WPC: Anticipation

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Anticipation clings to the air as the engine, wreathed in puthering smoke and steam, pulls steadily closer to the station. The gathered crowd jostles for position, each individual determined to find the best position available. Voices chatter excitedly, a thrum of excitement carrying along the packed platform. You strain your ears to hear the familiar huff and clank of the metallic beast’s approach.

Soon it will arrive. Soon it will disgorge its passengers.

And then the festivities can truly begin.

jostling-crowds

This post is for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is anticipation.

The photos were taken in York two years ago, when we visited their Christmas Market. As my train obsessed nephew was with us, we couldn’t not pop over to see the steam train (the Christmas White Rose) that was just about to arrive in the station.

I wasn’t sure whether or not to include the second picture. I like the blur on the people, I feel it gives a real sense of just how busy it was. Unfortunately the train itself is also a little unclear, and I’d have liked it to be perfectly in focus. Eventually, I just told my inner critic to shut up and included it anyway. It was very hard to take a good handheld picture that day – everyone was pushing and shoving, wanting to get onto the engine’s footplate and talk to the driver. One woman even pushed my nephew out of the way so she could get on before him!

This might be my last post before Christmas, so I hope everyone has a great time, whatever and however they might be celebrating. As today is actually the Winter Solstice, happy Solstice everyone!

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Light and Dark

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Light and Dark

Tammy hummed a tune as she walked, contentment a pleasing weight on her shoulders. Home’s warmth drew her onwards.

Until light shattered the darkness.

She stumbled back, shielding watering eyes. Her throat tightened with sorrow. She’d known the summons would arrive someday – but, so soon? How could she leave everything behind? She wasn’t ready…

But she had to be ready. This was no request, and there was no choice to be made.

With tears running down her cheeks, she stepped into the light.

***

Marcus skulked along the darkened street, dragging his feet as he made his way home. He was in no hurry to arrive. After all, ‘home’, now, was simply an apartment stuffed full of rancid memories and bitter emotions, empty of any joy.

He was tired of living such a meaningless life.

His days were spent watching the world go by, simply waiting for his summons. Misery had been his only companion for too long.

When the gateway finally flared into existence before him, he smiled.

And stepped into the light.

Word Count: 175

To read the other entries, click the little blue frog.

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This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. I know, it’s very late! This week’s (very nearly last week’s) prompt was provided by Maria @ Doodles and Scribbles. Thank you, Maria!

This piece actually began life as two separate stories that I tried to write for this prompt. I couldn’t really get anything to work. After leaving them for a few days (work and Christmas tasks keep conspiring to keep me away from my blog) I realised that, with a few changes to each, the two actually fit together quite well.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide what exactly ‘the summons’ and ‘the gateway’ are… Have the character’s died? Were they alien spies, now called back by their masters? Were they creatures from a different realm of existence?

I’d be interested to know how you interpreted it. 🙂

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Cee’s B&W: Silent Guardian

arthur-statue

embodied

in resolute metal,

he watches

from the rocky heights,

forever awaiting his call to arms,

a silent guardian

poised

in enigmatic grandeur,

the once and future

mingling

of legend and history

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This post is for Cee’s Black and White Challenge. This week’s theme is things made by human beings. 

The pictures were taken at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, and are of a statue called Gallos, which is the Cornish word for ‘power’. The statue was inspired by the legends of King Arthur – who, it is said, was conceived at Tintagel – but it can also be seen as a representation of the old kings of Dumnonia, a kingdom of the 5th and 6th centuries that stretched across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. It is thought that this dynasty made Tintagel the site of their summer court.

If you’d like to know more about the statue, there’s an interesting article from The Guardian that you can find here.

Rudolph Colouring Picture

I thought I’d reblog some of the colouring pictures I shared last year. This is the first of a set of ten, all of which can be found in the Christmas Colouring Pictures category tab above. Feel free to download this or any of the others to print out on paper. Hopefully it’s perfect for keeping the kids entertained for a while.

I like to use this picture as part of a craft activity, where the kids use small bits of wool for his face, fabric for his antlers, and red foil for his nose.

To make it into a Christmas card you can position the picture on the right hand side of the page (in landscape orientation) before it’s printed out onto a sheet of cardboard. Make sure the picture is entirely on the right – otherwise, when you fold the sheet in half the picture will be partly on the back of the card. And, yes, I’ve seen this happen quite a few times!

Have fun. 🙂

The Storyteller's Abode

Rudolph Colouring Picture

Here’s the first of my Christmas colouring pictures for you to enjoy. I have lots more to come…

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