TLT: Breathe You In

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Photo Prompt – Dominik Martin

Sometimes he could feel her lips upon his, a caress so familiar he expected to see her when he opened his eyes. They used to joke that they needed each other more than air. As he gasped for breath, feeling closer to her than to his mortal flesh, he wondered if they’d been right.


This post is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales. This week’s prompt is by Dominik Martin.

I’m probably not going to be on my blog very much for the next few weeks as I’ve decided to join in with NaNoWriMo again this year, this time working on an YA steampunk fantasy novella. It was a bit of a last minute decision – mainly because I still have last year’s NaNo-novel sitting on my computer, waiting to be edited! Hopefully this one won’t be in quite so much of a mess at the end of the month’s writing…

I’ll try to put up a few photography posts, and maybe a poem or two, but I don’t know whether I’ll manage much else.

Just in case I don’t manage to visit the blog at all, see you all in December!

FFfAW: Wisps of Gold

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Photo prompt – © Phylor

Wisps of Gold

Emily stood beside the piled leaves, peering around the garden for any that might have escaped her notice. It had taken far longer than she’d expected to scrape the mound together, each breeze threatening to undo her work, but she’d been determined to gather every golden scrap she could find.

“Well?” she called. “How’s that?”

A pale face peered from the darkness of the barn. An arm stretched out, finger pointing. “You missed some.”

Mummy would have been cross if she’d heard Emily’s words as she turned and saw the scatter of leaves newly tossed over the grass. “Damn wind – leave my leaves alone!” she shouted at the sky. As if in defiance, a fresh gust sent Emily running again.

She returned the final armful to the pile, and, grinning excitedly, ran back to her new friend. “Come on. Quick!”

With a whoop the pair dashed over the lawn, leaping into the crunchy heap in a shower of laughter, setting golden wisps to flight. Bathed in sunlight, Emily’s companion smiled.

And faded from sight.

Word Count: 175

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

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This post is for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge, run by Priceless Joy. This week’s photo prompt was provide by Phylor. Thank you Phylor!

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FFfAW: The Birth of Ambition

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The Birth of Ambition

“This used to be one of the greatest gardens in the area.” The rough voice caught Finley’s attention as he stomped along the path. “Some day it could be again.”

Finley paused, juggling his armfuls of equipment as he peered at the old gardener leaning on his spade beside the path. With weathered face and dirt encrusted skin, the grizzled figure seemed almost part of the garden. Finley hadn’t even noticed his presence until he spoke.

“Uh, sure.” Finley shrugged. He didn’t know what else to say. It was only his first day on the job, and all he’d been allowed to do so far was fetch and carry. The head gardener had barely even let him get his hands dirty.

“You could make it great.”

Images of carefully managed plots, with neatly tended lines of vegetables and flowers, and paths winding through lush growth, filled Finley’s mind. He blinked. The desire to see it happen, to make it happen, settled deep in his chest.

When he looked again the old gardener had vanished.

Word Count: 175

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

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This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. This week’s photo prompt was provided by me! I hadn’t planned to post any flash fiction until after I’d finished my Nano month of editing, but I couldn’t really not write a story for my own prompt.

The photograph was taken at the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall. These gardens were neglected and fell into a massive state of disrepair after the First World War, only to be rediscovered and regenerated in the 1990s. There are now numerous different areas open to the public, including the vegetable garden pictured above, a flower garden, the Italian garden, Pineapple Pits, a series of lakes, a sub-tropical area known as ‘The Jungle’, plus many more.

Here are a few more pictures from the place:

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TLT: Waiting

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Photo prompt – © Rosan Harmans

Waiting

“Why are you here?” he asked, even though he knew the answer.

“I’m waiting for you.” Her heels clunked against the cabinet in a familiar rhythm. “I’ll wait forever if I have to.”

“I won’t be long now.” Ephemeral fingers traced his aged cheek before she faded from view.


This post is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales challenge. I’ve interpreted the ‘three lines’ instruction a little more loosely this week – it’s three lines of dialogue with accompanying descriptions. 🙂

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: Flutterby

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

Photo Prompt: © T.J. Paris

Photo Prompt: © TJ Paris

Flutterby

Sometimes she forgot that the world kept turning. Her own life had frozen in a single moment of despair. Annabelle gazed out over the bare field, a veil of tears obscuring her view as memories taunted her mind. It seemed only yesterday the place had brimmed with life: brightly coloured wildflowers swarming with insects; long grasses swaying in the breeze. Now the meadow was as empty as her existence.

Only a lone butterfly drifted along the hedgerow.

Nova had always loved to run among the flowers, the tattered wings of her fairy costume trailing behind her as she chased butterflies from blossom to blossom. Her joyous laughter had filled the air. “Mummy look! I’m a flutterby!” she’d called.

Annabelle choked back a sob, trembling fingers swiping away tears. Dark bruises had marred pale flesh. How could she not have known? It was a mother’s job to protect her child – how could she have failed so abysmally?

The butterfly landed on her hand, tattered wings aglow in golden light. “Mummy look! I’m a flutterby!” she heard.

Word Count: 175


I’ve always loved the symbolism of butterflies. Mostly this relates to themes of transformation and movement from one phase of life to the next. They’re also said to symbolise joy and the soul, among a number of other things. This story, however, was mainly inspired by a line on this website that states that in some parts of England the folklore has it that butterflies contain the souls of dead children brought back to life.

The story was also inspired by one of my favourite places to sit and write – the wildflower meadow in the village. This picture was taken in August:

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and this was taken two days ago, on the same walk as yesterday’s Wordless Wednesday picture:sunbeam over meadow edited

It gives a rather different view!


In case anyone didn’t see the note on this week’s MFtS, I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo this year so my blogging will be slowing down over the next few weeks and during November will reduce to only the occasional photography post and writing update. I’ll be working on the first draft of a fantasy novel called ‘Age of the Dragonlords’, an idea that’s been sat in a file on my computer for several years now and really needs writing! If I don’t manage to get to your blog over the next few days, I’m not ignoring you – I’m just distracted by planning out my characters’ exploits. 🙂

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FFfAW: The Red Boat

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

Photo Prompt: © 2015 The Storyteller's Abode

Photo Prompt: © 2015 The Storyteller’s Abode

The Red Boat

The storm appeared without warning. Wind and rain whipped the tranquil lake whilst clouds darkened afternoon into early dusk. Tom watched from the restaurant, his aged eyes casting a faded patina over the once familiar view. Gnarled fingers trembled against the warm ceramic of his teacup.

“Did you see that?” A woman pointed to the water.

A scarlet flash caught his gaze. The noise of the restaurant faded as memory beguiled him.

The red boat had been their pride and joy: a ramshackle vessel revived through youthful enthusiasm. “We’ll have adventures,” twelve year-old Robbie had announced. Nine year-old Tommy followed in his wake.

Their joyful summer ended with the storm…

He remembered clinging to the mast, the boat tossing wildly. He remembered churning fear as water closed over his head. He’d been pulled to safety. Robbie had not.

“There’s a boat out there!” the woman was saying.

Tom closed his eyes. His brother’s voice rang in his ears, clearer than it had been in decades. “Come on, Tommy, we’ll have adventures!”

He followed in his brother’s wake.

Word Count: 175


You’d think that with the photo prompt having come from me this week I’d have found the story easier to write. I’d hoped to have this posted yesterday. That obviously didn’t happen!

In case anyone is curious, the photograph was taken on a boat on Lake Windermere in the Lake District, UK.

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FFfAW: The Lady’s Flight

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

Photo Prompt: © Sonya O.

Photo Prompt: © Sonya O.

The Lady’s Flight

Isabella dashed up the spiral staircase with a desperation born of terror. She could hear them behind her, their loud voices echoing. She needed help – surely someone still fought! Each arrow slit she passed was empty of defenders; no familiar faces appeared to offer aid.

Sir Gilbert’s betrayal had surprised them all.

The attackers had streamed into the castle before dawn, bypassing their defences through treachery and deceit. She’d hidden, as Father commanded, huddling in the cubbyhole while the clamour of battle filled the air. But she couldn’t hide forever. Leering grins sent her fleeing – she knew her fate if captured.

Finally reaching the top of the tower, Isabella burst out into bright sunlight. Her heart sank. Strangers’ faces stared, wide-eyed.

“-and it’s said that sometimes you can see Lady Isabella’s ghost, repeating her final frantic flight.”

Isabella backed away, her heart racing as a hand rose to point.

“Is that her?”

Her back pressed against the battlement’s stone. She would not be taken! With no other options available, she turned.

And jumped.

Word Count: 174spiral staircase


This week’s photo prompt was perfectly timed for me (thank you, Sonya) as yesterday I was visiting Warwick Castle and clambering up and down towers very similar to the one in the picture – as my calf muscles keep reminding me today! This story was inspired by the trip and by the many stories of sieges and ghosts which you find linked to most of the castles in Britain. The second picture above is one taken yesterday. Hopefully I’ll be sharing a gallery of others over the weekend – if my internet decides to stay on!

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Cee’s Black and White Challenge: Older Than 50 Years

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The Lady of the Ossington

Stairs creak, footsteps of a ghostly presence creeping ever closer. She watches through the veil as workmen transform her dream into her direst nightmare. As alcohol swirls in glasses, voices rising in drunken excitement, her ire grows. This was not what she wanted! How dare they defy her will? Fury crackles like static in the air. They may not be able to see her but she can still make her presence known.

Bottles shatter. Wine spreads like blood across the floor.

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This post is for Cee’s Black and White Challenge. I couldn’t resist joining in again when I saw the theme for the next few weeks is ‘older than 50 years’! Old places and things are some of my favourite things to photograph.

The building pictured is ‘The Ossington’, formerly known as ‘The Ossington Coffee Palace’, and was built in Newark on Trent in 1881 by Charlotte, Viscountess Ossington. Her main aim was to promote temperance. She wished to draw as many of the local farmers and labourers away from the public houses as she possibly could.

For many years the Coffee Palace was run as the Viscountess intended, despite being requisitioned during both world wars. It was finally sold away from her heirs in 1978 and it was after this time that alcohol was first served in the building. Local legend holds that the spirit of the Viscountess was so disgusted that she returned to haunt the place. Her portrait was tossed off the wall, wine crates thrown off shelves and kegs of alcohol mysteriously bled dry with no signs of leakage. When workmen entered the building for renovations they complained of ghostly interference causing the job to take far longer than expected. They heard footsteps on the stairs, tools moved inexplicably and one morning they found the words ‘Get out of my house’ carved into new plaster as if by a ghostly finger…

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FFfAW: Complete

This post if for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) Challenge, run by Priceless Joy. This week’s picture was provided by Vanessa Rodriguez. The challenge is that you write a story of 75-175 words inspired by the photo prompt below. I hope you all like it.

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Photo prompt: © Vanessa Rodriguez

Complete

Smiling in satisfaction, Samuel positioned the last figure on the platform. It had taken months of work but his model railway was finally finished.

The day’s last light streamed in through the attic window, lighting the scene with a gentle touch. The sounds of the house drifted to his ears: Freddie and Alex squabbled over toys; Lily warbled nursery rhymes to her dolls; his beloved Jennifer clattered pots in the kitchen. They were sounds he loved to hear.

Flicking a switch, he set the trains in motion.

“Have you boys been in the attic again?” Jennifer’s shouted. Silence briefly fell.

“Nope.”

“Not me!”

“Then why can I hear your father’s trains?”

A moment later Jennifer stormed into the room, Freddie and Alex trailing behind.

“Boys?”

“Still weren’t us, Mum.”

Absently flicking off the trains, Jennifer brushed her fingers over the newly completed station.

It had still been incomplete when he died.

Samuel smiled as Lily toddled into the room. “Daddy!” she chirped happily, looking right at him.

He set the trains back in motion.

Word Count: 175

To check out other entries or to add your own, click on the little blue frog.

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