Image Prompt 061 – Cat in a Backpack and Water by Ancient Wall


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.

Image Prompt 061-002 - Welsh Dragon05-05-07 054

Image Prompt 061-001 - Valentine's Day2009 015

Image Prompt 060 – Cat in the Window and Irish Monastery’s Cemetery


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.

Image Prompt 060-001 - Locke November 2008 010

Image Prompt 060-002 - Shamrocker Tour05-04-24 026

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.

There was just enough light from the streetlight at the corner for her to make out Mark’s features.  She hadn’t seen him in six months.  Not since she moved out of the house she’d shared with him, his sister, and their cousin.  She flipped on the light and reached to unlock the door.

“What the hell?” Kelly asked as she opened the door.

Mark had one hand braced on the doorframe and the other was raised like he was going to bang on the door again.

“You’ve got to let me in and close the door,” Mark said quickly, glancing over his shoulder.  “I promise I’ll explain.”

“Come in,” Kelly said, stepping back.  She watched behind Mark too.  He wasn’t the nervous type.

“Thank you,” Mark said, hurrying past her.

She closed the door, flipping the bolt out of habit.  “So what’s going on?” Kelly asked, glancing at her microwave.  “It’s three in the morning.”

“I think Melody’s dead, and Veronica tried to kill me.”

“What?” Kelly said, taking a step back and bumping into the door.

“I don’t know for sure about Melody,” Mark said quickly.  “She could have gone home to see our parents, but her room was a mess and there was all this sticky stuff splattered everywhere and I think it might have been blood.”

“Did you call the police?” Kelly asked.  When you couldn’t find your sibling and though there was blood in their room, you called the police.

“No, I ran,” Mark said.  “I got home late and I just poked my head in to see if she was there, and I didn’t even have time to decide what I though the sticky stuff was before Veronica showed up.  She was crazy.  She kept trying to grab me and she was talking nonsense, so I ran back out to my car.  She ran after the damned car.  I’ve never seen her run when she wasn’t being chased.”

“Okay, slow down,” Kelly said, taking a deep breath.  “You need to explain everything in order and you need to include all the details.  Why don’t you sit down?”  Kelly pulled the chair over from her table, putting it facing her desk and then sat in her desk chair.

Mark sat down, taking a few deep breaths.  He was still in his work clothes, black slacks and a polo with the restaurant logo on the breast.

“Start at the beginning, and go slowly,” Kelly urged him.  Then she sat back and listened.

Mark told her about getting out late because of a huge party in the private room.  He hadn’t even turned on the lights coming through the house, but he’s gone to check on his sister.  She was usually still up at two in the morning.  He’d noticed how much of a wreck her room was and turned on the light.  It looked like someone had torn through the place looking for something and maybe had a brawl while they were at it.  And there were drops and splatters of something dark reddish brown that were tacky when he touched one.

That’s when Veronica had shown up.  She’d yelled at him for being in Melody’s room.  He’d said Melody didn’t mind, and asked what happened.  Veronica wouldn’t answer any of his questions.  She kept saying that Melody had stolen from her and Veronica hadn’t meant to do anything, just get it back, but then Melody opened it and she tried to grab it and it was everywhere now.  Mark had tried to back away but Veronica grabbed him, her grip tight on his wrist.  He held it up to show her the red mark that said he’d have a bruise by morning.

“And her eyes seemed to glow in the dark,” Mark said.  “I was freaked out, so I ran.”

Kelly sighed.  “Mark, I think I know what happened, or at least part of it.”

“What?” Mark asked, looking so eager for an answer.

“Veronica got infected, and they gave her a supply of blood in case the craving hit when she was home.  It’s pretty typical.  My guess is Melody took her supply.  I have no idea why.  The blood you saw all over the room was from the supply that Melody opened and Veronica fought to get back.”

“Infected?  You think Veronica’s a vampire?” Mark asked, his eyes getting really big.

“It would explain how she could hold you so tight it’s going to bruise, and her chasing after you.”

“Am I safe here?  Have I put you in danger?”

“Vampires are only dangerous if they aren’t getting proper meals,” Kelly explained.  “I’m majoring is Preternatural Biology, remember?”

“But what about Melody?” Mark asked.

“Did you call her yet?” Kelly asked.

“Shit, I was too freaked to even think to,” he said, pulling out his phone.

Kelly sighed.  This was probably some weird family dispute or Melody freaking out about Veronica getting infected.  Hopefully she would answer and then Mark could go home and Kelly could get back to sleep.

Image Prompt 059 – Grad School Apartment & Stonehenge


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.

2019-12-13 Image Prompt 059-01 Apartment 07-03-29 004

2019-12-13 Image Prompt 059-02 Day One 05-05-09 012

Image Prompt 058 Response – Welsh Dragon Tour


I chose the image of the field viewed from inside a ruined castle in Wales for my twenty-minute prompt this week.  It was going well, so I ended up writing for more like 30 minutes on this one.

Welsh Dragon Tour:

Kyle crouched against the crumbling stone castle wall, the weathered surface rough through his t-shirt.  He had not just seen that, had he?  He lifted his head just a little, craning his neck so he could see over the wall while hopefully not being noticed.

There was a little grove of trees just below the wall, and then several green fields of sheep on either side of the stream.  Beyond that there were more trees and the farm buildings and then the rolling hills, or maybe small mountains.  He saw the mountains first, then the farm buildings, then the fields as he slowly inched upward out of his crouch.

It was still there.

There was a dragon in the field.

It was eating sheep.

The river seemed to be turning to steam, leaving a hazy cloud of water vapor around the dragon.  It didn’t seem to care, but Kyle figured if it was causing the river to turn to steam by standing in it, then it didn’t mind heat or humidity.

Kyle wasn’t sure how big the dragon was, since he was so far away, but it was eating the sheep whole, so it’s head had to be at least three times the size of a sheep.  It had a long sinuous neck, letting it turn to look a full 360 degrees around itself.  Its legs were short, so its belly almost touched the ground, but they were thick and strong looking.  It turned, facing away from the castle to get more sheep, so Kyle chanced grabbing his phone to take a picture.  No one was going to believe this even with a picture, but he wanted to remember, or leave some evidence behind if it ate him.

He snapped a few quick shots and then zoomed in to get the best image he could of the full dragon up close.  Its big leather bat-like wings were spread out wide, and seemed to be glistening slightly, like they were wet maybe.  Its tail was long and shifted back and forth as it moved, like it was using it as a counter-weight or something.  The end looked like it was a ball with spikes.  As if the giant jaws weren’t scary enough, Kyle was pretty sure one hit from that tail would kill just about anyone.

Kyle crouched back down again.  He looked over at the other people on his tour.  One of the guides, Melody, was holding Rachel, the French girl, who was still crying.  The other guide had gone down the other side of the ruins to see if it looked safe to get to their bus.  Ryan, the Kiwi, and Ellen, the Canadian were hugging each other.

“What did you see?” Ryan asked.

“It’s eating sheep,” Kyle said.  “It’s still there and it’s eating sheep.”

“What do we do?” Ellen asked.

“Gary called 999,” Melody said.  “If it looks like it’s safe for us to leave, we’ll leave.”

“The bus would be visible from the field if we drove off, wouldn’t it?” Ryan asked.

“Probably,” Kyle said, peaking up again.  “Yeah, definitely.”

“I’m sure the emergency response folks will let Gary know what they want us to do,” Melody said.

“Are we safe here?” Ellen asked.

“As long as it’s down there eating sheep, probably,” Melody replied.

“Let’s hope it doesn’t run out of sheep then,” Ryan said.

Kyle whole-heartedly agreed.  He peaked back up, doing a quick count.  There were at least a few dozen sheep left in the closest field.  Maybe ten in the two further out where the dragon had been eating.  It didn’t seem to be eating anymore.  Kyle hoped it didn’t get full either.  But maybe if it wasn’t hungry it wouldn’t be a danger to them?  They were probably small and insignificant to it.

Gary came back, moving in a crouch along the wall.  He came to a stop next to Kyle.

“Alright, there’s a back way out we can take that should keep the bus from being visible from the fields,” he said.  “They’re sending people to check out what’s going on and figure out how to keep everyone safe, but right now, they just want us to be away from here.  Pretty sure they only believed me because the farmer down there had already called in a pissed off panic because he’s losing sheep.”

“We can get to the bus without being seen?” Melody asked.

“There’s a short stretch were we might be visible, but I figure if we run it in pairs we’ll be fine.”

“It’s looking the other way right now anyway,” Kyle said, peaking up again.  “We should go before it turns around.”

“Agreed,” Gary said.  “Let’s go.”

Kyle followed Gary.  They stayed in crouched until the walls got high enough to run a little more upright.  When they got to the entrance, where they’d have to run across the gap to the bus, Gary stopped.

“Melody, take Rachel across first.  Be ready to start the bus and drive off as soon as the rest of us are on.”

“Understood,” Melody said, getting a good grip on Rachel’s hand.  “Ready?” she asked.

“Yes,” Rachel said, not sounding confident at all as she held onto Melody’s hand.

They ran across the space and up into the bus.

“Who’s next?” Gary asked, looking at the rest of them.

“You two go,” Kyle said.  He was on the track team, so if anyone had to run faster, then he should be the one.

“You sure?” Ryan asked.

“I’m fast, I’ve got this,” Kyle assured him.

“Okay,” Ellen said, grabbing Ryan’s hand.  “Let’s go.”

Ryan nodded and they ran the whole way and right up the steps onto the bus.  Kyle could see them move down a few seats and then disappear, probably crouched in the foot space rather than actually sitting.

“Ready?” Gary asked.

“Ready,” Kyle said.

Gary started off and Kyle kept close behind him.  They were half way across when he noticed movement in his peripheral vision.

“Oh, crap,” Kyle said as the giant, clawed, four-toed foot came at him.

Kyle tried to speed up, but he just wasn’t fast enough.  That foot wrapped around him, pinning his right arm to his side as he was lifted off the ground.

“Go!” Kyle shouted as Gary looked back.

Gary made it onto the bus and the door closed behind him.

Kyle’s stomach lurched every time he was jerked higher, the heavy beats of the dragon’s wings taking them upward.  He watched the bus drive off without him as the castle came into view below them.  This was not the kind of Welsh Dragon he was expecting when he booked this tour.

Image Prompt 058 – Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden & Wales


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.

2019-11-08 Image Prompt 058-01 Daniel Stow Botanical Gardens October 2010 048

2019-11-08 Image Prompt 058-02 Welsh Dragon 05-05-07 041

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.

Coda looked up at her with his bright yellow eyes and meowed his tiny little meow.  He was huge, a healthy fifteen pounds according to the last vet visit—which Kara had taken him to since her roommate got called into work last minute that day—but his meow was so tiny and high pitch, almost like a kittens.

“Having fun?” she asked as she reached down for the bag.  She picked it up, just to see what he would do.

Coda was sitting up when she did and he barely moved as she gently lifted him up to waist height.  He just stared up at her and then meowed again.

“Why don’t you come hang out with me?” she asked, carrying him to the couch and setting the bag down.  Kara sat down at the other end of the couch and laughed again when Coda leapt neatly out of the bag without even hitting the top.  He padded over and curled up against her leg.  He never seemed to want to sit in her lap, which worked out pretty well since fifteen pounds was a lot of cat to have in your lap.

Kara gently stroked his back.  He was the softest thing, with long fur that sat sleekly against his body.

“You’re such a good cat,” Kara told him.  “Such a sweetheart.”  She didn’t even end up turning on the TV as she’d intended.  She just sat there stroking Coda until her roommate got home.

“Hey, I’m back,” he called as he closed the door behind himself.

“Hey Mason,” Kara called out.

Coda meowed in greeting too.  Normally he was at the door waiting for Mason even when Kara was home.

“You two are getting along well today,” Mason said, smiling fondly as he walked through the living room.

“Yeah,” Kara said.  “I’ve always liked cats, but Coda is a real sweetie.”

“He likes you, too,” Mason assured her before heading into the kitchen.

Coda meowed.

“Yeah?” Kara said.  “You like me, huh?”  She reached down with both hands and rubbed his cheeks.  Coda purred, pushing his whole body against her thigh.  “I like you, too,” she said.  “If only I could find a guy I liked as much as you,” she murmured softly.  It had been a lonely several years for her.  Her high school boyfriend hadn’t wanted to continue when they went off to different schools and she’d never found anybody she liked enough in college.  And here she was, in her first job after graduation and she’d still not met anyone worth dating.

Coda meowed again, purring happily.

“Have you made any dinner plans yet?” Mason asked as he came back in sans work bag.

“Not yet,” Kara said.  “I was thinking about it but then got distracted.”

She smiled up at Mason, hoping he didn’t think she was a total flake.  He was an amazing roommate and she didn’t want to do anything to mess that up.

“He’s very distracting,” Mason said, coming over to stroke Coda’s side, his fingers brushing against Kara’s hand along the way.  His skin was warm, but Kara just shifted her hand, petting Coda’s head so she wouldn’t be in Mason’s way.  Dating a roommate was just a bad idea, even if he was the nicest guy she knew in the whole city.

“Yeah,” Kara agreed softly.

“Want to come out to dinner with me tonight?” Mason asked.  “It was kind of a crap day so I wanted to treat myself, and this is the longest I’ve ever had a roommate without a huge fight, so that seems worth celebrating too.”

“You don’t usually get along with your roommates?” Kara asked, frowning.

“I’ve just had bad luck,” Mason said.  “I never had a friend that wanted to live in the same room back in school, so I was always with random people and kept getting someone that didn’t agree with me about something big like cleaning or rules about who can be in the room when or something, which usually turned into a fight because I’m stubborn and a few of them had some serious testosterone poisoning going on.  I’ve only had three since college, and the other two were random online connections.  I figured you were going to be a great bet because a human being I actually knew recommended us to each other.”

“My first college roommate was horrible,” Kara said.  She understood about random roommates.  “She had a boyfriend, and he practically lived in our room.  It was kind of awful and no matter how many times our RA tried to help work it out she’d just break the new rules.”

“I had one like that,” Mason said.  “I got him moved out.”

“My RA never offered that as an option,” Kara said.  “I applied to be an RA my sophomore year so I’d never have to deal with another random roommate.”

“Just everyone else’s,” Mason said with a laugh.  “Come on,” he added, holding out his hand.

Kara gave Coda one more head scratch and stroked down his back before reaching up for Mason’s hand.

Mason pulled her up easily, smiling the whole time.

Coda meowed in protest.

Mason laughed.  “You have to share buddy,” he said to Coda.  “It’ll be my treat tonight to thank you for being an awesome roommate,” Mason said.  “Let’s go.”

“Thanks,” Kara said, squeezing his hand before pulling hers away.

Mason smiled over his shoulder at her and Kara thought really hard about how much of a bad idea it would be to date a roommate, but she still followed him out to his car to go to dinner.