Picture it & Write: The Crossing

This is my entry into the Picture it and Write creative writing challenge hosted by the authors of Ermiliablog. I’ve seen a number of entries for this challenge in my reader over the last few weeks but I’ve never before entered. I found the picture prompt this week so inspiring that I couldn’t resist having a write. I hope you enjoy it.

Picture it & Write photo prompt

The Crossing
Genre: historical

Dair’s heart sank. He could hear the rush of water long before the river came into sight. The crossing stones on which he’d pinned his hopes were barely visible above the treacherous churn of ice melt. Home and safety lay unreachable on the far side.

He sank to his knees on the bank, damp chill seeping into weary muscles. Exhaustion morphed into despair. Memories of the past week flashed through his mind: the attack on the road; the glassy stares of his father and brother as their blood seeped into the dirt; waking, his head pounding from the blow that rendered him unconscious, to rough men rifling through their wagon; the long days of threats and forced servitude as they argued his fate.

“We could get a good price for you, boy…”

He forced the memories away, the determination that kept him fighting refusing to desert him now. He didn’t know whether they pursued him still. Their shouts had faded hours ago but, after his final act, he doubted they’d let him escape. He shivered, recalling the feel of the knife sinking into Marken’s chest.

His options were limited. If he waited for the flow to reduce he risked starvation or death from exposure. If he headed towards the bridge in Newhaven he risked encountering his attackers. If he tried to cross the swollen river he risked being swept off his feet.

Only one option really offered success. The icy water swirled around his ankles as he began to cross.

Word Count: 250



49 Comments on “Picture it & Write: The Crossing

  1. om-goodness! You are such a master at cliffhangers! What happened to him? Did he survive?Did he drown? Did he??????? Brilliant is an understatement!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you very much! I do rather like writing cliff hangers. 🙂 You’ll have to decide for yourself whether or not he made it across… though I do like to think that maybe he made it home in one piece. 😀


  2. This is a very gripping and well written story. The description is vivid, and the cliff hanger at the end worked!
    Ideally, I would like him to survive, but judging by that gushing torrent (realistically), he would have been swept off his feet a fair few times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Francesca. 🙂 I fear that even if he did make his way across, he wouldn’t be in a particularly good situation. He’d be soaking wet and frozen, still some miles from home. He’s already exhausted. His odds don’t look good…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I assumed he managed to cross the river … until I read all the comments! Now I’m not so sure anymore, haha. Nicely written, it was nice to be given the character’s past.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It wouldn’t be an easy crossing, that’s for sure! That’s a treacherous looking river. :s I’m glad you like his backstory. I wanted to show what he was running from. 🙂


  4. I have waited until my kids are in bed so I could give this story a good read. I am so glad I waited! Your writing is so crisp it reads quick as it needs to in order to feel the suspense. The photograph is griping and your story is intense and exciting. So impressed, Louise. Really great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Carrie! I really enjoyed writing this one so it’s good to know people enjoy reading it just as much. 🙂 Unfortunately I can’t take the credit for the picture – it’s the photo prompt provided by Emilliablog. I found it very inspiring!


      • Yes, I saw it was a photo you were prompted to write from. You really did it justice! Great job. 🙂


  5. Great story. Like how he goes from despair to steely determination. He’s going to need it… Oh, and I do like a cliffhanger 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sonya! Hopefully his determination will get him over the river and to safety – but his situation really doesn’t look good… I’m glad you like the cliffhanger. I’ve always been particularly fond of them! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. WOW!!! You are quite a story-teller. Everything is there…now the rest please, I demand! (It is my right as your reader ;))


  7. Great tension here and you’ve presented a real dilemma for your protagonist. But he seems to have the bottle to survive. Hope he can swim.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope he can too! Looking at the river I don’t see how he’ll get across without swimming at least some of the way. Thanks for liking. 🙂


    • I am very tempted to write a part 2 actually, I’ve had several ideas on how to continue this! I’m very glad you like it. 🙂


    • It was a good photo prompt this week. I couldn’t resist writing a story to go with it. 🙂 I’m glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Saw your “Copywrite” notice and wondered if our blog posts are automatically protected in this manner.
    In your case, it is a must.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks so much. This should be on Commons so others can begin to think about this issue.


      • On your dashboard (WP admin as they call it on your ‘My Sites’ page) you’ll find the link to widgets under the ‘Appearance’ tab. On the widgets page there are a list of different ones that you can choose from – text is one of them. They’re in alphabetical order so you’ll need to scroll down the page quite a way. Drag the text widget into the sidebar area (or footer, if that is where you want it to appear) provided on the page. It will open up into a text box into which you can type or paste your information. Don’t forget to click the save button before you exit. 🙂 I hope this makes sense.


  9. Pingback: Picture it & Write: The Crossing – Part Two | The Storyteller's Abode

  10. So glad to have you join our writing prompt for the week. Loved the historical fiction and sure hope he makes it across the water ok!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Picture it & Write: The Crossing – Part Three | The Storyteller's Abode

    • Thank you! I have so many ideas for this story that it may well end up as a whole novel. 🙂 I’m very glad you like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: The Crossing – Part Four | The Storyteller's Abode

  13. Pingback: The Crossing – Part Five | The Storyteller's Abode

  14. Pingback: The Crossing / The Forester – Part Six | The Storyteller's Abode

Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland

Colette O'Neill... Environmentalist, Author, Publisher, Photographer. Creator of Goddess Permaculture.

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