First Line Friday: December 6th, 2019 – In The Icy Water.


A crack like a gunshot pierced the frozen air and the ice broke.

It all happened in a second, one minute he was on the ice, the next plunging into a world colder than he ever imagined.

It was in this precise second that his mind asked if this was a situation in which his life would flash before him.

It was so cold he didn’t have time to think. Survival was first to register.

Get out.

Get dry.

Stay alive.

His ears were ringing from the crack that assaulted him. What had caused it?

There had been nothing to indicate a weakness in the ice, he felt it was sound, at least a foot thick.

He struggled to swim up. His clothes were sodden, his lungs screaming, the fight in him dwindled, he could feel himself losing all strength and beginning to sink.

Just as he felt the hopelessness of his predicament a hand reached in and grabbed his collar and there was enough energy in the hand of Ellie his companion to lift his drenched head above the icy water.

He gasped in his first breath.

He looked up to see Ellie struggling with his weight, calling over her shoulder for help and looking desperate as she clung tenuously to him.

Then more hands reached in and he was slowly lifted from the water.

By now he was incredibly cold and losing consciousness.

He didn’t know how long it was before he awoke, his body wrapped, his head aching, his legs numb.

Ellie stood before him. She said they were going out onto the ice again tomorrow and did he want to come?


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Thursday photo prompt: Shimmer #writephoto


The old fisherman sat in the back of his boat feeling the familiar and comforting sensation of the craft rolling in the gentle swell.

It was late in the day and with the sun setting and drifting behind a cloudbank he could see and appreciate the simmer it created on the water.

How lucky he was he thought to be able to sit and take all this in.

A glance at his watch told him he was soon to be needed at home as his sister Kate would have the evening meal ready and she didn’t like him wandering in past the agreed mealtime.

He could just see her shimmering around the kitchen lost in her world of potatoes, peas and fried fish, the same menu he’d been stuck with since she came to stay with him five years ago under the guise of her thinking he needed to be looked after.

But he’d wait a little longer. Whilst ever there was a shimmer still on the water he wanted to soak it all in as tomorrow there was no telling if the weather would be as kind as it was today.

So he did just that, watched it fade and disappear before rowing his boat into shore and heading up the hill to his shimmering sister Kate.


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Reena’s Exploration Challenge #116 – Expectation and Waiting.


Image: Gerd Altmann at Pixabay

It was that funny time of the year between expectation and waiting.

Around him, the time had come for preparation, decorations to be hung, gifts organised, the catering to be finalised as to who was bringing what and how much to make and bake.

There was also the spiritual side, not that in recent times he paid a lot of attention to it apart from the recognition of the significance of the occasion.

Life stopped in so many ways. It stopped because people took a breather from the humdrum of the everyday, put aside the cut and thrust of life, forgot for a brief time the urge to compete and took on the mantel of family and its importance.

It was a time of gatherings.




Across the road, the Christians sang Christmas Carols under the guise of a street party but was in fact a device to lure in the locals and with a bit of luck find some who’d commit to a regular Sunday attendance. He didn’t mind for he long recognised that it was a matter of each to his own and the Sunday morning services he tolerated though he was often annoyed by their parking in front of his house and thereby blocking his view when he exited his property.

But it was that time of the year when he had to be tolerant, understand that the majority of people celebrated in one way or another and that overall it was a time of peace and quiet.

So he went about his business as he always did, planning his family night, going to the mall to be confronted by the magnificent tree at the top of the escalator under which if he went in the middle of the day, parents and children large and small would be queued to be photographed with Santa.

The older he got the more he smiled at all the fuss happening around him.

Across town, his daughter added another decoration to her lounge room, her Christmas wonderland building around her and her boys growing in excitement daily as their expectations grew.

It was a thrill to see the faces of small children; he wondered what it was he had lost if anything over the years.

Dexterity for one, bits ached and complained but all that had to put aside as it detracted from the festive mood.

Tomorrow he would consider his own gift giving. It was about giving, he didn’t want for anything, so it was more about the gathering, the stories, the games, and the wide-eyed wonder of small children.


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Tale Weaver – #252 – Making Sense of Nonsense – jodhoeing


The Cranxz loved nothing more than a good jodhoeing. It was all about puddles.

The Cranxz found jodhoeing in a puddle the best thing it could do.

They would sit in the puddle usually at a depth to cover most of their tiny bodies and flutter about with their arms and legs stirring up as much mud, grit and grime as they could as this was how they lived gathering nutrient from the puddle which was for the Cranxz a source of so much.

Jodhoeing sustained them, fed them and when moved was also a source of sexual attraction for one Cranxz to another. The mating ritual of a Cranxz was not something observed too often, in fact, it was rare to actually see a Cranxz let alone marvel at their sexual dexterity.

Lately, they have been having a hard time as the drought has made puddles few and far between. But being the resilient creatures, they are they have taken refuge in the cracks in the pavement, in any place where they can snuggle in and sleep until the rain comes.

Most times you would not be cognizant of their existence but should you wander by a puddle and notice a few ripples on the surface chances are there is a Cranxz luxuriating in the midst of a golly good jodhoeing.


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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #56 – Crisp and the Eagle.


My aged companion Crisp spread our picnic lunch out on the grass below the giant stone eagle in the park.

It was a warm day we were having what Crisp called a lazy day.

Just as she took out the salad rolls she’d prepared a large drop of bird poo fell and landed on her head.

This took her by surprise and she squealed in shock. Looking up she asked: “Isn’t that a stone eagle?”

I replied it was but it was more likely a passing pigeon had deposited on her head.

“I have been psychologically damaged by an eagle.

Got attacked by an eagle once,” she said. “I was in Africa and it swooped down its claws trying to carry me away. I fought it off but scarred me for life.”

She cleaned herself up but still took a cautious look up before taking her first mouthful.



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What do you see # 6 – Driving with Gran


Thanks to JOHN TOWNER for making this photo available freely on @unsplash

Gran lived a cliched life.

She’d once lived a hippie lifestyle and remembered the days living on the community farm in the north of the state fondly.

We were driving along the road, and the sun broke through the canopy of the forest and shone down on the road.

“There’s a light, over at the Frankenstein place” she uttered as he approached the bend in the road.

“What was that, Gran?” I asked.

“The light it reminds me of the Rocky Horror show. Loved that show, we had the record you know. We’d play it at night and Barney and I would sing along with the songs.”

Having said that I watched as Gran, who was showing more and more signs of dementia drifted away into a time of long hair, flowered shirts and skirts and a life where nothing seemed to get them down as they were free of the constraints of society.

I resisted the temptation to ask her who Barney was. Every now and then she’d say something I took as a lost memory, and she was never that forthcoming about a lot of her past.

Grandad had died some years before, and we’d taken it upon ourselves to look after Gran as she aged and began more dependent on us.

It was clear the Rocky Horror Show was playing in her head as she suddenly came out with: “How’d you do, I see you met my…” Then her voice would fade away, and her face would light up as some memory flooded her conscious self.

“I fancied myself as a bit of a performer,” she said as we drove closer to home. “I could have made it too, we did a show up on the farm one year, and Barney and I did a few scenes from the show. Big hit we were, and what fun we had.”

I found it hard to believe my Gran could have been the extroverted character she claimed she once was as I knew her as a little old grey-haired lady, more often than not off with the fairies but always with a spark in her eye.

“The Frankenstein place,” she muttered again as we drove into home, “Look there’s a light!” she exclaimed as we pulled up and she looked at the porch light.


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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #55 – Crisp and the Ancient Tree


Crisp, my aged companion, stood in front of the old tree and read: “The world’s oldest tree, estimated to be 900 years old.”

The tree was old and scaly, it had its share pf nobbly bits and didn’t look happy with its present situation.

“Know how it feels,” remarked Crisp, “I have days where my bones ache, my once perky bits have succumbed to gravity, and I feel very nobbly.”

The old tree was left in the hope, a change of season might regenerate it, but from what we could see that was more wishful thinking than reality.

“Change of season hasn’t help me, said Crisp, sounding her usual tired self. “This holiday is wearing me out, I’m so glad at night to falling bed.”

With that, she checked her watch and announced it was time for an early morning tea.


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