Wednesday 31 January 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 40

This week's photo was created by Emerald-Depths (Danielle Clifton) an American digital artist over on Deviant Art. Access to this picture has been restricted on this site to members only, probably due to the amount of use it has had online - it took me a long time to track it down. Danielle has called it The Road Home. And it certainly could be.

Took me a while to get an opening line in my head for this one as so many tales were vying for my attention - but many felt like repeats of other stories I had written. Finally one came and grew in the first paragraph. It's the best type of writing when that happens, when it all starts to fall into place. Some could say this is a beginning to a novel- many of my flash pieces are - and maybe one day. So many ideas, so little time to write them all. 😉

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.


The race to the heath was on. If Byron didn’t get there first, he might as well stop now and let Todd kill him. The portals were his only hope; if he jumped through quickly enough, there’d be no way to trace him.

He didn’t want to think about where he might be jumping to yet though. For now he just had to get up there and choose one of the standing stones before Todd and his crew blocked them off.

He knew it had only been rumours about the cult being in control of them. Todd had wanted people to believe that so he could have them all to himself. But Byron knew better. He’d been there that night, he’d seen the truth; he’d watched that guy Fenton being taken through no matter how many enchantments Todd’s crew had made to prevent it. They had no control.

And since that fateful night Byron had become curious, returning again and again to try and work it out for himself. Between time in the public library and digging around in local folklore he’d come a fair way too. He knew how to use them. He’d even experimented a couple of times.

But that was when it had happened, when Todd and his crew had found out. He’d been seen and they’d set a trap for him as he’d come out, catching it on camera. They’d attempted to blackmail him with it: show his family, show his boss. What they hadn’t banked on were people’s lack of belief. They’d thought the video had been faked; they’d thought it was a joke. His boss had laughed about it.

Todd hadn’t been happy. So now Byron’s only chance of survival was through one of the portals.

As he rushed up the heath with his heavy backpack, he thought about which one of the three to choose. The view through on the stone had to be clear: if it wasn’t clear he couldn’t risk jumping. They’d do one of two things: knock over the stones, face down, so they couldn’t be accessed anymore, or they’d send someone through to chase him down. He didn’t think they’d chase him. He didn’t think they’d be gutsy enough. Plus they wouldn’t have a clue how to return – otherwise Fenton would have come back.

It crossed Byron’s mind to find him, but it was only fleeting as he turned round, walking backwards for a few seconds to see how far behind they were. He could see Todd’s van down on the road, it looked like a matchbox car from this height. He could see Johnno’s van had joined it. They’d be on the move now. And they might have another route.

He picked up the pace and started jogging. There really was no time to lose. He knew that at least five minutes had to lapse after he jumped for there to be no trace. He’d reached the circle now and was already reciting incantations. He could feel the energy shift in the circle. He looked at the three of them, two were clear: he had a choice between the small one and the medium one. He didn’t like the look of the desert in the medium one, but the small one looked like a reflection of the heath he was on, could he trust it? One thing he had learnt was not to trust what the eye was showing you.

He spoke a stream of invocations at it. It clouded up. He knew it. They’d already been up here trying to block his way. He stood in front of the medium one and did the same, it remained clear, but it worried him. If they’d set one up to fool him, how did he know they hadn’t set another? He turned to the tallest one, which reflected darkened storm clouds. He delivered a string of enchantments and it cleared immediately, giving him a breathtaking view of rolling hills.

His choice was made. He jumped through, landing on soft firm grass. He invoked spells in the circle on the other side; they should close the portal off for a couple of days, giving him a head start. Then he headed to the nearest hill, hoping to find a town of some sort on the other side. Either way he needed to get out of site of the stone circle and find a way to survive here.


  1. You knew, I hope, that I'd find words for this one. :)

    1. And as usually they are great words. Thanks for joining Mark.

  2. Replies
    1. And what a wonderful story. Thanks for joining.