Image Prompt #035 – Mother’s House

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I selected the image of the house on King Street in Boone, NC for my image prompt piece this week.  I did a twenty-minute sprint and then a brief edit for typos, spelling, and grammar.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

Mother’s House:

Kayla stood on the sidewalk looking up at the old house.  The stone steps that lead up from the sidewalk, that dated back to the 18th century, were worn but perfectly intact.  The concrete steps the family had added over the years were cracked and crumbling.  The walk up looked intimidating.

It was late fall, which didn’t help the place look any less like the haunted house the locals supposed it to be.  The large bushes beside the stairs were just a tangle of sticks and twigs, and only a few stubborn orange leaves clung to the trees higher up the hill.

Kalya began to climb.

She’d gotten a call from her mother’s priestess.  She hadn’t been coming to coven meetings or rituals.  No one had seen her for three weeks.  There were still lights turning on and off in the house, but no one answered the door when the priestess went by to check on Kayla’s mother.

Kayla stepped carefully on the concrete steps, keeping to the right edge, where they were more solid.  The path at the top of the stairs was mostly dirt now, with a few bits of grass trying to encroach.  When Kayla and her sisters were still at home, they’d laid out new gravel every couple years to keep the path safe and clean and free of weeds.

There were more concrete steps closer to the house.  These were in better repair, but from that close, Kayla could see that the house wasn’t in the best shape.  The once blue paint was gray and peeling.  The green shingles looked a little worse for wear.  It all looked clean enough though.  That was a good sign.  Her mother wasn’t the type to redo things until they needed it, but she did like keeping things tidy.

Kayla walked another mostly dirt path to the house itself, taking the two steps onto the porch quickly.  It was a habit from her teen years when going up them quickly and at just the right angle meant that they didn’t creek and give her away when she was sneaking in late.

Glancing to the left, Kayla spotted her mother’s old blue pickup truck.  This didn’t mean her mother was home.  Generally, she preferred to walk as much as possible.

Kayla reached up and knocked on the front door three times.  She waited and then range the bell once.

There was no response from within, no stirring or sound, so Kayla did it again.

Only after knocking and ringing the bell a third time did Kayla pull out her keys.  When she and her sisters moved out, they’d agreed that they weren’t allowed to just barge in.  They had to knock and ring three times before they could.  Her key still slid into the lock and turned like normal.

The front door swung inward, revealing the dimly lit entry hall.

Everything still looked as tidy as her mother preferred to keep things.

“Mom?” Kayla called out.  “You home?”  Kayla checked the living room, dining room, and kitchen first.  “Mom?” she called again as she headed to the stairs.  “You didn’t answer so I let myself in.”

Upstairs was similar to downstairs.  Everything appeared in place except for Kayla as she moved down the hall.  When she reached her mother’s room the door was closed.  That wasn’t typical unless her mother was asleep.

Kayla knocked gently on the door.  “Mom?  You in there?”  Still no response.  “Mom, if you’re in there, let me know.  Otherwise I’m coming in to check,” Kayla announced through the door.  Her mother was starting to worry her.

“I’m coming in,” Kayla called far louder than strictly necessary.

Opening the door to her mother’s room, Kayla didn’t immediately step inside.  There was a lamp on at the bedside table, and she could hear water running.

“Mom?” Kayla called again.  “It’s Kayla.”  She slowly moved toward the bathroom, terrified that she would find her mother laid out on the floor with a head injury.

What she found, was an empty bathroom with the faucet running.

Kayla reached out and turned off the water, plunging the house to an eerie silence.

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Image Prompt 035 – King Street, Boone, NC and Postman Pat and Myfanwy on a Bus in Wales

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It’s the Second Friday of the Month, so today is an Image Prompt day.

I’ve included two images to work from.  Pick one (or both if you’re feeling ambitious) and write something inspired by the image.  You can use something in the image, the feeling it invokes, or whatever the image makes you think of.

If you write a piece and end up posting it somewhere online, please link back to it here on a comment so we can all enjoy it too.

I’ll be posting my own piece next week.

2017-12-08 Image Prompt-035-2 - House on King Street Boone NC 12-2007 002

2017-12-08 Image Prompt-035-1 Welsh Dragon05-05-07 001 Postman Pat and Myfanwy

Image Prompt 031 – Ireland’s Atlantic Coast & Boone, NC

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It’s the Second Friday of the Month, so today is an Image Prompt day.

I’ve included two images to work from.  Pick one (or both if you’re feeling ambitious) and write something inspired by the image.  You can use something in the image, the feeling it invokes, or whatever the image makes you think of.

If you write a piece and end up posting it somewhere online, please link back to it here on a comment so we can all enjoy it too.

I’ll be posting my own piece next week.

2017-08-11 Image Prompt-031-2 - Stadium Drive in Boone NC October 027

2017-08-11 Image Prompt031-1 - Atlantic Ocean Shamrocker Tour05-04-23 033

Image Prompt 030 Response – Professor

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I chose the picture of ASU’s campus in Boone, NC for my twenty-minute sprint this time around.

 

Professor:

It was starting to get dark by the time Kelly was done with all his classes and office hours for the day.  At least it was Friday.  He had four dozen student papers in his bag that he needed to work on grading this weekend, but he was done for tonight.

As he walked down the steps, he took a moment to admire the bright yellow of the tree in front of the English building.  The fall colors were in full swing, and brought with them all the tourists that loved to take pictures of them along the parkway.  Kelly just tried to avoid all the places the tourists were this time of year.  They brought traffic and overworked service people, and Kelly wasn’t a fan of either.

Kelly headed down the path toward the library.  He’d managed to snag a house only blocks from campus.  It made it so much easier in the winter when the snow kept cars and busses safe in their garages.  Plus he didn’t have to buy a parking pass.  He assumed he was making up for that with the price of the house.  At least he was a home owner now and no longer paying the exorbitant rents they changed near the university.

He was walking up the steps to the library when someone called out his name.  Kelly turned to see one of his graduate students hurrying to catch up to him.

“Looks like you’ve got a lot of weekend work in there,” Jason said with a grin.

“Papers don’t grade themselves,” Kelly replied.  At least these were undergraduate papers and much shorter for it.

“Don’t I know it?” Jason replied with a laugh.  “I’ve got about sixty I’ve got to get done this weekend.”

“This is your first semester teaching?” Kelly asked.

“Teaching college,” Jason replied.  “I spent a few years teaching high school before I came back to school.”

“I remember now.  You were over in Raleigh then, right?”  Kelly had so many students it took a while to figure out which ones were which when they weren’t in one of his classes that semester.  He did better with the graduate students.

“Yeah.  I taught in a couple different schools there trying to figure out why I wasn’t satisfied.  Turned out I just wasn’t a good fit for high schoolers.  I do better with eight- or eighteen-year-olds.”

“We all have our niches,” Kelly replied.  He’d majored in education originally, and taught a variety of subjects in elementary and middle school before going back for a masters in English.  He’d taught high school for a couple years afterward to pay the bills while he worked on a few things and decided what doctoral programs to apply to.  He much preferred teaching at a university.

“I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that,” Jason said.  “You’re office hours are the busiest I’ve ever seen though, so I’ve never managed to catch you.”

“I guess it’s good that all my students find me approachable,” Kelly replied.

“Yeah, I hear good things about you,” Jason answered, laughing again as they continued past the library toward King Street.  “You’re specialty is pedagogy, right?” Jason asked.

“That’s where I do my research,” Kelly agreed.  He tried to make it an applied science as much as possible, but occasionally he worked from pure theory to get a paper out.

“I’m planning to do my thesis on a pedagogy topic and I wanted to talk to you about being my committee chair,” Jason said.  “I know I’m catching you on your way home and on the spot and all that, but I wanted to ask you to think about it while I try to get on your calendar.”

“Sorry I never got back to you about your meeting request on Wednesday,” Kelly said.  He remembered now that Jason was trying to pin him down.

“I get it,” Jason replied.  “We’re all busy.”

“I’ll want to discuss your idea with you before I agree, so we’ll definitely need that appointment,” Kelly said.

“I’m open to odd hours and weekends if you are,” Jason replied.

“I’ll reply to your email,” Kelly promised.  “I have it flagged to annoy me about it tomorrow anyway.”

“So I’m not the only one who lives and dies by Outlook reminders?” Jason asked.

“Certainly not,” Kelly replied.  “The only people I know who don’t are the ones who show up late to everything.”

Jason laughed.  “Thanks for thinking about it,” Jason said.

“Of course,” Kelly replied.  There was no reason not to consider it since Jason wanted to work within his own area of expertise.

Image Prompt 030 – Glencoe, Scotland & Boone, NC

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It’s the Second Friday of the Month, so today is an Image Prompt day.

I’ve included two images to work from.  Pick one (or both if you’re feeling ambitious) and write something inspired by the image.  You can use something in the image, the feeling it invokes, or whatever the image makes you think of.

If you write a piece and end up posting it somewhere online, please link back to it here on a comment so we can all enjoy it too.

I’ll be posting my own piece next week.

2017-07-14 Image Prompt-030-1 - Glencoe Haggis Tour Scotland05-04-15 020

2017-07-14 Image Prompt-030-2 - AppStateCampus07-11 001

Image Prompt 029 Response – Snow

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I selected the Boone, NC photo of a wind chime for my image prompt this week.  Below is the result of a 20-minute sprint and quick editing pass for grammar and spelling.

Snow:

The wind chimes still made their soft tinkling noises as the wind blew through the little grass alleyway behind the apartment.  Snow was piled on top of the thing, but it didn’t affect the sound of the copper pipes that hung down.  It had been here when she moved in, probably forgotten by some past renter of the tiny little place with the barely functioning base-board heaters.

Angel turned away from the window, pulling the towel she used as a curtain back into place.  She needed all the insulation she could get.  She spent most of the winter curled up under fleece blankets or sipping hot chocolate.  She’d taken to making a single cookie just as an excuse to use her oven, which was a far more effective heater than anything else in the apartment.

It was starting to get dark, which made her worry.  Her little brother, Brian was supposed to have arrived an hour ago.  She’d been looking forward to a weekend with him for months. Continue reading

Image Prompt 029 – Dunkeln Cathedral & Boone, NC

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It’s the Second Friday of the Month, so today is an Image Prompt day.

I’ve included two images to work from.  Pick one (or both if you’re feeling ambitious) and write something inspired by the image.  You can use something in the image, the feeling it invokes, or whatever the image makes you think of.

If you write a piece and end up posting it somewhere online, please link back to it here on a comment so we can all enjoy it too.

I’ll be posting my own piece next week.

2017-06-09 Image Prompt-029-1 - DunkelnCathedral Haggis Tour Scotland05-04-17 060

2017-06-09 Image Prompt-029-2 - Boone NC Snow07-01-09 013