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The Witch

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

From her small balcony, the witch watched the world go by.” It was getting harder and harder for her to get up and down the stairs. The neighbors seemed to ignore her when she did venture out. The children would giggle and point as she made slow progress down the sidewalk. She often looked like she was lost in her own world.

“A penny for your thoughts,” said the mother to her little girl.

” I was just thinking about that old lady that lives up stairs. Some of the kids say she’s a witch! Do you think she’s a witch Mommy?” her face showing her apprehension.

“I think we should go up ask her if she needs anything from the market. It must be very hard for her to get her groceries,” the mother answered.

They quickly climbed the stairs and knocked.  A strange light spilled out as the door opened. The  luminous being spoke, “So glad you’ve come. I have finished my observations of this planet. I was going to report that your species is hopeless but you have changed my mind.”

Mondays Finish the Story

SOCS-Tempus Desolationis

“Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil.”

Times of desolation. This describes so much of what is going on in the Middle East right now. The extremists may think their cause justifies what they do but it does not and never will. There can never be a justification for all their atrocities.  Kayla Mueller was working with aid organizations to help Syrian refugees in Turkey when she was captured by ISIS.

President Assad has dropped bombs and poison gas on his own people. Now there is talk to let him remain in power in order to “stabilize” Syria. Russia is sending in troops and weapons to try to prop him up as well.

It seems the forces of evil are very strong. I hope the forces of good can prevail in the end.

Via Powerful Scenes on You Tube:

Mordor must be defeated.

This is my contribution to : Stream of Consciousness Saturday

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What You Can’t See

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”           —Henry David Thoreau

She was glad the rain finally stopped as she took her dog for a walk.  ” It’s just a pile of rags,” she explained to her companion. Her dog strained at his leash and whined. “Calm down boy! ” she said a bit louder as they drew closer to the mound.  She didn’t want to look too closely fearing…what? Why was she afraid of a pile of rags. She was determined not to let anything spoil her vacation. Tired of reading all that disturbing news. What could she do about it? It didn’t affect her. Even the President hadn’t spoken a word about it while he was on his trip. If he didn’t care why should she? She was looking forward to reading the latest romance novel that had been recommended in her favorite magazine. “Hurry up, boy! ” she almost shouted as they scurried past the little body in the sand.

SOCS-Light in the Darkness

I could not write about something all light and airy. I did not feel like writing at all. The world has been too heavy and dark this week. I hope there can be light after seeing the images of the continuing humanitarian crisis from the Middle East into Europe. People desperate to escape, with their families, from all the war and terrible oppression. The terrible image of a dead child washed up on a beach in Turkey. Scenes of people trapped in a Hungarian train station blocked from traveling on into Europe. The hope is that maybe now the world will start to work on better solutions. A glimmer of light is that Germany and Austria have opened their boarders. Hungary has allowed the refugees to take the bus out of their country. I don’t get the distinction from taking a train but it is better than the refugees being held in some camp or prison. I noticed that Huffington Post Canada has a list of organizations that people can donate to for the refugees. I looked for a similar list for the US and found one on Today.com . Hillary Clinton, during a recent interview, called this a global crisis and “the entire world now sees doesn’t just affect the Syrian people; it affects all of us.”

It does affect all of us and we can not close our eyes. The Washington Post has several articles on this topic. One is a story about a Syrian family making their way to Austria with the help of smugglers, called The Black Route.

Sometimes I don’t think things can’t get any worse.

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Mondays Finish the Story

“The cemetery spread along the area known as Devils Abode.” 

The cemetery spread along the area know as Devils Abode. This was not encouraging to the residents of Sunny Hills Rest Home whose facility butted up against its boundary. They were reminded daily of their next destination after their time on earth was over.

Sunny Hills was located on part of the old site of the Dixmont Psychiatric Hospital. In the early days it had been a large facility to house the criminally  insane of the state. The remaining patients had been moved to other facilities years ago, except for one.

In all the confusion of the last days he was forgotten. He had hidden out in the old coal storage building ever since. He still made his daily visit to the cemetery to see some of his old friends. His cold empty eyes gazed over to the cheerful grounds of Sunny Hills.

Gingerbread_House_Essex_CT via wikipedia

Sunny Hills

Mondays Finish the Story

SOCS-Love is Just a Four Letter Word

I am not so pessimistic or cynical  as this title, or the song it is based on, suggests. But reading the news lately about Ashley Madison ( and I hate that name and it does sound like it should be the name of a porn site), almost made me feel that way. Even more disillusioned with the state of humanity. Now I read that most of the women on the site either never used it or were faked. Then I thought some more about it and realized that the men who signed up for it could have done it because of…well I am not sure why they signed up for it…loneliness, sex addiction, pornography? I don’t want to make assumptions. Are they living evidence that confirms that “love is just a four letter word ?”

The angel voice of Joan Baez via CARLSFOLKCLUB:

But I do know that love means more than just a four letter word to many men. The men in my family and the husbands and partners of my friends for a start. So I want to put the other stuff out of my mind. I think I like the lyrics of this song better via countvonferson:

My contribution for: Stream of Consciosness Saturday

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SOCS-Mind Meld

I love Star Trek and all the alien species who populate the series. Some of the aliens are the Klingons, the Vulcans and the Ferengi. I suspect some of our corporations and Wall Street may be run by Ferengi.  The Ferengi think profit is supreme and they have several rules they live by called The Rules of Acquisition.  One of these rules is never put family before business. Even though the Ferengi are pretty funny they are not my favorite characters.

One of my favorite characters is the Vulcan Mr. Spock. I was sad when the original actor,Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock recently passed. He was so great in the role I was skeptical, when the new Star Trek movies were coming out, that a new actor could fill the part as well. I think Zachary Quinto has done it. Something Spock was known for was “the Vulcan Mind Meld.” He employed it when other forms of communication failed or when he wanted to have a meeting of the minds with humans or other species.

Here are a few Mild Meld scenes via Russ Hany on You Tube entitled Don’t Forget Mind Meld:

Spock and another character Dr. McCoy were often at odds with each other. Dr. McCoy did not like that Spock was so unemotional and stubbornly logical. In the new Star Trek films the relationship continues the same.

Via Lostzilla 847 on You Tube:

And I can’t leave out the Klingons via Beau S :

This is my contribution to Stream of Consciousness Saturday

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Spectacular Settings

This is my contribution to the WEP challenge for August called Spectacular Settings. The first part is to include a paragraph from a favorite setting. I chose the book The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and here is the setting.

Mrs. Medlock, the housekeeper, describes the setting ( Misselthwaite Manor) to the main character Mary: “Not but that it’s a grand big place in a gloomy way, and Mr. Craven’s proud of it in his way—and that’s gloomy enough, too. The house is six hundred years old and it’s on the edge of the moor, and there’s near a hundred rooms in it, though most of them’s shut up and locked. And there’s pictures and fine old furniture and things that’s been there for ages, and there’s a big park round it and gardens and trees with branches trailing to the ground—some of them.” She paused suddenly and took another breath. “But there’s nothing else,” she ended suddenly.

The second part: Why I like this setting.

I love mysteries and this setting is very mysterious. A six hundred year old mansion on the edge of the moor with a hundred rooms, and most of the rooms closed off. A secret garden, a sad reclusive uncle, and a child heard crying at night. I love when Mary starts to explore the gardens and then one day, when it rains and she can’t go outside, she decides to explore the house. What will she find down all those dark corridors and behind those closed doors?

The third part: Part of a story I started to write.

The Journal is discovered

I was exploring an ancient oak grove near my new home. I had been hiking for quite a while and the weather was quite warm. I decided to take a break and sat down under the shade of a gigantic old oak tree. I put my jacket down, as a blanket, and lowered myself to the ground. I leaned back against the large trunk feeling a comfortable protected feeling in its presence. I was settling into a peaceful place when I felt something poking me. Just when I was getting comfortable too, I thought, I would have to sit on a rock. I rose up on my knees and moved my jacket out of the way determined to remove the offending object. I saw what appeared to be a piece of leather. I found a stick nearby and dug around it until I was able to see the whole thing. It was a book of some kind. I carefully lifted it out of its burial place. As I opened it I swear I saw some tiny lights twinkling like stars. I saw there was writing and it was very old. I did not recognize the language but as my eyes traced over the letters I found I was able to read the words.

“My name is Aine. I have set down my story here so that whoever may find this journal will know the story of my time on earth. I am a Druid priestess. I practice the old ways. This is my story.”

I felt very drowsy and decided to put the book in my backpack and save it for later. I sat back down under the old oak tree. I will just close my eyes for a few minutes…. “I am flying high above the oak grove and can see for a great distance. I love to fly and feel so much strength in my wings. It has been five years since I shape-shifted. I am Aine.”


3670739521_471029e1fb_z Peregrine Falcon


Critique/comment preference: MPA

Word count 333; MPA and Comments appreciated 🙂





SOCS-Older Women Are Invisable

Most older women are not visible in modern media. Women who are aging naturally that is. We don’t see many older actresses and models. Women drop off the radar and start to disappear as they get older. Wouldn’t you like to know more about them? Wouldn’t you like to hear their stories? Who are they? According to Beauty Redefined , in their great post, they have been shunned by main stream media. They have been “symbolically annihilated.”

That sounds like science fiction. Something The Borg would say. “We are The Borg. You have been symbolically annihilated. Resistance is futile!” But looks like it is not science fiction. If you are an older woman you will not see yourself in popular magazine ads, in Hollywood films or on TV. Unless you have had a lot of “work done” to make you look much younger. There may be a few token older women on display but they are in the minority. Kind of like endangered species in the zoo.

Then there are all the negative messages for women about letting yourself look your natural age. Messages bombarding us about anti-wrinkle creams, botox, hair color, diets, and plastic surgery.

“What would happen if confident, happy, beautiful women decided to forego painful and expensive anti-aging procedures, breast lifts and enhancements, liposuction, all-over hair removal or tanning regimens? How could that change the way their daughters, students, friends, nieces and coworkers perceived themselves and their own “flawed,” lined, real faces? How could simply owning (and treating kindly and speaking nicely about) our so-called “imperfect” bodies affect not only our own lives, but those over whom we have influence? Is it possible to slowly but deliberately change the perception of these “flaws” as something to shame, hide and fix at any cost to something acceptable and embraceable in all their human, womanly real-ness?” (Beauty Redefined)

Yes what would happen? The “beauty” industry would self-destruct. I do like to be optimistic, enthusiastic, and hopeful about change. I think I can imagine the change beginning. I think I hear it. Robotic voice in background, “The self-destruct sequence is initiated….”

This is my contribution to Stream of Consciousness Saturday.



Are you ready for this? I am ready as I’ll ever be. I answer this way when I am thinking of doing something pretty far outside of my comfort zone. It means I am ready to throw myself into something however not ready I may be. Things aren’t going to get any better so I may as well forge ahead. Face the fear and uncertainty and step out onto the stage.

One thing I am never ready for is being in a high place. Things like bungee jumping, sky diving or hiking along the edge of a high cliff. I know I could work on overcoming these fears but I am not ready yet.

A recurrent bad dream I have (thankfully not too often) is that I am walking along or toward the edge of a very, very high cliff and suddenly I am pulled to the edge and over it. I have this horrible feeling in my stomach and, oh no! ,  here I go over the edge and have the sensation of falling a long way down until….I end up in the ocean below.

I know I would not like going to the Grand Canyon and looking over the edge or riding one of those little donkeys down those narrow little, slippery paths to the floor of the canyon either. There is this Sky Walk platform that loops out from the edge of the canyon. It is clear plastic so you can see through your feet to all the way down below.  Hey if we were meant to “sky walk” we would have wings right?

I think the trouble is I have a good imagination and I can imagine the donkey coming across a rattlesnake on the path ….or my donkey being kicked by another donkey ….or losing it’s footing and….if I ever rode one down I would have to look at that skinny little path and see how high up I was. You know how they tell you when you are climbing up a high mountain, “Don’t look down.” I could imagine that Sky Walk coming loose from its cantilevers or whatever is bolting it to the cliff and…or the walkway starts to crack under the weight of so many people…or someone bumps me over the rail and ….you get the idea.

This post is my contribution to Stream of Consciousness Saturday.