Heart’s desire


When we get our heart’s desire,

The yearning stops, anticipation,

All we are left with is a hollow,

Aching and arid where once was fire.

Dreams go rusty in the rain,

And rain falls hard when dreams take flight.

The stars all fallen in the night,

Will never shine with borrowed light,

And all that’s left is gnawing pain.

Take these feathers plumed in sunglow,

Toss them in the rainbow winds,

Give me a scented dab of rose, love,

Hold me tight; don’t let me go.

Microfiction challenge Lovers: the entries


I’m posting this early because I won’t be here for a couple of days. If there are late arrivals I’ll update when I get back and post the new prompt, probably Saturday. I’ve tried programming blog posts and they haven’t posted. I haven’t forgotten, just bear with me.

The stories this week were splendid. The sense of mystery and anguish came over strongly in almost all your stories, different types of anguish and for different reasons but it’s there. There is a lot of depth in your writing this week, so you can all give yourselves a pat on the back.

Phylor (or am I allowed to say Lorraine now?)

champagne love (JD’s Microfiction 16: The Lovers) – My Frilly Freudian Slip


Microfiction challenge #16: Lovers – Felix and Jane | Morpethroad


Microfiction challenge #16: Lovers | pensitivity101


Microfiction – monsters and maidens – for Jane Dougherty. | fmme writes poems


Microfiction Challenge #16: Lovers – Ramblings of a Writer


Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction challenge: Hurry – Word Shamble


A Wish: Microfiction | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings




Lovers Premonition-a leap and a loss of faith

Neel’s story missed the new deadline and I wasn’t here to update, but here it is, and a very unexpected take it is.



Microfiction challenge: Lovers


Death comes

There was nothing they could do, nowhere else to send their prayers. She let his strong arms guide her steps home, heard them echoing against the wall of the domain. She thought briefly of the daughter of the big house and of the physicians from the town they had brought in to try to save her. It hadn’t helped, either way, she thought. The bairn had been born dead and the daughter lost too.

Their steps echoed against the stones, clomp, clomp, clomp, and the leaves rustled like the dry voices of the old ones telling their beads. The night sky was bright with stars and the air was cold. A hunting owl shrieked and she caught back the sob in her throat. He clutched her arm tight and she felt his distress through the wool of her coat. It was over.

Moonlight fell soft over the path. Big house, small cottage, death came just the same. They would leave the son-in-law to his grieving, and they would take their grief home with them. Again, the owl called, and his grip tightened on her arm. Moonlight filled his eyes with glitter and her own eyes were a blur of tears. Death had come to the big house, in a hushed rustle of purples drapes around the door, with black-plumed horses and the sickly odour of lilies. They would not give their daughter and granddaughter to that death. They would send them through the gentle earth to the otherworld where there was no more pain, no sickness, no ugliness, only peace and beauty. And one day, they would join them there.

Microfiction challenge #16: Lovers

The painting for this week’s challenge, entitled ‘Lovers’, is by Felix Nussbaum. What intrigues me about it is the contrast between the title and the calm night sky, and the couple themselves who appear to be hurrying, leaning on one another, or is one leading the other? There’s an urgency in their movement and I wonder what they are hurrying away from, or towards. What is behind the long, stark wall, and what does the tower signify—a church perhaps, without a cross though?

Write a short (say 200 word) story based on this scene and post the link in the comments box. If you could get them in by next Wednesday that would be ideal as I might not be around at the end of the week.

Have fun!


Flash Fiction: Catherine Wheels

This piece was written for Ronovan’s Friday Fiction writing challenge. The subject this week is ‘A friend shows up.’


She sat at a window table, not because she was particularly interested in what was going on outside, but because it gave her somewhere to look that wasn’t at the other customers in the café. Her coffee settled. The foamy swirl slowed and stopped. The steam blew away. She stirred it again absent-mindedly, just to set the Catherine wheel going again. Sound flaked off the walls, ran down the window glass, and she retreated into the tiny bubbles in the coffee foam. Round and round. Like her thoughts. His face, black as thunder, turning away, his back, the door closing. His face, black as thunder, turning away…

“Jen! It is you.”

She looked up, startled.

“Do you mind if I…?”

He didn’t wait for an answer, slid into the seat opposite, leaned his arms on the table.

“Dan…” The greeting failed, a damp squib. She didn’t know what to say. He reached out a hand to hers. She flinched and laid her hands in her lap. This was what she had longed for for so long, she couldn’t bear it. Through all the years of tears and fights and sullen silences she had wished that Dan would come and take her away from the stupid trap she had let herself fall into. She glanced at his face. The eyes were the same. She flinched again. Bright as sapphires. They shot sparks.

“How are you?” he asked. “I heard about—”

“I’m fine,” she said quickly and gave her coffee another stir. Mangled sounds crackled and spluttered, cracked and flaked, dripped and pooled on the floor.

“Sure you are,” he said, with a sad smile. “Leaving him was the best thing you ever did.”

She looked up sharply. It hadn’t been like that. She had clung to him as if she would break into a million pieces if he left. Dan was just trying to make her feel better.

“If you like…if you don’t mind, we could go for a meal somewhere. Talk over old times. Maybe pick up where we left off.”

His eyes were earnest, eager, but the sapphire glitter prevented her telling if he was sincere. She so wanted to reach over and take his hand, tell him she’d been dreaming of this meeting for years, cried herself to sleep over the possibility that he might get in touch. Behind his head she could almost see the falling glitter of fireworks.

He looked at his watch and frowned. “I have to go. Think about what I said. Call me when you’re ready.”

He pushed a business card across the table, and with a last smile, turned to leave.

The rattle of cups and plates was deafening. Bright flashing light, sun on car windows maybe, blinded her, and he was gone. She looked at the card. Yellowed. The number was odd yet familiar. It was one of the old eight digit numbers. It was ten years at least since they had been changed.

Tears dropped into the stationary Catherine wheel of coffee foam. It was fifteen years since Dan had been killed in a car accident. Fifteen years that her life had been running along the wrong road, a rocket that never took off. They hadn’t had time to know one another. He had never even told her he loved her. She stirred the coffee again, listening to the sounds dripping off the walls. Flaking. She would never hear those words spoken with his voice. Only in her dreams.

I asked for the moon

Painting by Renoir


I asked for the moon,
A white rose he gave me.
I asked for a raindrop,
He gave me a sea.

A gull’s wings he gave me,
With the free sky to roam,
And a handful of sunlight
To light the way home.

He asked for a kiss,
And I gave him a moonbeam.
He asked me for ever:
I gave him a dream.

He asked for my heart,
And I held out hands empty,
Long years past I gave it,
When he first smiled at me.

When the tide ebbs low


In the mud by the river
The kingcups grow
And the alders bow and the white gulls cry.
On the bank of the river rolling by
The tide runs high and the tide ebbs low.

In the reeds by the river
When the sun is low
Where the heron stands in the alders’ shade
The willow hangs over a secret glade
A rushy bank where the lovers go.

On the path by the river
Where the kingcups blow
And the heron stalks and the white gulls call
I saw my love where the reeds grow tall
And the tide runs high and the tide ebbs low.

In the reeds by the river
Where the sea breeze blows
He held her close and he whispered low
Were it not for me he’d be free to go
Where the wild geese fly and the river flows.

In the mud by the river
There’s a yellow glow
Where I tossed from my finger a golden ring
That flashed in the sun like a finch’s wing
For the sea to take when the tide ebbs low.