Scribblings by Sarah

Zodiac

Have mercy, dear Zodiac.
Read my stars. It’s no surprise.

Your forecast has me walking in cement.
What trials are in my booth?

I’ve heard this song before.
It’s time to shut the gate.

My heart soft with hope.
I don’t look back.

By Sarah ©2019

The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 404, and also, Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, #106 – Zodiac

#NaPoWriMo, Challenges by Sarah, Other, Poetry by Sarah

Wilderness

Teeth chattering with fear, I go
Forward into the wilderness.
Alone.

All the guns in the world won’t help.
I’m out of bullets. I have me.
Just me.

I inhale the smells – pine, dirt, smoke,
Sweat. Earth’s perfume is assaulting my
Senses.

I feel that I am being followed.
In my periphery, a flash
Of brown.

The hunter is now being hunted.
The irony’s not lost on me.
I laugh.

I’ve followed the river, as taught.
Still, I’ve managed to lose my way.
What now?

— ~ —

The remote chimes as I press pause.
I pick up the phone and ring room
service.

I lay back on the hotel bed,
Comfy. Warm. And thinking of what
I want.

By Sarah ©2019

The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 398; and also, #NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day 22

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Impervious

This life is such a mix.

One moment we’re wont to sing,

And in the next, we recoil –

feeling the sting.

Our spirits push and pull

Clouds over the moon.

Leaving us to bask in the chill.

None of us, are impervious

To this alchemy.

Add a pinch of salt

And a dash of pepper.

The final brew is unknown.

Thinking we must swallow it alone,

Is a tipping point of despair.

Until I feel another’s hand

reach out and hold me in the balance.

My heart did swell, when

Thick in the quagmire,

I found you.

Always you.

By Sarah ©2019

Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt #98 – Impervious and also, The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 396

Stories by Sarah

Smashed

I waved goodbye to mum and noticed dark grey clouds in the frame of my windscreen.

It seemed rain was imminent, so I put my foot down on the accelerator and started the 20 minute drive home (depending on traffic).

As I snapped on my indicator and turned onto the motorway, fat drops splattered slowly, almost haphazardly on the glass.

The wipers moved back and forth clearing my view, and I gripped the wheel more tightly, bracing for the inclement weather.

A sudden bang, made me jump.

It was soon followed by another.

Then another.

Momentarily confused, I realised that the rain had now turned into glazed, white balls of ice. And they were coming down hard. Smashing into the bonnet and roof of my small car. Its boxy shell no match for the wild will of the hailstones. I guessed their diameter around 4-5cm.

Cursing, and scared, I looked around frantically for shelter. The steep embankments on the side of the road offered me no option. I saw an overpass ahead, and limped along cautiously, pulling up underneath.

With baited breath, I waited out the freak storm. The hail continued to slam down violently behind me, and the wind wailed eerily through the tunnel. I glanced in the rear vision mirror at the drivers behind me, their faces named with the same fear and concern as mine.

Then, as suddenly as it began, it was over. Shaking, I pulled back out onto the motorway and drove the rest of the way home.

I emerged safe and unharmed, but the same could not be said for my car.

I take her to the panel beaters tomorrow.

By Sarah ©2019

The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 386

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Time To Fly

The pitch is off.
I’m singing out of tune.
Like a well-oiled machine no more.
I am stranded on this island.
Sticking it to the man,
yet still yearning for acceptance.

The future is promising me,
I won’t miss any of it.
I embark on my new journey,
where talk actually means action.
It’s time to let my light shine again.
It’s time to for me to

F L Y

By Sarah ©2018

The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 376

Scribblings by Sarah

Coiled

I am coiled tightly,
As I wait for the next wave.
You charge,
I bite.
You inspect the site.
Hit back with electrical force,

As I sink into despair.
You stick the needle in.
Trying to mask it with salty charm.
Your falsity resonates through us all.
You certainly pick your moments.
People without class.

By Sarah ©2018

The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 374

Other, Poetry by Sarah

Shine

I am not here by design,
Nor by what you claim is my crime.
Nine years is too long
To maintain this disdain
It’s time, dear “brother”
To get off this train
For truly mischief is afoot
When you cannot even feign
a sliver of decency, or respect
You’ve chosen that line
Ignored your roots.
I won’t be bound by your chains
Be assured, I will continue to
SHINE.

By Sarah ©2018

Sunday Whirl, Wordle 370

Stories by Sarah

Empty

Who invited him? Shelby wondered.

She watched him surreptitiously, as she closed the liquor cabinet.

She took a quick gulp of the burning whiskey, and just for a minute the clock seemed to stop.

She took in his tall, hulking frame, electric blue eyes, and shock of black hair. He ruffled a hand distractedly through it, before somehow, he sensed her, looking at him.

She quickly looked away but not before a hot blush stole across her face. With disgust, she felt her pure lust for him; imagining herself lying under him, her own golden hair crowned upon the pillow.

Shelby swore softly under her breath as she realised he was now walking her way.

She turned and rushed out of the lounge, into the food store, hoping she could hide from him, in the kitchen. She wasn’t ready for this, all the turbulent emotions he was evoking in her. It was too soon.

From her concealment in the cupboard, she watched him survey the apparently empty room. He went to the sink, peeked out the window and across the lawn as though expecting to see her running through the grass.

Shelby realised she was holding her breath and silently, she prayed he would leave – look for her no more. Then she wouldn’t have to reveal herself to him.

She stayed strong in her resolve, even when she saw the single tear rolling down his cheek. It was nothing compared to the thousands she’d shed for him. If he wanted her back again, he had truly missed the boat this time.

Finally, he turned and left her in the darkness, and the party went on around them.

She slid down the wall, and reached for a packet of crisps.

By Sarah ©2018

The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 359 and Time to Write: Sentence Starter 36

Scribblings by Sarah

Call Me Honey

“Call me ‘honey‘ one more time!” I murmur furiously under my breath.

It’s too late to let it pass.

So, I tell him in no uncertain terms, that real men don’t treat women like we’re all worth a shot. No more than trophies for them to fiddle with.

“I meant no harm,” he stammers, taken aback.

I cannot let it alone.

“That’s what they all say. Either that, or we asked for it,” I retort, walking away.

By Sarah ©2018

Author’s note: This week in Melbourne, we saw yet another rape and tragic murder of a young woman. And typically, the victim blaming began. As a society, we must do better. RIP Eurydice Dixon.

Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.’ – Margaret Atwood

The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 356

Stories by Sarah

Pandemonium

I had listened to his laboured breathing, through the night and ‘til his spirit left this earth. I could hardly bear it, knowing, with a dull ache, that my final act was coming soon too.

For years, the writing had been on the wall, but noone had listened. The viruses had prospered, and all the antibiotics had run out.

Digging sacred graves, for my husband and me; I coughed into the air, knowing I was the scourge, and pandemonium would follow…

By Sarah ©2018

The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 355 and Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, #58 – Pandemonium

Stories by Sarah

The Chase

He was in with half a chance of solving this grisly murder. He just knew it!

Detective Bailey had been tailing the suspect for a few days now, and every sense was tingling; telling him he was close.

He sipped a mouthful of yet another bad coffee, and grimaced. He hated the stake outs the most. If not, just for the coffee!

He drew the binoculars up to his eyes and trained them on the small, darkened window. Still nothing.

Relaxed, he leaned back in his car seat and turned on the radio. He whirled the dial until the radio squeal found his favourite golden oldies channel. Queen’s “Bicycle Race” song was playing.

He smiled and began singing along, “Bicycle! Bicycle! I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike…”

Suddenly, there was a blast. The windscreen of the car erupted in a shower of glittering shards and Detective Bailey felt another vehicle slam into the passenger side of his vehicle.

Reaching for his gun with one hand, and bracing himself with the other, he looked up and into the eyes of his suspect; staring at him from the wheel of the other car.

And then he ran for it.

Pawing at the door, Detective Bailey opened it and spilled out into the street. He half-crawled, half-sprung to his feet and gave chase.

He saw the darkened, form ahead make a sudden dash down an alley that Bailey hadn’t even known was there.

The detective’s size eleven shoes echoed clunkily on the road. If the suspect didn’t know he was after him, he did now!

The alley was dark and Detective Bailey scanned the various dumpsters and other unmentionable alley paraphernalia, for his man. He heard the clinking of a chain link fence, as it settled back into its resting position. It had obviously been recently scaled.

“Dammit!” he swore loudly.

He had lost the suspect…

Just then, a shrill and commanding voice, pierced my conscience. “Excuse me ma’am. You can either borrow that or put it back on the shelf, but please stop narrating the book out loud! You’re disturbing the other patrons!”

I closed the book, smiled sheepishly, and slunk out of the library…

By Sarah ©2018

Time To Write: Set The Scene 9 and The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 354

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Tearing

To feel invisible,
Is never to belong.

My soul stripped bare.
And still, I can’t turn that corner.

I’m not even close.
The black surrounds me.

No home for laughter,
Put my spirit in hiding.

Can I skip out?
Ask my doppelgänger to take over?

Like paper thin cardboard,
I slowly tear…

By Sarah ©2018

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Image credit MabelAmber via Pixabay

Prompt: The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 353, Words – invisible, close, skip, belong, corners, strip, hiding, put, laugh, cardboard, black, home; and also, Daily Post Daily Prompt – Doppelgänger

Stories by Sarah

Easter In Australia

The clock revealed it was almost 1pm. Time for our family’s annual Easter Egg Hunt. Mum and Dad were busy hiding the stash of eggs in the backyard. We could hear their muffled talk of watching for our prying eyes through the window.

The whistle blared, signalling the start of the search. We pushed past each other, rushing to be the first to find our share. Just like we had every year since we were kids.

My eagle eye caught a glitter of foil from the terracotta clay of a pot plant on the balcony. Too late! My fingers touched my sister’s skin as she snatched it out from underneath me.

“That was close!” I joked.

We scrambled and hunted, searching every nook and cranny – even in the charcoal of the fire pit.

Soon, we had all found our share. All but one. My brother in law’s last egg was nowhere to be found.

We looked and looked until our own chocolate began to melt. The weather was unseasonally warm for April and the chocolate had sat out long enough.

Eventually, conceding defeat, my mum handed him a stuffed koala instead.

“A koala-nsolation prize,” she said, smiling.

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Sunday Photo Fiction – April 1st, 2018; and also, The Sunday Whirl, Wordle #345

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

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

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

The Big Picture

Filled with guilt, I left him.
Making footprints in the sand alone.
No more could I tolerate the silence.
Nor our house, no more a home.

I imagine how life would be,
if with him I did stay.
Would things have remained stormy?
Or would we have found our way?

“Using our very best manners
In each day we’d star,
Exchanging kind words and gifts
With no harsh words to mar.”

But writing a different draft,
doesn’t change the final outcome.
I’d still charge myself with fraud
For staying ’til I was numb.

That marriage was such small fry,
In the big scheme of things today.
Even if I was re-wired,
I wouldn’t have done it any other way…

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Sunday Writing Prompt – “The Butterfly Effect“; and also, The Sunday Whirl, Wordle #342

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

The Room

The door hung askew in its frame. Hazy yellow light, like a saint’s halo, leered at me from around the cracks, suggesting that someone, or something, was already in my room. I shuddered and continued tentatively down the hallway.

Feeling uneasy, I chastised myself for my situation. If I wasn’t so poverty stricken after my divorce, I could have afforded my own place, and not be forced to reside in this creepy, old, share home.

I reached out to turn the handle, when cold gusts surrounded me. Strange, I thought, looking around for the source of air. I folded my arms around my body, vigorously rubbing my skin.

Then I heard it. A shallow, rasping voice in my ear, unmistakable in its malice and intent.

Leave!

Shocked and confused I turned to see who had voiced the command, but there was no one there. Thinking I must be going crazy, I shook my head, opened the door and stepped inside.

A rope lay coiled like a snake at my feet; a noose tied at its end.

Again I heard the voice say, “Leave” as the rope began to move.

I turned and ran, knowing nothing on this holy earth would ever make me return…

By Sarah ©2018

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Image credit J.  Hardy Carroll

Prompt: The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 338; and also, Sunday Photo Fiction – February 11th 2018

Scribblings by Sarah

One More Time

Even with a plethora of songs on my iPod, none of them, were filling the void I was feeling today. I flicked from one track to the next, feeling ever more, musically dissatisfied. I needed something that would turn my mood around.

Suddenly, I was struck with an idea. I wandered over to the buffet and pulled open the top drawer. Inside, I carefully extracted an old 45 vinyl record. Turning it slowly in my fingers, I smiled. Yes, I mused, pleased with myself. This would scratch my itch!

I opened the lid of my old, 80s stereo (that remarkably, still worked – they didn’t design things like this anymore) and flicked the power switch to on. A satisfying crackle of static hummed through the speakers, ever so briefly. Placing the vinyl on the the turntable, I manually guided the thin needle into the first groove of the record’s A side.

As the opening chimes of the piano riff began, I immediately began to feel soothed. The sound was amazing as it boomed through the stereo speakers, surrounding me and carrying me away. The molten voice of Gloria Gaynor soon sponged off all the hurt, rejection and disappointment, replacing it with something else.

A righteous, empowering, spirit overcame me, and I found myself jumping up; dancing and singing along, alone in my lounge room. In that moment, I knew things were going to be okay. I would be okay.

But as the final words of the song faded out, I decided I had better play it one more time, just to be sure…

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt – Suddenly; and also, The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 335, Words – design, plethora, soothe, groove, final, none, vinyl, chime, void, sponge, song, one

Scribblings by Sarah

Morning Thoughts

Seams part in the middle.
Slivers of light
tell rumors of dawn.

Birds lost in chatter
cheer on mighty efforts to
ditch the covers.

Rising to boil the kettle,
staring at the vine creeping
past the kitchen window.

Thinking of nothing,
and dreaming of everything.

By Sarah ©️2018

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Image credit Pixabay

Prompt: The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 332, Words: boil, sliver, middle, seams, vine, mighty, rumors, lost, ditch, nothing, tell, light

Scribblings by Sarah

Walking Away

What a slippery time has been had this year.
A shock really, that I haven’t been broken.
Always taking care to screen my face and
lock my tongue, so it doesn’t run away.

I have leashed a chain around my thoughts
as I realise the shards of discontent.
Instead of hitting out, I hit the grass with my shoes.
A walk can always cure what ails you…

By Sarah ©2017

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Image credit Pixabay

Prompt: Sunday Whirl, Wordle 330. Words: broken, time, slippery, shock, screen, chain, shard, grass, runner, tongue, lock, shoe

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Fall

One last assault,
as we run towards the finish line.
I can’t afford to fall.

But
I
do.

As I sail to the ground,
my knees nudging the earth,
I realise I am their puppet.

It’s too deep-seated –
and I have no case for change.
So I find myself a bar instead…

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Sunday Whirl, Wordle 329, Words: run, bar, deep, nudge, last, assault, case, afford, seat, puppet, fall, sail

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

No Party

I put on a song,
hoping the sound of music
will provide a temporary
e      s       c      a      p      e;
respite from this tedious task.
My mind pushes and pulls against itself.
Who voted on this existence anyway?
Not I.
Was it someone…
Thirsty for pain?
Wishing to drive us crazy?
Seeing if they can steal our weekends?
It’s no party, trust me.
Thank Goodness reports are finished.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Sunday Whirl, Wordle 328, Words: song, escapes, thank, sound, pushes, if, exist, voted, thirsty, drive, wishes, party