Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Faceless

They saturate the corners;
those whose souls hurt just
like the rest of us.
Their life’s dished
out sharp lessons,
and opportunities have slipped
through fingers like silk.
They are judged by others as
deserving of their fate but
the truth lies hidden
in the shadows.
Broken rain veils the music
of their hearts breaking,
these faceless people
of the streets.

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt – faceless; Sunday Photo Fiction – March 25th, 2018; and also, The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 344

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Stories by Sarah

Small Kindness

There had been a blight upon the crops for months now, and his people were slowly dying from starvation. The pharaoh called a closed meeting with his advisors who recommended he enact the ritual of small kindness. The pharaoh cringed and initially refused such an atrocity. But his chief advisor cajoled him, explaining the practice was the only means by which they could survive the famine.

The children were heaped together and did not question, why they were suddenly being fed such a feast, in a time of scarcity. They wolfed it down hungrily, until their eyes turned wild with panic. They started to fall one by one, foaming at the mouth and twitching, as the poison spread through their veins.

Eventually, when they were all dead, the chief advisor reassured the pharaoh. “It was a small kindness that they should not suffer any more. By their sacrifice, now we have enough food to survive until spring.” He put his hand on the pharaoh’s shoulder adding, “and we can always make more children.”

A mother sobbed over a tiny sarcophagus containing her son.

The pharaoh looked away.

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: The Sunday Whirl, Wordle #343; and also, Sunday Photo Fiction – March 18th, 2018

Stories by Sarah

Snowman

The children had spent hours hauling snow, slowly molding the snowman into existence. They giggled as they rolled and pressed ice into a deformed trunk, topped by two small spheres. He was balanced but askew.

Raiding the kitchen drawer, makeshift features and a bow-tie were fashioned from aluminium foil. They tugged at my hand, pulling me out into the cold to inspect their handy work.

I drew a sharp breath, as I took in its snarling mouth, vacant eyes, and small, scar-pocked holes where two sticks formed outstretched arms. I swear, I even saw the thing wink at me.

“What do you think mum?” Katie asked, craving my approval.

I checked my face, lest it belied the unkind thoughts in my mind.

“It’s great hun,” I replied, secretly hating it. It was the creepiest snowman I’d ever seen. Like it would tear you apart at first opportunity.

“Come on, let’s get you guys rugged up and ready for bed. It’s late,” I cajoled.

– – – –  – – – –   – – – –

Later that night, whilst stoking the coals in the hearth, I heard it.

Scratching at the door.

Terror gripped me, for I knew who it was.

I grabbed the scalding bar, praying heat would conquer him.

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Sunday Photo Fiction – March 4th 2018; and also, The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 341

Stories by Sarah

Viscosity

Honey-tinted sunshine filtered through branches. The forest was thick with the crescendo of bird-song. If gravity hadn’t been holding me down, I could’ve floated away to the blue skies above.

It was a perfect day for a walk.

I continued along the boardwalk snaking its way through the dense woodland. It was an advertisement for safe passage, as ferns and scrub scratched at its edges.

My eyes were drawn to leaf litter peppering the path and it was then, that I saw blood. My senses immediately became electrified and the peace around me shattered.

The red droplets smattered here and there, dotting their way along the planks. Every instinct was telling me “Run!” but curiosity urged me on. I justified to myself that if someone was injured, maybe I could help.

I rounded a corner and there, I saw a pool of crimson so thick, it was impossible to believe anything living could’ve gone on.

Teeth bared, the beast was upon me so quickly, I slipped in viscous liquid, becoming one with he who’d fallen before me.

My breath rattled in my chest, as I exhaled my last, and I thought, It had been a perfect day for a walk.

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt – forestBranch; and also, The Sunday Whirl – Wordle 340; and also, Sunday Photo Fiction – February 25th, 2018

Stories by Sarah

The Asylum

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Image credit © Sascha Darlington

I should never have followed my urge to explore the abandoned asylum, but my hunger to venture into the spirit-world was boundless. I’d done this kind of thing before. Many times. No problem.

Mesh fencing, chains and “No Trespassing” signs plastered everywhere, should’ve served as a warning, but I didn’t want to miss out. This place was reputed to be a powerhouse of hauntings, on account of the madness and misery of the hundreds of people who’d died here.

The wind howled around the main administration building as I entered. I consulted the map I’d drawn, heading to the notorious “Bullpit”. A ward that had once housed the most violent male patients.

I hadn’t been in there long when I heard a sound. A scraping along the bare, tiled floors. My hair stood on end, senses on high alert. Excitedly, I grabbed my EMF meter and night vision goggles, and heard a shout from one of the rooms.

That is all the memory I have, of how I died. Now I too, am trapped here. Another crazy spirit, existing in parallel with the real world, where the sands of time move so slowly.

I should never have followed that urge.

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt – parallelwarning; Sunday Photo Fiction, February 18th 2018; and also, The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 339

Stories by Sarah

Flood Zone


They’d been warned the house was in a flood zone when they’d purchased the property. The couple weren’t bothered though – the house was on stilts that kept it at least 10 metres off the ground.

They peered out the windows, hearts sinking as the water level continued to rise. The Beareau of Meterology predicted this would be the worst flood in 100 years. The couple had taken precautions – sealing the windows and doors with waterproof tape. But they knew that it wouldn’t be a matter of a few leaks; more likely engulfment of the entire home.

The flood’s peak was still six hours away. The husband and wife deliberated what to do. Evacuation was no longer an option, as the emergency services had told them yesterday.

“I’ve got the dinghy, maybe we can get out with that?” the man said.

She didn’t need to be asked twice. “I’ll pack a bag with some of our valuables.”

They launched the dinghy out the front door. Counting their blessings, the couple paddled for safety.

As they neared the banks they could feel the waves of a large marine vehicle coming up swiftly behind them. To their surprise, they were overtaken by their now floating house…

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt, launch; and also, Sunday Photo Fiction, September 10th, 2017;

Stories by Sarah

The Shortcut


Image credit Dawn Miller

She couldn’t believe it! Such bad luck breaking down in the middle of nowhere. She should have stuck to the main road; not risked the shortcut. She slammed her door and kicked a tyre, releasing frustration. She checked her cell phone, knowing it would be pointless. No signal.

Great! Just great! she thought.

She could either wait it out until the next car came along, or walk to the nearest house and get some help. Weighing up her options, she began trudging along the dirt road. Thankfully, she didn’t need to walk too long before she saw a letterbox. She memorised the address and began walking up the driveway.

The grass grew long and she mentally chastised the owners. Didn’t they know it was a fire hazard? She drew closer to the house, and something began to nag in the back of her mind. It seemed so familiar here.

She rounded the corner, took in the front door, and noticed, standing to the side, three cups resting on posts. One that was too big, one that was too small, and one that was just right.

She realised she had been here before; many years ago.

Goldilocks turned and ran…

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Sunday Photo Fiction, August 27th 2017; and also, Daily Post Daily Prompt: memorise 

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

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; and also, Daily Post Daily Prompt: continue

Stories by Sarah

Heart Of Stone

The queen was lost in thought as she looked at the stone sculpture of the little girl. She seemed so real, so lifelike. It was eerie to behold. She pondered the situation, looking again at the statue before turning to face him.

The dragon pleaded with her, not to end his life. Beseeching her mercy. Eyes downward she considered his request and sadly shook her head. Though only a baby he possessed great powers and had been unable to control them. The consequences had been devastating. Kneeling down and taking his clawed feet gently in her hands, she promised to make it quick and painless.

The dragon looked up at her and knew she would keep her word. He flattened his wings against his body and waited without fear. She held up a mirror, stroking his head so that when he looked up and met his own eyes, he was instantly turned to stone.

Tears slipped down the queen’s cheeks as she moved him next to the others. A gallery of stone statues, once family and friends, stretched down the hallway – joined now by the beloved pet who put them there.

Only she remained, with her heart of stone.

 

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt – mercy; and also, Sunday Photo Fiction – July 2nd 2017, Word count: 200