Railway Whisper

A story that never dates…

R&R RAMBLINGS

“Just what d’ya think ya’ doin’?” Palms on hips, her head tilted, and eyes squinted against the sunlight.

“What d’ya think I’m doin’?”

“You’re lying on your back copyin’ a goanna gettin’ a suntan?”

“No.”

“Are ya waitin’ to die of sunstroke to become Dingo bait?”

He screwed up his nose. “No.”

“Unless you’re pretendin’ to be a brown snake, stretched between them rails, please explain for the masses…” her arm swept across deserted surrounding sunburnt scrub lands, “… why are you lying on the train tracks?”

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Were the books cooked?

Buckle-up bookworms, as we crack back the covers to follow the footnotes of this twisted plot that has more pulp than a paperback!

Picture this as a children’s story that starts with…

Once upon a time, on a dark and stormy night, a writer entered the fiction category of a book competition.

Two books were entered.

Sadly, the writer’s books never made the shortlist.

And the writer was okay with that until it was discovered…

Those two book entries were never read!

The cliched plot thickens…

30+ books were entered into this competition.

The entries included an amazing selection of children’s books, memoirs, novellas, short stories, and poetry by many talented authors.

However, proven by date-stamped data and other sources, two books remain unread in this competition.

Did these book judges judge a book by its cover?

“Did these book judges judge a book by its cover?”

Like most competitions, judges are either voluntary or they are paid for their valued services. But is it okay when a competition manager says this about their judges, “… I did not expect that they read every word of every entry.”

So how many other hopeful book entries in this competition were left unread?

Reading between the shortlisted lines…

As we continue to wade through this tawdry tale, the competition’s shortlists were proudly proclaimed.

Congratulations to all those nominated. Even those in the shortlist for the fiction category where some could be argued in certain publishing circles as being creative non-fiction.

But as we flip the page, another storyline emerged…

Someone far removed from the competition, noticed that among the fiction category’s shortlist stood the name of a board member. A board member to the group managing the competition.

To dare dream of a fair finale

They say troubled times helps to create a good character arc in a story, so the blue-collared writer penned a letter to the board who manages the competition.

Their plot twisted response— “…legal action…”  in a letter from the board’s President and Executive Director.

How’s that for irony, when a place claiming to promote all writers is threatening to sue a writer for writing!

“…a place claiming to promote all writers is threatening to sue a writer for writing!”

It’s enough to want to hide at the bottom of a publisher’s slush pile, never to be read again.

But then the Executive decided to change the rules after the shortlist was announced to claim “…it was the judges final decision”. 

You read that right, books not read and rules changed and they charged people for entering too! What sort of book competition is that?

Should a refund of the entry fee be requested while warning all other hopefuls to not bother?

Or is the entire story on this page fiction or creative non-fiction?

You be the judge!

 

*Author’s Note: I’d like to pass on my sincerest congratulations to all authors everywhere who publishes a book, it’s a tough task so you’re all winners in my book! 

Yeah, I had to sneak that last pun in.  :O)

Paper Chase

it’s

 a world

encased in a broom closet

where dreams expand like balloons swept away.

it’s

where colour is leached from petals

curled into bleached thorns.

it’s

a paper boat floating

amongst pilotless paper planes,

shadowed by pouring shredded paper

on a paperless queen’s parade.

it’s

a loss in belief

with no confessional relief

not while the triggers turn

it’s

remaining chained to tastes yearned

showing sometimes acceptance

can be emptier than loneliness

it’s

an emotional minefield

where dreams are reaped

& souls are minded

it’s

the rain trickle of a memory erase

to extend hope on a unicorn chase

past mountain masts

towards a stellar cast

across the ballooned moon’s whiskers

where solitude speaks of dreamt stolen time whispers

it’s

the eternal fool

led by a broken watch

to become the mists’ master editor

for the now and forever chase for that pocketful of paper

Planet’s Paradise

I tasted a glimpse of paradise

when I first kissed him on this planet

where he

re-shaped,

re-coloured

& re-outlined

my monochromatic world.

He became the foundation of strength

I the support

where his words wove the wonder of two worlds

together we built a bridge that earthed our once lost souls.

He revoked the weary from my smile

breathed hope into me

& made it a home.

He became

my everyday paradise

where listening to his heartbeat

is my lush lullaby of nature serenading my moon.

It might be a tiny part of paradise but to me, I’m so glad he invaded my planet.

Eternal Rain

you

had me

in that moment

when your presence pirated my mind

you threw an invisible lasso that tightened around me

in a time when I’d been an emotional shipwreck

.

still,

you chose to be my anchor

among those sweet exotic scents of summer that surrounded you

sinking us deeper into wetter sands

.

now,

watching a fragrant frangipani flower

follow a floating fallen leaf.

I dream of the taste of salty skin

that washes away my fortress of sand

hoping to stop me sinking into this sorrow

to stop trembling from the aftermath of a tornadic storm

.

yet,

 I knew

the waves whispered to the mermaids of that one summer love

where you were my sizzling summer season

symbolic of our sensual life-long story

.

now

it was just a closed door in the rain

.

yet,

there’s magic within a mere moment

if you listen to the wordless silence

that echoes for the moon

it’s where

I pray in this rain

carrying my jar of wishes

where among those ashes’ crystals are formed

to be tossed beyond

the time-told traditions

high into this magical storm

beyond the whispers melting into the mosaic wall cracks

that threatened to shadow our eternal dance on their beliefs

.

because I knew,

amid this slow centred storm,

he was the lightning

bringing his thunder

and I,

the lunatic

naked, aged,

& unburdened

chose to cross that corner

was ready to dance eternally within the rain.

The Interview

“And your prognosis?” She leaned back, scrutinizing the male across the desk.

“Um…” He fidgeted with his wedding ring. “Err…”

“At this rate, I’m won’t be getting my fifteen minutes of quality time.” Arms crossed, she scanned the room with a huff of disdain. “Tick-tock.”

His fingers tugged at his too-tight collar. “Well, the reports and our tests—”

“Prove, what?” Her swinging crossed leg made her stiletto’s heel to glint in the light like the tip of a black dagger.

His mouth went dry, unable to swallow. “Um, well if you look at—”

“I don’t want to look at the images I can find at home. I’m here for a report. Your verbal presentation. Not a show and tell lesson. I want to know strengths. Weaknesses.” She shifted in her seat. “These chairs are so uncomfortable.”

“I can get you another one?”

“And waste my fifteen-minute time slot. Listen, Mr,” she said, checking her wristwatch. “I want to know the basics. Simple—failure or pass? Brain scientist or truck driver.”

“No one fails grade two and your son is doing well.” Relieved to see her smile, he dabbed at the sweat from his brow, mumbling, “I hate parent-teacher interviews.”

200 words

from the flash collection HOME SWEET—NOT.

HSN TW2

#MovingMoments #HomeSweetNot #R&Rramblings #RuralRomanticRamblings

Dance of Rising Dust

set afloat

ashes and dust

abandoned hopes

as shipwrecked ghosts

are left to drift on murky waters

for a day the blue veil lifted

to uncage a gypsy sentence

to re-touch

to renew &

burn regretted debt

 kicking their coffins shut

& stepping round tombstones

So rose the necromancer’s dancer

towards their happiness here ever after

Sea of Deception

Awoken by cold water sloshing against his face, he winced, rubbing at his salt-filled eyes. Blinking tears until his vision cleared to light blue skies, he was surrounded by a flat calm ocean. Nothing more than a floating speck in the middle of nowhere, trying to remember his Stranded at Sea survival manual.

Still with his wits about him but in time, confusion would become an ally. Headaches would arrive, soon followed by motion sickness.

Licking his cracked lips he noted the first sign of dehydration, and a salt rash irritated his neck and shoulders where the life jacket rubbed against the skin, knowing boils would soon appear.

Hypothermia, he’d survived, so far. But his fingers were puffed-up like boiled pork sausages and it wouldn’t be long and his body would bloat from exposure.

He had to survive the day and contend with a sunburn that would cause his skin to crack and bleed, and try not to attract sharks.

Kicking his legs out beneath him he felt every singular hair follicle. It was as if they were being ripped out from his sensitized, briny soaked skin, unleashing shock waves over his entire being. With his heart pounding in his ears, head back, his screams echoed around him.

Then he floated. Unmoving. Just breathing.

The sea air was strong against his singed sinuses, but it was the smell of deception that burned more. Clenching his teeth, flexing his hands into fists to get the blood flowing, as memories of last night passed through his mind’s eye.

The first mate stirred that pot by turning the crew and it’d been a modern-day mutiny on his own ship. Tossed overboard like fish burly, by rookie wannabe pirates, suffering cabin fever found in a mob of manipulated dumbarses.

Soon to be dead dumbarses.

All night he’d deliberated on elaborate malicious plans. Intricate strategies perfected in retaliation of their treachery. Ensuring every single crew member would suffer in their own unique way. It’s what kept him alive.

He needed to prevent sunburn and cover his eyes to combat partial blindness, another expected side effect from reflective sunlight and needed to suspend his gruesome death by seawater. With measured movements, he found nothing in his pockets. There hadn’t been time to grab anything, only wearing shorts and his own personal lifejacket. For now, it was just waiting while planning his revenge and drift with the tide.

When a whirring mechanical noise echoed in the distance. Shielding his eyes from the rising sun, he spotted a fast moving object coming towards him.

Thank god—a helicopter.

Sighing with relief he smiled. He might be a captain—but he was a modern-day pirate and the EPIRB attached to his lifejacket obviously worked and knew he’d have his vengeance.

 

from the flash fiction collection MOVING MOMENTS

MMoments R&Rramblings FB 1b

#MovingMoments #HomeSweetNot #R&Rramblings #RuralRomanticRamblings

Finding Lost

days lost

as a recycled relic

alive behind jigsaws of glass & brick

just shifting mortar in this dead man’s dance

where the rabid rabbit is trapped in a clockwork spiral

where the tick  crawls on that walled clock of damned denial

listening to souls shadow-chase ghosts under the midday moon

such is another day climbing that planned tapestry chain

forgetting freedoms, faces, and even our names

handcuffed to habits, hurts, and self-blame

I’m out of place amongst the mundane

where static delays decay my days

like a sidelined renegade

chained in body

yet free in mind

how I choose to fall

is where I’ll learn to fly

to stop playing the paycheque-whore

& never look back for that boardroom door

to face the long black-water heated highways

I’ll re-find a renewed lost within an unscheduled history