What do you See? – A forgotten birthday


This poem was written for Helene Vaillant’s ‘What do you See?’ challenge. Click on the link below to see her post:

What do you See? May 28/2019


He was feeling rather sad and low,

And sorry with his lot,

Because although it was his birthday,

His friends, they’d all forgot.

He kicked his bedroom door ajar,

And banged upon his drum,

despite this being his special day,

he sulked and sucked his thumb.

He stalked about in a dreadful mood,

Like a scorpion with a sting,

He shouted at the postman when,

He failed to deliver anything.

In a fit of hurtful rage,

he presented an ultimatum

in a letter, he sat down and wrote,

I wouldn’t dare recite it out verbatim.

It clearly showed how out of sorts

And neglected he really felt,

Oh! what truly miserable hand

It was that fate had dealt.

And as the day had nearly closed

he entered the dining room,

and there, beside a papaya

he hadn’t wanted to consume,

he saw a birthday present,

wrapped up and tied with bows.

He heaved and sighed and then he cried

The tears ran down his nose.

Then jumping out of the shadows,

His friends sang out three cheers

And then quite prompt, they did applaud

Nearly deafening his ears.

It made him feel quite bashful

And filled with deep remorse,

He had doubted they

would remember his day,

When they clearly had, of course.


Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 31/May/2019

I have included the following word prompts:


Today’s prompt: scorpion, drum, papaya

FOWC with Fandango — Verbatim





Daily Writing Challenge – Poseidon’s Birthday Surprise.

This story was written in response to The Haunted Wordsmiths Daily Writing Challenge. 


The picture above is part of the challenge and also the following words:

king, power, eternal

I have also included the following word prompts:




King Triton’s birthday was fast approaching and he did not want to think about it. Four thousand years was a long time to be alive, but he knew he wasn’t immortal like the Gods, he would one day wither and die, and so every birthday was like the ticking of his own personal death clock.

He also didn’t know what he wanted as a present. Not another one of those concerts that his daughters loved to put on for him. They enjoyed singing but he didn’t have the heart to tell them that they actually sounded dreadful. He’d heard seagulls that could carry a tune better. 

He was chairing another meeting to discuss the problem of the seas getting hotter when he had the idea. His prime minister, an old bottle-nosed dolphin called Flipper, was in the middle of a speech.

“We have sent uncountable delegations to the humans to tell them to quit pouring chemical after chemical into our oceans, but they have continued despite our warnings….”

“That’s It!” Interrupted the King. “That’s what I want for my Birthday, an end to all the pollution.” 

The Prime Minister rolled his eyes. He was a dedicated public servant who had spent his youth working undercover with the humans and knew them better than anybody. It was that experience that had caused him to be elected Prime Minister. He knew that it wasn’t as simple as ‘wanting an end to pollution’. There were many humans that also desired that wish, but they were outnumbered by those who put money and profits before nature. 

Patiently he said “Very good, your Majesty. I have been working to achieve that. It’s not as simple as that, I’m afraid.”

The King stood up from the table. “I will ask Poseidon. I haven’t bothered him for aeons and he owes me a favour or two. I helped wipe out Atlantis for him when he asked me to. He owes me Big Time!”

The King walked up the steps to the Temple, he felt a little guilty because he hadn’t been as devoted as he should have. This was his first visit for a while. The golden statue of Poseidon stood on it’s plinth at the far end of the temple. It towered above even him. 

“Oh Eternal Poseidon, God of the Sea, here my words and come to me.”

He felt the power and awe overwhelm him as the God’s presence entered the room.

“What is it my child? Long have you let me slumber and I am grateful for it, speak and I will grant thy wish.”

The voice echoed and boomed around the white marble halls decorated with coral, scallop shells, pearls and other treasures of the deepest oceans. 

“I wish an end to this pollution, Oh Powerful God. It is my birthday and I desire this above all things.”

“Consider it done Triton. This will be my Birthday present to you.”

The Gods presence departed and then the great freeze started. 

Poseidon caused the worlds oceans to freeze. The sea creatures survived by diving deep into the under water caverns. There were enough pockets of oxygen in those deep caverns to keep the dolphins and other air breathing sea animals alive. 

The great freeze lasted just long enough for the humans to be wiped out. Then the sea thawed and returned to normal and without the humans, there was no more pollution. 

King Triton was aghast at the devastation that Poseidon had wrought.

“Oh God, why did you destroy the human race? I only wanted an end to pollution.”

“I have granted your wish, Triton. Be more careful what you wish for. You wanted an end to pollution and destroying the humans was the only way.”

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 14/November/2018

Multiple Word Prompt Story – The Best Day Ever.

This story was inspired by the following word prompts:





To be honest with you, I wasn’t going to post it, because I think the story is far from exemplary, in fact, it is a bit rubbish and boring, but having gone to the trouble of writing it, I thought I would share it with you. It will show that all of us write rubbish sometimes.

The Best Day Ever

“Can you guess what day it is?” Said Patsy, her eyes gleaming with excitement.

Her brothers were frankly tired of it. Every year she was the same, leading up to the day and on the day itself she was totally impossible.

Paul shrugged his shoulders in a pretence at being nonchalant. “No, Idea. How about you Peter? Can you guess what day it is?”

Peter frowned before responding “It’s Wednesday isn’t it? What’s special about Wednesday?”

Patsy glared at them and ran out of their bedroom. They heard her run downstairs, no doubt to seek more accommodating company.

It wasn’t that they disliked their little sister, she was as cute as a button and good-natured. She just didn’t understand how irritating she could be, particularly at six o’clock in the morning.

They might as well start getting ready for school. They lived a fair way out of town so the school bus came for them bright and early, they were always the first to be picked up, at a quarter past seven every weekday morning.

At school, Peter and Paul were known as the terrible twins. Their behaviour was far from exemplary and they were frequently held back in detention.

“They’re not bad boys really” her Mother would say in their defence, “They’re just high spirited.”

Today they were on their best behaviour and they had promised faithfully not to tell their sister what their Mother had planned for Patsy’s Seventh birthday.

At breakfast no one said much, they wanted it to be a surprise. Patsy was allowed to have a bowl of sugar-coated corn flakes rather than the porridge oats they were forced to eat.

“Eat your oats, they’re good for you” Mother would cajole them.

“They’re cheap too” said Peter.

“And taste like sawdust” added Paul.

Father banged on the table. “Eat up and shut up. I’ll have no more table-talk this morning.”

His was always the last word spoken. The twins never pushed their father too far, his right arm was too strong.

A short time later the school bus pulled up at the end of the drive, the driver honked the horn. Depending on whether it was the nice one or the grumpy one would determine how long they had to get their things together and put their shoes on. If it was the nice one, they could take their time, but the grumpy one would count to ten and then drive off if he didn’t see them running down the drive. He’d driven off once and they’d never dawdled again. Looking out the window they saw it was the grumpy one so ran out of the door.

School seemed to drag more than usual. The twins were separated into different classes, that was after one incident where they nearly organised a riot, but they got together at break times. Patsy was in the Juniors, which was in a separate building. The Juniors were not permitted to mix with the Seniors.

When School finished usually Patsy would wait for her brothers and they would catch the school bus home together, but today something else was planned.

Peter and Paul came out of the seniors building and rushed over to where Patsy was playing hopscotch. Just as they got there, their Mother appeared at the school gates, she was waving frantically.

“Mummy, I knew you were going to do something for my Birthday,” Patsy said with great enthusiasm.

They walked into town and along to the church hall. Inside were all the children from Patsy’s class, her favourite teacher, Miss Nelson and her Auntie Jane and her daughter Penny. Penny was her best friend as well as her cousin, but she didn’t see her very often because they lived in the next county.

Having not given the secret away Paul and Peter were allowed to join in the games of pass the parcel and pin the tail on the donkey. They were too old really but they loved a game. Like a lot of boys, they never really grew up.

Then they brought out the birthday cake lit with seven candles and sang happy birthday. However, because that song is subject to copyright, they couldn’t sing the tune they all knew, but it didn’t really matter because they couldn’t sing in tune anyway.

Patsy opened her presents and had received lots of attention from her friends and Miss Nelson, she practically glowed.

It had been the best day ever.


The End – and I apologise for what is really a load of tripe. 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 19/September/2018

Drive carefully – A short story.

I’ll remember that day until death wipes my memory blank like the computer main frame of a big corporation threatened with fraud allegations.

The day started so happily. Josh had just passed his driving test a couple of weeks before and was still walking around with a big grin across his face. It was the day after his eighteenth birthday and he had gone into town to buy his first car with the money the whole family had clubbed together to give him. It wouldn’t be enough for a new car, or anything fancy, but it was a start. He had cried tears of gratitude when he opened the envelope to see the wodge of notes. 

He’d gone into town with Jennifer, the girl he’d been seeing for the last three months. She was a nice girl whose folks lived in the next block. 

I kept myself busy with the usual weekend chores, doing the laundry, hanging the washing out on the line. It was a glorious sunny day, warm with a gentle breeze, perfect drying weather. I was just mopping the kitchen floor when I heard the engine of a car coming roaring up the road and I heard the unmistakable sound of it pulling onto our gravelled driveway. 

I looked out of the window and saw Josh and Jennifer sitting in an old convertible, bright red, with the top down, the pair of them grinning with so much youth and vigour. 

I went out onto the porch. 

“Hi Ma, What do you think of it then? I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. It’s only ten years old and the mileage is pretty good for that age. The bloke at the second-hand showroom said that it had been kept in a garage for the last two years. It was a real bargain.”

“Yes Dear, but it wasn’t what I expected you to bring home. I thought you’d start with a small car, a mini or something like that, until you got used to driving around a bit more.”

“Well I thought that was all I would be able to get, but I never thought this would be within my price range. It must be my lucky day. I can’t wait to show it to Steve and the gang. Do I have time to go and show them now Ma? When’s dinner?”

“Dinner won’t be for a couple of hours yet, I suppose you’ll be joining us Jennifer? You’ll be welcome.”

Jennifer nodded. She didn’t talk much, probably just shy.

“Well Ma, can I go and show Steve my new wheels?”

“Yes, of course love, but don’t stay too long. Drive carefully.”

She said it automatically and yet when she did she felt as if someone had punched her in the stomach. 

Off Josh drove down the lane at breakneck speed.

Only this time the metaphor was far too appropriate. 

Ten years ago to the day, She still fought the tears as she placed the bunch of red roses on her son’s grave. 

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 17/May/2018