1916 Rising a reimagination


A man of character must stand for love of country, or bend for the love of his wife.


In Dublin fair at Easter time, the year nineteen sixteen

A patriot stood among his friends, composed almost serene.

He stood and pondered empty streets

And friends broken, or dead.

Breathed in the reek of blood and gore

Quite overcome with dread.


Michael was that patriot, brother to these men

Who littered now the floor around, with lifeblood, all his friends.

Who lay there broken, crippled, weak

Crying for their mothers.

The ghost in the machine was he

A traitor to his brothers.


Reflecting on his subterfuge, the cause he had betrayed

His wife, dear heart, the pawn with which he’d paid.

Michael’s honour withered, shattered

He’d crumbled when it really mattered.

Protect the brothers with whom you fight

Protect your wife, love of your life.


We shattered peace for Eire, he thought

and waved the tricolor.

To loosen boots upon our neck

With heart and soul we fought.

But I did take the coward’s route

And handed friends one final boot.


We all had chosen with our hearts to take this desperate stand

Despite explicit orders of the leader of our band.

For centuries we had dreamed of Ireland, free of outside rule

It weren’t enough to live in peace, while treated still as fools.

Home Rule at last bestowed

though Free State still on hold.


I’ll be grand, he’d told his wife, smile wide upon his face

Behind the cheer however was a deadly lack of grace.

For freedom sought, for safety bought

These brave or stupid few.

Built barricades, were unafraid

Until the Brits broke through.


Watford boys first at the fight, strategically unprepared

For sniper ambush from above

Death came then undeclared.

They clambered over bodies, crawled into rebel ranks

No way they could recover

From certain death they shrank.


Send grenades to flush them out, called officers of rank

There’ll be no reinforcements lads

Short shrift, then on to France.

With bloodied hands and hearts and mind

They measured out revenge

And stood their ground; entrenched.

Anger grew, pride delayed

For rebels behind barricades

Too close to fragile innocents

Too late to get away.

British power must be invoked

Till rebel dreams go up in smoke


For Ireland.


For King and Crown.


You’re Michael Ryan? The King’s man said

He dropped his head with shame.

Take them out, one bullet each, direct into the head.

Oh please God, no, Michael cried, the fight had been in vain.

You made your bed, the soldier said

You brought this heinous game.


The longed for glorious rising stalled

Too little thanks for those we called.

But triggered at last a desperate howl

For independence and self-rule.

That ended in partition and

One hundred years of deep division.


Michael was released from Kilmainham Gaol

Two weeks after that night.

As his reward for dealing fraud

For giving up the fight.

One last time he looked behind

At dark and brooding walls.


And raised a prayer to sons of Eire

Was proud to stand beside ye.

Challenge parameters were: Max 600 words. Genre: Historical Fiction. Theme: Counterfeit. Emotion: Proud.

Personal note: This was quite the challenge for me – I unintentionally write ‘poetry’ in flash fiction pieces. But to write a story in rhyme was a whole different ballgame. It feels a little clumsy to me, but I hope it provides context and emotion of an important historic moment in the history of Ireland.

Extinction Event

When a species is too stupid to save itself, what can you do?

One hundred and fifty years ago I stood here on Mt Fuji and gazed out over a lush, green valley, breathed deeply of pristine air and delighted in the melodies of bird song, the playfulness of forest animals and the ingenuity of man.

Today, I have returned to confirm the emergency; our worst fears come true. This world and its humanity have reached total societal collapse.

The dire wolf beside me whimpers with despair and I push a hand through his fur as his gigantic body brushes against my fragile one.

My large head and slight limbs don’t suit the gravitational pull of this planet. My pale skin burns easily and the sun hurts my large, dark pupiled eyes.

‘Hold, Diego,’ I say.

Diego sits, his great shoulders slump and tears roll down his snout.

‘I know, my friend,’ I say. ‘It is a sacrilege, but we knew it was coming. We were lucky to save *you* from extinction.

As a puppy, Diego became the last of his true kind. We have had success with cloning and so he has companions. His species was ‘saved’ but they are unable to reproduce.

My kind are the great collectors of the universe. This world is off the beaten path for us but we love its complexities and cultures, despite the flaws of the people. Our interactions are few and often end in pain, for us. Death for them.

It is hard for us to see a dying world and so we tried to warn humankind. We left signs, like the occasional ‘natural’ disaster or deadly virus release, in an attempt to bring their attention and concern back to basic caregiving, and away from selfish expansion.

It was easy for us to insert code into scientific work; to push science in the right direction.

Our concern was twofold.

The peoples of this planet would destroy all other living creatures, including plant and fauna, before erasing themselves. Or they would attract the attention of less friendly extra-terrestrials who would see the rapaciousness as a clear and present danger. A pest to be eradicated or at least encouraged to self-destruct.

I can no longer stand here, as I struggle to breathe. With a mourning soul, I move toward my ship.

Diego growls, always my faithful bodyguard and I look up to see people gathered around us. They carry small belongings, hold the hands of children and stare at us in awe – and with hope.

A voice in my ear says, ‘They have gathered at all the sacred mountains. We are their last hope.’

I look again at the dense smog covering the land, the desiccated trees and the corpses.

And I answer.

‘Tell all ships. Bring the people on board.’ [455 words]

Written for Furious Fiction September 2022 – non-winner (nor shortlisted, longlisted …)

Story prompts: 500 Words.1st line must contain FIFTY.  Must contain a four-legged animal. Include the words: Emergency, brush and board (or derivatives thereof).

Text describing Furious Fiction the ultimate flash fiction challenge

Furious Fiction, flash fiction challenge

Simply 6 Minutes – birthing nightmare

A Halloween poster showing horror masked surgeons looking down at a patient, the lights behind their heads creating a skull shaped image

My worst nightmare come true.

Months spent in a cosy cocoon, oblivious to what was coming.

As awareness grew, it was all about how comfy I was here, buoyant in my liquid bath.

Soothing tones of mother and father, crooning at the edge of my hearing.

Tender talk, wishes and promises of a beautiful life.

Hopes and dreams and plans.

I became cramped in the shrinking space, and longed for escape, for room to stretch and turn.

The stories became scary, daunting, threatening.

Mother’s voice.

Oh, I hope it doesn’t take too long.

Mary said her birth took three days, and she was in pain for two days before she begged for an  epidural.

Sarah’s baby came out blue and was in an incubator for weeks.

I’m afraid. What if the baby is hurt? What if I can’t bear it? What if ….

Oh mother, I thought. Please stop talking.

Is my entrance to your world to be such a terrifying event?

Can I not look forward to your whispered sweet things?

The moment arrived.

The pressure, the fight, my need to remain while mother’s body forced eviction

Squeezed through a tightening tunnel, expelled toward the light.


I don’t want to leave this place!

I felt chilled. I felt fear. And was welcomed to the world by noise, screams and horrifying faces staring down at me. Cold gloved hands reached for me.


Mother! I don’t want to.

Will there be joy after this heinous experience? [245 words, 6 minutes]

Thanks to Christine for this weekly challenge.

Simply 6 Minutes Challenge Note

  • Set up a timer or sit near a clock so you can keep track of the six minutes you will be writing.
  • You can either use one of the prompts (photo or written) or you can free-write.
  • Get ready and write for 6 minutes, that is it! Can you write a complete story? Can you think of a new Sonnet? Can you write 400 words? 400? 500? There are no restrictions on what kind of writing you do, but you should try to be actively writing for six minutes.
  • After you are done writing, include your word count and then post back to this page #Simply6Minutes or include your link in the comments section. Pingbacks are enabled.