Category Archives: Under 300 Words

A Lovely Obsession

The quote “She was beautiful, but she was beautiful in the way a forest fire was beautiful: something to be admired from a distance, not up close.”

~Terry Pratchett

A Lovely Obsession

I first met her when I was a child. I spent hours listening to her, drinking in tales of the love’s and lives of people I would never know, but whose dna coursed through my veins.

As I grew older I planned summer and winter breaks to be with her. She had so many stories left to tell and I couldn’t bear the thought of missing a single one.

Eventually, age and time began to take their toll. Her frame had weakened, and the light faded from her face. I moved nearby to be closer to her and continued my daily visits until the dreadful day when her voice was silenced by greedy real estate developers.

They drained her lovely moat and took a wrecking ball to her beautiful face, crumbling centuries of brick and mortar into a heap of dust. I watched, tears flowing down my face, as they loaded her into monstrous trucks, and hauled her away to a quarry, in order to build a resort on her sprawling estate.

They thought they had removed every trace of her, but I knew better. She was rooted in this place.

The hotel had barely opened its doors when rumors of hauntings spread. Patrons stopped coming. Eventually the new owners shuttered the doors of the resort for good.

I was happy to see it fail. Finally, I had her all to myself. Once again, I spent my evenings wrapped in the shadows of her abandoned corridors. After all, she had more stories to tell, and I couldn’t bear the thought of missing a single one.


A short story for Mind Love Misery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt inspired by the quote and collage above.

A Very Bad Ending


A Fairytale with a Very Bad End
Once upon a times are supposed to have happy ever afters, but this is not one of those tales….

Every 7 Years, the people of a humble village made the treacherous journey to The Scarlet Temple to bring alms, ensuring another 7 years of bountiful harvests.

On one such pilgrimage, the people had an Unavoidable Encounter with a demon known as Shadow Puppet. He lured the entourage off the well-worn path making the trip, that would normally have taken only 3 days, an Ineffable 30 days! The people became weary, parched and Famished: An Unrelenting Silence enveloped them.

Shadow Puppet whispered from the center of the throng, “The Scarlet Temple has no magical powers. In fact, it has a Cracked Facade. Your alms mean nothing. It is only your own toil and labor that brings forth bountiful harvests year after year.”

Word traveled swiftly. When the murmuring mumbling reached a feverish pitch, Shadow Puppet cleared his knobby throat and declared, “Why should you give your precious harvest to The Scarlet Temple with a Cracked Facade when you are starving and parched?”

“He’s right,” a voice echoed from their midst, “we are going to die of hunger and thirst. I propose that we keep these alms for ourselves. It is our right!”

The people hailed the idea, distributing equal rations of the putrid, Festering Roots amongst themselves. A great feast was prepared. Everyone celebrated, filling their bellies with the rotten tubers.

The next morning people became gravely ill. One by one they died until no one was left.

That’s right. There were no survivors. As a result, there was no one to give alms to The Scarlet Temple with a Cracked Facade…and ultimately, no more harvests.

“I” is an Illusion.

The End


I couldn’t choose one, so I used them all! This tale for MindLoveMiserysMenagerie Sunday Writing Prompt inspired by this prompt:
Choose one or more of the titles below and fashion a poem or story around it =)
A Fairytale with a Very Bad End
The Scarlet Temple
Shadow Puppet
An Unavoidable Encounter
Cracked Facade
I is an Illusion
Famished: An Unrelenting Silence
Festering Roots
7 Years




For MindLoveMiserysMenagerie’s Sunday Writing Prompt: to write a piece launched by this quote from Sherlock Holmes (the series):

Oh, I may be on the side of the angels, but don’t think for one second that I am one of them …..

Seventy times seven, blah, blah, blah. Have you ever done the math? I have. 490. That’s it. At this point I have more than fulfilled my quota of this mandate to forgive. Besides, I don’t see anyone standing in line to forgive me for existing. In fact, the hits keep coming, if you know what I mean. Here are a few gems from that hit list…

“Love the sinner, hate the sin…You know we love you. We just don’t agree with your lifestyle choices….You could change if you wanted to…You have an agenda…Stop flaunting your sexuality…It’s just a phase…You don’t deserve special rights…It’s because of you we have earthquakes, hurricanes, floods…the plague (I wish I was that powerful)…You’re an abomination…God hates you…You’re going to hell (kinda thought I was already there)…and my personal favorite; the one that rips through me like a hot poker through butter…I’m praying for you.

Please don’t. I’m trying to forgive you. I’m trying to not judge you. I’m trying to love you, but you make it so difficult.

Because there’s this too. “Love your enemies… If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.” I fall short everyday. But that doesn’t mean I don’t keep trying; 490 times 490 times and counting.

One day I’ll get it right. In the meantime I am well aware of my flaws and weaknesses. I’m no angel…but neither are you.

And there I go again. Judging you for judging me. I guess that’s why we need practice at this forgiveness thing. I should have just said, “I’m no angel” and left it at that.


Her Eulogy


She was the kind of girl who lit up a room. Not in a flashy over the top sort of way. She had a calming presence, but it was more than that. Grace perhaps? It was something special, hard to describe. I remember the first time I saw her sitting along the far edge of a room full of boisterous people, heavy into schmoozing.  She was deep in conversation with our host’s Labrador Retriever. Otis was his name I think. And Otis, well, he hung on her every word, just as I drank in her every move, breathless.

I underestimated her that first meeting, you know. Of course I made it a point to get to know her better. Wouldn’t you? She opened herself to me like an ocean, given to tidal swells of emotion, teeming with life just under the surface, fierce yet healing. I hadn’t expected to find a wild spirit beneath her calm demeanor, but it endeared her to me even more. Over the years I learned about wild things. Only one so confident, comfortable in their own skin can exude such grace. Only one so free could dance through the layers of suffering and cross over into death…and in so doing, teach us all…teach me, what it is to live.

light fading, flicker
death swept you away too soon
how graceful you were
dancing with death, like lovers,
your final breath seizing mine

For Colleen Cheseboro’s Weekly Poetry Challenge inspired by the words: Calm and Wild. Today’s offering, a Haibun/Tanka. I have only recently discovered this form and I’m really enjoying idea of marrying poetry and prose. Peace and Grace Everyone! ❤

Only the Purest of Hearts

Photo by © Eric Wicklund

Once upon a time, an enchanted tree in an ancient forest was known for granting wishes to those with pure, true hearts.

A scoundrel heard the legend and devised a scheme to fool the old tree into granting his evil desires. He spied a kind old man and overtook him, ripping out his heart, tossing it, still beating, into a satchel. As he approached the tree, it noticed the old man’s pure heart.

“Hello kind sir,” the tree said, “I sense your heart is true. What is your wish?”

“Oh great tree,” the scoundrel replied, “thank you for finding favor with me, a lowly servant. My wish…my wish…”

But before he could utter another word the old tree heaved, unsettling the ground beneath his feet. “What have you done?! Imposter! For your evil deed you shall suffer darkness forevermore!” The old tree’s roots burst through the dust, ensnaring the scoundrel, dragging him into the cold earth.

The tree took pity on the old man. He dispatched the faerie folk to restore to him his heart, granting him a long, happy life. The man continued to bestow kindness, even to strangers, because that is what those with the truest hearts do.


A 200 Word Tale for Sunday’s Photo Fiction Challenge based on the photo above. This one was quite the challenge and a great lesson in the art of brevity. Truth be told, the first draft of this yarn was over 500 words! Challenges like this help one to become a better writer. You should have a go of it. Click HERE for the details.

%d bloggers like this: