For Sonya’s Three Line Tales prompt.
photo by Linus Sandvide via Unsplash
Almost five hundred years since the abbey was destroyed because a king needed a divorce and the extra revenues weren’t to be sneezed at either, and still the ruins fascinate.
He wanders the silence where grass covers stone flagged pavements, and birds nest in niches of crumbled stone where once prayers were muttered, lifting his torch to the sky opened by fallen roofs.
There is still so much majesty in the soaring stone that has never surrendered to either fire, cannon or the elements, so much that sings in the stonework and architectural grace—he tosses his torch into the petrol doused kindling—time to finish the job.
For Sonya’s photo prompt.
photo by Andrew Donovan Valdivia via Unsplash
She had never seen so many leaves before, not when playtime stretched long and hot for all the hours of a summer’s day.
She shrieked with delight as the hot wind made the rustling ocean swirl and dance, rising at her back full of voices she thought must be the song of the leaves.
But the song was a war cry, and the wind brought more and more fallen leaves, an ocean of them, enough to drown in.
Three lines for Sonya’s photo prompt.
photo by Simon Berger via Unsplash
A fairy tale, we said and sighed, pointing at the shining roofs and onion domes rising above the lake mist.
Whichever lucky person lived there, we said, must be in a state of beatitude, bathed in the beauty of nature, in tune with the universe.
We never wondered why the swans were all making frantically for the lake shore and flying far, far away.
For the dverse prompt, a 144 word (exactly) story incorporating the line from Liesel Mueller:
‘there is nothing behind the wall
except a space where the wind whistles.’
When I was small, the path to school followed two sides of a high stone wall. There was no door, no entrance, and I told myself that there was a magical garden full of trees and flowers on the other side, where no snow fell and no farmer shot the pigeons.
I grew up and, hating the cold northern place, went away, only returning to clear out my parents’ home. Wandering the streets in search of memories, I came to the wall, walked around the third and fourth sides until I found the door.
I stand here now, feeling the tremor of childhood magic, turn the handle. It isn’t even locked. There is nothing behind the wall except a space where the wind whistles, and dead leaves pile in nervous drifts. But among the leaves lies a child’s winter scarf and a dead pigeon.
For Sonya’s weekly photo prompt
photo by Nareeta Martin via Unsplash
The family members heave themselves upright, swill greasy hands clean in the outgoing tide and wade heavily back to the car, renouncing their rights of ownership on the rubbish they no longer want.
Grease, cartons and bits of useless plastic, unwanted distractions for world-weary kids, curl into the waves, drawn out to sea until they hit another beach where a gull is waiting.
Bright eyes find the plastic chunk among the pebbles, gull pecks, tastes and brings the inestimable prize back to the hungry chick that will die some short time later in the agony of strangulation.
The painting prompt for the Ekphrastic Review challenge was a blue horse painting by Franz Marc. Anyone who knows my admiration for Marc won’t be surprised that I was duly prompted. Lorette asked for short fiction, which is what I wrote. You can read Horse Dreams here as well as all the other entries.
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.
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.