Thursday photo prompt: Imagination #writephoto – The Reverend Mother Ursula.


The Reverend Mother Ursula of the Sisters of the Righteous Flowers was very pleased with the fresco being done on the south wall of the chapel. The image of herself had come up in a very pleasing way, and she thought it fitting she should be remembered as her overtures to the Pope for canonisation before her death had been met favourably.

She was, as she pointed out, an outstanding Christian and leader of the convent. Her fellow nuns all thought she was way above themselves and deferred to her in most matters including what breakfast condiment was to be on the table that week.

All improvements around the convent were attributed to her ‘spiritual’ intervention. The productive vegetable patch, the tomatoes bigger and better than ever, the abundant bean harvest and the outstanding crop of grapes which gave rise to a wine that gained the convent a reputation never before achieved. Each was the result of the Reverend Mother being who she was and an acknowledgement of her miraculous touch.

She was even known to have cured the sick and healed the infirm though a lot of that was here say and speculation. Once a month at Sunday Mass, Mother Ursula would give a blessing to the sick children in the parish. There was always one child who demonstrated a significant improvement after Mother Ursula had laid her hands on it. That it appeared to be the same child each month did little to reduce the enthusiasm the parishioners showed towards the good Mother Ursula.

By the time the fresco was completed the following year, the chapel was adorned with images of her in a variety of healing poses. It became a tourist attraction, and on the chosen Sunday of each month when she placed her blessing upon the selected children, it was standing room only.

Mother Ursula resided over the convent now awash with money and the hope that soon the Pope would declare her a living saint, as she richly thought she deserved to be.


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Reena’s Exploration Challenge #70 – A Patchwork Soul


There was little point he told himself in pretending otherwise.

He was, who he was, and all the denial in the world was never going to change that.

Accepting himself was his biggest life task. He wanted to be someone, then again who doesn’t? Wanted to stand out, play test cricket, write the ultimate novel, be a leader of men and women, love and grow through the experiences he came face to face with.

It was easy to dream, his whole life in many ways was lived in a fantasy world, where he imagined he was one thing or another. He became a life actor turning his hand to whatever circumstance he felt were needed to advance himself, he learned to play the game, he went places, and he did get noticed.

But all the while he craved to find out who he really was. Success was fleeting, he found out quickly, but the rush of it pushed him to find new heights where he would once again be someone.

In older age he laughed at himself, he saw the fool who sold his soul for fame and fortune, who lost himself in a material world of temporary friendships and who at the end of the day went home alone.

As he aged and he saw his body begin to deteriorate he took stock of himself, he wanted to understand what it was that life was thrusting upon him.

No longer able to do what he did in his youth he looked for other things in which to find motivation.

With his physical world waning, he looked inward to see what lay there. Hiding in the shadows was his real self.

It sat there watching him find his way. His self understood the struggle he was making, his real self had been banished so many years prior and now still in its original condition, though maybe a tad bruised, it was still there and welcomed his return.

The saying, “No matter where I turn I meet myself” was so true.

So his journey to discover himself, to face the reality of a life not always lived for the right reasons began. Painful, tortuous but revealing, he retreated into himself, found meditation and stillness, embraced the man he had become and found contentedness within himself.

It is an on-going journey, he grows daily, and he reaches out and touches the souls of so many who in turn touch his patchwork soul.


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Tale Weaver # 206 – Control – January 17th – Evelyn Ruddy’s Nightmare


Evelyn Ruddy of 16 Grimace Street woke with a start. She sat up in bed gathering her breath.

It had been another nightmare in which she was running from a malevolent force that threatened to over run her and as fast as her legs could carry her the closer it seemed to get.

Finally, she had awoken and could feel her heart pounding and her lungs gasping for air.

The nightmares had started when she moved to Grimace Street and couldn’t understand why when she felt safe living at Number 16.

She knew what the nightmares were about, her past life where she had been abused and used by a man who saw her as his maid and plaything. With Miss Marble’s help, she had extracted herself from the marriage and found refuge in Grimace Street.

Evelyn Ruddy had been a nurse and she liked being a nurse, it was an escape from her domestic situation, and she found she was happy to work extra shifts and overtime any time she could just to stay away from home.

But Grimace Street was different. She sensed it the day she moved in. There was something very calming about the neighbourhood. Her immediate neighbours had been very kind in welcoming her, and she had been invited to dinner several times and never once did she feel judged.

Evelyn dragged herself from her bed still feeling more exhausted from her nightmare than she had the night before. Coffee she thought, I need coffee.

With the kettle boiling, she sat down and once again the nightmare loomed inside her head.

A knock at the door startled her, as she wasn’t aware she was expecting anyone, and it was a little early she thought for visitors.

Feeling irritated by the intrusion she opened her door to find Miss Marble standing there, coffee cup in one hand and an iced cake in the other.

“We need to chat,” said Miss Marble walking through the door not waiting an invitation.

“We do?” asked Evelyn.

“These nightmares you are having, I can sense them, and they are playing a bit of havoc with the harmony within the street. Nothing serious, not like there’s an upheaval about to occur, but when a resident is having regular nightmares, as you are having I feel its time to offer you some help.”

Evelyn looked incredulously at Miss Marble. “I’m an amateur physic you might say,” added Miss Marble as if that revelation was all that was needed. “Coffee ready?” she asked as she handed Evelyn her cup.

Miss Marble cut Evelyn a generous slice of the cake, and the two women ate each savouring the delicious taste.

“Now,” said Miss Marble, “tell me about this nightmare you’ve been having.”

At Miss Marble’s invitation, Evelyn Ruddy found her mouth telling the tale of her life. Miss Marble sat and listened, nodded in recognition of this point and that and allowed Evelyn the time and space to recount her story.

“Why did he abuse you?” asked Miss Marble.

Evelyn hesitated; clearly, this was not a topic she was willing to talk about. They each took another bite of the cake and Evelyn began again this time revealing the horror of being married to her husband, aptly named Boof.

“I was so desperate,” recalled Evelyn, “I worked longer hours just to stay away. He came to the hospital one night and demanded I go home and get his dinner. He made such a scene, and I was so embarrassed. Then in front of my junior nurse, he hit me, knocked me flying and then threatened the nurse trying to help me. I think that was the night I met you.”

By now tears were flowing down Evelyn’s face, and she covered her face in her hands and sobbed uncontrollably. “How did I let myself get into that situation, Miss Marble? I didn’t know how to get out.”

Miss Marble listened and watched Evelyn with compassion and concern. “You did well to talk about it all Evelyn, sometimes a good talk can change things, not always solve the problem but allow you to see your past for what it was. It will always be with you, but in time you’ll find you can control it and it will know its place.”

With that Miss Marble said she needed to be off but asked Evelyn to drop by that afternoon to sit and watch the sunset.

“The most therapeutic time of the day,” she said as she let herself out the door.


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In Other Words, dancing…


She said come dance with me.

Inviting me to dance filling me with expectation.

Standing so near I caught my breath as I took in hers.

She guided me with patience, her generosity overwhelming.

Smiling she twirled me around then drew me in close.


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Tell a Story – It Was To Be a Hard Day


Di from asked me to write something based on the above photo. So here goes:

Diane had started the day feeling so very positive. She had stayed up late the night before preparing her presentation for her boss, a man who expected a lot from her.

Dressing in her best professional work attire, she bounced out of the house ready to take on the world.

Then everything turned to shit.

Her car wouldn’t start so she had to call for help. That set her back an hour after hurried calls to colleagues to explain her situation and get them to cover for her.

Then because she was late, the morning commute was slow and tedious.

She arrived at work to find her parking spot taken and had to drive to the overflow park, which meant an added ten minutes to walk back to her office.

On the way back it started to rain, and she was splashed by a car going through a puddle ruining her new stockings.

Getting into the office was another trial as there was a new man on the door who insisted reading her pass with great scrutiny thus holding her up further.

Arriving at the office, she discovered her boss was not happy as he’d come in early looking for her and was not pleased she was running late.

As she sat at her desk, she remembered she needed to copy some documents for her presentation and when she arrived at the photocopier discovered the service man was starting the monthly service. There would be a twenty-minute delay, and her appointment with the boss was in ten minutes.

What could possibly go wrong now she thought as a distance away a large truck backed over her car.


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Alice-Mary and the Rabbit – Part 5* – The Hum’s Decision.


The Hum’s Decision

Like most entities in this world, The Hum wanted nothing more than a quiet life. It thought the notion of humming along through life very appropriate to its circumstances.

So news of the girl from above ground wasn’t the sort of news it wanted to hear as it could feel a shrill starting to form and shrilling was not something it enjoyed as it hurt its throat if you considered the Hum capable of having a throat.

The Hum knew it would be soon that he would find the girl in front of him and he also knew what it was he had to do.

The Hum’s job was to safeguard the sanctity of the below ground. Alice-Mary was a very inquisitive girl, and the Hum did not want her returning to the above ground with more information than was good for her.

The above ground folk were of limited intelligence and imagination as far as the Hum was concerned. The fact that Alice-Mary was an eighth of her above ground size below ground was not something the Hum wanted her aware of as in the past such information had led to enthusiastic people above ground digging holes trying to discover the below ground and the Hum was not having any of that.

How she had managed to come down the rabbit hole in the first place was a secret the Hum wanted kept.

The Hum could hear the approach of the girl, George and the rabbit Junker. The Junkers were not among the Hum’s favourites, as they tended to be rules unto themselves. Despite all the advice given to them about the dangers of bringing above ground folk below ground they tended to disregard all advice and as a result they ended up in front of the Hum expecting the Hum to solve a problem they created.

And so here they were again.

Alice-Mary was her usual inquisitive self in coming to see the Hum. She expected an old man in a grey beard sitting on some sort of throne.

She was disappointed to arrive in front of the Hum only to discover it was a giant mushroom she was looking at.

“Is that it? That’s the Hum?” she asked incredulously.

At that precise moment, the Hum spoke directly to her, its voice inside her head.

“Yes, disappointing isn’t it, you expected more, they always do, but in my world, I’m very impressive you know, not many being like me,” stated the Hum.

“I can hear you, can’t I?”

“Of course, it’s a little trick I enjoy playing. After all, in your world something like me might be served for dinner, but in the below ground, I’m what keeps the place ticking you might say or humming as you’ve come to realise.”

“You’re a mushroom,” said Alice-Mary not wasting any words.

“Yes, and a very fine one at that,” said the Hum inside her head, “and now young lady we have to send you back. Are you ready?”

“Just like that, you’re sending me back. I can’t wait to tell everyone about this place,” said a now enthusiastic Alice-Mary.

“Well if you just take hold of the red tentacle beside you then you’ll be off.”

Alice-Mary looked down and saw a red tentacle coming from the Hum’s central stem and took it in her hands.

The next thing she knew was she was back under the tree, her book in her lap and in her mind the sense that she had been asleep and had had the most amazing dream.

She shook her head and looking about saw her mother out hanging the washing. For the first time in a long time, she was glad to see her mother and rushing over threw her arms around her surprising her mother.

“Goodness, Alice-Mary what is wrong with you?” cried her mother as she reached up to hang out the bed sheets.

“I’ve had the most amazing dream. I was …..I was somewhere, but I can’t remember where exactly….”

“Alice-Mary, you and your dreams, I think you should write it down,” said her mother pushing her away so she could complete her hanging out.

“I think I will,” replied Alice-Mary.

“Oh and before you do, would be so kind as to remove that cap you are wearing. Where on earth did you find that?”

Alice-Mary reached up and removed the cap wondering where she had seen the word ‘JUNK’ before.


*Part 4 can be found here:

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The Ministry of the Unique* – Part 6 – UNIQUE HARRY


Master James O’Dowd had received a memo from the Ministry of the Unique to attend a meeting at 9.07am the following morning at their office in 37.5A Sourgrapes Lane.

It was signed by Alfred Hawers, Esquire, Minister of the Unique.

As James and UNIQUE MARY made their way toward UNIQUE HARRY James had asked if she’d noticed the secretary.

When she said no James explained to her what he saw. The mother-of-pearl skin and the forked tongue. UNIQUE MARY giggled as she listened to him and then said the secretary was a Lizard, but most of the time only people like James saw her for what she was. Mary pointed out that she would have been embarrassed to know James knew about her, so next time he went there, it would be best if he not stare at her.

As they wandered along the never-ending corridor, James noticed a NUMBER or two scurrying between doorways and always giving way to them as they passed by.

At last they came to a door marked: UNIQUE HARRY Trainer Extraordinaire.

As they entered the door, James heard the unmistakeable sound of a whip being cracked and voice shouting: “Get in behind, get in there.” followed by another resounding crack.

Oh my thought James what sort of training is this?

At the far end of the room was a tall, thin man, dressed like a cowboy and holding a large leather whip in his hand. He gave it another crack as James followed UNIQUE MARY across the room.

UNIQUE HARRY looked up and saw his two visitors and put the whip down.

“Miniature Mouse Sheep,” he explained, “the fleece is worth a mint, and we just acquired some from the north of Scotland. I’m trying to get them organised, but they’re like herding cats,” he went on, looking down at a tiny fenced area in which a tiny mob of what appeared to be very frightened mice, crowded into one corner.

James and UNIQUE MARY stared down at the tiny creatures, and James wondered if he was the only one seeing the mice.

“No I see them too,” said UNIQUE MARY, “quite unique aren’t they.”

“So you read people’s thoughts,” said James to UNIQUE MARY.

“Yes you guessed right,” she said, “not as much fun as you might think especially when they are unpleasant thoughts about yourself. Have to bite my lip from time to time.”

James smiled thinking it would and probably could get rather awkward.

“Now,” said UNIQUE HARRY, “what is it I am to do with you young man?”

“Mr Hawers said you were to be my trainer,” answered James

“Did he now,” exclaimed UNIQUE HARRY, “well let’s see what we can do about that.”

With that UNIQUE HARRY took a sheet of paper from out of his sleeve and read out loud: “James O’Dowd can see what others can’t”. Goodness we’ve a few of you through here over the years. Tricky lot you can be, sometimes I get lost in trying to see what you see. So let’s see, look at the Miniature Mouse Sheep in the pen there and tell me what you see.”

James started down at the tiny pen with the tiny mice.

“There are ten mice, and they are all frightened. One is looking up at me, I think it’s pleading. Oh yes, its saying can you stop cracking the whip it’s driving them crazy. Oh, and you are welcome to our fleece if you feed us mature cheddar cheese.”

“Really? You could tell that?” queried UNIQUE HARRY.

“Yes, they speak quite clearly considering they are Scottish,” said James thinking of his Great Uncle Joe who had come to visit one time from Glasgow and James had barely understood a word he said.

“Remarkable,” said UNIQUE HARRY, “I think there’s more to this boy than we realised.


Part 5 can be found here:



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