Microfiction: Making an end

Sacha Black’s challenge this week is to write a very short story using the title of one of the books featured in last week’s challenge. What a choice! It was like being offered a chocolate from a selection with all the hard chewy ones or the ones full of nuts taken out. Which one to choose? In the end I didn’t—I used five titles. Here they are with the links I could find if you want to check out the excerpt or the books.

Under stone

Drawn towards the sun

The haunted tide

Return to echoing waters



They are oathbreakers, she murmured, restless in her bed under stone and root. They were given the care of the earth and they have abused my trust.

There was nothing more to be done, though she wept clouds and oceans of tears. It was time to end the work of aeons and begin again in another world. Perhaps. Gathering up her beautiful scattered dreams of green, blue, rainbow-coloured, soft-furred, perfectly scaled, leafed, feathered, the cold- and the warm-blooded, vegetal, animal, and mineral creations, she said the final words. She called down the stars, summoned back the moon into her dark cradle and let her child Earth change path, drawn towards the sun by the wrong, haunted tide, to return to the echoing waters of oblivion.

Haiku sequence: Bitter

Inspired by @TheBotaiku haiku prompt: Bitter.


Bitter the morning

the last day’s blood red dawning

no bright spring to come.


Harsh the bleak light falls

on the dark, wave-churned ocean

where sea beasts flounder.


Raucous the wild cry

of hungry ravens flocking

last supper starting.


Despair on the wind

on ragged storm wings riding

the sun will not rise.


Farewell happy fields

green meadows filled with birdsong

the long night begins.

Walking to the brink of time alone

A quatern in response to the Secret Keeper’s weekly writing prompt.

This week’s words are:



Walking to the brink of time alone,

I sense the silence of the cold stars’ wail,

Black winds howl and through pale gullies moan,

Secure that no one hears their lonely tale.


Our handclasp broke, you let me slip away,

Walking to the brink of time alone,

I longed with all my heart to hear you say,

You could not kill the love between us grown.


Setting sun and shooting stars still shone,

Filling earth and sky with fleeting light.

Walking to the brink of time alone,

The edge approaches at the brink of night.


Dying rays and starshine light the way,

I turn, but through the glimmer you have gone.

I call your name, but nothing makes you stay,

Walking to the brink of time alone.

Microfiction: Tick Tock

For Ronovan’s Friday Fiction prompt.

PENTAX Digital Camera

Ticks and tocks of essential time, sink the spirits lower than wine.

 She tore the newspaper page across, crumpled it angrily and threw it in the grate.

Smart arse editorialist.

It was her own fault; she should know by now not to read the obits. As if people needed reminding about the fleeting nature of human existence. Her eyes flicked automatically to the clock on the mantelpiece, an heirloom inherited from parents-in-law, a cheap, mass-produced monstrosity, a wedding present, no doubt, from the sepia days before the first world war. She hated that clock, the infernal, lugubrious tick tock and the chime every quarter. Every quarter! How had they stood it all these years?

She dumped the newspaper and its tidings of doom and gloom and took her coffee into the garden. Maybe she was just tired. She grimaced. Coffee was hitting the stomach rather hard this morning. She poured it over the roses and sat on the bench, watching the clouds race and a robin taking a bath in a rain puddle.

Nothing changed except the pattern of the clouds. He was still gone. Still left, leaving her with the house, the bills and the burden of… everything.

She closed her eyes but the earth carried on turning. Her stomach carried on turning. Tears squeezed out from behind closed lids. It took so little to knock the whole world out of kilter. Everything was wrong. Each second that flicked past was wrong. There were not enough of them left to waste them like this on pain and morbid thoughts, bills and emptiness. She winced. The spasm passed. But it would be back, like clockwork.

Tick tock said the clock. Cloud thickened and covered the morning sun. Coffee dripped from the roses, and the robin finished his bath.

The second coming

“Two moons rise over a darkened field.”

Flash fiction inspired by this prompt provided by WritingPrompts.com




The longest night began at midday. Heavy cloud hung lower and lower, black as pitch, growling with thunder. Across the valley, a curtain of flickering white fire joined cloud and earth. Here and there, orange flames rose from stricken trees and houses. The longest night would have no morning. They knew that. Somewhere, no doubt, on some distant star, the super-rich would be watching, while they sipped their cosmic Martinis on the shores of a paradisiac sea. But here, now, on the blasted heath that had been the Earth, eternal night had fallen.

Midnight approached, and those who were able raised their heads to the clouds. The rattling white light lit the night like an old silent film. Except the film was not silent. The sky roared. The sea, no longer distant, roared in answer, and the valley became a raging torrent. Midnight. The clouds parted in a magnificent gesture, and the play of lightning ceased. No one breathed. Was it ending? The end, was it over? Was this a new beginning?

The boiling clouds rolled back and the sky, smooth, black and immense was revealed. The world breathed again, and voices rose in a wail of despair. No stars looked down, twinkle-twinkling. No Nativity this. Sailing on the empty seas of the sky, menacing as a pair of nuclear ghostly galleons, twin moons rode higher and higher.

When they reached their apogee, the deluge began.

After the storm

© Guillaume Piolle / CC-BY-3.0
© Guillaume Piolle / CC-BY-3.0

All night long the thunder growled
And lightning split the sky from side to side
While we lay silent curled around our pain
And let our love ebb with the falling tide.
When dawn poured light across your sullen face
I saw the darkness of the clouds above
Pooled in the hollows of your empty eyes
That once were endless fathoms deep in love.
The storm-drenched trees still drip their load of rain
And the air fills with the song of morning birds
I try to make you listen to my heart
But salt tears fill my mouth instead of words.
The night has gone and with it all our dreams
This house, this bed is not where I belong
When the blank look in your eyes is all there is
No matter how sweet the blackbird sings his morning song.

And still it rains


And still it rains though the damage is done
The sky still weeps its useless tears.
You went with drama and slamming of doors
Forgetting the love and all the years
Shared beneath this trembling roof.
You charged into the storm’s wild maw
Not wasting time to don your coat
To leave our dreams behind the door
Despite the raging of the elements.
Though thunder rumbled still you left
You stopped your ears when I cried your name
As if my very presence made you flinch
Like naked flesh touched by a dancing flame.

Or was it just shame?