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

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


welcome readers & writers!  many thanks to krowles1981, Chuck Galle & FilmGuy for sharing your writing on yesterday's photo prompt.
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i found this barrette in a parking lot the other day and thought it might have some interesting stories to go with it.  here's my spin on the photo, and I'd love to read yours!  submit your story, poem or creative non-fiction by clicking on comments below.
Ruthie longs to feel young again. No matter that her wavy red hair is streaked with gray, or that her ankles look thick in bobby socks. She wants to revel in the swish and the sway of a poodle skirt and, even on warm days, to push the three-quarter sleeves of a cashmere sweater up past her elbows. So every night she sets her hair in pin curls and presses her white collar shirt. And every morning, before her shift at the library, she turns herself into a bonafide dolly. The clothes, the shoes - they're all fairly new because the originals don't fit her anymore. But her sweet little hair clip, which she places just above her temple after a good, cloudy spray with Aquanet, is an original. A friend of a friend saw her the other day, scouring the grocery store parking lot for her barrette. She seemed quite distraught to have lost it. You haven't seen it, have you?

writers, come write with me! readers, feel free to share your happy thoughts through the day on whatever fabulous writing comes in :)    


  1. All that from a picture of an old barette? That's fantastic. You have a true writer's imagination. Which, of course, I already knew. :)

  2. Rupert loved walking along the railroad tracks. It was the only thing about his new town that he actually liked. Every day, after school, he split from the rest of the kids who walked home from Lincoln Elementary and doubled back behind the school to abandoned rail lines once used for transporting coal. Sometimes an outsider like himself, Carl Rickey or Gertie Gootblatt trailed after him, more to report his wanderings in the hopes of endearing themselves to the townies than any attempt at friendship. Gertie followed him today. She followed closer than usual until he stopped at a rundown lean-to sliding down the face of an outcropping of rocks. He knew she was there. She didn’t try to hide herself. He bent over at the waist and ducked his head to enter the hovel.
    “Don’t go in there,” she said. The words rushed from her mouth.
    He paused and turned. “Why not?”
    “A kid was killed there once. It’s haunted.”
    “What kid?”
    “A girl.”
    “What girl?”
    “Along time ago. My gran told me.”
    Rupert sighed something that sounded like, stupid bitch and ducked inside. Peering through spaces between boards and rusted sheets of metal he watched her step closer, step back, then stop and look over her shoulder. “Lemme go! Lemme go! ” He shouted then laughed as Gertie took off running, the hood on her jacket bobbing on her back. He laughed and watched her run until she was out of site. As he ducked down to exit, he noticed his untied shoelace. Bending down to retie it, he saw something glinting beneath some dead leaves. Thinking he’d found a pocket knife he carefully brushed aside the leaves. There in the dirt lay a barrette, mottled red with rust or old paint. Or blood?

  3. The experiment had been delightfully more successful than I had even thought to dream. My mentor had warned me against having too much faith in my thesis; other groups had taken thirty or forty iterations before rejecting the trait, but I had watched these critters very closely after the first two and something about them resonated with me. Of course, I had only studied four different cohorts of intelligent life forms, and indeed, three of them had taken over fifteen cycles to reject the propensity, but this one, these people, just had a spunk and élan that I warmed up to almost immediately. Introducing the appropriate symbols into their written languages as they were being developed led them right into the ambiguity of knowledge and belief, and the several basic languages gave rise to the equivalence in short order. The role of reasoning in public discourse gave way to comfort and wishful idealism, and the various leaders pandered to the hubris of the populations who viewed themselves as demigods who would alter nature. Others claimed communication with full blown gods and made preposterous claims of living eternally in circumstances beyond their ability to create.
    The second cycle began when their more insightful thinkers developed sciences, in which observations were accorded the value of knowledge when tested against practice, but the superstitions had, as on the other planets I had studied, been inculcated in schools and customs, so that practical knowledge and the comfort of hope-ruled discourse wrestled for supremacy for another thousand of their years. It had been in their year 2010 following the life of their most prominent prophet that I had left the omphlactic syczyglon in their midst, spawning a third transcendence-believing movement that swept the six inhabited continents in only twenty of their orbits, and it had the desired effect of so discouraging the eight or nine billion of these people who continued to nurture the comfort-thinking trait, that with five hundred years almost no such unreasoning occurred within any of the eighteen civilizations on this little planet, and they began their journey into participating in the Universe. It was such a thrill to find the original icon laying around unnoticed, unrecognized, unwanted; the only one of its kind left on Earth.

  4. He sighed, and kept walking. The leaves above him crackled on the branches, ready to drop at a moment's notice. He strode down the narrow sidewalk, trying to avoid all the others, the giant mass of flesh and plastic. Shoppers, tourists, businessmen, students: the city was large, large enough to hold them, but not them AND him. He frowned at the great gust of wind and turned up his coat collar. Another year gone, another year empty of meaning, empty of memory, empty of life. With a frustrated gesture, he thrust his hands deeper into his pockets. What now? Frustrated? Again? No, not again ... still. Still frustrated. The toast of the town, wandering along the dirty streets, frustrated, seeking ... seeking, seeking, always seeking; seeking what? Seeking whom?

    Ah. That touched a nerve. He caught his foot on the uneven pavement, stumbled, and nearly fell. He straightened up, glancing around to be sure no one saw ... but no one was looking. He nearly swore under his breath, but some tiny, delicate whisper in the darkened back alleys of his mind caught his attention, and held it tightly, for fear of losing him forever.

    Don't. Please, she whispered. Please don't.

    He glanced around once more, at the swarm of plastic and flesh, melding together in a massive, mechanical unity. They did not see him; he did not see them. Instead, he looked down at his feet, all the way down there. At the bottom of that great length of perfectly-pressed pinstripe, he saw ... something. It flashed at him, gently, yet noticeably. He looked again; then he stooped. He stooped down to pick it up; his arm reached down towards the ground. He bent his back and his knees and reached out for it. His fingers clasped it and brought it all the way back up for a closer scrutiny. There, in his hand, he held a tiny red clip.