Friday Flash Fiction: Sunlight

His soft hand reached out for mine. “I’m sorry.”

My own skin, by comparison, must have felt rough. Humble. The calluses were testament to every day spent working the land. And after all, that was why I was here.

“The prognosis isn’t great,” he said, peering at his report. That meant nothing to me, but I nodded. “With aggressive treatment — well. The five-year survival rate is forty percent.”

Five years. Five harvests. If I was lucky.

My shoulders, once mountains, shook. I stared down at the mark on my skin. A childlike thought danced through my head: the pirates’ “Black Spot.” Mine, too, meant likely death.

Later, at home, I sat idly while my sister googled alternative therapies. “You could try yoga,” she said, not meeting my eyes. “Or meditation. There’s kombucha…”

I stared back at her blankly. “You’re kidding, right?”

“It’s natural,” she said, shrugging.

“So’s sunlight,” I replied.

(150 Words)

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Image from Pixabay © pixel2013 2018

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No, Wait!

“No, wait!” she shouted anxiously while tugging at my sleeve.
“You can’t go now!” she whimpered. “I do not want you to leave!”

“I’ve got to go,” I told her. “But quite soon I will be back.
See—if I do not go to work I’ll surely get the sack!”

I knew that it was hard for kids to bid their Dads goodbye.
I knew that it was normal that they’d whinge and whine and cry.

But Nancy was their teacher. “Get a grip, you’re sixty-four.”
“But sir—your kids are monsters! I can’t take it anymore!”

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Image from Pixabay © CC0 Creative Commons 2015

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From The Archives: Mess Fairies

Mess Fairies

Now something kids like you and I are told when we are young
Is that after we have lost one of our teeth,
We put it in our bed, we put our pillow down on top,
And a Fairy takes it out from underneath.

Because we know the Tooth Fairy is nice (she leaves us cash),
We come to think that all Fairies are kind,
But Mums and Dads don’t let us know that some of them are bad:
They leave a mess—not shiny coins—behind.

We’ve all collapsed in bed and left our bedrooms spick and span
But woken up with toys all strewn about.
We’ve put our clothes away and tucked our socks and shirts in drawers,
But when we wake up, all of them are out!

At first, I thought perhaps I had just dreamed I’d tidied up.
I sighed but once more cleaned and swept and packed.
But then, I got suspicious! I got a camera,
And set it up to catch them in the act!

The cheeky little Sprites had had a party in my shelves,
They’d thrown my toys and teddies from their box.
They’d tipped my jars of pencils, they’d opened every drawer,
Unrolled and mismatched all my pairs of socks.

So late that night I waited, in the dark, a torch in reach
I held the proof—a photo—in my hand.
And when once more the naughty Fairies came in through the door,
My torch came on. Their jaws dropped. It was grand.

“Now listen!” I said forcefully. “This mess has got to stop.
I’m sick of cleaning up. I’ve had enough.
From now on,” I said, holding up the photo, “You’ll come back,
And every night you will clean up my stuff!”

And that, my friends, is how I went from tidying non-stop
To never cleaning up a drawer or shelf.
So if you think your Mess Fairies are messing up your room,
Perhaps it’s time to catch them out yourself.

Original Illustration © Robbie Yates 2017

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From The Archives: Allergies to Chores

Dear Mom, I have some information that is rather grave.
I got it in a very urgent call.
The hospital laboratory said I must be brave,
In order to avoid demise and pall.

The doctor on the line said, “I have never seen a list
Of symptoms and of woes as bad as yours.”
I’ll save you all the details Mom, I’ll tell you just the gist:
He said that I’ve got allergies. To chores.

“No dishes,” he commanded. “And no laundry,” he prescribed.
I’m sure you’ll see that this affliction stinks.
“No vacuuming,” I promised. “And no mops,” I sadly sighed.
“No cleaning up of toilets or of sinks.”

I know the outlook’s dreadful, now whatever shall we do?
I’ll miss the mowing; polishing; the broom.
I ‘spose that’s it for me, Mom. Since I’m feeling extra blue,
You’ll find me watching TV in my room.

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Original Illustration © Robbie Yates 2018

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New Book Release: The Kooky Kids’ Club

My new book—The Kooky Kids’ Club—has just been released on Amazon!

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Blurb:

Maxine is smart, quirky, and a bit of a misfit. One day, she receives a mysterious invitation to a meeting of the “Kooky Kids’ Club.”

Things are looking bright. It’s nice to finally have a real group of friends. Then Maxine’s teacher disappears.

Maxine doesn’t know what happened to her beloved teacher, or how she can help. But if anybody has the smarts to help Miss Thompson, it’s Maxine and the Kooky Kids’ Club…

This quirky chapter book is for the best kind of kids—the ones who are a little bit kooky!


The book is now available on Amazon as an eBook or Paperback. Grab your copy today, for the Kooky Kid in your life (or just for yourself!)

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From The Archives: Rain boots

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It’s rare to see unbridled glee but there’s a special time
That children’s faces sparkle, full of joy
It’s all the rage for every age, it doesn’t cost a dime,
Absurdly fun for every girl and boy.

It happens when it rains and then on pavers, paths and tiles
Sit puddles, cold and wet, their beckon wry.
With rainboots on they yell, “Come On!” and jump with cheers and smiles
The splashes barely missing passersby.

Now humans all, both big and small, will find it quite a treat
To jump and splash and play a little more.
Don’t fear the crud, the cold and mud, or getting soggy feet
Because that, my friend, is what rainboots are for!


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