Tag Archives: speculative fiction

Dance #writephoto

dance

Photo by Sue Vincent

“Awake or asleep?”

Ed was sure that he was awake, that he had gone out exploring on his own, but the world was unearthly, much more like his dreams.

He thought about the journey that he had been on each night, through the pillars and then trees, down to the sea.  Where was he going?  And was he following a similar path while walking in the sunshine?

He shivered.

Not that there was much sunshine.

The feeble home-star was attempting to cut through the thick fog in vain, hanging like a ghost in the sky.  The world had been erased in grey, except for green path forward.

“It isn’t possible,” Ed mumbled to himself.  “I know I’m awake, or at least I think I am, yet this is so like my nightly journey.” 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

Entrance – #writephoto

portal-entrance

Photo by Sue Vincent

“No, really, it’s just a hole in the ground.”

I laughed.  “Don’t worry, when I was your age, my place was a pretty nasty hole.  Being a straight guy, I bet it was much worse than yours.”

Meghan smiled, an enduring look from under her eyelashes, as if she couldn’t decide if she were more embarrassed about the situation or excited.

“OK,” she said.  “But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

I lead her to my car and wondered about my situation.

I was not a great socializer; far from it.  In fact, I hadn’t been out with a woman since the divorce.

But it wasn’t just that.

It was Meghan’s age.

I know the way of the world.  I’m a 50-something year old guy.  20-something women don’t want anything to do with us.  If I tried to flirt with one, at best they’d think I was a creepy old guy, at worse a predator. Continue reading

Hopping #whatdoyousee

cute-unicorn

Image provided by Sadje found on Flicker

I heard the sizzle of the air inches in front of my face.  Too close!  I turned.  They were coming up the back side of the hill as well.

The entire landscape around our tiny refuge was scorched to the bare rock, life withering in front of the army of killer bots.

I turned to the Hopper.

“Jim, we need to Hop!  Now!  Get us out of here…”

He stared at me for a moment.  “You know, Sarge,” he said, “it takes a bit of planning to put in the proper coordinates and stuff.  Who knows where we’ll land?  Maybe in “The Day After” as the H-Bombs are going off.”

“I don’t care, just put in a random sequence, any sequence!” Continue reading

The Skull

jaw-prompt

Photo by Shari Marshall

I studied the little foyer as I waited for Mr. Klieber.

Real marble floors.  Nice touch.

A Hudson River School painting on the wall. It was in the books, but not one of the top artists of that school.  Beautiful none the less.

A late 19th century French bronze based on a Roman marble that was a copy of on an earlier Greek bronze.

I smiled.

Mr. Klieber certainly knew what he was doing

And I knew that what lay behind the mahogany door was far more interesting than the art in the foyer, which was mostly high-priced decorative items to impress those who had more of a sense of price than of value. High culture for people who were uncultured.

The door opened and a middle-aged man entered.  He frowned at me.

“Higsworth told me a known colleague was here.  I don’t know you.  You can see yourself out.”

He spun on his heel and was about to go back into the main house. Continue reading

Presence – Of Wind and Wings

stones-old-presence

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this story fit’s in with my on-line novel, Of Wind and Wings.  I’m not sure where it fits, but it will find a place ;)

*

Ed hesitated at the doorway.  He had been told that he had free reign of the house, yet he still felt a little uncomfortable, as if he were intruding on Liza’s privacy.  No matter how often she had protested that he was welcome to make himself totally at home, he had confined himself mostly to the kitchen and his bedroom.

Elisa was sitting in a comfortable chair with her back to the door.  She hadn’t stirred and Ed wasn’t sure if she were aware that he was standing there.  He fanned himself briefly with the photo in his hand as he watched her in his indecision. He stopped and frowned at the photo.  It was as if that old bit of paper were trying to make its presence known, to remind Ed why he was there.

That did it.

Ed straightened his back and walked into the room and stopped, looking down at his hostess.

Liza put her book to the side and smiled up at him.

“Yes?”

“I was wondering if you knew where this was taken.” He held up the photo.  “It was mixed in with my great-uncle’s papers and I just found it as I was reading through the notes.”

Liza jumped back as soon as she took the photo.  She blanched and her eyes grew wide.

“Ah, so you do know it,” Ed said, trying to make light of her reaction.

Liza took a moment to regain composure, and then handed the faded photograph back to Ed with a smile.

“I’m sorry,” she said, “but I can’t help you.”

Ed studied the photo for a moment.  A row of standing stones lined a path through a field full of wild flowers.  It would seem to be a noteworthy location.

He shrugged.

“Oh well, I guess I’ll just take it in and have Mr. Brown look at it.  I’m sure he’d recognize it…”

“What? Who?” Liza seemed to be even more distressed than before.

“You know, the historian…”

“Of course I know who Mr. Brown is, I’m just asking why you mentioned that man, is all.”

“He does know the local geography as well as the history.  Or perhaps The Grubb could help.”

“Yeah, ask the Grubb.”

Liza picked up her book and began to read.  Obviously the conversation was over.

Back in his room Ed continued to study the photo, trying to take in every detail.  There was something there, just at the edge of his perception.  He felt stupid for not being able to see it.

Perhaps not something, but someone.

Ed closed his eyes, still seeing the path and stones, but now in full color and stretching to the edges of his peripheral vision and beyond.

He could feel their presence before he saw them.

The couple had passed this way thousands of years before.

No, it was a different couple, hundreds of years before, ancestors that Ed had read about in his great-uncles papers.

No, that wasn’t right.  He could see them now.  It was his great-uncle and Liza’s mother.  They were walking hand and hand, smiling at each other.

No, no that wasn’t right either.

It was Liza and Mr. Brown, only they were young, perhaps in their teens or early twenties.

But no, it wasn’t them, it was Ed himself.

Who was he with?

The woman was shadowy, yet he could feel her presence, as he had in his dreams and visions.

He opened his eyes.

Was this his imagination running wild on his great-uncle’s words combined with Liza’s reactions, or was he seeing images of the past.  He shivered.  And the future.

He looked down at the photo again.

No.  It was just an old keepsake, something his great-uncle had taken in one of his many trips to England.  As far as Ed knew, it wasn’t even in the area but could be on the other side of the country.

He soon went to bed and fell into a deep sleep. He didn’t dream about the photo or the stones, as far as he could tell, and yet through the entire night he felt the presence of those other people he had imagined.

***

This was written for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto challenge.  The photo prompt is at the top of the post and this week’s key word is “Presence“.

The story this week is based on my on-line novel, Of Wind and Wings

Fume #writephoto

smoke-fume

Photo by Sue Vincent

It seems that after all of my efforts, these experiments with biology, anatomy, chemistry and electricity came to naught.  The lifeless clay of my life’s work lay on the table, mocking my years of toil.

Adding insult to injury, Mrs. Kemph, the woman who straightens my living quarters, had dared to enter the lab and threw away a work in progress.  To say I was livid would be an understanding.

Walking through the village, my mind working out what went wrong with this latest experiment, I fumed as I couldn’t get past the dolt Mrs. Kemph. Continue reading

Glass #writephoto

glass

Photo by Sue Vincent

Jay looked across the lake at the distant mountain. Nothing was moving over the glassy water.

Good.

He slipped the kayak into the water, stepped in placing his little backpack on the floor between his legs, and pushed off. After a couple of hard paddles to get the boat’s momentum up, he relaxed into a routine of gentle, quiet, yet efficient strokes.

Silent. That was the key word. Didn’t need anyone to hear, and there were a lot of ears, not to mention the Guardian.

After several minutes, Jay glanced back. The kayak created a small wake as it sliced through the smooth water. Eddies swirled where his paddle had pushed the water back, propelling his tiny craft. The shore was receding, but still near, too close. There was no movement, his theft had yet to be discovered. Continue reading

Nostalgia

rivington-st-shul-roger-b

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Its doors long closed and shuttered, the place of worship was a reminder of a bygone era.

D stood enchanted, staring at the ancient façade, a hint of nostalgia and regret on his face.

“Come on,” Y said. “We’ll be late.  Why did you stop anyway?”

D just shook his head, took one last look at the temple and followed Y to the gleaming glass tower in front of them.

How different the city was in the days of old; the shifting demographics, the people changing like the seasons.

In some ways D wished that there were still humans around.

***

Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo © Roger Bultot.  Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

Harbinger #writephoto

Harbinger

Photo by Sue Vincent

“From that we understand that every single particle in the entire Universe is in multiple states simultaneously,” Dr. Lavling said.

Meg was more than half bored. Why did she decided to sit in on this lecture?

“So you are saying that the entire Universe is like one giant ‘Schrödinger’s cat’ experiment?” a man up front asked. There was a small chuckle in the auditorium.

Dr. Lavling smiled.

“In ways. Remember that Schrödinger created his experiment to show that the consequences of quantum theory when applied to the macro world seemed ridiculous. But there are two different ways of looking at it. The first is that it is only the human mind that tells us that things need to be one way or the other. Why can’t the Universe be in some undefined, at least to us, state? But then, what about other Universes? When an observation is made, it collapses the probability wave and we observe what we call ‘reality’. But those other possibilities? Perhaps they continue to exist in a different ’Universe’. So at all points and at all time there is a possibility that the Universe is forking off to other Universes. The vast, vast majority of these Universes would instantly collapse back, but what if they didn’t?” Continue reading