The Shadows of Manhattan


You would think that with all the bright light of Manhattan there would be no place to hide.

You are wrong.

Oh, so wrong.

Between each thoroughfare and behind every dodgy pawnshop or ethnic restaurant are the accesses to an entirely different world.

My world.

Not just mine, but the world of hooligans, ruffians, thugs, and want-a-bees.

I know them all.

I know them as they step from their luxury limousines being guided to the entrances of their plush penthouses.

I know their veiled, sordid cravings and their as-of-yet unreleased, wanton passions.

I am here… in the shadows… waiting… watching.

Written for Friday Fictioneers: Requirements: Using the provided photo prompt, create a 100 word flash story.


Ask Cosantóir

Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd, © Wales Wane Law, Google Maps

The footmen were gone.

The stables empty.

The entry chamber and all the adjoining rooms… cleared.

The will… Duke Bellingshire’s Last Will and Testament… clearly stated that all of The Bellingshire’s Retreat’s furnishings were to go to MoDA (The Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture) in North London.

I had the castle.

Actually, I had the castle, the remaining monies left from the closure of the estate (no small sum), and an accompanying letter.


To retain ownership of Bellingshire Retreat bring your family, complete with camping provisions.

Stay one entire weekend.

Prepare your meals in the kitchen’s oversized fireplaces and enjoy them in the grand dining hall.

Make yourselves at home. Tour the remaining rooms at your leisure.

Daytime guests are permitted, but only family- your wife, son and daughter, are to remain in Bellingshire for slumber.

For further assistance, ask Cosantóir.

The only problem…. No one knew Cosantóir?

Written for What Pegman Saw: Requirements: Using the photo prompt, create a flash fiction story of approximately 150 words.

FYI: If you did not catch one, Cosantóir is the Irish word for protector. 

Share Your World – May 14, 2018


Share Your World  May 14, 2018

  • Complete this sentence: This sandwich could really use some …
  • What is your least favorite candy?
  • What sign are you? Do you believe in astrology?

Complete this sentence: This sandwich could really use some …

This sandwich could really use some more tomatoes, bacon, and mayonnaise. Maybe another shake –or-two (or three-or-four) of black pepper.

What is your least favorite candy?

Anything that has chocolate and caramel, or chocolate and peanuts, I love.

My least favorites…

  • Licorice
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Gobstoppers
  • Skittles
  • Rock Candies

What sign are you? Do you believe in astrology? 

I do not do the astrology sign stuff.

I notice the signs I see around my house.

If there are dishes left out that I find the next morning, apparently I have had a burglar in the house who helped themselves to my pantry supplies and cooked a meal. I always clean up my clutter before I go to bed.

If the lawn in my yard becomes a little shaggy before its every-nine-day-mow is due, then I am certain that one of the neighbors is trying to pull a trick on me by sprinkling Miracle Grow around my yard.

If my bed is unmade when I return to my room after I get off work, that blasted monster-under-my-bed that I had thought I had left at my parent’s house has once again tracked me down and is trying to lay blame on me for things I assuredly did not do!

Hang on, there’s a knock on my door. Seems that there are three men all dressed in white that want to talk to me. Oh. They’ve brought me a new lovely suit. I think they said it’s a straight-jacket. I wonder how they knew my size?

Written for Share Your World – May 14, 2018. Requirements: Answer the questions.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back copy

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back.

I remember hearing that mantra from my parent’s generation from years back. I could feel the disappointment and frustration in their voices. I knew that this was not the time to ask for McDonalds or a raise in my allowance, even if the speaking of those words were friends of my parents and not my parents. The words placed a damper on the world.

Now, I see those words quite differently.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back. This means you are making progress.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back said the next day begins another step forward.

It is great to experience the breakthrough days when there is Seven Steps Forward and Zero Steps Back, but that is not going to happen every day.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back means progress.

Slight progress is better than no progress!

I will not be unhappy.

(Do you know when I was googling this for a picture or a gif, I discovered that for the last sixty years I had heard this saying as misspoken. It should be – according to Google- One Step Forward, Two Steps Back. I can see where that would be disappointing. But I really do think I heard my parents say Two Steps Forward, One Step Back and NOT the true statement. My parents did not dwell on the negative aspects of life very often. We were a ‘make lemonade’ family. So I am going to continue in the tradition that I think my folks instilled in me: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back is a little disappointing, but it is not a bad day.)

Written for The Daily Post: Slight  I have been having problems finding something of meaning to create an answer for the prompts this year. So I decided to strengthen and tighten my focus. My chosen topics are as follows:  (Monday) Life in Retirement; (Tuesday) Hobbies: Archaeology and Astronomy; (Wednesday) Fitness; (Thursday) Chores; (Friday) Writing; (Saturday) Hobbies: Music and Photography; and (Sunday) Hobbies: Gardening and Birdwatching.


f7a6cc039739328080aea29034777f4d: Patricia Daniels Cornwell – Great American Author

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” Stephen King 

According to an author with whom I had a bromance before I knew the word bromance… I need to read.

This year I am reading anything that cracks the top ten of The New York Times Best Sellers. (not usually the romance ones…)

This month… I was able to read TWELVE!

The books by Patricia Daniels Cornwell were the winners. (James, you were a close second!) 

  • The Hush (John Hart)
  • Raspberry Danish Murder (Joanne Fluke)
  • Fifty Fifty (James Patterson)
  • Jack and Jill : a novel (James Patterson)
  • Kiss the girls : a novel (James Patterson)
  • Along came a spider : a novel (James Patterson)
  • Hide & seek : a novel (James Patterson)
  • Body of evidence : a Kay Scarpetta mystery (Patricia Daniels Cornwell)
  • Postmortem (Patricia Daniels Cornwell)
  • All that remains : a novel (Patricia Daniels Cornwell)
  • The rising sea: a novel from the NUMA files (Clive Cussler)

Written for Personal Reading: The New York Times Best Sellers.

He Shoulda Trusted Us

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Enisa.

He Shoulda Trusted Us

Jeff peered out the window of his older brother’s apartment as he pressed the reset button. “Ready when you are, Milo.”

Milo carefully twist-tied the small water-filled balloon and joined Jeff at the window. “How long will it take your brother to reach the street from seventeen floors? We should’ve timed the elevators.”

“Timing Mark’s steps to the taxi was enough. I can’t believe he wants us to stay in his apartment until he gets home from work. We’re in New York City. We’re both mature fifteen-year-olds. He should have trusted us.”

“Here he comes,” interrupted Milo.

“Ready. Set. …”

Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers- #166. Requirements: Using teh picture prompt provided, create a flash fiction story of 100-150 words.

In the World of Cranes


In the World of Cranes

“Chichi.” There was no response. “Papa, if I wouldn’t have designed it, someone else would have.”

“This was built on the park where I courted your mother. The park where we picnicked with you as a child. The cranes that we treasured for our family’s good fortune… It was their home.”

“It still is, Chichi.” Taking his father’s hand, Tsuru continued turning the pages of the photo album.

“I remember my namesake’s stories. Look, Chichi. The Sasaki Medical Complex is in her honor. We reclaimed the fouled marshlands. Reestablished walkways and shelters. Chichi, the cranes are safe once again.”

Written for The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. Requirements: May 10, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story defining “the charisma of cranes.” For centuries, cranes have inspired art and philosophy. You can write a crane story or create something new out of the phrase. Go where the prompt leads.