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.

90 thoughts on “Microfiction #writephoto: Roc”

      1. I most certainly am. I’m eating lunch at the moment and the sky outside is cloudy. Good to be indoors until the sun shines again. 🙂
        I suppose you are having sunny weather over in France?

      2. Quite right – so you should, Jane. 🙂 Sorry for being such a chatter-box on your space. I … erm … anyway – sorry and all that. 🙂

      3. Found one. It’s a bit dusty, but you gets what you’ve got when it comes from under the settee, right? Just one leg missing – par for the course when you got little ones chewing away at whatever they can fit in their mouths I guess.
        So, anything nice planned for the weekend, ladies? 🙂

      4. Pixie dust is the best option for sure. 🙂 You have many pixies around your neck of the woods? If so, be sure to send a few up this way. 😉

      5. Not sure where you are (apologies if I just plain forgot), but it’s a chain store here in the UK (and, I think, in the US too) that sells big label items for (suspiciously) low prices. Hell for men, heaven for women (if the crowds of guys hanging about outside waiting for their wives to emerge on a Saturday afternoon are anything to go by.
        Football starts soon – gotta go. 😉

      6. Some traditions never change. It was Grandstand all Saturday afternoon when I was a kid, one horse race after another. Until Doctor Who. I’m in SW France now but have lost touch completely with life as she is lived in UK.

      7. You still have a good grasp of the English language, so I guess not all is lost. 🙂
        I remember watching Grandstand with my nannan (grandmother) when I was a kid. She was well into her horses.
        Did you feel like hiding behind the sofa when Doctor Who came on, like I did? 😀

      8. Family traditions 🙂 My gran would put bets on for us when it was a big race. I won the grand National once. Can’t remember the name of the horse but it was a white one. Ha ha! That’s become a stock phrase 🙂 I certainly remember having a cushion handy to hide my face in when things got really scary.

      9. Cushion for when the horse racing got scary? Oh, wait – you mean Doctor Who! 😀
        Well done on winning the Grand National – they don’t have many lady jockeys, so that was quite an achievement. 😉
        Sorry for the above – my sarky gene is playing up today.
        Kindness (at the end of the day) – Robert.

      10. Hahaha – yes. 🙂 Sorry once again – I had a bit of a bad (well, but exactly bad, more like … over-full) day yesterday and so I got a bit snarky. I’m fine today. 🙂

      11. We all have those kind of days. An official pardon should be handed out for sins we are about to commit, as soon as we get up in the morning.

      12. True, true. Do you know – I’m wondering why you moved to France. You have a wonderfully English SOH. Do they get you over there?

      13. What’s a SOH? I moved to France because I’m Irish, couldn’t get a job in Maggie Thatcher’s Britain and future husband had decided France was the place to be.

      14. Sorry – SOH is Sense Of Humour, as in GSOH (on personal ads). 🙂
        Ironic that I was one of the people that voted MT into power (or maybe cemented her 2nd term). If only I’d have known then what we know now. Hey-ho.
        Never fancied moving back, then?

      15. The Irish passport used to be one of the main problems. I don’t suppose that bothers them much nowadays. I just don’t feel the urge to go back at all.

      16. So sorry for tardy responses. I was away for the weekend and had very scanty internet coverage. It snowed on the way there and we have snow on the mountains around Grenoble today but the city is warm and sunny so I feel rather spoiled in truth!

      17. I trust you had a lovely weekend, Osyth and that this message finds you well. As for me – my brain is about to shut down at the end of the day ad I’m going to sleep now. Sweet dreams of you are already there. 🙂
        Kindness – Robert.

      18. Hahaha – no – it all went rather well. 🙂
        I find myself wondering if Jane and Osyth live near each other in France. A quick look on a map sorted that out – one is in the SW and Grenoble is in the SE. 🙂

      19. My normal home is nearer to Jane (about 3 hours due East in Cantal) but I manage to almost as far as can be from her just now 😊

      20. We don’t know one another at all except in this media. That said, we probably share common ideals and sensibilities which helps 😊

      21. It has to do with the ability to appreciate culture, aesthetics and emotions. Jane Austen was keen on it.

      22. Hey, wait – I think I know this! Didn’t one of the Brontë Sisters write a book about it?
        *adopts faux thoughtful expression*
        S’funny, but even though I know the word and the contexts in which it is used, I’ve never used it myself, not have I thought about what it means.
        So there you go – if that aspect of me ever comes up in a Pub Quiz, you know the answer. You’re welcome. 😀

      23. I’m just an old fashioned girl and tend to use old fashioned words when not making up my own 😊

  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?

  2. I imagined different endings there. The first one was him breaking her neck (Of Mice and Men style), the second was a bomb landing on them (like what happens in war), but I didn’t, not for a single second, imagine that a roc would take them away. To safety I hope! 🙂
    Keep up the good work, Jane.
    Kindness – Robert.

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