Five Photos Five Stories Challenge: Day One.

Ali Isaac, writer, blogger and supermum has nominated me to join in the Five Photos Five Stories Challenge.

The rules of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:

1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is fun, not a command performance!

I nominate the Aussie with the camera, Laurie Smith. If he’s too busy annoying roos, I’ll let him off.

Here’s my offering for day one: fiction or non-fiction, I’m not certain.


His street, the one he knew, was filled with the frightening bulk of a monstrous lorry. Men laboured with pieces of furniture that looked unsettlingly familiar, even out of context outside in the street. His family milled about, excited. The biggest one shouted directions at the sweating, labouring men. The other one twittered and fussed with smaller boxes. He looked longingly at the boxes. He had sat in many of them and was disoriented watching them disappear into the shadows inside the lorry.

He waited for someone to remember about lunchtime, but they didn’t. He wandered off, creeping along window ledges and gutterings, down to the street where there were often cat biscuits left out for emergencies like this. He found a few, sniffed them and passed by. Dirty. A car snarled past and he dashed for cover. People on the pavement, a pushchair. Another car pulling out. The street wasn’t safe. He squeezed under a garden door, scuttled through a yard and onto a roof. Birds. Lots of birds. He hunted birds until suppertime.

He ran across the roofs, almost missing the way. When he found his house it was different, empty. The lorry was gone and it had taken everything with it, his people and their noise too. He sat on the wall and wailed at the closed window, but the smells and the echoes were all wrong. There was nobody there.

He slept on top of the shed and waited, waited for days, drinking from the gutter and scavenging in the rubbish the people had left. Then more people came. He perched on the shed roof to watch. They had a lorry full of boxes. He wondered if they were the same. There was a young person too who saw him on the roof and shouted something. The big people came to look and one of them waved her arms and hurled sharp, pointed words. The other one strode towards the shed with anger in his voice.

Cat ran across the rooftops away from the noise and the bewildering anger. He ran until he came to a place he’d never visited before, a wild tangled place where wild cats lived and a rooster. There was food there and company so he stayed, watching and waiting. He watched the door that opened sometimes. A person left food in a bowl and called the cats. The other cats and the rooster watched the food. He watched the person, the door. One day he came when he was called, and the person scratched his ears. The door stayed open, the person waited, so he followed her inside.

That is the story of how Branwell found a new name and a new home.

Cat poems

When the wind blows cold
and there is no shelter
from the lashing rain
cat curls among the market crates
and cheats his empty belly
with the smell of butcher’s meat.

* * * *

In the dark places

where the streetlights die

cat prowls



searching for an open door.

* * * *

Clouds gather


rain spats


cat slips


into the cellar


* * * *

Sky colour of mud

rain dull pewter

a cold curtain.

In a dark corner

the stray cat waits

his eyes on the closed door

and the empty bowl.

* * * *


in the night

is a cat’s furtive footfall

and the hot hiss

of the stars