Tag Archives: short story

Glow – #writephoto

frosty-dawn--glow

Photo by Sue Vincent

“Ouch! Damn…”

I could feel the warm glow on my cheek where the twig had slapped me.  I rubbed it. Was I going to get a welt?

Wiping away that unbidden tear – I was sure it was from the pain of the slap not something else – I continued on my way.

“Damn” was right. In fact, it felt too weak for the turmoil surging through my brain.

I pushed another leafless branch out of my way, but was careful this time that it didn’t slip and smack me as the last one had.

I was going to my little private spot on the ridge. “Private”, though it was the worst kept secret in the village.

Perhaps even worse than my love for Anita. Continue reading

Final Battle

I enter a corridor. It is a trap. I know it is, and they know that I know.

A quick scan revels nothing. There are no obvious explosives, no beams or triggers, nothing. Innocent.

I move slow, slow and methodical.

There is a book that talks about moving to blend in with nature so your footsteps cannot be detected, to mimic the wind across the sand. What can I mimic as I feel my way down the giant spaceship’s most important corridor? And yet I know my movements stay below that ½ decibel over background that is so important.

A door. Closed. Locked.

I know I can enter, but at what cost?  I would lose time and make a racket.

I scan as well as possible, yet I can’t tell if the room behind is occupied, there isn’t enough data.

I think for a tenth of a nanosecond and move on. I wouldn’t forget that the door was there, a potential enemy, a menace. Continue reading

Midnight Adventure #tanka #tankastory

well-2

Midnight adventure
To exhume the ancient crypt
But we are too late
The slab is already moved
The dead has unearthed himself

Did we delve too deep
Awaken that which should sleep
Release the terror?
We run from the open tomb
But once more we are too late

The crunch of a twig
Silver shadow from the moon
He is following
A hand grabs me from behind
Sharp nails gouge into my flesh

Leave the dead alone
Sleeping under the cold ground
Peaceful undisturbed
It is a lesson I learned
Only when it was too late

***

This was written for Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge.  She gives us two key words, but we must use synonyms.  This week’s words were Dig and Grave.  (I so much wanted to find a way to say “Dig this” or “Do you dig” ;) ).  I did a tanka these week. OK, I wrote a story made from four connected tankas this week :)

Copper #writephoto

copper

Photo by Sue Vincent

The doorframe splintered around me as soon as I walked outside. Bullet holes appeared on the siding of the house in front of me and behind me while I walked to the drive. I just wasn’t in the mood. I turned and gave the finger to the sniper on the Karlsberg’s roof.

“I saw that, young man.”

I turned and waved. “Hi, Mr. Smith. What did you see?”

“Don’t play with me, I saw you flip the bird. I’m not sure who you were giving that one finger salute to, but your parents will hear about it.”

I put on my best “I’m totally confused” face and turned around.

“There’s nobody around, so why would I flip anyone off?  Oh, I get it. I did a fist pump because of how beautiful the day is and how great it is to be out in it. Did you think I stuck my middle finger up when I did that? I’m sorry.”

Mr. Smith stared at me for a minute and then started to rake his leaves again. I could hear him grumbling to himself as I walked by. Continue reading

Welcome Home

Byron?”

Byron Davis continued to walk, eyes forward, mental blinders on.  If he ever thought about it, he would have called it his “urban defensive mode”.  He saw obstacles to avoid and heard noises as warnings, just the bare minimum needed to navigate without running into things.  He didn’t see or hear individual people above the static.  A person was a distraction.  They were “things”.  It was his way to survive the crowds.

“Byron Davis!  It is you.”

The half familiar voice cut through his defenses, his name being recognized and thus the voice flagged as “important”, or at least “something over the background din”.

A young man approached him.  The man was dirty.

“Do I know you?”  Byron curled his nose, drawing his mouth into a slight snare.

“Are you telling me that you don’t recognize your own brother?” The man half laughed.

Byron frowned.

“I don’t have a brother.”

He turned to walk away, but a hand come down on his shoulder, stopping him.

“Sure you do.  Derrick.  Remember?”

Byron turned, his face burning.  Who was this idiot, disturbing him like this?

“Derrick died almost 30 years ago.  Quit bothering me.  I won’t give you any money or whatever in Hell it is that you want.” Continue reading

Destination #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

It is all kind of foggy.  I need to think.

I see a flash, like a snapshot, of the highway. A truck in front of me.  It all looks wrong.  It is just a flash, like a nanosecond frozen in time.

That’s it.  No before nor an after, no origin nor destination.  I was traveling, that is all.  That instant is my everything, lost in this fog.

It doesn’t make sense.

But there is a light.  There.  Just in front of me.

The fog of my mind lifts slightly revealing little, but the fog around me lifts more.

How odd.

I am on a tree-lined country road, the branches reaching over me forming a tunnel. Continue reading

Out of Place – Chapter 1

“One, two, three – what do I see?” My words were slurred.  “Four, five, six – stucco instead of bricks.  Seven, eight, nine – to go inside would be fine.  But it is three, four, five and I’ll never return alive.”

I was home for Spring Break.  My college friends were all someplace warm and my townie friends, well, in the two years at University I had outgrown the ones that hadn’t moved on.  They were all like Matt.  All Matt talked about was the “Two H-s”, hunting and hockey.  His eyes blurred if I brought up anything bigger, even local politics. Mention, say, Noam Chomsky, and his face would shut down.

I had been over to Matt’s house, but got bored with his little minded attitude and wandered away.  I soon found myself in front of number 345 Cedar Street saying that little chant I had made up when I was all of 12 years old.  “Two, one, zero – if I do it, I’ll be a hero.” I could see my breath in the cold air.

I had always wondered about old number 345, a wonder that bordered on obsession during my middle school days.

Old number 345, yeah, what a house.

Oddly enough, it sat between 337 and 351, as if an entire block was missing except that one strange, out of place house. Continue reading

The Yearning #writephoto

yearning

Photo by Sue Vincent

Meg crested the small hill and stopped.  A last fragrant breezed wafted up from the ocean as the sun slipped down for the night, causing the sky and water to flame.

Her heart bounded and for a minute she felt like a little girl, full of the desires of youth and pull of the sea and distant lands, the deep unending yearning, the yearning to be someplace, anyplace, else.

She brought herself back to the present and found An watching that same sunset.  She gave a knowing smile and walked over to her granddaughter.

“He’s out there someplace,” she said to the 24-year-old woman.  An didn’t respond.  “Yes, out there beyond the horizon.”

An gave a slight nod.

Meg drew closer to the young woman and watched the last flashes of light play across the water. Continue reading

Wicker #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

So you are saying that sunlight has magical powers?

Yes, over evil it does.  You see, it is full of purity.  It destroys monsters.

Right.  There is a certain orange monster I’d like to expose to the sunlight…  Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work with human monsters.

Maybe not, but it does other, more supernatural monsters.  Case in point, trolls?

I read The Hobbit.  They turn to stone.

Exactly.  Vampires?

Uhm.  Let’s see, I think they burn up.

Good.  Werewolves?

Hmmmm. Makes them take a nap?

No!  They turn back into their human form not remembering what happened under the full moon.

Right. And I’m sure you are going to tell me that it turns witches into wood.  Like in Monty Python.  Burn them!

Well, now that you mention it…

I’ll believe it when I see it.

Easy enough.

Oh, so you are saying there are some wicker witches out there?

Something like that.  Let’s take a walk, I’ve something to show you….

(If you can’t see the prompt, the image shows three figures that seem to be female and made of branches, with their hands joined. Witches dancing? Perhaps caught mid-step by the sunlight?)

***

Written for Sue Vincent‘s #writephoto challenge.  This weeks challenge, Wicker, is here.

A Whir in My Ears

steampunk-1809590_960_720

Pixabay image by Brigitte Werner

Princess Varas stared out of the window, her face blank.

“Are you OK, your highness?”

“Yes, thank you, Maz.”

Although she didn’t turn, the princess could still feel her maid watching her.  She was sure that Maz had something important to say, but would wait until she was asked.  That was fine to Varas.  She’d make her maid wait a little longer.

“Maz,” she said a few minutes later.

“Yes, your highness?”

“Was it always like this?”

“What, your highness?”

Varas sighed.  She could see only a few hundred yards beyond the castle walls before the fog bank.  She couldn’t ever remember the fog not being there, and yet…

Varas bit her lip.

There were those flashes.  Random memories of what she came to call “the time before”.  But they weren’t her and they weren’t here.  Which was impossible.  She was always here and, of course, she was always herself.

But what did “always” mean?

Part of her thought “years”, perhaps a little over 27 years.  Another part thought “always” meant just that, forever.  And yet, there was the feeling she had only been there for a short time, days, perhaps weeks, maybe a couple of months at the very most.  Days.

* Continue reading