Glass Ball Lost

I gazed at the blue glass ball. It felt light in my hands, and a wicked thought suggested I let go. Perhaps, instead of smashing, it would float away like a bubble, or bounce, like a ping-pong ball. I gripped a little tighter, and brought the glass closer to my face so that the whole world turned sapphire blue.

Gama told me the ball would show me the truth. Her voice had been serious but her eyes wrinkled at the corners. Mum laughed and said it was just an old fisherman’s float.

When I held the glass right in front of my eyes the sign opposite our house was still readable, if tinged blue, and the tree with its brittle, bare branches and lichen-stained trunk seemed barely changed. But if I pulled the ball back it a bit, and stared one way, everything began to curve, drooping downwards like a sad smile. And if I concentrated on the outside surface I could see reflections. My face: too wide, upside down, and full of shadows.

I imagined the ball floating on a sea slashed with jade green and charcoal grey. I remembered the smell of seaweed and the rumble of waves from our holiday with Gama. I’d poked limpets gripping the rock so tightly it seemed they could not let go. My lungs had been full of ozone-tinged air, my skin worn sore by gritty sand. Seawater in my nose and salt on my tongue. The empty shell of a crab.

Without a net the ball would float away. Not gone, exactly, but lost to me. Somewhere I would probably never see it again.

I walked into the garage and put the ball on its shelf.

Then I brushed the dust from my black dress and went back into the house.


Author’s notes
Just in case you weren’t counting, this piece is exactly 300 words long — it’s a tricky length to work with and still build in some kind of structure. Did it work? Let me know…


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If you like my work, please tell someone else 😁. You can also support my writing more directly by buying me a coffee at ko-fi.com.
© Kat Day 2019

A Tower of Cards

I’m building a tower of cards.

Layer after layer, resting on those below.

Supporting those above.

Surfaces shimmering with lambent light.

At the base is Temperance, wings outstretched as she stands,

one foot in water and one on land.

In the middle is the Magician, creating at his altar.

And at the top is the World: naked, and watched.

Why build so high? they ask.

Because, I say, I want to reach the Star.

What if one of these cards is creased? What if it’s frail?

Yes, Towers sometimes fall, I say.

But I think,

I’ve built this,

to prevail.


Author’s notes
This is a drabble that accidentally poemed. But it is still exactly 100 words long. And it RHYMES. Well, in places. Please don’t give me a lecture on tarot meanings 😉


Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com
If you like my work, you can support my writing by buying me a coffee at ko-fi.com.
© Kat Day 2019

I wish I could

A thud, wet and sick. Pinging sounds as gravel hits the windscreen. A crack. A scream – I don’t know if the voice is real, or an echo that’s now permanently tattooed in my mind. All the noises of a world in a slow motion. Except for the radio. The music carries on at normal speed, absurdly bright. The taste of copper and ozone. I look, wanting not to see what I know I will see. Red streaks on glass. A strand of hair.

A white bubble on the screen of my phone says “Undo Typing”.

I wish I could.


Author’s notes

This is another drabble – a 100 word piece. It came about from a prompt to write something along the theme of “wish”.

© Kat Day 2017

The trip of a lifetime

Dear Han and Lettie,

Having a wonderful time in E. California. It’s so different from the forest – the rocks are the colour of cinnamon and chocolate and the sky is clear and bright, like peppermints. Tomorrow I’m going to visit the local “Nut and Candy Store”. I’m sure I’ll find some lovely knick-knacks to bring back. Maybe something pretty for the gables. I hope there’s air-conditioning. The heat here is ferocious. They say that if you crack an egg into a pan and leave it in the sun, it will cook. I can believe it – the ground is so hot it’s like a stovetop. It’s tough on my old bones! Thanks again for spending some of your windfall on little me – it’s been the trip of a lifetime,

Baba Rosina x

Furnace Creek Ranch, Death Valley

P.S. Look after the cottage, darlings, don’t eat me out of house and home!


Author’s notes

This piece came from this idea: What if Hansel and Gretel didn’t so much as push the witch into an oven, as send her away to one? All the places mentioned – the Nut and Candy store, Furnace Creek Ranch, Death Valley – are real locations. The witch’s name is an amalgam of the old “Baba Yaga” myths and Rosina Leckermaul, from the Engelbert Humperdink opera. 

© Kat Day 2017

A woman, turning

The silhouette twirled endlessly on Janet’s computer screen. It was the ponytail, she thought, that reminded her of her daughter. It was black of course, in the animation, but the outline… that was like Abby’s wheat-coloured hair had been, once.

If you see the girl spin both ways you’re using both sides of your brain!” yelled the caption. Janet chewed her finger. To her, it was always going the same way.

She looked at her phone, then pressed a button. It began to ring. Janet glanced back at the computer screen and smiled as, finally, the graceful dancer changed direction.


Author’s notes

This is an attempt to write something in exactly 100 words. Such pieces are sometimes called drabbles. Can you see the girl go both ways? I always see her moving clockwise. Maybe I need to make that phone call I’ve been putting off… 

© Kat Day 2017

There’s a monster in my house

old-clockThere’s a monster in my house. I see its shadow flicker under the door. It smells of sweet, and must, and life. It trickles its detritus into corners and along shelves. Sometimes, as we eat our breakfast porridge, or walk on bright, autumn leaves, or drink hot, steaming tea it seems very far away. I think we are safe. But then I blink. Cherry blossom drifts like snow. The monster has been again. Tick. Tock.


Author’s notes
This is another piece of micro fiction written for Paragraph Planet. Entirely coincidentally, but rather aptly, it was featured on their website on my youngest child’s first birthday. There’s nothing like a first birthday to make you wonder where the last twelve months could possibly have gone!


© Kat Day 2016

Her dress was the colour of the summer sky at midnight

eye-637552_960_720Her dress is the colour of the summer sky at midnight; her shoes the hue and lustre of amethysts. Eyes once fresh blueberries have drifted nettle-green. Tiny fingers clutch the fur of a tangerine teddy bear, while mine stroke soft strands of hair the colour of fresh popcorn. I caress the dot of strawberry birthmark. She smiles, brilliant as the sun after a storm. Today, I remember her never-born brother. She is my rainbow baby.


Author’s notes
This was written for Paragraph Planet, and was featured on that site on the 8th of September 2016. The only requirement for Paragraph Planet is that submissions must be exactly 75 words long. There are many, lovely pieces there – do pop along and have a read.


© Kat Day 2016