Rattler’s Tale #11

Important message from Anthony North: Due to my ME/cfs I’ve had to cease blogging until further notice. My apologies for this. For more of my fiction, as well poetry, essays, current affairs, writing tips, ebooks and useful links, please see links & networks on header.

by Anthony North
Friday Fictioneers
Poets & Storytellers United
The Sunday Muse
in association with



They were lined up, only their backs showing.
Reality TV was like that – liked to have a surprise for the end.
I suppose you could call them a metaphor.
The first contestant approached: ‘I think I’ll poach them.’
The second disagreed: ‘I’ll beat them to pulp for a huge cake.’
The third added: ‘Well I just like smashing them; watch the goo ooze out.’
I guess dumbing down had gone too far.
The egghead intellectuals agreed.

eBook I, Writer – 43 Flash Fiction + Memoirs & Writing Tips – is now FREE.



Forget the apple. There were too many roses in Eden.
Or maybe it’s all just a metaphor.
In the beginning were animals.
They couldn’t mate face to face, see – so didn’t see.
Then along came animal Mark Two, or Human.
He was a weak but cunning upgrade.
He’d changed his hands – evolved the opposable thumb.
Man became a master manipulator – learnt how to fashion his tool.
Which meant he didn’t need to go around on all fours, but two.
Man became erect – had adapted a new pelvic bone.
Then came the human bit.
It became more comfortable to mate face to face – and he saw.
And she saw. Realised her nakedness, and he liked it.
And together they mated – and loved.
For the genesis of humanity WAS love.
But every story has a sting in the tale – our own Pandora’s box.
For hot on the trail of love came jealousy and, eventually hate.
The Red Rose and Red Mist are one.
There were too many roses in Eden.
And they have thorns.

Rattler’s Tale #10

by Anthony North
Friday Fictioneers
Poets & Storytellers United
The Sunday Muse
in association with

PHOTO PROMPT © Ronda Del Boccio


The two android scouts disguised themselves in the engines and looked up.
All they could see was empty space in the hot air balloon.
Realising it wasn’t going to get into space, they looked again at the data.
Reports of early space exploration:
Early successes – Poe, Verne and Wells …
The aliens had sent androids to counter the deadly viruses that had got previous aliens.
But …
What a useless species, these humans, they decided.
No interaction, no touching, and definitely no hyperdrive.
They’re doomed.
And delusional.
And the virus still around.
They decided to go home.


It seemed crazy to hunt deer in a boat, but since I met him …
‘Not hunt; draw,’ he admonished.
I apologised. ‘Old habits.’
He sat in the boat with me, riding the waves, yet there was no wind in my sails.
‘How are we moving?’ I asked. ‘How can there be a deer down there?’ ‘Who are you?’
He replied: ‘Maybe we’re in a lake held up by its antlers. Or maybe by a bull’s horns.’
He claimed to be an artist yet he looked like a harlequin, or a woman in a wall …
… always with his head on his side …
I guess its just a crazy world.
‘How do you feel?’ he asked.
‘But the water’s dry.’
‘Then you’re finally wide awake.’
‘What’s that over there?’
‘Your leg.’
Then I remembered, and it seemed to me that at last I was in a sensible world …
… and I saw the deer and didn’t want to hunt … and …
The lake became my blood, the antlers the staves of the stretcher and tranquility exploded.
And the artist wore a soldier’s helmet and I asked: ‘Who are you?’ once more.
‘I’m the artist who created crazy, and people thought me crazy, and couldn’t get I was reality.’
And as I closed my eyes, and the pain flowed away, I joined Picasso in the eternal picture.