Microfiction: Time machine

This short story is for Rochelle Wisoff’s Friday Fictioneers writing challenge. I went slightly over limit at 106 words.



When the watchmaker learned that his wife had at best three months left to live, he spent the first of those months building a giant timepiece.

“I won’t let you go,” he whispered to her at night when he finally left his workshop and climbed into bed beside her. His wife smiled weakly and patted his hand.

When the machine was ready, the watchmaker climbed inside and began to peddle. Backwards. He would turn back the clock to the time before his wife got sick.

After the funeral, they took him to the psychiatric hospital, but they let him keep his time machine. He’s pedalling still.

The gold has gone from the sun


The gold has gone from the sun, the sky

Is pale as ice on a northern sea, and cold,

For you have gone and turned your back on this,

The place, the nest we built of scraps of dreams.

I sift the coloured shards that lie in drifts

About my restless feet, as dry as leaves,

And hold them up against the wintry light,

But all I see is everlasting night.

Where we trod

I’m almost at the end of Jilly’s Jim Harrison challenge. What’s a few months between friends?

This quote is:

“Only the water is safe” ~


Footprints in the sand left where we walked,

traces in the mud of where we trod,

and in the dust our dancesteps, all effaced,

while from some lofty cloud, the finger points

at the mess of lives, of mirror sand.

Your handprint on the handle of the door,

breath that mists the window of the train,

the word you wrote backwards for me to read—

love, it said—before you turned away,

and rolled away on dull gunmetal rails,

your perfume lingers, oil daub on my face.


I wade through water now,

my tread silent as fishes,

my passing leaves no trace,

no tears cling to this slickness.

Like sand between the fingers,

and grains of star seeds falling,

no words have yet been written,

in the story of the river.

Usefulness outlived

A possible tragedy, or unwanted present maybe, abandoned on the pavement this morning—I didn’t take a pic in case it really was a tragedy. Just imagine, brand new, bright red pushchair…


On the pavement before the park, an empty pushchair waits and metaphorically weeps. Almost new, with all its wheels, no broken axle, no torn hood, no unsightly stains, it stands, carelessly askew, gathering spots of sultry, desultory rain amid the debris of the weekend. I wonder as I look away, in sorrow at some imagined drama, is this a monument, Ozymandias in the sand, an abandoned castle of a couple’s dreams now dead, moved on, perhaps, with heavy hearts to build anew. Or did someone simply hate the colour red?


Gutters fill with loss,

pigeons peck the city’s crumbs,

rain spots, dust remains.

Once you were quicksilver

This quadrille is for dverse. The word to include is ‘flicker’, and it is inspired by our little blue cat, the first of our Bordeaux cats to die, very young and unexpectedly.

Photo ©La Rose Tueuse


Once you were quicksilver,

a shadow seen through leaves,

a flicker of sunlight,

a streak of blue, polished like sealskin,

in the tree, leaping the wall.

The last memory cuts deepest,

of your eyes, their light,

a mere flicker

to say you were leaving.




The world is a quadrille at the moment. Here’s one for the Secret Keeper’s prompt using the words:




This road leads nowhere,

no escape,

no singing of joyful songs,

no wind chimes,

no green light shines among rubies

at the bottom of the pool.


Rain falls all over the world tonight,

and the light of the moon

is quenched in well water.

Microfiction: Gone

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers.

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter



It would have been a perfect place to work, looking out into the garden, windows open to the breeze and the swaying branches of overhanging trees. The wisteria perfumed it in spring, roses in summer. You put my desk where the light fell in dapples and waited for me to charm the words into stories. It would have been perfect. But you went away, and left your touch in the soft grain of the wood, your face framed in the fluttering leaves, your voice in the breeze. Perhaps another could have borne it. Not I.