Monthly Archives: October 2022

Five Word Weekly Challenge (2244)

The Challenge

Welcome to Five Word Weekly. Each Monday, five words will magically appear on Greg’s Blog at 5:00am Eastern Time (Canada/United States). Your task is to craft prose or poetry using any or all of the word prompts. How you participate is entirely up to you. Your work(s) can be a single piece, a series of stand-alone projects, or an epic serial. Let the words be the inspiration that takes you wherever your imagination leads.

The Words

orbit | surf | breeze | cycle | familiar

Click here for rules and guidelines

Pumpkin Spice, Not Just for the Nice

Pumpkin Spice, Not Just for the Nice

Ellie sat shaking in the corner. She’d drawn a facsimile of the tattoo on her hemp fiber apron. All the other baristas could find for her was a Sharpie but no paper. Across the now-empty cafe, she could see the paramedics frantically working to save a man’s life. He was laying in a pool of his own blood. A police officer stepped around the commotion to approach her table.

“May I have a seat?” She asked as she pulled the chair out.

Ellie nodded approval to the officer who was already halfway seated. “Is he going to be okay?” her voice weak and distressed as she spoke.

The officer didn’t respond. Cynthia, Ellie’s manager delivered a pumpkin spice latte, setting it next to the canvas drawing and taking Ellie’s hand in hers. The officer looked annoyed but could see Ellie calm a bit with Cynthia’s presence.

“I know this is difficult but could you tell me what you saw? Include every detail no matter how insignificant it seems. It could be important.”

Ellie started, “I was behind the counter when I heard the roar of the pipes. I looked up to see a man dressed in denim and leather pull up on a Harley. He parked in that first spot over there. When he came to the counter his arms were covered in tattoos but I can only remember the one.”

“Can you describe it?”

Ellie pointed to the canvas apron. “I remember reading it to myself as he ordered a pumpkin spice latte.”

“This is the tattoo?”

“Best I can remember it.”

“Did you take a name for the order?”

“I didn’t take his order Sam did, but his name was Dale. I remember calling it out when I finished making his order. He had ordered it in a ceramic cup and I thanked him for choosing the reusable option. He commented on my foam pumpkin’s evil grin and then in a cute but patronizing way told me I should have been an artist. I noticed a patch on his jacket that said ‘CUTTER’ as I smiled back at him.”

“What did he do after he got his coffee?”

“He took the latte,” she replied as if calling it coffee was an affront to anyone’s better senses, “…and went over to that table.” She gestured towards the far wall. I didn’t pay much attention after that but I assume he sat and had a few sips. It was maybe ten minutes, I made a couple more orders, and then Cynthia asked me to wipe down the tables.” Cynthia and Ellie’s eyes met for a moment and then she continued, “The next thing, I hear a loud commotion behind me. I spun and looked to see a table and chair fly across the store towards me. I jumped out of the way as he grabbed the person sitting on the bench. I remember the man cowering as he wailed on him. He was screaming something at him.”

“What was he saying?”

“I don’t know, I can remember, it’s all muffled in my head. I just remember the horrified look on the other guy’s face.” her lip quivered as a tear rolled down her cheek.

“Did he have any weapons?”

“Not that I saw but with all that blood, maybe? He picked him up, threw him to the ground, and began kicking and stomping on him. Finally, he spits on the man, and then like a switch being turned off he runs his fingers through his long unkempt hair and calmly walked back over to his latte. When he was done he tossed the mug in front of the man laying on the floor. He left the store as it shattered into hundreds of pieces that skidded across the brown tiles and into the heap. The roar of his bike echoed in the background as he rode off.”

“Anything else that stuck out?”

“Yeah,” her voice tailing off as she cocked her head, eyes glazed as though she was staring right through the officer, “I was struck by the juxtaposition between the violence and his order. Pumpkin spice just didn’t seem appropriate.”

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Backlit Maple

Image was captured in October 2022, Snyder’s Flats Conservation Area, Woolwich, Ontario.
Equipment: Canon EOS 60D, EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6.8 IS.
Settings: 106mm | 1/160 sec. at ƒ/5.6 | ISO100.
Additional processing via Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop.

Copyright 2022 Greg Glazebrook @ GMG Photography, All Rights Reserved.

Bloodlust

Bloodlust

Barin, stood outside the gate, his face illuminated by the gleam of moonlight filtering through the deadwood canopy. Ringlets of midnight black flow cascaded around his ghoul like features, grotesque shadows dancing across an olive-skinned canvas. He would have to hurry.

Morning approached, the arbitrary beginning of each new cycle. The shadows that betrayed him were subdued by the light of day, reflecting only a pretty façade. The cauldron churning within concealed behind a perfect jawline, witty charm, and a penchant for expensive wine. Sometimes the hunt was too easy, they were drawn to him like moths to the flame, lambs to the slaughter, or whatever overused cliché you can think of.

He was an aficionado for the macabre as witnessed in his gruesome acts. This was the part he liked the least. He felt a sense of trepidation as the gate creaked open. It was insubstantial when compared to the innate drive that had pushed him to feed. An emptiness filled him as he searched the rows of tombstones for the familiar glow of candlelight that marked fresh dug graves.

He set her lifeless remains down and pulled a souvenir from around her neck. His instinct and heart in constant conflict, like opposite ends of a battery, one providing energy and the other extracting every drop. Still, he loved every one of his victims.

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Five Word Weekly Challenge (2243)

The Challenge

Welcome to Five Word Weekly. Each Monday, five words will magically appear on Greg’s Blog at 5:00am Eastern Time (Canada/United States). Your task is to craft prose or poetry using any or all of the word prompts. How you participate is entirely up to you. Your work(s) can be a single piece, a series of stand-alone projects, or an epic serial. Let the words be the inspiration that takes you wherever your imagination leads.

The Words

Just in time for Halloween, this week’s challenge has taken a ‘spooky’ turn. Although the challenge does not adhere to a weekly theme, the group of words presented may occasionally share a common thread. You as the author can write about anything without being bound to a theme.

ghoul | cauldron | tombstone | creak | deadwood

Click here for Rules and Guidelines

Divine Design

Divine Design

I’d arranged some free time to take a quiet hike along the Grand River. It was a beautiful day, overcast but bursting with shades of fall in the crisp afternoon air. I stepped from the trail to examine a fallen tree, gnarled and weathered shades of sun-bleached gray concealing a punch of colour nestled within. Red, orange and yellow waves of an inner light radiating outwards across a monochromatic backdrop. I ponder the moments when each broke free from captivity, falling on the autumn wind before congregating in this nook. A series of seemingly random acts so divinely orchestrated.

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Five Word Weekly Challenge (2242)

The Challenge

Welcome to the inaugural Five Word Weekly. Each Monday, five words will magically appear on Greg’s Blog at 5:00am Eastern Time (Canada/United States). Your task is to craft prose or poetry using any or all of the word prompts. How you participate is entirely up to you. Your work(s) can be a single piece, a series of stand-alone projects, or an epic serial. Let the words be the inspiration that takes you wherever your imagination leads.

The Words

premier | spine | string | celestial | tantric

Click here for rules and guidelines

Buffet Blues

Buffet Blues

Let’s go for Chinese, you said, maybe get the buffet?” he parroted. “Why do I put stock in your restaurant choices?”

“Oh, stop your whining Aldus, …and maybe don’t belly up to the trough nine times.”

“At $13.99 a head, it’s highway robbery. I gotta get our bloody money’s worth, Mary!” he fired back as he bolted for the loo.

“Then don’t complain that you got the collywobbles!”

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Penal Colony 99

Penal Colony 99

Trapped inside this pressurized pod, small and insignificant against an endless regolith ocean.

There was a time in history when the unsavory were banished. Prisoners to an island, yet free to start again.

There are two states of existence on the ‘dark’ side. The ghostly gray of day and the almost black on black of night. This is my Australia. No new beginnings, only reflections on the coming end. Still, every rotation I sip on weak replicated tea watching the light creep across an unchanging moonscape until it falls off a distant horizon and I drift into darkness again.

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