50 Word Stories – Misjudged


50 Word Stories – Misjudged

She sashayed along the sidewalk with that uncommon grace only the sexually comfortable manifested. Judged perfect in form and feature, she effected all those who stared on open-mouthed and panting. In passing a homeless soul all her pockets contained, her true beauty required no such judgement. Neither ever should have.

Author’s Note: I think we are all too quick to judge these days.



Her feet were tiny. Actually, that’s an overstatement, they were minuscule. She reminded me of a swallow on the wing, its little legs tucked up into its feathers, its claws going unnoticed. Where you and I might meander, she tottered. Where you and I might run, she staggered. To even balance in her children’s shoes was an achievement. In truth, I marvelled at her. 

Her appearance was construed as comical by the populace at large. Women would point at her then talk behind their palms. Men would frown and then turn to other more complete figures. I imagined it might have broken some people, destroyed them, even. Not her. Not by a long shot.

No sooner had a man taken in her long, flowing hair, her exquisite torso, her curvaceous thighs, then followed it down to her stilted ankles, then he would mutter and move to the next prize on the boulevard. I didn’t though. I followed her down the avenue where the silver birches glinted in the midsummer sun and the shop windows reflected a world neither of us was meant for. Around several corners, she paced like a flamingo, before turning into a side street and the single unadorned door in a wall. She entered; it locked with a click.

With no other option, I retraced my steps onto the high street. No one paid me any attention, for I was singularly unremarkable myself. Looking around like a lost child, I eventually spied the entranceway I searched for. Hanging above a double door adorned in faux leather were the words Le Théâtre du Cygne. I hadn’t a clue what it meant, but forced the doors and crept inside.

She pirouetted across the stage in circle after circle of exquisite dance. She moved like a blizzard on a mountain, a white force of nature. Her feathers swished like cracked whips, their elegance breathtaking. She bore a mask of porcelain and ebony inlay, a swan to top all swans. Only if she slowed did one notice her toothpick legs and tiny, pointed feet. But who’d look other than someone who loved her for her, every bit, every inch? 

I left the theatre but returned each night for a year. She never changed her dance; she was always a swan. And although she went unnoticed in the street, or at a bare minimum, disregarded, in that theatre she was a queen amongst birds. One day, she’d be my queen. That, however, is a story for another place and time.

The End.

In the Eyes of Others

Tomorrow never came

No promise, no hope

A stagnant pond of memories

That wouldn’t form

Yesterday never left

No relief, no respite

An ocean of regrets

Circulating forever

Today was best forgotten

Not what I hoped

Not what I’d prayed

The minutes made hours

Dreaming of the future

Nightmares from the past

Stuck in the day

I mire in the eyes of others

The Problem With Ronald

The problem with Ronald was everything. You told him to do something, he did the opposite. You asked for help, he’d fall asleep on the job. It wasn’t that he was bad or evil or any stereotypical resolution, he just couldn’t help himself. I often thought when God made him, he forgot one of his batteries, or wired him wrong, or did it on purpose just to get a reaction.

The aforementioned issues led to no one having high expectations of Ronald. You knew he was no astronaut, no great thinker, no Priest with words of kindness, in truth, you never expected much.

When Ronald emerged from the fire with my daughter in his arms, his jacket burning and a lopsided grin on his face, I forgot all the things he wasn’t and thought only of what he was: a hero. I wouldn’t judge him again, but then I never should have.

Like The Seasons

Cherry blossom petals torn from the tree,

One epidermis shed in preparation for another,

Stripped bare by cold, remorseless winds;

This Spring made Winter in a mixed up morning.

I see it all through watering eyes, alone,

The sleek grass topped by sleet – a poor man’s dew –

Grapples at my shoes, pulling me back,

Or, perhaps, relentlessly pushing me away:

I no longer notice the details I once savoured.

My mouth is dry, tongue hanging lifeless, limp,

An overactive imagination shattered by simple truth;

Like the seasons, I have been found wanting

Without ever realising I was ever being judged.

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.


They said her name was Olop as in dollop, or troll… never mind, you get the idea, a Russian immigrant of some sort. She stood at the corner everyday and waited for one particular gentlemen to escort her into the city. He’d park his large, foreign car, take her arm and stride off like he owned the place. Blonde hair flowing, I’d watch her leave, envying the man his day and wondering if he was foreign too. Loser, I’d think, but not mean it. Olop and Loser, (sounded like a festival) always looked happy. Always. My envy grew.

One day Loser didn’t come to collect his sweetheart. Olop stood in the gathering snow coloured red and amber and green by the walk lights, her sable coat looking more polar bear by the minute. Lost and unable to ask for help with her imagined ‘Da’s’ and ‘Nyet’s’ she tapped her leather boot with impatience. That’ll teach her, I thought.

I hated myself at that moment for judging her and her friend as I had. Jealousy, I put it down to, they were so exotic and I wasn’t. My momma’s wagging finger and, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover,’ speech flashed through my mind and I decided to make things right.

So, even though I couldn’t speak Russian, I went to her in my shame, offered my hand and said, “Can I help, my name’s Cornelius.”

Olop burst out laughing and said in very good English, “Sorry, Cornelius, do you have a car?”“No,” I replied.“Then, thank you, but I’ll wait for my brother.”

And that’s how wars can start and hearts get broken. In the eyes of envy and jealousy may the fortunes of mankind be broken. Or even just a man.


The white winged boy like an eagle did soar
So high as to spy on those who’d abhorred
Who’d mocked him, gestured and rattled there fists
Despised and derided, their treatment amiss
No malice he held though, his heart, so pure
For flight was his balm, a view saintly cure
But when an old woman stepped from her door
And looked to the sky, to purest azure
And crossed on her chest and touched at her heart
As loud mouths hung their heads and did depart
To echoing words from sagely old girl
That struck oh so deep in every detail
That the boy they’d harassed, spat at and hit
Who’d taken the beatings, taken each kick
Was an angel amongst them, in judgement he flew
They’d all been found wanting by boy in the blue

Reasonless Worry

To stand amongst such opulence,

As a stain before the rain,

A humble man, humbled.

There is a sense of false spotlight upon me

Within the fractured colours 

Of Stained glass memories,

Beacons seeking sin.

Am I to be judged not decadent enough

Before the gold and ruby splendour;

Cowed beneath domes and filagree? 

I cannot answer for I am speechless,

But relieved to have removed my shoes.