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

Friday, September 10, 2010


welcome readers & writers, and thank you for your reading and writing participation! special thanks to Chuck Galle, krowles1981, Christa and Brian Potopowitz for your contributions to yesterday's blog.
well, it's photog friday again! aren't you excited?!? today's photo prompt was contributed by my friend Mark Webber, a gifted artist/painter who teaches in the art department at Marywood University in Pennsylvania. thank you, Mark, for such an interesting photo; i can't wait to see what stories, poems and creative non-ficiton rise up in response! writers, write away and then click on comments below.

here's my spin on mark's photo: 

Whitney tried to avoid the vapid gazes of those stone babies. Unfortunately, the quickest route from the active dig to the outbuilding took her right by them. And anyway, even on the days she managed to avoid them, she dreamed about them. Only, in the dreams, their eye sockets weren't empty; they were full and pure white. And the baby heads were laughing. Or sometimes crying. Or one was laughing while the other cried. Either way they seemed to want something from her. 

Whitney knew how unbelievably lucky she'd been to win a position as one of two interns assigned to the dig for the summer. She'd learned more in a couple of weeks than in her three years of college thus far. But there were days when she was so hot and exhausted that she just wanted to fly back to Nebraska, crawl into her old four poster bed and sleep for a week before reclaiming her usual job as a lifeguard. Just about now, she thought, the pool would be closing and the gang would be heading out to someone's parents' house for pizza and movies.  

"Phooey," she said aloud to the babies. 

In the next beat she could have sworn she heard, in stereo, baby belly chuckles. She shrieked and sprinted away as quickly as she could, not slowing down until she was back in the company of her fellow intern and the folks who'd dug up the little boogers in the first place.         

250(ish) words or less.  come write with me! 


  1. "Wow," Ally's friend Stacey said in a voice dripping with derision. “Such talent.”
    Ally avoided narrowly spitting the wine back into her glass. "Be nice,” she whispered.
    They moved onto the next sculpture: a ratty broom with doll’s arms and legs poking out of it.
    “Good Lord,” Ally said, despite her attempt to be polite. “How do you know this artist?”
    “He’s my brother-in-law’s brother,” Stacey said lifting a carefully stenciled eyebrow. “I don’t.” Stacey removed Ally’s glass from her hand and announced again that they’d be taking advantage of the art gala’s open bar. Stacey moved around the broom-and-appendage piece once more before returning again to the (gulp) doll head sculpture.
    She tried to see it as the artsy folk were seeing it. She watched as an older woman, painfully thin and draped in sweeping black gown, eyed the doll heads. The woman cocked her head, nodded, and said, “Hmm.” Then she gave Ally a meaningful look and sipped her wine glass before moving across the studio.
    “It’s crap,” a male voice said from behind Ally. She spun to be faced with warm caramel colored eyes. He wore slouchy jeans and a flannel shirt, his wavy black hair long enough to cover his collar. In a word, he was gorgeous. In another word, delicious.
    Aware the artist was traipsing about somewhere, Ally tried to be polite. “Oh, I don’t think it’s crap,” she whispered the last word.
    “Is it disembodied babies you like, or perhaps that they’re skewered to a piece of metal?” he asked, amusement dancing in his eyes.
    “I-,” Ally stopped after that sole word, not sure how to answer.
    “Jacque!” the older woman from earlier swept toward him and planted a red kiss on his cheek. “How much for the broom sculpture? I love it!” she said theatrically.
    “Jacque?” Ally repeated and the man’s caramel eyes were on her again. “You’re the artist?”
    He winked at Ally as he was being towed away by the woman in black. Before he disappeared around the corner, he gave her a cheeky grin.

  2. ACK! "Stacey moved around once more..." Should have said Ally. I'm a hack. :-p

  3. Amy had always hated art. To Aunt Mara, however, art was everything. Art was her life, therefor it was all they had seen the whole week. Amy could not imagine how she was going to make it through another year.
    "Amy, come look at this." her aunt called from the other side of the gallery, "i what to know what you think of this." Amy groaned to herself, but gave in and walked to see whatever there was to see. 'What now,' she mumbled to herself. When she reached Aunt Mara, however, and say those two doll heads, her mouth dropped open in utter horror. It was the twins. Smiling down mockingly at her as if saying
    'Yes, we're up here, but your still down there. We are all safe now with mommy and daddy, but you are left behind with Aunt Mara." Amy backed up and gasped for air that would not come. 'we don't miss you. We thought we would ad first but the moment we left we knew we would never miss you again.' Amy fell down on the floor before her brothers. somewhere in the back of mind she heard a voice calling, but all she could see or hear were those two heads looking down at her.
    'I would have come! I would have come if those firemen had allowed it!' she screamed, 'I would have come with you, and mom and dad." she couldn't breath now, 'would.. have....' and then all was black.

  4. “Those big baby heads are really freaking me out!” said Mary.

    “Well don’t look at them then.” answered Tom distractedly.

    “How? They are everywhere!” Mary said, gesturing widely.

    Tom was fiddling with his camera. Every few photos he would discover another feature or setting and tell Mary about it. The camera had cost quite a bit of money and even though Mary hadn’t minded, she though that Tom still felt a bit guilty at spending the savings on what was essentially something for himself. So he was constantly battling his cognitive dissonance.

    “Look at this!!” screamed Tom.

    “What?” said Mary afraid to look at Tom in case he was going to show her something stranger than the babyheads.

    “It will even reduce the exposure automatically if the light changes during a multiframe shot!”

    Mary didn’t know what that meant but decided against asking for an explanation.

    “Are they hollow?”

    “Are what hollow?” asked Tom looking up from his toy.

    “The babyheads.”

    “Oh I dunno. Lets find out.”

    “How?” asked Mary not sure she wanted to know.

    Tom picked up a stone.

    “If it is hollow we will hear the echo!” said Tom brightly as he flung it.

    The noise was sharp and loud as the stone smashed in one of the faces.

    “Oh crap!” hissed Tom, suddenly hunching.

    The sight of the spiders erupting from the hole and the echo of the noise was too much.

    “Come on Tom!!” hissed Mary back, “leg it before someone catches us!!”

  5. Not known to most people, there is in the heart of every mother a small chamber that stores guilt. Much like an endocrine gland, this tiny storehouse is able to secrete guilt directly into the bloodstream and, all out of proportion to its size, cause a lifetime of deceitfully honest emotion. Which is why the tour of the doll factory suddenly became a nightmare.

    I had not considered a walking tour of Tres Cruces could be hazardous in any way, unless one counted stray dogs and rabies. Cuba is full of them both. Our guide, Erik, had promised a look at "the wonderful toy factory that made Tres Cruces famous", and who could resist a toy factory? It promised easy pleasure.

    I had learned over six agonizing years to once again feel enjoyment in such simple things. My therapist, pastor, best friend and doctor all had said the same thing: "it will happen again." And it did, it did, but slowly and with great painful effort -- like learning to use a leg again after a stroke has stilled it.

    As we entered the "factory", I expected bright colors, silks, ribbons, wood shavings and happy workers. Instead I found the graying remnants of the Socialist Workers' dream, covered in dust and oily dirt. A few elderly men chiseled or sanded. A box of misfit playthings sat on a table.

    And there, just beyond this sad tableau, I caught the nonexistent eyes of the doll heads. I stopped; everything stopped; only my heart beat, rushing blood through my ears in a great river of sound, and the heart gland emptied itself of all its guilt, and I shut my eyes and felt it wash over my mind, my life, my body.

  6. Once hung in department stores,
    the coveted prize of girls
    who were just old enough to remember the Great War.

    Now macabre and grotesque
    are your faces;
    suggestions of beauty and desire
    lost amid the rust and ruins.

    I fear that I will join you
    one day.