Five Porches – Haiku 2023 #ThursdayDoors

The “Five Porches,” Main Entrance Bourges Cathedral, France. Image credit:© Victorianl | Dreamstime

five porches roost

a clutch of stone buttresses

maid flying legend


An unprecedented five porches (most French Gothic cathedrals have one to three portals/entrances) open the Main Entrance to Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Bourges (Bourges Cathedral) France (built 1195 A.D. – 1324 A.D.)

The featured central wooden doors are ensconced in stone carvings depicting the apocalypse. The figure of Christ is featured in the middle column (mullion/trumeau) overseeing the proceedings of the Last Judgment (image below).

Central Doors of Five Porches, Main Entrance, Bourges Cathedral, France. Image credit: © Victorianl | Dreamstime

And, conspicuous by its absence, Bourges Cathedral is one of only a few cathedrals with no transept (the interior midpoint of a cathedral’s layout, important for supporting the enormous weight of the roof vaults.)

Without a transept, Bourges Cathedral‘s builders entrusted the building’s stability to its clutch of exterior flying buttresses (see wider angle photo below.)

Flying Buttress facade view: Bourges Cathedral, France. Image credit: © Gunold | Dreamstime

Trivia: In the winter of 1429, a teenager dressed in her armor visited Bourges Cathedral to pray before departing for battle. The event is commemorated inside the cathedral in one of its chapels. Much of the world will come to know that teenager as Joan of Arc (“the maid of Orleans.”)

Bourges Cathedral, France aerial view below:

Bourges Cathedral, France. Image credit: © Iakov Filimonov | Dreamstime

For more #ThursdayDoors visit host Dan Antion at No Facilities

Visit Thursday Doors’ annual writing challenge #TDWC her

Trouble – An Acrostic Poem – #W3 #TDWC

Image credit: Sherry Felix

Trouble’s sepulchre;

Redacted light, monochrome focus —

Overgrown blurred mausaleums,

Utmost oppression.

But, somehow those

Light and temporary afflictions

Exchange for us riches beyond measure.


In response to two challenges:

#TDWC – ThursdayDoors Writing Challenge hosted by Dan Antion at No Facilities

#W3 – David at Skeptics Kaddish W3 #55, where this week Punam challenges us to write an acrostic on any of the following topics: discipline, enthusiasm, meditation, tumult, and trouble.

– Image credit: Sherry Felix

Jetfuel, A Sunday Story – Chapter 11

Image credit: Craig Whitehead | Unsplash:

Chapter 11

“I don’t care what you have to do, or what governments you have to piss off, Magician…She has to live.”

“By any means, Sir?” Asked the voice on the other end a call initiated by the US Embassy Toronto’s “Head of Security” otherwise known as The Hierophant or just “H.”

“Yes, by any means necessary. She should be leaving here before Dawn. Get it done, man! There’s too much at stake. God’s speed, Magician!”

Ending the call, “H” pressed the bell for a secret package pickup he had prepared and had left outside his bedroom.

“H” tucked himself in under his duvet covers and electric blanket and promptly fell asleep.

The package he left outside his bedroom door was immediately picked up as per his instructions and slipped under the door to the suite where Neroot (aka Jetfuel), had hunkered down for the night courtesy of “H’s” generosity at the US Embassy on Simcoe Street in wintery downtown, Toronto.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the US Embassy, Toronto...

Neroot, after a quick shower, rummaged through the suite’s clothes closet. She found and changed into a pair of dark jeans with generous pockets to conceal her Glock42, clean undergarments, and a bulky Beneton turtleneck sweater.

She also selected and set aside for her departure, a dark wool coat, and a pair of Reebok kicks. Knowing the rules of H’s “security consciousness” she promptly discarded into the incinerator chute, clearly labeled in the suite “H” allowed her to use, all of her previous clothing and shoes in case they were compromised by electronic bugs of any kind.

Neroot made herself a meal from the only food items in “H’s” “fully stocked” kitchenette:

..A jar of instant Tim Horton’s coffee, six small jars of No Name peanut butter, one jar of Smucker’s jelly, and one fresh (unexpired) and packaged loaf of sliced Wonderbread in the full size and otherwise empty refrigerator.

She scrounged around several of the cupboards and drawers in the kitchenette and scored to her delight a total of six hotel-sized packets of Coffeemate creamer.

A few minutes later…

Neroot lounged on the small sofa with the Maple Leaf Hockey Team sherpa throw blanket, drinking the rich coffee she made for herself, and munching on PB&J sandwiches. She poured over the detailed intelligence files to which “H” had given her access on his personal laptop.

Having read for hours until her eyes glazed over, without warning, Neroot fell asleep…


She was startled awake a few hours later by a dream/nightmare.

In her nightmare, someone unseen behind her would impale her with a combat knife. In this nightmare, she would die. Someone would revive her with a portable defibrillator… and then another person unseen would impale her, and the scene would repeat…

It was now two a.m. Toronto Time…

Neroot shook off the fear and cold sweats that often visited her as nightmares —a consequence she believed, of her chosen career path in the shadows.

Neroot spent the next hour continuing to comb through the intelligence files to which “H” had given her access on his laptop.

Then…one of the files suddenly piqued her interest. It was titled:

“…Advance copy News release_LadyN

The source was listed by a file number only; however, Neroot suspected that “H” had someone inside her present employer, Section “O’s” inner circle.

Neroot tried accessing the details of the file. But “H” had this file for some reason password-protected (unlike all the other files, to which he had given her access on his laptop.)

Puzzled, Neroot tried several words she thought that “H” might use as a password…but she had no luck.

Frustrated, she rolled out of the tiny sofa with its Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Team sherpa throw blanket and sprawled face up on the floor.

Picking herself up off the floor, Neroot’s eyes caught the edge of the Toronto Maple Leaf sherpa throw blanket. She smiled and said out loud:


What Neroot thought was an imitation throw blanket with The Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Team’s logo …

It was, in fact, an authentic Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Team heirloom blanket, original and hand signed on one of the blanket’s four corners by Tim Horton himself. In Tim Horton’s own handwriting were the words:

1967, Toronto vs Montreal

The Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey team won the coveted Lord Stanley Cup in 1967 in game six of the series. That game and year marked the end of the rise of six great hockey teams known as “The Original Six.”

Neroot jumped to her feet…

She typed in the password she assumed would unlock the planned news report apparently about her!

Her first thought was that the password might be “Tim Horton,” but “H” would not have made it that obvious. His spycraft is legend. His old-school techniques are still taught in agency schools today.

Neroot tried instead and typed it as the phrase came to her mind:

The Original Six

It worked!

The file unlocked. Its contents were now displayed prominently on “H’s” laptop screen…

Neroot read “H” notes inside the now unlocked file with great interest:

Neroot read that a news release about her was scheduled! She was shocked to her core by what she read…

The planned news release was a hard copy apparently retrieved by “H’s” source before it could be shredded.

The scanned document’s paper clip icon responded to Neroot’s click of the laptop keyboard’s mouse. The words of the official news release read as follows:

“Newsflash cleared and declassified for release:

A woman’s body was found in an alleyway behind the Toronto Eaton Center a few hours ago. She has been identified as Lady Neroot of Cornwall, the defrocked former head of an agency with known espionage ties.

Apparently, our sources tell us that Lady Neroot was suspected in the assassination plot against four foreign government officials found dead in their downtown Toronto, hotel rooms earlier today. As a result, she had been the subject of an RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) person of interest hunt…

No official cause of death has been released as per British government policy. However, credible sources suggest that Lady Neroot appears to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Lady Neroot is survived by her ex-husband, billionaire philanthropist, Lord Glasston-Mountbatten.

End of Advance copy of News release to be aired on December 11, 2019, on CTv’s Nightly News at 11 p.m”

Neroot stared at the date of the planned news release… it was today!

It was now three am on the morning of December 11, 2019, and Neroot’s mind reeled.

Her gut was suddenly in knots, from the pangs of an unknown betrayal coming to light. It’s only truth staring back at her on a laptop screen with words cooked up by a cold…impersonal evil… about which she knew nothing…until now!

Her day was about to get worse…


… there was a gentle knock on the door. A manila envelope was slipped under the door.

Cautiously, Neroot retrieved her Glock42 from her jean pant pocket and tiptoed to the door of the suite…

She spoke.

“Who is it?”

There was no answer…

Gingerly, Neroot opened the door slightly ajar.

There was no one…

At her feet, a manila envelope with her title and the first letter of her name…

“To Lady N….from H.”

Neroot picked up the manila envelope, checked both ways outside the door, and then closed it.

She opened the manila envelope…

Two items lay inside:

Car keys with its remote fob. The remote fob had a Mercedes-Benz logo.

And, a small envelope. It was empty but…

…On the outside of the envelope was a hastily drawn map of the catacombs under the US Embassy, Toronto, highlighting the way to The Art Gallery of Ontario’s secret underground delivery parking lot used for discrete deliveries of high-end artifacts.

Neroot made a mental note of the map on the outside of the small envelope and was about to destroy it when the ink of the hastily drawn map on the envelope… dissolved on its own!

Suddenly one word appeared in place of the now-dissolved ink of the map on the small envelope…

And that one word read:


Then it suddenly struck Neroot’s thoughts, how “hints” of the number “six” sprinkled around the suite’s amenities led her mind to inevitably come up with the password to the only locked file on “H’s” laptop.

Neroot whispered:

“O God…He acted surprised. But, “H” knew!… He knew I was coming to see him!”


***To Be Continued Next Sunday***


Previous Chapters:

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10

Millions – Haiku 2023 #TDWC #TGIF

Image credit: Miriam Hurdle.

sheltering the past

thatching the hope of millions

seeking open doors


In response to two challenges:

#TDWC – ThursdayDoors Writing Challenge hosted by Dan Antion @ No Facilities

#TGIF – Paula’s Light Motifs II – TGIF – Unburied Treasure

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