Imaginif prompts for daily writers.
If you wish to join the Writers Prompt Daily simply use the below photo (changes daily) as a prompt and post a short story, poem or paragraph to your blog. Leave a comment and your link here so that all participants can come to you and read/comment/encourage. Stories below are copyright and are Megan Bayliss' writing around the below daily picture prompt.

My wedding vow

Paul, I call upon the natural elements present, the ancestors of the traditional owners and all our friends and family with us today, to hear the raw honesty of my vow to you:

Darling, my friend, my desire; consider this a star chart that you may seek sail from at any time.

I love you stars and moons and will until I embrace the end of our immense universe.

You are my light and my darkness, my breeze and my cyclone, my ocean and my land, my storm and my rainbow: what better balance of nature could I hope for.
I give to you something that I have never given to anyone else: my true self, alone and adrift on the single, set, cell of a map, never to be investigated by anyone else.

This is the least and the most that I have to give to you. Nobody has ever discovered this place before and I have worked hard to keep it protected from the pirates of life.

I PROMISE that I will let you in to my most private quarter: the Captain's Cabin that is sacrosanct to all but the solitary salty dog seeking a palace of peace from a weather beaten existence. You are the only sailor ever allowed into my space: my fellow captain.

Even when my cabin walls are reinforced with cemented silence and cyclone bolts, I will call on the elements to tear them down and assault me with the terrifying rage of knowing there's nowhere to hide. I will see your image and allow you to remind me.

Forever more I seek my shelter in your wind of change. I will turn my face to the stinging salt spray that puffs my eyes and sniffs into my soul. I will stand up, strong, against the craggy, barren, wind swept, lonely horizon in the distance that has become so familiar to me that I have over identified with it and consciously become it: distant and solitary. Its comfort even seduces me now: show nothing, protect your inner self, beware of the rocks and go further out to sea, no one must enter. This pain of change, this song of the sea meets land, will be our rainbow.

I feel vulnerable sharing my inner thoughts. I will feel exposed when I begin to verse you of my intense fear, yet malnourished bravery, in allowing you into my most private space. I ask of you gentle reminders and acceptance of my truth as the gang plank away from the rocking ship and back toward the rain bowed horizon that encompasses people. However vulnerable I feel, you, Paul, are welcome in my space.

This is my promise to you.

Now can I have some Mungalli Cheese cake? They look bloody delicious!


If you wish to join the Writers Prompt Daily simply use the above photo as a prompt and post a short story, poem or paragraph to your blog. Leave a comment and the link here so that all participants can come to you and read/comment/encourage. Story above is copyright and is Megan Bayliss' writing around the above picture prompt.

Jackanoly, rolly poley.

Round the wheel went, wobbly like. Round, crocked-round, wobble, pliff-bonk! It gave way under her weight.

She looked at him through her fat slits of eyes. "Idiot," she howled, not under her breath quietly.

He looked at her. "Fat pig," he murmured under his breath so Mum wouldn't hear and fat girl wouldn't hit him from here to China.

Mum heard him. Fair dinkum, she could hear a mandarin being peeled in the bathroom - with the door closed!

"Simon! Come here. Now." Her voice had the angry tone. He was in trouble again. I agree with fat Jackie for once. He is an idiot! If he just thought the truth about Jackie, without ever saying it, he wouldn't be in trouble from Mum all the time. I guess being one year younger than my twelve years meant he hadn’t yet learnt that you just think some things and NEVER say them aloud.

Simon walked slowly and stupidly toward the verandah to get his punishment over and done with. Within minutes, he sidled back to us as if he'd had a good wallop across his skinny little behind.

"What'd Mum do this time Simple Simon? You're such an idiot. You shouldn't even push Jackie in that old pram. She's so fat that the tyres were never going to hold her."

"Shut up Melissa. You're the idiot. Take Jackie home before I bash her face in. I hate the fat pig."

Jackie jumped out of the lopsided pram and loped to the clothesline. She tried to monkey up the straight stick bit, but it buckled under her weight like it was a banana tree. I couldn't hold my laughter back. It was so funny. Mum heard me laughing. She came storming out to clip me under the ear for laughing at Jackie but when she saw the bendy clothesline, she screamed instead.

"Oh no! Which one of you little monsters broke my new clothesline?"

Simon and I pointed straight at Jackie. It was usually Simon that dobbed on her and got into trouble for tiddle tattling, but this time I was going to stick up for him. It was about time that Jackie got in trouble for her naughty ways.

For once Mum believed us. She looked us up and down, and then looked Jackie up and down. Jackie was three times the size of us and three years younger than my little brother Simon.

"Jackie An-oly!" Mum barked scarily through dog looking fangs that showed when she was savage. "Go home at once!"

Simon snickered under his breath, "Serves you right."

Lucky for Simon, the bent clothesline was cemented into the ground. If it wasn't he would have had to pooh it out because Mum would surely have rammed it down his throat.

Mum was thunder. She roared into the house and started vacuuming. Mum only did housework when she was furious. We liked it because it meant Mum was too busy to get into us for getting into Jackie.

I looked at Jackie, still sitting at the bottom of the clothesline. "You've done it this time Jack. Mum won't let you come here any more."

"Good riddance to bad rubbish," Simon followed me up with.

The vacuum cleaner had stopped just one second before Simon spoke his truth. He didn't have time to shut his mouth. It was too late. Mum overheard him call fat Jack bad rubbish and she screeched for Simon.

Simon ran for his life, way down the back garden, over the fence and disappeared into the An-oly's yard.

Jackie purred and smirked; pointing toward the spot where Simon disappeared. Unable to hide her glee, she fell on the ground in fits of laughter.

"I detest you," I thought to myself. "How could one kid be so naughty but get everyone else into so much trouble." I knew better than to speak my thoughts aloud. I leant a long time ago that if I controlled my face then nobody could read my thoughts. That way I could think bad things about our neighbour and not get into trouble for it. Simon though, he was a slow learner. He thought he could whisper and get away with it. He was so keen to make sure Jackie knew we loathed her that he just had to say it loud enough for her to hear. Like I said before, Mum could hear a mandarin being peeled so Simon needed to learn my strategy of control.

By the sound of the snarling over the fence, Simon was bailed up by the An-oly's three Dobermans. He’d have to move fast to jump the side fence and get to safety – away from Mr. An-oly and his dogs. The whole An-oly family was fat and nasty, the dogs too, and nobody liked the An-olys or their vicious snarly pets. Mum said she felt sorry for little Jackie and we had to be nice to the little beast. According to Mum, Jackie’s dad was a wife-bashing loser and her Mum was a good housekeeper so that Mr. An-oly could be a loser in clean comfort. Mum swore to God that if we did anything mean to poor little Jackie that she'd feed us to the Dobermans herself.

So, we never touched her. I never said unkind words, just thought them and poor old Simon hadn't quiet worked out how to be horrible nicely.

Still rolling around cacking her fat little heart out, Jackie hadn't noticed our dog's freshly dropped dodo right near her head.

"Onya Poley," I thought to myself, "You're a good dog for doing your business right there."

It was only a moment before dear little Jackie steam rolled Poley's pile of pooh into sticky pikelet batter. It stuck to her hair, her face, but best of all it got into the laughing hole above her fat rolled chin.

The site of Jackie An-oly's head covered in doggy dodo was too much for my thoughts only strategy. Giggling uncontrollably, I hoofed it as fast and as far as I could and left Mum with only one kid to growl at: Jackanoly rolly poley.


If you wish to join the Writers Prompt Daily simply use the above photo as a prompt and post a short story, poem or paragraph to your blog. Leave a comment and the link here so that all participants can come to you and read/comment/encourage. Story above is copyright and is Megan Bayliss' writing around the above picture prompt.

The trauma behind magical Mary

Mary Poppins, a Disney beacon of hope and magic, had a sad, sad childhood. Given her early life experiences of child abuse, Mary started life as a symbol of anti-nanny propaganda: weekly magazine stories full of sarcasm and hatred toward those who failed to protect their children from the staff.

Mary was originally created to bring the middle classes to their senses. Mary's job as protagonist was to reflect the weak ethics of the stuffy middle class who chose not to look after their own children. Further, Mary highlighted middle class inability to provide emotional stability and child protection.

The lesson of the story was that the Nanny was superseded by parental development: the middle classes awake to their children's psychological needs and forever more parented appropriately.

But, Disney recreated Mary Poppins to make her a superstar, super singing and dancing, all time fantastic carer of children, animals and handsome suitors: a woman that the middle class Banks family just could not do without.

Mary's creator was Pamela Travers, a young Australian women. A survivor of childhood neglect at the hands of her middle class parents, this is the life story that developed a now immortalized Mary Poppins:

Born Helen Goff, in Maryborough, Queensland, Australia in 1899, the celebrated author of Mary Poppins was the daughter of a bank manager who drank himself to death by the time Helen was seven. Helen's histrionic mother, Margaret, dithered on for a few more years before also giving up on life and attempting suicide in a local river.

On a thundery night, Margaret Goff announced to her three children that she was off to kill herself. Helen, the oldest (age 10) was terrified. She was left, alone, to settle her younger siblings and she coped by putting them to bed, all three together, on the lounge room floor. In an effort to divert their attention from frantic thoughts around their mother's impending violent death, Helen made up fantasy stories about magical flying horses in faraway lands that would ride them all to safety.

Although Margaret returned, unsuccessful in her suicide attempt, Helen withdrew from
the hurt caused by her family and instead found solace in the strength of a spinster aunt.

Helen's dysfunctional family predicament haunted her for the rest of her life. She was never able to rid herself of images concerning the appalling fate of children whose parents were unable to care for them.

At 21 years of age, Helen changed her name to Pamela L. Travers. At age 25, she moved to London to make a new life as a writer. She never married, wore trousers when she wanted, had an affair with an older married man and eventually entered into a long-term relationship with another woman. Ever desperate to protect children, at age 40, a single parent, she adopted and raised an Irish orphan.

It was Walt Disney who rewrote Mary Poppins as a screen play (1964) and the forever ingrained personification of Mary Poppins as the all rounded protector of
children. Disney's movie made Mary Poppins synonymous with love and magic, whereas Pamela had meant for Mary to be synonymous with neglect and rejection.

It is reported that Pamela sat through the Disney screening of her beloved Mary Poppins with tears rolling down her cheeks. Disney had made Mary into everything that she was not. Disney had failed to heed the protection of children through the symbolic development of a nasty and controlling Nanny interested only in her own needs.

Pamela L. Travers died a broken woman in 1996, aged 96.



If you wish to join the Writers Prompt Daily simply use the above photo as a prompt and post a short story, poem or paragraph to your blog. Leave a comment and the link here so that all participants can come to you and read/comment/encourage. Story above is copyright and is Megan Bayliss' writing around the above picture prompt.

The blackness of a new world order

Disease spread across the land like a black cock on a white hen. Millions of animals died. Herds and industry wiped out.

Scavenger birds dropped, dead, midflight and the earth began to morn the loss of her friends. Streams turned acidic and wells withheld their freshness.

An international disaster was declared. Live sheep export and lamb were wiped out. Beef and dairy cattle: gone. Buffalo, camel, horse, goat, ostrich, emu, fish, crocodile, kangaroo; everything farmed and wild, died.

Poisoned water tables affected food crop irrigation and fresh produce became referred to in the past tense. Life and eating as we had become familiar with and reliant upon was over.

The only survivors of the food chain holocaust were domestic pets and the small back yard vegetable garden.

It took no more than a disease to wipe out life as we knew it. The unprepared were left hungry and turned to the backyards of their sustainably savvy neighbours.

Domestic pets became the new staple and the traumatised institution of the family began to break down.

Violence pursued and suburban life exploded into warfare.

One family, and their beloved chickens, escaped the world and sought refuge high in the dividing range. They started life anew. Their first born chick, a black roster, embodied their hope and their future and hatched them a plan of sustainability.

Tough and sturdy as a Gurkha, a black race of chickens bred a food chain that would save the world from self destruction.

Black was the new life and a farmyard pecking order had begun.


If you wish to join the Writers Prompt Daily simply use the above photo as a prompt and post a short story, poem or paragraph to your blog. Leave a comment and the link here so that all participants can come to you and read/comment/encourage. Story above is copyright and is Megan Bayliss' writing around the above picture prompt.

Lesbians don't have long hair

My weekly art therapy group friends gathered out the front of the property to admire my most recent sculpture. I had just finished painting and was still in the tell-tale artist's overalls and had my long hair tied up in a bun.

The pretty little thing with the flawless skin and worries not much more than having a dead cat, clasped her hands behind her back, cocked her head in a quizzical way and asked, “What is it?”

“I call it; You get what you ask for.”

A few of the group looked at me, suspiciously, and with complete unawareness written over their blank faces. Yet others laughed heartedly (they were the women I really liked) until a little wee squished out. Some poor morons walked around the piece and examined it from all angels of light, linguistics and symbolism.

“What does that tell us about our lives though,” asked the pretty little thing again. She took group therapy so seriously. She was the one who always did her homework, always arrived relaxed and perfectly dressed and cringed when any of the women swore. I liked the women that swore. They were normal. Pretty little thing fell far short of the mark of normalcy.

I considered telling her she was a complete dickhead but one thing the group had taught me was tolerance: tolerance of dickheads.

“When I was a child,” I began in my story song voice, “my favourite fruit was Mango. We lived in a farming part of Queensland, a place were Mango farms sold their produce at honesty stalls. I couldn’t pass one without crying out, mango, mango.”

I shrugged my shoulders and indicated end of story. “I got what I asked for and hence I dedicate my sculpture to this lesbian community.”

“I don’t get it,” she screwed her pretty little nose up, narrowing her eyes and indeed looking anything but pretty. She looked more stupid, more like they way she acted. At least she was coordinated.

I started to walk away, but I reconsidered. That frickin’ therapist had finally gotten to me: to get different results you must do something different.

My difference today was to help pretty little thing get the link.

Patiently and with a raised intonation at the end of my sentence to indicate a question of whether she was capable of understanding, I slowly pursed, “Man-go, man go. I am a lesbian?”

“I don’t know?” came her cute response. “I don’t think you are a lesbian. You’ve got long hair.”

Sometimes difference and patience just aren’t worth it.



If you wish to join the Writers Prompt Daily simply use the above photo as a prompt and post a short story, poem or paragraph to your blog. Leave a comment and the link here so that all participants can come to you and read/comment/encourage. Story above is copyright and is Megan Bayliss' writing around the above picture prompt.

 
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