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Mini Saga Entries 2020 - Page 3 of entries to the Mini Saga Competition 2020
Hi Belinda, I included this last email as I thought you would find it very uplifting and special......... thanks E. I have left the BY .... as the second line of all the poems he sent in
Dear Pep Up the Day Team,
Two groups of students at a school in Frankfurt, Germany took up the challenge to write mini-sagas. As their teacher, I would like to submit a “best of…” selection as entrances to your competition.
We appreciate the chance to write creatively and send our stories around the world to practice English and also just for the thrill of the competition.
Please accept the attached document containing the best stories from our group of young writers (Grade 6s).
If any one wins the hearts and minds of the judges, please let me know…the students would be thrilled.
All the best to you and your team in the UK.
By M. Niemeyer
His face turned white. His eyes were colorless. “It´s time.” A single
tear ran down his cheek. “Keep yourself safe. I will be in your heart
guarding you.” His breath was heavy. His eyes rolled up. His bright
caring candle got darker and darker until it slowly faded away…
The Candle of hope
By R. Pojezny
I shine the light of harmony. I’m a symbol of hope. I watch over a
peaceful flame. The last hope of a sick old man who said I am a sand
clock of his life. If my flame went out, he would pass away. I won’t go
out – a candle’s life.
The little fire
By J. Brunner
A small wax pillar emits a cold light in the full moon night. A howling
wind constantly causes it to flicker. This silence is interrupted by the
sound of a car hitting its breaks. You can hear voices of teenagers
talking about their party that night. Suddenly the flame vanishes.
By F. Hill
I always wanted to be an LED. I stood on the table, burned out, but I
looked nice. I was happy with my owners, but apparently they
weren’t with me. Someone fished me out of the bin and worked on
me. He made me into the LED I am today.
By J. Krüger
I glow with my light in the night, surrounded by my relatives – we
blink together. Our wax burns away, the harder we try to glow.
Somebody opens a window and the moonlight shines among us. It
seems like a bright day. But “shusshhh” – suddenly the wind blows
our lights away.
By The Window
By W. Beljaars
Looking out the window. Every season. Blowing, Snowing, Raining,
Glowing. Sometimes sweating, sometimes freezing. Every winter
moved around, going back to where I was found. By the
window, living a lonely life staring as the world goes by. By the
window a candle that has a purpose, lighting our home.
The Birth of Brightness
By A. Contu
“Christmas, the best time of the year, where we can start shining
bright. Through us cities awake in full splendor. Like yearly everyone
awaits the spectacle, but nothing occurs. Everything depends on me
so my time has come to message allies: 1, 2, 3”-distant lights in
windows finally awake.
By M. Jukic
I’m standing lonely in a quiet, dark room. Suddenly a small light
appears above me. I ask myself why am I alone. Then more and more
lights appear- suddenly I hear a quiet wind. The wind get’s louder and
all lights disappear. My light too. The room was quiet again.
By L. Kim
Crunching leaves, little puddles. Whilst holding their hands they see
the church. They walk inside to the candles. She squeezed her
mothers hand and took a match. She lit it. “To grandpa”. They
prayed. Eventually the candle extinguished. The symbol of hope rose
to the spirit- and kept it alive.
"Death returns, safe and sound" by Benilde Gaião (Portugal)
Her lover went to war but she waited endless years, fighting the signs that he would never return.
One night she looked out the window. Suddenly...her lover, safe and sound!
She painted her lips, bright red. Then she ran to the door as if both were not already dead.
11:60 By Betty Aseff
“Happy New Year, Emma!”
“Happy New Year, Ava!”
“This nightmare of a year is finally over.”
She pointed a shaky finger to her phone.
December 31st, 11:60, it read.
Outside, horrified screams filled the air.
“What is happening?”, she cried.
“It’s not over.”
Careful What You Wish For by Yve Aran
They're unphased by the dagger that pins them to the wall.
"Why won't you stay dead?" Her tone is frustrated, almost pleading.
"My task is not complete."
"I'm already sitting in father's throne."
"Your exact words were, 'I want to unite all realms and rule over them.'"
Out of the Dark by Elena Redmond
The darkness gathered faster than I could run away.
Behind me, noises. Ahead, light.
A lamppost materializes. So does the hand.
He holds my shoulder. “Quiet. It will hear us.”
We stand still, trying not to breathe too loud. The silence is deafening.
Then, it appears. And fear consumes me.
(My favourite - E ;) ** The Saga of Mount Laun'Drey By Sheradean Doran
The pile grows. The angles steepen. The stench evermore unbearable.
It wasn't always like this. But as our numbers increased, so did the unholy pile.
The smallest of our numbers is the worst culprit. Always covered in unidentified solids or liquids. We don't know what it is.
The pile grows.
Marigolden Gauntlets By Sheradean Doran
The work is neverending. Thankless. Necessary.
The task no-one else volunteers to do. So it falls to me.
"I will eliminate you. Make you wish you never existed".
I get out my box of tricks. Weapons to inflict mass germicide.
"By my marigold clad hands, this toilet will be clean".
Hitmum of the Neighbourhood Watch By Sheradean Doran
I go about my day, working my way through the list.
Sometimes I add to it. Sometimes it doesn't get completed.
I like to take keepsakes, when I've done jobs well. Reminds me to do things properly.
New neighbours move in today.
Adds to list, 'Find new place for bodies'.
It'll Be Alright, Chicken. By Sheradean Doran
The chamber is hot. It's faint light yellowed by time.
The flesh and limbs tied. There will be no escape.
The heat penetrates. The skin crisps and the fat melts.
The smell. Oh divine scent.
Your sacrifice sustains me and my family. This is the way it must be.
A knock by Khushi Vijaykumar Contractor
I was preparing for my exams in study. Suddenly, there was knocking on the door. The air was warm and humid in the room. I opened the door and found no one there. I saw someone's shadow ahead and found my brother doing mischief. I felt relieved on seeing him. We laughed.
Permission by Khushi Vijaykumar Contractor
Sun setting and he was sitting on his terrace watching the scene.
The man said "Why are you here?"
Young girl replied with fear "For Permission".
Man asked, consent for what? She replied to take part in a competition.
The man smiled. The girl looked cheerful then and said "Thanks dad".
Belonging by Khushi Vijaykumar Contractor
She feared that she don't belong anywhere. Cried and felt the deepest sorrow, took settee in the deserted dark veranda steps. The dogs barked in the colony on a moonlit night. She could see owls sitting on a bush. She concluded that she belongs to herself and at every place, felt hopeful.
Please, Just Let Me Sleep! By Sheradean Doran
"Urgh, noooooo. Just go to sleep!"
The house is dark. Silent. It's 3am and he wants milk.
"Mummy! Milk, pleeeeeeaaassse!"
Bottles ready. Why is he always hungry? Quick, or he'll start screaming.
"Here" I yawn.
Silence again. Blessed sleep. But only for two hours, when he'll wake again.
Leaving The Hole Unfilled by David Silent Don
The hole filled becomes landfill leading to seepage of pollutants into water courses draining to our seas and oceans. Help reduce landfill by recycling what we can to charity shops, second-hand furniture stores, clothing banks any others may use items we no longer consider useful have a need further use.
Thoughts of Fear by Jiji Top
I woke up with a strange feeling from yesteday's dream. My worst fears became reality in the other world .They weren't that scary as I imagined them in my head.I realized that thinking about the unknown gives it more power over us than actually facing it.What a manipulative brain o'mine!
The Underpass by Fiona Jane Walker
Red zone. One hundred and eighty.
I entered, darkness swallowing me immediately. The acrid stench rammed down my throat causing
my lungs to wheeze. I ran faster. Fluorescent graffiti sign posted my way.
Finally, a glimpse of daylight.
A spurt. Relief. I gulp the fresh air and continue my run.
Bloody Rabbit by Marie Stopes
Goodbye friend, the magician cock his eyes by looking at the rabbit. Blood is niffing from the rabbit's body.The magician expect that it will be retreat to it's owner very quickly.Then the magician come his room to take a nap. Suddenly he feel some soft things under his pillow. Is it that bloody rabbit?
"Metamorphosis" by email@example.com
Optimistic Sam, the girl with the yellow dress, is a bookworm. She always excelled in literature class that she willingly accepted this week’s book report.
The week after, waking up, her eyes went a hundred, and her skeleton wrapped her skin. Sam was anything but optimistic. She was reading Kafka.
Synesthesia by Agnieszka Sztajer
Were it beach of Sainte - Andresse, like in Monet's painting, smell of tenderness and sea salt would be everywhere. But the blue shades were not of sea and boat sides, they were of garbage cans and half - empty hoarding. I keep think in paintings, sighed garbageman, setting to work.
Summer ends by Agnieszka Sztajer
Storks must go - and the summer ends. When they are gone, there is no kidding anymore. Days will get super short, and long, snowless winter will set in.
The last stork, waiting until last moment, is the most unsettling. One would help it with a rock.
Futility by Agnieszka Sztajer
To play game of chess against yourself. Literally. Just an idea. Epic, thought he, if you imagine yourself in fifty years time, boasting about having played every single day. Bergman inspiration, brain training; deep symbols and practical stuff.
But really, no one would bother to do it. Neither did he.
Lore sculptures by Agnieszka Sztajer
Wooden as he was, he could not escape. Walls of the chapel and burden of the Baby, as divine as wooden, were additional limits. He did not want to go, though, until the day they put here another Anthony from some destroyed chapel. Identical, he denied linear theory of meaning.
Day in Volgograd by Agnieszka Sztajer
What did Dmitry Makovkin think when he sprang onto a little body of a small child? What did he think, overweighing him with the force of his full - grown body? Nothing, probably. All went into blood, smoke and tears with the boy's suicide vest. Makovkin shielded the city, though.
Disaster of abundance by Abigail Wilkin
Merry-go-round went faster and faster, and the acceleration made him confused. On the other hand, it dried tears that were still on Jamie's cheeks. Why had he cried? Oh, because of too many options. Raffle, funhouse mirrors, puppet shows. Life shouldn't be that complicated. He wanted carousel to spin forever.
The Afterlife by Abigail Wilkin
I float on the open ocean. Sunlight bores down, fracturing me into pieces. Toxins seep into my translucent skin. Sea animals nibble me, eager to begin feasting.
This agony has only just begun; I’ll live for centuries.
Nostalgia hits me. A happier time, when all I did was carry groceries.
Trapped by Abigail Wilkin by Abigail Wilkin
The unruly animals claw at the cage bars. Their wild cries fill the air as they reach for freedom. In this prison, time slows to a crawl. They long to escape, staring at the outside world with frantic desperation.
A bell rings out. “Alright children! Back inside - break’s over!”
Cruel Priorities by Abigail Wilkin by Abigail Wilkin
The Testing made sense; eliminate kids who weren’t useful to society - not from choice, but because of the crippling overpopulation crisis.
My parent’s decision didn’t make sense. My mouth hung open, a stab of hurt piercing my heart.
“You’ve voluntarily offered me to be eliminated, just for the money?”
A Thought Piece by Jitha Sharun
"No matter mom is there for me...." She cried.
"No one is there, listen what she said .." He replied.
"What to do dear, my daughter is insane, bear with her you'/re my son not son in law..."Her
She was broken.. broken forever...
Dad's funeral by Jeffrey Niemann
My father's funeral. At his service, I sat alongside my brother, David; throughout, he barely kept his emotions in check. After delivering his eulogy, he broke down. No tears came to me.
Two days later after dinner, coming home in a taxi, we passed by my father's gravesite. I cried.
Lucky by Arinda Palacios
Sarah surveyed the dreadful scene with a dizzying sense of relief.
Her GPA was hanging by a thread, and depended entirely on the report due that morning.
Thank heaven for underfunding, she thought. While everyone could agree the earthquake had been terrible, the school building coming down was entirely welcome.
When Two Become Four by Lynne Mortimore
Gosh the wait is killing me,do I ring him to say it's started. Yes.
I am here loving her keeping her calm,but I am not calm.It has happened, born, special only one, our beloved Heidi safe ,a new life to share, the day we two became four.
Tea by Riya Athaide
The shop's bell chimed as I entered it. The owner greeted, asking me to sit down.
"Are you death?" I dared to ask him.
"Yes," he replied, placing a drink in front of me.
"What is this?' I questioned.
"It's a special tea to erase your memories from this life."
Fresher [Michaelmas 2020] by Hannah Mohammed
Sunlight shrinks away from me and I grow into the night. Cold air isolates my four walls and I am freer and lonelier than I’ve ever been. I redefine the universe in here: the stars play me YouTube, time runs into itself, and I begin to learn who I am.
Overslept by Hannah Mohammed
I woke up in the afterlife, where mist tumbles up from chimneys and lips, pavements shine like ink, and trees stretch starving fingers to the stars.
This is what I am now.
I resolve to next break, bleary-eyed, into green grass and golden light.
Tomorrow, I will be something different.
Under Micklegate Bridge by Clare Marsh
The swollen River Ouse surges towards York. Debris snags on bridge
Lads’ night out over, he leaves the pub alone. Bracing himself against a
wall, he exhales dragon’s breath. Mesmerised by zig zag lights dancing
across the surface, he staggers over frosty cobbles, drawn by the lapping
LOST AND FOUND By Manasi Sivaprasad
“Get some eggs!” Mom urged.
Taking the crate, I went.
On the way, beside my foot lay a coin.
Happily, I picked it up.
With the serendipity, I bought myself a sweet.
Back to buying eggs, rummaging through my pocket, I don’t find the
coin; my pocket had a hole.
Why do you think Mary hates the color green? By Gio Collu
“And what’s this, Mary?” I whisper softly.
She looks at the book and smiles.
“It’s green, mom! Like daddy’s uniform” she squeals.
”Yes, baby!” I mutter gloomy.
Suddenly, the doorbell rings and I hurry.
I look down and stop breathing.
It’s a letter.
“Mommy, what does ‘regret to inform’ mean?”
Mr. Crumbs is gone By Gio Collu
"Rio….You’ve really done it this time, haven't you!”
I scream as I slam my head on my steering wheel.
Should've listened to mum’s advice and changed my summer tires.
And Now Mr. Crumbs is gone!
I hear my mother’s screeching voice waking my dad:
“GREG! Curiosity killed the cat!”
Under the Stairs by Shazz
‘Don’t go down those stairs’.
She remembered those words as she pushed herself through a broken window.
Hear heart was beating fast, and her hands began to sweat as she headed towards the steps.
Suddenly she felt a hand on her back.
“What the”…. She began falling down the staircase
DURESS by Adeboye Malumi
"Jump over the ledge, pick that bag and jump back" Jason smirked.
Michael looked at the roaring stream below.
"What if I fall and die?"
"You wouldn';t die."
"How do you know that?"
"Because you are already dead."
Then the muzzle disappeared into his shirt, and he jumped into forever.
Taken at the flood by Kim Botly
Way he spoke you’d think he was an expert on canals. Annoying.
‘What?’ He came nearer.
Her lips worked silently.
She pointed; he looked over the edge of the lock.
She stamped on the back of his leg, then tossed down an impotent life-buoy.
Price of a Revolution By Chesna Goel
“It’s done. The king is dead!”
“Can it be traced back to us?” he asked his eyes still fixed on the map in front of him.
“I doubt it...” she faltered as the knife in his hand entered her chest.
“Now it can’t be.” he whispered knocking another piece over.
Revenge By Chesna Goel
“Bang!” the sword cut his head off clean.
Pushing herself on the platform, she reached for the young boy’s body.
Cradling his head in her arms as the King walked away.
Tears streaming down her face, she turned, and said “Tell me what to do.”
He smiled, “Kill the King!”
ONE STEP REMOVED by Rekha Kodikara
“Have you bought the tree?”
“When you going to get it?”
“Soon. Before Christmas.”
“They’re coming two days before Christmas.”
“Your children you mean.”
“You're still my child.”
“No. I’m your step-daughter. Mum’s dead.”
“Don’t be silly.”
“Am I invited for lunch?”
“Yes. On Boxing Day.”
Time by Dawn Sommerlad
“How did you escape the dinosaurs?” the inquisitive preschooler asked.
“I moved like lightning. If they closed in: “Thawack!” on the head with a club. Bounding through trees, bouncing off branches. They could never catch me.”
“Indeed” I say smoothing on anti-wrinkle cream and slipping into my fluffy slippers.
Ghost story by Eithne Cullen
No chains rattling, no visual manifestations: her presence in absence.
After a month, she called.
The pink clock glared, twenty past eight. My mother in bed: “I wasn't dead, Edie. It
was the clock. I was supposed to get up at four but look at the time now.”
untitled by Kunle Olaadeniji
His love had gone. In despair he flung himself off the Third Mainland Bridge
Coincidentally a few yards away, a girl had made her own suicide plunge too
The two passed mid-air
Their eyes met
Their chemistry clicked
It was true love
They realized it
Three feet above water
"Exempt" by Froilan Hernandez
Downcast wind sailed past me. "I must luck out some leftovers," I
reminded myself. I already have trailed the vacant labyrinth of this
languished town. Instead of new residues I saw the sagging porch of
what once my manna. It's been a month since they enforced lockdown,
except to waifs!
Untitled by Riya Athaide
"Marry me," he whispered, pushing me against the company's elevator.
"No,' I said, rejecting his proposal. "Why?" he asked. Before I could answer him, the elevator doors dinged open, making us shift our attention towards the person standing there, our boss, my husband.
"What is going on here?" he questioned.
Home Alone By Lis Hanif
Dad’s Pistol? Check.
Rolling pin? Check.
Cutting board? Check.
“Home is safe now. We are equipped enough to spend a night alone without parents.” Said
Sonya to her little sister.
“Yes, the history won’t repeat itself, we’ll cut assailant’s penis off this time.” Replied sister
The bridge by Jea Mae Lozano
"Is this really necessary?" Engineer asked
As they scanned heavy large containers feasted by flies
"This will ensure centuries endurance" Secretary assured
"Sir, process is through. The "Liquid" is needed" foreman said
"Pour it then" he commanded
The Engineer cannot contain himself he crushed the paper along the word "MISSING"
The first use of the electric chair - William Kemmler by Gaura Jha
“Are you sure you want to do this?” she asked quietly. She must have been just as concerned as me.
“I will.” This was supposed to be the most liberating act of my life.
I pushed the button watching as the electricity gutted his brains - my sweet son, William Kemmler.
You have to let her go, it’s been 2 years by Gaura Jha
“We can come back later, if you’d like,” I could tell she was afraid for me.
The water sped up, swallowing me in. I looked to my right to see she wasn’t there. I then realised she was never here.
But If she wasn’t here, Who was I talking to?
Open your eyes by Gaura Jha
Blinfolded, I walked to the edge, unsuspectingly. To my surprise, the rocks were slippery enough to let someone slip, delicately.
I opened up the cloth, damp with sweat from my anticipation, only to see a dead body, flailing for his reticent life, from the branch. “That’ll be you, soon enough.”
Full of blood by Gaura Jha
Walking out of the 10 storey building would seem normal for some. But I am simple, by wearing sandals instead, and using blunt knives instead of sharp.
Speaking of knives, I picked my phone from the back pocket and dialed a number. “Smith’s Funeral service, how may I help you?”
Keys don’t just open doors by Gaura Jha
Sitting there, quietly, waiting to be wanted, needed, only to be refused the attention it craved.
One thing it could fit in, its soulmate. Deprived of love, affection, it learnt to fend for itself till heartlessness ate it up. Now ‘love’ - a word, while ‘hate’ is a way of life.
A terrific surprise by AtekaJoarder
A boy came from university and decided to surprise his family which was living in the country-side. Coming home he found his family totally shattered as they had sold everything to bear the high expenses of the university. Now, they are a very terrible life after losing their all belongings.
Poor guy by Ateka Joarder
Adam is sitting with a girl in the university campus. It’s a very special day for him as he’s going to propose her. But after the arrival of his best friend, he will do this. The best friend comes and the girl tells Adam to say hi to her fiancé.
Red Tears by Abigail Airuedomwinya
"Stop doing that," He shouts. He is seated in a restaurant, with dimming lights and cobwebs made from mistakes. There's a second man behind him, fingering the edge of the table. The sound is nostalgic.
I'm telling my wife goodbye." The second man replies. There are tears in his eyes.
The Maiden Flight by Swati Jain
On Mal’s maiden flight with her flock, she flapped her wings. She was not confident. As the
rest of the birds passed by, there was chaos. The preying talons of an eagle gripped her. She
was being carried by it. She closed her eyes tightly, but could never open them.
The Wall by Swati Jain
Steve was racing on the school tracks when he saw the wall opening!
He went in and saw a weird creature. Steve came out and everything
started happening in time-lapse! He went in again to confirm, when the
creature came out! Steve was scared stiff. A white shadow stepped out.
The Horrific Creature by Swati Jain
As Steve raced on the wet school tracks, he fell. He saw the wall opening! Keeping his nerve, he went
in. It was dark. He stumbled through a puddle, unfortunately. And this time caught by a weird
creature’s hand. The next moment, Steve was eaten. A white shadow stepped out.
Eagle Attack by Swati Jain
As Helena survived an eagle attack on her maiden flight, she landed in Dave’s yard. She was bleeding.
Dave cared and helped her fly again in few weeks. Helena was obliged. As a tribute to Dave’s kindness and
selfless help, she fulfilled the boy’s wish. She taught him to fly!
What goes around by Ella Madden
He decided to reside home, forsaking the green field. He treaded through water so cold it stung, and trudged through gale so violent he became unhearing. He journeyed relentlessly and without complaint. Now breathless, he prayed he would find his haven. That was until the green field re-emerged before him.
The Haircut by Alaina Whitmore
“No, I want shorter. Make me a brunette.”
With hesitation, the comb whooshed through the strands, and the shears
snapped rhythmically. Tin foil cocooned the once envious tendrils in a chemical goo.
“Your husband loved your blonde hair,” she said wistfully.
“It doesn’t matter. My chemo starts tomorrow.”
Memories Successfully Purchased! By Lara Weingarten
"You've ordered the limited-edition memories package, right?"
"Yep, couldn't wait anymore.”
"Indeed. Memories don't wait for you. You end up waiting for them. To arrive and go on sale eventually."
"Which memories did you buy?"
"I'm waiting for a bargain."
"Risky waiting and missing out.
“There are memories in waiting.”
Forbidden but Longed For By Katharine Boyd
“I’m tired,” I say. She softens
Her deftly sculpted fingertips graze my own.
They do not linger. They never linger.
Lingering is a forbidden fruit that belongs to two Eves and no Adams.
Emphasize forbidden, and I deflect a desolate ache.
I reply, “Living in a man’s world.”
God and her son by Konada Asher Joseph
“Come now, it is time.”
“Can’t we wait a bit more?”
“Sweetie, we’ve been through this. There’s no hope for this one. Their points have been negative for-.”
“Just a little bit more pleaseeeee”
“Fine, but you can’t keep pushing the clock back.”
“Yes, I know, 100 seconds to midnight.”
Satellite Call by Konada Asher Joseph
A distant low hum.
Not my phone,
Sure, Strong, Safe
Potent Percussive Period
Back Bright Bold
Yes, an ebb and flow of sorts-
I shot up
The Minstrel and the Princess of Time by Stian Koxvig
The Minstrel got a mission To travel to a foreign land
To The Northern Empire
Our Minstrel found his way
The Princess Lunaphreya
As fair as she was kind
Her voice was like a flower
The Minstrel fell in love
They travel through the land
It's All Greek To Me! by Lizzie Kerkhof-May
I welcome my guests.
The buffet is displayed and labelled beautifully.
The Greek Maître d’ hovers, proud and expectant.
One label says, ‘Cod Fish’ and another ‘Kiss Loren!’
‘Who’s Loren’, I whisper?
‘You know, Kiss Loren!’, he replies shrugging.
I laugh and say ‘it’s’ Quiche Lorraine’!
‘No, no, Kiss Loren!'
True Story – During the Pandemic by Lizzie Kerkhof-May
When I was twenty-one and living in Holland,
my boyfriend took me to a renowned fortune teller.
‘You will never be rich, but when you need money, money will come’.
I’m now 63 and my tour guiding jobs are cancelled month by month.
Unexpectedly, £500 appeared in my bank account!
True Story - Bumbling an Interview and job offer, during Covid-19 by Lizzie Kerkhof-May
He watches as I nervously sign-in.
The sticky label just shows my chest and mask!
I press the gel holder.
“It’s automatic!” he says.
The classroom is empty apart from an oval table.
He fetches chairs.
We sit at opposite ends.
I'm dying to laugh and say: “Pass the salt!”
The Hottest Wedding Present by Arief T. Ramadhan
“I’m nervous, dear” She said as she nervously.
“Worry not, honey,” I said appeasingly “Shall we?”
After that, we walked toward The Hall and as we got closer to the center, I held
her hand and we screamed together “Enjoy our-“
Soon, I feel an extreme heat and then, nothing.
Cinderella Arrives by Faith White
Glass pinches my ankle. I scratch the ruffled collar rubbing against my collar bone. My fingers feel weighed down by gaudy rings.
I peer out the carriage at the palace lit by moonbeams and flickering torchlight.
“Cinderella?” the coachman speaks.
Waves crash from afar. The ocean.
I smile. “Drive on.”
Missing by Ursula Troche
She looked at her arms and legs and everything else there was, reading: “Let every boy enjoy this”. “Oh boy they can't be serious!” turning to the boy who wrote it, who wasn't a boy after all, either. “I meant to write: 'Let everybody enjoy this'. My 'd' went missing.
Store's Battles by Froilan Hernandez
Dazzling ahead usー the last of its kind. "It's mine, idiot!" he
yelled. I raged a violent retort, shoving him down while grappling an
inch towards the trove. Pulling me back, I kicked his head, making him
lulled. I then hastily clenched the last pack of tissue papers. At
Sightseeing by Susie Dickinson
“Five minutes people!”
She counts us on the bus, counts us off.
I came to see the sights, to have some freedom.
“Quickly now! Let’s go.”
“Take your seats. Look left.”
To the right another monument.
She counts us off, counts us on.
This time there’s one missing.
Tomorrow Never Comes by Susie Dickinson
He watched her surreptitiously from an upstairs window as she hung out the washing. Always so meticulous, and modest; she never put her smalls out, he liked that in a woman. Thirty years he’d lived next door and never spoken to her. He sipped his tea, “maybe tomorrow” he thought.
Remembering by Susie Dickinson
Fourteen ladies of a certain age, chairs hard, room chilly. The door opens decisively; Carl enters. A change in atmosphere, sighs, giggles, hands clapped in delight, fourteen bodies sitting up straighter, eyes brighter. At the front Carl bounced on the balls of his feet. “Balls” thought Liberty, “I remember those.”
A Long Way Down by Susie Dickinson
“It’s a long way down” she said, standing by the window. “Quite breath-taking really”.
He craned his neck to get a better look. Mistake. Dizzy.
“Don’t” she said, heart thumping, “Please. We can work this out.”
In answer, he edged further along the ledge, releasing his grip on the wall.
Covert Invasion by Arief T. Ramadhan
"Is this real?” Daniel ask excitedly.
“Absolutely,” said Lucy “Just put your hand on it.”
“Who knows this squishy thing's actually-" Daniel said excitedly but suddenly, it starting to
“This's the gift for you and soon, mankind.” Said Lucy as her skin started to melt away.
On Departure by Arief T. Ramadhan
“So, is this... the end?” He said while he puffed a smoke
I look right into his eyes “Depends but it should be, my friend.”
“Then, I'll go first” and as he closed his eyes “Goodbye, my friend"
“Yes,” while I watched his slowly dissolved body “I’ll be there soon.”
Access All Areas by Nicole Fitton
It’s my night off when I take the call. I drive quickly.
Doors swing open and I race along the corridor. The theatre is packed.
Five minutes to change my clothes.
The lights dim and the music starts.
Everyone takes up their positions. A hush descends.
How did I get here? by Phoenix
I slowly curled up against the cold, flavourless brick wall, my countenance full of sadness, the coldness rippling through my skin. I began to weep. ‘How did I get here?’ I whispered to myself in complete despair. I was only 16 and my life felt like it was already over.
In the reeds by Eike Holzkämper
I often stepped into his muddy footprints and often they deviated from the path.
"We need to go back!"
When I looked up, our eyes met. His pain drove into my bones and shook me. I should never have felt
it, but it happened.
I never saw my brother again.
IT’S COMING HOME by Bill Watts
Football’s coming home.
Mask’s on, two metre space, shown to seat,
this I cannot beat.
Nil – one; one – one; two – one; two – two,
three – two; four – two; four – three; five – three.
It’s live, it’s real. I’m here.
It’s my time to cheer.
C’mon you Robins!
CTFC one – Corona Virus nil
The blanket of death by Isabelle Howard
My breath stops as I see it consumes us on all sides, surrounding us like a blanket. I grab Jessie by her shaking shoulder. Breathe. All we can do is wait and hope. I force my eyes closed and it hits like a bullet, the wave to end all waves.
Escape by Sandra Walsh
Little nephew grabs my hand and says “Come see my city”.
Rainbow blocks obscure the carpet. Skyscrapers tall as my knee. Farm animals drive tractors alongwooden roads. Past aluminium swimming pools. Into the hall.
Dimpled pride exudes from his smile. Outside, our city crumbles. We choose to stay inside.
Driven by Sam Woolley
He eased into the nearest parking space. Pulling the handbrake up more sharply than necessary, he put the car into neutral and turned the engine off.
He exhaled as quietly as he could and stared awkwardly through the front windscreen, unsure what happened now.
“Congratulations,” his passenger smiled, “you’ve passed.”
"Call the Midwife" By Jacky Westoby
The midwife always enjoyed re-visiting her home birth triumphs, especially when they'd been difficult ones.
The baby's chubby fingers clutched at her gold star pendant as she held him.
His mother smiled at them both, delighted at their bond.
"Ruth, I owe his life to you-you saved my Adolf"
The magic of Christmas by Sophie Strachan
The smell of Christmas fills the air. The sound of carols all around as a blanket of winter covers the ground. Christmas traditions being fulfilled. The last-minute Christmas shops. All the family gathered around. The sound of crackers amongst joyous laughter. The promise of new year. The magic of Christmas.
Another Christmas by Sophie Strachan
The smell of turkey fills the house. The Christmas tree stands a glow in the corner, presents
underneath ready to be opened. Family gather around the table as Christmas songs float along the air. The sound of bad jokes and satisfied smiles all around. The sound of another successful Christmas.
A better year by Sophie Strachan
The end of year finally dawns, evident in the sight of Christmas lights lining the street and the glitter of Christmas trees. Wishes for a better year can be heard as this year draws to a close. The buzz of excitement as Christmas draws near with the end of term.
Horripilation by Gita Rosandic
The wind is whistling outside. There is something moving. I can hear the scratching in distance. The sound makes my hair-raise and my blood is curdling. I slowly get out of my bed and open the door. There, he is standing all cute, dazzling and adorable my four legged friend.
Wrong Note by Linda Mallinson
I lost my nephew in Tesco’s.
My sister had said, “Hugo’ll come if you whistle.”
I did. No nephew, a gorgeous girl approached instead.
“Pulled there, bro’,” whispered my sister, appearing with Hugo.
“May I?” said the vision.
Anything, I thought.
“Marmalade,” she said, gesturing to the shelf behind me.
Big plans by Victor Beres
- So you’re going out tonight?
- You’re inviting somebody?
- Are they free?
- Did they invite you?
- Very well.
- Enjoy your evening.
- You too.
- I will.
- I’m glad for you.
- Me too
- So what you’re doing this evening?
- I stay home.
The rage driven waves By Mary Bills
A gun pointed at my back pushes me closer to the edge. My feet scramble as a gun pushes me closer to the sea.
“ You foolish girl. Nothing will defeat me. It is over,” he says. I turn around.
“ Dad, please don't do this to me!” He pushes me in.
Untitled by Ramkrushna Mohanta
Cassandra's angelic radiant tread glimmered across the floor, as one who comes from a heavenly embassy, a happy wonder in her fathomless gaze, changed by a halo of her love she came; her eyes rich with a shining mist of joy, and delight when her beloved was declared as victor.
Night Travels by Fiona Jones
"Come with me," he said, "and wear these."
So saying, he passed all the extra equipment around.
"Are we cleared to fly?" they asked.
"Well, we all passed our tests."
So saying, Santa Claus hitched up the reindeer, loading his sleigh,
knowing they could all still travel worldwide in 2020.
Never leave your keys out of sight by Erzsébet Kajó
I make for a nonexistent handle, despite knowing it's too late.
Fists clenched, I bang on the door, echoing loudly–
It wouldn’t even budge.
Still, I do not stop–
For fear threatens to take over, chanting along, too late, too late–
Congratulations, you've been locked out of your own mind.
Extra Baggage by Alexandra Wright
The soldier, disembarking the troop ship, clutches his precious ones to him at last. Home. Safe. He relaxes in their love.
Only he can see the baggage he carries. These wraiths of enemy dead have dogged his steps; invaded his last redoubt. Now they dig in. They wait to attack.
“Pet monkey” By Phillip Jorgensen
The fog of dementia momentarily dissipates, a burst of clarity ensues. “Never have a pet monkey,” my Po Po decrees. “Monkeys very bad,” she chuckles. “Port Klang butcher had pet monkey. Monkey find knife, and butcher find baby hanging on hooks.” She shakes her head and returns to the fog.
Success By Alexandra Wright
The old man felt very proud. He’d kept up his heist for centuries. In and out. No mess. No CCTV. Nobody even noticed.
Only in it for the thrills, he’d just given it all away. But it got better! Songs. Stories. Free food.
Laughing, Santa ate yet another mince pie.
“Heavy hand” By Phillip Jorgensen
Its wail is almost human. Out of the shrubbery the animal emerges. Fur missing, pink flesh exposed, the kitten’s spine is crushed, and two legs are limp. Canine jaws have shown no mercy. At my feet she makes a transcendental plea for release. Rock in hand, I am a coward.
"The Vaporizer" by Joel Izuchukwu
"Sir, finally we made it! A real vaporizing machine" a young intern spoke.
"Well kiddo, it's mostly me" replied the scientist.
So eager to test the prototype, he devilishly pushed the intern into the machine and it shut closed, vaporizing the intern in seconds.
Then he whispered "Oops" while grinning.
Pigeon trouble by Wendy Jorgensen
Hot day, angled roof. Cruel hand pushes an infant pigeon out of the roof window. Twittering, learning to use its legs for the first time, challenged by the sudden terrain. Enough flying rats in town, you say. But unexpectedly, this unwanted bird formed a bond. Afternoon tragedy of baked body.
Interesting Day by Zeynep Ece Yılmaz
The boy asked his teacher, “where did you come from?” The teacher said, “I am from Mars.” The teacher took the boys hand and put him in a little room. He taped boy’s mouth and went out. He locked the door, the boy was so scared, he shouted, nobody heard.
Old mind by Chinny Okafor
"You choose life, the day you were born, so get on it and be strong".She said
I swallowed my saliva to speak carefully but I noticed she understood my next action, so I
smiled friendly to her .
"What do you have in mind young lady?" She asked me.
The Boy and His Candy by Salma Hamad
Once there was a kid.The kid loved candy.The next day it was the kids birthday.So his parents bought him so much candy.The boy ate so much candy everyday .Until he couldn’t eat anymore.Then he was rushed to the hospital.Then he had many hard problems.
Principle loop by Natalie Branston-Moir
I will be healthy and cook this recipe.
I need tomatoes, but these are not organic. I must preserve the environment.
Too expensive I have a budget.
These are wrapped in plastic. Think of the dolphins.
I should buy them at a local market. There is no time. No tomatoes.
Albert Einstein’s Insanity by Sobia Darr
They stood still, wishing for a wave of something new to wash away their sorrow. What they needed was to move, find a new place, make a new start. Instead they blamed the world for their unfortunate unhappiness, standing still, letting it wash over them, waiting for a different outcome.
Overheard in the Leisure Centre Car Park After Completing Thirty Minutes of
Laboured Breaststroke by Michelle Christophorou
“She has her father,” a young woman says to another, “under her left boob.” I laugh
at this Lilliputian dad, smothered by a flap of flesh. Yes, I know she means his name
is tattooed there.
Only, who thinks so much, or so little, of her father to do that?
untitled by Lilean Cole
We took the last box of mangoes and whined about missing the impressive array we left back home.
We didn’t notice the Navajo staring in disbelief at our contention.
‘’Where are you guys from?’’ He probed.
We both reacted, ‘’Jamaica.’’
''You guys are a long way from earth.’’
Two worlds by Martina Hoks
“Can you hear them singing?” she asked weakly.
“No, I can’t,” I answered.
It was not until a few days later that I understood what she had heard.
Angel choirs, with her husband singing the solo.
She had stood with one foot in this life and one already in heaven.
Mother love by Aqsa Paracha
Mother loves is pure. Lily the chicken had just lost her child. On
other side Dony the dog just lost her mother. Both were crying
on each end of road. Both luckily looked at each other and after
a while explained their story. Conclusion was, they both needed
The Life of Paprika the Kitten by Ayma Abrar
I had a very cute kitten named Paprika. He was hit by a car while I was eating food. I went to see what happened to find Paprika covered in blood. He was shrieking with pain and soon he stopped breathing. Why can’t humans take better care of helpless creatures?
Walking by Ashwat Jain
Birthday bash. Children grooving. I'm at a table; bored by men's politics. Too old for the
children, I'm sixteen. Not interested (nor welcome) in women's gossip.
And then I see a toddler. Walking towards me, birthday hat in hand. Drops it, comes closer.
Realises, turns. Walks, picks it, walks away.
Time Lapse by Ashwat Jain
It's pretty snug in the winter days. I hear my mother: "Have your milk, son. It's bedtime". I
heave a sigh. I sit there and stare at the wall clock.
I'm staring at the clock when I hear my daughter: "Have your pills, dad. It's bedtime" I heave
Plum by Ashwat Jain
That evening late in Summer, as the sun went to sleep, the plum tree was a pityful sight. As
Fall seeped in, the tree looked like a man on his deathbed, waiting. At the first ray of
moonlight, the last plum fell and splattered into a million drops of purple.
Gunshot by Ashwat Jain
His heart beat fast. And loud. He made out the countdown barely in time. Two. He closed his
eyes. The past four years blazed through his mind. One. He looked ahead at what he was
about to face. The memories gave him courage. Gunshot. He leapt into the Olypmic Race.
Anger by Ashwat Jain
"But you're the one missing a leg!"
"Yes, my friend. But I ask you; who is truly the handicap?"
"How dare you call me a handicap!"
"Your manner of answering has answered the question, dear"
"Oh get lost, old freak" said the hot-headed man as he stomped away
Plane and Simple by Ashwat Jain
"Captain Kumar to RADAR control: Do you copy? Mayday!"
The plane rapidly lost altitude, and the panicked screams of the passengers consistently grew
louder. Kumar desperately tried to regain control of the plane.
An hour later, the passengers were thanking Kumar and were heading homeward to their
Mirror, Mirror on the Floor by Ashwat Jain
I held it in my hand and cast myself into it, longing to get a glimpse of myself. So long since
I got to spend some time with me-in-the-mirror. Just as I caught that sweet little smile inside,
it fell. Shattered into a million little me-in-the-mirrors, leaving me alone. Again.
A Million Rays of Hope by Ashwat Jain
"Do I not have it in me?" John cried in despair. He heard mother say "The day you realise
that hope awaits you even in the darkest of times, is the day that the fire inside you burns
brighter than a million rays of hope" But mother was long gone.
Drowning by Abigail M Jones
The crisp whiteness soothed her, boots crunching the powdery snow. In one hand, she dragged a shovel, slicing a trail behind her.
A mantle of ice swaddled the lake. She smashed a hole with the shovel.
Milk-white tears encrusted the blade as the waters gradually enfolded the tiny Moses basket.
December Festivities by Segun Michael Ogunmefun's Daughter
Our advent calendar was like a magic Santa sock, each
morning right up until Christmas Eve there would be a new
chocolate within. Why have 24 pockets when one works even
better. It really built the magical feeling for us as we dreamt of
the elves who placed them there.
Lights, Camera, Freedom by Kathryn Wheeler
Like a statue he stood, fixed in position; apprehension mounting, what-ifs in abundance.
“I can’t, I’m not ready,” he whispered. The world was watching, waiting – no dress rehearsal.
An unfamiliar voice from within proclaimed: “It’s time.” He respired deeply.
Flying the nest like a seasoned performer, he never looked back.
Ghosts by Morghan A. Brandon
A tremor of fear tickles your spine, your stomach cramps into knots.
Fear takes no break in a place like this.
Against the endless darkness they appear.
Bleached ivory ghosts with blazing fire spewing from soaked torches.
The harsh heat is brushing your windows.
Ever-present fear is heightened until morning.
Like a Bad Penny By Oriel Nnenna
Murderer! She said
"You are too dirty to talk about
Hold this old stories and .
And turn to a new leaf
I died In words , counting my breath
If to answer as she stares at me
It wasn't bloody, she is the new leaf
Trying to survive" I said quietly
The Nothern Lights Call Me By Tavia Lawrence
There’s a place just beyond the tree line where lights, green, shine from the sun’s radioactive outbursts and dance just above the atmosphere.
“Where are they going?” The young girl asks the geese as they approach the stars. “Away from winter’s harsh cold?”
And the spirits sing their response, “Home.”
RUNNING TO SAVE YOURSELF by Charlene Amongi
Tendo stood paralysed thinking, “This is it”. She owed Mr. Kabuuto six months’ worth of rent and had mastered the art of skillfully avoiding him over the past year. Willing every bit of courage she had left, she walked towards her landlord. As they locked eyes, she started to run.
Two for one by Agnes Mrowiec
“I’ll buy this Cot from you Jeff” whispered Ann
“Thanks Ann, really helping me out here”
“No problem, I’ll take it as it needs to be with the owner”
“Ann…where is my baby?”- Jeff looked at an empty baby seat in his car
“Exactly where it should be- with his mother”
Monsoon Magic by Zara Jayne
In the tropics,
rain commands the
skies and showers
liquid droplets of
Where ashen skies,
the love affair
between the sun
waves and riptides,
and chilly nights
show you the definition of
Behind the Red Door by Zara Jayne
You entered the room and gawked at her as she stood by the window.
You pulled her close and kissed her as if she was yours.
Your bodies intertwined with secrets and stories, only those sheets and walls knew.
But then you left, and her chest felt heavy.
Desert by Jamie Swinney
A desert is defined as “a waterless, desolate area of land with little or no vegetation”, and when I look out to the wasteland of Oppenheimer’s creation, I cannot help but think about where mankind went wrong. But it's pointless dwelling on the past. Life will rise again, it must.
The New Housekeeper by Noyor Amorighoye
"…alone, I could kill for good company" were words I had read on Mister's diary during his
I'm now sporting a bosom-baring blouse sitting across Mister at supper.
A guest arrives.
"How's The Diary coming?" she asks, with a kiss on Mister's smiling mouth.
I crumble on my seat.
The gift by Michelle Malan
John hands Celia the wrapped box in the foyer of the office building.
“What’s this?” she asks. “We broke up two months ago.”
“If I can’t have you, no one can.”
She frowns and holds the box up to her ear. “Is this thing ticking?”
John’s eyes shine with malice.
The Final Colonel by Joori Byun
Explosion after explosion dance on my tastebuds. Unable to pull on the reins of ravishment,
my fingers slip inside the packet. For a brief moment, everything stills. I consider fleeing
from the battlefield stained with shattered corn.
Before I know it, my tongue tastes defeat. I bite the final kernel.
DAFFODIL by Aycan Öztekin
“I can feel all the fear.”
She whispered with her warm voice, “Darling, I feel your love too.”
“Completely different things.”
“You’re right. My situation is worse than yours.”
She took the daffodil from the table, put it in her hair, and I began to feel that familiar fear
Old Friends by Samyar Moradi Jalal
Is it him? Can’t see his smile but those sparkly eyes of him. Wish I could get closer to him.
Missing the play dates we had together. Is that his mom? Can’t see her face clearly either. She bakes quite well now, mom bakes good recently too.
The empty glass By Gabriela Cortes
She gazed into the mirror, it might have been seconds or days. It always felt the same to her. No matter how long she looked, the image faded through.
“Who am I?”
Falling in the obscurity between the plates of glass, watching the transparency of her reflection.
“I am nothing”
Metal Mother by Mingeon Kim
Abby is very happy.
Her Mother always loves her, as she cuttles her every day.
Her mother always feeds her, as Abby sucks on her breasts from her warm lips.
Abby is very happy.
Her mother is cold, hard, and empty: the dull combination of metals.
Abby is very happy.
If They Were Like Us by Donna Martin
Jake was taken.
Saw it happen, like all the others. It’s part of life out here, where young’uns run rampant in the tender fields.
“Your brother ain’t comin’ back,” said Mama.
Glancing up, the rumbling truck approached, spitting exhaust.
Us sheep don’t mean nothin’. But please, don’t take my Mama.
The Home War by Muhammed Asif
I knelt beside my bleeding friend as he lay on the ground.
“Go, you have to finish this alone” he whispered
I grabbed my gun.
Then the voice I had been dreading to hear since I was deployed called,
“Coming mum” I replied
I live to fight another day.
‘The value’ by Lisa Chheang
One day a husband got a call from the hospital telling him , his wife had
died due to cancer and she left him a note saying ‘love is gone but memories
stay.’ That taught him to cherish things because you’ll miss it the most when
it becomes a memory .
On the Brink of Extinction bu Quanita Khan
Exclamations of shock erupted across the bunker.
“There was never to be a forever” declared the Chief.
The participants rushed in a frenzy, cursing and shoving each other.
I stumbled to the corner of the room, wrenching the bunker door open.
“The end of the world seldom is,” I admitted.
Did He or Did He Not by S A Rumali
“How could you do this to me?”, She asks, her voice breaking.
I braced myself for the worst.
“Why…”She whispers while reaching into her pocket.
Slamming the empty cake wrapper on to the kitchen counter.
“How could you eat it without me?” She wails.
I sigh a sigh of relief.
That One Sleepless Night by S A Rumali
Do you know what you just did ? She screeched as her voice broke with emotion. Tears
streamed down her face as anger blazed in her eyes.
I had finally come to my senses.
I looked in horror as crimson blood coated my hands.
“Caught red-handed”, He whispered into my ear.
The Encounter by Robin Adams
Nerves set in. Arguments about colour and pure hatred against his kind will never fade away. Adrenaline kicked in as her dad stared him down. "I can't stand your type" the dad menacingly stated, "Arsenal fans are the worst of the bunch!" he said with his Spurs top proudly on.
#NoTears4Tiers by Alyson Faye
Jake grinned ‘Let’s go party.’
‘We’re in Tier 3. Pubs are shut,’ Maddie sat slumped binge watching Love Life.
‘Not for these babies,’ Jake held up his spray cans.
By 06.30 the twitter thread was trending.
The town’s pavements wore a tiered mountain range, whose highest peaks touched the stars.
Goldfish by Alison Jacobs
Fran and Flick stared out of their goldfish bowl at the hand, distorted
by the water and glass lens, that waved to and fro in front of them.
"What is she doing?" asked Fran.
Flick shrugged her fins. "Dunno. They say humans only have a three
Ball Game by Alison Jacobs
I hate being kicked around. Those lads, no consideration. And so many.
I counted twenty two. Can you believe it? And that idiot with the
whistle nobody likes. Can't say I'm surprised. He doesn't give a toss
But then, they do call the whole shebang after me. Football.
Parenting Pressures by Chris Redfurn
As my peers gather around, I notice the whispers, sly glances and knowing smiles. Sweat prickles my brow and I feel the pressure building. When his face looks up at me, radiating nothing but confidence, I can’t help but smile and slowly take aim. One man. One ball. One coconut.
"Run, Run, Run" by Fatimah Fiqri A. T.
I run and run as the monster keep chasing me. To the left, then to the right. Dodging tree branches, and jumping from obstacles in the way. But I eventually trip over some obstacles, and the monster caught me. Ah, too bad I can’t beat my Temple Run high score.
Forging a thick skin to escape city political riot by Mbabazi Deborah
"I've parked right outside." he said
"Just get to the door"
Shivering as I drew closer, with barks
"What do you think you're doing?"
"Do you want to get shot?"
and suddenly pushed through,
To sights of men with batons, teargas cans, guns pointed at civilians,
And to my succorer.
Reunion by Mike
They had been so close once, even talked of marriage. As he rang her doorbell he wondered where they would be now if they had stayed together. The door opened. "Mrs Maria Gallagher , I am arresting you on suspicion of murdering your husband, you do not have to say anthing....."
Dream Transaction by Vanissa Avilla Saimon
Alice finds herself waking up in an unusually quiet and strange city. She had a peculiar feeling of familiarity for the musky scented town. But it's not the fairy-tale dream palace she had wished for. "Do you wish to bargain for another reality?", asked the dream seller gleefully. Alice nodded.
A "Cold" Sanctuary by Vanissa Avilla Saimon
She is secluded from her own universe, the world she used to be so fond of. Feeling defeated, black clouds swirling over her head, obscuring her rational thoughts. "But I tried my best", she murmured. As each day passes, she grew desperate, and finally shut herself in an eternal cryosleep.
ESCAPE by Fred McIlmoyle
The weight of the world on her shoulders - unconscious sister in her arms, she forged upwards ahead of the flames. Fumes penetrated her scarf, choking - breath sobbing. Fingers fumbling against the tower wall felt a door.
Grasping the handle, she turned; pushed. It opened out - freedom.
Out, down - to oblivion!
A Mind-Bending Request by Martin Tuffs
After swimming, a strange request from my five-year-old:
"Can I have something from the bending machine?"
As an engineer, I’m impressed. What’s she wanting, a bracket, a lever, a piece of angle iron?
"What would you like from the bending machine?" said I.
"Oh, the vending machine!"
Don’t Look Down by Clara-Jane Hoare
He climbs higher, fingers crimping. The stack’s a challenge and one to overcome. Left foot out, feel for the ledge. Here comes a heel hook, pull up straight. Feeling slackening rope, he’s nearly at the top. What vertigo? What can’t be seen makes it easier. Blindness won’t ever stop him.
Wick River Bank - 1639 by Virginia Crow
“Neil?” Aonghas hissed.
He crouched on the overgrown riverbank, dropping lower as he heard creaking wood.
The carved, majestic figurehead of a boat cut through the fog, its glazed eyes searching for him. He watched the boat glide upriver.
The mist consumed it, the sound deadened and the apparition gone.
Silence by Alice Roberts
It was silent. Not the nice, still sort of silent when you’re about to fall asleep, or the refreshing silence after a thunderstorm. No, this was different. It was the kind of silence that hangs mellow, biting your soul like a bullet penetrating the air, as it slowly shudders back.
The End by Dharani Vijayakumar
Suddenly I was down, was this it, was it the end?
“Player 2 dead, Player 1 winner!” an ominous voice declared.
Players? This wasn’t a game, was it?
I readied myself for the end, but before I knew it, I was back up again.
This was not the end.
The Witch’s Curse by Dharani Vijayakumar
Wild storms erupted; the witch’s curse was cast.
If we could get her staff, we’d have a chance.
“Why are you doing this? DIdn’t we include you into our conven, when no one else would?”
Her cackling cut short; she dropped her staff in shame.
Yes! We’d win now!
Lucky by Dharani Vijayakumar
Mum hugged me saying, “At least she’s no longer suffering”
Maybe that was true, but 20 was still too young.
How could something no one could even see, kill so many people?
2020 has been a strange year, a literal pandemic. All of us remaining were lucky to be alive.
The Sea by Dharani Vijayakumar
Each tide was a breath of the sea itself.
A powerful force to be reckoned with.
But everyone knew the sea was dying, the tides no longer crashing with life.
The sea had grown still and silent, as if conserving its remaining energy.
When would we listen about global warming?
The Perfect Stranger by Dharani Vijayakumar
Ironically startling me, I nearly jumped.
“I wasn’t going to”, I lied, hopping off the balcony ledge.
Turning round, I gasped, seeing the most beautiful girl ever.
“Oh good, sorry” she laughed.
“No harm done”, I sang, who knew, maybe she’d make life worth living, the perfect stranger.
Missing the Point by Beth Damms
The leaves began to rustle and she could feel her heart pounding in her chest.
The noise got louder; something was approaching fast.
Out of the bush it appeared like lightning.
‘Oh thank goodness, it’s just a squirrel,’ she said, relieved.
‘Yes, but I eat humans!’
‘Wait. You can talk!’
Parent’s Evening By Beth Damms
‘Can’t I just wait outside?’
‘No, we have an appointment with Mr. Greendale.’
Sarah pulled a face. ‘Mr Greendale is a stupid head!’
‘Hey, come on,’ Peter said sternly, ‘we’re already late.’
They entered the school classroom and sat down opposite a bald man.
‘Hello Mr Greendale, I’m Peter’s mum.’
Alley Cats By Beth Damms
‘Nice evening for it.’
The crowd looked up at the stray.
‘I’m looking for a nice place to eat. Know anywhere?’ he asked nervously.
The fattest one approached, spaghetti sauce covered his face.
‘Try the next street,’ he said in a thick Italian accent, ‘but watch out for the rats!’
The Cold Caller Always Rings Twice By Beth Damms
The office phone rang again and he winced.
‘Stop calling!’ he said, quickly hanging up.
He answered with trembling hands.
‘Please stop calling. I can’t take it anymore, it’s driving me crazy!’
An old lady cackled down the phone. ‘Now you know how I feel every bloody tea time!’
The Heirloom by Karen Cedarhurst
My great Uncle Herbert left me the time machine. He was quite the writer in his day. I’ve had it allthese years and I would love to be able to tell you where I’ve been in it. But I have absolutely no idea how to work the bloody thing.
2020 By Minduli Withana
He had never laid eyes on a more ravishing woman. She robbed the club’s spotlight with ease; her gaze was alluring, crimson dress bewitching.
He was spellbound; she enticed him home.
“Been tested?” he managed, as they kissed.
He was flabbergasted by his night’s fortune.
Then, she coughed.
DEEP TROUBLE By Minduli Withana
The boy perches upon the clifftop, exhilarated. Trees rustle in the snug breeze, the twittering of birds ethereal. The sky is an amicable blue.
He’s at his most treasured place; below lies the pristine surface of Devil’s Lake, magnificent, its bottomless depths alluring.
A maniacal smile appears.
The boy jumps.
The Day After Election By Minduli Withana
It’s the year 2085.
The elected President ascends the podium. He is a beacon of hope, a means for emancipation from systemic suppression.
A smile floods his face as he pledges to eliminate prejudice, amidst exuberant merrymaking.
“Those silent protestors are turbulent,” he later declares nonchalantly, “I’d like them removed.”
Echoes of war by Lucia Bräu
The sound of machine guns has stopped. All you can hear is the silence of loss.
The earth has stopped shaking, but there’s nothing left that still stands.
Terror should have been replaced by hope, but it’s mostly just sadness.
“It’s over.”, they say. But it has only just begun.
Singing in the Rain by Lucia Bräu
There is a woman, singing in the rain.
It’s a well-known tune, a happy tune.
Her face is smiling, the rain pouring down her cheeks.
It is impossible to tell in all the rain, but it seems like she is crying.
“What a glorious feeling, I’m happy again.”, she sings.
Garden Gnome by Lucia Bräu
A gnome sits in a little window, he looks out into the world.
He wonders what his purpose is, why he’s here.
All he knows is this little garden, the one he is sitting in right now.
What is there out there?
But he doesn’t need to know. He’s here.
The girl and the wolf by Lucia Bräu
A little girl wanders into the woods.
She is holding a basket with goodies for her grandma, who is terribly ill.
She runs into a wolf, who says something to her.
But the girl isn’t stupid, she knows wolves cannot talk. So she goes to her grandma without looking back.
Magic by Christine Law
I've got a secret to share
Magic seeds will be scattered
Upon a garden,
Tended with love and care.
The sun may shine amid clear
There will be wet and windy days?
My secret will bloom in the Spring,
In hues of lilac, pink and blue.
Fish swish... by Lynn Mayes
As She stood at the window,gazing out at the fish pond,fountain bubbling,raindrops drip drop falling,making concentric circles.The goldfish swam lazily around,totally oblivious.She wondered what it was like,cruising the weeds,not a care in the world.No worries,no problems,and No covid.
A woman like mummy by Melodi Clarke
Pigtails flouncing, she teeters across the patio. Rose pauses by the fence.
“You look smart,” she smiles. “You’re going to be an elegant lady when you grow up!”
Natalie glares from her dressing-up box finery.
“I don’t want to be a lady; I want to be a woman, like mummy.”
Befallen by EVA MATSHIDISO LEKGABE
Trudging through the hallway bejeweled in the luxuries of her yesteryear, all she could do
was but tread forward. There was no other way, she knew it and it was imminent. She had
lost all that she ever held dear but a dainty suitcase and face to save the day.
Boris Johnson Lives in My Cupboard By Sandra Barnes
Just because you’re not visible every single day, it doesn’t mean I don’t know you are there.
I do know you are there, working tirelessly day and night behind closed doors.
This is why I have named the spider weaving his complicated web in my cupboard after our Prime Minister.
Hope you learn it soon by Julie Britten
Exhaustion doesn’t come near it. I have called to you from the ages, tentacles of expectation have broken through time and are clutching at you as you walk. I have tried to trip you up to catch your attention. I am your past and your lesson is yet to be learnt.
A Jewish Girls Goodbye Pilgrimage To The Wailing Wall by Jenny Neal
I’m 7634 miles from home.
Drowning in an ocean of tears.
Tucking her love letter into cracked corroded limestone, I kiss her goodbye.
Knowing better than to wait for grandma’s reply, I sorrowfully walk away.
A memo from the heavens drops to my feet.
“I love you too”, it reads.
Little Starling by JJ Winchester
“Who am I but a little bird. Who has fallen from my nest, scratched and beaten against the carnivorous roots of this sturdy tree?” Cried the starling.
“Why you are alive starling!.” the owl said in a deep voice. “For all you must do is find your way back home.”
How to get Away with Murder by Reinette Visser
They came in the night, carrying guns and dark expressions. There were two of
‘Take me to the safe,’ said the blond one, ‘and if you make a sound he will shoot
your wife.’ The bald one stayed with my wife.
I turned and sprinted into the road. ‘Help!’
There is Nothing Important Than Love in Childhood by Lale Sanem Şekercioğlu
My grandma used to live in a very big house. It was quite a mansion with eleven rooms. I
was the princess of that mansion when I was little. She is not here anymore. And I am not little. Nor a
princess. Instead a warrior whom was loved so much.
The Sound of My Shoes by Elmnaz Shahbali
It had snowed enough to walk in my red-white shoes and hear the sound of them, plus my nightmare where mama forgets me in the taxi didn’t come true. But I knew once we arrived mama would leave me. There I felt the first twinge of stress on my belly.
Cannot Eat My Friend by Lale Sanem Şekercioğlu
They brought a ram to the house yard. The kid loved the ram and they
played catch for hours. The day after, the ram was not there anymore.
There was a delicious dish of meat instead. “Eat” they said. “It is the ram”.
The kid said “It was my friend”.
A fleeting lesson by Palak Tewari
“It fell from the sky.” Danny looked at the dead pigeon in his garden.
His father gently said, “It got hit by a rocket from the New Year’s Eve fireworks display that we were cheering yesterday.”
Danny’s eyes widened – the cost of his momentary pleasure glaringly obvious before him.
Ghosts from Our Past by Minduli Withana
“I finally met your mother,” I announce, “She was oddly hostile. Thoroughly detested our relationship.”
Horror clouds my boyfriend’s eyes; he appears visibly rattled. He scurries to his cupboard, thoughts disarrayed.
“We must move immediately.”
He hands me the Bible he just retrieved.
“Because, honey, my mother is dead.”
Until Death Do us Part by Minduli Withana
“We should postpone the wedding,” her fiancé advised.
“Why?” her astonishment was palpable.
The ceremony was well in order; the monumental day had been three years in the making.
“Antonio cannot attend tomorrow,” he vindicated.
“But he’s our best man!”
“Precisely. Also, honey, I think I’m in love with him.”
NEWS FLASH by Bill Watts
Couple expecting baby evicted day before Christmas!
They found a barn to sleep,
Had to share it with lambs and piglets.
Baby born on Christmas day.
Farmer arrived with bread and milk.
One son brought them bedding.
Other son offered them lodgings.
Mary, Joe and Jesus are all doing well.
A & E by Sally Curtis
Deep breath. Relax - eyes closed, breathe out - aaaah. Think of playful kittens. Miaow. Now, just a wee scratch, she says. Yikes! that’s not little. That hurts! Settle down dear, keep still, this won’t take long. Just a couple of stitches. All done.
On a Timer by Annie Pan
Eleven to the power of two?
My mind is blanking. I should know this, but everything is happening too fast. I circle something, hoping it’s right. My eyes are already reading the next problem.
I stare at my paper, horrified: why are there ten C’s in a row?
Home, But Not Quite by Annie Pan
He steps off the train not caring as he walks on the dirt path, covering his pristine black shoes in a layer of dust.
Finally, he stops in front of a small barn-like house.
“I’m home,” he calls.
But what greets him is a sign: “For Sale for Two Hundred.”
Hunger by Annie Pan
The boy laughed as the scent of freshly baked bread filled his nostrils. He picked one from the basket in front of him, shoving it into his mouth.
He closed his eyes, savoring the taste.
Yet, when he opened them, everything was gone except the sound of a grumbling stomach.
Adventures of Deciding What to Make for Dinner by Annie Pan
The woman stared into her pantry, or at least tried; it was empty. The only food left was in the fridge: frozen peas and some type of meat she couldn’t recognize.
She walked away from the kitchen, picking up her phone.
“Yeah, I’ll like to order a large cheese pizza.”
Raggetty Dolly by Christine Law
Amber flames light up the black Fire grate,
Tinsel hangs shiny and bright Upon the Christmas tree.
Raggedy Dolly smiles with Her cheeks aglow.
Alexandra Pugs eyes light up With glee.
He enjoys the odd chew And doggie biscuit.
His favourite toy is Raggedy Dolly,
Giving her a good shake.
The Final Argument by David A Jones
“Come with me,” he said.
“But I’m not ready to go yet. There must be some mistake,” the man replied.
“There’s no mistake,” said the grim reaper, as he turned away, and the man had no choice, but to follow him, regretting all the wasted chances in a squandered lifetime.
untitled by Nagima Tolesh
- I dreamt about spring water while laying in the midst of Sahara desert.
- And then?
- I exchanged my life to my happiness, even if it was a dream.
- If so, how come you are here, right in front of me?
- Take a guess
Can you guess my name? by Ros Dick
Max was dead: to begin with I was relieved.I’d never have to see his wintry smile or hear his mocking laugh again
Nor would he ever call me Rebecca in the dark as he reached out and sighed.
Last night was the very last time I’d have no name
The Scar by Aneena Elza Binod
As she stared at her reflection in the mirror, the unkind words of the bully rang in her ears. It was more than what a thirteen-year-old could bear. But the jagged line that ran across her forehead wasn't ugly, like he pointed out. It was a mark of her bravery.
The Promise by Aneena Elza Binod
The boy held the cigarette lighter close to the cancer stick. But something made him stop. He remembered the word he gave his anxious mother the day before yesterday. It was one of those moments that let him decide what was more important to him - a promise or instant gratification.
Lucid by Aneena Elza Binod
She ran as fast as her legs could take her. The leap of snow leopards chased her across the frozen lake. Suddenly, she turned to face her attackers and aimed the poison-tipped arrows at them. In less than two seconds, they lay dead. She knew it was in her control.
How Time Flies! by Aneena Elza Binod
The tiny footprints the baby left on the sand amused her dad. Her big round eyes widened in awe when he showed her a pearl inside an oyster shell. Years later, a girl pushed a wheelchair-bound man at the beach and picked up a beautiful fern green seashell for him.
Freedom by Aneena Elza Binod
Butterfly hunting was the perfect way to spend a spring afternoon. The girl caught a yellow monarch in a net. As she transferred it into a glass jar, her little brother, absorbed by the beautiful creature, fancies being one in his rebirth. She opens the lid to let it go.
Abused by Aneena Elza Binod
She went on a holiday to a far-off island with her husband. The sea was blue. So was the sky. Her eyes were a shade of aquamarine blue. The flower in her hair was blue as well. He beat her black and blue. Everything was blue - even what she felt.
Arrogance by Aneena Elza Binod
As he lies down on the grass staring up at the starry night sky, epiphany hit him - he was only a speck of dust in the vast universe. It deflated the puffed-up conceit in him that made him fire a female employee at work that day. He rang her up.
A Lovely Evening! by Aditi Arun Narayanan
Meena was sitting under a banyan tree in her garden and reading "The Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens.
She enjoyed her croissants filled with chocolate and her strawberry smoothie kept beside her.
Meena was all comfy with the pillows and the light blanket kept around her.
"What a nice evening!"
Black Sheep by Kritika Sharma
Present: " She finds her world."
Shebby grew up loving her best friend, Luka. Love that was beyond assigned sexuality. "Black sheep of the family!" Society called out on
"Is she aware of the LGBTQ+ rights?" asked some. But clear as crystal was her vision. BOOM! She made a decision.
MONSIEUR BRICOLAGE by Bernard Martin
“It's okay,” he'd said, “how difficult can it be – some holes to drill and a spirit level to use. By the time you get back the shelves will be up.”
Two hours later I returned, saw his work and said: “In future think D.I.Y, think Don't Involve Yourself.”
UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGAGE AREA by Bernard Martin
“You can collect your box on the way out. Couldn't let you pack it yourself.”
“First Lee. Now me. You're on your own P.M.”
“Well er, no not exactly. Anyway best if you use the back way out.”
“I think not. Better, more dramatic exit by the front door.”
More Than Customer Service by Angela Parks
The assistant told me to speak to the manager 'Chris' at the service desk. I could only see female staff, no men. One of the women asked me if I needed help. Her name badge said Chris. Was I sexist or expecting a man because my Dad’s name is Chris?
Untitled Matthew Lee
I wake to the smell of coffee every morning. Mother hums the same song every morning. Father drinks every morning. The baby cries every morning.
I return home to the smell of cigarettes every evening. Mother locks herself the bathroom every evening. Father drinks every evening. The baby is silent.
Batman came visiting by Eithne Cullen
Batman came visiting - crash, bang, pow. I didn’t want to see his macho tricks.
He broke my china and spluttered cake crumbs everywhere.
He smashed the cistern swinging from the chain. I threw him out - crash, bang, pow.
Dunes by Anita Goveas
The mass formed slowly, a dusting of missed phone calls, postponed meals, mistakes that became pointed barbs. They put the coffee table on top, sat in silence.
It grew every day, an unbroken desert of broken promises, a dune of lost togetherness, until they could no longer see each other.
The question of why by Oghogho Odiase
Julie knew the question was coming. She had on a multicoloured dress and her manicured nails gleamed, but these couldn’t ease the lump in her throat. “Why do you shoplift after all I give you?” Her father sounded exasperated. “I can’t help myself dad, I think I’m sick,” she replied.
Trigger Happy by Barbara Compton
As I rode my horse, I saw a man take aim with a gun. His eyes fixated on hitting his target. He pulled the trigger, but missed. The ride stopped. I left the carousel to join my husband at the shooting gallery. He tried again and won a cuddly toy.
Save our Planet by Lynn Griffin
“Is it too late for our planet?” Freya asked the naturalist.
“Most likely but we can try.” He pointed to a start list.
Buy local goods
Walk or cycle.”
Freya stared. “Impossible!”
“Not at all. Just stop making excuses.”
The Thunderbird by Jay Barrani
The Thunderbird's engine roared defiantly at the hellfire raining above. It was determined to get its passengers through doomsday. The driver looked to her left, and the pale face of her friend didn't look back, persisting a stare at the orange forest around them. What's left of scarce hope vaporized.
Jump! By Debbie Mckinnon-Balding
“Jump! Don’t jump!” The voice is becoming so loud. The traffic below slowing, I visualize it
peripherally, momentarily. Engine noise becomes muffled drowned out by my inner thoughts,
demons press me to surrender this existence, bereft of life long ago. My baby cries. She has needs.
Today I will not jump.
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