I selected the image of the ruins for my sprint this time. I had so much fun with it that I kept working on it too, so I expect there may be more snippets from this piece as I continue with what is developing into a novel idea.
The Silo, a Storm, and Wings:
Ian climbed up the crumbling stone steps carefully. He knew he should have gotten someone to come with him, but he’d promised to send pictures of the old silo to Nina by today. He’d gotten plenty of shots from down below when he came last week, but she’d talked about getting a shot from up within the ruined castle through one of the windows or a crumbling whole in the wall and he wanted to get her one like that.
Ian glanced up at the sky. The clouds were gray and heavy, promising rain later and possibly a storm. He needed to hurry.
He relaxed a little when he finally made it to the top of the stairs. He wasn’t really supposed to be climbing in the ruins even if he did have permission to be on the property and taking photos. They probably weren’t entirely safe.
Ian watched the floor as he slowly made his way along the existing stone floor. He couldn’t get all the way around, but there was enough to get him to the tall thin window that looked over the silo. He started taking pictures every couple steps, getting a progressively widening view of the silo through the arrow slit as he approached. When he stopped just in front of the opening, he could get images with the entire silo visible. He did several focusing just on the silo with only a hint of the window’s edges, and then started expanding the view so more and more of the stone walls were visible.
The very last shot showed the wall on either side of the window, and encompassed not just the silo but the field and a few trees beyond and there might even have been a sheep in the frame. It was a little hard to pick out all the details on the little display on his camera, but he was happy with the shots for the most part. He could head home and upload them to the share drive he and Nina set up before she went back to America.
Ian was just turning around to head back when the first rumble of thunder sounded. He pulled his camera case around from where it hung at his back and quickly stowed the camera. He didn’t want to risk the camera getting damaged in the rain. He did enough outdoor shoots that he’d gotten a really nice extra water resistant camera bag just in case.
Moving faster than was probably wise, Ian made his way back to the stairs and hurried down. He’d just reached the bottom when the rain started. He ducked under the stairs, hoping it would be a short shower and he could avoid getting completely drenched.
The gentle rain quickly became a downpour and the thunder came right on the heels of the lightning. The strikes were so close they rose the hair on Ian’s arms. He’d never make it back to his car without making himself an excellent target for the lightning, so Ian just pressed closer against the stone wall, thankful that the stairs were protecting him from the rain at least.
“That’s some storm,” a voice said from Ian’s right.
Ian jumped, whirling to see who had spoken and smacking his head into the stairs for his trouble.
A string of curses left Ian as his eyes squeezed shut against the pain and he pressed a hand to the back of his head. It didn’t feel wet at least. He probably wasn’t bleeding. He pried his eyes open to see who had startled him and immediately wondered how hard he’d hit his head.
A slim young man stood beside him. The loose linen shorts and complete lack of shoes or shirt weren’t that unusual for summer in rural Ireland. The pastel blue hair wasn’t even that out of place, even if it did fall well past the guy’s shoulders. But the giant blue butterfly wings with no sign of straps holding them on made Ian seriously question whether he was still conscious.
“Alright there?” the guy asked. “I didn’t mean to startle you,” he added, stepping closer and putting a hand on Ian’s arm. “Maybe you ought to sit down. You’re looking a might pale.”
Ian just stared at the guy as he helped Ian ease down to sit on the stone floor.
“Just relax,” the guy said as he sat down beside Ian. The bottom part of the wings actually shifted so they wouldn’t hit the floor. “We’ll be here until the storm passed.”
With the guy looking out at the rain, Ian couldn’t help himself. He reached out and gently brushed his figners against the edge of the wing nearest him. It was warm and soft like feathers, but smooth like scales.
“Oh,” the guy said, his eyes wide as he turned back to Ian, his slim frame shivering. “Careful,” he said in a strained voice when Ian stroked his wing again. “They’re sensitive.”
“They’re real,” Ian replied, pulling his hand back.
“They told me folks didn’t believe so much anymore,” the guy replied. “I figured somewhere like this might still harbor a believer or two, and you can see me after all.”
Ian blinked at the guy. What was he talking about?
The guy tilted his head, all that pale blue hair cascading over his shoulder. “Don’t you believe in the fair folk?”