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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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Shank’s Mare to Summer

7 Jan

100 words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt below (courtesy of a brilliant stained glass artist named Jean L. Hays). Every road, just like most stories, has a beginning, a middle and an end. Most of us know where ours began, many have seen the middle and a very few know where theirs will end. No matter where yours takes you, remember to enjoy the journey. Aloha, D.

 

Begin the Route

(Copyright Jean L. Hays)

Headed southwest through bitter cold and spindrift snow towards a distant home, he found a battered sheet of drywall near an overpass and dragged it up to where the span met sloped berm, hoping to use it as a windbreak or makeshift mattress.

On the concrete abutment above the ashes of an old campfire someone had written in charcoal, “Not all those who wander are lost.”

He stared at the words for a long time, thinking of her, then shivered and returned to the highway to search the windblown verge for something to wrap himself in besides Tolkien and memories.

 

 

Down on your luck

End of the Trail

Like Roses

13 Oct

 

I usually only post when the subject has merit of some sort. Today I’m posting because I want to share something and ask a question.

I’ve been sorting through five and a half boxes of old manuscripts of the first novel I co-wrote with John Pace, titled The Last Resort. I’m saving files of attendant research and snippets of early copies to establish provenance and throwing the rest away. In one box, along with several ‘good’ rejection letters from major publishers at the time, letters from our agent and bits of history germane only to us, I found four copies of a poem which I’ve included below.

Something about it resonated with me and I thought about using it as a flash fiction submission for Friday Fictioneers. Have any of you have ever read Like Roses. Can you tell me the name of the author?

Sincerely,

Doug

 

P.S. To those of you who have ‘followed’ me recently…and to the faithful old timers…thank you. I hope you agree with my preference for not constantly spamming this space with filler. I do appreciate your readership and try my very best not to abuse the privilege. Aloha, D.

 

Like Roses

The freshness

of her smile delighted;

Like roses.

And her life

was filled with beauty;

Like roses.

Peaceful

from the land she grew;

Like roses.

Abruptly

but inevitably she was snipped;

Like roses.

May the earth

fall gently on her coffin;

Like roses.

What do you think of this poem? (WordPress will not let me add spaces between stanzas…or this poor workman doesn’t yet know how to format in WordPress) Who wrote it? John Pace? Perhaps someone out there knows the author. I’d like to give them credit. Thanks for reading.

Like roses

God of All Things

23 Jul

100 words for Friday Fictioneers a group of writers from around the world who meet at a virtual restaurant every week and choose one story from column A and two from column B. The head cook and bottle washer is Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and the stories are inspired by the photo prompt below from Marie Gail Stratford.

My story is a requiem for two goats, dear friends of a dear friend, mauled to death by a pack of wild dogs on a recent moonlit night. The link to the picture is obscure, but has its roots in the Japanese superstition about not placing chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice.

God of All Things

 

No luck today in my search.

In a shaded grove of tangled bamboo, iridescent Tui’s fill the air with mournful song. A shaft of sunlight bathes a low mound.

Khalil Gibran said, “Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation”.

I don’t blame the dogs. They are man’s best friend in daytime, but at night and in a pack they answer only to the moon.

I do blame the owners and pray we never meet.

In fresh turned earth I stand two lighted joss sticks, one for Brad, now at peace, and one for Calvin, still missing.

 

 

 

goat on stump

 

 

 

Two Wolves and a Sheep vote on what to have for Dinner

14 May

A 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers, a restive flock of writers shepherded loosely by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, based on the photo prompt below provided by Sandra Crook.

This is a story that has been written many times. To prove my point there are at least four clues in this version that point to a previous incarnation. If you find them all I challenge you to then examine the events of the last fifteen years with the same attention to detail. Then return to your grazing.

 

Two wolves and a sheep vote....

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Heinrich Luitpold, head of the DHS Border and Transportation Security Directorate sat in the back of his bullet-proof BMW and smiled as his driver fumed. The conference recently held in headquarters suite 1-C had yielded an action plan that would lead at last to a final solution.

In 2019 increased fees charged by TSA to travelers would finance new uniforms and prominent, respect worthy badges. By 2022 agents would be given arrest powers and weapons. In 2025 the mandatory registration and RFID chipping of all citizens would commence.

“Relax, Franz,” said Heinrich, “We are no longer concerned with the sheep.”

 

End game

 

The Department of Homeland Security Border and Transportation Security Directorate is the actual name of a department of our government.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

“Don’t rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world stood up and stopped the Bastard, the Bitch that bore him is in heat again.” – Bertold Brecht

 

 

HeadsTails

 

 

 

 

 

The Tears of Cassandra

16 Apr

What mischief compels me return here and write?

 

ULUA GONE

 

If Cassandra could live her life over, would she yield to Apollo to save herself from Ajax and the pain of never being believed whenever she tried to warn her fellow man?

Would we listen to all that escapes her lips, aware that a nameless menace lurks inside the wooden horse of our own complacency? I think not.

Troy fell.

Troy will fall again.

This time our role will not be to doubt Cassandra. This time we won’t even hear her warnings.

When death comes before our time, we can look to the sea for answers. There, in the name of survival, we killed all that we could of the myriad creatures that lived in her embrace and  sowed the seeds of our own diminishment. We will follow the whales, sharks, tuna, sardines and plankton and fertilize a future devoid of us in a sea that has nothing but time in which to grow new mysteries.

We will be a dead branch on the evolutionary tree, a layer of sedimentary rock full of riddles for archeologists (not human) somewhere in time.

It is happening now.

Cassandra weeps.

 

Cassandra and Ajax