Microfiction #writephoto: Roc

This is for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt.



Together they watched the sun sink across the bay. The mountains looked hazy in the dusky light, purple and mysterious. She gripped his hand with excitement.

“How long before it gets here?”

He returned the pressure and smiled.


“And it will take both of us?”

He nodded. They shuffled closer together as the detonations, muffled with distance, made the ground shudder. Trees bent branches over their heads and the last of the cherry blossom fell about them. The war was rolling like a red, bloody wave over the continent. Nothing could resist it. Nothing and no one. Forests burned. They smelled the smoke that curled and wove its way through the scent of blossom. Nothing would be left. Nothing and no one.

Against the golden disc of the setting sun, the silhouette of a bird floated, black and immense. She breathed a deep sigh.

“The Roc.”

He put his arm around her, needing to feel her presence, suddenly afraid to leave the only world he knew. As if she felt his fear, she turned her head slightly and kissed his cheek.

“Just believe. It will be all right.”

She stood, and waved her arms, slowly, deliberately, and the great bird wheeled about. Raising her face to the golden light, to the approaching shadow, she smiled.

“The new world will be better. You’ll see.”

The air screamed with the whistle of wind in pinions, and the shadow of huge wings enveloped them.






Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

20 thoughts on “Microfiction #writephoto: Roc”

  1. Lovely and ominous. The war feels like such a living thing, ravenous, devouring. (But also you rendered it weirdly attractive, I thought for a moment they were waiting to be engulfed by it). I love the ambiguity of the ‘end’ – I’m left unsure.

    1. I’m glad that was the impression that you had, Carl. I don’t believe in 100% happy endings. Life is life, and even if to begin with you are thankful just to have escaped annihilation and still be alive, there must come a point where you ask, is this all there is?

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