Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Game Pod: Creation - Photo Flash Fiction

This week we have a writing game. From the photo below {thanks to the super-talented & gracious Marcus, aka @architectm on Instagram, for letting us borrow!} each Pea will write a 300 word story. 
{300, M. 300. Actually, for you: 250. That should keep you at 325}. **

    Darby stepped onto the brick road, taking one final look back. The stables beyond the fence were as she’d left them. The scent of horses, hay, and his cologne clung to her flannel shirt, both comforting and torturing. She quelled her tears. He didn’t deserve them. Nor would he care if she shed any.

    The world before her today held too much beauty. It wasn’t fair.

    She’d loved the idea of it--the world he’d built them. Now, with him gone, there was nothing left for her. He’d told her they’d grow old together--raise a family. Instead, he left her with his dream. When he walked away, she found she didn’t want any of it.

    Darby blinked him away in one angry flash. Yet something inside her searched for a reason to stay. It wouldn’t last. Nothing lasted.

    Looking down the hill from where she’d come, she found the view too idyllic. The verdant pasture held too much promise. Rusting gold, the trees were dressed in a beauty that was meant to fade. The scent of decay lingered and would only thicken in the crisp autumn air.

    Illusion stood outside the stable yard nipping at the tall grass--oblivious to all that had changed. For a brief moment Darby felt a pang of guilt. But she’d left everything in order. Illusion would learn to live without her.

    She thought about how she’d caught them. The smudge of lipstick on his collar; the smell of perfume she'd left in their bed. The lies. Darby had been blind. Finding her husband’s and sister’s intertwined naked bodies behind hay bales was simply too cliché.

    She turned, facing the road. No tears--not for them.

    Darby placed the gun barrel to her head and pulled the trigger a third time.

    {294 words, thank you very much!}

The Wall

    All he saw was gray.

    He strode along the path to the field and wondered what it must be like to live in a world of color. Would the sourness of the breeze blowing past the barn instead smell sweet? Would the grass yield to his step instead of crunch beneath his boots? Would the faint sunlight poking through the iron-like clouds burn?

    A lone horse stared at him with dull eyes. He climbed the fence surrounding the field. The clouds shifted and a tree’s shadow darkened his vision, making him shiver. He reached the Wall.

    Rough bricks scraped his fingers and palms as he climbed. His boots slipped and his knees shrieked their bloody misery. He pulled himself over the edge and dropped to the ground.

    Grass soundlessly fell beneath his step. Sweetness drifted on the wind. Sunshine burned his cheeks. He looked to the sky.

    All he saw was gray.

Leap of Faith

     I stare, transfixed by the vivid countryside. Every detail, palpable. The one place They haven't found -- haven't ruined. My escape.

     Ramshackle barns -- benign, welcoming -- peek over trees in autumn bloom. The scent of damp wood. The chill of the wind a promise of winter approaching. Yet the lush, vibrant grass somehow retains summer's warmth. It calls to me.

     I steady my feet on the worn brick ledge, ready to thrust myself into freedom.

     "Come," it whispers. "Sink your feet into my blades."

     I rock backward, my heart in  my throat, as the countryside jerks, sputters. The landscape tears away, revealing a world leached of softness and color, consumed by sticky warmth.

     The sky goes black. Gleaming metal replaces foliage. Soft edges sharpen, razor thin. Hard edges hum, lethal, electrified. The tang of metal, sweat, blood saturates the still, heavy air. If I step off now I'll meet with the bite of the blades -- skin giving way, warm blood gushing, tissue parting, bones splitting...

     I scream.

     The sound morphs into the twitter of a bird, fleeing the fields that are suddenly back in front of me. Everything is once again soft, bright...

     But not safe.

     They found a way in. My mind is Theirs now.

     I slump. How foolish I was to believe -- to hope of escaping the pain. It is a part of me. They made sure of that.

     They're good, letting me get this far, leaving me to teeter on the precipice while They dig ever further -- twisting memories, dredging pain, associating experiences, feelings, memory with something malignant. I'm weak. Malleable. Under Their control...

     Unless I jump.

     I won't survive. Wherever I am, it isn't here, inches from freedom. I see what They let me see. This ledge... it's no gentle drop. I'll freefall. Plunge to my death...

     But it would be freedom, even if painful in the end. The fall would be something, at least.

     With a grating scream of metal the world shifts again -- hot, sharp, dangerous.

     I push off.

     The air flexes. Time drags. I close my eyes and breathe in a life free of pain. Free of Them.

     I hit ground.

     I stumble, but land -- on my feet -- in a virescent field. The pain lingers, faintly. I drop to my knees and look to the peaceful sky, watching the storm clouds recede.
**{This is where I stick my foot in my mouth. Because I'm the only one who went over the allotted word count. 396. Luckily, we stayed under the group total, so thanks for picking up my slack, J & M!}

Having flashed readers with our fiction, one might then ask, what could possibly be in store for readers next week? Guest Pod with honorary pea Gary Walker! It has been assured that he will make words. Those words will undoubtedly be glorious. Until then. Peas out.


  1. Don't you mean... thank you Jeannie for the word count? Lol. I'm not sure my whole 6 words under did much for you, Alexis. :)

  2. I knew either one or both of you would go over the count. :)

  3. Haha guess it's easy to guess which one of us is published, then... lol

    I would like to point out {as I've done already to M&J via text} that it is interesting how we used the space the photo gave us. Michelle's character came out of it. Jeannie's character went into it. My character spent the entire time on the edge, neither in nor out! How balanced of us.

  4. Very cool observation, I must say. I missed that. I think that's the fun thing about this exercise. Each of us really brought something different to it.

  5. Loved all of them! I'm trying to figure out whether I could have guessed the author of each one based on its content.

  6. That would have been an interesting guessing game, G. I know J and I thought we sort of traded places on this one... what with my body count and her circular narrative. Though... we were all sure I would be the one to go over word count. *eyes Alexis and cackles* Not this time! It was quite fun and inspiring. And is always fun to do a artistic collaboration of sorts. (Thanks, Marcus!)