The Price of Freedom – #writephoto

I had been warned for many years to stay where I could be seen. I hated it. I wanted to be free, free to fly like the birds that flew above us or free to run as the wild deer running in the forests. Freedom, it seemed, was hard to come by. I had heard tales of other clans and other communities with brave warriors and wise women with legends going back generations and I yearned to go meet them, to discover more than the tiny gathering I had grown up with.

“We are a peaceful settlement, we draw no attention to ourselves and in return, we are never attacked.” My mother once told me when I sulked about my lack of adventures and the desire to see the other settlements.

A few days later, something had happened. I was never privy to interesting information so I my mother felt no need to inform me what it was. However, I knew it was something serious. All the older community members were to meet at nightfall in the main tent. Being considered as not yet an adult. I was uninvited. Yet, I was no longer a child and it burned my soul that I was being treated as such. The result was silent sulking. Sure that my mother would soon inform me what was going on. Unknown to me at the time, my mother had taken my sulking as compliance and as nightfall fell, she kissed my head and left me making her way to the meeting.

I sulked more once she was gone. The anger fizzing at the back of my throat, desperate to escape as an angry bellow, yet I could not, someone would here and my mother would suffer the consequences. Instead, I paced. I paced and I paced.  Until the feeling of containment washed over me and I went out into the night.

It was at that moment it dawned on me. I was free to leave the settlement. There were none of the older community members to concern themselves with me. If I was careful, I could sneak out and back in before they even knew it. Gathering my wits and my courage, I snuck past the sleeping animals and out into the night taking the trail into the forest.

I was free.

rock formation painting

I walked and I walked. Sometimes I ran like the deer. Sometimes I skipped and jumped feeling as if I would take that long desired flight any moment. My lungs felt fit to burst, the same air I had breathed all my life somehow felt fresher, smoother, and I gulped in great lungsful as I gambled merrily to nowhere in particular.

It was then I caught a small dancing light in the distance. At first, I was wary, but my curiosity got the better of me and I continued, mesmerised, towards it. As I began to get closer, I became aware the sounds of the forest had been replaced; there was something else, a low thrumming sound with occasional louder noises erupting. The more I heard the greater my curiosity peaked. Eventually, I made the top of the open hillside and from it, I had a clear view of another encampment. I could clearly see everything. People dancing, laughing, chanting. I don’t know how long I stood there for, mouth agape, doing nothing but watching.

Something broke my gaze. Some of the group had separated, a member of the group was pointing towards me. The others in the group stopped and did the same. They began to grab what object near them and soon I noticed a determined stride as the small mob left the encampment to the base of the hill.

I had been caught spying. Every instinct I had screamed danger so I turned and ran home as fast as I could.

Several days passed and no word had been passed to my mother about my adventure. Somehow, I had gotten away with it. Strangely, this made the fear and danger I had felt only a few days before dissipate. I was stealthy. I could escape with no consequences, so when only a few more days later the opportunity came to escape again presented itself, I, of course, did. Still, the memory of the potential danger niggled at the back of my neck, so, even though it was daylight this time, I headed off in the opposite direction.

It was not too long before I came across the river that my settlement made daily trips to and from. This time I walked through the shallow waters to the other side and then followed the water. The trail wound higher and higher but still, I continued wandering the sight of the water swirling on by relaxing and calming. It felt like all of a sudden I had reached an opening and before me was a sparkling waterfall. Unable to resist I stripped and jumped in feeling the fresh water flowing over me. I swam back and forth for what felt like hours and then lay naked on the rocks drying off under the baking sun.

As I walked home, my giddy excitement waned. I could not tell anyone where I had been or what secrets I had discovered. Yet the closer and closer I walked the more I began to panic. The sky above our settlement was a strange colour. The closer I got the brighter the light seemed, not only that it danced to the heavens in a shimmering rhythm. It was flames.

Conflaguration - fire - Image by Sue Vincent

It was many years later I found out by chance that the settlement I had uncovered had been celebrating successful raids. On my discovery, they had followed my trail and found my own settlement and their next place of attack. My desire for freedom had caused both the downfall of my town and had saved me from their attack. The guilt of both haunts me to this day.


Written in response to Sue Vincent’s prompt – #writephoto. You can join in this weeks image or have a gander through the many interesting posts inspired by this wonderful photo by clicking here. KL ❤


 

The Fire

“You are very lucky”, they have said that several times, the doctors, the nurses, the white-coated collection of people who regularly pass through my room.

“Only superficial damage. Nothing permanent.” They say and then they smile. I nod, they tick the chart and they leave. Leaving me alone to dwell on my own superficial life. The cycle has repeated steadily over the last few days since the accident. The worst part to me is the word ‘superficial’. Who came up with that word to be used when my skin looks like it has been dragged backwards through a shredder? I mean for crying out loud, it has the word ‘super’ embedded right in there. So, I am stuck in this bed with my superficial face, dwelling on my superficial life, that had seemed so perfect, on the outside at least, like my skin, when inside my thoughts are consuming me.

It starts with those sleazy facebook psychology questions.

“Would you run into a burning building to save an animal?”… probably not.

“What about your own pet?” Oooh, harder… probably…

“What about a relative?”…yes most definitely.

“What if you got inside that burning building thinking you were saving someone but there turned out to be no-one inside the building apart from yourself? And now you are the one that needs saving? What if the person that then saved you died? Would you feel lucky? Thankful?”

The words swirled their way around my head. Taunting every waking hour. I was sure something had driven me inside that building. I must have seen something… or heard someone… I wouldn’t run into a burning fire for nothing. So, what had lured me there? I had to get out this hospital bed, go back to the building the fire had taken place in, I had to find out.


Originally written in response to Daily Post prompt – Superficial. Couldn’t resist toying around with this prompt, definitely something mysterious about it! I have a few thoughts on how to expand the story but thought the concept was an intriguing start.

KL ❤

Stepping Stones – #writephoto

She walked hastily to the stones. It was her favourite time sneaking across to see him. All her friends told her no. She would get in so much trouble, but it was worth it for those few hours in his arms. They would run through the woods together, share sandwiches together. Last time it had been even more exciting, he had placed a daisy in her hair and leant in and kissed her. She couldn’t believe it and couldn’t wait to do it again.Even the rain couldn’t dampen her spirits.

She skipped happily towards the bay, but on arrival was devastated to see that the water was too high and the stone crossing was hidden beneath the waves. He waved to her from the other side but with little she could do, they both turned away. She stepped slowly and gloomily down the bay until she came across a stone shelter, glancing back she decided she wasn’t too far away, she could wait here until it was clear and then surprise him.

Nestled in she waited for hours listening to the water. Finally, her eyelids became heavy and she drifted off to sleep. She awoke with a start, then remembering where she was and her plan she looked out of her cave towards the stepping stones, they were clear. Clumsily she started to climb from the shelter. Her excitement mounted as she watched him emerge from the trees, had he waited for her too? Then from behind him stepped a girl. That was when she noticed, his hand was entwined in hers and the girl wore a daisy in her hair. To rub salt into the wound, he stopped and kissed the girl.

Walking back from the shelter to her home, her sanctuary, she wiped the dripping tears. She would never tell the others what happened by the stepping stones.

 

Stepping Stones by Sue Vincent

Stepping Stones Image by Sue Vincent

 

 


Originally Written in response to Daily Echo’s #WritePhoto challenge. Use the image to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… by Wednesday 27th July and link back to Sue’s blog.

The Cave – #Writephoto

It had taken all I had to keep running. I hadn’t dared look back. The fear, if I had of done so, would have stopped me from running, and I had to run.

Spotting the cave, I made straight for it then crawled in, my breathing heavy, my heart pounding. I glanced left to right to make sure I was not an unwelcome guest in some creatures home.

I pulled my knees up to my chest and stared out towards the light but the sounds I had dreaded echoed towards me in the tiny space. The crunch of the gravel, the heavy breathing, and then the monstrous roar.

I shivered as darkness filled the cave, the creature was covering the entrance. I buried my face into my knees and tried not to whimper, tried not to breathe. Instead, I focussed on counting. 1..2..3..4..5..

Although my eyelids were closed I felt the light reappear in the cave. I dared not to look, I wasn’t ready, I continued to count.

I reached fifty and heard the sounds of retreat. Could that be possible? Unsure I crawled on my hands and knees towards the light.

Seeing the creature’s shadow move down the hillside I knew I was lucky. I didn’t know why but the gods had let me go free.

 

Look Out Cave Image by Sue Vincent

Cave Photo Courtesy of Sue Vincent

 

 

Originally written in response to Sue Vincent’s #Writephoto challenge using the above inspiring image. 🙂

Another Way

Yan cut through the tiny alleyway.

He knew it was a risk, if the market stall holder caught him here he would be trapped and they would beat him, but if he could just make it to the end he knew he could make his way down several other snickets and away to safety.

He had never wanted this life, never wanted to steal from innocent workers.

Fate had other plans and with a small child to feed he had no choice, but as he ran for his life, he couldn’t help think there had to be another way.

 

Alleyway photo by Jan Morrill

Alleyway photo by Jan Morrill

 

 

Originally written in response to Friday Fictioneers challenge. Using the above image create a short story in 100 words or less.

 

The Price of Fame

I once was a legend, a celebrity, in my own way.

Everyone wanted their photo taken with me.

Well, why wouldn’t they I was young and cute and smiley?

Exactly what the world would want to see.

Then complacency took over.

I was the norm, plain and boring just like all the others around town.

No-one took a picture with me. No-one even stopped to stare.

I just wanted to feel connected to the world once again.

So, I hatched a plan. It took a little help, but it was what I wanted.

I decided I would become as famous as Venus de Milo.

The only difference is she doesn’t have arms. Easy enough to fix right?

Well…

Strange Statue photo provided by Phylor

I might have misjudged the situation. Now people just think I’m broken!

Where is a stonemason when you need one?



Originally written in response to FFfAW

Two Little Letters

Ta

That little word of expression
Can fill the darkest day
When everything goes unappreciated
Those two letters go a long way

Thank you, cheers and ta
All do their own little bit
Of showing appreciation
Instead of acting like an ungrateful git!

It winds me up something rotten
When people are not polite
It’s so easy to say please and thank you
Doesn’t take long and makes everything right.

So Ta for popping by
I hope you enjoyed the rhyme
Scribbled for Stream of Consciousness Saturday
So pop by whenever you have time

thank you dog