Tag Archives: free fiction

The Spot Writers – “Sally and Julius” by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to write about something “summery.”

This week’s contribution comes from Cathy MacKenzie. Cathy’s novel, WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama, is available from her locally or on Amazon. MISTER WOLFE, the sequel, coming soon, as well as MY BROTHER, THE WOLF, the last of the series.

***

“Sally and Julius” by Cathy MacKenzie

“Mom,” Sally asked, “isn’t it kinda neat that July and August, the best months of the year, are the longest?”

“Are they?”

“Yeah, 31 days. Two months in a row.”

“Hmmm, guess so.” Her mother stopped rinsing the dishes and gazed at the wall.

Sally was positive her mother was reciting the alphabet song: “Thirty days have September, April, June, and November. All the rest have thirty-one…”

Her mother wiped her hands on the dishtowel and faced her. “But I thought December was your favourite. And May, your birthday.”

“No, Mom, the summer months are the ones I like the best. And so did Julius and Augustus.”

“Julius? Augustus?”

“Julius Caesar. We learned about him in school. He had an ego, just like Marlene and Chloe. They think the world revolves around them, just like Julius did.”

“And who is Augustus?”

“Augustus is his nephew. Great nephew, I think.”

“I see.”

“So, do you know what Julius did? He named July after him, and he made it 31 days. That was the longest month back then.”

Her mother put down the dishtowel and glanced at her before pouring soap into the dishwasher.

“And then when Julius died, Augustus wanted a month after him, so he named the next month Augustus. And he had to have 31 days, too.”

“You seem to know a lot about them.”

“I do. We learned about them in school. Well, except for the months. I found that out by myself. On the internet.”

“Sounds like Augustus was a tad egotistical, too,” her mother said.

Sally giggled. “I think they were freaky. But then guess what happened?”

“What?” Her mother seemed intrigued, latching onto her every word.

“Then the year had too many days, so they had to take two away from February. And that’s how come February became the shortest month.”

Her mother turned back to the dishwasher, pushed the on button, and closed the door. “Interesting. You’ll have to tell Dad that story.”

“Maybe I will.”

When her father returned home from work, she relayed the story to him.

“It’s an interesting tale,” he said when she was finished, “but what’s so special about July and August? Why did they pick those months?”

“Julius liked the summer, Dad. And so do I. Augustus just took the month after Julius did. Not sure if he liked the summer as much as Julius, though.”

“But…”

She scampered off, not wanting to listen to anything else her father would say. His “but” said it all. He’d find holes in her story. She had to admit she was a bit confused. What about the other months that had 31 days? How come Julius didn’t make his month 32 days? Or perhaps way back then the months had less than 31 days and his was the longest. Maybe after Augustus died five other egotistical jerks came along and named months after themselves, too, and made their months 31 days. She’d have to Google it. Maybe there was more to the story.

But, for now, summer waited. She couldn’t waste any of it. It’d be over before she knew it.

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.ca/

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under books, free, freebies, Uncategorized

The Spot Writers – “Spirit Animal” by Val Muller

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to write about something summery. Today’s piece comes to us from Val Muller, author of the Corgi Capers mystery series with several other books in the works. Check out her blog for news about upcoming releases at www.valmuller.com/blog.

“Spirit Animal” by Val Muller

It was the summer without vacations. Two of them cancelled already, and the re-rescheduled one for August not looking good, either. And with Benny being quarantined from friends, it was looking to be a summer to blemish the memory.

I kept thinking of my own summers, the freedom I had to bike with friends, to live outside until Mom called me in for dinner, to build secret campfires and clubhouses out of scrap wood. At seven, Benny was maybe a little too young to do all that on his own, especially without help. Our previous decision to cap the kid count at one seemed like a bad idea this summer. How much better might things be with a little brother?

Instead, it was up to me and Helen to make up for the global pandemic in Benny’s small world. Helen was doing her best, balancing work-from-home with summertime fun. And I’ve basically been on conference calls for the last ten weeks. I came out of the office for a coffee and I saw Benny there, looking dejected. On the most beautiful day in June, just sitting there on the steps staring at the carpet.

So for the holiday weekend, I knew I had to repair Benny’s summer.

We were watching a cartoon, something about spirit animals. Benny asked what that was, and that’s when I decided. “We’re going camping,” I said. “We’re going on a quest to find your spirit animal.”

“Camping?” Helen rose an eyebrow from the kitchen, where she was making dinner. “Where?”

With social distancing, I wasn’t sure campgrounds were even open. Benny looked at me expectantly. I opened my mouth and hoped for the best. “In the back yard, of course!”

So down to the basement I went, searching for my old gear. My tent, the sleeping bags. “It’s a two-man tent,” I reminded Helen, thinking back to our camping days.

“That’s okay,” she said with a little too much relief. “You boys have fun. I’m sure I’ll be okay having the house to myself for a night.”

That night, I remembered why grown-ups don’t camp so much. The humidity, the mosquitos. And, of course, the loss of that “I’m invincible” feeling of childhood and adolescence. Every rustling in the bushes on our three-acre lot, I wondered about our safety. Would a fox attack? Would they smell dinner on our breaths? And what about the bear everyone was posting about on the neighborhood Facebook page? At night, he owned the neighborhood. Even the coyote being tracked down the road would defer to the bear, I’m sure.

“What do we do now, Dad?” Benny asked. He sat on the sleeping bag in the tent, looking at me expectantly. He seemed so little, so young. I rustled his hair and gave him a hug. Sometimes I forget how much of a kid he still is.

“We should go out of the tent,” I said. “We need to find your spirit animal.” I smacked my arm. “And unless your spirit animal is a mosquito, we aren’t going to find it in here.”

“How do we find my spirit animal?”

I glanced inside at the warm glow of the television. Helen was finding her own spirit animal, no doubt. I didn’t know how to answer. I was winging this. I don’t honestly know what a spirit animal is. I’ve never had one of my own. I think it’s supposed to be some kind of vision quest or something. Not something I’m qualified for, really.

“I think a spirit animal has some qualities that you share with it. Something deep down inside of you. It’s powerful,” I hoped aloud.

“How will I know what mine is?” Benny asked.

“When you see it, you’ll know.”

We lit a small fire in the portable hibachi grill. We roasted marshmallows, and I wondered what kind of animals liked marshmallows. While we ate, a small brown toad hopped onto the patio nearby, perching on a damp spot.

“Is that my spirit animal?” Benny asked.

“A toad?” I glanced at its brown, warty surface. “I don’t think so, son. Do you like to eat flies?”

He laughed. “No, Dad, I guess not.”

We waited. In the distance, the crickets chirped, and some nocturnal bird warbled. Late-lingering fireflies blinked under the trees. An owl hooted.

“Am I a cricket?” he asked, moving his arms like a praying mantis.

We both laughed.

“I think you have to see your animal to know it,” I said. I looked at the toad again and wondered if that was my spirit animal. Just kind of sitting there. Being useless except for eating bugs. Maybe it would be good at conference calls. I shivered and shook my head. No. This was not my quest for a spirit animal. Tonight belonged to Benny.

I wondered what kind of young man he would be, what kind of man he would grow into. He was so young, so sheltered. What was this year in quarantine doing to him? Would he know how to socialize? Would he trust others, or be governed by paranoid fear? Would he follow what he was told without question? Would his basis for human interactions be movies? Cartoons where characters go on vision quests to find their spirit animal?

Was I a failure of a father?

At the end of our property, two eyes glowed.

“A fox,” I whispered.

Benny gasped and whispered to me. “Cool, but it’s not my spirit animal.”

“How do you know?” I asked.

“I just do,” he said.

We went to sleep that night without an answer to his spirit animal quandary. I woke in the middle of the night to the feeling that something was wrong. My first instinct was to check on Benny. He slept soundly next to me. I dashed to the house to peek in the living room window. Helen was sleeping on the couch, the TV still glowing, an empty wine glass on the table next to her. The glow from the house lights illuminated the camping area in an even twilight, and I turned to inspect the yard.

The humidity was stifling, but still I shivered. Something was off.

I turned around, and that’s when I saw it. The bear, the one everyone had been spotting. So far the neighbors had posted a picture from someone’s bedroom window, far-off and grainy; a picture of its muddy paw prints crossing the road; and several shots of its scat around the neighborhood.

This one was within striking range of me. It was brown—smaller than I thought it would be, but still a terrifying size, one that could tear apart dog or boy or man. And it was sniffing around Benny’s tent.

It’s a parents’ worst dilemma. Being useless to help your child.

I could have easily walked into the house to safety. But the bear was right next to Benny. I thought back to all the documentaries I must have watched, and I realized I knew nothing about bears. I thought I remembered that they like to leave people alone, that they are non-aggressive. But was I supposed to freeze? Play dead? One kind of bear, you’re supposed to raise your arms in the air menacingly to make yourself look bigger, I think.

And in the midst of my son’s life being threatened, I had the awful thought that my phone was in the tent, so there’s no way I could capture what would have been an amazing shot.

In an awful moment, the bear rose on two feet, sniffed the top of the tent, and let out a small groan, a grunt. What was it saying? Was the bear saying “Grace,” pre-dinner? And Benny the main course?

My mind raced with how I would tell Helen. It was then that I decided. I would scream. I would distract the bear and let it chase me. Maybe I would die, but that’s what parents were supposed to do for their children.

Something held my tongue. The bear turned to stare at me. Our eyes locked for an eternity. Stars lived and died. Planets crumbled.

I knew then I was looking at Benny’s spirit animal. Gentle, unprovoked, but with terrifying power beneath.

The bear grunted once, then lowered itself and walked nonchalantly back into the shadows of the yard. I knew Benny would be okay. Tonight and always.

I carried him inside a moment later, though, just to be safe. We slept on the floor next to Helen and her empty bottle of wine. I decided in the morning I wouldn’t tell Benny about the bear just yet. He would discover his power in his own time. For now, I’d let him be a little boy.

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/

Leave a comment

Filed under books, free, freebies, Uncategorized

The Spot Writers – “Floating in a Tin Can” by Chiara De Giorgi

Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to write a “never have/had I ever” story.

This week story comes from Chiara. Chiara is currently quarantined in Berlin, Germany, and doing her best to catch up with semi-abandoned writing projects.

***

“Floating in a Tin Can” by Chiara De Giorgi

Never had I ever thought I’d find myself one day floating in a tin can, like David Bowie’s Major Tom, far above the Moon… and yet, here I am! Of course I really hope I’ll keep in touch with Ground Control and make it back to Earth, but for the time being I just want to enjoy the ride, as they say.

It all began during the 2020 pandemic. People were scared, for a while confusion reigned, but in the end, slowly, things went back to normal – with a couple improvements, if I’m allowed to say so, given that so many didn’t make it.

One big change was that private and independent investors poured money into cryonics research. What’s cryonics, you ask? Cryonics is the preserving of a human body at low-freezing temperatures. Why would one decide to be frozen, you want to know? Well, let’s say you’re suffering from a medical condition that science isn’t able to cure. You have your body frozen and then thawed in the future, when doctors will know what to do. Sweet, don’t you think? I thought so and I had money enough to invest in the project. Moreover, I signed my body off to undergo the procedure in case I became ill with the 2020 virus and would die of it. Which happened.

Admittedly, those were quite the chaotic times, so I don’t blame Cryonics Ltd. for forgetting my body was under ice for about fifty years – when an undergraduate looking for the restroom got lost in the labyrinthine basement and found me.

The world I was resurrected into was quite different from the one I had died in. I couldn’t keep my enthusiasm at bay. Not only was I cured, I also became a celebrity and got rich again in a matter of days.

In the years I had slept away, science and technology had improved hugely. I felt like a toddler in a candy shop, I wanted to know everything, and everybody indulged me.

I could have paid for this space trip, but it was hardly necessary, as any ad company in the world is willing to pay me a ridiculous amount of money just for the honor of putting my face on their products. Space travel is quite common these days, although still a bit expensive. Not everyone can afford it, but I’m happy to report that life conditions have also improved hugely for the majority of the Earth’s population. There are of course reasons for it, one of them being that the Moon is being colonized at the moment, and those who accept dangerous jobs up there are the ones who wouldn’t fare well on Earth.

Anyway. As I was saying, space travel is quite common. What isn’t that common, though, is time travel.

I am the willing participant in a research study on time travel – it seemed the next logical step to take.

So if you get this message, please reply. It will be corroborating evidence that it works. Thanks!

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/

+++
C.A. MacKenzie is the author of (among other books) the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers including Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/].

Leave a comment

Filed under books, free, freebies, Uncategorized

The Spot Writers – “Midnight with Shakespeare” by Chiara De Giorgi

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to write about a chance encounter.

This week story comes from Chiara. Chiara is currently quarantined in Berlin, Germany, and doing her best to catch up with semi-abandoned writing projects.

***

“Midnight with Shakespeare” by Chiara De Giorgi

 

Ever since I watched “Midnight in Paris” I’ve been fantasizing about meeting the object of my own devotion, the greatest poet of all times: William Shakespeare. Impossible, you say? Maybe so, but a girl can dream.

This is the story of how my dream came (sort of) true. More accurately: this is the story of how my dream within a dream came true, to say it with Mr. Edgar Allan Poe.

 

I woke up on a sunny morning and entered the kitchen, yawning like a hippopotamus.

“Good morning to you, fair and gracious daughter[1]”, said my father, handing me a cup of black tea.

I smiled and accepted the kindly offered beverage. I sighed. I really needed it, I had a day full of work meetings ahead, and no desire to attend any of them.

As I left home, headed towards the bus stop, my neighbour waved at me. “Nothing will come of nothing[2]!” she shouted, an encouraging smile on her face.

Still wondering about her words, I later entered the building where my first meeting was going to take place. I was about half an hour early, so I asked the secretary where I could go get some coffee.

“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late[3]”, she said. “Just turn round the corner, there’s a bagel seller whose bagels are the absolute best, and the coffee is also good!”

I happily followed her advice: I love bagels! I found the place, a small take-away shop, bright and clean, and I put in my order for a bagel with strawberry cream, and a coffee. The guy behind the counter licked a spoon of cream clean before setting it aside and serving me. I must have looked astonished, because he smirked and winked at me. “Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers[4]”, he whispered.

Holding my bagel and my coffee I made my way back to the meeting, which lasted almost three hours and left me drained. A long discussion had brought to no end result, except I had to prepare another report, with more figures and nonsense.

“The fault lies not within the stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings[5]”, said my colleague, in an unusual spout of wisdom.

“Yeah”, I sighed. “An underling I may be, and yet I must rush to the next meeting! Adieu!

I decided to take a cab, so I could rest a bit. I must have dozed off, because suddenly I realized we were stuck in traffic. I was going to be late. Not cool.

“What’s the matter?” I asked the cab driver. “Can’t we go a bit faster?”

I saw the man shrug, then he looked at me in the rear-view mirror and said: “Come what come may, time and the hour runs through the roughest day[6].”

Oh, well. He was right, after all. There was nothing I could do. I called a colleague and let her know I was running a bit late, then checked my Smartphone to pass the time.

Finally the cab dropped me in front of the building where the second meeting of the day was taking place. At the entrance I almost tripped over a cleaning lady, who was on her knees, furiously rubbing the floor.

“Out, damned spot! Out, I say![7]” she was muttering. Such an odd day, that was, and I had not seen the last of it, yet!

I knocked at the meeting room’s door and entered, making my apologies, then reached my seat and sat down, opened my files on the tablet and prepared to discuss the subject at hand. The discussion lead to a nasty disagreement with one of the guys from another Company, which left me irritated. As I was putting all my stuff back inside my bag, wishing my work day was over, someone hit me.

I heard a voice near me: “Gosh, I’m sorry. Let me help you pick everything up.”

Of course the most embarrassing items in my bag had fallen out: my comb full of hair, a picture of my cats, a handful of tampons, a Mickey Mouse pencil. I lifted my eyes to see who it was, and of course he was the guy I had quarreled with just minutes before. He handed me my things, then he held out his hand. “We haven’t started on the right foot, have we? Let me introduce myself.”

We shook hands. He was smiling warmly at me and I found myself smiling back at him.

“So, do you have time for coffee?” he asked me.

I checked the watch. “I have about twenty minutes, then I must go attend another meeting”, I replied. “Are you sure you want to have coffee together? We almost ate each other less than ten minutes ago in this very room!”

He took my hand again and put a gentle kiss on it – he did, I kid you not.

“My dear”, he added, as if it were the most natural thing to say at that point, “Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps[8].”

I’ll be honest, here: the rest of the day passed in a blur, I don’t remember much. When I got home, I was exhausted and collapsed on my bed, instantly falling asleep. When I opened my eyes, the alarm-clock on my night-stand read 00:00. Midnight.

Around me all was dark and silent, then I heard a whisper. No, it was many whispers, coming from different directions, overlapping, confused. At last, I recognized some words: “If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended, That you have but slumbered here While these visions did appear. And this weak and idle theme, No more yielding but a dream, Gentles, do not reprehend: If you pardon, we will mend[9]…”

Around me, tiny fairy lights were dancing in the dark, I could smell jasmine, and I could hear the sound of jingle bells… I laughed, long and happy.

***

[1] Measure for Measure, Act 4 Scene 3

[2] King Lear, Act 1 Scene 1

[3] The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act 2 Scene 2

[4] Romeo and Juliet, Act 4 Scene 2

[5] Julius Casear, Act 1 Scene 3

[6] Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 3

[7] Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 1

[8] Much Ado About Nothing, Act 3 Scene 2

[9] A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 5, Scene 1

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/

Leave a comment

Filed under books, free, Uncategorized

The Spot Writers – “The Panhandler (take two)” by Phil Yeats

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to write about a chance encounter. Today’s post is written by Phil Yeats. Phil (using his Alan Kemister pen name) has published two soft-boiled police detective stories in his Barrettsport Mysteries series. They’re set in an imaginary Nova Scotia coastal community with very quirky citizens. The Amazon link for the more recent one is: https://www.amazon.com/Tilting-Windmills-Barrettsport-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B07L5WR948/

Today’s submission is an alternative take on an earlier SW submission. It might become the opening scene for a sequel to his current WiP – The Road to Environmental Armageddon. He’s trying to invoke late Middle Ages or Renaissance vibe, but story is actually set in a post-Apocalyptic future.

***

“The Panhandler (take two)” by Phil Yeats

Benjamin trudged home in the waning sunlight after delivering a parcel containing four flintlock pistols and a supply of gunpowder to the southwestern gatehouse. He entered the town square from Southwest Road and turned onto the busy Western Road, heading for Little West Lane. His home was near the end of the lane, within sight of the town wall.

He hadn’t feared for his safety as he strode along the busier thoroughfares. The purse of coins he’d received in exchange for the pistols was tucked into a secure compartment within his leather tunic. It suddenly felt heavier as he approached the narrow lane with many nooks and crannies where thieves could lurk.

Thoughts of the weapons at his disposal distracted him as he approached his corner. He barely noticed the scruffy young panhandler sitting on the cobblestones suckling a fractious infant. She was wearing rags, her hair was crudely shorn, and she looked like she hadn’t washed in weeks—a perfect incubator for fleas and lice. When he dropped a penny in her pot, the baby reached for his fingers. The tiny hand and abandoned breast distracted him. He lingered for a moment too long.

“Benji?” she said as he tried to leave.

She handed him her baby and paused before covering her breasts. He diverted his gaze as he took the surprisingly clean tyke and tried to determine who she was. Was she from home, the nearby village where he grew up? If not, she wouldn’t know the childish nickname his mother dumped on him. No one but his friend Thaddaeus used it. Solving the little puzzle wasn’t difficult. She was Leah, Thady’s little sister.

She would have been twelve when he left home six years earlier to study at Caverns Technical College. He crouched beside her, leaving a gap he hoped fleas couldn’t leap and let her inquisitive tyke tug the wisps of hair representing his pathetic efforts to grow a beard.

“Are you okay?” he asked when she began gathering her meagre possessions. “Somewhere to go? Someone looking out for you?”

She dumped the coins from her pot into her hand, counted them, and slid them inside her smock. She stood while pulling the drawstring closed and adjusting the shoulder straps of her kirtle. After hoisting an ancient rucksack onto her shoulder, she reached for her child. “Completely alone and nowhere to go. I’ll find a street vendor willing to sell me a bowl of gruel, then…”

He stood without relinquishing the tyke. “I have bread and makings for stew, enough for two.” He paused glancing up the lane. “And a tub for a bath. You could get cleaned up and…” He stopped, unable to complete the sentence.

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/

+++
C.A. MacKenzie is the author of (among other books) the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers including Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/].

Leave a comment

Filed under books, free, freebies, Uncategorized

The Spot Writers – “Locked Room Mystery” by Phil Yeats

Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to write a story or poem using the following words or images: memory, mist, moonlight, mosaic, mask.

Today’s post is written by Phil Yeats. In December, 2019, Phil (using his Alan Kemister pen name) published his most recent novel. Tilting at Windmills, the second in the Barrettsport Mysteries series of soft-boiled police detective stories set in an imaginary Nova Scotia coastal community is available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Tilting-Windmills-Barrettsport-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B07L5WR948/

***

“Locked Room Mystery” by Phil Yeats

The dishevelled old detective stood on the suburban patio. Moonlight cast soft shadows, and wisps of mist swirled up from the distant shore.

He pointed at three rectangles of mosaic tiles set in the concrete. “Could they mask a removable panel?”

His new partner, a bright young officer who’d recently graduated from detective school, crouched beside the glass shards that created a blue and green seascape with dolphins and mermaids. She focused her torch on the panels’ edges, then pulled out a penknife and probed a seam.

“Possible. What’s the relevance to a murder victim discovered inside the house?”

“No idea, but it always pays to collect the evidence before reaching your conclusions.”

Later, after the crime scene technicians raised the panel, she stared into an underground passage. “What made you suspicious?”

“Memory of a mystery I once read. An incongruous observation generated the solution.”

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/

+++
C.A. MacKenzie is the author of (among other books) the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers including Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/].

 

Leave a comment

Filed under free, Uncategorized

The Spot Writers – “Mistaken” by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to write a story or poem using the following words or images: memory, mist, moonlight, mosaic, mask.

This week’s contribution comes from Cathy MacKenzie. Cathy’s novel, WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama, is available from her locally or on Amazon. MISTER WOLFE, the sequel, coming soon! As well as MY BROTHER, THE WOLF, the last of the series.

https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/

***

“Mistaken”

Mist masks
Memorable memories
But moonlight
Magnifies
The mosaic—
Moody,
Muddy.
Mortuarial.

***

 The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.ca/

+++

C.A. MacKenzie is the author of the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers, including Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under books, free, freebies, Uncategorized

The Spot Writers – “Echo” by Val Muller

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to write a story or poem using the following words or images: memory, mist, moonlight, mosaic, mask.

This week’s contribution comes to us from Val Muller, author of the Corgi Capers mystery series. Find out more at www.corgicapers.com.

***

The poem was inspired by staring at the numbers of the date of this post: 2-20-2020 and the imagery of its repetition.

“Echo” by Val Muller

The moonlight wakes me,

It cuts the night,

Corporeal.

 

What does it want?

What does it know?

How many eons of time in its glow?

 

I sit up in bed,

Bare feet on carpet,

Toes splayed on the mosaic

Of moonlight through trees.

The room is cold,

But I do not shiver.

 

I rise, silent. Déjà vu.

I have done this before.

A memory:

 

Once, at age eight,

I awoke in moonlight.

It called me to the mirror,

And I looked.

Half in dream, I peered and saw myself.

My mind transcended the glass:

 

Someone peering back at me,

Someone old.

Familiar but foreign,

Comforting but startling,

The eyes were the same:

Sadder, more tired, more intelligent,

But mine.

 

I saw myself seeing myself,

And I shivered.

 

Child-thin body staring at womanly curves,

Tangled locks echoing graying ones.

What etched those wrinkles in my face?

What lessons sculpted wisdom in my eyes?

 

I don’t remember returning to bed,

But I must have.

I awoke the next morning

And I was still a little girl.

 

Now, the moonlight invites me.

It lights the night,

A friend.

 

What does it want?

What does it know?

How many eons of time in its glow?

 

In the mirror, it bathes my

My gray locks in misty aura.

My wrinkled brow

Speaks of hardship and victory,

Of disappointment and loss,

Of survival.

 

The gossamer light cuts through the mask.

I slip behind the glass to find, perplexed,

Entranced, a little girl of eight,

Staring back at me like maybe I’m a mother

Or a savior or a ghost.

 

Like somehow I have answers.

 

But instead I bring more questions.

How can I possibly have been that small,

That young, that naïve, that creative?

How could I ever have had that much confidence and energy,

And why on Earth would any of us

Trade it all

For wisdom?

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.ca/

+++
C.A. MacKenzie is the author of (among other books) the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers including Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/].

Leave a comment

Filed under free, Uncategorized

The Spot Writers – “The Man in the Detective Hat” by Chiara De Giorgi

Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is “someone always wears the same hat because of some secret and/or mysterious reason”.

This week’s story comes from Chiara De Giorgi. Chiara dreams, reads, edits texts, translates, and occasionally writes in two languages. She also has a lot of fun.

***

The Man in the Detective Hat by Chiara De Giorgi

As a child, I was often alone. Alone, but not lonely. In fact, I would spend hours playing outside with my imaginary friend. At least, I think he was imaginary… I’m not sure of anything anymore, these days. Reveries and reality overlap and leave me baffled and wondering.

Who was that guy I spent hours and hours with, exploring, pondering, looking for meaningful answers? And why was he always wearing a hat? I remember wanting to ask him to take it off, but I never dared.

Now, what was his name again? Did he have a name? If he was an imaginary friend, he might not have had a name, unless I gave him one. Did I give him a name? Maybe not. It wasn’t necessary after all. I would walk, climb a tree, swim in the lake, ride my bike in the woods… and he would be there with me, always ready to talk, explain, ask poignant questions. But never giving answers, now that I think of it.

I had to understand everything all by myself, he just helped me reason, find the answers to my own riddles.

Maybe that’s why I never asked him why he never took off his hat. It was a funny detective hat, but it wasn’t funny on him. Hey, what if he was a detective for real? What if he was investigating my family, what if he wanted to frame me or my parents for some terrible deed? I sure hope he was my imaginary friend, and not some real detective.

What’s that thing in the corner of my closet? Wait, is that… Oh, my. It’s a detective hat! How peculiar! What is it doing here? I don’t remember ever having one. It looks… It looks exactly the same as my childhood imaginary friend’s. Now, if this were his hat, it would mean he took it off, he he he. I wonder… How would I look in it? I’ll put it on and look at myself in the mirror. There.

Goodness! I look like him! Same height, same body structure, same complexion – pale and a bit rough. Even the same expression in the eyes, thoughtful and wise.

Oh, gosh. That was unexpected.

I am the man in the detective hat. I know, now, why I can never take it off. Look what happened when I did. No, you don’t want to know, trust me. Just forget you ever met me. And should you find a detective hat laying around somewhere, please leave it there. Don’t ask questions, just close your eyes and quietly go away. Some mysteries are supposed to stay unsolved, some questions need to remain unanswered forever.

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/

+++
C.A. MacKenzie is the author of (among other books) the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers including Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/].

Leave a comment

Filed under free, Uncategorized

The Spot Writers – “Unfinished Business and New Beginnings” by Chiara De Giorgi

Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is “unfinished business.”

This week’s story comes from Chiara De Giorgi. Chiara dreams, reads, edits texts, translates, and occasionally writes in two languages. She also has a lot of fun.

***

Unfinished Business & New Beginnings

by Chiara De Giorgi

 

Dear New Year,

May you be happy!

I don’t have any promises for you. I don’t have any propositions or resolutions either. What I do have, is a bunch of unfinished business from last years. All the things I decided to do or be in the past few years… I’ve been slowly working my way through them.

First example is a classic: the gym. My subscription is almost two years old, now. For a while I go three times a week, then I skip three months in a row, then I start going again. Every time I tell myself that what’s important is not the times I stop, but the times I start over. Quite silently – not to brag – I’ve managed to go once a week for the past four months now. Granted, once a week is not that much, but it’s once a week more often than I did the previous months. My goal: keep up with the good habit!

Another, related, topic is diet, or better: nutrition. Same story as the gym: I manage to cook and eat healthy food for a while, then do a cheat day, which becomes a cheat week, then a cheat month, and we’re back to square one. What I noticed, though, is that the “cheating times” have been getting shorter, although more frequent. As a result, I ended Old Year with less pounds on myself than I had at the beginning. If all goes well, when you’re finished I’ll be even slimmer.

(Excuse me while I bite into this chocolate bar. It’s been lying around since Christmas: another unfinished business from last year!)

I’m finally getting the language certification I started studying for years ago.

What else? Getting to the bottom of my TBR list seems a bit far-fetched, so I won’t even mention it. I could get to the bottom of this unfinished bottle of wine- easily done!

So, see: picking up the trail of my unfinished business from last years is the way to go. For the rest, I’ll just try to take one month at a time, tasting each moment, feeling alive.

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/

+++

C.A. MacKenzie is the author of the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers, including Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/.

Leave a comment

Filed under books, free, Uncategorized