Three Line Tales: Perseverance

For Sonya’s Three Line Tales prompt.
photo by Linus Sandvide via Unsplash

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Almost five hundred years since the abbey was destroyed because a king needed a divorce and the extra revenues weren’t to be sneezed at either, and still the ruins fascinate.

He wanders the silence where grass covers stone flagged pavements, and birds nest in niches of crumbled stone where once prayers were muttered, lifting his torch to the sky opened by fallen roofs.

There is still so much majesty in the soaring stone that has never surrendered to either fire, cannon or the elements, so much that sings in the stonework and architectural grace—he tosses his torch into the petrol doused kindling—time to finish the job.

Progress report

I have a few success stories to crow about, so I’ll let them all go here.

First, I’m proud to have three poems in the anthology As the World Burns published by Indie Blue. I get a special thrill that my third entry is the poem that closes the collection. Yes, my desk is a mess but I can’t tidy it because of the ladybirds hibernating on it.

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Second reason to be cheerful, a haibun of mine is one of the Ekphrastic Review’s five nominations for the Sonder Press’s Best Small Fictions anthology!

Third—my second collection of poems, birds and other feathers will be available in kindle version from November 27th (husband’s birthday) but the print version will have to wait until I’ve seen a proof copy, and that is in the hands of the postal service.

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And last, but not least, I have finished another novel! I know, I do this often and nothing happens. One day though, I hope to be able to say, and somebody has picked it up.

Three Line Tales: High tide

For Sonya’s photo prompt.
photo by Andrew Donovan Valdivia via Unsplash

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She had never seen so many leaves before, not when playtime stretched long and hot for all the hours of a summer’s day.

She shrieked with delight as the hot wind made the rustling ocean swirl and dance, rising at her back full of voices she thought must be the song of the leaves.

But the song was a war cry, and the wind brought more and more fallen leaves, an ocean of them, enough to drown in.

Three Line Tales: An idyll

Three lines for Sonya’s photo prompt.
photo by Simon Berger via Unsplash 

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A fairy tale, we said and sighed, pointing at the shining roofs and onion domes rising above the lake mist.

Whichever lucky person lived there, we said, must be in a state of beatitude, bathed in the beauty of nature, in tune with the universe.

We never wondered why the swans were all making frantically for the lake shore and flying far, far away.

Growing away

For the dverse prompt, a 144 word (exactly) story incorporating the line from Liesel Mueller:

there is nothing behind the wall
except a space where the wind whistles.’

©Christine Matthews

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When I was small, the path to school followed two sides of a high stone wall. There was no door, no entrance, and I told myself that there was a magical garden full of trees and flowers on the other side, where no snow fell and no farmer shot the pigeons.
I grew up and, hating the cold northern place, went away, only returning to clear out my parents’ home. Wandering the streets in search of memories, I came to the wall, walked around the third and fourth sides until I found the door.
I stand here now, feeling the tremor of childhood magic, turn the handle. It isn’t even locked. There is nothing behind the wall except a space where the wind whistles, and dead leaves pile in nervous drifts. But among the leaves lies a child’s winter scarf and a dead pigeon.

Three Line Tales: Daybreak

For Sonya’s Three line Tales prompt
photo by Lavkush Gupta via Unsplash

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The setting moon, the first pigeon awake in a winter tree and the meadow a sea of frosted stalks.

No sound except the cracking of the ice formed on puddles and the water butts round the house, no cock crow or fox bark, only the cold that cracks and the wind that whines.

An ordinary August morning, and the first pigeon that will also be the last.

Three line tales: Retirement

For Sonya’s photo prompt.
photo by Marian Oleksyn via Unsplash

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I look at the expression of the model, the way her eyes glitter with confidence, a smile on demand, and think, she has an assured future.

I look at the horse, the soft gentle eyes, and the pure white coat and mane, chosen to match the girl’s style, the article to be advertised.

I think of them later when they are older, the girl, still smiling, retired perhaps with a full bank account, and the old horse taken in the truck to the place where old useless horses go.

#Three Line Tales: Waste

For Sonya’s weekly photo prompt
photo by Nareeta Martin via Unsplash

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The family members heave themselves upright, swill greasy hands clean in the outgoing tide and wade heavily back to the car, renouncing their rights of ownership on the rubbish they no longer want.

Grease, cartons and bits of useless plastic, unwanted distractions for world-weary kids, curl into the waves, drawn out to sea until they hit another beach where a gull is waiting.

Bright eyes find the plastic chunk among the pebbles, gull pecks, tastes and brings the inestimable prize back to the hungry chick that will die some short time later in the agony of strangulation.

Short story in Ekphrastic Review

The painting prompt for the Ekphrastic Review challenge was a blue horse painting by Franz Marc. Anyone who knows my admiration for Marc won’t be surprised that I was duly prompted. Lorette asked for short fiction, which is what I wrote. You can read Horse Dreams here as well as all the other entries.

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Three Line Tales: Dancing

For Sonya’s Three line Tales writing prompt.
photo by Zac Ong via Unsplash

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They dance in the waterworld, they told her, all day, and at night there is diamond light to transfigure the dance, even yours.

She looked at her skeletal limbs, black as dead wood, and the marks of the tomb so close, and she knew she had nothing to lose, it had already gone

They nodded from all the blank staring windows as she stepped into the spray, and in the morning there was one more foaming fountain beneath the dark-faced block.