This week’s prompt is a photo from Lora Mitchell. My story is below.
Exiting the board room at 6:03, she rushed to her office. The light out, she walked to her window, now gently bathed in a light shower. Aaaahhhh! Tension instantly drained away as she feasted on her favorite view — her city — alive, gorgeous, teeming with energy and renewal. It was in her heartbeat.
Brent couldn’t comprehend. Always a country boy, he insisted Kate could be happy in his world. Since his proposal, a new plant arrived daily — pressing her. Today’s lily blocked her view. Tossing it into the receptacle, she leaned against the window — happy.
Odd … the fence so freshly painted. The barn still bore silent scars from enemy troops scouring the countryside of its rightful owners and leaving all to ruin. A few lucky farmers had fled, losing all they’d worked for.
But before … before death and destruction … she and Johann had walked the length of this fence daily … stopping for kisses … planning: marriage, children, living beside this fence.
The night of the soldiers Johann had forced her to run while he covered her, and she’d seen them capture him.
20 years gone and she’d come back to remember. If only Johann were ….
This week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt is a photo by David Stewart of a statue in his home city in Korea. My response turned out to be a love story — maybe because my focus this week is on Valentine’s Day. Here’s David’s photo, followed by my take on the challenge.
A Royal Love Story
Once upon a time, a starving sculptor fell hopelessly in love with Princess Kameko.
“He will have to create a great statue for the courtyard of my palace, and prove himself worthy of you,” the king said to Kameko. “It must exhibit his love for you in such unusual manner that people from many lands will travel to see it.”
The artist thought – agonized – for days, finally presenting himself to the king with tools in hand.
Three days later, the royal city gathered in the courtyard and gasped with pleasure at the unveiling of the oblique statue: Falling In Love.
This Friday’s challenge is here in the form of a photo from Rich Voza
BUT NOT ALWAYS
He was Cherokee, she Scottish-American. But the moment they met in the airport coffee shop, they were connected. Waiting out the fog, they talked like old friends. When her plane was called, he carried her bag to her boarding gate.
A question in her eyes, she said, “Wow, Chicago and Dallas – talk about two people going in opposite directions.”
Light flared in his eyes. She didn’t want this to end either. He traced one gentle finger down her cheek.
“Opposite today … but not always, I think.”
The light in her eyes leaped to his, just as the boarding line began moving.
His next words a promise: “I will see you again, Joy.”
My imagination led me in the direction of poetry this time, and I found that it’s much harder work to get poetry to come out right with such a short word limit. But it was fun trying, and I managed to make it in 102 plus Julia’s 3.
BENEATH THE SURFACE
While browsing antique shops, I made a great find! Unearthed a rare treasure. Never saw one in kind.
An elegant bowl, with a handle and lid; Beneath so much tarnish, it’s true beauty hid.
Though black with the ages, I hugged it to me;
Beneath the surface, silver glory I could see.
Polished and rubbed to a radiant glow, On party buffet my prize purchase would show.
It gleamed and it glowed, holding punch the next day, When – horror of horrors – I heard a guest say:
“Heaven help us! Is this the best silver you’ve got? I’ll not drink my punch from an old chamber pot!”
Well, I am waaaaaaay out in left field on this week’s challenge. It was fun getting here, but I don’t have enough words to get back. This piece is definitely “stream of consciousness” writing.
Here’s the photo prompt that Rochelle gave us — courtesy of Claire Fuller, who created the sculpture and took the photo.
AS IT WAS IN THE BEGINNING
“Well, now, let’s have a look at this piece that has you so distressed, Maryann,” said Professor Rousseau, lifting the scarf that covered his student’s newest sculpture. His gasp of pleasure was audible. Then for several minutes, he stood silent. Finally he spoke, never taking his eyes from the work.
“Tell me again what you told me on the phone.”
“I … I sculpted the man’s head yesterday. I could feel it wasn’t finished, but I couldn’t seem to do anything else with it. So I went to bed. This morning, when I went into the studio to take another look at it … the woman’s head was there as well … and his hand on her head protectively … as you can see.”
The Professor smiled. “Aaahh, yes. I can see that the words of the Original Artist still hold true: “It is not good for man to be alone.”
Well, Friday Fictioneers is rapidly becoming a habit. There are such wonderful writers out there who take part in this challenge. It’s an honor to be able to work with them on the same material each week, and it’s a privilege to see how wide and far-reaching the creativity can be when so many talented people look at the same photograph and set their imaginations free.
The prompt is the phrase: “… the extreme weather meant …”
Here’s my contribution:
“Dr. Corbet, from the U.S. Natural Disaster Center, is at the news conference to bring us up to date on what the extreme weather meant this past week. Dr. Corbet, what’s the latest report?”
“Unfortunately, the reverse-magnetic dome forming around the earth is growing thicker and cutting off more sunlight every day. We’re getting hourly reports now from our scientists in all sectors. As of one hour ago, thermometers in New York registered 40 below zero, Fahrenheit, and thermometers at the equator registered zero.”
“So you’re saying ….”
“I’m saying the human race has about 3 weeks to live.”
I couldn’t resist jumping in this week. Thanks to Julia for all these great challenges. They help so much with the “discipline” of writing, don’t they? This week’s prompt is “… the notes from the piano ….” So here’s my take:
THE SILENT NOTES
Lucy couldn’t understand. One whole octave silent … dead. She’d been gone 20 years, but surely someone else played ….
Lifting the lid, she spotted the wad of papers — old — torn — wedged under the strings. Prying the papers loose, she studied them: Letters! Letters and notes! And all signed by … him!
One whimper escaped. Then a sob. He really had written! Father had hidden them, and when she’d gone, he’d stuffed them here. Cruel joke!
Twenty years suffering a broken heart, and all that time ….
That’s what Father had meant when he’d whispered his dying words: “The notes … from the piano ….”
To join in the fun, hop over to Julia’s place and check out the challenge. (You’ll also enjoy her terrific header photo. It just pulls you in and makes you want to stay awhile just looking at it.)
I wanted to join in with the other Friday Fictioneer participants this week, but I have to admit that my contribution is ‘illegal’ — being closer to 180 words. However, since this is the little story that kept nagging at me from the very first moment I saw the picture below, I have written it anyway and edited it down as far as possible in the time I had available.
The challenge is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to take part, hop over to see her at this link:
They’d met at a rehearsal in this very theater. He, with his polished coat of dark walnut, was instantly captivated by her honey-maple coloring – but even more so by the sweet voice she gave to every note assigned her in the performances. Bravely, he’d professed his love, and she’d responded. They had made exquisite music together for 74 years.
Now, with their respective masters in their graves, the two aging instruments rested against the wall of an old closet behind the stage. His coat was battered and marred significantly. But her luster still had the power to draw music from him every time he looked at her. They sighed quietly. They still had each other – and the music that lived within them. He kissed her gently. She kissed him back. They embraced.
Outside, people slowed their stride as they passed the old theater. “There it is again,” said one. Others nodded in agreement.
“Strange,” said a young woman. “Every night, I’m just sure I hear music coming from inside, but there is never anyone there ….”
Maybe I’m just in the mood to get into new challenges, but I really think it’s the chocolate that did it. Anyway, I couldn’t seem to resist trying out Julia’s challenge this week. Here’s the link to her site:
And the picture for the challenge is below — along with my “story.”
WHAT’S IT WORTH?
One half-piece left — and crumbs. He’d lick those off first, then take time savoring the piece itself. Since enforcement of the President’s War On Obesity, the total ban on chocolate had driven him mad.
“You have chocolate!” his sister shouted, entering behind him. He moved the plate out of reach. She was already dialing her cell.
“What are you doing?”
“Reporting you to the police, of course!”
The iron skillet was handy.
He managed to strike her before she’d finished dialing.
Okay . . . He was safe.
He settled his breathing before lifting the plate and inhaling the intoxicating fragrance. “Some things,” he whispered, “are just too valuable to lose.”
I originally posted this short one-act play a few months ago, but yesterday I came across a writing challenge connected with the picture below, and I thought the play fit the challenge perfectly. So I’m sharing it as my response.
Here’s the link: Picture It and Write: http://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/__picture-it-write-42/
In The Beginning: A One-Act Play
Time:Creation, Day 1 Place:Heaven, looking down at planet Earth Cast:God and One Inquisitive Angel
Angel to God:“What are you doing, God?” God:“I’m lighting my planet Earth.” Angel: “Why does it need light?” God: “Because I am creating a brand new species — MAN — and I want him to live there.” Angel: “A NEW species? What are you going to do with him?” God: “Love him.” Angel: “What will he do for you?” God:“Give me pleasure.” Angel: “Will he give you pleasure that is different from what the rest of your creation gives you?” God:“Oh, yes. He will be a speaking spirit just like me, who will be able to choose by his own free will to love me and communicate with me constantly.” Angel: “Have you thought that he could use his free will to choose NOT to love you? He could end up giving you a lot of trouble.” God: “Oh, yes, he will give me A LOT of trouble. … But to me he is worth it!”