His Secret

the bottle hit the floor
another empty to litter the room
he is passed out
oblivious to food in the oven burning
the smoke detector sounds
only a slight movement
flames begin to form
he silently rolls over

now she has to explain
tell his family the awful truth
they were not the perfect family
they held a dark secret
and it reared it’s ugly head that night
while she was away
he drank himself to death
in the most painful way


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – bottle

Mumbles … Number

It has been kind of a long week. Well maybe more of a long month, but this last week was trying. I love Dad to pieces but I kind of draw the line at fire. I can’t recall a time in the past when I have seen him smoke so much. Cigarette after cigarette, light after light, dropped cigarette and flame. The number of consecutive cigarettes seems to be climbing and yesterday I had to put out a small “fire” on the blanket he had over his lap… maybe left a golf ball sized hole behind.

I have talked to my sister about this and we both think he needs to stop at night. The trouble is she left it to me to break this news to him. I did try last night when I brought him his new carton of cigarettes and he said it sounded like a good idea, but 2am rolled around and he was lighting one up again. The offending “fire” came from a cigarette lit when he wasn’t fully awake yet and dozed off in his chair again. I can only watch him so close and he starts to feel like I am staring at him. I know this is a long shot, but I really don’t want to die in a fire. I don’t want him to die in a fire. I don’t want a fire at all… unless it is in a grill and we have steaks on!

Something has to give. The number of cigarettes has to come down at least cutting out the night ones. At 82 I think he knows the facts well enough about the damages the cigarettes can cause (and he has COPD), but he also has to realize he is shaky now and the cigarettes do fall out of his hands. I really would prefer he just went back to smoking his pipe again… at least that smelled nice. But he needs a little bit of his own freedom to decide. In the meantime I will keep the fire extinguisher handy and sniff for smoke every so often.


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – number

Cruel Words

Take my heart
It is barely beating
Place it in a small box
It may be compact
But it will fit
Now close it up tight
Seal it to keep everyone out
Place it on a shelf up high
For I want no one to touch it
It has been taking hits all week
It needs a place to feel
Safe and out of his reach
At least for today
Now no one can hurt me again


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – compact


“Be our guest,” played in the background as the DVD spun in the player. No one was watching the movie, it looked like they had just vanished. Empty popcorn dishes stood on the floor with small blankets wadded up beside them. There was a pot of soup simmering on the stove. The table was in the process of getting set for dinner.

No one was in sight. The house was empty. There was no dog lapping at the water dish. No cat purring on the couch. The front door swung open and the police office slowly walked forward announcing his presence. His voice only echoed down the hall, “Police!”

The car was still in the driveway, the mother’s purse was still hanging on the closet door, and her cell phone was softly buzzing on the counter with an incoming message. The detective came into the kitchen and using his gloved hands grabbed the phone and retrieved the message. It was from her husband and said, “Be there in about 20 minutes. I love you.”

The detective talked into his own phone, “Trace this number right away. 555-2678 and get back to me.” He then turned to another officer and said, “Where is the neighbor that called this in?”

An officer came around the corner and with a small gentleman wearing a green coat. “This is Mr. John Harrison sir.”

The detective nodded towards the two men. “Good evening Mr. Harrison. Can you tell me why you called?”

The little man shifted his stance and said, “It was a loud boom almost like a bomb. I looked up and down the street and this was the only house where no one came out to investigate the sound. And I know Mrs. Sanders would have come out to see what it was. I didn’t see any fire or smoke so I figured it was one of those new fangled cannon guns and power bullets.”

The detective tried not to cringe at the man’s lack of correct terminology and asked, “Why did you say the Sanders were gone?”

“Well no one answered the door.”

“Detective Olsen, you might want to come see this,” an officer standing by the back door said. The detective went through the doorway and stopped short of the first step. There in the back yard was a large burned circle in the grass at least 25 feet across. “What the hell… “ was all the detective said.


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – guest

I Tried, You Didn’t

I wonder
I think
I guess
Why are you gone
Why can I not forget
Why do I feel guilty
I know you were sick
I know you needed help
I know you didn’t get it
I will never have answers
I will forever have doubts
I will miss you the rest of my life


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – guess

My Heart

Don’t touch it
It is about to break
It has been used too much
Worn down over the years
Until it is just a shell
Delicate and fragile
Please don’t try to hold it even
For I am sure it’s too brittle
To withstand the slightest hope
That could be felt on a breeze
All of the elusive strength it has left
Must be saved for me
To sustain life only
Alone with my memories
And faded dreams


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – fragile

Lost At Sea

The storms toss me about
Lost in the darkness
Searching for help
I reach out to you
Hoping you will give me stability
but you are not my anchor
you toss me back into the wind
adrift alone
weathering everything life throws at me
somehow staying afloat
I realize I have to save myself
And I swim for the shore once again


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – anchor