Spirit of Ice – Flash Fiction

PHOTO PROMPT© Jennifer Pendergast

I awoke in the night. Drawn by a strange song. It bubbled and splashed. Groaned and cracked. I found myself walking towards the fjord. Cold snow under bare feet made me realise I was in thrall. Stuck in a walking dream. Led by some evil Fay. My body felt sleep heavy. My mind treacle slow.

I managed to throw myself into a snowdrift. The cold woke me fully. Just feets from the water’s edge.

I’m my mind I heard a rumbling laugh. “I’ll get you yet, lass. There’s still time before the spring thaw. Your blood will make me stronger.”

© RedCat


Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers. Click on the frog to read and participate.


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Train Ride – Flash Fiction

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

The train rattles and shakes. Waking me from my slumber. Outside the window an abandoned industrial site flashes by. Then it’s all trees again. I look at my wristwatch. Shouldn’t we be passing hamlets by now? Outliers to the great city.

I get up to stretch my legs. Maybe a coffee in the restaurant cart will clear the cobwebs in my mind.

I realize all the compartments are empty. Where is everyone? The train wasn’t empty when leaving the last station.

No passengers. No conductor. No one at all. Just me on a train going deeper into the dark woods.

© RedCat


Derek Story on Unsplash.

Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers.


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Where did the trip go wrong? – A Puente Story

PHOTO PROMPT © Russell Gayer

It had been a colourful hippie bus, proclaiming love and peace.
Vibrant, buzzing with hope and life.
Wheels turning for untold miles, on roads and in minds.
Traveling all over the country spreading the word.
Encouraging the travelers to go further, look beyond.
Envision a world where everyone belongs.

~ Where did the trip go wrong? ~

When did we lose it’s soulful songs?
Forget that a new era never dawned.
Today its message a lost echo, barely heard.
Such sentiments much harder to find.
The world full of nature’s destruction, division and strife.
A faded, bleached out memory overgrown with weeds.

© RedCat

Vasilios Muselimis on Unsplash

Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers.

This is my third Puente poem, the others are, Another Piece of the Puzzle and Sounds in the wind which is a story inspired by art.


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Chestnut Trees – Flash Fiction

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

” – It’s nothing to worry about, just a little wind. “

Little did he know it was a storm sent by vindictive spirits. Upset by the way he’d ignored the law of the land.

He’d come back from studying abroad, saying we needed to do things like modern folks did. Taming nature to our ends, not relying on her blessings. So he dammed the rivers and chopped down the woods to make workhouses spewing smoke day and night. When the wise ones cautioned him, he called them silly old soothsayers.

In the morning. Not one of his prized chestnut trees still stood.

© RedCat


Georg Eiermann on Unsplash

Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers.

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The Glob – Flash Fiction

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

The day after the grand opening the international press coverage was damning.

“Welcome to football in the orange blob.” “Guns N’ Roses to play in an orange.”
“Stockholms new arena in a big gob.” “In Sweden the sun is dirty orange.”
“Swedes have no idea a word in one language may have a different meaning altogether in another.”
“Not one official working for Stockholm city speaks English at a preschool level.”

The city quickly changed the name to the Prince Bertil Arena, but the damage was done. For years to come, Stockholm was the laughing stock of the event industry.

© RedCat


Holger.Ellgaard, CC BY-SA 4, via Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by the Friday Fictioneer prompt picture and an article I read as the decision to rename the Globe Arena to Avicii Arena was announced. The architects of the largest hemispherical building on Earth suggested the name Prince Bertil Arena, but the city wanted something different so they held a contest. 4.756 entries came in, but none of them won. 

In the end the choice fell on a descriptive name. It was spherical, so why not name it Stockholm Glob Arena! Glob is swedish for Globe.
The name was registered and protected, before someone thankfully realized that glob would not be as internationally acceptable as first thought. And saved the city by adding an e to the name.

The reference to the Sun is because the building represents our star in the Sweden Solar System, the world’s largest permanent scale model of the Solar System.

Source on the near name debacle is from Dagens Nyheter, the article is in Swedish and behind their paywall. The Swedish Wikipedia article has more pictures, including of the construction.


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Holger.Ellgaard, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A Gilded Cage is Still a Cage – Flash Fiction

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr

Every evening she goes to the beach. I wonder if it’s the setting sun or the sea she beseech.
What does she hear in the sounds of the waves?
The right incantation to keep her loved ones safe?
The right offering to calm the sea?
A safe path for her sisters to flee?

A gilded cage is still a cage. However posh it looks to those downstage.
The pain, hurt and oppression happens backstage. 

However noble your birth. There’s truly just one species of humans on Earth.

Set all those princesses free. They are people just like you and me.

©RedCat


Note: For both effect and for the international women’s day (March 8th) I choose her, sisters, and princesses. But in reality both princes and princesses, and every other royal should be set free.

Photo by Jessica Cortez from Pexels

All week I’ve had this – A gilded cage is still a cage – phrase in my mind. Brought about by one of Sweden’s political pundits comments on the intervju with Harry and Meghan. She (the political pundit) commented that many people have a lot worse life situation then those two. 

And while that is a true statement. If there’s even a smidgen of truth to, for example; the comments about their, then unborn, child’s skin colour. Every caring, equality minded person out there should be outraged!

The phrase stayed in my mind for another reason though. A question that cropped up after reading the pundits comments. Would she say the same – that wealth and standing precludes you from having and/or airing grievances – if we were talking about one of the Saudi princesses

The one’s risking their lives to flee only to be dragged back and locked in very luxurious prisons. Unable to speak freely. Unable to communicate freely. Stopped from moving around freely. Denied to live freely after their own hearts and minds.

I’ve never been especially either for or against royal families. But the older I get, the more the whole thing seems like ancient ludicrous beliefs that many people would be freer and happier without.


Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt.

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The Red Door – Flash Fiction

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

In my mailbox I find a note and a key. It seems like gibberish, until I realize it’s a rebus.

Result when seeking?
Your hair?
For ingress?

And a name, Herengracht. One of the canals surrounding De Wallen.

I take a tram to the city center. This might be a wild goose chase.

Suddenly I see a bright red door standing open. I try the key in the mailboxes.
One opens. Another note.

Over your head?

On the roof I find a table set for two.

– I thought you’d always wanted a rooftop apartment, says my lover with a smile.

©RedCat


The other day I wrote a haibun callen the Dark Stairwell, that would have fitted the image quite well. I played around with the idea of rewriting it from non-fiction to fiction. 

Then after looking at the picture again I ended up wanting to take a memory  trip to one of my favorite cities in the world. Amsterdam. A place that up to the pandemic has been my home away from home. The place I go when I need to get away and recharge. The first place I’ll visit the day traveling is possible again.

Read more about Herengracht and De Wallen on Wikipedia.

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Written for this weeks Friday Fictioneers. To read more stories or add your own. Click the frog.


The Rose Garden

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Waiting for sleep. For dreams. The only place I still see my love. Young and happy, as we once were. Not ravaged by age and disease. Like the day you drew your last breath.

In the rose garden we laugh and kiss. Hug and touch. Making love on soft grass beneath fragrant blossoms. I cry as we cuddle, knowing the dreams are ending. Knowing I’ll wake in a cold and lonely bed.

In the morning I find the rose garden covered in sparkling snow. Like the tears and sorrow of my dreams have fallen outside. Grief translated to shimmering ice. 

©RedCat


Written for Friday Fictioneers.

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