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A Shadow of You...

For Mackenzie Davis’ Photo Prompt

By Angie the Archivist 📚🪶Published 2 months ago Updated 12 days ago 1 min read
Top Story - April 2024
Taken by Dharrsheena Raja Seggaran

Once upon a lifetime ago…

You were beautiful, young, welcoming

Each moment spent with you… a priceless treasure.


Rich aromas of roast pork and veggies wafted through the kitchen...

Spicy Ginger Nut biscuits cooled on the windowsill…

Tantalising Sylvester, the midnight cat, complete with his snowy white bow tie.


Hide and seek, played out under creaking stairs...

Rooms rang crazily with laughter and verbal sparring with siblings…

Spiralled into elbow jabs and stinging, tea towel swipes.


Cosy chats by the rough-hewn, stone fireplace

Languorous bedtime tales… cuddled in closely to our mother

Until… that fatal, final night…


Mosquitoes droned incessantly

Attacked us mercilessly

Repelled by the feeble defence of lowly mosquito coils.


Their pungent smoke wove erratically down hallways

Crept through vacant rooms,

Snaked up wooden staircases.


A silvery crescent moon watched

A whispering ember wander…

Silent stillness ruptured.


Golden tongues lapped greedily

We fled in terror

Powerless to save you.


All too soon that crackling, furious monster

Ruthlessly devoured you

Leaving an empty charred shell.



A mere lifetime later…

Although no longer young nor beautiful…

Life again adorns you…


Verdant green ferns wave their welcome

Streamers of vines festively decorate beams, door frames…

Ulysses butterflies flit joyously…

Flashes of iridescent electric blue, edged in black.


A surreal shadow…

Of you…

In your former glory.



Inspired by Dharrsheena Raja Seggaran’s intriguing photo for Mackenzie Davis’ Photo Prompt below.

In case I was too cryptic… an errant ember from an insect repellent mosquito coil caused the fire which gutted the house in the photo.

Derelict abandoned houses always fill me with sadness, pondering past lives and happenings leading to their present state.


Below is my original entry into Mackenzie’s Ekphrastic (photo) challenge… I think it has a similar mood.

sad poetryFree Versefact or fictionEkphrastic

About the Creator

Angie the Archivist 📚🪶

Addicted to reading… especially fiction and recently poetry.

Personality of a Labrador.

Attention span of a gnat! 🙃

A Parade Of Shoes: Top Story March 2024

"Look Out... Sauerkraut!": Top Story December 2023

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (20)

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  • The Invisible Writer4 days ago

    This was amazing. The lines were incredibly evocative. You have a gift for imagery.

  • Congratulations on top story! 🎉🎉🎉

  • I was there with your every word! How quickly life can change! Congrats on Top Story I hope to someday be acknowledged by the vocal team and see a peice of my work as Top Story and you have been acknowledged many times that says something profound about your work congrats to you my lady!

  • Lana V Lynx19 days ago

    This poem is both sad and beautiful.

  • Novel Allen21 days ago

    Well written and evocative. Congrats on a tale well woven.

  • Anna 26 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • Gloria Penelope28 days ago


  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    Very nicely done!! I loved it and all the descriptions.

  • Mackenzie Davisabout a month ago

    Angie!!! How did I not read this sooner? Goodness me, this is SO good. The voice is commanding, a confidence that only a vivid memory can hold. I'm in love with your diction, too. It's marvelous in every way, surprising me with each word. "Repelled by the feeble defence of lowly mosquito coils. *** Their pungent smoke wove erratically down hallways Crept through vacant rooms, Snaked up wooden staircases." One of my favorite bits. Something about "mosquito coils" is just so sharp an image, and quite unexpected. It complements so well with the smoke image as well... Bravo! And thank you for participating in this extended part of the photo challenge!!

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    Wow. You gave that pic life, death, and rebirth. Beautifully done. Congrats on the TS.

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Poppy about a month ago

    Congrats on top story!!💛

  • D. D. Leeabout a month ago

    Tragic and touching all in one. Congrats on Top Story!

  • Donna Fox (HKB)about a month ago

    I love this Angie it's so tragically sad but beautifully told!! Congrats on Top Story, this is so well deserved!!

  • Rachel Deemingabout a month ago

    Angie, this is brilliant! You've created a really strong story from this picture, the perfect compliment. I loved it.

  • Christy Munsonabout a month ago

    Lovely writing. I, too, am a sucker for abandoned houses and the mysteries they hold. I don't know if I missed it or if you were cryptic, but I loved the explanation. I reread the story with that in mind and found new nuggets to enjoy. I loved it knowing and not knowing! I'm also a sucker for having enough space in a story to fill in the spaces with my own imaginings, so this one was powerful in both lights. Congratulations on Top Story. And congratulations to Dharr for inspiring it!

  • Paul Stewartabout a month ago

    How the hell did I miss this beauty? This is amazing. So beautiful, so full of emotion and would could have been etc. Love it. also, Congrats on Top Story!

  • D.K. Shepard2 months ago

    Wow, Angie! This is incredible! A love letter to a house that was once a home! The opening stanzas were so vibrant! Such rich detail in painting a picture of the inhabitants lives. The imagery in the lines about the fire were excellent. And the final lines of recognizing a different beauty was a wonderful close and connection to the image.

  • You have no idea how much I appreciate your explanation! I wouldn't say you were too cryptic but it's just that I'm a tad slow at times, lol. I reread the poem with that context and I enjoyed it even more. You brought that photo justice! I loved it so much!

  • John Cox2 months ago

    It was fun reading into your poem to figure out who ‘You’ was. I loved the poem and the photo by Dharrsheena.

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