Image Prompt 051 – Chimney Rock NC & Edinburgh Castle Scotland

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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.

2019-04-12 Image Prompt 051-01 Chimney Rock Trip 05-07-20 025

2019-04-12 Image Prompt 051-02 Edinburgh Castle 047

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Image Prompt 049 Response – Fair Folk

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I chose the image of the Welsh castle ruins for my twenty-minute sprint this week.

Fair Folk:

Calum ducked behind the partially ruined wall, his heart pounding.  He’d just come up to take some pictures.  The place was usually either completely deserted or crawling with tourists.  He’d thought he’d lucked out and it was a slow day and he’d get shots without people in them, but then he’d heard voices.

He turned and slowly peeked his head up over the wall enough to see the two figures he’d overheard.

Hearing someone say “If you don’t do as you’re told she’s going to have you killed,” had freaked Calum out enough that he’d run away from the pair.  Looking back at them, he was glad he’d run.  They didn’t look entirely human.

The taller of the two was wearing a dark green jacket.  He also had no pants, and his legs had backward knees, thick brown fur, and ended in cloven hooves.  Calum was fairly sure there were little horns at his temples too, but he was just far enough away to doubt his eyesight.

The shorter one at least had all his clothes on.  They looked like something out of a medieval fair though.  Slightly baggy pants tucked into boots that were fastened with leather tied around the outside, a loose shirt tied at the neck, and a tunic that hung over the man’s hips.

Calum ducked down again, not wanting them to notice him.  They were either seriously dedicated actors of some kind, or the rumors about the ruins were true, and the two men were some of the fair folk come to the human world.

The death threat actually made Calum hope for the later.  Unless it had been a line from a play?  The ruins would be a great place to do an in situ performance, or even to film a screenplay, but there was no evidence of an audience or any recording equipment.

Calum wasn’t sure how the two would react to being overheard, or seen for that matter.  He didn’t think he could get back to his car without being noticed though.  Carefully, he peeked up again.  Neither man seemed to have noticed him.  Crouching down again, Calum surveyed the slope back toward the parking lot.  Maybe he could make it look like he hadn’t seen or heard them yet?

They were still talking, though Calum wasn’t close enough to make out the words now.  They didn’t seem to be paying much attention to the rest of the area.  Calum peeked up again, bringing his camera with him this time.  He wanted one picture, just to prove to himself that he wasn’t crazy.  He snapped it quickly then ducked down again.  He started moving along the wall, putting more distance between him and the two men.  If he was on the other end of the wall, he could pretend he hadn’t seen them and head back toward the parking lot.

When he made it to the far end of the intact portion of wall, Calum took some shots of the stones, it gave him a reason to be down here and a reason to not have noticed the other two men.  He slowly stood as he took more pictures, glancing sideways to see if the men were still there.

They were gone.

Image Prompt 014 Response: Encounter on the Welsh Dragon Tour

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I chose the picture of the Caerphilly Castle in Wales for my prompt this time around.  I hope you enjoy this snippet.

Encounter on the Welsh Dragon Tour

Kelly followed everyone else as they all piled off their bright yellow tour bus.  She was so glad her friend recommended she check out the Haggis Tours while she was doing her study abroad in the UK.  It was a super affordable way to see a lot more of the country and learn about the histories behind the places.

As soon as she was back at the university, Kelly knew she’d be up to her eyeballs in books wanting to verify all the things she’d been learning on the tour.

Today they were in Caerphilly.  There was a gorgeous old castle.  It even enclosed part of the river with a huge metal grate over the water access.  Kelly wondered how far down it went.  All the way into the riverbed?

Kelly snapped pictures like all the other tourists.  She also took notes as their guides—an amazingly animated Welsh woman who actually spoke Welsh and a taller more subdued English woman who looked like the most stereotypical backpacker ever—talked about the history of the castle and the city that grew up around it.

After the brief history lesson, they were at loose ends for a while to explore the castle grounds and the nearby city streets.

“You’re always taking notes,” one of the guys from her tour said, coming to stop beside Kelly as she jotted down something from a little sign posted about the castle.

“I’m studying history,” she replied.  It was easier to say it like that.  All the non-Americans knew what she meant that way.  They didn’t “major” in things in most other countries apparently.  They “read” their topic or where “taking a course” in it.

“This must all be fascinating for you then,” he said, smiling.

“Very much,” Kelly said.  She loved history as well as researching, reading, and writing.  What better thing to be than a historian?

“I’ve been making notes at the end of the day,” the guy confessed, his brown hair falling into his eyes as he leaned in conspiratorially.

“Do you like history too?” Kelly asked.

“I like a well written history,” he replied.  “But it’s more about loving stories for me.  I want to be a writer.”

“Neat.  What kinds of things do you write?”  Anyone who wanted to be a writer usually at least dabbled in writing already.  At least the ones she knew.

“Any genre of fiction that strikes my fancy,” he answered.  “I’ve dabbled in short stories and have a few dreadful novel drafts.  Mostly I’ve been writing contemporary fantasy or historical fiction lately.”

“What kind of historical?” Kelly asked.  You had to research for those kinds of books.  Maybe they had more in common than she did with the average writer.

“Some early US Western, and I love doing anything from the pre- to post-Roman eras in Britain.”

“Britain’s one of my major interests,” Kelly said, smiling broadly at her companion.  “Those eras are so fascinating because there are so few records and you have to guess at so many more things.”

“It makes it great for me because I can work my fictional narrative around the actual facts,” he said, laughing.

“That must be fun,” Kelly said.  “I’d love to read some of it if you ever share it.”  She had a friend once who wrote all the time and never shared a single word.  It seemed safer to give him an out.

“That would be awesome,” he said.  “You could point out places I get it wrong if you’re familiar with the era or events I’m working with.”

“I’d be happy to give you that kind of feedback.  I’m probably not the best person to give you advice on the actual writing,” Kelly replied.  “We could swap email addresses.”

“You’d be surprised how helpful the average person can be with the writing part,” he replied with a laugh.  “Why don’t you put you contact info in my phone, and I can do that or put it in your notebook,” he offered.

“Notebook,” Kelly said, handing it over.  She wasn’t sure the phone she was using would go back to the states with her so she didn’t want to lose his information.

He took her notebook and handed over his phone.  It was already open to the new contact screen.

Kelly tapped out her name and her email and her local UK cell number.  She then put “from the Welsh Dragon Tour” on the company line she he wouldn’t forget who she was.

They traded back and Kelly glanced down to see what he’d written.  Greg was a nice name.  She wondered if it was short for Gregory or not.  She laughed when she read his email address.

“I’ve had it forever,” Greg said, smiling.

“You couldn’t change it?” Kelly asked, still snickering.  Who left their email as “TheSuperGregMan” once they were out of middle school?