Thursday photo prompt – Wisp #writephoto – Cousin Daphne


She was just a wisp of a girl. I spied her across the parking lot standing against the telegraph pole a cigarette in one corner of her mouth and an odd checked coloured cap on a head that said there was a lot going on in there.

She gave the impression from her body language to enter at your own risk.

And that much was true. When I did approach her she stood her ground, there was no backing away, it was as if she was daring me to try her on.

I asked her name, and she continued to stare me down, not smiling, and in hindsight, I’m sure she even blinked the whole time I stood there.

She drew in a mouthful of cigarette smoke held it for a moment before blowing into my face.

I told her she wasn’t allowed to smoke in the car park and she ignored me. She said in a small but defiant voice that she was waiting for a friend.

She was looking straight through me, her eyes focused on something she was imagining and I could only speculate about. She rubbed her old dirty sandshoes in the dust as she extinguished her cigarette and looked me in the eye.

She said she was actually waiting for me. Said the office ladies had told her the best place to find me was in the car park. With her hands on her hips her height came up to my chest, and I looked at her wondering what she might want with me.

She laughed at my ignorance and then announced she was my cousin Daphne. Then it all fell into place. My cousin Alice had rung the night before asking me to look out for her daughter Daphne and that she’d be in need of my guidance.

Daphne and I sized each other up, she looked like she was in need of a good feed. Her clothes were old, and there was a rip in the shoulder of her t-shirt. It matched I thought the rip in the knee of her jeans.

Behind her was a small backpack and that was all she had in this world.

Later over dinner, she told me her story. The rejections, the abuse, the failures and the need to get away from her mother.

This wisp of a girl, aged 17, sat at my dining table and I thought I really don’t know about girls this age.

Daphne sensed my apprehension and offered to leave if I was uncomfortable. In the end, I told her she could stay and that she’d have to take me as I was. I showed her my spare room and said for her to get some sleep.

Tomorrow we’d start afresh.


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Tale Weaver #133: under red skies, don’t step on a penny – Sam Stitious


Sam Stitious was what most people feared they might be. Superstitious. In fact, Sam was known as “Superstitious” within his community.

He was at best a fearful character, he constantly watched where he walked as cracks in the pavement terrified him so it meant that on occasion he’d be a little comical as you’d see him give a little skip as he walked along.

Sam came from a family beset with superstition. His mum and dad were what could best be described as nervous wrecks forever looking over their shoulders in fear of some disaster befalling them.

Sam was a believer in the power of the sunrise and the sunset. To him, it gave him a lead into the next twelve hours of his life.

He had a book in which he wrote the sunrise/sunset of each day. Cloudy/rainy days sent him into a frenzy as he then had no clear indication of the next period in time and speculating only worried him.

His biggest beef was the umbrella. At rest and standing, idle umbrellas were fine with him, but an active umbrella sent him into a mania. He had nightmares of umbrellas up inside his house. It was driving him crazy which explained why there was never an umbrella to be seen inside his house. They lived in a locked garden shed to the side of his house.

The reason for his over the top attitude to the umbrella was his Gran had suffered a heart attack the day his Aunty Una rushed in out of the rain and didn’t take down her umbrella causing his Gran to splutter, cough, choke and fall down dead in terror of the said umbrella active inside her house.

Today Sam is off to therapy. He likes therapy, it’s an opportunity for him to talk to his therapist Esme Tootle and in Sam’s mind Esme is a weird as he is as she has a thing about scarves believing the sight of one around one’s neck is an invitation for the thing to strangle you.

Today he giggles to himself as he stuffs his dad’s old scarf into his pocket.

“Therapy,” he thinks, “what a hoot.”


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Storytime — How We Met


It was a Monday morning, pouring rain and my mate announced as we drove to the Teacher’s College that he was picking up his cousin on the way.

We arrived at the out of the way railway station to find this small wet young girl standing under an umbrella looking decidedly forlorn and lost.

She was glad to get into the car out of the wet, and I assumed at the time not caring who was in the car other than her cousin.

We met under those circumstances several times before I worked up the courage to ask her out. It took me four times before she agreed to go out to a function with me.

You could say the rest is history, and in literal terms, it is, such that in this present time I don’t have a significant other and that is ok. Years of oppression have taught me to value the life I have.


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Mundane Monday Challenge #122 : Learn Photography


Across the creek from where the ducks were found last week graze the cattle, content day in and day out.


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Wordle #168 – The Runner


This week’s words: Feign Gait Torn Press  Left Labyrinthine adj. complicated, torturous, resembling a labyrinth Look Embed  Malformed Gritty Natural Dead-reckoning (In navigation, dead reckoning is the process of calculating one’s current position by using a previously determined position, or fix, and advancing that position based upon known or estimated speeds over elapsed time and course.)

He surveyed the wreckage and again looked at his co-ordinates. It all pointed to a dead reckoning so how could he have come to a grief such as this?

He’d followed all the instructions so there was no way he could have missed. Even though the journey had been very labyrinthine in nature with a multitude of twists and turns he trusted his navigation skills as they had never failed him before.

He looked again, and sure enough, he knew he had turned left when he had, changed his gait to negotiate the malformed tortuous path and had in his own opinion showed more grit than ever before.

He knew he had to press on, the current disaster would be given the press it deserved, and he was not one to stop that happening.

He looked down at the blood oozing from the wound in his chest where the sign post was now embedded. Not willing to feign injury for fear his opponents might think he was weakening he reached down and with unprecedented strength tore the post from his chest with a slight ‘ugh’ coming from his lips.

As the blood began to gush from his torn chest cavity, he pressed his now ripped singlet into the wound and smiling at his opponents now agape at his gritty performance headed off down the track towards the finishing post.


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Writing Prompt “Stories By 5” – Zerian and Zuri


Topic: Stranded by the side of the Road.

Names: Zerian and Zuri

Instrument: mandolin

Scent: vanilla

Verb: surrender

Zerian and Zuri were feeling stranded as they stood by the side of the road. The lady with the vanilla scent had promised them that paradise lay the other side of the giant looking glass.

Looking about it appeared to be the most desolate place they could have imagined. The only thing that altered that thought was the distant sounds of a mandolin being played they assumed by someone completely tone deaf.

The Vanilla lady had been overpowering as she wore the scent ferociously, knowing the aroma would seriously assault every possible scent duct on their bodies. But the sounds of the tortured mandolin laid waste that concern.

Zerian has always been a man of action. His woman the beautiful Zuri he had not long ago rescued from the clutches of the fiend like Zephyr whose notoriety of the maker of many an ill wind was well founded Zerian had discovered.

Zuri he could see was getting worried by their present situation.

Zerian was determined they would not surrender to anything less than the paradise they had been promised. After all, there was little point in perishing before they had the opportunity to consummate their new-found love.

Zerian led her east only to find the mandolin grew louder and so he turned west.

Here the road was bathed in honeysuckle and the way flat and even. He turned a corner and there before them was a gate.

On the gate was written: “Resist or surrender, the choice is yours”.

Zerian as I said being a man of action opened the gate and stepped through with the beautiful Zuri.

A small man holding a violin appeared and demanded to know their business. Zerian explained they were seeking paradise.

The small man looked at them both and stated his respect for their nerve to open the gate before stating any preference.

On his violin, he began playing Verdi’s Four Seasons.

Zerian and Zuri fell into a deep sleep.

They awoke to the aroma of brewing coffee and a land of riches.

Taking Zuri’s hand, Zerian walked her down the yellow brick track towards a small red house that had a sign on the front saying “Welcome to Paradise.”


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Weekend Writing Prompt #15 – Intricate – Cyril Rum


Cyril Rum was an angel on sabbatical to earth. He lived in a non-descript house in an even more non-descript town. It was ideal for Cyril as he had been an angel a long time and as everyone knew eternity was “a heck of a long time” and Cyril was due some respite from it all.

On earth, he had settled in nicely and was intrigued from the very start with the intricacies of human life. They seemed to get caught up emotion a lot he observed. For Cyril this was something very new for in eternity emotion was never a cause for anyone to get the least concerned with let alone caught up on.

After all, eternity was by its very nature, eternity. You were there, so you’d best accept your lot and get on with it. Most did and eternity was happy when most of its occupants found solace in its very nature.

But on earth, that didn’t exist. Cyril was slow to explore his environment cautious as to what he might discover or give away. But the street he lived on was a quiet street, and his house was the last on it before the road stretched away into the scrub and sandhills.

He found a mentor, though she didn’t know it, in his neighbour Mildred Thrup, a sixty-year-old single woman, bereft of family and it appeared to Cyril, friends.

They became firm friends and shared the occasional cup of tea on Cyril’s back veranda where he had two white chairs facing each other. Mildred was a font of information to Cyril.

She knew a lot about the people in the street and was known to ask Cyril about himself which Cyril initially skirted around but over time did reveal to Mildred his true angelic qualities.

He did so but he swore Mildred to secrecy, and she was happy to be the only person who knew his true identity.

Cyril often asked Mildred to explain why people found it difficult to do one thing. To Cyril, everything that happened seemed to be subject to a whole bunch of conditions or circumstances that were accepted as stumbling blocks.

Happiness Cyril said was a state that in eternity you could achieve if you were in the right place. On earth, he observed people searched everywhere and every how to find it and when they thought they had it they let it slip through their fingers.

Mildred explained to Cyril that humans were subject to greed. Over her years of observing the people around her she’d come to the conclusion that basically people were greedy and as long as that existed, they would never be happy.

Cyril didn’t understand greed either until Mildred showed him the Lantrys.

They had two of everything, each object better than the first one. Be it cars, houses, kettles or toasters the Lantrys were forever seeking to be bigger and better than everybody else.

“It’s about social standing,” explained Mildred. “You want people to think you are better than everyone else.”

Cyril listened to all this and thought for a moment that the intricacies of the human being he would never understand. Thank goodness, he thought all this greed comes to nought in the next world.

Later that night as he sat at his kitchen table sipping a cup of his favourite herbal tea, he thought to himself that if he managed to stay on earth a little longer, he might come to understand what it was they were all on about.


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