Image Prompt 059 Response – 3 a.m.


I chose the picture of my apartment in grad school for this week’s writing prompt.  The usual twenty-minute sprint plus some copy editing.  I hope you enjoy.

3 a.m.

Kelly started awake, sitting up in her bed, heart pounding.  She looked around, wondering what had woken her up.  She jumped again when someone pounded on her apartment door.

Grabbing her robe from the chair beside the bed, she slid out from under the covers and pulled it on, shivering as she crossed the room in her bare feet.  It was winter and her electric baseboards just couldn’t keep up with how cold it got here.

She crept to the door, managing not to jump when someone pounded on it again.

She paused beside it, not sure if she should push the curtain aside to look out or just ignore them.

The pounding came again, a little quieter this time.

“Come on,” she heard a muffled voice say.  “You have to be home.”

Kelly reached up and pushed the curtain aside a little, keeping herself a bit back and to the side so she wouldn’t be clearly visible from outside. Continue reading

Image Prompt 057 Response – Best Roommate Ever


I chose the image of my cat Locke in a shopping bag for this week’s twenty-minute sprint.  I had to go a little bit longer to wrap up of the scene, so this is maybe closer to twenty-two minutes or writing, but close enough.

Best Roommate Ever:

Kara heard the sounds of paper crinkling from the corner of the living room.  She walked over to investigate.  They’d had a couple mice get in last month and a few lizards over the summer.  Apparently the lizards could crawl in through the air conditioning system somehow because they always came out of the vents.

Kara laughed when she reached the corner.  There were a few empty boxes and a paper shopping bag, which currently contained her roommate’s black cat.  He was turning around in the bag and pouncing at the corners.

“Hey sweet boy,” Kara said, just to make sure he knew she was there.  He could get snappy if you startled him. Continue reading

Image Prompt 053 Response – Mountain Wedding


I chose the image of the buffet at a wedding at South Mountain for my twenty-minute sprint this week.

Mountain Wedding:

Kelly made sure all the food had been unloaded from the car and everything was properly laid out for after the ceremony.  She was glad her mother had finally stopped trying to talk Kyle and Anna into a big wedding.  Her twin brother was painfully shy and his fiancé was sweet and bubbly and wanted this day to be as wonderful for Kyle as it was for her.  They’d planned a string of small parties with family and friends over the next few months to celebrate with everyone Anna wanted to without overwhelming Kyle.  This was the official ceremony and was limited to family, the best man, and the matron of honor.

It had been a beautiful ceremony.  Short and sweet and just what Kelly would have expected from Anna.  Kyle looked so happy.  He was even putting up with the photographer reasonably well.  Kelly was making sure that everything was ready for the tiny reception as soon as Anna and Kyle got back from taking pictures down by the creek.

“Thank you for all the work you’re doing,” Jacob, Kyle’s best man, said as he joined Kelly at the tables.  “Anything I can do to help?” Continue reading

Image Prompt 052 Response – Lunch Tray Sledding


I chose the image of a college students sledding on a lunch tray for my twenty-minute sprint this week.  I have fond memories of that evening, so I wrote about something similar for my scene today.

Lunch Tray Sledding:

“Come on, go for it,” Miles urged, handing the lunch tray to Emily.  They’d smuggled four of them out of the dining hall their first winter on campus.

“I’m not falling off,” Emily declared as she took the tray.  The snow had stopped falling finally, but there was plenty on the ground, and she didn’t want to end up with it soaking through her clothes like Randy and Hana.  Emily positioned the tray at the top of the hill and then stepped carefully onto it, crouching down and using one hand to push off.  She had waterproof gloves, so she left her hand down to act as a sort of rudder and keep her facing forward as she started down the hill.

Miles let out a yell behind her and Emily let out a whoop of her own as she picked up speed, barreling toward Randy and Hana at the bottom.  The two looked up, saw her, and scrambled out of the way, laughing the entire time. Continue reading

Image Prompt 051 Response – Meeting at the Castle


I chose the image of Edinburgh Castle for my twenty-minute sprint today.

Meeting at the Castle:

Calum settled against the stone wall and watched the crowd.  This was probably not the smartest thing he’d ever done, meeting up with a friend from online that could be anybody.  In theory, he was meeting Matthew Evans, graphic artist and maker, who was in Edinburgh for some kind of conference for independent business people.

The castle had seemed like a good place to meet.  Very public, always reasonably crowded, and safe because there was a lot of folks who wanted to make sure the castle itself was properly preserved and protected.  Also, it was swarming with tourists and no one wanted tourists getting hurt.  It was bad for business.

Matt had said that he’d be wearing a bright blue jacket and that he’d have a messenger bag covered in art buttons.  In retrospect, Calum wasn’t sure how great that was for spotting his friend.  There were a lot of blue jackets and a lot of people with buttons on their bags.  Calum was wearing his usual dark gray pea coat, so he wasn’t any easier to spot.  He did have the bright copper hair which wasn’t quite as common in Scotland as a lot of folks thought.  He’d also positioned himself in a good vantage point, and told Matt where to find him.

There were four guys in bright blue jackets coming up from the parking lot.  Two seemed to be with other people, but two of them seemed to be alone.  Calum spotted a backpack on one of the others, which probably meant it wasn’t Matt.  The other was walking straight toward Calum and there was a strap across his chest that could have been a messenger bag.  He had sandy brown hair that was cut business man short and bright blue eyes.

“Calum?” the guy asked as he stopped a little away from Calum. Continue reading

Image Prompt 050 Response – Mage’s Bridge


I chose the image of the stone bridge in the UK for my twenty-minute sprint this week.  And then I was having so much fun that I kept writing, so this is longer than usual and definitely wasn’t written in only twenty minutes.  I still did the usual quick copy-edit before posting, so please excuse any errors I missed.

Mage’s Bridge:

Aaron held Jason’s hand as they walked down the road from the little village where they were staying.  There was a lovely little stone bridge Aaron wanted to look at.  Jason found them interesting because of the engineering principals involved and how old they were.  Aaron thought they were lovely and had found that any kind of water crossing had potential to be a place where mages placed protections.  In a country as old as Britain, he thought there was a chance there would be traces of some kind of spell he could study.

“We’ve walked back to every old bridge we’ve crossed on this trip,” Jason said as they arrived.  “Is there something about them besides the look that you find so interesting?”

Aaron smiled.  Jason knew him too well.  “They’re a common place to find the remains of spells,” Aaron confessed.  “If a village had a mage, they would put protection spells on bridges and fords and crossroads to guide those who intended harm away from their home.”

“Find any so far?” Jason asked, squeezing Aaron’s hand. Continue reading

Image Prompt 049 Response – Fair Folk


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. Continue reading

Image Prompt 048 Response – Broken Down


I chose the picture of the couch in the snow for my twenty-minute sprint this week.

Broken Down:

Caleb walked along the side of the rode with his arms wrapped around himself.  The snow was still falling slowly down around him as he trudged along.  He was glad for his thick winter boots and his heavy winter coat, but even than wasn’t much help when he’d been out in the swirling snow for more than two hours.  He hadn’t realized how far in the middle of nowhere he was when he decided to walk toward civilization instead of staying with his car.

It had probably been the right decision because he still had a dead battery in his phone and he hadn’t seen a single car on the long stretch of highway he’d walked so far.  He knew his aunt lived in the boonies, but hadn’t expected his car to die half way between town and her place.

He crested a hill and paused at the top.  There were some buildings ahead, that he didn’t actually remember passing on the way down.  Maybe he hadn’t been looking far enough from the highway?  Or maybe he’d stumbled off the highway and was now hopelessly lost.  The buildings still seemed like a good bet.  They might have a land line he could borrow to call his aunt or a tow truck.

Caleb started down the hill, still walking along the road, which was nominally cleared, so that he wasn’t wading through the foot-deep snow. Continue reading

Image Prompt 037 Response – Name Confusion


I selected the image of the statue near the Firth of Tay in Dundee, Scotland for my prompt this week.  I’ve done a twenty-minute sprint and a quick edit.  I hope you enjoy.


Name Confusion:

Bailey sat on the little step at the base of the sculpture by William Longair that looked out over the Tay.  He faced the water, taking comfort in the noise of people walking behind him.  It was a beautiful day, so there were plenty of people out walking beside the firth.  That’s why he’d picked the place.  It was outside and usually had a small crowd within shouting distance at the furthest.  He knew meeting someone he met online was a risky thing under any circumstances, but he was at least doing it in public where he should be safe and in reach of help if needed. Continue reading

Image Prompt 034 Response – Dancing Blue Light


So I’m a week late getting this posted.  NaNoWriMo does tend to eat the rest of my life in November.  I chose to do the image of the arch and gate from St. Paul’s in Dundee, Scotland as my image prompt for this twenty-minute sprint.  I hope you enjoy it.

Dancing Blue Light

Amber walked past the Episcopal church every day on her way home.  She liked the architecture.  The spires, the arches, and the stonework.  There was an arched entryway in the wall off to one side with a gate.  There were stairs leading up on the other side of the gate and Amber always wondered where they led.  In the dim light of autumn evenings, it all looked mysterious and intriguing.  On cold winter nights when it was already dark as she walked home, she could barely make out the stairs on the other side of the gate.  There were no lights on that side of the church, and the wall the arch was set into blocked the light from the street lamps.

It was early December when she first saw the light on the stairs.  It was a blue-tinged light that seemed to flicker and shift as she gazed through the arch, trying to get a better view around the bars in the gate.  She couldn’t figure out where the light was or what was making it.  When her fingers started to get stiff from the cold, she headed home. Continue reading