TLT: Visions of Unicorns

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Photo prompt © Fleur Treuniet via Unsplash

She loved to watch the unicorns as they took their ease amidst the meadow flowers. They shimmered with an allure that drew her eyes time and again. And if no one else could see them – well, that was their problem, really, not hers.


This post is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales. This week’s prompt is by Fleur Treuniet, via Unsplash.

 

FFfAW: Time to Leave

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Photo prompt – The Storyteller’s Abode

Time to Leave

The boats were full, despite the lateness of the day.

Ingrid paused, her foot poised on the gangplank as she looked back at the town. Her throat tightened as tears threatened to fall. How could she leave? The place was central to all of her memories: she’d married Jimmy in the church on the market place; borne her children in the local hospital. She’d walked those streets with steps both weighted with sorrow and made light with joy. Even the thought of leaving chilled her.

“I’m afraid it’s time, dearest,” Jimmy said.

Unfortunately, she didn’t have any choice. The town that had been so bright with life would soon be darkened by death. These would be the final boats to leave. On board, men and women clung to each other, their fear and sorrow almost palpable. Despite the exodus having begun days earlier, many had hoped the situation would change. Now, with ash clouds obscuring the sun, all hope was gone.

Ingrid gripped her husband’s hand and stepped on board.

Word Count: 175

If you’d like 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. This week’s prompt was provided by me. The picture was taken in York a couple of years ago, when we visited for the Christmas market. It was an incredibly cold day, and we were amazed to see the boat trips still going on – though at least no one was sitting on the open-air top level.

As always seems to be the case when it’s my own prompt, I found it really hard to write a story this week! Luckily, I did manage to come up with something in the end. This was inspired by a programme about Pompeii I was watching.

I hope you like it.

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.

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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!

Echoes of my Neighbourhood: Chinooks

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On damp winds they’re blown in, the thunder of their blades as they slice through the air echoing over golden fields. Stalwart defenders of the nation, here they’re far from war torn lands: no bombs or bullets to lay them low, only nature’s unpredictable buffets to keep them humble.

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This afternoon I was down at the wildflower meadow with my notepad and my camera when two Chinook helicopters from a local RAF airbase began circling overhead. I quickly snapped a few shots of them as they passed over, thinking they’d soon be gone, only to realise that they were actually landing at the small airfield on the outskirts of the village. Now, that is not something that normally happens! I hurriedly made my way over.

Unfortunately, I didn’t actually manage to make it quite all the way to the airfield before they were taking off again, but I did manage to find a position where I could get a few decent pictures before they left. Luckily, several other villagers had also been out and about and one of them had managed to speak to one of the pilots. It seems that a bird had collided with the windscreen of one of the helicopters, forcing it to land.

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I hadn’t actually planned to post today as I’m still in the middle of CampNano – meaning I’ve been busy editing and lengthening the flash fictions I’m planning to publish as compilations on Amazon. The other photographs and poems I’ve been posting lately have all ready to go since June! Another of those will probably be posted in a few days time.

This post is for Jacqueline’s Echoes of my Neighbourhood challenge.

Cee’s Oddball Challenge: Beware – Giants Sleeping!

This post is for Cee’s Oddball Challenge.

Mud Maid 3.2

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You must walk on tippy-toes as you creep past the giants’ lair. Take care not to wake them. Run if you feel their stares.

Oh no…

Run!

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These oddball photos were taken at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, a fascinating place in Cornwall that we just had to revisit during our recent holiday there. We last went to Heligan thirteen years ago and its come on a long way in the years since. The place is called the ‘Lost Gardens’ because they were created at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries but were then left to fall into ruin after the First World War. The gardens were ‘rediscovered’ in the early 1990s and the project to restore them was begun. The teams involved have done a wonderful job and it’s great to see how the place has changed since our last visit.

Here’s another picture of the Mud Maid as she sleeps in the dappled sunlight.

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FFfAW: The Weight of Duty

This post is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, a flash fiction challenge hosted by Priceless Joy that asks you to write a piece of flash fiction of 75-175 words based on the photo prompt below. This week’s prompt was provided by momtheobscure. Thank you momtheobscure!

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The Weight of Duty

Ieldu stared at the ruins on the cliff’s edge, once familiar tendrils of guilt twining into his thoughts. The absence of the stone figure caused his heart to clench. He drew a breath, forcing calm.

He’d always known it would someday happen. The elements had wreaked havoc on the giant for centuries unending; the last storm had dealt the final blow – timeworn stone crumbling into the ocean below, destroying the structure it supported. Even miles distant, Ieldu had felt the collapse of the World Bridge. As Guardian his task was clear.

This time his brother wouldn’t be present to take the weight of duty upon his shoulders. The image of Torr’s form expanding and solidifying into rock as he performed the ancient magics, anchoring the World Bridge into material reality, had haunted him for centuries. Last time Ieldu’s stupidity had caused the damage but Torr had paid the price. 

This time the duty was his alone.

“No brother,” a long silent voice said. A hand gripped his shoulder. “This time we do it together.”

Word Count: 175

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

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Hello everyone! 🙂 After having had a month mostly away from my blog for CampNano it’s good to be writing flash fiction again, although I have to admit that after a month of novel writing fitting this into 175 words was even harder than usual. I’d hoped to post it on Wednesday but, as you can probably tell from the fact that it’s now Friday, it just wouldn’t cooperate!

 

I look forward to visiting everyone’s blogs and catching up with you all.

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TLT: Quiet Companionship

This post is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales.  This week I’ve shamelessly interpreted that as three sentences – three lines was just not enough!

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Photo Prompt: © Moritz Schmidt

Quiet Companionship

Each evening she adds another word to the game, aged fingers curling around worn tiles, placing them with precision reminiscent of misplaced youth. The empty house echoes with memories of good-natured rivalry, of competition and quiet companionship now lost to eternity’s embrace. In the light of each morning she finds her opponent’s response: carefully arranged tiles in tangence to her own.


I apologize for my absence from the blog lately – the Easter holiday is a busy time for me. Unfortunately I’m not going to be on much during April either as I’m taking part in Camp Nanowrimo. Hopefully I’ll manage to get a few little posts (like this one) up but I probably won’t have much time for visiting blogs. I’m going to have a lot of catching up to do in May! I appreciate everyone who drops by so I’ll say a big ‘thank you’ now before I go and lose myself in my story, ‘Age of the Dragonlords’.

FFfAW: Creations Studio

This post is for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) Challenge, run by Priceless Joy.  The FFfAW challenge is that you write a story of 75-175 words inspired by the photo prompt below. This week’s prompt was provided by Uday . Thank you Uday!

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Photo Prompt: © Uday

Creations Studio

The moment Tessa saw the strange doorway her world shifted out of focus. Thoughts stumbled, mired in tar; her surroundings faded to insignificance. She moved through a dreamlike haze, footsteps drawn inexorably closer until fingertips brushed wood. The door opened before her and she stepped inside. 

“What do you wish to create?” a voice intoned.

Tessa’s mind cleared. Heart racing and mouth suddenly dry, she retreated as a figure emerged from the shadows. “I… What?”

“All who find this place have something they wish to create.”

Images flashed, unbidden, through Tessa’s mind: a partner by her side; a child in her arms; a happy, loving family. It was as if the album of her deepest desires was rifled through by curious fingers.

“Ah. A perfect life.” The figure appeared at her side. Bony fingers touched her forehead.

The world dissolved.

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“You coming, Tess?”

Michael’s voice jolted Tessa from her revery. Smiling, she scooped their daughter into her arms and hurried to his side.

“Beware,” a voice whispered, “for even a perfect image bears shadows.”

Word Count: 175

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

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SPF: Memento

This story is in response to the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alistair Forbes, that asks that you write a story / poem of around 200 words using the photo as a guide.

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Memento

She’d always wondered what was kept in the garage.

Frances clutched the key to her chest, curiosity battling with trepidation as she stood before the door. As a child she’d spent hours sitting outside, inventing stories as to why her father spent so long within. She’d imagined him as a spy, storing top secret documents; as a scientist, building a time machine behind unassuming walls.

Now her father was merely a memory and she had to accept there were far darker possibilities than those she’d once considered. Frances shook her head, chiding herself. There was only one way to find the truth.

Hand trembling, she turned the key.

Her breath caught in her throat. Shelves lined the room, all filled with achingly familiar objects that set long forgotten memories dancing. She reached out to touch a photograph; trailed fingertips over an old toy. The picture had been taken during a childhood holiday –  her mother laughing as she splashed in the sea. The toy had been her favourite, thought donated to a charity shop many years past.

Tears filled her eyes as she viewed the precious mementos of her father’s life. The truth was more beautiful than she could have imagined.

Word Count: 200

If you want to read other entries or upload you own, click on the little blue frog.

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