Thursday photo prompt: Guardian #writephoto

This week’s prompt ~ Guardian

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a flower-strewn cliff-top above the sea, where a rocky outcrop, seemingly shaped into many forms and faces, looks out over the waves.

They had always been there or so everyone thought. Their faces weather beaten and sun dried over millennia. They guarded the shores, they kept us safe, even now when foolish people dismissed them as “just rock formations”. They stayed steadfast and watched over the seas and us.

No one ever really noticed that unlike most of the coast line these Guardian Rocks did not erode, they did not fall into the sea. Nor did they recede like those around them, no they grew in number. More faces joined them each time there was a threat. They had seen invasion people walking across long gone land, then came the sea then men in boats. They stood and watched, then came sturdier boats, then Balloons then planes, bombs, shells.

They watched and waited, they kept us safe, they grew in number each time these isles were threatened they silently grew in number. They watched as many made their way here hoping for a better life. They witenesed death, birth and anguish. They laughed, wept and when they could allowed some to climb them .

Now we face an invisible threat one we do not know the measure of. This time the threat is alien, yet of this world, deadly and stealthy.

The Guardians were joined by more of their kind but this time they did not feel strong, slowly they felt a weakness entering their soul.

*****

This is part of Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Challenge, #writephoto.

Jim Webster’s Blog Tour.Day 2 A Goal Break.

To Jim Webster for the second day of his latest Blog Tour.

First the Story

A gaol break
I never bumped into Orwan Bullip every decade. But Orwan and I went back along way. If we’d come from a better background you’d have said we went to school together. In reality we had been schooled together, but we’d learned our harsh lessons as children on the streets of Port Naain. Even then he ran
with a group of tough lads who looked to him for leadership. I remember them all, Little Toddy, Dillup, Mad Dog, Niblo, Batt, decent enough lads and worth knowing if you felt you needed friends in a hurry.
But there was a parting of the ways, I drifted into the fringes of
respectability and they lingered longer on the boundaries of organised crime. But then Orwan, recoiling from the thought of just becoming another street bully with a few thugs, led them south into Partann. They trailed
along as baggage guards for a respectable company, but when the company returned home, they stayed.
I’d remained in touch, albeit inadvertently. If they wanted a message getting through to a parent, then they’d write to me and I would go and read
the letter to the aged relative. Occasionally the letters would contain coins, jewellery, or some other small valuable that a dutiful son was sending to his doting mother. Sometimes they appeared in the city, and I would spend an evening drinking with them, listening to their tales and
telling them about the doings of people they left behind.
But these visits were never long ones. There was always somebody in authority who would have a list of difficult and embarrassing questions that they felt ought to be answered. In all candour I have often felt that whatever is buried in Partann is best left buried. Still it must be admitted that the judiciary rarely take my opinions into account.
Thus I wasn’t entirely surprised when Orwan Bullip came back to see his sister and her children. He was only expecting to stay a week but four days into his stay he was arrested and then charged with the murder of Neeping Willow. Now I’d heard the tales of Neeping Willow and frankly his death
ought to have been a cause of public rejoicing. Certainly a responsible society should have organised a silver collection for those who had rid the
world of him. Admittedly Orwan had not killed Neeping Willow from some sense of civic duty (although if I had been called as a witness I would surely gave raised the possibility for the jury to consider). Neeping had crossed,
double-crossed, and then betrayed Orwan and Orwan rather lost his temper. A frank and open exchange of views ended up with Neeping sprawled dead on the
floor of some rustic inn, his sword clasped in his stiffening hand and his wounds in his chest.
Now normally this would be the end of it. But it so happened that Orwan had crossed Lord Kastair of Slipshade Keep. The Kastair’s had been ejected from the keep by brigands greater than they were, and they had retired to Port
Naain to plot and dabble in the politics of both Partann and Port Naain.
Since then, Lord Kastair had been running a few schemes in Uttermost Partann. Orwan, loyal to his employer at the time, had thwarted them. Lord Kastair saw his chance of vengeance. He laid charges against Orwan and had
him arraigned in a Port Naain court. The arraignment turned into a trial and evidence was produced from eyewitnesses that Orwan had struck Neeping down
from behind as the other man stooped to give a titbit to a kitten.
Much of the evidence consisted of sworn written dispositions collected from people present. These dispositions formed virtually the entire case for the
prosecution. Given some of these dispositions had been sworn by people even I knew to have been dead for twenty years or more when Neeping died, I think
everybody felt the case would be thrown out. But; I sought to remind In case you forgot
Some judges are blind
Some jailers are not

Orwan was condemned to death, and the question was raised, where was he to be held until he could be led out to execution. The Watch pointed out that they had nothing suitable. (They got a bit sniffy about this, pointing out that an arraignment is not a trial, but precedes by the trial by a period longer than it takes to pick up the pencil you dropped. They explained that this allows others involved in the justice system time to get organised.) Normally the Watch got round the problem of housing contemned criminals by having the guilty party led straight from the court to the place of execution. This has the advantage of reducing the risk of such failures of justice, such as the guilty party being released on appeal. Still here Lord Kastair could step in and assist the authorities. On the excuse that he had the power of low, middle and high justice in Slipshade (a town he had not held for some years) he had built a couple of cells in his cellar. Orwan was incarcerated there.
Little Toddy, Dillup, Mad Dog, and Niblo, (Batt had died in a skirmish some years previously) were determined to stop this and had apparently spent some days trying to work out how to break Orwan out. Their preferred method
involved blowing the front door in with blasting wax and charging into the house with drawn swords, cutting down anybody who got in their way. They would then leave on fast horses. I was contacted because they wanted
somebody they could trust to hold the horses whilst this desperate
undertaking occurred.
I confess that I was somewhat taken aback. It wasn’t that I objected to helping. After all I have known them for a lot of years and I agreed with
them that Orwan did not deserve to die for the killing of Neeping. But frankly I had no confidence in their plan. I had no doubt that they could blow the door in. I had confidence in their ability to fight their way in to rescue Orwan. It was the leaving that worried me. To cross the river to go south into Partann you have to take the Roskadil ferry. Pick the wrong time and you’ll have to queue for it. Whilst the argument could be made that your pursuers might be some distance behind you in the queue I’m not sure it held
up to close examination. Escaping to the north or east was out, they would soon be found and recaptured. Instead I suggested that I get Orwan out for them.
They were a little disappointed, indeed in discussion it did come out that they had rather been looking forward to six horsemen with drawn swords riding full pelt down Ropewalk. I confess that I was rather touched that they included me in their number for that escapade, and I also confess, a
little shamefaced, that it did have its attractions. Still I felt I had a
better way. I approached the Widow Handwill and asked if she could throw an evening
entertainment in the next few days. I also asked if she could both invite Madam Kastair to attend as a guest of honour, but also to hire Darstep Balstep to perform. Darstep was the leader of the clan which ejected the Kastairs unceremoniously from Slipshade. Indeed he was Lord of Slipshade
Keep until he in turn was ejected. He had made his way to Port Naain and was now a poet (and a good one). One of Madam Kastair’s pleasures was mocking Darstep for how far he had fallen, whilst he, in all candour, gave as good as he got. Both enjoyed it hugely, I suppose it reminded them of the good old days back in Partann. I could not imagine Madam Kastair declining the invitation.
The Widow gave instructions for the event to be held and then asked me exactly saw what I had in mind. I explained and she made a few useful suggestions of her own.
On the appropriate evening, I opened the proceedings, introduced Darstep and then stepped back out of the limelight. Indeed I quietly made my way
downstairs to the kitchen. There I found my four fellow conspirators sitting drinking tea and chatting with the kitchen staff. As inevitably happens at
these events, they discovered that some of the ladies had, many years previously, been in service with the mothers of these four ruffians.
Taking Mad Dog with me, I left the other three to their conversations. Mad Dog and I rode to the Kastair residence where Mad Dog hammered on the door
demanding admittance. When a uniformed flunky opened the door to ask what we, wanted my companion merely barged past him whilst I followed, helping the flunky back onto his feet, brushing him down and apologising.
In the middle of the hallway, in a voice that had echoed across
battlefields, Mad Dog shouted for Lord Kastair, informing him that we had his wife hostage. This was followed by a somewhat heated exchange where threats of terrible vengeance were exchanged, but half an hour later, Lord Kastair had bowed to the inevitable and we led Orwan Bullip to freedom. We then rode (at a sedate pace) back to the house of the Widow Handwill, collected the other three and made our way to the ferry. We arrived, the other five purchased their tickets and walked their horses on board. I waved them off, returned to the affair at the Widow’s and arrived just as the party was breaking up. I bid Lady Kastair good evening as she stepped into her sedan chair and then went inside to help tidy up.
Obviously questions were asked, but even the law was impressed with the Widow Handwill’s statement that had it not been for my defusing of the situation, somebody could have been hurt.
Lady Kastair on the other hand was somewhat bemused by all the fuss, feeling that if you have been held hostage, you really ought to notice.

*****

And now a brief note from Jim Webster. It’s really just to inform you that
I’ve just published two more collections of stories.

The first, available on kindle, is ‘Tallis Steelyard, preparing the ground,
and other stories.’
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0872GGLF9

More of the wit, wisdom and jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard. Meet a
vengeful Lady Bountiful, an artist who smokes only the finest hallucinogenic
lichens, and wonder at the audacity of the rogue who attempts to drown a
poet! Indeed after reading this book you may never look at young boys and
their dogs, onions, lumberjacks or usurers in quite the same way again.
A book that plumbs the depths of degradation, from murder to folk dancing,
from the theft of pastry cooks to the playing of a bladder pipe in public.

The second, available on Kindle or as a paperback, is ‘Maljie. Just one
thing after another.’


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Maljie-Just-thing-after-another/dp/B0875JSJVM/
Once more Tallis Steelyard chronicles the life of Maljie, a lady of his
acquaintance. Discover the wonders of the Hermeneutic Catherine Wheel,
marvel at the use of eye-watering quantities of hot spices. We have bell
ringers, pop-up book shops, exploding sedan chairs, jobbing builders,
literary criticism, horse theft and a revolutionary mob. We also discover
what happens when a maiden, riding a white palfrey led by a dwarf, appears
on the scene.

A few words about the author Jim Webster

Jim Webster

Jim Webster is probably fifty something, his tastes in music are eclectic, and his dress sense is rarely discussed in polite society. In spite of this he has a wife and three daughters.
He has managed to make a living from a mixture of agriculture, consultancy, and freelance writing. Previously he has restricted himself to writing about agricultural and rural issues but including enough Ancient Military history to maintain his own sanity. But seemingly he has felt it necessary to branch out into writing SF and fantasy novels.
He lives in South Cumbria.

He has even been cozened into writing a blog, available for perusal by the discerning (or indeed by the less than discerning) at Jim’s WordPress Blog

and the timetable so you can find him.

Friday 1st May: Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Saturday 2nd May: Willow Willers

Sunday 3rd May: Robbie Cheadle

Monday 4th May: Writers Co-op

Tuesday 5th May: Stevie Turner

Wednesday 6th May: Jane Jago

Thursday 7th May: Annette Rochelle Aben

Friday 8th May: Chris Graham

Saturday 9th May: Pete Johnson

Sunday 10th May: MT McGuire

Monday 11th May: Ritu Bhathal

Tuesday 12th May: Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie

Wednesday 13th May: Ken Gierke

Thursday 14th May: Suzanne Joshi

Thank you Jim be safe.

The three things Challenge #176

Welcome to Di from pensitivy101: The Three Things Challenge. #179
Every day she’ll give you three things that will hopefully trigger your creativity.
You don’t have to use them all if you don’t want to, simply read the prompt and see what comes to mind. Today’s Three Things are PANIC PUNCH SHOP

Welcome to The Three Things Challenge.

It’s war out there, each man woman and child for themselves. Except it’s not war is it this is a time we should all be pulling together.

Trina approached work with the rising panic she had felt all this month. As she tapped in the entry code on back door pad she checked behind her to make sure no one was watching. Entering the warehouse she was relieved to see all her co workers there. “Hi, Trina are you ready for another day of panic buying fun? ” It was Tom the shop manager, a say shop was an understatement it was infact a superstore.

Trina laughed wryly “Fun, really , I wouldn’t call it fun. Not after that woman threw a punch yesterday and it all went south! It took SCO 19 an hour to sort out the pandemonium. ”

Ten minutes later in her Waitrose uniform and stab jacket Trina walked up the shop floor to the customer service desk, dodging customers and goods alike.

Apocalypse Now?

What a state this world is in. We have a dying planet, choked up with emissions, and strangled with plastic and waste. Now I am sure the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are here. I wrote the poem / story below some years ago. I thought things were bad then yet nothing has improved infact it’s worse. So I have revamped the story today!

IS IT REALLY  TOO LATE? 

Time was late, the day was cold  the doors of the coffee shop suddenly flew apart

The scene  from the street was enough to stop your heart.

Four horse men

Slowly and silently approached along the street.

No one could of known, this was the place they had assigned to meet.

As this strange apparition  it’s progress did make,

It left fights and hunger and  deathly illness in it’s wake.

Where once was the  normal order of life

Was suddenly killing and gorging, sickness, death and strife.

Stopping their horses and dismounting as one

They found a spare lamp post their magnificent animals to leash upon.

One of their number scanned the street “No parking meters ….sweet”

They entered the coffee shop and two fights broke out

And terrible hunger and thirst spread about.

Terrified customers died in the rush for the door

People started to sicken with rashes and pustules and what’s more there was blood and guts all over the floor.

Death motioned the others to get a table

As he addressed the barista, a sickly lad  and ordered “four Americanos and a bagel!”

The boy felt so weak as he looked in to the eyes of Death fear gripped his throat

The rest of his staff were in the same boat lost and helpless’ bereft of hope!

Setting down the tray and handing Famine his food,

“I wanted espresso “griped War in a mood.

Death raised his scythe and told him to mind his place.

For he had the last  word and was in charge of this space!

Finally with the local humans all dead

They sipped quietly on their coffee, just for now doing what their leader had said.

After a short while Conquest / Pestilence looked up

And asked “is this coffee fair trade” as he finished his cup.

Famine smirked at the joke his brother had made.

“I need another , where is the barista ”  Death answered ” He died”…… “Okay” Famine sighed

Coffee over, decisions needed to be  made

How to deal with this world’s problem. Plans had to be laid.

“I think I should simply traverse this world

And make them their missiles unfurl,”

Said War before adding “with you,  Death in my wake,

How long would total annihilation  take?”

“No “chipped in Pestilence I can spread  my cloak and make them all suffer.

I have a new toy Corvid 19

It favours the old and sick , it very keen.

You can then step in Death, as they choke  and splutter.”

War banged the table ready to fight

But Death stepped in knowing his way was right .

Looking around brothers do you not agree

They are doing an excellent job of destroying themselves without any help from you or me.”

He saw they were not happy with his interventions

So he enlightened them all with ghastly intentions .

“We need to just hover on the sidelines and leave them to fester.

It will all end soon, this planet cannot sustain forever these hopeless jesters!

They thought for a while while Death entertained them, with his  fiddle

Like Nero back when Rome was burning. but not such  giggle.

The decision was made and they all agreed

They would just make thing worse for all those in need .

They would feed the wars and starve the medical fractions,

Of knowledge and money.

They would disease the corn the milk and the honey.

Death would stalk the world in his usual way

Clearing up the mess and dead at the end of the day.

They then  left the scene of their destroying powers

Riding  off together into the west leaving death and destruction and lots of wilting flowers .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The News papers and TV got the story the very same day.

“Police want to question four hoodies on horse back ” they say.

There is  a witness a child who manage to hide and lived to tell what they had seen.

Apparently strange horses, one white,one red, one black and one pale green?

This  made the  headlines  all over, for a day, well maybe one day more

Then it is back to Famine and  Plague in Africa and  the States and UK to step into  yet another War!

The Greens are screaming we must save Mother Earth

Unknowing that she already dancing  a dirge with Death.

.

Death sat in a corner and polished his scythe and pondered the meeting that morning,

Well he had at least tried to buy these humans ( for whom he actually cared) some time .

But even holding off his brothers, of hope there still was no sign.

He was tired of all the work he had to do,

Exhausted in fact, and his brothers were too.

The task set before them was too great for them to solve ..

Hopefully God will intervene and those irritating humans will evolve  !

As the Apocalyptic quartet rode off claiming souls

They were laughing at humans all bulk buying toilet rolls.

All that paper won’t help them survive

With plague’s new new virus, no amount of loo roll will keep them alive.

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 15/2020. Cheek.

It’s Saturday again and it’s time LindaGHill’s #SoCs, she saidYour Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “cheek.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Enjoy!”

Image from here

“What a bloody cheek” she shouted as the man in the BMW cut her up on the inside! I’m not having that she thought to herself. Putting her foot down on the axcellorater she sped past him and cut in right in front of him making him put on his brakes.

“Cheeky mare” he muttered, as he slowed up sharply. He pushed his hand down on the horn and smiled, “That’ll make her jump”

It did, but it also made her angry and she cursed him, he’s got the cheek of the devil she thought to herself.

At that moment his phone rang , like a fool he he answered it as he shot past her again as it began to rain. The dry road soon became slippery. Just then as she sped up again the lorry came over the brow of the hill.

They both saw it, she lost control at exactly the same time as he did the BMW hit her Audi knocking it into the path of the juggernaut something on the road made the BMW spin into back of the Audi.

After the noise of the crash, there was silence, total silence. The lorry driver was stunned , after he had rung the police he slowly climbed down from his cab and approached the mangled metal that was all that was left of the two cars.

The paramedics were shocked by the mess of metal that had been two cars. Both drivers were dead, both had their mobiles in their hands. The lorry driver was in shock. The driver of BMW was unrecognisable lost in the mangled metal. The woman on the other hand was totally unmarked apart from a bloody cheek!

#SoCs

Mr. Sagittarius is on his way!!! #newrelease #poetry #prose #photography

Marjorie Mallons Blog Tour starts tomorrow and she is excited.

Read at Source

The Fallen Angel

image from Pixabay

Landing naked in the gutter she laid still not a sound did she utter.

The pain she felt she did not understand

For it was new to her and not part of God’s plan.

Every inch of her body hurt she was cut, bruised and covered in dirt.

She had never before left heaven’s gate she was scared now of what was to be her fate.

Laying there broken, naked and dirty  she wanted to wash  she,

Had nothing to hide her shame

And she shivered as blood ran down her tiny frame.

Her eyes began to sting as tears welled up, she could not understand a thing.

Suddenly a gentle hand picked her up, she was scared, rigid and

Every part of her body racked with pain.

She was never more beautiful then at this moment in this vulnerable state,

She wondered again what was to be  her fate.

He could not believe his eyes  this startled broken creature lying

In his hand all things known to him defies.

This broken angel in his hand , could he help her or was it out of his command.

Gently now he scooped her up she winced and he jumped

Nearly dropping her back into the gutter.

Breathing deep he steadies  his hand he is determined not

To damage a lock of her hair,  no, not even a strand.

He wanted to keep her,to mend her broken body. Why had he found her, was there a plan?

What ever  he decided to do the best he can.

Taking  a tissue from his pocket  he covered her nakedness, the look in her eyes was pain and thankfulness. H

He took her home and gently bathed her skin.

He whispered so as not to scare her. He asked how and from whence she had come

She said  he could not understand and so she could not tell,apart from the fact

That there was a battle and she had seen view from the gates of hell.

He spent days tending her and at her request he prayed for her. He kept her in a shoe box.

His dog investigated her  but the dog was gentle with her and let her nestle in it’s fur.

Finally she was healed and told him she must leave  she had to make her way back to heaven and that there was no need for him to grieve.

image from Pixabay

She would always watch over him and help him in any hour of need. She told him he had shown her such care and love , that  he had tended to her even ignoring his own need.

So on a moonlit  night he drove out  to the beach he sat and talked with her until dawn . With  tears she told him she could not stay no matter how much he beseeched

Finally as the sun was rising in the  sky he gently kissed the angel and watched her as heavenward she did fly. Remember she called down to him I shall always  be grateful and we shall meet again when you die

Image from Pixabay

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 1/2020. Choice.

It is the First Saturday in February and LindaGHill said: ” Your Friday for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “choices.” Base your post on the subject of making small, uneventful choices. Enjoy!”

The Hoosiers and Choices, what has that got to do with my post today.. Not a lot really apart from the Title and the strange Japanese style video, (our Linda lives a Japanese group called Buck Tick)

Choices can be large or small and you never know what affect they can have on your life. Let me give you some examples. Fifty four years ago I went to a youth club with my friend Anne. I met a young man there … I was thirteen he was seventeen, had I not chosen to speak to him I would not be living the life I am today with three sons and two grandsons. Yes he became my husband.

© willowdot21 2019
© willowdot21 2019

That was a small choice that led to a big choice, to say hello and then later the choice to say yes.

Another small choice to help a blind lady by taking her guide dog, who was only sixteen months old, out for her free exercise . This choice let to Ruby becoming a permanent member of our family after her retirement.

© willowdot21 2019

If I had not chosen to write out my feelings after breaking my back a second time and finding bit so hard to recover, I would never of started blogging and I would never of met all these beauties!

Bloggers Bash
Photo by permission of Ritu

Well that’s just three small everyday choices there are many many more but that’s for another time.

Choices,what’s my path

Which way to choose, win or lose

All for me to choose.

#SoCs

Above is a mistake, silly me I made the wrong choice m 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

SoCs

Photo prompt round-up: Keep #writephoto

To read Sue’s poem and explanation of the photos prompt plus all the entries.

Read at Source

Song Lyric Sunday:Bottom/End/Middle/Side/Top

It’s Sunday again and time for Song Lyric Sunday. Our gracious host Jim Adams has said our prompt for January 12, 2020 – is: Bottom/End/Middle/Side/Top.

Now Jim introduces us to this prompt by talking about “Football Terms” Obviously I realised he was discussing American Football because to my English ear he was describing Rugby… I will go no further on this but I will say : “Two nations divided by one language!”

In 1973 when Stuck In The Middle With You, was released I had been married two years, expecting our first child and living miles from my London home. In the middle of nowhere in Devon. On top of a high hill, I had to walk down to the bottom of the hill to get to the shops . That was a mile and a half. My travels didn’t stop there it was another Mike and a half further down the hill to the town and the sea. If I needed the doctors that was off to the side up another hill. Where ever I went it was a long walk down and a long walk back up to the top to reach the end of any journey. I was truly stuck in the middle.

Stealers Wheel were a Scottish folk rock/rock band formed in 1972 in PaisleyScotland, by former school friends Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty.[1] Their best-known hit is “Stuck in the Middle with You“. The band broke up in 1975 and re-formed briefly in 2008.

Egan and Rafferty met as teenagers in Paisley, and became the core of Stealers Wheel. They were initially joined by Roger Brown, Rab Noakes and Ian Campbell in 1972. By the time the band was signed to A&M Records later that year, Brown, Noakes and Campbell had been replaced by Paul Pilnick, Tony Williams and Rod Coombes.

The original line-up recorded Stealers Wheel (October 1972), produced by American songwriters and producers Leiber & Stoller, andwas a critical and commercial success, reaching No. 50 in the US Billboard 200 album chart, with their hit single “Stuck in the Middle with You” coming from the album. On 7 November 1972 the band appeared on BBC 2‘s The Old Grey Whistle Test, performing “I Get By” and “Late Again”. Read more here.

The band performed the song on the BBC’s Top of the Pops in May 1973, and the song charted at No. 8 in the UK Singles Chart. It also became an international hit, reaching No. 6 in the US Billboard Hot 100.

Happy Sunday everyone.

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