“Island Alleyway”

I enter the alleyway
With its aged
Whitewashed walls
And backsides of
Air conditioners
Which have replaced
The graceful water jugs
That cooled
Mediterranean man
Of old.
The sun crosses
Into midafternoon
And casts
Its shadow
The image
Of a man
In a great coat
With wide-brimmed hat
On the path
And wall beside me.
I shudder
And turn
To look over my shoulder.
I am alone.
With my fears
Real and imagined.
My destination
The blue-painted doorway
On my left
Is only footsteps away
Yet the unknown
Causes me
To turn and
Abandon my quest.

(Inspired by Jan Morrill’s photo, madison-woods.com, Friday Fictioneers, October 12, 2012.)

This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, Poetry, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to “Island Alleyway”

  1. I wonder, as I’m sure you wished me to do, what the quest was and why the man in the greatcoat (a word I love, BTW, but have only seen in books) caused the narrator to turn aside from it. I like this section:
    backsides of
    Air conditioners
    Which have replaced
    The graceful water jugs
    That cooled
    Mediterranean man
    Of old.

    On another note, I’m sorry to say that I had emailed myself to get your book free and then didn’t check and missed it. 😦 Hope lots of others got it.

  2. What was behind the blue door that was so easy to turn away from? Great write for the prompt, (of course) I too liked the “backsides of air conditioners….” thank you for sharing your beautiful verbiage 🙂

  3. With my fears
    Real and imagined.

    Being able to discern the difference is a key to mental health.

  4. It’s curious, but my mind is still contemplating the whitewashed walls and the blue painted door… I really, really want to go through that door!

  5. How many of our fears are real and how many imagined? A thought to ponder. Seems we live in a world where the true dangers are taking over. Nice poem.

  6. Hi VB,
    When one door opens
    Another one closes
    Or is it
    The other way
    Or is that
    window treatment?
    The man i fear
    most is me
    I can’t get
    away from him.
    introspective story.


  7. Tom Poet says:

    “I enter the alleyway
    With its aged
    Whitewashed walls
    And backsides of
    Air conditioners
    Which have replaced
    The graceful water jugs
    That cooled
    Mediterranean man
    Of old.”

    Very nice writing that paints an image instantly in the minds eye. No photo needed!


  8. billgncs says:

    I always enjoy the thread which weaves the images together. Very nice.

  9. Sandra says:

    Some great imagery here, loved it.

  10. Hello, its nice to meet you and discover such a wordlessly beautiful piece of writing…i enjoyed you tone and especially the pace of your narration. Please, keep it up. Cos i eagerly look forward to seeing more from you in the coming weeks.

    Coincidentally, my offering for this week is entitled “The Alley” Click: http://seewilliams.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/the-alley-a-new-day-at-the-friday-fictioneers/

  11. Parul says:

    Great work. Love the way you put everything that’s there in the prompt in writing.
    Especially love the closing lines –
    “Yet the unknown
    Causes me
    To turn and
    Abandon my quest.”
    Very good work. Thanks for sharing!

  12. K.D. McCrite says:

    This was so beautifully done. Thank you.

  13. Again, my hat’s off to those of you who can do such beautiful poetry.

  14. Brian Benoit says:

    The description of the shadow of the wide-brimmed hat was the image that stuck with me after this – a nice, tight intrigue!

  15. rich says:

    i think he gave up too fast, but of course i can’t really “feel” what he was feeling.

  16. brudberg says:

    Imagined foe, in narrow alley, courage gone
    (well done) … and I am new guy in the illuminated club.

  17. Love the imagery in almost every line. And yet, if you take every line apart there’s no one word that is special. An interesting talent you have. “The whole is more than the sum of its parts.”

  18. Paul says:

    That’s the problem with sharing a computer, Melinda’s comment is actually mine. My contribution is #54 this week at http://photovignettes.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/1459

    • vbholmes says:

      Many thanks for “Melinda’s” well-appreciated comment–a true compliment. I really like your take on the prompt–I’m assuming folks do not actually practice the sport you describe (and live, that is).

      • Paul says:

        Who knows what kids actually do when parents are not watching? It’s scary enough when we do watch!

  19. Jan Morrill says:

    Simply awesome. Where has fear kept us from going?

  20. So vivid – and I really liked the omen of the man in the hat! Always listen to the Harbinger, I say.

  21. Pat Hatt says:

    Such a compelling scene, fear keeps some things out of reach.

  22. rgayer55 says:

    I can’t add much to the other comments, other than I really enjoyed this. Well done.

  23. dmmacilroy says:

    I’m with Russell on this. I especially loved how you noted the airconditioners having replaced the old water filled jars. Well done.



  24. tedstrutz says:

    I liked your story about the extra. I wanted to see what you did with this prompt. I would have liked to have done one on this one, but had no time.

    I agree with Aloha above… nice image.

  25. wuzzman says:

    Reminds me of a story I wrote, long lost to digital hell about a certain young man given a particular job only he can do from a safe distance but struggles with his own nature when he tries to complete it. Eventually he overcomes his fear but because he was too busy wrestling with his own anxiety he ends up missing the target all together~~~ bravo for taking me back there.

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