The space under the stairs…

Image: Pixabay

I am not at all certain what it was that sparked the memory, but I had a very clear picture in my mind today of a magical place that has not existed for the past half a century. I could call it my childhood home, though we probably only lived there for about five years, until I was ten. I have a good visual memory and remember even my very first nursery, but this was the house where isolated vignettes of memory became a continuous story… and nowhere was more fascinating to a small child than the space under the stairs.

As you entered the house, the staircase rose to your left, the kitchen door was on the right, and the hallway led straight ahead to the living room. In the dark, triangular space beneath the stairs was a small table upon which sat my mother’s Imperial typewriter… a great black affair with a temperamental red and black ribbon and keys picked out in ivory. It was heavy, already ancient and each key made a satisfying ‘clunk’ when depressed. I spent hours typing on that thing, though I had to use the red inked part of the ribbon, as my mother needed the black for her writing. I must have typed ‘the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’ more times than I had hot dinners, disentangling the arms with their raised letters when my fingers worked quicker than they could.

On the back wall was a bookcase that held my mother’s manuscripts, a set of encyclopaedias and a carved wooden bear she had been given in Switzerland for her twenty-first birthday. The tallest wall held another bookcase, guarded by an alligator. Quite why she had this product of the taxidermist’s art in her possession, I never really knew. I did ask, but there appeared to be no reasonable answer. Although I was never entirely happy about stuffing animals and birds, having seen too many of them under their glass domes in my great grandmother’s red velvet sitting room, I did quite like this alligator. He smiled, and, when a guardian of knowledge smiles on you, all is right with the world.

Behind the alligator, there were books, of every description. From fact to fiction, on every conceivable subject… and, in spite of my tender years, I was free to read them all. Victorian moral tales rubbed shoulders with Madam Blavatsky and Spike Milligan. T. Lobsang Rampa shared a shelf with an autographed copy of Longfellow. I curled up with Bullfinch’s Mythology and Edward Lear and was as likely to read myself to sleep with Wilde, Bronte or Wheatley as I was to pick up Enid Blyton or C. S. Lewis. It was, had I but known it at the time, an amazing education. And not just for the books I was able to read…

Continue reaing at The Silent Eye

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Why Myth? II ~ Stuart France


‘…So, what is the significant act?’
‘All the acts in the story are significant.’
‘What is the story about?’
‘It is about a Dust-Devil.’
‘For the human body there are really only five significant acts: the first is breathing. The second is eating. The third is defecating. The fourth is sleeping and the fifth is… copulating.
At least three of these are represented in the story.
Is there one act more significant than the others for this particular story?’
‘The sex act…’
‘Would it surprise you to know that this was a story told by a father to his pubescent daughter?’
‘It is a cautionary tale?’
‘It is a cautionary tale now but there are signs that this was not always the case.’
‘Those signs are?’

Continue reading at The Silent Eye

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Deluge #midnighthaiku

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Dry as a Bone ~ Christine Bolton #writephoto

Dry as a Bone

Sun bleaching bones
to a brilliant white
Carcass long gone
In 120 degrees Fahrenheit

Separated from his herd
Some time ago
Never seeing them again
He headed to the oxbow

Continue reading at Poetry for Healing

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Prairie ~ Bladud Fleas #writephoto

Prairie never knew belonging. Never the companionship of the pack. Prairie was maverick, was rogue. An outcast.

The Pack was solid, twenty-eight working as a single entity, brutally efficient when the hunger came. At first light came the pangs, like a Pavlovian response to the dawn, spreading quickly through the group swifter than words communicate. All eyes would be on the Alpha. Even those of Prairie, pacing at a distance.

When the Alpha moved, it was as if a weir gate had opened releasing a stream of water, at first steady then picking up momentum until a mighty surge rushed forth over the plain. With stealth, Prairie kept pace but also kept his distance; though on a chase, the Alpha, had he noticed him, which always was the case, would not be the least bit interested. After a kill, it would be a different matter. Hunger sated turns quickly to greed and the pack leaves nothing.

Continue reading at The Moon is Rising

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Of Loss and Hope ~ Colleen Briggs

Reblogged from Fragments of Light:


The grief, the loss of what she had hoped for, lapped as relentlessly, as inevitably, as the breakers crashing again and again—minute after minute, day after day. Repeating their reach and retreat for millennia. Tumbling like so much seaweed, all of what-almost-was washed ashore, only to be drug back out again. Over and over.

She leaned back on a towel, draping a black shirt over her eyes to shut out the sun, to escape the visual parable of her mourning. Hidden, cocooned in a secret world, she faded in and out of consciousness, gliding beyond the bondage of time… crashing in and out, forwards and backwards… shattering into myriad white droplets, absorbed under shifting currents, scattering and drifting thousands of miles from shore, mere glints on a swell—

A baby cried, tugged her into alertness. The child quieted. She swished her heels, expending off the towel, digging deeper into the sand. Coarse and cool. Fading… sinking through grain after grain, sifting through layers—

Continue reading at Fragments of Light

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Spite of Croton ~ Craig Towsley #writephoto

Carried that grudge. Picked it up and set it on his shoulders, from calf to full grown ox. Dragging down the corners of his mouth most of all. Smell of it kept others away. Feared it might rear or kick or he might drop it, might land on or at their feet.

Continue reading at I Have Pretty Strong Convictions, I Guess

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Andrew Joyce -Short Story – One Word……..

Reblogged from Smorgasbord:

A short story with a very important message from author Andrew Joyce

One Word

I’ve been angry all my life. Everyone was always out to take from me. I’d never had any friends. When I was in high school, the other kids would go out to lunch together while I sat by myself, just off the school grounds, and felt the loneliness that had become my life.

On Saturdays nights, the other kids would go out on dates or pile into a car for a night of adventure. I would hitchhike to the main drag, plant myself on a bus bench, and watch the world go by, wishing I was a part of it.

Things didn’t get much better after I became an adult. I existed in the world, but was not a part of it. I had no use for anybody. My loneliness had long ago morphed into hatred. Hatred for the whole damn human race.

Then one day, I saw a dirty beggar down on 8th Street, by the 7-Eleven. I took great joy in his miserableness. At least someone was worse off than I was. There was no way that he could have any friends. He was both lonely and homeless. I, on the other hand, had a roof over my head.

I tarried to revel in the spectacle. I was enjoying myself.

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Dark Visions: an anthology of 34 horror stories from 27 authors: Volume 2 (The Box Under The Bed) Dan Alatorre and 26 others! #BookReview

But I Smile Anyway...

A short while ago, I was approached by Robbie Cheadle, a great blogger buddy of mine, with a request.

She is branching out into writing horror fiction – another string to her already impressive bow, wife, mother, children’s author, baker, blogger, financial whizz… and now this too!

Robbie has had two stories chosen to be included in a new collection of spooky short tales, the second volume of Dan Alatorre’s collections, named Dark Visions: an anthology of 34 horror stories from 27 authors: Volume 2 (The Box Under The Bed)

She wondered whether I may have the time to peruse this collection, which includes 34 short horror stories, perfect for this time of year, and possibly leave a review.

And I have to say, I jumped at the chance! I have had the first volume on my TBR pile since it was published, and haven’t been able to read…

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Bone ~ Gina #writephoto


In the shadows between the Eastern winds and Northern lights she sheds the last of her skin. She shakes off the last remnants of her caul.  The terracotta slices dissolves into soft grey ash. The familiarity seeps into her brain, the sulcus of emotion and logic slowly separating from the inert gases she inhales. Her senses adjusting to the lack of nitrogen, for no matter how many animals they sacrificed on this land it would never fully enrich the air quality. There was too much oxygen; it burned her lungs with each breath. Had they not shown the humans how to be destructive? What had altered their plan and attitude? What had slowed the human race in its quest for annihilation of all living species of earth?

Continue reading at Singledust

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