Wednesday 29 August 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 70

This week's photo was taken by Veronique Yang over on instagram (under name of Golden Heart). It was taken in Zurich, Switzerland. Veronique travels to a lot of places and have some interesting pictures.

This story went very dark very quickly. Sometimes it is just the way it goes. And it's been a while since I've gone this horror filled. But be warned it might be for everyone. 

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.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

Satisfying Urges

I crawled up and out of the manhole, a passing tram covering my arrival. No one saw me. But then no one ever did – I made sure of that. Although today was novel, I didn’t usually come up during daylight hours, even though the day was almost over.

I had a special errand to run today, one I had been planning for some time. Butterflies took flight in my stomach when I thought about it, and a pulse somewhere lower reminded me of the reason behind it. It was time.

I skulked my way into the shadows the buildings threw, trying to become a part of them while moving along to my goal and journey’s end. The leaves on the ground thickened as I approached the gates to the park. Here it was: my playground, my sanctuary. It fed all parts of my soul.

I had chosen to come early so I could feast my eyes and take a proper look. The leaves were blossoming as they removed their summer attire, showing their true nature. I admired their actions, looking forward to doing the same shortly. It was time for my true nature to show itself too.

I found my favourite thicket and pushed myself inside. There was space for two while still remaining unseen. It was the perfect place for my business here tonight.

My nightly visits had proved beneficial; I’d mapped the movements of the people. They never wanted to think they were creatures of habit, but we all were – just some darker ones than others. I smiled to myself as I waited. She would come and she would sit and I would relish, oh so much.

I heard her footsteps as the tones of the day were dimming into nightfall. She clip-clopped in her high shoes like a parade horse. My fingers itched to touch them, and her feet, and her legs ... and oh so much more.

She paused, as she always did by the bench. It was her favourite place to hang. It was a cross point of visitors and brought her a steady flow of admirers. I had watched them; they too were regular. And some liked to do their business there and then. It was the most thrilling part. But some would want to find somewhere to go, somewhere close and covered – like this next one.

I shuffled back pushing myself into the denser part of the shrubbery. I didn’t want them to see me, not yet, and now with full dark just seconds away they wouldn’t.

She led him to the bushes, knowing her way in, entering gracefully. He also knew and didn’t hesitate – as some of the others did – and as soon as they were in he was revealing himself and she was on her knees feasting on it.

I took a moment to enjoy the view, my breath mixing with theirs, hot and heavy as it worked its magic. And then I struck, taking them both down.

They barely had time to react, the foliage muffling what small cries escaped their occupied mouths. She was easy, she was already half way down, but he crashed like a tree, the stake in his back shuddering as he fell on the one protruding from hers.

It was enough to finish me off, and I was done for the night. It was time to retreat. I didn’t need to clean them up that would be the job of those who found them. I had done my part. 

Wednesday 22 August 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 69

This week's photo was taken by Swen Stroop, a Norwegian photographer. This is Callanish Stone Circle, on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. Swen has some amazing photographs. Check out his site for more.

I thought of what story these stones really told, in contrast to all the strange ideas that we come up with to try and explain them. But in truth we don't know. There is a great deal that we don't know. And here I dabble in that.

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.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.    


It hurt my soul to see it this way, so skeletal. It had been so majestic in its day, and I missed those days sorely. They would now be considered days of hedonism or living in utopia, but they;d been normal back then. Civilisation had been exactly that - civil.

I smiled when I thought about what they said this place had been and the tales they told; they couldn’t be further off the mark. Why was it that anything that couldn’t be explained had to have some strange religious meaning? Why did it always have to be a place of worship or be tied to some other cult rituals?

They had looked round the circle of bare stones that had once been the backbone of an incredible building and noted the sun shined through in certain places at certain times of the year, which seemed to verify to them that that had been the intention of the placement of the stones originally. Apparently it was so they were in alignment and connected to some new fangled idea of religion that existed back then. But as they had no concept of what the original structure had looked like they had no idea how wrong they were – let alone that religion was a new creation in the current civilisation, one used to control people, something completely unnecessary back then. Some days I could laugh at it, but some days it frustrated me.

When I visited other sites across Europe, and talked about similar structures that had once been tombs, they knew that what they were looking at was the bare bones of the structure, so why didn’t they realise that with the stone circles?

They would say it was because there was no ‘evidence’ of anything else. But as they had the aging process wrong and their understanding of time was completely out of whack, they didn’t realise just how old the stones really were, and how long they had been standing there. I did. I felt it in every sinew of my soul. I had lived through so much now and I could feel myself tiring – or was it just this time, this moment, watching civilisation yet again taking a dive and all of them oblivious as to why?

The clock was ticking loud now; if someone didn’t put the brakes on there might be a little bit more than a culling; they risked annihilation at their own hands. Although they were busy squabbling over weapons, thinking that whatever killed them would be man-made, but you didn’t fuck with nature. This was something they had forgotten for more than a couple of thousand years now.

It brought me back full circle to where I was standing; how this place too had fallen and people wiped out. Nature didn’t discriminate, it just abided, come what may.

Their tombs might be found here and there, but once they had been so much more. And these stones, these mini monoliths were all that remained of what had once been a palace – one of hundreds that fell across the landscape and housed the communities that lived in them.

Those communities had relished their life and embraced everyone and everything. It was pitiful to think that it was now being reduced to an obscure fantasy of dogma or doctrine, idolising an imaginary creator, something the people who had lived here would have never perceived.

Those people had been sure of themselves and confident in their pure essence, seeing themselves as pieces of a whole that needed to live symbiotically to enjoy the human experience. Not some individual fracturing to gain more than their neighbour so they could play cruel games of ‘mine’s better than yours’, or conditioned from birth that they weren’t enough without those gains – that some imaginary person was judging their every movement, and threatening them with horrors after this life if they didn’t conform.

I sighed. And these people wondered why their lives weren’t fulfilled, and why they suffered mental and emotional maladies. They were oblivious and had been taught to be.

What was here now was in need of cleansing so that the truth could return. I hoped for them all that it wouldn’t be much longer.  

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 68

This week's pictures is a creation by artist RoadioArts a digital artist from the Philippines. He calls this one: Cadena de Amor. He has some interesting art, many depicting people in anguish. You can check out more of his stuff on his Deviant Art page.

This image encompasses different elements, which together represent the journey of my life over the last 16 years, so I couldn't write it as a fiction tale, only as prose.

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.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.   


I felt stuck.
There was no life here.
Not for me.
Everything was obligation, expectation, and desperation.
I felt tied.
I couldn’t set myself free.
People talked about finding the key, but I couldn’t even find the door.
The more I struggled to find a way out, the heavier the chains felt.
I was weighted down.
I could no longer lift my head, let alone my body.

I withdrew.
From the people surrounding me and from the people I’d drawn to me.
They held no solutions.
They told me not to focus on it.
They told me not to think about it.
They told me it was all in my head and I was looking at it the wrong way.
I moved my head round so much to see it from different perspectives, my neck hurt.
In fact it almost broke.

I went away to try and ‘get some perspective’.
All I found was emptiness and the obligation to return.
There was nothing else.
The grass wasn’t greener.
I had to water my own.
But there were no seeds.

Then one day someone mentioned a place.
Not a real place, an illusion of a place, somewhere in the ether.
In fact in the Ethernet.
It was a void that sometimes spoke back.
You followed people and people followed you.
You could find people, the right people, people that understood.
You could talk and be heard.
And talk when you didn’t want to be heard.
Yet not a word was spoken only written.
It opened a whole new world of possibilities.

A place to dream.
A place to create.
A place to forget about the obligations and the desperation.
A place that made the chains feel temporary and freedom possible.
A place of hope.  
A place carried on the wings of a bird.

Thursday 9 August 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 67

This week's picture is a photo is an unknown. I don't know who took it or where. It appears in a lot of places and goes back a lot of years. But I like it. I thought it could offer some interesting tales.

I had expected my tale to go dark, but I couldn't sustain it, I couldn't do it to my main character. I worry that I am going soft. Either way it's what came from this photo. Hope you like it.

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.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.  

Sustaining The Light

She always saw the best in everything; she always made the dreary bright. She taught me how to look at things through a different lens. Not a rose-tinted one, she insisted, but one where you can make the best of what you have, if not physically, mentally.

I cherished that about her. I would often ask myself, how would Nadia see this? What would she say were the positives here? It helped me appreciate rather than complain; to find contentment over dissatisfaction.

Some would say it was settling, even giving up, but I saw it as embracing and valuing what you have in that moment.

And I valued her. Every day. Every waking hour. Even in my dreams.

And the day she covered the seat on the station platform in flowers when our train was delayed, was the day I knew: she had to be mine, mine forever.

But could someone so beautiful, so gracious, so accepting, relent to be mine? I didn’t know. And in my unknowing I worried about it. And that worry turned to paranoia.

I saw others reacting to her inner light and enjoy it too. I wasn’t the only one that saw it, and loved it. People were drawn to her. I worried that they would woe her and take her away from me. I worried that I would become invisible to her. That she would tire of me. That I would never be enough to sustain her.

How could I keep her? How could I make sure that no one ever took her away from me? There was only one way. I had to take her away, far, far away, and the opportunity arose when I found a job on a distant island.

It wasn’t a fun job, wasn’t even one I had dreamed of – managing a lighthouse in all weathers wasn’t a job that most people coveted, but it would keep us together and people apart. 

And I sold it to her, using her own thought process: highlighting all the positives, all the wonderful things we would experience and enjoy, even in this remote location. And the added bonus was that it meant we had to be married, tying her to me, making her my family. It was a joyous day, one where I didn’t mind people basking in her light. It would be the last time after all.

And though I smile now looking back on that wonderful day and the idea I had of making her mine, I look out of the window at her gentle face and wonder what I was thinking. Her smile, along with her laughter, is rarely seen now. And though she is still trying hard to keep looking on the bright side of life, the isolation is affecting her: her light is fading.

I have to steel myself for the truth: I will have to share her if I want to see her light shine again. I am not enough to sustain her - as no one person is enough to sustain another. True love means to set another free and risk losing them. What is life without risk after all?

Wednesday 1 August 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 66

This weeks photo was taken by Terry Yarrow, nicknamed The Dorset Rambler. This is the doorway into the crypt at Hereford Cathedral, taken from inside the crypt. His website doesn't seem to exist anymore, but you can see more of his photos over on flicker (link with his name).

When I started writing this tale, I spooked myself a little bit! 😂 I wasn't sure if I could end it the way I wanted to, but it worked out pretty well.

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.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there. 

Cycle of the Crypt

Randalf had always been curious about the crypt but he wasn’t allowed to go in; they said it was no place for children. But here he is; the door is open – only by a slither, but enough for him to slip through into the darkness.

His hand runs along the wall, looking for a light switch he’s sure must be there, but there’s only dust and brickwork under his fingers. His eyes adjust; he makes out shadows as he moves further inside. In his mind he imagines rows of coffins, but these shadows seem to be pillars or openings to darker areas.

He glances behind him and is reassured by the slither of light from the open door. Then he hears a shuffling sound. He freezes. Is it behind or in front of him? It’s distant … or is it faint?

It’s a dragging sound. It’s definitely in front of him and it’s definitely getting louder.

There’s a rasping sound with it. Breathing, someone breathing.

Randalf can’t move, in fact the only thing moving besides whatever is in here with him is his heart. It feels like it’s going to gallop right out of his chest at any moment. It must be audible. They’ll be able to find him by the sound of it. They’ll be able to zero in on him in the pitch dark and he will be helpless.

But it’s not pitch dark because he’s just seen a shadow move. His breath hitches in his throat. The shadow becomes more defined as it draws near. Definitely a body. It stops before it’s close enough for him to see its face.

The breathing gets heavier and there are words in it. Randalf strains to understand them.

“Leave. You must … leave. Now. Before … it’s … too … late.”

Confusion wrinkles Randalf’s brow. He steps closer to hear. The shadow seems to quiver.

“No! Keep away! Go! Now! Quickly!”

Randalf doesn’t understand the panic he hears in the shadow’s voice. “Who are you? Why must I leave?”

“The door … will close.”

Randalf glances back, it’s still open. “Who are you?”

“Please go. You must … never know … who I am.”

“Why?” Randalf steps closer. The shadow doesn’t move.

“Because the … cycle will never … stop.”

“Cycle? What cycle?”

“We will be … forever trapped.”

“We? You mean you and me?”

“Yes. Please … leave. Now.”

“Tell me who you are, and I will?”

“If I tell you … who I am … you won’t be able to.”

Randalf feels like the conversation is going in circles. He moves closer, the shadow of the imagined face becoming more defined in the vague light from the door. The shadow groans.

“No, Randalf … you mustn’t.”

He stops. “You know my name?”

The shadow falls silent. Only its rasping breath can be heard.

Randalf ponders. He could just walk right up to the figure and find out who they are, but what if they’re right? What if the door closes? Maybe he should go back. But he doesn’t want to. Who is this person? Why will they get trapped?

He moves forward again, this time the light from the door falling across the face of the speaker. Randalf finds it strange. Is it some sort of mirror? It looks like him. His face.

The door slams. Randalf can hear sobbing from the figure, his own eyes watering at the sound. He reaches out a hand to the figure, but there is no figure. There is only him.