Image Prompt 052 Response – Lunch Tray Sledding

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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.

The lunch tray came to a stop at the bottom of the hill and Emily stood up, arms in the air.  “Victory!” she shouted.  She was the first one to make it down the hill still on the tray.  Everyone else had whipped out or fallen off half way.

“Incoming!” Miles yelled as he launched himself down the hill face first with the tray under his chest.

Emily laughed as she grabbed her tray and dodged out of the way, joining Randy and Hana off to the side so they could start back up to the top.

Miles turned as he went down, ending up sideways by the time he reached the bottom.  He also lost the lunch tray at some point, coming to a stop at the bottom on the hill on just his jacket.  He was laughing the whole time.

Emily smiled.  She loved how much fun they all had together.

“Speed record,” Jenn calls, making a running start before jumping, her feet landing on a tray.  She zipped down the hill, somehow managing to stay on her feet.

Emily laughed.  Jenn was such a daredevil.  It helped that even if she took a tumble she wouldn’t be hurt enough to still feel it in the morning.  Emily planned to avoid any bruises tonight.

They spent another thirty minutes taking turns going down the hill.  Emily could barely feel her fingers by the time Randy declared it was time to head for the student union.  They stopped at Miles’ dorm so he could run the trays up to his room.

“Nobody got too cold?” Jenn asked as she held the door to the union open for everyone.

“Nothing a hot chocolate won’t fix,” Emily said.  “We can’t all be superhumanly warm like you.

Jenn smiled and laughed.  “No but I’d make sure you got the warmth you needed if it were ever a problem.”

“I know,” Emily replied.  Jenn was amazing.  She and Hana really looked out for all of them, making sure they were safe and well taken care of.

“Hot chocolates all around,” Randy said, heading for the little convenience store in the union.  It had one of those steamer/latter/hot chocolate machines that turned powder and hot water into steamed milk beverages.  They were pretty good, especially when you were half frozen.

They all filed through the store, grabbing cups and filling them before paying and heading right back out.  They took over one of the many corners with couches and cushions and started shedding outerwear.

“That was great,” Jenn said.  “Does this mean we’re studying tomorrow?”  It was Friday night and they’d all decided to skip their usual study group activities in favor of sledding.

“Or we could just gather our stuff after we’ve thawed out and head to Hana’s for a few hours tonight,” Emily suggested.

“I could go for that,” Randy said.  “Get things out of the way and then sleep in tomorrow.”

“Sounds good,” Miles said.  “We’re all on the way to Hana’s.”

“We are such nerds,” Hana said, laughing.

“Absolutely,” Jenn said, raising her hot chocolate in a toast.  “To being incorrigible nerds who will study no matter what anyone says.”

Emily laughed.  Hearing it from Jenn, with her neon pink and black hair just made it so much funnier.

They all raised their glasses with a happy “cheers” before taking careful sips.  No one wanted a burnt tongue.

“So what else are we getting up to this weekend?” Randy asked.

“I have zero plans,” Jenn said.  “But I do probably need to finish my paper draft before Sunday study group.”

“Definitely complete nerds,” Miles said.  “That’s my plan too.”

They all laughed again.  It was great to have likeminded friends who were as dedicated to school as she was.  Emily loved them all dearly.

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Image Prompt 052 – Snow Day & UK

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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.

2019-05-10 Image Prompt 052-01 sledding03-02-37

2019-05-10 Image Prompt 052-02 Day Two 05-05-10 075

Image Prompt 048 Response – Broken Down

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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.

As he got closer to the little cluster of buildings, he saw a brown leather couch sitting in front of the fence near the road.  It was covered in snow like everything else, but it still looked so inviting.  Caleb shook his head.  He wasn’t that tired.  He didn’t need to sit down on a couch in the snow.  With his luck, he’d fall asleep and end up dying of exposure.

Just past the couch was a wooden gate that stood open at the end of what looked like a gravel driveway.  It wasn’t cleared of snow enough for a vehicle, but he could see furrows that meant a human being had been up to the mailbox and back some time in the last day, so Caleb followed the tracks down the drive toward the buildings.

As he approached, Caleb could see that the closer building was a barn, followed by something else that was probably another barn or a storage shed of some kind.  Past that another hundred yards or so was an old farm house.

The barn was closed up tight, but Caleb could smell animals as he walked past it.  A working farm would have people around.  No family would abandon their livestock even for a storm like this.  Hope made Caleb move a little faster as he trudged through the snow toward the house.

There were three steps up from the drive to the porch of the farm house.  There were two pickup trucks and a little sedan parked off to one side, and Caleb thought he saw light coming around the curtains of one of the front rooms. He knocked his boots together to get the bulk of the snow off them and shook his coat out on the first stair, then climbed up onto the porch.  It was a big wide, wraparound style with a couple rocking chairs on one end and a porch swing on the other.

The mat at the door said welcome, which Caleb hoped was promising.  He raised his hand and knocked.

“Was Manny planning to come by or something?” Caleb heard someone call from inside.

“Not that I know of,” someone called back.  Through the door it was hard to tell anything about the voices.

Caleb smiled when the door opened, pushing his hood back and hoping he didn’t look threatening.

The young woman who opened the door looked utterly confused.  She was a little under five feet tall with her brown hair pulled back in a braid, wearing jeans and a heavy gray sweater.

“I’m sorry to bother you,” Caleb said.  “My car broke down, and I was hoping you had a phone I could use since mine’s dead.”

“Dad,” The girl yelled over her shoulder.

“Who is it, hon?” her father asked as he walked up behind her.  He was definitely her father.  They had the same nose and the same pale blue eyes, but he was over six feet tall with thickly muscled arms shown off by the blue t-shirt he wore with his jeans.

Caleb repeated his apology and request to use a phone.  “I was on my way to see my aunt when the storm caught up with me.  I hadn’t expected the snow until this evening and then my car died.”

“Come on in out of the cold,” the man said.  “We’ll get you sorted out.”

“Thank you, sir,” Caleb said in relief.

The man opened the storm door and Caleb stepped inside, the warm air making his cheeks hurt and his eyes water.  He blinked trying to see, and managed to identify a neat line of shoes beside a bench next to the door as well as his host’s bare feet peeking out below his jeans.

Caleb sat down on the bench and pulled his boots off, not wanting to track snow through the kind man’s house.

“You can leave your coat on the bench and follow me to the kitchen,” the man said.

“Thank you very much, sir,” Caleb replied.  He stood up, careful to avoid the snow already melting off his boots, and shed his jacket.

Image Prompt 041 Response – Light in the Storm

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I’m going to be playing with character’s we’ve seen before this time.  I developed them for one of my April A to Z challenges and have written a couple of image response scenes with them as well.  I used the winter stairs for my twenty-minute sprint, and after a quick copy edit this is the result.  I hope you enjoy.

Light in the Storm:

Avery woke up feeling cold.  That wasn’t usually a problem these days, but Ry wasn’t on the other side of the bed like usual.  Avery sat up to find Avery standing at the window with a blanket wrapped around his shoulders.  He glanced at the clock.

“Why are we awake at dawn?” Avery asked. Continue reading

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

Let It Snow

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No matter what holiday you celebrate in December (or even if you don’t celebrate one at all) I hope you’ve all had a wonderful month and are enjoying yourselves.

I grew up looking forward to having a white Christmas, green gifts in my stocking, a fuzzy red Santa hat, and ending the day with ribbons and bows festooning my hat, hair, and clothes. Continue reading