Change #1LinerWed

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I ignored the sign and speeded on the motorway with Five Finger Death Punch blaring through the speakers but seconds later hanging upside, blood dripping, smelling petrol, I wished I had listened.

 

(Inspired by; https://lindaghill.com/2020/03/25/one-liner-wednesday-change/ with thanks).

Lambent #WritePhoto

Isolation. Everyone was recommending it, everything into lock down and slowing.

Crowded streets and places were empty. Traffic lights changed colour but no one stopped and started before them. Signs hung in shops declaring the stock that was no longer available though most of those shops were shut for good. Life continued from behind closed doors.

On the research island it little mattered. I was the only one here, researching the puffins as they made nests and mated. I had two months worth of extra supplies in case of emergency as standard. Though, I had ordered more, as much as they could send me as I heard that panic buying was causing shortages.

I was far too busy outside, distracted enough with my recordings to eat or drink much. It was keeping warm at night that was the problem because even though it was spring, it was still cold and sometimes a bit of snow glittered in the morning light.

My boss had suggested I return home. Be with my family and stay safe because if anything happened to me out here there might not be no one to my rescue me.

I had thought carefully then answered, ‘no. I’m not at much risk here. The delivery people can leave the supplies and I can disinfect things. If I go home to the mainland I’m bound to catch the virus. We should keep in regular touch though. Two to four times a day fine with you?’

Laying on my stomach, I watched the sun rising and the puffins waking up. I couldn’t help but think about that idea of isolation. I imagined everyone complaining about it, becoming restless and fed up. I though, thrived on solitude. It was needed to become one with nature, to do the work I loved and never did the sense of boredom creep into my mind.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2020/03/12/thursday-photo-prompt-lambent-writephoto/ with thanks).

The B Virus

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The experts said the virus transferred from an animal and though it was contiguous, it was a mild bug that would soon go.

He knew differently but was sworn by the Secrets Act not to say anything. Bats were the contaminated animals but they hadn’t been captured from the wild. They had been born and lived in the lab to be the test subjects of a biological warfare drug.

It had been his project until the funding had fallen though. It was his task to destroy the bats but instead, short on money, he had sold them to a market vendor. He hadn’t given it much thought, the virus hadn’t worked and all the bats were fine.

He was slummed on the sofa, having fallen asleep in front the TV when the first reports came in. He awoke, stirred by the noise and saw that a new virus had been declared and the source seemed to be around a market area close to his town.

Perhaps, it was nothing? Just a coincidence. He went back to work; another month, another project, just enough money to get by on.

This thing will all blow over, he thought, the news likes to scare people and make it worse then it is.

But it didn’t go away. Day after day and months later, the virus had spread world wide. A pandemic was declared, people were dying and industry was at crawling speed. Streets and places like cinemas and shops were empty as people tried not to get ill. Everyday reports came in of rising confirmed cases.

He went to his bosses and told them he wanted to help make a vaccine. It seemed every scientists’ responsibility. It was agreed. He went to the archived biological warfare drug project, breed some new bats and got to work.

 

(Please note this is a fiction story and contains no true facts).

Dear Diary

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Dear diary, spring is here but the weather doesn’t make it feel like it! The weather forecast says more smaller storms are coming and it’s going to stay cold. I guess someone should let the flowers know that!

Some crocuses and daffodils are all ready opening. This afternoon, I saw a load of snowdrops popping up on the stretches of grasses beside the road. They are hardly little things.

I’d like to do more gardening but I’m not sure I have it within me. It seems so easy to care for a plant; right soil, water, food and sunlight but something always seems to go wrong. That’s why the only plants I have are cacti and the dreaded money plant that I’m sure is immortal…

It’s hailstones again. I can hear them tapping on the window. So far it’s not been cold enough for snow and it’s been such a mild winter but I just think that’s misleading. Winter doesn’t seem over till summer arrives and snow can appear like a normal thing in the next few months.

Would the flowers survive if it did snow? I think for a little while they can do. It can be warm under snow sometimes. Flowers must know how to cope like the rest of nature.

It’ll be nice to see to the trees in leaf and the flowers in bloom again. After the gloom of winter the brightness of spring always cheers me. It’s nice being warmer and having longer days.

Though I will miss curling up under blankets, getting all warm and drinking hot chocolate. Also reading a book until I doze off and then waking up as the wind and heavy rain disturbs me.

On the other hand, I can be outside more and go to the beach and enjoy the sun. There’s so much each season can bring and I like embracing them all.

Plague Pit

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We should never have returned to the dead planet. And yet, it was full of resources. The colony need supplies for its continuance and there were people who’d pay us well for a rare item or ancient artifact.

As I walked over a wooden beam, distracted by fixing my orange radiation mask, the beam give way under my weight. I tumbled into a dark shallow pit. The sounds of falling earth deafening me as it showered down.

I lay still, trying not to panic and stay calm. I had fallen underground before and soon my team would be here. The waterfall of noise faded and I heard distant voices calling. Then a powerful light came on from above and I saw what was facing me.

The empty eye sockets of a human skull were staring back at me. The dark pits of those hollows questioning and demanding answers.

I shuffled backwards and heard the rattling of bones as my hands and feet skittled across them. There were more skulls surrounding me, their empty sockets seemingly watching me as well.

There were too many! Far too many to be a normal burial place. This was a plague pit!

I tried to fight down the firing panic and the hint of vomit in my throat. I had to stay still and in control. Repeatedly telling myself it was okay, I shut my eyes and breathed heavily into the mask and air ventilation systems.

A rope bashed my helmet with a thud. I reached for it gratefully and let my team pull me up. Scrambling to the surface once more, I lay down and just breathed. A fine mist fell then a cloud of white drenched me. I was being decontaminated.

This plant was dead for a reason and I didn’t want to become it’s next victim.

Choice #WritePhoto

I don’t know what had driven me outside in this weather. Maybe, the argument with my wife was to blame? Still, it was the choice I had made and now I was paying for it.

Laying on the hillside just above the small river, I tried to get a grip on things. Pain was shooting through my left leg in only the way a broken bone can do. Somehow I had slipped on the wet grass, tumbled down the slope and hit some rocks. My head hummed with confusion and the pain was also making it hard for me to think.

I took in some deep breaths and contracted on the flow of the water. The small river seemed so loud as it bumped and splashed against the moss covered rocks. It was higher then normal because the bad weather and the snow from the higher land.

A few minutes later, my head cleared and I got on to the emergency services. Search and Rescue were on their way. It took them over an hour and whilst I waited, I watched the river and the wind in the trees. I was cold and wet, though my waterproof and winter hiking clothes helped.

I thought about how things might have been different. What if I had died out here?

I phoned my wife and told her. She flew into a panic and it took me an age to calm her down.

‘I’m fine. Everything is going to be okay,’ I spoke, ‘I’m sorry for what I said. I didn’t mean it, you know that. I love you.’

Through the sobbing, I heard her reply, ‘I love you too.’

‘The rescue team is here now. I see the search dog!’ I cried out then added, ‘Darling, meet me at the hospital as soon as you can.’

‘Yes, yes,’ she burbled into the phone, ‘see you soon.’

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2020/02/06/thursday-photo-prompt-choice-writephoto/ with thanks.)

Luxor Temple By Air #TaleWeaver

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Seif had grown bored of his business in camel tours. There were so many other Egyptian’s hiring out their camels for treks around popular ancient Egypt’s ruinings that there was always going to be someone selling at a cheaper price then him.

He wanted to to do another tourist trade instead, something that was less competitive and didn’t involve smelly animals. Seif looked to the crystal blue sky for inspiration. How could he still show the tourists the Wonders but differently?

A bird flew across his vision and the idea came to him as if inspired by the Gods. By air was the way to go! But how? He didn’t want the responsibility of flying a plane and that could also be expensive for some tourists. So…?

Seif fell hard into thinking, a cheaper mode of flying…By hand-gliding? Parachuting? No, something more relaxing and less risking….Think! There must be…Ah! A hot air balloon! 

Quickly, he went to work, researching and deciding. There was money to be saved, training to happen, his camels to be sold, his wife to be reassured but finally, the day arrived.

His hot air balloon had a pattern of yellow, orange and red squares. Underneath hung a large wicker basket with enough room for six to eight people including himself. He had been assigned a pitch and he put up a sign advertising tours and his prices.

He didn’t have to wait long before tourists became interested.

‘Let’s see the temple of Luxor from above, wouldn’t that be special for our honeymoon?’ a British couple spoke.

‘Come, come,’ Seif called to them, ‘as first customers and newly-wed, I give you special price!’

The couple agreed and soon they were floating over the temple, pointing things out and talking happily.

Seif smiled and thought, yes this is a much better job for me. 

 

(Inspired by; https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2020/01/23/tale-weaver-259-temple-23rd-january/ with thanks).

In The Light Of The Moon

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I couldn’t sleep, my insomnia was paining me again. I took a lantern and went out to the shore of the lake. Despite the lateness of the hour, a freezing fog was hanging in the air. I let the lapping of the water guide me and felt the wooden planks of the jetty under my boots.

The wood creaked and the water splashed against the poles. There should have been the addition of a rocking boat but last month it had been overcome by heavy rain and sank. I could picture the bones of the boat resting on the bottom of the lake.

The moon was full and low in a cloudless sky. I marvelled at her, not being able to recall seeing another moon see big. Something drew my eyes downwards and at the end of the jetty I saw a figure standing out against the fog.

I frowned, there should have been no one out here. The servants had their own house further back and we were miles from the nearest village.

Before I could address the figure, she turned to me and I saw it was a young woman. She was tall with red flaming hair and wearing a sky blue dress that floated around her. She smiled sadly then turned back to the lake.

I rushed forward, the sense that something was wrong vibrating through me. I reached the end of the jetty and held my lantern high.

There was no one there!

I turned and twisted, looking everywhere. The fog couldn’t have been playing with me for I swear the woman was as real as myself and yet, there was only the lapping of the lake breaking through the night.

Rocking

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I had a dream about a rocking horse burning. I stepped through a door into a nursery and there under the window, where sunlight blazed in was a large white rocking horse. He had a grey mane and tail, grey spots on his side and an open red mouth. He had a leather saddle and reins.

If it wasn’t for the bowed wood his hooves were upon, he might have been mistake for a real horse. As it was he was made of wood and paint; a child’s toy. When he rocked there was a loud creaking sound and the floorboards underneath him squeaked.

I wanted to go over and touch him but then the sun seemed to shine blinding bright and flames sparked up. The rocking horse was vanished under red, orange and yellow fire. The wood crackled, the paint peeled away and the leather blackened.

The urge to save the horse grow but I couldn’t move. The whole nursery became alight and I had to escape but I couldn’t. There was crying and shouting, the fire and smoke blurring the sounds. I didn’t understand that I had gone but I had.

The dream haunted me for nights until I had to figure it out. I couldn’t just be a random thing it was some kind of memory. I looked it up online and found that in the 1874, there had been a girl who died in a nursery fire which had started when the sun shinning too hotly on the back of a rocking horse had caught fire.

How could I have know such a thing?

Yuletide Gnomes

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This year elf on the shelf was out and gnomes were in. I liked them better, they had funny, fluffy beards, no faces just a nose sticking out from under a far too big hat and fat woollen bodies. They looked far cuter to have a round the house.

Until, things started happening. Little things went missing and then reappeared in other places. I heard child like giggling and it wasn’t my own children. I came down one morning and found the dishes all washed and put away!

‘What is going on around here?’ I muttered as I went around the playroom and put away all the farm animals for the third time that week.

‘It’s the gnomes, mum!’ my children cried.

‘The who?’

‘The yuletide gnomes. They keep doing all of this,’ my youngest daughter, Izzy said.

‘They like to play and keep the house clean,’ my oldest son, Ben replied, ‘I looked them up. They protect the house and like to eat porridge with butter on Christmas Eve.’

I laughed, ‘such imaginations you all have!’

‘No,’ my other daughter, Freya shouted, ‘they are real!’

I paused, ‘okay, they are real then….Do they report back to Santa like the elf did last year?’

‘Nope,’ my son replied, ‘they are like Santa and give out presents alongside a Yule goat.’

‘Is that why they keep getting the farm animals out? They need a goat?’ I questioned.

‘Maybe,’ Izzy said.

‘We need to buy a goat!’ Freya cried.

‘Let’s see what we can do then,’ I said.

That night after putting the children to bed and sitting down to watch TV with my husband, I kept looking over at the two Yuletide gnomes. Were they really the cause of things? Well, they weren’t doing any harm and if they wanted a goat and porridge on Christmas Eve then I was happy to join in the fun.

 

(Find out more here; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nisse_(folklore) )