Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

Statues


It’s a sad fact – there seems no rights left.
Evil lies; march against stability.
Orange flames burn, torching lives.
As the hood is pulled back on ourselves,
We can be statues no more.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Sunday Whirl, Wordle 313



Wordle and image credit Brenda Warren

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Worlds Apart


The others went to bed while he took the night shift, keeping an eye on things. The silence emphasised that he was all alone.

He checked the computer. Everything seemed in order, so he let his mind wander. Glancing at the clock he noted it was 10:30pm. He wondered what she was doing right now. Was she indulging in her nightly beauty regime, getting ready for bed? Or perhaps she was watching her favourite show on Netflix, snuggled on the couch with their dogs? Probably the latter of the two, he decided. After all, it was the weekend and she didn’t need to get up early. 

His heart went cold, as he considered a third option. Maybe she was with someone else? He tried to dismiss the thought. You’re being paranoid, he told himself. He lifted out the photo he kept in his wallet and let his eyes run over her familiar features. He ached to hold her; tell her how much he loved her; how much he missed her. He let his finger draw the curve of her smile, and as he looked out the small panel window of the space station towards the blue-green sphere below, he wished for the thousandth time, that they weren’t worlds apart…

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Sunday Photo Fiction, August 20th 2017

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Best Trip Ever


Image credit Annie Theby via Unsplash

The couple loaded up on snacks, paid for their fuel, and giggled together as they wandered back to their combi van.

This was going to be the best trip ever – they just knew it.

Too bad they didn’t see the masked man who’d crawled into the back…

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Only 100 Words, Three Line Tales, Week 80

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Lost


Image credit by Jane

The crowds were overwhelming. Glaring white floors echoed their multitude of footsteps – not just from the ground level, but also the floors above. I looked up, feeling dizzy as I gazed at the raked ceiling. The pitch of the roof seemed to move and sway around me. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and tried to focus.

She had to be around here somewhere!

I completed another circuit, trying to see her familiar form. Trouble was, I couldn’t remember what she was wearing that day. Suddenly, I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“I’ve been looking for you everywhere baby girl!”

“Mummy!” I cried, throwing myself into her arms.

She had found me.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Bikurgurl, 100 Word Wednesday, Week 31; Daily Post Daily Prompt, glaring

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

The Flatmate

She was a girl with many layers.
Accustomed to finery.
Reactive when things didn’t go her way.
(She always blamed her hormones).

Any hidden gains; a figment of your imagination.
For connecting with her true self,
Always ended in a gnossienne.
Don’t mistake her imitation for flattery.

She prefers to indulge her naughty side,
And leave you feeling impuissant.
It was a relief when she finally moved out.
Even if she did take half my stuff…

By Sarah ©2017

* gnossienne (noun.) – a moment of awareness that someone you’ve known for years still has a private and mysterious inner life, and somewhere in the hallways of their personality is a door locked from the inside.
^ puissant (adjective.) – powerful, mighty, potent. Antonym – impussiant (unable to take effective action; powerless)

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #167
Words used: layers, finery, reactive, gnossienne, figment, hormones, hidden, gain, imitation, naughty, feeling, (im)puissant

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

The Sparrow and The Fox


Image credits Window – Andrey Bobir; Fruit Center – Kevin Sloan


One day, a hungry fox stole some fruit from the tree where sparrow lived. Although the tree was laden with fruit, and she had plenty to spare, the greedy sparrow saw him and gave chase, determined to get it back. She believed the tree and all that was on it, belonged to her.

She flew high above, watching and following, as he ran and ran. Soon the fox grew tired and began to slow. When he stopped to enjoy his prize, the sparrow seized the opportunity and swooped down. 

Just as the fox was about to bite into the juicy papaya, the sparrow tore off a strip from the fruit and spat it onto the ground. The fox looked at the spoiled food, dismayed.

“Why did you do that?” he asked the sparrow.

“Because that fruit is mine, and I’ll do with it what I like,” she replied haughtily.

The fox shrugged his shoulders and went to take another bite. But just as before, the sparrow darted in and tore off more flesh from the fruit, spitting it out onto the dirt.

Undeterred, the fox kept trying to eat. But each time, the sparrow stole his mouthful from under him, preferring to see it rot on the ground, than have another eat it.

Soon, the papaya was gone and the fox remained hungry.

Satisfied, the selfish sparrow flew away. The fox followed her with his gaze, making sure she was fully out of sight before, looking down and smiling.

The spiteful bird was so intent on taking back her fruit, that she had overlooked the most important part. 

She had left the seeds.

And now, the fox could grow his own tree…

By Sarah ©2017

Author’s Note: This story is a little “left-field” and very different to my usual style. I really struggled to incorporate all elements of the prompt, so cropped the lady out of the collage. I took the quote as inspiration for the “layers” in my short story. The piece turned into a type of fable or tale that might be told for story therapy! There is obviously the literal tale, but underneath that, there is metaphor. It could be a tale of someone trying to break someone’s spirit but failing, as long as they have hope. Or a tale of someone who has the world, trying to keep others powerless. What is your interpretation? I’d love to hear it…

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Special Collage – 6 August 2017

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Walkies

The alarm sounds. I open one eye, slap the snooze button and try to pretend it didn’t happen. 

But it’s too late. 

My brain is awake, and more importantly, so are the dogs.

They know what that sound means.

They know their human is rising to meet their needs.

I throw back the quilt cover and my husband moans his complaints, for I’ve let a little cold air into the sanctuary. I mumble apologies but they’re half-hearted really. I’m always hopeful my wonderful partner will come with me. One foot, then the other hits the carpeted floor and I stand; stretching and ironing out the creases of sleep. 

The dogs join me in this ritual. I hear their multi-footed dismount from the bed to the floor. They elongate one rear leg then the other before pulling back onto their haunches. Eyes wide open; expectant and watching my every move.

I dress myself in active wear, wrap a scarf around my neck and plonk a beanie on my head.

This is not what they are waiting for.

As I walk over to my dresser and pull out a pair of socks, their tails start wagging.

Once one sock is on, they move a little closer to where I am.

But when I reach for the runners, they start to turn excited circles; dancing a doggie duet around each other.

They know it is time.

I ask them, just to be sure, “Is it time?”

They start yipping with anticipation.

“Are you sure it’s time?” I tease.

The yipping becomes louder. 

“Is it time for walkies?” I exclaim.

They jump up and down, yelping, “Yes, yes, yes!”

I clip the leads around their neck and off we head into the cold, pre-dawn morning. The icy air blasts my face and wakes me up.

I love this time of day.

Every day.

By Sarah ©2017



Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday’s Mix – 5 August 2017, routine; Daily Post Daily Prompt, partner

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

The Cocktail Set


Image credit Jennifer Pallian via Unsplash 

My husband bought me the cocktail set for my birthday. It had the lot – glasses, shaker, strainer, jigger, muddler, bar spoon, pourer, spirits, ice and mixers. What fun!

“So how do we make a cocktail?” he asked.

“Depends what kind,” I replied, looking around. “Where are the recipes?”

“Recipes?” he gulped.

“Nevermind, let’s just wing it,” I said adventurously.

Two bottles of gin, a bottle of tequila, and numerous mixers later, we had not only made a mess, but were incredibly drunk!

“What’s this one called?” he hiccoughed.

“Orange you glad we’re out of alcohol,” I laughed.

 

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Bikurgurl, 100 Word Wednesday, Week 30

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Mayday

The ghost tour had been uneventful so far, and I felt somewhat disgruntled at having paid extra for the EMF meter and infrared goggles. We had been into the women’s ward, the men’s ward (affectionaly known as the ‘bullpit’) and the laundry – with no activity at all. 

As the tour guide opened the door to the new building, she announced dramatically, “This is Olivene where we held the worst of the worst; the criminally insane.”

I stepped inside the courtyard. Rooms that more resembled cells, formed an ‘L’ around the central space, with an ‘L’ the other way, consisting of open bathrooms and a dining area. Even in broad daylight, this place would give you chills.

The guide continued but I had zoned out, her voice static in the background. My eye was drawn to one of the doorways. I shuddered and stepped closer, despite every instinct telling me to run. My EMF meter started to light up. Rooted to the ground, my shaking hands lifted the infrared goggles. As I peered through them, a solid shadow of a man filled the cell. I whirled around, bumping into the shelving next to me. And that’s when I saw the head…

By Sarah ©2017

Author’s Note: My response to the prompt is based on a real experience I had (except for the head part!). I was on an investigative ghost tour at the old Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum in Beechworth, Victoria and saw through the infrared goggles, a man where there was none. Believe it or not. If you are ever in the area, it is a VERY interesting place with an awful and fascinating history. Find out more about the history and tours by clicking on the appropriate word for the link.

Prompt: Sunday Photo Fiction – July 30th 2017, 200 word limit

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Eureka


Image credit Mahdis Mousavi via Unsplash

If the stairs seemed never ending on the way up, they seemed even more so on the way down – his legs felt like jelly.

Even though he knew he would come in dead last, he felt enormously proud of himself for climbing the 88 levels and 1642 steps.

And after all, it was for a good cause and raising much needed funds for two charities.


By Sarah ©2017


Prompt: Only 100 Words, Three Line Tales – Week 78

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Into The Blue

The delighted screams of children filled the air as I lay lazily on my towel, dozing. I was thoroughly enjoying the warmth of the sunshine dancing over my skin. 

My eyes popped open, as my husband returned, playfully shaking his water-soaked self next to me – the cool droplets shocking me out of my reverie. 

“Idiot,” I said, swiping a handful of sand his way. 

We grinned at each other, bolted towards the water and together, plunged ourselves into the blue.

Sighing, I put the photo down and cursed the snow falling outside. It was still another 14 weeks ’til summer would be here again.

 

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Bikurgurl, 100 Word Wednesday – Week 29

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

The Haircut

Feeling nervous, I sidled into the room. Apart from one other patron, it was vacant. I tried to read the posters on the wall to pass the time, but found I couldn’t.

A smell permeated the area around me. To my horror, I realised it was eminating from me! Attempting to salvage my dignity, I sagged my shoulders, retreated to the corner and conceded the visit was necessary after all.

“Well don’t you have the prettiest Celadon eyes!” the young girl exclaimed as she grabbed me and guided me into the smaller room adjoining the waiting area.

Before I could reply, she commenced clipping with a startling trenchancy^; casting away my locks as though they were no more than offal.

I’d worked hard to grow my hair that long! I thought to myself sulkily.

In surprisingly short time, she was done and I looked at myself in the mirror. My coat was like spun gold; silky and shiny. I turned this way and that, admiring my new do.

As my owner entered the room to collect me, I stood up to greet her, completely unabashed*. 

By Sarah ©2017

Author’s note: This is my mum’s dog Ollie. He has unusual pale green eyes and a gorgeous golden coat, as well as a neat party trick of being able to ‘stand up’ and rest on his bottom! I have often wondered what he thinks as he gets dragged off for grooming once every three weeks, and this was my take on it using the wordle to help me.

* abash (verb) to destroy the self-confidence, poise, or self-possession of; disconcert; make ashamed or embarrassed
^ trenchancy (adjective) incisive or keen, as language or a person; caustic; cutting; vigorous; effective; energetic

Prompt: Minelovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #165
Words used: shine, clip, abash, read, salvage, Celadon, permeate, sag, nervous, vacant, offal, trenchancy 

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Hoodwinked


“Let’s see how the Blue team spent their left over lolly”, said Bargain Hunt host, Tim Wonnacott.

“Well Tim, I went for a ‘blue for blue’ theme and purchased the whole wedding set by renowned porcelain designer Messein. I picked it up for an absolute steal – £250. It’s quite rare and should make at least £500-600,” said antiques expert, Kate Bliss.

“You canny gal, you!” Tim exclaimed. “Let’s cross to our auctioneer, Paul Laidlaw, and see what he makes of your blue bounty.”

“Tim, though an exact replica of Messein, if you look closely at the hallmark, the M is actually an H. Therefore, the collection…worthless.”

By Sarah ©2017

Author’s Note: I am a huge Bargain Hunt fan and couldn’t resist a BH inspired post for this prompt. If you’ve never seen the show, you must check it out. Here’s a snippet…or visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006nb9z/episodes/player. Although Tim is no longer the host, it’s still a highly entertaining insight into the world of antiques!



Prompt: Bikurgurl, 100 Word Wednesday – Week 28

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

Beautiful Lies

How many days had I been here?
Sitting at this table,
Watching the flowers wilt and die.
As he cooks me up his special brew.

Spices; herbs; stirred with a clear elixir.
My dear, this will fix your headache.
My love, your pain will dissipate.
My darling, you’re too excitable.

Let me ease your womanly discomforts.
But they were all beautiful lies.
A recipe for keeping me here.
Captive.

Addicted.
Dying.
Dead now.
Like the flowers.

I’m cast aside for his next target
He tells more beautiful lies,
To anyone who will listen.
It is all too easy.

by Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Sunday Writing Prompt, July 16, 2017 – Fine Dining Kitchen Tricks

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

No Standing Any Time


Image credit Mike Vore ©

If the “No standing any time” sign was strictly adhered to, then the “No Trespassing” one was overkill. People were too scared of the place falling down they wouldn’t even park their vehicles out the front, let alone set foot on the sagging verandah.

The house had been abandoned many years, although remnants from the last family who’d lived there, littered the property. As kids we used to dare each other to take a souvenir; gain a glimpse into the lives of the ghosts who roamed there.

I remember the one (and only) time I’d ventured past the creaking struts of wooden scaffolding, and the front door. Gazing beyond the gloomy, dusty entrance hall, I could see that the house had been beautiful once. A proud family home; simple but well made. There was love in the plaster’s fabric.

My eye was drawn to a small wooden doll. Unlike everything else, she was not covered in dust and seemed smooth and warm, as though recently held. I called out, “Hello?” and in reply, heard a faint cry, “Hello?”

I turned on my heel and ran, never knowing if it was an echo of my own voice, or someone… something, else…

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Sunday Photo Fiction – July 16th 2017
Word count: 200 words

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

Soaring High


Image credit Nicholas Picard via Unsplash

Soaring high
Toward the sky
Dare she make the trick?

A twist, some turns
As rubber burns
Yep, that move was sick!

Some people say
She should give it away
But that seems pretty thick.

Just coz she’s a girl
In a bloke’s world
Shit like that don’t stick.

She’ll show them all
Keep standing tall
This BMXing chick.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Bikurgurl, 100 Word Wednesday, Week 27, Daily Post Daily Prompt, Word: moxie

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Nascent Itch

I was halfway up the Mt Maunganui trail, when I felt the nascent* itch. The bird song distracted me for a short while, however, I soon felt it again. That scratchy, crawling feeling running up and down the back of my neck. I guided my fingers over the left hand side of my neck, feeling small bumps with my fingertips. Just mosquito bites, I chided myself.

But in my mind and my gut, there was no illusion. I knew what these were! I’d had them before in Tasmania, September 2008. Bed bugs.

By the time I had explored the summit and made my way back down the mountain, bites had flared up everywhere. Aside from the ones on my neck, there were now bites on my jawline, pinkie and ring fingers, wrists and forearms. This was the clincher. I had to take action. No more denial.

A quick visit to the pharmacy confirmed my self-diagnosis. The alarmed expression on the pharmacist’s face, warranted that I took her recommendations seriously. Armed with a cassette of antihistamines and a tube of hydrocortisone cream, it was time to deal with the hostel.

I returned to the accommodation, and approached the lovely Bohemian girl working reception. I discreetly explained the situation, revealed the evidence on my skin and we promptly marched up to my room to investigate and find the culprits.

The girl was extremely apologetic and I could see she felt terrible. And I understood it was not her fault. In fact, around 70% of people who have been bitten by bed bugs have no reaction – hence the reason they can spread so easily and remain undetected! It isn’t until a hyper-sensitive such as myself gets bitten, that staff become aware there is an issue and eradication measures can be taken. Bed bugs can also survive without feeding for 30 days. They really are wily little critters. For all my patience and understanding though, I wanted to topple these bastards and ensure they killed every last one of them!

After inspecting the bed sheets, valance, pillows, mattress etc, without success, I was beginning to doubt myself; concerned I was mistaken. However, as she pulled the bed away from the wall, the multitude of bugs that were present, made our skin crawl.

Feeling far from insouciant with the agreed upon room upgrade, we proceeded to check my new bed for the night as well. It was clean but I must confess I slept with the lights on anyway and woke every few hours to check over my skin.

Needless to say, I have been left feeling quite traumatised by the experience. Dealing with the aftermath of pustules, welts and ever present itching and pain, I will certainly be more careful where I lay my head in future! 

P.S You can check out some gross photos of the bites here

By Sarah ©2017

*Nascence (adjective) – beginning to exist, developing
^Insouciant (noun) – free from worry, concern, anxiety

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #163
Words used: bird, cassette, trail, Bohemian, warrant, nascence, chide, illusory, everywhere, topple, clinch, insouciant

Scribblings by Sarah

Botswana Butchery

Located on Quay St in Auckland, right on the waterfront, I stumbled upon this little gem. Literally. Absolutely exhausted from my red-eye flight and biding time until I could check into my accommodation, I found myself at the quay. 

Walking along I tripped over a crack in the pavement, looked up and noted the wicked cool doors on the place. 

I read their sign advertising breakfast and knew that was just what I needed.

Taking refuge inside from the cold, fierce wind and stinging rain, I looked around. Pleased with what I saw. Plush chairs fit for kings and queens; inviting warm hues of brown, beige and black; and most importantly, staff with a welcoming smile.

I sat down, ordered an Eggs Benedict with a side of mushrooms and a long macchiato. Impressively, the staff knew what that was straight away. Even more impressively, it was good coffee. Damn good coffee. 


By Sarah ©2017

Scribblings by Sarah

Friends of Circumstance

Image credit – Mrs White

Travelling alone can be amazing. No restrictions on when/where/what you do! You can please yourself and indulge your every whim. However, it can, at times, be very lonely and that’s when a smile, a hello, or an inane observation, can simply be magical. Forging human contact when we most need it!

People we meet while travelling – they become our new best friends…at least for an hour or two; a day; a few days; or longer. For a brief moment in time, we embark on the same journey, stepping up to see the same shoreline. We are friends tethered together by circumstance, or opportunity. (And it’s always nice to have someone to take photos with YOU in them).

But then as suddenly as the friendship began, they’re  gone – taken flight to their next destination. Sometimes you cross paths again, sometimes, that’s it. And after a while, you don’t even remember their faces, or even their name…just the time spent holding each other’s hand during your mutual travels of the world, and loving them for it.

Thanks for the memories, my fairweather friends. 

Author’s Note: Dedicated to: Laura and Nehl (Tastes of Waiheke Island Tour, 2/7/17) and Michael (Waiotapu and Hobbion Day Tour, 4/7/17), the lady at Kiwi As Guesthouse who kept me company in the evenings, and the English bloke who wandered with me through Waimangu Valley.

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge #172, Daily Post Daily Prompt, Word: tether