Honeybees, heavily laden with nectar and pollen from rosemary, marigolds, and sage, fly weary miles back to their hive. A conspiracy of ravens croak and soar and roost noisily in dense dark-green conifer trees. A fluffle of brown rabbits finish nibbling clover and wildflowers and dig deep, cozy burrows unaware that nearby a fox is asleep in his den. In the clear blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, a pod of dolphins swims slowly and steadily close to the surface. Two polar bears curl up in a shallow pit in the snow, their backs turned to icy wind.

After a hard day’s work herding sheep from steep, barren hills in the South Island of New Zealand, a thin border collie is chained alone in a cold iron kennel and howls hungrily at a shifty yellow half-moon. A horse in a stable quietly dozes as it stands in a warm bed of straw. A tortoiseshell cat with a neat white bib pushes through her cat flap and jumps onto the soft woolen rug at the end of the bed, where she washes her silky fur carefully and gently purrs herself to sleep.

A Japanese businessman steps off the Yamanote line and into an elevator, which whistles him to a small apartment on the 10th floor where he shares with his wife a meal of miso and pickles, of sashimi, fresh vegetables, and rice. They drink hot sake from small cups before they stretch out on the firm futon which they have pulled out on to the floor. In a mean San Francisco street, a teenage boy with an old man’s eyes drinks dinner from a bottle and lies down on damp cardboard and throws a threadbare blanket over his grimy jeans. The Queen of England sips a pre-bed flute of champagne while guards in bright red tunics and bearskin hats stand stonily outside her Palace walls.

I finish my homework, throw sticks in the yard for Pongo to chase until Dad calls me inside. Mom’s made Mac and Cheese. We watch television together and then Mom says it’s time for bed.

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2 years ago

The moments of literary delight in this story are too numerous to list! From the conspiracy of ravens and the fluffle of brown rabbits to our young human throwing sticks to his dog before a dinner of Mac and Cheese, this story is like a series of Home Vignettes, celebrating the diversity and beauty of each individual home that makes up our gorgeous collective home. This story shone like a beacon from… Read more »

musing mind
musing mind(@musing-mind)
2 years ago

I like the way you have intertwined nature and living beings so well. Loved your story.

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
2 years ago

I bet you really enjoyed pulling this lot together and I love how much you have managed to tell us about each. I suspect Lizzie gets offered enough champagne in life without one before bed, though. The ordinary home at the end makes the story.

Audree Clint
Audree Clint(@audree-clint)
2 years ago

The writing was very poetic and had amazing imagery. A true snapshot of so many slices of the world captured in your words. Loved the tone and flow of your beautiful short story!

musing mind
musing mind(@musing-mind)
2 years ago


Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
2 years ago

Well done on your win. A truly different approach to a familiar topic.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
2 years ago

Well done Cecil – a very high standard to follow.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
2 years ago

Congratulations Cecil.

april vargas
april vargas(@april-vargas)
2 years ago

Congratulations! ❤

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
2 years ago

Wow! This story emphasizes that the word “home” is so much more than we generally think, crossing so many borders. You filled the little box of 350 words with a vast set of colors. It felt as though you took us on a quick flight across the globe, finishing up with a surprise landing in the house of a little child. Well done, Cecil!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
2 years ago

Congratulations on your win, Cecil. I agree with Christer. I feel that I am teleporting around the world then end up in the house of the little child. Great write.

1 year ago

Congratulations, Cecil, on having your story featured on the new Stars page. I have enjoyed reading this story again and again, and always come away inspired.

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