Trust

Title: Trust
Source: Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Use the phrase “into the dark.”
Word count: 99 words

blue-neon-entrance-sign

Photo by Benjamin Lambert on Unsplash

“Are you sure?” Lenore asked leaning over Artel’s shoulder to peer at the map.

“Damn it. Don’t you believe me?” Artel said shoving the map at her before stepping away.

“Of course, I do. But I didn’t expect this.” Lenore waved her hand indicating the opening in front of them. She wrinkled her nose at the dank smell.

“He said ‘expect the unexpected’. So, I guess the real question is…” Artel paused and looked hard at Lenore, “do you trust the oracle?”

Lenore glanced at the map, then nodded.

Together they lit their torches and stepped into the dark.

__________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

 

The Bride

castle-shrouded-in-mist

Photo by Linnea Sandbakk on Unsplash

The carriage rumbled, careening over frozen, muddy ruts and cracking the ice formed on slushy muck. Zlata screeched as the carriage tossed her and wished Papa had allowed her to ride.

“A proper bride arrives in a carriage, not upon a horse,” he insisted.

She had always lived in the nursery. According to custom, she would receive a proper name on her tenth birthday. Her mother was kind, but thirteen babies exacted a toll. She died delivering a stillborn boy. Zlata’s tenth birthday passed without notice and she kept her nursery name.

Father remarried, and his new wife was soon expecting.

“You must do something with her. She must marry,” she told Papa waving her hand at Zlata.

Papa made arrangements and on a bitter January day, Zlata departed.

Three days’ travel took her high into the mountains, dark clouds descended around her and twisted trees slapped warnings.

Zlata shivered, cowering in the corner. At last, she glimpsed a black castle, her final destination.

Guards with long pikes and scarred faces lined the ramparts. They granted her admittance and Zlata’s stomach tightened as she realized she would never leave.

Sleet pelted the carriage as they arrived at the door. A dark man in a dark cloak waited. His horrible face held black button eyes that judged her as she came to stand before him. Minutes passed and Zlata hoped he would send her home.

Her hopes turned to cold stones as he uttered his greeting.

“You will come with me.”
__________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Refuge — 3 Line Tales

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

photo by Lalo via Unsplash

The storm surged, waves crested, and the relentless wind-whipped spray high into the somber sky.

The gulls rode the storm, masters of the air, they negotiated each moment with the sea.

Lightning flashed, highlighting the never-ending fight until the eye hit land, and they found refuge at long last.

______________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

 

 

Fishing Tales — FFfAW Challenge

Title: Fishing Tales
Source: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
Word count: 145 words

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Yarnspinnerr. Thank you, Yarnspinnerr!

James and I sorted through the old photo box.

“Look,” I tossed the photo I was holding at James, “Looks like Mom didn’t take this. Her finger isn’t in the shot.”

James chuckled as he grabbed the photo.

“Sorry, to disappoint you, Bro, Mom took this one. I remember.”

“You do?”

“Yep, it’s the day Dad taught me to fish. My hook got caught in the raft’s side, Dad grabbed it out of my hands and yanked. The rubber ripped, and we capsized. Dad’s fishing gear ended on the bottom of the pond and we waded back to shore. Dad never let go of the rod.”

James smiled and tucked the photo into his shirt pocket.

“Was that the rod that hung in your room?” I asked.

“Same one. I still, have it,” he said. “One day I’ll teach my son to fish with it.”

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Sentinels — Friday Fictioneers

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

old-oil-cans-on-a-shelf

PHOTO PROMPT © Nick Allen

I will never forget the day the fire consumed everything. Dad’s business, his life’s work, reduced to ashes. Dad, in typical Dad fashion, found hope. He saw charred foundations that refused to succumb. Sentinels of fortitude.

Dad smiled, “It could have been worse,” he said, and I wondered what he thought might be worse than what lay before us.

“You are young, there is much you haven’t seen. No lives were lost, only things. It’s a minor setback, a test to determine our character, to measure our resolve.”

Today, I mourn my father. His words echoing in my broken heart.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Lethe’s Atonement #writephoto

Title: Lethe’s Atonement
Source:  Thursday photo prompt: Hidden #writephoto
Word count:  349 words

stream-in-the-woods

Thursday photo prompt: Hidden #writephoto

Lethe was born the daughter of Strife into a family of sixteen sisters. Her sisters moaned and cried and chronicled the trials of mankind. Hardship, Lethe’s eldest sister made the people toil and bend their backs to eke out an existence. But even if they persevered, sister Starvation was always near.

Pains, the third in line, made them weary and afflicted. For those who could rise above mortal issues, sisters Battles and Wars packed a one, two punch and pushed many more to their graves. Lethe’s other sisters pushed the strong but punished mankind all the same. The sisters goaded and tortured, with Murders and Manslaughter causing senseless death.

The younger sisters seeped into men’s lives, riddling them with Quarrels, Lies, Stories, and Disputes. Anarchy then found fertile ground to pave the way for sister Ruin and leaving men with only Oaths to comfort them.

Mother Strife brought her daughters as a continual plague upon the human kind hoping to crush them, she cursed them and entreated her daughters to spare not even one. But Lethe was gentle and kind and she saw the destruction and scars her family left behind.

She tried to intervene, but her sisters were stronger by far, and her mother rebuked her for her meddling ways. Lethe wouldn’t add to the human sorrow, and she saw how they rose despite all the horrors. Lethe cried with frustration and once the tears started, she couldn’t get them to stop. The tears cascaded down her face, growing into a great river that raced underground reaching the tormented souls buried below.

One lonely shade drank from the waters and finding forgetfulness of all earthly struggles was granted admission to the Elysian Fields.  The gods saw what Lethe had created and smiled upon her. For Lethe’s sake, the gods agreed.  Those who had suffered from her family’s hands and proved themselves righteous, or heroic could drink from Lethe’s river of forgetfulness and enter the Isles of the Blessed. The gods allowed them to remain, to live happy and blessed, the pleasures denied, granted to them in the afterlife.

__________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Riches — 3 Line Tales

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

girl-playing-guitar-in-music-shop

photo by Lechon Kirb via Unsplash

I wake each day with a song track playing in my head, my own personal daily mix.

Sharing my music with others is what I crave.

I may never be rich and famous in the traditional way, but I know I will never be poor.

______________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Turkey Take Away — Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge

Title: Turkey Take Away
Source: Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge
The Prompt: Write from the perspective of anything on or around a Thanksgiving table—turkey, fork, candle, chair, table, mashed potatoes—whatever! Be that object and write a humorous piece.
Note: This fails on the humorous aspect of the prompt, but here it is, just the same.

turkey-figure-siting-alone-on-a-dining-room-table

Photo credit: waitscm on VisualHunt / CC BY

Dinner is done, and the guests are gone. The parade was the coldest on record they say. But Santa arrived safely, kicking off Black Friday sales.  I sit alone, forgotten on the dining room table. From decades of performances, I know I will soon be put away.

Each year is the same. They return the witches, skeletons and creepy, crawly things to their coffins and me and my pilgrim friends and installed in places of honor. They cook and clean and drop leaves into the dining room table, then set up card tables and extra chairs in every available corner.

The doorbell rings and the guests arrive, filling the house with delectable aromas wafting from the dishes they bring. At the appointed hour, they all gather round and bow their heads. For one brief moment, they take stock of their lives and give thanks for a bounty their ancestors would not have dreamed possible.

In a flash, it evaporates, as they pass plates, food piled high, and speak of the sales and the things they must buy. Don’t get me wrong, love and true caring live here, but others have been more grateful with less to hold dear.

I sat on the table and listened to the laughter and remember the times when things were much harder. Then something happened which had never happened. Santa appeared with a piece of pumpkin pie in his hand and sat down in a dining room chair. He smiled at me and told me I should not despair, and explained to my little turkey brain, that hardship comes in ways I could not conceive.

He left me sound advice, to follow his creed, the only thing I needed to do, was truly believe.

__________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Snow Day — FFfAW Challenge

Title: Snow Day
Source: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
Word count: 175 words

snow-covered-benches

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Yinglan. Thank you Yinglan!

They texted the announcement as I was going to bed. It was too quiet outside, and I was suddenly awake. I pulled on my robe, headed downstairs and opened the blinds to a world turned white.

Fat fluffy flakes fell, obliterating the view. The grass disappeared, replaced by a downy blanket of snow. I opened the door and stepped outside.

The silence pounded my eardrums. I threw my head back, spread my arms wide, catching snowflakes with my face and tongue. Cold seeped around the edges of my warm robe and I shivered. I dreamed of my magical snow globe world and my horse-drawn sleigh appeared.

My handsome white steed nuzzled my cheek, and I fed him the sugar cube he loved so well. I hugged his neck, petted his silken mane, then crawled into the sleigh and snuggled into the blankets. Off we flew, surveying my lands, greeting my people and dancing until I could dance no more. Exhausted I slept.

When I awoke, I read the text again. “Classes cancelled due to snow.”

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer