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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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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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)

 

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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: 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

Inside Out #WritePhoto

 

 

A woman stood by the wall, gazing out the castle window.

“Excuse me. Are you part of the tour?” He asked. “I seem to have lost my way. Would you mind directing me?”

She didn’t move. “What is your name?”

“Sorry,” he extended his hand, “I’m Kenneth.”

“The rain speaks to us, Kenneth. It sends messages from the clouds when they have become too full of thoughts.” She leaned her forehead against a pane. “Kenneth. Kenny. Ken.”

“Yes, erm, right.” He dropped his hand. “Do you happen to know which of these doors might be an exit?”

She dipped her third finger in a bit of water that had leaked inside and pooled in the corner of the stone sill. “I knew it began with a ‘k’. A bit of wisdom from the rainwater, Kenneth. You want to return to your family? Any door in this room apart from that one.” She pointed over her shoulder to a promising-looking modern door with fresh paint.

“That one it is,” he mumbled. “Thank you.”

“The rainwater has warned you, Kenneth.”

“Right. Again, thank you.” He shook his head and walked through the door.

“They never listen to the rain,” she sighed, hearing Kenneth’s screams.

 

 

I’ve combined two prompts again this week (unsuccessfully):

#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: Wisdom).

May 18, 2017 prompt: Wise/WisdomClearly, I didn’t make the 99-word limit this week as this one is closer to 200. Still, I appreciate the prompt word weaved in with the photo prompt.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

Actually…202

 

Something’s Afoot #WritePhoto

 

 

“I don’t accept money,” his eyes traveled over me.

“But,” I took a deep breath, “I need it.”

He leaned against the moss-covered stone. “Obviously. Since you’re trading with the likes of me under a bridge…”

“Tell me what you want. Anything.” I shifted from one foot to the other under his gaze.

“Your shoes.”

“My…wait, what?” I looked at my strappy sandals. “These?”

“Yes.”

I slid them off and held them out.

“Over there,” the dragon extended his wing to a mound of what I now realized was shoes. “We don’t just hoard gold, you know. Carl fancies teacups.”

 

 

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: Trading).

March 23, 2017 prompt: Trading In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story write a story about trading. It can be the profession of old or of modern day traders on Wall Street. What is traded? Go where the prompt leads you.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

On a Cliff Overlooking the Sea #WritePhoto

 

 

This is exactly how I pictured it.

Temple ruins set on a cliff overlooking the sea. In my imagination, this place has always existed.

It’s real. I’m here.

A breeze, heavy with salt and seaweed and mist and everything that only the ocean can offer, caresses my cheeks. Tousles my hair.

Waves wash up, lapping the rocky shore, gurgling like a newborn babe. They retreat, leaving frothy rings on boulders worn smooth. It reminds me of a root beer float, those cream-colored bubbles. Then they are gone. The waves roll up again, bringing their foam, then run away.

I tried to run away once. I was seven. I stuffed my pillowcase full with mismatched socks I didn’t need. Mother hated when my socks weren’t the same color. And I brought bubble gum I loved. It was watermelon-flavored. The kind Father hated because it smelled the whole room up. And I thought how wonderful it all was. How it wouldn’t matter because they wouldn’t be there. I could chew with my mouth open and blow enormous bubbles and pop them all over my face and no one could say anything because I would be alone.

Alone on a cliff overlooking the sea. Temple ruins set behind me.

It’s real. I’m here.

Just like I imagined.

The sun is setting, creating a golden carpet for my feet to step upon as I dance atop the sea before I sink.

I set my pillowcase down, strip my pants and top off, and skip to the cliff’s edge. I curl my toes over the place where earth meets air and jump.

I laugh so loud. The wind pulls the sound so all I hear is something that sounds like distant drumming. My legs scream, or maybe it’s me. I forgot how much it hurt. But I smile as I leave behind what I was never supposed to be.

By the time I hit the water, I cannot feel my legs. They are gone. They are one. They are me. They are the iridescent tail I remember from a time when I knew what cerulean blue scales looked like underwater while the sun was setting, creating golden carpets on the surface.

 

 

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

 

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