Wednesday 15 May 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 107

This week's photo prompt was taken by Russian photographer Daniel Kordan - he has some incredible pictures, definitely worth checking out his site. 

Have you sussed what this is yet? It's not some strange photoshopped image, it's actually a photo of an ice cave being illuminated by a flare - an ice cave in Kamchatka in the Far East of Russia. He explored under the glacier near the Mutnovsky volcano. You can read about it here. 

Took a while for this one to form, now I am interested in where it might have gone had I written further.

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.

Trapping Hunters

“It could be worse, at least we’ve got water,” said Ranek

They both stared at the cascade of water cutting through the ice.

“I can’t believe they did this,” replied Teterin, looking up at the veil of ice they’d been trapped under. It had appeared in minutes. The Nebuli’s ability to manipulate ice was legendary.

“At least we can see the sky.” Ranek perched on a rock.

“Fat lot of good that does us now it’s getting dark. It’s gonna get cold.” Teterin already had his hands stuffed into his armpits.

Raneck sighed. “Do you think Makar will find us?”

“How? Through that veil?”

“If we can see out, they can see in.”

“What, out here? In this frozen pustosh?”

“Why not? He knew we were tracking them. He might even send Nikolay.”

“Why would he send anyone? He doesn’t know we’ve been caught, and he won’t care if he does. Two less to pay.”

“But we’re the best trackers of the Nebuli he has, and he wants them. He knows that without us he doesn’t stand a chance. We found their hideout. We know more than anyone. We’re more valuable to him than you think!” Ranek jabbed a finger towards Teterin’s face to make his point.

Teterin snorted. “You think his l’skivyy ways are because he likes you? Because he thinks you are of some value to him? Ha! Think again. As soon as we tell him where they are, we’ll be worthless!”

“You’re wrong; he will make us his second in commands.”

Teterin let out a bark of laughter. “Oh Ranek, you are so na├»ve. He’s not a man of honour. He’s plokhoy, nothing good in him. The only person he will elevate is himself. He will want the Federation to believe that he found them. There’ll be no hero’s return for us.”

“So what then, we sit here and die?”

“It looks like it. At least we will freeze to death before we starve.”

“Why would they want us dead? It makes no sense.”

“Who? Marek?”  Teterin squatted down beside Ranek.

“ No, the Nebuli. They knew we were here; they knew we were close to them. They let us into their den without attacking us, which is unheard of. I thought they were finally going to let us converse with them, not trap us like this. What is the point of this?”

“To kill us.”

“They could have done that already ten times over, you and I both know that. Look at what they did to Yakov and Stasik. I’d never seen a shredded body before, it almost made me stop hunting.”

“Me too.” Teterin move round and sat down on the rock next to Ranek. “Maybe this time they want to watch a human die slowly.”

Ranek sighed. “Maybe. But it makes no sense. It’s not their style at all.”

The light above them started to turn pink.

“At least we can watch the sunset.” Teterin leaned back, looking at the strange pattern the ice cover made.

Ranek frowned. “That’s no sunset. The sun has already gone down.”

They turned to the end of the tunnel where the light was brightest; it had a centre like a ball of fire, which is why Teterin had thought it was the sun. But it was moving, getting larger, coming closer.
Teterin and Ranek stood up. There was something carrying it. So far they had not laid eyes on the Nebuli. They’d heard whispers of these ancient creatures being related to dragons, but no one had lived to confirm it. Would they?


  1. Wow Miranda, what a great take on the picture. I think you could make an entire series with those characters.

    1. Thank you. There's definitely a much bigger story there. I've got so many tales to come back to! LOL

  2. Here is my take on the picture. I would never guess it was an ice cave unless you had said. For that reason I have no cave in my tale please enjoy Awakening I think this one is my best improvement yet!

    1. Ugh, I need to know how she got there!! LOL Thanks for joining in! Nice little piece.

  3. Yet another sci-fi story, this one called Crack the Sky. It's on both Blogger and Patreon (free access).

    Blogger: Crack the Sky

    Patreon: Crack the Sky

    1. Love this! This type of sci-fi is right up my alley! Human parasites strike again! Thanks for joining.

  4. Zukov by David Milburn

    I didn’t beg Captain Zukov to stay out of this cave. A lot was expected of Sub Level 3 Lieutenants, begging was not on that list. Rather, I suggested, with commitment, that it might not be the best idea. We were still in the mapping phase, always a dangerous time and this particular cave lay at the base of a high mountain. To make matters worse, Spring was covering this hemisphere with new growth and the snowmelt was well under way. But, he had elbowed me out of the way, even piloting the landing craft down to the surface.

    The purpose of these planetary explorations was to find heavy metals. Captain Zukov fulfilled his orders with great zeal, but he also liked to add his own mission statement. We were to collect precious metals and stones whenever possible with shares to go to the entire crew at mission end. Diamonds were at the head of the list but our intrepid Captain valued all stones of colour. When he heard of the ruby-red tinted cave, he couldn’t help himself.

    “Lieutenant Patek, the water,” The private next to me pointed out the obvious. The flow was strengthening. It was time to leave. There was a larger cavern two hundred meters behind us where we would be safe. I looked up ahead. Captain Zukov’s light was not moving, as if he was uncertain of his next move. I had time to shout, “Captain ...” when all Hell broke loose, literally. Something up there had given away and a torrent of ice water came barreling down the slope toward us.

    I was able to climb the embankment just enough not to be swept away but as I turned, the tumbling body of my superior flashed by. The panic soon ended as quickly as it had begun and I was able to scramble back to where the rest of the team waited. There was only one order to give now, “Let’s get out of here.”

    We found Zukov’s broken body further down the cavern and carried him back to our lander. Nobody had any illusions about the mission ending here. Each of us simply moved up one rank, gaining a few extra duties and a slight hike in pay. It was clear to us that Zukov’s cave held the promise of much wealth. He wouldn’t have thought any better of us if we cleared out because of one death, even his own.

  5. Here's my idea, it's called the Two, and wound up being a fantasy piece I think.

    The Two