Archive for the Short stories Category

The Shopkeeper and his daughters

Posted in Short stories with tags , , , on May 19, 2016 by Kate Jack


The Shopkeeper and his daughters

o.htmlnce upon a time there was a shopkeeper who owned a small greengrocers. He and his three daughters lived above the shop. Their lives were very dull and ordinary, apart from their weekly visit to the library. The eldest daughter loved romance, the middle sister adored adventure and the youngest craved fairy tales. Dad read ponderous tomes on history and politics.

Whenever they entered the library, they each headed for their own particular sections, looking neither to the left or the right. So it was they remained unaware of the dark narrow passage, containing shelves full of books that were never read – not even by the librarians.

Entrance to this forbidding place was through an arch, above which crouched a gargoyle. It features were screwed up in puzzlement, as if it didn’t understand life at all. Apart from being permanently baffled, it was also an ill-mannered creature; perhaps being draped in cobwebs put it in a bad temper.



o.htmlne day, after a particularly dull week, the eldest sister entered the library behind the rest of her family, face set in an expression that almost rivalled the gargoyle’s.  She was sick and tired of helping to keep shop, she wanted to think about something else. Normally the prospect of taking out a new romance immediately cheered her up, but she was fed up with that too. Maybe she should take a leaf out of her  middle sister’s book, as it were, and try an adventure story for a change. Little did she know that the others all felt the same, they yearned for something different.


Just then the gargoyle chose to blow a loud raspberry, they all stared up at it.

‘How very rude,’ they all chorused and were immediately shushed by the head librarian.

Not sure what to do next, they muttered amongst themselves, until Dad came to a decision. He squared his shoulders, glared at the gargoyle, who winked back, then led his daughters into the fusty darkness that lay beyond the arch.

As they shuffled along, the light from the library became fainter until it almost disappeared. Their feet left prints in the thick dust that covered the floor. The only sounds to be heard was their breathing and the faint chatter from the books on the shelves to either side. The tomes rustled their pages and nudged each other’s bindings, excited for the first time in years; it was easy to tell they weren’t used to visitors. The little family did their best to ignore them, until the youngest sister stopped and pointed.


Ahead lay a faint glimmer of golden light. Dad and his offspring looked at each other, shrugged and then walked on. The glow became stronger and they were able to see it came from a large book, lying on a lectern at the further-most of end of the passage. Although it only looked a few feet away, no matter how the man and his girls hurried, it seemed an age before they reached it.

They gathered around and stared in wonder at the parchment pages, illuminated with the most glorious letters and pictures, in red, blue and gold ink. As they gazed in awe, the little family somehow knew that whatever this magnificent volume contained, it would change their lives forever.




nce upon a time…’ the shopkeeper began.


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Do unto others…

Posted in Short stories with tags , , , on March 15, 2015 by Kate Jack


Edward Galway looked at the postcard in his hand and quirked his thin lips into a sour smile. The cartoon of a suffragette flinging herself at a startled man was, in his opinion, wholly accurate. Harpies, mentally deficient – and above all – sluts! They’d do anything to win the right to vote – preposterous!

He placed the postcard on a small table at the side of his chair, then picked up the newspaper. This time he clicked his tongue at the front page photograph of a group of men kicking at a woman, lying prone on the pavement. The headline, in large black letters, proclaimed: WOMAN ATTACKED BY ANTI SUFFERAGE PROTESTORS!


The article accompanying the image seemed to imply the attack was a disgrace, particularly the participation of an officer of the law. Edward shook the paper, crumpled it into a ball, and flung it down. What rubbish! The stupid bitch deserved every kick, every blow. He wished he’d been there, he’d have shown her what’s what. She should’ve been at home, tending to her husband and children, not gadding about like some demonic, crazed creature.

He looked around the parlour with its numerous pictures, oil lamps, and anti-macassar strewn chairs. It was rather dusty and the grate had not been cleaned for days. Emily, once an obedient, dutiful wife,  had become increasingly opinionated and, one might say, rebellious since the advent of this “votes for women” nonsense. Of course he’d chastised and disciplined her, until one day she’d had the temerity to smash a vase over his head! When he’d come round, it was to find her gone without so much as a by-your-leave.


Well, he’d get round to finding her and when he did… Edward shrugged aside his anger. Time to treat himself and relax a little. He rose from his chair, made his way out into the hall, and began to climb the stairs. Somewhat out of breath, he finally reached the attic. He paused to regard the large, mahogany wardrobe, pushed up against the far wall. It stood resplendent, guarding its secret contents with sterling fortitude.


Edward fished a small key from the pocket of his waistcoat, and mouth watering in anticipation, approached the imposing piece of furniture. His hand shook a little, as he inserted the key into the lock. Today was the day – today he was going to venture into the outside world in the guise of his alter ego. The very thought of it sent a thrill through him.

The door swung open, revealing the treasure trove within…


“Votes for women! Votes for women!” The pavement was crowded with placard carrying females from every walk in life. Their voices rang out, drowning the catcalls and jeers from the mostly male watchers. Police officers did their best to keep the mob back as the suffragettes strode along the street, heads up, shoulders back.


A lone woman, dressed in a royal blue gown and matching, flower bedecked hat, regarded the marchers with undisguised contempt. She shook her head and glowered at the women, until suddenly she realised she knew one of them. The bitch! How dare she join this bunch of ludicrous troublemakers! Well Emily’d rue this day for a very long time. Forgetting for a moment the need for caution, the blue gowned woman felt her face heat up with rage. Gathering up her skirts, she began to force her way through the watching men, until one of them grabbed her arm. “‘ere, who d’yer think yer shovin'” 

She glared at the blackened features of a common chimney sweep, and snapped, “Let go of me, you oaf! How dare you touch me?”

Unperturbed, he grinned at her. “I’ll let yer go darlin’ if yer give us a kiss. C’mon now, it’s lucky to kiss a sweep.” He reached out a filthy hand, his fingers closing over her left breast.

She began to struggle, lashing out with unladylike ferocity. Enraged, the sweep retaliated with a roundhouse punch that felled her to the ground. Spurred on by their anger at the suffragettes, and the sweep’s fury, other men gathered around her prone body.

As he saw booted feet swing towards him, Edward closed his eyes and wrapped his arms around his head. Pain flooded through him, as the blows rained down. Oh God, why had he been so stupid to venture out dressed like this?


“Oi! Stop that! Clear the way!” A bunch of police officers forced their way through the bestial mob; one of them knelt down beside Edward, and grabbing his shoulder, rolled him over.

“You alright, love?” Gingerly the policeman peeled back the hat’s veil. Through blurred vision, Edward saw his astonished expression. He groaned.

“‘ere sarge,’ the man called over his shoulder, “this ain’t a woman!”

“Wot the hell d’yer mean?” the sergeant called back.

Red faced, the constable pushed back his helmet and replied, “Well for a start, ‘e’s got a moustache.”

Another face came into Edward’s increasingly blurred view, but he ignored it’s horrified expression. Everything was going dark. His heartbeat slowed… and then there was nothing.

“Votes for women! Votes for women!” Emily yelled, feeling liberated and joyful, totally unaware that on the other side of the street, her husband was no longer in a position to deny her the right to voice her opinion.


Emeline Pankhurst.

The Dress.

Posted in Short stories with tags , , , , on December 30, 2014 by Kate Jack

Fusty and dusty, the attic was filled with things – all kinds of things – crammed around the edges of the room. They were like a silent, jumbled congregation, wedged together in silent worship of the deity standing in the centre of the floor. From the skylight directly above, sunlight poured down to bathe it in a halo of golden light.

The dressmaker’s dummy stood stiff and proud, its headless outline both awe inspiring and terrifying. It was shrouded in deep red velvet that appeared almost black in places. Sparkles winked and glittered from the hundreds of tiny glass stones, sewn onto the fabric. They constantly changed colour, from purple through to pink and blue, as though a living body occupied the dress. Such was its grandeur, it didn’t take a great leap of imagination to envisage an Edwardian lady, hair piled high, wearing such a garment to an important occasion, such as dining with royalty.

The dress was old, an antique of a bygone fashion, yet it looked fresh and new as if caught in a time bubble. It oozed sophistication and style, from its low cut neckline, that would reveal just a hint of clevage, right down to the graceful sweep of the long skirt.

These thoughts and observations passed rapidly through Prudence’s mind, as she climbed the last of the attic stairs, and then came to a stop in front of the dressmaker’s dummy. She couldn’t believe her luck. She’d not been in the attic for years, not since she was a child, and had forgotten about the dress, until she’d come up here the other day, searching for something else. Prudence wasn’t even sure if she’d ever seen the garment before. But that didn’t matter, it was an absolute treasure and so beautiful. Behind her, more footsteps sounded and a second later a young man stood beside her. Her smile was uncertain as she gazed up into his rather weasel like features.

‘This is what I wanted to show you, Cal.’ She gestured towards the dress and the young man’s brow furrowed.

‘You dragged me all the way up here to see that rag?’ He pulled the back of his hand across his sweat soaked forehead. ‘I sometimes wonder what goes on in your tiny brain.’ The frown turned into something more sinister, as he added, ‘Maybe you need some sense knocking into you.’

‘Please, Cal, don’t.’Prudence’s voice was a reflection of her meek personality, which was further emphasised by her mousy hair and stick thin figure. Despite being in her early twenties, she resembled a dowdy, middle-aged spinster, dressed in a dull blouse, calf length skirt, and the obligatory saggy pocketed cardigan, along with flat heeled shoes. ‘I just thought it’d be great for the fancy dress ball next week,’ she said, hoping to placate her fiancée.

It didn’t work. Pasty face still flushed with anger, Callum Maguire curled his lip. ‘You? Wearing that? If you think you’re showing me up at the biggest social event of the year, you can think again.’ He held up a finger and jabbed it towards her face, causing Prudence to blink and step back. ‘You’ve been warned, Prue, I won’t tell you again.’

He turned towards the stairs, and as she listened to his bad tempered footsteps thundering down towards the landing, Prudence tried to hold back her tears. She dabbed at her eyes with a crumpled tissue, taken from one of the cardigan’s pockets. Why did she find it so difficult to stand up for herself? Ever since childhood, she’d done her best to be good and obedient. She’d honed self effacement into a fine art, but despite her best efforts, knew she remained a disappointment to the family.

Her parents, still known as “mummy and daddy” to Prudence, had always regarded her with distant, chilly contempt. Every time she’d been brought down from the nursery, the atmosphere instantly changed from vivacious and witty conversation, to boredom and barely stifled yawns. Young as she was, she always felt as though she was walking on eggshells.

Prudence stuffed the tissue back into her pocket and looked around the cluttered attic with a hopeless air. As her gaze roved over the stacks of old books, tied up with threadbare string, broken toys and other miscellanea, she reflected that this was where she belonged. To hide away amongst the rubbish and become invisible, especially to Cal, became an almost attractive prospect in Prudence’s troubled mind.

Browbeaten into accepting his proposal of marriage by her mother, “for the good of the family”, she’d done her utmost to love him against insurmountable odds. The prospect of spending the rest of her life shackled to a cowardly, weasley brute filled her with revulsion. That said, given her submissive nature, Prudence accepted that married life, for her, would be one long prison sentence, until death provided a release.

A loud clatter, from the other side of the room, caused her heart to leap and she looked around again, eyes wide with fear; what on earth was that? Heart still pounding, and stomach weak with terror, she nonetheless forced herself towards the source of the noise. Relief flooded her system, when she saw a large portrait lying face down on the floor. Prudence stared at it for a second, then bent over and grasped either side of the ornate frame with both hands.
Dust cascaded from the picture, as she struggled to lift it up and then lean it against the base of the dressmaker’s dummy. She stepped back, wiping her hands down her cardigan, and then froze; a face, so like and yet unlike her own, stared back at her. It was a woman, with a long, slender neck and haughty features. Her brown hair had been swept up and gathered into a knot of curls. Dark eyes, filled with pride, stared a challenge at the world, and her lips were set in a superior smile. And that was the difference between them. The woman, whoever she was, oozed confidence and self assurance.

I am a prize to be won. I will not give myself to anyone who does not deserve me. I will fight for what is mine… and so should you.

The whispered words lodged in Prudence’s mind, and she again looked around, but she was alone… except for the portrait. Surely it hadn’t spoken? Prudence shook her head and forced a brittle laugh from between her dry lips. She was being silly, or “fanciful”, as mummy would put it. And what would Cal think if she told him? Prudence closed her eyes and shuddered.

She returned her attention to the painting. It was a head and shoulders portrait and as she stepped closer, she could just make out the low cut, deep red neckline of the woman’s gown; it looked like… Prudence glanced up at the dress, then back down at the picture. The necklines were the same. She reached out to touch the portrait and then sharply withdrew her hand; the canvas felt warm! Then she noticed the small plaque affixed to the base of the frame. She wiped away some of the dust and read the name: Emily Montague. Hand pressed to her mouth, Prudence slowly stood up. This was a portrait of her great, great grandmother – the so-called black sheep of the family; it had obviously been relegated to the attic – out of sight, out of mind.

In her youth, Emily had been involved in scandal after scandal, including supporting the suffragette movement, which resulted in her being imprisoned. On her release, the family ganged up on her and forced her into a marriage to a man three times her age. She ended up living in India, where, so it was rumoured, she’d thrown herself into the Ganges River, rather than live a life she so hated.

Shocked to the very core of her being, Prudence turned towards the stairs, but the “voice” called out to her, or rather sounded inside her head again. Don’t go. Try the dress on, see if it fits. Do it now, you’ll never have another chance.

Prudence clenched her hands, until her knuckles stood out white. This was ridiculous! Perhaps Cal was right, she was losing her mind, hearing “voices.” She looked at the dress, draped elegantly on the dummy, and narrowed her eyes. No matter what Cal said, it was beautiful. ‘Too beautiful for me,’ she muttered, ‘what was I thinking?’

She glanced down at the hand she’d used to touch the portrait, her fingertips were bright red, but they didn’t hurt. Rather it felt as if she’d made contact with something – something magical. Oh how she longed for that to be true! A tingle coursed through her veins at the thought. Prudence clenched her hand into a fist, suddenly determined to try the dress on. If it looked silly, well then, so be it.

‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained,’ she panted, as she fumbled with her cardigan buttons, then the zip on her skirt.

Prudence kicked off the hated shoes and stripped the wrinkled stockings from her legs. She tugged her blouse over her head, then clad only in her underwear, stood breathless and red faced in front of the dress. She reached out and the garment seemed to unfold itself from the dummy. Arms now raised, Prudence revelled in the soft caress of the velvet as it slid down her body, touching her skin like a lover’s kiss. Invisible fingers combed through her hair, gently teasing the tendrils this way and that, until it was piled on top of her head, leaving the back of her neck exposed and a cluster of curls resting on her brow.

Prudence accepted it all. She no longer felt any fear. Her heart still raced, but with excitement, not terror. Even the sound of squeaking castors failed to alarm her, as a full length mirror trundled across the uneven floor towards her. She couldn’t see her reflection at first, due to the dust that smeared the mirror’s glass. When she started to reach out to wipe it clean, a gentle pressure on her arm stayed her. A sweet smelling breeze wound itself across the cluttered room, and touched Prudence’s cheek. As she watched, it blew across the mirror; the particles of dust rose from the glass, drifting into the air like fairy glitter. Fascinated, Prudence continued to watch, as the motes sparkled and swirled and then settled like snow upon the floorboards, where they continued to twinkle before fading away.

Look upon the beauty that is you, the voice whispered. See what has been hidden all these years.

Breath caught in her throat, Prudence raised her head and stared into the glass; a stranger looked back. She was stunned by what gazed at her from the depths of the mirror. Her hair, thick and lustrous, lay piled on top of her head in sweeping curls that accentuated her graceful neck. Shoulders, shapely and beautiful, rose from the scooped neckline, and the curve of her breasts, creamy white, nestled just above the dress’s neckline. The rich velvet encircled her tiny waist, and the skirt fell in elegant folds to her feet.

Filled with joy, she caught up one side of the dress and danced around the room in sheer, abandoned happiness. As she continued to skip and twirl, the light from the stones sewn into the fabric sent out prisms of colour that speckled the makeshift dance floor. She never wanted this feeling to go away. This feeling of lightness that made her feel as if she could fly.

Faster and faster, she whirled around until she began to feel dizzy. She tried to stop, but couldn’t; it was as if something had taken over control of her feet. Fear returned, in great tearing gasps and sobs, as Prudence tried, and failed, to halt the dance, a dance that now threatened her very existence.

Then it did stop – everything stopped. She could feel her heart slowing down, felt her breath gurgle in her throat. Her eyes grew heavy, as darkness blocked out her vision. She stood, frozen to the spot, in front of the mirror. Her reflection opened its eyes and laughed. At last, it murmured and stepped from the mirror, into Prudence’s unmoving body.

Once settled in her new abode, Emily Montague smoothed down the dress, patted a stray hair back into place, and then stepped towards the stairs and a new life.

Behind her, the picture’s canvas was now blank…
frame Land of Midnight Days UK Land of Midnight Days US Through the Gloaming Through the Gloaming US dawn horizon uk dawn horizon us

Spirit present, spirit past.

Posted in Short stories with tags , , , , on October 2, 2014 by Kate Jack

She’d been haunting me for a long time now. She never spoke, never moved, just stood at the foot of my bed, staring at me with those dark eyes.

The spirit wasn’t beautiful, like most female ghost seemed to be. In fact, she was somewhat overweight, with dark hair that had obviously been artificially straightened. Clothed in a dress too tight for her ample frame, her single saving grace was that she was young, about eighteen, perhaps nineteen.

What I noticed most about her, was the deep sadness in her eyes, from which tears always seemed about to fall. Her plump hands, bearing cheap rings, wrung themselves constantly, as she tried to convey whatever her message was to me; but I had no interest in listening.

Ever since I’d reached the age of fifty seven, life had turned into one long bout of depression and boredom. My drive, so effusive in my youth, had shrivelled like my face and body. I’d long since forgotten what it felt like to be young, couldn’t imagine it anymore. Procrastination and stagnation had become my middle names.

In the wee small hours of the morning, I’d ponder on my own mortality, especially since the death of my father. I’d also ponder on the passing of my dear mother, many years ago now, when I was just a child; but nowadays her loss was on my mind frequently, as though it’d only happened yesterday.

Here she was again, the spirit of my youth. She held her hands out in supplication, begging, pleading with me to regain my vitality – to live – not just exist.

I turned my face to the wall and closed my eyes.

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The Historian

Posted in Short stories with tags , , , on August 7, 2014 by Kate Jack



Hidden behind one of the pillars of the ruined temple, Calthansian looked down at his blood spattered tunic. The droplets had spattered right across the image of the owl, woven into the fabric; fortunately, they’d not touched the tightly rolled piece of parchment, clutched in his right hand.
He’d seen so many wars, witnessed too much bloodshed, and closed his eyes against the sight of death, only to be forced to open them again. Death was his reason for being and he could not escape it.
Despite this, he’d never participated in a battle, or lifted a sword in anger. Armour had never shielded his body against blows from an enemy; all he’d ever done was follow in the wake of various armies and written it all down.
Judgement of those who perpetrated such chaos, bringing down on their people a life of hell and misery, was not Calthansian’s task. All he was allowed to do was record events for posterity. But it was hard – so hard – not to wish such warmongers a taste of the fear, hatred and loathing they generated, like a poisonous miasma.
“The pen is mightier than the sword.” The saying echoed through the scribe’s brain. How many times had his master, Dinithious, tried to make him believe it?
‘We offer mankind the chance to learn from their mistakes,’ the old man said, during one of his classes. ‘We record history, so it can be studied and valuable lessons learned.’
Calthansian’s lip curled in a sneer – learn? Never! History kept on repeating itself, over and over; all that differed was the time and place. Yet he was doomed to record it. He’d sworn an oath, donned the tunic, and by doing so, had gained immortality and a never-ending duty to follow in mankind’s bloodstained journey.
When he stepped from behind the pillar, his gaze fell on the fallen body of a soldier. A face so young that it made the historian’s heart clench, stared blankly back at him. The boy’s helmet had been cloven in two and a lock of bloodstained hair peeked out from the gap. His breastplate, battered and scarred, had been pierced by several arrows.
Regaining control of his emotions, Calthansian stepped over the corpse, and began to make his way to where the main battle would be taking place. He would not record the boy’s death, not as an individual anyway, he would become a number, a statistic… nothing more. The glory of victory would belong to the fallen soldier’s king; only the leaders received a mention in the annals of history. For the common folk there would be no such honour. They would fade from history’s memory and become lost to all but those who loved them, and mourned their absence.

baby_blue_frost_owl_fantasy_key_by_starl33na-d5oklsj Land of Midnight Days Through the Gloaming

Water for life.

Posted in Short stories with tags , , , , , on June 15, 2014 by Kate Jack

gargoyle 1

From his position in the dock, Amus Deathwilder looked, first at the jury, then up at the gallery. It was filled with gawking morons, each and every one of which he would gladly have torn the eyes from. The desire to make this wish a reality caused Amus to shift his position, which in turn caused the shackles around his wrists and ankles to clink.

He looked down at his wrinkled, age worn hands and clenched them into fists. The only comfort he possessed now was the hundred and one years that enshrouded his body. He was an old man, so it didn’t matter what prison sentence they gave him, he wouldn’t be round long enough to see it out.

As the judge droned on, Amus allowed his mind to drift back in time, remembering his glorious “career”. How many lives had he taken? How many methods had he used to snuff out the existence of worthless pieces of human detritus? He’d always had an enquiring nature and enjoyed experimenting, seeking fresh, new ways to cause maximum pain. Each time he succeeded, he felt such elation that he thought nothing would ever beat it; but the next time he set out on another mission, the elation grew, spurring him on. That said, all good things come to an end, and he couldn’t complain, not really, not when he’d had such a good run.

The judge’s droning voice brought Amus back to the here and now. He fixed his gaze on the man, where he sat in his elevated seat. The jury had already delivered their guilty verdict; all that remained was the sentence.

‘Amus Deathwilder,’ the judge intoned, ‘I sentence you to life in prison,’

To the court’s horrified astonishment, Amus smiled and nodded. Fools! He had very little life left, the sentence was a joke.

‘Take him down!’ The judge almost shouted the words, as if he couldn’t wait to see the back of the prisoner.

On the way to the prison, Amus mused on what awaited him. Even though he was old, ancient even, he was still considered dangerous; he smirked, what a compliment! His high status category probably meant he’d be assigned a cell to himself. Well, he’d make the most of his “retirement”. They’d have to allow him access to books and writing materials. Perhaps he’d write his memoirs.

The first misgivings reared their ugly head, when the prison came into view. Set on a tall cliff, overlooking a grey sea, the castle loomed with forbidding grandeur. Amus tried to quell the uneasiness now rampaging through his thoughts, but failed.

Still in chains, he was marched along a long, gloomy passage, until he and his two guards reached a huge oak door; it creaked open, revealing the room beyond. It was empty, apart from a stone gargoyle, with water spewing from its mouth into a small brick walled pool.

One of the guards grinned at him. ‘Welcome to the pool of life,’ he said.

Amus gaped at him. ‘What d’you mean?’

The grin remained in place, as the guard replied, ‘One of your last victims was a Professor Donegal, right?’

‘That fool, yes. He was always spouting rubbish about how a man’s life could be extended, going on and on about reversing the aging process. What of it?’

‘He wasn’t the crackpot you thought.’ The guard gestured at the gargoyle. ‘He discovered the fountain of youth. Not just that, he was able to replicate its properties.’

Amus stared at the man, then realising what he meant, tried to back away; both guards seized his arms and then began to drag him towards the waiting gargoyle.

He screamed, begged, pleaded, all to no avail. The moment his head was forced under the water, Amus realised just what life in prison meant; in his case, it’d only just begun.

An old man had entered the room, a screaming, crying young man left it.

They didn’t even allow him to dry off his newly rejuvenated face, before shoving him into his cell. One small barred window, set high up in the wall, allowed what little light there was in. As Amus looked round, he noticed the shadows that dominated the room; his heart turned to ice in his chest, when he realised they were moving, crawling across the floor towards him.

Outside in the corridor, the guard who’d spoken to him turned the key in the lock. He grinned again, when he heard the whimpering start up from within the cell.

‘If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime,’ he murmured and walked away.

prison Land of Midnight Days Through the Gloaming

When you cease to think…

Posted in Short stories with tags , , , , , on June 8, 2014 by Kate Jack


My mind has always been filled with a jumble of thoughts and ideas. It’s like an old cardboard box filled with old, unused items that’s been shook up and left in a disorganised heap.

I found it impossible to calm and order the chaos contained inside my head. I either over thought things, or shoved them aside; now the time has come for me to sort through my memories, whether I want to or not.

All of a sudden my mind is crystal clear and focused on one thing – the end of my life. As I lay in my hospital bed, I relived the past – both good and bad. I “talked” to people who were long gone, but with whom I needed to make my peace for past slights and injuries unwittingly inflicted.

I wandered again through places that either no longer existed, or had changed beyond recognition. Past sunsets and sunrises filtered into my mind, glorious and golden. The laughter of my children, now full grown, echoed in my ears and I felt joy at their happiness; it gave me a small measure of comfort.

The scent of pink and white roses fills my nostrils, so evocative, so wonderful. They frame an opening through which I must eventually step into the great unknown. I accept this, even embrace it.

I’m weary now, weary beyond measure and my thoughts are fading, dwindling…

My mind is shutting down – it’s time to cease thinking.

knight Land of Midnight Days Through the Gloaming


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