Family Tree #WritePhoto

 

 

He built it, brick by brick.

Carved from boulders in the valley or stones found weathered by time… He stacked them. Each one a testament to his regrets.

He spent his life there, in those mountains, building walls to shut out the world he regretted not being a part of. The one he left when his wife was murdered.

He taught his son the art of isolation, sorrow, and disappointment. And, together, they worked on those walls.

When he died, his son continued the tradition, creating something so spectacular, it rivaled nearby castles.

He held fast to what he had been taught.

But, unlike his father, he planted a seed of hope which grew into a fine tree. Sturdy and beautiful. Clinging to sorrow, growing out of the pile of regrets. It survived where it should not have. Some say it was magic. Others, that it was simply hope.

 

“Do you want to know what I think?”

“What do you think, grandpa?”

“I think that this magic and hope people talk about when they see my tree…I think they are the same thing.”

 

 

 

 

My attempt at #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

 

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Dessert for One

 

“There’s nothing like an argument over dessert,” I flung a spoonful of whipped cream onto his cherry pie.

He stabbed a piece, shoved it in his mouth, and pointed the fork at me. “You started it.”

“Lovely. Now we’re twelve?”

He leaned back, arms crossed. “Go to hell.”

“Maybe,” I shrugged. “Maybe I’ll even see you there. But, for me, not today.”

“What’s that supposed to…” he grabbed his throat, glaring at me.

“Don’t worry, love,” I took a bite of my chocolate cake. “The choking won’t last long. Your heart will give out before it becomes too uncomfortable.”

 

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

July 20, 2017 prompt: Pie In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a pie.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

Between #WritePhoto

 

 

He flies halfway between day and night.

His wings reach out, touch the rooftop of my home.

The silence outside me, the noise inside me…

I hear him.

Tomorrow, he tells me, will be softer. More forgiving. Wait.  

I believe him.

His message quiets my raging mind.

Delivered tenderly, I feel the force behind his words not to go gentle into this good night.

 

Feathered fingertips brush blue sky down into the pinks and purples of evening.

I will live to see him, this paintbrush of the Gods, bring the periwinkle light of sunrise up into sapphire skies.

 

 

 

My #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

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I offer this as a beacon of hope for the 99-word challenge at Carrot Ranch this week.

In 99 words (no more, no less) write about a beacon. It can be from a lighthouse or other source. Use the word literally or figuratively and go where the prompt leads you.

 

 

Armo’s Love #WritePhoto

 

 

Usually, men carrying axes were unwelcome in the woods.

But Armo was a different sort of man. He respected nature, cherished it even, and the trees knew him.

The day she died, he was there, ax in hand.

He arrived shortly after dawn, telling them he couldn’t bear the thought of her body decaying and asking permission to alter the natural order of things.

They looked into his heart.

They nodded.

They watched as he worked throughout the day, well into the night, until the next morning, not stopping for food or drink.

They marveled at the care he took.

Nothing drew his attention from her form, first cutting her down, then carving her into a smooth, wooden bed.

The Dryads admired their sister’s final resting place.

Tuulikki was gone. She would not be crumbling and returning to the woods but remaining there in a mix of man’s and nature’s peaceful slumber.

 

 

 

My #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

(Note: This week’s photo shows a bed with a pillow, all carved from a single tree trunk and left in a wood.)

 

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Worn

 

My teacher slaps my desk. I jump.

Students keep their heads down. I’m glad for this.

He asks me a question. Tells me it’s the second time he’s asked. That I’m not paying attention.

He’s right. I’m not. At least not to this lesson. I’ve been staring at his robe.

The edges are frayed.

Teachers are respected in The Society. They wear the robes of the higher classes. Dark blue. Tailored. Immaculate.

He sees me eyeing his sleeve and yanks his hand away. Something is wrong. I make a mental note to look at the other teachers after lessons.

 

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

June 29, 2017 prompt: Frayed In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about something frayed. It could be fabric, like a flag or garment. It could also be nerves or temper.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

As the Crow Flies #WritePhoto

 

 

The crows land on a tiled roof.

Stones of the old church are unwelcoming.

Ancient and powerful, the birds call to us. We are ignorant of their language. We quicken our pace.

Clouds disperse into the arms of sunset.

 

Their magic is misunderstood. Met with judgement and fear.

The Goddess sighs, asking them away. They take flight, shattering the remaining blue of a fading day.

She folds her wings, settling in the nook of a stained glass window.

 

 

My #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

 

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My Savior #WritePhoto

 

 

“It’s okay,” a voice echoes, “you can come out now.”

My eyes have adjusted to the dark and all I see is a white oval. “Why don’t you come in?” I ask.

“I’m not sure it’s safe. You really should get out of there.” The voice bounces off the cave walls, words hitting me in syllables.

A shape emerges in the whiteness. I think it might be one of them. “Okay,” my fingers wrap around a knife and I begin crawling. “I don’t know if this is a good idea,” I creep, hands and knees, toward the thing in the light. “They might find out where I am.”

“I won’t tell,” the thing says. And then I know.

I know what it is and what I must do. Pebbles press into my knees, bruise my shins, but I stay low. “I’m almost out,” I say.

It reaches inside, “Good.”

“Could you just…” I stop, sitting back on my heels, and aim. “Help me the rest of the way?”

“You can do it,” it laughs. “A few more steps.”

I adjust my aim. “Help me?” I repeat.

It shuffles its feet, moving to the left a few inches. I see it clearly for the first time and my stomach turns. I never get used to the sight of them. I pull my arm back, prepare to stab it, when a noise from behind startles me. I gasp and lose my balance. “Dammit!” I turn to see a rat. Just a rat, I think. But it is too late. The thing that waited outside has its hand on my ankle. I twist from its slimy grip but it drags me out into the sun, and into the arms of another I hadn’t seen. Others approach. I can’t escape them all. I know where they will take me and what they will do. I will not become one of them.

“We got her,” the first one says into a small box attached to its head with wires.

I examine the knife I carved. My art, my weapon, my savior. “You don’t,” I plunge the knife into my throat.

 

 

 

My attempt at #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

 

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Dawn Arrives #WritePhoto

 

 

They have left me here.

Night settles and I am alone. Dawn is far away. But I will wait.

I am dying. My blood is ink, spilling onto the midnight soil, mingling with darkness and mist. I will hold on. I will make it through the night.

To see just one last time…

“Aaron,” she breathes. Her lips brush my forehead. “Gods. No.”

She is crouching next to me. I lift my arm and she grasps my fingers, ignoring the dry, crusted blood caked on my palm and the slick, new blood running down my arm. “Dawn,” I sigh.

 

 

I’ve combined two prompts again this week:

#writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent which asks writers to use photos for inspiration (the photo above is this week’s prompt)

 

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and Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch which asks writers to pen a piece in 99 words (this week’s prompt: Dawn).

June 15, 2017 prompt: Dawn In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that symbolically, mythically, mystically, or realistically involves dawn, as a noun or verb. Write about the dawn of time or the time of dawn, or the dawning of an idea.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

Hope Doesn’t Knock #WritePhoto

 

 

They say we should have hope.

Yet they take away everything that might make us feel hopeful. People seem content. I don’t understand.

One morning, after breakfast, I ask my father. He sits with me. Takes a breath. I think he is going to speak but he ruffles my hair. Tells me to enjoy my day. His eyes flick to the doorway.

I turn and notice my mother, watching us, wiping her hands on a dishtowel.

This is my cue to leave. When the door shuts, I see an ornament on the wood. This is not good for our family.

 

 

 

I’ve combined two prompts again this week:

#writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent which asks writers to use photos for inspiration (the photo above is this week’s prompt)

 

writephoto-logo

 

and Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch which asks writers to pen a piece in 99 words (this week’s prompt: Content).

June 1, 2017 prompt: Content In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story write about feeling content.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

Cerambycidae

 

 

I feel them crawl over my skin before I see them.

Looking up, I notice hundreds of insects skitter across my floor, up the walls. They are everywhere. I want to scream. To call for help. But I don’t.

I study one on my left arm and become entranced with its bright, colored spots and antennae.

I have a memory of school where I learned about this species. The common name, ‘longhorn beetle’, fits well as the antennae extend past the end of their bodies. It’s fascinating. I lean in for a closer look but see only my bare arm.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

May 25, 2017 prompt: Longhorn In 99 words (no more, no less) that includes a longhorn. You can go with any of its meanings or make it a name of a person or organization. Cheese or cattle, technology or place, what can you create from the western icon?

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig