Tag Archives: short story

Capturing the Essence

Melon-clip

Matt jumped.

He had done it again, descended so far into his work that he lost himself.  The little beep, to let him know someone had entered the gallery, had snatched him back to the present.

He pushed away from the easel.  He always fretted that he’d never get back to that spot to continue, to finish, but he always did find his way there, and being a color pencil drawing, he didn’t have to worry about what dried and what didn’t.

Matt turned off the light and moved to the window at the door from the studio to the gallery.  From the gallery side the widow was a mirror.  Matt liked to know who was there before he entered.

The woman was only a few steps inside, doing a slow sweep of the shop as if lost.  Her eyes were wide and her mouth slightly open.  She took a tentative step and stopped again, staring at a painting.

Matt hesitated.  Something about the woman.  Her lines. He grabbed a sketchbook and drew a 10 second gesture.  Not quite it.  The rhythm of her body was off. Continue reading

Fantasy Island

shell

Day 4

At last, a few minutes to sit and write!  What a freaking nightmare it has been.  I guess I need to start at the beginning, just in case I don’t make it, so people know what happened.

I was on a flight from LAX to Seoul to join up with the rest of the cast. I’ll admit that I was excited to be starring in an action film based in Asia.  I mean, when I was a kid, women were the victims in this type of film, and yet, here I was…  Anyway, the flight didn’t go well.

OK, just a few flashes on what occurred on the flight.

We kept diverting south because of a major storm.  And then the turbulence.  I once experienced sever turbulence, the scariest half of an hour in my life.

This was worse.

Yeah. Nightmare.  Maybe someday I’ll be able to say more.  It is too soon.

I came to on a beach.

Every inch of my body hurt, yet, after checking myself, I only had a few minor injuries.

About an hour later I saw something floating towards shore.  OK, I had seen a few other pieces of wreckage wash up, but this was larger and as it got closer, I realized that there was person on it. Continue reading

Causeway #writephoto

causeway

Photo by Sue Vincent

Water, water as far as the eye could see.

“So, this is it?” I asked.

“I’m afraid so,” Tej said.  He pointed out into the water.  “Look, though, you can see the path is still there.”

I had seen it, of course, but it didn’t help our cause.

The trail continued into the sea for a very short distance on a narrow point of land.  As it went out, the soil was washed away leaving bare rock.  And finally, the rock was gone leaving just water.

I shook my head.  “That’s it.  Fine.  Let’s make camp on higher ground.  We’ll look around tomorrow, but I’m afraid we’ll have to return empty handed.”

I followed Tej, our best tracker, away from the water’s edge.  He would find us the perfect place to spend the night.  He always did.  He had a feel for the land and a knack for discovering its secrets. Continue reading

Cascade #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

“We have come to an impasse.  As you are well aware, the farther we move from the shore and into the mountains, the more often we have come across small falls, rapids or other discontinuities.  We have found a way to overcome all, until now.  A cascade which, though small, is surrounded by sheer cliffs, now stands between us and our goal.  It is impossible to portage our craft and provisions around this wild water and no clear trail can be found.

“We are now setting up a small fort, where we plan to winter. Come Spring, we will either find an alternative route or call off our quest.

“At this time, all forward motion has come to an end.”

Reg read the note from his forward captain, Dwight Pashey, three times over.

This could be a disaster to the mission.

He glanced down at the note again. Continue reading

Good Advice

ladies-on-a-street-prompt

Photo by Shari Marshall

I patted the overstuffed envelope and tucked it under my arm.  It’d be safe.

There were a few people out.  Busy enough to be inconspicuous, but not too busy. I slipped into “the zone”.

I had a job to do. I was alert, but not distracted.

Or so I thought.

I jumped at the loud “Ding” and turned.

“Girlfriend, mm, mm, mmmm, that handbag does not match those shoes at all. Blue purse and black shoes?  No ma’am, not at all.  Go home and change now before the fashion police arrest your sorry behind!” Continue reading

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