Posted by: celticsea | December 7, 2018

The Best Gift of All

“There’ll be no Kingdom Christmas tree,” the widowed queen declared.

Nor will the palace lights be lit, nor royal feast be shared.”


“No tree?”

“No lights?”

“No royal feast?’

“Poor us!” the people cried.

“Poor Queen, she hasn’t been the same since June when King John died.”


“We need a way to cheer her up.

“We need to help her heart.”

“We’ll make her gifts that bring her joy; we each can do our part!”


The bakers baked assorted goods; the blacksmiths welded rings.

The crafters knitted comforters with brightly colored strings.


The children beaded necklaces; they painted pictures too.

One even sewed a teddy bear; the stack of presents grew.


But still the tree remained untrimmed, the palace walls unlit.

“We gave her all the things we could.” The people said, “We quit!”


Except for Tom.


He picked the books he loved to read and put them in a sack,

then journeyed to the palace with the sack upon his back.


He climbed the stairs to knock;

a woman met him at the door,

“She thanks you for the gifts you made; just put them on the floor.”


“I haven’t made her anything; I only brought her me.

I want to read my books with her and share a cup of tea.”


The queen agreed to meet that day, and welcomed visits after.

with both of them uplifted by their stories, time and laughter.


In consequence the queen revoked her former declaration

proclaiming now to amplify the royal celebration.





Susanna Leonard Hill has once again offered up a holiday writing challenge – to write a story in 250 words or less (not including the title) about a holiday hero. She also has given graciously of her time because she and the other judges will have to read and rank all of the entries. To read other entries or to enter yourself, just click on the link.

Read More…

Posted by: celticsea | October 28, 2018



Princess-costumed Samantha stopped as she saw her runaway beagle Max enter Mrs. Ghoul’s house. Samantha shivered – not from the cold, but the fear of Mrs. Ghoul. They said she was a witch! But Samantha had no choice; she must rescue Max.

As she crept up the steps, the door opened. Samantha heard Max howling. His cries came from inside a deep cauldron sitting near the doorway.

“She’s cooking Max!” Samantha screamed.

“No dear,” said Mrs. Ghoul. “He jumped in when he smelled the candy.”

“Candy? But they said you were a…”

“Witch?” cackled Mrs. Ghoul. “Do witches handout candy?”



Note: This is yet another entry for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie Contest, where writers are challenged to write a Halloween story, in one hundred words or less. Writers must use the following words – in any form – in their stories: shiver, cauldron and howl.

Please visit this site to see all of the imaginative entries submitted – or to enter one of your own!

Posted by: celticsea | October 8, 2018

The Halloween Treasure Hunt

“Ahoy mateys! Ye be ready to search for the booty?”

“Aye, aye Cap’n Pete!” yelled the other boys.

“Here be the treasure map me Seadog dad made.”

Pete followed the map and the boys followed Pete throughout their neighborhoods.

After what seemed like hours Pete said, “Blimey mates! Still no Jolly Roger in sight!”

Quincy looked over Pete’s shoulder. “Ye be holding the map upside down Cap’n!”

The boys howled with laughter.

“Er…,” said Pete, “just testing ye Scallywags.”

Redirected, they soon sighted the flag.

Relieved, Pete cried, “Shiver me timbers mateys! There be a candy-filled cauldron for us all!”




Note: This is an entry for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie Contest, where writers are challenged to write a Halloween story, in one hundred words or less. Writers must use the following words – in any form – in their stories: shiver, cauldron and howl.

The Nina, The Pinta, and the Guidelines for the 8th Annual Halloweensie Contest!!!

Posted by: celticsea | February 9, 2017

Sebastian, Say Something

Nell held in her hands three Valentine’s cards

She made in her class during Art.

Miss Polly, her teacher, had helped her to trace,

Then carefully cut out each heart.


Nell glued them on paper she’d folded in half.

Miss Polly had said they looked good.

She wrote on each inside, “I love you so much!”

As well as an eight-year old could.


But now as she held them, while perched on the bed

She slept in the end of each week,

Nell said to Sebastian, her step-mother’s cat,

“Sebastian, I wish you could speak!”


“I know I have known you for only two years.

And clearly, at first I was mad.

I wanted my parents to stay as they were,

But your mommy married my dad.


“I hated to come here; I hated you all.

Leaving my mother was hard,

But your mommy, Susan’s, been ever so nice.

Now, I want to give her this card.


“Sebastian, the problem’s my mother still cries.

I’m worried what harm I might do

By giving to Susan this Valentine’s card

And telling her I love her too.


“So, give me some signal, a simple meow

Or purr to convince me I’m right,

But hurry Sebastian; she’s coming in soon

To hug me and kiss me goodnight!”

The Serpents’ Revenge

Because of that Patrick –

The one who’d been sainted,

The snake’s reputation’s

Forever been tainted.

A symbol for Satan?

A pagan he said?

He must have had rocks

For the brains in his head.

An innocent lot

Our folks had to flee

From Ireland’s hills

And into the sea.

Add to the outrage

We’ll never get over,

We’re banned from all fields

Of the cursed three-leaf clover.

And so we’ve decided

On Council’s advice

To bombard their Isle

With boatloads of mice.

We’ll see how they manage

Their prized tater crop

With mice making meals

Of their staple non-stop.

No snakes to control them –

The food chain unhooked –

Those Irish will realize

Their claddagh’s been cooked.

Then people will wonder

Who had the last laugh:

We ostracized snakes,

Or that saint and his staff?

Posted by: celticsea | March 3, 2010

Winning response to prompt: write about a discovery

My Discovery

The house had sold; we had to move
And pack up all our stuff;
The attic task was given me.
Mom said it wasn’t tough.

The musty smell and cluttered mess
Made cleaning up a chore,
Until I found, tucked far in back,
Two boxes marked “Lenore.”

I opened wide the memories –
All filled with mother’s things,
Like costume clothes and baby dolls,
Like pearls and plastic rings.

And from the bottom of the box
I pulled out a photo book;
I settled on a nearby chair
So I could take a look.

What struck me as I drank them in
Was how happy mother seemed –
That picture of the pony ride
Where mother’s smile beamed.

Dad passed away when I was five
And Mom took on both roles;
She had to set aside her dreams
And focus on our goals.

So rarely did we see her smile
Or laugh and have some fun,
Far too many memories,
Too much to be done.

I tried to empathize with her,
Tried not to make her mad,
But often, understandably,
My mom was rather sad.

So looking through her past today –
At pictures of her youth,
At ballet shoes, now faded pink,
I learned a simple truth.

That long before my father died
Before her troubles grew,
When hand games settled arguments,
Mom was a child too.

40 lines

Posted by: celticsea | February 25, 2010

Prompt: Start with, “Crossing the border of the unknown…”

The Exodus

Crossing the border of the unknown

Into a state of marriage,

A foreign territory,

An alien land

Where two bodies merge,

And two minds constantly battle

To maintain independence

While at the same time

Endeavoring to co-exist

In relative accord.

Drawn over by

A safe haven?

A place of refuge?

A passport to

Bona fide happiness?

Migrating into any

And all of these

Diverse possibilities.

Intent on setting up

A permanent residency,

Establishing citizenship.

Resolute against deportation.

Unwavering in an allegiance

To this civil union –

This act of

Concomitant dependency.

Posted by: celticsea | February 19, 2010

Prompt: Write about someone you care about turning up missing.

A Disappearing Act

Late Sunday night
When I went to bed
I gave a quick kiss
To my boyfriend named Fred.
While visions of much more
Played out in my head
As this time next week
We had plans to be wed.

But when I awoke
And adjusted the spread
A boyfriend-free mattress
Engulfed me with dread.
I jumped to my feet
And in torment I tread
As soon I discovered
My true love had fled!

“Oh what have I done,”
To my mother I said,
“To make Freddy leave?”
Then more tears were shed
As I got on my knees
And to Heaven I pled,
“If you bring him to me,
I’ll be yours ‘till I’m dead!

But the days became weeks
And the months rushed ahead,
So I had to move on
Hearing no word from Fred;
From crying all day
To just seeing red,
I realized I still
Had a life to be led.

So I sold off my ring
And bought rubies instead;
Gave his clothes to Goodwill
And his letters I shred.
The funny thing was
When I finally let go,
The very next day
Was the day I met Joe.

Quality Time?

“Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?” my husband asked as we pulled into our driveway.  “A pleasant lunch without the twins, and no phone calls from the fire department telling us our house was burning down.  I told you it would be okay.”

Okay for you, I thought to myself as I gave him what I hoped was a convincing smile.  I swallowed hard trying once again to force the tuna melt into my digestive system.  Images of kidnappings, accidental drownings, and knife accidents kept sending conflicting signals to my stomach. The twins, I hated to admit to my husband, were so much a part of me these days, a part of my soul.  I didn’t want to be away from them, but I knew Liam and I needed to spend more time together, have those “dates” the counselor suggested.   And yes, logically, Sarah was as responsible of a babysitter as we could find.  “All Sally’s kids survived under her watch,” Liam joked.  Like that was funny.

I tried not to appear too anxious to get out of the car, resisting the temptation to open my door before he even stopped.  With some effort I willed my hand to stay in my lap until he came and opened the door for me. As I entered the house, expecting the twins to come squealing and toddling forth to greet us, the stillness hit me like a Taser.  “Something’s wrong here; it’s too quiet,” I said.

Losing the battle against the tuna sandwich as my panic rose, I raced into the bathroom.  My husband waited for me at the door, gave me that look, and then took my hand.  He walked me into the playroom where the twins lay sleeping on Sarah’s lap, one on each knee.

Posted by: celticsea | February 8, 2010

FF prompt…use newspaper, string and float

Fit to be Tied

As I sat sipping my rootbeer float at the counter of the five and dime I noticed the string tied around my finger.  “Okay,” I said aloud, but not to anyone in particular,  “I tied this around my finger for some reason, but what the heck was it?”

Wanda, who just finished picking up the newspaper and wiping down the crumbs left by the elderly gentleman in the business suit said, “Again Sarah?  What happened to you writing down the stuff you needed to remember?”

“Well I kept losing the paper, so I figured it’d be hard to lose it if it was tied to my finger.  Heh, I do still have the string!”  I said laughing.

Wanda just shook her head,  “With no clue as to its reminder; Sarah what are we going to do with you?” she said, obviously not expecting a response as she moved over to take the order of a new customer.

As I played with the string, twisting it around my finger, I hoped the contact would trigger a memory. I had a vague recollection that I tied it on last night, after some argument – or more like lecture – from Jimmy again about my taking responsibility, but as usual, like a bird, the memory flew out the window that was my brain.

It’s not like Jimmy didn’t know about this when we got married, after…how many years did we date?  Whatever.  I played with the string again.  Good Lord I hoped it wasn’t something important.  I felt a buzzing in my pocket, and it took me a few seconds to realize it was my cell phone.   “Hello?” I said.  “You’re what?  You’re waiting at the hospital for me to come for my scheduled c-section?  So that’s what it was!”

Older Posts »