This week’s Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge (CB&W) topic is Sepia Tones Only.
My friend and I walked around to the channel side of the hotel and stumbled upon this fellow looking like a cross between a wolverine and a wolf. Not sure why he was there unless it was to scare away the ducks. If this was his purpose, the duck poop and feathers spoke to his failure.
This week’s Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge (CB&W) topic is Weather.
You’ve just been handed a message that makes you drop to the floor, trembling uncontrollably.
- No more than a Word Count of 600. (SUGGESTED)
- Using the above scenario, create a scene of what the note is about, and why it makes you react the way you do. (REQUIRED)
- No external dialogue for this scene. (SUGGESTED)
The floor was cold. That was my first recollection. Concrete cold. Concrete hard. Trembling with cold and something else, something I didn’t understand. When he handed me the note, I’d felt bolts of lightening stabbing up my arm and to my heart. The next thing I knew was cold floor, body still jerking and trembling.
McBrown still stood over me, manic grin plastered across his face. I’d learned quickly to fear McBrown. His work was to make life as hard as possible for those of us here.
Beyond my cell, other inmates howled and growled, typical reactions to his presence. He knew not to come too close to the bars, knowing any one of us would gladly claw him to shreds.
He’s pressed against my bars though, knowing I am helpless to reach him. He prods me, laughing as each jerk of electricity rattles inside me; laughing as if the piece of paper clutched helpless in my hand is somehow his private joke on my world.
Maybe it is. Why else would a lawyer come to see me unless my sentence is set? I know they would not come to pardon me. I’ve done horrible things, things for which no pardon could ever come.
I don’t want to die, but I will. The lawyer will come. He will inform me of the date I will die in his cold, clinical voice, no emotions on his face. No emotions in him at all, the hollow shell of a man who once knew the meaning of sunshine. Like me.
Holy Mother of God, I don’t want to die.
Please, Lord, let me go to my end without breaking.
Outside the empty cell, the other inmates remain silent in memory.
If you could slow down an action that usually zooms by, or speed up an event that normally drags on, which would you choose, and why?
“It takes time, you know,” she said to me, giving me the I’m-so-not-rolling-my-eyes look.
“I hate lines.”
“Nobody much likes them, but it is what it is. Fact of life.”
I ran a hand through my hair. “Well then I’m obviously in the wrong life.”
“Wrong life or wrong time? I doubt lines elsewhere or when would be much different.”
I snorted, actually rolling my eyes. I didn’t have her patience.
So, what if I could speed up time? Surely lines would move faster? So much of life was wasted just standing in lines. I’m sure somebody somewhere had figured out the percentage – most everything else in our lives was reduced to percentages these days – why not standing in lines?
I sat down on the edge of the road, diddling a finger in the sand. Stood up again. Looked up and down the line, trying to decide if we’d moved an inch since last time I’d looked. Sat down. Stood up. Sighed.
She was ignoring me now.
Maybe I was too impatient, but lines burned me. I was the kind of person who, if the restaurant sported a waiting list, went elsewhere. I avoided lines with the persistence and skill of a sprinter, though obviously one trapped in the pack, other sprinters gouging me with their cleats.
“What the heck isn’t this line moving?”
She focused back on me. “Tanja wants a pony ride. This is the line for the pony rides. There are only six people in front of us for god’s sake.”
Tanja tugged my hand, dancing at the end of my arm.
“Can I ride the spotted one, Daddy? CanIcanIcanI?”
The ponies would be on their last legs by the time we arrived. I didn’t tell her that though.
“We’ll see, sweetie,” I said “when we get there.”
To read more posts for this prompt go here Pace Oddity
Last weekend I visited Chincoteague Island. It amazes me how many people don’t know about Chincoteague and it’s ponies. Then again, not everybody is horse-crazy. Still, it boggles my mind to think there are people who don’t know about the wild ponies, Pony Penning and have never dreamed about buying a pony at the auction.
Chincoteague Island is Barrier Island off the cost of Virginia. It snuggles up with
Assateague Island, shown in green. These islands have long been the home of bands of Chincoteague Ponies, most likely descents of Spanish horses stranded by shipwreaks. These ponies first came to fame in the fictionalized version of a true story, Misty of Chincoteague, written by Marguerite Henry. Subsequent books include, Stormy, Misty’s Foal, Seastar, Orphan of Chincoteague and Misty’s Twilight.
Two separate herds roam Assateague, separated by a fence on the Virginia/Maryland border, totaling roughly 150 horses. The ponies are owned by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department. Every July, the fireman, called ‘Salt Water Cowboys,’ round up both herds and swim the ponies across to Chincoteague. During the annual Fireman’s Carnival, foals are auctioned off to raise money to fund the needs of the Fire Department. Pony Penning began in 1925 and has grown in popularity ever since. People from across the US flock to watch the Ponies swim the channel, then parade down Main street to the fairground on the last Wednesday and Thursday of July.
Foals used to sell for low prices, making owning a Chincoteague Pony the dream of thousands of little girls, and boys, across the country. Compare this with the 2015 sale, where the highest sale price was $25,000, a new record. The average price of a foal last year was $2779, also a new record, and 61 foals were sold. The lowest bid was $500.00. This isn’t some little Podunk auction anymore. The sale not only provides for the needs of the Fire Department, it also ensure the size of the herd remains around the 150 mark.
After the sale, the remaining adults and those foals too young to be separated from their mothers, swim back across the channel for another year of sea grass and sand dunes.
For those of you not besotted by horses, this may seem rather boring. To those horse-lovers in the world, however, Pony Penning is something of a Holy Grail, at least it has been for me. Many a year, I begged my parents to take me to Pony Penning. Wise souls they were, they always refused. Now, I understand nothing good would have come from taking their daughter to the auction and not getting a pony.
During the year, the Ponies live on the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Along with swimming at the beach, hiking trails or going to the top of the Lighthouse constructed in 1833, visitors can learn about the myriad of wildlife that lives on, or migrates through, the islands. The most exciting adventure for horse lovers, however, is searching for that rare glimpse of wild ponies.
All photos are in the public domain.
“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.”
― Ernest Hemingway,
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
― Ernest Hemingway
Week of 02-16 through 02-22-2016
This week’s photo prompt is provided by TJ Paris. Thank you TJ!
The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try and stay within this limit.
The grave was gone, washed out to sea like so many before. I came all this way, too late.
Tears burned my eyes, straps of my backpack cutting into the thinness of my shoulders. Food was scarce. I’d gone too many days without. All my hopes has been pinned on him, but even his body was gone. There was nothing left to sanctify.
I looked down the stone road, at the crowd gathering on the far beach and the city beyond. The crowd started down the path
Kneeling, I began to pray.