Three Line Tales: Foiled

Procrastinating again. For Sonya’s Three Line Tales prompt.
photo by Jonny Caspari via Unsplash


On the highest mountain peak on his stone chair, the Great God sat, a sceptre in his hand pointing at the Earth.

The needle that was to burst her fragile bubble, let her life-giving air leak away, was poised, an army of lesser gods ready to leap into the breach.

But Earth had no need for such hypotheses, and the fantasies broke, flaming torches against the scientific reality of the atmosphere, falling like stars into the blue oceans.

The world afterwards

Because it’s Sue’s prompt, and because I like the image.


There’s a lonely hill above a lonely valley, and no one treads the high paths anymore. Once there were forests they say, latterly herds of brown cattle and flocks of sheep, but the soil thinned until the grass grew brown as the cattle.
No one treads the high paths anymore, and in the valley the sheep have gone, the cattle long since bones beneath the bracken.
Only I go there at times, when the air is not too sharp and the glare in the sky not too fierce. I stand on the hill and try to remember what green looked like, the smell of gorse flowers, and the song of the skylark above the heath.
I strain through my mask to hear that music of a dead time, but the only sound is the rattle of the wind in the heather’s dry bells.

Three Line Tales: Disobedience

This is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales prompt.
photo by Diana Aishe via Unsplash


Come back, they shouted from the far bank, the wild woods are no place for a little girl, but the little girl stopped half-way across the river that was supposed to be the river of forgetfulness, the river of no return, and she remembered.

The clamour on the far bank grew louder, imperious, and she heard the words, school, homework, cleaning your room, tidy, respect, obedience and duty.

The wild woods whispered and reached out gentle hands, and she saw they were full of life and beauty and peace, so, she put her hands over her ears, turned around and ran straight back.

Three Line Tales: Making choices

For Sonya’s Three Line Tales Prompt. Don’t ask what it means. It’s just one of those days.
photo by Ashley Byrd via Unsplash


Paint the things that aren’t there; fill in all the unseen spaces, leaving blank walls pristine.

Shuffle the anxious worms that suck and strip the joy from life into the slippery tubes,

stopper them up, close your eyes and breathe only the white purity of thoughtlessness.


For the dverse prompt.


I often see things in this house, fast moving blurs, fast as mice, out of the corner of my eye. Birds I think, flitting past the window, casting their small shadows into the dim light of the room. I often think papers have been riffled, but then my desk is always so untidy it’s hard to be sure.
Sometimes there are lines written in a poem I left off half-finished, strange lines that don’t sound like me. Sometimes there are slight breathless noises in the night or in the day in empty rooms where dust motes dance. Sometimes a shadow slips into a room. When I look there is only light.
This evening, the rain is pouring in torrents. The shadow is in the bureau, reading what I have just written. I now believe, not in ghosts, but in dead poets and restless words.

Three Line Tales: Daybreak

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


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


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: Dancing

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


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.

Three Line Tales: Roses

For Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

photo by Girl with red hat via Unsplash


It was spring, the birds were singing madly, the alley was hung with roses, and her feet flew as she ran to meet him, standing open-armed in the doorway at the end.

The future had been strewn with rose petals, a long sun-lit alley of fragrance and happiness, where they would walk side by side, hand in hand.

The alley is empty now; her feet drag through drifts of dead leaves, and at the end, the door is closed and locked, the dream fading.