The Iron Writer Challenge #191

The Iron Writer Challenge #191

2017 Spring Equinox Challenge #12

500 Words, 5 Days, 4 Elements

The Authors:

Maureen Larter, Geoff Gore, Paul White

The Elements:

A lemon tree

A vampire

A songwriter


Maureen Larter, Geoff Gore, Paul White


Geoff Gore

“Ok, this is going to hurt a little”

She leaned forward and I was pleasantly distracted by the sensation of her soft breast brushing my shoulder. The feeling was short lived. An explosion of pain ripped through my jaw like a white hot needle.

“Yeah, that’s it.” 

I fought back the urge to scream and gag at the same time.

“You’re going to need an extraction.”   

“Is it going to be expensive?”

“You’ve got insurance, right?”

“That bad?”

She nodded.

I hate dentists, even hot ones like Dr Phoebe. I don’t know any other medical professional who can as efficiently perform an extraction from your body and you’re wallet at the same time.

“Relax, I know my teeth.” She said smiling.

She was right. She had great teeth. Almost blindingly white, but what would you expect from a dentist?  Still there was something uncomfortable about that smile. So white, yet something seemed out of proportion. She stopped smiling.

“What’s wrong?”

“Have you been eating garlic?”

I shrugged.

“Nevermind”, she lay me back down, “I’ll give you something for the pain.” She dipped a latex gloved finger into a tub of blue gel and rubbed it inside my gums. In an instant my whole jaw went numb.

“Whath ith thath shuff?” I said, spraying fine flecks of spittle across my bib.

“An old remedy my Mom used on me when I was young.  Just relax and let it do its work. Here.” She flicked on a screen above my head playing music videos as a distraction. My favourite singer songwriter, Sting. How ironic. I recognised the video, though I could hardly hear the words.

“And all that I can see, is just another lemon tree…” 

Great, now my hearing was going numb too from that gel. I was definitely going somewhere else next time.

If there was a next time, I heard a voice say.

Was that my voice?

“Wha?” I struggled to say.

“There, all done. Would you like to take a look?” She handed me a mirror and I looked inside my slack jaw. I had to admit, she did stunning work.

“Wha wash dat medishin ou gav me?”      

“Cocaine tooth drops.”

“Cocaine toof dwopths?  But you shaid your mom gav dem to you when you wash little?”

“That’s right.”

“Bup, dey shtopped making Cocaine toof dwopths in 1885. That would make you…”

“Do I look a hundred and forty years old to you?” She laughed.

That she certainly didn’t. I relaxed putting the mirror down on the armrest next to me. That damn gel was starting to make it too hard to say anything anyway.

“I need to give you a little gas for the last bit. Trust me, you won’t feel a thing.”

She leaned over me and reached for the mouthpiece. As she placed it firmly over my mouth my eye caught the refection in the mirror next to me of the gas hose moving through the air all on its own. I tried to scream…

Toothache Drops

Paul White

“Johnny” shouted Marjory, her voice carrying the length of the garden. “Johnny, stop running about. Go sit with your Grandfather”.

Sluggishly, Johnny dawdled along the garden path towards the small arbour where his Grandfather sat. As he walked he ran a stick along the fencing so it made a clackety-clack sound.

Most adults found the noise annoying, but Grandfather Eddie clapped his hands together, jumped from his seat and said “Go back a bit Johnny, go back and do that again”.

Johnny liked Grandfather Eddie, he was funny. He did lots of stupid things and told jokes that his mother called ‘only nearly funny’. That was when he wasn’t grumpy.

Not that Grandfather Eddie was ever grumpy for long, he had his special sweets, his toothache drops. If he felt bad he ate two or three of those and he was smiling and laughing again in no time.

Johnny often wondered why Grandfather Eddie did not go and see the dentist more if his teeth hurt. Surely a dentist could make the pain stop, or he could take Grandfathers tooth away altogether?

Grandfather Eddie wrote songs. Not old songs like he was old and Nanna was old, but songs you hear on the radio. He knew all stars and artists. Grandfather had been on television and had trophies for writing on display.

Sometimes the famous people came to eat dinner at Grandfathers house, or to have a barbecue. Some of them were coming today. Which is why Johnny had to be on his best behaviour. Although, when you heard and saw all the things these people did, Johnny wondered why he had to behave when no one else did?

Adults can be strange at times. Most times.

Johnny sat opposite Grandfather Eddie and, looking directly at his face, watched as he tapped away on the key board. His Mother said “Don’t disturb you grandfather when his typing”. So Johnny waited patiently.

“That’s it” he said with a big grin spreading across his face as he shut the laptop. “So Johnny, that’s the Vampire Dunkin Monkeys next big hit in the bag. That’s the Grunge-punk awards won for this year and it’s all down to you and your clackety-clacking”.

“I could have done more Clacking, but the Lemon tree is in the way” said Johnny.

“You have done quite enough young man, I shall reward you handsomely when the record become a big hit”.

“Can I have a fast car, an orange one, with silver wheels?”

Grandfather Eddie laughed. “When you are old enough you can have all the cars you want”.

“Eddie” it was Nanas voice. “They are arriving”.

“Right, Johnny. Let’s go to work, let’s get that fast Orange car for you, shall we?”

“Go to work? I thought they were your friends?”

“My friends are Alexander Hamilton, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Franklin, William McKinley and Grover Cleveland. You would do well to make their acquaintance too, young man.”

Grandfather Eddie popped two toothache drops into his mouth as they walked towards the house. When they met their guests Grandfather Eddie was chatting and buzzing like a teenager.

Under the Lemon Tree

Maureen Larter
Darryl sat up in bed and cringed. He placed his hand up to his jaw and moaned. It seemed like forever since he’d suffered with a toothache. In fact he couldn’t remember when – it seemed like centuries ago. He grinned to himself, then gasped when a renewed shaft of pain sizzled along his jaw line. He remembered the days of yore, when adverts used to extol the beauty of toothache drops laced with drugs! Of course, he thought with a grimace, he’d never had a problem in those days. He pushed himself up and out of his cocoon of warmth. Maybe he just needed a feed. Tonight he was meeting the luscious Jennifer – a songwriter par excellence, with a figure to die for and a face as sweet as the songs she wrote. The ache in his mouth diminished as he thought of the delights she would offer. With a bounce in his step he hurried to dress. He looked dashing and handsome when he walked out of the castle door. The meeting place eluded him for a second, then he remembered. He almost rubbed his hands together in anticipation. By the time he was under the lemon tree and awaiting the arrival of Jennifer, he had forgotten his toothache. It wasn’t long before she appeared. He watched her furtively dash across the orchard’s dewy grass, her night gown diaphanous in the moonlight, giving him a view of her wonderful body. He smiled. She was gorgeous, and available for the night. He opened his arms and she sighed as she snuggled into his chest, her blond tresses tickling his nose as her perfume assaulted his senses. He bent his head and a pain shot through his head. He couldn’t stop the moan of pain. She lifted her head and looked him in the eyes, mistaking the stifled cry as the sound of passion. “Oh Darryl, my love,” she said as her smile promised her surrender. “Take me! I’m yours!” He bent his head, and his fangs buried into her neck. As she swooned, his toothache disappeared.

Weekend Quickie #222

Weekend Quickie #222

Saturday, March 11, 2017

One Image, One Prompt, One Emotion

200 Words



Photo Source Unknown, Pinterest

The Iron Writer Challenge #190

The Iron Writer Challenge #190

2017 Spring Equinox Challenge #11 

500 Words, 5 Days, 4 Elements

The Authors:

V. I. Bottic, Bethany Totten, E. Chris Garrison, Amy Kasim

The Elements:

Antigonish (restricted to the first verse only)

Another person’s dream that you are envious of

A hangman’s noose

Will you never leave me?


V.I. Bottic

They dragged me with ferocious strength up the stairs. I tried to fight harder, but I was so weak I couldn’t. At the top I met Mildred’s gaze. She wasn’t there, but I saw her nonetheless. When I spotted her I was pushed from my mind into her favorite dream. I was always jealous of her clarity, her lucidity – her depth of understanding and propensity for imagining the most beautiful things that have never existed. Before they locked me in my room I was momentarily comforted by the giant flaming lilies and golden waterfalls dancing through my mind. Then the bad dream came. Mildred. On the platform, knot tightened, her face turning red already. I stopped dreaming. I never watched this part. I know she died that day. The doctors tell me she didn’t. They show me pictures and tell me stories about the things she did before she died (or didn’t die), and ask me things I couldn’t possibly know. They make me look in the mirror while they tell me that’s what Mildred looks like today. I don’t believe them. I don’t know who I am, but I’m not her.

Alone with the Ghosts

Bethany Totten

As I was going up the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there!
He wasn’t there again today,
I wish, I wish he’d stay away!

The old building was alive.  It creaked and moaned in the silence of the night as the three teenagers crept inside by the open basement window.

“Damn, it’s gross in here,” remarked Dane as he held up his flashlight military style, examining the contents of the room.

“What’d you expect?” Chad asked him as he hopped to the ground.  “The place has been closed for at least twenty years.  This place is crawling with stuff.”

The third member of the group, Ben, followed cautiously behind them.  “You sure this is a good idea?” he asked as he shined his flashlight around the room as well.

Ben wasn’t completely against the idea of exploring the abandoned mental asylum, just had a feeling that it wasn’t the safest place to be walking around.  Not to mention, there were rumors it was haunted by several former patients.

“Don’t tell me you’re wimping out now, Watson,” Chad replied.

Ben shot him a look.  He wasn’t in the mood for dealing with Chad being, well, Chad.

He really didn’t know why he was friends with a guy like Chad.  Chad was always the type to throw insults at anyone, yet somehow, he always was surrounded by friends or at least people who tolerated him like Ben and Dane.  Dane seemed to be more tolerate of Chad’s shit than Ben was; Ben, however, had no problem with calling Chad out when he royally screwed up, which happened quite often.

The trio started to climb up the stairs towards the first floor of the old building.  As Dane and Chad walked into the lobby area, Ben froze.  A man was staring at them from one of the hallways.

“The hell?” he exclaimed.

Dane and Chad looked at him like he was crazy.  “The hell is wrong with you?” Chad asked.

“That guy,” Ben said as he pointed his flashlight to what was now nothing.

“What guy?” Dane asked.

“That guy that was in the hallway,” Ben replied.

“There’s no one there, jerk,” Chad said as he shined his flashlight in Ben’s face.  “You need new glasses or what?”

“Knock it off,” Ben quipped back.

The trio continued onward, peeking into the various rooms.  They continued to the second floor when Ben saw the man again.

“The hell!” he exclaimed as he jumped back.

“What is your problem?” Chad barked at Ben.

“Do you guys seriously not see that guy?” Ben asked.

Chad and Dane shook their heads.  Ben continued to stare at the empty hallway.  This place was starting to really give him the creeps.

“Maybe we should leave,” he remarked.

“Don’t be such a wimp,” Chad said. 

“Come on, Chad,” Dane said.

Chad shined his flashlight in Dane’s face.  “Don’t tell me your wimping out too.”

“No, I’m not!” Dane retorted, as the sound of footsteps echoed throughout the hall.  The three teens exchanged nervous looks; it certainly wasn’t any of them walking around.

Suddenly a loud crash broke the silence.  Chad yelped and took off running with Dane and Ben close behind him.  They didn’t stop till they got to their car and quickly drove off.  Chad actually started to seem nicer after that.

The Man at the Top of the Stair
E. Chris Garrison
There he stands, at the top of the stair, his angry face mimicking, mocking, a parody of my own. His face full of shadow, his sharp features, his hairy body, they fill me with darkness and loathing. He matches my every move, always waiting for me as I go to bed.
During the day, I had moved through the world with beauty and grace, the man at the top of the stair invisible to anyone who should meet me. My new floral dress, my carefully coiffed hair, the click of my pumps, these all brought a smile to my face. At my office, everyone greeted me, and said my name in a way that made me preen. The unintentional slights rolled off my plumage like water off a duck.
The simplest things, away from the man at the top of the stair, were bright and wonderful; even signing correspondence warmed me inside. The friendly grocer had bagged my things, but I’d refused when he offered to help me to my car. The women at the department store beauty parlor exclaimed in envy over the clarity of my skin, little knowing the long road I’d taken to achieve it.
Each pill, each treatment, all had been one more bit of poison to the man at the top of the stair. I’d worked for a year, and then two, to make him go away, to die at long last. If only to never see his face scowling back at me ever again.
I made my dinner, I took care of my cats, I relaxed with some chamomile tea in my long, soft nightgown, and read my book until it fell from my hand, its text intermingled with wisps of a dream.
Time for bed.
My chest tightened, as I could avoid the stair no more.
Not long ago, Mom confided in me that when I’d been a child, she’d dreamed of me as I am now, like a prophecy. She said I seemed so much happier. Wish she’d told me that then. Where could I have been by now? Would there never have been
the hated man waiting for me at the top of my stair?
At the top of the stair he stood, like he did every night before bed. This time, I could take it no more, and I screamed, “I’ve done everything I can! Will you never leave me?”
My fist shattered the mirror, and a dozen or a hundred images of the man leered back at me, somehow making a laugh out of my screaming face. I crumpled to the floor, picking glass out of my fingers, wrapping my bloody hand in the skirts of my nightgown. The sharp edges of long shards of glass, more tempting and easier than any hangman’s noose, called to me, the eyes of the man beckoned to me from all over the rug.
He won’t win today, not this way.
I dialed 9-1-1.
I will survive. And I will win.

If I Can’t Have You

Amy Kasim

It was Tuesday evening; the day of the week that Dennis liked to stay late at the office. Louisa was parked across the street at exactly 7pm, patiently watching and waiting for the lights in the 8 storey building to go off floor by floor, till the last one was left; where he could be located.

Six months had passed since their wedding, exactly six months after the mysterious disappearance of her step sister Rebecca, and Dennis still would not see her. He blamed Louisa for her disappearance; he would have been married to the love of his life but for her. Phone calls were left unanswered, Dennis refused to see her at his work place, and would not even attend family gatherings if she was there; he avoided her like the plague.

Rebecca achieved her dream of being a doctor and being everyone’s favourite; something that filled Louisa with so much bitterness and jealousy. Though she had disappeared, she still seemed to be in control of everything; she was like “The man who wasn’t there”, with a tight grip on Dennis’ heart; her husband, the man she, Louisa, was supposed to possess. 

Louisa slowly alighted from her car and walked into the building, ensuring she wasn’t being followed.


Dennis was buried in paper work at his desk, not bothering to look up when his door opened and closed. “Christina I thought I asked you to leave? Put the files on the desk and go home.”

“So Christina is the reason you won’t come home?” Louisa asked with her arms folded across her chest

“What are you doing here?” Dennis firmly gripped the sides of his seat; his voice laced with fury.

“I came to see my dear husband. I miss him.”

“Do you have a death wish? Please leave before I do something I’d regret”

“I won’t”

“Would you never leave me Steph?”

“If I cannot have you, no one will” she bluntly stated

What will you do; kill me? Ha!” he scoffed, rising from seat to the window “Well, I would have you know that I rather be tied to a hangman’s noose than be with you.”

A click sounded a few feet behind Dennis. “What are you doing Steph?”

“I told you Dennis; I won’t share you with anyone.” Louisa switched hands to steady the revolver in her trembling hands. “Why do you keep blaming me for something I didn’t do? Is it my fault Jenny left?”

“You are sick Steph; you need help” he said sadly

“I am not sick!” she yelled “I do not need help! All I need is for you to love me!” she gripped her head in both hands.

Seeing she was distracted at the moment, Dennis maneuvered his way to her, grabbing her hand to twist it; she did not budge. For someone who looked frail, Louisa was stronger than he imagined. They fell onto the sofa, pushing and pulling, each person struggling for control.