welcome readers & writers! in this cyber space please find: + a photo writing prompt + a place to post your creative writing response (poem, memoir, short story or the like) to the prompt + a community of readers and fellow writers excited to read your writing + morsels of genuine fiction, poetry & creative non-fiction as the blog is updated. share a response as often as you'd like. everyday discoveries from my life, captured on film, will serve as prompts. this is not a place where we will critique one another's work; however, words of encouragement or praise for writers who share their work are most welcome. writers, share your story, poem or creative non-fiction response to the photo by clicking on comments; word count is flexible. cheers! demery

Monday, August 9, 2010


welcome writers & readers! i hope ya'll had a good weekend. the stories posted by sat. & sunday's writers are definitely worth checking out if you haven't had the time yet - thanks posters! as always, thanks to folks who come to read as well. for anyone new who might just be finding write away every day, please know that you are very welcome to write about photo prompts from previous days as the mood strikes you. to post your story, poem or creative non-fiction piece for any photo prompt, click on comments below the pertinent picture.
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i'll simply call today's photo prompt "train yard." come write with me! submit your story by clicking on comments below. 250(ish) words or less - i'm flexible on the word count. here's my story:

"Well now, ma'am, that's a long, skinny story. Come set awhile," he says, opening his door to reveal a kitchen in the round. A circular staircase winds through the ceiling. He points upwards and says, "Bedroom. Settin' room. Lookout deck." I cross to the polished table and sit. He pours coffee, first wiping his hands on a bandana from his pocket. 
Pushing a plate of peanutbutter cookies towards me he says, "The city pays me t' be here. Has for the last forty-odd years since a train wreck killed some foolhardy teens. There was a notion to build a kinda lighthouse on land, and t' hire a guard to watch over the crossing."  He shakes his head and takes a bite of cookie. "Not as I can do much if folks are bent on beatin' the train. Course back when I started there wann't a signal. I'd bring out a lantern and wave it around."  Some crumbs float off his lips as he takes another sip. 

"How many trains come through in a day?" I ask, tapping notes into my iphone"Used to be right many," he says. 

"What do you do between the trains?  Aren't you bored?" 

"Not a bit. Listen to the radio. Read. Bake," he waves another cookie at me. "Talk to nosy, I mean pretty, reporters writin' about washed up geezers and county tax dollars." He smiles and I clear my throat. 

"So have you saved any lives," I ask. He's silent for a moment.  "I reckon two, maybe three. Talked some jumpers off the ledge, so to speak.  Nudged a coupla runaways in the direction of home. You tell me. Have I earned my keep?" I look down, rubbing my finger around a knothole in the wood. 

"The way I look at it," he says, "I'm priceless. You are priceless." I sigh and put my phone away.  "Thanks for the cookies and coffee," I say. "And, just, thank you."  He smiles and re-fills my cup.      

looking forward to what other writers make of today's photo. enjoy!


  1. The boy stared, unaware of his slightly open mouth, his wide eyes drinking in everything as the trains that had captured his dancing attention rumbled forward. His mother had walked several steps ahead before she realized he wasn’t with her. She turned and saw him standing there, rock still, tilted slightly forward toward the trains as if their heavy metal created its own gravity just for him. She smiled to herself because he was never still, and rarely did the childhood way of being completely lost in the moment take him these days.

    She took the moment to just look at him, unobserved. His face was still boyishly soft, but with a few hints of his father’s strong jaw, her own high cheekbones just starting to gain definition. His too-long arms and legs were waiting for the boy to grown into them. As the train moved forward, mother and son stood that way for just a few seconds, poised in the moment, parked between the boy he was leaving behind and the man he was becoming.

    When the final car clanked past, she ran forward and hugged him, hard, squeezing so tightly he groaned. “Hey Mom, you’re squishing me!” She held on a moment longer, knowing it could only be a moment, and then let him go. “Geeze, what was that for?”

    “I love you.”

    “Aw Mom,” he started in an annoyed tone, then looked in her serious eyes. “I love you too,” he mumbled. “Can we go now?”

  2. Parker didn’t know where she was going until she emerged from the brush, still damp with morning dew, tripped over an ancient railroad tie and saw her destination clearly painted on the side of a red tanker—Canada—land of wheat fields, badgers, and bilingual food packaging. And freedom, it seemed to her, far from her mother’s drinking and her father’s manicured girlfriends. And No, she’d told her father last night, she couldn’t be their friend. Wouldn’t, no matter how many concert tickets or electronic gadgets he bought her.
    “What’s the matter?” He’d asked dropping by with a new iPod Touch.
    “You want back flips? It doesn’t work,” she’d said.
    “It’s still in the box.”
    “I hear your exasperation, old man,” she’d said, “but no one’s listening to mine.”
    “What’s that supposed to mean?” His voice rose just as she would have predicted.
    “I was trying to save myself from saying it and you from hearing it,” she said. “God,” she said. “We’re a cliché.”
    “Are you on drugs?”
    She smiled her most endearing smile and edged past him through the door and out onto the walk where she lifted her bike from the grass by the hedge and rode away.
    Canada. In the overcast morning, the word, the idea loomed bright and comforting. She could get lost and find her place in Vancouver. Or Ottawa. Ottawa, she said aloud, and the movement required of her jaw and lips relaxed her mouth. Like Canada, she couldn’t say it without dropping her jaw. And that, she realized, felt very good.

  3. As a very young child my mom took me and my best friend to see the trains at a little local trainyard. Oh lord, how we loved it. I think back how those massive cars crashing and crunching together were so impressive... like watching elephants in a slow moving herd. So powerful. Moved like magic. Mom told me, some years later, that I was only two when we did that. But I still remember it with a fresh joy and wonder. And sometimes when I drive by a trainyard or feel a train whoosh by, I get that same feeling.

    My best friend died when I was twelve. He was eleven. It is still awful just to say it. No one that young should die. No one twelve should lose a best friend. Somehow, though, I find that friend again within me at all kinds of unexpected moments. Like when a train goes by.

  4. “I wonder where that train is going?” asked Bobby, “What lands will it pass through on its way?”

    “Denver.” said Mark.


    “It’s going to Denver.”

    “How do you know that?” asked Bobby.

    “Cos it’s written there!” said Mark pointing to the departures sign, “Denver, departing 13:30”

    “Oh.” said Bobby, looking a little annoyed at the injection of reality.

    “When is our train arriving?” asked Bobby.

    “Not for another 10 minutes.” said Mark,
    regretting this trip already. He knew he and Bobby were not going to be best buddies on this trip but the least he could have wished for was a little fun. Already he had annoyed him 3 times. This latest attempt at poetic bullshit just added to his itchy irritation.

    “This is going to be great!!” Bobby said, getting all fidgety with excitement again. The last time he actually jumped in the air knocking over an advertising display.

    “Look Bobby, I know we got picked for this and we have to do this, but can you calm down. It’s a stupid school competition and it means nothing.”

    Bobby visibly deflated and slumped into the seat next to him. Mark felt bad about it but didn’t say anything else. He had two days ahead of him with Bobby and unless he set him straight now, it would be hell.

    “Here’s the train now!” screamed Bobby, jumping up and pointing like he’d never seen one before.

    “Oh great.” said Mark as he slowly picked up his bag and followed Bobby to the platform.