Tag Archives: #writephoto

Portal – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

I would have thought that the world’s oldest street, in continuous use for over 3,500 years, would have been easy to find, a major tourist destination, but all I received when I asked were blank stares and shakes of the head.  They would look at the entry in the guidebook and shrug.  There was no recognition.  The general consensus was, “No, that’s not here.”

I’ve always been mesmerized by the fleeting whiffs I would get of life at the edge of history.  From the circles and henges of Britain to the ancient ways of Aleppo, which I wandered before the civil war, I always get a feeling of belonging when I visit these places.  The tour hit many lesser known sites, but this was special.  “The world’s oldest street in continuous use”.  I ached to see it, to walk on it, to step on the same stones people sued thousands of years ago.

I was beginning to panic.  We were given only three free hours in this small city, which was ancient millennia before Rome was founded, and I knew the bus wouldn’t wait for me.  It had to be around.  Sure, my guidebook was an antique, but it had proven more accurate in these little towns that survived at the fringes of history than any of the modern name books or Internet sites.  I was sure this had to be correct. Continue reading

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Magic – #writephoto

leafless

Photo by Sue Vincent

The storm raged for days.

Samuel watched Abigail as she slept.  He frowned.  There were few good choices ahead.

Abigail rolled over and opened an eye.

“Sam, please come to bed.  It’s late.”

He shook his head.  “I need to keep the fire burning.  If it goes out, we might freeze to death before morning.”

She smiled.  “Don’t worry, we’ll keep each other warm.  Come.  The storm will end tonight.”

He shrugged his shoulders.  She might be right.  She usually was.  And he was beginning to think it didn’t matter.  If they survived the night, then what?  They would be stuck in their little homestead with no hope of reaching civilization.  Or food.  Perhaps freezing in their sleep would be better than a slow starvation.

“I know what you are thinking, my dear.  Please don’t worry tonight.  It will all turn out right.  You’ll see.” 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

Luna – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

“Their signal was lost.”

“What?”  The ringing of my phone had woken me from a deep sleep and my head was still foggy.

“Sorry, ma’am.  The signal was lost, all telemetry data gone.”

I still couldn’t register what was happening.  Zoe?  How could this be?

“Did they crash?  Impact on landing or…?”  I glanced at the clock.  It was 4 AM.  They weren’t supposed to be on the surface for two more hours.  I had planned on being up and observing in real time.  Well, real time minus the second and a half delay as the signal crawled across the 385,000 km.

“No.  The lander had separated from the station as scheduled.  The trajectory was fine and they had plenty of altitude.  We can see it and cannot see signs of a hull breach or any signs of catastrophic event, but there is no signals of any type coming from the lander.”  It was a familiar male voice, but I still wasn’t sure of who I was talking to.

“When did this happen?”

“We lost the signal about a half an hour ago, Dr. Barnes.  We wanted to give them a chance to respond before we contacted you.”  Was it the Administrator of NASA? 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

Spur – #writephoto

spurs

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is part of the story, Towards the Light.  Click here for previous.  Go to the Table of Contents. Or start at the beginning: (click here for part 1 – The Tunnel)

— —

I looked back up at the tower in wonder.  This was our destination?  It seemed unreal.  For a power that could take over several worlds, including my beloved earth, it seemed too small, to insignificant, too medieval.

“Quick,” Whindel said.  He was pointing to a side path.  I could hear hoofbeats.

A ridge stuck out from the hill that I couldn’t help but label an acropolis.  We ran towards it.  As we got a little closer, I could see a spur off of the main ridge creating a small “valley”.  Whindel pushed towards this little valley between the ridges and we were soon out of sight of the main road going to the castle on the hill and in another few spots were totally hidden from everything around.  I heard the riders pass close to us, their armor clinking and their spurs chiming as the went past.

Whindel waved his arms and a door leading into the new ridge became visible.  He led us into a dark room.  With another wave, a few lamps light up and the door quickly, but silently, shut behind us.  I heard a weird noise and somehow understood that the ground once again covered the door. Continue reading

Signs – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is part of the story, Towards the Light.  Click here for previous.  Go to the Table of Contents. Or start at the beginning: (click here for part 1 – The Tunnel)

— —

I woke from a deep and, as far as I knew, dreamless sleep.  The world began to come into focus and I jumped.

I was looking into a pair of eyes.  Not just any eyes, but the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen.

I stood and took a step back.   The eyes belonged to a creature that was about the same size and shape as the goblins I had seen the night before, and just as sexless, but was as beautiful as they were ugly.

“And who might you be?” the person asked.

“I’m just a traveler.  I came in here to escape the dark of night,” I said.

The person looked up and said, as if to itself or to a higher being, “This is a sign.”  It looked back at me, and smiled.  I flipped a coin in my head at this point, to avoid confusion.  “She” said, “xxxxx.”

“What?” I asked.

She frowned slightly.  “xxxxx.” Continue reading

Flow – #writephoto

river-wye-weir

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is part of the story, Towards the Light.  Click here for previous.  Go to the Table of Contents. Or start at the beginning: (click here for part 1 – The Tunnel)

— —

I sat in my little prison and felt the memories flow out of me like a river.  What was happening?  I knew I had to force myself to think, to remember.

I thought back to Leo and Cate and the cave they had found.  I remembered the dwarves who only appeared to be dwarves, but were really full sized Fair Folk.  An image of the king’s lovely daughter floated above me, tugging at my heart.  What was her name?  My memory began to clear up as the words and images flowed back in.

“Alashina,” I said.  “She had lost her husband to the minions of Blavour, just I lost Lisa to the evils of…”  My eyes teared up.  The memories were too sharp!

But where was I and what was I doing there?

I was on a quest with the wizard, Whindell, to find something to stop the evil Glumoric.  In order to do that I had to find the Stone of Forgetfulness and drape it over Glumoric’s neck.  Easy-peasy.  Right? Continue reading

Fading – #writephoto

light

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is part of the story, Towards the Light.  Click here for previous.  Go to the Table of Contents. Or start at the beginning: (click here for part 1 – The Tunnel)

— —

As I approached the rock, the scene around me began to fade.

“No, wait,” I heard Whindel say, but when I turned to him, he his mouth was moving, but I couldn’t hear anything.  I shrugged and continued to the stone.

Through the hole in the monolith I could see the sun rising over the ocean.  Even though we had recently left the ocean, it was such a contrast from the desert we had been walking in.

No sooner did I think desert than I saw the desert through the hole.  The image of the sea had vanished.  Strange, though, I could see the wizard through the hole.  He should have been behind me.  He was waving frantically, but he faded away. Continue reading

Sails – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is part five of the story, Towards the Light.  Click here for previous.  Go to the Table of Contents. Or start at the beginning: (click here for part 1 – The Tunnel)

So I am now up to part six of the story and there is no end in sight.  All of these are written to Sue’s #writephoto prompts.  Here is part one and here is part two and then there was part three followed by part four.  Last week we hit part five.  OK, OK, I will create better navigation soon!

— —

I was surprised to discover that the council room was very small and paneled in wood.  When the door closed behind me, the only others still in the room were the wizard, Whindell, the king of the fair folk, and the daughter, Princess Alashina.  After the cavernous Throne Room, the council room was warm and cozy.

The king and Whindell immediately started to argue in a strange language.  At first I listened intently to the music of the fight.  They would soar up and twitter like piccolo before diving down to double bass and bassoons.  But even as music it was nonsense.  John Cage, in his wildest dreams, would never write something as riotously, randomly, cacophonous.

As I sat, being swayed by the mad music, I began to feel a bit vertigo.  I stood up and walked around the room.  To my surprise the walls were not plain, but hid shuttered windows.

It didn’t take me long to figure out how to open the shutters on one of the windows.  Once open, though, I shut it right away.

It couldn’t be right. Continue reading