Showing posts from September, 2013

She Said .....

An interlude A prelude - silent roads from A to B. Red rivers crossing. Threads of memories outlines of smudged red lipstick I’d like to tell you lies - she said. Truth would flood my eyes. Red rivers cross singular pursuits with double-barrelled names in cheap hotels. I leave the radio on. Fling wide the windows I don’t want to smell my body's decay Or hear unanswered cries for help. Red rivers crossed. She mutilated me far beyond my life. Please remove your fingers from the dam, I said. By Poppy Taylor

Cursory Rhymes

Miss Muffet suffered from congenital Arachnoids-Phobia. It went back to the time she was left unattended under an old oak tree in the grounds of the family estate in Letchworth. She shudders when she remembers how that creepy, hairy sensation curling around her neck frightened her off her tuffet. The screams didn’t elicit any help. Indeed, it took months of therapy at Dr Patel’s Hypnotherapy Centre before Miss Muffet stopped trembling. The centre was quite well known, located behind Bet Fred and the Polski Sklep just off Green Lanes. Despite Dr Patel’s reputation, however, he was unable to do anything for her other than to stop the trembling. The trauma stunted her growth, which is how she acquired the title “Little”. Dr Patel told her that the experience had overwhelmed her normal biological and psychological mechanisms, resulting in a feeling of helplessness, terror and loss of control. He couched it all in medical jargon, which didn’t help much though it sounded


Rootprints Brassy as prized art, a conglomeration of junk leers at me cockily from the hedgerow. Its centrepiece – a fridge – sits stark flanked by bulging plastic sacks stuffed with crumbling chunks of plastered laths. Toadflax and clumps of lemon balm slicked thick with oil from a rusted sump slump down dying, a car battery sits sullen as a ticking bomb beside a pair of shoes tongues crumpled, soles worn perfectly smooth. Conscience tugs. Behind the Blackthorns a mattress weeps for all abandoned lovers. I look and see the pinched face of Jesus in the stains, smell clods of childhood, taste blood-iron from a knee, scab-torn raiding orchard apples. Back home, I relate the heinous crime to my wife. Disgraceful , she says, appalled. After dinner we sit out in our garden and watch sugar-stealers glide like daydreams in the evening breeze, rendering the sun obtuse. by Peter Wilkin


Blemished: in the name of gods she didn't understand. She had been no different from the other girls she used to play with - girls who wouldn't dare meet her eyes now.  Every morning she would go to get water from the river with her mother. It was a long way down to the river and they had to cross part of a forest where many wild animals lived. Later they would boil the water. One bucket was for cooking and drinking, the other one for washing and watering the animals. Her family would take their lunch cuddled together on the loamy ground of their little hut. Every evening, after she had fed the animals, she used to sit in a circle with her friends, singing and dancing, exchanging stories about the animals of the forest. Every day had the same routine as the day before.  Then, one night, everything changed. Two of her little brothers were taken ill. It happened so suddenly, without any warning. Their bodies were hot and their tongues swelled up, bluish in their

Midweek Motivation

Feeling a bit stuck? Need a touch of midweek motivation? Never fear - here are a few fun and useful tools to get you writing again! Storytoolz Serendipity Plot Scenario Generator I found these sites really useful for taking a story off in an unexpected direction, finding titles and place names, or for setting myself a 15-minute writing challenge to create a new piece of flash fiction and get myself out of a rut. Kindly suggested by Mary-Jane Holmes as part of her online course in flash fiction writing. Have fun everybody!

See the man

See the man                    flexing his muscles at mommy? The other dumb parents love their kids                                                              too much.                                           A zygote split into two that’s how alimony is born. Inhale deep the stream of hot dog steam Tall hand, titanic shoes                                        That’s all that’ll be left of me when this is over, baby                            It’s a done deal And I would shake your fat fingers if you were the lawyer                                    but you were the catalyst. Aili Izsak-Niimura

The Quiet

I wake up sweating; it is just after sunrise. I dress and leave my flat in a hurry. The streets are empty. I hail a cab. The driver doesn’t know where he’s going; he’s been working all night. Several u-turns later I jump out at some traffic lights, his curses ringing in my ears, and jump on a bus before it pulls away. I get off and walk for what seems like miles. I turn a corner towards a hospital and enter intensive care. I walk past an empty bed. I ask about the occupant; he has died. I walk into a side-room. There’s a middle-aged man, machines, a tracheotomy tube. A nurse checking the equipment. “It’s been a quiet night,” she says. “No improvement, but no worse.” I sit down, waiting. I speak to the man. He is my father. His eyes are half-open and the breathing machine fills the room with sound. I tell a joke, no response. The machines start bleeping and the doctor and nurse rush in. They send me out. I’m called in and told that my father’s blood pres

Lilies, redux

Consider the oak leaves in my yard how they roil and spin as the wind whips them skyward and they fly out of reach. Observe as they settle and carpet the fading grass a beauty of red orange gold that puts my Oriental to shame. See my reluctance to rise from my chair take up my rake and wreck the splendor. Watch as I toil to gather the glorious piles shove them in bags and drag them curbside for collection. By M. W. MacKay


I’m on the train on my way to my psychotherapy appointment. Most of the people entering and leaving the carriage glide past each other soundlessly like fish; ghostly shapes in the glass box of the train window. One woman catches my eye because she stumbles on five-inch heels. She has giant silver earrings and jangles like a Christmas tree. She must enjoy attention. She retrieves a fancy cloth-covered notebook and a pen from her handbag and starts to write. I can't see what she is writing, even after I crane my neck conspicuously in every direction possible. I’m jealous. I haven’t been able to write anything for months. I'm starting to feel like one of those childless women who obsess about babies. Every time I see someone writing, I seethe like a bucket of snakes. I blame the therapy for my writer’s block. It’s making me too happy. Last night I dreamt that I was a marine biologist, swimming with serene, jewel-coloured fish. The woman is probably just wr

Midweek Motivation

Greetings all! We at Cafe Aphra enjoyed this piece so much that we thought we would share it with you. :) It was taken from here:  Between Letters, at Quora , but we believe the original is from  22 words . Comments welcome! 14 Writers Handwrite Their Writing Advice on Their Hands by Josh Sowin Wofford College asked some fiction authors for a photo of their writing advice written on their hands. I think it's all pretty solid advice. See what you think: Neil Gaiman Karen Lord David Drake Ekaterina Sedia Garth Nix Karin Tidbeck Gene Wolfe Jaym Gates Jody Lynn Joe Haldeman Karin Lowachee Lev Grossman N. K. Jemisin Patrick Rothfuss

Monday Poem

A Rescue We, I don’t think, are taught about humility.             We learn to share, to wait in line,             to use our words. We are not taught to be changed with them.             Did you know that an apology once saved             my life? It was from a pastor; I’d paid a high price for his sin.             It took months but, face to face, eye to eye,             he took his burden back from me. I felt my days ahead untighten and my hands finally unfold.             The lines on his cheeks shallowed, too, if just for the moment             the words gathered before flight. By Megan Wildhood