CB&W: Trees


They huddle beneath the sheltering branches, hidden from view by tangled growth. Soon they’ll have to move – their pursuers won’t have given up so easily – but for now they sleep in restless slumber, recovering their strength for the struggle ahead. Their dreams are haunted by dark figures who laugh as blood cascades over a barren landscape.

The spirit of the oak tree cradles them close, concealing their presence from any who might continue to search. Each anxious whimper is hushed by the whisper of wind through leaves; each fear is soothed as the oak’s indomitable strength, drawn from the depths of the earth, pours through them.

They’ll awaken refreshed and renewed, their hearts filled with all the courage and determination they’ll need to complete their quest.

Their benefactor’s role will pass unnoticed.

This post is for Cee’s Black and White Challenge. This week’s theme is trees.



TLT: All the Time in the World


Photo Prompt – © Rachel Crowe

She’d always complained that there weren’t enough hours in the day as she dashed from task to task, her to-do list never shrinking. Then fateful words caused her world to shatter. Suddenly she had all the time she’d ever needed, but nothing could fill the interminable hours as they dragged on into an increasingly bleak future.

This post is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales challenge.

I thought I’d leave it up to you to decide what the ‘fateful words’ are about – maybe the death of a child or a partner, the loss of a hard-worked for career, or maybe something else…

FFfAW: Seven PM


Photo Prompt

Seven PM

Edmund stood on the shoreline. Waiting. It was something he was good at.

As a child he’d waited for his father, watching the ticking clock. At seven pm, daily, the man would hear the governess’ report, granting him a fragment of his time: a smile, a question, a word of praise… if the report was fair. On days when he’d displeased the woman, the attention would be far less pleasant: a reprimand, a strike of the cane, a reminder of their family name.

He glanced at the watch. Not much longer, now.

Over the years, his resentment had grown. The gift of a pocket-watch on his sixteenth birthday had epitomised every wasted moment. His anger had exploded at the sight of the timepiece. The heavy gift-box had become an instrument of death as he’d swung it at his father’s head. The chain had wrapped easily around his fleeing governess’ throat.

As the watch indicated seven pm, he placed it neatly onto the stones of the beach – a monument to a wasted life.

And he walked into the sea.

Word Count: 175

To read other entries, click the little blue frogwpImg

This post is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, a flash fiction challenge run by Priceless Joy that asks us to write a story of 100-175 words based on the provided photo prompt. This week’s picture was provided by me.

For anyone that’s interested, the watch in the picture is actually a necklace that belongs to my sister. It’s a lot smaller than it looks in the photo – less than two centimeters in diameter. She bought it in Whitby when we were on holiday there a few years ago. I couldn’t resist borrowing it for a few photographs when we were sitting on the beach later that day.

I hope you enjoyed the story. It’s rather darker than most I write so I’d love to know what people think of it. It was originally meant to be the background for a ghost story, but unfortunately I couldn’t fit the whole thing into the word limit. This one had to be chiselled out of a much larger piece. That does mean, of course, that I now have another 350 word story ready for inclusion in a flash fiction collection. Yay!