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Prose ‘n’ Poetry (3) Waiting
by Dill Carver

Jason Minty and I discussed possible ideas for starting a new plot: We wanted a plot that could involve a wide range of members, both Poets and Story writers.

The objective is to have some fun. The idea was to present the short story writers with an assignment or challenge – that would hopefully supply the poet with some ready-made inspiration

The ‘Prose ‘n’ Poetry’ plot has two distinct phases

Firstly a Story writer is invited to create a short cameo piece of fiction or a complete ‘flash fiction’ story in no more than 400 words (Please!) – The emphasis of the storyline is extreme human drama or emotional dilemma.

Poets are then invited write a piece from within that melodrama – using the short story above as motivation or inspiration for a (free format) poem – reflecting any aspect or sentiment of the situation portrayed within the drama or from the perspective of any of the characters involved.

To get this to run properly we need each new short to head up a new plot (under same general heading) but any number of poems can be posted beneath each story.

We have started with four simultaneous Prose ‘n’ Poetry plots – hopefully four writers will chip in with a ‘header’ story. If more than four writers want to contribute we can create more headers once number four header has a story posted. – Give it a go! – Cheers, Clive & Jason.

Title: Waiting
Author: Lloyd Williams

She had no idea how it could have happened. She’d navigated those steps hundreds, thousands of times, all eighteen of them, up and down. Was her mind elsewhere? Or were her feet the culprits, clumsy and uncoordinated? Either way here she was, crumpled at the bottom of them, eighteen steps that might as well be a thousand. She couldn’t move.

After the initial scream and painful moans she’d fallen silent. Cries for help were futile.

She came here, to her mother’s cottage, to get away and away she was. There were no other homes for half a mile. Surrounded by fields and grey skies, where would her pleas for help go? By whom could they be heard? Those that escaped the basement would surely be absorbed by the sound of the river near by.

She came here, to her mother’s cottage, to get away and away she had been for two weeks. She’d escaped into her own world and had nearly come to the end of it. Upstairs her computer glared ceaselessly. It knew not rest and would wait as long as it had to for her to return, the curser blinking endlessly, waiting, endlessly for her. She longed to return, to finish the work she’d worked on for well over a year. This was her finishing cottage where all her works were finished and this one was so close only now it seemed so far. She was here and it was there, between them, eighteen stairs.

She couldn’t feel a thing but knew she was cold. The damp in the cellar prevented it from ever being warm, even on the hottest summer’s days. This was a winter’s day, cold and grey.

She couldn’t feel a thing but her hearing was fine and she heard the rain, loud and clear. It was only a matter of time, an approaching fate, unavoidable. The cellar always filled with water in the heaviest rains and this shower sounded like a million feet, marching in discord. The windows upstairs were being pelted and through the open door she heard a billion drops of water hammer at the door.

It may have been midnight, maybe earlier. The only light visible was the very faint glow of her computer, still loyally waiting for her to return. She knew she wouldn’t. The water had already seeped to her feet and by morning she would be subdued, swallowed by the beautiful river which was invading her mother’s cottage.

She waited for the river as the computer awaited her only she wouldn’t be stood up. As the water touched the back of her head she knew it wouldn’t be long. Her head ached with the cold as the water crept further whilst outside the rain continued to pour.

Title: Pounding Down
Author: Carl Glover

When rain pours it pours
and when rain pours cellar floors
become damp, then wet, then flood.
Her pulse slowed as her blood
pumped on to save her.

Title: Regrets
Author: Kelly Sweet

Why do we seek solitude?
What is with our attitude
that we need to be alone?
Oh to be with friends right now
To conjure them up, some how
And have them take me home.

Title: Stress
Author: Geraldine Harper

Life today can mean constant stress
She had thought that she knew the best
That taking a break would help her unwind
But now cruel fate has been unkind.

Title: Help were futile.
Author: Jan Miklaszewicz

Bit of an experiment, excuse me, from Lloyd's excellent short. All words taken from the original text (I hope).

She had no feet (the culprits).

Clumsy, crumpled. Help were futile.

She came here not to be heard;

for the world to return.

The curser blinking so close,

waiting endlessly on for this one.

There were no other sound, the river near.

It knew.

Finish the work.

She feel a water thing in the door.

Wouldn’t would the river?

Scream fields and grey skies.

Title: Sinking
Author: Jason Minty

Could I claw my way out of here?
Should I drag myself along?
Should I score my name on
the damp washed walls?
Should I give in
as the water falls
Nowhere to hide
from danger.
No stranger
it has found me
and surrounds me
and will drown me

Title: Savage Fear
Author: Tanya Withers

Why was my stomach permanently knotted in fear?
Behind every smile hid a panic state. A state of discomfort
that no-one presumed; that aggressively consumed me.
It never stopped; day or night the sickening plight of mine
As evening fell, I took a glass of wine, and tried to be calm.
No harm in that. But as I appeared charming, the in-built
self-harming disease raged on. I was savaged and ravaged
With fear. That same fear that was now so victorious.

Title: Just
Author: Geraldine Harper

Count the minutes, lose the hours
Consciousness fades to sleep
Cold damp chills and hunger sours
Tears sting staining sallow cheeks

Mind over matter, just surviving
How many days can life sustain?
Thoughts still battle with surviving
As waters rise from burdened drains

In five days she would be missed
Work and family would be aware
In the routine of expectancy
Someone would notice she wasn’t there

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