Category Archives: Short Stories

Post Contemporary Reprieve – by Dark & Dank

Weary with worry

and dreary with dread

I languished in anguish

I wished I was dead


Oh ghostly the gruesome gargoyles of Time

All of us actors grinning in Mime


Hopelessly lost in the desert of despair

I cried out for help but there was nobody there

I trod the tragic trails

through many a dolorous vale

harrowed by the hawk hunting low

I fled to the wilderness of woe


Oh ghostly the gruesome gargoyles of Time

All of us actors grinning in Mime


Ghastly and ghoulish

Feeble and foolish

where the mystical moody moth did appear

helplessly snared in a sinister game

fatally drawn to the beckoning flame


Oh ghostly the gruesome gargoyles of Time

All of us actors grinning in Mime


Fearlessly following footsteps of old

Through ancient landscapes of strangeness untold

I reached the mountain of madness

Where moody mushrooms ended my sadness

and here I will stay now –

forever in gladness.



Written with a (rather depro) friend one full moon night.

We were laughing so much the neighbours probably thought we were quite mad.

Hope your sense of humour sees you through 😉

Love & Hate

Well you know what they say; marriage is like a deck of cards. To begin all you need is two hearts and a diamond. In the end all you want is a club and a spade.

Strivers all of us, it’s luuuuuv we’re after. And so often, oh dearie me, it’s luuuv we get.  The word itself should have been warning enough. What’s with all the drama?

Let’s begin with the wedding, monstrously expanded to cost half the price of a nice house. So if you are a normal (unrich that is) couple and you wish to keep your social standing you are probably in for a nice sizable debt just to give you a boost when you start married life. Well I lie, really it is often not even a matter of keeping your social standing, it is a matter of keeping your bride. And a lot of people do feel that a wedding is just not the same without the dame or damsel, or whatever she is in these times. So well, there you are then, perhaps still in a nice cosy house, but with a chilling bank balance none the less.

In these difficult times of adjustment, it may happen that Madame is disappointed with her King and wishes she had taken the Knight instead. Enter Jack. The dame no longer feels like a queen, and the yard boy starts looking attractive. Does this develop into Lady Chatterley’s Lover or are we in Wisteria Lane?

But life goes on and sometimes goes forth and multiplies, so One Two Three and the need for an au pair becomes pressing (ha ha). Now our maker, for reasons we may guess at but do not know, provided us with both a King and a Jack, but the Queen rules alone as the only female.

Yet a new lady enters, and what becomes of our peaceful little kingdom? Well the rules dictate that another dame must be of a different suit. But then the Four can’t be of a different suit than its King now can it, so there can be some rather messy results. Blood spilt, kingdoms divided, hearts broken, mention made of clubs and spades.

And when it all turns to dust you really miss the luuuuuv, or do you? Unless you can find something more timeless.

Perhaps the joker is king after all.

Himalyan Rock Crystal Salt and English Bay

If possible, I shower, but with my roving life I have to adapt to the circumstances of my location.

Currently I bath – in the turret of a castle overlooking the South Downs; which does make up a bit for having no shower I must admit.

As autumn is an the advent we have beautiful balmy days but the garden is losing its summer brightness. Some roses are still blooming and the Michaelmas daisies are flowering. After Michaelmas you must not pick brambles. The old wives tale is that the devil spit on their leaves. The modern version of this tale is that there may be micotoxins on the fruit due to a fungus that grows on the plants later in the season. Same story, different words.

Just yesterday I saw butterflies on the Michaelmas daisies. The gardener thought they were Red Emporors, but then was uncertain because they had orange and no red. But then the type seems like the Emperor, and there is another variety, but that is called the Peacock Emperor, which has green in it, he is sure. Must be Red Emperor then. Odd, his face says.

Also there is Lavender and Sage and lots of Melissa (which was handy for my cold, it has good anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, apparently effective against fever blisters).

Timeless and without much regard for the seasons a magnificent Cedar stands against the light. This morning I am touch typing so that I would not have to take my eyes off the beautiful expanse in front of me.

Did you know that Cedars have biorhythms, like us? Apparently when it is overcast, they sleep in! What sensible trees.

But back to business, the bathwater is already running. A pinch from a gift of Himalayan Rock Crystal Salt is already dissolving in the warm water. The towel rail is moved conveniently close to the bath. The gown is handy. All is ready

But I forgot something. A wanted Bay for my bath. Well there is nothing for it; I have to run down into the garden to collect a twig. Down the stairs and through the lounge out the kitchen door, over the bridge that leads past the fountain, squeeze past the roses to go down to the hedge of Bay.

I wonder if the Lady of the Castle knows of the old belief that Bay protects against witchcraft.

Does she know that Bay put under the running water of your bath will relieve sore muscles?

Just the one twig and crush it to let the essence out.

Whenever I feel bad for another living thing, as I do when crushing plants to get their essence out, I think of the Bushmen (San) of Africa. One of the few peoples on earth who didn’t destroy their habitat.

Realising that they have to eat and that this implies eating another living thing, they overcome this problem, not by refraining from nourishing themselves, but by giving thanks to the animal who gave its life so that they can eat. And when they leave a camp site, they give thanks for the place that gave them a home for a time.

Perhaps that is what it is to walk in grace.

So I lay back in the bath and think of the Himalayan Mountains where these crystals were formed who knows how long ago. Out of the rocks of a mountain formed when the earth collided.

The subtle scent of the Bay just enough to revive and connect to ages past.

Tomorrow I think I will put some Rose petals in the bath…