Short Story – Shattered View

Shattered View

It’s been over 6 months since I shared a photo related to the 52 week photography challenge but I didn’t share the short story I wrote to accompany the photo on my website. As it has been a while since I have shared a story on this blog I thought I would post it now in its entirety:


He looked out at the tops of the houses through the shattered window. The town was quiet now that it was daylight, although even the sun seemed to begrudge showing itself this morning. The battle had been unexpected, extremely violent but thankfully localized. Oh, and weird, to say the least. When the biker gang had ridden into town like some cowboy gangsters they hadn’t expected much resistance. They’d been before and got what they wanted without much trouble from the townsfolk. They hadn’t figured on the resentment that had been building up all year in anticipation of this day and so were totally taken by surprise when the doors of the convent burst open. The looks on their stunned faces were priceless, especially from their evil tattooed leader. He thought he was tough, but when faced with shotgun-wielding nuns screaming obscenities he, like the rest, was momentarily paralyzed with confusion. That’s all that was needed, as Mother Superior had predicted. The invaders had only managed one reflexive shot in response and it went high and broke the window up in the tower. And this gray morning the gravedigger was busy digging twelve holes…

© Richard Reeve, 2016

Poetic evolution

I don’t normally keep the drafts of my writing. Writing in a digital document means that usually I simply revise the text as I go along, re-reading and rewriting until I am happy with it. This has its disadvantages as once the original writing is gone then it cannot easily be recalled for reconsideration, or at least I cannot do that, but also the advantage that I don’t cling onto ideas or phrases that I discard. However, several months back I wrote the poem, More Dementor than Black Dog and I did keep the initial three drafts of my work.  

I would be interested to hear how other writers draft and redraft, in advance of any editing by a reviewer, especially in the digital age.

Draft #1

More like a Dementor than a Black Dog

Winston wrote of his Black Dog
How it would creep up on him
If he wasn’t busy creating; painting, writing, or laying bricks.
I think of a large lumbering Labrador but perhaps it was more,
To him perhaps akin to the Black Dog of folklore.

J.K gets much closer.
Her metaphor, more tragic
An encompassing weight that drops unannounced
In its cloak it clings like it needs to be fed
Music can work charms, although you have to choose wisely
For Dementors can feed on this too
And cause a spiral of despair.

Time to take Winnie’s advice
And get out the camera…

Draft #2

More like a Dementor than a Black Dog

Winnie’s black dog
would creep up on him
on moments of stillness.
No lumbering Labrador
but a silent lupine,
like the Black Dog of old lore
Cerebral creations:
painting, writing,
or laying bricks
would keep the beast at bay
when he sensed it nearby

J.K gets much closer.
A fearful vision,
of a hollow cloak
settling quietly
like a lead weight on your shoulders,
clinging, with a need to be fed
Music can work charms,
but choose your spell wisely
for Dementors can feed on this too
and cause a spiral of despair.

Time to take Winnie’s advice
And take out a pen…

Draft #3

More Dementor than a Black Dog

Winnie’s black dog
crept upon him
during moments of stillness.
No lumbering Labrador,
this stealthy lupine,
like the Black Dog of old lore
Cerebral defense:
painting, writing,
or laying bricks
would keep the beast at bay
at least for a time.

J.K gets much closer.
An apparition,
a billowing cloak
that settles quietly
becomes lead weight on your shoulders,
clinging, with a cry to be fed.
Music works for a spell
but choose your charms wisely.
For Dementors may feed on these too
to cause a spiral of despair.

Time to take Winnie’s advice
And take out a pen…

Please Click Here for the Final Version

Dear Diary

Sometimes I miss my diary. I was never really one for detailing my daily activities and thoughts, but I started one for some reason on 13-Dec-2011 (131211 in UK date format) and kept it as a private blog online until the summer of 2015. I wrote an entry almost every day and often included photographs as well.

I wanted to keep one just as a reminder of how things were going during my middle ages. It served not only as a journal of activities but also provided some form of cathartic outlet, although I admit that, because I chose for it to be in an electronic format, rather than the traditional leather-bound tome, it certainly contained more censoring that a true “stream of consciousness” diary would. Perhaps it was because of this requirement to sit in front of the laptop each evening that it suddenly seemed to become more of a chore to keep it up that to maintain it. Maybe I subconsciously considered it to be a futile exercise. Or, more optimistically, possibly it had served its purpose. Anyhow, for whatever reason the entries became staccato and in the end I stopped maintaining it in the summer before I hit the big five-oh.

Well, it’s now been about half a year without even visiting my diary and I think I may start up another one. This time though I am considering using the traditional pen-and-ink version, foregoing the convenience of electronic editing for the tactile experience of putting down works on real paper.

It’s going to be a hard slog though, as I really have got out of practice of using simple pen and ink, with its unforgiving nature. I am so used to an electronic format for just about all writing these days, whether at home or at the office, with spell checker and the ability to rewrite a phrase with no trace of the original underneath.

On the other hand it does give me an excuse to select a nice heavy volume perhaps and indulge in a more spontaneous type of writing which is arguably missing from my electronic world. Methinks a nice pocket diary beckons…


Plus, I’ll always have this blog as a supplement too 🙂


Office Poetry – Be Longing

In order to keep up with the “philosophical” theme of this blog I’m going to periodically add a few poems to my ramblings. I don’t know how long I’ll keep this up but to start off I have a few related to being in the corporate world for 25 years. Disclaimer – they’re not usually positive.

Here’s the first:

Be Longing

Long days

Long corridors

Long faces

Long departed colleagues

Long past vacations

Long overdue praise

Long gone




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