For the dverse prompt. 144 words exactly.
The egret picked its way through the reeds to where the open water of the lake began, the stately progression of a Medieval princess dressed in white samite performing some mystery. He shifted his weight; the movement frightened the bird and it launched itself in a shower of droplets into the sky. Envy made her want to weep.
“Oh to have that freedom, those white wings.”
He shrugged. “It’s not freedom. It’s just following nature’s orders.”
“Sometimes,” she said, “the great bones of my life feel so heavy, I could drown in these shallows.”
He took her hand. She knew what he was going to say, the platitude about how he’d always be there to carry her. She pulled her hand away.
“The shallows call with more passion than I’ve ever heard from you.”
“I know,” he said and turned back to the house.
For Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.
The lavender fields stretch silent and scentless, their parallel banks of gaudy colour disappearing from sight over the hills.
We still marvel at the glorious (unnatural) colour, but the unmistakable scent is a faded memory, the sound of bees relegated to audio histories,
and we never talk about what the lavender harvest feeds.
For Sonya’s Three Line Tales prompt.
photo by Raúl Nájera via Unsplash
The hunters read the notice and laughed, arrogant, derisive laughter, because they were hunters and they respected no rules but the ones they made themselves.
There were deer in the woods, hare and pheasant in the broad glades, and game was game, wherever it hid.
Shouldering their rifles they climbed the fence and jumped, clearing the brambles and landing in the concealed trench filled with razor wire, their screaming drawing from the tree shadows, the waiting wolf pack.
For Sonya’s photo prompt.
photo by Nathan Dumlao via Unsplash
They gave him a puzzle to put together out of bits of black and grey, sharp and caustic as the put-downs of his teacher and cold as his father’s disinterest.
He struggled beneath their unflinching gaze and the click click of biros taking notes and the glare and the blare of the noisy light.
At the end of the hour he had made a figure of a boy out of five rectangles and a circle, and scattered all around was the howling debris of his world.
Couldn’t resist this prompt. Reminded me of a well-loved film.
He took a crayon from the pot and drew a red balloon, and at the end of the long string, he drew himself.
The master crumpled up the paper and tossed it in the bin angrily, but later, after school, the child met his friend on the corner, and in her hand she held the strings of two balloons, a red and a blue.
She smiled, handed him the red one, and together they drifted away, over the rooftops of the unkind city to the place where balloons and children fly free.
For Sonya’s Three Line Tales, on hearing the news from Italy.
photo by NASA via Unsplash
I had a dream last night that I was floating high above the world, so high I could see oceans and continents, so bright, so blue.
I wanted to spread my wings and soar, but my hands were bound, and something was in front of my face as the blue world slipped away out of my line of vision.
The blue, when my eyes blinked open, was the sterile light of a hospital ward, and I stared through a mask, a tangle of tubes and the blur of tears.
For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt.
Once the ring of stones had been unbroken. The stones had been one, created to act as one, perform the same function for the same people. But times changed, the people scattered, their beliefs fragmented. For centuries the stones held firm, bound by thousands of years of tradition until one broke away, taking retribution with her.
The lapping of flames and the screams of the dying, the crying of children, the pouring of blood into the grass tore her from her roots. She would no longer be bound to the deep earth but would appear and disappear, never resting, never looked for and never remaining. She appeared after tragedies, wars, preventable catastrophes, and she brought fire, flood, storm and vengeance.
She brought fire to the big house on the hill, and for a while, she could be seen through the charred timbers and broken walls, standing gaunt and black on the ridge overlooking the town. When she left, the prints of her stony, fiery steps remained, and no crops, no plants, no bramble weeds ever disturbed the sacred ground of her passing.
For Sonya’sThree Line Tale prompt.
photo by Gabriel Ramos via Unsplash
We all thought he was a crank, with his homemade rocket, out to prove that the earth was flat, Darwin was wrong, God was a spaceman, and the Loch Ness Monster was actually a flying narwhal spawned among the unicorn and mythological beast hatcheries that fake scientists and blasphemers called the Milky Way.
We watched from a safe distance as the captain of the Starship Hergé turned the ignition, revved the engine, opened the throttle, and deployed the flight fins, giggling as the glorified firework burst into the air.
Our laughter turned to astonishment when, with whinnies of alarm, a school of winged multi-coloured narwhals shot out of the bank of cloud as Hergé roared past on her way to Loch Ness in the Sky.
Sometimes the answer to the photo prompt riddle comes straight away. This is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales prompt.
photo by Klaas via Unspalsh
Silence fell; the telephone finally stopped its dumb-mutt belling and the typewriter its clattering.
The angle poise bent from its superior height and superior design and addressed the typewriter, “If you can’t keep that thing under control, it will be disconnected, and you can take it with you to the scrap heap.”
The typewriter said nothing, but typed out a reply only the angle poise could see—Don’t mention scrap heaps or you’ll set it off again; it doesn’t know that of the three of us, it’s the only one with no retro appeal whatsoever.”
A knock on the street door in the night and we don’t answer. We look furtively through the louvred shutters and see nothing, nothing definite, but we know it’s there. You go to check the locks, I watch, see the faintest flutter of movement, a sliding up the wall of the building.
I want to call out to you but daren’t break the night silence. I don’t want to be alone and leave the window, looking for you. There are only two rooms in the apartment, and you are in neither of them.
The front door is unlocked. I fling it wide in panic and the darkness surges forward. I slam the door closed, lock it, pull across the bolt and I think I hear you calling, far away.
There is a creak, a gust of night air and I know a window has been opened. It’s there, in the bedroom. I back up against the apartment door. The bolt rattles, eases itself free. I watch mesmerised as the key turns by itself, clicks.
There is no point resisting.
I just hope it will be quick.