Wednesday 30 May 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 57

This week's picture prompt by artist Mevludin Sejmenovic, from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. They have some rather wonderful enhanced landscapes which you can check out over on 500px. 

Had an idea of this story at the beginning, but as often is the case it transforms on the page. I like it, but there is a bigger story behind it. Maybe one day I'll explore it.

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

Real Reality Games

The way the trees gave off a purple effervescence intrigued him, but the turquoise light at the end of the path drew him on. Max loved the feel of this world, even though he knew he should be cautious.

Randolph had told him to go straight to it and not muck about like last time. He knew Travis and Jonas wouldn’t rescue him again. He’d only wanted to explore the geometric world; he didn’t know the rigid structures would be so tightly controlled. Playing a prisoner had been no fun. It had been touch and go during the negotations to get him out.

But this world was entirely different; it was already softer and lighter. Even though the forest could be seen as threatening he found the sounds soothing. Strange pops and barks, rustles and squeaks. What made them? He pondered this as he followed instructions to stick to the path.

Untold treasures Randolph had claimed, but really what would that give him? More access to other worlds maybe? Certainly not a life of riches in his own. They’d found objects were worthless when they brought them back here. The only appeal for Max was the escapism, exiting his own empty mundane reality. He didn’t care about seeing different places. He wanted to create something within one of these worlds. He wanted to stay in one forever. He wanted the fantasy to become the reality.

Maybe he could be the pioneer: The one who stayed. He liked that. But would it start a mass exodus? Would it disrupt everything? For now the public didn’t know much about world tripping. They thought it was some virtual reality game. It wasn’t, it was a real reality game. You actually went inside and explored other realities – realities that the majority of the world thought were only fantasy. Time parallels and other dimension were fiction to them. Just a handful of scientists knew otherwise, and he was one of them.

The turquoise light was now dominating the colour spectrum; everything was lit up around him in varying shades of the aqua blue. It was magical and fairylike. But where was it coming from?

The trees thinned out into a clearing and there it stood – a ball of light emanating beams of pure turquoise. It stood way above his head glowing and deflecting the violet light that surrounded it.

Max was awed by it. He hadn’t seen anything like it in all the worlds he’d travelled through – and there had been at least a hundred. What was its purpose? Randolph thought treasure, but this was much more than that.

He walked right up to it and reached out a hand, but there was no surface just light. He took another step and then another until he was engulfed by the light. It was all around him and in him.

He felt his mood rise, a sensation of elation filling him. He felt like everything was possible that there were no limits to anything. His mind raced with all the projects he had been working on, and solution after solution appeared in his mind. He laughed at the joy of all the knowledge and the feeling of complete satisfaction and contentment that filled him.

He didn’t ever want to leave this place. He had found home. This was where he belonged. He felt it in every atom of his body. This was it, this was his destiny. He never needed to be anywhere else again. 

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 56

I spent a lot of time trying to track down the owner of this week's picture prompt. Many people have used it for many things. I keep coming back to the name Luis Serrano, but there is no website that links this name to this picture (just a google plus page with this image on it), and there are several artists with this name, but none with work similar. Shame, I like to always accredit correctly.

Despite this story relating to a particular fairytale, I saw more in the wolf's eye: I saw emotion, and a depth many of us might not consider at a glance. And this is the tale it inspired.

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.

Cycle of the Wolf
He was watching her – keenly. She didn’t notice him - she never did. And he didn’t want her to; if she did all might be lost. He sighed.

He’d keep doing what he was doing: he’d keep following her, tracking her, staying close. And she wouldn’t know, not really. She might sense him – she occasionally turned round and paused, looking behind her as though she had heard something – but she never spotted him. Thank goodness.

What would she do if she saw him? Scream probably, and run back to the village to people and warn them. And then they’d come with pitchforks and torches and he’d have to run for his life. And he didn’t want to do that, he just wanted to stay near her and know she was safe. He didn’t want what happened to him, happening to her.

He could live with his reincarnation. He could handle not being able to speak to her, to take care of her, to be the father he once was, but he couldn’t live with being banished, or worse, strung up and gutted. He’d done it enough times when he’d lived.

The memory now made him shudder. Had they all been like him? Victims? Had they all once been vital men cut down in their prime by a beast, only to end up being that beast? Was it some kind of cycle? Had the beast that had taken him known him in life? Would he eventually take someone he knew?

He could feel his essence changing. He could feel his desires changing. So far he had been able to survive on the small animals he preyed on, but each time he witnessed a gathering of men he salivated and his urge to try and take one down rose.

So he focused on her in her beautiful red-hooded cape that her grandmother had made for her. It kept her visible in the forest and helped ward off the beasts – beasts like him. 

For the moment she was enough. His drive to protect her enabled him to suppress and chastise the cravings. It kept him occupied day to day and helped offset the aching in his heart of no longer being able to hold her and talk to her, and bask in her delight.

And he would keep his distance and remain in the shadows. He dared not think about how trailing her would be construed by others – others like he used to be.  

Wednesday 16 May 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 55

This week's prompt photo was taken by Ido Rosenhaal, when he was in Sorrento, Italy. 

I liked all the things this picture could represent. And I liked the opening to the story that arrived. It took a while for the ending to appear, but I think it worked out pretty well. What does this object inspire for you?

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.


It moved. Andrea was sure of it. It was a strange hand shaped door knocker, spooky and a little pretentious.

She hesitated, taking a deep breath. Did she really need to be here? Yes, her son had come home terribly upset after playing here. She needed to find out why. He was too terrified to come back with her, and yet he wouldn’t tell her why. She needed to find out what had happened.

She couldn’t bring herself to touch it, so she rapped her knuckles on the wood instead and waited. She heard footsteps coming to the door. It opened and swung back. No one was there.

She called out, ‘Hello?’

A voice came back. “Hello, do please come in.”

It was dark inside with the brightness of the day behind her, and she couldn’t see anyone as she stepped over the threshold into the huge entrance hall. It was a large house with high vaulted ceilings and a wide staircase in the middle leading off in two directions.

As she stepped further in, the front door swung back behind her. She waited; her whole body on high alert, ready to flee if necessary.

She heard footsteps and could just make out a figure in the shadows to the right of the staircase. It seemed to hover there.

“What can I do for you?”

“I came about my son, Gregory. He came over here to play yesterday and came home terribly upset. I wanted to find out why.”

“Came over to play?”


“Are you sure he came here?”

“Yes, he was invited by your son.”

“He can’t have; my son died last year.”

“Oh I’m so sorry.”

“Maybe it was another boy.”

“Was your son’s name Aaron?”

There was a pause. “Yes.”

“That’s who invited him. He said Aaron had recently joined his class in school.”

“Clearly there has been some mistake. Or maybe this is a prank.”

“A prank? No. Gregory came home really shaken yesterday and won’t tell me what happened. I thought you might be able to help me, that’s all. I’m sorry to have wasted your time.”

Andrea turned to leave, walking to the door, then she heard a sound coming from upstairs, banging and thumping and then a child’s voice shouting, “No, please, don’t leave, please don’t leave, help me! Help me! I’m up here! I’m trapped.”

Andrea looked round, startled. She could no longer make out a figure by the staircase. “Hello?” There was no answer, so she called out louder, “Hello?” She heard the muffled cries again.

She hesitated. If she went upstairs what would happen? But if she didn’t, what about the child? Something was wrong here; she needed to find out what it was. With sudden bravado she rushed up the staircase. At the top she went left, sure that’s where the sound was coming from. She could still hear thumping.

She was presented with a wide corridor at the top, with rooms leading off. There was a mix of open and closed doors. She steeled herself and called out again, “Hello. Are you still there?”

“Yes, yes, I’m here, please help me,” a muffled voice came back from the right side.

“Keep talking so I can hear you. Tell me about yourself.”

“My name is Aaron. I live here. I was playing with Gregory yesterday but he got spooked by my mother.”

He was further down, she kept walking. “Your mother?”

“Yes she does that sometimes. I tell her not to, but she can’t help herself.”

It was coming from the next room. The door was ajar.

“How did she spook him?”

She pushed the door open. Inside she found a large bedroom, a child’s bedroom with all the toys and clutter all over the floor and surfaces.

“Well she appears when she shouldn’t.”

“So she interrupted you? I think I’m here in the right room. Where are you?”

“I’m in the big wardrobe. It locks behind you if you’re not careful. The butler, Garson, has the day off. I was worried I’d be stuck here till Betty comes to cook me dinner.”

Andrea walked to the large closet and twisted the lock. The door opened. A rusty haired boy the same age as her son stepped out.

“Thank you so much.”

“No problem. But I still don’t understand, why didn’t your mother come and get you out? And why would her interrupting you upset Gregory so much?”

“My mother died last year. It was her ghost.”

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 54

This week's picture prompt was created by Barbara Bezina, a photographer from Argentina. She calls this 'Aguas de Colores' (Water of Colours). You can find more of her art on here website

With limited computer time due to children on school holidays, it was a struggle to get started with this one and then half way through I couldn't work out an ending. But I kept writing and it appeared, but it was WAY over the word limit, so cut it, but I am still over by 70 words! 😳 But I can't find any more to cut without killing the story. So I'm going with it.

This picture offers so much and I went a long way off what I thought I would write. But I like it. Hope you do too.

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.


You can save her.
I can’t.
Yes you can.
But she’s already underwater.
But you’re not.
I might be soon.
Felicity grabs Fiona’s arm.
“Stay up!” she breathes.
She can only hear a gurgling sound.
Is she gone?
I don’t know.
Felicity pushes her sister up. Fiona’s face breaks the surface. Felicity hears a gasp.
“Stay with me.”
“I’m trying.”
“Not hard enough.”
“How much longer?”
“I don’t know. If he comes again and puts more water in, we’re in trouble.”
“I’m in trouble now.”
“You have to be strong.”
“Why were we stupid enough to agree to this?”
“Why is Jake doing this, what did he say?”
“He said he wants to hear the other voice.”
“What does that even mean?”
“I’m not sure.”
Fiona takes a breath and slips under again.
Great! Fiona’s such a sucker.
Not always.
Yes, always, remember how I had to go and rescue her from that commune.
You thought about staying.
Only to find out what sucked her in.
You still thought about it.
I know. Shhhh, he’s coming.
Felicity hears a scrabbling at the top of the pit. She sees eyes looking down at them.
He’s back.
This could be it.
What the end?
Does he have buckets with him this time?
“No he doesn’t have buckets, Felicity,” Jake calls down, “he has what he is looking for.”
Felicity freezes. What’s he talking about?
“You know what I’m talking about Felicity. I knew it was there.”
She peers into Jake’s face. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
He’s gone mad.
“I can hear you.”
“How can you? It’s in my mind. Everyone talks to themselves.”
“This isn’t self talk Felicity, the person you are talking to is separate from you. And I have a special gift that allows me to hear them.”
Felicity waits for the other voice. She senses them waiting too.
“So what are you going to do now? Kill me?”
 “Kill you? Don’t be silly. Although I don’t need Fiona now.”
Felicity grabs her sister and forces her out of the water again.
“Fiona! He’s back and he wants to get rid of you!”
Fiona sputters, “What do you mean, rid of me?”
“No, no. Not rid of her. I need her help.” A rope ladder’s let down into the pit. “Fiona, climb out and dry off. I’ve got a towel here for you.”
Fiona glances at Felicity and starts climbing.
She’s just going to do what he says.
She’s got no loyalty to you.
Tell me about it.
What is he going to do now?
I don’t know.
“I’m going to push you, and see what happens,” Jake says.
What does he expect to happen?
I’ve no idea.
“Hopefully another person will manifest.”
Is he crazy?
I can’t manifest I don’t have a body.
And you’re a figment of my imagination.
Well I wouldn’t say that.
What do you mean?
Well he’s not wrong.
About what?
About me. I am separate to you.
Who are you then?
I’m Dorson.
Am I possessed?
Sort of.
But you’ve always been in my head.
That’s right. I was given entrance at your birth.
To do what?
To live a life. To experience it. And know how to control another.
You don’t control me.
You like to think I don’t.
Felicity feels the urge to push this person. She imagines them in her mind and shoves them hard. They stumble.
What are you doing?
I want you out!
Don’t be silly.
I’m not.
She continues shoving the imagined figure, hitting it down, again and again. She hears more shouts and then pleading.
“I don’t want you in my head anymore!” she shouts out loud.
The water around her begins to move, bubbles surface. She keeps shoving the figure & pictures a cliff edge. She shoves them over. Next to her the water starts to take shape.
Jake shouts, “Get out Felicity, now! Before he surfaces. Fiona, help me keep the ladder still so she can climb faster.”
Felicity doesn’t hesitate. She throws herself at the ladder & pulls herself up, keeping her eyes on her sister’s face, ignoring the rushing sound and the roaring voice escalating with it. Only once she’s pulled her out does she look back.
The thing’s huge! It’s made of water, but the shape of the rippled torso and head with horns is unmistakable.
“Quick, the two of you, help me!”
Jake’s lifting some kind of chain and pulling on it. They join him. They hear a loud grinding sound and the water level starts to drop. Dorson’s thrashing increases as he realises he’s about to be sucked into an outlet pipe, but he’s helpless to resist. With one last roar he’s gone.
All three let go and fall back onto the ground.
“How did you know Jake? How did you know he was inside me?”
“I told you it’s my gift, Felicity. And getting them out is what I do.”