Saturday, 26 March 2016


I once had a bear called Jack.

When I first got him he whispered in my ear that his main purpose in life was to be the keeper of all my secrets. I was dubious at first so I wrote a list so that we both knew where we stood.

1   I shall whisper my secret once and once only. No repeats.

2  You shall never reveal any of my secrets to a third party as long as we both shall live.

3  You are my bear and nobody else's. You are the keeper of my secrets only.

He kept his word but as I got older he grew fatter with all my secrets until one day his stomach came open and my secrets fell out. I did the best I could but it was too late. My secrets were all over the neighbourhood. They developed a life of their own and I couldn't stop them.
                       Jack didn't die but I think he saw a little glimpse of Heaven. He was devastated and has never spoken to me since. Even though I sewed his stomach back together again he is no longer capable of holding my secrets. I whisper them into his ear and they come back out again. I now have nobody to keep my secrets. I have to keep them myself but I am putting on weight and no matter how much I try I can't lose it.

It's the secrets. They are building up inside and are preparing for the big day when my stomach will burst open like Jack's. I'm waiting for it to happen. Jack is too but is too scared to say anything. Maybe I will also catch a little glimpse of Heaven.


                                                         (C) Ally Atherton 2016

289 words written for the Light And Shade Challenge. Check it out and maybe join in the fun.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Dreams With Jagged Edges

                        I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.

                                                                                 Thomas Jefferson

The hardest part about being a dream catcher is in  the breaking and entering.


           I can't walk through walls. I don't have a magic key. I don't have a teleportation device. My amazing power is restricted to pulling out one dream after another without snapping the bastard and if they wake up I'm screwed. I can't tip toe to save my life. There's always a disagreeable floorboard, a squeaky toy or an unholy cat to deal with. And sometimes, no matter how careful I am, they wake up.

           And then I run. I'm terrible at breaking and entering but pretty good at getting the hell out of again if I need to. You've probably seen me out of the corner of your eye at some point and if you haven't I'll probably get around to you at some point. It's not theft. Not in the strictest sense of the word. I'm taking something you can't deal with. Something that needs to come out before it gets stuck, like a gumball or a small piece of ham. And once it's stuck there's no telling what it will get up to or when it will return. Some dreams never come out. Recurring dreams they call them. But they're not. They are stuck. Lots of people are walking around all the time with dreams stuck in their heads. You can usually tell them a mile off. There's that far away look that they get in their eyes for a kick off. Or the way they grind their teeth. Or sometimes there's nothing to really grab hold exactly but you can tell there's something not quite right about them, inside them.

           But most of the time I get in there and out again with the dream fully intact before they can wake up completely and realise that they had a dream in the first place. Some dreams are long and sticky and some are short and stubby. Short and stubby dreams are the one's that don't make any sense. Like you're driving to work and then find yourself being attacked by a plate of spaghetti. The long and sticky dreams are future dreams. Things you want to do but can't or things you don't want to do but are worried you may have to.


           But dreams with jagged edges are the ones I have the most difficulty with. They don't want to come out for the love of money. They kick and scratch and sometimes I have to leave them in. Dreams with jagged edges are the ones that hold our deepest secrets. Things we can never tell to another living person. I've known some dreams with jagged edges that would rather kill me than come out.

They don't want to be carried away by me or anybody else because they are enjoying themselves too much and don't want to come out because it's raining inside and they love the rain and they are the only ones that know how to turn it off.


                                                                       (C) Ally Atherton 2016

500 words written for this week's Light & Shade Challenge. Take a peek and join in if you are feeling creative.

Monday, 4 January 2016

                            Image courtesy of Thomas Rosenmai of

It's good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.

                                                                        Ernest Hemingway