A Gilded Cage is Still a Cage – Flash Fiction


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.


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.

To read other stories inspired by the photo click the frog below.

Click here to read other stories by me.

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.


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.

Click here to read other stories by me.

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. 


Written for Friday Fictioneers.

Read more stories by me here.

Click on the frog to read more stories or add your own.

Track to the Treetops

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

The Cheshire cat pointed her towards some run down tracks. With trees growing in between the sleepers. Branches lifting the track of the ground to soar high.
There you’ll see the iron horse rail. He said. You wanted to find your way back to square and narrow. Didn’t you?
But there can’t be any trains! Said I, as he just smiled and faded away.

Carefully I started to climb. As the tracks got to the treetops it ended abruptly in midair. Behind me I heard a familiar purring laugh.
You didn’t really think close mindedness suited Wonderland. Now, did you?


Klick on the frog to read more stories, or add your own, inspired by the photo.

Imaginary Roof Friend

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

For weeks, my five year old has had a new imaginary friend. She first told me over dinner two weeks ago, about a grandfather looking for a grandchild. Coming to visit and tell stories as she fell asleep. Then last week she told me about playing hide-n-seek in the backyard.

Today, just as I was saying good night, she told me about looking through my mothers old photo albums. 

I just thought she was working through not having any living grandparents.

Then I looked out through the big bay windows, and saw the shadow of a man on the roof.

© RedCat

Another 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers, read other stories inspired by the same photo by clicking the frog below.

Read other stories by me here.

Medina Nightmares

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Twisting alleyways
Walled in maze
No sight lines
No minaret

Spice vendors
Cloth merchants
Home decor hawks
Carpet charmers

Human trong
Smells and odours
Miasma of cooking
Sugar drowned mint tea
Bike bells and braying
Shouted offers
Waves of conversation breaking on stonewalls and stairs
Copper pans and wooden shutters

Nauseous on smells
Delirious by sounds

Lost in this labyrinth
Stuck in endless nightmare loops

Ray of insight

Body knows what the mind do not
One foot in front of the other
One small step at a time

Burst through that door
Wake in twisted linens on a sunlit floor


Written for Friday Fictioneers, where we tell 100 word stories.
This time it became a story in free verse.

To read other stories click HERE.

Fog Obliterated Dawn


Fog obliterated dawn. In our ten years, we’d never seen mist like this. Muffling the world like a thick snowfall. A person at arm’s length, just a blur.

Eagerly, we set out across the meadow. Talking loudly, to show the fog we feared it not.

Suddenly it loomed. Big and dark. Stopping us cold.
The old mansion, so pale and unassuming in the sunlight.

Silently we crept up the porch. The old house creaking and sighing around us.

An icy gust made something keen.
A chair moves.
A white shape seen through the windows.
Billowing fabric.
Coming closer.

We ran.

© RedCat

Click here to read other stories by me.

Click on the frog for more storys inspired by this weeks picture.

Letter of Hope

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Recall our midwinter feast
Our hope and ecological fears as we laid the tens to rest
A new decade for new beginnings at least
Instead modern humanity put to one of our greatest tests

Now we shelter in place
Curtailed from roaming free
Lost within our inner maze
Now we have ample time for truths, we might not want to face

So fortify yourself by recalling those hopes and fears
Decide where you want to go from here
So next time we meet, after our happy to be free tears
We’ll start working to bring a better greener world near


Written for Friday Fictioneers. This time I tried a tale trough a letter…

Click on the frog for more stories.

GloPoWriMo 2020

DAY 1 – Build a New Start
DAY 2 – Beloved Bookstore
DAY 3 – Sunshine and Hail
DAY 4 – Isolation Dating
DAY 5 –Staring out a Windowpane
DAY 6 – Casanova Comes Closer
DAY 7 – Swirling Colors of my Mind
DAY 8 – White – Red – Black
DAY 9 – Different World After
DAY 10 – Spring Hay(na)ku
DAY 11 – Love – Hay(na)ku
DAY 12 – Make Art – Triolet inspired
by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell
DAY 13 – What did you think would happen
to a child left on my doorstep?
DAY 14 – Ballad of the Lost Poet
DAY 15 – Writer’s class – Hay(na)ku
DAY 16 – What is a Nomad without a Tribe?
DAY 17 – Pale Spring, Here Again, Nature Awake
DAY 18 – Spring Day in the Garden
DAY 19 – Close Couplets
DAY 20 – Lost in Love’s First Flush
DAY 21 – She Tasted Like Memory
DAY 22 – Struggling Mind
DAY 23 – Written in the book of dust
DAY 24 – At the end of every week, Friday-Cozy!
DAY 25 – Slip, Crack, Shatter
DAY 26 – Humans Really Don’t Know
DAY 27 – April Rain
DAY 28 – Greeting the Watch Horse
DAY 29 – Letter of Hope
DAY 30 – Witches Walpurgis Night Preparation

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