Fiction: Désirée by Sebnem Sanders

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This happened so fast, I didn’t have the chance to write an introduction. Many thanks to author Paul D. Brazill  and Punk Noir Magazine for accepting my story, which ıs both “Punk” and “Noir” but I did not know how to submit it. So, I asked my friend, author Mick Rose, and he lead me. Thank you Mick Rose .

Desirée is a fragment of my imagination. I never know where these characters come from. I guess their stories need to be told.

Thank you very much for reading. 🙂

 

 

Punk Noir Magazine

deseree

I met my old friend Tom at an all-night bar I’d never been to before. He’d said, “Come before midnight on Friday, and we’ll drink and talk till we drop dead.” I found him sitting at a table for two, opposite the mahogany long-bar. Relishing an expensive malt, we chatted about work, women, and adventures since we last saw each other a year ago. The place was packed with trendy women and men, all eyeing each other and looking for a good catch.

Shortly after midnight, a rare beauty walked in and the spotlight of every eye lit her like an actress on stage. The other women disappeared into the void, as her stilettos clacked against the wooden floor in tune with the beat of the soft music. Dressed in black, fishnet tights, a leather mini-skirt, and a shawl wrapped around her, she strolled towards the only empty seat at…

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Behind a Cloud

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Obelisk%20of%20Theodosius

This story from Ripples on the Pond, inspired by a true story,  is dedicated to the memory of  innocent people killed in Christchurch, New Zealand, today, and to many others in Europe, in France, England, and Germany, in The United States, and all over the world, as victims of terrorist attacks in the name of religion, nationality or race.

 

Behind a Cloud 

 

In the old town of Istanbul, the light of a sunny morning in January bathed The Hippodrome. Under the clear blue sky, the ancient monuments groomed themselves for the important day. A warm breeze blowing across the Bosphorus dried the night dew accumulated on the domes and restored freshness to their aging surfaces.

A thin, young man clad in a long jacket and faded jeans, entered the square from the Divanyolu Street. Dark eyes, set on his bearded face, scanned the structures as he strolled towards the centre. When he arrived at the Egyptian Obelisk, he sat on a bench, facing the Blue Mosque. He took a newspaper out of his pocket, unfolded it, and continued to monitor the surroundings behind his shield.

The green lawns decorated with flower beds and the ancient structures conjured a quaint sense of tranquillity, calming his nerves. A sparrow landed by the bench and daintily skipped along, searching for crumbs.

****

The Blue Mosque spotted the red tourist buses arriving at their allocated parking area. Hey guys, it’s Tuesday, get ready for our new fans. Obelisks, German Fountain, museums and the palaces, shake off the slumber. Rise and shine.

Hagia Sophia winked at the Basilica Cistern entrance while the Topkapı Palace alerted its guards. The Archaeological Museum, along with Hagia Irine on the Palace grounds, prepared for their show.

The buses unloaded the passengers as groups circled their guides and dispersed in different directions over the historical grounds. A small party approached the German Fountain and took photos as they listened to the guide. The chit-chat of many languages, music to the ears of the ancient structures, filled The Hippodrome. Kings, Queens, Presidents, Heads of Religion, politicians, important businessmen and celebrities, as well as ordinary people, had been its guests over many centuries.

The Blue Mosque watched the dark man as he folded his paper and shifted in his seat. Something about his body seemed odd. His chest appeared too large for a man of such slender frame. Take off your jacket, my child. Too warm on such a glorious morning. Enjoy the sunshine.

The young man whispered a prayer towards the mosque, as he watched a group approaching the Obelisk. The strange figures etched on the tall marble structure intensified his passion. Heathens, non-believers, infidels. You and your idols should be erased from the surface of the world.

Hearing his thoughts, The Blue Mosque frowned and tried to bring reason to his wild ramblings. Son, the Obelisk before you is from Ancient Egypt, the other one, from Ancient Greece, the churches from the Byzantine times. The synagogues around the corner have endured since the Ottoman Empire. We represent all religions and beliefs here, and we get along fine. There is no need for hostility. We don’t only belong to this country, but to the entire world.

A spark of anger flashed in the young man’s eyes as the tourist group neared the Obelisk. His gaze on the Blue Mosque, he hissed, In the name of God.

What in the name of God? Destruction? What are you hiding inside that jacket? Don’t do this, my child. God will not forgive you. Taking your own life is a sin against God, but taking the lives of innocent others is a bigger sin. Don’t do it! Go back to your country, stop killing people of your own faith, as well as those of other beliefs. Stop the cruelty against your own people.

The young man rose and slowly approached the crowd by the Obelisk. Too late now, I am a soldier of God. I will go to Heaven and find peace.

You will not go to Heaven. You will go to Hell and burn. Don’t pull that thing, just leave. In the name of God.

He stopped by the group and noticed the sun retreat behind a cloud. A last glance at the Blue Mosque and he pushed the trigger.

A roaring blast rocked The Hippodrome and a great ball of fire rose by the Obelisk. The explosion reverberated through the city. As coffee cups rattled on tables, and windows shook with the shock,  a large pit burrowed through the surface of the square. The Obelisk remained intact, but woeful remains of human bodies were scattered around it.

After a brief moment of silence as the fumes dispersed, the mayhem of police and ambulance sirens deafened the ears. Blood and tears permeated the air as people in shock gathered around the square.

***

Dusk fell upon the ancient monuments. Now separated from the old town, behind a barricade of tape. An eerie stillness lingered as the men in forensic suits returned to their cars. A team of special forces policemen, in tactical gear, guarded the area.

Despite the golden lights illuminating their splendour, the aged structures could not hide their sorrow. They retreated into the night, looking for dark shadows to shed their tears.

A song of lament rose from Hagia Irine, and floated down on the evening breeze towards The Hippodrome and Hagia Sophia, and descended below the Basilica Cistern. It travelled through its chambers and passed underneath the Golden Horn, reaching Galata. Echoing on the walls of the synagogues, and landing in the heart of the city, it crossed the Bosphorus and arrived at the Asian side. Along the channel into the Black Sea, in the north, and to the Sea of Marmara, in the south.

At the old Galata Lodge, the dervishes whirled, the swish of their skirts in rhythm with the holy melody coming from the reed pipe. The sound followed the night and reached The Hippodrome to console the mourners and to bring peace to the souls of the departed

 

 

Selma of Soghut from Ripples on the Pond is in the March Edition of The Bosphorus Review of Books

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My story, Selma of Soghut, from Ripples on the Pond , is in the March Edition of The Bosphorus Review of Books. 

Many thanks to the Editor Luke Frostick. 😍

Here’s the link:

https://bosphorusreview.com/selma-of-soghut?fbclid=IwAR2oSDslYHeTNtczCvY8LQ8bcHw7WFGRcR49-JHL3BhY3DDzbl4dKgTJ_HU

 

Thank you for reading. 🙂 Selma of Söğüt Textifier_20180531173819

 

Bosphorus Rreview of Books Logo

 

 

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Cat on a Window Sill by Sebnem Sanders

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via Cat on a Window Sill by Sebnem Sanders

 

Window ©bayram salamovCat on a Windowsill

Window ©bayram salamov

 

My story, Cat on a Window Sill, inspired by Bayram Salamov’s painting, Window, is in the new issue of the lovely CarpeArte Journal. Many thanks to the Editor, Eva Wong Nava for including my story.

 

https://carpearte.wordpress.com/2019/02/27/cat-on-a-window-sill-by-sebnem-sanders/?fbclid=IwAR1MixV1-5dyluHD0o18tzkazadY4518ja3xLtvsXZRgFOY7FSRfJJVAC8E

 

 

 

Shards of Glass, from Ripples on the Pond, is up at Yellow Mama Webzine’s Valentine’s Day Issue #72

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shards AnneMarie

Painting by the talented artist Ann Marie Rhiel

 

My story, Shards of Glass, from Ripples on the Pond, is in the Valentine’s Day Issue #72 of Yellow Mama Webzine, with a lovely illustration from the talented artist, Ann Marie Rhiel. Many thanks to the Editor, Cindy Rosmus. 😍

Here’s the link:
http://blackpetalsks.tripod.com/yellowmama/id1975.html

 

Here’s also the link to the homepage of this issue where you’ll find some familiar names and great stories:
http://blackpetalsks.tripod.com/yellowmama/

 

Thank you very much for reading. 🙂

 

Earth

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Earth 3

 

I’m sorry I’m leaving your topsoil,

but I must

They’re spraying chemtrails

above us,

poisoning our food, water, and air.

I must take the children to the depths of your bosom

where there’s no sunshine, a blue or a starry sky.

Our leaders have made a tunnel, you see,

I never thought I’d be buried in you before my time.

How will I teach the children about the stars and the planets,

sunshine, moonlight, a breeze, a storm or the sea?

Can these be learned as abstract notions?

I have my worries about food too,

What will we eat?

Will vegetables grow without sunshine and rain?

The scientists tell us we can survive,

they have the seeds and the means to cultivate them,

but I need to see this before I believe in their theories.

How about the sun rays my children need to absorb

for a healthy growth?

Will they fade and whither like cut blooms in a vase?

I worry about  so many things,

Have I made the right decision,

is it better to die here or underground?

I’m not sure, dear Earth,

but here we come,

to escape the population control above you,

yet no one knows what will happen

when we’re deep down towards your core.

 

Earth

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliophile, Word-Lover & iPhone photographer Douglas Cronk

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center stage by mick rose

 

Below is the link to an entertaining Blog Post by fellow author, Mick Rose at Center Stage where he has interviewed Douglas Cronk, whose shares on Facebook bring writers, poets, and readers together on his profile page and at his literary group, Read or Die

Not only does Douglas Cronk share the written word from all over the world, but he also posts amazing shots of Florida sunrises and artworks which brighten up his pages.

Blessings and cheers to Douglas Cronk, the Patron Saint of Literature and Arts.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

The link:

https://centerstagewithmickrose.weebly.com/home/bibliophile-word-lover-iphone-photographer-douglas-cronk

 

douglas-cronk-photo-bright-orange-sky-sunrise             douglas-cronk-photo-thru-the-palms

Florida Sunrise by Douglas Cronk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Winning Stories of the Flash Fiction Year-end Special Competition at Scribblers – Love is Forever by Ron A. Sewell

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This weekend, I’m delighted to share with you the top two stories of the Year-end Special Competition at the Flash Fiction Group I host on Scribblers.

Flash Fiction at Scribblers

http://scribblers.freeforums.net/thread/1157/flash-fiction-december-20th-results

 

The prompt was The End and The Beginning, with a 1000 word limit.

 

Love is Forever by Ron A. Sewell

 

marc chagall son of songa

Marc Chagall, Song of Songs III

 

Nervous, Rachel clutched her flowers tight to her body. Her face glowed as she stepped with dignity through the doors into the church. From the stained glass windows, a rainbow of colour lit her white bouquet.

When she arrived at David’s side, she gave her bouquet to her father. Together, she and David emanated happiness. Their marriage had been inescapable from the time they first met. They were inseparable. Their love for one another radiated like the sun warming the earth.

Before their wedding day, they asked the vicar not to include the words ‘until death do us part.’ When asked why both replied, “We’re soul-mates. We know true love lives on even when these frail bodies turn to dust.”

At their reception venue, the room vibrated with talk as children ran between the tables. When Rachel and David arrived, clapping spread around the room. There was the scraping of chairs as guests stood and clapped even louder. Hand in hand, the perfect couple made their way to the head table. They sat in front of a bouquet of white roses. After a few moments, the toastmaster rose from his chair and everyone else sat down.

As their guests prepared to leave, the newly weds made tracks through a blizzard of confetti to their car. With a quick wave, they drove towards the airport.

Sliding on a rain-soaked surface, the HGV jack-knifed and slammed into their car. The impact appeared to take forever. As the car crumpled, lights swirled, rose and fell and the din of the tearing metal roared in their ears. The seatbelt tugged Rachel’s chest and the airbag struck her face. When everything stopped, a strange silence cloaked her.

Sirens screamed, came close and stopped. Her right hand reached out for David, she could not find him. Harsh noises filled her ears. People talked as if she were no longer there. Pain kept her brain active and then everything went white.

***
Rachel lay in the curtained cubical, her eyes staring at the tiled ceiling. From somewhere she heard crying. A nurse inserted a drip and fitted an oxygen mask.

Then warmth of David’s hand gave her strength. Side by side, they stood in the background and watched the medical team at work.
The doctor turned to Rachel’s parents. “We can save the child but there is nothing more we can do for your daughter.” Words constructed of simple letters cut through her parents’ grief.

David squeezed her hand. “Our baby will be fine.”

Her eyes met his. “We were so happy. Why?” She kissed his cheek. “It was our time but wherever we go from here, we go together.”

With tears in his eyes, Rachel’s father signed the proffered forms. A nurse guided the trolley while another controlled the life support machine. In seconds, Rachel disappeared through the swing doors.

Twenty minutes elapsed before the surgeon appeared. “Not exactly protocol but would you like to say goodbye to Rachel and hello to your granddaughter.”

Rachel’s dad slipped his arm around his wife’s waist as they entered the operating theatre.

Covered in a green plastic sheet, they both sobbed for their sleeping daughter. Her father nodded to the doctor who switched off the life support.

Her mother shuffled to the nearby incubator and sobbed even more as she remembered Rachel’s birth.

“She beautiful,” said the nurse.

Mum and dad watched as tiny fingers clenched and unclenched. Free of the womb her legs kicked.

She glanced at the nurse. “She’s my granddaughter. I’ll never forget Rachel but she’s at peace and she’s given me the greatest gift she ever could.”

“Will you call her Rachel?” asked the nurse.

“No. There’s only one Rachel.” She turned to her husband. “What will we call her?”

“Lucy. It’s lucky spelt badly.”

Rachel grasped David’s hand as they strolled along a leaf-covered lane. “Death has not parted us. Our future’s where no clouds block the warmth of the sun. A place where one soul can whisper to another. Where togetherness means forever. This is not the end but another beginning.”

 

 

Ron A. Sewell  is a regular contributor to the Flash Fiction thread at Scribblers.

 

Short Bio:

Ron Sewell is a no nonsense type of person, fool around with someone else but not with him. He does not suffer fools, at all. What you see is what you get. He writes Adult boy’s own tales as well as shorts. He regularly contributes to Scribblers flash fiction and many of his short stories are published. His novels focus on his experience and travels while a member of the Royal Navy. Hence, it is an old-fashioned, carefully constructed piece of adventure with the right dose of suspense and unexpected twists.

He can be found on WordPress, Linkedin and his books are on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Ron-Sewell/e/B007JAMCPU?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

 

 

If you wish to take a look at the other great stories of the Year-End Special, here’s the link to the thread:

Flash Fiction at Scribblers

Or better still, come and join our bi-monthly Flash Fiction thread at Scribblers. Newcomers are always welcome. 🙂

http://scribblers.freeforums.net/board/26/flash-fiction

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Winning Stories of the Flash Fiction Year-end Special Competition at Scribblers – An Accident of Fate by Baccus

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This weekend, I’m delighted to share with you the top two stories of the Year-end Special Competition at the Flash Fiction Group I host on Scribblers.

Flash Fiction at Scribblers

http://scribblers.freeforums.net/thread/1157/flash-fiction-december-20th-results

 

The prompt was The End and The Beginning, with a 1000 word limit.

 

 

An Accident of Fate by Baccus

 

 

leroy_neiman_sun_serve_1976

Sun Serve, 1976,  LeRoy Neiman

 

Karl started to play tennis seriously when he was twelve. It was then that the hobby evolved into an ambition: Wimbledon, the Davis Cup, the Australian Open. He studied, took lessons, and he practiced and he practiced. As the years passed, his routine became all-consuming and his skills spectacular. He grew tall, straight and muscular, won many Junior Tournaments, and attracted a top tennis coach. At nineteen, Karl entered the professional circuit and was widely tipped as a future champion. The ultimate dream was within his reach.

Then the accident happened.

Karl couldn’t recall it, but was told that a drunken motorist swerved out of control, hitting him as he walked back home from a gym session. He woke in hospital with multiple injuries and a reconstructed lower leg. He would never play tennis again. The doctor said it might be months before he was back to full health and able to walk.

“I don’t want to live,” Karl screamed at his mother, sitting beside his hospital bed with tears streaking her face.

“You will, Karl. You will. Give it time.”

“I gave it eight years of my life, every minute of every day. Now it’s all gone. The dream is dead. Destroyed by some drunken moron who’s ruined my life as well as his own. He can rot in prison. I’m not rotting though. Not here, for months, learning to walk again like a baby.”

The accident had not only crushed Karl, but his entire family, his friends, his coach, and a large number of supporters. Young, talented and good looking, Karl had his fair share of girl fans who were in awe of him. Not now. Now he was broken – scarred and misshapen – with nothing to look forward to.

His father had built a cabinet for Karl’s awards, with plenty of space at the top to accommodate a collection of Grand Slam trophies. Karl’s throat almost closed when he thought of it. The physical pain was bearable. The emotional pain, the disappointment, was like that drunk’s car rolling over him time and time and time again.

It was worse each day he woke. They gave him tablets to help him sleep, but insomnia was better than waking up and realising every morning that his life had come to an end. He was dead, but he kept breathing and he kept waking to this … overwhelming grief.

“Try the physiotherapy, Karl, please,” his mother begged, and her pain rolled over him like that car, no, like a steamroller.

For her, he would try. One more week of misery. Then he would put a stop to it. Then he would permit himself that final kindness.

~~~

While he expected the exercise and massage sessions, Karl had not anticipated a middle-aged woman turning up with a sketch pad and set of pencils.

“You going to draw me?”

“No, Karl. You’re going to draw, anything you like, but we need to keep your hands and your brain busy. It could have been knitting or basket weaving, but your mother said you were good at drawing as a child. I’m a therapist and an artist, so I can teach you if you need any help.”

Karl recalled sketching when he was much younger, but not whether he had been good at it. He stopped years ago to devote every spare moment to tennis. Now, when he was not furious or in agony, he was bored out of his skull, so he accepted the sketch pad with thanks, and settled against the pillows wondering what the hell to draw.

One of the nurses had eyes too wide apart and a gap between her front teeth. The combination could never be described as pretty, but it was striking. He decided to draw her from memory, with a bit of imagination thrown in. He didn’t want a photographic image, but something unique that only the pencils could produce.

Hours later, his evening meal arrived. The gap-toothed nurse also appeared with his medication, so he quickly closed the sketch pad.

Next day, the middle-aged woman called by to check if he had drawn anything.

“Let me see it then.”

Karl shyly handed over the pad, opened to the first page.

“Oh dear Lord.” The therapist stared at the drawing.

Horrified, Karl saw the tears well up in her eyes.

“What’s wrong? I was just messing about.”

“Karl, in all my years I have never seen talent like this. It’s brilliant. How could you even imagine this. I recognise the person, but you have taken her face and her soul, and set them in a world where she is the … I don’t know … the queen. I don’t even understand what I’m looking at, but there is no one else on Earth who could have created this.”

“The next one isn’t so good.”

Turning the page, the therapists face paled. She stood in complete silence until Karl could bear it no longer.

“What?”

“I don’t know what to-“ her voice broke, “say.”

He watched tears spill from her eyes, and he felt completely confused. “There’s one more.”

She turned the page, and after a moment, a smile broke out like sunrise.

“Karl, as far as I know, and I know a great deal on the subject, you are one of the most natural and original artists I have ever seen. You may not go far. You may never be recognised by those who count, but only if they are fools. I’m not a fortune teller, but I predict these three sketches will be worth a fortune one day. Meanwhile, you need to start producing a portfolio for the Royal College of Art.”

 

Baccus is a regular contributor to the Flash Fiction thread at Scribblers.

Short Bio:

Baccus is a demi-god who cannot spell, and the playground for a poet and writer of both fiction and non-fiction. I have tended to concentrate on novels rather than short stories, so it is always with astonishment and pleasure when I manage to write a short story that other people enjoy.

 

If you wish to take a look at the other great stories of the Year-End Special, here’s the link to the thread:

Flash Fiction at Scribblers

Or better still, come and join our bi-monthly Flash Fiction thread at Scribblers. Newcomers are always welcome. 🙂

http://scribblers.freeforums.net/board/26/flash-fiction

 

 

Give Your Book A Powerful Start by Akje Majdanek

A Blog post by OMP , One Million Project ,author Akje Majdanek , from the OMP website

theonemillionproject

Never start your story with a dream or an alarm clock buzzing; don’t start with dialogue or an infodump. Yeah, yeah…you’ve heard all the ways you shouldn’t begin a book.

Personally, I think rules are made to be broken. (>‿◠)✌

My first book began with a dream, although the dream turned out to be real. I started the second with dialogue, and that conversation doubled as the ending since it was a time travel story. And my current book starts with an infodump in the form of a newspaper column about the Triangle shirtwaist fire. ʕʘₒʘʔ

But you should never do what I do, since my books don’t sell. (ノД`゚)゚。

So how should you start a book? With a hook, of course! And these days it has to be freaking awesome, considering the competition from millions of other self-published writers out there now.

The first chapter has to draw the…

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