Photo Copyright: Al Forbes

May the love and peace of this holiday season, wherever it can be found, fill all people everywhere.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This story was written for Sunday Photo Fiction–December 18th, 2016. Each week the host, Al Forbes, provides a picture prompt. The challenge for each member of the group is to write an original story or poem with no more than 200 words, not counting the title and inspired by the prompt.

To read the other stories written by group members, just click on the link below, then on the little blue frog in the blue box.

The link to the other stories this week is as follows:

Genre: Human Interest Fiction

Word Count: 198 Words


The Buddhist monk entered the ancient temple on the high mountain and knelt in front of the large statue of the Buddha.

The monastery temple was cold but his mind was elsewhere. He followed Lamrim, the stages of the path to enlightenment.  Fingering his wooden prayer beads, he murmured the chant of meditation.

He meditated on his past life much of which had been in the monastery. His mother was poor and had brought him here as a child.

The other monks gradually came and knelt, each following his own path. Some had come as little more than children and others when older. It was hard to tell age. Their heads were shaved and they all wore similar attire, a sea of orange.

Incense was lit, the smoke winding its way upward. All hoped their souls would become part of the eternal whole.

This was the scene that greeted the weary traveler as he entered and knelt with them. He wasn’t a Buddhist, but also searched for enlightenment.

His life had been a search for true love but it had evaded him. Great wealth was his but no peace. Sadly, neither could be bought. He’d tried.




Written Act of Kindness Award




I’ve written this piece for the blog series by Teagan Geneviene about the senses. You can read her piece and find links to or pieces by other writers in the comments at the following link.


A combination of smells drifts to my nose. Apartment buildings rise on both sides as I stroll.

There are additions now required for urban life–window bars and fire escapes.

When I stop at one point, the early morning chemical smell of gasoline is noticeable. It’s leaked from older cars commuters here still cling to and drive to work.

This neighborhood is now home to Indian families. There are still some Italian families, but not as many as in former years. The remaining apartments contain a variety of renters.

Out of the Indian windows drifts the sweet odor of incense from each  morning puja. From the Italian windows drifts a different scent. It’s oregano mixed with fresh tomatoes and green peppers.

I walk a little further and pick up the stronger odor of putrid waste water rising from the manhole of a backed-up sewer. The city workers will soon arrive.

A recent downpour brought the not-unpleasant odor of wet blacktop.

The morning sun beats down on the corner. There it’s the smell of hot blacktop, also not unpleasant. A city nose becomes accustomed to all these odors.



Written Act of Kindness Award