Wednesday 26 June 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 113

This week's prompt taken by photographer Silena Lambertini from Italy. She has some fantastic photos on her site, with so much atmosphere. We will be revisiting her work. 

This was one of those stories that I had no idea was going. I also didn't know how it was going to end until I wrote it. I love it when that happens. 

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.

Free Fall

She was trying to work out how she got here. It was cold and everything was snow covered. The last thing she remembered was lying back to sleep on the plane. Had they crashed? If so where was the wreckage? Had she been flung out somehow? Why couldn’t she remember?

It was foggy, maybe that’s why she couldn’t see any of the wreckage. And although the sun seemed to be up in the sky, it was diffused and muted. Everything was a dull white.

She waded through the drifts of snow. Her legs numb with the wet cold. She had no real sense of direction other than moving towards the sun. She could see something on the horizon but it was just a smudge. Was it a house or some kind of building? She hoped so. She’d die if she stayed out here too long.

As she drew closer she could see it was a stand of trees, a small copse forming a tight circle. Maybe she could shelter inside, but there was something odd about them; despite the snow everywhere they had none on them. There was no breeze shifting the dense fog, so what had moved the snow off? Their sharp twig-like branches reached up to the skies resembling people up in arms, frozen in mid argument. There was no rustle from the branches, the snow and fog muffled everything.

She approached, the silence felt like something tangible as though waiting, pregnant with expectation ... but for what?

She stood on the edge looking into the circle. It looked no different from outside: the snow was thick and undisturbed. But there was something caught under the snow, an edge peeking out. It was red, it looked like material. Was it something from the plane? Some evidence that she’d been on a plane and it wasn’t just in her imagination?

She stepped inside the ring of trees and immediately felt the air shift. The fog was gone the sunlight was bright, even glaring. The item was still there, if anything it was more apparent. It was definitely material.

She stepped to it carefully, the crunch of her feet the only sound in this lifeless place. She squatted down. It looked like part of a coat, a corner sticking out. She put her fingers on it. They were numb and she couldn’t be sure of what she was feeling, so she tugged it and it resisted. It wasn’t small, and the weight of the snow had pinned it. She pulled harder, taking more of a handful of the material; it still didn’t give. She brushed some of the snow away, revealing it to be what she had thought: a coat. But it also revealed a hand; a white alabaster coloured hand.

She stood up with a jerk, her cry blunt and short. The little girl was wearing a ring – her ring. She looked at her fingers, she had no rings on. And despite the cold, a chill ran through her. The coat looked familiar too, like one she’d had as a child. It had been her favourite.

She knelt this time, working the snow away where she thought the head must be, and sure enough blonde hair was revealed, just like hers. She slowed as she uncovered the face, brushing gently, and revealed her eight year old face.

She stared into it. The eyes flew open causing her to jump back with a yell. They focused on her face.

‘You’re here, at last. Come, join me.’

The hand with the ring lifted up and reached out. Dumbstruck, she took it.

Then she was falling, tumbling over and over, the ground rushing up to meet her, the air around her full of debris and screaming people. The plane had crashed; she just hadn’t experienced it yet. She knew where she would land. 


  1. She felt the Earth spin around her, there was not a single noise, except for the rushing in her ears. She remembered fragments of the events that led her here. Pins and needles brought her back from her daydream. Out of the corner of her eyes she saw the knarled trees and a hazy sun highlighted the area. A strange mist wrapped itself around her, she didn't realise it had been snowing until her eyes glared at the floor. With apprehension rising in her throat she stepped forward, almost dragged by the must and yet, it felt so familiar somehow. Protected by the branches which reminded her of arms and the snow swirling around her like a cocoon. It hit her then, she had been lost in the woods after a fight with her sister, her wraith had wandered since, helping those list souls find their way home again, now, it was time to rest, time to go home. My twitter handle is @Nadkim and my name is nadine Kimmage

  2. Great story, Miranda, that one gives all the emotions and leaves you full of intrigue and wanting more. Loved it.

    1. Thanks Mason, I liked how I managed to end it.

    2. That ending is really clever, it leaves you questioning what you read which a great thing.

  3. I feel I struggled with this weeks prompt a little. Nevertheless here is my attempt. Presenting Parched Predicament hope you like it.

    1. Definitely didn't read like you struggled! Great story! I loved it. Fab ending with a twist. And another that see's a desert. Interesting. Thanks for joining.

    2. I felt I needed much more feeling about it being a hot arid desert, I realised with this one that I'm quite a senseless writer, In that I describe people and whats going on but none of the five senses so well.

    3. I definitely felt the heat with your description and the wind and sand. I could almost feel the grit in my eyes. I think you did a great job.

  4. Snow, Terry Brewer Stories2121

    The power went out about an hour after the snow began. This wasn’t unusual in this part of Vermont at this time of year. They were prepared. Candles were liberally distributed around the cabin and the shovel next to the door. The cooler was packed with ice, and milk and other perishables were inside.
    There would still be a few hours of daylight and they took turns staring out at the mounting snow and the line of trees where the forest began.
    These were the moments they most loved. Alone together, listening to the muffled wind, on either end of the sofa. It was large and fluffy with soft cushions into which one quickly sank. Abby with its back to her right and her legs against it. The sofa’s back was to Sophie’s left and her legs were outside Abby’s. They differed in their tastes in reading. Abby preferred romantic fantasies, the raunchier the better. On paper. Sophie usually read biographies and histories but the tranquility of the afternoon found her re-reading “Persuasion.” On her tablet.
    The tablet and the book were in each reader’s right hand. This allowed their fingers to mingle absently among themselves. Each knew what would happen when the sun was gone and the candles placed too great a strain on their ability to read. This knowledge, which Abby did not speak of to Sophie and Sophie did not speak of to Abby, was communicated by the increasing anxiousness of the fingers.
    Gradually but unquestionably Sophie found her attention to Anne Elliot fading and Abby found her wife’s fingers increasingly agitated. She knew what was going on, but she was not going to let Sophie know. She turned another page of a book.
    “Yes Sophie.”
    “Aaaaa bby.” The word was drawn out.
    “Yes Sophie.” Abby teased, her answer as precise and clipped as it was the first time.
    “Aaaaaaaa bby.”
    Sophie’s fingers danced up Abby’s wrist. Abby slammed her book closed.
    “Now you’ve made me lose my place.” Sophie could see her smile and Abby could see the other’s mockingly pouting face.
    “Can I show you something in the bedroom.”
    “I was just there, Soph. What could you possibly want to show me?”
    Sophie put her tablet on the floor and snatched the book from Abby’s hand and it found itself sprawled on the floor.
    Sophie turned on her butt and in a moment was lying next to Abby but now their heads were next to one another. She leaned in just as Abby leaned in and their lips met. After what seemed like an hour but was only a minute with the sun and the light nearly gone Sophie jumped up and dragged her wife by the hand into the nearly-dark bedroom.
    “Damn,” Sophie said as she looked for the matches to light the candles.
    “Don’t bother,” Abby said, as she was now the one pulling the other. “We can make out own light. And heat.”
    Sophie, unable to rebut the argument, found herself on the bed with her lover. She jumped up and to a smirking Abby—there was just enough light to see it—said she had to pee and Abby followed her, neither wanting to be forced to get up again any sooner than necessary later.
    By the time they returned and the light was gone so they had to navigate by feel, Abby conceded that one candle might be warranted. Sophie took care of that and then in the flickering light she undressed, admired by Abby, already naked in the bed.
    They stayed in the bed and they made love in the bed. Lying side-by-side one of their stomach’s gurgled—each blamed the other—they conceded they needed something to eat. They had salad and tuna-fish sandwiches with milk together at the small kitchen table, with a single candle. They were naked but they didn’t care. There was no one for miles and miles.
    The sun was long gone. They’d have much to do when they got up. So they went to bed early, falling asleep within minutes of one another, Sophie spooning Abby.
    A sunbeam awakened Abby. She left Sophie to sleep a little more. She walked into the main room. Through the window she saw the sun, an hour or so after its rise, above the new snow that blanketed the yard and the edge of the forest. She loved being alone together.

  5. Muller’s Grove
    By: David Lunn Milburn

    The one-room schoolhouse, ubiquitous across the Canadian prairies before the war, and, I must confess, my favourite haven from life. Youngest at the front, oldest to the rear. I sat next to a German girl, Katje Muller. Her older brothers used to delight in flicking paper balls with their rulers at the backs of our heads. Other than that, they treated me okay so I didn’t mind.

    Then one day, they didn’t show up. Turned out, their farmhouse had burned down overnight. Nobody survived. Katje’s uncle Hermann owned the land next to them so he just took it over and life continued. He had them buried in a field and planted trees over each grave as a memorial. It was forever referred to after that as Muller’s Grove.

    Now, years later, my car had chosen this place to run out of gas. Muller’s Grove looked serene in the misty moonlight. I didn’t panic, the saying across this land in Winter was, “The cold will bend your bones, but the wind will kill you.” Luckily for me it was a calm night. I could have used the roads to walk home but it was quicker to go through the fields. I was dressed for it so I checked the compass app on my phone, put my head down and started walking.

    I lived about five miles away. After an hour of slogging through the knee deep snow, I looked up expecting to see the old red-brick house. With a chill, I found myself looking at Muller’s Grove again. I looked around, my car was still sitting in the ditch. Angry now, I set off using the road this time. The mist had turned to fog but I strode along confident in what I was doing. An hour later, the fog lifted and there it was, that damn copse of trees.

    Look, I believed in ghosts when I was a kid, we all did. But not now, sixty odd years later. Well, that ghost-knot tightened when I realized my car was gone. No sign that it had ever been there, to be honest.

    Also, a stiff wind had come up. Only one thing to do now. I entered Muller’s Copse, dug myself a small snow-cave and started praying.

    Whatever happened, this was going to be a long night.

    1. I love the spookiness of this one!! Thanks for joining.

  6. Replies
    1. If not here's the direct link to my story

    2. Short and poignant, nicely done. Sadly the link doesn't work, so here's one that hopefully will.


  7. Story by Andy White

    The Spider.

    She could feel the air burning in her lungs. Panic welled up in her as she raced forwards. Quickly darting behind a tree she tried to calm her breathing as all she could hear right now was the sound of the thundering of her heart.

    He could almost smell her. Her perfume left enticing trails in the air. Mixed in that was the just as heady aroma of fear. He stepped forwards. A smile tracing across his lips.

    Alice felt the bile rising in her throat as she fought to lower her heart rate. She could feel it beating hard in her chest as if it was ready to leap from her chest and race away on its own. Then she froze, was that a sound? The breaking of a twig sounded like someone just feet away and almost screaming she darted out of her hiding place.

    Each step he took was like a moment of joy. The chase, hunting his newest plaything. She, like all the others was young, pretty and blonde. They were always such fun blondes.

    Alice's legs burned from running, she desperately needed to move faster. Quickly moving past a large tree she caught her foot in a root. Crashing down to the floor she kicked out in blind fear.

    He could almost taste her now, longing to feel the softness of her skin. She was so near. He hugged close to a tree. Glancing around he could see her there. Licking his lips he took out his knife.

    Finally free of her shoes Alice leapt to her feet, praying that they would still carry her she darted forwards. Round one tree, then another she raced. Then giving an ear shattering scream she ran right into his arms.

    The ambulance crew was starting to clear away their equipment as the Detective made one last check of his notes. The spider had preyed on the women of the city for almost three months now. And the only thing any of the six of them had remembered was the spider tattoo on his arm. Shaking his head he wondered when he would strike again...

    A little way into the forest she stood tying her long blonde hair back. Her eyes watching as the police and the ambulance went about their business, glad the girl had run into that policeman. She watched as she was loaded into the ambulance. Then she turned and looked at her new toy. He was going to be fun. Reaching down she lifted him with one hand and slung him over a shoulder, an arm hung down, an arm with a tattoo of a spider on it.

    1. Ooo interesting twist at the end. I enjoyed that story very much. Thanks for joining @laughingAndy

  8. They tell me this is as bright as it gets around here, and they tell me I’m lucky because these days are rare. I knew I wasn’t going to like being stationed on this planet. I wonder what I did to draw the short straw.

    1. Ooo intriguing & concise. Would love to know more. Thanks for joining. If you're on twitter let me know you handle so we can connect there.