he catches your eye in acknowledgement. He ruffled his feathers and continued his pose.

 I felt the vibration of feet through the floor when I dialled 999. “Police and ambulance, I can’t hear you… I think he is dead, we are at 42 Granby street, come quick *hiccough* please”. Still holding the phone the door flew from its hinges the room filled with uniforms and bodies. A policeman shook me, grabbed the phone and spoke into it. My ears and head were ringing but I could only see angry faces as lips moved silently and Tom lay still, and only the bird was witness.

 

What do you think, was she in the wrong ?  please leave any comments as they are my wages for writing and each one is valued and replied to swiftly. Have a great week.

Acoustically speaking.

“A badly timed Trump” a prompt from Sacha to be complete in 52 words . Press here to join in the fun.

It was a sombre occasion, you could see your breath leave your mouth. The pews all waxed and lillies beautifully bookended the pulpit. A vicar as old as the church itself went up the steps, releasing a loud trump which riccochet off the walls. He  sniffed.loudly as the funeral march began.

In England it is another word for flatulence! I do believe it has the same meaning globally *wink wink*

Have you held back a titter, stiffled a smirk or guffawed in the wrong moment? Tell me in the comments I can’t wait to reply.