Microfiction #Writespiration: Treasure

This is for Sacha Black’s writespiration challenge—52 words on the subject of: The secret you just discovered.


The letter slipped out of the book like a dry leaf veined with spidery writing of a bygone age. It was like unfolding a map to hidden treasure,

Forgive me, Gran,

treasure I was not intended to find.

Grandad. Written from his new life—the address obliterated by slashes of angry ink.



Words on a paper

This is for the Secret Keeper’s writing prompt. I might write a second poem. I like these words.



The final act,

your letter falls on the mat,

no ringing bells or madly blaring sirens,

just a dull swish,

like the dangling rope cut,

swinging in the wind.

Hands tremble too much to open neatly,

white envelope paper ripped across,

the inked, deadly precise letters, a massacre.

I skim the words,

as if the lightness of the glance gives them less weight,

no time to stick their full import on reluctant retinas.

I skim, slide, eyes glide,

avoid the harsh black-on-white truth.

I skim,

the words shout though I close my eyes.

Skim, I say—

the stone bounces,

once, twice, thrice,

and hope drops,

sinks out of sight,

into the darkness,

where fall and fade,

all lovers’ broken hearts.

Three Line Tale: A letter II

The sequel to Sonya’s Three Line Tale.

Photo ©Kirsty TG



The road was empty again; the silent horseman a memory of dark mist and the gentle waving of tree branches.

With trembling finger I traced the familiar handwriting before easing open the envelope and unfolding the sheaf of close-written pages.

By the light of the moon, through a blur of tears, I read some of the lifetime of words of tenderness he would have told me, he said, had he not drowned so far away, when our dream was still a fledgling that would never spread its wings and fly.

Microfiction: News

This short story is in response to Ronovan’s weekly Friday Fiction prompt:

You’ve just been handed a message that makes you drop to the floor, trembling uncontrollably.


She had seriously considered boarding up the letterbox, nailing the damn flap closed. Nobody sent letters any more, only people after money. Since J. had walked out taking the cat, the car and the jewellery his mother had given her as a wedding present, she had drawn in her horns, speaking to nobody, dreading the ring tone of the telephone, the doorbell, car doors slamming in the street outside. Even the night chattered and hummed with incessant mocking noise. She pulled the sheet over her head, but it made no difference. He laughed, wherever he was. The neighbours laughed. Her co-workers laughed. The whole world belly-laughed itself sick over her stupidity. She sobbed into her pillow, took a tablet and shut out the mocking voices in an intermittent dull sleep.

Life became a disjointed sequence of light and dark, day noise and night noise. She gave up calling in to work, never went to the doctor’s appointments. Nothing that came out of the phone or through the letterbox had any weight in her existence. Nothing until the envelope flopped through the flap onto the floor. It was a plain white envelope, handwritten, with a stamp. She stared at it lying like an incubus, white and ghostly, a phantom from another time when communication meant letters. She pushed it with her foot, as if expecting it to give a sign of life. It didn’t. It lay there, silent and menacing, daring her to approach.

The letter didn’t go away, so she picked it up and with a decisive movement tore open the envelope. It was hand-written.

You don’t know me, the letter said.

She read on, a sense of oppression settling in the pit of her stomach.

I got your address from the agency.

The words blurred and she didn’t want to go on.

You don’t answer the phone or reply to emails, the letter went on, so I’m writing. I’m coming to see you.

She resisted the temptation to screw the paper into a ball.

I’ll keep on coming round until you see me.

The threat made her feel faint.

I have to know why you did it.

She knew what was coming next, knew but couldn’t stop it. Maybe if she stopped reading it wouldn’t happen? She knew she was kidding herself.

I have to know why a mother would abandon her baby.

The floor rushed up to meet her and the world went black.