Another lovely #writephoto prompt from Sue Vincent. Here’s my take on her image – and if you want to give the prompt a go, head over to her site and link your post to hers, or leave a link in the comments:
‘Storm’s a comin’’ Paras spat decisively before turning on his heel, leather boots scraping against rough stone.
‘Our defences will hold,’ Seren replied, hand on the sword belted at her hip, long red hair braided back from her face.
Paras paused, his cloak swirling in the rising wind. He looked back, glint of dark eye above dark beard. ‘They’d better.’
Seren, her gaze on the gathering darkness, nodded, more confident than she felt.
The first heavy drops of rain began to fall, marking her leather armour. And with them, a wrongness, the wind rising to a howl of song, the sky becoming so black she could barely see her hand in front of her. Behind the storm came a deeper dark, a clotted blackness that swarmed up walls and tore great chunks of stone free, swallowing up men, women and children without a sound.
It passed. Light sparked on what remained.
‘You ever wonder about what happened at these places?’ Callum, chewing a blade of glass, reclined on the picnic rug. He took another swig of his beer before continuing. ‘Y’know, like who lived here and all that?’
‘It’s on the board,’ said Sarah. She was sitting up, her arms wrapped around her bent knees, red hair whipping around her head as the wind rose. Her sandwich lay discarded beside her and her gaze was troubled as she watched the clouds gather. ‘Over there.’
A notice board with a faded drawing of the castle as it once was stood nearby, a brief history of the place. Archaeology hadn’t been able to establish why it had been abandoned, only that it had happened quickly.
‘Yeah, right,’ said Callum, but he didn’t sound as interested any more. He finished his beer and belched, rubbing his stomach. Sarah made a face, but her eyes were still on the roiling sky. Around them other picknickers were beginning to pack up, folding blankets and gathering children. There was no urgency, though.
Until the rain began to fall.
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Ooh, nice. I like the symmetry between Seren and Sarah. Sounds like history is about to repeat!
Thank you 🙂 Yes, I think it might… Pleased you enjoyed the story!
Reblogged this on Sue Vincent's Daily Echo and commented:
First in this week…
Thanks so much for sharing, Sue 🙂
My pleasure, Helen.
The ‘wrongness’ appears to have lingered…
Great tale, Helen.
Thank you, Sue 🙂 Yes, I think it has…
Shades of a WIP? 😉
Haha! Oh, I don’t know. But this leather-clad female warrior does seem to keep showing up… 😉
I noticed. She seems to have a story to tell 😉
Helen, your work here is a marvel. perhaps foreboding (all the way through, actually.)
Thank you for this. (meeting you has gotten me to join in with the Twitter medium fun.)
In yr piece, my favorite spot was the darkening prose that began “The first heavy drops of rain began to fall,..” just lovely.
Thanx again, gray
Thank you so much! I’m so pleased you liked the story – Sue’s images have a great way of teasing stories from us all… 🙂 And I’m so glad you’re joining in the Twitter fun too 🙂
Hi Helen I really enjoyed this story and I agree Sue photos bare always a great invitation to our imaginations 💜
Thanks, Willow! And yes, Sue’s photos are wonderful for finding stories, aren’t they?
They are excellent 💜
Love this image and the way you interpreted it Helen. That symmetry between the past and present works well too. And the foreboding atmosphere is fabulous. Lovely stuff
Thanks so much, Lynn (and sorry for the delay in responding). Really pleased you enjoyed it 🙂 x
My pleasure. How’s the rewrite coming, Btw
Rewrite is done, thank you. Now I’m out on submission, so have fingers and toes crossed I’ve done enough to take it over the line this time. How about you?
Oh, I’ll keep everything crossed for you Helen – you so deserve this! Mine’s out to agents too – three or four standard rejections so far, a really lovely personal rejection from one agent, a lovely personal rejection from a small press, both saying how strong the writing is. Had a crit on the opening too which was glowing. All very lovely but I suspect it’s the plot that’s letting it down. Not sure how to rewrite though. In the meantime, I’m plotting/researching another, really carefully this time! I’ll look out for good news from you soon. All luck to you, Helen, not that you need luck – you’re just good 😊
Oh Lynn – I have fingers crossed for you too! You’re such a wonderful writer I’ve no doubt success is coming your way. Apparently when you get to the ‘personal rejection’ stage you’re really close, so I hope something comes through for you 🙂 I’ve had three rejections so far, but also one agent who seems really interested and is going to read it! However, I’m trying not to get too excited yet. Still waiting to hear on a few others… Here’s to us both succeeding on our journeys 🙂 xx
Oh, Helen, that’s amazing! To be asked for a full is just brilliant. I’ll be keeping everything crossed for you, honestly. You’re such a grafter at your craft, have worked so hard and are really talented so I hope this is the time for you. And thank you for your lovely comment about my writing. Maybe that book isn’t the one, but we keep trying don’t we? I’m excited about the current idea, so I’ll keep plodding. Do keep us informed if you’re able – I’ll be so thrilled for you when it does happen
Thanks so much, Lynn – it is rather thrilling. I’ve been at this point before, though, so am reserving my excitement as much as I can. It’s someone I’d very much like to work with, though! And we do keep plodding, don’t we? If this round doesn’t go any further, I have another WIP I’m already working on, and plans for this one if I need them. We have to write, after all 🙂 And thanks so much again for your lovely words – a real compliment coming from a writer as wonderful as you 🙂
Thank you, Helen. I’ve been thinking of you, keeping everything crossed. I’ll be so thrilled for you when it does happen – because I’m so sure it will 🙂
Thanks so much, Lynn! And the same to you 🙂
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