The War on Christmas from the Wine and Cheese (Doodles) Blog

A hilarious, clever and sharp post by Dina Honour.

#Breaking: As part of Operation Kringle, President Trump today ordered the deployment of the newly renamed 1st North Pole Battalion to an undisclosed mid-west location to monitor and protect the Koch Tree Farm, the nation’s largest supplier of Spruce and Fir trees. President Trump today, speaking from a dais festooned with holly and ivy, declared […]

via The War on Christmas — Wine and Cheese (Doodles)


Hartley and Mrs Scroop: A Marrow Made In Heaven #microcosms #shortfiction from TanGental

A tale of dark goings on in the vegetable patch. Avoid the marrows at all cost…I chuckled darkly at this unusual take on a familiar activity. Geoff at TanGental has a cracker here:

Vicar/pastor, rural parish, crime The Reverend Hartley Scroop bent slowly and stroked his marrow. ‘Come on beauty. Just give me a little more.’ Over the fence his neighbour listened to the blandishments with scorn. Rupert Penfold had won best marrow and supreme vegetable for the last umpteen years and he wasn’t about to lose to […]

via Hartley and Mrs Scroop: A Marrow Made In Heaven #microcosms #shortfiction — TanGental

The Curious Monk by Lucy Brazier

Another fabulous offering from the lovely Lucy:

Hot on the heels of the success of The Box Under The Bed horror anthology, the team are putting together a follow-up collection of unlikely tales, this time in the genre of humour. Here is a teaser of my contribution, The Curious Monk… Curiosity killed the cat, or so they say. What cat? Why a cat? Were […]

via The Curious Monk — Secret Diary Of PorterGirl

Tryst -Twittering Tale #57 – 7 November 2017


Photo: “Saddle” by PIRO4D at

My tale of doomed love for Kat Myrman’s Twittering Tale #57 this week.  A sad tale of love and ashes…

Wolf and vamp
Lovers doomed
A tragedy waiting to unfold
Riding on steeds of antique silver and garlic leather
A tryst soon ended
Life in flames

(139 characters)




Ms T’s Walk on the Wild Side: A Brief History

Image: kalhh, Pixabay

In honour of the thinning of the Veils between the Worlds I present you with a tale from a well known and beloved character. She presents a persona that many may be unfamiliar with and wished they hadn’t made an acquaintance of. Enjoy.

Peter Pan and Captain Hook, different ends of the spectrum but jolly annoying regardless. I played a role for years, biting my lip and pasting a false smile on a Barbie doll face. For the love of the gods that little, skirt thing was age inappropriate and unflattering. I’m five hundred years old! You do know the story was originally much darker but he had to make it suitable for children. What tosh!

Anyway, Little Miss Tinkerbell is gone, forever. She had an accident, of sorts.  It was a glorious end, she went like her hero Socrates. You know, ingesting hemlock. No one suspected and I was able to disappear to Brazil for several years, settled in Salvador, Bahia. Loved, loved it. The culture, food, arts. Ahhh, refreshed the cold, dark heart considerably. I know what you’re thinking, “how can a vampire take all that sunshine?”. Sunscreen my lovelies, factor 1000. I get it from a gorgeous boutique in Soho, London that is and not New York. Why that look my lovelies? You don’t know that I’m, one of the undead? How remiss of me. 

It happened a long time ago and something I’m not interested in going over again. Hope you don’t mind. Oh, alright, I’ll tell you. I was part of a travelling circus and we were playing somewhere in the Black Sea area. Strange places, where borders meet, the atmosphere is charged and unsettling at times. A few of the troupe weren’t exactly human if you know what I mean…That made it easy when I was turned, they and the rest of the troupe were fantastically supportive. We were considered outcasts by the populous anyway. He came on the day of my 19th birthday. A well dressed gentleman of means from what I remember. Such intense eyes and a low, velvety voice. Sends shivers up my spine thinking about him. He brought pure white roses, such perfect blooms they were. Brought the drops of blood into stark contrast. The white transformed into red soon after. You look shocked. Blood, sex and death are inextricably linked my lovelies. 


Image: fapro1, Pixabay

It took getting used to, you know, immortality. The first hundred years were rather lonely, boring even. Comes with the territory, as that ghastly cliché goes. I even took to a bit of piracy to alleviate the boredom. Captain Morgan was a rum character if you’ll pardon the expression. Won’t go there. That’s how I got mixed up with that crew, Peter Pan and his merry band of  ASBO (antisocial behavior order) laden scamps. It passed the time and here I am now. Able to be who I truly am, a grumpy, scary bloodsucker with thespian tendencies. Hurrah! Must go now, my date’s waiting. Kiss, kiss my lovelies.

Old Adversary – Spur #writephoto

pationImage: Sue Vincent


It’s been a while since I last participated in one of Sue Vincent’s #writephoto challenges. Various attempts had been made to no avail, until a postcard arrived from a couple of old friends. I love getting postcards and this one was a little intriguing, it was from Bob the Bibliophile troll (otherwise known as Little Troll) and Flavius, arch-mage, bookseller and exorcist. It’s been a while since we three met. The last time was under unhappy circumstances when an attempt was made on the Archmage’s life. We still don’t know whether it was a disgruntled client or something more sinister. I recall the assailant was trying to steal a rare edition of Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Flavius has recovered well, considering he was run over several times by a large truck.  It’s a complicated story and rather painful to recollect. Not for me but poor Flavius.

Bob and Flavius are holidaying in Ibiza, not the most ideal of places for a troll and one of the undead. Regardless, it sounds like they’re having a great time exploring the less known parts of the island. The club scene has lost its excitement and all they want is to rest now. The friendship between the two is enduring and unusual. The postcard was accompanied by a little parcel. I opened it to find a lovely leather bound notebook. It was a journal and appeared to contain entries written by a certain Comte de Saint Germain! Well, what a surprise. The note inside stated it was for the attention of the Shed owner and contained a history of the adventures of Little Troll and Flavius. I lost myself within its page as the writer spun their tale. It was a little disjointed and the tone inconsistent. Was it really the hand of the Comte in this journal?

This is a record of my observations, being Comte de Saint Germain. In this year of our Lord 1999. I am in a new world but instilled with old world thoughts and memories. Time travel can be disrupting and a little dangerous in the wrong hands. It tears at the fabric of time and perception if performed without care. I am fortunate in excelling in this art and meeting with remarkable minds and souls. Two in particular being very dear companions throughout the ages, Robert and Flavius.

Robert and Flavius had met several centuries ago in Prague. Robert  was attending an alchemy conference and Flavius was at an exorcism masterclass. Prague’s population had quadrupled during this period, causing extra policemen to be drafted in to cope with increased criminal activity. Of the unnatural variety. The Prague constabulary were liaising with the Renaissance equivalent of Interpol, in fact a little known department of that organisation. They dealt solely with matters of magical and esoteric phenomena. Flavius was occasionally used as a consultant by the department due to his specialist knowledge. He was also one of their former field agents but had to retire due to health reasons, such as being “afflicted” with a little death.

The city was buzzing with strange energies and an epidemic of horrible dreams. It seems the barriers between the worlds were getting thinner, allowing undesirables to slip through. As an Empath Flavius was finding it difficult to cope with the increasingly negative atmosphere. Being recently deceased and then re-animated was a challenging situation, but not an obstacle that was insurmountable. He was a positive person when alive and death, or “undeath”, hadn’t changed that. Something was coming and he was a little nervous at the prospect. Saying that, exorcism was a calling that reinvigorated his spirit, and the foremost practitioner of the art was holding a masterclass in the city. Hence the reason for his presence in Prague at this time.

Meanwhile Robert was exercising his intellectual prowess with great minds of the Alchemy fraternity. They consisted of those seeking materialistic and spiritual goals, gathering from different timelines, countries and disciplines. I had arranged to meet Robert in Prague for the conference and to introduce him to a bookseller friend, Flavius. He knew of Flavius by reputation. Flavius was able to obtain rare texts almost out of thin air, and for this reason he was feted by many, especially those of ill-repute. The traffic in looted artefacts, including rare books was rife even then. Therefore Flavius was in a perfect position to monitor the situation.

We met in a seldom visited tavern sited down a narrow road between a churchyard and apothecar’s house. I informed them of my encounter with a mysterious visitor received two days ago. This man had worn a wide brimmed hat, which concealed most of his face. As for his footwear, the boots were made of the finest quality leather, with the added surprise of delicate gold spurs attached to the back. He dressed like a Regency dandy crossed with a cowboy. The visitor had requested a meeting with Flavius in relation to making a purchase of an early edition of the “Three Books of Occult Philosophy”. I knew Flavius had a copy but declined to mention this fact. There was something not right about the manner of this individual. The stranger made his excuses after a few minutes and left for another engagement. The scent of opium and bitter almonds infused the air in the drawing room for hours afterwards. I gazed at the visitor’s introduction card, it was made of dark vellum inscribed with a blood red dragon on the front. The back was blank. This did not bode well.

I finished my tale and became silent. The look of unease on the faces of my companions confirmed certain facts about the identity of his visitor. The silence was broken by the opening of the tavern door. We could smell the aroma of opium and bitter almonds, then heard the sound of spurs. We held our breath. The tavern owner gestured towards a back room and we raced towards it. It held a secret door into the apothecar’s house. We could hear raised voices in the tavern, then a door slamming. It was evident our lives were in danger, who was after us? We could hear the sound of horses going down the cobbled street. I peered through the window, my eyes meeting the red glow of the visitor’s gaze. He had three other companions, all seated on horses.

I put the journal down. Several pages had been torn out and the next entry was three years later. This didn’t sound right. My gut was telling me the Comte had no hand in this journal, suspicions being confirmed when I turned the page. There was a red dragon stamped on the page. The mystery deepens.




Image: Jan Malique

It’s been a while since I heard from The Opener, as Anubis is sometimes known. He can be an elusive entity, frustrating even. The past few months have been challenging, forcing me to look inwards, a necessary process in hindsight. I’ve been clearing out defunct mind-sets, beliefs and behaviours. There’s still more work to be done and doors to be closed. Fortuitous that He’s appeared at this moment, as all manner of obstacles have separated me from my “Mentor” for too long.

I’m trusting myself and the Universe more, which is producing positive results. You could say I’m beginning to see the return of my authentic self, the Jan that I love and believe in. So many people suffer the frustration of not being who they truly are due to life circumstances. This is something one shouldn’t dismiss easily as it’s an issue that strikes at the heart and psyche deeply. It weighs people down and you can see the shadows shrouding the vision of those so afflicted. Almost as if all colour and vitality have left the person and they’re living as copies of their true selves.

His Nibs (Anubis) looks at me without speaking, and then squeezes my hand. It’s taken a while to get to this point but we’re here, thankfully. For too long I’ve neglected myself and felt my energy bleeding out, okay illness has in part taken its toll. Many people around me are in varying states of unhappiness and indulging in unhealthy projections towards others. They’re pressing my buttons and I’m pressing theirs. This continues to create toxic environments, on the inner and outer.

The sluice gates have been opened and all this crap is being “washed out” into the greater Universe to be neutralised and transformed. Visualisation is a fantastic tool dear readers. It can create true magic and open up unbelievable vistas.

“You’ve remained in the darkness of the tomb for too long” He states matter of fact.

“Not willingly! I answer. What else is there to say? I couldn’t see a way out, the seals on the tomb doors looked unbreakable.

His Nibs shakes in laughter, not unkindly it has to be said. The Opener can be unpredictable and should not be underestimated, ever. Saying that, this inscrutable deity can be hugely protective, loving and patient if he befriends you.

“I’ve not left your side at all, but had to stay aloof in order to let you ask for help” He explains in measured tones.

“Ah, the free will thing” I murmur.


Image: photo credit: seyed mostafa zamani via photopin (license)

We understand each other but do I understand myself? I gaze into the distance and see a desertscape blasted by strong winds. There’s a long figure walking across the sand, it looks like the Opener. Yes, it’s him in human form. He seems impervious to the grit filled wind swirling around him. The horizon is hidden from gaze, only hinted at when the wind drops. The ancient deity is in his natural element and knows neither fear nor uncertainty in this harsh environment. He is the loneliness of the endless expanse, a mirage created from the yearnings of our Soul. He is the bestower of hidden knowledge, giver of Life and Death, Judge of our Hearts and True Intent.

I ask Him for a blessing for the journey to come, to give my heart courage and resilience. He complies and comments “don’t leave it so late before calling me. We have work to do Jan.”

I nod ruefully. This is a time of Coming into Being. The scent of incense tantalises my nostrils, an offering to The Opener it appears. We part in love and peace, until the next time.


Image: skyhp009, Pixabay

Feral – A Random Act Of Poetry


Image: skeeze, Pixabay

Annette Rochelle Aben posted a timely reminder about the joys of poetry on Random Acts of Poetry Day. It brought back many memories of early scribblings in the back of school exercise books, and freestyle sessions at literary events. Those were the heady days of youthful creativity, exciting and edgy. I devoured the poetry of Baudelaire and Neruda and took their lead in spinning tales surreal and impenetrable. My efforts were badly written but mine to own and proclaim in hushed tones. Such acts nurture the weird and wonderful natures of surrealists in the making. I know, a grand comment to make a worthy goal to aspire to don’t you think?  Anyway, enough of the procrastinating. Here is my very own Random Act of Poetry, a mish mash of parts, much like antipasti in a zombie restaurant. Please enjoy, or not. Do leave a tip for the ghoul at the door but don’t look her in the eyes.


“Don’t feed the horses” the sign calls loudly, but do I listen?

The cracked wood invites, beckons me in, and whispers “look”

Heart in mouth I approach, chest gapes wide, blood drips fast

Feral beasts wait, bellow fire from lungs of bronze and voice of dreams

Reality distorts, fazes mind, and whispers “look”

Feral beasts approach and sacrifice is offered

Heartless I stand, bloodied but unbeaten


Where am I now? “On the other side of No Return my darlin”

Drawls the lone cowboy, with eyes of smoke and voice of venom

He looks and says nothing, just stands watching

He looks and says nothing, just stands smoking

“Don’t feed the horses” the sign calls loudly, but did you listen?

Object of the Month for October: The Ultimate Zombie Apocalypse Weapon

I recommend the Royal Armouries blog for all the wonderful and informative posts. This one in particular may be useful in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse. 😉

Existentialist Memes

From time to time humanity is confronted with unaswerable questions about the meaning of existence and the validity of a Universe that appears to be uncaring. What happens under those circumstances? Do we allow ourselves to recede into nothingness? No! We boldly go where no one has gone before…Wait, isn’t that a line from “Star Trek?.” Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that it’s okay to confront your existentialist angst and give it a, er, hug. Or air kiss if that’s acceptable.

These are for days when you spill tea or coffee on yourself before an important meeting. For when you put both legs through one trouser leg and then fall over in an effort to disentangle yourself. For when you drop guacamole on a pristine white shirt and don’t notice it for several hours. I’ve done them all and survived! Be strong.

Bwsb6jnCcAAgj01 (1)






you-re-horrible-you-dont-like-me-for-who-i-20671142 (1)

Image: Non-existent existentialist memes


whos a good boy



I’ll end on a positive note, something to take away and savour:


Image: Imgur