Sunday Photo Fiction: Formation of stars – fantasy style

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photograph © Alastair Forbes

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He gazed at the formation of icicles. The first two stars were shaping up nicely but the third one, he was having some problems with that one. Well great! This meant another trip. Another one of those long and lengthy and wearisome trips. Sighing, he grumbled, Ah well, best be on my way.

Retreating back inside his remote mountainside cabin, he grabbed a few essentials, placing them carefully into his knapsack, all the while figuring in his head how long the trip would be and what to take. He thrust ancient arms into a thick overcoat, hung his loaded knapsack over his shoulder and then pulled on heavily padded gloves. He was ready for his trek down the mountain.

Another sigh as he started on his way. Just a few feet from the cabin a soft whine to his left stopped him in his tracks. He smiled, turning towards the sound. “Hey Prince, my friend, in my hurry I almost forgot you fella.” The wolf smiled, a wolfish type of grin on his dark muzzle and trotted up beside him.

“You up for a trip?” The wolf cocked his head and stared directly back at him.

“Yeah, me neither, best get this over with though. I need that third star. You know what time of the year it is?” As if in agreement the wolf headed off down the mountain.

The two made good time together, stopping only for quick bites of dried food and brief resting spells before moving on. At last they came to the city.

The wolf left him just at the edge of the forest clearing. He continued on into the city. It was night time so fewer people to notice the stranger, but around him an extra shroud of darkness, assuring no one did. Making his way to the outside of a high-rise apartment building, in a very run down section of the city, he climbed the fire escape until  reaching the forth floor. Peering inside the dirty cracked window he saw a mother singing a lullaby to a small child. He waited patiently for her to finish.

When her song was over she kissed the sleeping child gently and closed her eyes, saying a silent prayer that all would be well. The essence of her pure and loving thoughts made its way across the room, passing through the window crack and into the small container he held carefully in his hands. Once the vapor was inside, he stoppered the bottle, placed it back inside his rucksack, and then climbed down the stairs, walked through the city and out into the forest where the wolf waited. The wolf looked expectantly at him.

“Yes,” I’ve got it.” He said to the wolf. “So easy to find. Just follow the trail of goodness and honest caring.” They made their trip home and upon arrival he carried the vessel, filled with the essence of love, over to the icicles.

As he poured the vapor over the third icicle, the ends of the icicle formed into a third star. “Yup that oughta do it.” He said to the wolf. “They’ll be up in the sky in no time, glowing brightly.”

“With so much open space in the heavens …” he said later that evening to his friend the wolf, as they sat gazing up at the star lit sky in contemplation of life, “… it’s a good thing love is still to be had. I don’t know how we’d make our new stars without it.”

space

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Yes, another longer short story (that sounds silly doesn’t it). Hope a few of you enjoyed, however! Sorry it isn’t scary, or horrifying or sad, or depressing or in any other way negative. I figure real life seems to have a pretty good lock on that one right now, for many, so I went to a different place.

If you’d like to try your hand at writing a story for Sunday Photo Fiction where the photograph is the prompt for your imagination, click here for the details. Alastair will guide you along your way. And, while there, be sure to click on the little blue guy for more short stories by some great writers!

Have a great week ahead,

~ Penny

For all you Readers out there …

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It’s Sunday here in Northwest America and there is nothing, I’ll repeat this, nothing that can beat curling up in a comfortable spot with a good book. In my case, the more mysterious and filled with adventure the better! Can’t talk more, my book is waiting for me.

Have a wonderful and relaxing Sunday. Pick up a good book and read. It will do wonders for you, I promise!

With much affection and do remember to take care of you,

~ Penny

 

Sunday Photo Fiction …But Mommy it was just one small bite!

79 09 September 28th 2014

The Dragon, photo by Alistair Forbes, 2014

Herbert the Dragon’s Lesson in Life

“Honestly, I don’t know what the big deal is?” The little dragon said, crouched in the most submissive position he could think of. The last thing he needed right now was to tick his mom off even more.

“We ALWAYS play nice with humans, Herbert.” His mom said sternly.

mommy dragon

Mommy Dragon

“But it was just one little bite,” Herbert whined. “I don’t know why I have to be grounded on account of a stupid bite.”

His mother sighed. “You’ll learn little one. One bite leads to another and before you know it, humans begin to taste good. And then your addicted. One is not ever enough!”

“Well this human didn’t taste good at all!” He said with a disgusted look.

“Good, because eating humans is not a smart thing. The fatty cholesterol in their body clogs our pores and you can get very sick. Haven’t you ever wondered where the rest of the dragons went?”

Since Herbert had been curious about what had happened to most of his species he nodded.

“They got sick and died from humanitis, so avoid them if you can, but if you do decide to play with more humans, for goodness sake … no biting!

 ~

Thanks to Alistair for providing this great photo of a dragon. I immediately knew where I wanted to go with the short story line. Click on the link below or check out more great flash fiction at Sunday Photo Fiction. Or even better – write one yourself. Excellent creative fun. Come on, join in. 

Hoping your week has started off well.

With affection, Penny

No Safe Side to Midnight – Scarier Sequel to earlier Scary Story!

I wrote (for me) a scary story a few months ago. The Safer Side of Midnight. Being Halloween I was persuaded to write a sequel to this story. We left our heroine in a rather precarious situation, happily she manages to get away (that’s another story though). But for this story it’s Midnight and our heroine is …

Scary story, part 2

No Safe Side to Midnight

Was this hell? She couldn’t tell! Things were so unclear, she opened her eyes, only to be horrified by what she saw staring back at her.

the beginning of evil

“Do you see what I see, my pretty one?” He leans in towards her, his words smooth, a sinuous whisper.

She shudders, struggling in a futile attempt to move, trying to look away even as his hands and arms hold her securely. Staring deeply into her lovely green eyes he notices the gathering cloudiness as they fill with fear, dread … and … something more.

“Ah, yes” He thinks. He feels both her fear and her growing desire. He pulls her closer, sighing deeply. His hot breath flays her flesh, while his lips rest gently against her ear.

“I can feel it, you know” he whispers.  “The evil without. The boundaries of your immaculate being contain an evil. Not inside your soul, mind you.” He pauses to laugh. “Not yet anyway!”

He laughs harder. A harsh sound, resonating like echoes from bat wings, flapping in a cave, wakening for a midnight feast. She closes her eyes, he continues to whisper, assaulting her other senses.

“The evil you wear without is of the finest veneer. A covering so paper thin as to have almost no existence.” His tongue savors her taste as he lazily laps an earlobe, pausing once again in contemplation. Her body shivers. He laughs. Playing with her emotions is such a delicious sensation.

“Yes, hardly there at all. This evil laid upon you in a previous life. You were so innocent, more easily tempted then, but it’s still there, your weakness. I feel this exquisite coating, layered upon the exterior of your soul. This ‘oh so slender veneer’ of evil calls you to me as does your purity.”

“Such a heady mixture of both, I can barely contain myself now that I have you, my ‘oh so’ pretty one.” His voice rich, sultry, seductive, playing with the nuance of each whispered word, hypnotic in its intensity of purpose.

the evil within

She feels him staring at her again! Compelling! She opens her eyes. His look, piercing. She tries again to turn away. Her fear, the captured prey of a wild beast. A beast as surely he is, and yet there is a longing – growing deep inside her – a craving, a desire! The fear is real, yet so is the growing need. How to resist? She senses him, can smell his heat and her own, a dampness to her skin, she shakes with the intensity of need, panting …

Waking suddenly, she sits straight up in her bed! Another nightmare. They were becoming more frequent and certainly more realistic.

More than a year since her escape from the cemetery. A lucky thing. The ‘being’ that had first spoken to her had whisked her away from the others. She still wasn’t sure how he’d accomplished this feat. Her body and spirit still badly bruised from the ordeal. He had left her in another part of the woods. His final words were, “I’m saving you for myself, I’ll find you later, after I take care of Him”. She wasn’t sure what sort of creature he was, but grateful for her life, she had made her way home.

And then she moved, far away. Changed her name, did everything she could to leave no trail. Created a new life. The past had stayed in the past until recently – when the dreams began.

What was she going to do now? During daylight hours she had begun to recall previous lives. She remembered the constant running but knew there was something else. But what? She needed to remember in order to protect herself; and even more to the point – why?

Why were they searching for her? Who were they? If it came to that, who was she and what is so special that she can’t remember? And in the meantime – Dear God! She covered her face with her hands. A nightmare when asleep, a nightmare when awake. Too much for any mortal to take, and now she’s beginning  to wonder – is she mortal? She doesn’t know anymore.

Looking through her bedside window she could see it was still dark outside. Did she even dare try to get more sleep? She had been safe during the day, since she moved. But now, he could find her in her dreams. And there were two of them chasing her, the creature from the cemetery and the demon he had summoned. It was all too much. Her memories of the past, her recent memories and now her fear.

What was she going to do?

“Perhaps I can help?” A voice said quietly, from the other side of her bedroom. There was someone there. In her room, sitting in the bedroom chair. Shadowy, indistinct but there, none-the-less …  and she was awake.

No safe side to midnight!

.

~ Penny

Our Matrix, which pill (blue or red) and baked cookies!

How many of you have seen the movie “The Matrix“? If you haven’t, much of what I’m suggesting might be lost in translation but here goes anyway!

In the movie, most of the people live in ‘the world of now’ that has actually been created by a computer program (The Matrix). In the matrix everyone goes about their daily lives believing that everything they do is real!

When Neo (the protagonist, hero) is asked to chose between taking a symbolic red or blue pill, each pill has a purpose that will allow his mind to either see the falsehood of the matrix world (blue pill) or make him forget that the world he is living in isn’t the real one (red pill).

To confuse the issue even more, he is told he may be the “chosen” to lead humans out of this Matrix world they are trapped on. But how can he know this? In fact he finds it hard to believe. So he meets “The Oracle”, a highly intelligent psychic resembling a sweet middle aged lady who “knows” things and who loves to bake cookies.

Today I’m baking cookies (like the Oracle) sugar cookies in the shape of autumn leaves and we’ll be painting them with colored confectioners icing after they finish baking. Fall colors of course.

And what does baking cookies have to do with red and blue pills and the movie The Matrix? Pretty much everything. Because we are living in a fantasy. I mean honestly, is it realistic to gorge ourselves on fast food and pre-prepared food to the tune that we have become an obese nation with many illnesses as a result.

Is it realistic to live in a country where while we argue about the reopening of the government and the reasons why we need to continue government business as usual, we are still so many trillions of dollars in debt that it boggles the mind.

And is it reasonable for people to get up (except for those in the starving countries – many – although in the matrix of our lives they don’t exist except as intruding sound/video bytes of information that get quickly moved aside for something more interesting that’s – trending) and go through each day, knowing things are not really okay but just keep going anyway – by tuning in (electronically) and tuning out what they don’t want to hear or know about! Yes definitely the Matrix at work here.

Time to take a pill my friends. The red one – oblivious continuation of ignoring what we are doing to ourselves and others, living in a fantasy world of unrealistic expectations. Or the blue pill, accepting responsibility and changing your life style to begin the long road of fixing things.

As for me. Well I’m going to go back to baking more cookies. After all it’s what I do best, apart from reminding you of all the important things in life, like each other, and that I truly believe in you. Still not sure about things? Well, for right now, take a cookie, I promise, in a little while you’ll feel “right as rain”!

Penny

Fantasies of Autumn – Haibun!

There is a place, hidden from everyday view, my mind wanders there frequently – The “Other Place” – where reality lies suspended. A retreat into the world of pure Imagination. A calm from the storm and a safe haven. Both balm and catalyst to those of creative natures. I’ll introduce you more fully to my Other Place later on, but for today, a brief glimpse:

autumn sprite

Autumn Fantasy

vibrant and rich
yellow, red, orange, tan, brown
kaleidoscoping
 

… Autumns arrival.

Fall fairies abound, pixies, brownies and the like, woodland creatures. Seasonal changes find them everywhere painting our landscape with colors of autumn. My favorite creature is the “Sprite of Leaves”. Gloriously fluid, she performs her acrobatic dance in whirl winds. Spiraling leaps with twists and turns as she glides across the land. She is glorious isn’t she?

 
leafy sprite dancing
vibrant colorful myriad
autumn sensations
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Thank you,

~ Penny