Thursday 7 December 2023

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 316

This week's picture prompt was creted by fine art photographer, Vassilis Tangoulis. This is among his collection, Dreams in Colour on his site. He has some wonderful pictures, worth checking out. 

Delving once again into Tricky's world and the characters in there. Last time was Week 315

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.


He paused on his way to the jetty. Was he being followed? He was sure he felt eyes on him. His eyes scanned the trees at the edge of the path and touched the amethyst Tricky had left him in his pocket. He felt Tricky’s energy and it reassured him, but it wouldn’t make him safe.

Tricky had also left a piece of peridot and yellow birch leaf, and while Nathan slipped into the trees on the right side of the path, he used it to become invisible by pressing them together in his other pocket.

He remained where he was and waited, hoping that whoever or whatever had their eyes on him would appear.

He heard a shuffling and a boy stepped out onto the path from the trees on the other side.

Nathan frowned to himself. He might not have thought much of such a youngster except they were wearing a black cloak. It looked like a uniform, one that triggered a memory from his youth. Could this be one of Douglas Bottle’s students? Did he even still have students? Nathan thought he probably did; it was useful having underlings to run errands for you, while you passed on your craft. And Bottle was that kind of old school mentor – one that Nathan used to respect, but less so now he knew Bottle was involved with The Network.

But this confirmed one thing, he was being watched. Did they know he went to the cabin on the lake? He remained still. He would let the boy show him.

The boy looked both ways up the path and then crossed into the trees, passing close to Nathan. He walked a few trees in and then stopped looking round himself.

Nathan doubted this young one would have any perception of using gemstones to make yourself invisible. Surely if they did they would be using it. Nathan was sure the boy couldn’t sense him, and enjoyed being hidden right under his nose. Tricky had certainly excelled at discovering the intricacies of such energy combinations. Dufray had been just as gifted, and Nathan felt a slight pang of remorse that he was dead; so much knowledge lost to their little world at a time they needed it most.

He watched the boy look around, trying to track Nathan. But Nathan couldn’t be tracked because he hadn’t gone where the boy was looking.

He continued to observe the boy as he return to the path and continued along it, this time with Nathan in pursuit still veiled from view. The boy paused at Dead Lake, and looked at the cabin. However, he didn’t endeavour to go across the jetty and inside, instead giving it a cursory glance then continuing along the shoreline of dead trees, and then passing between them into the living trees behind.

Nathan followed.

When the boy was four or five trees deep, he stopped again and let out some whistles. Two more boys joined him, and they held a whispered conversation Nathan couldn’t tap into while veiled. Then the three of them moved off further into the woods. Nathan continued to trail them, even when they used their energy to pick up speed, a simple trick he used a lot when covering large distances, which this turned out to be. They didn’t meet up with anyone else and eventually disappeared down inside the base of a very large red-coloured tree.

Nathan looked up at the tree. At this point he wished he had Tricky’s ability to communicate with it. He put his hand on the trunk, and although he could feel the energy running through it, and even tap into it, it didn’t give him any information. It was a shame. He could see the opening they used, but it wasn’t a good idea to go down there when he had no idea where it led. He knew it was into one of the bunkers, which was probably connected to others, but getting lost in a rabbit warren of them when your enemy was all around would be foolish.

Nathan turned back instead, remaining cloaked the entire time, not feeling safe to release the peridot and leaf until he was back inside the time wrap in the cabin.

He was confident they knew he was residing here – or at least suspected he did. How long had they been watching him? Questions he couldn’t answer. But they’d know who he was; he was familiar with their mentor, as anyone who had schooled under Tricky’s mother, Angelique Hayek, would be.

They had all met Douglas Bottle at some point – or Gandalf as he liked to be nicknamed. Bottle might look uncouth and larger than life in his garish coloured suits, but he had a keen memory and knew everyone. Nathan knew he’d recall his association with Tricky, Annie, and Lucien. There was no doubt he knew they were working together. But the question that burned brightest was, did they know this was Tricky’s cabin, or did they think it was just another of Nathan’s abodes? Which led to the next question: how much longer was Nathan safe here?

Nathan needed to inform Annie and Tricky as soon as possible. 

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