Your prompt today is to describe a walk, whether in nature or a city, you recently took.
This is mine.
Your prompt today is to describe a walk, whether in nature or a city, you recently took.
This is mine.
Your prompt today is to use these words in a short story or poem – octopus, surrender, bright
Have fun! My story is below.
With a deep breath, I plunged into the bright blue ocean. The water felt cool against my skin, refreshing after the heat of the Caribbean sun. Goggles and snorkel tightly strapped to my head, I gazed at the beautiful corral and brightly coloured fish swimming in all directions away from me. Careful to swim slowly and keep the top of my snorkel above the water, I rounded an outcrop of rock to find a steep drop ahead. The pale seawater around me descended into a dark hole dropping into unknown depths. What lay within those dark waters? I had promised to keep to the shallows but the temptation was too much. Just a quick look would be all right, surely?
I surfaced to look toward the beach and locate my parents. They were lying on beach loungers, enjoying cocktails under the palm trees. Too busy to notice their son swimming beyond the corral reef, identified as his limit. Breathing in and out several times, I filled my lungs to bursting, having no idea how long I would have to swim downwards. Using strong strokes I descended quickly into the gloom. Shimmering lines of light highlighted more brightly adored fish and corral at first then it became darker and colder.
My lungs were beginning to complain when I saw a long tentacle grab a small fish. An octopus! Wow, now I did have to keep going. What if I could catch it? As I turned, an undulating mass rose from the rock ahead of me. It was changing colour from deep brown to pinkish beige as it swam upwards. Following closely, I anticipated its direction and quickly held three of its tentacles, swimming to the surface in a rush as my head was becoming dizzy. Gasping for air while holding my captive tightly, I did not have enough breath to call out to my Dad.
A tentacle wrapped around my arm while another found my throat and began to squeeze. That’s not good. I slid a hand between a couple of suckers and my neck and pushed with all my strength. For a small animal it sure was strong. I needed to grab all the tentacles then it would surely surrender. I only wanted to show Dad then I would let it go.
A couple of tentacles wrapped around my right thigh making treading water difficult. I just needed to get to the shallows then I could walk and shout to my Mum and Dad. A mouthful of water made me cough and swallow more. Spots burst in front of my eyes. I was sinking. Kicking as furiously as I could with my left leg I surfaced for a moment and gasped for air. I had to get this thing off me or I would be the one surrendering.
“All right, lad?”
It was a strangers voice behind me. I turned my head as far as I could to plead for help. The tentacle around my throat was too tight for me to speak now.
“Let’s get him off you, shall we?”
A slight nod from me was enough for the man to pull at the octopus and release my neck from its grip. Next he wrestled the tentacles around my leg and then I was free. The last I saw of that octopus was its tentacles flying through the air before plunging into the depths.
“Thank you so much. Thought I would drown.”
“Have to be careful out here, young man. Keep to the shallows and you should be all right.”
I held out my hand to the stranger. He smiled and gave it a firm shake.
“You bet. Thanks again.”
I didn’t relay my story to my parents until a few days later when we were on the flight home. I knew they would have forbidden me to go in the ocean otherwise. Although, I did heed the stranger’s advice and kept to the shallows for the rest of our stay.
I would love to read your story/poem – why not share in the comments?
Apologies – I forgot to schedule this post.
The prompt today is ‘ a glimpse out of a window’. What do you see?
Here’s my effort.
It started with a glimpse out of the corner of her eye. A movement passing the opened window but when she turned there was nothing there. Dismissing it as possibly a bird or a butterfly floating in the warmth of summer sunshine, she turned back to her work.
Just one more chapter and then she would treat herself to a walk to ease and stretch her aching muscles. Janice had woken bursting with inspiration at five o’clock, now six hours later a major part of the novel was complete. With a flourish she hit the keypad and straightens up. There in front of her was a beautiful face peering through the window. Instinct makes her jump and involuntary utter a gasp.
“Hello, who are you?”
The lady smiles but does not answer just reaches out her hand to beckon Janice outside. Her dark shape and long ebony locks float as if in water, it is surreal. Fascinated Janice opens the patio door and enters the warmth of the day time sun.
“Come follow – you will find.”
“Find what, where are we going?”
Without waiting the lady turns toward the rose garden, the oldest part of the cottage garden. The floral scent permanents the air as they approach the blooms. The dark lady stops in the centre of the path and points. Janice’s eyes follow her fingers direction – there blooms an ebony rose so dark it gleams.
“Write its story, Janice and release me.”
“Release you – I don’t understand?”
“My spirit resides within the bloom I am relying on your gift of words to free me forever.”
“What shall I write? Tell me what to write.”
“You know my story it is deep within you.”
Janice’s mouth opens to ask another question but the dark lady has disappeared. Was she dreaming? Everything seemed so real, so tangible – the warmth on her skin, the grass beneath her feet. Janice returns to her desk, puzzling thoughts race through her mind. There she finds a dark rose petal lying upon the laptop keys. It was real?
A blank page faces her and her fingers begin to type – a story unfolds.
Esmeralda’s roses were well renowned even as far away as London. Each bloom was perfection itself due wholly to her unwavering commitment to their care. After years of trial and error with combinations of manure, egg shells and herbs, Esmeralda had found her ‘secret’ formula. Each season demanded another ritual before the first buds appeared in April. With careful attendance each bud was nurtured to its full potential. Every flower show saw Esmeralda take first place much to the dismay of her rival, Vanity. The competition between the two women was fierce.
During the sixth annual London show Esmeralda was summoned by the Duke of Suffolk. He commissioned her to produce a truly black rose – something never achieved before. With a deep bow Esmeralda had thanked him for his obvious confidence in her abilities but felt she would not succeed. The Duke took her hands and solemnly stated that if anyone could succeed it was indeed the Rose Queen herself.
Upon her return home Esmeralda began researching the deepest and darkest strains of rose. Using grafting techniques and cross pollination she grew several young plants. As they grew and flourished she waited patiently for the first blooms. She achieved deep burgundy and the darkest crimson but never ebony. Three long years past each new bloom took her a step closer to her goal but never close enough. Then in the fourth year a tiny shoot grafted to the main plant produced a bud unlike any Esmeralda had ever seen. It was the darkest green she had ever seen. She tended to this special bud as with all her charges and waited in anticipation for it to blossom.
Sunday 14th April would be a date Esmeralda would never forget – for that morning she witnessed the darkest most beautiful ebony bloom gleaming in the sunlight. She would send word to the Duke that she has succeeded in making his wish come true. However, Esmeralda died that day at the hands of her arch rival, Vanity. It was a dagger to her heart as she breathed sweet words to her special bloom. Vanity took the plant and professed it was her own creation. She became famous over night and reveled in the adulation.
As for Esmeralda her body was buried beneath her rose garden- a place she had loved above all others. Her spirit lived on in the multitude of blooms until one day it rose up and made its presence known. She was the Rose Queen and the ebony bloom her creation.
The words flowed so quickly Janice could not read them quickly enough. At last her fingers ceased their frantic tapping and she realized who her visitor had been. Janice would make sure the real creator was acknowledged for her Black Rose.
Why not share yours in the comments?
Today I will give you the prompt we used at my writing group’s meeting last night. It stirred up some great responses, two of which required more time than 10 minutes. This included mine, so here is the completed story.
In your morning shower, you notice a tattoo on your body that you don’t remember getting. What is it? How did you get it? What does it mean?
I trudged to the bathroom, peering through half closed eyes avoiding the bright sunlight flowing through the windows. In my drunken state, I had forgotten to close the curtains. My head thudded in time to my footsteps. My body ached. What had we done last night?
Turning the faucet, I braved a glance at myself in the mirror. Black smudges of mascara gave me the look of a panda. What a state! Pulling the shower curtain across the tub, I let the hot water refresh me, slowly revitalizing my body. With a large amount of shower gel on my hands I began washing. Ouch, my left shoulder smarted as I rubbed with the flannel.
I looked down at my arm to see a multi colored tattoo. What the hell? When did that happen? Oh my God, how drunk was I?
I inspected the new ink – a sword across a shield embossed with a bear head, jaws open, teeth bared. As I gazed at the image a memory emerged. The tavern at the lake has been crowded and my friends and I had joined the locals as they relayed stories of a local legend. A massive bear larger than life, who took pet animals in the dead of night.
One hunter among the group showed us a huge scar across his back, the result of an encounter with this bear. He was lucky to escape with his life. He told us he had been hunting deer and was about to take aim when the bear appeared out of nowhere behind him and struck his back. The force of the blow pushed him tumbling him down an outcrop to the river below. He was convinced he would surely have died if he had not fallen. Spellbound by this tale we raised a glass to his escape.
Now my mind tried to grasp the remainder of the evening but it was hazy to say the least. Once showered, dried and dressed, I forgo breakfast as my stomach rolled unpleasantly at the thought and poured strong hot coffee into a mug. I sat on the window seat and people watched for a while. Thank goodness it was Sunday and I could lazy around all day recovering. I must of dozed off because my cell woke me. The sun was higher and hot through the glass.
“Where are you?”
“At home of course, why?”
“You are so late for work, Gail. Are you coming in today?”
“What? It’s Sunday.”
“Nope, Monday and it’s ten o’clock. So are you coming in?”
I looked around my apartment, at the traffic below my window and then the dried coffee spill on the floor. How could I have slept for so ling?
“Are you still there? Hello?”
“Yes, yes, I’m here. Look I need to sort out a few things, I’ll be in tomorrow.”
“Was it that heavy a night?”
“I was home all night. I’ll see you tomorrow, Sandra.”
I stood but staggered back down my feet throbbed in pain. I looked down – my feet were covered in mud and grass. What the hell is going on? I just showered. That’s when I saw the trail of muddy foot prints and – what is that? Blood!
Clutching my cell I crept toward the bathroom following the tracks. My head swam and then I was in a forest. The cold grass and morning dew chilled my feet and I shivered. This is the most intense dream I have ever had.
“Gailen, get down!”
The shout was just behind me, I froze and two large hands pushed me to the forest floor. I looked in surprise at the hunter who’d relayed his tale of the bear that night.
“What’s going on, this dream is intense.”
“No dream, Gailen, you are returned.”
“Hang on, my name is Gail not Gailen and…”
“No time to talk we must run, the beast will smell us soon enough.”
The hunter pulled me by one hand, all the time I cursed as sharp sticks and stones pierced the soles of my feet. He did not let me stop but pulled with a strength and urgency that scared me. As we approached a steep embankment I hesitated looking both ways for another route, but a sharp tug on my hand sent me flying and tumbling down the steep bank. I cried out several times as my body struck hard objects. At the bottom, the hunter picked me up as easily as a feather and looked intensely into my eyes.
“Gailen, you are returned and must fulfill your destiny. You and only you can defeat the beast. It is foretold. You bare the mark.” He pointed to my new tattoo.
“Hold on. Firstly, my name is Gail, secondly this tattoo appeared out of nowhere yesterday – might have been the day before actually – but I have no destiny and I just wish this dream would stop. It is much too real for me.”
“The Queen of Light hid you in another realm for your own safety but with the beast grown so, she had no choice but to bring you back. You must kill it and save the kingdom.”
“Okay, so now this is a fantasy dream? I’m going to wake up any minute.”
“Gailen, listen to me. Your life in the other realm was temporary, this is your true home. Do you not remember?”
“No, of course I don’t this isn’t real.”
“It is real. You must see the seer and get your memories back as soon as possible. The beast is rampaging villages as we speak, he must be stopped and you are the one who can stop it. Come we will go to the wise one.”
I will stop this story here as it has taken on it’s own momentum! I will carry on the story later.
Why not try this prompt and tell us about an unexpected tattoo?
Your prompt is to describe a ‘horror’…
This is my response.
Aaron swung his legs onto the cold hardwood floor and cradled his head in his hands. Sleep had come; surprisingly; shortly before dawn – a short respite from his inner turmoil. The previous hours had seen him suffering intense horror and fright. What should he do now? Would anyone believe his story or even understand Shelley’s actions? Even Aaron was having difficulty comprehending why she would do such a thing.
With a deep breath Aaron slowly stood up and pulled on jeans and a T-shirt. He would have to face the carnage now, his first instinct, last night, had been to run but where could he have run to? No matter where he went they would hunt him down. He had huddled into the corner of the room shaking with fear and shock – his mind exploding with repeated images of their argument and Shelley’s vicious words cutting him as surely as any knife. Her unreasonable behavior had escalated the more he tried to pacify her and reassure her of his love. Her ear piercing screaming had been accompanied with any object within arm’s reach being thrown at him as Shelley emphasized her cruel words. Shards of glass and china showered down the walls and littered the floor – several had found their target and Aaron could now see cuts and bruises up the length of his arms. As he grabbed the bedroom door handle he struggled to keep his hand from shaking – afraid to face the scene of their fight.
You can’t stay in here for the rest of your life Aaron – get going. He walked through the doorway and down the hallway into the large living room. The absolute destruction of the room was similar to what a tornado could do. Picture frames, vases, lamps, chairs – all were broken or shattered and strewn like discarded toys. Aaron headed for the front door stepping carefully to avoid sharp shards of glass embedding into his bare feet. Once at the door he put on a pair of trainers and turned to face the devastation, but his body refused to continue turning toward the far corner. Images flashed across his vision of Shelley’s angry contorted face as spit flew out of her mouth along with her venomous words. Aaron stumbled as the flashback drained his head of blood. Don’t pass out in the midst of this mess, get control for God’s sake.
Aaron up-righted a chair and sat down taking deep breathes in an effort to keep calm. A ray of sunlight pierced through the drapes and threw glints of light around him, revealing the extent of the damage. It truly did look like a tornado had blown through, there didn’t seem to be anything left unscathed. Aaron’s ears buzzed with the absolute silence so startling after last night’s turmoil. You need to look now. He turned to face the far corner, all his muscles tensing in anticipation to see her body – the gun still in her hand.
Why not share your response in the comments..?