Mortar and dreams

by c4a1g


in the middle of there

stood a likeness of a person

made from memories as hard as rock

a wall built around closes in tight

small cracks let in light-workers




can save one from



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by Aj-anba

2nd place 25 Words or Less Contest

Voices that echo,

That resonate within me,

Guide me along this path

That I have walked for so long.

Gentle light illuminates the way



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The Haunted Kettle

by Hillary-Chase

Chapter One

It was cold outside and the sun was setting. Time for a cup of tea thought Tarquin Shcmittendorf, resident of Mistyfront Manor and earl of Chinchester, England. Tarquin always had a cup of English earl grey tea in the evening, before settling down to watch the English football.

Tarquin made his way to the kitchen where the kettle was. He filled the kettle with water and switched it on. He took a mug from the mug tree and placed two crumpets in the toaster. The kettle had nearly finished boiling. Tarquin got the tea pot ready and placed a tea bag inside it. But the kettle didn’t switch itself off…it kept boiling. The boiling water splashed out of the kettle and onto Tarquin’s hand.

“Ahhhhhhh! That hurts!” said Tarquin in fear.

The kettle had just malfunctioned and shot boiling water out, burning Tarquin’s hand. He ran it under a cold tap.

“Bloody thing” said Tarquin. “I need to get a new one, that one’s old.”

Tarquin had finished watching the football and was readying himself for bed. He had just finished reading his book on horses and had switched out the light. He closed his eyes. Silence, save for a few nighttime noises. An owl. The sound of wind outside. Then an unexpected noise, the sound of…a kettle boiling. Could it be? Yes! It was that bloody kettle! Making his way downstairs Tarquin saw that the kettle was indeed boiling.

“I thought I’d turned it off” he said to himself inside his head.

Now Tarquin unplugged the kettle at the mains. He walked the long, winding stairs to his bedroom. He slipped back into his still warm bed and closed his eyes. Thoughts danced across his mind…the football – Beckham had scored!…his dead wife Elise…he still missed her. Tarquin opened his eyes suddenly, his train of though interrupted. He could hear a low gurgle, the sound of boiling water. It was the kettle! He had unplugged it, how was this possible? Once again he made his way downstairs to the kitchen and switched on the light. His heart skipped a beat, sure enough the kettle was boiling…and it was unplugged. This was too much for Tarquin, in a rage he threw a left hook at the kettle, knocking it to the lino floor. Boiling water spilled out, steam rose.

“Just stop boiling!” screamed Tarquin.

Tarquin had returned to bed and, after a restless night, awoken and made himself breakfast – crumpets with marmite. The kettle was now in the box it came in, in the garage. Tarquin had to open a supermarket today, such was the responsibility of an aristocrat. He was cleaning his teeth in the bathroom when he felt a cold chill, goosebumps appeared on his skin. There was a malevolent entity in the room, he could sense it. Spinning around Tarquin gazed with horror upon the kettle rocking it’s way towards him. His mouth dropped open spilling toothpaste and saliva down his shirt. He threw his toothbrush at the kettle, but this only enraged it and it rocked more vigorously. Slowly it came nearer, the water inside it starting to boil with an evil gurgle.

“Aaaaaahhhhhhhhh!” said Tarquin, leaping though the bathroom window onto the sloping roof outside. He scrambled down it’s tiles, a few came loose. Tarquin fell through the conservatory…then everything went black.

He woke with an intense pain in his head…was it all a dream? He had had and accident. He was confused. He slowly turned his head to the side…a vague shape came into focus. The kettle, it’s lid rising and falling on it’s hinge…it was laughing. The kettle was laughing. The kettle was evil. And now it had him just where it wanted, and it wanted him boiled alive.


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Slipping Away

by Chohns

Why do we let some of the best opportunities slip?

Slip right through our fingers

Right by us

When they were right there in front of us

There for the taking.

We shy away in fear

For fear of what?

Fear of life itself?

I’m yet to discover why we are breeding a society so scared to live life.

They say take chances, don’t hold back

With that comes anticipation, nervousness & that well-loved word again, fear.

If we don’t, we harbour regret.

If we do, there is still that risk of regret.

So, what do you do?

How do we know what is right & when to take that chance?

Lets just get real. Just for a moment.

We never know if its right or not until we try.

That deep regret you feel inside,

Is all a part of personal growth & learning who you are.

It’s essential.

Essential to endure the difficulties life may bring

Essential to be unlike you for a little while,

So you know how to be a better you.

Essential to take chances,

If you don’t, you’ll just live in limbo & be stuck.

Stuck in the nothingness.

And maybe, just maybe, it is also essential to be stuck in the nothingness,

So that you can find a way to pull yourself from the nothing,

And find what you really desire.

The depths of desire are unchartered.

It is up to us to delve into these depths & test the waters.

Find new chapters to explore.

Create our own ending.

To do the right thing,

To do the wrong thing,

To learn,

To grow,

To live,

To love,

To be.


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How to Get a Black Eye at the Circus

by Killerelite

The title says it all. And ninety nine percent of the people who visit a circus could not accomplish this feat if they tried. I mean think about it. First of all, who the hell goes to a circus looking for or wanting a black eye? Secondly, how would it even happen accidentally? I’ll tell you exactly how it happened to me.

In the mid ninety’s when my son was still quite young PT Barnum came to town. One trip to our super market to view the circus advertisements posted there and my son was a non stop allegory of circus happenings. There was no way we weren’t going, so I bought tickets. I tend to involve myself in anything family to the max. I mean, why not? If I’m stuck there, I might as well learn something right? I did learn big time about circuses, and animals, and black eyes. And I learned a hell of a lot more about an elephants trunk than any human that does not live with them needs to learn. I should have thought a tad bit more about event planning before I decided to make it a max exciting experience for my kid. I had learned years earlier at the expense of some broken, ribs and various other pains that a an animal in captivity is still a wild animal. It just has some human constraints, that (trust me) aren’t enough to save your ass should things go awry.

The day of the circus rolled around and by my event planning skills we arrived plenty early to snoop around. Hey, it’s how you learn. I didn’t know anything about circuses. But I do know how to communicate and all it took to go behind the scenes was two minutes talking to a manager and we were checking out the pre-circus preparation. To a certain point, it was really cool and very informative. The people were very friendly and jovial. My son and I were even given peanuts and popcorn.

We were being given a hands on tutorial about giraffes, when an elephant trumpeted and stole my son’s attention. The manager walked us over to where six elephants were being pampered, (for lack of better word). They were right out in the open behind the large tent. I was impressed. No chains or anything even remotely secure. Before my apprehension kicked in, my son was in front of one with it’s trainer playing high five with the animal. We were told that they were all females and all close to thirty years old. They seemed very docile and pleasant mannered. I guess that’s why I left my guard down.

I was standing in front of an elephant named Megan that seemed to want my peanuts. After getting the okay from the trainer, I held out a peanut for the large pachyderm. Behind me the trainer was telling me about the musculature of her trunk. “Elephants have forty thousand individual muscles in their trunk.” The man said. And I was amazed at the deftness and gentle manner with which such a large animal took a single peanut from my hand.

I was also amazed at the speed at which Megan’s trunk flicked out towards my face. In a millisecond the curled trunk had unfurled and expelled the peanut I had given her along with a large amount of mucus. Two things just then added to my demise. One was that my Oakley’s were on top of my head. The second was that I had been lulled into a sense of security by Megan’s calm, slow demeanor. Her extended trunk was only about three inches from my left eye when she fired the contents of her nasal cavity with the peanut.

Rather than try and describe the physical pain that I was experiencing, I’ll say that I would have gladly given any professional boxer a free shot at my eye just then in trade for what had just happened. Immediately dropping to one knee, the trainer yammered, “Are you alright buddy?” Well, let’s assess that shall we? Let me just wipe this quart of elephant snot away and see if my eye is still intact. I’ll live Bub, but I am not happy! $hit it hurt like Devil just ground his dirty high heel into my eye socket with the nosecone of an f-22 fighter jet.

Turns out Megan just did not want one peanut, she opted for the whole bag. And with the deftness of a Ninja, she knew exactly how to get them. Hell with forty thousand muscles in that shnozzle of her’s, Megan could well just have removed them from my hand. She opted for a little pachyderm target practice. And when that peanut struck my eye at some thousand feet per second, I immediately dropped the bag of peanuts for her offering. What a clever girl she was. I then found myself thinking of what elephant tasted like, but backed away from Megan while doing so lest she read minds.

One of the circus medical personnel arrived and wash my eye with saline. Then produced a mirror and showed me my brand new grotesquely swollen, multi colored eye. My kid just happened to think that was the coolest thing ever and probably did not see much of the circus for staring at my eye. And though it did not surprise me, my son further capitalized on the situation when we got home. Not an hour after we arrived home, there were no less than a dozen of his chums at the house wanting to check out his story. “Yep an elephant gave me this black eye.” I verified his story. Much to my dismay the replies seemed to make things worse. “Cool,” seemed to be the word of unification for just then and my wife had zero sympathy.

In reflection of getting a black eye at the circus, the smooth burn of a single malt whiskey took all but the embarrassment away…………………hell, how long would my eye remain black anyway? Not near as long as the laughter resounds at my house when that day is mentioned I can attest.


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To my dad

by Jamboree
1st place Seven Line Contest

To my dad, who’s in a coma,

Maybe forever, maybe for not much longer.

There’s no place to stay, except in the corner.

There’s just a chair and I sit there.

But for how much longer?

Please don’t go.

Love, your son, Joe


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