Victor and Vivienne

This week our letter is “V”.  Click the link above to learn more and join in.  I’ve used our talented host’s drawing and her 5 prompt words:  vast, vigor, vocalize, Vicuna and Vanuatu. 

Additionally, I’ve combined several other prompts including Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt (“opera”—95-words, I counted them by hand😊).  Links are at the end.

At least annually

Victor and Vivienne

Had the same disagreement

Where to go on holiday…

Vivienne repeated her

Longed-for choice:


Rolling eyes heavenward

Victor began to vocalize his

Typical lament with vigor


“It’s a volcanic island…”

“Where’s your sense

Of romance?  Passion

Is enhanced when there’s

A bit of danger,” Vivienne

Countered, with her

Come-hither smile.

“Viv, the world is a vast

Venue for adventure—

Romance can be had anywhere.”

“But I ‘vant’ Vanuatu.”

“Okay—it’s gonna cost you”, he paused…

“The painting we saw at the museum

Last month—of the Vicuna.”

©Leyde Ryan, 2022 ~ All rights reserved.

The Long Way Home (#FFFC)

I’m doing a “triple-fandango” (not a figure skating jump)…check out the host’s links below the image, and join us!

Image is unattributed ~


The feud, or “cold war” of silence, had gone on 20 years between Frank and Joe.  There’d been some misremembered affront ages ago…their friendship, communications were as closed as locked bank vault.

How foolish was that, for 2 grown men?  Good heavens, they traveled the same railway line to work and back home each day; and walked literally parallel to each other to and from the depot, without acknowledgement, as if both were invisible.  It was juvenile, crazy, stupid, unkind…and on Joe’s part, un-Christian.

He would have liked reconciliation, but didn’t see how to accomplish it.  They were both proud, stiff-necked (not to mention older, set like cement in their ways)…and much water had passed under proverbial bridge.  But it bothered Joe.

Once upon a time, they and their wives and kids got together for social events sponsored by the company where they worked—as well as at spontaneous summer bar-b-q’s at each other’s homes, and Christmas parties.  The disconnect between Joe’s memories of those convivial years, and now—was a large stone in his chest.

He’d talked with his wife…she supported him, whatever the issue at hand, and wouldn’t influence him one way or another.  It was up to him, whether he had guts enough to offer the hand of peace to Frank.

Well, you know the saying, “God works in mysterious ways”.  Friday evening, teeming with the hardest coldest, dark drenching rain all year, he made a decision.  Aiming his umbrella above him protectively, he kept an eye out for Frank, certain he’d come into view any moment.

To his great puzzlement when he saw him, Frank was hurrying as fast as soaked shoes would allow, holding a soon to be useless newspaper over his head—but striding in the opposite direction from Joe!  Joe wondered if this was a new evasive tactic on Frank’s part, but if so it was an odd maneuver.  No, something was wrong with this picture—Frank was headed away from home, without an umbrella.

Joe knew this was his opportunity—if he pondered too long, he’d miss it.  He turned in Frank’s direction and shouted his name.  Rain pounding loudly, he had to holler several times as he jogged soggily toward his old friend. “Frank!!  Stop!!”

Finally hearing his name Frank turned slightly, saw Joe and paused for him to approach…(frowning into the rain, possibly at Joe).

Joe stood close so his umbrella would offer Frank belated shelter.  “What’s going on?  You’re not headed home?”  It was then he saw Frank was weeping copiously, unable to reply—tears mingling with the downpour.

“Come on, Buddy,” he said, his hand on Frank’s arm to turn him around.  “I’ll get us a taxi…there’s a payphone ahead.  Whatever’s got you all wrought up—you can tell me…we’ll figure it out…the way we used to.”

©Leyde Ryan, 2022 ~ All rights reserved.

Aunt Umbrella Bird (letter-a-week-u)

We’ve arrived at the Letter “U”!  Click the link for more info, and join in—it’s not too late!  I’m using the author’s wonderful drawing, and her 5 prompt words:  Umbrella Bird, unnerve, unadorned, uncomfortable, universe

Aunt Umbrella Bird

Was the only person in

The universe I felt safe with…

When I was 3, very shy, she’d

Visit…her first question was

“Who loves you?”

I’d pause, then: “Umm…brella”

Her legal name: Bella Bird, but

“Aunt Umbrella Bird” stuck…

She claimed I was her favorite niece

I’m her only niece, and was over

The moon about her—she was funny

Kind, plain-spoken, usually unadorned

Unless we were being wild & crazy—

Never uncomfortable acting silly

She said she was 16, just looked

Older…and shrugged as though it was

The gospel truth—

When I’d confess horrible things

She wasn’t unnerved…my

Confidante, she honored my feelings…

As I turned 14 and spilled my

Latest sin, she hugged me, said

“Everybody hates their parents

Sometimes—it’s normal!”

My folks split up, good thing…

I lived with “Aunt U-B” till I

Finished school…we had

The BEST times…I almost

Believed she really was a



“Let’s go for a walk,” she

Said one Saturday

“It’s raining,” I noted

“So? I’ll be your umbrella”

She owned a humongous

Purple-paisley one…when I

Glimpsed our reflection in a

Shop window, I thought we

Looked like the cover of a

Fabulous book! 

I exclaimed this, and she urged:

“Then, get busy writing that

Nobel Prize winner!”

She believed I could do anything

Because she held the same

Opinion about herself…and

After all, we shared the genes—

We walked to our preferred

Little bakery and sat at a small

Table with our chocolate eclairs

She said she had something

Important to tell me…

I was relishing the treat

Barely listening…till her

Words pierced me…

I set my pastry down, suddenly

Queasy—she took my hand

“Now listen to me…we are Not going

To stop living and having a blast

Just because I may be dying…

We’ve always been honest

And open together, ‘Bella Jr’…


Her announcement slammed hard

But she would deal with it

As though it was another

Shared adventure—

When she lost her hair, she

Managed to find a hat fashioned

Like a child-size umbrella

And perched it on her head

“How d’ya like it?  Perfect?!”

I had to laugh…anyone else would look

Ridiculous, she wore it with saucy aplomb—

I hadn’t realized she was fairly wealthy until

She informed me I didn’t need to work…

We’ll be too busy, she said:

I would write, she decided

She’d paint illustrations…

I had no clue for a story…she

Had faith my imagination waited

Only for my fingers to move

Over the keyboard—


That spectacular adventure

Lasted 4 months…I hadn’t known

She was an artistnor that there truly

Was a writer inside me…

Ever entertaining, she’d wear

Costumes each day, something to match

The umbrella hat, or clash garishly—

I cooked…until her appetite waned

Soon fatigue set in as well

The last thing she asked was

“Who loves you?”

Struggling, I answered

“Aunt Umbrella Bird”

“Don’t you forget it,” she

Whispered, and went to sleep.


Grief struck deep…she was

Everything to me…but before

Long I sensed she hadn’t gone…

Her BIG presence was palpable

In the house she’d left to me…


Her paintings were shipped with

My manuscript, to the publisher

Who’d mysteriously appeared…

We were a success, had been

Since I was born


I wear her umbrella hat…☂

©Leyde Ryan, 2022 ~ All rights reserved.

A Voice That Sings… (dverse-prosery-monday)

To Lisa, at dVerse:  This is my first ever attempt at writing prosery, so I hope to heck I’ve got it half-right.😉

Lisa is hosting Monday Prosery adventure. Today’s prompt line is from Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr—and instructions for writing prosery follow quote:

Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:
–by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., from The Chambered Nautilus

Instructions:  Prosery can be flash-fiction or creative non-fiction; cannot exceed 144 words in total (sans title); must not be poetry (no versification, line breaks, meter, etc); and must include the given poetry line, word for word, within the prose.


Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:  it is the siren song of my love, ever calling me from this misted life to be joined within myth’s exquisite swirl…no thought for tomorrow, tasks at hand, only companionable exchanges and reflections there.  How long have we waited…I’ve forgotten; but I see blue eyes from depth afar…and I doubt I can abide here anymore.

©Leyde Ryan, 2022 ~ All rights reserved.

Toucan Souvenir (a-letter-a week-t)

We’re at Letter T…click the link above for more info and join in!  I’ve used the host-author’s drawing and her 5 prompt words:  Tropics, Thrill, Tactical, Tempt, Toucan

A tactical decision

Waiting till he’d been retired

For years before writing to him

Thinking his fan mail would

Have diminished…increasing

Her chance of a reply

How thrilled she been, a child

He, handsome cowboy star…


Married, divorced, disillusioned, but

Her love for hero never waned…


Receiving brief cordial

Response she was tempted

To empty bank account

Board a plane, meet him

She knew he lived in

Eden-like tropics with wife

Of many decades


The trip was doomed…his city

Was hot, humid, crowded with

Tourists… she was irrational

Imagining he’d actually see her…


She wept entire flight home

Had counted on him being

The image heart clutched…

Would it have been so

Inappropriate to enjoy

A short conversation?

In truth, she’d hoped for

A replacement father…


But hero spoke

Through closed door

Pretending to be the butler…


Now she sat in shadowed room

A world far from his paradise…

He’d written second letter

Words lacking coherence

It lay in drawer with toucan

Pin, souvenir of fated journey…

The media announced

He’d died…likely suffered

Dementia a long time…

Some dreams are best

Kept locked in heart


©Leyde Ryan, 2022 ~ All rights reserved.

Home Sweet Sis (#FSS-59)

Fandango’s story starters might turn out to be a semi-regular prompt for me.  The “teasers” trigger the ‘odd’ in me… So, click the link above for all the info, and here’s his current teaser.

This week’s Story Starter teaser is:  After the shock of seeing the amount of his latest electricity invoice wore off, Ted decided that, in order to save energy going forward, he would…


After the shock of seeing the amount of his latest electricity invoice wore off, Ted decided that, in order to save energy going forward, he would…move in with his sister.

She could talk the legs off a barstool (though she’d never step inside a drinking establishment), and she was a Bible-thumper—in a friendly endearing sort of way.  But her cooking made bachelors weep…his mouth watered. 

Being honest with himself, he knew she was the only one who’d tolerate an extended visit from him…and he could likely stand her eccentricities for a short stay before things got tricky.

He called her up, explained his plight, assured her it wasn’t money he was after…just a change of place for a bit.  She squealed with delight (squealing was one of those eccentricities), and asked when he’d arrive.  Soon as he could pack a few things, unplug all electric appliances. 

And then she gave him his choice—should she make her killer lasagna, or her to-die-for mac & cheese?

Ahh…he loved his crazy old Sis!

©Leyde Ryan, 2022 ~ All rights reserved.

Celebrating Send-Off

Answering the call for 2 prompts ~ click the links for more information, and to participate:

Photo credit:

She bid the world and all its vicissitudes farewell, with one last gesture—from heart’s generous buffet, she fed her friends who’d arrived to celebrate her send-off.

©Leyde Ryan, 2022 ~ All rights reserved.

Annoying Nightmares (Humor) #FSS

Not that I’m short on prompts (or inspiration), but Fandango’s Story Starter sounded pretty good.  Click the link above for more info—here’s the prompt.  

“This week’s Story Starter teaser is:  I woke from a sound sleep up with a start, turned on my nightstand light, and…”


I woke from a sound sleep up with a start, turned on my nightstand light…which was only a flashlight…and, heart thumping like a heavy metal band, found my glasses so I could at least recognize the terror before it took me out.

This whole “getting old and still having nightmares” crap had become annoying, fatiguing, and I’d about had it.  I didn’t bother to get out of bed for a look-see…what was the point? 

It was the same crowd of old ghosts who traipsed through my sleep frequently as if my mind was a garage sale; bickering and whispering and shooting ugly glares my way—like maybe the merchandise just wasn’t worth the tagged price.

I sighed heavily, craving more sleep but unsure whether it was in the offing.  Punching the pillow, I soon realized that ship had sailed.  Might as well get up and watch a movie…

Oh good, “The Changeling”, or “Carrie”…  Midway through George C. Scott’s ghostly misery, my snoring woke me….and I shuffled back to bed peacefully.

©Leyde Ryan, 2022 ~ All rights reserved.

Image result for the changeling

Rescued By the Robin

This week’s letter is “R”, and I’ve used the host’s marvelous drawing and her five prompt words: Rome; relief; rhyming; run; robin.  Click the link above to learn more about the challenge, and join in!


The robin rescued my reality.

My brother, Richard, invited me

To vacation in Rome—though he

Knows I despise traveling, hardly

 Leave my neighborhood.

He’s visited most of the world

And I always say, “bring back

Lots of photos!”

He does each time, and I fully

Enjoy them without stress

Of actually going somewhere.

So, while I love Italian movies

Food, music, I said, “no thanks”

Hugged him hard, kissed his cheek.

“You don’t know what you’re

Missing”, he said—and I called

“Bring back lots of photos!”, as

He ran to board his plane.

I felt relief, happiness when he

Phoned to say he’d safely arrived

To begin another adventure.

He considers my life less ‘vibrant’

Likes to tease, but realizes I’m

Well-content in my smaller world

Cooking, writing, talking to birds

Outside my window.

The crows are my pals, and I

Relish visits from seagulls

Lone blue jay, sparrows, wee

Chickadees.  I wake, and fall

Asleep to birdsong every day—

Who wouldn’t be joyful?

I don’t need to travel.


I expected Richard’s return, next day

And was surprised by an afternoon call.

I’d been watching the robin, faithfully

Perched next to my windowsill—

Peering in, observing my activities.

Chuckling, I picked up the phone, “hello?”

Within single moment, life changed.

My brother Richard, best friend I

Loved with all my heart—was dead.

The tour bus he was on had been

Bombed, no survivors.

I should have accompanied him…

Days, weeks, months passed in

Blurry shock, initially…then waves

Of agonizing grief, sorrow, crashing

Into and nearly drowning me—

Particularly the day a package was

Delivered.  Somehow Richard’s

Camera, loaded with photos, had

Found its way home unharmed.

His death ripped through me

I’d never known such pain, didn’t

Think I could live… I surely couldn’t

Write—rhyming had deserted me

Leaving choppy lines of incoherent

Phrases lacking cohesion.

But his pictures were filled with life

His handsome smile embraced

Me from every scenic spot.

The one daily touchstone of divine

Grace was my robin—eyes turned

Toward me, searching my heart

With compassion, empathy…as if

To say, “you can do it, you’re strong

Because you have a brother’s love

And God above, holding you both.”

©Leyde Ryan, 2022 ~ All rights reserved.

Remembering Quokka

For a-letter-a-week, “Q”, I’m using the host’s drawing and her 5 prompt words:  quagmire, queasy, quick, qualify, quokka.  This challenge is FUN, so click the link above to join in.

Quick as she saw the word

She felt queasy…one of those

Flash-back gut punches…until

A memory surfaced which thrilled.

What weirdo or clique of weirdos

Could think the college newspaper

Would sparkle under the name


Forever ago that’s where she’d

Headed—place of learning so new

There were no permanent buildings

Mere mobile units plopped into

Damp brown mucky not-yet

Grass-sodded quagmire.

Little was required to qualify

For enrollment—pay tuition

Fees…Boom, you’re a college

Student wondering...why?

Then one day, trekking to

English Lit she nearly slipped

‘Mid the ‘quag’, and was rescued

By strong gentle hands:


He wasn’t the “big man on campus”

Every newbie female hopes to

Connect with (star athlete, whatever)

He was so much more.

Suddenly she felt blessed

To have muddy sludge

Ruining her shoes.

Quokka’s kind dark eyes told

Her she was beautiful, brilliant

A Somebody among nobodies…


©Leyde Ryan, 2022 ~ All rights reserved.