my orders are clear


“My orders are clear. Eleven o’clock was the deadline.”

“Do you mean the orders you got from somebody else for you to do, or the orders you got from somebody else for me to do, or us both, or just your orders to yourself, or your orders to me?”


for 50 Word Thursday

Christmas Dinner

““She launched herself at their leader.” – Lorraine Heath’s When A Duke Loves A Woman

Tradition dictated that Albreda cook a goose for Christmas dinner. Accordingly, she set out to find an acceptable candidate amongst the geese of the manor. One goose in the manor gaggle, in particular, bore alpha status. Hence, Albreda approached the geese and launched herself at their leader.

The battle is celebrated to this day. A toast is hoisted every Christmas. Such were their stout spirits, a mutual respect bloomed and the two returned to the manor courtyard, where the goose assumed her new position as primary watchgoose.

As a vegetarian alternative to goose, Albreda went with a butternut squash vegducken.

n.b. there is no duck in vegducken, just butternut squash, eggplant, and zucchini.

for 50 Word Thursday

naked guy and dragon


“It is a puzzle. How can life go on its stupid course on such a day?”

a naked guy has ahold of a dragon by its upper and lower jaws, trying to pull them apart. the dragon is, like, wha…?

she puts up with this for about two seconds. breathes out a little fire to scorch the guy’s fingers. the guy’s life does not go on.

for 50 Word Thursday



restless water speaks
its truths only to itself
i wander alone

for 50-Word Thursday

How could I forget?

“How could I forget?” Mrs Judkins said.

Molly and I helped her out of the gondola.

“You’ve been experiencing some memory problems lately,” I said.

“My memory is fine,” Mrs Judkins said.

“It must have been a terrible shock,” Molly said. “Right there in my bedroom. This is the best hotel in Venice.”

We made our way into the elegant lobby.

“Well, it was a shock, of course,” Mrs Judkins said. “I thought I was alone in the suite… although perhaps you two were there…?”

“No, no,” I said. “You remember, we were at Fenice Opera House. La Traviata.”

“La Traviata…”

“Remember?” Molly said, “We sang you bits of the arias at breakfast the next morning.”

“The next morning…”

“Picture what you saw ,” Molly said, as we entered the elevator.

“Well, I…”

“You looked into Molly’s room,” I said. “You saw dark shapes on the bed. They were still, not moving.”


“Did you hear breathing?”

“No… Perhaps a moan, before I opened the door…”

“Wind moaning in the eaves? It was an unsettled evening,” Molly said.

We made our way down the hall to their suite.

“I checked the room after you told us about this,” I said. “There were pillows bunched up under the dark spread.”

“Well, I…”

“Had you been into the sherry?” Molly said.

“Absolutely not. No more than usual, at any rate.”

“Well,” Molly said, “we’ve notified hotel management. Ned and I won’t leave you alone again.”

“For now,” I said, “I’ll return to my room.”

for 50 Word Thursday

fasting and meditation

I entered the Somalian Guban on foot, to meditate and fast, after waiting a month for the arrival of the seasonal rains, which fill the sandy watercourses that cross the landscape.

On my fourth day in the heat, I saw before me in the layered air, a man or a mirage. I came closer. He shimmered, black as coal. I had to fight an urge to back away. Or to embrace him.

I do not speak Benaadir. He did not speak Arabic, Bantu Swahili, or English. We walked together and shared our thoughts. On the seventh day, I was alone again.

for 50 Word Thursday