Wednesday 28 August 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 122

This week's picture was taken by Chilean photographer Gabriel Guerrero Caroca He only seems to have an Instagram page, and it seems to be managed by someone else, I can't find a direct website. 

And this picture also seems to have been coloured somewhere along the line as I can only find black and white versions. I think the artist has changed IDs on accounts and there seem to be a lot of broken links. But I like this slightly coloured version, it gives it more life, so I am going with it.

And no matter how hard I try it seems Tricky wants me to write her into this tale too. It's her third story - her first was on Week 77, and she second on Week 119. A character this persistent means I might have to write her story ... there might be a novel, if I can delve deep enough to work out exactly what she is up to and what she has her hands on! 

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.

Scrying Crow

She rushed along the gutter by the fence and watched the crow land on the post. Goddammit, would they NEVER leave her alone?!

She stopped, unsure whether to continue, but as usual she was in a hurry. Maybe she could shoo it away, although she knew better. Maybe an enchantment, but then he’d know she knew what he was up to and a whole song and dance would ensue, and she didn’t have time for that; she needed to get to her cottage and now. All these bloody distraction ... she had better things to do with her time than appease him!

But the second she thought it, she knew that in fact she didn’t. In fact her entire existence was now about doing just that. It was her own fault; she’d thought she could get away with stealing it and no one would care – wrong!

And now he was sending crows to spy on her even though she had gone to him and returned it and grovelled for her life. It’s what building trust was all about. Ha! She wasn’t fool enough to trust anyone, it’s what had kept her alive this long – but it seemed neither did he.

She needed to blindside the bird somehow. It was misty, maybe she could use that. She brought her arms together under her cloak and began moving her fingers in rhythm to the words she was muttering. If the bird saw her doing this she’d be in trouble and probably not make it back home.

She felt the air thicken, the fog swirling in, tighter and tighter. She could still make out the bird, but could it see her? There was a caw and a flutter of wings. Ha! She’d done it.

A nice little trick – she was full of them. She giggled to herself. Tricky by name Tricky by nature. Oh he wouldn’t be happy, but balls to him.

Now back to the cottage to unravel this wonderful new package she’d come across. He didn’t know about this one, and she wasn’t going to let him either. This would be all hers, and might … just might … give her an opportunity to kick him off his high and mighty stool. He might like to think he was sitting on a throne, but this little bag of delights had revealed the legs under it and she planned to kick them out really hard!

With that thought in mind, she gave a little skip and scurried along the field track with more haste. She needed to get to her shack on the lake. It was the only safe place and the sooner she got there, the sooner she could start.



    1. Nice little tale. Thanks fir joining. Here's a clickable link for others:

      Raven Mad 

  2. The Fence, by Terry Brewer, @stories2121

    “Henny. Please, Henny. We must hurry.”

    My sister was leading me towards the road. It was a path I was not allowed to go down. But she’d grabbed me just before the sun rose. There was a mist over the fields and a bird sat on the wire that kept the cows in.

    “Where are we going?”

    “We’re going somewhere safe. But hurry. He’ll be up soon.”

    “I don’t want to—:

    “Henny we must. You must be a woman for me today. Can you do that?”

    “But why?”

    She stopped and turned, grabbing my upper arms and squatting to look directly at me.

    “I cannot allow him to do what he’s been doing for too long. To me. To your sister. And he’ll do it to you.”

    “But she’s gone. Where did she go?”

    “She went where we’re going. You’ll be able to be with her again.”

    “But I’m tired and I haven’t had my breakfast.”

    That’s where I noticed that bird.

    My sister, the one still here and not the one who’d gotten away, turned back and I grabbed the hand she offered to lead me.

    “He’ll be up soon. Maybe he’ll be too drunk to realize where he is or to find out we’re gone. But we need to hurry. We can get a ride on the road.”

    That’s when we heard the engine. It rang through the morning mist like a pistol shot.

    “No. We must run. Henny. Can you run with me? We’re almost there.”

    And we were almost there. I trusted her so I ran with her as she pulled my arm.

    “If we can just get to the road.” She was saying it almost to herself. “If we can just get to the road someone will drive past.”

    Suddenly the pickup’s headlights reflected back at us off the mist. She turned and stared a moment before trying to sweep me up in her arms. But I was too big. She was placing little kisses on my neck. We both knew it was futile. He was just about upon us.

    She stopped and slowly turned.

    He opened the door of the old Chevy. Stepped out.

    “She can go. It’s you I need. We don’t need her. We’ve made our own little girl. Just you and me.”

    She directed me to stand behind her.

    “If I could rip the child in my belly from there so she’d never be touched by you I would do it.” Her hands were around me, keeping me in place.

    “But I love you. I’ve loved you all—”

    “You’re a sick, perverted monster. You don’t know anything about love. I got Emmy away. I’ll get Henny away. And I’ll get my baby away.”

    “Our baby. Don’t forget that. You whore.”

    “Who made me that?”

    I slipped away from her when her hands went to her face.

    “Who made me that?” The shout echoed across the field, startling some birds into flight.

    She was shaking and sobbing. He closed the door to the pickup and began to walk towards her.

    “Come here, baby.”

    “Just let her go. I’ll stay with you. Just let her go.”

    He kept walking, his arms out to give her a hug.

    He noticed neither me nor the rock.

    There was blood everywhere. The sheriff thought my sister did it. She had blood all over her and she was inconsolable when he arrived, her hand lightly caressing my father’s face, using her skirt to clean the blood from his eyes. His wild, open eyes.

    “No, sir. It was me. He was going to hurt her.”

    “Little girl. You aren’t strong enough to inflict this sort of damage.”

    I didn’t know what he meant by “inflict.” But it was me. I did “inflict that sort of damage.”

  3. Eradication

    Crow landed with a crash of wingbeats, disturbing the silence. It was early yet, and he was the first to arrive. There was a chill to the air which presaged death. Nothing good would come of this, that much was certain.

    The second bird to arrive was a buzzard, choosing a branch on a nearby oak for his perch, the third being a barn owl, alighting onto the upright support for the field gate which stood between the others. There were enough of them present now for a meeting, so they could begin.

    “It’s been too long,” Crow said, rearranging his form until a man appeared, his suit dark and its creases sharp. He strutted across to the buzzard, waited until he transfigured himself too, then shook his hand, the two of them turning to the other.

    Owl was reluctant to change, her head turning anxiously, sweeping the heath. It’d been difficult to get her to agree to come, her loyalties divided between the anarchistic carrion clans and the live-feeders. She’d refused to attend both the previous meetings and was only here today on sufferance, monitoring the proceedings and acting as a witness.

    Buzzard was taller than Crow in his new form, his jacket and trousers cut in a matching tweed. His legs appeared to be gathered near his ankles and it seemed as though he was wearing a pair of brown boots.

    “Well, Albertine,” he said, addressing the owl. “Are you satisfied? Neither of us were followed and I trust that you were equally stealthy. You’re making me uncomfortable holding your form like that. It’s not as though we’re on a high street where the humans meet. Our secrecy’s assured, I swear it.”

    Owl relaxed, falling into her usual shape. She was shorter than the others but more severe. Her dress and her jacket had a quality belying their unfussy appearance, but her eyes were ever sharp, never resting.

    “I don’t like it,” she said, pawing at the ground and raising a divot. “If we’re to agree on how we’re to manage their threat they should be represented. Given a chance to explain themselves before we act.”

    1. Ooo great opening. I'm intrigued to know more. Thanks for joining.

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, Mason. I appreciate you saying that!

  5. Great story Miranda. Tricky is definately becoming an interesting character for a bigger story I think.

    1. Thanks but I'm still trying to workout what she's after (world domination?) & what exactly she has got her hands on. Mmmmm.

  6. I loved this prompt. Here is story The Crow and the Shotgun I like it, I hope you do too!

    1. Wow, Mason. I loved that. A great story, well realised. Well done!

    2. Really great story. Thoroughly enjoyed that.

    3. Thank you Miranda, and Mark. Glad you enjoyed it.