Turrets – #writephoto

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How did he ever convince her to visit this God forsaken castle in Turkey, of all places, Rebecca wondered to herself as she and Patrick stumbled down the crumbling, stone steps in the portion of the medieval castle that was still standing.

This trip to Europe had been filled with difficulties. Patrick was determined to make this one last stop in Turkey and she saw no reason, cultural or otherwise, for it. The ruins weren’t particularly noteworthy. The tour group was small. The surrounding area contained little of historical significance. It was also completely off their tour route. She didn’t understand why they were there and Patrick seemed unable and unwilling to explain. He’d hardly even spoken to her as they toured the ruins.

He was walking far ahead of her down the steps when she felt herself stumble. There was nothing to grab onto. She started to tumble down the stairs and landed at the bottom. The remaining two people behind her rushed to her, but she assured them she was fine. They wandered off.

She wasn’t fine. She’d turned her ankle and as she tried to get up, she found she couldn’t put her weight on it. By then, the two other tour group members were gone and she was alone. She called out for Patrick, but after waiting a few minutes, it was clear he didn’t know yet that she’d been left behind.

Rebecca suddenly heard a woman laugh, an evil-sounding laugh. She looked up and on the stair rail stood a creature. A female-looking creature with piercing blue eyes and a long black robe. Rebecca started scooting across the floor away from it.

The creature spoke and said, “My name is Ramona and I am the Dark Fairy.” Then it just tapped its toe on the stair rail.

”I’d make you my pet, but it would be more fun to make that man you’re with my pet.”

Rebecca finally found her voice and said, “What are you talking about?”

”Don’t you know anything? Dark fairies make humans their pets and the humans do our biding.”

Rebecca felt herself jerked up, her ankle painless, and the Dark Fairy fluttered beside her.

”Now get up. We’re going after that gentleman friend of yours. He’s been trying to do you harm.”

#Avenue – #writephoto

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Against her own will, she takes a different route than usual for her morning walk. It is bright and sunny outside. One of the first sunny days after a brutal winter. It seems that the weather has jumped from the dead of winter right into summer. It even seems hot. She vows to cut her morning walk a little short.

Then she sees a tree-lined avenue to her right. Its beauty astounds her. Her feet take her toward the avenue and she spots park benches all along the way. She craves the shade-lined portion of the avenue. She sits on one of the benches. Recently, she hasn’t enjoyed the sun. She feels the sun reveals too much about her. The tired face, the slumped posture, the aging. Those are private things. She doesn’t want anyone to look too closely. They might figure her out.

Beyond the shade is the wondrous sunny part of the avenue. It’s lined with cherry-blossoms. The scent wafts toward her and is sweet. People are meandering along the sunny avenue admiring the cherry trees. She doesn’t feel she has a right to the cherry blossoms, to the sunny portion of the avenue. That is for the young, the people with life ahead of them. Those who still have hopes and dreams. Not someone like her. Someone whose hopes and dreams have been stolen away.

She sits and enjoys the shade for a while. She pulls herself up and starts for home. That’s where she belongs. Behind the draperies. Where the sun doesn’t shine.

Thanks to Sue Vincent

#Fallen – #writephoto

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As she sat and looked out her window, at 50 years of age, she thought of that 19-year old girl she used to be. She didn’t have many regrets about the things she had done. Perhaps this was one of them. She imagined a conversation between herself now and then and how the years had given her wisdom.

”You were only nineteen. You’d had one relationship in your life. How did you get involved with a married man?”

”Don’t judge me, old woman. I had fallen into such a deep depression after the way my previous relationship ended that I just needed some attention. He wasn’t that much older than me. I thought he was serious about our relationship.”

”A married man is never serious, young lady. That mistake on your part affected you for the rest of your life. Can’t you see that?”

”Yes, I see that. It made it easy to step over that line, but what am I supposed to do about it now, old woman? You don’t understand.”

”Nothing. There is nothing you can do but vow to do better. You can also try to learn to live with the regret. It’s difficult.”

The older woman thought about her mental conversation and smiled. There were things in her life that she certainly regretted but not many. Young people didn’t realize that older people were still young on the inside. Mostly, what she regretted were the things she had not yet done. If her body would hold out for her, she intended to remedy that.

Thank you, Sue Vincent, #writephoto

Disappear

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He had warned him. He had told him he had a short time to get the hell out of his sight. To get away from the apartment. He watched him walk along, slouching, slowly. He felt like he was mocking him. If he didn’t disappear from view soon, he would go down there and make him disappear. He would be sure he never hurt anyone again.

That miserable man had hurt his sister. Not physically, but in a worse way. He had figured out she came from money and had conned her out of some of her inheritance before he figured out what was going on. When he confronted his sister and insisted she cut off the money and see if he still stayed with her, his romantic fervor started to die.

Finally, he found him at her apartment, trying to twist her arm for money. He sent him on his way and gave him a time limit. As he watched him, he glanced at his watch and knew his time was almost up.

*Photo Credit to Enisa

174 words

Guy’s Day Out

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”Guy’s, isn’t is great to be out on our own today?”

”Jack, thanks for setting up this half-day in the balloon for us,” replied one of the guys.

Jack, Phil, and Carter were all good friends. They often worked twelve or fourteen hours a day. They barely had time to see their wives and kids. They had little time to see their friends. They talked frequently and recently, they had talked about how tired and stressed they all were. Jack decided to plan something fun for them. He needed time with his friends. He knew they all did.

Their half-day in the balloon was great. When they went for drinks afterward, the talk turned to their wives. They were also friends and they worked hard. Each one had a good job and they had the extra job of child care. The men were sensitive to that. They decided that they would plan a spa day for their wives and they would handle child care and the household for the day.

When the guys got home, they were more relaxed. They told their wives they were planning a spa day for them. That night, the three households were happy.

198 words

Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

Thanks to Susan for taking over Sunday Photo Fiction!

Ascent #writephoto

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The trip to Scotland had been wonderful. My roots were there, in the Highlands, and I’d always wanted to visit. Now, it was time to go home. We were driving along the curvy roads toward the south of Scotland when we saw the old castle. Old, but in good repair. It had not been on any of the tour schedules we had seen. We pulled into the driveway.

No one was around, but the castle door was open. There was a sign out front that said, “MacDonald Tower. Enter at your Own Risk.” We looked at each other. That gave us pause, but one of the clans from which I was descended was Clan MacDonald so I was intrigued. Without speaking, we entered the open door.

It was dim inside. The ascent up the stairs was steep, but there was no other place to go. We began to climb. As we got to the top of the stairs, we heard a growl and a gruff voice said, “Who goes there?”

We replied, “Visitors to your home.” No answer.

When we left, much later, we were in shock. Our car was gone and two mules stood in its place. We began to walk. We didn’t walk far until we realized that it wasn’t 2018 anymore. We now knew what “enter at your own risk” meant. Entering that castle and speaking with the Laird had transported us back to the Middle Ages. How would we get home again?

*Thanks to Sue Vincent

Hay Monsters

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Ray was drunk. He had to leave his car and walk the country road home from the bar tonight. He smelled the sweet smell of the pasture. He just wanted to lie down. Pass out really. He staggered off the road into the pasture, tumbled down the hill, and was asleep before he hit the bottom.

Dawn woke him. Rather, it tried to wake him as he viewed the light with bleary eyes and shut them again. He realized he wasn’t sober yet. He wanted to sleep it off. The sun started to get warm. Two hours later, it was hot. Ray awoke again, still not completely sober. He decided to get up and make his way to the house.

He opened his eyes as he stood. When he looked up, he screamed. There were strange-looking people working the pasture. They had no faces and hay bales for heads. They were seven feet tall.

Ray turned and ran toward the house, vowing all the way never to drink again.

170 words

Photo credit to Ellspeth

The Wine Tasting

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“Oh, but isn’t the blue fun, the Gik, darling? It’s so new and different,” Juan asked the party at the wine-tasting.

”It’s fun, but I feel like I’m drinking cough medicine,” the American said.

”But the taste! It’s sweet, light, and bubbly. I’m taking some home for my daughter’s wedding,” the British man commented.

The three men, friends for many years, were attending a wine tasting in Spain, where they were on holiday. It was at a small, rather mysterious winery that none of them had heard of before they got the invitation.

“The yellow! The Vin Jeune! This is the first time I’ve tasted it,” cried the American. “How unique! It’s nutty and fruity at the same time. Delicious.”

”It’s just overdeveloped white wine. Next, please,” said the Brit. The Spaniard was delighting in the taste of the yellow.  The three men briefly argued about the characteristics of the blue versus the yellow.

They came to the red, the burgundy. They agreed. Full-bodied, delicious, perhaps the best.

A commotion took place at the door and two masked men appeared.

”Place your wallets on the table. Then walk into the vat room,” one of the men said.

#AtoZChallenge – Jumpy

The first day of the first class that all ten of them had together found them jumpy. They didn’t know each other yet. They had just been assigned a desk in the bullpen. It was a graduate class in management. The Professor walked in and in a booming voice said, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

She never forgot that quote and it came to signify their entire academic experience. They looked at each other and knew that the roller coaster of their graduate experience had begun. They all knew, from the outset, that getting a doctoral degree was difficult. Beyond difficult. It was a lifetime commitment. Some of them had families. Some didn’t have children yet, but were married. Some single. All determined to join the elusive Club. The Professorship.

They didn’t know yet that, by the end of their two years of classwork, and endless years of writing their dissertations, that the commitment to join the Club would take a heavy toll on their lives, families, and relationships. Only a few more than half of them would even succeed. For those that did, it would make their lives. It would define their lives. The Professorship would become more important to them and they would become more important to each other than anything else in their lives.

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#AtoZChallenge – Idealistic

They met when they were graduate students who happened to share the same field and the bullpen. That was the office where the university dumped the graduate teaching and research assistants. They studied there, prepared for classes there, got to know each other there. There were ten of them.

They were all drawn to each other. They had similar intellects, similar interests. As they grew to know each other, they found they’d even had similar lives, though their ages differed by as much as ten years. One characteristic they all shared was that they were idealistic, to an extreme. About life, about love. That would all change during the twenty, thirty, and in some cases, forty years they knew each other.

They mixed and matched in all sorts of smaller groups and pairs over the two years in that bullpen, developing strong friendships and relationships. They laughed that getting their degrees was like fighting a war together.

What they didn’t know then was that those were the Glory Days.

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