The Headless Blacksmith

The blacksmith was hanged on a tree that once stood tall and strong. Now, its branches hang low, weeping for him; an innocent man. Guilty only of seeking to castigate the cretin who violated his wife; the influential man who smoked cigars and drank fine whiskey.

The headless blacksmith rides the dark lanes on his big black horse. With no need for sight nor light, he circles the weeping tree before galloping into the night, hunting for the dissolute rich man—who has long since perished under the hooves of the black stallion. The blacksmith rides on; doesn’t rest.

In response to Charli‘s Carrot Ranch 99 word flash fiction.

In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a Big Black Horse. It can be a horse, a metaphor or an interpretation of KT Tunstall’s “Big Black Horse and a Cherry Tree.” Go where the prompt leads!

#SoCS Monkey Puzzle

Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS prompt for this week is ‘puzzle’. Use it any way you’d like.

I used to look at monkey puzzle trees in stranger’s gardens and thought how beautiful they looked. I wanted one. I used to say that when I’d have my own garden, I’d plant a monkey puzzle tree.

I never did. Do you know why? Because foolishly I allowed myself to be influenced by someone else’s opinionthat the monkey puzzle tree is ugly!

I was an awful eejit!

Yes, I could plant one now if I wanted to, but our garden where we live now is quite small. I wonder if there’s such thing as a miniature monkey puzzle tree.

Holy guacamole…..I’ve just discovered that I’ve been spelling miniature wrong all these years. I thought it was minature! Well, now I’m puzzled as to how I didn’t know this before now! Obviously, it’s not a word I’ve used too often (if ever) in my writing because my spell checker would have flagged it. The dunce’s corner for me today!

The Red Dresser

I’m very late contributing to this month’s picture prompt. I did start the prompt a few weeks ago but… know yourself. Life!

Write a story, a poem, a limerick inspired by the last picture on your camera roll, and join us here at Strange Bloggers Picture Prompt 2.
Come and share your own story with us once you checked your camera roll.

The last picture in my camera roll was of this old style dresser taken in the Kerry Bog Village Museum, which we toured while visiting my uncle in Glenbeigh. Since I started writing my fictional novel I’ve become more interested than ever in Irish history. The Bog Village Museum gives an insight into the lives of people in the 18th Century, and this beautiful red dresser stood out for me because a similar one features in my story (insignificantly)…even though my story begins in 1956.

So I decided to share an excerpt of my story. Please let me know what you think! Thank you. 😉

Flossie looked the place up and down. A wave of childhood memories consumed her; the smell of baking and oranges filling her senses. Mrs Connolly always had a bowl of oranges on the table, believing that they encouraged conversation and happiness. It was a different house now. The net curtains were the same except they were grey and frayed, not snow white and pristine as they once were. The red paint peeled in patches on the dresser that was once filled with odd pieces of vibrant coloured pottery. 

Flossie sipped at her tea, but she couldn’t face a sandwich. She took a Marietta instead. It would keep her hands busy. Everyone was talking about the deceased. The sombre atmosphere was fraught with speculation and disbelief. The wide-eyed busybodies were hungry for the latest gossip, whispering and watching, listening to everything that was being said. Some only there for the drink, others there out of genuine neighbourly concern. 

John nudged Flossie with his elbow. ‘We should go on in.’ 

All the chairs in the mourning room were occupied, mostly with strangers—relations probably—and a few men whom she knew worked in Corries. Those men he worked with; Flossie wondered did they know what went on in this house. Did he ever tell any of them? Even one of them? No, of course he didn’t. That would’ve been a great laugh for them. She knew how they carried on, how they teased and ribbed each other. They were the last people Frank would tell about the mental torture he had to endure in his own home. The same house that was his home since the day he was born. His happy childhood home!

A gentle breeze from an open window flickered the tiny flames on the candles that surrounded the closed coffin. The smell of incense brought Flossie back to her father’s funeral, and she remembered gazing at him, laid out in his best suit, coins sitting on his closed eyelids, and Auntie Bridgey pulling her away. She thought it was the strangest thing; the coins. 

She will touch the coffin and she will say a prayer. She was glad it was closed because she can pretend it’s merely an empty box. A big brown wooden box with nothing in it. 

Parent Pie

Today’s post is in response to a new feature from Sharing Inspiring Promoting Bloggers. Write a story, a poem, a limerick inspired by the below picture and join us here at Interesting Bloggers Picture Prompt 1.

In this picture I see a relaxed mother holding her new baby. Dad is sitting a short distance away. Maybe he’s a little nervous; a new baby is a huge responsibility!

I have a recipe for the new parents. I’ve used this basic recipe a few times down through the years, but tailored it to suit different needs and personalities. Oh…mistakes were made when often I used too much of one thing, or not enough of another.

I’d be interested to know how you would tailor this recipe to suit your own family’s needs.

Continue reading

The Scenic Route #SoCS

We spent a couple of nights last week in Carna in Connemara. Oh…to be away! It was Heaven. And the best thing was, we booked into a pet friendly hotel so we got to bring our dog Cotton.

It was meant to be a two hour drive to Carna Bay Hotel, but Stephano took the scenic route. Which I didn’t mind until our satnav, Bridie, announced after two and a half hours, ‘You have reached your destination’.

‘Excuse me Bridie…what did you say?’ I demanded.

We were in a beautiful place indeed, but I couldn’t see a hotel, or a shop, or people. I could see the sea, stone walls, and loads of graves!

‘Stephano, where did you tell Bridie to take us?’


‘Not the hotel?’ I scowled. The dog was hungry and so was I.

‘No, I put in Carna, just to see where she’d bring us.’


So I instructed Bridie to take us to Carna Bay Hotel. She obeyed and got us there a half an hour later.

Even though the drive was three hours long, it really didn’t matter because the scenery was idyllic. The West of Ireland truly is a beautiful place to be.

Today’s post was in response to Linda G Hill’s Stream of Conscious Saturday – #SoCS. Today’s prompt is ‘drive.’

Broccoli #SoCS

When I read the prompt for this week’s #SoCS from Linda G Hillfind a word with ‘roc’ in it – the first thing that came to my mind was broccoli.

It’s one of those vegetables that you either love or hate. I was never that gone on it but I’ve always eaten it because it’s good for me. My children never liked it and I used to hide it in certain dishes to get it into them.

The funny thing is, for some strange reason, I’ve started to really like broccoli. Steamed and well done. Are my taste buds changing? Is it anything to do with being in my 50’s? Perhaps it’s another sneaky symptom of the onset of the menopause. Mmm…

Well, I blame Big M for everything else!