Tag Archives: 750 Words

Dusk – #writephoto

sky-1

Photo by Sue Vincent

I hated to do it, but I had to get up and stretch.  After sitting for hours I was getting pretty stiff.  I was afraid, though I knew he’d forgive me if I missed him.  My sister, Martha, gave me a look that was both questioning and understanding.  It had been a very long day.

The sky was just beginning to catch the evening fire as I walked out of the back door.  I went to the edge of the yard, stopped and watched as the sun dipped towards the lake.

I had forgotten how beautiful it was around Mom and Dad’s house.

Memories of my childhood came back.  Playing in the fields just behind my parent’s house.  Swims in the lake.  Hikes in the hills.  I remembered the forts in the woods I made and lazy rainy days watching out of the window.

Dad and I had a major falling out when I was in my early 20s.  It was funny, I couldn’t ever remember exactly what it was about, but the resentments lingered.  As his sunset years approached, I reached out, tentatively at first.  We started to meet over at Martha’s house and last summer he had stayed with me. Continue reading

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Between – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

I had no idea where we were.  Sami, who was our impromptu navigator, said we were someplace southwest of Paris.  We had avoided the big cities.  Actually, we even avoided the villages.  We were afraid we would be sent back, sent back to death.

We had passed through field after field of yellow flowers.  Rasha told us that they were rapeseed.  She is the smartest of us and had been a Uni professor when the University was still in session, before it had been made into a rebel base and bombed.

A little dirt access road ran between two rapeseed fields.  The sun was high and there wasn’t a soul in sight.  We decided to take a break and have lunch.

It was a beautiful place, so full of peace.  I said that I wished we could stop here and live in these fields forever.  Everyone laughed. Continue reading

Woodland – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

I crawled out of the wreckage of the emergency pod.  How had I survived?  I couldn’t see any signs of other parts of the ship.  I shouldn’t have been surprised.  At a quarter of the speed of light it would have hit the star around a half an hour after I had ejected.  If it had hit this planet at that speed, well, there wouldn’t have been much left standing.

For the first time I realized I had no suit on, that I was in the open.  I briefly panicked, but then calmed down.  If I wasn’t dead yet, I figured, I shouldn’t worry.  Luckily the atmosphere had plenty of oxygen, so I could breathe unaided.

I looked around, taking my bearings.

I was in some sort of woodland, not too different from how Home must have looked thousands of years ago.  My heart sank.  I knew that there had been no contact with this system, but I had hoped that there was intelligent life and perhaps even a civilization.  I was going to be stuck on the planet for quite a while, if not the rest of my life, and didn’t want to learn basic survival at this late stage.  Give me a good city with some cocktails over camping out any day. Continue reading

Bleak – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

“On a stony bluff looking over the sea.”

I had read great-great-grandfather Irving’s words so many times, I knew them by heart. When I closed my eyes, I could see the ancestral home set up over the crashing waves.  I didn’t really expect the house to still be standing after more than a century, but I could dream.

The world had changed with generations of warfare.  Great floods had shifted the course of rivers and deep draughts had made once fertile lands barren.

Reading Irving’s diary, trying to retrace his steps in reverse, was not an easy task, particularly at the beginning, but I soon got the knack of it.  A silhouette of a hill matched his drawing here, the jagged outcropping of ruins over there matched the location of an old city he had passed through.  It got easier and as we approached the sea, the changes grew fewer.

It was about resources, as I’m sure all such things must be.  The weather had betrayed us and everything grew scarce.  A single person had food for ten thousand while a town of ten thousand starved on the food barely enough for a single person.  Ancient animosities rose again.  There had been a period of unification, when nations came together as one, but it was followed by a period of division, where splits occurred once again.

And then the wars started. Continue reading

Eye – #writephoto

eye

Photo by Sue Vincent

“Why do I feel like I’m being watched?” Gordon asked.

The question was meant to be rhetorical, but Bud pointed across the still water and said, “There.”

“What?” Gordon tried to follow Bud’s finger.  All he saw was an old stone bridge.

“Can’t you see it?” Bud asked.  “The reflection of the arches looks like a set of eyes watching us.  You see it in your peripheral vision and…” He shrugged.

Gordon shook his head and got back to work.  Bud was a strange one, a bit of an anomaly.  Gordon smiled at himself.  “Anomaly” was just the type of word Bud would use.

Bud left as Gordon continued to dig.  Gordon knew what Bud was doing, so didn’t think anything of it.  This was a routine they’d done a thousand times before. Continue reading

Marv’s Food

Common Grackle

Our captors entered the musty basement room in their makeshift headquarters.  Even before they turned on the light, I knew that all eight of the soldiers still on the premises and the commander where in the room.  I guessed they were moving us again.

A big guy came over and undid our leg restraints, one at a time.  There were only four of us and in total nine of them, but they kept their rifles pointed at us.  I smiled inwardly.  The reputation of our unit made them nervous.  Nervous guards are easier to overcome.  I was sure that the commander knew that the only reason he had captured the four of us was we were taken unarmed and off guard.

We were led up the stairs and into a small room.  The soldiers spread out so that there was one in each corner and one in the middle of each wall.  They kept their guns at the ready. Continue reading

What Goes Down

Fast as Light Mind

“Give it up, Ray.  We’ve looked at this a million times.  We see him entering.”  Jorge pointed to a figure on a screen.  “It matches perfectly.  We’re even sure that he has the gun.  This is the assassin.  We’re sure.  But he never left.  I think he got through the electrical closet and used the utility tunnel.  He had to have a key, so an employee.  A maintenance worker, perhaps?”

Ray stayed glued to the screen showing more security video.  “Stop,” he said.  “Him.  Right there.”  He pointed to a man on the screen.  “He never entered the building.”

“Oh, come on,” Jorge said.  “This guy is a good three inches shorter than the perp.  Different hair.  No mustache.  Walking different.  It’s all wrong.” Continue reading

Derelict #writephoto

ruin

Photo by Sue Vincent

I crested a small ridge and the countryside became familiar.  It wasn’t anything that could be seen, not any feature or landmark, it had to do with the scent of the air, the feel under my feet and the quality of the sunlight.  I inhaled deeply and knew that I was almost home.

I was but a child when I was ripped from my parents’ arms and given an unbalanced spear and loose fitting leather cap.  I was told to kill or be killed, that king and country depended on me and my fellow farm hands that were rounded up to be shipped to distant lands to fight for noble arguments none of us understood. Continue reading

Inside Out #writephoto

sue-vincent-window

Photo by Sue Vincent

After working with the raw materials of life in the charnel houses, I discovered that there was more to the state of being alive than the simple physical constructs of bones, tissue and organ.  However, try as I might, I could not place it.  Modern science had not given me the secret and my instruments did not give me the power to look deeply enough to discover this secret.

It may seem obvious to the normal person that once a spark of life is created from a seed, be it the seed of a vegetable or the seed of an animal, the growth of that life is somehow predestine.  Each and every one is unique and it is impossible to mix and match between species, let alone members within a given species.  What is this germ of an idea that makes each life and individual?  I am a man of science and say it must exist in the structure of the matter, not just a God-given trait.  There has to be a scientific explanation for how this process works.

Yet science failed me. Continue reading

Shore – #writephoto

shore

Shore – Photo by Sue Vincent

I looked at the faces around the dinner table.  There wasn’t a spark amongst them, they all looked tired and about ready to fall down on the spot.   It had been rough going and the future didn’t look any easier.

That was it.  Something had to be done to keep everyone upright.  After dinner I sat and thought about it.

It was obvious that we as a family were unstable and likely to collapse, and that we as individuals were almost as bad.  I knew that I was pretty close to that point where the gravity of the situation might take over.  I needed something to hold myself together, to prop me up.  I knew that if I was stable, it would be the first step in keeping us all upright.  One solid beam could do it.

But how do you fix the foundations of a person and a family? Continue reading