In Like A Lion . . .

by Marty Bellis entry for 2022 Spring Fling contest (147 wc)

Hey, March, did you know there’s a lion in your yard?

What?! No! How do I get rid of him?

He’s prowling and growling. Maybe he’s thirsty. Call Rain.

Ummm, that didn’t work.

Maybe he needs a cozier spot to nap. Let’s ask crocus and hyacinth to bloom around his bed.

He’s still roaring?

Maybe he’s cold. See if Sun will shine a little longer.

Ahhh, that’s better.

But he still sounds grumbly. Ask the birds to sing louder.

Finally! He’s calming down now.

Do you think he’s lonely? Maybe we can find him a friend.

Uh oh! Here comes a lamb. Better warn her! Quick!

Wait. They’re frisking and frolicking together.

That’s weird! My eyes are playing tricks on me.

Lion’s looking a little sheepish . . . and gentle as a —

Now, where are they off to?!

Hey, April, check it out. You have lambs in your yard!

gif from Penny Parker- Pinterest


My entry for Susanna Hill’s Halloweensie 2021

by Marty Bellis

Goosebumps sneered his sneeriest sneer. “Whaddaya think?”


We didn’t call him Goosebumps for nothing.

Each Halloween, Goose won the Scariest Monster contest hands down.

Even though we were best friends, he still gave me the heebie-jeebies.

Swaggering into the hall, we stared in horror at this year’s judge.

“Goodie!” she squealed. “Let’s start! Walk past, one by one, and SCARE ME.”

Grizzly, gruesome monsters grimaced, growled.

She didn’t flinch.

Goose gave her his sneer.


It was up to me.

I opened my mouth, fangs glowing-in-the-dark.


The judge fainted.

“Nice work, Wolfie!”

I grinned and grabbed my trophy.


(my entry for Fall Frenzy 2021, based on picture #7 of a pumpkin stake next to a rural mailbox)

by Marty Bellis (116 wc)

Each day he sat and waited –
feeling the air cool,
hearing the leaves rustle,
whiffs of woodsmoke drifting by.
Each day he dared to hope,
as squirrels buried acorns,
asters shook their frilly heads,
and slant light tinged the sky.
At last . . .
. . . they came.
He felt his insides quiver
and a wide smile split his face.
Now he could see them —
giggling, dancing about,
clapping their hands in glee.
Night fell, moon hid, owls hooted,
but he felt a warm glow
flicker and grow, deep within.
His cheery face beamed,
a bright beacon, lighting the path,
greeting each trick or treater,
beckoning them closer,
with a toothy lopsided grin.
His dream job a reality – at last!


This is my entry for Susanna Hill’s 10th Annual Holiday Contest.

by Marty Bellis
250 words

Little dust bunny watched from his corner as the Gray family bustled about, preparing for Christmas.

He saw them decorate their tiny tree with paper chains and a single string of lights.

He smelled the aroma of momma’s baking – a pan of gingerbread.

The children begged to taste it. But momma said they must wait. It was their one special Christmas treat.

He heard momma and papa talking after the children went to bed, worrying about the lack of presents and the disappointment it would bring.

Little dust bunny longed to help, but what could he do?

The next day, he watched the children make snowflakes to tape to the windows.

“I wish it would snow,” said the boy. “Snow makes everything sparkle.”

They gathered pinecones to fill a bowl for a centerpiece.

“I wish we had glitter for the pinecones,” said his sister. “Then they’d sparkle.”

They wrapped their gifts in brown paper decorated with crayon drawings.

“No sparkly ribbon,” the girl sighed.

That evening, the family gathered to sing carols, read Christmas stories.

Dust bunny thought it was the most magical evening ever.

Once everyone was in bed, he knew what he would do.

He had just one thing to give.

But he remembered his grandpa saying they came from a long line of illustrious stars and comets. Maybe it would be enough.

Whoosh, swoosh, swirl!

The Grays awoke to find stardust … glittering here, sparkling there, transforming everything.

“It’s magic,” said the children.

“Merry Christmas,” whispered dust bunny.

A Bone-fide Halloween Tale

entry for Susanna Hill’s 10th annual Halloweensie contest

WC 100

Bonaparte had no body, which made it hard to fit in.
He longed to be a real Boy.
Halloween was his chance.
His MASK and disguise were ready.
“Hey, kid, you forgot your costume,” said a voice.
Bonaparte grinned.
He’d fooled a human!
“What if I make CREEPY noises like this?” he asked, rattling his bones.
“Better, but you still need a disguise.”
Bonaparte sighed.
Only one thing to do.
Pulling off his costume,
he became himself again – a bone-fide SKELETON.
“Awesome!” said the real Boy. “Let’s go!”
Bonaparte loved Halloween. He fit in perfectly, without even trying!

Tom Bones Goes Rogue

entry #1 for Susanna Hill’s Halloweensie 2020


Tom Bones clink clank clattered everywhere he went.

For one night, he’d transform himself into someone tall, dark and totally awesome.


No more jokes or sidelong glances.

He’d get admiring looks and envious stares instead.

Pulling on his costume and MASK, he looked in the mirror.

Super Dude stared back.

Tall. Dark. Totally awesome.

Grabbing his treat bag, he headed out.

Clink, clank, clatter — his bones ruined the image.

Or did they?

Oddly enough, tonight it was just the right touch.

A spine tingling bone-us for Super Dude!



by Marty Bellis
wc 120; inspired by image #1

Goodbye to picnics in the park.

Goodbye to fireworks after dark.

Goodbye to daisies, clover, bees,

robins, sprinklers, climbing trees.

So long flip flops, swimsuits, shorts,

baseball caps and summer sports;

Fresh picked corn, ripe berries, honey;

melons ripened while it’s sunny.

Say goodbye, then say hello . . .

Hello to walks in frosty air.

Hello to pumpkins carved with care.

Hello to leaf piles, apples, cider,

costumes, treat bags, ghosts and spiders.

Hi to cozy quilts on beds,

wooly mittens, hats on heads.

Soup in bowls; warm drinks in mugs,

ladled out with extra hugs.

Each season comes when the time is right,

as sure as day turns into night.

So say goodbye, then say hello . . .

. . . to nature’s ever-changing show.

LIMERICKS for Mix ‘n Match Challenge 2020

The Mix ‘n Match Mini Writing Challenge 2020

* A limerick a week is my goal 🙂 *

Week #1 (using the words ‘knight’ and ‘jubilant’)

There once was a knight brave and strong,
Who lived for the chance to right wrongs.
Foiling dastardly deeds,
Helping folks most in need,
Made her jubilant all the day long!

Week #2  (Old King Cole nursery rhyme from fiddler’s POV)

Every day old king Cole has us fiddle.
What he’d do if we stop is a riddle.
But we can’t go much longer,
Till our bow arms get stronger.
We need backup. Calling Hey Diddle Diddle!

Week #3 ( Delphine, make a friend )

There once was a chick named Delphine,
who longed to be out and be seen.
She needed a windup,
which she got from a kind pup.
Now their walks are a daily routine.

Week #4 (Cinderella, wild west)

Cinderella gave her slippers away.
She would rather wear boots any day.
Her sisters got the prince,
which delighted her since
she now runs the ranch her own way!

Week #5 (How to Catch A Fish)

There once was a girl with a wish,
To catch a bright rainbow-striped fish.
With no worms, lines, or hooks,
She just read it some books.
Caught it, kissed it, swam beside it — splish, splash, swish!

Week #6 (foods that are square )

I only eat peas that are square.
They’re a treat that’s exceedingly rare.
Keep your eyes open wide
for the ones with four sides.
Plain old round guys in no way compare.

Week #7 (can be any character who has or meets someone with a superpower and includes an object from the list provided)

There was a wee lad from Nebraska,
who ran at top speed to Kalkaska.
Eating five s’mores for power,
he arrived in an hour.
Then ran on, just for fun, to Alaska.

Super Ant loved a grand picnic spread.
He hauled cheese, chips, bologna, and bread.
Depositing the loot,
he went back for some fruit.
His whole army of ants stayed well fed!


Little ghost donned her silky best, her filmy cobwebbed party dress.

But the cemetery lay still.

“I need a potion to get this gang moving, shaking and grooving.”

Being no cook, her brew looked quite icky.

But skeleton tried it. “I’m thirsty, not picky.”

He swallowed, then rattled his brittle old bones.

“Let’s be-bop and jive among the tombstones.

We’ll show them how it’s done,” he said. “Look alive. We’ll raise the dead!”

One by one, the ghosts arose, twitched their arms and twinkled their toes.

Little ghost cheered. ”What a magical scene. My favorite night. I love Halloween.”


My eyes are playing TRICKS on me.

They’re seeing pumpkins in that tree — smirking, grinning, ghoulish faces

perched in all the darkened spaces.

Bats and goblins fill the air and cackling witches screech and glare.

Sticky COBWEBS hanging down, wrap me round without a sound.

I need a full strength magic POTION to stop this eery strange commotion

and safely pass that gnarly tree, whose branches keep on grabbing me.

My shortcut’s turning out to be a bad idea. It’s history!

I’m just out for the treats and fun. It’s time to turn around and ……….