Write 50 words that include: Dwelling, value, attack, rack.
Inside the tumbled down shack, were broken, twisted furniture remnants. But, on one particular wooden rack inside the dwelling, stood items of value which obviously had stood the test of time; in fact there was no sign of any attack from wood borer.
What value a man's life, he thought, as he looked at the instruments of torture in the medieval dwelling. The rack specifically designed to attack the joints and muscle of the victim placed upon it. We don't use them any more, he considered, but … are we really any more civilised?
Rejuvenating ecstasy and deep cleansing peace, dancing and infusing through the depths of my heart, is the value of a blitz attack, from nature's beautiful refreshing, strength and dignity on my woes. Detailed, in a delicately decorated rack, of maps to inner greatness that abides in my Waitakere Sanctuary dwelling.
Dwelling within the lockdown is double-sided, being and doing are closer together, uncomplicated, a rack and pinion mechanism. Our defence against the disease is the best way to attack it. Simple things are enriched. I value your mere presence, while the world watches as we go on a war footing.
“At the time of the attack,” waffled the colonel, “I was dwelling in the outskirts of Nairobi.”Mrs Cadwallader, already bored to tears, answered with a gentle snore. “My residence contained articles of great value,” he continued. “If I rack my brains I can’t possibly imagine what.” She replied caustically.
Dick - August
“Oh my gorgeous dark eyed beauty, I have a terrible weakness for temptresses such as you,” burbled the colonel drunkenly, reaching out for Mrs Cadwallader.
“Pull yourself together,” replied the good lady politely. “Regain your composure. People are whispering about us.” She paused. “you alcoholically challenged pisshead,” she added.
George Mackleroy had not been seen in some time. His dwelling on the outskirts of town had been left to rack and ruin. It held little value to him on the passing of his beloved wife Anna years before. Anyone trespassing onto his ten acre property was threatened with attack.
The dimly lit dwelling was devoid of both value and a towel rack. Percy floundered, stark naked and dripping, as a knock at the door came like an attack upon all senses. “Not now!” he screeched, and stuffed a stash of cocaine under the mattress. This was an inopportune time.
The century old dwelling had been abandoned by the previous owners. It was said to be haunted. After time and the weather, it was left to rack and ruin. Recently had come under attack from graffitti. It still held a high price from the land value.
Write a short story based on: He walked down to the beach and saw a brilliant light near the horizon ...
THE FIRST WOMAN
By Carl Kjellberg
He walked down to the beach and saw a brilliant light near the horizon and knew that Artemis 3 was on its way. Although he had been invited down to Florida to watch the launch, Ronald Hammock felt Caswell Beach was a far more fitting place for him to be. It was a place steeped in memories. It was here Christina had taken her first steps as a toddler. Every summer Ronald would close his practice in Jacksonville and take the whole family down to Caswell. There he taught Christina how to surf, sail and do many things that had shaped her to become the adventurous adult she now was. Just after graduating from high school, Christina received a letter from Carolina State University where she desperately wanted to study engineering. Christina refused to open the letter until the family got to the beach. ‘It’s good luck,’ she explained handing the letter to her father to be opened. And thus began a family tradition. After graduation came Christina’s trip to Africa. She announced her plans for this one summer while staying at the beach. An expedition to Antarctica followed, plans for which were also announced at the beach. A fine young man named Bob Koch proposed to his daughter on the beach and shortly afterward they married. They met one another in Samoa. While Caswell Beach held many happy memories, it held some sad ones as well. It was there Ronald told his children of his divorce. Life does not always go as you wish. When Christina told Ronald of her acceptance into Artemis program, she phoned him from Texas. The tradition broken. ‘Was this a sign of bad luck?’ he said himself before quickly dismissing the thought. To be sure, Ronald was proud his daughter had been accepted to become an astronaut. This was something she had always dreamed of doing. But going to the moon? While he had always encouraged his daughter to be adventurous and go out into the world, there was always part of him that just wanted to keep her safe. Such is the nature of being a parent.
Days after seeing the launch, Ronald sat glued to the television set like so many thousands of others around the world. The once busy beach house felt strange and empty. He remembered watching Neil Armstrong land on the moon long before Christina was born. So much had changed over the years. The sleek sophisticated starship now descending toward the lunar surface looked so different from the fragile gangly vessel that ferried Armstrong to the surface back in the sixties.
‘Forty feet down,’ said mission control. ‘Twenty feet down.... and contact!’
After what seemed like an interminable wait, a space suited figure emerged from the hatch.
‘Roger Christina, we can see you coming down the ladder now,’ said mission control
There was a brief burst of static. Christina stepped onto the surface and turned toward the camera.
‘That’s one small step for all mankind. Thanks dad,’ she said.
- I wrote this piece with Fathers Day in mind. While it is fiction, it is based on fact. Artemis 3 is a mission scheduled for late 2024 when NASA plans to return people to the Moon. Christina Koch is one of the astronauts in training for this mission.
~ ~ ~
By Dick Smith
He walked slowly down to the beach in the fast fading light. In the greyness of dusk he stumbled once or twice on the track and he realised just how overgrown it was becoming. Perhaps, if he was going to stay there any longer he should do something about it … sure as hell no one else would. He laughed wryly at the thought.
As he passed the tumbledown Jones place he glanced sideways and shuddered. He’d liked Jonesy and the old girl was pretty good too ... made nice scones. He sighed deeply and pushed a host of unpleasant images out of his consciousness
A light breeze sprung up suddenly and there was a scraping sound followed by a crash. Startled, he jerked back in fright before realising it was probably nothing more than an unfastened door or window flapping back and forth. Perhaps some time he should put a match to the place. After all, no one would ever use it again and it gave him the heebie jeebies every time he passed it.
He paused to rest for a moment on the wooden seat as he reached the top of the big sandhill before the final descent to the beach. The cries of a flock of gulls rang in the air as they flew overhead and far in the distance he heard mooing sounds from the now wild cattle on a deserted farm. Then the scary sound of angry barking from a pack of feral dogs sounded from the hidden valley and he hoped they stayed where they were. For a moment he regretted not bringing his rifle with him. He took some comfort in the thought that at least he had his fishing knife.
He struggled a little to stay upright as he made his way down the final dune and he was glad to make it to the beach surface without falling. There was no doubt in his mind that his health had taken a severe hit in the recent weeks and months. He sat reflectively for a moment drinking from the water flask he had been lucky enough to find and that he now kept with him all the time.
With a sigh he rose and made his way along the beach to the spot where he had cast out his fishing line hoping that today he would have more luck than in the previous two days. A fat snapper cooked on the open fire would certainly be a treat.
He began to wind in his line and as he did so he looked up into the darkening waves in anticipation of a catch. Then he saw it. A sight he’d not seen in all the months that had passed since that awful time. Where there had been only the last vestiges of the sunset, a brilliant light now shone on the horizon and it seemed to be moving his way. He stared seawards, his mind a network of confusion.
He’d not seen a soul since the coming of omega, the last and most vicious version of the virus. So many versions and each one a little worse than the one before. He’d thought seriously that omega was the final straw. It had certainly claimed the Joneses and the Bryants and he’d thought he must be the last survivor. Certainly he was that in their community. Maybe there were people left in the outside world. He paused in his task and watched as the light came nearer and wondered what it’s coming might mean to him.
~ ~ ~
By Dick Smith
Herbert sat sadly in front of his telephone.
“Oh my God,” he thought to himself, “What on earth do I do now?”
He looked carefully at his telephone, his lovely telephone that could do almost anything except fry an egg and he addressed it firmly. “You bastard,” he said, “the landline would never have done this to me.”
Herbert had been going steadily deafer and deafer for years and finally in desperation his wife had talked him into buying a set of hearing aids. The slick salesgirl at the hearing centre had so charmed Herbert that after an onslaught of facts and figures that would have baffled a chartered accountant he had finally succumbed to her patter to the extent of fancy hearing aids at the outrageous figure of nearly eight thousand dollars. So much for the four hundred and fifty eight dollars he had planned on spending.
The salesgirl, with all the cunning of her kind had noted that Herbert was carrying quite an expensive looking mobile phone. How was she to know that Herbert had very little idea how to use it and in fact only owned it because it was a present from his grandchildren.
“You can use your smartphone to adjust the volume and mode of your aids,” she gushed. “You are so clever to have a good phone like that.”
And so Herbert was persuaded and after a lengthy struggle learned to control his aids from his phone.
Then one day the phone and the aids refused to connect and Herbert was deaf again. Back he went to the hearing centre to complain and three times they told him they had sorted it and three times when he got home he found they hadn’t. He started to get a little grumpy.
“If you can’t make these bloody things work properly I want my eight thousand bucks back,” he almost roared at the clinician.
“Oh dear,” she replied sweetly, “I’ll make some further enquiries.”
And she did and Herbert received an email a day later that gave him instructions that he was assured would solve the problem.
You need to put a new app into your phone, the instructions advised.
“What’s a bloody app?” Herbert shouted into the phone a few minutes later, “and where do I get it and how do I put it into the phone.”
The ensuing conversation was long and fraught but eventually Herbert thought he got the gist of things.
He managed to find the playstore on his phone and there he found thousands of apps that would turn his phone into almost anything from a compass to a radio, from a jotter pad to a weather station. He was so busy looking at the many interesting possibilities that he became just a little confused about the app he was looking for. Finally he remembered. Something to do with resound. He punched “resound” into the search key and there they were, a whole string of apps with resound in their names.
“Great,” said Herbert to himself. “Now I’m getting somewhere.” He clicked on the one with the best looking icon.
A notice came up on the screen. “Please enter your credit card details,” it said.
“Bloody hell,” said Herbert to himself, “nobody said I had to pay for the wretched app. I’ll certainly have a word with them about that.”
Reluctantly Herbert took the Visa card from his wallet and even more reluctantly typed in his details and pressed enter.
“Jesus loves you.” Came up on the screen and when he scrolled down. “Sunday devotions in the main chapel every Sunday at 2.00pm.”
“Good Heavens”, thought Herbert. “I’m onto a good thing now. “My hearing will be divine”.
Then in a moment of sudden insight he realised just what he had done and he carefully examined the information on the screen. “Welcome to the Denver Branch of the Resound Church.”Donations to our cause gratefully accepted by credit card.
“Oh dear, what have you done to me, you bastard?” Herbert looked balefully at his phone.
~ ~ ~
TWO SHIPS IN THE NIGHT
By Nicola Treadwell
Desmond had grown accustomed to the ebb and flow of the tides, the soft moonglow that caressed the beach, the whispers of the wind in the palm fronds. He couldn’t remember the last time he had seen a human face.
On the ship, they had told him that he would be taken care of. Apparently ‘taken care of’ had meant throwing him overboard without so much as a farewell. Perhaps he had been a burden to them, but he didn’t know to what extent. Now it was all a distant memory -- a time lost to time, of blurred faces, motivations he could not fathom and emotions he could not touch.
Desmond was no stranger to solitude or peculiar thoughts, for isolation was the crux of his existence. So when a bright light appeared on the horizon, he simply froze and gaped. He couldn’t tell whether or not he was hallucinating.
He wanted to scream, cry for help, trace letters in the sand to get the attention of whoever might be out there. But he was immobilised, his eyes magnetised to the brilliance. He couldn’t count the days he’d been stranded on this godforsaken island. His marbles had long since been scattered to the winds, and he trusted no-one; he barely trusted the unseen forces that governed nature all around him, let alone the source of a mysterious light at sea.
The light was brightening and dimming in stages, and he became aware that waves were emanating away from it; not in typical wave-like fashion, but in a radius that extended outwards in every direction. He stumbled to the shoreline and let the water lap across his sandy feet. Fortunately, the moon was full and the ocean was awash with the light of the constellations, so he could see the waves fairly well.
He wanted to film this bright phenomenon, if only to affirm to his future self that he was in fact sane, but naturally, his smartphone was not charged.
“Help!” he eventually managed to shriek, cupping his hands around his mouth.
The light continued to brighten and dim, oscillating in the same pattern.
“HELP!” he yelled, stamping his feet and waving his arms around. “Can’t you hear me?”
The light did not respond.
Desmond was freezing, and longed to go and take refuge from the wind in his makeshift hut, but knew that he needed to take advantage of this opportunity to escape the island.
So he dived into the ocean.
Thankfully, he was a strong swimmer, having had an uncharted length of time to practice. He was confronted by steel-cold waves that threatened to drag him back to shore, an icy wall of force that bit into his bones. Eventually, he acclimated to the cold, but his muscles grew immensely fatigued.
The light was getting brighter… or perhaps he was just closer to it. Still, it was further away than he had initially thought.
His muscles wouldn’t hold out any longer. Looking back over his shoulder at the shoreline, he could see that the beach was further away than the light. He steadied his breath and tried to float, but the waves battered him about in all directions, still radiating out from the light source. The only way was forward, one aching arm in front of the next.
He knew that this was the end.
Desmond collapsed, the tide pulling him under. The last thing he saw was a watery shining blur as the light source expanded and diverged into five more. Had he not been unconscious and thoroughly waterlogged, he would have felt tingling sensations around both forearms.
When he awoke, he became aware of a dull ache in every fibre of his being. He was surrounded by shining silver walls engraved with a foreign script. Am I onboard a ship? Have I been rescued, or am I being kept captive?
Without warning, three beings of pure light floated into the room.
The beings began to gently infiltrate his mind with images. They showed him out in the ocean, struggling against the waves. They conveyed their curiosity about his predicament.
Desmond recalled the blur of memories around being thrown overboard from the ship, and the beings observed with neutrality, growing silent. Then they began to show him how his entire body could be converted into an ethereal form that matched theirs, and the myriad possibilities that might unfold if he were to roam deep space with them.
Join us, they chanted in unison, not with their ethereal forms, but in Desmond’s mind. He couldn’t understand how any of this was happening, and conceded that he must be losing his mind, so he simply nodded. The beings did not understand this, but sensed the affirmation in his thoughts.
Without sound, the ship levitated out of the water and left the Earth’s atmosphere, lost both to space and earthly concepts of time.
Little did Desmond know that after his conversion, his body would be experimented upon for fertility research. But, as a traveller of both time and space, he was content. He had finally found peace.
~ ~ ~
By Marnie Weston
Twinklepaz was a young logic-optic that lived on the outer edges of the Andromeda Galaxy, he twinkled teenzy light sparkles that were beautiful and far reaching through such deep darkness, but he longed to bathe in the pure cleansing light at the center of the galaxy. On a quest of self-discovery, Twinklepaz searched his own personal heart for a sense of dignity and distinction. Deep down within the depths of his heart, he discovered hail stones that were drawing him like a magnet to the Celestial Nutrition Alps in the center spirals of the Andromeda Galaxy. Twinklepaz, realised he would have to cross the 3 seas of the value-glowing gems (beauty, purity and joy) to reach the beaches of stardust ecstasy, and then ascend into the cleansing light of the Celestial Nutrition Alps. The first value-glowing gem sea is beauty, to cross this Twinklepaz must have a brilliant vision of beauty in his heart. As he crossed this value-glowing sea he envisioned an infinite true, pure unconditional great, great love companion sealed to his side with everlasting loyalty and inner beauty. After stepping off the final beauty value-glowing gemstones, he walked down the beach (of Stardust ecstasy – beauty) and saw a brilliant light near the horizon. While approaching, he could see that this brilliant light was one of the most intelligent and eligible young rubric-oracles. Her name is DreamCryst, she called Twinklepaz over, they joined together and walked spire in spire to the value-glowing gem sea of purity. There was a magic spark as their hearts intertwined. To cross this together, they must prove a brilliant devoir of purity in their hearts. As they crossed this value-glowing sea, together they created a purity edict of codes proclaiming elegant and ethical authenticity, noble honour and timeless integrity. As they walked down the beach of Stardust ecstasy – purity they ignited into a sweet pure brilliant white light. The third and final value-glowing gem sea is joy. To cross this, Twinklepaz and DreamCryst must resonate jubilant joy through the Andromeda Galaxy as their hearts interconnect. Together they magically danced across this value-glowing gem sea with exquisite rhythms of divine dignity, glistening gratitude, uplifting respect and blissful ecstasy. Ecstatically they bounced in majestic motion down the beach of stardust joy. After Twinklepaz and DreamCryst ascended into the cleansing light of the Celestial Nutrition Alps together they created the most cherished sweetest, purest, authentic edicts that ever existed in the Andromeda Galaxy. So, Twinklepaz and DreamCryst became the most celebrated great, great phenomenal celestial superstars that ever lived in the Celestial Nutrition Alps in the center spirals of the Andromeda Galaxy.
~ ~ ~
THE WAKEUP CALL
By Carrolyn Hollett
He walked down to the beach and saw a brilliant light near the horizon, dusk was fast approaching. Mike had set out on his walk, with his chocolate brown, coloured, labradoodle dog, Wally!
He strained his eyes to try and make out the source of the light, but it was too far away.
A neighbour Christine, also in her early forties, appeared from nowhere, beside him.
"Hi Mike, what are you looking at?" she asked. Startled, he turned to reply to her, in the blink of an eye, a blinding light shone down on them from above. They were instantly transported onto the hovering vehicle.
They and Wally were encased inside a big clear bubble. Vapour filling it, they soon realised, from how they were beginning to feel, was to calm them.
When two figures appeared outside the bubble looking in, Christine asked, "What do you want from us?”
"You need not fear us, we only want to help you 'Earthlings' and you will be shortly returned."
Mike and Christine looked at each other, mouthing 'Earthlings'.
"We are here to warn you, that you must act now! Your planet is in a rapid decline, towards soon becoming irreversible.
"Our technology is far superior to your own, yet we had to leave our planet, life could no longer exist there."
"What can we do?" asked Mike.
"You must alert others to make drastic changes; the pollution from the excessive demand on cattle farming and businesses, must STOP! To rely more on plant based food.
"We have taken on human form and language, to enable us to communicate with you and other human beings. Our natural form is identical to our fellow beings, in every way. We are neither female or male. With your differences in appearance and personality, you are very fortunate, yet we have observed in many cases, this causes problems, which we do not understand, the lack of tolerance," thy said.
Then before they knew it, Mike, Christine and Wally, were back on the beach. It was now dark. Wally whimpered and Mike comforted him. The total look of shock! and disbelief! upon their faces.
"Did that really just happen?" asked Mike.
"It certainly did," replied Christine.
They walked in silence towards their homes, then parted, saying their good nights, and each heading inside, to their partners and children.
Both knowing neither of them, would be getting much sleep that night.
~ ~ ~
By Lisa James
He walked down to the beach when he saw a bright light on the horizon. Squinting his eyes trying to make out what it was. Thinking it was strange, maybe a boat. Surely after three months he doubted they were still looking for him. He raised his arms above his head trying to attract attention, yelling out if they could hear him from that distance. The light was fading in the distance. He ran back up the beach to grab the binoculars he had saved from his boat, along with other stuff he thought he could use. His cellphone was useless. There was no cell coverage, plus it needed charging.
He could see the waves breaking over the reef. He had managed to get over it, with careful navigation or luck. He was used to being on his own, after two years sailing around the world on his yacht. The storm had overcome him, he had managed to get his lifeboat afloat, and drifted for days until he came to the island. He had taken what he could off the boat, some food, which had now been eaten. He survived on coconuts, and small fish and crabs that he caught in the lagoon. He had made a makeshift camp out of his lifeboat, sorting through his possessions, most of which were now useless.
He wondered about staying on the island forever, but he thought of his parents, his mother, especially. He looked at the watch his father had given to him on his 21st birthday; it had been his grandfather's. He kept it close to him, one day he would pass it on to his son if he had one.
Night fell and he cooked up a small meal, fish, coconut, and some rice he had left. Lying in his hammock, looking up at the stars. He wondered about the world, what was happening, as he heard the beat of drums, coming from the inner island. He had heard them before. He knew there were others on the island, maybe he should go and look for them. Then he thought they might be cannibals, uncivilised. He stayed where he was.
A gust of wind blew up. He felt a drop of rain, a storm was brewing.
He headed for the cave down the beach. He packed what he could into his small backpack and climbed on the rocky ledge and edged his way in, almost doubling over. He found the cave dark, musty, but dry. He found a ledge big enough so he could lie on. With his torch he shone it around the cave walls. Small lights, glow worms, there was a scamper of small feet, rats, he shivered. After a time he drifted into a deep trance-like sleep, dreaming of home, life.
When he awoke everything was dark; his torch batteries had died. A small light from the cave entrance led him to creep out into the bright sunlight, which hurt his eyes. How long had he been in there, he lost count. The storm had subsided but trees had been blown over. He scrambled over the rocks and into the water. His camp had been battered by the storm. Needing water, he went to the stream, it was littered with debris, he scooped up some water to drink, looking for his bottle, he had left it in the cave, he thought should he go back to retrieve it. He glanced up at the cave, shaking his head. He drank some more.
He walked back down to the water edge, to try and catch some fish, instead he saw an old style coke bottle. He picked it up and saw it had a note inside. He managed to get the cork out and pulled out the note, it looked like it had been there a while, the writing was smudged, he wondered who had written it. He stuffed it into pocket and thought he would find out who wrote it, if he got off the island.
He waded into the water and speared a couple small fish. Back at camp he ate his fish and some coconut, and finally decided he had to do something to save himself. He looked around and thought he had to find out who lived on the island. He packed up his camp, and walked down to the water one last time. So he made up his mind to go inland to find who lived there. He set off towards the stream, to fill the coke bottle. He took a drink, looking up, he entered the bush, unaware of a small plane passing over the beach.
~ ~ ~
By Kamla Daya
He walked down to the beach and saw a brilliant light near the horizon. Toby stood transfixed, and watched as the light lessened in strength and slowly disappeared. He glanced down at his watch, it was a little after 10pm. Totally perplexed, the retiree slowly sauntered up the sandy path back to his cabin
Toby, a 65 year old journalist, had worked for an international newspaper for 20 years. During his years of employment with the Canadian Times, he had travelled to all corners of the world capturing the pathetic plight of war-torn countries where he had risked life and limb. As years passed, Toby became repulsed by the continual exposure to the bloody extremities of war and longed for a tranquil retirement.
Now five years on, the newsman was living the untroubled life he had yearned for. He had no family, was an only child and his parents had passed on. There were cousins, but because of his line of work, Toby had never been home long enough to have connected with them.
A friend of a friend had offered him a roomy cabin on Forbes Island, close to the coast but far enough to ‘get away from the tar and cement’. It contained all the basic living amenities for comfort. To make ends meet, the journalist freelanced part-time for a small local newspaper – one which allowed him a column whenever he had something unusual or interesting to report.
The following day, Toby busied himself scanning chapters of the collection of books sitting on the shelf, anything relating to unusual light phenomena. As he flipped through pages of different publications, a booklet written by a Samuel Williams, a Canadian scientist and true believer of UFOs, caught his attention. Mr Williams had written about the origins of UFOs and the first ever sightings by people who had witnessed seeing these objects up to the present time. It was only a few years earlier that the scientist had seen one himself. It was quite possible the bright light which had flashed the night before was a UFO Something stirred inside him; he felt quite excited.
After dinner, grabbing his binoculars which had a built-in camera, Toby made his way down the sandy path towards the beach which appeared deserted. He checked his watch; still a few minutes before 10. He paced backwards and forwards, kicking the sand. Suddenly a light caught the corner of his eye. Quickly he pinned the binoculars to his eyes just to ascertain his hunch. His fingers then wove around the camera. The light was definitely brighter this time and seemed to last longer. The stocky elder couldn’t believe what he was witnessing. For a good five minutes, it lingered and suddenly disappeared. Mr Williams’ description was exactly what Toby had just seen.
The following morning, whilst reading the news on his computer, Toby observed he was not the only one who had witnessed the gleaming light. Others had written in with their own account of what they had seen the night before. The retiree was convinced the optical phenomena was in fact a UFO, which explained the brilliant light. The retiree began to type his report for the newspaper.
~ ~ ~