The Empire’s New Clothes

Facebook invited me to the party two days before the event. I felt like an afterthought but what the heck, I said. I’ll go. To be honest, I was surprised he’d friended me. We’re not exactly on good terms. Continue reading


The Dog Shakes

Nearly three years ago I wrote a flash fiction story about a dog with “issues” and sent it around to a few journals. It was rejected many times. Then in June this year I attended a small press trade show in an Ottawa community centre and found Common Deer Press.  Their submission guidelines for the Short Tail section of their website said this,

We tend to prefer work that might be literary if it weren’t so genre….

and I thought “Hmm. Maybe Nelson would like to live here.”

Without further ado, here it is – The Dog Shakes

edited by Emily Stewart. Thank you, Common Deer Press for giving Nelson a home.

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Crow cloud talk talk talks

Crazy black car coming fast. Coming fast. Coming fast. Could crash. Crash. Crash. Crazy car lady follows. Follows. Car follows. Why follow why follow why follow. Make car go. Far. Go far away. Go far away. We’re going to dark. Dark. Dark. Can’t come. Can’t come. Quick. Cover in clouds. Cover. Cover. She quarreled. Crazy quarrel. Can’t control. Can’t. Go back. Go back. Crazy car go back. Can’t stop running. Can’t stop. Crows can’t help. Can’t help. Bad luck. Bad. Luck. Luck. Luck. Keep moving. Keep ahead. Chase chase chase car. Human curse. Humans curse crows. Crows know. Humans can’t. Can’t know. Can’t know. Dark dark dark. Hide. Call crazy car, tell go. Tell. Who do. Who do. Who can crash who can crash skull go inside talk talk talk human. Cluck tongue cluck human tongue. Clash. Certain clash. Crave she craves. Craves us. Call her. Call call call. Crack her head cage. Crawl inside. Crawl crawl crawl. Find why. Crazy car. Keeps coming. Fast. Fast. Fast. Keep coming. Car crash. Car crash. No tricks no tricks. Calm. Clear. Quick. Help her.

SoC Saturday & Just Jot it January

Fun discovery today: In preparing to write today’s post, I looked up crow symbolism and in particular what the meaning of a particular number of crows means so I Googled “counting crows” and up came this fabulous band called Counting Crows. Those of you who already know them can laugh at me but I feel I’ve made a most marvelous discovery. Here’s a song I like. 

Advent pot

She stuffed Hershey’s Kisses into the numbered pockets of the soft, felt advent calendar. The kiss tradition began back when Hershey had a factory in a nearby town called Smiths Falls. She felt virtuous supporting a local business and keeping its workers employed by sweetening the December mornings of their children with a sugar kiss. (Chocolate breath still reminds her of Christmas. ) That small factory closed a few years ago and the death knell rang its last gong. Then an entrepreneur purchased it to grow medical marijuana. Continue reading

She worked outside

She worked outside, which was better than working inside. Inside, clutter tripped her as she walked in the front door, the front hallway paved with mismatched shoes scattered over two mats and a 3 tier shoe rack. A multi-pronged coat rack leaned left, overloaded with jackets, hats, backpacks and purses. It blocked the light from the narrow window the length of the door frame. Continue reading

PTSD in the produce department

Image result for curly parsleyYesterday it happened in the produce section. I was squeezing a cantaloupe thinking “Harry would like this” and as I caressed the thing it occurred to me it felt like my puckered bald scalp. I put the cantaloupe in the grocery basket making a mental note to ask Harry to cut it. Then the curly parsley caught my eye just as the mist sprayer came on like a fire hose. I bolted Continue reading

Harry boobs

Harry made a ferocious Pimm’s Cup cocktail and brewed dandelion wine that served both as Vee’s facial toner and an excellent chilled drink after a long day mucking out the llama and alpaca pens at Twist of Fate. His galenicals were known throughout the Valley for curing everything from athlete’s foot to warts.


Photo credit: Sue Christie

For weeks Harry had puttered in his shed near the llama enclosure, shutting the door on Vee and her inquiries. He measured, poured, baked, and sampled. Something. Today the odour reminded Vee of ground shrimp shells and rabbit pellets. Continue reading

To the creator


Dear Susanne,

I’m ever so pleased you’ve entrusted me with the hair of your dog to knit a hat spun with llama wool. Pleased, too, to make it with Elvis’ fleece for you. Black llama mixed with the creamy hair of your wee canine will be absolutely stunning. You do have an eye, my dear.

You know, you’ve just given me an idea for the Twist of Fate. I could post pictures of all our llamas and invite customers to choose their llama wool. That adds an even more personal touch, eh? Although, what if everyone chooses the same llama? Well, I suppose I could lie. Never mind. Not a good idea after all.

I’m glad you got in touch with me because it’s time to set the record straight. Frankly, you’ve got Harry and my story all wrong. Continue reading

Ms. Fix-it’s Christmas

All the nails Harry drove into the post were bent. As Rose stood above him watching, he bashed another one in, crooked again. His head pounded so much when she was near you’d think he was a nail and she the hammer.

“How many times this month have you fixed this section of fence, Harry?”

“Three, I believe. Yes, three. That’s all. I’m improving, eh Rose?” His smile matched the nail.

“Wouldn’t you rather be planting herbs or tending the lily beds?” she asked.

Rose proposed a solution. Hire her boyfriend Derrick who had many talents -including pounding nails.

A boyfriend? Harry pulled at his bumptious eyebrow hairs, hating the boy instantly. Harry’s imagination bent and followed the curves of the twisted nails thinking about Rose and her lover. Continue reading