They burned books in the hallways. I could smell it, the pain, the anger, the protest as the words scurried out of the open windows, sucked out into the great, black yonder by the treacherous summer wind.

I had expected more of Nature. After all, She had suffered enough over the millennia, as Man chewed Her up and spat Her out. But no, here She was, aiding the destroyers of the only beautiful thing that we had managed to create without destroying Her.

But. Maybe that was the point.

Helping Man wreak his own destruction.



In absentia – Magpie Tales

To Carly, the world around her was muffled and blurred, as if she were being tossed about in swelling seas, utterly at the whim and wish of the tides. This was a long yearned-for feeling, this separation, this distance, this other-worldliness. It had been a long time coming.

Others saw her as emotionless, cold, unfeeling, least of all broken-hearted. That’s what they wanted from her, to see her weeping and wailing, maybe even clutching at her hair, ripping her shirt in two, destroyed by despair.

They didn’t understand her, and now it was clear as the summer’s day outside her, that they never would. She was more broken, more destroyed, more cast adrift than she had ever been before, probably never would be again. But she channelled, she focused, she used all the pain, the loss, the emptiness and turned it into something real. It was, for her, the only way.

‘This time last year, none of this existed,’ she thought to herself, and raised a small smile. ‘Oh, I wish beyond all measure that you were still here in the flesh, but wishes are not horses and the devil will not ride. This book is testament to you, my love. Thank you for inspiring me with your absence.’

Carly raised her coffee cup, saluted her absent love and swallowed her tears with the bitter-sweet beverage. ‘For you, Andy, for you.’


Here’s this week’s entry into Magpie Tales. Please visit here for more creativity, and why not take part, if you feel the urge!

Hollow – Five Sentence Fiction


They could not bring themselves to look at his chair, to speak of him, to barely eat the food that had, as always, been laid out so beautifully in front of them.

It was as if the carefully crafted rhythm of their days had been but a fallacy, for he had tricked them all into believing that he was present, that he was there, with them, rather than anywhere else but here, swallowed up by his demons as they chewed and swallowed their food.

“Where is he, Mom, where is Jack?”

She looked down at her youngest, suppressed tears that threatened to burn her with their salt, so strong was the urge to keen, to wail, to shout out the unanswerable question: “Why?”

“I don’t know, honey; hopefully, to a better place for him than here.”


Here is my latest entry into the lovely Lillie’s Five Sentence Fiction, where she has provided this photo for our inspiration.

Please do visit here to read the entries from other writers who love to keep it short too.