Two RATTLER’S TALE Stories
by Anthony North
Poets & Storytellers United
The Sunday Muse
in association with
Stories: Eyes and Veg
It began as I walked up the starecase.
With each step my trepidation grew.
Sweat, like shards of ice, lacerated my skin.
I was waiting for it, but not like this.
The corner of my eye.
Why does horror always first appear there?
Because we instinctually turn away.
I’m an individual, you see.
I demand my privacy, to my thoughts
It was there now, floating to my front, its evil eye bottomless
At the top of the stares I came to the door.
The sign said ‘Doors’, plural, but there was only one.
And above, ‘MacroHard.’
I opened Doors – entered the gallery.
The ultimate techno experience.
Whether you wanted it or not.
On every wall there were eyes.
The selfie was now streaming ..
PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot
Fresh veg on a half empty shelf.
I just can’t get that image out of my mind.
Veg – short for vegetables.
Words entered my mind.
I suppose I felt like that veg when I walked into the store.
You know – old, redundant; on the shelf.
It was a dirty shelf; people went straight to the freezers.
They were sparkling new, full of plastic food.
I’m trying to contact Chris, tell her…
I still see the old veg shelf now as I go into the freezer.
In the morgue.
Book 27 of 68, Mysteries of the Bible, out 27 March
102 comments on “Rattler’s Tale #1”
Here’s to being wonky veg!
Oh yes, I second that.
There are days I feel like that veg; old, redundant, and sitting on a dirty shelf. But, at least I have hope for the next day. A very interesting and thought-provoking story, Anthony!
Thank you for the kind words, Brenda. And I know what you mean.
Oh, interesting take on the photo prompt – very thought provoking!
Susan A Eames at
Travel, Fiction and Photos
Thank you Susan. Glad you liked it.
Interesting take on the prompt. I sometimes feel like an old veg, too. Particularly in the early morning before coffee. Well done. Happy to see you back.
I think we all do at times. Thanks for that, Rochelle.
A collage of intriguing shreds of thought. This is an interesting response to the prompt.
Hi Penelope, many thanks for that.
Very poignant story that rings true to many of us. Nicely done.
Thank you, Lore, very kind.
A sad end. Have no fear, the old veg will have its day again!
It will indeed. They can’t be rooted out.
Sorry, Anthony, but at the end I had to laugh.
And why not? Always the best therapy. And many thanks.
That was deliciously done, loved it, so brilliant.
Hi Dom, many thanks for those kind words. Much appreciated.
Nicely developed story. A tale of sorrow that was felt while reading.
Thank you for that. Much appreciated.
I dig the way you brought around the half-empty shelf to the ending. Well played.
Thank you. Glad you liked it.
Interesting take on the prompt, succinctly written. Great read!
Hi Cheryl, thanks for that. Much appreciated.
I enjoyed the way you presented this, even the sad ending.
Hi Mike, thank you for that.
Nice one. People will always need veg, even when slightly out of date and past its best!
Thank you. Very Kind.
I guess Veg is short for Vegan too! Good to visit your blog again – it’s been a while.
Hi Keith, it has been a while. I’ve recently come back to blogging after several years away. Good to see you again.
Anthony North! Imagine my joy when I saw your name and read once again your succinct words. Once upon a time I was known as …why paisley???, but subsequent to many revolutions of life I have become simply, Violet. All grown up and using capital letters. Sans the aggressive punctuation (well, for the most part anyway….)But still writing with some degree of angst and honesty. How thrilling to once again be crossing paths.
Well hello, of course I remember you. And funnily enough, I’ve only just returned to blogging after many years away. Great to hear from you again.
Old maybe, redundant never. Great take!
Thanks for that, Liz, and I agree with you.
Old veggies may rot, but in the freezer everything’s dead.
Very true. Thanks for the comment.
An evocative response to the photo!
Thanks for that, Bev, much appreciated.
Freezer veggies can still be good for you, but nothing beats the fresh bunch. Your short flash fiction tale is part metaphor, ecological, and a love story; fine work.
Thank you Glenn. Very kind of you.
Lovely stuff Anthony. Love the close.
If I find I still exist when I pop my clogs, in another dimension perhaps, I would try and get in touch too. To say what and to whom – I don’t know either…
I think we all would, Anna. Thank you for the lovely comment.
Nice description: ” old, redundant; on the shelf”
Thank you Frank, glad you liked it.
No matter how much we try and keep the vegetables healthy or put them in a freezer.
They always go bad. That’s why one must take advantage of buying vegetables right then and cook them and eat from on the first or second day. I love your description of the poem. 🙂
Thanks for that, Charlie, and I agree with you.
I always enjoy your rather playful, but always deep and rather touching work, Anthony – you are certainly an original writer, who I find is always refreshing to read…
Hi Scott, many thanks for those kind words. Much appreciated.
A most brilliant response to the picture 💝 I like; “Veg – short for vegetables. Or vegetate?”
Thank you so much for that. Very kind.
The morgue would be depressing.
Nice to read you again. Its been some time and I hope you are well.
Yes, it’s been quite a few years. Illness and other writing projects meant I had to cut down, but I’m getting better and back – hopefully for good. And it’s nice to see you again, Grace.
“Old, redundant, on the shelf”………I’m wondering, are you in a drawer in the morgue! Being slid onto the shelf?
I’m going to have to do something about that snake you use in your picture. Makes me shiver so I can hardly read the story!
Yes, Linda, he’s in that drawer. Sorry about the snake, but it is my signature picture. What I’ll do is make the prompt pictures bigger so when you read the snake will have gone.
I think I am becoming more and more like that old veg on the shelf every day.
Ah, we all think like that at times.
“Veg – short for vegetables. Or vegetate?” ““Old, redundant, on the shelf”” Oh, I am feeling those two lines! Excellent take on the photo prompt.
Thank you for that. Much appreciated. I guess we all feel like that at times.
Interesting and evocative. Can’t wait for the sequel, ‘Revenge of the Veg.’
Ha, ha, I’ll have to think about that. Thanks for the comment.
Nice take on the prompt. Yep.
Thanks for that, Ted
I suppose we all have to go some time. After I am past my prime. rather than at my peak is much preferred.
Yes, I can agree with that. Thanks for the comment.
Yes, the corner of the eye is where we first see all things unclear. Wonderful take on the eye prompt Anthony. Thanks for joining us and for spreading the word. Have a great weekend.
Hi Carrie, many thanks for that.
Those eyes are terrifying,,, love the top of the stares, that is one hell of a climb
Hi Bjorn, thanks for that. Much appreciated.
That is a wonderful interpretation of the image, Anthony. My, you do get a lot of comments, way to go. That’s an interesting vegetable poem too.
Hi Sherry, thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated.
I was amused at the tongue-in=cheek “top of the stares”; still pondering MacroHard above the door, thinking I’m missing something! Entertaining write.
Hi Bev, many thanks for that. It’s a take on MicroSoft Windows.
That damn evil eye, stuck in the corner hiding until it consumes.
Yes, it’s a pain. Thanks for the comment.
Superb, spiky reading that marks you as an original and accomplished writer, Anthony. A real pleasure to read you today. Your paradoxical blend of the notion of selfies with tears was brilliant I thought…
Thank you so much for that, Scott. You’re very kind.
veg – your story makes me think of those people in hospitals with all sorts of tubes and drips wired up.
Thanks for that. Yes, i can see what you mean.
That first poem had the horror of a dream, the steady movement toward an unwelcome outcome, that gave me the shivers and the second built on that disquiet. These seem likely to linger.
Oh dear, Chrissa, I hope that isn’t bad. There was a lot of tongue-in-cheekness in each.
And the selfies were streaming tears, it almost becomes what’s hidden behind the images. I really like your play on words – particularly “Starecase”
Thank you Lori, glad you liked it.
On every wall there were eyes.
The selfie was now streaming ..
Wonder how an innocent selfie can prompt a tearful picture of oneself!
Hi Hank, I go to the ultimate dystopian nightmare of a mini-drone constantly filming your face and streaming every reaction to every thought. I think it would drive people mad.
There is something ominous about all those eyes.
There is indeed. Thanks for the visit.
I’d probably go for the older veggies. I can wash them and season/cook to taste.
Very true Rommy.
It didn’t worry us many years ago when the fruit and veg was placed in the open ready for you poke or test it in some way before buying. Now we can’t do that as it is wrapped in plastic or grouped together so you buy more than you need. I often visit a Fruit and Veg shop that keeps some of the old ways still raather that pay for plastic boxes and wrapping!
Only trouble is most of those shops are very expensive now.
Nice eerie write, suspense until through the doors. I love the detail, “‘Doors’, plural” but missed the point of its taking space. Good Job, Anthony!!
Thanks for that, Jim. The doors thing was a take on MicroSoft Windows.
Eyes. As if each of us carry a something that watches (and listens) to us. Sees where we are and where we had been. Yes, the eyes.
Yes, scary isn’t it?
Thanks for that, Rosemary.
All eyes on you! They look so heavy lidded but are shaped like a smile.
Indeed. Thanks for the comment.
the corner of my eye.
Why does horror always first appear there? – liked this line very much!!!
Thanks for that, Thotpurge. Much appreciated.
I love the idea of horror starting in the corner of the eyes. That last line was perfect!
Thank you for that, Sara, much appreciated.
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