PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

The sight of laundry hanging on a wash line, intrigued and unsettled Daphne.

It was so common place but yet so unusual in her world.

As a child, gardens had been a place for endless frivolities.

Yet there she found her father, by the fountain, neck grotesuely twisted, a knife pointing to the heavens from his chest.

It became an archway to nightmares, an end to childhood.

Like her mind that garden lay over run by weeds, struggling to find its self.

She despeartedly longed for her mind to be reborn, to shed the carcass of her old home.

PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda

Thank you Rochelle for hosting the writing event Friday fictiooneers. The rule is to write a 100 word piece in response to the provided picture. Please click the link to visit Rochelle’s blog. It will be worth your while. And click this link to read other stories and write ups.

Forgive me for the lack of response to the last two weeks participation and for being absent last week. I tried to merge my thoughts from last weeks photo with this weeks prompt. I hope the story is interesting. See you at your blog post.

Tender hope.

She starred at the board, and smiled.

There was a tick next to each item.

First the promotion, although it had been middle of the list. It was the first to be achieved.

The second was more dicey. But she had done it. Hosted multiple lavish dinners befitting their status.


Eric and her mother had beamed with pride.

On the side of the board was a sticky note. A single item.

She had not had the courage to put it on the vision board.

And she wasn’t going to either.

Her body and mind were not ready to try again yet.

Thank you Rochelle for hosting the writing event Friday fictiooneers. The rule is to write a 100 word piece in response to the provided picture. Please click the link to visit Rochelle’s blog. It will be worth your while. And click this link to read other stories and write ups.

A scapegoat.

Merriam-webster dictionary defines the scapegoat as, a goat upon whose head the sins of the people were symbolically placed after which it is sent into the wilderness in the biblical ceremony for Yom Kippur. It also defines it as one that bears the blame for others or one that is the object of irrational hostility. Based on the first definition any goat could be selected during the feast of Yum Kippur to be the scapegoat. Up till the point when the priest casts the lot in the Jewish tradition either of the two goats could end up being the goat on whose head everyone’s sins were cast. It is important to note that the goat did not commit any sin of its own. It was only culpable in so much as it was a member of the Jewish community, at the time of Yom Kippur. It was unfortunate for whatever arbitrary reason to catch the attention of the priest and thus selected as one of the chosen for the fast .

This unfair fate is not relegated to goats alone. As the second definition above demonstrates man has been known to make a scapegoat of his fellow man. Regardless, of status in life whether noble, serf, leader, follower, innocent, guilty, loner or life of the party. One can quickly find themselves under the confessing tongues of many accusers. In similitude to the biblical scapegoat it would take an act of God to alter the desired outcome set upon by the community in which the accused exists in at the time. For many goats and people, being a scapegoat has never been a threat, nor even something they have ever imagined.

There are two fundamental things required for a scapegoat system to thrive. First, the system must be in place. There must be a need to have someone or something to take the guilty, sins and scruples of the people away. A conduit between man and his conscience, a tool to make a man feel that his deeds are not as gruesome. Or that they have been erased/forgiven thus neither God nor karma can revisit those sins on them. Although we no longer live in the olden days, this system still prevails in society. A good example is the current situation in Nigeria, where the presidential candidate for the labour party Mr Peter Obi has been designated the saviour of the nation. Alas! I fear he is nothing but a scapegoat. Atonement for the many sins of the past and the present.

The system has certain characteristics, one , it excludes anyone that does not fit in with the exisrung modus operandi in place. Two, iy is a rootless as well as ruthless system. Devouring both the fruits (benefits) and seeds (foundation) of the system. It also celebrates results rather than methods. Mr Peter Obi from all indications is a man who does the opposite. He wants systems that outlast a class, a group, a tenure, or a generation. A system that does not want to wash its hands of its guilt or wrongdoing. But learn from it. It is completely impossible to rid the world of guilt or the process of placing guilt on someone else’s shoulder. However, it is possible to create a system where a scapegoat is not a desired option. This can only happen when a system has its resources and demands/expectations evenly paired. For instance, two managers, four general assistants and one receptionist are required to smoothly run a business every day of the week. We will assume that this number of staff is decided to run the business at the peak hours. This means that at a less busy time, less staff might be required. Regardless of this, it must be understood that the office or system would be set up to fail if someone decides to run it with either less staff or with a different mixture of skills. For example hiring one manager, four general assistants and two receptionists, might seem adequate as the number of staff is accurate, but it, unfortunately, leaves certain parts uninsured and others unduly fortified. Creating the perfect opportunity for a scapegoat to arise, should the system not run smoothly.

The above scenario creates room for undue or maladjusted interpersonal skills to thrive. One that has less to do with the overall objective of the system/business or organisation in view and more to do with personal likes, dislikes and opinions. This system would make it easy for cliques to arise and for other variables which should normally stay on the parameters of the system to become the heart of it. Thus, elevating the people above the system. Whilst this is not a bad thing, in so much as “things were made for man and not man for things”, it can, unfortunately, become dangerous if the wrong people are at the core. This sad reality is the sorry state of Nigeria and a lot of organisations around the world. Systems that bear no resemblance to the original sketch on which it was built, as piece by piece people have changed the original with alternatives that are more individual serving than having a wider reach in view. This makes it a different system; its expectations and resources are altered. This is why placing all hope in one man might not be the best approach. For if or when he fails another will replace him. It will remain fallible unless the people refuse to move the structures to suit personal gain. This brings us to the second factor that creates a thriving system for the emergence of scapegoats; people. Whether they are leaders or followers.

In the series ‘The Last Kingdom Cnut answers Ragnar the fearless’s question regarding the worth of Æthelwold’, saying “his worth is in his ability to drip poison into every ear”. As simple or as mindless as it sounds, the aforementioned is the very backbone on which systems are re-engineered, broken or simply destroyed. As earlier mentioned, a system is made for man, but man is the only thing that can determine if the system will stand and endure. According to Winston, B. and Patterson, K. (2006), leadership is a major factor that determines how people fit into a system. But for this to materialise the leader must thoroughly know the system and uphold the system. This perhaps is the bases for which many people herald or advocate for Mr Peter Obi to become president. The hope is that a good leader will spearhead a good system. This is an ideology shared by Winston, B. and Patterson, K. (2006), in their definition of a leader, they assert that not only does a leader know how people should fit into the system, but a leader also deals equitably and supports diversity amongst his followers. This type of leadership also fosters the individual growth of each follower, encouraging them to take risks and innovate, (Winston, B. E. and Patterson, K. 2006). Under such leadership, when properly executed the chances of a scapegoat emerging is slim.

In addition to the above, (a good leader), there must be good followers. People who refute the “dripping of poison into ears”. People who hold the system above the individual. The task is not an easy one, it is often even difficult to identify when one has become caught up in the words that start the rot in the foundation of every system. From the above example regarding the number of staff required to run a business to the example of Æthelwold who exemplifies the spread of rot that destroys the system. Both show that a failure on one side or a gap on one side creates lapses and births a new system in place of what should be. There must first be a lapse in the system, an unbalancing of the scales. This creates the room through which the oil that destroys everything starts to drip, slowly but surely. But to achieve its maximum effect it must have willing vessels; leaders who through direct or indirect means encourage the spread. Followers who revel in the safety provided in the number of shared drips that oil the ear.

In summary, it is my opinion that the scapegoat system was replaced with Christ, to ensure that the corruptible and fallible arms of man do not taint the new system. Each man under Christ is given access to admit his guilt, ensuring that his heart and God alone know the truth of his intent. Similarly, systems need to be built in a way that safeguards the system as much as possible from man’s fallible nature. Every man is much the same as the other, fallible in different ways and through different means. Often, in need of a scapegoat to justify his actions. If he is also allowed to buy the conscience of others over then a new system emerges and the scapegoat system becomes successful. And will often find a head to fit into a noose.

One day, one less dollar

Photo prompt courtsey of Roger Bultot

Adrian surveyed his enviroment with mild disdain.

Surely this is the valley of the shadow of dirt, he thought.

Granted winter had a way of making even the most tidy gardener look incompetent. What, with temperamental weather changes, blosterring winds and biting colds, he barely noticed his own front garden.

But the least one could do was send the garbage out when ever it found its way in.

He could not wait to deliver the order and be on his way.

It was simulatneous; his knock on the door, the piercing of his feet by the needle.

Thank you Rochelle for hosting the writing event Friday fictiooneers. The rule is to write a 100 word piece in response to the provided picture. Please click the link to visit Rochelle’s blog. It will be worth your while. And click this link to read other stories and write ups.

Thank you so much for the out pour of comments and likes last week. I hope to reciprocate the favour this week.

Au revoir 2022

The year of all years.

Tears a fountain of relief, a faucet for pent up weariness.

Heart palpitations a plenty.

Fears like racing hordes from hell.

Unswerving doubt a cloak of comfort.


Hope in the voice of a mother (s) rises …

I have been blessed to have several women who in the past and till today continue to nurture me. They pray with me, they advise me. They encourage me to go beyond praying to doing. They call my mind back to the multitude of reasons to be thankful. To count what I have, rather than miss what never was or is not yet. They make me live in the now. I love them.

For all my mum’s thank you for reminding me that now, is all we really have.

Echos in the voice of a friend (s) beckons …

I am thankful for these ladies, they listen, they hear me and although many miles seperate us they see me. For them I am grateful. When stressed I can hear them say, you are not alone. I have got you. I have gone through this, I am going through similar. This cannot end you. This is a phase. I hear them and I sleep, to wake with a resolve to be better.

Laughter in a cord of three holds tight ….

Two of three

Where do i start with this. Sisters by blood, by heart. They stand like amazons with a whip to shape my over thinking mind into focus. They correct me. They defend me. They shield my mind when it seeks to spiral out of control. We trade stories of all the craziness around us and keep each other sane. We consciously choose to stand despite our differences. A cord of three, our bond holds fast.

Trust in the steadfastness of oaks, comforts me….

I am thankful for the men in my life. Like an oak tree they are strong within as without. In a world that allows them leeway to be dubious, i am most thankful that they stand as people of insight, integrity and faith. May the father keep you and sheild you from the axe of the wicked.

Pleasure in the eyes of youth, renews me …

Bright as light

What can I say, this holds my world together. Your smile illuminates my world. Your tears jar me from all depth of angst. For you see, in your eyes i see a thousand tomorrows and yet many todays. So I want your memories to be sweet but not sickly so. Sour but never rancid. I want your life to be balanced. For if your inner voice holds sure, the world can stand on it’s head and you will know without a doubt that you are standing right side up. You will know whose you are and why you are.

Glow with confidence

Then …

I remember that i also brought something to the table. I remember that I also listened as I was listened to. I prayed for others as I have been prayed for me. I remember that no matter how small, i brought what I could every time I could. I find strength in this.

Finally ….

I am so very grateful to everyone who donated to the kids running page. It made a difference to someone’s christmas this winter. And the lessons from this endeavour is still ongoing. The kids haven’t completely grasped the concept that money does not come freely all the time. You need to add value or create value. Once again thank you so much for your donations. Our page is now closed. We raised a total of £310 before gift aid. So proud of my community of friends & family, you are beyond awesome.

And I am deeply grateful to you my reading audience for staying loyal over the years. Thank you.

Hope the new year sees us soaring in the air like the bird.

Au revoir 2022, I know I wll see you slightly in 2023. The years don’t really change but with God’s help we will be better.

Thanks Again.

Keeping faith.

Photo prompt from Rochelle Wisoff – fields

Agnes died as she lived, quietly.

Born 9th of April, 1885. She died before the spring of her 86th birthday.

She was respected not loved. Honoured not cherished.

Agnes had no need to be protected. She was the protector.

It had been a tough life but Agnes bore her stripes with pride.

Like the rail tracks, the pages of Agnes’s dairy attested to secrets that ran the length and breadth of many geneologies.

The scandals they told would put the towns rails in a tight knot.

Who was Johnny’s father again?

But Agnes was a protector, a sealed vault.

Thank you Rochelle for hosting the writing event Friday fictiooneers. The rule is to write a 100 word piece in response to the provided picture. Please click the link to visit Rochelle’s blog. It will be worth your while. And click this link to read other stories and write ups.

Hope you had a restful christmas and that the new year brings a fresh view to things.

Hunters field.

Hermit the frog sat on the lily pad.

As still and silent as the lake beneath him.

Margeret the cattle egret sat in her nest,

As gentle and careful as she could, the eggs were due to hatch soon.

In the quiet they sat, knowing, winters descent was the beginning of scarcity.

Lox the mangy cat sat in the thicket.

As wound up as a spring ready to spring.

In the shadows he sat, knowing the advent of winter was the beginning more scavenging for scarce commodity.

More prey on his level, less in the air.

Photo prompt courtsey Lisa Fox.


“There were two little black birds sitting on a wall …”

The guileless voice of a four year filled the air.

It was a gorgeous summer day and mum had finally agreed that she could stay in the back garden whilst her teddies dried.

The teddies were still on the line.

The frog now had a limb that dangled in the wind.

The wings on the birds hung by nothing more than a thread.

As for cat, a hole with jagged edges marked were a tail had once existed.

The voice remained, a memory tenaciously secured by a grieving mother.

Thank you Rochelle for hosting the writing event Friday fictiooneers. The rule is to write a 100 word piece in response to the provided picture. Please click the link to visit Rochelle’s blog. It will be worth your while. And click this link to read other stories and write ups.

I have written two stories as both appealed to me and they could share the same titles. Which did you like most?

One’s shadow.

The image looked so familiar.

His stance is carefree, f a young lad who knows his worth but feels not the need nor pressure to guard it jealously.

His face smiles at me, a gaze so familiar. I feel as though I should know him.

But then so do many of the other faces. The wall is covered with pictures.

I feel they tell a story. Or is that one of those sayings mother used to repeat.

“Every picture is worth a thousand words.”.

Well, this could be worth a hundred words, if only I could remember them.

Photo prompt by Rochelle Wisoff-fields.

Thank you Rochelle for hosting the writing event Friday fictiooneers. The rule is to write a 100 word piece in response to the provided picture. Please click the link to visit Rochelle’s blog. It will be worth your while. And click this link to read other stories and write ups.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask you to support a charity fun run endevour carried out by myself and my kids. We are raising funds for St. Mungos’s charity. To give someone a very pleasant christmas. Please click the link for more information and to support us starightaway click on this link.

P.S all funds go straight to the charity. Kind regards.

Running home at the 11th hour.

I cannot believe it.
It is indeed the 11th hour … or rather the 11th week of our run.
I expected that the 12 weeks to sail by smoothly .. I forgot that there was something called winter. I am so proud of the kids, to have forged ahead till this point. I am sad we missed a week, last week. But I am thankful we got here and I am excited to finish it next week. I can only hope that you would cheer us on once more by digging deep and supporting our endevour. To those who have supported us and those yet to , thank you!.

Please visit our page and make a donation.

The goal: to run/walk/ keep active for at least 30 minutes once a week for 12 weeks leading up to christmas. In order to raise money for St. Mungo’s charity, a run for the homeless.

Where we are: 11 weeks in and one more to go. Amount raised is £224

What we need: your donation to drive the funds to a greater amount.

Thank you once more for your support.

Lands & times.

I am May Benchwater.

These lands are mine and my families to keep.

My father is Sir Hugh Hightower. He owns the land West of here.

We have lived here for eons.

Like the land you see, the Hightowers are an impossible people to conquer, even moreso to outwit.

The Benchwaters, however my new family by marriage are like the ocean. To trust their word is foolishness, to doubt it is to court death.

Hence, they make good allies. Beguiled with the tongues of the Benchwaters, an enemy is strategically subdued by the Hightowers.

It is a lovely heritage.

Photo prompt by Sandra Cook

Thank you Rochelle for hosting the writing event Friday fictiooneers. The rule is to write a 100 word piece in response to the provided picture. Please click the link to visit Rochelle’s blog. It will be worth your while. And click this link to read other stories and write ups.