CFFC: Stairs, Steps, Ladders

ladder 5 July

Blame

Maddie stomped and banged, making her displeasure as clear as she could as she wielded her broom, dust motes swarming around her.

It wasn’t fair!

None of it was her fault. Not really. She couldn’t have known what would happen. And besides, things probably wouldn’t have been any different even if the ladder hadn’t been there. All that damned girl had had to do was look up. But she was being punished for it, just the same.

Placing the ladder out was meant to be a laugh. She’d found it amusing to hint of the wondrous settlement cradled in the branches above, if only passersby had the eyes to see. How was she to have known that a brat with the Sight would wander past?

Maddie glared at the dust piled into the corner.

If the elders had allowed her to travel into the outside world, maybe she would have known that the strange white rectangle the girl tapped at was capturing images of their town. They had only themselves to blame…

She sighed, slumping down to sit against the wall. As much as she hated to admit it, she supposed it was her fault, at least in part. After all, it was her face – and, more importantly, her wings – that had been plastered all over the human’s ini-ter-neti. The sounds of loud voices and trampling feet drifted up from the woodland below.

It was her fault that the humans now had proof that fairies existed.

ladder 4 June 2016


This post is for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. This week’s theme is Stairs, Steps, Ladders. As soon as I saw the topic I knew what I had to share pictures of – the ladder beside the stream has been one of my favourite things to photograph this year.

The piece of flash fiction I’ve included is one I wrote whilst sitting on the stream bank right next to the ladder. I thought you might like to read it.

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FFfAW: The Birth of Ambition

Gardener

The Birth of Ambition

“This used to be one of the greatest gardens in the area.” The rough voice caught Finley’s attention as he stomped along the path. “Some day it could be again.”

Finley paused, juggling his armfuls of equipment as he peered at the old gardener leaning on his spade beside the path. With weathered face and dirt encrusted skin, the grizzled figure seemed almost part of the garden. Finley hadn’t even noticed his presence until he spoke.

“Uh, sure.” Finley shrugged. He didn’t know what else to say. It was only his first day on the job, and all he’d been allowed to do so far was fetch and carry. The head gardener had barely even let him get his hands dirty.

“You could make it great.”

Images of carefully managed plots, with neatly tended lines of vegetables and flowers, and paths winding through lush growth, filled Finley’s mind. He blinked. The desire to see it happen, to make it happen, settled deep in his chest.

When he looked again the old gardener had vanished.

Word Count: 175

To view the other entries, click the little blue frog.

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This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. This week’s photo prompt was provided by me! I hadn’t planned to post any flash fiction until after I’d finished my Nano month of editing, but I couldn’t really not write a story for my own prompt.

The photograph was taken at the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall. These gardens were neglected and fell into a massive state of disrepair after the First World War, only to be rediscovered and regenerated in the 1990s. There are now numerous different areas open to the public, including the vegetable garden pictured above, a flower garden, the Italian garden, Pineapple Pits, a series of lakes, a sub-tropical area known as ‘The Jungle’, plus many more.

Here are a few more pictures from the place:

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Cee’s B&W: Older than 50 Years

Lanyon Quoit

Proudly

they stand,

ancient stones

steeped in mystery,

weathered

and windblown

on the lonely roadside,

sheltering

stories of times

long past.

Men Scryfa

Name

carved in stone,

black feathers bathed

in blood,

 warrior

fallen in battle,

legend

unforgotten.

Men-an-Tol

Crawling

on hands and knees,

scrabbling and

squeezing,

hoping

and praying

that aches and pains

are drawn away

by weathered stone

during undignified

rebirth.


This post is for Cee’s Black and White challenge. This week’s theme is older than 50 years. The pictures I’ve chosen to share are of three ancient stone monuments in Cornwall. These are all definitely older than 50 years!

The first picture is the Lanyon Quoit, the most well known of the Cornish quoits due to its position beside the road between Madron and Morvah. It dates back to the Neolithic, though its exact age is unknown. It sits at the northern end of a long barrow, though whether it was ever actually covered in earth is debated. Until 1815, when it collapsed in a storm, it had four support stones and was tall enough for a man on horseback to shelter beneath. One of the stones, unfortunately, was so badly damaged that when it was reconstructed nine years later only three stones were used, leaving it smaller than it had been previously.

The second is the Mên Scryfa. This is thought to have originally been a prehistoric standing stone, though it has an early christian inscription carved into its northerly side (dating from the 6th-8th centuries) for which it is most well known. The inscription reads ‘Rialobrani Cunovali fili’ in Roman script. This translates to ‘Rialobranus son of Cunovalus’. The names then translate further into ‘Royal Raven son of Famous Leader’.

The third picture is of the Mên-an-Tol, an arrangement of stones thought to date back to either the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age. Its exact configuration has changed many times over the years. A sketch of the site made in 1749, when it was first archaeologically investigated, show the stones at right angles rather than in their current straight line. There are also several other stones still buried in the area and it has been suggested that the standing stones were actually once part of a stone circle, with the holed stone either at the center of the circle or at the entrance to a nearby tomb. Local folklore says that climbing through the hole can cure your ills. I decided not to try it.

WPC: The Cherry on Top

paraglider 5.2

Over

Gilded landscape

Beneath watchful Moon’s gaze

Take to the sky with vibrant wing

And soar

paraglider 2.2


This post is for the Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is Cherry on Top, and we’re asked to share a picture with a feature that makes a good shot even better.

Last week I was out for a walk during the golden hour when I spotted a lovely view of the moon over the wheat fields, the evening light enriching the colour of the almost ripe crop. Naturally, I stopped to photograph it.

without paraglider

The view was then made even more impressive when  a paraglider took off from the nearby airfield and flew right into the shot. Unfortunately I only had my 15-55mm lens out with me so couldn’t get a very good close-up, but I did the best I could.

paraglider 6.3

A Wild Habitat

Two years ago yesterday I started my blog, intending to post the occasional poem and my children’s stories and artwork. It has since been taken over by flash fiction and photography but my blog does still include quite a lot of poetry!

To mark my second blogiversary (yes, I’m a day late) I thought I’d reblog my very first post – the poem from which my username is taken.

I find the lack of any images on the post to be quite unsettling…

The Storyteller's Abode

For my first post to my blog I thought I’d share a poem I wrote. I hope you like it.

A Wild Habitat

Here…

I live in a world of
make believe,
a world
of light and music,
a wild habitat for
a fairy mind.
Here my life is
my own,
with no regrets.

Here…

Far from the mundane crowds,
from the manic race
through the maze of life,
my rat grows gossamer wings,
a metamorphosis
from beast
to butterfly,
soaring in shimmering flight.

Here…

I become a creature of
pure dawn,
dancing,
swaying amongst sunbeams
as wisps of melody
entice and enthrall.

Here…
in my world.

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Echoes of my Neighbourhood: Chinooks

taking off

On damp winds they’re blown in, the thunder of their blades as they slice through the air echoing over golden fields. Stalwart defenders of the nation, here they’re far from war torn lands: no bombs or bullets to lay them low, only nature’s unpredictable buffets to keep them humble.

Landed Chinook 2


This afternoon I was down at the wildflower meadow with my notepad and my camera when two Chinook helicopters from a local RAF airbase began circling overhead. I quickly snapped a few shots of them as they passed over, thinking they’d soon be gone, only to realise that they were actually landing at the small airfield on the outskirts of the village. Now, that is not something that normally happens! I hurriedly made my way over.

Unfortunately, I didn’t actually manage to make it quite all the way to the airfield before they were taking off again, but I did manage to find a position where I could get a few decent pictures before they left. Luckily, several other villagers had also been out and about and one of them had managed to speak to one of the pilots. It seems that a bird had collided with the windscreen of one of the helicopters, forcing it to land.

landed 2

I hadn’t actually planned to post today as I’m still in the middle of CampNano – meaning I’ve been busy editing and lengthening the flash fictions I’m planning to publish as compilations on Amazon. The other photographs and poems I’ve been posting lately have all ready to go since June! Another of those will probably be posted in a few days time.

This post is for Jacqueline’s Echoes of my Neighbourhood challenge.