The idea of Sunday Photo Fiction is to create a story/poem or something using around about 200 words with the photo as a guide. Read more here.
The storm rolled in the distance, clouds growing darker, heavier, with rain and whatever else lay inside. He didn’t know. Nobody knew. Since the Change, the Weather seemed a force of its own, changing on a whim. Those like him, meteorologists, were shut out. None of their knowledge meant anything now. The weather was, for all purposes, a living being holding the world, and him, hostage.
And so he waited at the window. Those who’d worked by his side were dying, one after one after one. He was next or the storm would not have come. Soon life and things wouldn’t matter. The apartment. The furniture, the painting, his favorite wine. Pictures of friends and family long gone.
In his world, alone was a physical presence looming just behind.
The building quivered. He let the storm roll closer, engulf his building in its death-grip. Climbing into the open window, he dove into the heart of the storm. For the briefest second, he felt the storm one with him. For the briefest second, he understood. And then, he was gone.
PHOTO PROMPT © Björn Rudberg
The instruments lay silent, truths quivering and fading, an unbearable loss. Angels spoke through his music they said and it was true. The collected strings and chords and notes made up his veins and blood and skin. He, a cavatina, and now allentando.
Any day they said, indelible sounds slipping away into the night. Deft fingers caressed smooth wood, music inside waiting to be freed. Others, he knew, would come to free it. Music was as it always had been.
Who would set him free?
“Fear can make a moth seem the size of a bull elephant.” ― Stephen Richards, Releasing You from Fear
This week’s photo prompt is provided by Footy and Foodie.
Guide for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
1. A prompt photo will be provided each Tuesday to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.
2. Linking for this challenge begins on Tuesday and runs to the following Monday evening.
3. Please credit photo to photographer.
4. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try to stay within this limit.
The travelers reached the ridge line by dusk, greeted by the last lingering sight of the sun.
“Think it will come back up in the morning?” Gustav asked, horse fidgeting beneath him.
“Best come,” snorted his companion. “Didn’t make no deal with my money,” here he glared over at Gustav, “to have it skip on me.”
“True,” Gustav reflected, ignoring the look. Who was to say he hadn’t left his wallet at home this morning? It was always best to get the other man to spend his cash rather than spending his own. He liked cash and he liked to keep what he had. Small habit, but important.
They both stared down at the decrepit… what had they been called? Trucks? Every once and again, they’d run into a reminder of the distant past. Musta been miserable.
“He’s gonna come back. Can’t stand the world in darkness. Piss’em off, I’d think.”
Gustav laughed. “Oh, yes, I’m sure he’ll be back. And soon if I’m not mistaken.”
Life… and money….and the hook ….what else could a man want?
“At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets.”
― Steve Maraboli,
Liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning “a threshold”) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete. During a ritual’s liminal stage, participants “stand at the threshold” between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which the ritual establishes.
There are those among us who live false lives. Nasty men. Vicious women. Forgotten children. You will never see them. They pretend normalcy; friends and neighbors and co-workers. Inside they are monsters.
Am I one? Some things are best discovered on your own.
Sometimes the screams wake me, desperate cries ringing in the dark. I never help. I can’t. I won’t. There is only so much pain a child can endure. That, of course, is where I’ve lived my life since, inside the bloody hollow place where last I was a boy, long before I became the man I am now. I never saw the change coming, never even knew a living death was possible but it is…. gods help me, it is.
I was awake. Really awake. Cold. Dark. Deep. Trapped.
Somewhere a dog barked frantically.
Damned dog. Rising, I pulled on slacks and a pullover from the day, treading bare-foot down cool stairs. The barking got louder. I unlocked the door to the basement and a thing of fur burst past, knocking me against the far wall.
It rushed to the front door, barking, claws scraping wood. Lying in blood-stains, the only sound water on tiles and a dog in the distance. It couldn’t come in. There was nothing inside me to come into.
As soon as I opened the door, it sprang down the steps and around the fence, towards the neighbors. Good riddance.
I listened for a moment, waiting for silence, but it didn’t come. The dog barked more and more frantic, sound turning into howls of despair.
Pressing hands hard against my face as if to stop the things inside from rushing out, I closed the door behind me. The grass was chilled, cold from overnight rain. The dog dug frantic at their front door. When he saw me, he started running to me and then back to the door, back and forth, forth and back. Barking.
I would have killed for quiet. I should have killed him the moment I saw him.
The door opened at my touch. He pushed in and I followed. I didn’t want involvement. Solitude was the only salvation I ever found.
The house was a wreak, eerily silent now the dog had stopped his uproar. I smelled it. Not a cut on the finger blood but much, much more. It was a smell I knew deep down in my bones.
Leave now. This isn’t your problem. Pack a bag and go away, find another corner in which to hide. Only I couldn’t. A shard of glass cut my foot. The room – floor, ceiling, furniture – were soaked in blood.
And the smell! The taste in my mouth. The squish of carpet beneath my feet. I heard somebody, somewhere, breathing heavily. The iron taste of madness hung suspended in the air.
I found Jane in the kitchen, no longer a pretty woman. She had been stabbed until her chest was a bloody mass, head almost severed from her body. Nobody was pretty after that kind of death.
The breathing continued and so did I, making my way into the hall. The bathroom was empty of blood as was the first bedroom. I continued to the final room, cold fear spiking in my chest.
James slumped on the bed, hands between his knees, covered in blood.
I was in the shower. Hearing cries, screams, pain tangible in the air. If I helped, he would hurt me. Again. Again. I feared the hatred in his eyes. He wasn’t my father. He couldn’t be. I tried to be good. I tried.
Pumpkin stood guard in front of the closet, fur bristling, growling low and dangerous.
It hurt,” he whispered. “Hurt.”
There was little blood in the room not on James. You knew and you left me there.”
Crying. Begging. Screaming. Blood swirling round me, down the drain. Dripping down the walls.
“You died,” I croaked.
He shook his head. “The minute you abandoned me, you died. I knew, knew, you were somewhere, hiding, pretending to be normal. Pretending.”
I drew in a careful breath. “Where is Janice?”
“She’s dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Like you should have been. Like you will be.”
I backed up as he rose, my hand knocking something hard. He raised the knife and I cracked the lamp on his head. He fell, knife laying where it had fallen.
I buried the blade into his back over and over. I’d been wrong to run, to leave him, but what did children know of monsters?
Gone. Finished. Done.
Pumpkin sidled over to me, head down, tail tucked between his legs. His cold nose nudged my face.
He whimpered, slinking beside me as I crawled to the closet.
I clawed the door open. She hurled herself into me, wrapped her tiny body around mine. Her heart beat a thousand thunders.
I carried her out of the room, past the body of her mother, into the cool night beyond. “It will be all right,” I whispered, “I won’t let anybody hurt you”. Pumpkin trotted beside me.
“It will be all right.”
And it was.
The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.”
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Value is not made of money, but a tender balance of expectation and longing.”
― Barbara Kingsolver,