Breath and Bone Writing Prompt Challenge: Breath, Bone, And Blood/Sarah Doughty

I am more than the shallow breaths that escape my aching lungs, billowing up in a little white puff against the chilly, moonlit night. I am more than the weight you’ve forced me to carry on my shoulders. I am more than the distant, far-off look in my empty eyes. I am more than the bones you cracked in anger or bruised for the fun of it. I am more than the blood you spilled, for I have turned all that pain into something different. Something you can never touch.

I have turned my blood into ink. It slides down my skin like a caress. It flows in my veins and coats my insides like body armor. And it makes my mind come alive like you never could.

© Sarah Doughty

Image courtesy of Laura Makabresku

Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.

Breath and Bone Writing Prompt Challenge: More Than Breath and Bones/Dom

I am more than a late night call… because you are finished being a liar. And you are … when you spent the day avoiding my attempts to call you… let me guess, you had to charge your phone?

I am worth so much more than your half ass loving dammit… and I do not fear being alone… I am more than your options… maybe that was me before, but I have evolved you see. I have grown. From the deepest, saddest and darkest nook of the valley I have flown…

I am more than breath and bones…

Because if that was all that I was… It would not suffice…

So treat me accordingly, as royalty, not as your vice…

I have been battered and bruised….

Look at my body… It’s scarred… and over-used

So I am done being nice…

I am more…

I am more than the days I sat crying behind a slammed door…

I am more than lying in a wet spot in the bed… way more than being treated like your whore…

I no longer dwell in the bed of a soulless man, bow down…as you address me properly on my throne…

My soul is golden, despite her mistakes…

I am more than breath and bones

Dom is a single mother or two, a breast cancer survivor, and an overall badass. She has been writing her whole life but got into the blogging world in April 2017.  You can read more of her writing at BOLD, BEAT… &NIPLESS

Breath and Bone Writing Prompt Challenge: Bones that Breathe/Aurora Phoenix

fetally curled


on the concrete floor

I am devolving

gelatinous mass

of aborted malformed



reeking of whimpering

helpless abandonment

as flesh of my humanity

sloughs from my bones

flutter of my waxing


is the invisible beat

of hummingbird wings


succulent nectar

in bejeweled flashes



in the arctic blast

penetrating blizzard

of condemnation

blinded by ruthless

howling villainy

my bronchi spasm

as breath lixiviates

in lengthening gasps

from my blue

asp-bitten lips

death-rattle of my slowed


is the imperceptible trickle

of mountain snowmelt

icy pristine


fomenting spring


my breath calcifies

in a stertorous


while lilies Monet

blue-green o’er

primordial ooze


my bones exhale

anguish of fractured


as a prism

of downy flocks float

on a balmy zephyr


in tenebrous moments

when my soul

hovers on the precipice

of its extinction

the universe


drops ultimata

in every crisp


falling leaf


I am more

than the frailty

of my beleaguered

breath and bones


my bones

though shattered

are not mine alone

they are the bones

of all that have grown


my breath

though ragged

belongs not to me

it is the breath

of all infinity

I spent over 2 decades as a clinical psychologist, prior to the decimation of my world when I was suddenly incarcerated 2 and a half years ago. My writing was born in that caged existence – not a choice but a soul-saving necessity.  I write as Aurora Phoenix at Insights from “Inside”

Special July Writing Prompt Challenge: Blood Into Ink DEADLINE: July 31, 2017

Brave and Reckless is sponsoring a special July Writing Prompt Challenge Blood Into Ink.  Although this challenge is inspired by the new Writing Collective site Blood Into Ink, submissions do not have to be about survival.  Everyone is encouraged to take this prompt where their muse leads them.


Writing Prompt- Blood Into Ink

  1. Using the writing prompt above, write a 100 to 800 word original, previously unpublished piece that integrates the writing prompt.  It can be poetry, prose, short fiction or even essay.  The prompt can be used as the title, you can use the phrase intact, or break it up however you want within the written piece.
  2. Pick out an image to go with your submission
  3. Write a brief biography
  4. Send the following to by midnight EST on Monday, July 31, 2017:
    • Your original piece
    • suggested image
    • brief biography
    • link to where you post your writing (blog, Facebook page, Instagram, etc.)
  5. Submissions will be judged by me and at least one guest judge.  If you are interested in being a guest judge for this challenge, let me know.
  6. I will publish all submissions on Brave and Reckless as long as they are appropriate and you are welcome to reblog once they have been published. They will also get a plug on Brave and Reckless‘ Twitter and Facebook pages. With the approval of the other Blood Into Ink curators, relevant submissions may also be published on Blood Into Ink.  All participants are strongly encouraged to reblog the winning submission to their own blog.

Please feel free reblog and post this challenge invitation on social media

This is a challenge near and dear to my heart.  I look forward to reading your submissions.

Breath and Bone Writing Prompt Challenge: RE-BORN/Vivian Zems

Marty got up to make a cup of tea. She stood shakily on her feet and shuffled slowly towards  the kitchen.

At 87, arthritis had wreaked havoc on her hand and knee joints. Marty winced, as she slowly prepared her brew. It was the sight, rather than the dull ache in her knuckles, that made her grimace. Gnarled beyond recognition, her fingers barely did as they were told; it was through sheer force of will she managed the smallest of tasks- like this tea, for example.
Not trusting herself with carrying her tea back across the room, Marty sank slowly into the plastic kitchen chair and sipped.
She was waiting, a knot in her stomach that seemed to tighten and loosen in rapid succession. Marty was waiting for her daughter, Monica, to pick her up. She would be moving into a nursing home today.
Born Martina Kay, Marty had lived a full and adventurous life. Widowed in her 30’s, Marty had rallied after the burial of  her beloved Jeffrey and raised her children, Monica and Jeffrey Junior as best she could .  Always a career woman, she had pursued her journalism with vigour – travelling to various countries and meeting new people –  as her sister helped her with the kids.  Retirement hadn’t slowed her down; she had turned her skills to writing and had  5 published action novels under her belt.
The arthritis in her numb fingers had finally made her give it up.
And now here she was waiting to take that penultimate journey before her final goodbye.
Marty wiped a tear from her cheek.  This had been her decision alone. Monica and Junior had done their best looking after her but their family commitments coupled with her growing disability had made this move inevitable.
Two hours later saw her being ushered into her private room in Camberley Home. The staff were nice enough, with a young determined matron explaining the routine for residents; meal times, recreation,  rules for visitors….. Marty tuned her out. Her own thoughts were on what her life had become.
“You ok, mum?” a worried Monica enquired. She knew this was difficult for her mum- a woman who had always been in control of her life, now relinquishing it all.
Marty smiled bravely at her daughter but couldn’t trust herself to speak, lest the tears poured forth, unbidden.
“If only I could write,” Marty sighed , after composing herself, ” I’d be able to put some life into this.” She indicated her surroundings with a weak sweep of her arm. Monica smiled sympathetically.  Writing had always been Mum’s life-line. She wished she could grant Mum her wish.
That night, and every night for the rest of the month, Marty cried herself to sleep.
She couldn’t shake the pall that had come over her. Monica and Junior were at their wits end.  Matron had explained that even though Marty interacted with the other residents,  and had even made a friend or two, the doctor was worried about her mental state.
“It’s like she’s fading,” intoned Matron somberly. “At this rate, I don’t know how long she’ll be with us.”
Monica burst into tears. Junior, normally the laid back one, spoke up.
“Leave it with me,” he said, confidently.
Monica, too distraught to ask him what he was thinking, was more than happy for him to take charge. Seeing her once-vibrant mum turn into this ghost of a woman was too much to bear.
The following day, Junior arrived at the nursing home early. He was pleased to see Mum was already up. In his right hand he clutched a heavy case which he laid carefully on her desk.
He asked Matron not to disturb them for at least 2 hours, as he had something of ‘paramount importance’  to discuss with his mother.
Matron didn’t like the sound of this and hovered nearby, just in case she needed to dash into Marty’s room. What was the young man up to?
She had already suggested antidepressants for Marty- but Marty herself had refused.
Monica arrived at the nursing home, keeping to the time Junior had asked her to come. Just as Monica was approaching Mum’s room, she spotted a worried Matron with her hand on the door knob.
Panic surged through her veins. “What….?” she gasped, her fear mirrored in Matrons face.
In an instant, the door flew inwards to reveal a smiling Junior.
“I think you two should see this,” he smiled, letting them into the room.
There, at the desk sat Marty with large headphones with a microphone attached perched on her head. In front of her was a laptop. But it wasn’t this that made both women gasp. It was the complete transformation in Marty. Her eyes blazed with fire and her pale papery face was now suffused with a rich healthy glow. She grinned at them happily and turned back to the screen, speaking softly into the microphone.
Junior gestured for them to leave the room. Outside he explained that he had purchased dictation software that would enable Marty start writing again. She wouldn’t need her hands. He’d also taken the liberty of setting up a her own blog site.
Monica’s tears this time were of absolute joy. Even stern Matron was grinning.
Junior kissed Marty with promises to return the following day to add more features to her site.
Monica pulled up a chair and gently sat opposite this transformed woman.
“What are you writing mum?” she asked softly.
Marty stopped her soft utterings, pushing the headphones off to the side.
She fixed her eyes on her daughter – eyes filled with life- and smiled widely, ” It’s a blog post about me and it’s called, ‘I am more than breath and bones.’
And with that she re-adjusted her headphones and went back to work.
Monica sat in awe as she watched her mum slowly transported into another world.
Copyright Vivian Zems

When I was nine, my dad introduced me to audio books. I was hooked.  With his guidance, I fell into a world where words became life simply by weaving them together.  So here I am, living out my passion- reading and writing- being transformed with each story. I blog at Smell The Coffee

Breath and Bone Writing Prompt Challenge: Lucy/Mr. Blog

The night I was murdered was when we first met.
You, 16, a junior in high school.
Me, 19, on the verge of adulthood.

You were in your home, readying for bed.
I was next door, in the front yard, pleading with my ex for my birth certificate.
I needed it to start college the next day.
It was the only proof I had that I was more than breath and bones; somehow, he snagged it in our split.

You never heard our breaths colliding in the heat of summer night.
Words tangling too long, he’d had enough.
Turning on his heels, he marched into his home, slamming the door in my face.

The determined woman I was becoming stormed through the yard, straight to the door because I needed, wanted my birth certificate.

It proved I existed.

My next move caused my death.

Granted me another certificate, eliminating my existence… my breath… my voice… my body… my bones.

I rang the doorbell.


This, my dear, was the night when we both lost our innocence.
When we learned that men rule the world with shotguns hidden in corners behind front doors.
They do so because of the “threat” of a 19 year-old woman coming to get a piece of paper that is rightfully hers.

This was the night we learned the spirit of a woman is tough.
Three shots, right through the door (he didn’t even have the courtesy to look me in the eyes when he killed me), split open my abdomen, yet I still ran.
This was when you looked through your window and saw everything.
Watched me sprint across the lawn, the street, and make it to my car before I succumbed to death and collapsed.

This was the night we learned that, sometimes, there’s no respect for the dead.
You stood on your driveway, shivering in fear, watching the scene unfold before you.
You cringed as minutes turned to hours and my body lay there, uncovered, open for all to see.
This disturbed you the most.
They took more care in placing him in the cruiser than they did with my bloodied carcass.

This was the night we learned that men can be hardened and cruel.
Your street, littered with men – police, detectives, reporters, and paramedics – all traipsing about, earning a paycheck.
Just a job where a man is a suit and a tie, with a briefcase full of lies.
Cufflinks to tighten shirt sleeves so his secrets don’t spill out.

Secrets of “boning her”, “fucking her senseless, breathless”, “bagging a babe”.
Using her, using her, using her…
until she’s just an “old bag of bones”.

It’s a cruel world, my dear.
We try to protect one another, but eventually the truth is exposed.

I’m so sorry that night was the beginning for you.

AND, I’m happy this was the night we became comrades, friends…
Allies of all the women whose voices have been silenced before and after.

You found your voice that night…
Standing up for me in court, angering the defense lawyer when he plowed you with questions he thought would stump you.
After all, you were only 16…
He could intimidate you, control you all he wanted, right?
You never budged, piercing his eyes with my truth, as you spat out your answers to his absurd questions.

My killer received a sentence of 26 years to life.

I know you’ve watched him for years.
Offender # A251009.
I know the 26 years is up this December.
And there is some fear.
I’ll be okay. You’ll be okay.
We will all be okay.

Keep using your voice – the one that was so tiny that night.
It’s grown to be fierce.
Use it to fight the injustices we all face.
The women and the men. The men and the women.
For we all come from, and return to, breath and bones.
Perhaps you’ll prevent it from being too soon for one…

Or More.

Image courtesy of David Vann.

I’m a former writer/producer, Home Depot girl, adult oncology medical assistant, pediatric oncology nurse, turned personal life wrecker.  You can read more of my writing at Life as it stands… for now

Breath and Bone Writing Prompt Challenge: Endless Night/Kristen Ricketts

The lights from the house shined brightly against the ominous night sky. This place that once encompassed so much happiness now keeps me anchored to these grounds. Barely more than breath and bones, I am like an echo between planes; not much more than a whisper in the wind.

Below my feet the leaves that fell overnight no longer crumble under my weight. I am a remnant of the person that I once was, destined to live eternity in endless solitude. The scent of jasmine hangs on the breeze; another reminder of all of that has been lost. The grass has finally started to grow on the haphazardly dug grave below the weeping willow, covering what lies beneath the muddy soil. I can feel the decomposition beginning on my body, a web of secrets entwining me with the earth.

Around me, the night begins to come alive with nocturnal creatures. These beings the only living things that can sense my presence. For now, I will take solace in their company until the day comes when I can find a way to move on from this place and forget all that keeps me here.

I’m am a beginning blogger and writer with a goal to become a published fiction author. I enjoy reading, travel, and writing. My other hobbies include being an avid hockey fan, spending time with my husband and cat, and watching movies.

 You can find my blog at It Happened While Writing 

Breath and Bone Writing Prompt Challenge: Room with a View/Benjamin Goodrich

The bright morning sun breaks through the window.

I rise from my slumber rubbing my eyes.

I look out and watch a bird as it flies.

Grabbing my camera, I snap a photo.

Beautiful avis perched in a willow.

From my hospital bed, I yearn to rise.

With every attempt the nurses chastise,

“You’re too weak to go out in the meadow.”

My spirit is struggling to break free.

I strive to keep my mind from stagnating.

My lonely heart yearns for a companion.

I am more than the bones in my body.

I am more than the air I am breathing.

Heart, mind, and spirit are my foundation.

Benjamin Goodrich is a writer who is an engineer in his spare time.  He attended Broome Community College, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and served in the United States Navy before earning a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree at Geneva College.  Through his blog “Vox Humbug,” he is honing his skill as a writer of poetry, essays, and stories.  Benjamin currently resides with his wife Susan in Vestal, New York.

You can read more of Benjamin’s writing at Vox Humbug

Breath and Bone Writing Prompt Challenge: The Madness Of The Skin/C. Foley

“I am more than breath and bones.”

The words are graffitied in bold, colourful letters across the billboard.

A statement of rebellion.

A call to arms.

It’s all that’s left now.

I stare at the words, my face impassive, before I turn and continue marching down the road. I can remember the day Ophelia had spoken those fateful words so clearly.

It was the day she was being sworn in as the new leader of the country. She’d been the first fae to ever go in to politics, and the first fae to succeed in bringing about positive change to the rights of fae, to get them the vote, the right to education, to housing, to get married to each other and to humans. And it had all culminated in her being elected to the head of the country. I’d never been so proud of my wife than I was watching her raise her hand and swear an oath to serve the country and its people as long as she lived. She looked so happy, and then…and then something changed; something dark and primal crossed her features, and suddenly she wasn’t the woman I’d fallen in love with, wasn’t my Ophelia anymore.

I remember watching in horror as she tore off her skin to reveal the truth of herself underneath and roared, “I am more than the skin you force me to wear, more than the jokes and stereotypes you perpetuate about my people, more than magic you fear that courses through my blood, more than the breath you try to choke out of my lungs, more than the bones in my body that will never break under your oppression!”

Every fae in the crowd rose up, roaring and chanting, “More! Than! Breath and bones! More! Than! Breath and bones!” as they tore off the cheap, synthetic skin they’d been required by law to wear, revealing the bright and vivid colours underneath.

And then the attack began.

It was a bloodbath; the fae launched themselves at anyone close to them and started tearing into their skin, ripping it off them in strips and chunks, howling as they were covered in fresh, warm blood. Most people were screaming and scrabbling to escape, others with weapons had pulled them out to hit back. I, meanwhile, went running after Ophelia, screaming her name and begging her to listen to me, but by the time I reached her she’d launched herself into the air. The other fae in the area launched themselves after her and swarmed around her as they flew away.

The subsequent war lasted six months. In that time, the fae poisoned the land, killed thousands of humans, and probably would have won, if it were not for a traitor. If it were not for me. I’m only human, but I’ve been involved with the fae all my life, and married to one for ten years. I hoped that eventually they would stop, that they would see reason, but I soon realised that there was no end in sight unless something changed. And so it was with a heavy heart that I approached the people in charge and told them what I knew.

The iron gas worked exactly as I knew it would; only ten minutes after it was deployed, the battlefield was littered with the bodies of dead fae, the rest thrashing mid-air before they dropped.

It was afterwards, when we realised that it was only the older fae that had gone berserk, when we did autopsy after autopsy, test after test, that it was finally understood that the fae had been poisoned and driven to madness from the synthetic skin they’d been forced to wear.

Although the remaining humans and fae know that what happened was an unfortunate and tragic accident, the fragile peace and trust between them has been irrevocably broken. The fae have agreed to take the land their elders ruined; they tell us that their magic can heal it and given time, it will flourish once again. Their condition is that no human ever sets foot on their land again, a condition that we are all too eager to agree with. And so we march, out of our towns, out of the place that was once our home and country, the madness of the skin the ever-present spectre at our heels.

C. Foley is an avid, reader, writer, and nerd, who loves dabbling with a range of genres, plots, perspectives and characters through the medium of short stories and the occasional piece of microfiction. Her life goals include owning a library and a small army of dogs.

You can read more of C. Foley’s writing at C. Foley’s Writing Blog and her  short story project “Excerpts From Unfinished Novels” on Wattpad