By Patricia Furstenberg
12th century saw cannon fodder too. They arrived on wings of hope. Making it alive over Styx River. The deal, protecting the eastern border of an expanding kingdom.
At first, fortified churches sprouted. To each guild, a tower. To build. Defend.
Not castles in the air.
This folk came for land. Stayed for freedom. The Saxons’ skills at building stone fortresses brought them countless privileges. An autonomy that, in an Europe of monarchies, was matchless.
See the four turrets adorning the church tower? It’s the stamp of a city who earned the right of capital judgment.
Who’s crossing Styx now?
Writing, putting pen on paper seems to be a necessity I’ve embraced wholeheartedly. It clears my mind and helps me understand the world around me – or the past. Writing is my morning espresso, although the two are not exclusive.
By Michael Bloor
In 1934, Derby County FC toured Germany, invited by the German Football Association. A year previously, Hitler swept to power, banning all other political parties. The manager told the players that the British Ambassador had insisted that, prior to kick-off, the Derby team must line-up with their opponents and give the Hitler salute.
Inside the packed stadium, the team lined up and duly raised their right arms in salute. All except the goalkeeper, Jack Kirby: Hands on hips, he turned and faced in the opposite direction.
To defy everyone, alone, in full view, far from home – that’s true courage.
Michael Bloor only discovered the exhilarations of creative writing after he retired.
First, you must shed the detritus of your life. The car will be the last worldly belonging to go: Donate it. Toss your phone in the river. Photo albums, love letters, diaries: burn them. Cash out your bank account, stuff the cash into your couch cushions. Drag the couch to the curb, put a FREE sign on it. Flush the pills. Tie your wedding ring to a helium balloon, wait for a gust, and let go. Don’t watch. Swallow the hurt.
Now, walk away and don’t stop until you’re gone.
By Tony Bailey
Mihaela flicked her lighter, no flame, just the spark. She looked around the pub and approached a man gloomily staring at his pint.
‘Got a light, I’ve run out of gas?’
He glanced up taking in her age, deep cleavage and micro skirt.
‘Sure – Polish?’ he enquired.
‘No, Romanian; it’s hard making a living here, but I have a valuable asset.’
‘My body’ she said as she sat down. ‘Yours if you want it.’
‘Nah, it would be like sleeping with my daughter, but stay here and let’s talk’ as he handed her fifty pounds.
“I’ve self-published two books on local history. Now encouraged to write non-fiction by members of a brilliant creative writing class, this is my first submission.” – the writer
By An Anonymous Dad
Walking into a KFC in Bardwell, Kentucky, I thought of a hilarious joke. I figured I’d test it out on the cashier, since she looked like she could use a laugh.
CASHIER: Welcome to KFC, how may I help you?
ME: I was thinking … Since we’re already in Kentucky, shouldn’t this place just be called FC?
CASHIER: (blank stare)
ME: … because the K would be redundant … Get it?
CASHIER: Yeah, I get it.
ME: (nodding eagerly)
CASHIER: It’s dumb. Can I take your order?
ME: (in my head) Only if you promise to give it back.
She speaks of Tinder dates. Blackouts. Vague feelings of shame and regret, shards of memories, bruises of unknown origin. What she doesn’t mention is the ache – at once heavy and empty – burning, burning. Surely no one could ever love her again.
Tonight another stranger across a table raises his glass, “In vino veritas.”
Anonymous writes to be heard.
By River Rivers
My ancestors, the Modoc Natives, were colonized. My home is Oregon. My home has a dark-side. After a great battle, Captain Jack shot General Canby. For their “war crimes,” four Modoc were hanged. That’s when the spectators took their souvenirs of war.
They auctioned off the ropes, strands of hair, and pieces of the gallows. That was nothing compared to what a D.C. Medical Museum received from a surgeon. Four skinned, defleshed, and preserved heads. Labeled 1018, 1019, 1020, and 1021.
By 1898 that collection had grown to 2,206 skulls. Four of them being Jack, John, Charley, and Jim.
“I write to overcome dyslexia.” – the author
By Beth Moulton
My cat Lucy sleeps on my chest in the night. Sometimes I startle awake from the weight of him, afraid my heart is squeezing shut, but no. It’s just Lucy. He lays purring between my breasts, his heart to my heart.
When Lucy was a kitten, the vet told me he had a heart murmur.
“So do I,” I said.
Now, on bottomless nights, when Lucy aligns his heart with mine, and his purrs rumble through my chest, I wonder what my murmur feels like to him. And I hope with all of my heart that it feels like purring.
“I write because there are stories that need to be told and writing is the only way that I know to tell them.” – the author
By Captain 575
First love. High school sweethearts. The whole bit. Sometimes joked they shared a brain: Even bought each other the same Christmas gift—three times! One year it was tennis rackets. Ha! That was a laugh. (At least they were still having sex then.) Then it was iPads, which were cool – But! She left hers at the beach, he lost his charging cord and didn’t bother looking for it. Last year it was a book. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.
By Adam Farrer
On the day my family moved to the Yorkshire coast, my mother and I took a walk along the cliffs and spotted a woman standing on the edge, staring out to sea, gripping the handles of an empty wheelchair. We laughed about it together, at the notion of her having tipped someone into the water.
Three days later, we learned that an old man had been found washed up on the beach, naked but for a single sock on his left foot. We never reported what we’d seen. New in town, we didn’t want to ruffle any feathers.