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 034 Response – Dancing Blue Light

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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.

Every day for the rest of the week, she stopped to try to see what the light was.  It never seemed to be in the same place twice, but she could never quite figure out where it was coming from.  It wasn’t stable enough to be a lightbulb.  It was too blue to be a flame.  It fascinated her.

On Friday night, when she stopped to see where the blue light was, she noticed that the gate wasn’t latched.  Amber chewed on her lip as she tried to decide whether she should go in.  It was a church, so she figured as long as she wasn’t hurting anything, they weren’t likely to press charges for trespassing.

Amber carefully slipped through the gate, making sure it didn’t latch behind her in case that would lock her in.  She walked carefully up the stairs by the strange blue light.  The stairs took a circuitous path, going up, then right, then left, then left again.  The light’s source still wasn’t visible, but now seemed to be coming from everywhere.  Her shadow was cast in several different directions and she still couldn’t find a source for the light.

The stairs continued up along the edge of the building and became narrower and steeper the further she climbed.  When she reached the corner of the church building, the stairs leveled off and as she rounded the bend to find a straight path along the side of the building.  It wasn’t at the same level as any of the floors and seemed to bisect some of the windows.  She’d never seen it before when she was approaching the church from the back.

The blue light was still there, but when Amber looked back, the stairs behind her were hidden in darkness.  She almost couldn’t make them out.  Was the light moving?

Amber turned back to the path in front of her and kept walking.  She had to know what the light was and where it came from.

Three steps down the back of the building, Amber’s foot slipped.  The path before her tilted, and she grabbed for the stone wall on her left, but missed and fell on her butt.  The path continued to tilt and Amber began to slide.  She tried to grab at the wall on her left or the side of the building on her right, but she couldn’t get a grip on anything.

Ambers stomach lurched when the path leveled out.  She only slid a few more feet.  She gasped for breath, her heart racing as she carefully stood up, clinging to the wall on her left to make sure she wouldn’t go anywhere.

What she saw over the wall didn’t look like Dundee.  In Dundee there were other buildings behind St. Paul’s.  Amber was looking at rolling hills with the occasional tree.  There were little bobbing blue lights scattered around the area.  They flickered and moved like the light she’d been seeing each night.

Amber looked back the way she’d slid and found nothing there.  She was at the corner of the path.  There were stairs leading down.  But there was no building on her right.  No St. Paul’s.  She was standing on a stone pathway with a waist-high stonewall on either side that appeared to be floating in midair.

There were more rolling hills, more densely covered in trees, on that side of her.

“This can’t be good,” Amber murmured to herself.

“Good, good,” a voice whispered behind her.

Amber turned, but there was no one there.

“Hello?” Amber called.

“Hello, hello,” came the reply.

“Is there anyone here?” Amber asked, her voice quivering slightly.

“Here, here,” the voice called.

Image Prompt 034 – Arch, St. Paul’s, Dundee, Scotland, and College Apartment Chapel Hill, NC

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So it’s the Second Friday of the Month, but NaNoWriMo tends to throw off my timing a little.  It’s Wednesday, but 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, likely also on Wednesday.

2017-11-10 Image Prompt-034-1 - Arch next to St. Paul's 001

2017-11-10 Image Prompt-034-2 - Apt21

Image Prompt 033 Response: The Tree

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I picked the tree in the Florida state park for my twenty-minute sprint this time.  I went in a little bit different direction than my usual.  I’d love to hear what you think.

The Tree:

The tree was alone now.

Before there had been others.  A forest of them together at the edge where the land met the water.

Time took away the sand and rock they clung to first, and then one by one, the other trees succumbed.  They were carried off by well-meaning creatures, or they drifted out on the waves.

The tree was alone now.

The boulder it clung to was ancient.  The tree grew its roots down around it, hoping to shield it in some small way from the ravages of time and waves.  The tree knew this was a futile effort, but it had to try.  Perhaps its efforts would extend the boulders life by a few seasons.

Creatures came and went on the sands nearby, but the tree paid them no mind.  It paid attention to the bright sun, the rhythm of the waves, and the shifting of the sands beneath its boulder.  The creatures would come and they would go and everything else would remain.

The tree was alone now.

It thought fondly of the days when it was surrounded by its brothers and sisters.  When they had been a whole.  Now the tree was just a single piece of a whole that no longer existed.  The tree would never be whole on its own.  That was simply not the way of things.

The tree tried to grow sideways.  It tried to expand so that there would be more of it and maybe, if it was very lucky, there would be daughter and son trees and it could be part of a forest again.  There had only been one tree before, and it always seemed to build its own forest community.

The tree was alone now.

The tree stood over its rock and watched the sea.  There were always ships coming in and going out.  The tree had seen this happen before.  There were always ships.  For as long as the tree had stood, there had been ships.  It had been a tiny sapling when the first floated across the water.

The tree thought that when its time came, it would rather drift away into the ocean.  It didn’t particularly want the creatures to drag it away and it did not want to find out what any of their strange contraptions did or felt like.  The tree did not have a thirst for knowledge.

The tree was aloe now

The light was fading and the tree continued to watch the waves as they came in again.  The tree watched the stars come out and the sky fade to inky blackness.

The tree wondered what the stars where and what would really happen when he no longer had the boulder to cling to and the soil any longer.

The tree was alone now.

Image Prompt 033 – Flat in Dundee Scotland & State Park in Florida

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It’s the Second Third Friday of the Month, so today is an Image Prompt day.  (Not sure what happened to my brain last week that I forgot to post this.)

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.

2017-10-13 Image Prompt033-1 - Dundee Scotland Walking Tour of the Flat 018

2017-10-13 Image Prompt-033-2 - FL State Park 023

Image Prompt 032 – St. Andrew’s & North Carolina Mountains

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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.

2017-09-08 Image Prompt032-1 - St. Andrews05-03-18 018

2017-09-08 Image Prompt-032-2 - Chimney Rock Trip 05-07-20 031