Reena’s Exploration Challenge #118 – Down But Not Out.


It was a situation that could have gone in any direction. But it didn’t.

It was all downhill, and it was no one’s fault other than his own.

He could have argued it was because of the rain and he was unprepared. After all, it hadn’t rained for six months, everything was dead, and the rain when it came was something of a novelty and as such, his guard was down.

Also, he wore his new sandals which were not accustomed to the wet. The driveway was steep, exposed pebbles, running with the rain that had been falling all morning. New shoes, his mind on the drive he was about to take, the airport to collect his brother, he didn’t think of danger.

When it happened, it was all over in a second or two.

Down he went, his feet slipping out from beneath him, his hips hit the driveway, his elbow landed in such a position he was hoping would prevent his head from hitting the pavement.

He prayed his head would be safe as he knew head injuries can be problematic, and so he felt his neck snap back, lifting his head away from danger.

Instantaneously he heard his companion come rushing to his side. Urging him not to move, for fear he had done himself something serious.

A quick observation and he claimed to be ok. She helped him to his feet and sat him in the front of the car while she went to get bandages and antiseptic ointment.

When asked where it hurt he made the claim, his ego had suffered the worst injury. A few band-aids later, he was patched up.

There was the usual shaking following the fall, but he felt ok, and she was happy to go with him to the airport.

Later, when he was home, he discovered his hip/glute area was particularly sore, and his movements were very ginger. It was then he realized he had done damage to his hand. Painful as it was, he concluded it only hurt when he moved.

The next morning, he found some residual shock which prevented him from starting his day as normal, so it was back to bed to sleep it off.

As I stated at the start, it could have gone in any direction, but the one it did go in was painful enough, but there was always the thought it could have been worse.


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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #62 – Crisp and the Zipper.


Crisp, my aged companion, was at times a tad clumsy. When we had dinner at Mario’s All Italian Restaurant and she managed, quite expertly, to slop the spaghetti sauce down her front.

The stain was permanent and so Crisp spied the local op shop to buy a replacement garment.

This was the day of the great zipper sale and Crisp was taken in by the vast array of zips on display. She forgot the purpose of her visit and so before she knew it she’d purchased several zips.

Her search for a new blouse had taken a back seat and she encountered a somewhat disagreeable shop assistant who looked down her nose at Crisp’s selection of a royal blue blouse. “Would look good on a younger frame,” she said looking Crisp up and down.

Crisp not to be daunted paid for her new blouse and handed the assistant one of her zips suggesting it might be useful if sown onto the assistant’s face.


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Tale Weaver – #258 – Partners – 16th January – Divine Partners


They were the most unlikely of partners, and in the strictest sense, they were not.

They represented their respective ends of the divine spectrum, and for a long time, they didn’t communicate nor acknowledge one another.

They did have one thing in common, souls.

It was after a particularly long day when the two entities stopped to draw breath that they became aware of each other. Both looked exhausted, well as exhausted as an angel can look.

Greg was from the upstairs department of eternity and Wayne was from the downstairs department.

They acknowledged it had been a long day and Wayne invited Greg to have a drink with him in Hell’s kitchen as it was the best restaurant in all eternity and widely known to sell the best sushi and if there was one thing Greg liked it was sushi. Wayne, on the other hand, had enjoyed sushi since the beginning of time, which you can rightly imagine was a long time and so, was looking for something different. In particular, he had for a long time craved a ham sandwich, which, oddly enough, he discovered the best ham sandwich could only be found in the upstairs café, Angelic Delights.

And so the friendship began. They found it a pleasant experience to unwind after a big day, especially those days when natural disasters had taken a huge toll on the lives of so many.

It had never occurred to them that having someone to sound off to could be so cathartic.

It wasn’t long before they realised they could work together, discuss the day, argue the merits of one soul over another and send them to their respective eternities.

Even more remarkable for both entities was knowing they enjoyed each other’s company.

At the end of a day’s work they would turn up in Hell’s Kitchen, Greg with his ham sandwich for Wayne, discretely packaged in a brown paper bag and Wayne having ordered the chef’s special sushi for Greg, the two would ‘chew the soul’ as they referred to it and wind down in each other’s company.

They learned it was always so much easier to agree than to disagree. Some souls they acknowledged were problematical, they could go either way. They devised an interview system whereby they could ascertain the souls true worth. Often the soul would be so disturbed by the interview they would give themselves away and after a long time on the job both Wayne and Greg felt they had developed a good method of judging a soul’s worthiness.

Thankfully for all concerned, their partnership worked very effectively, and each soul received what it deserved. The pious were happy to spend an eternity hymn singing and the not so pious spending their eternity plotting terror and mayhem which never sadly came to anything as hell had a way of making you forget things and start all over. Repetition said Wayne, was hell in itself.

So as they finished their dinners the alarms were sounding, and it was back to work, a plane had gone down, and neither looked forward to dealing with it, but as they often said to one another, “One of us has to do it.”


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Sunday Writing Prompt “Magical Garden”


Miss Marble at 46 Grimace Street had a secret and magical garden. Not many knew of it as it was largely so small it went unnoticed.

But to Miss Marble, a witch and a good one at that, the garden was important.

It was looked after by an equally small group of beings called Nuets, who took great care to manage the garden. The garden was home to an array of exotic and not so exotic plants and one, in particular, a nettle Miss Marble used to concoct her courage potions.

The garden was also inhabited by a unique beast known as a Tranx. The Tranx was a herbivore and feasted on the nettle. They were not the most attractive beasts but were essential to the smooth running of the garden. After all, Tranx manure was invaluable to the garden.

Most of the inhabitants of Grimace Street were unaware of the garden, and Miss Marble liked it that way. Though she did have to contend with Paul from 15 Grimace Street standing cap in hand at her front door to tell Miss Marble that his wife Mary had gone missing again. Poor Mary was having trouble with her memory, and even though Miss Marble had given Paul a potion to help her with her memory more often than not, Mary forgot to take it.

Miss Marble knew where Mary was as she’d taken a liking to the garden and the Nuet’s understanding of Mary’s situation would take her in and watch over her until she could be rescued. Miss Marble would find her sitting around a Nuet campfire listening to them sing, the Nuet were fabulous singers by the way. Though the Nuet were always glad to see the back of Mary as she had in their words, the worst singing voice they’d ever encountered. Miss Marble would bring her back to the worrying Paul with a new vial of potion and strict instructions on how to administer it by putting it in Mary’s tea.

The garden flourished and at night when there was a full moon, the garden had a glitter about it as if you were staring into the skies and observing the myriad of stars.

Miss Marble never grew tired of her garden.



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Thursday photo prompt: Presence #writephoto


There was a presence, there always had been a presence.

Whenever you entered the field with the stones, it was there.

Sometimes all around you, sometimes decidedly pressing in on you.

The eeriness was profound, and at times it felt as though it could easily be rubbing against you or gave you the sensation of being tapped on the shoulder as if the presence had something to say to you.

Within the community, there was speculation as to where the stones had come from and what they meant. Most believed they came from druid times and had some significance to the movement of the sun.

None of that really mattered when you felt the presence around you. It was scary stuff.

The field was bordered by a stone fence which we thought of as kids as just the thing to keep them in.

My friend Barny Rudd believed they moved. He was adamant that one day when he was crossing the field, the stones moved. He said it was bad enough trying to put the presence out of your mind but feeling hemmed in was too much to bear, and he made a run for it in the end. When he looked back, the stones were still standing, but he argued in a slightly different configuration.

Either way, they gave us plenty to talk about, to create tales about why they were there and what they meant.

The presence is still there, ancient and mysterious, lurking in the field, hiding within the stones and awaiting the day it might venture forth.


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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #61 – Crisp and her Father.


“Abandoned,” said Crisp, my aged companion, as we wandered around the old garden site. “Once it was someone’s pride and joy I sure,” she added.

There were lots of these places dotted around the countryside and Crisp became all melancholic whenever we came upon one.

“I was abandoned as a kid,” she said. She had that hangdog look on her face suggesting she was about to go back in time and happily take me with her.

“My father walked out on us when I was seven. Left my mum for the blonde bitch in the pub. At least that’s how mum always referred to her. Mum thought he’d come back but he never did. Moved down the coast and died in a bushfire one Christmas Day. Mum was both heartbroken and strangely satisfied at the time.”

We didn’t linger long instead took ourselves off the plant nursery where Crisp felt more at home.


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Tale Weaver – #257 – Pets – 9th January. The Showda


Image: My grandog Ted. I recently had a week with him. He is a lovely little dog who is happy to eat and sleep, chase a ball and be patted.

Arthur Koit was an animal lover. All his life, he had kept a pet. Mice, rats, guinea pigs, snakes, fish and at one stage he had a miniature rabbit called Carl.

But his one great pride and joy was his Showda. Showda’s were rare and difficult to keep. Arthur’s Showda was named Vince after his dad, who had died some weeks before Arthur acquired his Showda.

He kept it in an old fish tank, and as they grew to a tiny six inches, it wasn’t that difficult to house the tiny exotic creature.

The Showda was from the reptile family and was more like a left over from the age of dinosaurs. It scurried about on two muscly legs, ate meat and had a nasty habit of belching sulphuric gas at you if you came too close.

Vince appeared to have a mind of his own. He certainly wasn’t too fussed about being held captive, and that became clear to Arthur, and so in a cloud of menacing sulphuric gas, a compromise was struck in which Vince was given a special run in the garden every morning at ten o’clock. Arthur had to watch Vince like a hawk as Vince was forever out hunting and preferred a live mouse to a dead one for the tastiest of meals.

Eventually, they got along well, but it became clear that as Vince was a wild animal, he longed for freedom. In the afternoons, Arthur would position his tank so he could look out at the setting sun, which he would do sitting quite still, and looking away into the west.

Then one afternoon Vince was gone. He’d climbed out of his tank and made a run for it. Arthur went into a panic realising what had happened and fearful that Vince would not survive in the wild. He searched high and low but could not find Vince. Showda’s had survived so long because they were good at hiding.

It wasn’t long before Arthur noticed a few dead remains of animals that he realised Vince was still around just preferring a long time habitation in his garden to the daily restricted run.

Arthur grew contented that his Showda was still around. He could live with the fact Vince wanted to hang around, and he was happy his little Showda was happy.


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