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.

river
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

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49 thoughts on “Picture it & Write: The Crossing

    1. 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. 😀

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  1. 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

    1. 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…

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  2. 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.

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    1. 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. 🙂

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  3. 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!

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    1. 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!

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    1. 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! 😀

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    1. 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. 🙂

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      1. 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.

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