Lost In Darkness

Lost in pitch black,
Thorns tangled around my ankles
Branches slapped me all over,
Leaves stuck in my hair,
iPhone battery’s dead!
Torch stopped working.
Every noise paints fear.
It gets colder by the second.
Wiggling through the bushes,
I’m drawn towards a golden ray
I roll out and see lightbulbs
I follow the path and
It’s all spelt out to me
I have found Hope.


August’s Zeroflash Entries


Home taping is killing independent music

by Mark Sadler

Charlie Bannister had awoken to find himself securely strapped to his kitchen table top. A cross-shaped incision had been made in his belly, and the four fatty corner-flaps of flesh had been spread apart. A warm salty breeze, emanating from the kitchen flue of the kebab shop next door, drifted in through the open window and wafted across his exposed guts.

Raising his head, he watched appalled as his empty intestines were slowly drawn from his abdominal cavity and into one deck of a double cassette player. The other deck was occupied by a copy of The Flying Pickets’ debut album – Lost Boys.

He had passed out at the beginning of side two; their shite cover version of The Righteous Brothers’ You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.

He had awakened to the “ba-da-da-da” of an angelic choir. As reality…

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Upcoming deadline for Tales From The Forest

Very nice.


Looming deadine!

Tales From The Forest is welcoming standalone submissions or interlinking pieces for our issues #6, #7 and #8.

* * *

Issue #6: “How It Begins” – To allow our triptych format, the sixth issue will be focused on beginnings. The first words spoken, the first meeting, the first time something appears or disappears. The Start Of Something. Deadline September 3rd 2017.

Our cover for issue #6, courtesy of Larry Dunne:

How It Begins Cover for issue #6

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Issue #7: “Continuity” – The midpoint. Send us art and stories that started elsewhere (in issue 6, or not), send us re-occurrences, send us the realisation of things changing or staying exactly the same. The Middle Of Something. Deadline December 3rd 2017.

Issue #8: “Ever After” – The ending. We want to see how things fall apart or come back together. Happy or sad, alive or otherwise, “fare thee…

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Oolong Tea

This poem is part of my poetry book: Drinking Poetry. Availible on Amazon at a reduced price. If you liked this poem, I’m sure you’ll like this book.


I sit in a wooden chair

Fiddling with the corners

Of a turning book


The book is called

The eyes of a dragon

Complex characters

Fantasy layers

A multi-faceted tea


A black girl caught my attention

On the screen of my console.

A girl who knows the heart of the dragons


I once read many books

About a dragon’s holy mother

Where was she

When all the dragons were slain?


Between the black and green

The black dragon sits

On a mystic silver throne

It’s spirit lives on through

The little cup on my desk

What Happened To Sally’s Boy?

The car stopped outside a deserted house by the river valley. The driver undid the top buttons from his top and opened the windows. The house was small, but well renovated with a slick roof and wooden slates. The stillness of the grassy terrain distorted her. She had a feeling that something dark lurked inside.

The man pointed toward the well outside their door. It was surrounded by moss. “This was my aunt’s house,” he said. “We were very close. One day Stephen and I were playing near the well, and he fell in. I tried my best to get him out, but I was never able to find him.”

Sally pushed her seatbelt away. “Take me to the well.”

The driver transferred her into her wheelchair and took a bumpy ride towards the well. Sally’s heart sank. Her little Stephen had been sleeping in the well for half a century. She hoped to find his remains out and give him a proper burial.

“My aunt left the house the day after Stephen’s fall,” the man explained. “She went travelling; and she never returned.”

“Did your aunt kill my son?”

“It was an accident,” he sobbed. “If you must blame anyone, you must blame me.”

For a deserted house, it looked beautiful. It was only the well that appeared unloved. Sally looked up to the man. “Can you least give me your name?”

“Dominic Sawhit,” he shook Sally’s hand. “I should have told you the truth a long time ago. I’m sorry for all the pain I’ve put you through.”

Sally clenched her fists. “You were only a child.” Retaining her anger, she remembers that there was not a lot that Dominic could have done. Her only comfort was that Stephen was now at peace; free from the suffering and pressures of this world.

By pure curiosity, she pulled the robe towards her until the bucket reached the top. A bell jingled and the house’s door swings open. A bold man grinned as he marched out of the door. He was followed by two pale girls with scarlet pigtails. He glared at Dominic and Sally, and waited exactly fifty seconds before he opened his mouth.

Dominic sprinted back into the car leaving Sally behind.

Sally gulped. “Who are you?”

“Hello Mum…”