Category Archives: Shakespeare

Who Is The Fairest?: #FridayFictioneers



PHOTO PROMPT © Nathan Sowers grandson of our own Dawn M. Miller

Who Is The Fairest?

Magic Mirror had it rough ever since the Wicked Queen was defeeted. Wearing red-hot metal shoes is one thing; being forced to dance in them? A whole other mishegoss.   Queeny was toast.

The Mirror was in a funk: nobody asked it anything.  On top of that, the Mirror became a magical vagabond. Wherever it was stored, or hung, the locations were beneath it.

“A shack! Alas, alas!”

Its finale placement. It deliberately cracked itself up. Fare thee well.

Who was Fairest wasn’t fair, at all.

It’s #Friday Fictioneers prompt time, as always created and hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields on her blog, Addicted To Purple.

The rules are simple if you’d like to do this:

    1. Use the photo on Addicted to Purple as your prompt (goes up on Wednesday).
    2. Write a 100 word story, complete with beginning, middle, and end.
    3. Make every word count.
    4. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor of the photo credit.
  1. Add the InLinkz button (below) so your readers can find the dozens of other bloggers who have taken up this challenge.


Julemo, The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy



Julemo, The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy

A prompt from A Creative PTSD Gal

...Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished:
For never was a story of more wo

Whoa. Hold on. Two kids, in the throes of their first lust love, just offed themselves. Their pining for each other hurled a monkey wrench into a powder keg mess, and boom it went off. Four confirmed Main Players died beyond these two, with enough blood on the streets, steps, terraces, and food stalls, that suggest there were a lot more (names not important to the larger issue) who fell down dead: damn kindred kept taking and hiding their deceased. Poor mojo on their famial name if the numbers were known by the populace.

Now, neither head of the two bloodlines were respected or even liked. They held their positions due to fear, the potential of favors bestowed, and the rest who care to be seen with the ones who are being seen without their even trying to be seen. They are a headache on the populace, if not to that last sentence. It’s no wonder their wives cloistered themselves with knitting, other crafty projects, wine, and “hey, is that a codpiece or are you happy to see me?”

No matter, for they all become even more bit players than they had already been. Well, except for the best friend. And the brother. But, this isn’t about them.

The once hot-to-trot teens were wheeled away. Unbeknownst to all the other players involved, not to the building where their bodies were supposed to be prepared for the funeral process. A bit of misdirection brought them to a place that, if alive, they would have killed themselves before willingly entering. Well, again, they were dead, so there was really nothing they could do.

Some of the gas buildup inside of them started to waft out, perfuming the surrounding area. Merc would have enjoyed that, gotten a great big chuckle out of it, and made a bon mot that all his friends would have laughed at, praising his scatological wit, whether they got it or not.

Friar Lawrence waved away the awful smell that started to fill up his small cell. He was lambasting himself for the way everything had unfolded. The friar knew he was culpable as an instigator, sticking his nose so far up the problems of the two households that…well, the picture in his head was enough to cause him the willies. He gave himself some satisfaction that he had nothing to do with Romeo meeting Juliet nor for the two of them falling in lust love with each other.  Just pretty much everything else that ended in their endings. He had a plan to fix things, no matter that Mother church would condem him to Heck for what he was about to do.

He knew a guy who knew a woman who knew a group of people who said they knew things no one else on Earth knew. Two of that group had been waiting in the friar’s cell. They had done their preperations already, and by the time friar and the corpses (later to become the name of a Punk band, circa 1972) arrived, the two men were five sheets to the wind, having found Lawrence’s holy wine stash.

The Friar, after admonishing the pair, needed their help in transferring the bodies to the prepared circle on the floor. Closing his eyes, he performed the sign of the cross, prayiing that he was not overstepping the will of the church and the savior or, well, not as badly as others might judge him. He uncovered the two; first Romeo (“Look at that…” was hushed by an elbow in the ribs by one of the men), and then Juliet (they both whistled their approval).

Candles were lit, ewe blood was tinkled around, and an undercurrent of chanting proceeded. Finally, Friar Lawrence came to the section he most dreaded: he would either succeed or epicically fail. He hoped to make things right, and only if he went through with this…if only he went through with this..if only…

The taller of the two sidemen gave the friar a shove. “Go on, mate. We ‘avent got all day. Go on with your self. ” The other man, who had been nodding off, came to, enough to agree. “Go on,” he slurred.

Friar Lawrence went on. He rushed through the Latin chants, stumbled over the sections that were complete gibberish to him, but was assured it was all right. Once the ritual words were complet, he said:

“These two, whose fate death doth stole, left this earthly plane too soon, too soon. I beseech the one on whom I call to make things right. Make them live, again, so that they may be together, as one.”

With that, a poof of a cloud enveloped the cell, with a stench that made Lawrence wish for flatulence again. Once the cloud settled, a ghastly, oozing, smirking demon, on the smallish size, appeared.

“Really? That’s what you want, what you went through, what you will suffer the eternity of damnation for? Really? For these two?”

Trembling, Friar Lawrence fell to his knees. The taller of the two men just sat down; his friend fell over, snoring.

“Yes,” he quivered. “Yes, yes, yes. My suffering is nothing compared to what these two suffered. Please. Make them live, so they may live as one.”

The demon (whose name I dare not write on pain of pain), looked at the two on the floor. His eyes passed over Juliet’s form, but with Romeo, he spent a lot of time…contemplating. The friar shivered even more, noticing a tumescence he wished he’d never had noticed.

The demon announced: “OK, as you wish.” With that, he snapped his clawed phalanges, and another foul-smelling cloud encircled the square cell. Friar Lawrence keeled over, dead; the tall man slung his passed out partner over his shoulder and was out the door before one could say “Bob’s your uncle,” which he was, but…

When the fogginess in the cell faded to nothing, it took the demon with it.
A stirring came from within the circle.

A painful groan caused eyes to pop open, followed by more groans as the aches and pains of death were shook off upon standing. There was a stretching of limbs, a rolling out of the muscles. Looking around this familiar room, it came that no one was in attendance when there should have been many servants around. Standing in place for a long, stiff time, perplexed, the bright rays of the sun were eventually replaced by crystal clear moonlight as it streamed through the small windo-nee-hole in the wall.

Hands began exploring, feeling what was known but also unknown. Panic soon set in, followed by a flailing  of appendages, hair being pulled this way and that, and a frenzied carrening around the room.  Finally, exhausted, a large plop! on the ex-friars sleeping pallot was felt in great pain. Huge moist sobs ensued.

The star-crossed lovers were, as that damnable friar (in reality, now) asked as he asked for.  Alive, but as one.

Only one.

Combined as one.

One body. One set of hands. One heart. Even death would not part them now.

Knowing he/she/they could not stay, they threw on one of the hated robes that Lawrence had left lying around, which, truth be told, needed a thorough washing.

They realized they could not be called Juliet nor Romeo anymore. That started up a quick arguement. Neither won. They were somewhat something wholey new. The idea came to combine names, somehow; neither one of them could agree who came up with the thought first, which started up another quick arguement with themselves.

Romiet didn’t sound right at all. They were in agreement on that. A few other configurations were considered and abandoned. Fred didn’t work at all for them. With resignation, Julemo was the best of all possiblities.

They crept out of the cell, vowing that the only time they would ever return would be to cause its destruction.  Easing on down the road, it was tough going in the beginning.  As they got the rhythm of their gait in check, they made their plans. Julemo knew if any of their kinsmen found them, they would face death, again.

Julemo fled, under the fairest stars in all the heaven.


Author’s note:

Jo at A Creative PTSD Gal was one of the writers/bloggers I fell upon (sorry for the bruising) during the AtoZ Blog Challenge. I enjoyed her work and visa versa. Like others, I found a prompt on her blog that actually was a contest, which was the least of it. I liked the picture prompt and that led to Hence, The Exorcists.

Jo had been following another blog that dropped a lot of prompts and then dropped dropping said prompts from their pages. I also had not won the prize from Jo’s contest, but she sent me an email with three potential prompts:

  • The main character is trying to quit smoking and the medication that she is using to help shows her the evil within someone she thought she knew since childhood.
  • The world just survived an apocalyptic event (your choice) and your character has to team up with the one person they hate to survive. 
  • It was not your normal Romeo and Juliet tale. The star-crossed lovers aren’t kept apart by their family but rather an unforeseen paranormal being.

Obviously, I took the last one, tweaked it, and Bob’s your uncle. I left it open-ended because, who knows? Why? I don’t know. Third base.

Hope you liked it. Please check out her blog for stories, doodles, and a lot more.

Liebster Award Sunday: not lobster; Abysmal Dollhouse/AtoZ Blog Challenge


** New Readers to this challenge: This is a serialized, continuous work. Please start with the first piece, Abysmally Yours. The AtoZ Blog Challenge began April 1st; ends April 30th. Thank you.

“Share, Discover, and Enjoy!” That is the underlying mission of Shari Marshall’s blog, Writing is Communication. We discovered our mutual blogs through the 2018 AtoZ Blog Challenge. It has been a pleasure discovering her work: focusing on a fantasy world continuing story through a drabble (100-word complete flash fiction). It’s not easy to par down all you want to say in just 100 words, make the post complete, AND have it tell an engaging ongoing narrative…well, Shari accomplishes it, and does so very, very well. I’ve linked the title to her blog: go check it out. Now. Shoo. Do it. I’ll stick around for the nonce.

As to the Leibster Award: AtoZ and other blog challenges are two-fold. (1) The most obvious is that they are challenges for the blogger to meet the requirements in whatever they are tasked to do; not always the easiest thing to accomplish, but the reward is in making a go of it and hoping you can see it through to the end. (2) The most important element (to me, anyways) is to discover new blogs and their creators. I’ve come across some amazing sites, followed & continue to follow most, became online friends with a lot of them, and one more intense crossing of paths.

Nominating blogs you admire is tied into the blogging community. It shows appreciation for what you’ve produced beyond hitting a like button, or stars ratings; even beyond leaving a gushing comment or three. While there are many “rules” for the Leibster Award, here are the

The rules are:

1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and display the award logo.
2. Answer 11 questions that the blogger sets for you.
3. Nominate blogs that you think are deserving of the award.
4. Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
5. Let your nominees know about their nomination!

Hey Shari: I acknowledge you. Phew. That one was easy peasy.

I shall now endeavor to answer her eleven questions, sorta like a magical quest:

  1. Do you think that a writer has to be defined by one genre?

Absolutely not. I do my darndest not to. I believe a writer should move beyond what becomes their comfort zone.  Write what moves you that day. I’ve attempted a lot of genres and styles. Some more successful than others. My blog is an open…blog. The list of the last 50 or so is to the right. Scroll down. Discover. I have favorites that went nowhere.

2. What is your favourite writing topic?

Paranormal stuff. Horror, lately, it seems.

3. Do you have a book that you recommend to other readers on a regular occasion? What and why?

Knots, by RD Laing. It blew my mind wide open at 17. I suggest that if you tackle it, you must read it in one sitting, late at night. If you do, I think you’ll also get a good insight of the mess that is my thinking process.

4. Book version or movie version?

Depends on the book and the movie. Each is its own animal. Caveat: If the movie is trying to be a “faithful adaptation” of the book, then you better damn well be faithful. Loose adaptations, where the director is adding her/his voice (which is the majority) I’ll try and take it as a separate entity. Please note: I wrote “try.” Just be good. Don’t suck.

5. If I gave you the word “vellichor” as a writing jump off point where might you jump?

The Last Used Bookstore In The Known Worlds

6. What would be your dream setting to write in?

THE comfy chair, headrest perfectly aligned (with massage system embedded and  attuned to every ache). THE perfectly brewed Black Cherry Iced Tea. THE best snack at hand: sweet or savory, as needed. THE well-trained puppy and kitten, needing attention; being perfect momentary distractions. Last, but definitely not least, THE love of my life, for fuller distraction and attention, cuddles, kisses, massages (who need the comfy chair, then?), and other things only she can provide.

7. What is your favourite season?

Fall. Cool, breezy weather. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh

8. Who is your favourite villain? Why?

Catwoman. Meow. Does one really need to ask?

9. Who is your favourite hero? Why?

I’m Batman, Damnit.

10. What does writing mean to you?

Release. Distraction. Creativity. Justification. Acknowledgement. Appreciation. Love.

11. How would you respond to either of these quotes from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, “If you don’t know where you are going any road can take you there” or “No wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise.”

I’ll take “The Road Less Traveled” for $2000, Alex.

Phew. All done. Wait? That was only #2 on the Liebster rules????? OY…I’m dying!!! Ok, here are my TOP OF THE POPS:

Fiction Can Be Fun   Yes, both of you!!!

A Creatvie PTSD Gal

A Bit To Read

Iain Kelly

Swerve Strikes Again


I’m exhausted. But wait…there’s more.

OK. Here are MY elven…um…I mean eleven questions that the six nominees (well, 7) NEED to answer. There will be a quiz. BONUS POINTS: answer any of the questions with WHY you answered that way. Up to you. No pressure. ::::Unfolding Doll sharpening its knife::::

  1. If you could write in any writers voice besides your own, whose would it be?
  2. What literary genre holds NO interest for you?
  3. What song with a strong narrative still touches you?
  4. What fictional character do you wish you were?
  5. Savory or Sweet?
  6. What are “The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of?”
  7. You stumble upon a magic rock. Picking it up, you discover something underneath. What is it?
  8. Have you had an inexplicable experience? What was it?
  9. What fiction book would you recommend to me?
  10. What movie or TV show do you love but hate to admit it?
  11. What does writing mean to you? (yes, I’m stealing it from Shari. Deal).

Have fun kiddos.

I’m done. Lunch and nap.

Tomorrow: N is for…

Sonnet: She Is Everything


Strength and wit; intelligence abounding

Everything I’ve looked for, she is imbued

Smile that lights the eyes, the face, astounding,

In her loving embrace I come unglued.

As flowery words overstate feelings

Over demonstrative actions abhor,

Sense of secure caring love, revealing,

What is expressed in small details do soar.

Yet, still so much road to travel along

Moving away from past errors and pain

That we both did suffer from others, wrong

Needing to let those go; nothing to gain.

In silence, spoken, written, touched…so earned

The happiest thing, to have love returned


Sonnet: Waking Up


Leaning against the door, she studies him.

She walks around, soft; coffee cup in hand,

Taking silent sips, tongue tracing the rim

Up for an hour; he lies in sleep land

Broadly smiling, cup down,  decision made:

Gently easing onto the bed, sitting,

Reaching over, nudging, playfulness paid

He wakes and grins;  bodies entwine, fitting.

But, what if the need  to cuddle exceeds

The want of contact, company and touch?

What is pull, and what is push; what misleads

If he misunderstands; What is too much?

“Good morning” he says, hugging  her so tight

Waking him, early thus, ends up all right.

The Path Away From Love


Mother was crying. She took me in her arms, hugged me tighter than she ever had before, and continued to weep in my hair.

“Mother… What’s wrong?”

She  held onto me. Her sobbing continued for just a short while, but it felt like forever. She finally eased up and moved away. Taking my hand, she took me outside the house not saying a word. We sat down on the stoop, finding a bit of the late day sun still warming the steps.

“Miranda…a story. I’ve been meaning to tell you, for a very long time. I could just never bring myself to do it. I’ve closed this part of myself off for a very long time.

This trip you are taking for work, to Italy… Your agenda… It parallels a huge hole in my heart.

Your father, know that he and  I love you so love very, very much… He is not your real father. That wonderful, lovely, brilliant man that helped bring you to me, my Angel… He is long gone. We met during my first year at University. He was a year older, and he was introduced to me because of a mutual love of literature. This is the world that he lived in, that he breathed in, that shown through his eyes, his smile…it captured me within minutes.

We were so very happy. We had visited all the places that you are now going to: Sirmione, Florence, Rome, and Venice. It was a college trip and we fell in love all so completely… I think really loved before we even went there. But it was the sunset in Sirmione that we knew it was true.

It was in Venice that we first… Oh, Angel, Venice… What can I say about the magic of that time? You’re going to see for yourself.

It’s so hard to describe this complete knowing that I was with a man I’m supposed to with. It wasn’t just teenage hormones driving us, but a true sense of being loved. Completely.”

” What happened to him?” I asked, it barely coming out as a whisper.

Mother grasped my hand tighter, bringing it to her lips which she then kissed gently.

” When we got back, we were married immediately. I was 18, and you were on the way.

We were together for a year and a half. I can’t even tell you what a glorious and loving year and a half that was essentially – except for you – the whole my existence. I don’t bring it up… I have never brought it up… Because I had to put it away, or it would have destroyed me. Your father, and yes, I do consider him your father… I have never mentioned any of this to him, and he is respected my wishes to let it lie where it is. He is a good– no, great man. You know that, and I never want that to change.

There was a car accident. We had gone back to visit where we discovered love and you. You were with your grandmother, safe and sound. He did not die immediately, but it was a fatal crash. I buried him there… So close to where our path of love came from. Except for you… there was nothing that I can keep of him.

It’s was just too painful. It is… Too painful. I can’t even say his name. Yet… Yet, I do keep something of his.

You. You are everything to me and, without knowing it,  you embody everything that he was. Is.

You have his grace, his wit, his love art and beauty, you even love Shakespeare way that he did, if not more so. You have his eyes, his smile, his goodness. If I can’t have him, that I have the next best thing. The most wonderful thing. You.

Miranda… You are my angel. Our angel. Never forget that. Never forget how loved you are, have been, and always will be.”

We sat there until the sun set… And sat for a while longer while the night sky took over.  It was too much for her. She was weak; the chemo treatment was ravaging her body. Hugging me tight, she got up and went inside the house.

I sat there alone for a very long time. The stars were blanketed by sheets of night colored clouds. I know I cried, but I’m still not sure how much I cried for what I was missing, or what she was.

Sonnet: Dance


Dance, she said, as if nothing else mattered

Undulating to an inner rythem

The soles of her feet bleeding and tattered

Never once off beat, no movement schism.

Twirling and drops, all new levels she found

Jeté off the floor, with a mighty leap

Cascading in the air; swirling around

Then crumble to the ground, sprawling heap.

But, if the knees gave way and the bones creak

If the supple muscles give to decay

If the energy wanes leaving her weak

What happens to her if dance goes away?

She must dance to the end, freely flowing

The movements leave her breathless and glowing



Sonnet: O, Controlling


This is not the feeling I want to live

You’re telling me what you want me to be

Deep inside I know something has to give

Because I know it’s not me you do see.

Your expectations of me are unfair.

The petty jealousies only abuse;

I feel myself wither under your glare,

It seems you want to leave me so bemused.

But, casting you out, casting you away

Freeing myself of this knot of true pain

Cutting out the cruelty, freed the day,

Allows me to resurface, live again.

No puppet, I, to twist the knife in so

Instead take it, cut it, and so I go.


Question: is there an ebook of my Sonnets here? Is this something that should seek electronic ink? Or, so it seems. is this nothing but a dream, to take these words that I toss out, are nothing, just air, and less worth to shout? (somebody stop me!!!) 🙂

Are not you he? (*Updated)


He was that merry wanderer of the night, the despoiler of milk and beer, the prankster, the goblin, the puck…and she could not take her eyes off of him as he cavorted in front of her, boasting of his deeds, swelling with pride at his misdeeds, and his being falsely obedient to his king. The fae watched and listened, and sunk her fingers into the flowery beds and ate their nettles, and lapped up the nectar. They were as delicious as he.

Her gaze never left the hobgoblin while the King and Queen of the Fae, Oberon and Titania, hissed and danced around each other. Her Queen called for her attention, but it was the first time she could not truly obey. Robin Goodfellow-for that was the puck’s true name- leered and cajoled, goaded and swayed, all the time following his liege while mocking those around him. While sometimes mocking his king, behind his back.

Peaseblossom, fairy and attendant to the Queen of Fairy Land, was pleased as much as she was afraid. Oberon could be foul and full of wrath, and a fight between the two factions were not at all what she was feeling at the moment. To fight the Puck, yes, but not in the way the King and Queen of fairies fought. Not with anger and petty jealousies, but…a tumble through these woods? Aye, that was a fight to think of.

What? Tatania was whisking them all away? NO! No…yes, she must obey. She loved Tatania with all of her being. She was goddess, nymph, perfect divine, and it was Peaseblossom’s duty to obey, to serve, to give her all. So, she left in the train of fairies, attending to their Queen in her vexation.

She found the bower of eglantine and musk-roses where Tatania rested, and cleaned it of the stray leaves and wild life that snuggled down in her bed. Singing her to sleep with her brethren, Peaseblossom sent a fairy kiss over her Queen’s head, set a guard to watch o’er her, and off she went into the night, in search of her good fellow.

Finding Robin with Oberon, Peaseblossom winced and made herself smaller than small. She saw the king take something from Puck’s hand, saw him smile with evil intent, and then was he gone. Robin’s malevolence was apparent, but it gave her no heed as she intercepted his flight.

Wherefore doth thou go, master. I would ask for some time with thee.”

Puck had a witticism on the tip of his tongue, but held it when he looked in her eyes. “Your wish, M’lady, is mine. Whither away?

O! O, what a night.


The exquisite pencil drawing is by a very talented young woman Portia Burton.  It has been a  pleasure making her acquaintance on FaceBook, as she is truly a lovely soul.  This story is dedicated to her, as much forthe use of the drawing as for her love of Shakespeare and her intelligence, humor and grace.  If you’d like to contact her for art commissions, her email is:


*AUTHORS NOTE: I was SO immersed in directing “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” this summer that when I came across Portia’s art, the two seemed to fit so well. I already knew she loved the play, and most (if not all) things Shakespeare, and AMND IS my favorite of all his comedies. When writing this, I forgot: not everyone is so in love with the play.

For those not in the know: this is set in Act Two, Scene One and part of Act Two, Scene Two through the eyes of one of the fairies. Peaseblossom is the first of the four fairies named in the play, the others being Cobweb, Mustardseed, and Moth (or Mote, depending on who publishes), and since she was named first, I chose that to be our fairy who meets Puck (or Robin Goodfellow, which is the character’s real name; a Puck is it’s own mystical thing; he’s also mentioned in a variety of ways, goblin, hobgoblin, etc.) and sets up the conflict of the play between the King and the Queen of Fairy Land, the magical forest in which they dwell. In the play, Shakespeare does nothing more than say: enter A fairy...

I hope this helps in the enjoyment. Maybe it’ll stir you to read &/or see the play. If so, let me know. I enjoyed this trip into seeing the same story through a different point of view.

Sonnet: Shut The F**K Up


What do you do when you just talk, talk, talk

All In the end you  have nothing to say!

You spout such nonsense; Just so you can squawk

Don’t you know your mouth just gets in the way?

There is no dialogue; You’re right-I’m wrong.

Your superiority complex reeks

You come off weak instead of being strong

It is not true discourse that you so seek!

But, imagine if your voice spoke so true

And your hearing was equal to the task

Disagreement is not how to argue

For new Points of View, you just have to ask.

Talking just to prove you’re right is so wrong

Done this way, we will never get along.