My Zealous Heart

At my most basic self,

I have a zealous heart.

I always set out to do things right,

from the very start.

If a job is worth the doing

it’s worth doing well,

That’s what I always try to do

I hope it’s something you can tell.

A zealous heart truly is

a dreadful pain, you know?

I find it hard to simply let it be,

It has to be ‘just so’.

That’s the case for everything,

but more importantly

above all things, I have to have

the perfect cup of tea.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 19/August/2018

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/08/19/zealous/

https://swimmersweek.wordpress.com/2018/08/19/heart/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/08/19/your-daily-word-prompt-basic-august-19th-2018/

 

 

 

 

Manic Monday’s 3 Way Prompt – Gift of your Heart.

This Story was written in response to Laura M Bailey’s Manic Monday’s 3-way challenge.

See Link:

https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2018/11/19/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-heart/

You may also wish to read my previous entry for the 3-way challenge:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-the-singer/

IMG_1515942600722

The Word: Heart

 

When my life was in a shambles

and I was totally in a mess

You’d put your arm around me

and take away my distress, 

 

You’d dried each jewel-like tear

with a tender, loving kiss

but greatest of all, my dear, 

it’s your laughter that I miss.

 

You gave your heart to me,

so peaceful, calm, at rest, 

But how I wish that it could be,

still beating hard within your chest.

 

Now you’ve gone, and I’m alone.

You promised we’d never part.

But your love for me has shown,

I will always have your heart. 

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 19/November/2018

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/11/19/shambles/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/11/19/rdp-monday-jewel/comment-page-1/#comment-6450

 

 

Loves New Spring – A Pantoum

Yesterday evening was my final creative writing class…

The exercise was to write a story or poem about the ‘Last’ of something.

I bravely decided to write a Pantoum about the last day of Winter.

If you are not familiar with that form of poetry, it is quite restrictive and complicated.

The rhyming pattern is ABAB and the second and fourth line of the first stanza become the first and third of the second stanza, then the final stanza also has the first and third lines of the first stanza repeated as the second and last lines.  I said it was complicated, didn’t I?

Anyway here it is:

Loves New Spring

The final days of Winter came at last,

But still held the world in her icy grasp.

I looked back on dark days that had passed,

And feel loves painful grip unclasp.

 

It still held the world in her icy grasp,

But Winters harsh hand seemed to lift.

I feel loves painful grip unclasp,

Time healing that deep emotional rift.

 

The Winters harsh hand seems to lift,

And robins above begin their singing.

Time healing that deep emotional rift.

The pain around my heart unclinging.

 

Red robins above begin their singing,

Heralding winters passing breath.

The Pain around my heart unclinging,

But still, I cry for our love’s death.

 

In heralding winters passing breath,

I look back on dark days that have passed.

I mourned for our love’s fateful death,

Now Winter’s time recedes at last.

 

The End

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 06/July/2018

 

FOWC with Fandango — Love

Tinselheart- A Christmas themed poem.

branch celebration christmas christmas balls
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’ve wrapped my heart in tinsel,

after all, it’s Christmas time,

I hoped it would help me feel more jolly,

happy, joyful and sublime.

But instead, I’m cold and empty,

I’m not filled with Christmas cheer,

And though my heart is wrapped in tinsel,

no-one wants my love this year.

 

Copyright@ Kristian Fogarty 22 December 2019

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/12/21/tinsel/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/12/21/rdp-saturday-joy/#like-8578

 

 

 

What do you see? – A Keen Heart

tower

This poem was written for Helene Vaillants ‘What do you see’ Challenge. See link below:

What do you See? May 14/2019

 

A gleaming glorious spire

Above the darkest vault,

Are you curious to enquire,

what treasures there exalt?

At the towers very top,

With views across the land,

A splash of crimson petals

Watered by a loving hand.

The greatest prize is always seen

With effort and a heart that’s keen.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 15/May/2019

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/vault/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/rdp-wednesday-splash/

FOWC with Fandango — Curious

A Hidden Heart – A Short Poem

” A Hidden Heart Provides No Comfort.

A pure soul spent in contemplation,

feeds no hungry and heals no sick.

Helping others is our only redemption.” 

brown rosary on yellow surface
Photo by Daniel Reche on Pexels.com

 

He wore hatred like a camouflage

In this world so full of tormented souls,

to blend in and hide his heretic heart,

from those devoutly damned dark trolls.

 

To survive he wrapped his cloak around him

And hid deep inside, his compassionate core.

So no one knew his kind, warm nature,

Another callous creature was all they saw.

 

With no one to go to, no one to care,

thus, mankind was doomed asunder.

A civilisation once dwelt there

Now no one can recall that wonder.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 31/January/2019

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/rdp-thursday-camouflage/

FOWC with Fandango — Heretic

 

 

Manic Monday Madness – Evanescent Journey

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This post is written in response to Laura M Bailey’s Manic Monday Challenge:

https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2019/01/21/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-evanescent/

The prompt word is: EVANESCENT

I am also planning to include the Manic Madness challenger:

https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/its-manic-madness-can-you-do-it/

Which is to also include ALL of the previous Manic Monday prompts!!!!

I usually like to combine as many different prompts into one story as possible, but this is going to be a huge challenge.

Mysterious

Summertime

Confession

Silence

Poison

Castle

Wrecked

Ghostly

Forlorn

Dirge

Hush

Journey

Departing

Stoic

Boondocks

Scars

Damned

Ominous

Witch – Witchy – Bewitched

Deadly

Reaper

Reverence

Sultry

Heart

Waiting

Frozen

Naughty or Nice

Rejoice

Reflection

Shattered

Imperfection

Well I LOVE a challenge so here we go:

 

The fog descended thick and fast over the harbour.

Within moments the boats and the jetty had soon disappeared out of sight and memory, evanescent.

It was a fog like none of the locals had seen before. Mists and fogs were not rare in Winter or Spring. Whenever the weather brought a change in temperature, the lake gave off a mist that often didn’t burn away until lunchtime. This was different. For starters, it was Summertime. In addition, it was much thicker than usual and it brought with it a kind of ghostly silence, a mysterious hush. It felt that time itself had frozen.

In addition to the ominous lack of sound, there was a scent in the air. It reminded her of something from her childhood. Something that she had long forgotten but dwelled within the darkest recesses of her mind. It filled her with emotions. That longing for the past that people call nostalgia, a sense of comfort that came with it, but was tinged with anxiety. Her heart began to race, she felt an upwelling sense of adventure. She was going on a journey. She knew this fact as sure as anything, but she did not know how.

This experience was like a witch had cast a spell over the area, an enchantment. Then she remembered her parents warning to her when she’d told them she wanted to move away into this quiet, primitive part of the world. They’d warned her that strange things happened up in the ‘boondocks’, that was her Mother’s colourful way of describing anywhere wild.

She’d ignored her Mother’s warning, but until this moment, had not regretted it. She’d felt somehow like she’d come home. Away from the busy city and bustling towns, this was where her spirit felt she belonged.

Suddenly she remembered what the smell reminded her of. Her Grandmother, who disappeared nearly twenty years ago. She had only been a child then, not more than six or seven. She remembered her Grandmother’s perfume, a mix of Eau de Cologne, lavender and rose petals, tinged with cinnamon and freshly baked bread. This exact same smell came to her through the mist.

She recalled then, her Grandmother’s confession to her before departing.

“I am a Witch, child, not a wicked witch. I have been no more naughty, or nice, than anyone else. We are, all of us, flawed with imperfection, but I have strived to walk in the light. You too have inherited the gift. It skips generations. Your Mother, my dear daughter, has not got the skill and therefore I have been forced to keep it a secret from her. I must leave soon, but One day you will remember this, and then we will undertake our journey together.”

After her Grandmother disappeared, they had mourned the loss of her. She’d felt a forlorn melancholy for weeks. Her Mother had been distraught. The emotional scars burned deep.

How could she have forgotten this, until now? Upon reflection, she realised that it must be part of the spell. The forgetting and the remembering.

Now it felt that she had only been waiting for this moment.

A figure stepped out of the fog in front of her. Still wrapped in the black woollen shawl, worn whatever the weather, her glowing white hair still cascaded down to her shoulders, with that hint of pale gold that was a remnant of her once sultry beauty. This was her Grandmother looking as if she’d just stepped out from her memory.
The lined face beamed a smile and she reached out a hand to clasp her own.

To her surprise, the hand was as warm as the smile.

“There you are, my precious. It is time to make this journey. Be strong, I will guide you.”

The fog began to lift. The scene had changed. Where the lake once stood, with its jetty and boats, there was now a deep chasm. Where the log cabins once clung to the side of the hill as it gently descended to the water, there was nothing but rocks and trees.

On the other side of the chasm stood a castle, a grand and shining fortress of light and splendour. The sun shone resplendently on that mighty castle, yet around it, darkness billowed like a deadly storm.

The sight of the fortress filled her with reverence, she wanted to cry out and rejoice.

At the same time, the darkness, like a poison, injected her with dread and fear.

Her grandmother must have felt her hand tense in hers, because again she spoke, in reassuring, gentle tones.

“Don’t be afraid, my dear. The journey is a difficult one. We must pass through the valley, filled with the souls of the damned, harvested by the Reaper. They call out in their eternal torment. Be stoic and do not fear them. I have you, and together we will walk over the bridge. Keep to the light, and we will be safe.”

All around them, she saw wrecked and shattered souls, surrounded by darkness, but she stepped onwards, guided by her grandmother’s hand, she kept to the path and made it to the gates of the castle.

The Gates opened and she was engulfed in the glorious light that shone from within.

 

Back in the hospital, her life support machine rang out a single note, like a dirge, but on her face was a smile of peace.

 

screenshot_20190121-165647_google

The End. 

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 25/January/2019

 

Well, what did you think? Did the story take you on a journey? Did it conjure up any feeling within you? Let me know in the comments. 

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/01/25/combine/

 

 

 

 

The Singer – The Sequel

Screenshot_20181111-230029_Google-01

Yesterday I wrote a short story based on this picture and the word ‘Sultry’ in response to the challenge set by Laura M Bailey on her blog  – See the link below:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-the-singer/

I had a few very encouraging comments from my blogging friends that they wanted to hear a bit more of the story, and so here is the sequel.

I hope you enjoy it:

The Singer – Part Two

He pulled on his raincoat as he stepped out of the nightclub. It was still raining heavily, so he turned up his collar and stood with his back against the brick wall. The guttering provided enough of a shelter from the rain for him to light his cigarette. He could still hear her voice, slightly muffled, from inside the building. She was singing another old classic, “That’ Old Black Magic”. It reminded him of the spell she had cast over him when he’d first laid eyes on her.

‘How many years had it been?’ he pondered as he took a puff of the cigarette. ‘Must be ten years ago now.’

Her hair had been shorter then, and blonde. She wore less makeup back then too.

It had been at his local fair. He’d gone along because he’d had nothing better to do and there were usually opportunities to be had whenever crowds gathered. His ordinary appearance became a camouflage in those sorts of places and he enjoyed the anonymity and the advantages that gave.

She’d been singing then too. A Cole Porter song “I’ve got you under my Skin”. He felt her reach across that crowd to him. She was singing to him and him alone. He fell instantly in love with her. She had won his heart.

He had found out a little bit about her. She was a local girl who loved to sing. He sent her flowers and chocolates. He even sent her a valentine card. They even went on a date to an Italian restaurant. Then she turned cold toward him, sent back his letters and refused to see him when he turned up at the bar she worked at. How could she entice him one minute then reject him the next? He couldn’t take that rejection. She even went so far as to go to the police and get a court injunction on him. He wasn’t going to give up that easily. He managed to get into her apartment one night. He only wanted to talk, just to explain himself, he loved her. She had to understand that. He wouldn’t have hit her if she hadn’t screamed.

So he spent a few weeks in jail. That didn’t bother him, it wasn’t his first stint, but when he came out she’d gone. Moved away. He had been hunting for her ever since.

Now, he’d found her, at last.

He took the cigarette end out of his mouth and threw it on the floor then crushed it to pieces with his heel.

He walked down the alley behind the club and found the rear entrance unlocked. No one was around. He jumped when a metal trashcan fell making a loud clang that echoed in that narrow alley, but it was just an alley cat. Like him, really, he smiled at that though.

He opened the door into a dark space that was clearly used for storage. There was a room with a gold star on it with ‘Claudia Van Horn’ emblazoned across it.

He could hear her still singing on stage. Her rich, throaty voice was belting out the finale of her final number. Carefully he crouched down behind a large crate of beer to wait patiently for her to finish.

It wasn’t long before he heard the roar of the audience, giving her a standing ovation and saw her stumble rather listlessly back to her dressing room, closing the door behind her.

Like a panther, he leapt from the shadows and within moments had slipped into her room. The nightclub was closing and the customers were making a racket as they finished their drinks. Some of the crowd were attempting to copy the songs they’d heard. It was a raucous din, but it played into his hands.

She was seated in her chair in front of the mirror and hadn’t heard him open the door but when it clicked shut she turned around.

He stood there with the belt from his raincoat in his hands and just stared.

This close he realised the makeup was even heavier than he thought. The years had changed her face slightly; her features were no longer quite as fine, still attractive, but not as youthful as they once had been.

Her mouth fell open and she gasped his name “Joe?”

“That’s right honey, it’s Joe. It’s so nice to see you after all this time, Christina. You thought by changing your name you could escape me? We were meant to be. When will you accept that?”

She tensed as he started walking towards her pulling his belt tightly between his fists.

“What are you going to do Joe?” she said, quietly. He knew he didn’t have long before she would scream. He had to act quickly.

“I can’t bear the thought of you running away from me again. You won’t run away this time” He said and pounced.

Her leg came up hard and caught him between the legs.

He screamed and fell to the floor and then the dressing room door slammed open and a female police officer stood there with a gun pointed at him. “Freeze” She shouted.

Then Christina laughed coarsely and reached up and grabbed her long red hair. It came off in her hands. It was a wig.

He realised that he had been wrong, it wasn’t Christina at all.

The policewoman kept her gun pointed at him with her right hand and with her left removed her cap, revealing short blonde hair and the face that was etched in his dreams, this was Christina.

“You didn’t know I had a younger brother? Meet Clay, he’s a drag artist. Oh, and I’m a police officer now. I knew you’d be after me again someday and I decided that rather keep running in fear, I was going to get you. I joined the police to help save other women from people like you and I knew one day I would see you again and I wanted to make damn sure I was ready. I reckon that’s Strike Three.” She turned to two other police officers standing outside and said: “Book him boys”.

The End.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 13/November/2018

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/11/13/listless/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/11/13/daily-writing-challenge-nov-13/

Valentine, heart, fair

 

 

Multiple Word Prompt Story – A Heart and a Packet of Crisps.

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/jaunty/#like-466

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/friday-rdp-justice/

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/09/28/fowc-with-fandango-heart/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/your-daily-word-prompt-lithe-september-28th-2018/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/three-things-challenge-28-sept-2018/

Today’s things are: crisps, chips, beans

 

A Heart and a Packet of Crisps.

With his hat set on his head at a jaunty angle, he was ready to face the day.

‘What will the day bring?’ he wondered and bounded out the front door.

He waved at his neighbour who was emptying rubbish into the brown wheelie bin perched permanently outside the front door. The neighbour didn’t wave back, only stalked back into his house and slammed the door.

Shrugging the unfriendly response aside he continued walking into town.

He decided to treat himself. His breakfast usually consisted of a couple hobnobs with a cup of tea, but today he was going to have a fry up.

He walked into the Rusty Kettle Café. Doris came over wearing her usual easy-wipe plastic apron and a bored expression on her face.

“Egg, Chips and beans please,” He said, pleasantly.

“Want toast with that, love?” Doris replied.

“No, Thank you.”

“It comes with a mug of tea or coffee, which do you want?” Doris asked.

Remembering what the tea was usually like he responded: “That’s OK, Can I have a glass of Orange juice instead?”

“OK,” Doris said and scribbled the order down on a grey pad of paper.

In a short while, he was tucking into one of his favourite meals.

He took huge pleasure from the salty savouriness of the flavours and was grateful that he managed to avoid getting any baked bean juice or tomato ketchup on his favourite blue pullover.

When he went up to pay he also bought a packet of Salt and Vinegar flavoured crisps. He wasn’t hungry, but they will do for lunch later.

Having enjoyed his meal, he practically skipped and jumped out of the café. He had a lumpy middle-aged figure that couldn’t really be described as lithe, but he was rather nimble on his feet. That came from going to Salsa classes every Thursday evening down at the Civic centre. Madame Carmen had said his moves were quite adroit of his age.

He walked down to the park and sat on a bench by the duck pond. There wasn’t a lot of people about, which suited him fine. He felt nervous around people unless he knew them.

He sat and contemplated his life. Forty years old and not a lot to show for it. He’d inherited his parent’s old terraced house and that had saved him from wandering the streets after his wife had kicked him out. How long ago was that now? Seven? No nearer Eight years ago now. Just then he smelt the rather unpleasant odour of old seat and coming out of his thoughts saw a tramp sit down on the bench next to him. He was wearing an old anorak and fingerless gloves. The tramp held out a hand.

“I’m sorry, I haven’t any money on me. I don’t even have any bread to feed the ducks today. I do have a packet of crisps, you can have them If you like?”

The tramp smiled at him.

“Thank you, my friend. That’s the first kind thing anyone has done for me this week. You’re all heart.”

The tramp began crunching on the crisps and then continued talking splattering crisp crumbs all over his coat. “Mmm, Salt and Vinegar, my favourite. What’s your name then?” asked the Tramp.

“George, George Harper. What’s yours?” George replied.

“You know, no one has ever asked me that before? Not since I’ve been on the streets. Bert, the name’s Bert. Hodges is my surname. I hope you don’t mind me asking, but are you alright? You looked a bit sad when I sat down next to you.”

George found himself telling Bert all about himself. His wife who had chucked him out when he’d had a breakdown and been discharged from work. They’d given him a pension but it wasn’t a lot to live on. His wife ended up getting a job to pay the mortgage and then decided that she didn’t want to share her life with him anymore. He remembered her screaming at him, calling him a useless waste of space. He went back to live with his parents in their tiny house. He slept in the same room he had grown up in, it made it feel he had regressed back into childhood. Then he lost both his parents. His dad died from Lung cancer and then his Mum from pneumonia. If it hadn’t been for the Samaritans he wasn’t sure he’d have been around much longer. They’d suggested the Salsa classes that he so looked forward to every Thursday.

It was strange, All the terrible things that had happened to him, he’d never really told anyone, not even the Samaritans about everything, and yet here he was telling them all to a complete stranger. Probably because he was a complete stranger.

Just then he noticed his neighbour again walking along with his dog on its lead. He smiled and said “Good Morning.”

“Don’t you talk to me. Why don’t you get a job? You scrounger. I can’t bear people like you. You’re just a drain on society” He continued walking and dragging along his dog.

“Someone you know? He wasn’t very friendly, was he?” Said Bert.

“No. It’s probably because I reported him to the RSPCA because I could hear his dog whining and he never took it for a walk. They fined him. It seems to have done the trick though, he’s taking it for a walk now. Also, he doesn’t understand that I don’t work because of my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I worked for the fire brigade, you see. I had to go into a school that had burnt down. A boarding school. Not all the kids had managed to escape. I just couldn’t get over what I’d seen.”

Bert patted George on the shoulder. “I don’t suppose you’ve told your neighbour that?”

“No, I haven’t wasted my breath.”

Bert stood up and grabbed Georges arm with surprising strength. “Come with me, George.”

Bert led George out of the park and over to a top of the range Mercedes that was parked out of the way.

“What’s this? Not your car, surely?” George asked.

“I will let you in on my little secret,” Bert said. “I am not really a tramp at all. I just like to carry out a social experiment. I like to see how people treat me when I can’t possibly be any help to them. Sometimes people give me money, I always hand that in to the local shelter, I’m not a fraudster. No one has ever sat with me before and asked my name, or given me their packet of crisps, or told me all about themselves. Never before. You are a very special man. Despite all you have been through and the way your neighbour treats you, you still showed me kindness. I think that deserves something. How would you like to come work for me? I need someone I can trust.”

“A Job. I don’t know. I’m not sure I can do anything. Why should you care about the hand that life has dealt me? It wasn’t your fault.”

“No, but I see what has happened to you as a great injustice, and life should be balanced. I want to restore the balance by giving you the justice you deserve. What do you say?”

George didn’t know quite was to say. He shook Bert’s hand, smiled and got into the car.

George Harper is now deputy director of the Have a Heart Charity. They sponsor unsung heroes that have fallen on hard times and see that they get the treatment that they need and help them back on their feet.

The End

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 28/September/2018