Worth A Thousand Words # 4 – City Lights


Photo Credit: carloyuen @ pixabay.com

The holiday began with a visit to Lookout Hill, which gave him a panoramic view of the city. At night the lights gave a mystical feel to the city, and he marvelled at the sight of so many tall buildings and the mesmerising glow.

He could have stayed there a lot longer, but his aunt and uncle took his elbow and guided him back to the car for the winding trip down into the city.

Here he received another perspective of the city, looking up into the lights, reading the flashing neon signs, which littered the streets they passed along.

His Aunt and Uncle had offered to put him up for a week while he attended a poetry course at the university. It was obvious when he arrived they didn’t think much of poetry. They made comments as if suggesting he could make better use of his time than attend boring lectures on poetry of all things.

He explained he was the only one from his school and district who had been selected and he considered it an honour to attend. His Aunt and Uncle shrugged commenting that it was his choice and they hoped he got something out of it.

That night as he settled into his bed with his mind alight still with the lights of the city and his anticipation of the days ahead he found it hard to fall asleep.

After a time he heard movement and the front door closing. A set of footsteps went past his room, and the house settled into silence. He didn’t know his Uncle or Aunt worked at night and he’d ask in the morning if that were so.

A little later he was still awake when he heard the front door open and close. Then there were hushed voices, a sense of urgency, then the sound as if a child was crying and then silence.

A little later her heard two sets of footsteps go past his door and the bedroom door to his Uncle and Aunt’s room close.

The next thing he knew it was morning, and he hurried to dress and get organised as he knew there was a bus to catch to the university and he didn’t want to be late.

His questions pertaining to his Uncle and Aunt working at night fell on puzzled faces. No, they replied they both went to bed after he did, slept soundly and never heard a sound.

His Aunt packed him a lunch and then showed him the bus stop. His day at the University had been all he imagined, and he was full of his day when he returned home later that day. He sat at the bench and recounted his day, his enthusiasm obvious. His Aunt nodded and remarked that his Uncle would be pleased his day went so well.

Not long after dinner, he took himself to bed feeling more tired than he realised.

He awoke, his Aunt and Uncle standing over his bed, beside them a small boy, “He’s the one,” said the boy pointing at him.

His Uncle and Aunt then took the knife from its sheath.

In the bed, the young boy trembled, his Uncle and Aunt had become unidentifiable.

Outside the city lights flickered.


Written for: https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/worth-a-thousand-words-4/

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Three Things Challenge, 20 July 2018


Today’s things are: discovery, lace, basketball

One of the many things we discovered about our teacher, Miss Teresa was her penchant for lace. As it was summer and the days long and warm, she’d often turn up to school in tops with lace collars or skirts with lacy hems, and we thought she looked pretty cool, for a girl we boys surmised.

But it was during PE that our greatest discovery came about. Miss Teresa was brilliant at basketball. We boys thought of ourselves as budding NBL players, but Miss Teresa put us all to shame. She had skills we only dreamed about, and as it was I think most of us boys did enough dreaming about Miss Teresa but we stood back and watched her play, she was magnificent.

Turned out she’d played for the Lace Girls in the national league in the years before she took on teaching. For us though having a player of her calibre was the icing on the cake of our education.


Written for: https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/three-things-challenge-20-july-2018/

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Reena’s Exploration Challenge #Week 46


This was a perplexing task in that the obvious answer for me is to talk about myself again. I could discuss history repeating itself with the orange man, but we know all about that.

I was married for 23 years, and at the end of it, I vowed to myself that I would never allow myself to be in that oppressive situation again. It seemed a reasonable resolution to make as the abuse I suffered has been life changing and I am now the man I am.

I stuck to my resolution for quite some time. I did engage in another relationship, which at first was about love and equality. I found a mind to match it with myself.

Everything went along well until I began to notice that my new partner believing she was doing me a favour set about to change me into a ‘better’ version of me.

It wasn’t long before it dawned on me that the oppression of my marriage was being repeated in this new relationship albeit under a different guise.

So here was history repeating itself. Here was me feeling more and more crap because I was where I had vowed I never would be.

When it all ended, I did get some counselling and my counsellor, a lovely chap in himself, suggested the next time I decide to enter into a relationship that I run the idea past him to get a more objective view of what I might be letting myself in for.

I haven’t had cause to do that.


Written for: https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/reenas-exploration-challenge-week-46/

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July 19: Flash Fiction Challenge – The Bush


July 19, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about Fannie Hooe. Although she is a legend in the Kewenaw, feel free to go where the prompt leads.

The bush is a harsh place. Isolation and loneliness go hand in hand. Jack Cater was a drover, his wife Jess died having their third child, and Jack was heart broken.

Her sister Marie came to help, and she too found the bush life oppressive. It was the long periods on her own with two children not her own. When Jack came home, he looked to her to give him comfort.

One day she left with the children. Jack couldn’t understand why and scoured the landscape thinking she’d fallen down a mineshaft. But there was no sign of her.


Written for: https://carrotranch.com/2018/07/19/july-19-flash-fiction-challenge/

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Worth A Thousand Words # 3 – Marcia Gotoo


Once a month Bob down at Bob’s Laundry and Clean employed Marcia Gotoo to clean out the machines.

Marcia loved her job, it wasn’t a job that required a lot of brains to do but Marcia loved the notion of Bob employing her, and she wanted to do a good job.

Every machine had to be scrubbed out and all the accumulated guck removed. Sometimes the stench was over powering, and she wondered what had been in the machine to leave it so rotten.

One day in one of the guck collecting places she found a diamond ring. She took it to Bob who looked in his notes and found no request or notice of a lost ring and so he said good luck to Marcia and let her have it. It was her first piece of luck in life, and she took the ring the next day to a jeweller and had it valued.

As there were a lot of machines to clean out Marcia developed a way of making the job interesting for her. As the cleaning took place between midnight and dawn, the place was deserted, and so she devised a scheme whereby there was a play list for each machine.

This helped her through the night, and she could sing as loud as she liked, no matter how out of tune she might have been.

Some songs had a memory attached. There was one that took her back to her marriage. She had been married to a man who promised her the earth and who gave her plenty of dirt. He was a soulless character, and eventually, she moved out in the middle of the night after drugging him giving her the opportunity to flee.

There had been no other men since then. She’d been bitten once, and it wasn’t going to happen again despite the best efforts of a series of men who attempted to woo her with promises she knew were empty.

Cleaning the machines reminded her of the purpose of life. Everything was there for a reason and for a time everything worked perfectly, but there would come a point where a clean out would be required and a resolution to move on. Like her job as one play list ended, so it was time to move on to the same job on another machine, the only difference was she was being paid for this cleanup, not belted for not doing it to someone else’s expectations.

Bob was a good boss he’d come in as she was finishing the last machine and marvel at her job, pay her what she was owed and say he’d see her again the next month. Marcia was grateful; this job even though tiring to the extreme did allow her to live a little as her normal job, cleaning toilets at the train station was a soul-destroying job.

Today she went home a happy girl. She would fix herself some breakfast, have a bath and go to bed. If she was lucky when she awoke her daughter would call as she did each week to see how her mum was getting on.

The last thing Marcia ever did after her night cleaning the machines was to put any washing on.


Written for: https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/worth-a-thousand-words-3/

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Three Things Challenge, 19 July 2018


Today’s things are: disco, boy, june bug 

Today my teacher Miss Teresa was looking very hot and bothered. It was the middle of summer, and we were in class sweating away as we worked on our maths problems.

In the back of our minds was the disco planned for the coming evening. Miss Teresa had promised she would dance with anyone who asked her and I was keen to as I thought she was pretty alright. Then again most of the boys in the class thought the same.

Today though she was looking unhappy and when we asked her why she looked sad she said it was the June bugs. Her yard was full of them, and she hated having them buzzing around her when she went out to mow her lawn.

Then she went into a demonstration of how she reacted to them.

Her flailing arms gave is a lot to laugh about and one boy; Jasper Allcock nearly wet his pants he laughed so much.


Written for: https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/three-things-challenge-19-july-2018/

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100 Word Wednesday: Week 80 – Lost


“Are you sure you dropped it?”

“I’m certain, it just fell out.”

“I’m not keen to get on my hands and knees dressed as I am.”

“Shhh, don’t speak so loud, its embarrassing.”

“Well, you are going to look weird if I don’t locate it.”

“John, please show some discretion.”

“Ok, I’ll ask the guy in the checked shirt.”

“He doesn’t look all that happy, you might be imposing on him.”

“Never mind that, it’s got to be here.”

“Please be careful. Don’t step on it.”

“I will.”

“Oh dear, I found it. My glass eye was down my cleavage.”


Written for: https://bikurgurl.com/2018/07/18/100-word-wednesday-week-80/

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