Chasing Damnation (flash fiction)

Chasing Damnation

“There’s still no sign of The Damnation, Captain.” Stryker informed her. Anne stood on the bridge still fuming. She took out her spyglass and scanned the horizon around her. Damn him, she thought. This time she would ensure Harrington, Captain of The Damnation, would be dispatched to Davy Jones’s Locker, once she caught up with him.

“I’m pretty sure he’s headed this way. Hold this course and keep scanning the horizon.” she ordered the First Mate.

“Aye Captain.” Stryker replied. Anne went to her cabin. Sitting down her eyes strayed to where her jewelry box would have been, if Harrington hadn’t plundered it. There were items of personal value that he had callously taken, and she vowed she would get it all back, even if she had to send him to the very Gates of Hell.

It had been all due to their recent sojourn at Port Royal. Anne had let the crew go spend their ill-gotten gains in the port city, however they wished. She herself had decided to play cards at a tavern. Also at the table was Harrington, whose ship was also in port. He spent the evening smoking cigars and grinning at her with his grey and black teeth. That night luck was with Anne, and she walked away from the table with a considerable fortune. After leaving most of her winnings in her cabin, she decided to spend the night onshore in a decent room. The next morning she noticed The Damnation had sailed away. Returning to her cabin, she found it had been ransacked. Her winnings that she had hidden away were gone, but her missing jewelry box was what hurt her the most. There was a piece of rolled up parchment on her table. Unrolling it, she read the message: Thanks for the plunder girl. Harrington. She immediately called for all the sailors to return to her ship, The Red Dagger. That afternoon they set sail heading on a course she guessed Harrington had taken.

Now it was several days later and there was still no sign of his ship. She was sure Harrington had headed this way, from what she knew of him. The man clearly had no honour and she would eventually hunt him down wherever he had gone.

“Captain!” she heard above. She went back on deck and grabbed her spyglass. There in the distance were some black sails. She had found him.

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

I’ve been watching pirate movies lately, so I felt like writing a pirate story. Hopefully it should only need two more parts.

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher

Dazzling (poem)

Dazzling


Her eyes were dazzling
I opened the door wide
letting her into my room

she walked up to me,
began kissing my neck
then I felt her fangs

puncture my throat
she drank my blood
as I stood there helpless

under her command
leaving me weak
I know tomorrow night

she'll visit again


Joanne Fisher

Word count: 53 + prompt

This was written with the prompt dazzling provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #272.

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher

The High Castle (poem)


The High Castle


now the world is silent

once a bird sang
in the branches of that dying tree

it had a name
they all had names

these days
I forget them all

the older I get the less sure I am of anything
all I see is the world falling into darkness

stomping around the empty halls
with a festering wound that will not heal

I wish I could die
seriously

I wish I could die

*

the world has seen
alpha & omega

life still clings to this rock
let go

let go let go let go let go let go let go
before it all

happens again

*

long ago I saw a vision -

a golden chalice
healing all the old wounds
of the broken earth

I do not know if it was meant for me

these days I sit beside the river
choked with dry weeds
watching the fading sun
the trees scratching the dead sky
with bony fingers

hoping one day to see
some stranger
holding aloft
a golden cup

until then, all I can do
is wait

(to
escape 
the vortex
face the fury
& burn)


Joanne Fisher

This poem draws heavily on the Fisher-King myth and the idea of the Holy Grail bringing renewal to the earth. In this poem either one day the Grail comes and restores the world, or it doesn’t and the world continues in it’s slow decay for eternity….

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher

The Dress (flash fiction)

The Dress

Jess discovered a dress in the spare room she had never seen before. She found Cindy in the study working at the computer.

“Whose is this?” Jess asked holding the dress up. Cindy turned and looked at it.

“Technically mine. Cousin Stacy left it here when she last visited. I never liked it, so I stuck it in the spare room.” Cindy explained.

“Um, it’s okay.” Jess remarked.

“Then maybe you should wear it.”

“I never wear dresses.” Jess stated.

“It’s not too late to start.” Cindy said. Jess looked at it again.

“Let’s just give it to Goodwill.”

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 99

This was written with the prompt the one who left the dress provided by the Carrot Ranch August 8 Story Challenge.

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher

The Road is Winding (poem)

The Road is Winding


1

Kaikoura is a stop for coffee
& views of the ocean
receding away
forever

I accidentally startle
a tern which flaps away
straight into a moving car
it is last seen descending
rapidly down a bank

I feel guilty about it
for the rest of the journey

2

above are screeching gulls
shredding the cerulean sky
the sea casually mumbling
the world's secrets

if we knew this language
of rocks and saltwater
kelp and shifting sands
what could we learn?

the road hugging the coast
along narrow shoulders

of rock, past beaches
& promontories,
through tunnels
scooped out 
by the tide's restless fingers

the reach of the ocean

3

once darkness has overcome us
we are still driving into
geographies of our ignorance
the headlights illuminating our way
the stars revolving in silence above

we have left the coast behind
who knows where the hell we are

these roads have no ending
they just go on & on
effortlessly moving us into
uncharted territory

we are lost sailors
on a sea of black roads
leading to forever
searching for the paths
that climb to the sky -

follow the stars
follow the moon


Joanne Fisher


First published in JAAM 16

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher

Porch Talk (fiction)


Porch Talk

It was a late summer evening. Jess and Cindy sat out on their porch watching the sunset while drinking beers. All their fields were full of tall cornstalks. It had been a cruel summer, but thankfully their crops had survived the heat.

“It’s still over a month until the harvest.” Jess stated.

“I know, but we should do well this year. It looks to be a good crop, despite everything.” Cindy replied.

“Don’t bank on it until we are finally harvesting it. Though the money will be welcome. Our finances are getting rather low now.”

“Shame none of your side projects have yielded much so far.”

“I still think we should give alpacas a go.” Jess suggested. Cindy screwed up her nose.

‘We grow corn. What do we know about raising alpacas? Raising animals can bring a whole host of problems we know nothing about.”

“I still think we should give it a go. We’ve got that small field we don’t use for anything. We could fence it off and try raising a small number of them and see how that goes. At least we’ll just be farming them for their fleece and not killing them for meat or anything.” Jess answered. Cindy shrugged her shoulders. “You’ve been quiet that last few days. Is there something troubling you?”

“I’m thinking about going to Faerie and seeing the Queen.” Cindy admitted. Jess raised her eyebrows.

“What?”

“Babradon told me if I wanted to get pregnant again I should see the Queen.”

“Okay.” Jess replied not understanding.

“She’ll help with ensuring the baby is carried to term.” Cindy explained. Jess began gently rubbing Cindy’s back.

“Are you sure you’re ready for that? The miscarriage devastated you. I don’t want to see you go through that again.” Jess told her.

“Well apparently the Queen can help with that. Babradon told me she helped my grandmother do the same. It’s due to my family having some fay blood, which is why I can walk through portals and see fay folk when others can’t.” Cindy told her. Jess slowly nodded her head.

“Maybe I should go with you.” Jess offered. Cindy smiled.

“Thanks. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m not sure if you’d be welcome. As far as we know your bloodline is totally mortal. I should only be away a couple of days.”

“Gee thanks. A couple of days our time, or theirs? A couple of days in Faerie could end up being far longer here.” Jess warned.

“I know. I’ll try to be as quick as I can.” Jess sighed deeply.

“Okay if you really want to do this, but what about the impregnation part? Unless the Queen is going to take care of that as well, IVF is really expensive.” Jess asked. Cindy laughed briefly.

“I guess we could try the turkey baster method, but we don’t need to worry about any of that until I get back.” Cindy replied.

“Artificial insemination? Just like they do with cows?” Cindy hit Jess in the face with a cushion.

“Thanks for comparing me to a cow!” They both laughed and stared out into the darkening sky.

“When do you think you’ll go?” Jess asked.

“Not sure yet. maybe I might wait until after the harvest.” Cindy answered.

“Whenever you decide to go it’ll be okay.” Jess told her. Cindy nodded. They both sat there and watched the stars slowly fill the sky.

Joanne Fisher

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher

How Is It Done? (poem)

How Is It Done?


It's like there are these words
swimming around the inside
of my skull

& all I have to do
is be quick enough
to catch them before

they slip away beyond
dark swift waters

swirling cascading words -

catching rainbow trout
with a net


Joanne Fisher

First published in Spin 38

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher

Remote (flash fiction)

Remote

“When you said we should go on holiday, I didn’t think you meant a remote cabin in the middle of nowhere.”

“It’ll be great. There’s no WiFi, so we can talk and do things together without it distracting us.”

“What can we do?”

“We can fish,, go for walks, cook meals together. We’ll be on our own with no one else around for miles.”

“I’ve seen several horror films starting with this premise.”

“You and your horror films. I think it would be good for us to get to know each other more intimately.”

“When can I go home?”

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 99

This was written with the prompt remote provided by the Carrot Ranch August 1 Story Challenge.

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher

Drought Rhythms (poem)

Drought Rhythms


what is this falling
from a tumultuous sky?
 
it must be angel's tears
only they could be this pure
 
but
if they are crying...
 
we work hard here
this land does not
forgive easily, yet
 
deep in our hearts we know
God left us a long time ago
 
& now the angels are crying
 
*
 
our arms, legs, faces
under the furnace
gnarled & knotted
the bark of bent malignant trees
 
saplings in this stony valley
grow into the most twisted
stunted things
 
nothing seems to grow right here
 
only the land remains unchanged
the old moon
rising above the mountains
jagged teeth
 
*
 
they left
& we never saw
them again
 
out over the mountains
searching for rumours
of the cities
 
I no longer believe in them
 
*
 
howling storms
that only appear
 
in this basin
splinter our shelter
 
& rip everything
out of the ground
 
you shrug &
start again
 
*

sometimes it is the land
teaching us
 
sometimes there is nothing
except dusty earth
beneath our feet
 
sometimes our footsteps
falter
 
*
 
I will leave less substantial
imprints -
I walk between earth & fire
fire & shadow
 
the world must be so light
balancing in the ether
 
our short life
such short life
 
show me
the point
on this tinder earth
 
where
 
the angels
drift
 
to heaven
 

Joanne Fisher

First published in Catalyst 3

When I was still at school I remember reading a short story set in the Australian Outback where there had been a drought for so long in the area that kids living there had never seen rain before. In the story one of the kids in the farm wakes up one morning to find it is raining and doesn’t know what it is… A few years later I found myself dwelling on this story and wondering what someone would think rain is if they had never previously seen it. This poem is set in the future where the remnants of humanity are trying to survive in an isolated valley. Any sort of faith has long since become a shamanistic worship of the land they try to survive on, though there are vestiges of others…

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher

The Onlooker (flash fiction)

The Onlooker

Katherine watched on the celebrations at her neighbour’s place. Every year they held their annual jamboree and their partying often went on into the early morning. Katherine preferred to watch it all from the darkness of her residence.

Every jamboree they made their customary ritual to invite her to join them, but she knew in her heart it was not wise for her to revel among them. She watched their festivities for a while longer and then returned to the silence and emptiness of her crypt.

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 86

This was written with the prompt jamboree provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #270.

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher