Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Melly Collie - A story in a poem

Photo by Helen

Melly Collie

Melly was a Collie dog,
With eyes all soft and brown.
She started howling overnight,
They heard her in the town.

People gathered at her gate,
To watched her where she sat.
Asked her owner why's she sad?
He said she'd lost the cat.

Lost the cat what do you mean?
That really makes no sense.
C'mon, tell us what was meant,
Don't keep us in suspense.

Melly's owner gave a cough
And said, there's nowt to fear.
What I'm going to tell you next,
Will make it very clear.

Melly had a little mate,
A pussycat called Mitten.
Melly loved this cat of hers,
You could say she was smitten.

But poor old Mitten, the little cat,
He passed away last night.
And in Melly's beating heart,
His passing, put out a light.

 Now she sings a song of woe,
To show how much he's missed.
For Melly only knows one way,
To give him a parting kiss.

© Helen A. Howell

Monday, June 27, 2016

Five Word Stories - The Ring

Today I'm starting a new writing challenge for myself - a story in five words.

Photo by Helen

The Ring 

Wedding ring tossed in ocean.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Shadows (Pt.4) - A Ghost Story

Previous EpisodesPART 1  PART 2  PART 3    PART 5

“She screamed her innocence, but none would listen.” The old woman broke off speaking and stared into the flames as though she could see something that no one else could. 

The ticking of the clock on the mantle grew louder in  William’s ears as he waited for her to continue. To him, she seemed lost in her own thoughts far too long. Tick, tick, tick, filled his head till he could stand it no longer. He reached forward to tap the old girl on the knee. Lilly grasped his arm.
“Don’t! This  is our chance to escape,” she whispered. Her breath hot on his cheek.
William swung around to face her. She hardly recognise the man she loved. His features had grown hard. His brow was furrowed and his eyes narrowed to thin slits.
 “Woman,” he growled, “Shut up.”
He reached out and grabbed the old girl’s shoulder. “Well, what did they do?” 
She turned her head slowly towards them both. Lilly noticed a strangeness in her eyes, a flickering of sorts from light to dark. Her jet pupils shone like crystals. Her tongue flicked across her shrivelled lips. Panic crept through Lilly’s body, burning her flesh from the inside out.

“They  hung her from a tree branch, doused her in a liquid and set a torch to her clothing.” The old woman pushed herself out of the rocking chair and stood before the fire.
“Her screams spread far and wide and in her last breath she cursed those who had done this to her.”
“That must have been something to see.” William’s eyes remained fixed on the old woman’s.
“Indeed, it was. Is it something you would like to see?” She pointed a bony finger in his direction.
William pressed his lips together in a smile barely noticeable, but one the old girl didn’t miss.  She continued with the story.
“The next day Jonah Syrett and one other returned to her cottage to see if there was anything of worth to them. They passed her charred bones that swung in the breeze and laughed as they did.”

“Help us please…” The voices called to Lilly and she found herself pulled towards the wall by some invisible thread. As she moved closer to the wall, she glanced back at William and the woman. William was now standing and in his right hand he held a heavy stick. At its end a rag burned, yellow and red flames leaping into the air. The old woman had transformed into a younger one, She seemed to be dangling from a branch that protruded through the roof. The fire in the hearth was raging as flames leapt out and around the wooden frame. The woman was laughing and her laughter filled every corner of the room. 

Lilly placed her hands on her ears to shut it out. She was now inches from the wall and the voices mingled with the laughter, resounded in her head. For a moment she felt dizzy and placed a hand on the wall for support. Out of the corner of her eye she saw William about to set the torch to the woman’s dress.

She turned to run to his side but as she did something clasped itself around her wrist. Her  eyes focused on what held her and terrified she opened her mouth to scream, but no sound came out.

To be continued....

Words: 563

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Rose - Haiku Poetry

Photo by Helen

 Kissed by morning dew  /none so lovely as a rose /perfect in design

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A bit of humour this time - Ode To The Missing Socks

Ode To The Missing Socks

Two went into the washing machine
But only one came out.
These socks of mine now don't match,
It makes me want to shout.

I've search your drum and crevices
All sparklingly clean.
I've even felt your rubber ring,
There's nothing to be seen.

What do you do with my socks?
Come on, give 'em back!
For a hi tech washing machine,
It’s really quite slack.

I'm watching you, you know,
I'll catch you out one day.
I'll show you, yes I will,
This game, two can play.

In the meantime where's my socks,
Vanished in thin air?
I'm warning you, washing machine
I'll get even, I swear.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Shadows (Pt.3) - A Ghost Story

A short episode this week as I ran out of time. 

You can find previous episodes here: Part 1 Part 2  Part 4

“There was a leader of the group of men that pursued her.” The old woman's eyes grew darker as she told her story. “He was called Jonah Syrett, a brut of a man, known to beat his wife. He fired up the rest of the village men and together they marched on her cottage.”

Lilly noticed William lick his bottom lip, his eyes wide, greedy for details. She  knew that the old girl was well aware of his heightened state and she could sense the pleasure it gave her. “Perhaps you could finish your story in the morning.” The room now was icy cold and her breath, like a fog, hung thick in the air. She turned her coat collar up and clutched it around her ears. Every muscle in her body was tight. An inner sense told her something was dreadfully wrong and that she needed to get William away from the old girl. “It’s  almost midnight, you must be tired. Don’t let us keep you from your bed.” She placed a hand on William’s arm.
He snatched his arm away. “No! Don’t stop. I want to know how it ended.” William seemed unaware of his breath as it too drifted from his mouth in a thick mist. He glared at Lilly. 

The old girl laughed. “Midnight is the witching hour, what better time to be telling a tale.”  Lilly noticed there was no smokey haze as she spoke but her eyes were now two black beads shining in the firelight. Her lips spread in a wide smile, revealed her rotting teeth. She held Lilly’s stare and Lilly felt her collar grow tighter around her neck, as though two hands were squeezing at her flesh. She fought for breath as her own hands tore at her collar in an attempt to free her throat. “William,” she gasped, but he didn’t seem to notice.

“Are you all right, dear?” The old woman’s face was void of any emotion as she turned her attention back to William and her story.  
Lilly’s collar softened. She took several deep breaths before turning it back down. Her heart banged in her ears. Her eyes darted between William and the old woman.
She must have done that. But how?  What has she done to Will?   

At that moment she wanted to shout "run," but her body seemed frozen to the  spot. Fear was holding her in a tight grip.  A puff of air ruffled her hair and something whispered in her ear. ‘Help us. Only you can help us. Help us...” She glanced towards the wall once more, her heart  pounding in  her chest. Something large was forming and for a split second thought she saw a face push against the plaster.

Scribble by Helen

To be continued…


Wednesday, June 8, 2016


Are we learning to make fire,
with every breath we take?
As we grasp those sticks so firmly,
for all humanities sake.

Will we keep rubbing them together,
until we gain a spark?
And know that our endeavours.
will only be the start.

It may take us some effort,
but from a spark comes flame.
It's flickering light's potential, 
will that be our gain?

But flame begets flame,
it spreads both far and wide.
And if our efforts go overboard
do we then run and hide?

Making fire should be our aim
but there's a lesson to learn.
It's flames may dance, inspire our minds,
just be careful, who we burn.

©Helen A. Howell

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Shadows ( Pt.2 ) - A Ghost Story

Shadows Part 1   PART 3

The old lady gazed into the flickering flames of the fire. Lilly and William glanced at each other then back at the old lady who seemed lost in her thoughts. Lilly frowned as her eyes focused once more on the wall filled with shadows. All her senses told her there was something wrong. The hairs on the back of her neck prickled and just for a moment she thought she could see something staring back at her. She nudged William in the side and gestured towards the wall. He looked, shrugged his shoulders and whispered in her ear.
“Don’t you see it?” she whispered back.
“See what?”
The old lady appeared to still be looking at the flames, but out of the corner of her eye she could see them and her smile deepened. Just before Lilly could answer she turned to face them.  
“My story begins many years ago, long before you were born. It happened in this very wood. The time was wrought with fear and superstition and anyone who was different was a target for those possessed of that fear.” 

As she spoke Lilly noticed that the flames in the hearth leapt just a little higher and although the fire blazed, the air around her grew colder. She shivered and pulled her coat tighter. She reached out and touched William’s hand but he still felt warm. 
Why didn’t he see and feel what she did, she thought.

“Far in the wood,” the old lady continued, “lived a young woman. She kept a garden that was filled with flowers and herbs. People came to her for help with their ailments and she would make up a remedy from her garden. Lemon balm to calm, mint for digestion,  St. John’s Wort for anxiety. It was the women of the village that sought her out. They knew her talents worked. But sometimes some women who had bad husbands sought her out for a different reason. They believed she could do magic, and indeed she could. But she refused their requests and sent them away.”

“What did they want her to do? William leaned forward, his eyes sparkled. 

Lilly knew that look. He was becoming engrossed in her story. He would want details, gory details. Lilly remembered how he would watch the worst, the bloodiest of horror films. Deep inside him there was a darkness, a darkness that she believed hungered for such things and yet, outwardly he was a kind and gentle man. Did the old woman sense this hunger?

“Death,” replied the old woman. “They wanted her to cast a spell or give them a potion that would snuff out their husbands lives.”  

Just for a second Lilly thought she saw a sadness in the old lady’s eyes, but it was gone in a blink. She tried to slip her arm through that of William’s, but he brushed her off.  Something was happening to him. It was as though he was caught in a web that the old lady was spinning with her story. The temperature dropped a few more degrees. Lilly’s heart beat faster and she noticed her breath escaped her lips in a smoky mist. Something brushed her cheek and her hair fluttered for a second, as though a passing breeze had kissed her on its way through. She shivered again. Something inside her wanted to scream, but she suppressed the feeling out of fear, instead she stared at William and the old lady. Neither seemed to have noticed how cold it was. The old girl was still talking and William was leaning closer and closer to catch every word she spoke.

Even though she didn’t do as requested, the husbands of those women started to mysteriously die. She suspected, no she knew,”  the old girl clasped her hands together and clenched her jaw, causing the lines engraved into her flesh to distort, “that those women had poisoned their spouses. But the village council knew about those women paying the girl in the woods a visit and so they blamed her for these deaths. The men called her a witch and cried for her to be burned.”

“Did they burn her?” William’s eyes became brighter and the excitement in his voice was easy to hear. “Did she scream?”
What’s a matter with you Will? Why would you want to know that?” Lilly grabbed his arm.
He swung around to face her. His eyes became dark slits, his thin lips pressed tight. His jaw twitched with tension. “Shut up!” He peeled her fingers from his arm and turned once more to face the old lady. “Carry on,” he breathed.

The old girl stared at Lilly, and Lilly could feel her laughing at her even though she didn’t utter a sound. Lilly stared back at her, she appeared to be changing. Was she a now a bit younger than before?  

The old woman started to resume her story and as she did, Lilly heard scratching. A scraping sound like someone or something was trying to get free. As she listened, it became clear it was coming from the wall with the shadows….

Words: 854