• Where is he
    Why comes he not
    The passing steps
    Give such hope
    Each echoing shout
    And boats which pass
    Still, there is no word

    Is it me he chooses
    To avoid
    At coffee house
    Or tavern with
    Safe friends
    Or worse
    A […]

  • Mom’s picture lit up her phone’s screen. Maisie set down the pile of paperwork from the lockbox she had been browsing through. “Hello?”

     “I heard you visited your Aunt Dianne yesterday,” was the first thing […]

  • Shandy woke to Ersin shaking her awake. He’d had to use some very powerful magic to counter Mrak’s sleeping spell, which had worn off some time ago for him. As she surfaced, Shandy looked around in con […]

    • Oh dang, tons of action this week. i love how you started this right at the heart of the action when Shandy wakes up. I’m wondering what will happen to make her finally trust the vamp. Maybe a rescue from the cave? it definitely was not smart of her to go looking for Dagan alone and obviously an emotional, rather than logical decision. She has to find her way to trust the vamp or she’s going to keep shooting herself in the foot!

  • She sits upon the wall
    Matisse’s laconic odalisque
    A favored subject
    Queries with her arched brow
    Poised on elbow, waiting
    Come hither, or not, but I am here
    For him when you are not

    Reclining amidst a p […]

    • I love the description of the painting and the language. The words and phrases you used just sit so beautifully all together. “Reclining against a profusion of color” and “charcoal lines sinuous” are my favorite. And then the ending of “I am she and I am not…” Makes me think of “I am everything and I am nothing.” This is beautifully written.

  • To the howling of the wolves
    And the growling of the bears
    Guardian of the dying forests
    Emerging from the earth
    The mountains given form
    Weeping giant with eyes of fire
    Protector of a Godess’ shrine
    Brought to […]

  • Recap (hover over the italicised words if you want to be taken back to the previous scenes): 

    Rebecca Bolder, an upcoming law scholar at the local university, is pursuing  a promotion to associate professor, a […]

  • Recap (hover over the italicised words if you want to be taken back to the previous scenes):  

    Alma Lindley, a well-known labour law attorney, is married to Michael, is a successful advocate who has suffered a h […]

  • Lisa took off her jacket as she discussed an upcoming shot with the cameraman. Spring didn’t bloom the way Lisa was used to seeing it. No baseball talks in subways, or commuters with fresh coffee and earphones p […]

  • A nameless face among many

    One migrant selected

    To ponder, to remember

    Depicted with cutout cardboard

    A cardboard mouth

    A cardboard eyebrow above a cardboard eye

    A slip of the knife; the artist pauses for a […]

    • That is such a cool take on the prompt! I followed your link to the graphic novel and will need to look for the novel itself now. The line: ‘A slip of the knife; the artist pauses for a plaster‘ threw me for a second (having quite forgotten that a plaster in the UK is what a writer in the US would call a band-aid) I first thought it meant the cardboard needed repair. Now I hope your young artist wasn’t badly cut! Love the closing line: Bravery in brown !

    • Hello Becky,

      You’ve chosen such a relevant subject for today (refugees/imigrants) as your inspiration. I have to confess to looking for the novel on Amazon, simply to see what the illustrations are like. Thank you for your thoughtful poem. Really good.

  • The Afghan

    Your afghan arrived in the mail today
    Labelled and packaged so nicely
    I laughed when I saw that you had even
    giftwrapped the inside of the box
    And I smiled when I read your note

    I wrapped myself in […]

  • Cho – Saturday 11pm
    “Cho,” the old woman calls from the doorway, “it’s time. Finish dressing and escort the girl downstairs. Jinja will go with you. We’ll want her nearby in case of trouble.” […]

  • I, cause and object of lust unrequited,
    beset by fear of the shame to follow
    from unsought pursuits of lovelorn Apollo,
    and failing to escape his grasp by flight,
    sought to hide in plainest sight:
    Toes, ankles, […]

    • I love the sonnet form and here you have composed a perfect one. I haven’t seen the art but thanks to your words I can see it clearly.

    • Seen the painting- clever! Plus gone to your links. My all-time favourite depiction of this myth is the sculpture by Bernini.

    • Hello Hanri,
      A brilliant sonnet and how nice that you have written about an artwork you own. I’ve learned a new word, too – anadem. Thank you also for directing us to the interpretations of the myth. You certainly caught Daphne’s defiance with your poetry. Great stuff.

    • I feel this so strongly today. Women are marching in the street, worried that they will be next. The idea of becoming a tree, bound, solid, unable to be penetrated, to SAVE one’s self. Your poem is brillant.

    • Yes, I’d be surprised too – and not too pleased. I like the way it gradually dawns through the poem that this might not be the rescue she would have chosen.

    • What a beautiful form the Italian sonnet is, and very hard to write. I love your choice of artwork (one that you own and love) and the story you have written for it within this poem. A lovely myth that works so well in this poetry form. Well done Hanri.

  • Recap (hover over the italicised words if you want to be taken back to the previous scenes): Rebecca Bolder, an upcoming law scholar at the local university, is pursuing  a promotion to associate professor, a […]

    • Hi Hanri,
      this is one beautiful love scene. Just perfect. I have nothing to add! 🙂

    • Ooooh thank you. Gorgeous scene. But Mpho? (Her boyfriend?)
      I know there’s bound to be hell to pay, but they’re so lovely together.

      • Ja, sorry Nina, I had to go back to the previous scene to sneak him in, as I’m going to need him in Act 3 for the court scene. So I thought he could fulfil a secondary function of making Daniel a bit jealous.

    • Ah, I can’t wait to see what will happen with these two. Will it be them against the world? Or, will the cruel world hurt them both? Very lovely Hanri!

    • Phew. That was hot, and perfect. Don’t mind me, just lingering here, being wistful!

    • Hell, this was good. This is exactly the kind of scene I don’t think I’ll ever be able to write, but with you, it flows with a seemingly effortless grace. How can a reader not be rooting for them after this? Superb. Take care.

    • Hi Hanri,
      Stunning scene! Their delicate movement towards each other and the blossoming of their feelings, spilling into intimacy was spectacular.
      I love ‘hugging herself against the breeze’ and ‘Her inhibitions were dimmed by the sudden tipsiness‘.
      I also love how you communicated her thoughts. Perfection!
      I was surprised at how Daniel opened up. Calculated, considerate, effective!
      Well done!

  • CHAPTER 28“Perhaps they took another route, sir?” said Jasper.“That’s always possible. We have no choice but to wait, I suppose.”As the time slipped by, the two men, now standing on the pavement outside the hospi […]

    • Mystery mystery mystery…. Very good and so many red herrings. We can see Murray very clearly and you capture the period and class system superbly. I was a bit surprised that Christopher didn’t demand more information and accepted that he waits at the hotel..I’m trying to guess how Murray knows so much but I can’t work it out. Also would Christopher not interrogate Callie outside the car away from earshot?
      you leave the reader gripped by the story. So maybe Callie has to say something to prevent this happening .Well done.

      • Thanks, Graham! So glad you can’t work it out! 😀

        It needs work, racing the deadline at 5 am can, despite the adrenaline rush, sometimes have its drawbacks. There are way too many ‘turnings’, ‘knees’ and misplaced sentences. Not to mention a sprinkling of incorrect tenses. I can guarantee I’ll be editing it tonight!

        Word count and a desire to get to the not-so-quite-cliffhangerish cliffhanger meant I couldn’t flesh out the conversation in Murray’s office as much as I wanted. I actually had another cliffhanger but had to settle for this one as the one I wanted put me nearly 200 words over. I did want to emphasise the railroading and the sense that there was something happening that Christopher wasn’t privy to without repeating phrases like ‘go home’ or “I couldn’t say’. But it’s currently clumsy.

        Thank goodness I can tweak this first draft into better shape now that it’s up. All the tweaks make the next edit that much easier. (Which reminds me I have to edit the chapter before with the nursing bits to add in, and a rather large clue.)

        The only time Christopher is alone with Callie is in the train carriage, so there might be more conversation next week. I’m so glad you liked it. Especially glad that you find it gripping!

        • Phew, all the changes are sorted. I feel better about this as a first draft now. I even added the nursing bits and the clue in the previous scene.

    • What a mean trick the old man played on Christopher, or was it a test of sorts? More mystery. I felt Christopher’s frustration and wanted to choke Mr. Murray and Jeffries. Even Jasper seemed to know something and wouldn’t tell. The politeness and secrecy in in this scene is so very frustrating. This was a great scene full of tension. Can’t wait for the next scene.

    • I couldn’t wait for this week to see what had happened to the old man.
      Surprise – surprise.
      Lord Sly is a very wily old man but I think he has to be with a family like that.
      I’m also pleased he has such loyal friends and servants to look after him.
      I’m warming to him. 🙂
      Excellent scene.

      • Aw, thanks, Estelle! So glad you enjoyed it. I’m behind in my reading of the teams work so will be catching up tonight!

  • Like the hundred previous Thursdays, Rob stands in front of the wine boutique. Soon, he knows, Nell with notice him outside. She will wave, or will come out, a bottle and tasting glasses in her hands. He lingers […]

    • HM – Great story and thanks for sharing your May submission. The end was tough and kinda new it was coming. Super sad stuff and I hope they make it though. Some good detail here but with the word count maybe cut some off the middle out and put some more into the ending to make it a little more emotional. Overall great detail and pacing. Thanks! Feel free to critique mine! – Matt

    • A great story, the plot unfolding with unexpected twists and turns.

    • Fantastic. I really liked how you evolved the relationship between them, how the few phrases of how the chemo destroyed one life for Nell and how she fashioned another. New beginnings for both cut so short. I like the reminder about going through hell … keep going!

    • Wow Hanri, what a story. It wasn’t what I expected at all. I found I had to go back and read it again and then all the little hints you had put in, made sense to me. Such clever writing. I like your ending words too – as that is what she said in the beginning:)
      Even though he left his wife for her, I really liked her and all that she stood for.
      Beautifully written piece.

      Two tiny edits:
      And all he wants, if for Nell to be a permanent part of his life. – is not if
      She puts her head is on his shoulder. – on not is.

    • I loved the “going thru Hell line”. I’ll quote you now and then. A lot going on there. Frustrations and the danger of basing a relationship on limiting highlights. Roses with petals falling are still roses. At least he got a workout toting that much wine. Well done

    • Sudha replied 1 day ago

      A slice of life yet so much in it. Nell is a pragmatic dreamer who is making the most of the time that she has left. The MC is someone who has to get up enough courage, like Nell, to face the reality of his situation. Did he wait too long?
      He describes himself as lacking in social conscience but it’s hard to believe because we see no example of that, just the opposite because he cares so much for Nell.
      A unique story which has haunting elements.


    Over to the right, in the distance, leaves swirled up in another gust of wind, catching her eye. As she looked back to the mirror-like grey granite, a watery sun peered through the cloud behind her, enough to […]

    • Hi Martin
      Bothe the genre definition and the warning are so to the point.
      I enjoyed this wishing I could write such a piece.
      Thank you for writing this.

    • Hi, Martin Such a lovely piece. So thoughtful and kind. We need more of these stories in our lives. I perhaps read more into the story, but I gathered that the little girls mother had passed away and he was able to understand her loss because he had suffered also. It was beautifully written, and it is one that will stick with me. My story is about kindness also. I guess we were thinking alike this month. Thanks for an uplifting story.

  • “Did you know the margaritas here are free?” Suzie squealed with delight as she flopped down on the sunbed next to her friend and travelling companion. A woman she’d known since junior school.

    “Oh, sweetie […]

  • “I want a divorce.” 

    The room went silent. Eyes were wide as glances were exchanged. Someone gave a nervous titter that was quickly smothered. The man that had spoken didn’t waver and kept his gaze locked on the […]

    • Strong begining, the action from the start – I like it 🙂
      I was wondering if it wouldn’t be better, more engaging if we got the names of main characters from the begining.
      I liked that the story is complete. It is open enought that it could have some sequel, but it is a full story in itself. And lthough it’s completely not my kind of story/style, I would say it is a great job 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing, you painted a vivid image and I couldn’t help but cringe from the awkwardness of the public spat.

  • Mrak hated not being able to delegate the recaptue of the Nix to one of his minions. But success was too important to allow anyone else to mess it up. He couldn’t risk tarnishing his reputation with Duncan. He k […]

    • There was a hot second in there where I thought the vamp was going to save the day! But the long painful recovery might require Shandy and Warren to work more directly together than was planned. I thought the plan to capture the child was clever. I think you could start this scene at the school yard and maybe he could have his thoughts on everything while he is watching/waiting for the child to get out of school from his vantage point. You do it a little, but i like having him in a place waiting to take action as he’s thinking to start the scene. Lots of obstacles in place to get the kid back! Clever.

    • This scene written very well, very easy to understand. I liked how Mrak checked off his plan, as they were completed. It made it easier for the me to follow. I’m upset that  kidnapping the nix was so easy. Warren and Shandy got took, smh. Warren fought a little bit but got his head twisted.

  • Susanna thought she’d heard it all. Most Hairdressers had. It was one of the perks of the job, overhearing people’s secrets. She was used to the unusual, and she didn’t think she could be surprised by anyth […]

    • Christy! Thanks for sharing your May submission! Unsure if I have read anything by you before, however I have seen this movie a billion times with my wife and know most of the lines. Great take on the prompt! Unsure where it is going or if you want to turn it into additional stories, but well done! Feel free to critique mine! – Matt

    • Hi Matt! thanks for reading. I really struggled with this one for some reason. I appreciate you stopping by to read my story.

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