South by Southwest

16 Sep


100 words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt below courtesy of David Stewart.

South by Southwest

(Copyright David Stewart)


The gate swings slowly shut. I look back a final time and see in places my handiwork, all that remains of a quarter century of love, surrendered to weeds.

What did I give? How hard did I strive? Where is my love buried?

Only I will ever know.

Call on God, it is said, but row away from the rocks.

I place a note between the gate and jamb for friends who might wish to find me. In time, it, too, will fall and fade, but such is the way of the world. Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat.

And I row.







In the Morning You’ll begin to See the Light

26 Aug

100 words for Friday Fictioneers inspired by the photo prompt below from Claire Fuller, she of Our Endless Numbered Days. Though flash fiction ought to have a beginning, middle and an end, my story has an end and a beginning, but no middle. Think of it as a coda to a long and beautiful piece of music and please forgive me my taking liberties with the format.


(To all those of you who continue to read my work despite the above, and who have kept the faith with me these past months, thank you, always.)


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(Copyright Claire Fuller)




A familiar and catchy tune issued softly from speakers somewhere in the room. Two men stood before a ponderous filing system, deep in conversation.

“The problem’s all inside our heads, it seems to me. The answer’s easy if we take it logically.”

Still, unexpected from such a long-termer. How did he leave?”

Slipped out the back…”

Don’t say it….. Did you see him earlier in the day?”

Briefly. We didn’t discuss much. He dropped off a key.”

What files were taken?”

Solitude, Mystery, Love and Beauty.

Sounds like he has a new plan.”




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“He’s got away from us, Jack.”

“Yes, I think you’re right, Mr. Helpmann. He’s gone.”

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Flying Switch

8 Jul

100 words out of the blue for my fellow travelers in Friday Fictioneers. Nice to see you all again. Don’t comment, as I’m moving fast and may not be able to answer. Just enjoy the ride. I’ll settle soon. Love to you all, D.


flying switch

(C0pyright Stephen Baum)

See that light up ahead? Early on in life and for years thereafter I’d have said it was an oncoming train. You get a feel for what your mistakes look like rushing toward you through the gloom.

Once I passed the half century mark I figured out that though I was on the tracks, I was also in charge of the trains. I learned to change their schedules or shunt them onto sidings and in time became a good stationmaster.

Now I know the light is my future.

It’s bright.

It’s the beginning of anything I want.

And it’s about time.





The Windlass of Time

4 Jun

A hundred words for those who are still left and for those who have gone before, based on the photo prompt below. We walk in the shadows of giants. D-Day. June 6th, 1944.


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(Copyright C. Hase)



A stooped and wizened man stands behind a bench at the end of a pier, supporting himself with both hands as he watches liberty boats ferry passengers to the beach from a cruise ship anchored offshore. Long years have extinguished everything in his life except the fire in his eyes. Through them he sees soldiers in a maelstrom struggling in crimson surf beneath a dull gray sky.

A car backfires and he flinches, then squares his shoulders and turns to walk resolutely inshore, sure that today will be his last. Another day, another turn of the wheel. Maybe tomorrow.




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Qui Tacet Consentiere

27 May


100 words for Friday Fictioneers.

Unlike the many creatures we’ve sent, as W.S. Merwin said in For a Coming Extinction, “…to The End.”, I have returned, if only for this week, because the photograph is mine and speaks to me of teeming seas from a time long past…. No need to comment. I love you all. Aloha, D.


Silence implies Consent

(Copyright Douglas MacIlroy)

“And they lived in the oceans?” At three years of age, my daughter was just beginning to get an inkling of the world that had gone before her.

“They filled the seas, Pearl. We were once just a distant rumor to them.”

“If there were so many, where did they all go?”

“To feed us, darling.”

“Every one?”

“Some say a few still live in deep canyons where nets can’t reach, but none have been seen for many years.”

“Will they ever come back, Daddy?”

“In time perhaps.”

“When we’re gone?”


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Darkness Falls

25 Apr

Some of you may have seen that Mauna Kea is in the news lately because of an ongoing attempt by protesters to stop the construction of the Thirty-Meter-Telescope. The issues in question can be found by searching the web carefully, but be careful to research thoroughly as there are many conflicting viewpoints out there. As an employee of one of the existing observatories on the summit, I have been counseled by admin to keep an open mind and be professional in the expression of my opinions. And so I have. This weeks story for Friday Fictioneers is based on my own photo prompt and speaks my mind quite clearly.

It is longer than normal by 58 words and for these I make no apology. I have been spot on for months and will be absent from the mix for some time to come so I hope you will tolerate my overage. If you do not want to read more than 100 words, you’d better stop 68 words ago.

Thanks to all who read on. See you down the road a bit. Aloha, D.


Darkness Falls

(Copyright Douglas MacIlroy)

A mob is coming to destroy what might have been their salvation. They listen to reply, not to understand. They want to watch the world burn.

Mauna Kea is sacred. But not for the reasons they claim. The Universe unfolds, light dances eternally and the majesty of Nature gives not a tinker’s damn about man’s gods. The mountain was here long before they arrived, guided, ironically, by their elder’s knowledge of the stars. It will endure long after they are dust.

Mauna Kea is sacred. Unlike the mob, I have learned this through direct experience over five years of glorious sunsets, cold, clear nights and solitary dawns. Cloaked in false pride and righteousness, ignorance is on the march against the inexorable tide of knowledge.

I lock the doors and wait. Someplace has to be the backwater of science and education in the world. It might as well be Hawaii. This will be their legacy.

If you listen carefully you can hear the stars laughing.




To all my followers


15 Apr

100 words for Friday Fictioneers that may save your life.

(Last week I didn’t get to half of the stories because I couldn’t. Still working on answering comments. Insert excuses here. I remember when we thought 20 stories was a good number. Wish me luck this week. I’ll try. Aloha, D.)


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(Copyright Roger Bultot)


I sift ashes between my fingers as the ambulance bearing two bodies departs.

“A waste,” I utter.


Newly married, my apprentice investigator had a roving eye and much to learn.

“Something else, son” I reply. “Review what we know.”

“Witnesses say the husband arrived home pre-dawn carrying a small gift-wrapped package. He entered the house and the wife was heard shouting. There’s a brief silence, then sudden ignition.”


“Volatility, accelerated involvement, high heat.”


“It can’t be…”

“Insufficent drachenfutter. Remember it. The life you save may be your own.”




Drachenfutter needed