The Pig Farm (flash fiction)

The Pig Farm

Never trust a man with a pig farm.” Nina remembered her father saying as she knocked. A large man opened the door. He wore coarse-looking clothes and smelt strongly of pig shit and sweat.

“You again!” the man said gruffly. She nodded while holding the back of her hand to her nose in an attempt to block out the smell. With her other hand she passed him an envelope. The man took it and briefly looked through it. “You need a hand little lady?” She gritted her teeth as she nodded again. She hated being called that.

“Sure.” she finally replied. He followed her to the car. She opened the boot, and the two of them lifted the body out. They then walked around the farmhouse carrying the body to where the man kept his pigs. Once the body was thrown into the pigsty, she walked back to her car.

“See you again soon I guess.” the man called out after her as she was leaving.

It was her job to make some people disappear. She didn’t know why they had to disappear, but she had learned not to question it. It was not a job she liked, but it paid well and she turned out to be rather good at it. Besides, if she ever refused it might be her own body being fed to the pigs next. Sometimes the pig farmer offered her some salted pork or even large slabs of bacon, but she always said no. She knew what those pigs ate.

Joanne Fisher

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher


She Escapes (flash fiction)

She Escapes

When he arrived home, he found the door to the basement was open. With his heart thudding in his ears, he quickly went down the stairs and found the cage he had kept her in was empty, the door hanging wide open. How she had escaped he had no idea. He went back upstairs. Already it was dark and quiet outside. She could be anywhere by now. He sat down on a couch and waited for the inevitable. Soon there was the sound of many sirens approaching. They wouldn’t understand that with her free, the world would soon end.

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt to write a story about an open door provided by the Carrot Ranch August 5 Flash Fiction Challenge.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Always Waiting… (poem)

Always Waiting...

I'm always waiting
for you

but you never

just as well
you see

I don't deserve

certainly not
from you

I'll sabotage

left between
us, so

you're better
to stay away

the damaged and
the broken

are loners by
choice, yet

often wishing
we weren't

Joanne Fisher

Sometimes I need to get these off my chest.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Dark Blood (poem)

Dark Blood

what a way to die -
seizures on the sidewalk
on a dark Halloween night

you wanted to escape
the tinsel people
the sick and the hungry

to fill the emptiness:
heroin, LSD, cocaine,
marijuana, valium...

whatever you need
within arms reach,
who could save you

when your insides 
are like a dead crab
picked over by gulls

and there is not

Joanne Fisher

Originally published in JAAM 12

I haven’t had much time to write lately so I’m falling back on an old poem. When I put my first collection together I didn’t include this poem as I felt it was too weak. Revisiting (and giving it a rewrite) makes me wonder it was better than I thought at the time.

When I wrote this I had just read a biography of the actor River Phoenix who died on October 31, 1993. At the time he was working on the film Dark Blood. They had just shot the exterior parts of the film in the desert and then come back to Hollywood to shoot the interior scenes in a studio. Upon returning to Los Angeles, Phoenix went on a drugs binge that led to his death and the film was never completed. The director George Sluizer ended up releasing the film in 2012. He narrated the parts that never got shot, and having seen it recently, you do get a sense of what was lost. It would have been a very intriguing film had it been shot in it’s entirety and it touches on some very dark themes, which probably didn’t help Phoenix at the time. The list of drugs in the poem is what was found in Phoenix’s bloodstream after his death. I find it sad when obviously talented people throw away their lives needlessly.

On an unrelated note my blood is a rather dark colour similar to the colour above, just so you know…

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

The Vampires (poem)

The Vampires

after all
they do exist
always coming for you
in the dark

standing in Stygian doorways
grasping for the ones
filled with light
like a hand smothers
a candle

they whisper 
flattery, their
words hissing
through their
white perfect

to puncture
your fragile skin
and blood-gorge
on the spirit
leaving you

hollow and broken
and diminished

Joanne Fisher

This is another older poem., though I gave it a rather severe edit.

Not literally about vampires, but people who drain your energy, or use you for their own purposes….

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

The Bargain (flash fiction)

The Bargain

“And do you have a wish?”

“I deeply wish the killer comes to know what he took away from me. The love I shared with her. I want him to know the wonderful person she was and the light she brought into other people’s lives. I want him to know that; to finally understand what he took away from us all as he rots away in the darkness of a cell. That’s what I want.”

“I understand. Consider it done, though you have paid a great price.” the voice said. I stared at the pale reflection in the mirror.

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt deep wishes provided by the Carrot Ranch March 11 Flash Fiction Challenge.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

She Said (poem)

She Said...

She said I don't care about most people
         but I like you

she said I want to be with you

she said I love you


she said I don't want to come around 

she said I thought I loved you once
         but now I'm not so sure

she said I'm sick of you

and I was pushed under
    the dark waves

Joanne Fisher

This was previously published on my blog in June 2018.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Daddy by Sylvia Plath (poetry)

"Daddy" by Sylvia Plath

You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time--
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene

An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.

I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You--
Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not 
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I'm finally through.
The black telephone's off at the root,
The voices just can't worm through.

If I've killed one man, I've killed two--
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.

12 October, 1962

Sylvia Plath died this day in 1963. This is one of her more well-known poems.

Beyond Reach (poem)

Beyond Reach

I meet her in the deeps

seaweed in her hair

and she smiles at me

tantalising promises

every time I reach out

she escapes from my touch

when I’m on the beach

she is there by the waters edge

she beckons to come closer

but once I approach,

she slips back into the sea

the waves, she says to me,

the waves are relentless

once you find yourself

going under

you are forever lost

among the kelp and sea-water

Joanne Fisher

Second stanza begins “when I’m on the beach”. Third stanza begins “the waves, she says to me”.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher