Monochrome Monday: Enter the Underworld

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descend into the earth

and find shelter within tangled mycelium

warmed by a blanket of fallen leaves and dirt

whilst earthworms coil amidst encapsulated

dreams of sunlight’s return

*

sleep in peaceful slumber

untouched by the Crone’s icy tears

by the crystalline frosts and bitter snowfalls

as she mourns her fallen consort and

awaits the turning wheel

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FFfAW: The Touch of his Hand

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The Touch of his Hand

“Are you coming, my dear?”

Millie looked up at the sound of his voice. Tommy stood in the doorway, his hand outstretched, waiting for hers to join it.

She still remembered the first time their hands had touched, all those years ago. She’d shyly slid her fingers into his as they’d walked into the picture house – barely believing the handsome boy had chosen her. He’d squeezed her hand and given a flirtatious wink, setting her heart aflutter. That had been their first date. Many more had soon followed.

The touch of his hand had swiftly become the most important thing in her life: his caress set her senses alight; his support carried her through the hardest days. When his long fingers had slid the ring, the symbol of their devotion, onto her own, she’d known she was complete.

His death had left her adrift.

She’d simply marked time the since his passing, knowing she’d see him again soon.

“Of course,” she said, rising to her feet. Without any hesitation, she slid her fingers into his.

Word count: 175

To read the other entries, or to submit your own, 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 Artycaptures.

In remembrance of my grandparents, Millie and Tommy – gone but never forgotten.

FFfAW: Promises Broken

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Promises Broken

The day had promised so much.

Bright skies and a clear forecast meant their shift at the lifeguard station should have been pleasant – with only the usual idiots and accidents to worry them. The crystalline sea had lapped at the beach as if no dangers lurked in its depths. It was a postcard perfect scene.

But they shouldn’t have been surprised. They’d known to always expect the unexpected.

Perched in their tower, they’d watched the holiday-makers frolic below, chatting idly to pass the time – conversations that fled from memory soon after the words were spoken. Their hands had occasionally touched, sparks flying. After months of unresolved tension, the words had finally been spoken. Tonight would be the night.

Their shift had been nearing its end when the screams began. They hadn’t hesitated before running to help.

Afterwards, only the memory of blood in the water remained, events blurring into an incomprehensible mass. All she knew was they’d gone into the water together. And now she was alone.

But the day had promised so much.

Word count: 175

To read the other stories, or to submit your own, 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 TJ Paris. Thank you, TJ.

FFfAW: Unexpected Consequences

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Photo Prompt – Grant-Sud / Flooded Out With Books

Unexpected Consequences

Adrugian gazed wearily over the arid landscape, the insistent beat of the sun sapping energy he could ill afford to lose. He knew the villagers below didn’t understand why he traipsed so often to the heights. He’d seen the looks they exchanged. He’d heard their snide comments. Unfortunately, the truth was something they could never comprehend.

He sighed, tossing a pebble over the edge and listening for its faint spolsh into the distant trickle of water. Sometimes it seemed only yesterday he’d learned to skim stones, standing at that very spot. Back when the river had filled the canyon to brimming. Back when the rains still fell.

They’d been so young, then. So naive. All they’d wanted was to halt the devastation of the spring floods. They hadn’t realised the effect their rituals would have.

Now, only he remained…

Adrugian gasped as sudden pain tore through his chest. He slumped backwards, shadows darkening his gaze. He knew his time had come, but a smile formed as he took in his final sight.

Clouds gathered above.

Word Count: 175


This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. This week’s prompt was provided by Grant from Flooded out with Books.

To read the other entries click the little blue frog.

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I’d like to both thank and apologise to everyone who has visited my blog recently and left either likes or comments. Whilst I’ve been trying to put together posts, I unfortunately haven’t found the time to respond to comments or to visit anyone’s blogs. Sorry! Hopefully, now the kids are all back at school, work will quieten down somewhat and I’ll finally manage to catch up. I have to admit that all ll I’ve wanted to do with my free time over the Christmas holiday is curl up with a book!

Just to warn everyone, though, I am intending to get stuck into editing the novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo during January, so my blogging might not be as frequent as it has been in the past.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, whatever festival you were celebrating.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

As it’s nearly midnight here, I’m afraid seeing what everyone else has written will have to wait until tomorrow morning…

Night night. 🙂

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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Harvest

Harvested Wheat

struck

with scything blades

the king falls

laid low

in golden splendour

beneath nefarious skies

as mournful gazes

watch

shadows creeping

rivulets of life-blood

seeping

teardrops withheld

as duty is

done

Cut ShortIt’s harvest time here in England, and the farmers have been busy in the fields around the village. Mostly I’ve come across the fields showing only the aftermath of their activity, though I have been lucky enough to catch sight of them in action on a few occasions.

Bailing Hay

MftS: The Bare Bones

Here’s this week’s entry into Monday’s Finish the Story flash fiction challenge, run by Barbara W. Beacham. This challenge gives you a picture prompt and the first line and asks that you finish the story in 100-150 words. The given line is in italics.

Photo Prompt: © 2015 Barbara W. Beacham

Photo Prompt: © 2015 Barbara W. Beacham

The Bare Bones

The cemetery spread along the area known as Devil’s Abode. Some knew it by a different name: The Gateway, home to the King of Bones.

The group paraded in solemn order, Andrew’s coffin borne aloft. Will’s despair grew with every step he took. Had he not left early, not been distracted by seductively swaying hips, he could have stopped them – his brother would still be alive.

Tears dampened his cheeks as they entered the mausoleum, descending into darkness. For centuries their family had interred their dead within the chamber below, the underworld’s guardian assuring the departed soul’s safe passage.

“Farewell, brother,” Will murmured as they placed Andy’s casket before the king upon his skeletal throne.

Piercing eyes glinted as the ancient being turned his gaze in Will’s direction: uncovering truth; easing guilt. A voice rumbled through his mind. “No blame lies with you, wise protector. The brave one made his own choices.”

Will bowed his head, accepting absolution.

Word Count: 150

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To read other entries or to submit your own, click the little blue frog.

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