A Flying Visit


(1300 words)

My story starts one sunny day in August. I’d spent the morning setting up bookcases, then bringing in box after heavy box of old books from an outbuilding, with the intention of getting them into some kind of order. They belonged to my uncle Josiah who had died at an unexpectedly early age after being pushed onto the live rail of a tube train at Holland Park station by a ‘random madman,’ described as a ‘fakir lookalike,’ yet to be apprehended.
The books had been left to me, Ruben Winterfield is my name, in uncle Josiah’s will, possibly as I’d worked in the antiquarian book trade for a number of years, although I’d only met him on occasion. Well, the ones I’d looked at so far were fairly weird. There were books on various forms of astrology, tarot, angels, demons, witchcraft, clairvoyance and the like. There was also a collection of old hardbacks by William Walker Atkinson, the famous occultist, also known as Yogi Ramacharaka or Theron Q. Dumont, which I suspected to be very valuable in the first and early editions, which these were.
Needing a break, I decided to take a stroll and get some fresh air. I walked along a footpath outside my house, to a track along the edge of a field, where a stream bubbled in a gully which ran alongside. I reached a huge, gnarled oak tree, where there was a short path to a small waterfall. On impulse I took it and was amazed to find that, for the first time ever, I was not alone there.
A lady in a purple cloak was situated on the far side of the stream, bending over with her hands in the water, presumably searching for something. On my side of the stream stood a young girl, perhaps six years old, holding the lead of a beautiful honey-coloured rough collie. The girl had a pretty face, bright blue eyes and mid-length blonde hair, held back in a pony tail with a blue band.
The lady seemed startled by my appearance and stood up, looking flustered. The little girl simply turned to me and smiled. “Hello, I’m Esmerelda, this is Solomon, and that’s my mummy.”
Well, it seemed that the mother, Tameka, had been performing some kind of ritual, to Neda, a goddess of waters, when in her excitement of shouting an invocation, a talisman she’d been holding went flying into the waterfall. It was eventually found, a leather pouch, stamped with strange symbols, and containing now-sodden herbs.
Esmerelda rolled her eyes at me. Apparently, this wasn’t the first time her mother’s ‘occult activities’ had gone awry.
I’d invited them back for a cup of tea, a glass of orange squash, and a bowl of water respectively, and had taken a shine to them. Tameka had wavy blonde hair and was not unattractive, but somewhat odd, rambling on about archangels and goddesses, as if they were personal friends.
Esmerelda, on the other hand, seemed bright as a button, and, mentally well in advance of her six years. Solomon seemed a gentle soul, content to sit in the corner, close his eyes and meditate on whatever dogs meditate on.
“Mummy’s got a magic carpet,” Esmeralda said.
I laughed. “Well, I’d like to fly to Iceland, they’ve got some pretty big waterfalls there!”
Tameka perked up. “Actually, I do have one. It was left to me by my great-uncle, Henri Baq. He wrote a history of the flying carpet.”
“I thought it was just fairy tale nonsense,” I said.

Tameka’s face became serious. “Fairy tales are usually based on fact.”

So, to my astonishment, I’d wound up at their place one afternoon, an old castle-like mansion, only part of which appeared to be habitable. Tameka led us into a large book-lined study and went over to an old cupboard. She extracted a rolled-up piece of fabric, approached the centre of the room and unfurled it.
I gasped in astonishment. It appeared to be woven from green silk with a gold weft, perhaps eight feet by five. We all clambered on board, Solomon too, who barked several times, whether in assurance or alarm, I couldn’t be sure. We humans sat cross-legged in time-honoured fashion for riding carpets.
Tameka took a piece of parchment from a shoulder bag. “This carpet was made under the supervision of Ben Sherira, from the Kingdom of Ghor,” she translated. “Is everybody ready?”
“Yes, mother,” sighed Esmerelda, whilst Solomon opened his eyes and gave a soft bark.
“What about you, Ruben?”
For the first time, I realised this might not be a piece of total insanity. “Well, er, if you’re sure it’s safe ….”
Tameka didn’t reply. She read some incomprehensible words from the papyrus, clapped her hands and, Wham! I found myself looking down on an amazing sunlit cloud-scape through a translucent bubble, surrounding our carpet.
We whizzed over deep blue oceans, mountains, glaciers and forests, until Esmerelda exclaimed, “Oh, look, mummy, there’s Akureyri!” whilst Solomon whined, presumably wishing to be on terra firma.
I gazed down on the picturesque fishing town, situated in the north west corner of Iceland, as we headed over the brilliantly coloured flowers and shrubs of the botanic gardens, allegedly the world’s most northernmost, and then shortly we were hovering over Godafoss, the ‘Waterfall of the Gods.’
Curtains of thundering water pounded down from multiple falls, deafening, even within our supernaturally-protected environment. Suddenly our ‘bubble’ disappeared and we were exposed, enveloped in the mist of rebounding water, our ears reverberating to the clamour of its unimaginable crashing weight, our noses assailed with the odour of liquid energy. Solomon was barking furiously.
After a few minutes our sphere of protection reappeared and our now somewhat soggy carpet soared upwards once more.
The sun dried the carpet, even through our protective bubble and I also found it was safe to move about, a welcome relief after squatting for so long. “I’d like to see the Niagara Falls,” I ventured. “I’ve never been there.”
Esmerelda pulled a face, and Tameka took the hint. “Sorry Ruben, Esme’s going to a party. It’s her friend, Rosalina’s birthday and they’re having a magician.”
I laughed at the irony. Then I noticed that the sky had turned dark and our carpet was being buffeted by high winds. It turned cold, then after a while it began to snow.
“I don’t like this, mummy,” said Esmerelda, looking tearful. Solomon rubbed his face against her cheek, as if to reassure her.
“Don’t worry, we’re safe in our bubble,” said Tameka. “Hey, d’you remember those glass globes that you shook and then they were filled with falling snow?”
“Yes, of course,” I said. “There’d be a little Christmas scene inside.”

She laughed. “Well, we’re like that, but the other way around!”

Later that day I stood on a terrace outside the Brampton Hotel’s Riverside Room, where the party was being held. From inside came the excited squeals of young children enjoying the fun. I stood with a glass of wine, gazing down on a small waterfall which cascaded alongside a glass wall of the hotel. Had I dreamt the Iceland adventure? it seemed too incredible to be true. Suddenly I felt a warm, soft hand in mine and a kiss on my cheek.
“Thank you for coming today.” It was Tameka. With a flowing red dress and wearing makeup, she was barely recognizable as the soggy female above Godafoss earlier.
“Oh, you’re welcome, it was … something different, I suppose,” I said, rather lamely.
She smiled. “I hope you’ll come with us again.”
I noticed she was still holding my hand. My heart beat a little faster. “Yes, I’d like that.” I guessed I could use her magic in my life.



To purchase the stories up to June 2017 in paperback, Kindle eBook, and audiobook form, and for news on new titles, please see Shop.

If you are interested in joining a fortnightly 400 word story group please contact me and I’ll send details.

Don’t forget to check out some of the other stories on the blog. There are over 220!


Circles and Stones

stone circle

(1400 words)


I was sitting on a wooden bench with my girlfriend, Daisy, in the graveyard of St. Mary’s, in the village of Blackbarrow. My fingers traced random patterns on the warm, weathered wood, as I gazed over a sea of gravestones. Many were ancient, toppled at strange angles, worn illegible by centuries of summer heat and hostile, frigid winters. Why was there no system to put them upright again, I wondered?
“It’s so peaceful here,” said Daisy, squeezing my hand. “Thank you for coming.”
I kissed her cheek, warm and soft. “That’s OK, I like graveyards.”
She sighed. “Two years. It seems like two months.”
I noticed her eyes were wet. “I know, sweetheart, but they did everything they could.” How many times had I said that?
She took a tissue from a brown leather shoulder bag and blew her nose. Then she reached back in and pulled out a thick paperback book.
“Christ, can’t you give it a rest?”
“Look, I have to study. I have to pass my exams. One of us needs to earn some proper money.”
The sky was cloudy but bright, the sun peeking through sporadically, and a pleasant warm breeze blew lightly, rippling the long grass. It looked well overdue for a cut. Pots of colourful flowers graced some gravestones, generally where the lettering was gilded and bright. Others held wilted, dry blooms, as if those who’d brought them had themselves died, unable to remove or replenish the desiccated ones.
I took some deep breaths, forcing myself to remain calm. I didn’t want another row, not here. “What are you working on?”
She didn’t look up. “As if you’re interested.”
I sighed and looked at my phone. There was too much glare on the screen to read it properly.
She turned and smiled, enthused. “Circles, as a matter of fact”
“There’s so much to cover on the course.”
“A circle’s just a round thing isn’t it?”
“Don’t you believe it. There’s Chromatic Circles, Archimedean Circles, Schoch circles, Woo circles, Ford circles, on and on.”
“Sounds like some people had nothing better to do with their time.”

She ignored my jibe. Honey-brown eyes twinkled in her pretty face. “Hey, if you draw a square around a circle, did you know the circle will contain 79% of the area of the square?”


I’m sitting in a circle, six women, two men. The room is lemon-yellow. At one end is a table with an intricate display of fresh flowers in a vase, surrounded by a picture frame, cleverly forming a three dimensional ‘painting.’ On the wall is a wooden plaque with black numbers on it, arranged vertically. ‘Song’ numbers, the word ‘hymn’ being avoided.
A small woman with white hair, leads us in a ‘guided meditation.’ “You are walking down a country road. The sun is shining and you feel its warmth on your bare skin.“
How many times has she led one of these, I wonder, taking a quick peek at her wrinkled face. I imagine that when she started, mediumship was punishable under the witchcraft act.
“Then you spot an old pub and go inside. What do you see? What can you smell? You buy a drink. How does it taste?”
My mind quietens, and I visualize myself at the bar of my local pub. No, I don’t want that. Try to think of somewhere different! Now I’m in a pub with dark wooden panels. In the corner an old man plays dominoes on his own, a cap pulled down, shielding his weather-beaten features. I imagine a hand pump, ‘Heart of Stone Ale,’ a picture of a heart-shaped stone on the shield attached to the pump. I take a sip, trying, not very successfully, to imagine a taste.
I’m in a circle designed to improve our psychic powers and our connection to ‘spirit.’ We meet weekly. I ask myself why I go? I don’t know, I just want to.
Then we are guided onto a beach where we use a piece of driftwood to write any negative emotions we feel in the sand – bitterness, jealousy, guilt etc., knowing they’ll be washed away by the waves.
“Now, just sit awhile and see who comes in.” The circle leader turns on sound effects of waves and gulls.
To my surprise, it’s Daisy. It’s been a long time, over ten years. She’s wearing a white dress with a red sash around the waist. Her blonde hair is long, blowing in the sea breeze. I imagine the scent of the ocean. “Hello sweetheart.”
She smiles and sits down with me, on the sand at the edge of some grassy dunes.
I put an arm round her and imagine feeling the crinkled linen of her dress. I smell a perfume, sandalwood? Her soft lips touch mine.
Ten years, ten long difficult years since she went to study for a doctorate in mathematics in the USA, hooked up with her tutor, gave birth to twins, our twins, married him, and never came back.
“Now, it’s time to come back to the room. Wriggle your fingers and toes. When you are ready, open your eyes.”
There’s a faint luminescence in the sky and Daisy and I are approaching ominous dark shapes, widely spaced. We’d left our small hotel early, to drive out to the stones, then a fifteen-minute walk over Scottish moorland by torchlight. It’s June but it’s chilly, although there is little wind.
We reach the first stone, and in the half light, marvel at its immensity, compared to our small, frail bodies. Perhaps twelve feet high and four feet wide, it towers towards the sky, its surfaces weathered by thousands of years of wind erosion.
To either side, perhaps ten metres away, is a similar stone, and beyond those in the gloom, we can just make out others, set to form a huge circle.
Daisy looks at her watch. “Ten minutes.”
“OK.” I don’t feel like talking. It’s so quiet. There’s no one else – thank God, no bird song, nor sheep even. I walk out into the circle. I can make out all the stones now. I turn around and around, in awe, gazing at the surrounding monoliths, all evenly spaced around a perfect circumference. How the hell ….?
A breeze blows on my face, gently rippling the grass at my feet. It’s getting much brighter now. I head back to Daisy, who takes my hand.
“That’s the stone we want,” she says, pointing across the circle.
“Does it matter?”
“Yes, it’s at the western point. We can watch the sun rise over the eastern stone.”
She leads me over the moorland to the designated stone, saying nothing. We stand in silence, watching, waiting. Then an orange glow appears in the sky from the opposite side of the circle, gradually expanding. There is no sound, save an empty wind blowing amongst the ancient sentinels.
Suddenly the brilliant golden-orange disc of the sun starts to rise, casting huge shadows from the eastern stones. I stand transfixed until the dazzling light of the sun appears at the top of the stone. “Wow.” I turn to look at Daisy and, to my astonishment find she has stripped naked. She doesn’t speak, just pulls me towards the stone behind us. Her flesh looks so pale against its dark surface. I feel a vibration from the earth. It’s in the air too, something magical. I feel an incredible sexual energy building in me, like nothing I’ve ever known.
Daisy is practically tearing my clothes off me and we’re up against the stone. She reaches down and inserts my painfully-throbbing member into her. Then I’m thrusting into her, violently pounding her against the stone with an animal passion.
She is groaning, her eyes are white, the irises have almost disappeared behind her eyelids. I hear her shouting out in ecstasy, then I reach a shattering climax, aware of nothing else for what seems like an age.
Afterwards we dress in silence. She pulls a flask of coffee out of her bag and a packet of cigarettes. “God, I’m soaking. Inside!” She tucks a tissue into her panties and laughs, lighting a cigarette and handing it to me. “I’ll probably have triplets now!” Then she hugs me and, before kissing my cheek, whispers in my ear, “we’ll always be together, you and me.”


To purchase the stories up to June 2017 in paperback, Kindle eBook, and audiobook form, and for news on new titles, please see Shop.

If you are interested in joining a fortnightly 400 word story group please contact me and I’ll send details.

Don’t forget to check out some of the other stories on the blog. There are over 220!

Three Quote Challenge: Day 3

people jumping for joy.jpg

(500 words)

Rhonda Byrne, creator of The Secret answered four questions as part of their ‘Secret Scrolls’ newsletter last year. Her answers are inspiring and illuminating. I’ve posted number one as my ‘quote,’ but the others are linked to below if you’d like to read further advice from her.


Pinelopi: I would like to ask Rhonda how I can ignore the negative people/situations around me and focus on love & appreciation at the same time.


The way to deal with negative people or situations in your life is not to judge them. Have no judgment about negativity versus positivity. Neither is actually good nor bad. They’re both equal, but just different choices.

If you have the freedom to be positive, then you must allow others the freedom to be negative. No one can force you to be negative, just as you cannot force another to be positive.  You are free to choose what you want for you – and you choose positivity.  And it’s great that you choose positivity because your life will be much easier and filled with great things because of that choice.

It’s not your job to change other people. Your only job is you, and that is such a relief!  Let the others be as they are, and you be the shining example of love, appreciation, and positivity, and through that you will uplift others.

In the early stages, before you’ve stabilized yourself in a more positive, feeling-good frequency, other people and their negativity can seem to take you down.  In these cases, often the easiest thing to do is remove yourself as gracefully as you can from the situation. Do it as often as you need to. Remember – your job is you.

The better you feel, the less anyone else can affect you. Ultimately – when you’re feeling really good – no one else will affect you.  The better you feel the less problems you see.  The better you feel the less you will encounter anything negative. So, the ultimate task ahead is to feel good, and remember this: feeling good is your natural state of being.  You don’t have to work yourself into a frenzy to get there – all you have to do is not pay attention to the negative stuff. Don’t give any attention to negative thoughts; they don’t belong to you.  Don’t give your attention to negative feelings; they’re just sensations, and if you let them be, they will pass through you quickly. And don’t judge anyone or anything. In other words, don’t have an opinion about others.

In The Secret 10th Anniversary edition I shared ten of the most life changing insights I’ve had over the last ten years.  Here is one of them that is relevant for you:


I absolutely promise you that if you can follow this insight your life will transform! No matter who or what is happening around you, you will find that love and appreciation arises in you naturally, along with a bliss and happiness beyond what you’ve ever felt before.

Rhonda Byrne

Rhonda Byrne question 2

Rhonda Byrne question 3

Rhonda Byrne question 4

And my three nominations for day 3 are:

  • undertones (creative essays, literary fiction, and miscellanea)
  • Queer Tales Queer Tales (disconcerting short stories/excerpts)
  • author’s inspirations (short stories/musings and book extracts, from a remarkable young woman who is completely blind)

Well worth having a look at!

Click HERE to go to Three Quote Challenge: Day 1 (Charles F. Haanel)
Click HERE to go to Three Quote Challenge: Day 2 (Neville Goddard)


To purchase the stories up to June 2017 in paperback, Kindle eBook, and audiobook form, and for news on new titles, please see Shop.

If you are interested in joining a fortnightly 400 word story group please contact me and I’ll send details.

Don’t forget to check out some of the other stories on the blog. There are over 220!


Three Quote Challenge: Day 2


neville goddard

(850 words)

From Feeling is the Secret [1944] – Neville Goddard (1905-1972)

The World, and all within it, is man’s conditioned consciousness objectified. Consciousness is the cause as well as the substance of the entire world. So it is to consciousness that we must turn if we would discover the secret of creation.

Knowledge of the law of consciousness and the method of operating this law will enable you to accomplish all you desire in life. Armed with a working knowledge of this law, you can build and maintain an ideal world.

Consciousness is the one and only reality, not figuratively but actually. This reality may for the sake of clarity be likened unto a stream which is divided into two parts, the conscious and the subconscious. In order to intelligently operate the law of consciousness, it is necessary to understand the relationship between the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious is personal and selective; the subconscious is impersonal and non-selective. The conscious is the realm of effect; the subconscious is the realm of cause. These two aspects are the male and female divisions of consciousness. The conscious is male; the subconscious is female.

The conscious generates ideas and impresses these ideas on the subconscious; the subconscious receives ideas and gives form and expression to them.

By this law – first conceiving an idea and then impressing the idea conceived on the subconscious – all things evolve out of consciousness; and without this sequence, there is not anything made that is made. The conscious impresses the subconscious, while the subconscious expresses all that is impressed upon it.

The subconscious does not originate ideas, but accepts as true those which the conscious mind feels to be true and, in a way known only to itself, objectifies the accepted ideas. Therefore, through his power to imagine and feel and his freedom to choose the idea he will entertain, man has control over creation. Control of the subconscious is accomplished through control of your ideas and feelings.

The mechanism of creation is hidden in the very depth of the subconscious, the female aspect or womb of creation. The subconscious transcends reason and is independent of induction. It contemplates a feeling as a fact existing within itself and on this assumption proceeds to give expression to it. The creative process begins with an idea and its cycle runs its course as a feeling and ends in a volition to act.

Ideas are impressed on the subconscious through the medium of feeling. No idea can be impressed on the subconscious until it is felt, but once felt – be it good, bad or indifferent – it must be expressed. Feeling is the one and only medium through which ideas are conveyed to the subconscious. Therefore, the man who does not control his feeling may easily impress the subconscious with undesirable states. By control of feeling is not meant restraint or suppression of your feeling, but rather the disciplining of self to imagine and entertain only such feeling as contributes to your happiness.

Control of your feeling is all important to a full and happy life. Never entertain an undesirable feeling, nor think sympathetically about wrong in any shape or form. Do not dwell on the imperfection of yourself or others. To do so is to impress the subconscious with these limitations. What you do not want done unto you, do not feel that it is done unto you or another. This is the whole law of a full and happy life. Everything else is commentary.

Every feeling makes a subconscious impression and, unless it is counteracted by a more powerful feeling of an opposite nature, must be expressed. The dominant of two feelings is the one expressed. I am healthy is a stronger feeling than I will be healthy. To feel I will be is to confess I am not; I am is stronger than I am not.

What you feel you are always dominates what you feel you would like to be; therefore, to be realized, the wish must be felt as a state that is rather than a state that is not.

The subconscious never fails to express that which has been impressed upon it. The moment it receives an impression, it begins to work out the ways of its expression. It accepts the feeling impressed upon it, your feeling, as a fact existing within itself and immediately sets about to produce in the outer or objective world the exact likeness of that feeling. The subconscious never alters the accepted beliefs of man. It out-pictures them to the last detail whether or not they are beneficial.

To impress the subconscious with the desirable state, you must assume the feeling that would be yours had you already realised your wish. In defining your objective, you must be concerned only with the objective itself. The manner of expression or the difficulties involved are not to be considered by you. To think feelingly on any state impresses it on the subconscious. Therefore, if you dwell on difficulties, barriers or delay, the subconscious, by its very non-selective nature, accepts the feeling of difficulties and obstacles as your request and proceeds to produce them in your outer world.

books, lectures, and audio of talks by Neville Goddard

And my three nominations for day 2 are:

  • zu-zu lee  (eclectic and fascinating selection of prose, poetry, science articles, recipes etc.)
  • bloggerinabloggerworld (stories, thoughts, ideas, musings)
  • iwinta (captivating travel blog with many photos)

Well worth having a look at!


Click HERE to go to Three Quote Challenge: Day 1 (Charles F. Haanel)

Click HERE to go to Three Quote Challenge: Day 3 (Rhonda Byrne)

To purchase the stories up to June 2017 in paperback, Kindle eBook, and audiobook form, and for news on new titles, please see Shop.

If you are interested in joining a fortnightly 400 word story group please contact me and I’ll send details.

Don’t forget to check out some of the other stories on the blog. There are over 220!




Three Quote Challenge: Day 1

quotation marks

To Cut a Short Story Short was nominated by the mysterious ‘She’ at This-door-is-alarmed. So, many thanks to ‘She’ and please check her blog out, it is intriguing and entertaining!


  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post one quote per day over three days.
  • Nominate 3 blogs per day to take part in the challenge.

It’s entirely voluntary and there’s no time limit for completion.

So this is quite an easy and interesting ‘challenge,’ without the need to make long lists of things you like etc. I personally enjoyed compiling and editing my quotes, and checking out some of my favourite blogs again!

(800 words)

Selected Points from Week 1 of The Master Key [1912] by Charles F. Haanel (1866-1949)

5. We cannot express powers that we do not possess. The only way by which we may secure possession of power is to become conscious of power, and we can never become conscious of power until we learn that all power is from within.
6. There is a world within – a world of thought and feeling and power; of light and life and beauty and, although invisible, its forces are mighty.
7. The world within is governed by mind. When we discover this world we shall find the solution for every problem, the cause for every effect; and since the world within is subject to our control, all laws of power and possession are also within our control.
8. The world without is a reflection of the world within. What appears without is what has been found within. In the world within may be found infinite Wisdom, infinite Power, infinite Supply of all that is necessary, waiting for unfolding, development and expression. If we recognise these potentialities in the world within they will take form in the world without.
9. Harmony in the world within will be reflected in the world without by harmonious conditions, agreeable surroundings, the best of everything. It is the foundation of health, and an essential to greatness, all power, all attainment, all achievement and all success.
10. Harmony in the world within means the ability to control our thoughts, and to determine for ourselves how any experience is to affect us.

24. All agree that there is but one Principle or Consciousness pervading the entire Universe, occupying all space, and being essentially the same in kind at every point of its presence. It is all-powerful, all wisdom and always present. All thoughts and things are within Itself. It is all in all.
25. There is but one consciousness in the Universe able to think, and when it thinks its thoughts become objective things to it. As this Consciousness is omnipresent it must be present within every individual; each individual must be a manifestation of that Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent Consciousness.
26. As there is only one Consciousness in the Universe that is able to think, it necessarily follows that your consciousness is identical with the Universal Consciousness, or, in other words, all mind is one mind. There is no dodging this conclusion.
27. The consciousness that focuses in your brain cells is the same consciousness which focuses in the brain cells of every other individual. Each individual is but the individualization of the Universal, the Cosmic Mind.
28. The Universal Mind is static or potential energy; it simply is; it can manifest only through the individual, and the individual can manifest only through the Universal. They are one.
29. The ability of the individual to think is his ability to act on the Universal and bring it into manifestation. Human consciousness consists only in the ability of man to think. Walker says, “Mind in itself is believed to be a subtle form of static energy, from which arise the activities called ‘thought,’ which is the dynamic phase of mind. Mind is static energy, thought is dynamic energy – the two phases of the same thing.” Thought is therefore the vibratory force formed by converting static mind into dynamic mind.

34. The Universal Mind is the life principle of every atom which is in existence; every atom is continually striving to manifest more life; all are intelligent, and all are seeking to carry out the purpose for which they were created.

41. In order to express life there must be mind; nothing can exist without mind. Everything which exists is some manifestation of this one basic substance from which and by which all things have been created and are continually being re-created.
42. We live in a fathomless sea of plastic mind substance. This substance is ever alive and active. It is sensitive to the highest degree. It takes form according to the mental demand. Thought forms the mould or matrix from which the substance expresses itself.

44. Now make the application; select a room where you can be alone and undisturbed; sit erect, comfortably, but do not lounge; let your thoughts roam where they will but be perfectly still for from fifteen minutes to half an hour; continue this for three or four days or for a week until you secure full control of your physical being.
45. Many will find this extremely difficult; others will conquer with ease, but it is absolutely essential to secure complete control of the body before you are ready to progress. In Part Two you will receive instructions for the next step; in the meantime you must have mastered this one.

First published in correspondence course form in 1912, in book form in 1917.


Master Key Centenerary Edition (and study course)

And my three nominations for day 1 are:

well worth having a look at!


Click HERE to read Three Quote Challenge: Day 2 (Neville Goddard)

Click HERE to read Three Quote Challenge: Day 3 (Rhonda Byrne)

To purchase the stories up to June 2017 in paperback, Kindle eBook, and audiobook form, and for news on new titles, please see Shop.

If you are interested in joining a fortnightly 400 word story group please contact me and I’ll send details.

Don’t forget to check out some of the other stories on the blog. There are over 220!

Guest Post: Until the Nows Come Home

spiral clock 2

Until the Nows Come Home by PETER RUNFOLA

(400 words)

“Honestly, I really just don’t feel like doing that – or anything, truly – right at the moment. But … later? Yeah, sure – I’ll do it later.” So says This Moment. “Yeah, right – that’s my name – lovingly coined by my dear mother, Here, & equally dear dad, Now.” “And, they’re both quite proud of their little brainstorm … in name anyway. Now {oops, sorry, Dad} if only I could live up to the immediacy imbued into my very being.“

“Hey, little bro. Chill. This moment / That moment … whichever. They’re all pretty much the same if you think about it. Just depends on exactly when you’re saying it. They’re rather interchangeable, amorphous, er, liquid, if you like.” So says big brother, Whenever. “It’s all a matter of Perspective – if I may interject our dear cousin into the conversation.”

“Ok. Whenever – whatever you say,” says This Moment. “But there’s just too much wiggle room in your approach. There are too many cracks and crevices for all kinds of variables to hide themselves in. Allowing excuses and built-in-rationalizations to walk on stage and take the play in a total different direction. Make it this amorphous wishy-washy pie-in-the-sky thing to do, Later, if I’m allowed to bring him into the conversation.”

“Hey – lay off ‘Later.’ He does the best he can. And besides … just because something – this thing isn’t happening NOW – who says that it’s not going to happen when ‘Later’ gets his hands on it?” He’s helped me out of countless little scheduling conflicts over the years,” offers Whenever. “You ought to give him a call. He’s a good man. And as good a cousin to have as either of us could hope for.”

“Hmm. Ok. I see your point. But, why are you bringing our dear cousin into the conversation? Because you miss him? Or as a convenient way to cover your back? Tell me true – because the truth will come out eventually. It always does.” Offers up This Moment.

“Look, bro. You and I will never see things the same. My ‘now’ is your ‘later.’ My ‘this’ is your ‘that.’ Our relationship is nothing but a carny’s shell game gone awry. We can obfuscate until the Nows come home and about as far as we’ll get is to agree to disagree.” Regardless. ‘Love Ya, Bro’. Talk with you again Later … or Now as the case may be.” Said Whenever.

This is the first ever guest post on my blog! It’s written by a fellow-writer in the fortnightly story group I run. He’s an artist, writer, craftsman, and all-round clever guy. I highly recommend visiting his blog at https://aspoonfulofmiracle.wordpress.com/ for more of his idiosyncratic writings!

The above is one of my favourites, witty and funny, originally published in December 2017. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Also, I just discovered that there’s a Part II,  previouslly unbeknown to me!




To purchase the stories up to June 2017 in paperback, Kindle eBook, and audiobook form, and for news on new titles, please see Shop.

If you are interested in joining a fortnightly 400 word story group please contact me and I’ll send details.

Don’t forget to check out some of the other stories on the blog. There are over 220!

Dreams on Board

cruise fashion show3 (2)

(650 words)

“‘Clothes horses,’ that’s what she calls ‘em.”
“Uh huh.”
“That’s all they do, walk up and down the deck, flaunting themselves.”
“Uh huh. That a problem, sir?”
“Who, me? No … no, it’s just that she … that’s my wife, Josie, doesn’t like me looking at them. Says I shouldn’t ‘gawp at other women’s anatomy’!”
The bartender wiped a glass, smiling wryly. “Well, you have to admit, sir, they’re lookers.”
“They sure are. Those crazy long legs, long blonde hair, low cleavage showing their ripe mangos! What are they, dancers in the shows or something? I never see ‘em during the day, just the evening, ‘bout seven, I guess. Up and down, up and down they walk, eyes straight ahead. Till about eight.”
“D’you ever get to speak to one?”
“No, no, I mean, well they look too, er, haughty, I guess you’d say.”
“Well, you’re wrong there, sir, it’s not such a big deal. Say hello, pay ‘em a compliment. You’ll get a great big smile. And she’ll be happy to chew the fat with you!”
“Really? Well, I guess I’d like to, but there’s Josie you see, she wouldn’t like it. Can’t say as I’d blame her.”
The bartender put down the glass he was polishing, took another one from a shelf and poured a large shot of bourbon into each. “Here you are, sir, on the house!”
“Why, that’s kind of you!”
“You’re welcome, sir.” The bartender took a sip. “Look sir, I’ll let you in on a little secret.” He winked.


“Those gals, they ain’t human.”
“What?! Whaddya mean, they aren’t human?”
“They’re robots. They’re goddam robots!”
“Come on, you don’t expect me to believe that!”
The bartenders smile vanished. “God’s honest truth. Cross my heart.”
“That’s amazing. They seem so … real!”
“Oh, they’re human-looking all right, right down to their sweet little beavers. And you can try ‘em out too, although it don’t come cheap!”
“So, what, … I mean, why?”
“It’s the company. They don’t advertise it, but word gets around. Come on these cruises, ogle the women, parading their wares every night. Have a few beers and back to your cabin with one, or two if you’ve got the dough, and they’ll do anything you want. And I mean anything!”
“No one gets hurt, the gals make it clear that they’re there just for customers’ entertainment, nothing more.”
“But, I mean, don’t guys realise the girls aren’t … well, human?”
“They aren’t told, but if for any reason they find out, they keep it to themselves, or … no more pussy on these cruises! No one’d believe ‘em anyway … Well, lookee here!”
A tall, slim woman with curly red hair, prominent breasts and a glossy smile walked into the bar.
“Oh, that’s Josie,” said the man.
The bartender’s jaw dropped.
“A large white wine, a large Bud, and whatever you’re drinking. You look like you could use one!”
The bartender busied himself behind the bar, shaking his head.
Josie joined her husband at the bar. She flashed the bartender a gleaming smile, revealing ample cleavage as she leaned forward to take her wine. “Thanks, hun.” She blew him a kiss, then headed to a table in a corner.
The man grinned at the bartender. “Yes, guess I’ll stick to good old flesh and blood!”
“Of course, sir. I don’t blame you. By the way, the company’s just decided to do a half-price cruise in a couple of months’ time. Quite a few of the, er, ‘extras’ will be half price too … if you get my drift.” He winked, producing a flyer and putting it on the counter.
The man quickly perused the brochure, paying special attention to the price list. He glanced over at his wife, busy with her phone, then folded it carefully and put it in a back pocket. He nodded to the bartender and, smiling to himself, went to join her.


To purchase the stories up to June 2017 in paperback, Kindle eBook, and audiobook form, and for news on new titles, please see Shop.

If you are interested in joining a fortnightly 400 word story group please contact me and I’ll send details.

Don’t forget to check out some of the other stories on the blog. There are over 220!

Arse from His Elbow

Most Flexible Woman Meet Zlata 10

(550 words)

“Promenaders, they get on my friggin’ nerves! Pull over, Jacko.”
The sleek black police car pulled up, just ahead of a man, tall, leaning forward as he walked, as if forward motion were the only thing preventing him from toppling over. He had a distinguished face, probably handsome when young, thinning grey hair, silver steel-rimmed glasses, and a long nose. He looked up with surprise.
Joshua got out of the police car. “Hi, Buddy, what are you doin’?”
“Who, me? Just walking.”
“Why? Don’t you know what’s on tonight? The final of The World’s Got Talent!”
The man’s face looked blank. “I don’t watch TV.”
“Don’t watch TV, you cannot be serious! Come on, man, everyone’s glued to the screen right now!”
“Well, not me. I just wanted some … fresh air, exercise, you know.”
“Actually, I don’t know, buddy. Think about Little Thelma, right now probably singing her heart out with The Nation’s Favourite Song. And you say you don’t wanna watch her!”
“Who’s Little Thelma?”
What?!” Joshua looked shell-shocked. “What?! You don’t know Little Thelma? You must do, buddy! C’mon, you’re kiddin’ me!”
The man remained silent.
“Hey, Jacko, c’mon out here. We’ve got us a live one!”
Jacko got out of the car and the two black-clothed cops stood up close, their sweaty bodies invading the man’s space by design. Jacko took out a notebook and pen. “OK, buddy, name and address?”
“What, why, I mean, er ….”
“Look, buddy, either you cooperate or you’ll be spending the night in the cooler.”
“It’s Matthew. Er, Matthew Morris.” Stammering, his thin lips revealed his street and house number.
“Why, that’s over two miles away!” said Jacko.
“Yes, I’ve been walking for forty-five minutes.”
“Forty-five minutes! Well, you’ll have missed Suzy Chang and her dancing poodles, not to mention Jigsaw, the world’s greatest contortionist! Come on man, tell me you’re kiddin’ us!”
Mathew Morris looked up and down the empty street, nervously. It was growing dark and he could see flickering coloured light coming from unlit houses along both sides of the road. Suddenly he felt emboldened. “Look, I’m simply going for a walk. When I get home, I’m going to work on an essay I’m writing – on Totalitarianism – and then I shall sit by the fire, drink a bottle of beer and read some poetry before supper!”
Jacko raised his eyebrows. “Meanwhile, everyone else in the world has a TV or can get near one and is cheering on their country’s top star! But not Mr Mathew Morris, no, an essay is more important than Luther Steel’s ventriloquism, Totalit … whassname, more important than Silvia de Fuego’s amazing juggling, and goddamn poetry, if you puhleeze, more important than Fanny de la Mare, the world’s greatest compère!”
“I’ve had enough of this joker.” Joshua took out a radio and pressed a button. “Never heard of Little Thelma. Pah! Hello, Control, we need an ECT squad down here, now. Gotta guy who needs some serious rewiring!”
A raised voice came from the radio.
“Oh, my sweet Jesus!” Joshua turned, ashen faced. “The show’s been taken off air! Jigsaw got his elbow stuck up his arse, Little Thelma forgot her words and is having a nervous breakdown and Suzy Chang’s going crazy with Silvia de Fuego for juggling her poodles!”



To purchase the stories up to June 2017 in paperback, Kindle eBook, and audiobook form, please see Shop.

If you are interested in joining a fortnightly 400 word story group please contact me and I’ll send details.

Don’t forget to check out some of the other stories on the blog. There are over 200! 

Sycamore the Wise


(950 words)

The sun was setting over the field and Sycamore made his way to a small spinney in one corner, stopping on occasion to perk his long, furry ears up, and to feel the warm summer air playing on his long whiskers, whilst he sniffed the evening breeze. All clear! He entered the trees and heard the quiet guttural calls of his mother. He found her in a depression in a bed of moss with his two brothers and sister in attendance.
“Sycamore, what took you so long?”
He’d fallen asleep after feasting on a pile of carrots he’d chanced upon. “Sorry, mother, I thought I smelled a fox, and lay low for a while.”
“Hmm. Well, anyway, you may now all suckle from me.” She stretched out on the moss, exposing her belly and four enlarged nipples, which the leverets quickly latched onto.
Sycamore was in heaven as he drank the warm, sweet milk, feeling his mother’s warmth and his siblings’ closeness.
When they had finished, their mother lapped up any urine they had expelled, so as to cover their tracks. Then her voice became serious. “Now the moon has gone through one cycle, it is time to make your own way in life. I will no longer be here to suckle you, and you must continue to wean on the fruits of the woods and farmers’ fields.”
“But will we still see you, mother?” asked Blackberry, Sycamore’s brother, with a tear in his eye.
“Yes, son, I will still frequent the same woods and fields, but it will only be a few moon-cycles before you will father leverets of your own. And just a few more before Bluebell, your sister, gives birth to her first litter.”
“How exactly does that happen?” asked Sycamore, bemused.
“You will find out son, never fear!”
An older hare lolloped onto the moss. His coat had many curls and grizzled areas.
Mother cleared her throat. “Now, I want to introduce someone to you. This is Uncle Ditch.”
“Hello young ‘uns, well, you have all grown so much this past moon-cycle that you are now free to go further afield. I will stay close but never wander more than two fields from me. If you get lost, then I will come to this spot at sunfall. Meet me here.”
The young hares nodded, feeling a mixture of excitement and apprehension.
“Now, you know about foxes, owls and eagles, and man, with his fire-sticks, traps and poisons. But I need to warn you of one further thing.”
“What’s that?” chirped up Hedgerow, the other brother.
“Patience, Hedgerow!” laughed Uncle Ditch. “Well, you’ve seen a slow-machine, something that moves around the fields on its own with a man in it, turning the earth with a lot of noise?”
“Yes,” they all answered.
“Well, beyond these fields lies a track, made by man from something black and hard. From time to time a machine will come along, much faster than the slow-machine, and at night, with two huge glaring golden eyes, bigger even than the eyes of the biggest owl in the forest! And how they shine!”
Sycamore felt a shiver pass through his fur. “Will they attack us?”
“No, but if you see one, you must run. Run as fast as you can, faster than the wind, faster than the clouds that scud across the sky on a stormy night! And pray to the Great Hare for deliverance!”
Just then a young buck hare appeared.
“Greetings Juniper,” said Uncle Ditch.
Juniper bowed. “Uncle Ditch, I have terrible news. Chestnut, he … he’s gone to the Great Meadow in the Sky.” He began to cry.
Sycamore felt his eyes watering, even though he had never met Chestnut.
“What happened?” asked Uncle Ditch.
“He was on the black track when a fast-machine came along with its golden eyes blazing. He ran and he ran and he ran, but it caught him. He was mortally wounded. There was nothing I could do to save him.”
“His soul will go the Great Meadow, and his flesh will feed the crows,” said Uncle Ditch sadly.
Sycamore piped up, “If we hares cannot outrun these fast-machines, then why do we even try. Why don’t we run away and hide until they’ve passed? … Ow!” he exclaimed, as his mother whacked him around the head.
“How dare you question Uncle Ditch and the wisdom of our kind!” she scolded. “You will do as you are told!”
Sycamore felt all eyes on him. He felt indignant but acquiesced. “Yes, mother, sorry.”
But as the meeting wound to a close he told himself that he would never try to outrun something that could go faster than him and would never get tired. Where was the sense in that?
By running and hiding until the fast-machines had passed, Sycamore lived to a ripe old age. But eventually the time came, as it does for us all, for his soul to leave the old, faithful body that had fathered many, many leverets, and to pass on to the Great Meadow in the Sky. There, he was overjoyed to become reacquainted with his dear mother again, and with so many other relatives and friends who had also passed into spirit.
Now they are free to run and feast on lush grass and crops, safe from the threat of predators and fast-machines, and under the loving care of The Great Hare.
So, if you are driving at night and a hare runs in the headlights in front of you, then please be kind and drive slowly until it has run off the road. Not every hare has heard – or chosen to pay heed to – the teaching of Sycamore the Wise and his descendents.


To purchase the stories up to June 2017 in paperback, Kindle eBook, and audiobook form, please see Shop.

If you are interested in joining a fortnightly 400 word story group please contact me and I’ll send details.

Don’t forget to check out some of the other stories on the blog. There are over 200! 

Myrtle Shaw Investigates


(1300 words)

Myrtle Shaw sat on a well-cushioned, folding chair, sipping champagne. It was six o’clock in the evening but the sun was still quite high, casting a comforting summer warmth over the thin crowd of spectators. To her back was a wall of the ancient stone church, St. Mary’s, and in front of her, white-costumed figures stood, ran, and enacted their roles on the smooth grass.
“Ooh, this champagne’s going to my head.”
“That’s the idea!” laughed Major D’Arcy-Smith, her erstwhile companion and ever-hopeful suitor. “Would you like some more?” He took a heavy green bottle, glistening with water droplets, from an ice-bucket.
Myrtle was in her seventies, but sprightly, her skin well-toned, and her brown hair still its original colour, untinged by chemical potions. Her eyes were green and she only wore glasses for reading, and, of course, for examining clues. “Just a drop, Tom.”
A cheer went up as a young man from the home side threw himself along the ground to catch a ball.
“By Jove, Myrtle, did you see that? Young Bill Smethurst made a magnificent catch!”
Just then, the peaceful summer’s evening at Saltby St. Mary’s cricket pitch was shattered by a scream, as Millicent Dawson appeared from the church. Her face was red and her eyes were wet. “Oh my God, Myrtle. Reverend Hughes has just been … just been stabbed!” She began to sob.
Carpe Diem,’ thought Myrtle jumping to her feet. The champagne effect cleared instantly. “Tom, look after Milly, will you?” She put down her glass and headed through a gate in the wall, past rows of haphazardly-leaning and undecipherable gravestones, and through the vestibule into the cool, silent depths of St. Mary’s.
Coloured light, filtering through the stained-glass windows above the altar, played on the upturned face of the Reverend Nicholas Hughes. She felt for a pulse and lifted an eyelid. No sign of life. Blood still seeped through his cassock, forming a sticky red pool on the ancient stone floor. She searched his clothes. Nothing out of the ordinary and no sign of a weapon anywhere.
She heard the door open, and heavy footsteps.
“Hello Myrtle.” It was Inspector Jack Johnson from Thicksby. “I was just passing when I got a call on the radio. Quite fortunate as it happens … He hasn’t been dead long, by the looks of things.”
“No more than half an hour, I’d say,” replied Myrtle.
“How many ways into the church?”
“Well, unless someone climbed over the wall, and it’s about five feet high all the way round, there are just two gates, and I’ve been sitting by one for the last hour. I don’t recall anyone going past me, just Milly coming out, but then I was watching the cricket. Some of the time, anyway.” She smiled wryly, barely disguising her lack of enthusiasm for the game.
“Murder weapon?”
“Probably a kitchen knife, but no sign of it in the church.”
“The crime boys will be here in a minute. They’ll seal everything off.”
The next day, Inspector Johnson stood in Myrtle Shaw’s drawing room. Antique furniture graced an emerald-green Axminster carpet. A bookcase stood against one wall, whilst Regency windows looked out onto manicured lawns.
Johnson perused the bookcase. There were several shelves of detective stories. Agatha Christie, Phoebe Atwood Taylor, Ngaio Marsh. Why was it always damned women who wrote detective stories? “We’ve taken statements from everyone there. Three people are reported to have entered the church in the previous forty-five minutes.”
“Uh-huh. Who?”
“Well, Johnny Hughes – the reverend’s son, your friend, Millicent, and an unidentified chap, middle-aged, unshaven and of scruffy appearance, apparently. All three were seen entering through the gate by the road. The men left the same way.”
“I see, and have you interviewed them?”
“Yes, Millicent said she’d gone to see the reverend to discuss the music for the flower festival, she’s the organist there as you know. Johnny had gone to ask his dad for money. He was quite upset. Apparently, he hadn’t seen his father for three years, but says he’s fallen on hard times. Reverend Hughes didn’t see eye to eye with him, though, and wasn’t forthcoming with any cash.”
“Hmm. Not very Christian!”
“No, so he had a motive, of sorts. They’re searching his house today.”
“Mm. What about this ‘unidentified’ chap?”
He was reported by Milly’s sister, Doris. She’d been waiting for a bus, saw the chap go in and come out a few minutes later. She thought he seemed in a bit of a hurry. Walked down to the Green Man car park, got in a car and drove off.”
“Description of the car?”
“Is that all?”
“She thinks!”
Myrtle had arisen at eight, somewhat late for her, and after tea, toast and marmalade, her unskipable morning routine, she sat in the study, feeling the warm sun through the windows on her arms as she wrestled with the Times’ crossword. Seven across. ‘All flats are available on such a scale.’ Nine letters, second letter H, penultimate letter I. Hmm. She chewed her pencil. Ah-ha! The answer came to her practised mind. She filled it in with satisfaction. Then a thought took hold, a thought that grew and grew, until it would not go away.
“Good morning Madam, I’m afraid no one’s allowed in the church. That’s why there’s all this tape around it,” the policeman said, barely suppressing his sarcasm.
“Yes, I’m perfectly well aware of that, constable, but I’m a friend of Inspector Johnson, and I’m sure he won’t mind me taking a peek. I’m Myrtle Shaw.”
The constable’s demeanour changed instantly. “Oh, in that case madam, I think it could be permitted. But be sure not to touch anything. Please,” he added obsequiously.
“Of course not,” said Myrtle, intending to do just as she pleased.
Once inside the quiet, cool interior of the church, she approached the organ and turned it on. She began a chromatic scale, playing every note on the higher of the two keyboards. Up and down. Then the lower keyboard. Almost immediately, she smiled. She continued to the highest note, then back down to the lowest note, nodding to herself in approval.
Just then the door opened. “Hello Myrtle, I just had a call to say you were here.” It was Inspector Johnson. “I heard you playing. Not very tuneful, if I may say so!”
“Hello, Jack, actually it wasn’t supposed to be.”
“Well, we’re no nearer solving the crime. We can’t trace the man Doris claimed she saw, and the reverend’s son is sticking to his story. We’ve found nothing to implicate him from a forensic point of view. What about you, Myrtle, I don’t suppose you’ve had any ideas?”
Myrtle smiled. “Well, actually, Jack, I remembered seeing the reverend taking tea with Dora, the lady who does the flowers, last week at Meryl’s Cafe. They were holding hands under the table. I thought it most improper! Then I realised that Millicent Dawson had been spending an inordinate amount of ‘practice time’ here in the church, allegedly working on Saint-Sans’ Organ Symphony, for a performance later this year.”
The inspector looked perplexed. “All very good, Myrtle, but where exactly is this leading us?”
Myrtle reached out to the keyboard and played a low A flat. Along with the sonorous note there came a slight, almost imperceptible rattling sound. She smiled. “It was a crime of passion, Inspector. My friend, Milly … Millicent, and the reverend, they were, er …. Anyway, I think you’ll find this organ pipe worth looking into!” She held down the note once more until a metallic rattle became quite audible, then launched into Bach’s Cantata and Fugue in D minor.
The inspector gasped. “Myrtle, you never cease to amaze me!”


To purchase the stories up to June 2017 in paperback, Kindle eBook, and audiobook form, please see Shop.

If you are interested in joining a fortnightly 400 word story group please contact me and I’ll send details.

Don’t forget to check out some of the other stories on the blog. There are over 200!