Like A Stone – Thursday photo prompt

Title: Like A Stone
Source:  Thursday photo prompt: Timeless #writephoto
Word count: 156 words

the image shows a single standing stone in a winter landscape

The silent men, in long brown robes, welcomed Chantal into the cold stone house. Slow shuffling feet wore hollow indentions into unyielding stone. The stones bore testament to their devotion.  They offered her wine and bread, promising her a life everlasting, saying they knew the way.

She learned to read, turned the pages of a book filled with death. To redeem her pagan soul, she offered prayers to gods and angels. With her eyes opened, she felt lost, suffered guilt, and the cold stone house filled her with hopelessness they ground into despair. Sinking low, prostrate with grief, Chantal discovered the last ember hidden in the desolate grotto of her heart.

The spark spoke to her, reminded her of another time. She followed the light to the forgotten time, trusting a voice which promised nothing. There amid the vast emptiness, another stone stood bearing testament.

Chantal stood, tall and unafraid. Confident, she knew her way.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Reaching the Beginning – Stock Photo Challenge

Title: Reaching the Beginning
Source: Stock Photo Challenge
Word count: 100 words



Destia perched on the wagon seat, confident today would be the same as the string of days behind her. The sameness of her existence stretched into the depths of her memory. The slow, rhythmic steps of the oxen dragged her creaking wagon forward.

Her companion’s faces wore the same expression as the landscape. They knew returning was non-negotiable.

Pero, keeping pace with the oxen, stopped. Alert, his nose tested the wind, then he ran, racing toward the purple smudge on the horizon. The oxen moved faster.

Relief sweep through Destia, but the voice laughed, saying the real journey was beginning.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Loves Legend – 100 Word Wednesday

Title: Loves Legend
Source:  100 Word Wednesday: Week 109
Word count: 100 words

Image by Bikurgurl

The legend said their love would last while their initials remained on the Lovers Tree.

Nick carved his initials deep into the bark. His knife traced her initials again. He wasn’t taking any chances.

She hadn’t noticed him, but he had waited, been there for her, loved her. He hadn’t dared to dream, hadn’t imagined she would be his or declare her love.

She swore Todd meant nothing after he broke her heart. But Nick saw the way she looked at Todd when she thought he wasn’t looking.

He gouged the letters deeper and prayed for Todd’s initials to fade.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Tradition Inherited – Friday Fictioneers

Title: Tradition Inherited
Source:  Friday Fictioneers sponsored by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple
Word count: 100 words


PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Anna didn’t remember ever hearing the story of how it started. As a child, she thought it a silly tradition. They insisted they attend every family gathering. But the years passed, and she now found herself installed as the de facto caretaker.

She sat and stared at the six gold-rimmed glass roses. One for each child. The white rose, the diamond, represented the oldest child, her mother.

After grandma passed the bouquet became mother’s inheritance, her duty to keep them together.

Anna’s finger traced the gold outline of a white petal and feared she would never fill her mother’s shoes.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

After the Storm



Outside the storm raged through the night. Icy tendrils swept down the chimney, teasing feeble flames which were the only source of heat for the occupants of the house. With covers pulled tight, they huddled in their beds, feigning sleep as the storm buffeted the house.

Riordan listened as the winds died and a faint gray light seeped through the windows. The rooster’s crow alerted the household of dawn’s arrival. Riordan didn’t wait, he threw back the covers and hurried to dress in the chilly room. Downstairs, he pulled on his boots, coat, and fingerless gloves, then jammed his hat on his head. His easel and a stash of canvas rested by the door, ready for the day’s adventure.

He opened the door to discover a world of stark contrasts. The storm had erased the normal colors, rendering them in shades of gray, accentuated by black shadows and pristine-white snow. Riordan surveyed his new world and considered his options. The pond, already frozen over before the storm would resemble any snow-covered field, he reasoned. He wanted to capture the subtle textures and the muted tones. He knew where he wanted to go.

With his easel and a large canvas tucked up under his arm he plowed into the snowdrift and headed toward the road leading into town. As he trudged through knee-deep drifts, he reminded himself to look at the landscape and consider possible compositions for their artistic values. After walking a mile, he decided on his scene. The Olsen’s white farmhouse lay outlined by the dark tree-lined ridge behind it. Clouds, still heavy with snow, filtered the sunlight that fell on Lookout Peak in the distance.

The Olsen’s barns and other outbuildings helped to give the scene movement and a single tall pine framed the composition. Riordan juggled the canvas as he opened the easel and stuck it in the snow. With the easel situated he placed the canvas on the supports, pulled his pallet free and opened paint tubes. Dabs of Payne’s Gray, Mars Black, Prussian Blue, Sap Green, Titanium White, Raw Sienna, and Cadmium Red soon lay arranged on his pallet.  He needed to work fast before the light changed.

Riordan selected his largest brush and blocked in color. His brush swiped across the canvas, his body swayed with the movement and he lost himself to the process.

He wasn’t sure how much time had passed when he noticed the brush slipping from his freezing fingertips. Laying the pallet aside he blew on his hands, warming them before getting back to work. But now his work slowed, he paused more frequently to warm his fingers, and he noticed the cold, as it nipped his nose and seeped into his boots.

Just one more brush stroke he told himself again and again. That shadow needs more blue, and the barn more red, he thought as he tried to ignore the discomfort. At last, he shivered and knew he must stop. Riordan hated to admit defeat against the elements. He stared at the scene attempting to commit each color change, every shadow, each fleck of light to memory before he packed up his gear. He handled his canvas, his day’s masterpiece, with care as he retraced his steps and headed home.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Invocations – #MenageMonday!

Title: Invocations
Source:  #MenageMonday! Challenge Week 2×21
Word count: 250 words


Source: Dreamstime

Breathless, Sandu entered the sanctuary, slamming the door behind her. Staggering forward, her trembling hand grasped the taper, and she closed her eyes while she recited the invocation, then lit a candle. Safe now, she replaced the taper and entered the nave. Silent gods greeted her, easing her tension.

A commotion behind the alter snapped her back to high alert, as the monster materialized, stumbling toward her. Its weapon aimed at her chest, it paused at the end of the aisle.

The hideous beast flickered, phasing between two forms. Its tortured scream echoed in the nave’s vastness and Sandu recognized Doron’s contorted face as he fought to control the monster.

“Sandu. Help me,” his voice, half monster, half Doron, growled at her.

Sandu ran to him, grabbing the weapon, she tossed it behind her. Doron collapsed against her, his weight dragging them to the floor. She cradled Doron as the visage of the monster seeped away.

“They must be rescued.”

“From the Kalaraja? That’s impossible,” she said.

“No, Sandu. There is a way. I’m proof.”

“Proof? Doron?” Sandu’s voice trailed off, refusing to say what they both knew. Doron clutched her hand gripping it with all his remaining strength and stared at her.

“It’s in you,” he said as his grip weakened, “You can help me escape.”

Sandu lowered her head, begging the gods to save him. Words she had never heard collected in her throat and flowed from her lips. The sanctuary glowed crimson, flickering gold, and Doron smiled.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The Reward – 100 Word Wednesday

Title: The Reward
Source:  100 Word Wednesday: Week 107
Word count: 100 words

Photo by Bikurgurl

Allie shifted, tired of waiting and watching she rubbed her neck and surveyed her immediate area. Maybe the intelligence was wrong. She glanced at her wrist then refocused her sights to the bridge’s far end. Fifteen minutes past the appointed time stretched to half past the hour.

“Any movement?” the voice in her ear ask.

“Negative,” she whispered.

“Should we abort?”

Stifling a groan, she felt the muscle in her temple throbbed.

“Negative. Hold your position.”

Another half hour passed, but still, Allie waited.

A flash from the far end of the bridge set Allie’s pulse racing. They had escaped.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Nothing But Love, Babe – Thursday Threads


Photo by Chris Murray on Unsplash

Jeremy heard the doctor’s question. Shifting in his chair, he stared outside. Water trickled and dripped from the icicles clinging to the eaves. Drip, drip, drip. Each drop marking time with his heartbeat, frozen and somehow still alive.

“Jeremy?” her soft voice prodded.

He looked into her doe brown eyes and remembered Meghan’s eyes. His heart constricted, he felt panic and gasped.

“Easy. Breathe slowly,” she instructed.

He closed his eyes, steadied his breath.

“How do you feel?” she asked.

“I don’t know what to feel.  I mean, how would you feel?” Jeremy glared at her.

She said nothing, waiting.

“You come home early and find rose petals leading to the bedroom. You open the door, thinking she will be there in a sexy negligee. She’s there all right. But she’s not alone.”

Jeremy paused, covering his face with his bandaged hand.

“Go on,” she coaxed.

“I never suspected. They weren’t supposed to know.” Jeremy scrubbed away his tears, “I was so careful. I had a system, a good system. They shouldn’t have found out. I don’t know how they did.”

“But they did?” the doctor pushed.

“They said they loved me. How could they hurt me like this?”

“We found Margot,” she said. Jeremy’s shoulders slumped.

“And Martha, and Madeline,” she said as she walked to the door.

“We also know about Mariah and Makenzie,” the doctor paused, letting the names sink in.

“Perhaps, you got off easy,” she finished.

Jeremey listened as she shut and locked the door.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Nothing Ventured – 3 Line Tales

From Sonya’s 3LineTales at Only100Words.
You can find the original prompt here. Thank you, Sonya.


photo by Nick Fewings via Unsplash

Andre watched his friends, as one by one they grasped at love, and while some floated away in a blissful cloud, others crashed, burning brightly.

Timid and afraid, Andre stood, his feet firmly planted on the ground, as he listened to their tales of ecstasy and despair.

One fateful day, Andre saw a beautiful heart and without thinking he leaped, grasping and clinging to the heart, he hoped for paradise and knew he had changed his life forever.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Disillusioned – Friday Fictioneers

Title: Disillusioned
Source:  Friday Fictioneers sponsored by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple
Word count: 100 words

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

At first, Jordan loved her. The brownstone’s façade was gorgeous, and her history touched Jordan’s heart. The building was solid, the foundations strong, an easy flip they said.

Now Jordan hated her. She resented her deceit, her secrets, and the countless imperfections. Cracks in the foundation and water seeping into the basement cost money to fix. They had butchered the support beams to retro-fitted electrical and plumbing installations, rendering the beams useless.  The engineer marveled that she still stood.

Today the contractor discovered a hornet’s nest and Jordan watched her money slip away along with any hope of breaking even.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer