50 Word Stories: The Firedrakes


I loved watching the firedrakes burn the clouds. The way the great beasts transformed vapour to radiant colours, light and steam touched my soul. I didn’t know why they did it, and didn’t care, they just did.
When they’d finished and our atmosphere burned, I thought differently. We all did.

Author’s Note: I took this picture last night, which inspired the story. Sometimes the sky is more beautiful than any story. Last night, it was.

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Slices of Night

We dreamt of the moon on a cool, winter’s night

Whilst others were quaking, we saw the light

A piece of space pie served in the sky

Where stars were sprinkled sugar twinkling on high

And a comet was trailing some fast-dripping cream

It made me so hungry, our beautiful dream

But glittering brightly the sky never knew

That all I was dreaming was of kissing you

And though it did twinkle, wink and entice

On that winter’s evening, you were my slice

Man 1 – Cows 0

I took this picture this morning whilst avoiding the many cowpats that proliferated across the meadow. The cows had been extra sneaky by utilising the cover provided by extra long grass, (we’d had a lot of rain) and lack of marked pathways. They knew I’d be coming along to gaze at the Sunday sky and laid, or part-set, I’m unsure of the correct term, their secret, smelly traps. Fortunately, I outsmarted them. 

You see, unlike the cows that wander the meadow willy-nilly unaware of the natural beauty around and above them, I am, and treasure it. As such, I concocted a brilliant plan: stand in a safe zone and just look up, the clouds would come to me. They did. And although my bovine nemeses mooed their anger and showed their general displeasure in other less subtle ways, I managed to see a beautifully textured morning sky, whilst they only got to see me. Man 1 – Cows 0. Unless that’s what they wanted all along? Hmm.

50 Word Stories: Wonderful Departures


The angled sunlight made mirrors of the water, the sky below as above. It was like sailing between worlds in neither one realm nor the other, a breath held. My small boat made passage as though on that final trip we all must take. If so, what a wonderful departure.

Author's Note: as almost all my pictures, this is from Pixabay due to no attribution being required. But I just had to say WOW!

No Other Word but Beautiful (An Author’s lot)

As an author, I strive to communicate in as perfect a form as I might. After all, is that not the point to being an author. I obsess over what words to use, and not use, how best to place them and how best to extract their full capacity for creation. Glue words and adverbs are but a few of those I try to quash and replace with better. I have a personal hate for repetition — I can spot it a mile off — and always try to be innovative with descriptions. After a time, these things become easier but one can always improve.
So what?, you bellow. Well, here’s the thing. I read that of all the words in the human language there is only one that cannot be adequately replaced by another. One might say it a singular word untainted by human overuse and in some cases — more so than ever these days — underuse. That word is beautiful.
Beauty, it is said, is in the eye of the beholder, and although you may dress it up in fine clothing it is always distilled down to that most particular of descriptions. This morning, I was taking my usual run when the clouds started to peel away to reveal the dawning sun. I don’t like stopping when running — I’m a creature of habit — but there are times when you just have to. I grabbed my phone and took the above picture before the moment dissolved from eye and memory.
As a man of many written words, as I have said in this post, there are times when you should use only one. Beautiful. The image is, was, and only ever will be beautiful.
Thus endeth the lesson.