From Cradle to Grave

Photo at Pixabay

To begin, energy, matter and Time expanded into nothing which did not exist. A uniform universe acquired a history, mutating parameters, a wobble in the maths made gravity greedy for stuff, which coalesced like lumps in custard. Stars, planets, suns, moons. Air, water, earth, oceans and trees, love and me. Born and dying in my time passing, the future already knows my end; my agency is in doubt. I am a completely random, absolutely unique, perfect imperfection. I cried when my mother told me I was a mistake. Now I understand the universal joke I laugh with all my heart.

Julie Carter


Photo at Pixabay

First word she’d scratched on slate. Shaping her days and dreams, she loved sound, colour and stone better than her name. ‘Yes love – our Cornish sea be turquoise.’

Daddy held Anna’s hand tightly on clifftop walks. Her enthusiasm made her careless, he said. ‘So does yours,’ she told him, at his funeral, on her fifth birthday. ‘You an’ Sharkey an’ your stupid fishin’ in the turquoise in the storm.’

Years later, Sharkey’s lad proposed. ‘Nah,’ she said. But then she saw his ring.

T-u-r-q-u-o …

Simon Marsh


Photo at Pixabay

The dog barked, and tried to nose them off their route.

He forced them down a narrow path. A woman lay unconscious and twisted. The dog ran round her several times. She had a broken leg and was bleeding heavily. Anna dressed her wounds to stem the bleeding. David climbed to get a mobile signal. He returned and they waited.

She stirred and started talking. The dog watched. The team arrived.

‘Brave dog!’

‘What dog?’ she asked.

‘Your dog.’

‘I have no dog.’

They looked. Now they could only see sheep. The dog had gone.

Dorothy Crowther

Blood on her hands

Photo at Pixabay

At £2.50 the red leather gloves were a bargain. Melody tried them on, they were a perfect fit. She left the Charity shop wearing the gloves.

Melody had never owned anything so expensive looking. They gave her confidence, something she had always lacked. Swinging her handbag she took a short cut through the park.

Why did the man approach her? Speak to her, touch her? It was the gloves. Placing her hands around his throat Melody squeezed until his body went limp.

At £2.50 the red leather gloves were a bargain. Margo tried them on, they were a perfect fit.

Mary Younger

Road kill

Photo at Pixabay

He drove slowly, conscious of the dodgy wheel on the livestock trailer, not wanting to give the police an excuse to stop him again.

The holiday traffic was heavy, on the brow of the hill a deer and her fawn were crossing the road.

He heard the impatient anger of a foot on an accelerator behind him – the BMW raced past but did not stop.

He gently cradled the crushed body, its velvet head against his stubbled cheek – the mother turned, hummering. The fawn struggled, helpless to answer her call. He drew the penknife from his pocket. It only took a minute.

Sarah Hampton

Rabbits, Romans, Scots and a lost ball

Photo at Pixabay

Beside Silloth’s thirteenth green, a golfer was ratching for his ball.

If unfound, no score.

Two thousand years ago, then a Fort, a soldier was ratching for rabbits.

If unsuccessful, no supper.

Rabbits were introduced to England by the Romans, golf by the Scots, who put a green on the Fort.

The Romans kept out the Scots but the Scots could not keep out the rabbits.

The ball was in a rabbit hole. Free drop. No penalty. The Scots wrote the rules and won.

No supper for the Romans.

Charles Woodhouse

Light and time

Photo at Pixabay

Sitting at the kitchen table to write, a resonant first line just wouldn’t come. Nearby was a vase of red tulips and during yesterday their buds had opened slowly to display brazen stamens. The stems now curved softly to overhang the vase rim in an evolving gestural eloquence of movement. Sidelit by the early morning sun it was as if he were seeing tulips for the very first time. Wondering briefly if this was inscape, epiphany, or simply prevarication he reached for his camera, framed the scene, clicked the shutter and moved toward the darkroom to develop the image.

Colin Dixon

Colin Dixon Fine Art Photography