Eloise stood away from the others as detached as if she’d been in Rome. Whilst her so-called friends paraded before the boys like so much fresh meat, Eloise waved them away. Whilst the others coerced and cajoled, fluttered eyes and waggled worse, she looked off into some unknown secret. I likened her to heaven, distant, yet a goal worth waiting for. Wait, I did. Wait, I would. Always.


Scattered, we roamed the lowlands like seeds in the wind

waiting for a smattering of soil and our roots to take hold;

there was never nearly enough.

Lifted from the homes we would have built, we searched

the skies for memories of that which we’d lost,

that which we’d forgotten: Home.

The word echoed through the valleys

to smash upon highest crags, only to cascade as shaled truths.

The wind grew bitter then, cold even.

Birds of unsure feathers pecked at our shared epidermis,

a people made one by necessity; we bled for each other.

Higher we rose through gathered wills, a pact made true,

until the clouds were left in our wake and heaven beckoned.

There on highest dreams where the air was thin and

our dreams were set to fail, HE came for us in glowing

anticipation of repentance; and we did, as did HE.

Windblown, he called us, children of the unsettled pastures,

born to ride the winds of independence:

we ride them still, but always on a golden tether.

50 Word Stories: Translucence


There lay a body on the slab unmoving in the evening quiet. People bustled over it, one prodding, another kissing blue lips, a third weeping, me looking down. The form, glazed eyes vacant, looked at peace. I felt at peace knowing it. Translucence slipped then, and all faded to gold.

The Broken Girl

I was going to try and scare the bejesus out of you all, but opted for this instead. I hope you enjoy my Halloween treat.
The Broken Girl

She lay in the road like a deer or a dog, a broken object meant for better things, a crumpled mess.

I pulled the jeep over and rushed out to help her; I cried at her crippled form. More a heaped pile of bones like a crimson-sprinkled ghost than a pretty young girl, she was all but dead to the world, though not to me.

I placed the girl on a sheet of tarpaulin I kept aside for dirty jobs, cursed at myself for considering her such, then rolled her up like a dead pet. For her part, she did not resist. The broken girl never once twitched even an eye, never once murmured a word. She didn’t have long, and I knew it.

The road back to the city took an eternity. I lived where I did on purpose to get away from everyone and everything. Solitude was the single luxury I enjoyed, or had, until then. The one time I longed for civilisation to be nearer, to rush towards me and help save her, it just never seemed to get any closer. The lights of the metropolis twinkled on the horizon like will-o’-the-wisps teasing my heart into thinking her saveable when in fact she’d almost gone.

I raced down the back roads, dirt spraying in all directions, until it met the freeway in a deserted rendition of what they’d been built for and floored it.

I stopped looking in the rearview mirror when her blood started to drip out onto my car mat. What had they done to her? It was so wrong, so very wrong!

An hour of anxious speeding swept past and nothing much changed. I thought I saw her fingers twitch once but could’ve been mistaken. Only her wracked breaths and the rising of her naked breasts gave any indication of the poor thing still being alive. I prayed it lasted.

By the time we reached the bridge that crossed the river and allowed entry to the city true, I was beyond panic and had settled into a state of inner calm, or madness, I wasn’t sure which? That’s why when I saw the bridge folded like a broken knee, stuck, very stuck, and impassible. All I did was sigh.

Casting the girl a pathetic ‘it’ll be all right’ smile, I went to investigate. There wasn’t a person, car, boat or anything in sight just the distant flickering lights of the city and the unobtainable dream of fixing a broken girl.

That’s when most people would’ve given up, but not me. I imagined the faces of those who’d harmed her, leering, laughing, even joking at her plight and it moved me to do what some might have said foolhardy.

My jacket made a pillow for the girl to lift her head ever so slightly. For the rest, I removed my jeans, shirt and boots, folded them up and placed them in the tarpaulin with the girl. Then, I picked her up with the care I’d have afforded a crystal decanter in my makeshift hammock, carried her down to the river bank, and swam.

I hauled my burden through the choppy water if that godawful sludge of a river could be termed so. I pushed and pulled, coughed and spluttered, and made my way in chilling temperatures to the other side. When I reached the far bank, I was almost as dead as the girl, but I was no longer alone.

“I’ll take her now, son,” said a voice of honeyed silk.

And as if by magic a light came on. The Angel, for he could’ve been nothing else with those wings of swanlike majesty, unwrapped my flesh and bone package and lifted the broken girl into his arms.

“I’ll look after her now,” he said and smiled. “You needn’t worry anymore.”

And somehow, I knew he would. Somehow, I knew he always would. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that the girl was going to a better place.

My thoughts came to an abrupt halt, however, as the bridge groaned into action. I turned to look, as the light behind me dimmed, and by the time I looked back, they’d gone.

It was hours later when I made it home. I expected my wife to be beside herself with worry. I’d have had to try to explain. But what could I have said? I didn’t though. She already knew.

My wife waited at the door tears in her eyes. I’d not put one damp foot on the ground when she flung her arms around my neck, buried her head into my saturated collar and wept like she’d never stop.

“I’ve had a visitor,” she finally whispered. “A person came to tell me you tried to help someone. That you were the last decent man, and I was a lucky woman. They told me not to worry and that you’d be home soon. So I wasn’t scared, not really.”

“Who?” I asked.

“Pretty little thing,” she said. “She had the saddest eyes I’d ever seen almost as if she knew something awful was about to happen. She said you forgot this and was returning it on your behalf.”

I took my jacket, the one I’d rested beneath the broken girl’s head and hung it on the hook behind the door.

I’ve never touched it since. I just couldn’t.

The End.

No More Tomorrows

Like falling feathers, they descended, those of golden light and purest white. Soundless, the heavenly host alighted on every surface: roofs; trees; paths; car bonnets, everywhere and on everything.
We thought they’d come to save us, to escort us to that better place, at last. Instead, they took us in with those deep, sad eyes, shook their heads in synchronised shame, shining manes shushing like the oceans and flew away.
I remember it like yesterday because we’ve never had a tomorrow since.

Fall From Grace

Fast-flowing clouds reach with cirrus fingers
Their wet, grasping grip christening my hair
Soaking me from the inside out and deeper still
My soul sloshes in residual sky; I am drowning
A serpent’s tongue flashes through the heavens
Black, not gold, it shatters the midnight
Like an obsidian scar only I can see
But I do not want to see it; I’ve seen enough
I search for the sun, some glimmer of dawn
The clouds swirl on in darkness, faster, faster
But day never comes and my light fades to dreams
I fold my wings, clutch them to me, allow myself to fall
The drop is far, the landing hard, and still the clouds speed on

NB: Tonight’s poem was written to the music of Within Temptation. Extra kudos to you if you can guess the song. A clue is in there?


White velvet, she drew the feather between slender fingers, over her palm and across the back of her hand. There were no words to describe such soft comforts, the exquisite ecstasy, the long, white perfection. She gazed upon her prize with ardent eyes, held it to the moon, twirled it like a carousel. The feather, so pure of colour, melded with the celestial orb as though a part of heaven, lost in white dreams, there but not. Next, she offered it to the midnight stars, even then, it didn’t look out of place, a perfect constellation. The girl sighed, a long, deep breath of exultations lost, then passed it back. Letting go was the hardest of all. Not of the feather, but he who flew away.